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#118693 - 01/03/04 03:52 PM undecorate
Father Steve Offline
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It is 28 Degrees (F) and snowing in Seattle, while Miami enjoys a midday temperature of 81. Do we have a correspondent in Miami?

Despite the fact that the Feast of the Epiphany is not until Tuesday next, my sweet bride insists that today is the day to "undecorate" the tree. This is because the Boy Scouts have a tree-cycling station set up at the grocery store nearby where they will cart away -- and grind into mulch -- the ridiculously-expensive tree which has graced the living room these past weeks. Sacred tradition requires that the tree remain "up" until Epiphany; sacred tradition sometimes has to be bend to accommodate local (and familial) exigencies.

I responded, deflecting the full force of her edict, that "undecorate" is not a word. She asked, "If not, then how does one described, in a single word, the process of removing decorations from a Christmas tree?"

I tried on denude -- sounds too much like removing the needles from the Noble Fir.

I tried on disassemble -- sounds too much like taking the branches off.

Is there a single English verb which describes the process of removing the ornaments, chains, balls and tinsel from a Christmas tree?






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#118694 - 01/03/04 03:57 PM Re: undecorate
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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dedecorate
untrim
detrim
put the stuff away...



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#118695 - 01/03/04 04:10 PM Re: undecorate
Father Steve Offline
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dedecorate = to bring to shame or to disgrace.



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#118696 - 01/03/04 04:24 PM Re: undecorate
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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oy! I've been dedecorated! [hangs head in shame]

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#118697 - 01/03/04 04:25 PM Re: rate my decor
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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or was I dedecorous?

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#118698 - 01/03/04 04:28 PM Re: undecorate
wwh Offline
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Dear Father Steve: When I lived on Cape Cod, beach areas
subject to wind erosion benefited from a windbreak made of
old Christmas trees tied together.


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#118699 - 01/03/04 04:44 PM Re: undecorate
Faldage Offline
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There's always deciduate..


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#118700 - 01/03/04 04:55 PM Re: undecorate
Father Steve Offline
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When I lived in Monterey, California, there was an annual bonfire of Christmas trees on the beach at Carmel ... but somebody put a stop to it, doubtless in the name of some environmental concern or other.



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#118701 - 01/03/04 04:59 PM Re: undecorate
Father Steve Offline
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Faldage suggests: "There's always deciduate.."

Deciduate has two meanings, neither of which seem to reach the subject here. It could mean to lose one's leaves, as when a tree sheds its leaves in the fall. Or it could mean the shedding of uterine tissue at birth, which humans do, but not in connection with taking the tinsel off their trees ... usually.




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#118702 - 01/03/04 05:36 PM Re: undecorate
musick Offline
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Stripping...

... with the appropriate music in the background, of course.


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#118703 - 01/03/04 08:30 PM Re: strip
belMarduk Offline
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Well, that's the word we usually use. We strip the tree of its decorations.

No music though. Usually, stripping the tree is accompanied by the gentle grumbling of Hubby and Son. Not big Christmas decoration fans, either of 'em.


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#118704 - 01/03/04 08:55 PM take it down..
of troy Offline
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i don't put up tree any more.. but we put the tree up, and took it down, (we didn't decorate and un or de decorate)

nowdays, i unpack the glass arboritum, (i have a collection of almost 2 dozen glass christmas trees) and pack it back away... as i pack the the other stuff. (like a soft sculptured tree, and glass icicle, and other stuff..



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#118705 - 01/03/04 09:48 PM Re: strip
Father Steve Offline
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"Stripping" a tree makes me think of removing its bark ... as in how the First Nations people used various barks to make structures, clothing and implements.




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#118706 - 01/04/04 12:05 AM Re: strip
maahey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/02
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what do you think of, undress?


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#118707 - 01/04/04 01:16 AM dressing a tree
Father Steve Offline
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maahey wrote: "what do you think of, undress?"

And the Old Padre responds: I think a lot of it. The expression "dressing a tree" or "dressing the tree" has a sort of antique quality to it, which appeals to an antique like myself. If one may properly be said to "dress" a tree then the reverse of the process must be to "undress" it.





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#118708 - 01/04/04 05:37 AM Re: undecorate
dellfarmer Offline
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Registered: 10/13/03
Posts: 36
Loc: Vermont (US)
I guess Sandra would undress the tree (she being the one who usually dresses it so carefully to begin with) but I (the one who drags it across the field, amputates a fresh inch before jamming it into its stand and depriving it of all moisture for at least two weeks before rudely casting it aside) would definitely strip the damned thing if I participated at all in the tree-denuding phase, which I most assuredly do not.

I usually drag the thing to the edge of the surrounding woods, where it idles and browns until Sandra's huge family descends upon us for their annual sojourn (usually in August). Our traditional bonfire is always capped by the tossing of the 'tree' onto the 2-3AM ember pile, resulting in a crackling reminiscent of Lexington and Concord, and sudden flames, often reaching dozens of feet into the darkness.

We mountain folk are easily amused, especially when in our cups.


Ron.
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#118709 - 01/04/04 08:24 AM Re: undecorate
grapho Offline
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"undecorate" is not a word. ... "If not, then how does one describe, in a single word, the process of removing decorations from a Christmas tree?"

Most people I know of talk about "taking down" the tree but I agree with your bride, first you have to "undecorate" it.

When we decorate a cake, we never have to undecorate it because it is made to be eaten.

When we change the decorations in a room, we redecorate it. We are not rotating the decorations in and out of storage, as we do with Christmas decorations. We are bidding farewell to the old decorations forever.

When we decorate a Christmas tree, we can't throw the tree out with the tinsel. We have to undo the decorations.

Your bride is not only sweet, but serenely reasonable.

Too often we assume that all the words we will ever need have already been fashioned. We just have to go rummaging around for them. Your bride knows better.

She has just filled a gap in our vocabulary ... and you are a very lucky man to have both qualities in the same lady, Father Steve.

I hope you will honor her edict, and also her innovation.

Happy New Year.



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#118710 - 01/04/04 09:53 AM Re: Back to Basics
Faldage Offline
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"undecorate" is not a word

OK, if it's not a word, what is it? It's not an illegal set of phonemes in English. It's composed of perfectly acceptable morphemes. It means something and is perfectly understandable in context. And, the kicker, undecorated is in the OED and is listed as a particple. If not a participle of undecorate, then of what?


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#118711 - 01/04/04 10:03 AM Re: strip
wwh Offline
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Forget stripping. Only God can make a tree.


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#118712 - 01/04/04 10:13 AM Re: Back to Basics
grapho Offline
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And, the kicker, undecorated is in the OED and is listed as a participle. If not a participle of undecorate, then of what?

I'm glad you are standing up for your participles, Faldage.



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#118713 - 01/04/04 10:28 AM Re: strip
grapho Offline
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Only God can make a tree

Yes, but is a tree cut off from its roots a "tree", wwh?

A chicken cut off from its head is dinner.

A tree cut off from its roots is lumber or fuel or, perhaps, a fading remembrance of a tree, stripped of its joie de vivre.




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#118714 - 01/04/04 11:12 AM Re: The Tree
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
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You poooooor folks who don't live where i do. The residents of My Fair Town complained to the town officials that the schedule of picking up undecorated Christmas trees at the roadside on Jan. 3rd was inconsistant with celebrating the Christmastide from Dec. 25 through Jan 6th (The 12 days of Christmas) --- so we now have roadside pickup of discarded Christmas trees on Jan 4 and on Jan 12th.


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#118715 - 01/04/04 11:21 AM Re: The Tree
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree.
I didn't know until last night that "hoarding" was a synonym for billboard.


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#118716 - 01/04/04 11:38 AM Re: undecorate
consuelo Offline
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Registered: 06/11/01
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My tree, now undecorated except for a very large plastic bag, now reposes on the curb.


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#118717 - 01/04/04 11:41 AM Re: The Tree
grapho Offline
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The residents .... complained ... that the schedule of picking up undecorated Christmas trees at the roadside on Jan. 3rd was inconsistent with celebrating the Christmastide from Dec. 25 through Jan 6th (The 12 days of Christmas)

It seems to me we are mixing up our rituals here.

The 12 days of Christmas is one ritual.

Leaving the Christmas tree up until the 12th day of Christmas is another.

Some rituals have meaning. They enlighten and enliven our faith.

Others are simply ... well, rituals.

An "epiphany" is "a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something". In the Christian faith, that manifestation is the essence of Christ.

It occurs to me that leaving a Christmas tree up, day after day as it drops its needles, until the essence of the Christian spirit becomes manifest on the 12th day, is an ill-conceived ritual, or, at least, a dispiriting one ... at least it is for me.

I would rather plant a seedling before Christmas and see it come to leaf on January 6th.

To each, his own. :)





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#118718 - 01/04/04 12:14 PM Conceiving Rituals
musick Offline
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It occurs to me that leaving a Christmas tree up, day after day as it drops its needles, until the essence of the Christian spirit becomes manifest on the 12th day, is an ill-conceived ritual, or, at least, a dispiriting one ... at least it is for me.

For those of us who have followed this ritual (and *reconceive from the past) the trip to buy/cut/remove from storage a tree comes as close to Christmas day as possible, therefore making them the same ritual.

It seems that 'time' is always "getting in the way", isn't it?


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#118719 - 01/04/04 12:15 PM Re: back to undecor
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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today in church, the woman responsible for taking down the holiday decorations from the sanctuary invited anyone who wanted to help, the opportunity to "undecorate." big
seems like the word has taken hold.

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#118720 - 01/04/04 03:13 PM undressed at church
Father Steve Offline
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A small but faithful band of Episcopalians braved temperatures in the teens today and gathered to keep the Second Sunday of Christmas. I floated the question of what to call the removal of ornaments from the tree. Not wishing to bias anyone's response, I held back most of what I have learned from our little discussion on this board. No one suggested "undressed" but when I did, it received near universal acceptance and even acclaim. Bless you, maahey. You're the winner, in my book.







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#118721 - 01/04/04 05:17 PM Re: undressed at church
Faldage Offline
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what to call the removal of ornaments

Don't avoid the question. What is undecorate if it isn't a word?


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#118722 - 01/04/04 05:29 PM Repentence
Father Steve Offline
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Sorry to have violated the (somebody's) rule against avoiding questions. Here is my amend:

"Undecorate" is, or appears to be, a barbarism.



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#118723 - 01/04/04 05:38 PM Re: Repentence
Faldage Offline
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a barbarism

You got me there, padre. The roots of undecorate are Latin and not Greek.


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#118724 - 01/04/04 05:51 PM Barbarism
Father Steve Offline
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Ah, Faldage, my son. We belong to a small and rather exclusive club which knows and appreciates the origin of the English word "barbarism." Ought this be the subject of another thread? Or has it been?



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#118725 - 01/04/04 05:55 PM Re: Barbarism
sjmaxq Offline
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>Ah, Faldage, my son. We belong to a small and rather exclusive club which knows and appreciates the origin of the English word "barbarism."


Well, I got Faldage's point, but I'm very much a Marxist on the subject of clubs, and memberbership thereof.

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#118726 - 01/04/04 05:58 PM Re: Barbarism
maverick Offline
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> clubs, and memberbership

I'd be quite surprised if everyone contributing here was not a de facto member of Padre's club. Now, about our Sanksrit Poetry Club...


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#118727 - 01/05/04 08:21 AM Re: the removal of ornaments
AnnaStrophic Offline
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unilateral disornament?


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#118728 - 01/05/04 11:15 AM Re: The Tree
wow Offline
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Loc: New England, USA
Others are simply ... well, rituals.
I celebrate the season in all its permutations and I guess it's because I like to prolong the spirit of Christmas. So all my Christmas spirit will continue through tomorrow... even without the visible reminder of a decorated tree ... and my New Year resolution is to try and keep that spirit all through the year.
Resolutions : now is that a ritual or just silly, given how often they are not kept???
Happy Christmastide to you all.




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#118729 - 01/05/04 04:42 PM Re: the appreciation of deornamentation
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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unilateral disornament?

well, I liked it, Anna.

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#118730 - 01/05/04 09:22 PM Re: the appreciation of deornamentation
maahey Offline
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Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
Am glad you liked it, Father. Thanks for the blessing too! ...disadorn?


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#118731 - 01/06/04 03:20 AM Re: the appreciation of deornamentation
dxb Offline
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Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
"unilateral disornament?"

well, I liked it, Anna.


Yes, very clever.




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#118732 - 01/06/04 09:42 PM disadorn
Father Steve Offline
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"Disadorn (v. t.) To deprive of ornaments." ~The Bariny Dictionary.

"Disadorn (Dis`a*dorn") v. t. To deprive of ornaments. Congreve." ~Webster (1913).

Disadorn is also the Breton word for Saturday.





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#118733 - 01/07/04 06:49 AM Re: disadorn
Faldage Offline
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Disadorn is also the Breton word for Saturday.

So you should wait till Saturday to undecorate your tree?


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#118734 - 01/10/04 10:01 AM Re: Barbarism
grapho Offline
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"Undecorate" is, or appears to be, a barbarism. ...


Is "undecorate" a "barbarism"?

It seems to depend on whether you approach the question from an 18th Century or more modern perspective.

"The old meaning of neologism is synonymous with «barbarism,» «gallicism» (in English), «anglicism» (in French), and even «archaism». It is opposed to «purism».

The modern, neutral meaning of neologism appears early in the 19th century and, still combatted by Littré in French, gains acceptance towards the end of the century. The expansion of the literary experience by the Romanticists, the Realists, and the Naturalists, as well as the emergence of linguistics as an «objective» science has contributed to this development."

"This older meaning of neologism, and the attitude it reflects, is still alive today" [as we have seen for ourselves in the debate about the 'propriety' of "undecorate"].

Victor E. Hanzeli†
University of Washington
For complete discussion of "neologism", see:
http://www.ditl.info/art/definition.php?term=3101




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#118735 - 01/10/04 10:25 AM Re: Barbarism
Jackie Offline

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bar·ba·rism (bär'bə-rĭz'əm)
n.

1. An act, trait, or custom characterized by ignorance or crudity.
2.
a. The use of words, forms, or expressions considered incorrect or unacceptable.
b. A specific word, form, or expression so used.

[Latin barbarismus, use of a foreign tongue or of one's own tongue amiss, barbarism, from Greek barbarismos, from barbarizein, to behave or speak like a barbarian, from barbaros, non-Greek, foreign (imitative of the sound of unintelligible speech).]

USAGE NOTE There is a significant difference in meaning between barbarism and barbarity. Both denote some absence of civilization, but the word civilization itself has several different senses, one the opposite of barbarism, the other the opposite of barbarity. On the one hand civilization may refer to the scientific, artistic, and cultural attainments of advanced societies, and it is this sense that figures in the meaning of barbarism. The English word barbarism originally referred to incorrect use of language, but it is now used more generally to refer to ignorance or crudity in matters of taste, including verbal expression: The New Yorker would never tolerate such barbarisms. On the other hand, civilization may refer to the basic social order that allows people to resolve their differences peaceably, and it is this sense—that is, civilization as opposed to savagery—that figures in the meaning of barbarity, which refers to savage brutality or cruelty in actions, as in The accounts of the emperor's barbarity shocked the world.
(Gurunet)

That's a good article, grapho. I think most people can "read" the following about as well as I can:
ÉTYMOLOGIE / Philology

1735; composé de:

Néo-: du grec *ós, «neuf»; se rattache à la racine ne/oW-, «neuf» (dans le sens de «inédit»); de l'adjectif grec rérivent un certain nombre de mots fr. en néo-, comportant ce thème signifiant «nouveauté»; cf. lat. nouus, hittite newas, sanscrit náva*h, avest. nava; angl. new, all. neue; la forme adverbiale * «maintenant» (au sens de «d'une façon inédite» a des correspondants en latin (nunc), en all. (nun), en angl. (now), etc.

-logisme: composé sur le grec * «parole». V. article LOGOS.

Modifié le 3 mars 2003 PR
I think all. = Allemagne, = Germany, or German.

I note that the article first points out the decrying of neologisms in literature:
Critics of the time conceived of neologism in literature as analogous to the continuous creation and introduction of new lexical units into language, and they thought of language change in general as a process of decay. Thus neologism was condemned on both aesthetic and linguistic grounds and the term was used pejoratively only. This older meaning of neologism, and the attitude it reflects, is still alive today; witness the crusade of Etiemble against () Franglais.


Also:
The old meaning of neologism is synonymous with «barbarism,» «gallicism» (in English), «anglicism» (in French), and even «archaism». It is opposed to «purism».
I guess that last sentence leaves no doubt!




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