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#120648 - 01/20/04 07:49 PM Against Weather?
Father Steve Offline
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A news commentator on the radio, to which I was listening on my way home this afternoon, said that Dick Gephardt's announcement of his withdrawal from the Democratic presidential primary race was "anticlimatic." Really? I am quite certain that he meant "anticlimactic" but I have heard this mistake made so many times that I fear the error may overcome the proper term. Isn't there a word to describe an error which becomes so common that it "wins" in the sense of taking over from correct usage? Besides "stupid", I mean.


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#120649 - 01/20/04 07:53 PM Re: Against Weather?
Jackie Offline

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And the southernmost continent is STILL Antarctica!


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#120650 - 01/20/04 08:19 PM Re: Against Weather?
Faldage Offline
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Isn't there a word to describe an error which becomes so common that it "wins" in the sense of taking over from correct usage? Besides "stupid", I mean.

Maybe not a single word, but a phrase. Modern English.


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#120651 - 01/20/04 08:30 PM Re: Against Weather?
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
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elision?


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#120652 - 01/20/04 11:30 PM Re: Against Weather?
Father Steve Offline
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Narrowly defined, an elision occurs when a letter or syllable is omitted from the end of one word or the beginning of the next word in a phrase, such as "he's" for "he is." More broadly, however, an elision may be the omission or slurring of a letter or syllable anywhere in a word, as it is spoken. Not bad.

I was hoping for a more derogatory term, but I can live with elision.




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#120653 - 01/21/04 01:58 AM Re: Against Weather?
sjmaxq Offline
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Registered: 07/20/03
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Loc: Te Ika a Maui
>Anticlima(c)tic

Yep, that can be annoying, but I can top that one. Over the weekend, video footage was obtained of a species of bird recorded as extinct since 1856. The amateur ornithologist interviewed kept talking about how great it was, when species were becoming extinct every day, to see one come back from extinction. He used several variants on that basic theme, stating repeatedly that the bird was "no longer extinct." Visions of an avian Jurassic Park came to mind, alnog with an urge to explain to him what "extinct" means.

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#120654 - 01/21/04 02:06 AM Re: Against Weather?
Capfka Offline
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alnog with an urge to explain to him what "extinct" means.

What, by making him extinct? Get those fingers from around his throat immediately!

One of my pet hates in this area is "ecstatic" being pronounced as "estatic".


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#120655 - 01/21/04 07:03 AM Re: Against Weather?
Faldage Offline
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I can live with elision

That's good cause it'll always be with us. Of course it is only one of the natural processes that make up the change languages go through. Remember, not one Modern English word that has been used on this board has not been considered wrong at some time in its history.


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#120656 - 01/21/04 08:17 AM Re: Against Weather?
Jackie Offline

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Yes--one thing we humans are not is static, es-, ecs-, or otherwise! So why are we, as a species, so resistant to change? I am thinking of the how Beethoven's music was received by his peers.


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#120657 - 01/21/04 08:17 AM Re: Against Weather?
dxb Offline
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Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
That's true, it is a natural process. But if a word appears to be changing in a way that seems (to me) ugly, then I don't have to be a passive observer, I reserve the right to resist the change. Just call me Knutty .

Ed: darn, yuh got ahead by 30 seconds!


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#120658 - 01/21/04 08:23 AM Re: Against Weather?
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Yes, there are always some rocks that take longer to grind down to sand


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#120659 - 01/21/04 08:23 AM Re: Against Weather?
Capfka Offline
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Registered: 06/28/02
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'Ere, you little twerp, bring that dining room chair in off the beach this instant! You'll get it all wet an' mucky. You just wait 'til your father gets 'ome!
-- Knutty's Mum


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#120660 - 01/21/04 08:27 AM Re: Against Weather?
Jackie Offline

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darn, yuh got ahead by 30 seconds! Not my fault that you were too long coming! (See Dunlendings.)


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#120661 - 01/21/04 08:27 AM Re: Against Weather?
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
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French underwent a storm of elisions, and survived it very
well.
I doubt that an accumulations of elisions would improve English. Perhaps we can blow the whistle on them, and
keep the consonants, and avoid confusion.


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#120662 - 01/21/04 08:34 AM Re: Against Weather?
Father Steve Offline
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Knutty sez: But if a word appears to be changing in a way that seems (to me) ugly, then I don't have to be a passive observer, I reserve the right to resist the change.

Many of the definitional changes in Modern English tend toward imprecision. A term which has a narrow usage is used sloppily. The definition broadens, following the poor usage. The language, capable of great precision, becomes less precise ... as does the thinking of those who damaged it. (When you're my age, you can say curmudgeonly things like this and get away with it.)



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#120663 - 01/21/04 08:39 AM Re: Against Weather? (an aside)
AnnaStrophic Offline
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When I saw this subject line, I immediately thought of the French (and Portuguese, and maybe Spanish) term contretemps/contratempo. [/aside]


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#120664 - 01/21/04 08:41 AM Re: Against Weather?
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
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Loc: UK
Ed.:

Forget it - this was far too late to be relevant! Comes from trying to answer the 'phone while (whilst?) posting.


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#120665 - 01/21/04 08:43 AM Re: Against Weather?
Faldage Offline
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Many of the definitional changes in Modern English tend toward imprecision

Then other words crop up to fill in the void and y'all complain about those.


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#120666 - 01/21/04 08:52 AM Re: Against Weather?
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
Only the ugly sounding ones!


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#120667 - 01/21/04 09:24 AM Re: Against Weather?
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
A term which has a narrow usage is used sloppily. The definition broadens, following the poor usage. The language, capable of great precision, becomes less precise ... as does the thinking of those who damaged it.

Sorry, Padre, I just don't buy it. Seems there was a thread hereabouts recently about how the Golden Age of Yore (tm) wasn't always what it was cracked up to be. Same with language. Take Latin. Is it more or less precise than French or Italian? Did Neanderthals speak a precise language of utter purity? Why aren't we grunting out monosyllables all meaning the same thing? Is English any worse off now that silly means 'foolish' rather than 'happy, innocent, pitiable, feeble' as it did in Middle English? The problem is this: languages change. Always have, alweays will. The only known way of stopping a language from changing is to set the number of its speakers to zero. I am reminded of Canute on the beach.

I think that people with poor critical thinking skills and poor verbal skills use a language in an inprecise manner. The same could be said of somebody using a hammer sideways to hammer in a screw. Is the hammer any less of a hammer. Oh, now I feel like Canute. (Sorry, Father Steve, just a pet peeve of mine.)


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#120668 - 01/21/04 09:35 AM This reminds me of TVR
AnnaStrophic Offline
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The Vocabula Review's (http://www.vocabula.com/) slogan is: "A society is generally as lax as its language." What does that mean?

At the same time, I often find myself fence-sitting between the pre- and descriptivists. Is there a name for this?


OK, y'all in the peanut gallery, hush up.



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#120669 - 01/21/04 09:40 AM Re: This reminds me of TVR
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
At the same time, I often find myself fence-sitting between the pre- and descriptivists. Is there a name for this?

Prudent. Sensible. Infuriating.


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#120670 - 01/21/04 09:41 AM Re: This reminds me of TVR
tsuwm Offline
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>Is there a name for this?

wishy-washy
-joe p. (knut) gallery


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#120671 - 01/21/04 09:46 AM Re: This reminds me of TVR
Faldage Offline
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"A society is generally as lax as its language."

I like it. It's so nicely lax its own se'f. Doesn't say whether a lax language produces a lax society or a lax society a lax language.


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#120672 - 01/21/04 09:50 AM Re: This reminds me of TVR
dxb Offline
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Registered: 03/06/02
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Loc: UK
Perhaps they both come from the same cause? The society lax education.


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#120673 - 01/21/04 09:51 AM Re: This reminds me of TVR
Faldage Offline
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Ugly is in the ear of the behearer. Someone recently went on a rampage against dawdle, comparing it to the sound of fingernails against a blackboard and "accept[ing] no excuses for" it when someone else said it was the perfect word for its job.


I generally don't mind people having adverse reactions to words; it's when they decide that the words in question should be stricken from the language that I object.

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#120674 - 01/21/04 10:01 AM Re: This reminds me of TVR
maverick Offline
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generally don't mind people having adverse reactions to words

me neither, but I start to get concerned when they make social value judgements (invariably proclaiming their own superiority) based on a pertickly word or usage.


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#120675 - 01/21/04 12:20 PM Re: This reminds me of TVR
Capfka Offline
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Loc: Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
The objection to "dawdle" expressed above reminds me (irresistably, obviously) of watching "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" a couple of weeks ago. This guy, from Bedford (which could explain a lot, I suppose) was asked the question "What is the word for lazy, slow speech?". The options were something like (a) Crawl (b) Drawl (c) Trawl (d) Maul. This guy simply did not know it and had to phone a friend or ask the audience, can't remember which.

If it had simply been that question, well, everyone can't know everything, but he had "loser" all over him. He'd used up all his options by the time he got to £2000 and went home basically empty-handed/headed at that point.

Why do people put themselves through that kind of thing? I'd never enter something like that because I can't be bothered boning up on British sports (booooorrrrring) or British pop music (but I repeat myself).


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#120676 - 01/21/04 02:39 PM Re: Against Weather?
Father Steve Offline
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Faldage sez: "Then other words crop up to fill in the void and y'all complain about those."

And the Vicar replies: You are correct. I have no choice. It is right there on page 52 of the Curmudgeon's Job Description (2004 ed.).





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#120677 - 01/21/04 02:42 PM Re: Curmudgeon's Job Description
Faldage Offline
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Ah. Must is a rough life.


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#120678 - 01/21/04 02:43 PM Elision
Father Steve Offline
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I mentioned this thread at court this morning and one of the clerks related a wonderful example, only one degree off the definition of elision. In her family, they refer to a common dish as "chick and noodle soup." Faldage prolly likes that, too.



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#120679 - 01/21/04 02:53 PM Re: Chick and noodle soup
Faldage Offline
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Sounds kinda like anti-elision, what with the added d and all.

Attualy® I think it's more what they call reanalysis.


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#120680 - 01/21/04 03:14 PM Re: Chick and noodle soup
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Faldage: Now that you've got Father Steve infringing on your patented triple elision (prolly) what's your name
for it?


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#120681 - 01/21/04 03:20 PM Re: Chick and noodle soup
Faldage Offline
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He's free to use it. It ain' mine. Mine is Parbly® Simple elision cum metathesis.


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#120682 - 01/21/04 03:38 PM You guys are more entertaining
AnnaStrophic Offline
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than TV!


(not to be fainting with damn praise or anything)


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#120683 - 01/21/04 04:12 PM Re: prolly
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
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>He's free to use it. It ain' mine.

well, I can lay claim to being the first to use it locally; i.e., here in AWADtalk. so you're not free to quit claim in this case.

but he's still free to use it.


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#120684 - 01/21/04 08:57 PM Re: You guys are more entertaining
Jackie Offline

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fainting with damn praise


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#120685 - 01/26/04 06:28 PM Anticlimactic
TEd Remington Offline
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Posts: 3467
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is a loan word from the far-right Christians, who apply it to their views on sex outside of marriage.

_________________________
TEd

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#120686 - 01/26/04 06:32 PM Elision
TEd Remington Offline
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There are people all over the world who study elision in different languages; they are all in elision fields, of course.

_________________________
TEd

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#120687 - 01/26/04 06:59 PM Re: Elision
nancyk Offline
addict

Registered: 03/09/01
Posts: 508
Loc: Metro Detroit (MI)
elision fields

Oh, we have missed you, TEd!


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#120688 - 01/26/04 08:09 PM Re: Elision
Zed Offline
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Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I hate to tell curmudg I mean Father Steve this but one of the editors of the OED was interviewed on CBC radio on the weekend. He mentioned the dis- vs uninterested imbroglio and said that what many people hate to admit is that disinterested has come to mean uninterested. The OED will define dis as being unbiased etc but will also note that from the 1970's on the meaning changed to uninterested for reasons that are none of the business of the dictionary. (or words to that effect.) He referred to the OED as a biography of English so words are not removed just because they become extinct or politically incorrect.


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#120689 - 01/27/04 03:05 AM Re: Elision
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
OED as a biography of English suggesting that biography is a paradigm of objectivity? Well, well..


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#120690 - 01/27/04 09:15 AM Re: Dis/uninterested
Faldage Offline
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Is this where I'm sposed to pop out of the woodwork and point out that the original defintion of disinterested was 'lacking interest' and that of uninterested was 'unbiased, impartial,' and that it is a common argument among prescriptivists to say that solecistic usage in the past is no excuse for solecistic usage now?


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