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#6133 - 09/07/00 12:06 PM gadzooks
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
[possible YART alert!]

how do y'all feel about the use of archaisms? my own opinion is that many fine words have fallen into desuetude, whilst on the other end of the spectrum we are inundated by execrable jargonistic neologisms.


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#6134 - 09/07/00 12:16 PM Re: gadzooks
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
IMHO, archaisms sound anachronistic.
'Sides, have "y'all" moved to the Deep South?
Older does not necessarily equal better. When Beethoven's compositions were new, they were considered "execrable".
I will concede that a lot of current jargon is stupid.


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#6135 - 09/07/00 02:06 PM Re: gadzooks
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
oh tsuwm!

i agree that beautiful words are lost, words like "coolth" that can't be replaced.
but i can't help feeling that words are not anyone's property, and that when they're dead they're dead. it's not up to anyone to revive them.
i repeat my position that old words were once new, and that new words will at some stage be old.
language is, and always was, the result of evolution.
might i suggest that the words themselves do not grate, it's the concepts they refer to. if you don't like computers, you won't like computer speak.
max, i think, posted about "happify". i don't like the word as referred to in his posting, but if my girlfriend were to announce she was going to "happify" my apartment, the word would become a jewel.

by the way (BTW), what new words do you like?


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#6136 - 09/07/00 02:21 PM Re: gadzooks
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
>what new words do you like?

well, there's fodder for a new thread (he said, vainly attempting to maintain order). meanwhile, I'm working up an exhibit of archaisms which didn't deserve their fate....


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#6137 - 09/07/00 05:56 PM Re: gadzooks
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
meanwhile, I'm working up an exhibit of archaisms which didn't deserve their fate....

May I ask that William's "coolth" be on that list? I love the way "coolth" sounds, and still use it a lot, though most often only in conversation with myself.


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#6138 - 09/08/00 08:33 AM Re: gadzooks
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
For some time it has occurred to me that words, like living organisms, are subject to mutation and selection, with the "fittest" making it to the next shakeout. And as in the case of organisms, "fittest" is only defined in a circular way, as such that survive under the prevailing conditions.
On remote islands with special climates, weird forms have persisted, and founded pedigrees of their own.


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#6139 - 09/08/00 09:02 AM Re: natural selection
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
...but, unlike living organisms, when a word "dies out" it may have an afterlife; i.e., historical novels, obscure word lists, etc. and there may come a time when such a word will be "reincarnated" -- to fill in a lacuna, to replace now overloaded terms, or perhaps just to refresh the language.


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#6140 - 09/08/00 09:04 AM Re: gadzooks
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
>May I ask that William's "coolth" be on that list?

absolutely! it provides the reverse of 'warmth' and it helps fill a gap left by the overloading of 'coolness'.


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#6141 - 09/08/00 09:15 AM Re: gadzooks
Brandon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA
archaisms which didn't deserve their fate

May I ask, tsuwm, is "gadzooks" one of the words you feel didn't deserve its fate?


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#6142 - 09/08/00 09:31 AM Re: gadzooks
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
'gadzooks' (god's hooks) is pretty lame, as euphemistic interjections go. BrEng has given us 'gadzookery' as a term for the use of archaisms (as in a historical novel), which is why I chose to use it.

note: 'tushery' is another word which applies to this discussion, although it has even more of a negative connotation, being writing of poor quality distinguished esp. by the affected choice of archaic words.

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