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#80483 - 09/16/02 09:55 AM Re: decimate
An interesting point, Faldage, that I've not heard before. I wish I could be sure
that the people who use the term for total distruction were thinking of that.
Too bad the Romans didn't call it "delendation".
#80484 - 09/16/02 10:02 AM Re: decimate
People who use the term decimate in its modern sense of large-scale destruction are using it the way they have heard others use it and in a way that they expect people to understand based on the fact that that is the way others use it. If meaning did not shift then silly would be a compliment and nice an insult.
#80485 - 09/16/02 10:30 AM Re: nuke'em
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
I regret using slippery slope. It's one of those trendy phrases I generally try to avoid. Just slipped out.
#80486 - 09/16/02 11:44 AM Re: nuke'em
I know a couple of people who consistently say “brought” when they mean bought. This despite a lifetime of having heard the correct word used. This mistake, although not common, is sometimes heard around the London area – I haven’t heard it anywhere else. This causes me to stumble mentally every time I hear it as does the word nuclear pronounced as nucular. What happens is that for a time I am distracted from the message by the pronunciation. Others here obviously also find that to be the case.
So what we have is the most powerful man in the world's most powerful country trying to give us what he sees as a powerful message, but a good many of his listeners are being distracted from the message by his speech mannerisms! That has to be undesirable. Those of his listeners who themselves say "nucular" would not be upset or think any the less of him were he to pronounce the word properly, so the effect is all negative for him.
Certainly language is all about communication and it changes and develops with common usage, but that can only be through a popular trend (carefully avoids using "slippery slope"!). Whether a pronunciation or usage has become “accepted” can only be assessed by a body that is generally recognised as suitably qualified, and to see what is accepted right now one would, at least I would, refer to a number of well-known dictionaries. They will not suggest the use of brought for bought or nucular as a way to pronounce nuclear because right now those are not accepted.
So lets resist the trends that we find unpalatable or ugly to try to prevent them from becoming accepted!
#80487 - 09/16/02 12:08 PM Re: nuke'em
They will not suggest the use of brought for bought or nucular as a way to pronounce nuclear because right now those are not accepted.
Suggesting one use a pronunciation and dismissing someone for using that pronunciation are two entirely different things.
#80488 - 09/16/02 12:17 PM Re: nuke'em
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I like the point, however, about incorrect pronunciation causing a distraction.
It's difficult enough to follow the path some speeches take without throwing obstacles in the way, such as mispronunciations.
If the mispronunciations go with the flow of, say, an obviously humorous part of the speech, well, great. We're in that groove with the speaker.
But if the mispronunciations are part of a serious speech we're trying to take seriously, the speech finally isn't as effective.
What is the good of cluttering up a serious speech with mispronunciations, Faldage? Really. What good comes of mispronounced words?
#80489 - 09/16/02 12:21 PM Re: nuke'em
Faldage, I was not suggesting that anyone should be dismissed.
#80490 - 09/16/02 12:22 PM Re: nuke'em
not suggesting that anyone should be dismissed
You weren't but.
#80491 - 09/16/02 12:24 PM Re: nuke'em
But what? But me no buts - be specific, not coy.
#80492 - 09/16/02 12:39 PM Re: nuke'em
What good comes of mispronounced words?
I hear people pronouncing either as "eye-ther" and it takes some effort for me not to assume they are putting on airs. People who don't think of "nucular" as being anything but the standard way of pronouncing the word probably don't spend a lot of time on the web nattering on about it* but they may well feel that those who do pronounce it correctly are a little bit stuffy.
*What does this say about the relative levels of intelligence?
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