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[The English Language] Etymology, Words, Phrases, Dialects and other fascinating things

245

Posts

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2012
    I know you can be overwhelmed, and that you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?

    Spoiler:

    Vanguard on
  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I know you can be overwhelmed, and that you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?

    Spoiler:

    Likewise, can you be plussed? Or sheveled? Or ebriated?



    Also, legitimate question, why do the rules of grammar and syntax state that you can't start a sentence with the word, "But," when you can start a sentence with word, "However," as they mean exactly the same thing?

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    "but" is a coordinating conjunction and "however" is a transition.

    Words are cool. "Nice" used to be an insult now it's a compliment. The meaning of "bad" changed with African American culture to mean "good"--that's "badass". "Common sense" was also an insult (meaning to have sense of the commoners) but now seems to be a complement (wish this one didn't change).

  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    The Blackadder clip reminds me of a couple excellent words--fop, dandy, and fribble. And also of this . . .

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    What is the best word?

    queue. Only 5-letter word with 4 vowels!

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    "Do you want to have sex with my wife?! Because I would be amenable to that!"
    "....uh"
    "What? Why you lookin' so nonplussed?"
    "I wasn't sure if you knew what 'amenable' meant. Until you followed it up with 'nonplussed.'"

  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    "but" is a coordinating conjunction and "however" is a transition.

    So almost everyone uses "but" wrongly, even within sentences?

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    "but" is a coordinating conjunction and "however" is a transition.

    So almost everyone uses "but" wrongly, even within sentences?

    Actually, pretty much. But no one really cares outside of academics because, like you said everyone is doing it.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Bout ye, Language Thread? What's the craic? A weean was yapping 'cause she was foundered, so I said "Houl yer whisht!" and dandered over to the shop and had a hoke for Soda Farls. They didn't have any! Their bakes were spouting feckin gobshite about being closed at me lugs. So I said "What are yous on about? Shut yer gobs!" The eejits made me want to boke. I'm totally scunnered at them! Me plans are totally banjaxed today.[/Mid Ulster English]

    If you weren't aware, I enjoy my local dialect. :P

    Yer man at the shop? What a muppet. Muppets, the lot.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I'm probably one of the few people who enjoys My Fair Lady, not because of the romance or the music, but because of Henry Higgins and his mastery of British dialects.

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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    I was reading this thread and thinking I don't really like any specific words except for swear-words. Especially new swearwords or mixes. Fuck-knuckle. Cunt-bucket. John Cooper Clarke's poem, 'Twat'.

    But then I realised I do like metalanguage: synecdoche, metonymy, ergative, trochee, dactyl, bilabial plosive, velar fricative, acceptability, deixis...

    I really love finding that there's a technical term for an aspect of language that I've seen but never isolated before. And once I learn the term, I see it all the time.
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    "but" is a coordinating conjunction and "however" is a transition.

    So almost everyone uses "but" wrongly, even within sentences?

    No, even within the 'rules' but is usually used fine. Conjunctions link 2 sentences together to make one long sentence, linkers/transitions connect two sentences but still leave them as 2 sentences.

    But fuck grammar. Seriously. Ugh.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    "but" is a coordinating conjunction and "however" is a transition.

    So almost everyone uses "but" wrongly, even within sentences?

    Yeah, informally. Would be interesting to trace some sort of history because it's one of those rules that has changed quite a bit. Even in creative writing "but" and the rest like them are supposed to be reserved to add emphasis when used at the beginning of the sentence. But even that has been changing.

    This is my own guessing, but I think one shouldn't begin a sentence with "but" (or the other coordinating conjunctions--so, and, nor, yet, for, or) because it's unnecessary. If a person wants to link two sentences with "but", then link the two sentences with a comma and the word (George ran up the stairs, but the dog didn't follow him). The period creates an additional pause, disconnect, from the connection. Who knows though.

    Yeah, words. "Awful" is a good one too. The term went from meaning to inspire "Awe", full of "Awe", to something terrible. Even as recent as Moby Dick the term "Awful" meant something that fills another with a sense of awe, not necessarily a good or bad thing, so when modern readers come across the passage where the waves are discussed as "awful", they might think of huge, treacherous waves pounding the boat, which wasn't necessarily how Melville would have thought of the word.

    Lilnoobs on
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    What is the best word?

    queue. Only 5-letter word with 4 vowels!

    And, as I mentioned, those 4 vowels do nothing. They just hang around because Q is a fun letter. Queue is an awesome word.

    I'm a fan of expanding ones vocabulary. I noticed after studying for the GRE that I'd watch TV shows and movies (particularly Joss Whedon stuff) and catch a bunch of words that I had just learned that I had just ignored before.

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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I know you can be overwhelmed, and that you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?

    Spoiler:

    Likewise, can you be plussed? Or sheveled? Or ebriated?



    Also, legitimate question, why do the rules of grammar and syntax state that you can't start a sentence with the word, "But," when you can start a sentence with word, "However," as they mean exactly the same thing?

    If something is palpable, can you palp it?

    Can you funge that which is fungible, tange that which is tangible, and formid whatever is formidable?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    This reminds me, yesterday I came across "frivol", as a verb, for the first time.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I guess sometimes suffixes aren't actually suffixes? Sometimes they are actually a part of the word, and not a grammatical extension?

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  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    When I was in my American English class, I learned a new definition. The official term for inserting one word inside of another word is called an "in-fix." Most of the time, this occurs with swear words.

    In-fucking-credible. The fucking is an in-fix.

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  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Butt fuck grammar. Seriously. Ugh.

  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    If something is palpable, can you palp it?

    Can you funge that which is fungible, tange that which is tangible, and formid whatever is formidable?

    With regards to at least "palpable," the verb there is "palpate," which often comes up in medical terminology quite often. However, that should indicate that the adjective form would be "palpatable," and that's dead wrong.


    Which leads me to a huge pet peeve of mine: when people say "orientate" or "orientated."

  • VanguardVanguard The system was breaking down. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I was a child progeny.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Suffixes and prefixes usually come from patterns in other languages, and those languages are usually latinate ones.

    French often has adjectives ending in 'able' so we decided in English you could make adjectives by adding 'able'. But some words use an English word+able (e.g. fuckable) and some words are loan-words from the French, with no verb root, e.g. formidable.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    Also, legitimate question, why do the rules of grammar and syntax state that you can't start a sentence with the word, "But," when you can start a sentence with word, "However," as they mean exactly the same thing?

    They don't. It's an old-fashioned usage prescription that was wrong even 100 years ago. Ernest Gowers would be an example of somebody who recognised this - Kinglsey Amis as well, in the King's English.

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  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    If something is palpable, can you palp it?

    Can you funge that which is fungible, tange that which is tangible, and formid whatever is formidable?

    With regards to at least "palpable," the verb there is "palpate," which often comes up in medical terminology quite often. However, that should indicate that the adjective form would be "palpatable," and that's dead wrong.


    Which leads me to a huge pet peeve of mine: when people say "orientate" or "orientated."

    I have a pet peeve with people saying something is "addicting" versus "addictive." -Ing is a verb suffix and would imply that the object itself was taking action, when in fact, it is the person taking action, therefore the -ive suffix is the correct one.

    Example: "These cookies are addicting." The cookies themselves aren't doing anything. They are inanimate objects. The literal verb is "are" and the implied verb is "eating."

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    I once heard a person use the word "revenged" in a non-ironic context.

    Apparently, this a real word. Though I suggest it and "avenged" fight to the death in a Thunderdome-type scenario, leaving us with just the one option.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    Two things that make me feel I have grown as a person in the past few years:
    -learning the difference between "use" and "utilize"
    -learning when to use "because" and not "since"

  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    ive heard arguments that utilise is a frequentative

    i prefer just to never use it, ever

    99.9999% of times you can replace it with use with no loss of anything

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  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    You know what really bugs me? When people say "ironic" when they mean "coincidence."

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    You know what really bugs me? When people say "ironic" when they mean "coincidence."

    Indeed.

    It makes me feel like I'm lecturing the Robot Devil.



    Spoiler:

  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    That's what this is for:

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  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    It frequently tickles me that in the modern parlance, to be colloquially 'down for' something and to be 'up for' something mean the same thing.

    facetious on
    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

    Steam: Chagrin LoL: Bonhomie
  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    er, double post. sorry.

    facetious on
    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

    Steam: Chagrin LoL: Bonhomie
  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    When I was in my American English class, I learned a new definition. The official term for inserting one word inside of another word is called an "in-fix." Most of the time, this occurs with swear words.

    In-fucking-credible. The fucking is an in-fix.

    I could spend hours discussing portmanteaux.

    Edit: Also Hugh Laurie makes far too perfect a fop and/or upper class twit.

    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

    Steam: Chagrin LoL: Bonhomie
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Stephen Fry always has the best discussions about language


    Kana on
    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    Knowing nothing at all about British TV, what show is that with a very young Hugh Laurie?

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    Knowing nothing at all about British TV, what show is that with a very young Hugh Laurie?

    A Bit of Fry and Laurie, a fantastic sketch show Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry made back in the day.

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    And it's on Netflix Streaming, I believe. Having a Briton for a wife, I've been required to sit through all of it. Don't regret it a bit.



    Though she does dislike tea and Dr. Who, so I have suspicions about her authenticity.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »

    Better:

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    Octopuses is a good word because you can be a jerk to anyone who tries to correct you.

  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    the fake plural octopi makes me want to shoot the perpetrator

    if u gonna go pedant, go octopodes or bust

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  • BethrynBethryn Registered User regular
    Lilnoobs wrote: »
    Yeah, words. "Awful" is a good one too. The term went from meaning to inspire "Awe", full of "Awe", to something terrible. Even as recent as Moby Dick the term "Awful" meant something that fills another with a sense of awe, not necessarily a good or bad thing, so when modern readers come across the passage where the waves are discussed as "awful", they might think of huge, treacherous waves pounding the boat, which wasn't necessarily how Melville would have thought of the word.
    "Mean", the adjective, is a fairly interesting one as well. It was more or less equivalent to the arithmetic "mean" i.e. common, and eventually everyone was like "well, everyone sucks, so if something's mean then it's bad."

    bethryn.png
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