Common misuse of words ?

yoyobon_gw

The incorrect use of anxious and eager is my pet peeve.

Anxious means a certain fear, dread or anxiety about something.

Eager means a sense of anticipation and looking forward to something.

People seem to use "anxious" when they really mean "eager".

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msmeow

One of my pet peeves is saying "I could care less" when they mean the opposite.

You're right though - I often hear "I'm anxious to meet him/her" when they probably aren't scared or nervous about it .

The other night we were at Dairy Queen and they had a certificate saying the local elementary school had named them "Partner's in Education." It's kind of scary to think schools are handing out grammatically incorrect certificates.

Donna

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colleenoz

"Nauseous"- something that makes you feel like tossing your cookies.

"Nauseated"- you feel like tossing your cookies. Drives me nuts when people say "I feel nauseous." I often reply, "Oh, I don't think you look that bad."

I heard a sports commentator remark that a team didn't "have its full quotient".

I heard another reporter describe a scene as "absolutely incredulous".

Designations for toilets also drive me nuts- "Disabled toilets"- have been rendered useless. "Ambulant toilets"- should be wandering the corridors. "Male/Female toilets"- since when did toilets have gender? Why not "Men's/Women's toilets"?

And when DD's school sent home a note requiring my permission for her to take part in an "incursion", I called them to ask where they would be invading. It was explained that an "incursion" was as opposed to an "excursion". I replied that was about as true as "emasculate" was the male counterpart of "effeminate".

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yoyobon_gw

Colleen.....lol Great examples ! Particularly liked the toilet observations :0)

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msmeow

Colleen, was the "incursion" like a "stay-cation" - they were going to do something special but stay on school grounds?

Donna

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colleenoz

Yes, msmeow.

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Rosefolly

The nauseated/nauseous one annoys me, too. People sometimes confused the two when I was a child, but these days it seems close to universal.

As for that use of incursion, I was flabbergasted. No, I've never heard that, and I hope I never do again.

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friedag

I have reached the age when words seem to have changed meanings from what they were when I was growing up. For example: moot -- I learned that as an adjective it was something arguable or open for discussion such as in: "School is a place where children will learn things that will be useful to them when they become adults; but nowadays that may be a moot point." As a verb, moot meant to bring up a topic for debate; e.g. "Let's moot the question whether a family of four needs four bathrooms -- one for each person."

Most people, I think, over fifty won't even blink over those uses of moot. But to some people under fifty (definitely under forty), apparently that seems confusing or downright wrong. Evidently, they've only heard moot used to mean irrelevant, not really worth consideration. I've also heard many people say "mute point" because moot sounds to them like a mispronunciation. I just have to be careful about using that word when I'm in the company of younger folk. :-)

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maxmom96

What annoys me is when people are commenting on their reaction to a bad experience by saying they were in shock, when I believe they meant they were shocked. If they were in shock I might think they needed medical attention.

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annpanagain

Prevaricate used instead of procrastinate! Used by people who should know better too!

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netla

I never know if it's bad spelling or if I'm missing something when people write "wired" when "weird" makes more sense. (I also see "wierd", and it annoys me, but at least it's obviously a mistake).

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yoyobon_gw

I can't think of a sentence in which wired and weird could be used interchangeably. Can you give an example?

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socks

“Feel badly”

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netla

Yoyo, for example, "I felt so wired" and "That's wired" in a context where weird made more sense. I'm referring to the slang meaning of wired, like tense, hyped-up, excited.

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yoyobon_gw

Okay, I am familiar with "wired" used to describe a feeling of psych or agitation but never heard of it used to describe a thing or situation unless it was electrical !

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msmeow

Colleen, perhaps the school meant to be funny, rather than being dumb. :)

LOL, Maxmom, you are probably correct!

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colleenoz

No, msmeow, they were quite serious about it.

Netla, they're probably the same people who are defiantly going to do something...

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msmeow

Since we're talking about pet peeves, does "prolly" drive anyone else crazy? I don't know if people are just too dumb to realize the word is "probably" or if they are too lazy to text all the letters. I'm afraid it's the former. My DH says "prolly" and snickers just to annoy me.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

We have an inside joke in our family where we'll say "pry" or " prolly" with emphasis instead of "probably" just to rankle the rest of us !

Of course let us not leave out the use of "supposably" which I understand has now been adopted as a perfectly acceptable word.....clever little mashup of supposedly + probably .

I do not recognize our world any more.

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msmeow

Oh, no Bon! "Supposably" is a real word now? Ugh. I guess it's in the same category as "ginormous."

D

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yoyobon_gw


The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an ***hole.

3. Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

I

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msmeow

I love these, Bon! I wish I was clever enough to come up with something like this.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

If I had to pick my favorites they would be 14 and 16 ! LOL.

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woodnymph2_gw

I have given up on "lie" vs. "lay." Nowadays, I often see even in print "lay" used incorrectly, when the word should have been "lie."

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yoyobon_gw

I read once that when unsure remember " only hens LAY ".

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msmeow

Yes, Woodnymph, I've also given up on lie vs. lay. Also on "less" vs. "fewer", though our local grocery store has corrected their express line signs to say "10 items or fewer", so that's encouraging.

D

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astrokath

I find that the muddling of 'lie' and 'lay' is more common with my US friends (and authors) than here, but give us time. I challenged one about it and she admitted she knew it should be 'lie' but 'lay' sounded better! I haven't yet given up on fewer though.

I can only agree with disabled toilets or parking spaces. My sister needs to use these, and prefers to say accessible.

I can add are the use of versus as a verb. "I'm putting the TV on to watch Adelaide verse Melbourne". I've read articles that say this is becoming almost universal with young people who have heard it but never seen it written.

And finally, the pronunciation of sixth. I'm listening to an audiobook narrated by a man with an excellent, easy to listen to English accent, but even he says 'sickth'.

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yoyobon_gw

Isn't there an area of UK where the "th" comes out like " if "

i.e. with = wiff,

*sigh*, Astro......I have always said that good readers were always good writers....and now we can add that they are better speakers too. ( or at least, more accurate)

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msmeow

Astro, do you also have people who can’t pronounce “nuclear” correctly? Many people here say “nucular”. And there’s a town named New Smyrna Beach - many say “Sa-Murna”. I don’t get it. They don’t say “sa-mall” instead of small.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna...lol...my MIL used to say " Noosa-murna"

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astrokath

Yoyo, I stand corrected by our British friends, but I think that's Cockney.

meow, there are a few who say that, but it's not terribly common.


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vee_new

Kath, re the pronunciation of 'sixth' by the reader of your audiobook. I'm sure that is how I would say it! I tried looking up an eg and it appears correct in 'English-English', although there are complicated and time-consuming variations.

How do you say 'sixth' in Australia?

I think the trouble with 'place names' is that locals often have quite a different pronunciation from how they appear to be written and they understandably don't take kindly to being corrected.

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astrokath

Vee, it’s not Australian. It should be six-th, or as the dictionary said, siks-th, rather than sick-th. It is hard to get your tongue around, but that extra ‘s’ sound should be there.

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msmeow

"I think the trouble with 'place names' is that locals often have quite a different pronunciation from how they appear to be written and they understandably don't take kindly to being corrected. "

Vee, they had a segment on NPR yesterday afternoon about this subject. On Wednesday one of the hosts referred to "Leema" Ohio and the correct pronunciation is "L eye ma" (long i). There are a whole raft of cities and towns in the US that aren't pronounced the same as the originals.

NPR segment

Donna

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vee_new

Donna, thanks for that. I always 'hear' the way Notre Dame ( as in the US university) is pronounced . . . not in the French way!

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colleenoz

Yoyobon, it's more of a "v" than an "f", and yes, it's Cockney. "So, "wiv" instead of "with", etc.

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Rosefolly

As for towns that are pronounced by natives differently from the standard pronunciation, I am of the firm opinion that the native pronunciation must be accepted as correct for that particular case. It is their town, and they get to decide. So, it really is LY-ma, Ohio, not LEE-ma, Ohio, just like the beans. (And yes, I originally got it backwards) The town of Dubois, Pennsylvania is not Du-BWA, it is DO-boys. Honestly, I am not making this up.

The town of Latrobe where I once lived distinguishes residents from strangers by whether or not they pronounce the town's name as LAY-trobe rather than Luh-TROBE. If you want to be accepted as belonging, you've got to say it right.

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yoyobon_gw

We have a Beethoven St. which is routinely called " beet- hoven " by the locals. Seriously, how ignorant must they be ?

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astrokath

Australian place names are often mangled. Here in Adelaide we can tell if you're not local by how you pronounce our suburb of Thebarton. Interstaters usually say The Barton, but it's actually THEB-art'n.

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carolyn_ky

In Kentucky we have a town named Versailles that is pronounced as Ver-sails and one just across the Ohio River in Illinois named Cairo but pronounced Karo.

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colleenoz

Was talking with DH tonight and recalled another common malapropism that drives me nuts.

Walla!

Seriously folks, if you don't actually know how to spell a foreign word, just don't use it.

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Rosefolly

There is a Ver-sails in Pennsylvania, too. I had forgotten that one.

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vee_new

Colleen, it took me a little while to register your "Walla" and thought at first it might have been a settlement in the Outback.

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Rosefolly

I always think people who say "Walla" have a speech impediment and cannot pronounce the letter V.

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yoyobon_gw

Wah-lah.......and let's not forget the Italian "chow".

*sigh*

My MIL used to call beef au jus " oh joe".

Another one that rankles is " paste-ah" instead of " pah-stah" ( pasta)

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carolyn_ky

Alas, we are a nation of immigrants who have forgotten our origins or else a bunch of wannabees who never knew them.

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yoyobon_gw

Or a nation of non-readers who have no idea what words actually look like !

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annpanagain

Has anyone mentioned "Her and I...are doing something"?

Too often heard on TV and our children will pick up this and other incorrect speech patterns especially on often played ads.

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msmeow

Carolyn, Cairo GA is pronounced Karo, too. Or Kay-ro, actually.

i am sure every time I hear someone say wah-lah that they have no idea it’s really a French word and spelled voila. Of course, sometimes you hear someone say Viola!

Ying and yang in another common mistake. I think Bon is right about the non-readers.

Ann, one of my coworkers has the worst grammar. She would say “Her and I had went to the store and got us some groceries.” Ugh.

Donna

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annpanagain

Sometimes I think that people are saying things like Wallah and Vikky-versa or Wikky-wersa with their tongue firmly in cheek. Especially if you believe they should know better.

Other times not!

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yoyobon_gw

Ann....I suspect it's more likely they're just unaware of exactly what they are saying. When you read their writing it becomes very apparent.

I have a granddaughter who is graduating from a respected private college in NYS with a high GPA who asked me what " painstakingly" meant after reading this sign which I have in a garden bed :

"This lawn has been painstakingly mowed for your pleasure" ( jokingly)

She honestly had NO idea what it meant. I guess it isn't a word that she might text very often . ugh.



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friedag

Equating ignorance and stupidity, as if they are synonyms, is one of my biggest pet peeves in the language debate.

I like this part of a well-known saying countering the misconception: "Ignorance is curable (or temporary). . ." The other part is usually said as "but stupidity is forever" (not always true, in my opinion). :-)


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yoyobon_gw

Beauty Fades But Dumb Is Forever - Judge Judy

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carolyn_ky

I agree, Frieda. Ignorance is nothing like stupidity. Some people would be very embarrassed to know they were using or mispronouncing a word. I'm an example when in a discussion about fish as a young cook, someone from Portland, Oregon, mentioned smelt; and I, from rural Kentucky, agreed that the fish I had cooked was indeed smelly. Everyone else laughed, someone explained, and I haven't ever made that particular mistake again.

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rouan

Another one I hear mispronounced is mischievous; many people pronounce it as "mis-chee-vee-us. I am not sure where the extra syllable comes from.


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msmeow

Rouan, I hear that a lot, too. And my husband pronounces marinated as “marianated”.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna......Sort of like marionettes of beef .

My DIL ( bless her heart ) calls forsythias "for-cynthias" and because it's so peculiar I have adopted the word for my own !

She also says the word crayons as "crans" whereas I pronounce it with two syllables as in " cray-ons". In her world there are "aaaags (long a)" whereas in mine they are called "eggs" with the "eh" .

She claims it's because she grew up in northern California.

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annpanagain

When I moved to Australia, I was surprised to find that "ignorant" was used for "rude". This was quite wide spread so perhaps came from a popular comedy radio show and caught on.

I found it very odd to hear someone exclaim "That was very ignorant." when commenting on unruly behaviour.

Broadcasting both on radio and TV seems to be a great influence with passing on incorrect sayings and grammar, I think.

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astrokath

That's interesting Ann, because I've never come across that :) Perhaps it is a WA thing.

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colleenoz

To be honest, I don't think I've ever heard it either. We obviously move in different circles :-)

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yoyobon_gw

I suspect that using ignorant to describe rude behavior suggests that the perpetrator is ignorant of the tacit rules of polite decorum. It describes a person who is ignoring the accepted norms of good behavior.

It has nothing to do with intelligence per se.

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vee_new

I've heard 'ignorant' used of rude behaviour, although it was new to me when I moved it this area. But I think it is used as yoyo suggests.

I was just watching a news clip of the recent cruise ship near-disaster off the coast of Norway and the piece showed a scene taken with a mobile/cell phone and a passenger's voice can be heard saying " . . .abdicate this area now . .. " of a saloon deck awash with water and furniture floating about. I am surprised in the circumstances the speaker didn't just say "Let's get the hell out of here"

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yoyobon_gw

Yep......

Reason # 96 for why I do not ever take cruises. Nope.

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annpanagain

Vee, we were in a similar situation when coming from Norway in a Force 11 gale. The restaurant closed after it became impossible to sit in there and we stayed in the cabin. We feasted on a big Toblerone bar I had bought and doorstop bread slices, cheese and milk provided by the crew. The mini break was supposed to be a treat for my husband's birthday!

I have been on three sea voyages which got caught in storms and I will only go on the river now.

Regarding the use of ignorant, meaning rude behaviour, I first came across it in Melbourne when I arrived in 1960, so not just a local saying. It was in the context of something being said and the person who was the target observed angrily "That was ignorant." to someone, which startled me. It was definitely meant as impolite and not unknowing. I heard that use on a TV program recently so it is still around.

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carolyn_ky

Not so much a misuse of words but rather a throwback to the dinosaur age. Yesterday afternoon I switched my closet from winter clothes to spring, so today I went to Target to get some moth cakes to put in the zipper bag with my wool things. I asked one of the young women who assist customers with finding items where to look. After a few puzzled seconds, she said, "Would that be like . . . in the bakery department?" I explained, she looked at her handy little locator gadget and found them, and I toddled off smoothing my hair into its bun, adjusting my floor-length calico print dress, and leaning heavily on my cane.

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colleenoz

Well, obviously she thought you were throwing a birthday party for your owl. ;-D

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yoyobon_gw

Trying to watch an instructional video about a knitting stitch and the woman demonstrating , who is from a well-known yarn shop on line, says :

"...these stitches gradualatedly become......" ????????

and " ....when you 'gotten' to the end of the row "

*sigh*

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colleenoz

"Gotten" is actually an acceptable dialectic form of "got". It dates back to middle English and came to the US with the earliest settlers before going out of use in England.

I used to have this discussion a _lot_ with an English friend who was very superior about grammar, but on this one he was wrong.

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yoyobon_gw

I would have not taken issue with her if she'd use " have gotten" , but she said it as I quoted above which sounds painfully incorrect to me.

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colleenoz

Ah, I see. Yes, that would send a shiver up my spine as well.

What are you knitting?

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yoyobon_gw

Colleen, I'm knitting a lacy sock...a Very Busy Monkey pattern called Helen's Socks. Although it should be simple, for some reason I'm finding it tricky.

I started knitting socks a few years ago for the challenge ( using charted patterns) and have made over 50 pair so far ! Yes, I do wear them and have them displayed in my studio for ease of selection :0))

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JoanEileen

Using ignorant for rude is very common in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania.

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yoyobon_gw

Joan....I agree...it's very common in southern NYS too

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annpanagain

I am relieved to read that ignorant used as rude is widespread! I was beginning to wonder if it was just a little used Australian thing, not even known to the Aussie dwellers posting here!

I saw that "exotic" isn't a word liked by women of colour, according to a TV segment I just watched. I thought it was a compliment but apparently not! The interviewed mixed race lady (is that OK?) said it meant something strange, which she doesn't consider herself.

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colleenoz

Well, technically "exotic" means "from outside", but like you I've always thought it had the undermeaning of "interesting/cool/admirable". I guess the woman is one of those "pick the literal instead of implied meaning and be offended by it" folks, like the ones who are offended by "Advance Australia Fair" because they've chosen the wrong definition of "fair"...

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annpanagain

Colleen, I haven't heard of "fair" being misunderstood but I can imagine someone picking up on that!

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friedag

"pick the literal instead of implied meaning and be offended by it" folks

Colleen, that's a perfect way of phrasing the current epidemic of misunderstanding words -- deliberately, it sometimes seems to me!

I unintentionally insulted my nephew this past weekend. He and his girlfriend were rummaging in the kitchen cupboards and the fridge, so I asked him: Are you feeling a bit peckish? They stopped what they were doing and both glared at me. Girlfriend exited the room. Nephew went to follow her, but he turned to me and exclaimed before he left: "I'm not henpecked yet!"

Henpecked? I never accused him of being that, but I realized that he (and she too) likely thought I did! :-(

Is peckish considered a synonym for henpecked nowadays? If so, I've never heard it used that way before. My spellcheck doesn't like peckish; it keeps changing it to puckish.

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colleenoz

Annpan, haven't you heard Anthony Mundine spouting off about not standing for the national anthem because it discriminates against Aboriginal Australians, who are not "fair"- as in blonde and light skinned? And there's even a lot of school kids getting in on the act, supported by their clueless parents who think their offspring are being all modern and PC, supporting indigenous Australians by this ill founded stand. I despair.

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yoyobon_gw

Friedag......IMO this is when being a reader comes in very handy. Readers can more easily differential between slang expressions and the literal use of a word .

( for what it's worth, I think that they both over reacted :0)

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woodnymph2_gw

What does "peckish" mean?

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msmeow

Woodnymph, to me it means feeling hungry. I haven't heard the term "henpecked" in years!

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carolyn_ky

Frieda, I'll bet that those two never heard the word peckish and went with being insulted rather than ask you what you meant. Welcome to the dinosaur club. (See my post on moth cakes.)

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annpanagain

Colleen, no, I haven't heard Mundine moaning! I don't get out much, do I? I don't even read the newspapers. I gave them up years ago!

I am afraid that I am getting rather anti-social because I don't want to listen to a lot of the rubbish some of my fellow residents come out with. I had to listen to a rant while waiting for a bus recently and when the woman said proudly that she was a racist, I could only reply dryly that I had gathered that!

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msmeow

Around here there are lots of license plate frames that say FSU Alumni, UF Alumni, etc. This annoys me since it seems to indicate that these lofty institutions of higher education don't know that alumni is plural.

Donna

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annpanagain

Vee, The quiz master on "The Chase" asked the contestant why she had chosen that answer and she said that it was a plump. Is this a common expression now? I haven't heard plump used as a noun before.

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colleenoz

I don’t understand your post, Annpan - is it in reference to something I don’t see?

To answer your question, I’ve never heard “plump” as a noun. What did the contestant mean by it, that the answer was obvious, or what?

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vee_new

Annpan, I have never heard the word 'plump' used in any other way than chubby/fat/rounded so can't help you there . DH often watches The Chase, the 'rules' of which I find complicated, nor do I like the loud music and time-wasting. I prefer a quizz show that just gets on with it . . . questions . . . answers!

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annpanagain

Colleen, the first part of my post disappeared! The Chase UK version's contestant had a choice of three answers so she guessed one as she didn't have a clue. She said the answer she gave was a "plump", meaning that she plumped for that one. She used plump as a noun a couple of times and I was wondering if that is now in common use in the UK.

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vee_new

Ann, another thought on the 'plump' word as in choice/choosing

She probably meant 'plumped for' as in "There were only two cakes on the plate so I plumped for the biggest one."

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annpanagain

Vee, I record quiz shows like The Chase and zap through the chatter. The local version of Pointless is better than the UK one, I think, as it is only a half hour show with three couples and commercial breaks, so is a lot snappier!

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annpanagain

Vee, we crossed over! I think she has mistaken the verb for a noun. Perhaps her friends do that too?

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yoyobon_gw

Vee.......when my son was four years old and we would read "The Night Before Christmas" as I'd read " ...he was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf.." he would get hysterical laughing. He mistakenly thought that the toilet plunger was called a "plumper" and the image of Santa being called "plump" really set him off :0) To this day ( and he's 50 ) it is still an inside family joke.

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carolyn_ky

Yoyobon wrote earlier, "Or a nation of non-readers who have no idea what words actually look like!" I saw a perfect example of that in a catalog I just got in the mail. A very pretty calf-length dress was described as being T length. It took me a second to realize they meant tea length. My dinosaur status in increasing by the day.

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vee_new

Carolyn is the 'Tea-length' a hangover from the old-fashioned 'tea-gown' . . . into which you probably change each afternoon in time to greet your guests for tea and hoping the maid has laid out the best cake forks and counted the silver tea spoons. One cannot be too careful these days.


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vee_new

Yoyo, sometimes the young don't like to be reminded of childish expressions. Our daughter when first learning to talk, which she was in NO hurry to do, used to call bananas nernal nerals. We are quite likely to offer fruit to visitors saying "Would you like a nernal? without giving it a second thought. If DD is there she is not pleased by the necessary explanation.

Carolyn, you mentioned moth-cakes earlier, over here they are known as moth-balls leading to many vulgar 'school-boy' jokes.

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yoyobon_gw

lol.....yes they're called moth balls here if in that shape. If the chemical is put into a round cake form they are called moth cakes.

Both forms are pretty potent. One year I was plagued with a mouse inside the workings of our outdoor hot tub spa so I asked my husband if he'd get moth balls so we could put a few under it to deter the rodents. Yes, well.......he bought two BOXES of balls and threw them all under the spa. You could smell the horrible stench of moth balls way down the street before you even approached our property !! It was hideous. I had to rake them out and sneak them into our garbage can . At least the garbage truck that week had a slightly better odor !

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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn.....more's the pity. T indeed. This is our new generations of "know-it-all , know nothings " ! Tea length gowns were the rage when we had our Senior Prom in HS*. In fact, I still have mine and when I take it out to show my friends we laugh until tears run down our legs. I can barely get my thigh in the waist of it !! I suspect women's sizing was very different in the 60's. What I called a size 10 is probably what is called a 6 today. The days of a 24 inch waist are long gone :0)

* remember being given a wrist corsage which I always preferred to the standard shoulder corsage. I wonder if they wear flowers today ? My Dad always gave Mom and I corsages for Easter Sunday also. Mom got a white gardenia ( her favorite since she was born and raised in Louisiana ) and I got darling Sweet Peas :0) To this day, the smell of Easter flowers like that gladdens my heart.

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vee_new

yoyo, we (well females) are always intrigued by the corsage, it is almost unknown over here. I don't think I have ever seen anyone wearing one. The only exception might be the buttonholes men wear in their lapels at weddings.

And as for the 24 inch waist . . . keep breathing in ladies.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee.....lol and no amount of "breathing in " is ever going to get me there ! If we all recall, Scarlet O'Hara had an 18 inch waist. Land sakes alive!

A funny story about corsages....when I was in a college sorority we would have a contest for queen of the White Rose Ball and each sorority had one girl trying for it. One day a week one of the sororities would all wear their matching outfits and have on a big white rose corsage with her photo beneath it ( sort of campaigning). Well, as I sat there in my English class the professor came up to me and asked about the corsage and it's significance. I told him and he replied " Oh, I had never heard of that . I'm from Europe and the only time people wore flowers with a photo under it was if someone died !"

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msmeow

Bon, Scarlett only had an 18" waist with a LOT of help from corsets! Back then the ladies could barely eat or even breathe due to the corsets being laced so tightly. But they looked great! :)

Carolyn, maybe the catalog copy-writers were just too lazy to type out T-E-A. But most likely they have no idea it should be tea instead of T.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

And don't forget T shirts and T cups !


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carolyn_ky

Vee, moth cakes come in little plastic containers with a hanger attached so you can just put them over the closet rod, plus they don't smell as strong or as bad as moth balls. Unfortunately, last year I forgot that one of my sweaters (jumpers?) was lamb's wool and didn't protect it. Yep, I mended a couple of little holes in it this season.

My corsage story is that I begged my then boyfriend to get pale pink roses to match my dress (full, not tea length), but he insisted I must have an orchid to wear to his prom. I suppose because it cost more, he thought I--or his friends--would be more impressed, but it didn't do anything for the dress.


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yoyobon_gw

Orchids.....the ugly step sister of a rose....or any other lovely flower. My DIL ( bless her sweet heart) gave me an orchid once for Easter and I had to get rid of it half way through the service because it smelled like something rotten.
Thankfully she never knew about it.

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vee_new

Is the giving of flowers at special Easter 'thing' in the US? I don't think it is much over here, although it is appreciated by the cook when guests arrive bearing gifts.

Chocolate Easter eggs are on sale from about mid January, as are Hot Cross Buns. Luckily none of our children, back in the day, had 'sweet teeth' so there was no demands for these over-priced treats!

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woodnymph2_gw

My father (we lived in GA) always gave flowers at Easter: a red rose to my mother, a white rose to his mother (my grandmother) and an Easter basket to me. Many people in the South gave lilies at Easter. In the South, usually blooms are at their peak at Easter.

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carolyn_ky

Not for Easter, but on Mother's Day--second Sunday in May in the U.S.--we used to wear a red flower if mother was living and a white flower if she was not. We wore something from the garden, though, not from a shop.

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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn ,,,,would those be called Tussie Mussies?

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carolyn_ky

Yoyo, maybe by some but not in my neck of the woods.

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woodnymph2_gw

I have only ever heard that term used in Pennsylvania. I think it comes from Colonial Times.

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msmeow

Another common mistake just occurred to me: "would of" or "should of" instead of "would have". I think it's another example of not seeing it in print.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

I dislike the use of "would of" instead of " would have" ........(insert could/should)

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carolyn_ky

I've always thought that was a mishearing of the contraction would've.

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colleenoz

Well yes, but now people actually say it as well as write it.

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carolyn_ky

Oh, yes, Colleen. That is one of the misuses that makes me shudder.

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yoyobon_gw

" anyways "

I confess to being an Obsolete Septuagenarian Grammarian.

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woodnymph2_gw

"liberry" instead of "library."

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friedag

Yoyo, do you approve or disapprove of 'anyways' -- being a self-described Obsolete Septuagenarian Grammarian ? :-)

'Anyways' is a relic of adverbial genitives that were common in Old and Middle English. Think of these that are still commonly in use: always and sometimes. Others are still heard but are probably less familiar to some (usually young) audiences: betimes, afterwards, towards, once, twice, thrice, hence, thence, whence, etc. (I had to look up the last ones, because I only vaguely recalled they are adverbial genitives.)

English is so inconsistent!

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yoyobon_gw

Friedag......It is 'anyway' where I come from but that is not to say that's what is said by many :0)

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vee_new

'Once' and 'twice' are outdated? They are used over here ALL the time. I have heard/read US folk saying 'two times' which is strange to English ears.

I don't know what an adverbial genitive is. What have I missed?

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friedag

Vee, 'once' is still in common use, but some people will say, for example, "I played poker one time." They are correct, grammatically. One time and once are used interchangeably. So are two times and twice, three times and thrice (thrice is not used as often in American English). Many of the adverbial genitives are archaic, but are still used poetically. They tend to sound quaint or quirky to people not accustomed to hearing them.

You haven't missed much not knowing about adverbial genitives, since they have pretty much disappeared, or are in the process of disappearing, from modern English, with a few hold-outs such as 'always' (mentioned above). You probably do know about the genitive case as possessives -- adding 's to show ownership or inherent features, in English. The possessive pronouns lost their apostrophes long ago: my, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs. Regular nouns used as possessives retain apostrophes, but I've noticed some of them are also losing the apostrophe plus s, such as Woolworth's became simply Woolworths.

The genitive case remains in use in modern German and in quite a lot of other languages, too. In Latin it was a must! It is a headache for English speakers trying to learn Latin.

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carolyn_ky

Frieda, twice is quite common in my area, as is once, of course.

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yoyobon_gw

Like " Once upon a time .... " ?
Otherwise I would said " I did that once ( one time ) OR I did that one time" >
Once can also be sort reflective...." Once, long ago...." Or it can be used as in "Once I get this done I will help you." I don't know the official grammatical terms for those applications. ( does that disqualify me as an OSG :0)?

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friedag

"Once I get this done I will help you."

Yoyo, 'once' in that sense is a conjunction -- meaning, of course: when, after, as soon as. Just in case you want to know. :-)

You are not disqualified as an OSG. It's fun to moot* these uses, isn't it?

*See my first post to this thread if this use of 'moot' seems odd.

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vee_new

"Once I get this done I will help you." Over here it would have to read "Once I have done this . . ." or "Once I have finished this . . ." As you know 'done' isn't used as it is in the US. "Are you done?" "I'm done with this." etc

Nor have I heard the word moot used in everyday speech.

Frieda will know the whys and wherefores of this difference . . . and thank you for the information on adverbial genitives. I looked up 'the genitive case' and the only word I understood was noun, as for the rest of the description I might as well have been reading a foreign language. Grammar is, or even was, seldom taught in UK schools. Perhaps if Latin had been available I might have had some sense of the subject.

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colleenoz

I use “moot” reasonably often, as in “it’s a moot point” - one open to discussion. It drives me nuts when I hear/see others say/write “mute point”.

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yoyobon_gw

Again, this is a result of being a non-reader. If they don't see it in print, they don't know the word or it's context.

It's not unlike children who've never seen the Our Father in print saying " Our Father who art in heaven, Harold is thy name."

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annpanagain

Vee, I took classes in Latin for four years to "O level" and am still hopeless about English grammar. You probably missed nothing in that respect!

I find it most useful when watching quiz shows when I can decipher the root of a word, otherwise not much of all that study is generally helpful. I had some vague idea of being a pharmacist, don't ask me why! I was hopeless at maths and would probably have sent many customers to an early grave with overdoses! I was safer working in the Boots the Chemist Library.

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annpanagain

Yoyo, I could get confused with hymns even in print. The words of "A green hill far away without a city wall." had me thinking that the city didn't have one.

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yoyobon_gw

" Gladly the cross-eyed bear....." ( as in "Gladly the cross I'd bear")

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carolyn_ky

Oh, hymn titles! Did any of you in your early years spend your church time flipping through the hymnals adding "under the covers" to the titles? Very naughty (e.g., Abide with Me).

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kathy_t

Carolyn - That is so funny - LOL!! I've played that game with fortune cookie fortunes, but never with hymnals.

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vee_new

Or the book title The Whicharts by Noel Streatfeild in which three little girls think it was the name of their late father 'Our Father Whichart in Heaven' The book was later re-worked as the much more famous Ballet Shoes.

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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn ...lol, that's a more genteel version of the addition of "in bed'.


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kathy_t

Vee - At the risk of sounding repetitive - LOL! (We need a clickable button for that.)

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yoyobon_gw

Carolyn, this reminds me of the bridal shower tradition of writing down all the bride-to-be's comments as she opens gifts, then reading them back as the comments made on her honeymoon ! Of course that was back in the good old days when showers were an intimate gathering of family and friends and not held in a huge reception hall for 100's. I attended a cousin's bridal shower where her attendants opened the gifts at the head table and passed them to her to see. She would then say " Thank you Aunt Mary for the lovely vase" into a microphone....then quickly move on to the next gift with an on-going monologue of insincerity. *sigh*

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woodnymph2_gw

Like ann, I had 3 years of Latin in high school. I still find it useful in deciphering roots of English words and in building vocabulary, in general.

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yoyobon_gw

Is there ever a time when using the pronoun "myself" in this manner is correct?

' My friend and myself like to go hiking' ...as an example.

It hits me the same way as the phrase " Jim and me went to the theater"


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astrokath

You can tell when not to use myself the same way you can work out whether to use I or me. Leave the other person out and see what you would use. So you would say 'I like to go hiking' so it's 'My friend and I like to go hiking'. 'Give it to me' so it's 'Give it to my sister and me'.

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yoyobon_gw

That is the way I've always understood it to be......however, it seems that the inappropriate use of " myself " seems to be becoming more and more common. Most recently Prince Harry was quoted as saying "The Duchess and myself are thrilled ........." and I wondered if perhaps it was an accepted use in the UK .


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annpanagain

I am worried that I should correct the posts of a couple of people in a chat group who regularly write of their experiences with " a friend and me" doing something or other.

They are educated women in good positions at their work too! They should know better.

For the sake of peace I don't comment but it is so hard not to! I have to remember that everyone makes mistakes but it does grate.


A friend who had started a business hired a girl who she referred to grandly as "My staff."

I had to bite my tongue. I think calling the girl an assistant would have been more suitable, don't you think? Surely staff would be several people, not just the one.

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vee_new

Annpan you are lucky these people don't say "Me and my friends" as has become very common over here.

Maybe your friend can get away with saying 'staff' if no one knows she only has one employee. Of course she may be using the word 'staff' (think Thy rod and staff they comfort me) rather as Diana Princess of Wales referred to her butler as 'My Rock', of course not realising at the time that he was allegedly collecting and flogging her stuff.

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woodnymph2_gw

I just read a book by an august author and noted the use of a bird that" set" on her eggs. I would have used "sit". (past tense sat). In my view, it is the sun that "sets." What do you think?

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msmeow

Woodnymph, I think I would say the bird sat on her eggs, even if it was past tense. In print I constantly see "she was laying on the bed" or floor, or whatever. To me that sounds wrong. I think it should be lying on the bed. Laying is something you do to a book or other inanimate object.

Vee, I hear "me and my friends" a lot, too! Plus "I had went to the store" and phrases like that.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Laying is something hens do .

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woodnymph2_gw

Donna, thanks. I agree. I would choose "sat" on her eggs. Just 2 days ago, on TV, I heard a prominent politician say "I had went to..." (!)

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friedag

Woodnymph and Donna, you piqued my curiosity: Do domestic hens 'set' or 'sit' on their eggs? I did a bit of etymological research (typing in 'setting hen vs sitting hen etymology'). It seems to depend on when the hens were doing their thing!

Here are some quotes from authors who wrote primarily before mid-twentieth century (or the authors themselves were born before then):

  • And some men eased themselves like setting hens into the nest of death.East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • I pulled for town as mad as an old setting hen.
    Siringo, Chas. A.

Now, you just wait till one of your hens wants to set, and you put ducks' eggs under her, and you'll have a family of ducks in a twinkling.

"Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17)"

Old hens, of the common kind, are best to set.

"Soil Culture" by J. H. Walden

Since duck eggs deteriorate more rapidly than hens' eggs they cannot be kept so long before they are set.

"Ducks and Geese" by Harry M. Lamon


However, after about 1950 hens are said to 'sit' on their eggs; probably because fewer and fewer people are accustomed to dealing with broody hens, and it does appear the hens are doing exactly that: sitting. In the older sense, the hens were incubating or setting (not sitting on) their eggs for the purpose of hatching chicks.

The things we can learn from forgotten etymologies!



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msmeow

Thanks, Frieda! I am a suburban kid so have never been around hens, either setting or sitting, so I don't know how I would say it! LOL

Donna

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carolyn_ky

My mother's rule: You set something down, and it sits there. You lay something down, and it lies there. We had chickens when I was growing up and always called those producing little chicks setting hens.

I actually read something someone wrote on a travel forum I read that said she would always say she lays on the beach because it "sounds right" to her.

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astrokath

The misuse of lie and lay is overwhelming, particularly with, but not restricted to, American authors. I have been told that although 'lie' is correct, 'lay' sounds better! Not to my ear.

Also the use of simple past verbs like sank and sang where people say (and write, including journalists), things like 'The ship sunk' and 'I sung in the choir'.

Even more interesting is the fact that my grammar and spell checker (which I mainly use to catch typos) corrected my use of 'sung' above, but not the use of 'sunk'.


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vee_new

Same could be said about 'hung' and 'hanged'.

Re 'sunk/sank' You never hear of a ship that has gone down referred to as a 'sanken vessel'

I agree that the lie/lay thing is mostly American. It doesn't seem to be a grammar problem over here . . . we have far too many of our own.

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woodnymph2_gw

I had never heard of setting hens before. But the author who used this was born in the 1920's, so maybe that has something to do with it, plus he had spent a lot of his youth on farms.

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yoyobon_gw

Hens sit , the sun sets.

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woodnymph2_gw

In our time. But it seems "set" had an older usage, according to the info. Frieda found, with regards to poultry on farms.

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carolyn_ky

Perhaps the eggs "set" when the hen sits on them? Even my grammarian mother said setting hens. (She was born in 1906.)

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colleenoz

A headline in today’s paper: “Christians slayed”. Sigh.

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friedag

Colleen, the "Christians slayed" headline would catch my eye and make me wonder: What (or whom) did the Christians slay? Maybe they slew a dragon. Instinctively, however, I would suspect that's not what the headline meant, but rather the Christians themselves were slain in some particularly gruesome way.

I recognize the common trick of headline writers to use the past participle without auxiliary verbs to save print space and be pithier. It's time honored, with many examples going all the way back to the eighteenth century. I probably would not have to second guess "Christians slain", although that too is ungrammatical in formal writing and speech. But headlines are meant to draw attention -- and don't have to be strictly grammatical, unless they are in the stuffiest of publications.

The 'slayed' part of the headline is perhaps some writer's attempt to regularize the conjugation of 'to slay'. Americans are especially fond of trying to regularize verbs, except those who tend to hypercorrect by changing regular verbs to irregular ones -- such as the standard 'dived' is often changed to 'dove'. (He dove into the swimming pool.) 'Dove' looks/sounds right to many people because they've seen or heard it so much. I'm sure there are other examples that I can't think of right now. I need more examples. But then maybe I don't . . . since they can be habit forming!

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vee_new

The word 'dove' always meant a bird of the pigeon family to me until I found it here at RP relating to swimming. Over here we always say dived.

Another word which sounds incorrect to my ears is 'fit' when used in a US sentence "The fridge' was fit into the corner of the kitchen" where we would say ".. . . . fitted into the corner" As I know almost no grammar I can't explain the technicalities of this. I just know it doesn't 'seem right' :-)

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vee_new

Carolyn re your Mother and hens. I'm sure she is correct using 'set' in this context meaning 'put in place' eg set the table/ set a bone/ set a date/ set the clock etc. The hen has been set/put in place over the eggs, where she will sit on them until they hatch.

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colleenoz

You “set”a hen to “sit” on eggs.

Frieda, the person in charge of headlines for our local paper is just an ignoramus, I’ve concluded. Whoever it is tries to concoct “witty” headlines but usually they come out “”half-witty” or even offensive and inappropriate at times :-/

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astrokath

Colleen, the 'witty' headline annoys me greatly too. Stick to the facts, I say.


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annpanagain

A mistake which I noticed in a newspaper headline once was "360 degree turn!" but was meant to indicate a complete change of mind. I had to check, being a dunce at maths to make sure that they meant a 180 degree turn. Google says that it is quite a common error!

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msmeow

Ann, that's funny! :) Sometimes I wonder if journalists even go to college to learn their craft any more.

Donna

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woodnymph2_gw

Thanks for clearing up the "sit" vs. "set" with regard to hens. I was in error, not being familiar with farm ways. Anyhow, who am I to question this usage by former Poet Laureate of America, Donald Hall, in his book from whence my question came?

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assa aum

The nauseated/nauseous one annoys me, too. People sometimes confused the two when I was a child, but these days it seems close to universal.

As for that use of incursion, I was flabbergasted. No, I've never heard that, and I hope I never do again.

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yoyobon_gw

Of course, the standard mispronunciation of : realtor as "RE-la-tor" always irks me.

In our area it is common for people to drop a T in a word such a mitten and pronounced it ' mi-un" , or mountain as " mow-un" or latin as " lah-un".

UGH !!!

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colleenoz

That's called a "glottal stop".

I don't get "noo-cyoo-ler" for "nuclear",

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friedag

There's a current U.S. television commercial for a hotel/motel chain using the catchphrase "Bata book, bata boom" that seems inordinately popular among advertisement-watching aficionados. Completely mystifying to me for the longest time, I've seen some people halt more important conversations just to watch and hear the delivery of that line. Then as soon as it is said by the actor on TV, people will echo that saying with glee.

I thought it was probably meaningless, but it tickles people because it sounds funny. I had heard various explanations -- many contradictory -- so I decided to search for the real meaning, if there really was one. To my surprise, there is!

Evidently, the advertisement for the hotel takes advantage of the well-known (but not to me) 'gangster/gangsta rap' phrase "Bada bing, Bada boom!" that is used instead of long story short, as the details don't really matter. It can replace Voila! (All according to the Urban Dictionary site)

Of course, some people will never consider using slang -- it's always illegitimate, they claim. They are usually ignored! ;-)

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yoyobon_gw

Friedag, I believe it's origin was in the very popular gangster TV series " The Sopranos" and the expression was " bada bing, bada bang !"

Colleen....I agree, nuclear should be " nu-clee-ar" not " nu-kyah- ler" and unfortunately as more people mispronounce words they become an accepted alternative, thus the dumbing down of our language.

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friedag

Yoyobon, Wikipedia cites "The Sopranos" as the source of the nightclub name 'Bada Bing' which was borrowed from "The Godfather" (1972) movie and made famous by the actor James Caan playing Sonny Corleone. However, the etymology probably goes back decades before The Godfather, as it a word-rendering of the drum riff used in comedy and striptease clubs to accentuate the punchline or awaited shedding of the final garment: Ba Da Bing, Ba Da Boom, and sometimes Ba Da Bang. I can hear that!

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yoyobon_gw

Interesting ! I can hear it too :0)

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woodnymph2_gw

Insofar as pronunciation varieties re nuclear and realtor, one must take into account "southernisms." Anyone who has ever spent any time in the deep South will note that pronunciations vary accordingly. It does not bother me because I have noted the same occurs in French, for example (e.g. French spoken in the south of France is quite different from Parisian French). I think we Americans should be more tolerant. :-) How about me, a Southerner, living in PA and having to put up with "warsh" for "wash"?

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vee_new

No such word as realtor in English . . . English!

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yoyobon_gw

Interesting.......what do you call those who sell homes as a profession?

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woodnymph2_gw

Vee, I believe in England these are "estate agents"?

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vee_new

Yes , estate agent is the expression. I think it goes back to the days when these people worked for those who owned large areas of land, farms, houses etc. Our large 'landowner' in the village here had an 'agent' . The ones we had any dealings with were young men fresh out of the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. They all seemed to dress in a 'uniform' of tweed jacket, corduroy or whipcord trousers a yellow waistcoat and flat tweed cap. I expect it's jeans and T shirts now!

I don't know when 'estate agents' wearing 'sharp' suits started to sit in offices with greatly enlarged/exaggerated photos of properties with verdant lawns stretching to the furthest horizon and with honeyed lies falling from their lips . . .

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colleenoz

Why do so many British people say “floor” when they mean “ground”? For instance, a person might be talking about walking through the woods and tripping on a tree root, and falling full length “on the floor”.

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vee_new

Collen, it has become more noticeable in the last few years. You hear it often from commentators at football and cricket games/matches.

Another pet peeve for me is the misuse of 'sink' and 'basin'. I have always understood that a sink is found in a kitchen or laundry room while a basin is in a bathroom or maybe a bedroom. 'Estate Agents' (see above) often use 'sink' incorrectly in their description of houses for sale.

btw the three most disliked/mistrusted groups of people in the UK are reckoned to be

MP's, journalists and estate agents . . . there may be others.

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friedag

Colleen, I don't have an answer for the 'floor' vs 'ground' use, but it brings to my mind:

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champed the grasses

Of the forest’s ferny floor . . . The Listeners by Walter de la Mare


Americans often say "the valley floor" or "the canyon floor" so I wonder if that is a related meaning?


The poem also uses 'champed' (what the horse was doing with the grasses), but Americans would more likely say 'chomped'. It's just not as poetic the American way, is it? Another example of the English and American English difference is 'champing at the bit' (Br) and 'chomping at the bit' (Am).


Vee, many North Americans call the water basin in the bathroom a 'lavatory'. The Latin-based root of the word is lavar (the infinitive form) meaning 'to wash' after all. I made that mistake in England in my early years. It really annoyed my English landlady at the time. :-)

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yoyobon_gw

When I was in grade school we called the bathroom the "lavatory" ... as in, "May I go to the lavatory ?" then it became " the Girl's room".

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carolyn_ky

Yoyo, obviously that was before the book came out called The Ladies' (marked out) Women's Room by Marilyn French.

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astrokath

I have an American friend from the south, and she says 'sit in the floor' rather than 'on', which seems strange to me. I could sit 'in' an armchair, but would sit 'on' a dining chair.

With regard to sink and basin, I agree with Vee that the sink is in the kitchen or laundry, and I would say handbasin for the one in the bathroom. Basin on its own suggests a large bowl (say for hand washing a few clothes) to me.

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friedag

The above debate about sinks and basins sent me on a search for a categorically certain definition of each. The Internet has loads of opinions and many of them contradict each other, even the dictionaries disagree slightly . . . and sometimes a lot. Well, since everything was about as clear as mud, I decided to go straight to my trusty plumber and asked him whether, in plumbing jargon, there's difference between the two. He said, "There sure is!"

In layman's terms the two are often used interchangeably, and plumbers don't usually enlighten customers by telling them they are using the wrong terms. Here's what he told me, simplified:

A sink is a receptacle that holds water, and so is a basin. The difference is the design for removing the water the receptacle can hold.

A sink has a hole (or holes) at its lowest point that must be stoppered in some way to hold water. The stopper(s) can be removed and the water (and sometimes other matter) can drain through the hole(s) into piping that will connect to 'sewage' pipes that will empty into a cesspool, a septic system, or collecting vats for treatment (e.g., for municipalities). An old-fashioned sink might have emptied directly into another receptacle without any piping, but that is almost never the case with modern plumbing. Sinks were once most likely to be found in ground-floor rooms.

A basin is a bowl that has no hole, thus no need for a stopper, at its lowest (deepest) point. The ways to drain it are by dipping the water out of it with another vessel (a dipper); or the water must empty over the rim, by physically tipping over the basin and pouring the water out; or by siphoning/pumping. Think of the old-time washstands for visualizing what a true basin is. It was a bowl that sat on a table or cabinet, filled by a ewer, a bucket, or some other water holder. It was emptied by one of the methods described. They were often used in more private quarters, if room was available, possibly on upper floors. Although very few modern bathrooms or bedrooms have true basins nowadays, the term basin has been retained for these rooms in some people's traditional vocabularies. Nearly all so-called basins are actually sinks, as a modern term.

My plumber is a North American, so naturally his jargon is also North American. The jargon will vary from place to place, but the principal applications are pretty much the same everywhere today.

He's a very good plumber, and I am pleased that he could explain it to me. I hope I transcribed his explanation accurately and well. I know it makes a long post, but possibly a useful one.

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annpanagain

I remember using those kind of basins in older homes. There was usually a wash hand stand in the bedroom and it had a four piece set of ewer/jug, which sat on a basin, dish for soap and sponge. Underneath in the cupboard was a pail for dirty water. The fourth item in the set was the pot/po which was kept in a sometimes marble-lined separate cupboard for hygiene. The stand might have a towel rail on the side.

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vee_new

Interesting Frieda, esp. how 'basin' is a left-over from the old washstand set (so beloved of antique dealers today).

I understand along with the 'washing' use of the set, a chamber pot was often part of the bedroom 'equipment' ie often in the same decorative style.

On a recent TV prog. to do with the Victorians, someone showed the 'host' of the show an eg of the above article and called it a potty and this young woman, chosen no doubt for her slim figure and good looks rather than her brain, was amazed to hear the 'potty' word. Obviously the thing was no-more than a fashionable plant container to her and she had no idea of its original use.

I must add you are lucky to have a good plumber . . in fact any plumber. They are like gold dust over here.

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vee_new

An additional thought. Over here it has become quite 'fashionable' to equip bathrooms with two washbasins and call them 'his' and 'hers'. Also, especially in so-called boutique hotels, a huge free-standing bathtub is often provided in the bedroom. Personally I like a little privacy while carrying out my ablutions, it's not as though I'm washing off the grime from some sporting match surrounded by my team-mates.

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msmeow

Vee, over here for as long as I can remember having two sinks in the master bath has been very popular.

Donna

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annpanagain

A bath in the bedroom was featured in a TV show here and the judges raved but I thought of an effect of the steam! Mouldy clothes! That can be a result of normal humidity and I wouldn't want to add to it!

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colleenoz

Those chamber pots used to be referred to as “gazunda”s here, because it “gazunda” the bed :-D

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yoyobon_gw

In their day chamber pots were referred to as " thunder mugs" by some !

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vee_new

Colleen, the same over here.

Thinking of bedroom equipment we still have a couple of heavy stone hot water bottles. I am loath to throw them out and remember as a small child when one of the rubber variety had perished, my Mother filled the stone one for me and wrapped it in an old towel . . . it can be painful if your feet make contact with it.

Btw did you know that prime Minister Wm Gladstone used to keep cocoa in his and drink it when he got thirsty during the night?

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yoyobon_gw

For all , like me , who have never seen a stone hot water bottle :


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vee_new

That's it yoyo!

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carolyn_ky

I once toured a modern upscale house that had a master bedroom suite. The bathroom was a regular complete room with all the fixtures, but the door between the rooms was a double-door size opening with no doors to close. Not for me!

What you all are calling a basin was called a washpan and was made of tin or maybe aluminum in the old days where I come from. On really cold nights, Mama heated her old flat irons and wrapped them in towels for our feet. I have one of those irons and a kerosene lamp from her early house keeping items. My sister has her wooden biscuit bowl, rolling pin, and tin biscuit cutter (for hot quick bread, not cookies, Vee and Ann). It used to annoy her to hear those things she began keeping house with referred to as antiques.

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annpanagain

My grandmother would never use an electric iron, only flat irons.

When she looked after us, as my mother was in hospital having a late unexpected baby ten years after my other sister(!), we had to heat and then unplug the electric one before she would use it. Ours had the plug at the back with the cord attached so would be usable like that but needed reheating between each garment!

She never touched a telephone either!

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colleenoz

Carolyn, in the UK and Oz we'd call those a scone dough bowl and a scone cutter. :-)

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vee_new

A scone cutter can also be used to cut the pastry for jam tarts/mince pies etc. I have never heard the term 'dough bowl' but would use 'mixing bowl' for those large containers into which anything could be mixed, soaked, prepared.

Carolyn, we often see what we consider to be 'household appliances' for sale in so-called antique shops or more often at 'markets' where the stallholder asks outrageous prices for chipped plates, cups. saucers etc, tatty children's books and bent tarnished cutlery. Similar pieces are quite likely to still be in general use at home! Of course we do hear of wonderful finds being discovered where a lucky member of the public has picked up what turns out to be a priceless piece of glassware or jewellery for a few pennies.

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annpanagain

Vee, I watch Bargain Hunt on TV. They are rather old episodes though. I am amazed at the tatt some of the contestants buy and even more when a huge profit is made from some of the rubbishy and cracked items! My grandmother wouldn't have given them "house room"!

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msmeow

I occasionally watch Antiques Roadshow and they often have some hideous object that the expert claims is worth a fortune. I always wish they would produce someone willing to pay beaucoups bucks for the thing.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna, I have a friend who was an art appraiser for Antiques Roadshow and frequently was on air . I asked her what happens if she finds a piece of art that she'd be interested in buying. She said they sign a contract which states they are not allowed to do business with anyone coming on the show for at least six months after the show.

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msmeow

That’s interesting, Bon! I always like to hear what goes on behind the scenes in these type of shows,

Donna

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annpanagain

That contract is rather worthless as they could always ask a friend to buy!

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colleenoz

Well I guess they could, but if they were rumbled I imagine there’d be a massive fuss.

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colleenoz

Was appalled to hear a reporter on an NPR segment referring to the king of Thailand, “who was coronated last month” <insert eye roll >

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yoyobon_gw

There is an ample supply of ignorance out there, isn't there.

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msmeow

Oh, Colleen! That's bad. :) I was reading an article on CNN's website yesterday and it was full of misspellings and wrong words. It wouldn't have passed a third grade essay lesson.

Donna

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annpanagain

It sounds wrong to say "coronate" but apparently there is recorded use of the word back in the 17th C. Probably one of those words that dropped out and is now coming back!

Like it or not...

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msmeow

Our local NPR host this morning did a lead in to a story about Ponte Vedra Beach and said, "Ponte Verde". I expect they got a lot of calls about that one. But she did pronounce Econlockhatchee correctly, so I have to give her credit there!

Donna

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msmeow

I am in the orchestra for a production of the musical “Children of Eden”. Toward the end one of the characters says they are headed for the “land they have seeked for so long.” Seeked?!

Donna

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colleenoz

To that, Donna, I can only say that I "Eeked". :-D

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friedag

Donna, some people (Americans especially, I think) are determined to make most English irregular verbs into regular ones. I've heard 'buyed' and 'sleeped' and 'keeped' recently. Those still sound wrong to me, but I've already pretty much accepted leaned, learned, leaped (my spellcheck didn't underline those in red), and probably several others. What gets me is when I am corrected for using the irregular forms. It has become too much trouble to explain every time why I am not wrong . . . I'm just old-fashioned in some of my speech and spelling habits. :-(

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friedag

I want to add that I had an almost-discussion with my niece just a couple of days ago about the phrase 'it lit my fuse', admittedly a slang expression. Dear niece who just turned twenty asked "Do you mean 'it lighted my fuse'?" I almost started one of my pedantic tirades, but I caught ('catched') myself when I noticed the bulge in her cheek while she was rolling her eyes. I had to laugh! My niece knows me too well.

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yoyobon_gw

Watching Judge Judy yesterday........a young man who claimed to be " going to college" ( his ex-girlfriend clarified that by saying he did it on line ! ) kept saying "me and my friend lived " or " me and my lawyer went" and after many such statements and corrections by JJ , she finally asked him if he was currently in college. He replied " Yes Maam" to which she said " then take an ENGLISH class . TAKE AN ENGLISH CLASS ! "


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annpanagain

I love JJ! We get her show here, although about a year behind. I can't hear anyone say "Basically" without her voice in my ear, roaring "Not basically, I don't want to hear basically"!

I also notice that people are now coming out with "I want to say..." when giving evidence if they are a bit vague about matters, rather than "I think..." or "I believe...".

Is this a recent development to the language?

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friedag

Annpan, I want to say I've heard "I want to say..." as a substitute for "I think" or "I believe" my whole life, but I'm not really sure. :-)

I'm nearly 69. I suspect it predates me. Perhaps it is mostly an Americanism. A related phrase is "I guess...", used when I think or I believe something might be true, but I'm only guessing because actually I don't know. Does that make sense?

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annpanagain

Friedag, I have only noticed this recently on the show. Perhaps it is something that has come into fashion again!

"I guess" is well known as an Americanism and has been around my whole life too!


There is an oddity "I mean/meant to say..." which I have heard used as an interjection, sometimes in an apologetic way.

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colleenoz

Annpan, I hate when people say "literally" when what they are saying could not possibly taken as literal, eg, "I literally had steam coming out of my ears!" (Not unless your brain was on fire, in which case you wouldn't be here to tell me about it.)

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vee_new

I think this has already come up here but these days SO MANY people on radio/TV interviews reply to a question with "So . . ." or "I mean . . ." Is this just an English thing or do you hear it in your neck of the woods?

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yoyobon_gw

The people who appear on JJ are........well, let's just say most won't be bringing a macaroni salad to the Mensa picnic. It's a field day for JJ and her testiness ! One of my favorites : " UM is not an answer."

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annpanagain

I notice that JJ can be kind to nervous participants though and not correct them.

Her strongest tongue-lashings are for those who "act smart" and are cheeky to her or disrespect her court.

"Did you think you were coming to the beach?" she asks of those too casually dressed.

Vee, I am not able to comment as I rarely listen to or watch interviews. It irritates me not to be able to join in!

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vee_new

Annpan I put the bedside radio on first thing in the morning and as I can only pick up one channel I find myself listening to the Today programme which runs between 6 and 9am. In these days of politics gone mad I am sorely tempted to chuck the thing out of the window. I don't know which is worse the smart arsed 'presenters' or the mealy-mouthed MPs and their hangers on. I can appreciate that when a mere mortal is interviewed they may be nervous and start sentences with the "So" or "I mean" but the professionals should know better . . . as should the politicos who say "Now Listen . . " as though addressing a class of 6 year olds.

Maybe US politicians don't address their audiences this way?

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yoyobon_gw

Vee.....lol, it's worse than you can imagine. I've heard politicians change their way of speaking to adapt to the audience. One woman actually switched to a deep southern accent to influence the would-be voters ! The worst is when they've thrown in ghetto expressions (when in Rome...)

There are no limits.

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carolyn_ky

My grandson (age 24) begins half the things he says with an introductory so. It seems to be something he learned in college.

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donnamira

Maybe they've all read the Heaney translation of Beowulf. :)

Marco thread

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msmeow

Starting nearly every sentence with “so” seems to be a current fad. I’ve even caught myself doing it! It will probably fade out int time, to be replaced by some other annoying thing.

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Our English teacher used to say " Don't SO ( sew) your sentences together ! "

Perhaps it will go the way of " like".

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colleenoz

In the US and UK, do you have interviewees who start an answer to any question with "Yeah, no", then go on to explain why their answer is in the negative? It seems to be a thing here.

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astrokath

Colleen, I was just thinking of 'yeah nah' myself. You can't listen to an interview with a sportsperson without it.

'Yeah nah it was a good win today by the boys'.


Frieda, I think British/Aussie English has kept more of the irregular forms like learnt, knelt and leapt, and I still find them a bit disconcerting when I read the alternative. However, 'dove' as the past of 'dive' is one I cannot read without a shudder.

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vee_new

"'year nah' hasn't reached our shores yet, but give it time. There are still comments made about the sports presenter who described a football match as "a game of two halves."

'Dove' as the past tense of dive was something I first encountered here at RP. The same with 'fit'. eg The men moved the old 'fridge out of the kitchen and fit the new one into the space' In real English we would say fitted.

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friedag

Vee, the American pattern for conjugating 'to fit' -- present, fit ; simple past, fit ; past participle, fit -- is peculiar, but I don't know the reason it developed that way. 'Fitted' is reserved for the adjectival form; e.g., "she wore fitted sleeves."

Oddly, most Americans still use, for example, 'pitted' and 'knitted' as both verbs and adjectives. Another verb that follows the fit, fit, fit pattern is 'to hit'. Americans usually don't say "yesterday he hitted his wife and gave her a black eye" or "the poor dog has been hitted frequently." Come to think of it, I can't recall hearing folk from England saying 'hitted' either, but perhaps they do. Which way do the English usually say it?

'To slit' is slit, slit, slit in the American pattern, but 'slitted' is sometimes heard. Also, 'to quit' is quit, quit, quit. Do the English say, for instance, "he quitted his job"?

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vee_new

Frieda, re 'hitted' no, I've never heard it. Quit is not often used here as in the US sense to finish or leave something. On thinking about it I don't think we use 'quit' very much, if at all . . . but we are familiar with its American use.

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msmeow

I was happy to hear during our second performance of "Children of Eden" that they redid the line so she no longer says "seeked." :)

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

I've never heard anyone say hitted or quitted or fitted etc. which is akin to "funner". Or perhaps I just tune them out with a groan. It's something my little grandson would say when still learning to speak correctly.

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annpanagain

Yoyo, I keep a jar of pitted olives in my fitted kitchen cupboard!

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colleenoz

“Quitted” _is_ used in the sense of “left a premises”, eg, “They quitted their hotel room and got on a train for another town”.

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vee_new

How about acquitted? It appears the 'quit' word has many meanings/usages and variations were present in several Medieval languages all from the same Latin root. So it may mean to set free, to relieve, to absolve, to abandon, to leave, to resign . . . there are many more eg's.

I' sure Americans are familiar with acquitted in the legal sense.

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vee_new

To my aging ears an annoying expression often heard over here is "Oh go on then"

I ask the handyman, decorator, cleaner if they would like a cup of tea/coffee and instead of saying "Yes please" or "No thank you" they reply "Oh go on then" as though I am holding a knife to their throat and demanding they give in to my question.

A friend who always answers in this way once remarked that an employer had asked him the same question and he had given the 'Oh go on then' reply to which the questioner said "Well do you want one or not?"

And regarding the supply of liquid refreshment required for ANY UK worker often before they have even had the strength to put a shovel in the ground, lift a heavy duster or open a can of paint, it is surprising how many of them need their beverage loaded with sugar.

So I might remark "I'm putting the kettle on to make a pot of tea" and they will reply "Four sugars and plenty of milk, please."

Do US odd-job men, contractors etc supply their own drink . . . let alone food?

And sorry I've gone off topic here!


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yoyobon_gw

Anna.....explain what a fitted cupboard is :0) Does it mean with a door ?

Vee....yes, they supply their own refreshments. What horrifies and disgusts me is when they use my bathroom ( lav, loo) to relieve themselves while working on the job. Oh.....I have horror stories about that ! I had a young man powerwash a large brick patio and after he'd finished I checked on it through a sliding glass door. When I went out to pay him he asked if I'd like to see the job. I replied that I had looked out the door and admired it already. He then says " Oh ! I hope you didn't see me peeing on your front lawn ! " ( we live in the woods .....take a few steps and go behind a tree !! ) As I give him the check he extends his hand to shake on the deal. I said, " I'm NOT shaking your hand .......you just peed on my lawn !!!!!!" He says ..'Oh, that's okay I washed them with your hose." Nope. Nope. Nope. No way.


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msmeow

Ewww, Bon! Just...ewww.

Vee, my DH does pressure cleaning. They bring their own beverages/food/etc. with them, but I believe homeowners often offer a cold drink of water or iced tea. They also use facilities at convenience stores or fast food restaurants, rather than asking to use the client's.

Donna

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carolyn_ky

Just last week I had the wooden posts and the rafters on my patio repainted. The painter is a friend of a nephew by marriage and made himself quite at home, asking for water and using the bathroom. To do him justice, it did rain hard part of the time, but it took him eight days to do a five- or six-hour job. I don't think I'll be using him again.

I recently had a retirement brunch for our pastor's secretary and sent out hand written invitations to a list that she provided of mutual friends and some people she worked with, not all of whom I knew. One of them, who is a young woman, called to say she "was RSVP-ing"-- period. I waited a few seconds and then asked if she were planning to attend, to which she replied that yes, she was RSVP-ing. Silly me, to think she might have called if she did not plan to come. Out of 19 women, and these are all grown ups, five did not respond. One of them came anyway, and one who had accepted brought her mother with her. It was okay, of course, but people are strange.

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annpanagain

Yoyo, a fitted cupboard is one that is fitted into a space of the same size, in my mind. It would have a door. I designed a fitted bookcase for my current home as I wanted it to go against a wall and have an open back at the top shelf to accommodate an existing power switch.

They are sometimes referred to as "Custom made" and are of course more expensive than just buying the item from a shop!


We have workmen and gardeners come to my Retirement Village. They bring their own refreshments and use a designated lavatory at the Office.

My cleaners have always brought their own water bottles and as they only have an hour, usually get in, get on and get out! One temp did say she could get the work done then we could sit and have a cuppa! I was so surprised I just stared at her and she said she was joking! I didn't think so but although I am not unsociable I don't like having to chat with someone I don't know and invites themself to tea.

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yoyobon_gw

Donna......Eeeuwww indeed !

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colleenoz

Yes, totally unacceptable to pee on a lawn (or anywhere except a toilet IMO).

”Fitted” furniture is built in furniture as opposed to free standing, so a fitted wardrobe is a built in (not common in older houses here), a fitted kitchen has its cupboards and appliances built in etc.

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vee_new

Annpan, so you have a fitted cupboard in which to keep your pitted olives!

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annpanagain

Vee, yes but I didn't splitted them! I prefer the stuffed kind...

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annpanagain

I thought you RPers might enjoy this snippet taken from the local paper which went "With the explosion of seniors around the world..." I had a horrible visual, did you?

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vee_new

Now that is really a case of when the **** hits the fan.

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friedag

Oh my! The 'explosion of seniors' brings a couple of unpleasant visuals to my mind, too.

One of the hazards of traveling I often experience is the cleanliness of 'restrooms' and my suspicions that many (perhaps most) users don't bother to wash their hands after they 'take care of business'. It's a particular problem in unisex installations. In some airplane facilities there may be a sign in several translations -- with one always being in English -- on the wall above the toilet that reads something like this: Gentlemen, please control your aim. Please do not shake your member to dry it!

I fully understand the need to post the signs! I've heard many tales that I can corroborate as true, some restrooms have urine all over the floor, spattering the walls and mirrors, and dripping from the ceiling. Talk about eeeuwww !

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annpanagain

I used to take plastic slip-on overshoes when I travelled, sometimes they would be included in the business class goodies bag anyway.

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msmeow

Hmm, exploding seniors?! This morning on our local NPR affiliate they had a story about a company that has contracted with NASA for a "robotic rocket assembly plant". I wondered if they were building robotic rockets, or if robots were building the rockets. Turns out it was the latter. :)

Donna

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carolyn_ky

Re spatter, I once took a very small grandson to "potty" and he sprayed the wall. He said, "Huh! I did that at Grandma's, too." I explained how to avoid the problem, and he just looked at me.

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vee_new

On the 'potty' theme. Sis-in-law has been helping potty-train a granddaughter who is well over three years old. According to the child's mother doing this any earlier is considered damaging to it's well-being, leading to some terrible psychological damage in later life. I wonder if the fact that modern nappies/diapers are so convenient and can be left 'on' for several hours plays any part in this? We have cases in the UK where school age kids (4-5yrs) are still not trained to use the toilet/WC.

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vee_new

Re Frieda's eg about the 'restrooms' on planes that leave much to be desired,and as Annpan says even in business class . . . what is it about men (and I think it is seldom women) who presumably can use their home bathrooms correctly but seem to lose any sense of decency when away from the family nest?

Over here the selling of cheap booze in airports has lead to a marked rise in drunken behaviour both in waiting areas on and planes flying to 'holiday destination'. A TV documentary recently showed men and some women inebriated before 7am with fights breaking out prior to take off. I spend my holidays nearer to home!

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colleenoz

I haven’t noticed any long term damage to my DD’s psyche by being toilet trained well before she was three. Or by being taught to say “please” and “thank you” as some of her first words. Or by being required to behave and use good manners even as a toddler, to the extent she was capable of.

I think a lot of the more modern theories about child rearing are born out of a lack of will to put the effort in.

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yoyobon_gw

In most , if not all , preschools the child must be potty-trained before being allowed to attend.

When potty-training for accuracy many Moms will float cheerios in the water as a target for the little squirter :0) I have mixed feelings about using breakfast cereal for this !

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carolyn_ky

Yoyo, that made me laugh out loud. Guess all of us oldsters have good reason for our damaged psyches, huh? I agree with Vee that present-day diapers make all the difference. I suppose money is no object.

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astrokath

I do agree that modern nappies/diapers don't help, because I think in many cases the child isn't sitting in the wetness a cloth nappy provides.

With regard to aim, when my two boys were about 8 and 11, I took them into the toilet only they used, showed them the floor, and said I was no longer going to clean it, and they could take turns, no matter who made the mess. I never had the problem again - the very thought of having to clean up the other one's splashes was horrifying apparently.

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