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BS: Language Pet Peeves

Mrrzy 14 Jan 21 - 03:44 PM
Jos 14 Jan 21 - 02:30 PM
Steve Shaw 14 Jan 21 - 02:05 PM
mayomick 14 Jan 21 - 01:35 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jan 21 - 07:27 PM
meself 13 Jan 21 - 06:46 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jan 21 - 06:11 PM
leeneia 13 Jan 21 - 04:52 PM
Mrrzy 13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM
Jos 13 Jan 21 - 02:44 PM
Jos 13 Jan 21 - 02:21 PM
Mrrzy 13 Jan 21 - 02:18 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jan 21 - 10:46 AM
Mrrzy 13 Jan 21 - 09:37 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Jan 21 - 04:34 AM
BobL 13 Jan 21 - 02:18 AM
Doug Chadwick 12 Jan 21 - 07:40 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Jan 21 - 06:13 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jan 21 - 04:18 PM
Steve Shaw 12 Jan 21 - 12:27 PM
Mrrzy 12 Jan 21 - 11:23 AM
Mrrzy 11 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 21 - 03:24 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 21 - 01:56 PM
Nigel Parsons 11 Jan 21 - 11:02 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Jan 21 - 09:48 AM
Nigel Parsons 11 Jan 21 - 09:41 AM
BobL 11 Jan 21 - 03:00 AM
Jos 10 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 21 - 12:00 PM
Lighter 10 Jan 21 - 10:57 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Jan 21 - 07:58 AM
Nigel Parsons 10 Jan 21 - 06:56 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 21 - 03:07 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 21 - 02:47 PM
Nigel Parsons 09 Jan 21 - 01:53 PM
Jos 09 Jan 21 - 12:37 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 21 - 12:02 PM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 21 - 10:58 AM
Jos 09 Jan 21 - 07:57 AM
Jos 09 Jan 21 - 07:14 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 21 - 06:17 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Jan 21 - 06:11 AM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 21 - 01:23 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 21 - 07:10 AM
BobL 08 Jan 21 - 02:06 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 21 - 05:27 PM
Jos 07 Jan 21 - 05:05 PM
Jos 07 Jan 21 - 05:03 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 03:44 PM

Thanks for the grin, meself/Steve Shaw.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 02:30 PM

I seem to be getting used to "So," now, though I hated it at first.

But I am still bewildered by people beginning their answer to a question with "Yes-no".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 02:05 PM

Or even "So, it really depends on how we manage to suppress the virus over the coming days, going forward". Arrgh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: mayomick
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 01:35 PM

The word "so" when used needlessly as the first word in reply to a question . As in:
Journalist :"How much longer are we likely to be on lockdown, Dr Holohan"?

De Holohan : "So, it really depends on how we manage to suppress the virus over the coming days"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 07:27 PM

I stand corrected. -)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: meself
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 06:46 PM

That should be "hee HER", Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 06:11 PM

Hee hee...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 04:52 PM

How long has the kid been 6 years old?

Good question, Mrrzy.

I have my own question. The grandparents probably wanted to go to church themselves. What were they supposed to do with the child during the service, leave it at home to play with matches?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM

My peeve wasn't about the grandparents taking the kid to church, which was indeed the complaint. That is why I didn't specify the complaint. Hee her is a) obviously a typo and b)had been explained already.

Sigh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 02:44 PM

I did google the headline. I didn't find anything with that exact headline, but I did find a story about a mother being upset because her child's grandparents, who had been looking after the child for the whole of the summer, had taken the child with them to church.
Was that the complaint you were referring to? If so, why the square brackets, which lead the reader to imagine all kinds of appalling behaviour.
I was taken, and later sent, to church as a child. I don't think it did me any harm although I am no longer a believer (if I ever really was). But as so much of our history, music, literature and so on has been influenced by the church and its beliefs, I appreciated having some knowledge of what that basis consists of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 02:21 PM

But what DOES "hee her" mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 02:18 PM

Ooh typoed hee hee. How rude of me, you are so right. I obviously do these things specifically to upset you.

My use of square brackets to avoid detailing the complaint is standard.

All your other quibbles are with the headline. It did not make sense. That is what peeved me. And you apparently agree with me in that.

You want to see the source, look it up yourself. That is what the google is for.

Again. Why do you quibble with my peeves? And when it is pointed out to you that what you are quibbling with isn't even me, why do you double down instead of apologizing and backing off?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 10:46 AM

"Hee her headline reads Grandparents have been [complaint] my 6-year old behind my back for years!"

1. What does "Hee her" mean?

2. Who is this "her?"

3. What does "[complaint]" in the middle of an alleged headline mean?

4. "have been"??

5. Whose "6-year old [sic]"?

6. Behind WHOSE back?

Tell us where you saw this headline. I'd love to look it up. I have no peeve with the sentence, but, in general, I do have peeves when it comes to obscurantist writing that requires me to do a lot of unnecessary mental processing before I can see the light. It's far more polite to express things in simple, clear language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 09:37 AM

But it *wasn't* MY sentence. It was the headline that peeved me! So it peeved you too! So why, again, exactly, are you picking on my peeves?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 04:34 AM

Yep, we'd all be genii!

Er...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 02:18 AM

If we all learnt from our mistakes, I'd be a genius by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 07:40 PM

Mrrzy,
I'm not trying to pick a fight - just pointing out:


Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy - PM
Date: 24 Jun 20 - 04:12 PM

..................................

I like being corrected. How else can I learn?



DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 06:13 PM

I'm suggesting that you state your case with clarity. It's hard to discuss your peeves with you when you type an incomprehensible sentence (and I recall that you regard yourself as a rather good proofreader. It wouldn't have taken much for you to have reviewed that sentence, would it?)

"My 70-year-old aunt has been telling me for years that I can't bake a decent cake." Perfectly good English in m'humble...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 04:18 PM

Steve Shaw, I thought my peeves didn't have to be your peeves. Are you starting that up again?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 12:27 PM

Apart from the fact that your sentence doesn't make much sense, I can't see much wrong with the construction you appear to be complaining about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Jan 21 - 11:23 AM

Hee her headline reads Grandparents have been [complaint] my 6-year old behind my back for years!

How long had their kid been 6?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 04:00 PM

Yeah it worked for me but my whole life happens out loud in my head...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 03:24 PM

I outed once too often there. The spuds were done.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 01:56 PM

Then do what I do and read out the posts out loud in your head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 11:02 AM

Yes, they give the definitions of words is more accurate.
And the "Don't call me Shirley" quip only works in the spoken language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 09:48 AM

If I'd said they give the definitions of words, would that've been all right? And don't call me Shirley...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 09:41 AM

Steve,
Dictionaries don't pass judgement in the sense that they don't tell you what's right or wrong. It is their job to define words,

Surely, by your reasoning, it is not their job to define words, but to state what definitions are being given (by users) to the words.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 11 Jan 21 - 03:00 AM

I'm no polyglot, but other languages fascinate me. English has plenty of Latin plurals, correct and incorrect, but for some reason no Greek, which I understand would be hippopotamoi, octopoi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 01:22 PM

I was told that the plurals depend on whether the word is based on Latin, as in fungus/fungi, or Greek as in hippopotamus, meaning 'horse of the river' [hippos = horse; potamos = river], and octopus [okto = eight; pous = foot].
This is confirmed by my Concise Oxford Dictionary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 12:00 PM

Dictionaries don't pass judgement in the sense that they don't tell you what's right or wrong. It is their job to define words, to include all words that are in common usage and to interpret contexts in which words may be used. Of course, the latter requires judgement, but not in the sense you meant.

As for hippopotami, it's plainly not wrong, but as for how its usage is regarded it all depends on where you look it up. For example, from lexico.com:

"Other words ending in -us show a very varied pattern. Like octopi, the plural hippopotami is now generally taken to be either funny or absurdly pedantic, and the usual plural is hippopotamuses."

We can all indulge in confirmation bias.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 10:57 AM

Dictionaries pass judgment all the time.

First they decide what they think is worth entering.

Then, if they like, they apply such labels as "colloquial," "informal," "slang," "nonstandard," "archaic," "obsolete," "regional," "U.S.," "Brit.," "Austral.," and occasionally "substandard."

"Hippopotami" bears no label.

One label rarely seen is "Not in technical use." That covers things like "virus" used to mean "any illness." No professional epidemiological discussion would use "virus" that way, even though millions of people do and would, because technically it is wrong.

"Hippopotami," presumably, is likewise "not in technical use," though it's a stylistic rather than a terminological issue.

OED accepts without comment "Plural unchanged, hippoppotamus, hippopotami."

"An Account of Several Late Voyages and Discoveries to the South and North" (1694) tells of "Hippopotami" at the Cape of Good Hope.

Among other serious users of "hippopotami" was David Livingstone in 1865.

Sounding funny doesn't make it essentially humorous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 07:58 AM

Dictionaries merely reflect usage, Nigel, and they don't pass judgement. Clearly, "hippopotami" is in currency so dictionaries would report it. What dictionaries won't tell you is that you might look a bit of a twit if you use "hippopotami" in anything other than a humorous context, for example, if you were writing a treatise on the biology of, er, hippopotami... I do that fun thing meself, frequently, whenever more than one hippopotamus is on the radar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 10 Jan 21 - 06:56 AM

Rhymers' licence, Nigel. You'll be singing the praises of octopi, viri and fora next...

Steve, no rhymers' licence required.
I have now extended my search beyond just 'general online dictionaries'.
My Collins Dictionary, and my 'Shorter Oxford' both give the two options for the plural, as do the online entries from those publishers:
Collins Dictionary .com
Oxford learner's dictionary


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 03:07 PM

And I do find the confusion between singulars and plurals to be a very strange phenomena...


Come on, folks, it's Saturday night!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 02:47 PM

Rhymers' licence, Nigel. You'll be singing the praises of octopi, viri and fora next...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 01:53 PM

[And, yes, I do know it's hippopotamuses.]
Most online dictionaries (at a quick glance) seem to accept either plural.

Flanders & Swann: "A regular army of hippopotami"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 12:37 PM

If I had seen the correct spelling - riparian - I wouldn't have spent time searching for raparian. I could have bypassed the great grey green greasy Limpopo with its fever trees and jumped straight to the river bank via "hippopotami".

[And, yes, I do know it's hippopotamuses.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 12:02 PM

The word used by Hyacinth was riparian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 10:58 AM

I learned that term from Hyacinth ["it's pronounced Bouquet!"] Bucket, on Keeping Up Appearances, for the philistines. Yes, it was deliberately obfuscating. Which I normally eschew. I guessed at the spelling.

But the word Laptopotomy made me think of the great, grey-green greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees. That is a literary reference. Crossed with Ptolemy, which made me think of the Nile.

And so from the rivers we get to the word riparian, which means relating to riverbanks. Or did at some point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 07:57 AM

I should point out that the illustration showing the book cover spells it "Raparian". The blurb writer must have been writing it on a device using Autocorrect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 07:14 AM

From the publishers blurb for a book titled "Raparian Station":

"Riparian Station is an acid trip away from a universe ordered by God into the recesses of nihilism finding a surf film, good fishing, and meaning in being a one of in a chaotic universe rather than a step in a cycle."

I'm none the wiser.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 06:17 AM

"Raparian?" I can find no sensible reference to such an English adjective in any dictionary. Either you meant something else or you're induging in deliberate obscurantism...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 06:11 AM

What if AI-bolstered laptops went all wild west on us, terrorising the planet and indulging in mass repression of the people? Would that be dyslaptopia?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 21 - 01:23 AM

Laptopotomy? Sounds raparian...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 21 - 07:10 AM

If you unfairly diss laptops in favour of iPads, does that make you a laptopist? Guilty of laptopism?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: BobL
Date: 08 Jan 21 - 02:06 AM

Surely someone would be laptopicised only if they had a laptopectomy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 05:27 PM

Hmm. That's a small one you've got there, Nigel. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 05:05 PM

[Apologies for the double question mark. I wasn't being pretentious - just a wobbly thumb.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Jos
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 05:03 PM

Is the whole process 'laptopicity'

And if gardeners are given laptops will that be 'laptopiary'??


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 03:25 PM

"Laptopisized": about 12" * 9" * 1"


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