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BS: Language question, not a peeve

Mrrzy 02 Jul 19 - 11:24 AM
Charmion 02 Jul 19 - 09:47 AM
Ebbie 30 Jun 19 - 01:07 PM
Mrrzy 27 Jun 19 - 11:34 PM
Doug Chadwick 26 Jun 19 - 04:27 PM
Steve Shaw 24 Jun 19 - 08:06 PM
Charmion 24 Jun 19 - 07:46 PM
meself 24 Jun 19 - 06:57 PM
Charmion 24 Jun 19 - 06:14 PM
meself 24 Jun 19 - 12:50 PM
Charmion 24 Jun 19 - 12:43 PM
Bill D 23 Jun 19 - 10:29 AM
mayomick 23 Jun 19 - 07:51 AM
Mrrzy 21 Jun 19 - 11:21 PM
Doug Chadwick 21 Jun 19 - 06:07 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Jun 19 - 05:56 PM
Doug Chadwick 21 Jun 19 - 05:54 PM
Mrrzy 21 Jun 19 - 01:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Jun 19 - 11:28 AM
mayomick 21 Jun 19 - 10:49 AM
Stanron 21 Jun 19 - 03:42 AM
meself 21 Jun 19 - 01:05 AM
Mrrzy 20 Jun 19 - 09:47 PM
meself 20 Jun 19 - 07:58 PM
robomatic 20 Jun 19 - 07:04 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 05:50 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Jun 19 - 05:49 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 05:46 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 05:42 PM
meself 20 Jun 19 - 05:27 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jun 19 - 05:09 PM
robomatic 20 Jun 19 - 04:20 PM
Doug Chadwick 20 Jun 19 - 03:19 PM
Bill D 20 Jun 19 - 03:16 PM
Doug Chadwick 20 Jun 19 - 03:12 PM
meself 20 Jun 19 - 02:46 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 01:44 PM
Mrrzy 20 Jun 19 - 01:21 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 12:54 PM
meself 20 Jun 19 - 12:52 PM
meself 20 Jun 19 - 12:49 PM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 12:21 PM
Bill D 20 Jun 19 - 11:54 AM
Mrrzy 20 Jun 19 - 10:22 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 04:15 AM
BobL 20 Jun 19 - 03:08 AM
Jos 20 Jun 19 - 03:02 AM
meself 20 Jun 19 - 01:01 AM
Backwoodsman 20 Jun 19 - 12:04 AM
Bill D 19 Jun 19 - 08:04 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Jul 19 - 11:24 AM

The story my dad told had to do with the field hand coming up to the big house, and the lady of the house asks if he'd like to wash his hands... No ma'am, I just washed my hands against the fence post outside.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Jul 19 - 09:47 AM

Ebbie, certain practicalities make life easier for users of euphemisms. In most European and American public space, hand-washing facilities are always found near the toilets, so if you can't bring yourself to say "toilet" you can find one by asking to do something much more socially mentionable, i.e., wash your hands. In private homes, people don't really want you at the kitchen sink or in the laundry room, so they will likewise direct you to the bathroom, the only other place with running water and plumbing.

I love the genteel way Americans ask if I want to use the loo. "Would you like to freshen up before dinner?" It's so sweet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jun 19 - 01:07 PM

How about making 'rest' room a 'respite room'?

If I asked where I could 'wash up', would someone in the UK direct me to a water faucet? In the US, I think I would be directed to the 'bath'room.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Jun 19 - 11:34 PM

Scouting for buoys = yachting?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 26 Jun 19 - 04:27 PM

There is one reference to bowel movements in "Scouting for boys", under the heading of "How to grow strong", which includes the advice about "having a 'rear' daily" :-

MAKE THE BOWELS ACTIVE to remove the remains of food and dirt
from the body.
Exercise: “Body Bending” and “Kneading the Abdomen.” Drink plenty
of good water. Regular daily “rear."


Steve, your prejudice is beginning to show.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 08:06 PM

A thoroughly unpleasant tome.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 07:46 PM

Hmm. I wonder if there are several editions, or different versions for Britain, Canada and the U.S.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 06:57 PM

Well, you roused my curiosity, and I looked up Scouting For Boys - I'm afraid I didn't find the advice to "keep your bowels open" anywhere in it. (He does advise having "a 'rear' daily", however, which, to a modern reader at least, seems an odd way to put it).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 06:14 PM

It’s in “Scouting For Boys”. He’s quite emphatic about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for that, Charmion - never heard the 'Kybo' brand coffee explanation before. But as for "Baden-Powell's oft-repeated advice" - I would want a citation for that one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Charmion
Date: 24 Jun 19 - 12:43 PM

Meself, if you wish, here is the explanation of "kybo" for which you may or may not have been searching.

"Kybo" originated in the Scouting movement in the United States. This Wikipedia article connects it to a brand of coffee, the tins it came in, and the use of same to sprinkle lye down the privy hole, thus identifying the word as a "backronym" for Baden-Powell's oft-repeated advice to "keep your bowels open".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 10:29 AM

http://www.hurherald.com/cgi-bin/db_scripts/articles?Action=user_view&db=hurheral_articles&id=454

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cSfwq5kjEE


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: mayomick
Date: 23 Jun 19 - 07:51 AM

regardez pour le fake etymology mes amis .


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 11:21 PM

Oh Steve, for peat's sake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 06:07 PM

I didn't really mean ungrammatical!

Rather, "gardez..." translates as "keep..." or "look after..." which isn't as good as "take heed of..."

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 05:56 PM

Are we getting bogged down here?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 05:54 PM

Look up "gardyloo" and you will find many references.

One of these suggested a better option for the original French phrase: "prenez garde à l'eau", which translates as "take heed of the water", rather than "gardez l'eau" which is ungrammatical.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 01:27 PM

Look up origin of Loo you get Waterloo +a note about inconclusive... Cannot find anything that backs up L'eau.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 11:28 AM

In historical novels I've read about people attending their toilet, when it was clearly meant to intend dressing, makeup, all of the particulars to appear in public. It probably ALSO included using the loo.

Here in the states in many public Restrooms one will find stalls with commodes/toilets, will find a row of sinks (here in the southern US I notice that people will ask where they can wash their hands), but you'll also find a few padded benches or sofas in an adjacent area, where you literally can rest if you wish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: mayomick
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 10:49 AM

"gardez l'eau". Interesting origin – how come they don’t call it"loo” or “l’eau” in France ? Maybe it goes back to Norman times – to the days of old when knights were bold etc .


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Stanron
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 03:42 AM

Water closet is still a euphemism. WC for short. What do you want? Defecation and unrinal chamber? Dauc? or room instead of chamber Daur?

Where is the Daur? and you end up outside.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 21 Jun 19 - 01:05 AM

Oh, come on - look up the etymology of the word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 09:47 PM

Toilet is not a euphemism. The others are all euphemisms for toilet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 07:58 PM

Years back - decades, actually - a Scotsman told me about the American who asked, "Hey, Mac - where's the can?" and was told, "Just down the hall you'll see a door with a sign saying 'Gentlemen' - don't let that deter you!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 07:04 PM

And now a song. . .

Way way back well into the previous millenium/ century, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett did a variety television together, and there was a song of mutual appreciation in there where Carol admired her British co-star's demurity (Yeah, I went there) and Julie responded with her admiration of the bold frankness of the Yank:

"you're so 'Hey, Mac, where's the Ladies Room?
and I'm so: "May I wash?'"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 05:50 PM

:-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 05:49 PM

Let's not pull punches. It's a brick shithouse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 05:46 PM

And whilst there are many euphemisms for the place we go to urinate/defecate, many of them seemingly with no explanation, I still cannot understand why Americans refer to it as a ‘bathroom’ or ‘rest-room’ even when there is no bath, and its purpose has nothing to do with taking a rest.

That’s the reason for my query. And it’s a query, not a peeve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 05:42 PM

‘Bog’ or ‘Cludgie’ where I come from.
Doug answered the ‘Loo’ query correctly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 05:27 PM

In Ontario, said outhouse was/is a "kybo" - for reasons that have never been satisfactorily explained. "Biffy" is a common term in western Canada. For those who eschew euphemism, "shit-house" is the preferred term.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 05:09 PM

So, do any of you have jakes in the back yard? I grew up with a summer cabin that had an outhouse. It was a little house with a one-seater hole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 04:20 PM

Let us thank "Big Bang Theory" and the inimitable Christine Baranski character who has no trouble with "I need to urinate".

As for the language problem. There are two different scenarios which we are likely to run into: (1) A generic term for referring to someone respectfully who may have additional non-specified needs: 'Handicapped' may still work, 'Disabled' I think is in common use. (2) More specific terms where means of access or personal considerations are required: I just go straight to the facts of the matter with no attempt at euphemism, but I only do that with the people who are directly concerned. That way, privacy is maximized and anyone who wants to take issue with the wording has an opportunity to do so immediately and directly themselves.
And when I seek to be classless without being very specific, I use the word 'special' based on a manual I once saw at a fast-food franchise that referred to 'special' customers (In that case it was folks who wanted their money back).

In general, I respect individual privacy no matter what the issue is and no matter what I personally think of the individual. Causes way less regret and way less fear of the quiet loners amongst us. In Alaska we have a plethora.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 03:19 PM

"Loo" does not come from Waterloo. It comes from "gardyloo" which was a corruption of the French phrase "gardez l'eau". This was the warning call when soiled water was thrown out through the window into the street in the days before proper sanitation.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 03:16 PM

https://www.influenster.com/reviews/kirkland-signature-bath-tissue-6-rolls-425-sheets-per-roll

I am tempted to go up to the complaint counter at COSTCO and explain seriously... if I can keep my face straight... that I tried their 'bath tissue', but it just fell apart and made a mess in my tub.

[HTML fixed... clone]


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 03:12 PM

Lavatory/toilet/bathroom/washroom/WC etc. are all euphemisms. I don't think that any of them would cause confusion, taken in context, even here in the UK. Surely objecting to one or more of them belongs in the Pet Peeves thread. This thread is about terms used to describe people which makes them feel comfortable or otherwise.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 02:46 PM

"Loo"? Far as I know, it is short for "Waterloo" - am I mistaken? Or is that, um, "perfect sense"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 01:44 PM

You’re avoiding answering the question!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 01:21 PM

Right, technically no tub/shower is a half-bath.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 12:54 PM

Where do you think the word ‘loo’ comes from? Makes perfect sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 12:52 PM

By the way, where do you think the word "toilet" comes from?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 12:49 PM

Oh, yes: "the 'loo" makes so much more sense, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 12:21 PM

The bathroom is the US term but we don't put toilets in a separate room so it's ok.

I know it’s the US term, Mrrzy, but during my many working visits to Houston TX, I’ve heard guys refer to ‘the bathroom’ when they were talking about toilets in shops, offices, bars, restaurants, even public conveniences! None of those that I went in contained a bath, or even a shower!, and when a guy I’m drinking with in a bar asks the bartender “Where’s the bathroom?”, I really don’t imagine he’s going for a long soak!

For that matter, when he asks where he can find ‘the rest-room’, I’m pretty. Certain he’s not going for a lie down and a nap!

See what I mean?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 11:54 AM

Backwoodsman.... and here I thought I had just invented a silly, tedious term. Just goes to show ya' that you can't go to the bottom without finding others have been there first. ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 10:22 AM

The bathroom is the US term but we don't put toilets in a separate room so it's ok.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 04:15 AM

Nobody in the UK calls the toilet the ‘bathroom’ - nobody. Especially in the case of public toilets, it’s sounds - and actually is - prudish-sounding and ridiculous.

For us, it’s ‘the toilet’, or ‘the loo’, or one of several other epithets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: BobL
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 03:08 AM

I seem to remember that once upon a time the accepted term was "handicapped".


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Jos
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 03:02 AM

Whenever the word for something that might not be welcome becomes commonly used, it becomes associated with whatever it is that might be unwelcome, and then another word is found that doesn't sound so bad - until people get used to it.

Then another word has to be found.

When I was a child we 'went to the lavatory' - technically, somewhere for washing.

That turned into the toilet.

Now we are expected to call it 'the bathroom' (sometimes causing problems if someone asks for the bathroom and finds it only contains a bath).

I wonder what they will call it next.

I have even heard someone talking about taking a pet dog out so that it could go to the bathroom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 01:01 AM

Hmmm - is there a rule that the more syllables a term has, the more acceptable it is?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 19 - 12:04 AM

Bill, when I was in Youth Work, working with young people age-range 13-21, we were advised (although not ordered) by our local authority employers to refer to people with disabilities as ‘differently-abled’. It was suggested to us that ‘differently-abled’ indicates a recognition of a person’s disability, but without the negative connotations of the expression ‘disabled’.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language question, not a peeve
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jun 19 - 08:04 PM

"Differentially abled"?

It all depends on context. If one is trying to refer to a generally recognized class of people who have some physical or mental anomaly that they did not choose, we NEED a common term or two. If it involves someone you know or are trying deal with personally, it is good to ask them what term, if any, to use.

I learned about this in the mid-'60s as a member of the NAACP in college and quietly listened to 'people of color' argue in meeting about the preferred nomenclature. It's not up to me, but the answer is not the same in all cases.


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