English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

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Bmblbzzz
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 5 Apr 2019, 6:55pm

Audax67 wrote:Something I have noticed is an increase in the use of incorrect prepositions. Today I saw a headline, either in the Graun or Nature, about a fund being "used from" instead of "used by". Once you start noticing, there are many other instances, everywhere.

What was the context? A fund could be "used from 2015 to 2018" for instance. I would expect Nature pays for proper editing and proofreading, I'm not sure about the Graun.

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 5 Apr 2019, 7:58pm

I tell you what grinds my gears. Politicians that pronounce the word 'negotiate' as neg-oh-see-ate.

In physics there is no in-er-see-er.

When you begin a process you don't in-i-see-ate.

I'm not par-see-al to a piece of cake.

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Chris Jeggo
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Chris Jeggo » 14 May 2019, 12:50pm

kylecycler wrote:Does anyone else find the word 'sabbatical' ridiculously pretentious? In Scotland we call it a 'brek', as in 'tak a brek'...

The word 'sabbatical' has a precise meaning - a year off taken every seven years. It is often used slightly imprecisely, acceptably, but when it used completely imprecisely, as 'brek', it is of course pretentious.

Using 'epicentre' as a synonym for 'centre' is likewise pretentious. 'Epicentre' has a precise technical meaning pertaining to earthquakes, and to little else, so far as I know.

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kylecycler
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby kylecycler » 14 May 2019, 2:34pm

Chris Jeggo wrote:
kylecycler wrote:Does anyone else find the word 'sabbatical' ridiculously pretentious? In Scotland we call it a 'brek', as in 'tak a brek'...

The word 'sabbatical' has a precise meaning - a year off taken every seven years. It is often used slightly imprecisely, acceptably, but when it used completely imprecisely, as 'brek', it is of course pretentious.

Using 'epicentre' as a synonym for 'centre' is likewise pretentious. 'Epicentre' has a precise technical meaning pertaining to earthquakes, and to little else, so far as I know.

That's interesting. According to Wiki it's related to agriculture: "Jews in the Land of Israel must take a year-long break from working the fields every seven years." I guess there must be some connection, language-wise, to 'sabbath' - one day out of seven.

The first time I ever saw the word sabbatical was when the racing driver Alain Prost was sacked by Ferrari in 1991; he then took a year out in 1992, referred to in the motor sport press as a 'sabbatical'. It sounded just as pretentious then as it does now, but I suppose they were trying to stress that he wasn't retiring, just taking (at least) a year out. It's kind of hard to think of an alternative word, tbh - any ideas?

Prost came back in 1993 to drive for Williams and waltzed the World Championship in a car far superior to the opposition, much to the chagrin of his arch-rival Ayrton Senna, who felt that was his divine right. Prost retired for good at the end of '93, Senna took his place at Williams for '94 but was killed at Imola. Without Prost's 'sabbatical', history would have followed a different course and Senna might well be alive today.

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Mick F
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Mick F » 14 May 2019, 5:04pm

Heard The Carpenters singing "Top of the World" today.

Trouble is, Karen Carpenter - as wonderful singer she was, and I'm a fan or hers - why does she sing ..........."I'm on the tarp of the world looking down on creation " ?????

It's TOP ........... not tarp. :shock:
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby DaveReading » 14 May 2019, 5:09pm

Chris Jeggo wrote:Using 'epicentre' as a synonym for 'centre' is likewise pretentious. 'Epicentre' has a precise technical meaning pertaining to earthquakes, and to little else, so far as I know.


Safer just to ban metaphors completely.

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Mike Sales » 14 May 2019, 5:42pm

DaveReading wrote:
Safer just to ban metaphors completely.


It is certainly unwise to use a word if you don't know what it means.

edited to remove superfluous words.

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby brynpoeth » 14 May 2019, 7:00pm

Mick F wrote:Heard The Carpenters singing "Top of the World" today.

Trouble is, Karen Carpenter - as wonderful singer she was, and I'm a fan or hers - why does she sing ..........."I'm on the tarp of the world looking down on creation " ?????

It's TOP ........... not tarp. :shock:

Short for tarpaulin, she was camping obviously :wink:
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Mick F
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Mick F » 14 May 2019, 8:01pm

Yep.
Maybe some of the Yanks don't go camping? :lol:

I know some Americans, and had a few relations (since passed on) and they say/said "top" and not "tarp".

Listen to the lovely Karen. Some of it is "top" but most of it is "tarp"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDPMmaH ... gs=pl%2Cwn

PS:
Doesn't she look thin and emaciated?
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 15 May 2019, 8:44am

Not only does America have quite a bit of regional variation, there's been 40-odd years of linguistic change since she sang.

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Vorpal » 15 May 2019, 9:18am

It is typical of the Southern US accents that many or most vowel sound are turned into 'aah', 'ai' 'aw', or 'aahr'.

so
I feel all the time like a cat on a hot tin roof. (Tennessee Williams from a play set in Mississippi)
becomes
Ah fail aahl thah taahm laahk aah cayat aahn aah haaht ten roof (roof with an oo, as in 'book' or 'hook', rather than 'moon', but elongated like the other vowels).

Words that many other English speakers pronounce with 'a' or 'ah', like 'wash', often become 'wahrsh'. That's especially true in Mississippi and the Delta region.

There are many variants to these dialects, and someone from Texas will have more 'twang' in their vowels sounds than someone from Georgia.

While it can be difficult for folks who aren't from the south/southeastern US states to understand, I think it sounds nice. They are much softer and more musical sounding dialects than most others in English.
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 15 May 2019, 6:31pm

It's not an accent I particularly like, but I'm glad people have varying accents and dialects.

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby kylecycler » 20 May 2019, 5:30pm

@ 7:00 in this video about the 1886 recipe for Coca Cola: "freshly squozen lime juice"...

https://youtu.be/IWYuPE8rkeE?t=420

squozen = squeezed. Doesn't do my head in, though - I kinda like it. :)

(For anyone who doesn't know (I didn't and only just found out), to link to a specific time in a YouTube video, just right-click on the video and click on 'Copy video URL at current time', then paste that into your comment.)

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 21 May 2019, 8:40pm

By analogy with freeze.

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kylecycler
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby kylecycler » 21 May 2019, 10:59pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:By analogy with freeze.

Ah, right enough! :)

I don't really care whether 'squozen' is approved of or not (presumably not, since the English spellcheck (Chrome browser) underlines it in red) - language has to evolve, as it has always done, and I think squozen is rather a nice word (even if it does sound a bit 'off').

I've searched for it on Google and apparently squoze or squozen has been used in some regional dialects for a while (the fellow in the Coca Cola video sounded Canadian, or at least 'north' North American, to me). Ronald Reagan even used it in the 1980s, whatever you make of that.

Someone suggested it to the Collins English dictionary in 2012 but it was rejected.
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/submi ... 48/Squozen