Search found 272 matches

by Eugo
Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:57 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Literally, Really, Very, Truly, Seriously
Replies: 125
Views: 32920

Re: Literally, Really, Very, Truly, Seriously

I agree that "literally" can sound silly or sometimes isn't needed. But where is the confusion? Decades ago, there was a news headline I heard here, which confused me: "200 tona uglja bukvalno planulo na drvari" (200 tons of coal literally burst in flames at the lumberyard). Now...
by Eugo
Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:39 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Think Before Naming Your Child
Replies: 1622
Views: 349528

Re: Think Before Naming Your Child

Breaks half of the databases out there. Well, there you go. I do. I design my databases wide enough for her :). Fair enough. I do not mean to denigrate anyone else's name. No offense taken. We differ only in our views on what's practicable and what's not. Just wanted to show that in case you took t...
by Eugo
Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:30 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Why do people begin sentences with the word "and"?
Replies: 23
Views: 8423

Re: Why do people begin sentences with the word "and"?

Or am I completely imagining this pattern? (is it OK to begin a sentence with "or"?) Why not? Even when it's not a question. I've encountered many cases when a problem was discussed, along with possible solutions, and the introduction of the next attempt would be a sentence like Or we cou...
by Eugo
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:58 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What causes languages to stop using certain words?
Replies: 15
Views: 4358

Re: What causes languages to stop using certain words?

I got that you were just offering an answer to the OP rather than complaining, but I suspect others have reacted in part to your rather strong overstatement of the prevalence of politically motivated language change in another thread. Now, weeks later, I think it wasn't an overstatement - at least ...
by Eugo
Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:07 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What causes languages to stop using certain words?
Replies: 15
Views: 4358

Re: What causes languages to stop using certain words?

This implies that language is constantly losing meanings? If that's true, then it's compensating somehow, since presumably we can still communicate with the same amount of clarity and precision as we could 1000 years ago. Yes, mostly. If a word loses a meaning, that meaning is either now covered by...
by Eugo
Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What causes languages to stop using certain words?
Replies: 15
Views: 4358

Re: What causes languages to stop using certain words?

1) it is a loss - word has lost a meaning; you may say it's nothing much, and I'd agree, but it's still some loss

2) I'm not complaining. There's a question in the subject of the topic, and I only tried to add one possibility to the answer.
by Eugo
Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:15 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What causes languages to stop using certain words?
Replies: 15
Views: 4358

Re: What causes languages to stop using certain words?

Of course we wouldn't use it now to mean "slightly intoxicated". It's not because we don't want to avoid confusion, it's because the word no longer has that meaning. When a word changes meaning, we don't lose anything. Which part of "no longer has" am I supposed to understand as...
by Eugo
Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:03 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What causes languages to stop using certain words?
Replies: 15
Views: 4358

Re: What causes languages to stop using certain words?

And then there are terms which get politically rectified, or gain another meaning and so become unsuitable for their once use. Consider 'gay' - you can't find it used to mean 'merry' anymore, it's a sexual orientation nowadays. This complaint has always seemed a little silly to me in light of all t...
by Eugo
Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:28 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What causes languages to stop using certain words?
Replies: 15
Views: 4358

Re: What causes languages to stop using certain words?

And then there are terms which get politically rectified, or gain another meaning and so become unsuitable for their once use. Consider 'gay' - you can't find it used to mean 'merry' anymore, it's a sexual orientation nowadays.
by Eugo
Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:24 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Your Own Contribution to the English Language
Replies: 48
Views: 17894

Re: Your Own Contribution to the English Language

Maybe I did invent some words, can't remember - but what I have somewhere in a file is this list of twisted, misconnected or otherwise mangled sayings. 2nd class struggle a completely different kettle of worms let whoever lives in a glass house cast the first stone benefit of the shade of the doubt ...
by Eugo
Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:07 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What's so special about the Philippines?
Replies: 3
Views: 2267

Re: What's so special about the Philippines?

People who live in America are called Americans, and their culture is American. People who live in China are called Chinese, and their culture is called Chinese. People who live in Ghana are called Ghanaians, and their culture is called Ghanaian. So... how come people who live in the Philippines ar...
by Eugo
Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:12 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Think Before Naming Your Child
Replies: 1622
Views: 349528

Re: Think Before Naming Your Child

markfiend wrote:Going double-barrelled (like some people do (for example Hercules Grytpype-Thynne)) wasn't an option as we both have three-syllable surnames as it is.

My wife has two four-syllable surnames, and a five syllable first name, so what. Breaks half of the databases out there.
by Eugo
Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:45 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you choose to mispronounce
Replies: 242
Views: 92778

Re: Words you choose to mispronounce

gmalivuk wrote:Luckily other languages stealing heavily from English always manage to pronounce things so perfectly!

I'd fine them for theft.
by Eugo
Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:22 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you choose to mispronounce
Replies: 242
Views: 92778

Re: Words you choose to mispronounce

Sorry for the pedantry. I'm just curious as to whether you've heard native speakers say "finale" with a pronunciation different from the one I've heard that rhymes with "valley"/"rally". The middle syllable was as you describe it - my initial transcription ("fenne...
by Eugo
Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:44 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you choose to mispronounce
Replies: 242
Views: 92778

Re: Words you choose to mispronounce

I keep pronouncing finale the Italian way, not fennelie. Just can't get myself to pronounce it the American way, except to point out how wrong it sounds to me. I've never heard it pronounced 'fennelie'. I always pronounce it fih-NAA-lee [fɪnæli]. It was always the announcements for the "season...
by Eugo
Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:17 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

There is no meaning of a word that exists independently of how it is used. If someone says "that word doesn't really mean that", you can find out what the word means by examining how the word is used by the rest of the speech community. But in the end, you have to agree on a definition so...
by Eugo
Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:59 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you choose to mispronounce
Replies: 242
Views: 92778

Re: Words you choose to mispronounce

I keep pronouncing finale the Italian way, not fennelie. Just can't get myself to pronounce it the American way, except to point out how wrong it sounds to me. I've never heard it pronounced 'fennelie'. I always pronounce it fih-NAA-lee [fɪnæli]. It was always the announcements for the "season...
by Eugo
Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you choose to mispronounce
Replies: 242
Views: 92778

Re: Words you choose to mispronounce

I keep pronouncing finale the Italian way, not fennelie. Just can't get myself to pronounce it the American way, except to point out how wrong it sounds to me.
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:45 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

See the distinction between two usages in my previous message. The documented usage I have no problem with, it is the "Officer left their car" that I have. Ah, then I misunderstood. It is indeed the "singular pronoun for an indefinite or unknown person" usage that has existed fo...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:48 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

If it was actually megabytes of digital text, actually it is possible to prove or disprove its presence therein. Maybe, if I remembered which megabytes these were. It is common enough, though, that I'm pretty certain it was there. But even if it wasn't, that just means you read a fairly limited ran...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:16 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

No, it is possible to know that there has been a continual history of usage of singular they since 1395. Just because you haven't noticed doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The examples quoted there are not confusing - they generally have "someone who", "every ... ", "those who...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:57 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Singular they. Completely hard to understand, to anyone coming from a foreign language. Perhaps, but is it any harder to understand than the fact that "you" can be both singular and plural? Subject and object, as well? Furthermore, it sounds like it was only confusing to you because you h...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:58 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Singular they. [...] The lack of gender-neutral pronoun in English is an old thing, but it wasn't much of a problem until (for reasons I won't ascribe to any cause) it became one. But singular they has been part of English since the 1300s. This isn't a new development. A forgotten part. I haven't h...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:24 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: One sentence in the languages you know
Replies: 37
Views: 12877

Re: One sentence in the languages you know

Hey there, amazed to see the topic I opened over a year ago is still discussed... back with an easier project. This time, I have a friend who's planning to come to Germany and I've started to send him texts every day asking just that - "When are you coming to Germany?" Serbian: Kad dolazi...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:13 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

For illustration, let's consider four different usage questions, and my personal tastes on those questions. I personally happen to be "liberal" on two of them and "conservative" on two of them (for lack of better adjectives). --Singular "they". I support it, despite na...
by Eugo
Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

He seems to be annoyed automatically whenever I post No, not automatically. I only get super annoyed when you start making things up and claiming they are my implied arguments. Not exactly the case, but I'm not inclined to go back and analyze who said what, when and in which order, across several t...
by Eugo
Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:30 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1991
Views: 488218

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

It takes digital input instead of analog input. Seems fine to call it digital. That's the point, it does not, technically, take digital input. It's a dummy speaker, it actually takes analog input. It has to be converted to analog by the amplifier. It doesn't matter that the sound was stored digital...
by Eugo
Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:13 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Annoying words, and Words You Hate
Replies: 1991
Views: 488218

Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Digital download I hate it. Companies say it to make something sound gimmicky. Have you ever heard of a non- digital download? No? Then stop saying it! How about a pair of digital speakers? Or a digital headset? It should flatly refuse to play analog sounds, if it was so digital. Maybe I should jus...
by Eugo
Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Meh, this post needs work. Does it at least make some sense? :) Actually it does, much more than frontal attacks by gMaliVuk, which seem even worse executed than my claims. He seems to be annoyed automatically whenever I post, so he's probably not showing his best when replying. I don't claim to be...
by Eugo
Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:31 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Just going off the top of my head here, but the "-able" suffix seems to sometimes produce deontic modalities, not merely alethic modalities. "Acceptable" doesn't seem to mean "possible to accept" but rather "to be accepted" - saying that something "shoul...
by Eugo
Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:20 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Pfhorrest wrote:I suppose I actually did imply that there is some "statue of limitations" beyond which past errors become acceptable

Don't know if this was a typo or not, but I like it 8).
by Eugo
Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:55 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Let's face it - today's generation learn to speak partly in school and their own environment, but mostly from TV and web (and other media, to an extent). I don't believe you. "Mostly" from TV and web? Stop pulling claims out of your ass unless you're prepared to back them up. Word "d...
by Eugo
Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Just think of the number of terms which were purged, Stalin style, from the language, all in the name of Basic Human Decency I thought of it, and came up with zero. Must be something about your memory. Maybe your forgetting is better than mine? Take word "foreign", and try to remember the...
by Eugo
Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:04 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be
Replies: 99
Views: 18211

Re: Neither a descriptivist nor a prescriptivist be

Some people, for example popular writers and performers, have a much larger impact on their speech community than others. I don't see this lack of democracy as a bad thing, and I don't see it changing any time soon. I don't perceive this as lack of democracy. The masses will imitate the speech of p...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:22 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)
Replies: 20
Views: 4858

Re: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)

Trend? Is there any rule to it? 2. As a descriptivist (not that you'd know it from my last post/the first bit of this post), I'm not entirely sure what you mean. There isn't really any rule to language at all as I see it other than that speech (generally) should convey ideas. All I meant was that t...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:22 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)
Replies: 20
Views: 4858

Re: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)

It's not random. In one case, "Father" is the name by which you address and refer to the person. In the other, "father" is a common noun that refers to being a male parent. OK, then this is a cultural difference. Here, you can call anyone by the relationship title, but it is not...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:23 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)
Replies: 20
Views: 4858

Re: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)

It doesn't literally have to be their given name to be the proper noun used to refer to that person. See my example again, for instance. I saw it, and still don't understand the capitalization in English. It looks random to me. I have seen words (mostly nouns, but not exclusively) capitalized witho...
by Eugo
Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:12 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)
Replies: 20
Views: 4858

Re: convert... into a more informal style (quick!)

jaap wrote:You capitalise Father/Mother/Mum/Dad/Granddad/etc. if you use the word as your particular relative's name rather than an ordinary noun.

Is there anyone with such a name?
by Eugo
Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Think Before Naming Your Child
Replies: 1622
Views: 349528

Re: Think Before Naming Your Child

The hockey player Roman Polak is neither Roman nor Polish, but Czech. I knew a Hungarian guy with a last name Polyak... which is a Serbian name for the Polish. We immediately nicknamed him Lengyel - which is the Hungarian name for the Polish, and actually a regular Hungarian last name. It feels som...
by Eugo
Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Think Before Naming Your Child
Replies: 1622
Views: 349528

Re: Think Before Naming Your Child

Once upon a time, I sat at a DMW, waiting, next to a girl (who was reading a thick book), just about the age to go for her driver's license. Her father was sitting next to her. Then the officer who just made the license, called out her name: Trillian. Too bad I didn't see what the book was. I'd bet ...

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