Annoying words, and Words You Hate

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Monika
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:19 pm UTC

In Mexico Estados Unidos refers to the United Mexican States and $ stands for Mexican Pesos and that got me very confused.

In German we use Amerika both for the continent (North and South count as 1 not 2) and the USA.

There are 4-7 continents, Wikipedia has a rough list which countries count them how https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent
Anyway there are clearly 5, that's why there are 5 Olympic rings :-P
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:17 am UTC

They're all arbitrary, but any system that separates Eurasia but not the Americas is just being obtuse for obtuseness' sake.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:48 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:They're all arbitrary, but any system that separates Eurasia but not the Americas is just being obtuse for obtuseness' sake.

Right? The only real distinction between Europe and Asia is cultural, the geographic borders that are drawn between them are extremely vague and usually just follow some obscure mountain ranges. North and South America aren't even connected by land anymore.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:44 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:any system that separates Eurasia but not the Americas is just being obtuse for obtuseness' sake.

That's pretty insulting and doesn't make sense, either.

I could also say: Any system that counts South $continent and North $continent as two separate continents even though that's clearly one continent is obtuse for obtuseness' sake.

Additional reason why it doesn't make sense: A system that separates Eurasia into Europe and Asia has already proven that "separated by water" is not the defining criterion for continents, so why should any water, in particular artificial water, be that demarcation line between North and South America and make them into two separate continents? Also, does this mean the British Isles, or any islands (e.g. large parts of Denmark, or Crete) are not part of Europe?

To say it differently: continents are clearly a social construct. Something something historical reasons something something.

Derek wrote:Right? The only real distinction between Europe and Asia is cultural, the geographic borders that are drawn between them are extremely vague and usually just follow some obscure mountain ranges. North and South America aren't even connected by land anymore.

Same question to you: Does this mean the British Isles, or any islands (e.g. large parts of Denmark, or Crete) are not part of Europe? Is Japan not part of Asia? Are Australia and New Zealand separate continents? Is Madagascar not part of Africa?

Panama is in Central America. Tell me: Is Central America part of the North American continent or part of the South American continent or split or neither? I looked at the Americas articles, Panama and Panama Canal articles on the English-speaking Wikipedia and could not immediately find a clear answer where the border between North and South America is, specifically it does not say the Panama Canal is that border.


But something more interesting than continental bickering: when you go by boat/ship through the Panama Canal from West to East, are you in the Pacific or the Atlantic? You're in the Pacific. Really, look at it on a map.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:30 am UTC

You don't have to get so defensive. The argument is obviously that North and South America are divided by an isthmus while Europe and Asia are not. That's really all. There was no subtle attempt to insult you going on there.

Continents are always divided up arbitrarily. Africa was connected by land to Eurasia until the construction of the Suez Canal. Australia is regarded as a continent but Greenland is not. Antarctica would actually be an archipelago if it were not covered in miles of ice. There isn't even agreement on how many major continental plates there are, due to disagreement on the definition of "major" and trouble delineating plates (e.g. the question of whether the Indian and Australian plates should be counted as one or two).

For what it's worth, in English, Central America is regarded as part of North America, since it is north of the Isthmus of Panama.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:40 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:any system that separates Eurasia but not the Americas is just being obtuse for obtuseness' sake.

That's pretty insulting and doesn't make sense, either.

How does that not make sense? The Americas are at least as separate as Eurasia, and clearly moreso geographically. It seems like nothing more than Eurocentrism to consider most of Russia and Turkey in a completely separate continent while treating the entire "New World" as a single continent.

It's fine if you want to count the Americas as one thing, just stop pretending Eurasia is still two.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby chridd » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:55 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:How does that not make sense? The Americas are at least as separate as Eurasia, and clearly moreso geographically. It seems like nothing more than Eurocentrism to consider most of Russia and Turkey in a completely separate continent while treating the entire "New World" as a single continent.

It's fine if you want to count the Americas as one thing, just stop pretending Eurasia is still two.
...or if you want to count Europe as separate, then why are you counting Asia as one continent? Geographically, India is probably more deserving of being its own continent than Europe, and culturally, I'm not sure that, say, Iran and Japan have much in common.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:26 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:You don't have to get so defensive. … There was no subtle attempt to insult you going on there.

Calling the system used in my part of the world obtuse was not exactly subtle.

Continents are always divided up arbitrarily.

Exactly.

gmalivuk wrote:How does that not make sense?

Read the rest of my post, where this question is answered.

It's fine if you want to count the Americas as one thing, just stop pretending Eurasia is still two.

How about no.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:05 pm UTC

Criticizing a single element of your country's educational system wasn't an attempt to insult you at all, subtle or otherwise.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:08 pm UTC

"It's all arbitrary anyway" doesn't mean that all possible solutions are equally useful. A system could consider Australia part of Asia and consider the UK a separate continent, and that would be only equally "arbitrary" in a strict sense but definitely less useful. The system you're describing does not make practical sense. I don't really care whether it's your country's system, your personal one, my country's system, or whatever. My country doesn't use metric, and that also seems to me fiercely obtuse.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Aiwendil » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:45 am UTC

Something that's been bothering me lately: a lot of people seem to be using "equivocate" as a transitive verb, as if it means something like "equate" (and similarly "equivocation" as if it means "equivalence"). I've read news articles, for instance, that say something like "Trump equivocated left-wing protesters with neo-Nazis".

And as long as I'm yelling at people to get off my lawn, there are other intransitive verbs that I keep hearing people use transitively. The one that comes to mind now is "snuggle"; I keep hearing people say "snuggle X" where they mean "snuggle with X". At first I assumed it was some kind of put-on "cute" (i.e. nauseating) child-speak, but after starting to pay attention, I really think these people construe "snuggle" as a transitive verb.

Edit: Thinking about this more, I suppose there are cases where transitive "snuggle" sounds acceptable to me. For example, "Taking the ball in his arms, he snuggled it close to his chest." But my ear definitely demands "I snuggled with my dog all night" rather than "I snuggled my dog all night", and I hear the latter usage frequently.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:02 am UTC

It's been used transitively like "snuggled her head into the pillow" for over a hundred years, but it's true that uses like "snuggled her dog" seem to be new.
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