Words you think English should have or bring back.

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:12 am UTC

Sharlos wrote:
Bobber wrote:
Sir Fluffum wrote:Oh, and fortnight should be used more often.
Fortnight and "two weeks" both have two syllables, and when you say "in two weeks"/"in a fortnight" or "two weeks ago"/"a fortnight ago", you have to add an extra syllable in the "fortnight" sentence. (The "a", obviously).
So what I am saying is that it's ineffective, which makes fewer people use it.
Next fortnight/last fortnight is how the term is usually used in my experience.
That still only equals the amount of syllables in "in two weeks", giving no real incentive to use it instead (if efficiency is what is desired, as is usually the case with languages: speakers are lazy).
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Sharlos » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:39 pm UTC

I usually use fortnight for clarity, not efficiency. The term fortnight leaves no ambiguity of when I'm talking about, but 'in two weeks' or 'not next week, the week after' leaves a decent amount of room for misinterpretation if I'm not speaking very clearly.

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Cryopyre » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:35 am UTC

A word that is the opposite of guilt. When we make a moral transgression we feel guilty, when we do something moral however we don't have a word for it. I think of words like noble or gallant but they don't seem as appropriate for every day use or have connotations that are unfitting.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Velifer » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:45 am UTC

Cryopyre wrote:A word that is the opposite of guilt.

Pride?
Righteousness?
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

Velifer wrote:single, double, tripple, quarduple... 5??? 6???? ...137?
quintuple, sextuple ...centumtrigentaseptuple

primary, secondary, tertiary, 4??? 5??? ...546??
quaternary, quinternary, ...quingentiquadragintasestinary.

(or something close. Latin class was a few years back.)


That is actually wrong, but a common mistake. The historically correct terms are "quartary/quaternary, quintary, sextary, septary, octary, novary, decary, . . . "
The more historical word is "quartary," but its usage is very rare now, and often considered incorect, so "quarternary" is used instead. The rest of the sequence remains true to the Latin, however.
The sequence you are thinking of describes elements of distributive numbers, rather than ordinal numbers. This sequence goes "nullary, singular/unary, binary, trinary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, novenary, decenary, . . . n-ary, . . . "

krazykate wrote:yuck.

would tacking "tuple" to the end of words be too weird? e.g. sixtuple, tentuple, one-hundred-tuple
This usage is common in math, but is typically written in numerals, i.e. "6-tuple," "10-tuple," "100-tuple," etc. This is especially significant for the generic word "n-tuple."

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Velifer » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:28 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:That is actually wrong, but a common mistake. The historically correct terms are...

You understand why that statement is problematic? "Historically correct" has little to do with what's right or wrong or acceptable usage today.

The sequence could be "Primitive, Secondary, Tertiary, Volcanic..." with the 546th term being whatever is geologically relevant when we get to it. It could also be a re-thinking of the economic sectors theory, or a new take on baseball. If the problem is with "quinternary" instead of "quintary" then say so. Don't pretend that "nullary, singular/unary, binary, trinary" are correct and "single, double, triple" are not. In common modern usage, the next word in that series is "quadruple."
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:54 am UTC

Velifer wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:That is actually wrong, but a common mistake. The historically correct terms are...

You understand why that statement is problematic? "Historically correct" has little to do with what's right or wrong or acceptable usage today.

The sequence could be "Primitive, Secondary, Tertiary, Volcanic..." with the 546th term being whatever is geologically relevant when we get to it. It could also be a re-thinking of the economic sectors theory, or a new take on baseball. If the problem is with "quinternary" instead of "quintary" then say so. Don't pretend that "nullary, singular/unary, binary, trinary" are correct and "single, double, triple" are not. In common modern usage, the next word in that series is "quadruple."


No, these are different series. I had no problem with your first series (single, double, triple, quadruple, quintuple, sextuple, etc.), but your second series did not use the standard terms. A few examples to explain the distinction: If you say that "triple waves come before quaternary waves," what you are saying makes no sense. Tertiary waves come before quaternary (or quartary) waves. If you say "f(x,y) is a secondary function," what you are saying makes no sense. f(x,y) is a binary function. These are distinctions that are well supported by common usage and historical usage, but they sometimes get mixed up when terms become similar and uncommon, like "quintary" versus "quintenary."

There are two major differences between historic and current usage. The first is the word "quaternary" that has now essentially entirely replaced "quartary," to the extent that "quartary" can be considered almost incorrect. I myself have almost never seen this. The second is the use of Arabic numerals to replace long Latin words, such as "20-tuple" or "15-ary." I would never say these were incorrect, because that would be ridiculous--they are far more commonly used than their Latin alternatives.

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:59 am UTC

The above post is the 20,000th in the Language/Linguistics sub-forum.
Yay!
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Velifer » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:43 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:A few examples to explain the distinction

I have no fucking clue what you're talking about now. There was no place where I conflated the two series.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:34 am UTC

Velifer wrote:Don't pretend that "nullary, singular/unary, binary, trinary" are correct and "single, double, triple" are not. In common modern usage, the next word in that series is "quadruple."


This is what I was responding to. Do you disagree substantively with anything I said? Can you stop trying to viciously attack my character now?

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Velifer » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Do you disagree substantively with anything I said? Can you stop trying to viciously attack my character now?


I think you are making a very big deal about the difference between "quintary" and "quinternary." I'm pretty sure few people will conflate binary and secondary. I'm pretty sure few people will give a damn if anyone conflates quingentiquadragintasestinary and quingentiquadragintasestary.

As for trying to viciously attack your character, no, I'm afraid I can't stop that, as it's something I've not begun.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:22 pm UTC

Velifer, did you read what Eebster quoted you as saying in that post? You were apparently suggesting that Eebster had been saying unary/binary/ternary was correct while single/double/triple wasn't.

That's how I read your post as well, incidentally. After all, you quite clearly said,
Don't pretend that..."single, double, triple" are not [correct]

Eebster's response was completely warranted, I think. You quite clearly either understood badly or explained your objection badly, because nobody had been pretending that single/double/triple was incorrect.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:25 pm UTC

To be fair, I couldn't really follow what was going on either for the most part.
The misunderstanding must have decepted me surreptitiously.
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Dibley » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:27 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:decepted

You may be aware of this, but since you're not a native speaker I'll correct you anyways. The word you want is "deceived".

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:56 am UTC

Dibley wrote:
Bobber wrote:decepted

You may be aware of this, but since you're not a native speaker I'll correct you anyways. The word you want is "deceived".

Thanks :D
I was originally going to write the sentence differently and use "deceptive", so that form got stuck in my head.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Velifer » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:17 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:You quite clearly either understood badly or explained your objection badly, because nobody had been pretending that single/double/triple was incorrect.

I think I did both. I've read again and again, I'm still not entirely clear, but it looks like everyone actually is in agreement and we've been talking past each other.

And to get back on topic, what is a good word for re-re-read? Sounds like I've got a stutter.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:49 pm UTC

Velifer wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:You quite clearly either understood badly or explained your objection badly, because nobody had been pretending that single/double/triple was incorrect.

I think I did both. I've read again and again, I'm still not entirely clear, but it looks like everyone actually is in agreement and we've been talking past each other.

And to get back on topic, what is a good word for re-re-read? Sounds like I've got a stutter.

Reread again? I mean, you could probably tack on multiple "re-" prefixes, but it is inevitably going to sound awkward. Like "unundo" or "dedelist."

That said, you do sometimes see this occur in, for example, "pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism" and other rare words.

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:25 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:That said, you do sometimes see this occur in, for example, "pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism" and other rare words.
Preantepenultimate is another good example.
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:58 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:Preantepenultimate is another good example.

That's a good one; I had never heard that before. It reminds me of the (coined) word "floccinaucinihilipilification," which is essentially made of many different Latin synonyms for "nothing."

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Sizik » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:00 pm UTC

There should be a word that means "against the rules" like illegal means "against the law".
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Dibley » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:20 pm UTC

In highschool, my friends just used 'illegal', which irked me. Perhaps 'illicit'?

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:52 am UTC

Well, "illegal" just means against any specific, formal set of rules or laws. For example, moves in chess against the rules are "illegal moves" and computer operations that are not permitted are "illegal operations." But I admit it sounds odd in the context of less serious or formal rules, like in a school or sport. "Illicit" certainly isn't better. Most people I know just say "legit" and "illegit," though that is as informal as it gets.

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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby icenine » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:19 am UTC

Sizik wrote:There should be a word that means "against the rules" like illegal means "against the law".
Dibley wrote:In highschool, my friends just used 'illegal', which irked me. Perhaps 'illicit'?

Still used in school here... it works, so nobody really minds.

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A tendency in certain people that I think deserves a word.

Postby BjornTheMighty » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:35 am UTC

This is a hard thread to explain. I've noticed a certain... well, tendency in people trying to create a list that supports their point. Normally, one will add elements to the list that, analyzed out of the context of the list, are either entirely irrelevant or would not stand on their own.

Hm. That's a rather obtuse definition. It's hard to explain exactly what I mean.

As an example, a friend of mine was explaining to me the setup for connecting his electric bass directly to his computer.

He started listing all of the things in the setup- the bass, which connects with a quarter-inch instrument cable to his effects board, which has a quarter-inch to eighth-inch converter, which connects to a double-male eigth-inch instrument cable which connects to an extender which connects to his computer's mic port.

What I guess I'm trying to do is find a word/phrase that would describe this, because it seems like everyone does it and I'd like to be able to say "Aren't you being a little [X] in putting the extender into that list? It isn't really as complicated as you try to make it out to be".

Just something that I've been thinking about lately. Discuss!

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Re: A tendency in certain people that I think deserves a word.

Postby TheNextCaesar » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:51 am UTC

Is the word you're looking for "redundant"?
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Re: Words you think modern English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

Or "overcomplicating"?
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby yokdvd » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:06 am UTC

d33p wrote:I've never heard the term "overmorrow" before; I quite like that.

Is there a word for that space halfway between sleeping/dreaming and being fully awake? You know, that spot where you sort-of have lucidity, but it doesn't last very long before you realise what's going on? I'd like a term for that. Maybe "gloaming" or something dawn-related, transitional?


My family always jokingly refers to this as twilight-zoning.
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Kow » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:40 am UTC

I usually call that dozing off, or simply dozing.
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:50 pm UTC

Is there a word for that space halfway between sleeping/dreaming and being fully awake?
Hypnagogia - here you go!
I don't twist the truth, I just make it complex.
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby MagsHeadroom » Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:30 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:
Is there a word for that space halfway between sleeping/dreaming and being fully awake?
Hypnagogia - here you go!

You guys went and got me excited enough to make an account because we finally touched on something I actually know about!
So might I add that hypnagogia (and the state of being hypnagogic) occurs during the transition from being awake to asleep, whereas the term for the space leading OUT from sleep is known as Hypnopompia, or being hypnopompic.
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby clair » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

Is there an adjective form of the noun 'integrity'? "He/she has a lot of integrity" is rather long. My suggestion would be 'integrent', or something similar.

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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby jaap » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:47 pm UTC

clair wrote:Is there an adjective form of the noun 'integrity'? "He/she has a lot of integrity" is rather long. My suggestion would be 'integrent', or something similar.

Already discussed two pages back in this thread.

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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby clair » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:50 am UTC

jaap wrote:
clair wrote:Is there an adjective form of the noun 'integrity'? "He/she has a lot of integrity" is rather long. My suggestion would be 'integrent', or something similar.

Already discussed two pages back in this thread.


Ah. I do feel sheepish.

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Terms english should have, but doesn't

Postby yokdvd » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:53 pm UTC

I was thinking about this today, is there term to use to refer to a nonspecific group of people other than "you guys"?
I know this is trivial, but I'd really like to know if there is an alternative. I don't like this term because it seems particularly inaccurate if you are trying to refer to a group of mostly (but not necessarily all) women. Since there would likely be males in the group I wouldn't want to say "you ladies", and the term "you people" has the unfortunate connotation of making derogatory generalized racial statements. Usage of "You folks" makes it sound like I'm trying to adopt a southern persona.
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Re: Terms english should have, but doesn't

Postby Ended » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:00 am UTC

yokdvd wrote:I was thinking about this today, is there term to use to refer to a nonspecific group of people other than "you guys"?
I know this is trivial, but I'd really like to know if there is an alternative. I don't like this term because it seems particularly inaccurate if you are trying to refer to a group of mostly (but not necessarily all) women. Since there would likely be males in the group I wouldn't want to say "you ladies", and the term "you people" has the unfortunate connotation of making derogatory generalized racial statements. Usage of "You folks" makes it sound like I'm trying to adopt a southern persona.

"All of you"? Alternatively I think "ye" works (but is archaic, obviously).
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:34 am UTC

y'all works for that, as does 'you all' if you object to using a perfectly practical word simply because you think the people who invented it sound uneducated
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:55 am UTC

I'm fond of:

hither, thither, whither
hence, thence, whence

And "thrice".
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Bobber » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:53 am UTC

I use thrice without even thinking about it.
I like the pronunciation of thr-. It's even more awesome if you use a flapped r instead of the retroflex approximant.
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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Dibley » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

I do love 'thrice'. Are there any similar words for higher numbers?

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Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

fourfold, fivefold &c. ?
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