Words you think English should have or bring back.

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Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Luthen » Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:14 am UTC

To add to the words we hate and words we love threads, I thought there should be one for words that English (or any other language) is missing.

I'm sure there's a thread for whether or not "they" is a third person gender neutral singular pronoun, so let's not get distracted.

What got me started, why isn't there a single word antonym for "lying", "telling the truth" is too wordy for me.

Suggestion: Truthing (though it sounds stupid)

What do you think the English language is missing?

I changed the title to reflect the merge with "useful words that have died out and not been replaced", because I think the two threads have a similar theme. Namely, words that you think would be useful for English to have, but which are not currently in widespread use. - gmalivuk
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Chfan » Sat Dec 27, 2008 12:52 am UTC

In before "that thing where you and another person are walking in opposite directions and neither of you go but then you both go and then neither of you and..."

My suggestion for that one: "furium".

Also, a small misstep/mistake: "stnank" really needs to be a word.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Mother Nature's Son » Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:21 am UTC

It seems like a lot of the words we need are antonyms; There should be a word for the opposite of dense. Light is the opposite of heavy, of course, but it's not quite the same. "Not Dense" sounds a bit dens--um, inelegant. I'm thinking something something airy sounding, starting with t-h...thrense, perhaps.
Another one I've wanted for a long time is a really emphatic version of thirsty. Dehydrated has clinical connotations, and while parched is okay, I'd really prefer a two-syllable word that could be used as a verb or an adjective, as a companion to starving. Perhaps we could appropriate crackling, because that pretty much describes the feeling of extreme thirst.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby drop » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:02 pm UTC

I have never been to the states, thus I have to rely on dictionaries and I wonder if you have separate words for glasses. Consequently, I might be wrong. I took a look at the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Drinkware - and apparently there are always "x-type glasses" - wine glasses, beer glasses, and "standard" glasses. In addition there are also two types of mugs:
-coffee mugs made of porcelain
-transparent beer mugs (I find it counter intuitive that they are also called mugs, because usually they are made from transparent glass)

I think it would be better if there were separate words for:
-"standard/tea" glasses (the very basic transparent ones)
-all glasses used to drink strong alcohols (e.g. shot, champagne, wine etc.)
-"cups" - the ones with handles and from strong materials (perhaps "standard glasses with handles" should be in this group too)
-porcelain cups/mugs (the delicate ones)
-beer glasses

Take a look at this picturrr, where I show the proposed groups:
Image


Each of those would of course have it's own divisions (e.g. different types of beer "glasses")

When someone tells me that he bough glasses today, I have absolutely no clue what does it mean. Should I expect "tea" glasses? Shot glasses? Beer glasses? Or perhaps sunglasses?

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I find it pretty funny that in some languages there are two verbs for getting married - basically something like "to get a husband" and "to get a wife". In practice, it leads to many mistakes however (people often say "he got a husband", "she got a wife" :-) ), but technically it's more detailed (after the introduction of gay marriages also makes sense). English is supposed to have many words, but I have never heard of any equivalents.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Alcas » Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

At least in my dialect of English, the delicate porcelain thing would only be called a "cup," never a "mug." A mug is a big, sturdy thing with a large handle. I don't see why it's counterintuitive that beer mugs are made of glass, because the material does not enter into the definition of a mug.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Luthen » Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:26 pm UTC

I know words to describe each of your divisions, except a general alcohol glass descriptor.

First column: glass, second: wine glass, shot glass, whatever-alcohol-is-going-in-there glass, third: mugs (though some of the smaller examples I might consider cups), fourth: teacup, fifth: that'll have a name depending on where you go to the pub, sixth: spectacles.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby drop » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:06 am UTC

Luthen - I knew most the words too, but I find it irritating that both glasses (1st group), alcohol glasses (2nd group) and sometimes beer glasses (hey, beer isnt alcohol ;-); 5th group) are all called "glasses". I think it would be better if there were separate names for each group. Just like teacups are called teacups instead of "tea glasses" or "coffe glasses". In the language I use in general, there are separate words for each of this groups so you can be more specific (e.g. when you say "kufel" it always means the beer glass...; "kubek" is a mug and so on).

Alcas - I would prefer to have a distinction between beer mugs and standard mugs. Personally I think there is a big difference. I dont think you can serve beer in a "standard mug", thus I would prefer different word for each of these groups (in some languages there is such a distinction). If the "standard mugs" were called XXX, and beer mugs YYY the previous sentence would be much easier to be understood - I wouldnt have to talk about "standard mugs" (this doesnt make much sense).

btw. can spectacles be called oculars?

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Alcas » Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:54 am UTC

drop wrote:btw. can spectacles be called oculars?


Nope. In fact, few people say "spectacles," it sounds rather old fashioned. If you wanted to be very clear that you weren't talking about drink-glasses, you would usually say "eyeglasses."
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Kizyr » Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:00 am UTC

I'm sure this has been mentioned in other threads, but I'd really like for both exclusive and non-exclusive first-person plural pronouns. That is, a distinction between the exclusive "we" (me and someone else), and the inclusive "we" (me and you). It only comes up occasionally, but there are a few cases where I've had to specify that "we" didn't include the person I was talking to. KF
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Супок » Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

I agree with Mother Nature's Son; Antonyms.
It might be a limitation of my vocabulary or of the English language, but I find myself getting caught between words.
Because of this problem I find myself saying things like:
"It's not heavy, but it's not light - either way I could not stand around holding this package all day."
After I say this I feel like I haven't adequately expressed myself - less is more?

I'm a native English speaker, but when I sat down to put in my two cents about the "glasses" it took a while because I'd never really thought about it before.
This is more or less based on my experience and understanding of things from my Canadian/American background.

A Glass, A Wineglass, A Shot glass, and so on - they are typically made of glass. I assume that's why 'glass' is in the name.
A Cup would be a non-glass "Glass" and made of a non-brittle material, much like a container that you would trust a small child with.
A Mug is much like a Tea Cup, a container with a thick wall or a handle. Meant for hot liquids like Coffee or Tea.
When it comes to serving Alcohol, everything has a place as well: Wine/Wineglass - Spirits/Shot Glass - Beer/Glass Mug or Glass Cup.
[Beer is rarely served over ice in North America, instead they use Glassware that has been chilled or frozen.]

I think one of the problems with this is that the words "glass" and "cup" were used interchangeably when it should not of happened.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby cooldude76 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:24 am UTC

"What's the name of the word for the precise moment when you realize that you've actually forgotten how it felt to make love to somebody you really liked a long time ago?"

&

"Is there a word for forgetting the name of someone when you want to introduce them to someone else at the same time you realize you've forgotten the name of the person you're introducing them to as well?"

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Two words we should defiantly have. Since we don't.

The last quote already has a word, so I'll not put it here... (find it if you want it)
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby 4=5 » Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:50 am UTC

Mother Nature's Son wrote:It seems like a lot of the words we need are antonyms; There should be a word for the opposite of dense. Light is the opposite of heavy, of course, but it's not quite the same. "Not Dense" sounds a bit dens--um, inelegant. I'm thinking something something airy sounding, starting with t-h...thrense, perhaps.
Another one I've wanted for a long time is a really emphatic version of thirsty. Dehydrated has clinical connotations, and while parched is okay, I'd really prefer a two-syllable word that could be used as a verb or an adjective, as a companion to starving. Perhaps we could appropriate crackling, because that pretty much describes the feeling of extreme thirst.
the opposite of dense is airy. I think.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Bobber » Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

4=5 wrote:
Mother Nature's Son wrote:<snip>
the opposite of dense is airy. I think.


How about "fluffy"? :)
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby krazykate » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:41 am UTC

airy isn't really it, and fluffy isn't either. I like the idea of having a word that doesn't sound dense. how about flathe?

it'd be funny if we could define some words from the Jabberwok.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby poxic » Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:09 am UTC

"Sparse" covers many cases where "dense" would be an opposite, though not all of them.

I'd like a word that means "my brother, his wife, and their kids" or some variation thereon. It should also work for "my sister, her husband, and zero to many kids", or "my cross-gender sibling, hir life partner, and zero to many additional family members".

Sibgang? I like sibgang.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby krazykate » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:13 am UTC

wouldn't that just be "brother's/sister's family"? sibgang is clever though. I like it.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Simbera » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:29 am UTC

More words for "X times" - like once, twice, and (the less commonly used) thrice.

Saying "x times" seems too verbose for me - I propose that it work like the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, fourth, fifth etc) whereby all numbers that don't end in one, two or three (the irregular ones) have a '~ce' to replace the '~th', and have the root pronounced the same way as with the orginal but the suffix pronounced "ss", like it is with the existing ones.

Sample sentences:
"Did you throw up once or twice?"
"More like fource or fivce."

"I went to Melbourne fourteence this year."

<^>
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby drop » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:43 am UTC

Simbera wrote:More words for "X times" - like once, twice, and (the less commonly used) thrice.

Saying "x times" seems too verbose for me - I propose that it work like the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, fourth, fifth etc) whereby all numbers that don't end in one, two or three (the irregular ones) have a '~ce' to replace the '~th', and have the root pronounced the same way as with the orginal but the suffix pronounced "ss", like it is with the existing ones.

Sample sentences:
"Did you throw up once or twice?"
"More like fource or fivce."

"I went to Melbourne fourteence this year."

<^>


single, double, tripple, quarduple... 5??? 6???? ...137?
primary, secondary, tertiary, 4??? 5??? ...546??

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Velifer » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:41 pm UTC

The suggestion I've seen for the opposite of jealousy is "compersion." Let's get that one to have wider usage.

There's a short word in another language (around the South Pacific? I can't recall...) that describes when two people each want to do something, but neither wants to bring it up or begin. I think we should import that word, whatever it is. Better yet, let's fuck with the etymologists and use a word in our language that is close in pronunciation.

In another thread, I saw some handy words in Japanese for "the day after tomorrow" and "the day before yesterday." We can do this in fewer than seven syllables.

I've set up my tent in the "he" as gender-neutral camp until someone comes up with something better. "Zie" isn't better. Try again.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby poxic » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:00 pm UTC

Velifer wrote:In another thread, I saw some handy words in Japanese for "the day after tomorrow" and "the day before yesterday." We can do this in fewer than seven syllables.

Overmorrow is a solidly English term, though slightly archaic. Not sure if we have a "day before yesterday" version, but we might. Anyone know a lot of Shakespeare?

Velifer wrote:I've set up my tent in the "he" as gender-neutral camp until someone comes up with something better. "Zie" isn't better. Try again.

I use "they". When writing, I reformat sentences to use "they" as a proper plural, but in speech I often give up and use it as singular. It's not widely accepted by grammarians, but it's been used this way for a few hundred years or so, I think.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Bobber » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:02 pm UTC

Foremorrow?
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby goofy » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

poxic wrote:
Velifer wrote:In another thread, I saw some handy words in Japanese for "the day after tomorrow" and "the day before yesterday." We can do this in fewer than seven syllables.

Overmorrow is a solidly English term, though slightly archaic. Not sure if we have a "day before yesterday" version, but we might.


ǣr-gystran-dæg ("ere-yesterday"), the day before yesterday

1535 COVERDALE Gen. xxxi. 2 And Iacob behelde Labans countenaunce, & beholde, it was not towarde him as yesterdaye and yeryesterdaye.

Velifer wrote:I've set up my tent in the "he" as gender-neutral camp until someone comes up with something better. "Zie" isn't better. Try again.


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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Velifer » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:22 pm UTC

Anyone know a lot of Shakespeare?

No, but if you hum a few bars...

I forgot about overmorrow and ereyesterday! Each is still a mouthful, but they might be worth resurrecting.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Velifer » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

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.)
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby krazykate » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:12 am 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.)


yuck.

would tacking "tuple" to the end of words be too weird? e.g. sixtuple, tentuple, one-hundred-tuple

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby poxic » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:37 am UTC

It would probably be understood, but you might get laughed at. (Thousandtuple. Heh.)
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby RealGrouchy » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:12 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:Foremorrow? [for day after tomorrow]
No, that's a day too many. I think you want "threemorrow" :wink:

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Bobber » Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:30 pm UTC

RealGrouchy wrote:
Bobber wrote:Foremorrow? [for day after tomorrow]
No, that's a day too many. I think you want "threemorrow" :wink:

- RG>


Ah no, I meant it for the day before yesterday.

I was going for the Danish cognate. (Eg. "i morgen" - tomorrow, "i overmorgen", overmorrow. "I går", yesterday, "i forgårs", foreyesterday, I guess. Or foremorrow. Ah, I don't know anymore. I'm confusing myself here more than anything.)

But I do think that we need words for "in three days" and "three days ago" as well.
Is there anybody that knows of a language that has such words?
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby krazykate » Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:55 pm UTC

maybe we could do something similar to the "tuple" suffix for days using the "morrow" suffix. Then we could have three days from now, a week from now, three-hundred-sixty-five days from now, all in one suffix. e.g. twomorrow, threemorrow, one-hundred-morrow.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Bassoon » Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

Mother Nature's Son wrote:It seems like a lot of the words we need are antonyms; There should be a word for the opposite of dense. Light is the opposite of heavy, of course, but it's not quite the same. "Not Dense" sounds a bit dens--um, inelegant. I'm thinking something something airy sounding, starting with t-h...thrense, perhaps.
Another one I've wanted for a long time is a really emphatic version of thirsty. Dehydrated has clinical connotations, and while parched is okay, I'd really prefer a two-syllable word that could be used as a verb or an adjective, as a companion to starving. Perhaps we could appropriate crackling, because that pretty much describes the feeling of extreme thirst.


Buoyant.

Also, birthdate.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Bobber » Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:08 pm UTC

Bassoon wrote:
Mother Nature's Son wrote:<Snip>


Buoyant.

Also, birthdate.


I've often seen "deathdate" or "death date". A google search results in over a million hits.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Threb » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:40 am UTC

I think we need words for people that are living together, but haven't or choose not to marry. "Boyfriend" and "Girlfriend" just don't have enough "oomph," in my opinion, when you're talking about people who intend to stay together for the foreseeable future.

Also, we need a good word for the vagina -- all of the ones we have, in my opinion, are either too formal for general conversation, too informal, or just plain sound stupid. (I can't remember right now. Is there a word for "either" when you're talking about more than two things?) The ones I dislike most are "twat" and "cunt."

This is relevant: http://xkcd.com/243/

What I want is something somewhere around "nub" and "nipple mouse" on that spectrum. Everything we currently have is on "Trackpoint-Style Pointer" and "clit mouse" (and those words aren't nearly as good as "clit mouse") A friend of mine is in agreement with me on this issue, and we even went as far as to look for established words and slang in other languages to see if a good word was established in one of them. No luck yet, but we didn't check too many languages, either, or go too far into their slang.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby poxic » Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:07 am UTC

Threb wrote:I think we need words for people that are living together, but haven't or choose not to marry. "Boyfriend" and "Girlfriend" just don't have enough "oomph," in my opinion, when you're talking about people who intend to stay together for the foreseeable future.

We have partner, which is fairly close. It sounds overly correct, though.

Threb wrote:Also, we need a good word for the vagina -- all of the ones we have, in my opinion, are either too formal for general conversation, too informal, or just plain sound stupid.

The French use con, which translates directly to cunt but is much less offensive in their culture. It's about as forceful as ass in American English, I think, though any moderately fluent bilingual can correct me on this.

I rather like fanny, but it's British English. Fanny around here usually means butt.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Shimbekh » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

A friend of mine and I have taken the word 'ebble' into our general usage. It describes the act of giving some preemptive explanations for something you else you have yet to say, which often make very little sense until the second part is actually reached. Anyone else guilty of doing this, even if you have found a word for it?

I really don't particularly know why we chose 'ebble'.. but I like it. Spread the word!

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Cryopyre » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:14 am UTC

Ebble sounds cool.

And then there's Krepichy, might be worth googling that word, because there's a definition somewhere in the tubes for it.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby krazykate » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:20 pm UTC

Shimbekh wrote:A friend of mine and I have taken the word 'ebble' into our general usage. It describes the act of giving some preemptive explanations for something you else you have yet to say, which often make very little sense until the second part is actually reached. Anyone else guilty of doing this, even if you have found a word for it?

I really don't particularly know why we chose 'ebble'.. but I like it. Spread the word!


that's kinda cool. what part of speech is it? would you say (verb) "stick with me, I'm ebbling right now.", or would you say (noun) "pardon my ebble"?

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby bbctol » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:58 am UTC

I second an analog for "starve" pertaining to thirst.

Also, we desperately need two words for "we", one meaning "the speaker+other people", the other meaning "the speaker+the audience".

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Bobber » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:14 pm UTC

Yesterday, one of my good friends and I discussed the need for a word meaning "and/or".
We agreed that it needs to start with a vowel for easy pronunciation and use in quick speech, and that it needs to be very short, two to four vowels.
I personally think that one syllable would be best. He suggested the portmanteau "dor", but I'm not sure if I like it, since the "d" would need to be emphasized so that it wouldn't be misheard as "or". Try saying "this dor that" quickly without being sloppy and letting it have the potential to be misheard as "this or that". It's annoying and feels unnatural.

I may be putting way too much thought into this.
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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby Simbera » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:32 pm UTC

^ it perhaps isn't ideal, but I generally would say "slash". In text, the solidus (slash) between alternatives means 'and/or' (which is mildly ironic because and/or is written with a slash...kind of Gnu-isn't-Unix-ish) so if you write "dogs/cats allowed" you mean that dogs are allowed, cats are allowed, and both are allowed. So simply saying "dogs slash cats are allowed" conveys the same thing.

That one sounds kinda clunky, but I can't think of a better example.

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Re: Missing Words, Words You Think We Should Have

Postby csam » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

poxic wrote:
Velifer wrote:I've set up my tent in the "he" as gender-neutral camp until someone comes up with something better. "Zie" isn't better. Try again.

I use "they". When writing, I reformat sentences to use "they" as a proper plural, but in speech I often give up and use it as singular. It's not widely accepted by grammarians, but it's been used this way for a few hundred years or so, I think.

I'm sorry, but has everyone in the English-speaking world forgotten the word "one"? I know it sounds pretentious, but it fills the exact role you're looking to fill. It's gender-neutral and singular. One does what one can. See? Now stop whining.

poxic wrote:
Threb wrote: Also, we need a good word for the vagina -- all of the ones we have, in my opinion, are either too formal for general conversation, too informal, or just plain sound stupid.


The French use con, which translates directly to cunt but is much less offensive in their culture. It's about as forceful as ass in American English, I think, though any moderately fluent bilingual can correct me on this.

Except that con in French also means idiot/jerk, in a sort-of-vulgar way, (probably on the same level as ass, like you said), as in "That guy is such a con", which makes me much less inclined to like it as a word for female genitalia. Though it seems to be a cognate of cunt, I've always translated it along the lines of twat.


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