1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

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J Thomas
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:
dash wrote:I don't get it.


It doesn't make any difference at all if someone uses the word "literally" to your liking, so it's just not worth arguing over.


It's worse than that.

Randall is saying that it doesn't make any difference whether you spend your time arguing about the word "literally" or not. It isn't worth fighting over. It isn't worth stopping fighting over.

He's saying that if you give up this fight, it will make no difference in the world. The opportunity cost of your arguing over this irrelevant issue is zero. If you weren't doing this, you wouldn't be doing anything that made the slightest difference, anyway.

Actually (and also factually and literally), there is no picture with "if you don't give up".


Interesting interpretation!

So maybe the ghost is being prophetic.

This is the future if he gives up.
This is the only future there is. It is the future in which he gave up.
He will give up.

But how is it a cautionary vision? Maybe it's warning him not to promise he'll never give up, or bet large sums of money at bad odds that he'll never give up. Because he will.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby MadH » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

goofy wrote:In all the years I've been talking about this, I think I've seen one real world example that is unclear. I'm not convinced there is any real problem.


Well, I run into this problem all the time when speaking about unlikely events, as I have mentioned before. People I am not friends with do not believe me when I say "literally", and this I presume is due to other people not using "literally" correctly.

I am glad you don't run into this problem, but I am sad that it consequently means you don't think it is a problem for other people. It's barely enough of one for me to care about, but obviously it varies from person to person. Now I am just making a sad face. It's the end of the road as I cannot convince you that it is a problem for other people through my examples. All I can ask is that you think of me next time you use "literally", figuratively.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby bmonk » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:58 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:I think it's an unavoidable truth that whenever there's a word that serves the purpose of saying 'this is not hyperbole', that word can automatically also be used to make the hyperbole stronger.

After all, the definition Google gives me for 'hyperbole' is: "Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally." Surely that means that when we use it in a hyperbole, the word 'literally' is not meant to be taken literally?

But to use it that way destroys it's real use--when I want to say I was literally under a rain cloud (and not just in a blue funk), what word should I use?

An even worse abuse, in my experience, is "unique." Why do we insist on taking a word that has a literally unique meaning, and use it for a function that has a whole slew of possible alternatives, for example: peculiar, unusual, odd, extraordinary, strange, particular, different?

On a different forum, I came across the proper use of "literally":

When we moved out of that building, of course a lot of that old junk hardware and such just got pitched, literally, off the third-floor fire escape into a truck-length dumpster in the alley below. (Admit it, you've always wanted to throw that old glitchy monitor off a high building... but if you haven't, let me tell you, actually doing it is most satisfying. :) )
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby goofy » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:33 pm UTC

MadH wrote:
I am glad you don't run into this problem, but I am sad that it consequently means you don't think it is a problem for other people.


It means I haven't seen any evidence that it is a problem. I believe you when you say that you have friends that do not believe you when you say "literally". If it is a problem, it's not worth getting upset about. You could have the same problem with "really" or "seriously".

bmonk wrote:But to use it that way destroys it's real use--when I want to say I was literally under a rain cloud (and not just in a blue funk), what word should I use?


"literally" plus context, like you just did.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby darkwombat » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:56 pm UTC

Upon further reflection, this cartoon has lasciviously convinced me. Taking this admittedly pan-millenial issue of the irrelevance of proper usage as our example, we can thermodynamically apply its lesson in a more polyhedral manner. There are penultimately thousands of words that we could concupiscently use as modifiers without regard to their virginal meaning. I am speaking completely fractally when I say this. I wanted to clarify that, just in case you were taking my words literally.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:08 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:An even worse abuse, in my experience, is "unique." Why do we insist on taking a word that has a literally unique meaning, and use it for a function that has a whole slew of possible alternatives, for example: peculiar, unusual, odd, extraordinary, strange, particular, different?

I've never seen the problem with comparative "unique". Something is literally, strictly, completely, absolutely unique (or just unqualified "unique") if there is nothing which is exactly like it. But those two functions (number of things which are similar, degree of similarity) do not have to take boolean values, they can be fuzzy: there can be few things which are very much like it, or there can be many things which are a little bit like it, and we'd still want to call it "unique" because there are still few things which are much like it, even if there are some things which are somewhat like it. The more things there are which are more like it, the less unique it is. How else would you phrase that last sentence? "The more things there are which are more like it, the further from unique it is"? Does it only cease to be unique when there is at least one thing which is precisely like it? Is it still just as unique even if there are many, many things which are almost exactly like it, since there is still nothing which is exactly like it?
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby jpers36 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:16 pm UTC

goofy wrote:
jpers36 wrote:
tallest wrote:This use of literally has been around since the 18th century. It has been used by Twain , Joyce, Cooper, Dickens, Thoreau, etc. They are more capable writers than you. Suck it up. Slate


Now that's just silly. There are two concepts I'd like to introduce you to: the unreliable narrator and writing in the vernacular.


You can't just dismiss the evidence like that. You would have to look at all the instances to determine which if any are written in a vernacular, etc. You can find many examples here


The point still holds, at least as far as fictional works. We shouldn't be surveying novels, even novels of the highest quality, to prescribe the rules of interpersonal communication.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby goofy » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:41 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote:
The point still holds, at least as far as fictional works. We shouldn't be surveying novels, even novels of the highest quality, to prescribe the rules of interpersonal communication.


Then how do we determine what is good English, if not by examining the English used by the best writers of English?

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby xtifr » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote:
The point still holds, at least as far as fictional works. We shouldn't be surveying novels, even novels of the highest quality, to prescribe the rules of interpersonal communication.


Fine, here's an article from Language Log (a much more reliable source than Slate), showing widespread use in non-fiction in the 1700s: "...may literally be said...". The simple fact is that linguists who have studied the matter in depth have agreed that there's no problem with the hyperbolic version of literally. It can potentially be confusing, but so can the vast majority of words in English. People routinely rewrite sentences to avoid ambiguity, and those who don't are frequently misunderstood--whether or not they (mis)use the word literally.

People who predict the downfall of civilization because of the (mis)use of literally--indeed, those who insist on calling it misuse despite all the evidence that it is not--are literally so full of excrement that their eyes are brown. It's psuedo-intellectual horsecrap from people who want to appear smarter than they are. Actual linguists and lexicographers know that literally has at least two meanings. People who claim it doesn't, and who try to fight for the "one true meaning" are simply fools.

That's 250 years as a hyperbolic intensifier in formal writing. Which means it's been part of the vernacular far longer. If that doesn't make it an "actual" meaning, I don't know what does. We have word that have completely shifted in meaning in less time than that.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Bluewoods » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:10 pm UTC

undecim wrote:I used gimp and the "Difference" mode to make sure that they were really the same, and found that the two futures were literally half a pixel offset from each other.

Holy crap. I do not want the future to be one pixel off from what it should be!

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby nfb » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:12 pm UTC

Objecting to changes in a word's meaning or grammatical use is nonsensical. If we only used words according to their original or logical meaning, we'd have to change or remove a ton of words from our vocabulary.
A small sampling, courtesy of etymonline.com:

silly (adj.)
O.E. gesælig "happy" (related to sæl "happiness"), from W.Gmc. *sæligas (cf. O.N. sæll "happy," Goth. sels "good, kindhearted," O.S. salig, M.Du. salich, O.H.G. salig, Ger. selig "blessed, happy, blissful"), from PIE root *sel- "happy" (cf. L. solari "to comfort").

The word's considerable sense development moved from "blessed" to "pious," to "innocent" (c.1200), to "harmless," to "pitiable" (late 13c.), to "weak" (c.1300), to "feeble in mind, lacking in reason, foolish" (1570s). Further tendency toward "stunned, dazed as by a blow" (1886) in knocked silly, etc.


nice (adj.)
late 13c., "foolish, stupid, senseless," from O.Fr. nice (12c.) "careless, clumsy; stupid, foolish," from L. nescius "ignorant, unaware," lit. "not-knowing," from ne- "not" (see un-) + stem of scire "to know" (see science). "The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj." [Weekley] -- from "timid" (pre-1300); to "fussy, fastidious" (late 14c.); to "dainty, delicate" (c.1400); to "precise, careful" (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to "agreeable, delightful" (1769); to "kind, thoughtful" (1830).


So unless if you want to argue that the sentence "I think we'd all be sillier of we acted less nice" should make perfect sense... :wink:

Also, for those suggesting there is no replacement word for the current meaning of 'literally':

actually (adv.)
early 15c., "in fact, in reality" (as opposed to in possibility), from actual + -ly (2). Meaning "actively, vigorously" is from mid-15c.; that of "at this time, at present" is from 1660s. As an intensive added to a statement and suggesting "as a matter of fact, really, in truth" it is attested from 1762.


:D

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby SerMufasa » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:11 am UTC

Y'all were literally nerd-sniped.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby JimsMaher » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:18 am UTC

BrianB wrote:
JimsMaher wrote:Not sure on the math here, but they appear to be offset by figuratively closer to 181 pixels.

In lieu of sharing an action file, instructions for Photoshop CSx.x:
    0: Make sure rulers are shown on edges (ctrl+R) and literally drag a line from the vertical ruler to the middle of the image. (px365)
    1: Select the left half of the image, literally snapping to the middle. (Rectangular Marquee)
    2: Literally Copy. ...
    3: Literally Paste. (Paste)
    4: Layers Tab - change "Normal" to "Difference". (Blending Change) ... the left half of the image should be literally all black.
    5: Filter > Other > Offset ... Horizontal: +181 pixels right, literally. (Offset)

The half a pretzel final offset seems to be more like a third a pretzel, maybe even a quarter pretzel. I'm hungry.

Regardless, the pretzel shift is an artifact of copy-pasting by hand (not with the Offset tool), while having disabled in some relevant manner the Snap To function (View > Snap/Snap To > etc, etc.)


You "literally" mis-understood. Take the middle two frames, overlay them on each other on different layers, and do a difference. They are exact same images with a slight sub-pixel shift to one side.

This would happen because the original artwork was larger, and the two frames were not aligned on pixel boundaries that are multiples of the inverse of the scaling factor. (ie. if image was reduced to 50%, then the absolute offset of the frames should be a multitude of 2 pixels. For 25%, offset should be a multiple of 4 pixels, etc).

The reduction process is not a simple decimation, but rather a re-sample. So you can have an effective offset that is less than a full pixel.


Did you just? Yes, you did. You just said I misunderstood by misunderstanding what I was saying. And then proceed to ... sigh. You should've stopped at "were not aligned".

Granted, I was trying to be clever in my approach to the correction. The entire panels are offset by ≈181 pixels from each other (±) ... 181, not merely a half a pixel ... too clever by half ... I did however literally misunderstand your ability to get my clever approach when tossing my professional understanding into the mix.

None the less, there is no resizing. The images are figurally/literatively the same size. The solid lines line up perfectly, it is only in the greys that there is a shift, and the shift is well fixed within the greys. i.e. no whites turn grey. Basically it's differences of 76-78 and 32-34, yielding around about 45± across the board. And only in those greys.

Anti-aliasing shuffles things about so could it be "resized" by half a pixel? As the image shifts when moving a layer about a fixed background, the pixels will migrate via a gamut shift from one grid location to the adjacent location. When the image has been moved one full pixel, then the image is set at the exact same pixel values, only offset by that one full pixel in location of pixel values. The greys in this case have migrated only slightly, yet do not occupy any "new" location. In even simpler terms: Every white is still white, every grey is still grey, and every black is still black. Some of the greys have been adjusted due to <insert explanation here>.

It's all speculation without verification of what program, settings, and method were used.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:11 am UTC

JimsMaher wrote: ....
None the less, there is no resizing. The images are figurally/literatively the same size. The solid lines line up perfectly, it is only in the greys that there is a shift, and the shift is well fixed within the greys. i.e. no whites turn grey. Basically it's differences of 76-78 and 32-34, yielding around about 45± across the board. And only in those greys.

.... The greys in this case have migrated only slightly, yet do not occupy any "new" location. In even simpler terms: Every white is still white, every grey is still grey, and every black is still black. Some of the greys have been adjusted due to <insert explanation here>.

....


So you're saying, the two images are very subtly different. The whites are still white, the blacks are still black, but some of the gray areas have shifted a little bit.

Could this be part of the metaphor or is it probably an accident?
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby XopherHalftongue » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:15 am UTC

We'll give up the fight about 'literally' when you give up the fight about "well, outside Earth's atmosphere there's nothing to push against, so rockets can't go anywhere" and "Sure we can go faster than light...we just need bigger engines."

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby slimeone » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:56 am UTC

from what I remember......
LITERALLY is as it is written/said. Harry potter went to Hogwarts, literally.
This does not need to be real or what happened, just what has been recorded, we are repeating it.

ACTUALLY is what has happened, Harry potter did not actually go to Hogwarts as the school does not exist.
This is a word for events and actions and what is real, whether recorded as such or not.

Bible reference....... Esau was literally a hairy man.
Actual.......... the bible is actually a book written by people, we don't know how accurate it is as to how much hair one man had. Esau could have actually been naturally bald or not have existed at all.

I kind of like the misuse, I find it kind of fun. :mrgreen:

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby noodle » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:26 am UTC

Sad as it may seem, this kind of verbal death has been going on long as there have been words.

Best recent example (mentioned in passing already): unique

We all know it simply no longer means "the only example of its kind in existence". It just doesn't mean that anymore. There's now no way in the English language to say that succinctly.

Except of course, to say "it is literally unique...."

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby SerMufasa » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:31 pm UTC

noodle wrote:Sad as it may seem, this kind of verbal death has been going on long as there have been words.


Language evolves. If it doesn't it dies. There are words that now mean the exact opposite of what they used to mean (there's a famous example - "nice" maybe? - but it's eluding me).

Now just get me separate 2nd person pronouns and I'll be happy again.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:There are words that now mean the exact opposite of what they used to mean (there's a famous example - "nice" maybe? - but it's eluding me).

I like the fact that "girl" originally meant a child of either gender. And, as I found out today, "harlot" comes from an Old French (I think) word meaning "young man". The meaning change went "young man" -> "beggar" -> "lecherous person" -> "prostitute" -> "promiscuous woman".

Yeah, language is funny.

Also, in response to all the fuss about the change in meaning of "literally" taking away the ability to communicate that something isn't hyperbole: what about "actually"?
any pronouns
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby goofy » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:30 pm UTC

noodle wrote:Sad as it may seem, this kind of verbal death has been going on long as there have been words.

Best recent example (mentioned in passing already): unique

We all know it simply no longer means "the only example of its kind in existence". It just doesn't mean that anymore.


Yes of course it still means that. One word can have more than one meaning.

Unique has at least four meanings: "the only one, sole, single", "having no like or equal", "distinctively characteristic, peculiar", and "unusual, rare, distinctive".

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:01 pm UTC

noodle wrote:We all know it simply no longer means "the only example of its kind in existence". It just doesn't mean that anymore.

In Maths, at least, it definitely means that.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

noodle wrote:Best recent example (mentioned in passing already): unique

We all know it simply no longer means "the only example of its kind in existence". It just doesn't mean that anymore. There's now no way in the English language to say that succinctly.


Alfred Korzybski, the philosopher, wanted to stress that each individual instance has its own special existence and we continually abstract out things that look similar and then think about the abstractions. He wanted to remind people to remember that. "This little girl, different from every other little girl in the universe.... This chrysanthemum, different from every other chrysanthemum in the universe.... This unemployment statistic, different from every other employment statistic in the universe...." He wanted to include that caveat plus some others continually through his writing, but it got tedious. So he took his most common warnings and expressed them as a kind of shorthand. ,, had one meaning, and ,; another, and so on. So his writing was peppered with these punctuations that look kind of bizarre until you get used to them.

If we took that up, we could retire a bunch of punctuation rules. ,, wouldn't be a misspelling, it would just be reminding people that something was unique. I don't think you're going to get much more concise than that, either.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby _rq » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

I'd argue that no subset of words or phrases could ever be effectively excluded from a potential figurative use, so as long as figurative speech (in its many layers) exists, there will be no word truly indicating reference by itself. only the context may tell in what regard something is believable. this will beyond language include the circumstances and the recipient's knowledge. it's not a question of semantics, but one of pragmatics. that's why this is so hard for androids.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby xtifr » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:08 pm UTC

XopherHalftongue wrote:We'll give up the fight about 'literally' when you give up the fight about "well, outside Earth's atmosphere there's nothing to push against, so rockets can't go anywhere" and "Sure we can go faster than light...we just need bigger engines."

What you fail to realize is that you're on the same side as the people who think rockets can't work, or that going faster than the speed of light is simply a matter of sufficient acceleration: you're objectively wrong! Granted, Linguistics isn't as simple or clear-cut of a science as physics, but by any reasonable measure, "literally" displays polysemy, and one of its meanings is hyperbolic emphasis. It's been used that way for at least 250 years. In formal writing. Across the entire Anglosphere. Claims that it only has (or should have) one meaning have about as much reality behind them as claims that bigfoot and nessie are behind the international banking conspiracy.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby SerMufasa » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:29 am UTC

xtifr wrote: "literally" displays polysemy


I don't know what polysemy means, so I'm going to start using it to mean "sparkles". Hopefully it'll catch on.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby goofy » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:53 am UTC

xtifr wrote:What you fail to realize is that you're on the same side as the people who think rockets can't work, or that going faster than the speed of light is simply a matter of sufficient acceleration: you're objectively wrong! Granted, Linguistics isn't as simple or clear-cut of a science as physics, but by any reasonable measure, "literally" displays polysemy, and one of its meanings is hyperbolic emphasis. It's been used that way for at least 250 years. In formal writing. Across the entire Anglosphere. Claims that it only has (or should have) one meaning have about as much reality behind them as claims that bigfoot and nessie are behind the international banking conspiracy.


Thank you.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:39 am UTC

xtifr wrote:
XopherHalftongue wrote:We'll give up the fight about 'literally' when you give up the fight about "well, outside Earth's atmosphere there's nothing to push against, so rockets can't go anywhere" and "Sure we can go faster than light...we just need bigger engines."

What you fail to realize is that you're on the same side as the people who think rockets can't work, or that going faster than the speed of light is simply a matter of sufficient acceleration: you're objectively wrong! Granted, Linguistics isn't as simple or clear-cut of a science as physics, but by any reasonable measure, "literally" displays polysemy, and one of its meanings is hyperbolic emphasis. It's been used that way for at least 250 years. In formal writing. Across the entire Anglosphere. Claims that it only has (or should have) one meaning have about as much reality behind them as claims that bigfoot and nessie are behind the international banking conspiracy.


Claims that it has only one meaning are clearly wrong.

Claims that it should have only one meaning are not wrong. They are in a different domain from right and wrong.

Ideas about what "should" be are judgements that people get to make. They are not subject to correction. If one person believes that the international banking conspiracy *should* be run by bigfoot and nessie, while another believes that there *should* not be any international banking conspiracy at all, and a third person believes that wishes *should* be horses, none of them are objectively right or wrong.

This is a fact.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Netzach » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:57 pm UTC

Zinho wrote:If you're looking for actual career advice, you've perhaps come to the wrong place. Informally, though, I'll take a shot at answering...


Thank you, that was really informative, but the main question remains. How do I translate bokstavligen into English, i. e. what do I use when I want to literally say "literally" without the hyperboles and exaggerations?

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:10 pm UTC

Netzach wrote:
Zinho wrote:If you're looking for actual career advice, you've perhaps come to the wrong place. Informally, though, I'll take a shot at answering...


Thank you, that was really informative, but the main question remains. How do I translate bokstavligen into English, i. e. what do I use when I want to literally say "literally" without the hyperboles and exaggerations?


I would say, go ahead and say "literally" in a context where it doesn't sound like you intend hyperbole or exaggeration.

The speaker is sober and solemn.
(Or if he's drunk, he's talking to a police officer and not predisposed to say things that can get him in trouble.)

Or he is a speaker at a scientific meeting, or discussing a science topic in ways that don't make him look like he's making fun of it.

Perhaps note that he looks the listener in the eye. He might mention that he is not joking.

Of course there's always the possibility that he does indeed intend hyperbole. But in some contexts it isn't hyperbole, it's lies. Is this a person who would tell lies in this situation?

If the particular situation you are translating is one where there should be genuine doubt whether the speaker is exaggerating or lying, versus telling the literal truth, then it will be very hard to make the language show which way he means it.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby SerMufasa » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:34 pm UTC

Self-Stolen from the Pressures thread, but it probably works better here

SerMufasa wrote:Wow, I can't believe y'all are still going at it.

Someone take today's cartoon and change it to "and this is the future where the Pressures thread ends in agreement for all parties"
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby rylon » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:16 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:For one thing, that's not hyperbole. It's just plain misuse. But, heck, while we're at it, why not give up over "comprised of," " very unique," "consensus" vs "concensus", "consensus of opinion," "begs the question [followed by a new question]," usage of "you and I" vs "you and me" as subjects and objects, "impact" vs "effect" vs "affect," ... I'm too tired already to list any more.
Actually, we should give-up on those.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby bmonk » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:26 am UTC

rylon wrote:
cellocgw wrote:For one thing, that's not hyperbole. It's just plain misuse. But, heck, while we're at it, why not give up over "comprised of," " very unique," "consensus" vs "concensus", "consensus of opinion," "begs the question [followed by a new question]," usage of "you and I" vs "you and me" as subjects and objects, "impact" vs "effect" vs "affect," ... I'm too tired already to list any more.
Actually, we should give-up on those.

But when they are misused in a formal context, can I then ignore the speaker (or writer) as an ingoramous and discount what is said?
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:00 am UTC

bmonk wrote:
rylon wrote:
cellocgw wrote:For one thing, that's not hyperbole. It's just plain misuse. But, heck, while we're at it, why not give up over "comprised of," " very unique," "consensus" vs "concensus", "consensus of opinion," "begs the question [followed by a new question]," usage of "you and I" vs "you and me" as subjects and objects, "impact" vs "effect" vs "affect," ... I'm too tired already to list any more.
Actually, we should give-up on those.

But when they are misused in a formal context, can I then ignore the speaker (or writer) as an ingoramous and discount what is said?


Yes, you can. In fact you can ignore the speaker (or writer) as an ignoramus and discount what is said if he merely says things you don't want to hear. There is lot of that going around.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:22 am UTC

J Thomas wrote:Ideas about what "should" be are judgements that people get to make. They are not subject to correction. [...] This is a fact.

No, it is your opinion, and it is incorrect.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Mirkwood » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:06 am UTC

Opinions are indirectly subject to correction, because (good) opinions are derived from facts. It's awkward to call an opinion incorrect, but you achieve the same thing by calling the underlying facts incorrect.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Brillig » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:21 am UTC

"This is the future."

"This is the future in which you beat your wife to death with a pestle and mortar and were given a life sentence."

Just because something isn't epoch-changing doesn't make it a poor choice.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:23 am UTC

Facts aren't correct or incorrect, they just exist or they don't. An opinion is correct which states the facts. There are no incorrect facts: only incorrect statements of fact, or incorrect assessments of fact, i.e. incorrect opinions.

(I'm playing a bit loose with the term "fact" here allowing for there to be such a thing as "moral facts", which I would state is strictly not correct: a correct prescriptive proposition [that is to say, what is proposed, not the proposal of it] is not a fact, it's a norm; a fact per se is inherently descriptive.)
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:51 am UTC

Netzach wrote:How do I translate bokstavligen into English, i. e. what do I use when I want to literally say "literally" without the hyperboles and exaggerations?

Any English word could become involved in an undeclared (and self-repudiating) sarcasm contest. You probably have to have personal knowledge of your audience.

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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby J Thomas » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:42 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
J Thomas wrote:Ideas about what "should" be are judgements that people get to make. They are not subject to correction. [...] This is a fact.

No, it is your opinion, and it is incorrect.


I was being whimsical with that last sentence.

Of course, that was a judgement and not in the domain of right and wrong. You can believe in the (patently ridiculous) judgement that some judgements are right while others are wrong, and your judgement will not be right or wrong any more than mine is.


Mirkwood wrote:Opinions are indirectly subject to correction, because (good) opinions are derived from facts. It's awkward to call an opinion incorrect, but you achieve the same thing by calling the underlying facts incorrect.


Judgements are not opinions about facts. Judgements can be somehow related to facts, but they do not depend on facts.

"Hitler died in 1945." This is an opinion about fact. Maybe strong evidence will come out that Hitler escaped to Argentina and died in 1972. Maybe further strong evidence will come out that Hitler really died in Germany in 1945. How do we decide which facts are true? To some extent we can let the facts fight it out.

"Hitler should have died in 1932." This is a judgement. Facts can be dragged in to support or oppose it. Each person who cares can judge which side those facts support.
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Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

Postby orthogon » Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:47 pm UTC

SerMufasa wrote:
xtifr wrote: "literally" displays polysemy


I don't know what polysemy means, [...]


In that case, you need to read Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.


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