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Watching Language (Newsletter) #1
Offline   TheFool
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Watching Language

They updated the dictionary recently. They do it at least once a year and add in a plethora (A lot) of new words. Every time they do it there's always the same controversy and as near as I can tell it's been going on since the very first update. It is tantamount to a cultural revolution every time it happens, because the people in power are not the people creating new words. There was a time when "hip" was only a noun and it wasn't the eggheads who edit the dictionary who created that word. Now you can find "bling" in the dictionary and, if it isn't in there already, the verb "cam" will shortly.

We all know that language has to evolve and that there's nothing really wrong with it, if it hadn't we'd still be talking like it was 1500. Still, we all latch on to certain words or, perhaps, rally against certain words, in our vain attempt to withstand the changing times.

That's the easy part of today's topic: What words do you think should be in the next edition of the dictionary and what words do you WISH would never go away or change?

The big important question though is- Do the concepts we craft in our mind become more concrete with a more accurate, specific, word to describe them or does the crafting of these words limit our ability to imagine and create within our own minds as listeners or readers by defining concrete concepts?

That is basically to say, are all additions to the language inherently good, or is the systematic addition of new words simply causing us to have to search for new ways to redefine previously unimaginable concepts? ... and how does bling fit into all this?

Let the philosophy begin!




Words from The Fool:

I've written about language several times over the years. It is a favorite subject, of course. There are a lot of words I flat out reject as being words. I resist the change because I feel that the words do not fit reality and are nothing but passing trends. Ain't... Ginormous...irregardless....orientate... All commonly used words, not in the dictionary, and in this writer's opinion, never should be. Oh and lets toss the phrase "I could care less" on that fire too while we're at it, kay? No foolin.

Posted on: 2011/8/5 0:58
_________________
When we are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
William Shakespeare (King Lear)


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #2
Offline   TheFool
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And before anyone gets to it, I'll hit my words from the fool list of words the fool really thinks are foolish:

Ain't - Ok, contractions are awesome, but IS NOT already has one. Yes, now you don't have to conjugate it into isn't or aren't, but that doesn't make it REAL!

Ginormous - Wasn't ENORMOUS big enough? No? Well you can't use GIANT as a prefix, you just... CAN'T.

Irregardless - NOT A WORD. It just simply doesn't MEAN anything. Regardless... that's the word. They're interchangeable. Using this word is likely to get you mauled in public by angry nerds.

Orientate- THIS word makes FOOL ANGRY. "I am trying to get orientated." NO YOU AREN'T. YOU ARE TRYING TO GET ORIENTED. You can't orientate, it isn't allowed in public OR private so stop trying to do it!

And... my bonus was the phrase "I could care less."

Stop. If you've said that before I want you to promise never to say it again unless you actually mean you DO care. Afterall, you MUST care some if you COULD care less. Most of you will want to use the PROPER form "I couldn't care less." Yeah, go for the extra syllable... trust me, it makes a big difference.

*pant* *pant*

Yours Truly,
Fool, The

(Awesome edit on this post where spell check decided I really meant congregate rather than conjugate. Win!)

Posted on: 2011/8/5 1:06
_________________
When we are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
William Shakespeare (King Lear)


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #3
Offline   Tei
  Witches and Warlocks
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in the actual newsletter, the phrase you put was "couldn't care less" and i'm sitting there going "why doesn't that one make sense?"

my least favorite word? Txt. Txting. To txt. ARGH!!! first, if "text" was a verb to begin with, it would be spelled with an "e." the fact that it ISN'T spelled with an "e" makes it an invalid "word"--last time i checked, words had to have at least one vowel or semi-vowel to be valid!

others i can learn to live with, but the idea of "txting" or even "texting" someone just bothers the daylights out of me! (not only because of the lack of vowels, but because if you're holding the phone already, why not just call them?)

Posted on: 2011/8/5 8:07


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #4
Offline   Rachael
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You're right, Tei. "Couldn't care less" is the correct phrase from where I stand. It's "could care less" that's faulty. (Unless The Fool knows something I dont... Care to enlighten us?)

I love language, particularly English; it's a true art form that can take a lifetime to master, and those who strive to do so can communicate more clearly and express themselves much more robustly. If words are the paint that make up the palette, I say bring on the paint! However, there are some words that I absolutely LOATHE due to their intrinsic value and the mindsets and environments that created them (i.e. urban and redneck slang, such as "bling" or "ain't".) Also, the day netspeak makes it into the dictionary is the day I shoot myself. (Not that it doesn't have its place on the net, mind you.)

Posted on: 2011/8/5 15:44


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #5
Offline   princessbinas
  Enchanters
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they should get rid of those bad words from the dictionary. like s word, b word, the word that is required for a baby and it done by force ones (begining letter for each one s and r) *shivers* good grief if a kid is looking in a dictonary they will come across it and ask the teacher this -> " umm teacher what is *beep!*?" and the teacher of that kindergardner will be embaressed that the child learned a cuss word.

Posted on: 2011/8/5 16:01
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #6
Offline   Yuffie
  The Brotherhood
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There are a few words that just bother me to death. The one that I hate most is 'presentate'. I hate it when people in my class say to the teachers, "Can I presentate next?" It's present! There is no presentate! There's presentation, and present, but NO PRESENTATE!

I get really worked up sometimes.

Anyways, I think that adding new words to the dictionary is fine, but words like 'bling' and 'ain't' just don't belong. Slang words shouldn't be in the dictionary because they aren't words! They're great if you want to go for a certain style, but if you're just speaking like a normal person, then you just don't use them. They shouldn't be there if you can't use it in a normal/intellectual conversation.

@binas: I agree that swear words (words that are the rude forms of common words) shouldn't be in there. But words that you're saying are curse words such as the 's' and 'r' word (that aren't rude forms of words) should be in there. It would be embarrassing for a teacher/kindergartner, but they're legitimate words that need a definition. They're normal words, and they're necessary for some conversations. And anyways, the kid could just read the definition in the dictionary- they wouldn't have to ask a teacher.

Posted on: 2011/8/5 16:47
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #7
Offline   shaz
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Addicting! I cringe every time I see this word. It's addictive, not addicting.

Unfortunately, I cringe a lot, because it seems every game reviewer who's had a good game fall into his/her lap chooses this word rather than its correct alternative.

Posted on: 2011/8/5 21:14
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #8
Offline   Rachael
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Princessbinas - There are a lot of other words in the dictionary that could be just as embarrassing for a child to ask about. (I could think of plenty of anatomical medical terms.) The two you eluded to are fairly tame. If a parent is concerned about certain inappropriate words invading the vocabulary of their youngsters, they could always purchase a children's dictionary. However, I do agree about crude slang.

Shaz - I'll admit I've used both adjective forms of "addict" without ever giving it much thought. However, if one can be "annoying," I would think that something could equally be described as "addicting."

Posted on: 2011/8/6 2:22


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #9
Offline   TheFool
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See now we have two GREAT topics in front of us everyone!

#1: Addicting - Not a word, technically. However it is SO commonplace that is is not flagged by spellcheck and is very likely going to make it into the dictionary as an alternative to addictive.

#2: SLANG! - Bling was my example. Does it belong? My answer is: Yes, absolutely. Slang is "tamed" by being accepted. You see it as counter-culture, but I see it as proof that we are evolving our language. If we removed slang from the dictionary we'd have to remove pretty much half of the words we use today. "Hey pal, how's tricks?" That sentence contains all words now in the dictionary, only one of which is non-slang... but none of us today look at that sentence with the same way we look at "sup homie, how's it hangin?"

Same sentence, different era, different feel, no loss in communication between them. Eventually terms like "Pal" will be listed as "archaic" - but that is fine. Some day our children will have to read the transcript from Happy Days and use a dictionary to understand it.


Posted on: 2011/8/6 3:02
_________________
When we are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools.
William Shakespeare (King Lear)


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #10
Offline   Rachael
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I have no problems with slang per se, only slang that is conducive to lazy speech or thought. Typically, these are the products of pop culture and are used by the masses as a means of refuge from independent thought and acceptance by peers. ...Not to mention that many of them are unnecessarily crude and abrasive to the ears.

Posted on: 2011/8/6 4:49


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #11
Offline   Tei
  Witches and Warlocks
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Princessbinas: if a kindergartener can read well enough to look things up in a dictionary, i'd be quite impressed. another thing--some of those words you've mentioned have an actual application. a lot of curse words don't, but some do. (for instance, one means a female dog, one means a child born out of wedlock, etc.)

also, if curses weren't in the dictionary and listed as "offensive" (because i believe that they are listed as such in all of my dictionaries), how would you know not to use them?

Posted on: 2011/8/6 7:10


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #12
Offline   princessbinas
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i found out when my sister was looking threw a dictonary at school and found it on accident. for me i never used cuss words except on accident when i didnt know better (when i was 8 and didnt know any or any better). my bad cousin was say something during air hocky and said the a word and boom i copied her (she was bad influesnce)! so for doing that i embaresed her and got sent to the corner and i went like "was it what i said?". and on the way to MA i was learning some sign languae from her and i held up my mid finger asking "what is this?" and boom she said it was the f word. plus last year i was scrathing my head and the kid next to me said i was doing it and tattled on me when i didnt know i was doing it! of course i didnt get in trouble but he did. so i never cussed on purpose but im trying to never cuss again purpose or on accident. so how does this relate? if you put bad things in a book when millions of school use it. boom you start up a big iss gather up. all student might go there.

Posted on: 2011/8/6 12:56
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #13
Offline   shaz
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I think it's much more likely that kids at school will swear because their friends or parent swear, than because they see the word in a dictionary. Adding or removing words from a dictionary is not going to stop them hearing it from others

Posted on: 2011/8/6 18:07
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #14
Offline   KTC
  The Brotherhood
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Just because a word's potentially offensive, doesn't mean it shouldn't be in a dictionary. A dictionary is to provide definitions to words regardless how offensive a certain word might be.

As for what should/shouldn't be in a dictionary, it's all rather arbitrary isn't it? I mean, what word gets in entirely depends on who's editing the book in the first place.

Sides, even if 'official' dictionaries don't have a word, urbandictionary got everything lol.

As for pet peeve words, as far as I know, I don't have any. I only know bad english complete with plenty of slang, grammar mistakes, swear words, and chingrish (chinese combined with english) so it's not like I have room to get annoyed with how people talk lol.

Posted on: 2011/8/6 20:46
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #15
Offline   princessbinas
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dont forget people addng gibbrish in to the big old dictionary. who knows one day someone might invent the world's most dumbest word.

Posted on: 2011/8/6 21:10
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #16
Offline   Rachael
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Princessbinas - That has already been done. ...Many times.

Posted on: 2011/8/7 4:32


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #17
Offline   princessbinas
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i think the words in there get dumber every time its updated.

Posted on: 2011/8/7 10:36
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #18
Offline   april33
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i personally think it depends on the individual on which words are dumb and considered "cuss words". It used to be that the a word was acceptable because it meant a donkey's but. it depends on the culture and individual family or person rather or not a word is appropriate or not. for me, a pet peeve of mine is the word cool. not because it is wrong, but because of how much it is used. sometimes words get way over used and get really annoying. but that's my opinion.

Posted on: 2011/8/7 14:42


Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #19
Offline   princessbinas
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gold   1215 Gold
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accally cool is a multi meaning word from what i see its mostlsy an ajective. like in the water is cool not cold.

Posted on: 2011/8/7 16:21
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Re: Watching Language (Newsletter) #20
Offline   Tei
  Witches and Warlocks
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i can't think of a time when "cool" isn't an adjective except for "to lose one's cool". it's just an adjective that has multiple meanings--a temperature on the colder side of mild, or something precieved as intresting. "neat" is the same way--can describe something tidy or something cool. it's just that "neat" and "cool" aren't particularly specific as to what about the noun being described has going for it that is such.

but any word can get overused. i happen to use "indeed," "incidentally," "epic," "bother" and "fail" far too often.

Posted on: 2011/8/7 17:20


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