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Folklore: What's it called when...?

GUEST,Les B. 29 Oct 07 - 06:03 PM
Micca 29 Oct 07 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,sparticus 29 Oct 07 - 06:20 PM
Melissa 29 Oct 07 - 06:43 PM
greg stephens 29 Oct 07 - 07:10 PM
Melissa 29 Oct 07 - 07:25 PM
Betsy 29 Oct 07 - 07:27 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Oct 07 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Les B. 29 Oct 07 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,John of the Hill 29 Oct 07 - 08:16 PM
catspaw49 29 Oct 07 - 08:22 PM
Bryn Pugh 30 Oct 07 - 07:17 AM
Fidjit 30 Oct 07 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Dáithí 30 Oct 07 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,leeneia 30 Oct 07 - 09:50 AM
Snuffy 30 Oct 07 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Chris Murray 30 Oct 07 - 12:01 PM
Little Robyn 30 Oct 07 - 02:54 PM
Hamish 30 Oct 07 - 02:59 PM
Bat Goddess 30 Oct 07 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 30 Oct 07 - 04:05 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 30 Oct 07 - 04:11 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 07 - 04:13 PM
John Hardly 30 Oct 07 - 04:19 PM
astro 30 Oct 07 - 04:25 PM
Bat Goddess 30 Oct 07 - 06:04 PM
Rowan 30 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 07 - 08:09 PM
oldhippie 30 Oct 07 - 08:15 PM
M.Ted 30 Oct 07 - 09:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 07 - 09:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 07 - 10:02 PM
GUEST 30 Oct 07 - 10:18 PM
Songster Bob 30 Oct 07 - 10:21 PM
Rowan 30 Oct 07 - 10:39 PM
Rowan 30 Oct 07 - 10:41 PM
Jim Lad 30 Oct 07 - 11:07 PM
Santa 31 Oct 07 - 06:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Oct 07 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Songster Bob 31 Oct 07 - 04:15 PM
Rowan 31 Oct 07 - 05:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Oct 07 - 08:44 PM
Gurney 01 Nov 07 - 02:36 AM
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Subject: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:03 PM

OK all you librarians, dictionary thumpers and English majors out there: What's it called when you have one of those reversal of word/idea sort of sayings, like "Not blind resistance to progress, but resistance to blind progress" or, from a pop song, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with". There must be a term for this type of statement ?

Also, not quite the same, but one I hear frequently is the 80/20 rule - "80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 percent of the population" etc. What's that type of saying called ???


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Micca
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:15 PM

Lies???


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,sparticus
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:20 PM

Catch-phrases??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 06:43 PM

Word-Play?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 07:10 PM

I think it's called contrapetrie in French.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Melissa
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 07:25 PM

I think the 'blind progress' example would be Juxtaposition.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Betsy
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 07:27 PM

Bollocks


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 07:43 PM

I don't know the answer, but I can recommend a book where you might find the answer: it's called "The Garden of Eloquence: A Rhetorical Bestiary," by Willard R Espy and Henry Peacham. The book catalogs many different kinds of figures of speech, and illustrates them with quotes and clever original poems.

Wikipedia also has an impressive list of figures of speech.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 08:01 PM

Jim - Thanks for the heads up on the "...Rhetorical Bestiary," that sounds like it may have the answer I'm seeking. I had thought of Wikipedia, but didn't know how to approach it. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,John of the Hill
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 08:16 PM

From wikipedia's list of figures of speech, try antimetabole, though it might be less than you seek Les B.

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Oct 07 - 08:22 PM

Fucked up

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 07:17 AM

Betsy and 'Spaw - LOL.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Fidjit
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 08:13 AM

Betsy and Catspaw.
He wants to know what they are called. Not what they are.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,Dáithí
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 09:22 AM

..and the 80% thing you refer to is usually known as the 80/20 Rule..or more properly Pareto's Rule, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 09:50 AM

Les B'., I believe the examples you gave include so many different permutations of grammar that no one rhetorical term could cover them all. Actually, I have never been interested in the names for figures of speech, so I can't be sure.


One of my favorites:

There is a lot of difference between a horse chestnut and a chestnut horse.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 10:01 AM

In theory there's not a lot of difference between practice and theory, but in practice there is.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 12:01 PM

Diane'll know.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 02:54 PM

Wot about Sturgeon's law - "90% of everything is crud" (or cr*p).
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Hamish
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 02:59 PM

Stop me before I turn this into a "What's the difference between..." thread. (As in seagulls and a baby without a nappy (diaper to you across the pond) One flits along the floor...)

Sorry!

--
Hamish


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 03:03 PM

I just queried a friend who, just last Friday, introduced me to the word "isogloss" -- meaning the geographical boundary of a certain linguistic feature (such as the pronunciation of a vowel). Another one of those things that you just know there has to be a word for.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 04:05 PM

It seems to be called antimetabole, as Wikipedia has it.

It is also part of a form of witticism that I heard about on NPR recently (someone has published a book of his favorite examples) except I can't think of what the form is called! Dang it!

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 04:11 PM

"If you can't be with the one you love, take a cold shower." That phrase has no categorical name. And, it doesn't rhyme, it's just sage advice. What is this undending human need to categorize and label every trivial thing?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 04:13 PM

"What is this unending human need to categorize and label every trivial thing?"

It's called, "This unending human need to categorize and label every trivial thing?" ... also called, "being human."

Next question?


Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: John Hardly
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 04:19 PM

All Birches are Beeches, but not all Beeches are Birches.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: astro
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 04:25 PM

Now you are doing math....

Astro....necessary but not sufficient...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 06:04 PM

"What is this unending human need to categorize and label every trivial thing?"

If there isn't a word for something, the CONCEPT doesn't exist because it can't be described.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM

Many years ago, when I read of Sammy Davis Junior being prosecuted for marrying someone (whose name I forget) who was "white", I discovered the words "miscegenation" and "antimiscegenation". Not long after that event there was a rather famous (in OZ, and perhaps "infamous" might be better) case involving a Professor of Philosophy allegedly having an affair with his student. One of the more thoughtful commentators used a word to describe such a relationship that I couldn't pick up completely, over the radio and I've never been able to track it down since.

I'm well aware that paedophilia describes the most common form of such relationships (when between adults and minors) but this was between consenting adults. I'm also aware that most tread a fine line between being exploitative power relationships and emotionally fulfilling, long term ones but I'm still looking for that one word that was used.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 08:09 PM

I think "chiasmus" is the term for the first example Les B gave - "reversal of grammatical structures or ideas in successive phrases or clauses" (from here - Figures of Speech.)

And here is a website "Dedicated to making chiasmus a household word", with lots of examples.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: oldhippie
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 08:15 PM

LesB said: "Also, not quite the same, but one I hear frequently is the 80/20 rule - "80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 percent of the population" etc. What's that type of saying called ??? "

Reminds me of Steve Gilette's "Wumper".....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: M.Ted
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 09:25 PM

The whole point of language is to provide names for things, and hence, a means for delineating the relationship between things. I would humbly state to TJ that it is a little late to raise objections to creating a language. Once it's done, it's done (that, I think, is a tautology). Unfortunately, you would have to create a language before you could discuss whether or not to create a language, which is a paradox.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 09:55 PM

Giving names to streets and numbers to houses helps us find our way around towns and cities. It's much the same with language and ideas.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 10:02 PM

As for Rowans's question, this online Reverse Dictionary came up with the word "alphamegamia", which seems to fit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 10:18 PM

Speech from Demoratic hopefuls.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 10:21 PM

From Wikipedia, again, "In rhetoric, antimetabole is the repetition of words in successive clauses, but in reverse grammatical order (ex: "I know what I like, and like what I know"). It is similar to chiasmus although chiasmus does not use repetition of the same words or phrases."

Note that chiasmus "does not use repetition of the same words...."

This talk of language reminds me of something that used to bother me in school. The teacher would ask, "If you call a dog's tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?"

The student would answer, "Five."

The teacher would then say, "No. Calling it a leg doesn't make it a leg."

But, to me, "calling it a leg" DOES make it a leg, if the "you" in the question means the collective "you." If ENOUGH people call something by a label, then that label is what it is!

So, how many people does it take to make this true?


Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 10:39 PM

Thanks McGrath,
You're a treasure.

Songster Bob,
"If ENOUGH people call something by a label, then that label is what it is!
"

I suspect the answer depends on how many a community reckons it takes to make a community.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Rowan
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 10:41 PM

Sorry Bob, your italicised question dropped out of my post, but I reckon readers will understand the drift.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 11:07 PM

What's the difference between a horse of a different colour and the colour of a different horse?
Just back asswords to me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Santa
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 06:42 AM

Dog's legs. I take the point about what the majority use becoming the norm, but legs and tails do have functional differences, and these would require some differentiation in any useful language. So a "tail" would never become a "leg", not being capable of operating as one. Whatever you called the total set of extremities.

Languages do change, but rarely (I think) in nonsensical or anti-rational ways. Though the reason behind some of the changes may take a while to work out, and others may indeed be genuinely random.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 07:51 AM

Using "wicked" or "bad" to mean "good", and so forth, is a pretty common way for language to change, and maybe that kind of thing might count as an anti-rational change.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 04:15 PM

"I take the point about what the majority use becoming the norm, but legs and tails do have functional differences, and these would require some differentiation in any useful language. So a "tail" would never become a "leg", not being capable of operating as one. Whatever you called the total set of extremities."

True, but if the definition of "leg" is only "thin extremity" (I say "thin" to exclude the head), then a dog would have four running legs and one wagging one. Of course, if "head" means "an extremity not used for locomotion," then it comes close to creating a two-headed dog (the wagging head and the barking head).

This would then result in having to decide between two-headed four-legged dog and a a one-headed, five-legged dog.

It all comes down to function-based definitions vs. similarity-based ones. You could even make your definitions so specific that there could be a different term for front legs and back ones, eliminating the need for the adjectives "front" and "back," I suppose.

It's fun to play with this stuff, isn't it?


Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Rowan
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 05:34 PM

I may be going out on a limb, here, but I've always regarded a leg, like an arm, as a limb both are attached to a girdle and, while the armbone is attached to the pectoral girdle, the legbone is attached to the pelvic girdle. The tailbone, however isn't a limb and is attached to the spine bone.

I hope I've demonstrated I'm disinterested but not uninterested.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 08:44 PM

there could be a different term for front legs and back ones

That's how we talk when we are dealing with humans and suchlike.   And after all, most dogs can stand on their back legs and not many can mange to do that with their front legs, so there's quite a diffeence between them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: What's it called when ......?
From: Gurney
Date: 01 Nov 07 - 02:36 AM

I'll say we call a leg a leg and a tail a tail because we can, because we speak a language which is complex, growing, and we like it that way.
In all other languages (I read this) there are far fewer words than are commonly used in English, and in some languages, they have to include English words to describe anything much more than basic concepts. As English includes many foreign words, (like all the words!) the difference is that English ADOPTS words, often for no good reason other than someone likes the word, and if we all like it, we use it and ascribe a meaning. Look up the origins of the word 'Quiz' sometime.

Leg a leg and tail a tail? We have LOTS of synonyms for jig a jig!


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