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BS: Language Pet Peeves part II

The Sandman 30 Dec 23 - 05:04 PM
Lighter 30 Dec 23 - 07:26 AM
Mrrzy 29 Dec 23 - 07:38 PM
Lighter 29 Dec 23 - 06:53 PM
Joe_F 29 Dec 23 - 06:10 PM
Doug Chadwick 29 Dec 23 - 10:46 AM
Mrrzy 29 Dec 23 - 10:31 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Dec 23 - 10:22 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Dec 23 - 10:11 AM
Lighter 29 Dec 23 - 08:52 AM
meself 29 Dec 23 - 01:25 AM
Mrrzy 28 Dec 23 - 12:36 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Dec 23 - 05:48 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Dec 23 - 04:45 AM
BobL 28 Dec 23 - 04:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Dec 23 - 04:16 AM
meself 27 Dec 23 - 09:56 PM
MaJoC the Filk 27 Dec 23 - 11:50 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Dec 23 - 12:48 PM
Lighter 25 Dec 23 - 10:12 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Dec 23 - 09:04 AM
Doug Chadwick 25 Dec 23 - 08:42 AM
Mrrzy 25 Dec 23 - 08:38 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Dec 23 - 11:50 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Dec 23 - 11:48 PM
Mrrzy 24 Dec 23 - 09:32 PM
Backwoodsman 24 Dec 23 - 10:19 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Dec 23 - 09:44 AM
Doug Chadwick 24 Dec 23 - 04:50 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Dec 23 - 03:09 AM
Mrrzy 23 Dec 23 - 09:20 PM
Lighter 22 Dec 23 - 05:57 PM
Backwoodsman 22 Dec 23 - 02:26 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Dec 23 - 10:03 AM
Mrrzy 22 Dec 23 - 09:50 AM
Bill D 21 Dec 23 - 06:17 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Dec 23 - 03:45 PM
MaJoC the Filk 21 Dec 23 - 02:55 PM
Mrrzy 20 Dec 23 - 03:22 PM
mayomick 20 Dec 23 - 09:05 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 23 - 01:10 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 23 - 01:08 PM
meself 18 Dec 23 - 12:35 PM
G-Force 18 Dec 23 - 11:19 AM
MaJoC the Filk 18 Dec 23 - 11:14 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 23 - 06:41 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 23 - 06:35 AM
Doug Chadwick 18 Dec 23 - 04:13 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Dec 23 - 06:59 PM
Doug Chadwick 17 Dec 23 - 05:36 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 05:04 PM

gorse and furze are exactly the same, it used to be planted here in ireland, and cut every two years to feed horses, it was cut up by hand and chopped by machine, it is high in protein
there were at least two different varieties of it, french furze and english


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 07:26 AM

The wren, the wren,
The king we endorse,
St. Stephen's day
Was caught in the gorse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 07:38 PM

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds / St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze ... learned as a babe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 06:53 PM

Thanks, Joe. But Henry Attwell, in "Notes & Queries" (7th Ser.) XI (May 23, 1891), p. 406, may have been the genius.


https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924057513537&seq=442&q1=gorse


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 06:10 PM

Lighter et al.: "*furze, gorse, whin.* The first two would appear to be that very great rarity, a pair of exact synonyms, meaning the same thing and used indifferently in all localities and all contexts. The third differs not in sense, but in being chiefly a Scotch & northern word." -- H. W. Fowler, _A Dictionary of Modern English Usage_ (1927)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:46 AM

I know what gorse is but I didn't know that it has an alternative common name. I had never come across the name furze before reading about it here in this thread. You are never too old to learn something new!

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:31 AM

Synonym is used for different words of same meaning. If th meaning is different, the terms are not synonymous. Cold and icy may be synonyms but cold and cool are not. In my experience.

Defecate and shit are synonyms. Identical meanings, different etymologies,different usages.

I thought furze and gorse were regional variations, like Youse and Y'all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:22 AM

And are gorse and furze really synonyms? They are different words but they mean EXACTLY the same thing. My understanding of synonyms is that they are different words for more or less the same thing but not exactly the same thing. In the same ballpark but not the same ball...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 10:11 AM

Call it furze here in Cornwall and everyone knows what you mean and no eyebrow is raised. It's different elsewhere in Britain. In most other parts of England gorse would be the commoner term. Whin is used mostly in Scotland but would confuse many Cornish denizens. We are an ancient country and these seemingly deliciously-illogical things abound in our language. 'Tis just the way things are, no peeves needed!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 08:52 AM

My peeve is the claim that the most nearly perfect synonyms in English are "gorse" and "furze."

I have two reasons.

1. if true, I don't know the name of the genius who first made this observation out of an English lexicon of hundreds of thousands of words, and

2. if false, the claim is smugly pretentious.

It may be true, however. Merriam-Webster defines "gorse" and "furze" identically:

"a spiny yellow-flowered European shrub (Ulex europaeus) of the legume family ...[or] any of several related plants (genera Ulex and Genista)"

So "gorse" and "furze" are exact synonyms. But that's just point one. Besides being semantically interchangeable (like many other synonyms), the words are formally and dialectically similar.

Both are one-syllable words of five letters. Both contain an "r" and both end in a silent "e." What's more, both are perfectly acceptable at all stylistic levels (neither, for example is slang or poetic), and neither is geographically localized.

Finally - as icing on the cake - both descend from Old English, when they were already exactly synonymous.

What other synonyms can make these boasts?

There's a third Ulex synonym, "whin," but, besides having just four letters (none of which appear in either "gorse" or "furze"), regrettably doesn't appear till the 14th century. (Nice try, though.)

So what genius did first discover the unique degree of synonymy between "gorse" and "furze"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 01:25 AM

I've remembered more clearly what Rachel Maddow was on about, and what she said. She was talking about declarations that the 'fake electors' in two, um ... 'different' states had signed, and how the text was identical in the two documents. She kept saying, "Both of them are exactly the same!!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 12:36 PM

I am reminded of somebody asking What, both of them? upon hearing my kids were twins...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 05:48 AM

What have Lulu and Jimmy Edwards got in common?

They both have moustaches except Lulu.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 04:45 AM

Ah, the old chestnut of ‘the same’ and ‘similar’ that my English teacher used to beat us about the head with! Still, it was better than his other practice of beating the classes miscreants and malcontents about the arse with a cricket stump…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: BobL
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 04:28 AM

If I am ever asked "Are they both the same?", my inevitable reply is "No, only one of them."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Dec 23 - 04:16 AM

I'm reminded of a joke from my youth

What's the difference between a duck?

One of its legs is both the the same


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 27 Dec 23 - 09:56 PM

Rachel Maddow was on quite a rant (how unusual!) about something awhile back, and kept declaring in regard to two items, that "Each one is different from the other!" - which left me contemplating how much better it would be, presumably, if only one was "different from the other" .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 27 Dec 23 - 11:50 AM

I can't remember whether I said this here before, but what the Microsoft ....

Seen in a London railway station:

LOST PROPERTY
OBJETS TROUVÉ

.... but this doesn't mean French people find things that English people lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 12:48 PM

Hmmmm…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 10:12 AM

I believe most Americans other than me now say "different than."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 09:04 AM

I say ‘different from’, as do most, if not all, of my UK friends and acquaintances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 08:42 AM

You Brits also say different TO where we, more sensibly, say different FROM.

No, we also say "different from", or at least we should do, unless we are saying it wrong.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Dec 23 - 08:38 AM

Right, I talk American. Fascinating. You Brits also say different TO where we, more sensibly, say different FROM.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 11:50 PM

Aa-a-a-and….100! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 11:48 PM

I think you’re doing the ‘Murrican thang with bring and take, Mrrzy, which even your revered lexicologists Merriam and Webster say is wrong. In English English, to use your example, I would take my uke to your house (movement away from the speaker), and bring it home again (movement towards the speaker. If you check the M-W page I linked to, that’s exactly what they say too.

Tomarto tomayto, eh? ;-) :-)

I can live with it, I understand what’s meant, but…. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 09:32 PM

Hmmm, not my experience with bring and take. Bring, to me, involves the thing going along with the speaker whether to or fro (I could bring my uke to your house, or home again). Take is rather when the thing changes hands (if I took your uke home, I would bring it back to you later. You would then take it from me.).

Fascinating, the take to and bring from thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 10:19 AM

The confusion between ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’ seems to be common in my neck of Yellerbelly-land too, Doug (west of your bit). Strangely, it didn’t seem to become a ‘thing’ until perhaps the late ‘60s/early ‘70s - during my childhood and youth I hardly heard it but, beginning in my early 20s, it seemed to become more and more prevalent, especially amongst the younger age-group (who are now the older age-group). It drives me nuts. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 09:44 AM

The casual language of which you speak is all perfectly fine - in speech. It is not fine in the written word unless the writer is deliberately resorting to the vernacular, which is also valid. As ever, language is wot people speak in their everyday lives, not subject to the strict "rules" of the grammar police. Enjoy the colour!

I was a good lad at school, bright and literate*. One day, my mate put up his hand and politely asked the teacher, "Sir, can I go to the toilet, please?" Came the reply, "You can, but you may not." That teacher was two bastards rolled into one, and witnessing that exchange left its mark on me. If you understand what the speaker is saying without having to do a lot of mental processing, it's all good and it shouldn't be subjected to snarky criticism.

*The gloss may have worn off just a tad...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 04:50 AM

I completely agree with BWM on bring/take. I have thought several times of raising it as a pet peeve and I was surprised when I checked back through this and the original thread, that it hadn't been discussed before.

In the same vein, when I was at junior school in Liverpool many years ago, it was common for a pupil who needed a writing implement to ask another "Can I lend your pen?". The answer, of course, should have been "Who are you going to lend it to?". For my daughter, who was brought up on Northern Lincolnshire, it was the opposite way round:- "Will you borrow me your pen for a minute?".

The same goes for teach/learn. I have a wonderful spoof foreign language phrase book, for visitors to Liverpool, called "Learn Yerself Scouse".

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Dec 23 - 03:09 AM

Mrrzy, on the US music forums I lurk around, I frequently see, for instance, “I will bring my guitar to a luthier for a set-up”, when it should be “I will take my guitar…”.

‘Bring” implies movement towards the speaker, whereas take implies movement away from the speaker. Even Merriam and Webster, they of suspect spelling-skills, understood that… ;-)

Merriam-Webster on ‘Bring’ v. ‘Take’.

Under that rule, ‘Take-out’ and ‘Take-away’ are both correct, as they both imply movement away from the fast-food establishment which is supplying them. In the case of the purchaser, he/she brings a Take-out/away home.

And an owner takes his guitar to the luthier, and brings it back home.

That’s IMHO at least. I’m sure someone will be along shortly to ‘correct’ me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Dec 23 - 09:20 PM

Brits have take-away, we have take-out. Both, you bring home, no?

Example of bring/take?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 05:57 PM

Daily Intelligencer (Lancaster, Pa.) (May 12, 1876):

"Two Cigar Stands, one Soda Water Stand, and one Public Comfort Station."

The phrase became widespread in the 1890s. My grandparents were familiar with it. It referred to a public facility, as at at a train station - not just to any lav.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 02:26 PM

Using ‘bring’ but meaning ‘take’ (seems to be another ‘Murrican thing).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 10:03 AM

Brick outhouse (polite)
Brick shithouse (less polite)
Built like a brick shithouse: description of a large robust person of whatever gender, e.g. rugby player or district nurse


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 09:50 AM

The subtitles in something I was watching kept saying Outhouse when they meant Outbuilding. Hilariously, sometimes.

Is the hot air dryer thing a language peeve?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 06:17 PM

re: bathrooms..etc as noted above.
Perhaps 25 years ago, our folk club was preparing for our annual weekend festival at a park. We decided to take a lunch break and headed for the picnic tables.
   One bright lady said, "I'll meet you there. I need to go to the euphemism!"
   There is a well-built brick building which has since been remodeled, but I wish I'd stolen the old sign from it..because the sign above the door where that lady was headed said *COMFORT STATION*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 03:45 PM

They're even less effective if you can't get them to come on. I've lost count of the number of times I've stood there feeling utterly stupid, waving my hands uselessly under the bloody thing, unable to find the sweet spot that gets it to work...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 02:55 PM

Hot-air hand dryers: For a school science project, one lass wished to find out how effective using a hot-air dryer was at removing germs from the hands. In the event, it proved to be worse than the control, which was to wipe her hands down her jeans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 03:22 PM

Once again, Whosis Dies After Plane Crashes made me think Whosis survived the crash, then someone cane along and murdered them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: mayomick
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 09:05 AM

i hope everybody is looking forward to their "Christmas lunch "


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 01:10 PM

By the way, I used to show my biology classes a video in which it was demonstrated that bacteria on the hands can easily pass through six layers of toilet paper...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 01:08 PM

Alas, many a lavatorium now lacks paper towels, preferring you instead to launch an aerosol of droplets via fearsome hand-driers. And what's in that nasty little dirty puddle at the bottom of the trough in those Dyson Airblade things you're supposed to stick your hands into...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 12:35 PM

Just remembering what Anne Landers wrote, presumably with a sigh: "Once my readers get into the bathroom, there's no getting them out!" (or words to that effect).


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: G-Force
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 11:19 AM

This door is alarmed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 11:14 AM

They answered that on cruise ships, Steve, as part of their response to (*argh*) COVID: use a paper towel to open the door. The notices are still there, and are universally ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 06:41 AM

And this is not a linguistic pet peeve, but its still a peeve: how come that, after using a public toilet and washing your hands, you are obliged to pull a door handle in order to get out? All that rigorously-executed hand hygiene undone in one obligatory move? The only way to mitigate the problem, at least to some extent, is to employ the pinky only at the very top of the handle, powerful door spring permitting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 06:35 AM

Hmm. I could suggest that you, er, try modifying your technique, Doug... ;-)

From what you say, so many things in daily life should be smelling of wee. Supermarket trolley handles, everything on the shelves (all put there by human hands), my steering wheel, the telly remote, my cat, my harmonicas, my oft-resorted to wine glass... Well, either (a) my sense of smell is too weak, or (b) there's no smell anyway, or (c) I don't do nearly enough sniffing around...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 18 Dec 23 - 04:13 AM

healthy urine is completely sterile.

But what if it's not healthy? - and it still smells, healthy or not. If the last few drops get onto your hands as you are adjusting your underwear, everything you touch immediately after that could end up with a certain perfume.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 06:59 PM

We can't help it if you live in a Mayfair mansion, Doug! ;-)

On another tack, I've never quite understood why a bloke needs to wash his hands after having a wee. Your hands have been mauling God knows how many unhygienic objects all day, yet your willy has been kept hygienically under wraps ever since you left home after your shower this morning - and healthy urine is completely sterile. I think we should wash our hands BEFORE having a wee. At least, that would help to protect the family jewels from the hazards of the hostile, germ-ridden outside world...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 17 Dec 23 - 05:36 PM

I once heard a rumour (refutation requested) that every word for the Smallest Room, and the actions taken therein, is a euphamism

Washing your hands after urinating or defecating seems to be a fairly non-euphemistic action. As the room in my house where all these actions take place contains a bath, the word bathroom is not a euphemism.

DC


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