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BS: Language Pet Peeves part II

Mrrzy 25 Dec 23 - 08:38 AM
Doug Chadwick 25 Dec 23 - 08:42 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Dec 23 - 09:04 AM
Lighter 25 Dec 23 - 10:12 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Dec 23 - 12:48 PM
MaJoC the Filk 27 Dec 23 - 11:50 AM
meself 27 Dec 23 - 09:56 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Dec 23 - 04:16 AM
BobL 28 Dec 23 - 04:28 AM
Backwoodsman 28 Dec 23 - 04:45 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Dec 23 - 05:48 AM
Mrrzy 28 Dec 23 - 12:36 PM
meself 29 Dec 23 - 01:25 AM
Lighter 29 Dec 23 - 08:52 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Dec 23 - 10:11 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Dec 23 - 10:22 AM
Mrrzy 29 Dec 23 - 10:31 AM
Doug Chadwick 29 Dec 23 - 10:46 AM
Joe_F 29 Dec 23 - 06:10 PM
Lighter 29 Dec 23 - 06:53 PM
Mrrzy 29 Dec 23 - 07:38 PM
Lighter 30 Dec 23 - 07:26 AM
The Sandman 30 Dec 23 - 05:04 PM
The Sandman 30 Dec 23 - 05:07 PM
The Sandman 30 Dec 23 - 05:24 PM
Doug Chadwick 30 Dec 23 - 06:24 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Dec 23 - 07:33 PM
The Sandman 31 Dec 23 - 02:38 AM
Rain Dog 31 Dec 23 - 02:47 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Dec 23 - 03:58 AM
The Sandman 31 Dec 23 - 08:13 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Dec 23 - 10:07 AM
Steve Shaw 31 Dec 23 - 11:49 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Dec 23 - 12:15 PM
meself 31 Dec 23 - 07:10 PM
MaJoC the Filk 01 Jan 24 - 07:00 AM
The Sandman 01 Jan 24 - 07:37 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Jan 24 - 12:58 PM
Mrrzy 01 Jan 24 - 02:08 PM
Backwoodsman 01 Jan 24 - 02:14 PM
MaJoC the Filk 01 Jan 24 - 03:28 PM
Thompson 05 Jan 24 - 07:39 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Jan 24 - 07:48 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 05 Jan 24 - 12:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Jan 24 - 01:33 PM
Thompson 06 Jan 24 - 01:52 AM
Doug Chadwick 06 Jan 24 - 04:27 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 24 - 04:50 AM
Doug Chadwick 06 Jan 24 - 05:00 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 24 - 05:25 AM

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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: 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: 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: 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 - 12:48 PM

Hmmmm…


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 05:07 PM

doug chadwick have you never heard the song the furze field


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 05:24 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfNZwCAhGJE furze field


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 06:24 PM

No Sandman, I had never heard the song before but I have now, thanks. Even so, if it were not for the discussion in this thread, I would not have been able to make a connection between the song title and the gorse plant that I know so well.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 07:33 PM

To clarify. There are three species of gorse, or furze, in the UK. Ulex gallii is found mostly in SE England. Ulex europaeus, western gorse or furze, is found all over Britain and Ireland and is that taller one that often flowers profusely in spring. It's a very cheery thing which has a sort of rich honey-and-coconut scent. Finally, there's Ulex minor that's pretty common too. It's a bit more compact and is commonly found keeping its head down. There's plenty of it on the Cornish cliffs. It's a lively heathland thing in summer, though I have somewhat negative recollections of it. One day in August 1977 Mrs Steve and I spent a long and languid afternoon picnicking and sunbathing on a grassy slope, replete with gorse, overlooking Bantry Bay near Glengarriff. Very nice - but when we got back to our B&B I discovered that I was playing host to 32 sheep ticks. A good few had taken up residence in, shall we say, some of the more delicate folds of my external anatomy...

I did get them all off, though it took a long time. At least I didn't come down with any nasty infections. I don't blame the gorse/furze, but that particular learning curve at least gave me a tip as to which sunbathing sites to avoid in Ireland...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 02:38 AM

yes, those ticks can carry lymes disease


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Rain Dog
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 02:47 AM

Was that a case of you feeling ticked off?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 03:58 AM

Mrs Backwoodsperson and I always carry a tick-twizzler with us - we both have several, in our car, in both ruck-sacks, in her shoulder-bag and my man-bag, in her purse and my wallet - so that we are never caught out unable to remove those little bar-stewards from our own person and from our dog (who tends to be their main target).

I’d recommend anyone who’s involved in outdoor-activities, as we often are, to carry a tick-twizzler - an amazingly simple, but very effective, instrument for removing ticks without leaving their mouth-parts embedded in one’s skin.

Tick-twister


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 08:13 AM

imo it is important to try and be positive rather than negative. Bavck has suggested a positive how to deal wth ticks.
the tile of this thread is imo a bit negative
so i am going to start a different thread .language positives, where people can give exerts of language that has had a goof effect on them


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 10:07 AM

”Mrs Backwoodsperson and I always carry a tick-twizzler”

Of course I meant ‘tick-twister’! Tired, ancient brain! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 11:49 AM

"imo it is important to try and be positive rather than negative. Bavck has suggested a positive how to deal wth ticks.
the tile of this thread is imo a bit negative
so i am going to start a different thread .language positives, where people can give exerts of language that has had a goof effect on them"

Oh, the irony...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 12:15 PM

Who’s this ‘Bavck’ bloke, eh? Oh never mind, I’ve been called worse…


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: meself
Date: 31 Dec 23 - 07:10 PM

"Woman Killed After Nightclub Shooting" - a headline today. And, no, she was not killed after the shooting .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 07:00 AM

MaJoC's €0.02: Herself maintains that you're only allowed to kiss when the gorse (or furze) is in bloom.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 07:37 AM

sorry, backwoodsman, typo


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 12:58 PM

One of many in that post… ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 02:08 PM

Mistletoe. Kiss under that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 02:14 PM

Fuggeddit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 01 Jan 24 - 03:28 PM

(*ahem*) Herself speaks with forked tongue, Mrrzy. She goes on to say that the most common form of gorse (or furze) is in flower more-or-less the year round.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 07:39 AM

To deduce: to squeeze an orange.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 07:48 AM

Disaster: what happened to a woman who tried to get up suddenly from a bathful of glue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 12:23 PM

I could start to feel gruntled by some of these examples.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Jan 24 - 01:33 PM

I thought disaster was when she sat on the bacon slicer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 01:52 AM

A quote from an old Irishman's Diary in The Irish Times - sadly subscriber-only - about the difference between 'may' and 'might':

"One of the more annoying grammatical errors of our time is a tendency to confuse “may” and “might” when speaking of the past. You’re watching football on TV, for example, and a striker attempts a volley, but instead balloons the shot high over the crossbar. Then the commentator notes that the player had time to control the ball first and adds that, if he had done, “he may have scored”.
"What the commentator means is that he might have scored. Whereas “may” implies that he possibly did score, but we don’t know enough about the incident yet to be sure.
"This even though the ball has just knocked the false teeth out of a pensioner in Row W of the stand behind the goal…"


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 04:27 AM

One of the more annoying grammatical errors of our time is a tendency to confuse “may” and “might” when speaking of the past.


I have just posted on the 'BS: Funny witticisms' thread and opened with:-
"That may have been ......."

If only I had opened this thread first, I could have avoided such a silly mistake. I will be more careful next time.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 04:50 AM

I don't think it's worth sweating over may and might unless it's in the context of formal writing. In speech the distinction is lost, more often than not. Arguments that we should always preserve the useful distinctions in cases in which confusion is likely are generally lost as language evolves. May and might is an awkward case, and, as long as the intended meaning is clear, I don't think it's worth picking anyone up for their "incorrect usage."


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:00 AM

May and might is an awkward case, and, as long as the intended meaning is clear, I don't think it's worth picking anyone up for their "incorrect usage."

It is clearly a Pet Peeve of the person writing in The Irish Times.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves part II
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 24 - 05:25 AM

Thing is though, Doug, he was criticising a football commentator. Whatever you might think of those folk, they have to react quickly to what they see in front of them. You'll get a couple of howlers from them in every game, but as far as their grammar is concerned I think maybe we could cut them a bit of slack.


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