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BS: Abuse of words

HuwG 10 Sep 05 - 11:50 PM
Bunnahabhain 09 Sep 05 - 08:32 PM
Bill D 09 Sep 05 - 08:06 PM
HuwG 09 Sep 05 - 04:18 PM
Bill D 09 Sep 05 - 03:54 PM
Amos 09 Sep 05 - 03:17 PM
s&r 09 Sep 05 - 02:59 PM
Bill D 09 Sep 05 - 02:50 PM
Hawker 09 Sep 05 - 10:42 AM
Snuffy 09 Sep 05 - 09:24 AM
s&r 09 Sep 05 - 05:15 AM
Snuffy 08 Sep 05 - 09:19 AM
Gurney 08 Sep 05 - 06:09 AM
Liz the Squeak 08 Sep 05 - 05:47 AM
s&r 08 Sep 05 - 04:46 AM
Liz the Squeak 08 Sep 05 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn 08 Sep 05 - 04:18 AM
GUEST,An Imperfect Speaker (US) 07 Sep 05 - 02:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Sep 05 - 10:23 AM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Sep 05 - 10:07 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 05 - 09:13 AM
HuwG 07 Sep 05 - 08:34 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 05 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn 07 Sep 05 - 05:33 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 05 - 02:20 AM
Peace 06 Sep 05 - 08:41 PM
Peace 06 Sep 05 - 08:32 PM
Peace 06 Sep 05 - 08:02 PM
HuwG 06 Sep 05 - 02:16 PM
John Hardly 06 Sep 05 - 12:42 PM
Little Hawk 06 Sep 05 - 11:47 AM
John P 06 Sep 05 - 09:42 AM
Cluin 05 Sep 05 - 04:36 PM
Amos 05 Sep 05 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,DB 05 Sep 05 - 02:29 PM
Lighter 05 Sep 05 - 02:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 05 - 01:55 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 05 - 01:07 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Sep 05 - 12:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 05 - 12:46 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Sep 05 - 08:03 AM
mandotim 05 Sep 05 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn 05 Sep 05 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 05 Sep 05 - 06:42 AM
katlaughing 05 Sep 05 - 04:05 AM
Peace 04 Sep 05 - 10:35 PM
katlaughing 04 Sep 05 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Sandra 04 Sep 05 - 03:06 PM
Raedwulf 04 Sep 05 - 02:34 PM
Peace 04 Sep 05 - 02:13 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: HuwG
Date: 10 Sep 05 - 11:50 PM

Another pet hate; modern pop stars, apparently inspired by Liam Gallagher. Asked, "What are you doing next ?", they answer, "Well, I'm kind of, like, on tour."

Are you on tour or aren't you? In what dimension are you, "kind of, like" in any state ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Bunnahabhain
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 08:32 PM

This evasiveness and refusal to copy the question asked correctly, answering instead some other imagined question,

You've answered your own question. It's simple evaisiveness. Politicians want to answer the question they'd like, rather than the question they actually got. Doesn't work nearly so well if the questioner has the oppotunity and desire to follow up until they get an answer. It's not nutsiness, it's deliberate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 08:06 PM

HuwG... it is taught in 'public service' jobs... why say "then the drunk got out of the car and took a swing at me"? when you can elegantly explain that, "..at this point in time, the inebriated individual exited the vehicle and attempted to assault my person"

I assume they "apprehended the alleged perpetrator"


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: HuwG
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 04:18 PM

A pet hate of mine, which mercifully seems to be less prevalent nowadays; the use of "situation" in PR-speak.

"We have an ongoing fire situation ..." Why can't the mealy-mouthed fool just say "The building's on fire!"

Mix with "Catch-22", and practically every conundrum is described as a "Catch-22 situation". The one thing I can guarantee about people using this cliche is that they have never read Joseph Heller's work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 03:54 PM

oh, yeah....a minor abuse in spelling, from a certified pedant-in-residence.

when attempting to simulate a sneaky or surruptitious laughter, it is NOT "he,he,he"...that is a row of men! When referring to laughter, it is "hee, hee, hee."

thank you...


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Amos
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 03:17 PM

My biggest button in the abuse of language is the refusal to duplicate something said, such as a question, which to my mind is symptomatic of serious aberration in communication skills. Reporter asks President Bush, "Are you satisfied with Robert X's performance?" This is a yes or no question. Answer: " "We are proud of all the people working around the clock....". Do you see an answer to the question in there somewhere? Nope.

This evasiveness and refusal to copy the question asked correctly, answering instead some other imagined question, is true nutsiness.

Obsessive alteration isn't just limited to questions. You tell someone you will meet them at 3 at the corner of Fifth and Main and they copy it as "I might be there sometime this afternoon, or somewhere else, whatever....:". Drives ya nuts, doesn't it? Especially in a working environment where you depend on straight information relay. If you have a boss who does this it is even worse!!

And the reason it drives ya nuts?? Because it IS nuts. It is the essence of nutsiness.

Rant off.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: s&r
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 02:59 PM

Belorus - should be b-yellow-roos

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 02:50 PM

Nic-uh-RAG-you-uh...that country in Central America, as explained by certain UK TV journalists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Hawker
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 10:42 AM

How about 'Guests'
surely if no one invited them they are Gatecrashers!!!!!!!
;0)
Lucy


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 09:24 AM

Only words like hoop, book, look and Luke sound like 'oop'. We just say "up North", while southerners say "ap North" or even "ap Norff"


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: s&r
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 05:15 AM

And when will southern newspapers realise that 'up' up north is pronounced with a short 'u' quite guttural, but cerainly not 'oop'

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 09:19 AM

Pronouncing words like 'grown', 'sewn' 'own', as if there is a 'U' in there. 'Growun', 'Owun phowen'. I'd applaud it if it was for groan..

That's how Suffolk folk have always spoken. A pint now costs more than two powends at the Rose and Crowen dowen in towen


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 06:09 AM

When a sixteen stone Anzac says "Bikkies for brekky....."
'Chronic' really means 'recurring', not 'bad' or 'serious'.

Pronouncing words like 'grown', 'sewn' 'own', as if there is a 'U' in there. 'Growun', 'Owun phowen'. I'd applaud it if it was for groan.

Last months Readers Digest word quiz had only two words that I'd seen before. New words from the official scrabble dictionary or something. That's the first time in forty years that I've got less than 'excellent.' Must be getting stupid in my old age. Someone, anyway.

I looked up 'Army' in Collins, and it is from the Latin for "The armed forces of a country." So, the other meaning 'A large group of people' must be recent, eh?
Finally, my personal un-favourite. "An horrific....." "An historic....." Drop the bloody Aitch or don't, one or the other!

There, I feel SO much better now!


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 05:47 AM

People who, on meeting a celebrity, or being on a TV/Radio show, ask for a 'signed autograph'.... Well DUH!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: s&r
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 04:46 AM

McGrath is correct: rebut and refute have the same meaning. There is a separate legal meaning of rebuttal which could be (but isn't) replaced by refutation. Ref OED

My pet hates are dye-sect for dissect (short i) and one that is creeping in to UK announcers' vocabulary "Courter" for quarter (like the old semi French "kestionaire")

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 04:41 AM

People who don't know the difference between compared to and compared with!

Drives me nuts when newsreaders do it.....

'How are you doing?' - how am I doing what? Now 'How are you?' and 'What are you doing?' I can cope with.... but I've no idea how I'm doing.

People who use 'ultimate' when they mean penultimate. Contractions like 'gonna, wanna, innit and shudda'. ARGGGHHH!!!!

Sheer bloody laziness.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 04:18 AM

Thanks Huwg!


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,An Imperfect Speaker (US)
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 02:10 PM

Amazing, Awesome's new replacement
Actually, the sentence filler that Basically used to be.
Wallah, when the speaker meant to say Voila!
Addressing all people as Guys.
Substituting There is or There's for There are or There're.
Telling a story about one's experiences in the present tense.
So as in I am so not going to do that.

Does anyone else lose the thread of a conversation that is liberally peppered with Like?

An Imperfect Speaker (US)


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 10:23 AM

And what I take to be another GUEST ventured:

Americans seem to have replaced the simple word "ask" with aks or is it spelled ax...infuriating.

The pronunciation "ax" for "ask" is neither new nor, as I understand it, American. It's from England, and at least as early as the 18th Century. I don't at the moment have right at hand the language-history book where I learned this gem.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 10:07 AM

GUEST,DB told us:

'Collateral damage' - a noxious term meaning the wanton or negligent slaughter of innocent civilians.

That is indeed a misuse of words. "Collateral damage" is a technical term, and refers to unintended damage to neighboring infrastructure. It is NOT intended to refer to harm to human beings, although careless speakers and writers sometimes use it that way.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 09:13 AM

"Words are the coins minted by men with which realisation may be purchased"


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: HuwG
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 08:34 AM

"When it comes to testing new aircraft or determining maximum performance, pilots like to talk about 'pushing the envelope.' They're talking about a two dimensional model: the bottom is zero altitude, the ground; the left is zero speed; the top is max altitude; and the right, maximum velocity, of course. So, the pilots are pushing that upper-right-hand corner of the envelope. What everybody tries not to dwell on is that that's where the postage gets canceled, too."

— Admiral Rick Hunter, U.S. Navy.

Quoted in skygod.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 06:29 AM

Americans seem to have replaced the simple word "ask" with aks or is it spelled ax...infuriating.
"He turned around and says..then I turned around and I says"
Where does all the turning around end up? The phrase means to take an opposite view from one previously held...grrr


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 05:33 AM

...and can somebody please tell me what the f*#K "pushing the envelope" actually means?

(or why I put in that superfluous "actually"!?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 05 - 02:20 AM

Nuculur for nuclear--arrggghhh!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Peace
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 08:41 PM

I'd rather have them sacrificing on behalf of our nation than, you know, endless hours of testimony on congressional hill.

And so, in my State of the - my State of the Union - or state - my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation - I asked Americans to give 4,000 years - 4,000 hours over the next - the rest of your life - of service to America. That's what I asked - 4,000 hours.

This administration is doing everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end.




Folks, I ain't makin' these up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Peace
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 08:32 PM

misunderestimate

". . . people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth." —George W. Bush


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Peace
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 08:02 PM

"Abuse of words"

Almost anything ever said by George Bush.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: HuwG
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 02:16 PM

The actual location or focus of an earthquake is the hypocentre. As Uncle_DaveO correctly says, the epicentre is the location on the earth's surface above the hypocentre.

Note that in most cases, the hypocentre and epicentre are not points, but linear zones. (In the case of the Boxing Day tsunami, the earthquake which caused the tsunami resulted from the slip of a fault almost 200 miles long. That didn't stop all UK TV channels from giving us maps of the Indian Ocean with a neat circular bullseye drawn north of Sumatra.)

According to UK tabloids, every newsworthy infectious agent (e.g. necrotising faciitis or MRSA) is a "killer virus", be it bacterium, protozoal parasite or member of the class rickettsiae. Well, I suppose you can fit VIRUS!!! in "end of the world" typeface onto a tabloid newspaper, where "protozoal parasite" would not only crowd the page but also go several feet over the readers' (?) heads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: John Hardly
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 12:42 PM

and now "refugee" is not allowed. A perfectly good, perfectly accurate word, but since someone is offended by its use -- somebody who, incidentally, is wrong in their inference about the use of the word -- the PC police have banned its use from the media.

sheesh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 11:47 AM

Well said, Uncle DaveO. ;-) You are so right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: John P
Date: 06 Sep 05 - 09:42 AM

Totally, as in "Hi Bev, I'm totally at the mall" or "I totally heard him say it"

I know someone who keeps talking about "flushing out the plan"


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Cluin
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 04:36 PM

LSSU's Banned Words List for 2004.

They come out with one every New Year's Day to cover the year just past.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 04:27 PM

Tighter and tighter circles...until they disappear....


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 02:29 PM

Phrases/words I hate:

'Saving/costing the Earth' - the human race has little power to save or destroy the planet, but we can make it uninhabitable! Then, when we're gone, in a couple of million years, it will recover and carry on as though we never existed. 'Crimes against nature' are crimes against our species - why does no-one seem to understand that?

'Collateral damage' - a noxious term meaning the wanton or negligent slaughter of innocent civilians.

'Centre of Excellence' - Usually means all presentation and no substance. I usually substitute the word 'crap' for 'excellence'.

'Centre' - a word usually meaning 'shop' - somewhere there must be a 'Central Centre Managers' Training Centre' - where, presumably, candidates can be taught how to revolve in circles.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Lighter
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 02:28 PM

Major motion picture

Wonderful world of... (This one's kind of dated - thank God)


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 01:55 PM

words ...don't trust them as far as you can throw them.

next time you see a word, smack it in the mouth

this was how i used to think, i was one sorry dude.

now I have joined a support group and handle my feelings of aggression towards words with more restraint

big al - word abusers anon
the neo conservative ward


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 01:07 PM

According to Little Hawk:

"shot on sight"

Well, it's not too easy to shoot someone who is not in sight is it? Except with long range artillery, I suppose...


LH, you need to recognize the difference between "on sight" and "in sight".

"Shot on sight" refers to the time or circumstances of shooting--that is, as soon as the target is seen, without argument or delay.

----
Then one of my own pet word-peeves is "epicenter". It's often used as if it means "the center" or "the middle", or even "the source", and that's wrong.

"Epicenter" is a technical word, and means (as we usually see it properly used, with regard to earthquakes) "the spot on the surface of the earth ABOVE the center of the earthquake" (which is somewhere down below).

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 12:58 PM

McGrath of Harlow told us:

"Rebut" means to prove that some allegation is untrue. Just saying it is not true is not a rebuttal, but when it gets described as such people are liable to tricked into thinking that the charge has in fact been rebutted, or disproved, when in fact it has just been denied.

Au contraire, mon frere!

I think you are confusing "rebut" with "refute", which indeed means to disprove. Rebuttal is that phase in a trial or debate in which the party having the burden of proof can come back after the defense case or argument and attempt to shoot holes in the defense. Usually the scope of rebuttal is limited to new matters brought up in the defender's case or argument. The rebuttal may or may not be successful in refuting the defense, but it's rebuttal just the same.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 12:46 PM

words....spineless turdy little things, insinuating themselves into all sorts of bloody places where they are devoid of use and meaning. whole flipping computer hard drives full of shitty crappy verbiage!

that's what i call abuse of words


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 08:03 AM

Dug up from somewhere in Australian Politics... :-)


"resile from"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: mandotim
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:44 AM

Newsreaders who don't know the difference between 'diffuse' and 'de-fuse'. As in 'Police attempted to diffuse the situation'. How does spreading it out help?
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 07:32 AM

Here's a couple more to share...

Refute - doesn't mean deny, but most journalists seem to think so.

Disinterested - means impartial, not "uninterested". Refereees/umpires SHOULD be disinterested in the game.

Very Comprehensive - like "unique", something is either comprehensive or it isn't.

And has anybody in the UK noted the increasing tendency to pronounce "sixth" as "sikth". Not from any speech impediment - even Jeremy Paxman (national TV news presenter) seems to have fallen into this one.

Of course, some would argue that the language is just developing and that words have always changed their meaning over the years. not to mention geographically.

"Momentarily" means either "in a moment" or "for a moment" depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on.

What japes, Pip!
D


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 06:42 AM

Hero - for someone who did something for themselves (i.e. survived cancer)
The increasing replacement of the T sound with the D sound in English (regadda etc.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Sep 05 - 04:05 AM

"reasonably optimisitic" (sorry if this is a repeat)


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 10:35 PM

'at this point in time'
'paradigm'
'think outside the box'


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 04:34 PM

From The Straight Dope:

Where, when, how, etc., did the good-natured word "gay" pass into the vernacular as a designation for all things homosexual? Can one be homosexual without being gay, and vice versa? --Tom M., Los Angeles

Cecil replies:

Hate to tell you this, Tom, but the "good-natured word 'gay'" has been leading a double life. Although many people believe "gay" simply meant lighthearted or cheerful until it was shanghaied by the preverts, the truth is the word has long had a secondary connotation of sexual licentiousness. As early as 1637 the Oxford English Dictionary gives one meaning as "addicted to social pleasures and dissipations. Often euphemistically: Of loose and immoral life"--whence, presumably, the term "gay blade." In the 1800s the term was used to refer to female prostitutes; to "gay it" meant "to copulate."

By 1935 the word "geycat," meaning a homosexual boy, had found its way into print, giving a clue as to the direction things were starting to go. Sure enough, by 1955 "gay" had acquired its present meaning, as P. Wildeblood notes in Against Law: "Most of the officers had been "gay' ... an American euphemism for homosexual." Actually, gays had probably been using the term among themselves long before.

Ghettoization of the term began to occur in the 60s so that today "gay" in the sense of "homosexual" has chased out all other uses of the word. This is more the result of the squeamish attitude of the straight world than any organized campaign on the part of gays, and in any case it's no big deal; there are plenty of other words that cover the same territory that the non-sexual meanings of "gay" did.

At one time "gay" referred strictly to male homosexuals; female homosexuals were called lesbians. (This distinction may no longer hold true--today one hears lesbians being referred to as gay.) Whether all male homosexuals would consent to be called gay--whether, for the matter, all gays would consent to be called homosexual--is a question I will not presume to answer. I am quite certain, however, that most gays would reject the implication that "gay" necessarily implies promiscuity.

--CECIL ADAMS


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 03:06 PM

Particular....."at this particular time"...."in this particular place"....

scenario....thank heavens this one seems to be dying out

How are you doing? Good, and you? ....what does this mean? anything? I wish it did, does anyone wait for a real answer, I know this is a polite greeting....but the words do not match the situation....often said to passing strangers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Raedwulf
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 02:34 PM

Barrie - whatever past meanings it could have (which also included carefree & happy *without* any sexual connotations!), it now means homosexual & nothing else. Try saying "I'm gay" in public & see what reaction you get. If you say you're giggly, no-one will bat an eyelid; if you say you're merry, some people may, if the context is appropriate, think you've been imbibing. Gay, these days, means one thing & one thing only.

As to "hijacking", I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that there was a deliberate movement on the part of the homosexual community to label themselves as gay, in preference to the highly derogatory "queer".


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Subject: RE: BS: Abuse of words
From: Peace
Date: 04 Sep 05 - 02:13 AM

This Christmas song says it all.


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