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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
PLANE CRASH LANDS IN POLAND

Headline on a story in the Huffington Post. Can anyone spot the ambiguity?


Is it the crash landing of a plane vs the landing of a plane crash? But the second one doesn't even make sense. This isn't detrimental ambiguity.
 
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Did the plane crash? Granted, it landed without the aid of its undercarriage, but it made a perfect landing, much like the one that landed in the Hudson River back in 2009. "Crash" in this case is hyperbole. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB0M9NZ5yNA

As for the ambiguity, it suggests that the crash happened elsewhere, then found its way to Poland.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:

As for the ambiguity, it suggests that the crash happened elsewhere, then found its way to Poland.


But that makes no sense! How is this a problematic ambiguity?
 
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Consider "plane crash" as the subject and "lands in Poland" as the predicate. It's as if a plane crashed, then made a successful landing elsewhere.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I think it should have been "CRASHLANDS".


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I think it's usually spelled crash-land. But my point is an interpretation about the landing of a plane crash is silly. The only reasonable interpretation of the headline is the intended one.
 
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[quote]The only reasonable interpretation of the headline is the intended one.[/quote
Obviously not, or I wouldn't have made the post in question.


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Nollidj is power.
 
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Or you and I are silly! Big Grin


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Originally posted by Proofreader:
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The only reasonable interpretation of the headline is the intended one.

Obviously not, or I wouldn't have made the post in question.


So someone might read it and think "Hm... this is about the landing of the wreckage of a plane crash. I wonder how that happened." Not because they're deliberately misinterpreting the headline, but because that's how they are sincerely reading it?
 
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Not because they're deliberately misinterpreting the headline, but because that's how they are sincerely reading it?

I think they're yanking your chain. OTOH, they may seriously be wired like that. Wink


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Just a poor example of sheadline writing. Some editor should have caught the missing hyphen (which I also forgot to put in, and made it more sensible. And there are certainly some who would have read it wrongly. (If my brother-in-law rads this, I don't mean you.)


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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That was in fact my first take on the headline.
I must be wired improperly as far as "normal" folks consider it. This is why I feel I do not belong here. Even when I'm trying to be serious I come across as absurd.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I make the--mistaken or so it seems--assumption that the headline writer is trying to communicate some information to me. That's my I agree with Goofy that in my world of logic and physics only one parsing seems probable. People who deliberately misinterpret sentences or utterances are like a teenager answering a question of "what are you doing?" with "listening to you". Oh, well. It's probably just the way I'm wired. Wink


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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And I - as everyone knows - tend to be a literalist. I have all my life. I am wired differently. No, goofy, I wouldn't be "deliberately" misreading the headline. I'd be flummoxed, at least for a bit...just like I was when the Chinese lady told me she had to pour tea on her knees for a Chinese custom. In no way was I kidding when I said, "Wouldn't that burn you?"

Sorry. It's just I. In other ways I am smarter. Wink
 
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Darwin’s Tongues: Languages, like genes, can tell evolutionary tales
By Bruce Bower
Science News, November 19th, 2011; Vol.180 #11 (p. 22)
 
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Originally posted by tinman:
Darwin’s Tongues: Languages, like genes, can tell evolutionary tales
By Bruce Bower
Science News, November 19th, 2011; Vol.180 #11 (p. 22)


quote:
Traditional language studies are still vital, he says, because they provide the massive amounts of speech and grammatical information needed for statistical breakdowns.


I'm glad linguists are still good for something.

Language Log has a few posts about these studies.
 
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It's interesting that Science would not publish Mark's letter. It was quite analytical and should have stimulated some good debate. Isn't that what scholarliness is all about. It made me lose faith in Science. I wonder what their reason was.
 
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I am just loving this word I read in a piece in today's NYT:

quote:
Republican voters forgive him as they stand at the 2012 salad bar, famished for a protein... they settle for legumes. Gingrich is their bloviating garbanzo bean. Onto the romaine he goes
 
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Oh, that is a great citation...and the whole paragraph deserves citing:
quote:
Maybe his flamboyant knowledge-flaunting and ceaseless crowing are indeed liabilities, but ones that Republican voters forgive him as they stand at the 2012 salad bar, famished for a protein other than Mitt Romney and forced to choose from what’s there. The baby shrimp absent, the chicken strips missing, they settle for legumes. Gingrich is their bloviating garbanzo bean. Onto the romaine he goes.
I've always loved bloviating anyway, much like balderdash.
 
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Onto the romaine he goes

That sentence had me confuzzled until I looked up romaine and found out that it is what we in the UK call a cos lettuce. Similarly, what you in the US call a garbanzo bean we call a chickpea.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Originally posted by arnie:
... what you in the US call a garbanzo bean we call a chickpea.

It used to be a chickpea here too, but then the yuppies happened. In Oregon, farmers raise filberts and sell hazlenuts. Same situation.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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But we don't have cos lettuce, do we?
 
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I'm familiar with romaine lettuce, but I only know cos lettuce because it's commonly used in crossword puzzles. I didn't realize they were the same thing until arnie pointed it out. It originated on the Greek isle of Kos; hence its name. Wikipedia says romaine/cos may be used as a bitter herb in the Passover Seder.
 
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farmers raise filberts and sell hazlenuts. Same situation.
Filberts are apparently a species of hazel nut. Therefore all filberts are hazel nuts, but not all hazel nuts are filberts. Common Hazel nuts are also called cob nuts here, although I can't say that I've seen them for sale under that name for several years, so the use may be dying out.

Wikipedia also says
quote:
In Oregon, "filbert" is used for commercial hazelnuts in general. Use in this manner has faded partly due to the efforts of Oregon's hazelnut growers to brand their product to better appeal to global markets and avoid confusion.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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It used to be a chickpea here too, but then the yuppies happened.

I seem to remember chickpeas (known to me only as the "translation", impossible though it may be, of Cicero's name) being called garbonzos at least in the early '70s of the previous century. At home, I always called them (facetiously) ceci or channa.

Didn't all the yuppies become investment bankers as they clawed their way into the 1%? Many normative grammarians like to blame language change on a particular part of the demographic: gender, orientation, class, etc.

cos lettuce

The funny thing about cos lettuce is that it was not called Koan lettuce; koan being the "proper" adjectival form of the toponym Kos.

[Fixed typo.]

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by arnie:

Wikipedia also says
quote:
In Oregon, "filbert" is used for commercial hazelnuts in general. Use in this manner has faded partly due to the efforts of Oregon's hazelnut growers to brand their product to better appeal to global markets and avoid confusion.

This is really weird! That is verbatim the response I got from the Oregon Department of Agriculture when I emailed them about five years ago asking why the name, "filbert" was no longer in use. A little Wiki-plaigirism?

Z, it does seem that the upwardly mobile types, be they known by whatever name, are inclined to display a pretentious affect, so I suspect (probably incorrectly) that word snobbishness has played a part in "pee-cans" becoming "p'cahns," chickpeas becoming garbonzos, and filberts becoming hazlenuts in Oregon.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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that word snobbishness has played a part in "pee-cans" becoming "p'cahns," chickpeas becoming garbonzos, and filberts becoming hazlenuts in Oregon.

You're welcome to your suppositions, but I have been calling them p'cahns since I figured out what they were. You think it's some kind of sociolect, and I think it's a regionalism like calling a creek a crik.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Good work, Tinman!

Z, who's to say that both factors aren't involved?
Of course, one pronounces words the way one hears them in their social milieu, but that can be either ab origine or later on as one becomes aware of social norms. For example, pre-Starbucks, I'd never heard of a large cup of coffee called "venti." Yuppy pretense, IMHO!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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who's to say that both factors aren't involved?

Sure, it's more than possible. I just don't think it applies in the hazelnut-filbert, p'cahn-peecan examples. And why would non-yuppies modify their speech, since the latter are so reviled?

one pronounces words the way one hears them in their social milieu

Yeah, well, nobody in my farming immigrant family could in anybody's wildest dreams be called upwardly mobile, professional, and urban.

For example, pre-Starbucks, I'd never heard of a large cup of coffee called "venti."

And I still call their cup sizes by the names I learned: small, medium, and large. They've had zero impact on me linguistically. Of course I hardly ever go into a Starbucks, because I don't like their coffee.

Yuppy pretense, IMHO!

Sounds like marketing foolishness to me. I don't even think that yuppies still exist. They're sorta like hippies and hobos: they belong to another time. In the yuppie case, the '80s.

Garbanzo for chickpea is even more doubtful. Why would yuppies emulate Hispanophones? Maybe French or German or some such.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by zmježd:



I don't even think that yuppies still exist. They're sorta like hippies and hobos: they belong to another time. In the yuppie case, the '80s.


Huh??? Say, what year is this??? Confused

Now I'll go away and drink my coffee with milk and sugar that they call caffe latte datte loopety doody. Big Grin


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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And I still call their cup sizes by the names I learned: small, medium, and large. They've had zero impact on me linguistically. Of course I hardly ever go into a Starbucks, because I don't like their coffee.
Amen on all accounts.

BTW, my hazelnut bags say "filberts."

If "yuppie" is no longer used, what word do they use for them now? Surely the concept still exists, at least where I am.
 
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When I first saw this post by Kalleh talking about small, medium, and large cup sizes ... oh, never mind.
 
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Just color me proud to have never heard the term 'venti'. I suspect the dubber to be a windbag.
 
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The local MacDonalds had soda sizes "medium", "large" and "extra large." My wife didn't think I was funny when I argued for a "small", insisting that that was what their "medium" cup was. And the manager couldn't quite grasp the concept of relative size either.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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According to this link, there's a whole bunch of cup sizes (sorry, tinman) at SBs. Venti is twenty in Italian and the cup size is 20 oz. I'm sure whoever thought up the new names didn't think people would make such a fuss, or (probably more accurately) hoped it would. "There ain't no sich thing as bad PR."

[Fixed typo and moved a phrase.]

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quote:
There ain't no sich thing as bad PR."

Tell that to Jerry Sandusky


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Tell that to Jerry Sandusky

Who? (OK, I looked him up.) Anyway, I didn't say who the PR was good for. But seriously, this is an old Hollywood adage. Sorta like Shmuel Gelbfish's quotes.


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Ah, yes, the famous movie guy. Just read a piece in the magagzine, "Mental Floss" about PR stunts pulled by Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, and others. Fun rag! http://www.mentalfloss.com/


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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A tacky headline from the on-line version of the Gresham, Oregon Outlook: Buying a shake can help in fight against Parkinson's


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I went to reply to my earlier post and inadvertently erased it. But here's my reply.
quote:
The filbert/hazel Geoff refers to is Corylus cornuta var. californica, commonly called beaked hazel, western beaked hazel, or just plain hazel around here (Washington).

That is the hazel that is native to WA and OR, but I realized it's not the one Geoff referred to. He was talking about commercial hazels, which would probably be cultivars of Corylus avellana.

This site says "nearly 100% of all the hazelnuts grown in the United States are grown in the Willamette Valley" (OR), but that only makes up about 3-4% of the world's production (elsewhere I've read 2%).

It also says
quote:
The term “hazel” comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning “hood or bonnet”. The word “fil bert” comes from “full beard” and refers to the fringed husks which cover the nuts.

Can anybody verify that?
 
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Tell that to Jerry Sandusky
His problem is much bigger than bad PR. Roll Eyes
 
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Originally posted by tinman:



It also says
quote:
The term “hazel” comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning “hood or bonnet”. The word “fil bert” comes from “full beard” and refers to the fringed husks which cover the nuts.

Can anybody verify that?

I read somewhere that it refers to some saint named Filbert. Ahh, here's a reference to that train of thought: http://thephantomwriters.com/f...of-the-filbert.shtml


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Tinman, did you check the OED for the etymologies? For "hazel" I could not find "hood or bonnet" for the etymology. Here is what they said:
quote:
Forms: OE hæsel, hæsil, hæsl, æsil, ME hasle, asele, ME hesel, ME–15 hasil, ME–16 hasell(e, ME–17 hasel(e, ME hesil(l, hesyl(le, heselle, ME–15 hasill, 15 hasille, hasyll(e, heasle, (Sc. hissill), 15–16 hazell, 15–17 hasle, 16 hassel, hassle, 16– hazel, hazle, (mod.Sc. heazle, heezle).
Etymology: Old English hæsel = Middle Dutch hazel(are , Dutch hazel(aar , Low German hassel , Old High German hasal (masculine), hasala (feminine) (Middle High German, modern German hasel f.), Old Norse hasl (Swedish, Danish hassel ) < Old Germanic *hasalo-z < pre-Germanic *kósolos = Latin corulus , corylus , Old Irish coll ( < *cosl ). Old Norse had also hesli neuter ( < *hasili- ) whence apparently northern Middle English hesel , hesyl , mod. Scots heezle
For "filbert" here is what it says:
quote:
Forms: α. ME philliberd, 15–16 philbert, (16 philibert), (17 philberd, philbud). β. ME felbud, ME–15 fylbud, 15–18 filberd(e, (16 filburd, fillberd), 15–18 dial. filbeard(e, (15 fylbeard(e), 15 filberte, ( fylbert), 15–16 filbird(e, (15 fylbyrd). ME– filbert.
Etymology: probably short for filbert-nut (i.e. Philibert-nut ), dialect French noix de filbert (Moisy Dict. Patois Normand) from being ripe near St. Philibert's day, Aug. 22 (O.S.). Compare German Lamberts-nuss .
Again, I don't find "full beard" as an etymology.
 
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The term “hazel” comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning “hood or bonnet”. The word “fil bert” comes from “full beard” and refers to the fringed husks which cover the nuts.

The second etymology is obviously some folk etymology. One should get one's etymologies from a reputable dictionary, like the OED not some "nut" site.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by zmježd:
Venti is twenty in Italian and the cup size is 20 oz. .]


I was feeling really stupid not to know this (automatically assumed it meant 'winds' as in Latin ventus/venti]-- turns out it means both.

Wondering why 20 should = winds, I've been trying to read this entry in an Ital. etym. dic'y... I think it might be saying that the number 'venti' is a contraction of an early word 'viginti'-- & maybe that the "vi" part comes from "dvi" (like "due", or two). Anybody know if I'm even close? At any rate, it seems the two words are homonyms.

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At any rate, it seems the two words are homonyms.

Yes, Latin viginti 'twenty' > Italian venti and Latin ventus 'wind' > Italian vento. The bit about it starting with dv-, because it's based on the root for two, means Old Latin or Proto-Italic. You can see that in English two and twenty. So the two words became homonyms in Italian (plural of vento is venti), but they weren't in Latin.


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The second etymology is obviously some folk etymology. One should get one's etymologies from a reputable dictionary, like the OED not some "nut" site.
I am not sure if this means the first etymology is right, but I couldn't find "hood" or "bonnet" in the OED for that one.

I imagine the "full beard" came from the filbeard form, and then people used their imagination from there.
 
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I am not sure if this means the first etymology is right

No, it's wrong, too, but it does not even have the false reasoning of folk etymology behind it. Pure fantasy or BS: you choose.


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Originally posted by zmježd:
Latin ventus 'wind'

And then French ventre, belly, the source of wind when people make it? Roll Eyes


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And then French ventre, belly, the source of wind when people make it?

French ventre < Latin venter, ventris, 'belly' is probably not related to ventus 'wind'. PIE did have at least two roots for 'fart'. (Some connect the venter with Latin uterus and others with Greek γαστηρ (gastēr) 'belly'; not many agree with them.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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