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Picture of Kalleh
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An editorial in the Tribune discussed some of the "21st century" spellings that are now being allowed by our Oxford colleagues, such as:

vocal chord
reign in
baited breath
straight laced

I suppose we've discusssed this before, but I hadn't realized that they'd been okayed by Oxford. I'd consider those egg corns.

I am glad the Tribune's attempt didn't work out Wink:
quote:
The Chicago Tribune has a history of enlightened progressivism on the matter of spelling. Under publisher Robert R. McCormick, the newspaper pioneered -- well, tried to pioneer -- the use of simplified spelling, devising such words as "thru," "tho," "frate," and "geografy." By 1975, that effort had -- fizuld? -- but the impulse behind it was sensible.
 
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Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English usage says that thru "has never been less than standard, but remains a distant second choice in print."

I like thru and tho because they are more easily distinguished than through and though.
 
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K, I commiserate and if I hadn't surrendered by prescriptive credentials I'd be tempted to write another scurrilous letter in thorough agreement

...as when they call a semiconductor chip (on a keychain) a "drive"
 
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I know just how you feel, Dahil. Whenever I hear somebody misuse algorithm for functionality, I reach for my rosary of jump-drives.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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zm touche
 
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Goofy, nice to see you back. I just posted in another thread that I've missed you.

I try not to be prescriptive, too. Yet, to reign in something? It doesn't even make sense! Or baited breath? I imagine little minnows in someone's mouth. Vocal chord and straight laced are easier for me to live with. (And, see, I ended a sentence with a preposition and started one with a conjunction! I am almost free!)
 
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K: And before I surrendered my documentation I cringed whenever I heard "begs a question" meaning to invite or suggest

...but now feel only a slight twinge of sadness at the demise of the Mother Tongue
 
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We all have our favorite gaffes. Mine are "orientate" and "irregardless."
 
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Mine is of instead of have.
 
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,,,, "lead" instead of "led."
 
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Mine: between you and I for between you and me, air for err, forté for forte, tête à té for tête à tête, flushed out for fleshed out, fear of the passive voice, fear of the figurative use of literally, deprecation of the use of which in some restrictive relative clauses. Oh, and the list goes on.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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One of mine: momentarily used to mean "in a moment" instead of "for a moment".


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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I agree with many of those already mentioned; but it's a mute point.
 
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"Different than" rather than "different from" Roll Eyes
 
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Well, Duncan, we haven't seen you in awhile! Nice to see you again!

I am guilty of momentarily, arnie. Is that just my problem or is that a British/US difference?

Some of your examples (such as fear of the passive voice, the use of which, and fear of the figurative use of literally), z, are generally against prescriptivism, which is a bit different. Between you and I really does make me grit my teeth, I agree. I just heard that at a meeting the other day.

Even though I know that it shouldn't get to me, after all the discussions here, I still can't help my prescriptivist ears when I hear something like, "less toys."
quote:
I agree with many of those already mentioned; but it's a mute point.
Poor arnie. Wink
 
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Of the three prepositions that have been used with with different, to wins the earliest citation in the OED1 (1526 [1531] Pilgrimage to Perfection, "His lyght is moche different and vnlyke to the lyght of the holy goost"), from comes in second (1593 Comedy of Errors "This week, he hath been heavy, sour, sad, / And much much different from the man he was"), and than comes in third (1644 Digby Nat. Bodies "We make use of them in quite a different manner then we did in the beginning"). (There are two other prepositions cited that are no onger in use: against and with) It is interesting to note that the OED1 does not condemn any of the three, but does say that from is more common.
quote:
The usual construction is now with from; that with to (after unlike, dissimilar to) is found in writers of all ages, and is frequent colloquially, but is by many considered incorrect. The construction with than (after other than) is found in Fuller, Addison, Steele, De Foe, Richardson, Goldsmith, Miss Burney, Coleridge, Southey, De Quincey, Carlyle, Thackeray, Newman, Trench, and Dasent, among others.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English USage has an article of a little over a page on its usage. As with many usage issues, different than began being prescribed against in the 18th century and things really heated up during the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I am guilty of momentarily, arnie. Is that just my problem or is that a British/US difference?

I can't speak for the British, but it does seem to be a U.S. "problem."

The OED Online gives four definitions:
  • 1. For a moment; for a very short time, fleetingly. (attested from 1655)
  • 2. At the moment; instantly. Now rare. (1739)
  • 3. At every moment; moment by moment. Now rare. (a1763)
  • 4. Chiefly N. Amer. At any moment; in a moment, soon. (1869)

The AHD gives three definitions and a Usage Note:
  • 1. For a moment or an instant.
  • 2. Usage Problem In a moment; very soon
  • 3. Moment by moment; progressively.
  • Usage Note: Momentarily is widely used in speech to mean "in a moment," as in The manager is on another line, but she'll be with you momentarily. This usage rarely leads to ambiguity since the intended sense can usually be determined on the basis of the tense of the verb and the context. Nonetheless, many critics hold that the adverb should be reserved for the senses "for a moment," and the extended usage is unacceptable to 59 percent of the Usage Panel.

And here's what Jack Lynch says:
quote:
Traditionally, momentarily meant for a moment, not in a moment. The battle may be lost by now, but I confess I still get antsy when I hear things like "We'll be taking off momentarily." [Entry added 14 Sept. 2004.]
 
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I really like unthaw.
 
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I used to get irritated when people used "exponentially" to mean "a lot" but I'm getting used to it.
 
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We are seeing "penultimate" used more and more frequently to mean "supreme" -- the Very Best, as if the writer doesn't know that the penultmate participant in the race came in second from last.

Another popular misuse is "proportions" where the context calls for "dimensions." An acreage 20 miles wide and 40 miles long has the same proportions as the end of a two by four board, but the dimensions are quite different from each other.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Well, Duncan, we haven't seen you in awhile! Nice to see you again!


Thanks! Perhaps I should explain...I certainly have not abandoned this board. The thing is, my job involves managing a church summer camp and conference centre for eight months each year. It is situated in the Canadian wilderness...no internet service. I'm back in civilization now...'til April. Keep me entertained!

To quote Z, ``... different than began being prescribed against in the 18th century and things really heated up during the 19th and early 20th centuries.``

I did not know that. I can only suppose that it sounded as bad to the old folks as it does to me!
 
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I can only suppose that it sounded as bad to the old folks as it does to me!

But, note the long list of authors that found it A-OK, before and since. It's sounds odd to me when a speaker of UK English says She's in hospital, but I wouldn't say it's wrong not to use a the in that case.

I note you use 'til for till. Did you know that till by itself was used for a while before until came along. (Cf. to and unto.) Yet some folks feel that till is wrong.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
and the extended usage is unacceptable to 59 percent of the Usage Panel.
Oh, heck. If 55% of the Usage Panel, as well as arnie, find it incorrect, I will just stop using the word entrirely then. If I were to use it to mean "for a moment," I can assure you that, with kind of people I deal with (non-linguistic types), no one would understand me!

Thanks for the explanation, Duncan. Now we have two Candadians in this thread! I get excited when we have people from other countries. Today Shu and met 4 lovely women from Brazil, and they were speaking Brazilian Portuguese. We asked them about a particular word we had discussed here, and we very much hope that at least one will join this board.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by dalehileman:
if I hadn't surrendered by prescriptive credentials I'd be tempted to write another scurrilous letter in thorough agreement
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose:
    In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking.
    Now heaven knows,
    Anything goes.

    Good authors too who once knew better words,
    Now only use four-letter words
    Writing prose,
    Anything goes.


    The world has gone mad today,
    . . .and good´s bad today,
    . . .and black´s white today,
    . . .and day´s night today,
    . . .when most guys today
    . . .that women prize today
    Are just silly gigolos.

    So though I´m not a great romancer,
    I know that you´re bound to answer
    When I propose,
    Anything goes.
 
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quote:
If I were to use it to mean "for a moment," I can assure you that, with kind of people I deal with (non-linguistic types), no one would understand me!

So what adverb would they use to qualify a verb when it was describing something that was happening for a very short period of time?

And why do they use "momentarily" to describe something that is about to happen when we already have at least three perfectly good words that say just that?


Richard English
 
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Re "Anything Goes," the Chicago Tribune today published a parody of said song that I wrote after reading how a new dictionary from the Oxford University Press now treats misused words as accepted usage. I'm posting my original submission since the Tribune's editors changed the punctuation and capitalization:

A response to your editorial of 11-27-07, "Spelling, 21st-Century style."

"Rein, Reign, Rain, Whatever -- Anything Goes"

In olden days a rotten speller
Was looked on as an ignorant feller,
But now, heaven knows,
Anything goes.

And teachers who once preached exactitude
Now just say, "Whatever, dude."
Writing prose,
Anything goes.

Our words have gone bad today
And rein's reign today,
And cord's chord today,
And bate's bait today,
With no rules today
To be applied today
For whatever you compose.
And though I have a dictionary
I know it's now unnecessary,
For everyone knows,
Anything goes.

In years to come, we'll spend time searching
For meaning in such garbled wording,
But when anything goes,
Nobody knows.

The Oxford University Press dictionary also allows "shoe-in" for "shoo-in," but the Tribune editorial didn't mention that one. And today's Wall Street Journal uses "in the throws of" instead of "in the throes of." [Sigh]
 
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quote:
And today's Wall Street Journal uses "in the throws of" instead of "in the throes of." [Sigh]

I had always understood that Wall Street Journal was one of the better US newspapers. Mind you, I always read The Times (that's the real one, of course, not the New York interloper) Wink

And welcome, by the way, to our community. I hope you enjoy your time here.


Richard English
 
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Welcome, George! I enjoyed our talk today, and was hoping you'd join us. Good to see you here.

Folks, you should know that George is a transplanted Englishman, which of course explains his high erudition. He'll will have some interesting perspectives on trans-pond differences! (George, is there truth to the claim that that Americans don't do irony? Wink)

George, among the regulars here, your countrymen include Richard English, Bob Hale, arnie and pearce.
 
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Nice to see you, George. I read your poem and loved it. Many of us here are frustrated poets, especially enjoying limericks or double dactyls.
 
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And a few of us are not-so-frustrated poets.

Welcome to the board.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by George Clowes:
"Anything Goes


Oxford Dictionary editor Ben Zimmer explains the reasoning behind rein/reign, cord/chord, etc, and how anything does not go. ("vocal chords" is accepted in the UK and is the older spelling.)
 
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quote:
And a few of us are not-so-frustrated poets.
Frustrated in the sense that we'd like to be well-known and well-paid for our brilliance. Wink

The fact is, George, many of us very much enjoy writing poems, limericks, double dactyls and the like. (Is that better, Bob?)
 
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