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Picture of Kalleh
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My daughter asked me if "promiscuous" means anything else besides being sexually "loose" or indiscriminate. I wasn't sure because that's the only way I've ever heard it used. Yet, the dictionaries say that it means "done or applied with no regard for method or order." The online Random House Dictionary more specifically says, "consisting of parts, elements, or individuals of different kinds brought together without order."

Have you seen it used any other way than to be sexually indiscriminate?
 
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Yes, a few times, although I can't remember the contexts now.


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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Yes. I no more think of "promiscuous" as relating exclusively to sex than I do "morality," although the talk radio crowd might think otherwise.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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But, Geoff, morality and sex are related, aren't they?

I was just wondering in what context it would be used when not addressing sexuality/morality. For example, if I brought together different types of people for no specific reason, would it be a promiscuous gathering?
 
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I don't think I'd ever use it, but here are some examples:

M-W
quote:

2: not restricted to one class, sort, or person : indiscriminate <education … cheapened through the promiscuous distribution of diplomas — Norman Cousins>

4: casual, irregular <promiscuous eating habits>

a promiscuous selection of poems

since I just collect stamps that I happen to like, my collection is pretty promiscuous


Wordnik

quote:
The basis of Hoofnail's book was seven of the fifty experiments included in the section Boyle called "Concerning Promiscuous Experiments about Colors," a section in which Boyle discussed the generation of colors, light refraction, laws of contrast, and the creation of painters 'and dyers' color.
The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe

# "(HE COUGHS THOUGHTFULLY, DRILY) Promiscuous nakedness is much in evidence hereabouts, eh?"
Ulysses

# "Promiscuous bombing, as the Hun did it, is absolutely prohibited."
Development of Aircraft in War

# "Browne's quaint poem, _To the deceased Author, before the Promiscuous printing of his Poems, the Looser Sort, with the"
The Art of Letters


Webster's 1828 Dictionary

quote:
A wild where weeds and flow'rs promiscuous shoot.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
But, Geoff, morality and sex are related, aren't they?


Tinman gave you the answer! Promiscuity, morality, and molestation are all terms that need not be related to sexual activity, yet we've been brainwashed into thinking of them that way. I feel that all three should be more liberally used, but then I'm a prescriptivist, and such people are word molesters who advocate verbal intercourse. Wink


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Another word which seems to have a "scandalous" meaning and a more proper usage is "notoriety." It's been used on this site several times but always in its negative connotation. But last weekend I heard a football announcer refer to a player's "notoriety" because of some good works he'd done in the community. I thought the comment was off-the-wall until I looked it up and found the second, more preferable, definition.


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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Proofreader, I would have guessed you'd say "Promiscuous" was the titan who stole fire from the gods and gave it to men, thereby making them hot for each other. Roll Eyes


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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You're thinking of Prometheous, the guy who sold drugs at the dance.


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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From the "Wind and the Lion"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073906/quotes


Eden: And this is your way? Abducting women and children?

Raisuli: I prefer to fight the European armies, but they do not fight as men - they fight as dogs! Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes! Sometimes, this is not possible. Then, they fight with rifles. The Europeans have guns that fire many times promiscuously and rend the Earth. There is no honor in this - nothing is decided from this. Therefore, I take women and children when it pleases me!


RJA
 
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Good quote, RJA! I'm sure it was used elsewhere on this board. Anybody remember where/why?


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

Good remembering.
It seems I have repeated myself, in a different context:

http://wordcraft.infopop.cc/ev...=427102316#427102316


RJA
 
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quote:
Another word which seems to have a "scandalous" meaning and a more proper usage is "notoriety." It's been used on this site several times but always in its negative connotation
Funny, because I don't think of it with a negative connotation. In looking it up in dictionary.com, for the definition "a notorious or celebrated person," it said chiefly British. Do the British use this word differently?
 
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