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Picture of Kalleh
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Yes, I read z's post when it was linked to earlier.

In looking in the OED, the first definition is "bright or lively-looking, esp. in colour; brilliant, showy." That has quotes starting from 1225. Definition #2 is "Noble, beautiful, excellent, fine;" #3 is "Of persons, their attributes, actions, etc.: light-hearted, carefree; manifesting, characterized by, or disposed to joy and mirth; exuberantly cheerful, merry; sportive. Also in extended use."

The fourth definition is "Wanton, lewd, lascivious," with quotations from 1405. So, yes, it has meant something related to sexuality for a long time. However, its meaning has also, for a longer time it seems, been used to mean "bright, lively, joyful."

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
 
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Hi Goofy;

Your last post said:
quote:
So you know what he means by "home"! You're basically saying "he is using word X to mean Y" - you understand him.

... but this is a comment on the astuteness of the listener, not the accuracy or correctness of the remark. Anyway, again I am only being cheeky, but I wonder where in tar-nation you are going with these arguments? Why hurl accusatory terms like "you admit" at me? Are you trying to bash me into some sort of submission to an issue where I don't really disagree with you?

In short, I don't seem to be getting my message across, and so, I must suppose that I have done a poor job of explaining why I flinch when I hear "home" substituted for "house" - and that is, I contend, that this substitution is so often a "dishonest" attempt to imbue the simple house with a whole set of [desirable?] fuzzy characteristics (the warmth and coziness of the home, etc) that it doesn't inherently possess! This is, in effect, an effort to make the house (the edifice, that is) something more desirable than it actually is, all to support an agenda to advance the cause of the user of the word. It is no accident, I contend, that real estate agents ALWAYS refer to what they are buying and selling as "homes", never "houses".

Moreover, this is part and parcel of the ubiquitous attempt in our modern pop culture to obfuscate, disinfect, elevate, or add "interest fat" to everything we talk about. For example, we use "math" when we mean "arithmetic", "student" when we mean "pupil", "rain event" when we mean "rain", "Human Resources" when we mean "Personnel" and "Resources" when we mean "staff", "people" or "employees". We use "African American" when we mean "negro", and "First Nations" when we mean "aborigine" or "native". We have upgraded "star" (as in "celebrity") to "super star" or "mega star", and so on. We do not use "disabled" any more, preferring "differently enabled" or "challenged". Today we refer to "shellshock" as "post traumatic stress syndrome" (thanks, George), and even "disease" is often used as a substitution for "addiction". The list is endless. And using "home" to mean "house" fits the mold perfectly. These substitutions are all driven by agendas of various sorts, and I suspect you can see these as readily as I can! Again, I offer no comment or opinion on the wisdom, appropriateness, or correctness of any of these agendas, but merely note that they are at work ... and not in a minor way.

So, if you think that it is a pure accident that "home" is so often as a substitute for "house", when "house" would exactly fill the bill, then that is up to you. But I don't! I believe that, at least as far as the real estate industry goes, this is a manipulative and considered deception, if subtle, that is being systematically practiced on us. Years ago, these items were referred to (even by the real estate industry) as "houses". I remember this quite distinctly.

Your rambling paragraph near the end of your last post is directed at a target I do not see or understand - to wit:
quote:
.... this is how language works. We rely on context. Just about every word has more than one meaning. If we're not sure about something, we ask for clarification. Ambiguity is everywhere. Ambiguity is a feature, not a bug. If there is real confusion about what someone means when they say "home" (and I haven't seen any evidence that there is*) then there is confusion over every utterance in English.
... and I am at mild odds with most of it, but I must disagree fervently with at least one of its assertions that I see as completely absurd, for ambiguity (and lack of precision generally) in language usage is indeed a bug, and a severe one! Because it is so often a feature of language, particularly poorly used language, we may be reduced to having to rely, as best we can, on context, or, if matters are bad enough, we must go back to ask for clarification (when often that opportunity simply doesn't exist)!

That last assertion of mine is exactly why I spend time on forums such as this (and applaud the people who start and manage them). I believe that there is reason, in terms of our using language, to fight against obfuscation, ambiguity and wanton lack of clarity, careless use, hidden agendas, ignorance, and laziness. I have seen how these evils (if I might be so dramatic) can draw down disproportionate consequences on the speaker/writer, or on the entity he represents - and, if you think about it, so can you! Often we must "live or die" on how we express something, for exchanges between speaker and listener are often not between friends, but between entities that are neither benign nor kindly and which may have agendas that are directly opposed.

So, yes, language is under considerable stress, but we have as much reason today to strive for clarity as we have ever had.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: WeeWilly,


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
Posts: 209 | Location: Toronto, CanadaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
Hi Goofy;

Your last post said:
quote:
So you know what he means by "home"! You're basically saying "he is using word X to mean Y" - you understand him.

... but this is a comment on the astuteness of the listener, not the accuracy or correctness of the remark.


The thing is, what the listener understands me to mean is what I mean. How else are we to determine what words mean, other than by how they are used and understood? If we use and understand “home” to mean “house”, then that is one of the meanings of “home”, and this meaning is clear, whether you like it or not.

That's all I'm trying to say. I know you don't like this use of “home”, you've made that very clear. Go ahead and continue to not like it. But it is a meaning of the word, and you haven't provided any evidence for a lack of clarity.

quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
Anyway, again I am only being cheeky, but I wonder where in tar-nation you are going with these arguments? Why hurl accusatory terms like "you admit" at me? Are you trying to bash me into some sort of submission to an issue where I don't really disagree with you?

I thought you stated that you understood this meaning. Perhaps I misread you.

And we do seem to disagree a lot about how language works. You seem to think that some words are somehow deceptive or manipulative, and that if we don't strive for absolute clarity all the time, something terrible will happen. I think all those examples you give (student/pupil etc) are just examples of language change. Most of them are not evidence of some sort of agenda to obfuscate or otherwise. Some of them might be part of a conscious agenda, but the fact that you can tell me what they “really mean” shows that you understand them all. So what is the problem, other than you don't like them?

I'm sure you know about how writers in the past complained about words that are a normal part of our language now. “Contact” as a verb was one. In the 1800s there were complaints about “jeopardize”. Swift complained about how people pronounced “drudged” as one syllable. I don't see your examples as anything different.

I also think that ambiguity is everywhere, and it's useful. If you read the post I linked to, there is some speculation as to why ambiguity exists: ‘[I]nference is cheap, articulation expensive, and thus the design requirements are for a system that maximizes inference’. It's worth making trade offs: ignoring some potential ambiguity when the chance of real confusion is low.

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quote:
are just examples of language change


They are indeed examples, but not "just" examples ... not by a long shot!

We have some very different takes on the forces at work here. To repeat a remark I made:
quote:
So, if you think that it is a pure accident that "home" is so often used as a substitute for "house", when "house" would exactly fill the bill, then that is up to you. But I don't!
... and I spent thousands of words and effort in this thread to explain why ... to suggest that we should all use "house" when we mean "house" and we should not substitute "home".

Cheerio.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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quote:
... and I spent thousands of words and effort in this thread to explain why ... to suggest that we should all use "house" when we mean "house" and we should not substitute "home".

And the dialogue has been interesting. I, for one, have so much enjoyed it.

Like most everything else in life, there is no "right" or "wrong" here. You have both made great cases, and to be honest, I am somewhat in the middle of both your and goofy's positions.
 
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quote:
there is no "right" or "wrong" here
... true, but this a comeback often used to justify the most hideous things!

We just had a George Carlin marathon (comprised, obviously, of his old shows) on our comedy channel, and - can you believe it? - he touched on the modern euphemism of using "home" to mean "house". I had never heard that particular rant before.

Carlin was a horrible curmudgeon, but I miss him, for he had one of the most incisive views of our society and its weaknesses. He didn't miss a trick.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
Posts: 209 | Location: Toronto, CanadaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by WeeWilly:
quote:
there is no "right" or "wrong" here
... true, but this a comeback often used to justify the most hideous things!


We're really not talking about the same thing. You're talking about an opinion, and I'm talking about facts. This is why we don't seem to be addressing each other's points.
 
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No, actually we are very much on the same wavelength, I think. Smile


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Picture of BobHale
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So, let's summarise the state of play.

Everyone agrees that people use "home" to mean "house".
WeeWilly doesn't like this usage.
goofy acknowledges that WeeWilly is free to not like it if he chooses.
goofy hasn't expressed whether he likes it or not but simply accepts it as a fact.

Seems to be a lot of energy being expended here on debating something that we essentially all agree about.

Does that about sum it all up?


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Hear, hear.
 
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Yes, Bob, you've precisely driven the point house - er, home! Odd, though, that when they talk in macro terms, it's always, "the housing market." Go figure!
 
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WeeWilly said that the usage was the fault of real estate developers, and I pointed out that it wasn't.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by goofy:
WeeWilly said that the usage was the fault of real estate developers, and I pointed out that it wasn't.
Whoa! Let's be careful here. This particular mis-usage is something that has been taken up with a vengeance and spread by the real estate industry; they were not the originators of the mis-use, that being much older!

A discussion on words and their usage is the very essence of a forum on words. On such a forum, putting forward an argument pro or con any particular word usage, based solely on whether or not one likes a word, is just not adequate! I was doing my poor best to suggest why we all should not use "home" when we mean "house", and giving reasons for this suggestion. Hence I don't agree with or like BobHale's summary of the current state of the discussion, since it ignores the heroic(?) effort I put forth to explain why my dislike of this particular usage is not a mere whim, and where I labored away to show the "dishonest" motivations behind its use (including demonstrating that it is part of prevailing modern verbal and societal a-la-modalities). No-one addressed any of those arguments in a meaningful way.

But I do agree that this particular topic has long ago been thrashed to oblivion, and we have wrung out of it what we are going to! Frown

Aside: In fact, the lack of traction that my arguments found here is one reason I abandoned bringing up another pet peeve of mine - to wit, the variations around modern constructions involving "to be able". Mayhap this will await another thread ... but, if so, I see I'll have to gird my loins, so to speak! Wink

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"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
Posts: 209 | Location: Toronto, CanadaReply With QuoteReport This Post
<Proofreader>
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Hereis a list of words not to use.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Oh, yes, I saw this list. I so agree with polar vortex and foodie. I am sick of them both.
 
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"Skill Set" is excellent word-dumpster fodder, and, like Kalleh, I have had enough of "polar vortex". The other words on the list are mostly non-starters for me since I don't really know them.


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Yes, I agree about "skill set," but I also am sick of "takeaway." We're always asked what our "takeaway" on some project or whatever is. I want to say, "NOTHING!" Wink

BTW, do the British use takeaway to mean what we call takeout food?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:


BTW, do the British use takeaway to mean what we call takeout food?


yes


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Picture of arnie
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quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:


BTW, do the British use takeaway to mean what we call takeout food?


yes

Although a lot depends on the area of the country. "take-away", "take-out", "carry-out", and several other similar expressions are used and can be one word, hyphenated, or two discrete words.


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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Picture of arnie
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quote:
Originally posted by arnie:
quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:


BTW, do the British use takeaway to mean what we call takeout food?


yes

Although a lot depends on the area of the country. "Take-away", "take-out", "carry-out", and other similar expressions are used and can be one word, hyphenated, or two discrete words.


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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In the UK "take-away" (hyphenated or not) food is food "to go" in our North American parlance.

Kalleh: I have no opinion on your "take away" (which is near unbelievable in its own right), and mayhap because I do not know your reference. Are your objections to its use as in, for example, "So, what do you all take away from this symposium?" ... to mean "So, what have you all got out of this symposium?"? If so, I also don't particularly like the usage because I always want to reply "The paper and pen I brought to it, Git!"

By the way, did I need the two question marks where I placed them? I'll be damned if I know! Red Face


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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quote:
By the way, did I need the two question marks where I placed them? I'll be damned if I know!

I'd say yes. Your question contains a quote that is itself a question. You could rewrite the question if the two question marks bother you, for example: Are your objections to its use when asking, for example, what delegates took away from a symposium to mean what they got out of the symposium?


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 can see "take away" as a verb (What did you take away from the conference?) but not as a noun (Experience at the conference was my take away).
 
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Thanks, Arnie ... that was my take on the "?" issue.

IMHO Proofreader has nailed it with his take on "take away".


"The smell of the dust they kicked up was rich and satisfying" - Grahame
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Are your objections to its use as in, for example, "So, what do you all take away from this symposium?" ... to mean "So, what have you all got out of this symposium?"?
Yes, that's exactly it. I think it's patronizing.
 
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<Proofreader>
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Listening to commentary during a basketball game, I heard the announcer say "He physically touched the ball," and "He could visibly see the shot." Isn't that an excellent example of redundancy, in that touching something is always a physical act, while how else can one see except visibly?

The announcer also mentioned a player "staying within himself." Is an out-of-body experience part of the game?
 
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Originally posted by Proofreader:


Is an out-of-body experience part of the game?
No, just an out-of-his-mind one.
 
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I do think the use of those adverbs, "physically" and "visibly" is odd. Of course when you touch the ball it's physically or it's visually when you see the shot. I wonder why the author felt the need to use those words.
 
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