Author Topic: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word  (Read 7265 times)

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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« on: May 17, 2008, 08:15:00 PM »
I hate it when I get mental blocks like this! I am trying to find an adjective which encapsulates the idea that the subject it so qualifies (which in this instance is a particular statement) has no meaning beyond what can be gathered from a face value consideration. In other words, I am looking for an adjective which effectively says: "there is nothing more to it than meets eye." I have already considered some obvious candidates: "plain," "simple," and "straightforward," but I am not comfortable with any of them given that they can be taken to mean something much broader than that which I specifically intend to convey.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 08:15:54 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 09:53:36 PM »
Ingenuous?

I'm not exactly sure what meaning you're trying to convey and not convey.

Let's imagine the word you want is "bimble". Use the word "bimble" in a sentence where you would like the adjective you are seeking to appear.
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Offline Quinault

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 10:11:46 PM »
The phrase; "Consider it at face value."

Transparent could work.

 

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 10:19:19 PM »
Intrinsic ?
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 10:30:00 PM »
superficial?
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 10:35:37 PM »
plainspoken?

direct?
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 10:45:26 PM »
You're right.  There is a word for this which escapes me at the moment.  However, the expression of the day, would be, "It is, what it is."  If I think of the proper term you are looking for, I'll reply again.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 10:45:51 PM »
prima facie?
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Offline Sarah

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 10:47:06 PM »
How about "mere"?

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 10:48:42 PM »
unambiguous?
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 10:51:03 PM »
Does the winner get a prize?  ;D
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 10:57:43 PM »
WYSIWYG?
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Offline Salpy

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 11:20:29 PM »
Obvious?

Offline SolEX01

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2008, 11:57:00 PM »
Absolute?

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 12:13:35 AM »
What a cute little game i've started here! Yes, the winner gets a nice animated emoticon courtesy of stashko.  :P

Well, I see that I haven't been exactly clear in regard to the precise context in which I require the word in question, so I will give a specific example that will hopefully help clarify things:

Let’s say the subject of the statement I am trying to make is a comment made by a certain Sarah which reads: "Greg lent his brother John 20 dollars."

Let’s then presume that whilst most people reading this comment would not feel inclined to consider that there is anything beyond the mere fact that Greg lent his brother John 20 dollars (brothers lend money to eachother all the time, and 20 dollars is not really a big deal), that there is in fact much to infer and say about this fact given certain contextual factors: e.g. John has always refused to lend Greg any money even though he has always had the available funds, and John is a millionaire whilst Greg struggles to pay his bills.

Now, fill in the blank:

"Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is ostensibly ___"

« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:14:44 AM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline Sarah

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2008, 12:48:30 AM »
Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is . . . none of Sarah's business what either Greg or John does with his money!

Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is . . . gossipy.  apparent.  guileless.  unadulterated.

Guess I'm using my thesaurus a little too much!  ;D

« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 12:49:55 AM by Sarah »

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2008, 03:07:47 AM »
Sorry, no emoticon for you! You've kind of missed the point i'm afraid.

I'm beggining to think the word i'm looking for does not exist.  :-\
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Offline jlerms

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2008, 03:56:57 AM »
EkristosAnesti,   Do any of these work?


unambiguous, precise, clear-cut, evident, definite, decided

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2008, 04:50:43 AM »
innocent?
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2008, 04:51:22 AM »
Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is . . . none of Sarah's business what either Greg or John does with his money!

Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is . . . gossipy.  apparent.  guileless.  unadulterated.

Guess I'm using my thesaurus a little too much!  ;D

^^LOL
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2008, 08:19:13 AM »
Unassuming, perhaps?
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Offline stashko

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2008, 01:13:42 PM »
What a cute little game i've started here! Yes, the winner gets a nice animated emoticon courtesy of stashko.  :P

Well, I see that I haven't been exactly clear in regard to the precise context in which I require the word in question, so I will give a specific example that will hopefully help clarify things:

Let’s say the subject of the statement I am trying to make is a comment made by a certain Sarah which reads: "Greg lent his brother John 20 dollars."

Let’s then presume that whilst most people reading this comment would not feel inclined to consider that there is anything beyond the mere fact that Greg lent his brother John 20 dollars (brothers lend money to eachother all the time, and 20 dollars is not really a big deal), that there is in fact much to infer and say about this fact given certain contextual factors: e.g. John has always refused to lend Greg any money even though he has always had the available funds, and John is a millionaire whilst Greg struggles to pay his bills.

Now, fill in the blank:

"Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is ostensibly ___"



Brother that is funny i like it.......Ha Ha Ha....here's one for you........SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0God's Peace....Xpictoc Bockpece......
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 01:14:42 PM by stashko »
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Offline Simayan

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2008, 01:38:01 PM »
Prosaic? Pedestrian? Banal?
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2008, 03:14:39 PM »
here's one for you........SmileyCentral.com" border="0
PIZZA!!!  Dude!  Where'd you get the pizza?  I want some! ;D
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2008, 08:52:34 PM »
Dear jlerms,

Close, but not close enough unfortunately! Those terms you propose are similar to the ones I considered earlier  i.e. plain, straightforward, simple.

innocent?
Unassuming, perhaps?

These proposed terms seem more concerned with the intention underlying Sarah's comment, and as such miss the mark. The word I am looking for implies something strictly with respect to the implications arising from the comment as it stands on its own terms regardless of the intention of the one making it.

The word I am looking for is supposed to imply something to the effect of "there is nothing more to what can be inferred at face value." The mere statement: "Greg lent John 20 dollars" ostensibly lends itself to that impression.

Brother that is funny i like it.......Ha Ha Ha....here's one for you........SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0God's Peace....Xpictoc Bockpece......

No one's given a right answer yet! Though I guess everyone deserves a slice for their efforts and concern! Do you have any good drinks to go with that pizza?
Baictihy Bockrece (Hope I got that one right).
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 08:53:06 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline Sarah

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2008, 09:47:31 PM »
What about "per se"?

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2008, 09:52:47 PM »
No one's given a right answer yet! Though I guess everyone deserves a slice for their efforts and concern! Do you have any good drinks to go with that pizza?
Baictihy Bockrece (Hope I got that one right).

Come on, EA, fess up! You have done this to torture the logophiles of the forum. I fell asleep thinking about this!!! ;D
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Offline Simayan

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2008, 09:56:11 PM »
Quote
What about "per se"?

When all else fails...use Latin!  ;)


Dumtaxat factum? (Meaning "Not more than the deed")
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 10:04:33 PM by Simayan »
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2008, 08:55:33 AM »
Natural.  ???
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2008, 04:55:40 PM »

How about:
   ...fact, factual, reality, actuality, phenomenon, or the TRUTH?
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2008, 06:39:00 PM »
Sorry all, i'm afraid that i've unwittingly lead you all on a hopeless quest for a word that simply does not exist, however appropriate it may seem that such a word should exist!

Game over. A slice of pizza for you all for your kind willingness to help:

SmileyCentral.com" border="0SmileyCentral.com" border="0
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 06:39:22 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline Sarah

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2008, 06:40:15 PM »
When all else fails...use Latin!  ;)


Dumtaxat factum? (Meaning "Not more than the deed")

At least what little bit I remember from H.S.!   ;D

Here are some more options:  "virtually," "specifically," or "period."  Hope they aren't repeats!

Are there any more clues you could give us as to what you want?

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You posted right before I did.  I do like pizza though, so thanks!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 06:41:29 PM by Sarah »

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2008, 01:25:28 PM »
I hate it when I get mental blocks like this! I am trying to find an adjective which encapsulates the idea that the subject it so qualifies (which in this instance is a particular statement) has no meaning beyond what can be gathered from a face value consideration. In other words, I am looking for an adjective which effectively says: "there is nothing more to it than meets eye." I have already considered some obvious candidates: "plain," "simple," and "straightforward," but I am not comfortable with any of them given that they can be taken to mean something much broader than that which I specifically intend to convey.

Depends on the "particular statement" you are trying to describe. Perhaps you'd get a better response if you were to share it? Anyway, if the statement has certain logical or rhetorical characteristics, you may well be looking for this adjective: Tautological.

While "tautology" has very regulated meanings in rhetoric and in specific types of formal (and symbolic) logic, it can be used to describe any statement that is obviously or inherently true, but which doesn't actually tell us anything really useful.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2008, 05:04:41 PM »
"Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is ostensibly ___"

The key seems to be the word "ostensibly". 

ostensibly;
adverb
On the surface: apparently, evidently, externally, ostensively, outwardly, seemingly, superficially. Idioms: on the face of it, to all appearances.



Are you trying to say that the comment that Sarah made is telling in spite of her apparent, contrived or otherwise, lack of guile. 

In other words, is she making the comment to let the facts be exposed (ie dropping someone in it) while retaining the air of unintention?

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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2008, 09:34:25 PM »
Depends on the "particular statement" you are trying to describe. Perhaps you'd get a better response if you were to share it?

I gave an example of such a statement later on:

Let’s say that the subject of the sentence I am trying to make is a statement made by a certain Sarah which reads: "Greg lent his brother John 20 dollars."

Let’s then presume that whilst most people reading this comment would not feel inclined to consider that there is anything beyond the mere fact that Greg lent his brother John 20 dollars (brothers lend money to eachother all the time, and 20 dollars is not really a big deal), that there is in fact much to infer and say about this fact given certain contextual factors: e.g. John has always refused to lend Greg any money even though he has always had the available funds, and John is a millionaire whilst Greg struggles to pay his bills.

Now, fill in the blank:

"Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is ostensibly ___"


Anyway, if the statement has certain logical or rhetorical characteristics, you may well be looking for this adjective: Tautological.

While "tautology" has very regulated meanings in rhetoric and in specific types of formal (and symbolic) logic, it can be used to describe any statement that is obviously or inherently true, but which doesn't actually tell us anything really useful.

Good suggestion, but unfortunately it's not what i'm looking for either. In considering the example I gave above, assume that it is not at all obvious to anyone that Greg ever lent 20 dollars to his brother. Sarah announces this news to a completely unexpecting audience.
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2008, 09:41:24 PM »
"Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is ostensibly ___"

The key seems to be the word "ostensibly". 

ostensibly;
adverb
On the surface: apparently, evidently, externally, ostensively, outwardly, seemingly, superficially. Idioms: on the face of it, to all appearances.



Are you trying to say that the comment that Sarah made is telling in spite of her apparent, contrived or otherwise, lack of guile. 

In other words, is she making the comment to let the facts be exposed (ie dropping someone in it) while retaining the air of unintention?

Assume Sarah has the best of intentions (actual and apparent). Sarah did not intend for the statement to be "ostensibly ____", the statement just happens to be that way. Assume, for example, that Sarah herself is unaware of the relevant contextual factors surrounding the statement in question.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 09:41:48 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline Sarah

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2008, 10:39:45 PM »
If none of the suggestions fits the bill, maybe you're right that there isn't a word.  Maybe it's a phrase you're looking for.

If those to whom Sarah makes this announcement can infer the deeper meaning, then Sarah is either oblivious or obtuse or devious.  Maybe she knows what a stink it will cause by "innocently" revealing what the brothers may not have wanted known.  Maybe she really doesn't realize she is spilling the beans since it's such an innocuous sentence.  Maybe by the way she says it, her audience will find intrigue where there is none or dismiss it as not newsworthy.

I know you said the game is over, but this has piqued the curiosity of at least one poster!

Offline stashko

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2008, 10:50:01 PM »
If none of the suggestions fits the bill, maybe you're right that there isn't a word.  Maybe it's a phrase you're looking for.

If those to whom Sarah makes this announcement can infer the deeper meaning, then Sarah is either oblivious or obtuse or devious.  Maybe she knows what a stink it will cause by "innocently" revealing what the brothers may not have wanted known.  Maybe she really doesn't realize she is spilling the beans since it's such an innocuous sentence.  Maybe by the way she says it, her audience will find intrigue where there is none or dismiss it as not newsworthy.

I know you said the game is over, but this has piqued the curiosity of at least one poster!

A nice smiley for you ......you did try ........this whole tread is so funny i like it...SmileyCentral.com" border="0

« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 10:56:09 PM by stashko »
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Offline Sarah

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2008, 10:55:02 PM »
Thanks for the smiley!  This has been a fun exercise.   ;D

Offline Eleos

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Re: English vocabulary: Trying to find a suitable word
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2008, 01:16:02 AM »
"Sarah's comment is rather telling in spite of the fact it is ostensibly ___"
opaque.
"The Unity of the Church, as Your Holinesses well know it, is the will of God and ought to be an inspiring example to all men. It should always be a help and not a hindrance to the unity of men of different religions."-Emperor Haile Selassie To the Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches 1965