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Author Topic: That begs the question: What is irony?  (Read 7404 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 02, 2011, 01:36:32 AM »

Language curmudgeons unite!

Discuss words, phrases, tropes, what have you, that you think are used incorrectly or have been emptied of all meaning!

NOTE: I truly am a descriptivist at heart (words mean as they are used), but some words and phrases kill me when I hear them mis-used.

We have:

Irony
Begs the question

An oldie but goodie: inflammable.

I have many. But would like to let my fellow cantankerous lexicographers vent.

Absurd neologisms and jargon are welcome as are backronyms and all other forms of proliferating lingual laxity.


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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 01:57:15 AM »

How about the overused: devestating, devestated, etc. is my favorite in this category.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 01:59:55 AM »

How about the overused: devestating, devestated, etc. is my favorite in this category.

Decimated!

Just the other day, a neighbor told me their team decimated the other in some stupid video game.

I asked: You reduced them by a tenth?

Neighbor: *Blank stare*
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 02:11:45 AM »

Well, you've already used my primary one in a most insensitive fashion, but there are several other minor ones.

I'm somewhat disappointed that the meaning of unbelievable has managed to change.

I second both the overuse of devastated and the brazenly incorrect usage of decimated!

On a semi-related note, I recently overheard this conversation:
"Yeah, my brother is quite the renaissance man."
"Oh? Mine is too; you should see his costumes."   Embarrassed
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 02:15:10 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 02:30:41 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

*snobbish sniff*
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 02:57:57 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

American is spoken here. There will be no room for Little Lord Fauntleroy Nancy-Boy Boarding School for Sniveling Albino Hemophiliacs shenanigans here.
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 09:05:47 AM »

On a semi-related note, I recently overheard this conversation:
"Yeah, my brother is quite the renaissance man."
"Oh? Mine is too; you should see his costumes."   Embarrassed

That reminds me of when I was in college.

"What are you studying?" someone would ask.
"Classics."
"Oh, I love Dickens!"
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 09:47:05 AM »

The mispronunciation of etcetera always makes me cringe.  "Excetra" is the worst offender.
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 09:50:35 AM »

My biggest peeve is when nouns are used as verbs; for example, "tasked." And I bridle whenever the word "unique" is qualified: something is either unique or it's not. It's not very, kind of, unusually or almost unique.
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 10:14:13 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

What kind of differences there are between American and Canadian English?
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 10:26:55 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

What kind of differences there are between American and Canadian English?

...eh?
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 10:33:31 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

What kind of differences there are between American and Canadian English?

It is like American English except you sprinkle in words like deke and fluky and end most sentences with an upward inflection to turn them into questions.  It also helps if you randomly insult the Newfies.  
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 10:37:30 AM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

What kind of differences there are between American and Canadian English?

You want me to make a post aboot that, eh?   police
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 10:47:10 AM »

"Safe haven".
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 12:03:58 PM »

My biggest peeve is the misuse of words such as less/fewer and bring/take. It seems people are unwilling (or unable) to count, and don't know which way they're headed!
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 12:04:20 PM »

You want me to make a post aboot that, eh?   police

D'oh! I should have thought checking Wikipedia first.

Btw, this topic is actually the first time when it occurs to me that there could be differences between U.S. English and Canadian English.
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 12:31:56 PM »

I'm constantly seeing people misspell the expression "toe the line" as "*tow* the line" - which doesn't mean the same thing at all!!
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2011, 01:26:07 PM »

I bet that before the 15th post a Canadian or Englishperson will slam Amerikans for how we use dat dere English. In the mean time, I approve of the geekery going on in this thread.

What kind of differences there are between American and Canadian English?

You want me to make a post aboot that, eh?   police


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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2011, 02:34:03 PM »

Y'all must of been English majors!!!
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2011, 07:46:33 PM »

My biggest peeve is the misuse of words such as less/fewer and bring/take. It seems people are unwilling (or unable) to count, and don't know which way they're headed!

I cannot possibly explain the difference between "bring" and "take" to anyone at work.

The difference between the two is going the way of the dinosaurs in America. It seems to my ears, "bring" will eventually capture the meaning of both.
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2011, 07:49:16 PM »

I'm constantly seeing people misspell the expression "toe the line" as "*tow* the line" - which doesn't mean the same thing at all!!

Point taken. But for some of us having to "toe the line", as it were, was the end to many nights before receiving public accommodations courtesy of the State.
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2011, 07:50:16 PM »

"Safe haven".

ATM machine.
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2011, 07:57:07 PM »

Site, cite, and sight.  Three different words, with three different meanings, one even starts with a "c", but we don't seem able to grasp homophones in this day and age.  Also "homonym" for "homophone".
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2011, 08:08:05 PM »

Site, cite, and sight.  Three different words, with three different meanings, one even starts with a "c", but we don't seem able to grasp homophones in this day and age.  Also "homonym" for "homophone".

It's homophobia.
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2011, 08:09:35 PM »

Y'all must of been English majors!!!

English as a second language.
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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2011, 08:14:34 PM »

Site, cite, and sight.  Three different words, with three different meanings, one even starts with a "c", but we don't seem able to grasp homophones in this day and age.  Also "homonym" for "homophone".

It's homophobia.

Since we are getting into orthography, might as well throw out the latest and lollest of all blunders. My favorite sign in my neighborhood says it all:

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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2011, 08:15:15 PM »

I'm constantly seeing people misspell the expression "toe the line" as "*tow* the line" - which doesn't mean the same thing at all!!
Toe-ing the line is much harder than towing the line, and causes you to walk funny.  But I guess "to each his own" (sa-zich, sa-zone).
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« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2011, 08:16:30 PM »

Site, cite, and sight.  Three different words, with three different meanings, one even starts with a "c", but we don't seem able to grasp homophones in this day and age.  Also "homonym" for "homophone".
It's homophobia.

Why do you say that?  Are you homophobic?  police   laugh
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« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2011, 08:16:48 PM »

My biggest peeve is when nouns are used as verbs; for example, "tasked." And I bridle whenever the word "unique" is qualified: something is either unique or it's not. It's not very, kind of, unusually or almost unique.

This is one thing that Fr. Hopko ever does that strains my ears. He frequently qualifies "unique" improperly.

"Unique" can be qualified properly, just not in degree.

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« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2011, 08:17:36 PM »

Site, cite, and sight.  Three different words, with three different meanings, one even starts with a "c", but we don't seem able to grasp homophones in this day and age.  Also "homonym" for "homophone".

They are homophonobic   Wink
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« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2011, 08:19:58 PM »

In terms of phrases, I think Mr. Burns has overdone "excellent Smithers" and spoiled it for the rest of us. 
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« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2011, 08:26:02 PM »

When people refer to themselves as an alpha male it makes me laugh out loud.
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« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2011, 08:33:38 PM »

When people refer to themselves as an alpha male it makes me laugh out loud.
Yes, I have to climb on board with that one as well.  I just heard, a few days ago, someone say on a news show "the alpha male is back."   Tongue
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« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2011, 08:36:46 PM »

"You can't put all your eggs in one basket" is used by many but its meaning, particularly by experience, known to few. 
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« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2011, 08:41:28 PM »

"You can't put all your eggs in one basket" is used by many but its meaning, particularly by experience, known to few. 

Along the same line:

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
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« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2011, 09:13:50 PM »

Surely we can think of a way for something to spread quickly that isn't "like wildfire."
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« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2011, 09:15:09 PM »

Ooh, I know that one! (waves hand in the air madly)

It's because when you're buying a horse, you inspect its teeth (among other things), but when someone GIVES you a horse, you should accept it and be grateful.  Even if it's 90 years old and hasn't one tooth left.  Because it's free!

Am I right?  Will someone give me a horse so I can put this into practice? Cheesy
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« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2011, 09:25:21 PM »

Ooh, I know that one! (waves hand in the air madly)

It's because when you're buying a horse, you inspect its teeth (among other things), but when someone GIVES you a horse, you should accept it and be grateful.  Even if it's 90 years old and hasn't one tooth left.  Because it's free!

Am I right?  Will someone give me a horse so I can put this into practice? Cheesy

As a priest i have to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Otherwise, we get a lot of junk that people don't want that doesn't work sitting around the church (and don't sell at yard sales either), so that people don't have to pay the fee to take it down to the dump. 
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« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2011, 09:32:42 PM »

Ooh, I know that one! (waves hand in the air madly)

It's because when you're buying a horse, you inspect its teeth (among other things), but when someone GIVES you a horse, you should accept it and be grateful.  Even if it's 90 years old and hasn't one tooth left.  Because it's free!

Am I right?  Will someone give me a horse so I can put this into practice? Cheesy

Before the days of google, I had numerous people in bars try to convince me it had to do with the Trojan Horse. Now you just settle the discussion in seconds and collect your bet more easily.
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« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2011, 09:51:29 PM »

"Indescribable" - an adjective describing a noun which can't be described.
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« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2011, 09:58:57 PM »

"Indescribable" - an adjective describing a noun which can't be described.

Apophatic much?
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« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2011, 10:34:25 PM »

Question:  What is irony?
Answer:  Ferrish?
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« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2011, 11:10:03 PM »

Question:  What is irony?
Answer:  Ferrish?

OK it has been a day and I have no idea what you getting at here. I humbly ask you clarify.
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« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2011, 11:10:20 PM »

Irregardless.
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