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ABUSED WORDS

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 08:11 am
@DrewDad,
When they came out with that moral majority ****, you could buy buttons which read "The Moral Majority is neither." Values has been beaten to death, has become a buzzword, and no longer means anything. It's also a mean-spirited term to use, because it implies that those with whom one disagrees do not value anything, or don't value anything worthwhile. Politics is a dirty, nasty business.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 May, 2009 10:20 am
@Setanta,
Good to know some people are even slower than we are. Count your blessings.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 10:42 am
One more. When watching a tv show, where there is someone fielding questions from an audience, sometimes a speaker may react to the person asking a question with, "Good question," before answering. This strikes me as a pat on one's own back type compliment, that the speaker is giving him/herself, since it takes some intelligence to determine if a question is "good," or inane. If the speaker just said something to the effect, "I will try to answer that," I would give the speaker "A+" for humility.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:57 pm
@aidan,
Hi Aidan. I'm not of the BrE variety so I can't help you with the nuances of BrE greetings. McTag, Steve and some others could help you with these.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 01:03 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
But in American society, "Nazi" has become almost meaningless.


Words don't become meaningless through use, they come to be defined more clearly for more people. You say it's become meaningless and then you give two very apt meanings.

"Or rather, the meaning has deteriorated to roughly "someone i really, really hate, and whom i wish to portray in the most scurrilous terms."

You then go on to describe situations where it is used which is precisely what language does. There are a number of nuances for idiot, too. Have you considered that?
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 May, 2009 04:54 pm
The legacy of this, [to follow], is part of what causes so many of these nonsense language threads, and so much of the nonsense that comes out in these threads.


Quote:


50 Years of Stupid Grammar

by Geoffrey K. Pullum

April 16 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of a little book that is loved and admired throughout American academe. Celebrations, readings, and toasts are being held, and a commemorative edition has been released.
I won't be celebrating.

The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students' grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it.
The authors won't be hurt by these critical remarks. They are long dead. William Strunk was a professor of English at Cornell about a hundred years ago, and E.B. White, later the much-admired author of Charlotte's Web, took English with him in 1919, purchasing as a required text the first edition, which Strunk had published privately. After Strunk's death, White published a New Yorker article reminiscing about him and was asked by Macmillan to revise and expand Elements for commercial publication. It took off like a rocket (in 1959) and has sold millions.

This was most unfortunate for the field of English grammar, because both authors were grammatical incompetents. Strunk had very little analytical understanding of syntax, White even less. Certainly White was a fine writer, but he was not qualified as a grammarian. Despite the post-1957 explosion of theoretical linguistics, Elements settled in as the primary vehicle through which grammar was taught to college students and presented to the general public, and the subject was stuck in the doldrums for the rest of the 20th century.

[read on]

http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i32/32b01501.htm



0 Replies
 
 

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