5
   

reckon and think

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:08 pm
"I reckon that I should buy this gift." Could I use "think" instead of "reckon" here? What's the difference between these two wrods?



Thank you.
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 3,952 • Replies: 26
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:20 pm
@jinmin1988,
Yes, you could use "think".

The difference is mainly that "reckon" is slang, and a regional colloquialism. Outside of specific regions it's just not really used.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 10:17 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I used the word once to often and my sister accused me of reckon the language.

Growing up with an older sister is not for the faint hearted.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 09:46 am
@roger,
I lived in Texas a bit, I think she had a point.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 09:50 am
based on my time in Tennessee, reckon is the standard thereabouts. Rolling Eyes

(i think it's a bible thing)
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 10:20 am
@Rockhead,
It's SO not a Bible thing. It is just like Robert said - a colloquialism. Some people use it more than others. Razz Reckon I ought to kick your ass, Rock. Very Happy
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 12:05 pm
@mismi,
I've heard entire conversations made up almost entirely of "Ah reckon" "Ya reckon?", and "You got that right!" Sometimes, context is everything.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 01:29 pm
@roger,
Well - I just reckon some folks like to talk that way - I found an etymology - you all can decide if you think it is a legitimate word or not. Wink

Quote:
ETYMOLOGICAL RECKONING
Though recent American usage has moved the word "reckon" into the neighbourhood of "guess", it would be as foolish to remove it from the discourse about calculation as it would be to ban "cool" from the vocabulary of temperature. To ascertain that this hunch (and a few others) were not off the wall, I did some etymological exploring. (K.H.)
The following is from Roots of English by Prof. Eugene Cotter of Seton Hall University (cf. http://pirate.shu.edu/~cottereu/rootsof.htm).
Italics and underlines are his, boldface and contents of square brackets were added.

Under "reason".
/reas /rati 'to think; calculate'.

L ratio 'calculation; reason'. L reri 'to calculate, count, think, reckon'
The whole group is from
L ratus pp of reri, 'to count, calculate, reckon, (and so) to think'.

reason is from ME resoun <OF raison, <L ratio, 'reason, computation',
and is akin to Gothic rathjo, 'account, advice', L reri, 'to calculate',
and Gk arariskein, 'to fit'.
This last, Gk arariskein, is ultimately akin to L ars, '[art], skill',
L arma, 'weapons', Gk harmos, 'joint', L armus, 'shoulder',
all of which are akin to OE earm, ME-E arm.


Under "count".
/put /pute ' to prune; reckon, think'.

L putare 1. 'to prune', 2. ' to purify, correct (an account), count, calculate'.
Perhaps there were two separate roots, with the second, 'to purify'
(especially, to count) deriving from L putus 'pure'.

count is from ME counten <OF conter [F compter] < L computare

Under "techno".
/techn /tect /test 'art, skill, craft'.

Gk tekhne 'a working with the hands, a craft, manual skill'.
akin to Gk tekton 'builder, carpenter, L texere 'to weave',
Skt taksati 'he forms, constructs'.
[Further down the long list of cognates, one finds:]

test [in] ME [a] cup to separate precious metals, a cupel < OF a pot
< L testum 'earthen vessel', akin to L testa 'shell, earthen pot', from texere.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




AFTERTHOUGHTS
At one point I was tempted to relate reckon to F recompter, but that would have been a mistake. Both my "American Heritage Dictionary" (despite its name an erudite Harvard tome) and my "Wahrig" agree that it and its German cousin rechnen come from the IE root /reg, which has spin-offs like regulate, rectify, real, regal, rich, maharaja, and even anorexia.

The former dictionary (AHD) has reckon meaning: "1. To count or compute. 2. To consider as being; regard as. 3. Informal. To think or assume." These meanings are listed in the reverse order by the "Collins Cobuild" dictionary, with explanations as to their usage. The one concerning us here comes off as follows: "3 If you reckon an amount, you calculate it; an old-fashioned or formal use", with examples like "Scylla reckoned on her fingers".

Formal or not, it seems to be a legitimate verb for calculation. If you look it up in Harrap's French-English dictionary, you find compter, calculer, and in the other direction, calcul gives calculation, reckoning, computation. Was there never a time and place where reckoning was a school subject in English?


http://www.pims.math.ca/~hoek/opinions/EtymReckon.html
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 11:26 am
It's a Southern expression going back to the 1600's.

When I found out that my name was NOT Elizabeth, but Lettbee, I recall asking her, "Mamma, you named me Lettybee?"

Her reply, "Well, darlin' , I reckon I did.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 12:49 pm
@jinmin1988,
The only difference, Jinmin, is one of register. 'reckon' is used in more informal registers.

It is not slang, which, by the way does not hurt language in the least. Slang enriches every language.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 12:56 pm
It's mostly a Southernism. Used very rarely if at all by Northerners (I have heard it a very few times in MA) or Midwesterners. Oddly enough, it also seems to be an Australianism. My sister, who has lived for twenty years in Adelaide, seems to have picked it up (along with "carpark" and "takeaway", among other Ozisms).
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 12:57 pm
oh, and "mobile" instead of "cell"(phone).
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 01:08 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
My sister, who has lived for twenty years in Adelaide, seems to have picked it up (along with "carpark" and "takeaway", among other Ozisms).


They are more Briticisms than Ozisms, surely. A lot of Ozzish expressions are really British ones, certainly the ones you quoted. They do have a number of their own of course.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 01:13 pm
Quite possibly, contrex. I blame them on Australia, because I know her, but I'm certainly willing to admit you guys may have a hand in them too.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 01:38 pm
@MontereyJack,
It works both ways; Australia having been colonized from Britain, they use our spellings and a lot of our expressions and idioms, but it goes the other way too. A lot of younger Brits use "upspeaking" in conversation, that is, ending every sentence with a rising intonation, as if it was a question, (SO irritating!) and another thing they do is to say "no worries" or "no problem" when they are thanked for something. I blame it on Australian soaps which have been shown on UK TV since the 1980s, "Neighbours", "Home And Away", "Prisoner - Cell Block H" etc. You can see a parallel with this in Portugal where many youngsters annoy their elders by speaking in a Brazilian patois picked up from Brazilian soaps ("telenovelas"), Brazil being an ex-Portuguese colony where they speak a distinctly evolved form of the language.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 02:39 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
A lot of younger Brits use "upspeaking" in conversation, that is, ending every sentence with a rising intonation, as if it was a question, (SO irritating!)


That would probably be because some are questions.

Quote:
... and another thing they do is to say "no worries" or "no problem" when they are thanked for something.


And this is a problem, how, Contrex?

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 02:40 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
Australia having been colonized from Britain, they use our spellings and a lot of our expressions and idioms, but it goes the other way too.


Yet you only think it appropriate to whine about the movement from Aussie to Brit, Contrex?
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 03:03 pm
Down, boy. I don't think he's whining at all (neither,being Brit, is he whinging) but rather making observations on mutual interaction between Brit English and Oz English, which I find interesting. "Upspeaking" is also noticeable in the States. Used to be seen as a male versus female distinction, some women using it and was (around the 60s) perceived as a less assertive, more submissive, way of speaking--with the effect of making everything sound like a questrion. Also seen as stereotypical of the California teen "Valley girl" speech pattern, also heard in some TV newscasters. Seems to irritate people wherever perceived.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Jul, 2009 03:12 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
I blame it on Australian soaps which have been shown on UK TV since the 1980s,


Sure sounds like whining to me, MJ. There's no equal time whining about the changes wrought the other way, BrE to AuE.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 01:08 am
@JTT,
JTT, you are just being a troll/dick/annoying twat. AuE is a derivative of BrE. An offshoot. A branch. A subsidiary. A child. Does the parent "change" the child that it brings up, or does it "form" that child? Does the trunk "change" the branch? No. It gives it its basic form.
 

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