Changing Language Usage

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Jim Gamma, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Ackshully the t and ed ending for a large group of words are equally acceptable. Like past and burnt and so on.
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well in the UK, you might use both depending on the situation

    I Burnt my hand

    The Forrest Burned

    Same with words like metre and meter. In the UK the former is a unit of measurement whilst the later is a measuring device. Also Tyre and Tire, the former is something you put on your car whilst the latter is something that happens if you work out for a long time.
     
  3. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Я не підтверджує і не заперечує нічого.
     
  4. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Past" and "passed" have different meanings. "Passed" is the past tense of "pass."

    Americans use "burnt" as a participle, but usually not as a verb tense. For example, we'll say "burnt toast," "burnt offerings" and so forth. But we seldom say "The man was badly burnt in the accident." For that, we say "burned."

    And we cry over spilled (not "spilt") milk.
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    No 'we cry over spilt milk'
     
  6. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I was pist.
     
  7. Deimos Anomaly

    Deimos Anomaly Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't noticed the buy/purchase thing myself, and I don't use public transport enough to comment on the customer / passenger thing (though when talking about the passengers of planes and the like on TV they still seem to call them passengers mostly).

    The way language changes is kinda twofold... one part of it is that new words are added to the lexicon, while some others pass out of use, for whatever reason. The other part of the process is that some words remain, spelling and pronunciation wise, but their meaning changes.

    When St. Paul's cathedral was finished and dedicated 300 years ago, King Charles II inspected it and declared it "Awful, artificial and amusing". That is to say: Something to inspire awe, something made with artifice, and something to raise the spirits of men.

    Chaucer's poetry from 600 years ago is "English" but good luck reading it.

    The proliferation of printing presses after the renaissance, along with the consolidation of English and the compiling and publication of dictionaries in it in the 18th century, have heavily slowed the mutation of English - the US Constituation and Bill of Rights, written 236 years ago, still read in straightforward English today. Go back just another 100 years before that, and things are a lot more different.

    The changing of language actually poses something of a problem for those who have to ensure the long-term safety of nuclear waste, some of it having half-lives of multiple tens of thousands of years. Suppose a societal collapse or cataclysm of some kind came along that destroyed modern technological civilisation and reduced mankind to a much less numerous, more primitive state - knowledge of these facilities might be entirely lost, and linguistic drift might cause people who came across them multiple generations after the cataclysm to be unable to read the warning notices.
     
  8. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    :lol:
     
  9. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's quite pithy.
     
  10. Spot's Meow

    Spot's Meow Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    The department I work in had "personnel" tacked onto the end of our name, and then recently replaced it with "affairs." I asked my co-workers why (it was before my time), and they said that orders came from on high that the word personnel denoted "paper-pushers" and simple administrative data entry work, while affairs was more inclusive and all-encompassing of the various services we provide.
     
  11. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In Baltimore, it often still is, though not by... um... the more educated of us. :lol:
     
  12. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    :guffaw: Marry me!!!


    In my native language there have been quite a lot of changes too, in the last decades. There is a massive tendency away from educated expressions and towards lower class vocabulary. - Hmm, this sounds quite a bit snobbish, but I am not certain how else to put it.

    When I was a kid, a bomb would detonate. Now it blows up, even in the most posh newspaper or TV station.

    Frankly, this angers me quite a bit. All the time our politicians complain about how stupid their voters are (they ought to thank heavens for that, else they wouldn't have gotten elected!) and that many people are not even able to speak a single grammatically correct sentence (sad but indeed true). But if all media attempt to surpass each other in using the lowest language level, how are people supposed to learn proper use of language? How are they to discover the many possibilities and facettes our language offers? Not to mention the simple beauty that can be in a well-put phrase?
    150 years ago we were labelled "the people of poets and thinkers". Now we are the people of stammerers and nitwits! And it appears to become a global trend :(
     
  13. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Detonate is a Latin word with the same origins as Iguana's second name. Blow and up go straight back to Old English and thus have a far longer pedigree. In any case the word of preference is explode.
     
  14. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^I'm learning so much from you in this thread, it is awesome.
     
  15. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder if I should sign my posts with iguana_detonante because I am, indeed, da bomb.
     
  16. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    Please don't. I'd never get the picture out of my head. An exploded Iguana would look even worse than a hedgehog run over by a car.
     
  17. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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  18. Colonel Midnight

    Colonel Midnight Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the one current trend that irks me the most right now is the whole "Fail" thing... *Gag*

    'Failure' or 'failed', come on folks!

    Cheers,
    -CM-

    P/S Plus, I'll be grumpy and add in the "Hecka this" or "Hella that" tendency. :-P
     
  19. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Or... a shortened form of (the more or less grammatically-correct) "You fail," which seems to be where the meme had its origin, 10-plus years ago.
     
  20. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Commodore Commodore

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    apparently, the old Tech-Admin wisdom goes for languages as well:
    If you make it idiot-proof someone will upgrade the idiot.

    I have to admit, however, that I enjoy the fail-blog, even though it's grammatically (and sometimes even politically) incorrect.
     

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