Grammar Nazi Thread: Smooshing Words Together

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by scotpens, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, what's with this tendency in the last few years to jam two words together into one?

    I don't mean "moreso" and "nevermind." Those I can grudgingly accept, since they'll probably be standard informal English within a decade.

    I'm talking about people writing "anymore" when they mean "any more." Both are correct, but they have different meanings. Or "everyday" (which is an adjective, as in "These are my everyday clothes") instead of "every day" (e.g., "I wake up every day at 8 o'clock").

    And then there are the NON-WORDS that are just plain wrong. Like "alot." There is simply no such word, yet I see it several times a day on the internet. Or "infact." Or "noone." Wasn't he the lead singer of Herman's Hermits?

    Just had to get that off my chest.
     
  2. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Irregardless of your pedantry I think your right. It's rediculous how the nazis ruined everything with there smooshifying.
     
  3. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Written grammar was so much more elegant when the lower classes were illiterate.
     
  4. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know it's not precisely the same thing, but the ones that piss me off are things like "chillax" and "guesstimate".

    "Guess" and "estimate" are so similar in meaning anyway that nothing is gained by combining them that couldn't be described perfectly well by one or the other. It's utterly pointless.

    And I can't even tell you the number of times I've gone up to the gate attendants in American airports and told them that there is no such word as "deplane."

    .
     
  5. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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  6. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Then there IS such a word. That's how words are created, that's how language evolves.
     
  7. Gaseous Anomaly

    Gaseous Anomaly Pimpin' Robot Premium Member

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    Ha ha, you said Irregardless, that isn't even a real word.
     
  8. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    I don't care so much for pedantry. Language evolves and changes; 'tis the nature of the thing, and there's a sort of tiresome "Get off my lawn!" attitude that comes with people who get hugely upset by that change. Chaucer's English is barely recognizable as the same language as modern English -- words change meaning, are removed, added, morphed, mushed together, and torn apart all the time.

    I mean, seriously, of course there is such a word as 'deplane' -- just because one dislikes it doesn't mean it is not a valid word. I know what it means to deplane, and most English-speakers will also know it's meaning; it certainly seems to fit the criterion for being a word. Whether or not a word is a word is not limited to it's appearance in a certain edition of a specific dictionary! What a dull world it would be if language was static.

    I am also especially fond of portmanteaux. They are a fun and funny way to play with language. The most recent one I heard that I like is "sexposition" -- a term describing the tendency for characters in "Game of Thrones" (which I still haven't seen, I just read an article about it) to remove their clothes during long, expository scenes, in order to keep the viewers watching.

    I myself become pedantic only in the very specific circumstance where a word is so badly misused that it obfuscates the speaker's meaning, like using infamy or notoriety when one really means fame, or when the misuse of the word means losing the only word in the language that has that specific meaning, for example, using disinterested when one means uninterested.
     
  9. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Guess" and "estimate" aren't the same thing. An estimate is an approximate calculation. A guess is something you pull out of your ass.

    In any case, there's nothing wrong with using the portmanteau word "guesstimate" in colloquial English.

    When the majority of educated native English speakers accept it and it appears in dictionaries, then it'll be a word. Which will be never.
     
  10. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect there are a few words you accept and use freely about which some snob whined 150 years ago. What's your cutoff point? Like, do you have a year? "All words entered into the OED prior to 1928 are real, and all those that came later are not." Isn't this a bit arbitrary and really about taste, rather than language?
     
  11. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, see, that's the conservative approach to language, but it's simply not realistic. Words don't come from dictionaries, words end up in dictionaries. It's the end of the process, not the start. If we had to wait for "educated" speakers to catch up with the evolution of language, English would simply dry up and stop evolving.
     
  12. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    tsq's moxie in this thread is all copacetic to me. Everything's coming up milhouse!
     
  13. Gaseous Anomaly

    Gaseous Anomaly Pimpin' Robot Premium Member

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    The real question is does it really matter if you know what the person is trying to convey? I say press on and don't sweat the small shit, life is too short to get worked up over a few words.
     
  14. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We embiggen the wrong things and this does NOT make us mighty.
     
  15. Gaseous Anomaly

    Gaseous Anomaly Pimpin' Robot Premium Member

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    I see what you did there. :p :lol:
     
  16. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Language may indeed be a democracy, but it isn't anarchy. There have to be authoritative sources on usage, grammar, and orthography, or else we all become like Humpty-Dumpty.

    And this source, along with every other writing guide on the web, says "alot" isn't a word.
     
  17. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    Coming up milhous? Is that rhyming slang? I love rhyming slang, though, being American, I hardly understand a word of it. On an episode of QI Stephen Fry gave an example of second generation rhyming slang: somehow Listerine meant anti-American -- something to do with antiseptic...so brilliant, but I forget how it worked.
     
  18. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    That's not true at all. That's like saying music doesn't exist unless you know how to read and write the notes. As someone pointed out already, you've got it backwards. The language evolves before the rules. Instead of reading guides on grammer why not read about the development of language and linguistics? It's way more interesting and might correct some of the misconceptions you seem to have. Try Steven Pinker, he's always a fun read, and a member of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists.
     
  19. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a bit convoluted, but it may have to do with the fact that "seppo" is Australian slang for an American -- from "septic tank," which rhymes with "Yank."

    As for the Milhouse thing, all I know is that he's a character on The Simpsons.
     
  20. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    That was it! It was septic tank -> yank, anti-septic ->anti-American, Listerine=antiseptic. Freaking brilliant!

    Yeah, I knew the Simpsons Milhous, of course, named after Richard Milhous Nixon. I was trying to think of rhymes for dicky, dick, etc.