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Author Topic: Things that went over your head...  (Read 169720 times)

A.Cow

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1215 on: 30 September, 2019, 01:32:34 AM »
All this fuss over interpretation of words (and their etymology) reminds me of an old Dick Emery sketch ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gk_2TO8uwM

Funt Solo

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1216 on: 30 September, 2019, 02:55:08 AM »


Probe ... nudge nudge ... woof woof!
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I, Cosh

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1217 on: 30 September, 2019, 09:07:47 AM »
I'm very glad that Jayzus, as my Dublin/Kildare contemporary, has heard it in the sense I always intended, but as Sheridan's research suggests, and my missus avers, the younger native-netizen crowd may be hearing something totally different. So as I often find myself in the role of managing a lot of youngsters (anyone under 30, obv) I'm going to be trying to avoid this one.

To me (as an equally grizzled Scotchman), "hookup" to mean something more than "casually meet" is an exclusively American usage. However, I understand that in these modern media times such distinctions are less concrete.

Rule of thumb - despite it's probably innocent etymology there's a commonly held belief that it has something to do with legal wife beating.
Wow. Your other examples make sense but I've never heard this one.
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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1218 on: 30 September, 2019, 12:22:10 PM »

Rule of thumb has always meant 'rough estimate,' to me, like a carpenter measuring a distance with his thumb when precision isn't important. The wife beating angle does ring a distant bell, though - something about making a fist with the thumb on the inside so that if one punches too hard one breaks it. For serious fighting, thumb on the outside; for wife beating, thumb on the inside. Both condescending and beastly. Yeuch.

What did your last slave die of? Still pretty common in these parts, more employed in semi-jest in the face of an imposition or something. My usual response is, of course, "overwork."


Off the reservation I always took to mean "free," or sometimes "on the run." I always saw it as a positive phrase. I find it quite disheartening to see it also tied to "out of control" in the negative sense.

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sheridan

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1219 on: 30 September, 2019, 01:17:38 PM »
Phrases I'm uncomfortable using as a teacher but only discovered that by saying them (from nurture) and then backtracking quickly (from nature):

 - Rule of thumb - despite it's probably innocent etymology there's a commonly held belief that it has something to do with legal wife beating. I use heuristic, instead, to avoid confusion. Although I have to define it. Without saying anything about thumbs.


Well, a rule or ruler is something that people use to measure things.  A thumb is something that people may use to measure things if a proper rule isn't available.  Any other etymology is false (so no 'probably' about it - any guilty association has been made up by those wanting to lord over what other people can and can't say).


TordelBack

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1220 on: 30 September, 2019, 02:19:55 PM »
Sure, but etymology (always somewhat contested) is sadly less important than a term's current usage or understanding. Now I'm not going to stop using 'rule of thumb' anytime soon, but I have given up on 'niggardly'. It's just not worth the potential grief for all parties.

We have to pick our battles, i suppose*? I lost the war for 'decimation' some time ago but soldier on (with 90% of my initial enthusiasm), and i'm still holding the line on 'retard', despite being assured it's now much the same as 'moron' or 'idiot'. Not in my hearing!


*my concern about 'hooking up' isn't that I'm necessarily wrong, it's that some poor person working for me is going to think I'm hitting on them, which is really don't want, as opposed to offering a deliberately mealy-mouthed intention of seeing them drunk in some godawful loud and expensive dive later that evening. For the same reason I've stopped patting people on the back, or putting my hand on their shoulder. I know I mean to encourage or comfort, what actually matters is what THEY feel.
« Last Edit: 30 September, 2019, 02:24:58 PM by TordelBack »

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1221 on: 30 September, 2019, 03:57:31 PM »

I guess we're experiencing the evolution of society. Some of it seems to be going okay, I guess, some of it doesn't seem to change much and some of it's a bit worrying. It was ever thus, I suppose, as we struggle to find ways to live together.

I refuse to stop using 'niggardly' altogether but I do tend to limit it, I think. It's weird, I'm all for an evolving and dynamic language (which is one of the things I love about English) but I find some aspects, like my own self-censorship, a bit dodgy. I hate losing words, but on the other hand I love learning new ones. I'd never want to lose the right to use the word that tarnishes the perfectly crumulent 'niggardly,' but assume the responsibility to use it wisely and in context - such as in the voiceover version of Blade Runner.

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Tjm86

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1222 on: 30 September, 2019, 06:29:14 PM »
.... and i'm still holding the line on 'retard', despite being assured it's now much the same as 'moron' or 'idiot'. Not in my hearing!


Nope.  It's in the same vein as c****, p*** or n*****.  The same with 'mongrol' or 'spastic'.  Derogatory terms that refer to individuals with a disability with the same level of contempt as their racist counterparts.  I've landed myself in trouble recently for challenging someone on its use.  No objection was raised over the use of the 'r' word but within the context of the debate the 'n' word was considered totally inappropriate (and yes I am conscious of the irony in my self-censorship here  Personally I believe it is appropriate to name language that should not be used but apparently this is not the case).

Last time I checked though, current legislation doesn't quite see it the same way.  Discrimination on disability grounds is fortunately now illegal. 

Funt Solo

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1223 on: 30 September, 2019, 07:16:32 PM »
All my language moderation as a high school teacher is based on a single theme: trying not to offend, and especially being careful that I don't unintentionally offend a minority student in my classroom. I need them to know that I'm on side. It's not about me and my freedom to say whatever I want: it's about providing a comfortable learning environment.

So, "rule of thumb" (because of a probably incorrect etymology - and I say probably because the actual etymology is guesswork) is out because of the connotations of domestic violence towards women. Women are a minority in the tech industry. I want to keep the focus on tech, not get suddenly drawn into a discussion about whether a phrase relates to domestic violence: so I avoid it.

"Niggardly" is out because it sounds so much like "nigger". It doesn't matter that the etymologies are separate: I'm just going to sound like a complete Scunthorpe if I use "niggardly", get questioned about it (which I'm sure I would) and then defend it on the grounds that I'm Mr. Logic.  Remember Viz: he's an irritating bastard. Why would I push a point and risk offending my black students? They're another minority in tech.

Same for "off the reservation" (potentially offending Indians), "retard" (because it's used as an attack word and 38% of my students have special needs) and any mention of slaves (because this is america).

I'm not a female, black, Indian student with special needs (or any one of those), but I'm on their side. Woke, mofo!
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JayzusB.Christ

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1224 on: 30 September, 2019, 08:15:02 PM »
Woke, mofo!

As an insomniac who suffers from an Oedipal complex, I find those words offensive  ;)
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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1225 on: 30 September, 2019, 09:30:13 PM »

Quick, somebody plug the national grid into Orwell's grave...

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Funt Solo

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1226 on: 30 September, 2019, 10:03:32 PM »
Woke, mofo!

As an insomniac who suffers from an Oedipal complex, I find those words offensive  ;)

 :D
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shaolin_monkey

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1227 on: 30 September, 2019, 11:46:43 PM »
I got caught out a few years back when describing how a Prince Albert is pierced, by commenting the needle goes in under your helmet and comes out your japs eye. My usual self censorship completely missed that one, but was thankfully highlighted by a member (excuse the pun) of my group instantaneously. It’s crazy what vocabulary flies under your own radar sometimes!

The correct term non-racist term is ‘urethral orifice’. But all the same, be wary of using it around people who are squeamish of needles and body modifications.

Tiplodocus

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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1228 on: 02 October, 2019, 09:10:42 AM »
Somebody suggested the term "fancy-dan" might not be treating people respectfully the other day. I couldn't find anything about it's use other than overly ostentatious. Turns out his father-in-law uses it in a very derogatory manner.

I'm with Tordels on decimated but I too have given up.

I still correct people on imply/infer and electrocuted/electric shock.

But imma prolly give up on "It's a big ask!".

No, it's a "big thing to ask". The evil that emerges from sports journo desks.
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Re: Things that went over your head...
« Reply #1229 on: 02 October, 2019, 09:58:44 AM »


I still correct people on ... electrocuted/electric shock.




I bet you're a joy to have around in an emergency :D

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