Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Fireplace

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 09-18-2013, 07:03 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,105
Default

Oh, well, looks like it got moved by someone else. Thanks to whoever did that. After I offered to do it, I wasn't able to login until now.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-18-2013, 09:43 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,284
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Oh, well, looks like it got moved by someone else. Thanks to whoever did that. After I offered to do it, I wasn't able to login until now.
That's just good teamwork!!
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-19-2013, 12:31 AM
MonoMale MonoMale is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
Default

Language is, indeed, fascinating in itself whether it applies to the written or spoken word. Take, for example, "knee" or "knock" - today we pronounce those words with the "k" being silent. However, the "k" USED to be pronounced.

Language is fluid. Meanings can and do change - I will post a couple of examples from my language myths book when I can. If I remember correctly, there are words we use today that is different from their original usage and slight variations on spelling.

But another example of this fluidity is in the coining of new terms - e.g. "mini-mind" led to "mini-van" and so on. To make something sound more scandalous, it's common for the media to tag on "gate" at the end which is a legacy of Nixon's "Watergate". An example of this is Janet Jackson's "Nipplegate" non-event.

Fluidity in language can relate to changes in pronounciation, assigned meanings and emerging words. You could certainly argue the fact that regional dialects of language in the United Kingdom demonstrates the fluidity of language even there is a standardised form of it widely used. Examples - Ulster-Scots and Cockney are languages that exist in spite of the general population speaking standard English yet knowing very little about those two.

Any discussion on language fluidity opens up a can of worms somewhere along the line.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-19-2013, 01:57 AM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,284
Default

Thanks for the examples, MonoMale, language is interesting for sure. It seems to have a life of its own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonoMale View Post
Any discussion on language fluidity opens up a can of worms somewhere along the line.
I am sure that fluidity is hotly debated among linguists. However, in this context, I was merely pointing out what language fluidity actually *is* and what it is *not*. It is *not* the insistence that a word mean something which it clearly doesn't.

Conversation is much easier when people don't treat words as precious, in my opinion. If I get the impression that I am using a word or phrase incorrectly I look it up. If I can't figure out whether or not I'm using it correctly even when I'm looking at the definition then I will search for a synonym I *DO* know how to use and substitute that one instead!

Even though I may seem like it on these boards, I'm really not a semantics Nazi; it isn't an interest of mine. I prefer to keep language simple and efficient, so that I can be sure my intended message is being received. On a discussion board, however, it becomes very difficult to have a reasonable conversation when people refuse to use concise language (which is readily available, by the way)... so I push back about it.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:14 AM
AilaLynn's Avatar
AilaLynn AilaLynn is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: usa
Posts: 20
Default

Marcus,
I, too, agree with your post. A lot of people do use words incorrectly. I, also, find language interesting, but I never studied the linguistics aspects of them (just speaking foreign ones lol). I prefer, however, to read body language and micro-expressions. Because language is a form of communication, yes, but without body language and facial expressions a lot can be lost in the communicating of messages. (I just did an essay on this a few weeks ago in a professional communications class lol). It makes it quite difficult with the whole semantics thing I think one example of how semantics can be misunderstood .... (if I'm thinking of semantics correctly???? Can the same word used by 2 different English speaking countries be semantics?) is the use of the word "thong" here in America and the use of the word "thong" as used in Australia. Here it means a certain type of panties, but there it is equivalent to our "flip-flops". I discovered this by way of a hilarious, misunderstood convo with one of my Aussie friends, which, needless to say, led to a lot of confusion on both our parts until it got figured out what the meanings were lmao.
Anyways, yeah, I find it interesting how our English meanings have changed from the time it came here from Europe to what it is now. Also I find amusing that even though English is Germanic in origin, we have a lot of words that are actually from other languages, but a lot of people do not realize it. Such as mosquito (Spanish), pajamas (India? Nepal? One of those places, I forget which one), taboo(Tahiti), so long (Malaysia)..... So, technically our English is no longer the Anglo-Saxon English it once was, but a melting pot of languages :-D Fascinating! But I think I will still stick with learning to speak the languages rather than understanding the semantics of them lol.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-20-2013, 07:56 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 345
Default

This is a bit of a favourite subject of mine. I think it is frustrating but realistically as this is an international board where we communicate only in written English, we will be unable to avoid the sorts of 'its just semantics' arguments that crop up so often.

In English, we can't even agree on set meanings for simple words like chips or pants (these mean very different things if you are from the US rather than the UK).

I spend a significant proportion of my life writing in a language that has a set syntax and set meanings for all words written using it. I'm a computer programmer and that's how programming languages work. They need to because computers can't run programs unless they can be translated into 1s and 0s and that can't happen unless the meaning is absolutely clear. Your code has to be grammatically completely correct or the computer can't run it.

Writing like that is very different from writing in a natural language. More difficult and also annoyingly, still prone to misunderstandings and problems.

I kind of like all the discussions around what words mean to different people even if sometimes those discussions go on for so long that I lose the thread of them and stop following them.

IP
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-20-2013, 08:25 AM
Emm's Avatar
Emm Emm is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 707
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AilaLynn View Post
Also I find amusing that even though English is Germanic in origin, we have a lot of words that are actually from other languages, but a lot of people do not realize it.
To make up for sending everyone to a literally horrible definition earlier, I offer this T-shirt: English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.

Also found while Googling for that one, POLYAMORY IS WRONG! It is either multiamory or polyphilia but mixing Greek and Latin roots? WRONG!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-20-2013, 08:57 AM
AilaLynn's Avatar
AilaLynn AilaLynn is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: usa
Posts: 20
Default

Lmao! I LOVE those!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-20-2013, 10:16 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 345
Default

Pinched from facebook. Relevant to the conversation I think and funny too.

You think English is easy??

I think a retired English teacher was bored...THIS IS GREAT!

Read all the way to the end.................
This took a lot of work to put together!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture..

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-24-2013, 10:21 PM
MonoMale MonoMale is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
I am sure that fluidity is hotly debated among linguists. However, in this context, I was merely pointing out what language fluidity actually *is* and what it is *not*. It is *not* the insistence that a word mean something which it clearly doesn't.
Word meaning is interesting enough, but it is certainly true that plenty of people argue over any number of words. As far as I can tell, linguistics doesn't actually 'fix' strict meanings or usage. A linguist simply studies how language is or was used in both written and oral form in addition to figuring out meaning. That includes any change over time which could be 400 years ago or a few decades ago.

What we do know is that our words can and do mean something other than what it may generally be accepted as, e.g. "sick" can mean either vomit or something like "great" ----> "That's sick!". Of course, we can figure out which one is meant yet "of course" itself is another that might easily be held to be incorrect by a pedantic sort.

Linguistics does not deride slang. Not from what I've seen at any rate.

Quote:
Conversation is much easier when people don't treat words as precious, in my opinion. If I get the impression that I am using a word or phrase incorrectly I look it up. If I can't figure out whether or not I'm using it correctly even when I'm looking at the definition then I will search for a synonym I *DO* know how to use and substitute that one instead!

Even though I may seem like it on these boards, I'm really not a semantics Nazi; it isn't an interest of mine. I prefer to keep language simple and efficient, so that I can be sure my intended message is being received. On a discussion board, however, it becomes very difficult to have a reasonable conversation when people refuse to use concise language (which is readily available, by the way)... so I push back about it.
I don't really check up to see whether I'm using a word correctly or not. I generally don't see or feel the need to. Whenever someone points it out, I will be able to point back at them THEIR actual ease in figuring out what I meant. That's the point of language and linguistics - usage is a kind of socially agreed contract if you like. Most of the time we don't think about meaning in a pedantic way, but in a more fluid way - I'd go so far as to say approximate way! I have used the same argument when it comes to pronouncing words. Most people who use standard English are able to figure out the approximate meaning of, say, a Scots form of it:

"Jings! My bucket's cauld!" ---> "God! My bucket's cold!"

"That's anither year near aw'." ----> "That's another year gone!"

To give another example, GalaGirl used the word "kvetch" when giving advice to me. I figured it's approximate meaning was "moan, groan, grumble" and looked it up after - as a verb "complain". That's another form of language fluidity.

But if we wish to get to the heart of the matter and see if we can insist a word means something OTHER than what is generally believed, these examples are good indicators it can be done. Meanings changed over centuries or even short decades.

"enthusiasm": "possession by a god, supernatural inspiration"-----> "passionate eagerness in any pursuit".

"very": "true" ----> general intensifier

"wacko": German for "pebble" ----> change rapidly took place in America in the mid-20th Century and by the 1970s to early 1980s morphed into "crazy, nuts, mad". Seeped into British usage with its American defined meaning as a result when it was still used to mean "pebble" or "large stone".

Interestingly, the surname "Wacko" was common in the United States until the now accepted meaning took over completely. You'd be lucky to find a Mr & Mrs Wacko these days, presumably.

"weird": "fated...14th Century "to preordain be degree of fate" ---> "creepy, odd, unusual".

"bully": "good fellow" term of endearment ---> intimidates the weak.

"nice": "foolish, silly"---> "pleasant"

The word "bad" itself is interesting enough from indicating a low standard in something all the way to the kind of proclamation found in Michael Jackson's 1987 hit "BAD" to mean "good, excellent". Especially his spoof called "badder".

Point is, I don't think there's any real need for anyone to get bent out of shape and completely fixed on what each word is believed to mean. Our social environment will encourage a particular meaning over another and that differs everywhere.

It's not a problem as long as you can figure out approximate meanings of what is being communicated to you. I gather the word meaning in contention was "interfere"?

"to strike against, to strike each other, to knock, to pierce" ----> "meddle with, oppose unrightfully."

One is from the 15th Century and the other is from a century later, I think.

But it is true that we do deal with what words mean NOW in our daily lives. It would not help to use a meaning from 400 years ago if it's not widely used today!

But we CAN decide to start influencing change by trying to use an alternative meaning and see if it takes hold. There is no authority that regulates or controls language usage though.

To quote a UK car rental company from sometime ago, "Change happenz..."
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:24 AM.