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Full Version: Lingua Mania™ - Part IV
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opheliathemuse
bumpity bump
opheliathemuse
hyphens and the use of them? please, I'd like to know the rules. I know I learned them once, but I never really was taught grammar; my year was the experiemental class.
cloverbee
what's up w/ people spelling lose "L-O-O-S-E"????
raisingirl
Just to add one more, "affect" can also be a noun, a psychological term. In law, I hear it used most often in something like this:

"He [someone on trial for murder, say] had a flat affect."

Usually used to describe a lack of emotional expression (monotone voice, expressionless face).

Now you know what to call it when people like Scott Petersen and OJ Simpson can just sit there during a trial and be expressionless. Psychology, baby.
venetia
Yeah, "affect" as a psych noun means emotional reaction.

I thought Maryjo was making a joke about that when she said "The affect of the shrub is a profound green calmness."
raisingirl
I thought she was, too! Hmmm.
sixelacat
Argh! All day my supervisor has been referring to sequins as "sequences". As in "this customer has purchased blue sequences" and "she would now like to exchange the blue sequences for purple sequences". The worst part? The objects in question aren't even sequins! They are, sadly, small crystals.

What are "blue sequences"? Porn scenes?
tiramisu
I'm not sure if this belongs here, or in a rotten ex thread, but here goes. For a very short time, I dated a guy whose favorite actor was Sean Connery. I realized we were incompatible when he pronounced Sean's name "Seen". I mean, come on!! Surely a normal person would know how to pronounce their FAVORITE actor's name, no?
venetia
Does anyone know what the cunnilingual equivalent of "fellate" is? I actually need to use it in a sentence for my thesis and I can't find it!
minx
I do!!

It's called "CHOWING BOX"!!!

:-)
maimy
I hate to say it but "giving cunnilingus" is the only one I know.
opheliathemuse
cunnilingulating?
venetia
Muah ha ha I wonder if I could get away with that one. The "he gives her [word]" formula really derails my sentence.
farmgirl
perform cunnilingus?
bunnyb
a cunnilinguist is one who performs performs it... I see where the language connection lies now! Performing A-Z with one's tongue ... to be cunnilingual?

eta: one who is a cunning linguist down under?

Oh, and venetia, your thesis sounds interesting!
mouse
ven, what's the sentence? if we saw the whole thing it might be easier to come up with a word...
venetia
It was originally going to be something like
"As George _______ Ada, a dog licks Alistair's hand."
I can replace it with one of the less neat options we have (gives it to, performs it on) but I find it interesting that there seems to be no equivalent for fellate! What's up with that?!

I didn't want to simply say "As George licks Ada" partly because then I'd have two licks in the same sentence but more importantly, he better be doing more down there than just licking her like an icecream - and the whole point I'm about to make is that the two lickings are analogous without being the same.
curioushair
Is this where I report acts of superfluous punctuation? I spotted this sign on an abandoned building: Keep, Out.
maimy
I guess "pleasures" would be on the precious side, wouldn't it ... ?

Curious, that one is just baffling!
venetia
Pleasures would normally be taken to mean fucks, I think? I suppose I could have "orally pleasures" like in spam.
maryjo
I think I would use 'orally pleasures'. It's a bit coy, but 'cunnilingulates' ain't going to cut it (much as that is a very cool word) and there just isn't a straightforward verb for that action. Definitely a lexical gap.
lot49
gad, that is a lexical gap!

The latin infinitive would be cunnilingere, I guess ("lingere" is to lick), so you could say "cunnilingates," which is a tad better than cunnilingulating or cunnilinguates, but you're still essentially making up a word.

I would recommend we all start using it (three times in a sentence this week!) until it infiltrates the masses. But venetia, you probably don't want to take any language risks in your thesis. I think that "performs cunnilingus" is the most straightforward (in the lesser of several evils sort of way). "Orally pleasures" sounds like a romance novel euphemism to me.

hmmmph.
maimy
How about "orally satisfies" instead of "orally pleasures"? Only marginally better, but I still find "pleasures" to be so foofy ...
lot49
Is anyone else dying to know more detail about venetia's thesis or is that just me?
venetia
Hmm,I agree, no pleasures. "Satisfies" implies that she is satisfied/brought to orgasm by it, which isn't a call I'd like to make.

I'd given in and written it in a less pithy way, but Lot 49 I think you're right. Cunnilingates it is, and I feel like I should put my money where my mouth is and include it in the thesis; the committee can always recommend a correction (and thus be alerted to the gap). BTW the thesis is nothing fantastic or racy - that's just a scene from Jane Campion's movie The Piano!
vesicapisces
My, it's a little steamy in here... *fans self*

OK, I'm here to promote the best thing to happen to lovers of language since Eats Shoots & Leaves - The Meaning of Tingo, an exploration of all those lovely words in other languages for which there is no English equivalent (or requiring a whole phrase or sentence.) My favorite so far, besides "tingo" itself (from a language spoken on Easter Island, meaning "to acquire everything you want from a friend's house by borrowing them over time") is "scheissbedauren," meaning "a feeling of disappointment that things did not go as badly as one had hoped."
tyger
oooh, i hope it has sympatique. i can't remember all that it means, but it's just a long list of adjectives, but most french-english dictionaries say it means 'sympathetic nerve', which is senseless.

i think i'll buy that when i'm at the bookstore today
lot49
awesome vesicapisces! What a great word ("scheissbedauren"). I'm assuming that's German... Given the meaning of that and of "schadenfreude," it seems the German language has a better handle on the less admirable aspects of human nature than English.

Don't think I'll need to use tingo in my day-to-day life anytime soon, but it's nice to know what it means...
zab
hi tyger,
i'm a translator (english-french) and i totally agree, "sympathique" is difficult to transpose with one word. It means "likeable" or "friendly" if you're talking about a person but "charming" if you're talking about a place. The one term that bugs me is "empowered". I think it's a beautiful word, but it's impossible to translate it properly in French!
indiechick
dudettes, i am german and i can promise you that we don't use "scheissbedauern". it translates into "to shitregret" literally. although i guess there might be situations when it makes sense, i can't think of any.

by the way, is there a reason why native speakers of english don't get the differences between you're and your, or its and it's, or they're, there, and their? what is there to not understand? i don't get it.
lot49
d'oh. vesicapisces, does the book say that it's currently used in germany?

indiechick -- I think to say that native speakers of english don't get the differences among those examples is pretty broad. They are common mistakes because they're so easy to make, being phonetically identical. Writers who make these mistakes might be poorly educated or bad writers or lazy, but more often, they're just absorbed in what they're expressing and are thinking phonetically. I sometimes make them and I am well aware of the differences. "It's/its" is particularly easy to botch because the "'s" is used much more often for possessive words than contractions in english...the mind just wants to tack on the 's if you're thinking possessive.

I guess if you don't understand what's not to get, this is probably redundant. The rules are pretty clear, but they're still easy mistakes to make, imho.
vesicapisces
I don't think it deals with whether it's in current or widespread use - the guy read a lot of dictionaries, etc. in putting it together. He does give the literal translation in idiomatic situations like that - i.e., the Italian phrase "in bocco de lupo" (Italians, please forgive if that's misspelled), which means "into the wolf's mouth" and is used as "good luck"!
tyger
zab, i'm just curious, are those definitioney-things for france or quebec french? i learned quebec french, and i don't think we were ever told we could use sympatique to describe a place, and we were actually given a list a few lines long of all the things that you can add together to sort of get the idea of what a person is if they're 'sympatique'. i know those two different kinds of french are worlds apart. the best story is my friend's mom moved to montreal from france, and someone said 'look out for the car!' in quebecois french, and his mom about had a fit, because the word that was used for car she had learned meant tank. so she was freaking out 'cause apparently there was a big tank trundling down the street in montreal
bunnyb
venetia, rather late to the table, but what about using tipping the velvet?

indiechick, I agree with lot49, that is a gross generalisation to make; it's (it is) a very easy mistake to make and one of my pet hates but I still make the mistakes as oversights.
indiechick
i understand your points and i agree that it is easy to mix those up when you are typing and not paying much attention to detail. there is a difference, though, between simple typos and just not understanding at all that there is a difference. my host mum never got it right when i was in the us.
mornington
the your/you're etc differences are often oversight mistakes; they're phonetically very very similar. I don't know about the us, but grammar isn't always taught in the uk (I am the only person I know who had lessons on its/it's and the apostrophe) which does mean that people just don't understand the difference. The difference between the two is usually clear from the context, though; even though the difference may not be understood, most people will know the contraction or the possessive from the rest of the sentence.

I always had trouble as an EFL teacher with teaching your/you're and it's/its, especially teaching students with more phonetic alphabets than english.
maryjo
It is a spelling mistake and not a grammatical error, though, I think - people know the difference between 'they are' and 'belonging to them' etc, they just don't know that they should be spelled differently.

And yes, many people are not taught grammar - even less in the UK than the US, I suspect - and this leads to very many mistakes. I say this while taking a break from editing some copy written by someone who clearly had not been taight grammar at school.
mornington
maryjo - I think that was what I was getting at; the spelling rather than the grammar.
lot49
That's true...and even if people are taught the differences in school, it's something that I don't think people care much about unless they're writers, editors or language enthusiasts.

I went to a conference recently where someone was speaking about marketing to gen y and younger. One of his points was that real people "don't write like that," with "like that" being properly spelling their, they're and their. As a result, marketers who write like "real people" would speak more directly to this generation. I don't really have time to go into what I think about this right now, but what does everyone else in here think?
raisingirl
Good lord! I would find that insulting, Lot.

Then again, what do I know? I'm Gen X.
mornington
My initial reaction is - argh! I'd bring back grammar lessons in schools, though, so maybe I'm just a pedant. Personally, I itch to correct this; besides, how are gen y & younger going to learn how to spell when they're surrounded by wrong spellings - and how the hell are they going to learn how to write properly for further education?

I think this springs from the same person who thought up spelling plurals with "z" to be more, ahem, down with the kidz, as well as the idiot who thought up txtspk/aol-msg (or whatever they call it).
lot49
Yeah, I had the same reaction...it does seem insulting, plus I think advertisers who misspell on purpose will seem as lame as the people who come into the lounge and try to pose as a legitimate poster in order to sell something.

mornington, was that plural with a "z" thing for real? Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if advertisers started writing in txtspk or leet to seem more hip. How could they resist? In their minds it will be like speaking directly to teens in a code their parents can't understand.

Ok, I will stop posting and get some work done. gah.

mouse
wow, lot, that's disturbing.

while it's true that a heck of a lot of real people don't write like that, we still were all taught to READ like that...and while yes, a lot of "real people" probably don't read as much as those of us who are in this thread do, they do read because it's inescapable. and what they read, barring texts from their friends, is spelled CORRECTLY.

it's one thing to not bother to chastise a smart person who's not an english major on their spelling, but it's another to deliberately mispell something.
zab
hey tiger... i was quoting two dictionaries i use (Robert-Collins engl-fr and Harrap's engl-fr)which are for standard international French. But we do sometimes use "sympatique" to describe places in Quebec. Your car story thing made me laugh, hehehe. Our slang word for car is "char" which can also mean tank. (Pimp My Ride is translated and shown here on TV and the French title is Pimp mon Char). People from France tend to be horrified by Quebec slang. We, in turn, are horrified by their argot, which they think is perfectly fine. Their slang word for car is "caisse" which literally translates as crate. So, you know, whatever... ;-)
maryjo
Exactly, mouse. If 'real people' don't write 'like that', it's because they aren't conscious of the rules of grammar in operation - therefore, they probably are less likely to notice the difference between wrong and correct spelling than those of us who know the rules and care to see them used. I'm not a prescriptivist and I accept that language and grammar are in a constant state of flux and that my editorial preference may well be thoroughly dated, but I think that making inane misspellings on purpose to be down with the kids is only likely to make an advertiser look, well, stupid.

Writing informally is a different matter - certainly, marketers should use an informal register appropriate to their audience. My natural writing style is quite formal and academic (as you can probably see) but I don't use it in all circumstances.

Using slang and pop-cultural language in marketing/advertising is all very well, but you have to get it *right* - and very few marketers are able to do that, because they're not part of the in-group who use the specific language.
indiechick
i never thought about the idea that grammar might not be taught in school. you have to be kidding! here (in germany) grammar rules are taught starting first grade. grammar of the german language is more complicated than english (we have four cases and female, male, and neutral nouns - not just le and la as in french, but der, die, and das!). during high school, exams (even science stuff) will be graded lower if your grammar or spelling is a mess - so you can go from a B to a C for bad grammar.

i will stop rambling on now, i don't even know why i started writing this in the first place.
tyger
i went to school in a french immersion program, and we did WAY more grammar than i ever did in english class. i don't know the names of different verb tenses in english or which are what (but i can use them all properly), whereas from grades 4 to 7 in french we had at least one verb per week that we needed to conjugate in five or six different tenses. english grammar was always limited to almost the same set of sheets on comma splices, quotation mark useage, subject-verb agreement, etc. i didn't actually learn any of my grammar in school, as we didn't start getting english lessons until grade 4, and i had read so much prior to that that i could just write properly.

oh, you crazy quebec people and your 'french' :P. some of my favourite slang i picked up there was 'le parking' and 'check ca' and 'zigzaguer'. i also remember a quick lesson when exchange students from quebec came here, wherein at the luggage claim, away from all our parents, we had a 40-person huddle to explain that saying 'fuck' every few words was actually kind of frowned upon here, but feel free to use french swear words, as 'chalice' and 'tabernacle' aren't as bad
opheliathemuse
venetia, irrumate is to give oral sex.
mornington
hehe raisin, I'm probably gen y, and I find it insulting. I think the more you talk down to people, the dimmer they will become.

It was really only when I started teaching that I started looking at English grammar - I'd learnt Latin, French and German, but never applied those rules to my native tongue. I've noticed that my tolerance of bad grammar has decreased too; I correct everyone, all the time, automatically. English grammar is, however, a lot simpler than a lot of languages, and there are plently of words with non-phonetic spellings. I can appreciate that people have problems, even if English is thier native tongue.

At my schools, we lost marks for poor grammar, punctuation and spelling. And using American spellings (colour/color, sulphur/sulfur etc).
maimy
Ophelia, I'm almost 100% sure irrumate is to be the "recipient" in a blow job, though. It would not apply to cunnilingus.
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