Degrees Of Uniqueness

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Tom Locke, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I was completing a questionnaire this morning and I was asked if a particular thing was unique on a scale of 1 to 10.

    How can one have degrees of uniqueness? Something is either unique or it isn't. This is just one example of how words are misused these days.

    I'm sure everyone can come up with lots of other examples. One that springs to mind is the misuse of the word fulsome. Media commentators in particular get this wrong all the time.
     
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  2. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Was on a forum where one poster always confused the word "defiantly" with the word "definitely". He used to change his user name often, but this one thing always gave him away, along with his inability to spell well.
     
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  3. Sifu Phil Bonifonte

    Sifu Phil Bonifonte Well-Known Member
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    "You're unique, Tommy - just like all the other children".

    If you can say that Tommy is unique in his own way, with characteristics that no other child shares, then yes, Tommy is unique.

    But chances are that he shares MANY traits with the others.
     
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  4. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Oh the loose instead of (lose)...Of instead of (have)..quite instead of Quiet.. etc..drives me barmy...but I know what you mean Tom.. there's quite a few words commonly misused these days, particularly in the media, and by newscasters on TV...

    However one that has always made me scratch my head is the phrase.. ''I could care less'''...meaning the exact opposite..

    if one could care less then clearly they actually do have some level of care...OTOH...Couldn't care less means exactly what it says that one has no empathy whatsoever regarding the subject!
     
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  5. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Sports commentators provide us with a lot of drivel. One that irritates me is the non-existent word "laxadaisical." You can be lax or you can be lackadaisical, but you cannot be laxadaisical.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Bunch of loosers...

    Actually, I the loose/lose errors were a new phenomenon, but I was reading a book the other day, written in 1908, that did that at least twice.

    A uniquely Maine saying is, "So don't I," which is used in agreement with something.
     
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  7. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    LOL Ken...I better not visit Maine...I'll be verrrry confooosed....o_O:D
     
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  8. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Another thing that gets my goat (who is a pedantic fellow) is the misuse of plurals. I'm fed up with places telling me that they sell paninis. Wrong. Panini is already plural. One panino, two panini. Another one is the use of "criteria" as a singular noun. Also wrong. One criterion, more than one criteria. This also happens with phenomenon/phenomena.
     
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  9. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    I like to think that we all make our own unique grammar mistakes. As long our meaning is understood, we should be forgiven. The grimmer mistakes...well, that's another story!;)
     
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  10. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    I know that I'm as guilty as anyone in the misuse of our language, but I too have a couple sayings that get to me.

    When people say, I used to, instead of I use to, it always makes me want to explain the difference. But I don't.

    Another example is repeated over and over on the TV show Wheel of Fortune. A contestant will say, "I am married to my wife/husband ...". Of course a person is married to their spouse. Duh???
     
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  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Actually, that one isn't so simple at all. See 5 Minute English.
     
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  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    I used to say "use", but I have gotten used to saying "used".;)
     
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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
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  13. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't like to see "Shrimp Scampi" on the menu or hear the phrase. It's just like saying: " shrimp shrimp".
     
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  14. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Another blight... I keep hearing people referring to a 'bicep'. No, just no. Biceps please. Singular and plural.
     
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  15. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Oh, and another one. "The Ukraine. " The country is Ukraine. No "the" involved. As my Ukrainian friend pointed out to me, that would be like saying "The England" or "The Scotland. "
     
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