Disintegration Of Language

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Hal Pollner, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I believe that God wouldn't have given us the ability to invent so many words if He didn't intend for us to use them.
     
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  2. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Delta Romeo !
    What a boring language if all we could put together is “See Dick run. See Jane run faster.”
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole

    If that had happened, none of us would be here......

    Frank
     
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  4. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Whilst in it's very essence, that is very true but if I may suggest, the ladies have been trying to teach men to be slow and steady to win their favor long before Aesop gave us the example of the tortoise and the hare.
     
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  5. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    You mean "latter", Bobby!

    Howl
     
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  6. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Aesop? Naahhhh...that sounds like a Fable!

    H. P.
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole
    'Ceptin' the tortoise and the hare were not interested in procreating......
    Frank
     
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  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Ah, but if one takes a quick perusal of the net, one can find rabbits attempting such an act and:

    If I may be so bold as to suggest that it is only an assumption that Dick is chasing Jane. Lest I begin to seem a bit ribald with the use of some questionable colloquial terminology, (yet another example of the disintegration of the Language) one only needs to reverse the assumption to reveal the reality of the scene.
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Most people believe that there are words, in the English language, that mean the same thing. While I won't swear that there are none, for the most part, I believe that there is usually one word that is best for whatever it is that you are trying to say. People with extensive vocabularies simply have more words at their disposal, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they will be able to choose the right word for what they want to say. Mastery of the language is when you not only know the words but are able to choose the right ones. Consequently, some people will use a hundred dollar word when a ten-cent word would better convey the message.

    That said, I am not someone who can claim to have mastered the language. As compared to most people around me, here in Millinocket, I have a pretty good vocabulary but I also tend to forget words, so it's not at all uncommon for me to have to use a word that I know isn't the best word to use, either because I can't remember the word that I'm trying to think of, or because I never knew it to begin with, or because I don't recognize the subtleties that might suggest one word rather than another. I am familiar with the job description of someone who has mastered the language and can appreciate it when I come across it, but that's not me.
     
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    We used to have a member here who used the name of Peter Remington who, without a shadow of a doubt, has the most complete vocabulary I have ever experienced. Although he’s a Trekkie, (however it’s spelled), when we add to the fact that his IQ is somewhere in the ionosphere, the man was and so far as I know, still is an ardent reader.
    His contention was that if a person didn’t understand what he wrote or said, they didn’t need to be reading or hearing it and even went so far as to say that the person who could not understand him didn’t even need to be in the same room as he.
    Yes, a tad arrogant but to be able to grasp the English language in such a way as to be able to convey a thought or feeling with such a precise, almost scalpel like precision is yet just a dream of mine.

    His stuff is still probably here on the forum. If you can get past his temper tantrums, he’s a good read. His post about the mouse and his cats is especially delightful.
     
    #55
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  11. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Yes, he was.
     
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  12. Emma Smith

    Emma Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson - Most people believe that there are words, in the English language, that mean the same thing. While I won't swear that there are none, for the most part, I believe that there is usually one word that is best for whatever it is that you are trying to say.

    If someone has a really old dictionary, they can check this. I was taught that "frugal" meant you were not wasteful, that you used all of something.
    The example given was you could buy the most expensive cut of meat, but you used every bit, not wasting anything.

    The dictionary now gives the definition of frugal as thrifty. We already had a word for thrifty. There's not a word for the original meaning of frugal.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I have a copy of WEBSTER'S HIGH SCHOOL DICTIONARY (1892), which is a condensed version of its full dictionary, and it gives the following definitions:

    Frugal: Economical in use of resources; sparing; saving.
    Frugality: Prudent economy; good husbandry or housewifery.

    I have a full dictionary from the 1800s somewhere, but I can't find it right now.
     
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  14. Emma Smith

    Emma Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for the definition @Ken Anderson.

    "Prudent (judicious, sensible) economy" describes "frugal" better than thrifty, which I think of as pinch-penny
     
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  15. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    They are both acceptable
     
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