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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default I just legit adverbed legit!

    So I'm not really one to make random threads here, but I just saw this strip on xkcd:



    I'd never had a name for my hobby of using words in completely inappropriate but technically correct ways, but I think that pretty much nails it.

    What words and phrases do you, other Playgrounders, like to put to uses completely different from their original purposes?
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    I'm not sure if this is what you're asking about, but a while back, I invented an entirely new* system of written grammar, in which the words "large" "much" "many" and "very" are all equivalent; likewise with the words/phrases "too large" "too much" "too many" and "too (not also)"

    *when I say "entirely new" I mean entirely new; it's arranged in a grid and, because of its nonlinear nature, cannot be read aloud.
    A sufficiently poorly-written vampire will, when exposed to the sun's rays, turn into a purple unicorn.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    "Verbing weirds language." -- Calvin and Hobbes
    I have my own TV show featuring local musicians performing live. YouTube page with full episodes and outtake clips here.
    I also have another YouTube page with local live music clips I've filmed on my own.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Skype convo from a couple of days ago (talking about halloween/cosplay):

    Bro: This character.. Totally wizard.. Totally badass
    Me: Do not use wizard as an adjective, Anakin.

    the names have been omitted to protect the innocent (emphases added for comedy). My bro is Referencing Harry Dresden, and until that conversation he had no clue that I know who he is. I think he thinks I live in a cave.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    I used to live in a cave. Got lots of flak for being a "troglodyte" the whole time.
    Anyway. Where I grew up, "snake" had meanings as a noun, verb, and adjective. It also rarely if ever had anything to do with actual snakes.

    I use "absurd" in the way that a lot of people words like "awesome" or "ridiculous". Because if I'm not allowed to get peevy when people abuse and mispronounce words in other languages I know, I'm not going to listen to 'em when they say I'm doin' it wrong.

    I also grammar things funny, because I like screwing with the person in my life who in one breath tells me I'm using it incorrectly and then in the very next breath murders their language, but tells me it's okay because they're a native speaker.
    I used to live in a world of terrible beauty, and then the beauty left.
    Dioxazine purple.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter_Wolf View Post
    I used to live in a cave. Got lots of flak for being a "troglodyte" the whole time.
    Anyway. Where I grew up, "snake" had meanings as a noun, verb, and adjective. It also rarely if ever had anything to do with actual snakes.

    I use "absurd" in the way that a lot of people words like "awesome" or "ridiculous". Because if I'm not allowed to get peevy when people abuse and mispronounce words in other languages I know, I'm not going to listen to 'em when they say I'm doin' it wrong.

    I also grammar things funny, because I like screwing with the person in my life who in one breath tells me I'm using it incorrectly and then in the very next breath murders their language, but tells me it's okay because they're a native speaker.

    I do live in a cave, a MAN-CAVE!
    I used antlers in all my decorating and everything.

    Around here "snake" is also used a verb. To snake something is to weave something through something else only it's not as tight as an actual weave. you can snake a something through something.
    it's also used to describe the act of moving in a single direction but not in a straight line. You can snake through traffic for example.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Back home "snake" is almost exclusively used to refer to people's behavior, or example:
    "Don't be a snake." Roughly "Don't be a lunatic/dingbat/dumbass/freak/tweaker/A-hole."
    "Go check your cousin, he's snaking out." Roughly "your cousin's about to get murdered becauese he's acting like an A-hole."
    Surprisingly, I've never heard it used in the way that means "underhanded backstabber" e.g. "Don't turn your back on that guy, he's a real snake."

    Maybe it's more widespread than I know, but no one I've ever known in real life has understood what the hell I was talking about unless they were from back home.
    I used to live in a world of terrible beauty, and then the beauty left.
    Dioxazine purple.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Winter_Wolf View Post
    Back home "snake" is almost exclusively used to refer to people's behavior, or example:
    "Don't be a snake." Roughly "Don't be a lunatic/dingbat/dumbass/freak/tweaker/A-hole."
    "Go check your cousin, he's snaking out." Roughly "your cousin's about to get murdered becauese he's acting like an A-hole."
    Surprisingly, I've never heard it used in the way that means "underhanded backstabber" e.g. "Don't turn your back on that guy, he's a real snake."

    Maybe it's more widespread than I know, but no one I've ever known in real life has understood what the hell I was talking about unless they were from back home.
    We use the phrase “snake in the grass” to refer to someone like that. Because they’re dangerous and you never see them until after you’ve been bitten.
    " don't trust him, he's a snake in the grass."

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Using "snake" as a verb describing motion or placement has been done for centuries, if not from the origins of the language.

    "The army column snaked through the countryside."
    "The stream of water snaked among the boulders, following the path of least resistance."

    And, I've always thought that it was a strength of English that we can use nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns, under certain circumstances.
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    So the song runs on, with shift and change,
    Through the years that have no name,
    And the late notes soar to a higher range,
    But the theme is still the same.
    Man's battle-cry and the guns' reply
    Blend in with the old, old rhyme
    That was traced in the score of the strata marks
    While millenniums winked like campfire sparks
    Down the winds of unguessed time.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    And, I've always thought that it was a strength of English that we can use nouns as verbs and verbs as nouns, under certain circumstances.
    Oh, definitely. It's very useful to be able to take the connotative essence of a word and apply that to practically anything as a modifier, too. That's why I love it.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    "The army column snaked through the countryside."
    Now I'm imagining soldiers doing a real life version of that old snake game.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    I will hesitantly admit to past flagrant overuse of -ization or similar endings to turn regular words into overarching concept words. Why say everyone at work is becoming more casual when you can talk about the casualization of the workplace?

    I'm trying to get myself out of that habit though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Fred's a talking horse, he can do whatever he wants."

    Fred: "I want to steal"

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I will hesitantly admit to past flagrant overuse of -ization or similar endings to turn regular words into overarching concept words. Why say everyone at work is becoming more casual when you can talk about the casualization of the workplace?

    I'm trying to get myself out of that habit though.
    Obviously your building got hit by a ray from a Casualizer.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheThan View Post
    Skype convo from a couple of days ago (talking about halloween/cosplay):
    You do know that "wizard" has been an adjective since at least 1922, right? Reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    I will hesitantly admit to past flagrant overuse of -ization or similar endings to turn regular words into overarching concept words. Why say everyone at work is becoming more casual when you can talk about the casualization of the workplace?:
    Rule of thumb: if your sentence includes more than two words of more than two syllables, it's overcomplicated. Dumb it down, and you can make it clearer and easier to follow without any loss of meaning or nuance.

    (Unless you're writing a chemistry paper, obviously...)
    Last edited by veti; 2014-11-16 at 07:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrl View Post
    "They didn't change the alignment system, they just augmented its inherent weaknesses and limitations with a few gaping holes."
    "Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." - G K Chesterton


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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Rule of thumb: if your sentence includes more than two words of more than two syllables, it's overcomplicated. Dumb it down, and you can make it clearer and easier to follow without any loss of meaning or nuance.
    Dude. She's a lawyer. Obfuscation's kind of their job.
    A sufficiently poorly-written vampire will, when exposed to the sun's rays, turn into a purple unicorn.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    You do know that "wizard" has been an adjective since at least 1922, right? Reference.
    That still doesn't make it OK to use Wizard as an adjective.
    Last edited by TheThan; 2014-11-16 at 10:03 PM.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Rule of thumb: if your sentence includes more than two words of more than two syllables, it's overcomplicated. Dumb it down, and you can make it clearer and easier to follow without any loss of meaning or nuance.

    (Unless you're writing a chemistry paper, obviously...)
    Doesn't apply to legal memos, or anything that requires that you use Latin.

    Quote Originally Posted by enderlord99 View Post
    Dude. She's a lawyer. Obfuscation's kind of their job.
    Female pony avatar, but you might want to look at the gender symbol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Fred's a talking horse, he can do whatever he wants."

    Fred: "I want to steal"

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    The speaker in the comic needn't worry about going all language nerd. As used in the strip, "language nerd" is a predicative noun phrase; since "go all" can take either noun- or adjective-headed predicative complements and "language nerd" is, itself, a noun phrase, there is no reason its use as the predicative complement here makes it an adjective. Also, the speaker's use of "just" is incorrect, as the speaker is in the process of using legit as an adverb when she uses "just" to indicate having done so in the recent past.

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Rule of thumb: if your sentence includes more than two words of more than two syllables, it's overcomplicated. Dumb it down, and you can make it clearer and easier to follow without any loss of meaning or nuance.

    (Unless you're writing a chemistry paper, obviously...)
    This is just patently false. There are differences of nuance between even the most similar words, such that they are not perfectly interchangeable. To say otherwise is blatantly reductive. If I use a three syllable word rather than a two-syllable word, I chose that word not because I like to show off what a pompous psuedointellectual I am, but because that is the word with the meaning I intended to convey. As such, a dumbed down version of a sentence can lose both meaning and nuance, to the point that the process of dumbing down a sentence may actually obfuscate that sentence's meaning.
    Last edited by Zrak; 2014-11-17 at 02:35 AM.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Those well versed in a language can easily see the difference between nuance and pomposity. There's no need to dumb sentences down, other than to produce works that have all the character and interest of room-temperature tapioca.

    Looking at what I just wrote, the second sentence has, I believe, four words of more than two syllables. I guess I could have written "There's no need to dumb sentences down, other than to produce works that have all the color and taste of tepid mush." But that really makes it say something slightly different, not the exact same thing in another format.

    For one thing, I think that "all the character and interest of room-temperature tapioca" stands out more vividly than "all the color and taste of tepid mush."

    But, of course, that's a subjective opinion on my part, which is why -- fortunately -- authors have their own distinctive writing styles.

    EDIT: I always like to use a sentence from the "Lord of the Rings," which in fact uses short words, as an example of how word choice can alter the mood and feel of a sentence. On Pelennor Field, Eomer musters the Rohirrim for what he thinks is their last charge with the shout:

    'Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending!'

    Now if he had said:

    "Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the end of the world!"

    ...it takes all the punch and salt out of it. Just the substitution of "the world's ending" for "the end of the world" makes the sentence have a strong, high, and final sound. The "world's" part evokes the world first, and creates a sort of rising, anticipatory note. After that, "ending" has the ominous finality of two ax blows, and puts the "end" into focus.

    IMO, of course.
    Last edited by Bulldog Psion; 2014-11-17 at 01:11 PM.
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    So the song runs on, with shift and change,
    Through the years that have no name,
    And the late notes soar to a higher range,
    But the theme is still the same.
    Man's battle-cry and the guns' reply
    Blend in with the old, old rhyme
    That was traced in the score of the strata marks
    While millenniums winked like campfire sparks
    Down the winds of unguessed time.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    That's a great example. I think using the present participle conveys a sense of urgency and immediacy that a formation like "end of" does not, in general, but Tolkein's "the world's ending" is particularly effective. Combining the present participle "ending" with the possessive "the world's" — rather than with "of the world" — amplifies the sense of urgency by giving a sly hint of double meaning; absent context, "the world's ending" could be read as a reference to the fact that the world is currently in the process of ending — as "the world is ending."

    The rest of Eomer's sentence provides sufficient context for the denotation of Tolkein's phrase to be clear, but the ambiguity of the phrasing itself gives a powerful connotation of immediacy that "simpler" or more straightforward phrasings would lose.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    I did say it's a rule of thumb. It's not true in all cases, but it is a useful guideline. Sure there's a time to drift into verbosity, but it's important to be aware when you're doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    Those well versed in a language can easily see the difference between nuance and pomposity. There's no need to dumb sentences down, other than to produce works that have all the character and interest of room-temperature tapioca.
    However, "those well versed in a language" may not be the whole of your readership. Right now, for instance, you're writing on a web forum, read by people from who knows how many countries and mother tongues, and levels of proficiency in English. And even those who do read English with complete fluency will find short words easier to digest than long ones. Many people who read this, will be reading tens of thousands of words today, by hundreds of different writers. Who am I to demand that they should spend extra effort to understand mine, because my prose is so precisely and delicately formed that it can't be shortened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    Looking at what I just wrote, the second sentence has, I believe, four words of more than two syllables. I guess I could have written "There's no need to dumb sentences down, other than to produce works that have all the color and taste of tepid mush." But that really makes it say something slightly different, not the exact same thing in another format.
    If "room-temperature tapioca" is the image you want to preserve - and I agree, it's a nice image - you could have gone with "style" instead of "character". And I don't think saying "a sentence" (or even, if you prefer, "your prose" or "your writing"), rather than "sentences", would lessen the impact.

    (In that last sentence, I initially wrote "detract from" rather than "lessen". I think that would have been a mistake.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    EDIT: I always like to use a sentence from the "Lord of the Rings," which in fact uses short words, as an example of how word choice can alter the mood and feel of a sentence. On Pelennor Field, Eomer musters the Rohirrim for what he thinks is their last charge with the shout:

    'Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending!'
    Tolkien, in fact, uses short words as a conscious stylistic choice throughout LotR (although largely as a side-effect of using Anglo-Saxon words in preference to Latin ones). For instance, "pay heed" rather than "pay attention", "deem" rather than "consider", "mighty" not "powerful", "pity" not "sympathy", "sadness" not "melancholy", "fate" not "destiny", "folk" rather than "populace". Look at any random section of the book, and count the number of three-or-more-syllabled words. I promise you, it's a very small fraction of the whole - even smaller if you exclude proper nouns from the reckoning. (Here, for example, or here.)

    Or look at this page, which translates famous Tolkien quotes into Elvish, because Elvish is beautiful, right? But, you may note, not one of the quotes in English contains a single word longer than two syllables. Now, which language do you think is responsible for the fame of those phrases: the beautiful one, or the short one?

    I take your point: of course word choice alters the mood and feel of what you write. But if I were being quite honest, most of the time, I'd say my word choice is more instinct than consideration. When I'm trying to write a book, then I'll think about each sentence and weigh options for each word; but when I'm writing a post on an internet forum (for instance), I'll write pretty much what comes into my head, rarely going back to revise. In that case, to claim that "the exact tone and nuance of every single sentence is ideal and could not be improved on" is just plain silly.
    Last edited by veti; 2014-11-17 at 04:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrl View Post
    "They didn't change the alignment system, they just augmented its inherent weaknesses and limitations with a few gaping holes."
    "Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." - G K Chesterton


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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Bringing up an author's preference for short words is a non-sequiter; neither of us has argued that shorter words are inherently inferior, but rather that using shorter words will not necessarily make a sentence more clear, but will change certain nuances of its meaning. Citing the prevalence of and reason for shorter words in Tolkein's writing does not refute, but supports, our point; using "fate" instead of "destiny" or "heed" instead of "attention" does change the nuance of the sentence around it. Whether that change is for better or worse is immaterial, as our argument is merely that there is a change.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Rule of thumb: if your sentence includes more than two words of more than two syllables, it's overcomplicated. Dumb it down, and you can make it clearer and easier to follow without any loss of meaning or nuance.
    Alternately, if you can't keep up then you're not a person I need to speak to on the subject matter at hand.

    Depends on context.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    The speaker in the comic needn't worry about going all language nerd. As used in the strip, "language nerd" is a predicative noun phrase; since "go all" can take either noun- or adjective-headed predicative complements and "language nerd" is, itself, a noun phrase, there is no reason its use as the predicative complement here makes it an adjective. Also, the speaker's use of "just" is incorrect, as the speaker is in the process of using legit as an adverb when she uses "just" to indicate having done so in the recent past.

    This is just patently false. There are differences of nuance between even the most similar words, such that they are not perfectly interchangeable. To say otherwise is blatantly reductive. If I use a three syllable word rather than a two-syllable word, I chose that word not because I like to show off what a pompous psuedointellectual I am, but because that is the word with the meaning I intended to convey. As such, a dumbed down version of a sentence can lose both meaning and nuance, to the point that the process of dumbing down a sentence may actually obfuscate that sentence's meaning.
    *swoon~*
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Female pony avatar, but you might want to look at the gender symbol.
    It's a good thing neither of us is British!
    A sufficiently poorly-written vampire will, when exposed to the sun's rays, turn into a purple unicorn.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    I don't see the the big deal with the original comic. Adjectives, adverbs, nouns... they're all open classes. If she had used legit as a pronoun I would have been impresssed.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Such verb. Very noun. So excite. Wow.
    bees

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    I am not brave enough to say something outrageous and be serious. You'll be happier if you assume I'm joking.
    Playgrounders say the darndest things.

    HAPPY HYDRADAYS!!!

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Quote Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
    Anders, you're a synesthete too?
    Make strange what is comfortable.

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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Nope. I just know my Chomsky.
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    Default Re: I just legit adverbed legit!

    Did you guys know that if you pretend the languages without recursion don't exist, all languages have recursion?

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