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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Wait, how are you defining "poisonous"?
    I'm just guessing, but I'm assuming that he's using a definition close to "toxic when ingested." At least, that's what makes the most sense to me in context, since I recall that many forms of venom can be safely ingested (assuming you don't have any ulcers that would allow the venom to reach your bloodstream before it is fully digested.)

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I have to say that I've never heard someone say "Nauseous" to mean "Nauseated", mainly because anyone IME using those words instead of sickening/sickened is either playing D&D (where the condition is called nauseated because Wizards know how to speak English) or are generally the kind of person intelligent enough to know the correct uses of the words.
    I've never heard this other use of "nauseous"

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Wait, how are you defining "poisonous"?
    Poison is a more generic term than venom. Poison is "a substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed".

    Venom is a subcategory of poison, which is secreted by animals, and generally injected into prey or aggressors by biting or stinging.

    And just for completeness, 'toxin' sits between the two: it's a type of poison that's produced within the cells of a living organism. So it's a superset of venoms, and a subset of poisons. It includes, e.g., the secretions of nettles or poison ivy, as well as animal venom.

    Of course, these are not the only definitions of these words, and if most people in fact use "poison" to mean "directly harmful when ingested", then that's the "correct" definition. It certainly is when listening to those people. But in my acquaintance, "poison" is used more generically than that.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I've never heard this other use of "nauseous"
    It's synonymous with nauseating, not nauseated. Or at least it was until people misused it to the point that no-one's quite sure what you really do mean when you use it. (See also "Literally": I've started using "Nonfiguratively", which I'm pretty sure is not a word, to make it clear that I mean literally literally.)
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    ....you can get a situation where a word shifts to mean something so different from what it originally did that it effectively becomes its own antonym, and thus completely redundant.

    The obvious, and most topical example, is "literally"....
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    ...Like the fact that literally is its own antonym...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    ...until people misused it to the point that no-one's quite sure what you really do mean when you use it. (See also "Literally": I've started using "Nonfiguratively", which I'm pretty sure is not a word, to make it clear that I mean literally literally.)

    Until I read it in this thread, I literally (truthfully) did not know that "literally" was its own antonym, as I had no memory of the word being used in a way that's opposite of "truthfully", but I checked it out and found that "literally" is used in that fashion, and has been for a while:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/word...e-of-literally

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    About nauseous:

    the -ous suffix in and of itself doesn't mean -ing or -ed. It means "rich with..."

    See acetous, acrimonious, adipous, adventurous, amorous, calamitous...

    Now, if you are nauseous, and "contain a lot of nausea", it can be both that you are nauseating or nauseated.

    The OED gives both meanings as correct, and I don't think it's a misuse to use any of them.


    This being the -ous suffix coming from Latin -osus. Some other English words seem to have -ous as a loan from -us (Carboniferous, cutaneous, propitious...)

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Until I read it in this thread, I literally (truthfully) did not know that "literally" was its own antonym, as I had no memory of the word being used in a way that's opposite of "truthfully", but I checked it out and found that "literally" is used in that fashion, and has been for a while:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/word...e-of-literally
    It's not it's own antonym. That's an exaggeration. What has happened is that it has become an exact synonym to "really"; an intensifier.

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    About nauseous:

    the -ous suffix in and of itself doesn't mean -ing or -ed. It means "rich with..."

    See acetous, acrimonious, adipous, adventurous, amorous, calamitous...

    Now, if you are nauseous, and "contain a lot of nausea", it can be both that you are nauseating or nauseated.

    The OED gives both meanings as correct, and I don't think it's a misuse to use any of them.


    This being the -ous suffix coming from Latin -osus. Some other English words seem to have -ous as a loan from -us (Carboniferous, cutaneous, propitious...)
    A lot of words don't perfectly match their etymology (etymology should mean "The study of truth" but actually means "The development of the meaning of words", for example.), so it's not surprising that this one didn't/doesn't/whatever.
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    It's synonymous with nauseating, not nauseated. Or at least it was until people misused it to the point that no-one's quite sure what you really do mean when you use it.
    Where are you from? Because I've never seen it used in that sense. I think it might be regional (or perhaps you might be thinking of "noxious")

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    A lot of words don't perfectly match their etymology (etymology should mean "The study of truth" but actually means "The development of the meaning of words", for example.), so it's not surprising that this one didn't/doesn't/whatever.
    I wasn't aware of this, but, apparently, in Latin it only meant nauseating. So, you are arguing that the etymological meaning still is the right one.

    In general, I'm not convinced that nauseous doesn't mean both nauseated and nauseating in English, simply because three dictionaries out of three I checked, as well as its current use, say it means both.

    Maybe it has a restricted meaning locally where you live, and another locally restricted meaning where Bohandas lives? But it has been used with both meanings (nauseating since 1618, nauseated since at least 1839; in 1613 the word was used for someone who often suffered from nausea) for a very long time.

    I get the feeling that the different meanings developed in different language areas (nauseating being the everyday (or higher language) use, and nauseated being used in the specialized medical jargon and dripping into the common speech).
    Last edited by Vinyadan; 2017-06-20 at 11:34 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    In general, I'm not convinced that nauseous doesn't mean both nauseated and nauseating in English, simply because three dictionaries out of three I checked, as well as its current use, say it means both.
    Another thing that bugs me, as it turns out: double negatives in a long enough sentence. It took me three re-reads to understand the intention behind the quote.

    Like, literally, just because it's literally an accepted meaning, that doesn't mean it can't literally bug the **** out of you.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Going back to the foreign affectations issue for a moment, I'd like to say that I don't like it when American people use UK/Commonwealth of Nations spellings. I can give the British a pass on spelling the "err" sound "re" and sticking in silent "u"s every time the string "or" appears in a word because it's tradition there, but it's not tradition here, and there's furthermore absolutely no need for it.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    ...Like, literally, just because it's literally an accepted meaning, that doesn't mean it can't literally bug the **** out of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    This has literally made me laugh the most today.
    I'm generally okay with the weird way language drifts, but what irks me about "literally" is that we no longer have an unambiguous and concise way to convey that--contrary to what you might expect from context--something literally happened.

    "Belkar literally beat the crap out of that guy."

    "Haha, I bet he did!"

    "No really, Belkar was kicking so hard his colostomy bag just exploded! It was horrible!"

    Things like "bad" being don't bother me at all since it's usually clear by tone of voice or context what they mean, and in situations where it might be ambiguous, most people know a few monosyllabic words that can more clearly convey one meaning or the other. I can't really think of another single-word way to say "literally." I suppose "actually" could substitute, but in any context where "literally" could be reasonably interpreted to mean either literally or figuratively, "actually" could mean something else too.

    "Belkar actually beat the crap out of that guy."

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Non-metaphorically, perhaps?
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Non-metaphorically, perhaps?
    Also, physical and real might work, and even literal - you just have to avoid the adverb, but the adjective is not as widely used as a synonym of metaphorical(ly), wso you can turn the sentence around and it might be clearer:

    Belkar kicked the literal crap out of that guy.

    But yeah, ultimately, you may just have to clarify. It's not just the auto-antonym nature of literally; culturally, we are so used to hyperbole when tale-telling that when something out of the ordinary is described, the neutral assumption is usually that the storyteller is embellishing for effect.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    "And that was not hyperbole" may work:

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0473.html
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Ah, those are all good suggestions, thanks.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    I am bothered by the psychologist and philosopher Julian Jaynes' misuse of the word "consciousness" to mean "sanity"

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Going back to the foreign affectations issue for a moment, I'd like to say that I don't like it when American people use UK/Commonwealth of Nations spellings. I can give the British a pass on spelling the "err" sound "re" and sticking in silent "u"s every time the string "or" appears in a word because it's tradition there, but it's not tradition here, and there's furthermore absolutely no need for it.
    I think this one is harsh as it definitely isn't a misuse IMO seeing as UK English is the original version of English. Anything different would technically be a misuse of that if anything.

    I don't think that btw, just in comparison to US English I know which one I would consider to be correct being from England and all
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Why can't people just learn to spell definitely or stop using it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    Why can't people just learn to spell definitely or stop using it?
    Because sertenly is even harder to spell?

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    I guess it's not really unimportant, so probably doesn't belong in this thread but..what is it with English native speakers and failing the spelling of even the most basic and commonly used words?
    Surely most people have had at least 3-5 years of school? Surely if you've got a job, learned to use the internet, read a newspaper or a book, you must have learned how to spell the verb to have, the word there, the difference between sight and site? Why is it that I feel that this comes easier to us non-native speakers than to those who are, when it should be the other way around?
    Last edited by dehro; 2017-06-21 at 04:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    I guess it's not really unimportant, so probably doesn't belong in this thread but..what is it with English native speakers and failing the spelling of even the most basic and commonly used words?
    Surely most people have had at least 3-5 years of school? Surely if you've got a job, learned to use the internet, read a newspaper or a book, you must have learned how to spell the verb to have, the word there, the difference between sight and site? Why is it that I feel that this comes easier to us non-native speakers than to those who are, when it should be the other way around?
    As far as I have been able to figure out over the years, there is a general felling that "as long as you can figure out what I meant, I clearly don't need to put any more effort than absolutely necessary". This inevitably ignores that not everyone is a native speaker and therefore that an ounce of extra effort on the writer's part would save a pound on effort on ours - but all too often, there is also an undercurrent of xenophobia associated to such views that means that when confronted, they'll disdain our increased effort precisely because we are not native speakers in the first place.

    That said, it is hardly unique to English. I have seen what passes for "sufficient grammar" amongst people in my country writing in my native language, and it is not much better than English. The same reasoning applies, by and large.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    As far as I have been able to figure out over the years, there is a general felling that "as long as you can figure out what I meant, I clearly don't need to put any more effort than absolutely necessary". This inevitably ignores that not everyone is a native speaker and therefore that an ounce of extra effort on the writer's part would save a pound on effort on ours - but all too often, there is also an undercurrent of xenophobia associated to such views that means that when confronted, they'll disdain our increased effort precisely because we are not native speakers in the first place.

    That said, it is hardly unique to English. I have seen what passes for "sufficient grammar" amongst people in my country writing in my native language, and it is not much better than English. The same reasoning applies, by and large.

    Grey Wolf
    I suspect there's also that ESL (and other SL) speakers actively work towards learning the language, while native speakers learn it in early childhood; using it correctly doesn't seem as important to them as it does to those who have to learn the rules and structure later on in life. Or, to put it another way, nobody's more religious than a convert.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Most of mine have already been said, I think. Plus, this post has so many nested parentheses I'm bound to aggravate someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Shouldn't it be neh-sa?
    I realize this is several pages old, but you're all butchering the pronunciation of næ-sʌ. (Or na-suh - "na" (as in "cat") and "suh" (as in "uh" - I'd say as in "water", but apparently my accent/dialect pronounces that weirdly (or so I've been told)) - for those of you that don't read IPA or are unwilling to google it). I've yet to meet anyone who pronounces NASA differently, and that includes a handful of people that worked there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Going back to the foreign affectations issue for a moment, I'd like to say that I don't like it when American people use UK/Commonwealth of Nations spellings. I can give the British a pass on spelling the "err" sound "re" and sticking in silent "u"s every time the string "or" appears in a word because it's tradition there, but it's not tradition here, and there's furthermore absolutely no need for it.
    Colour is the correct spelling of that word, and I'll fight anyone who suggests otherwise. Most of the other extraneous 'u's I won't argue over, though - I use them somewhat erratically. Behaviour, flavor, armor, etc. Center and centre have different connotations (centre implies a specific urban location, whereas center doesn't, really), but meter is sufficient for all uses. I don't swap perfectly serviceable letters for others that sound like them in realize or defense, though.

    Those two do kind of get on my nerves, actually, even when I'm reading something written by a British person.

    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    I guess it's not really unimportant, so probably doesn't belong in this thread but..what is it with English native speakers and failing the spelling of even the most basic and commonly used words?
    Surely most people have had at least 3-5 years of school? Surely if you've got a job, learned to use the internet, read a newspaper or a book, you must have learned how to spell the verb to have, the word there, the difference between sight and site? Why is it that I feel that this comes easier to us non-native speakers than to those who are, when it should be the other way around?
    I'd guess most of them don't care, but there are certainly plenty that don't know any better. Usually it's a combination of the two, from my experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Besides, gifs are just animated jfegs.

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    This is actually incorrect.

    First of all, while it's true that the GIF format supports animation frames, there are plenty of GIFs that don't include them. But more importantly, GIFs and JPEGs actually store information very differently. GIFs use an indexed color format which stores a list of colors contained in the image and (IIRC) uses mathematical formulas to designate lines and areas, whereas a JPEG stores each pixel's RGB data and then compresses the information. This is the primary reason GIFs are more useful for smaller and simpler images with few colors and JPEGs are the primary format for storing photorealistic images.
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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Yeah, just because somebody had several years of education doesn't mean they actually *learned* anything, and this is true in the UK as much as it is in any other country. I think describing this as being somehow xenophobic is assigning motivations that don't really exist--these people don't care to learn how to spell or how grammar works, and they don't care who has to read their online pronouncements.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Amidus Drexel View Post
    I realize this is several pages old, but you're all butchering the pronunciation of næ-sʌ. (Or na-suh - "na" (as in "cat") and "suh" (as in "uh" - I'd say as in "water", but apparently my accent/dialect pronounces that weirdly (or so I've been told)) - for those of you that don't read IPA or are unwilling to google it). I've yet to meet anyone who pronounces NASA differently, and that includes a handful of people that worked there.
    You... missed the point of what we were doing. The acronym is obviously pronounced with the first a like in cat. We weren't talking about how the acronym is actually pronounced. We were talking about how the acronym would be pronounced if we were constrained to pronouncing each letter the same way it was pronounced in the word the letter came from. So what we were discussing with "Nay" vs "Neh" was how "Aeronautic" has the first vowel pronounced.
    Tonitrius Adhael, self-named the Thunder Phoenix, wandering historian and combat mage extraordinaire. When he discovered a genuine magical artifact from the mythical Tower Era, a long gone age when benevolent wizards ruled, he expected it to change the world. He didn't expect to be attacked by demon-worshiping cultists, or for mythical creatures and spells to return to the world...

    This story, Tales of the Thunder Phoenix, is partially based on a Pathfinder campaign.

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    Default Re: Completely unimportant language misuses that bug you

    Quote Originally Posted by Amidus Drexel View Post
    but meter is sufficient for all uses.
    A meter is a measuring implement, a metre is a unit of measurement. They're not exactly the kind of things that are difficult to mix up in certain contexts...
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    You know, it would be really meta if I sigged this.

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