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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Zigludo View Post
    Haven't read through the entire thread, but have we been over "X AM in the morning" and its ilk yet?

    I'm not sure if it's incorrect, exactly, but it's redundant and has become a peeve of mine. I've never given anyone else guff about it, but I still catch myself saying it from time and time and cringe.
    *Shrugs*

    Don't use the AM/PM format around here and absolutely don´t care for it in any way, so it is always helpful when it is mentioned.
    Last edited by Florian; 2019-04-23 at 12:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Not like he didn't deserve it.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    So, my complaint about these isn't really that people get them wrong, it's that they were added to the language like this in the first place (but let's face it, using words to evolve the language in a stupid and confusing way is about as big a language misuse as you can get):

    • Judgement: the ability to make good decisions.
    • Judgment (same pronunciation): a decision made by a judge or a magistrate in court.
    • Complement: lots of jargon meanings, but mostly used when talking about things that accompany other things.
    • Compliment (same pronunciation again): the opposite of an insult.
    • Complimentary: free of charge.
    • Complementary (you guessed it): complements something else.


    Although credit where it's due, they did abolish the 'judgement'/'judgment' nonsense over in the colonies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Not like he didn't deserve it.
    Can't disagree there.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2019-04-26 at 02:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Alright, here’s one likely to be controversial: extraneous “of”s associated with adjectives. It’s all over the place but here are two real examples just to indicate exactly what I'm talking about and to prove I'm not making it up:

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Quill, Guardians of the Galaxy
    It’s not that unique of a thing to say”.
    Quote Originally Posted by reason.com
    “How big of a deal is an extra half degree of global warming?”
    The (marked) “of”s in these statements or questions are not only unnecessary but make no grammatical sense.

    This can be seen when the sentence is unscrambled; to take the Guardians example: "The thing that I said is not that unique”.

    There’s no room for an “of” in that sentence and logically the only place it could go to match the original phrasing would be to produce the sentence “the thing that I said is not a very unique of thing”.

    Extrapolating further, this would lead to “of” between all nouns and adjectives, such as “White of House” or “United of States of America”, which are obvious nonsenses.

    It bothers me mostly, I think, because I only noticed it relatively recently (within the last 6 years; the Guardians quote is an early example) and initially, predominantly in Buzzfeed headlines. In that time it’s spread like wildfire including to some people who should know better (for instance, reason.com). It’s particularly egregious in headlines, where the usual drive is to save space by removing extraneous words even where in normal discourse they would be required. Here they’re adding words for no reason.

    I suspect that much of this is due to a lack of confidence, where ordering the sentence in that way leads to what seems like a fragile construction, and consequently adding a beat to be on the safe side, even though it makes no sense, and that’s why it’s caught on so widely and so quickly.
    It may also be due to confusion with the related phrasing along the lines of “how much of a jerk are you” which can also be differentiated on the basis that the basis for comparison is with a noun, and therefore it is something to which the “of” can legitimately hook. It’s not very elegant, but it does make sense.

    Now, I am aware that there is a poetic tradition of putting “of” between nouns and adjectives, for instance in the Louis Armstrong classic “What a Wonderful World”:
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Armstrong
    I see trees of green…
    But critically, here, the relationship is the other way round to the phrasing that bugs me, and is explicable by a missing word (“made” or “composed”, etc.) which isn’t the case in the above examples. Also, it’s poetry.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2019-04-26 at 06:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Totally agreed about the "of". In Harry Potter, it always tripped me to read that Hagrid was "a giant of a man". Can't he just be a giant man, which is something I understand, rather than sounding like he's a giant belonging to a man?
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    I completely agree, though I'll note that "a giant of a man" is not an example. "Giant" in that phrase is a noun, not an adjective, and this is a much older and perfectly acceptable usage. I've never really analysed it before, but I suppose that "of" is used there because it means, more or less, "a giant belonging to mankind".

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    "A giant of a man" was used by Johnny Cash in 1972 (A Thing Called Love), so I guess it's not very recent. I found a use in 1915.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    It's true that the example is a bit different, because "a man" isn't an adjective.
    But hey, talking about "of" made me think about my own gripe :P

    About it being old, are only recent uses allowed on the thread? Sorry if that's the case!
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lissou View Post
    It's true that the example is a bit different, because "a man" isn't an adjective.
    But hey, talking about "of" made me think about my own gripe :P

    About it being old, are only recent uses allowed on the thread? Sorry if that's the case!
    It's more like when the misuse is old and common enough, it sort of just becomes a "use."
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    It's more like when the misuse is old and common enough, it sort of just becomes a "use."
    Speaking of "misuse", is the thread title supposed to be the plural of "missus"?

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lissou View Post
    It's true that the example is a bit different, because "a man" isn't an adjective.
    But hey, talking about "of" made me think about my own gripe :P

    About it being old, are only recent uses allowed on the thread? Sorry if that's the case!
    I think it's fair play for whatever grinds your gears!
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Speaking of "misuse", is the thread title supposed to be the plural of "missus"?
    No, someone suggested we spell it wrong on purpose for the title of the second thread, and it stuck. I think it's just meant to torture all of us :P
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Many English-speakers are still in denial about England having been conquered by Frenchmen and will insist that William and his French speaking Christian vassals of the king of France who lived in France were totally Vikings because their great-great grandfathers lived in Scandinavia.
    Objection! William's people were vassals of the Duke of Normandy, not the King of France. To claim that they owed allegiance to France as some sort of superior obligation to that of Normandy - would very likely have earned you a one-way ticket to an execution. (It's one of the things that got Joan of Arc into so much trouble, a few hundred years later.)

    If some peasant had tried to claim that they had an allegiance to France, rather than Normandy, even the King of France probably wouldn't have thanked them for it, because such a claim would have undermined the whole feudal order.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Actually ya did. Budget, tennis and a few other words were loaned back by us frenchies. Linguisticae has a video on that I would link to were I not on phone.
    All words are loanwords if you go far enough back. Except onomatopae I guess.
    Yup, all words in all living languages are derived from something, mostly from - other languages. There's no shame in that, any more than there is in being descended from Other People.

    I would say that a loanword remains loaned as long as people don't forget its origins. Someday we may forget that "paella" was ever a Spanish dish and then the word will become generic English, but that day is at least a generation or two away yet.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    Objection! William's people were vassals of the Duke of Normandy, not the King of France. To claim that they owed allegiance to France as some sort of superior obligation to that of Normandy - would very likely have earned you a one-way ticket to an execution. (It's one of the things that got Joan of Arc into so much trouble, a few hundred years later.)
    That is only true insofar as that the concept of France did not exist yet. However if you asked those people wether they we’re vassals to the king of France, they would have said yes, as their duke, William, was a vassal to the king. If you find that insufficient to be French then there were [i]no[\i] French had the time as Normandy wasn’t more independent or culturally distinct than Champagne or Artois.
    Last edited by Fyraltari; 2019-04-29 at 08:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Wait, if there was no France, how could he be the King of France?
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lissou View Post
    Wait, if there was no France, how could he be the King of France?
    The concept of a nation state is a rather modern one and is heavily based on land and borders. The feudal hierarchy was a rather fluid one, as it was primarily based on the web of vassalage, allegiance and alliances between individuals, houses and bloodlines. It did take quite a while for stuff to consolidate in such a way that nation states would emerge, in part only after replacing the feudal order with (absolutist) monarchies.

    It would also be more correct to state that he was the "king of the people who identified themselves as francs".

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Lissou View Post
    Wait, if there was no France, how could he be the King of France?
    It was in 1204, that Philp the second changed his title from Rex Francorum (king of the Franks) to Rex Franciae (King of France). As far as I can tell this was the first time people started to speak of France as a geopolitical entity.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    It was in 1204, that Philp the second changed his title from Rex Francorum (king of the Franks) to Rex Franciae (King of France). As far as I can tell this was the first time people started to speak of France as a geopolitical entity.
    Which was 138 years after the Norman invasion, so you've just contradicted your own statement that William of Normandy was a vassal of the King of France.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Which was 138 years after the Norman invasion, so you've just contradicted your own statement that William of Normandy was a vassal of the King of France.
    No, I’m just not pedantic enough to make a difference between the two titles until after it becomes relevant to the conversation. William was a vassal if the king of the Franks which is one of the many things that make him Frankish/French.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Which was 138 years after the Norman invasion, so you've just contradicted your own statement that William of Normandy was a vassal of the King of France.
    Consider the three things that make up a nation state as we understand it: A land, a border, a people. Previous understanding was more concerned with the people and took land and border for granted, the switch from "king of the francs" to "king of france" was more or less a minor one and the result of consolidation.

    Ok, granted, I might be less pedantic there because I'm from Germany, which managed the whole consolidation very late and is practically a baby country in comparison. Ok, a peculiarity about the german language that might help to explain something: A lot of the terms we use are descriptive and you will notice the repeated use of the suffixes of -land and -reich. Deutschland, Frankreich, Österreich and England are simply the lands of the german, franc, austrian end english people, that's it.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Alright, here’s one likely to be controversial: extraneous “of”s associated with adjectives. It’s all over the place but here are two real examples just to indicate exactly what I'm talking about and to prove I'm not making it up:
    When I was taking Italian, they had a word "ci," that even though it already had plenty of uses (its the pronoun for us, as well as meaning there or here), sometimes appears (at least to me, and my prof. agreed) to be completely redundant, for example, if someone asks if you are coming with them, the natural response in Italian would be something like "Si, ci vengo", but there's nothing in that sentence not conveyed by just saying "si, vengo", except that the second one sounds terse. My prof. said it was all about your word rhythm, words like that help everything flow sometimes when your speaking or something like that. I'd assume it's similar in English and other languages with random redundancies.

    Personally, my favorite is when someone "has got" something (Almost always done with a contraction, like I've got, he's got, etc). You don't need both. If you've got something, then you have something. No need for the word got to be in there.

    On the duchy of normandy/france thing: While the Norman's did speak french, and were "french" in culture, it's worth nothing that it had only been 100 years since they had invaded the duchy. There were still some parts of their culture that were held over, and their French is known to be slightly different from the rest of French. So they weren't still vikings, but they were no more french than an aquitanian - someone who spoke a similar language and maybe sent some money to Paris once a year. Back then France was an incredibly weak feudal state - the King could only really count on being listened to within a few miles of Paris before he hit lands that belong to vassels who (in practice if not legally) could over rule him if they had wanted to.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    loyal readerships ≠ royal leadership (but it was a fun misread)

    About the discussion at hand, it would be interesting to compare contemporary texts. For example, the Normans in Italy were compared by the Byzantines, as far as I can remember, with their own Northmen (the various mercenaries and settlements in Eastern Europe), possibly because of the name; but the also Byzantine Alexiad simply calls them Keltoi, "Gauls/Celts". The Normans spoke French (oil), in a local version, like not having the c- > ch change (which doesn't really mean too much, since local variation will always exist). But I don't know about their everyday customs; I expect the populace to have retained their old (romance) culture, and the nobility to have a few Northern habits.

    And England should also not have existed, by royal style, until 1154. I wonder what William conquered, then?

    From my point of view, it makes no sense to try and understand when people started use "France", because it becomes a mess from it being an English word. Francia was used since the "beginning", since Chlovis I (466 – 511), and referred to all of the territories held by his Franks. When the Frankish Empire broke up, there were definitions like "Francia occidentalis" opposed to "Francia orientalis". When the name Francia orientalis became disused, the French state was referred to as simply Francia. I assume that Anglia also existed as a concept for a long time before it was adopted by the king.

    In general, while being powerful, litigious, and as independent as they could get away with (so, a lot), the vassals of the King of France well very well aware of being his vassals and of the reciprocal obligations. Respecting them, that was another matter.

    I personally wouldn't call William's men Frenchmen or Franks, if only to avoid confusion (although it would be interesting to check out what medieval sources called them; translations tend to change such names into something the readers can understand). In general, this kind of definitions can be a mess. Isidore of Seville called the inhabitants of the Visigothic Kingdom "Goths", in spite of them being essentially the same people as before the Goths got there, and keeping their earlier language and religion.

    I don't know how widespread a feeling of loyalty towards the king was. I tried searching for prayers for him in liturgy, but I couldn't get earlier than Philippe le Bel.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    MSN.com had a list of terms that "no one uses anymore". I was rather shocked that they did not have the answers. They were like "here is a term, who knows where it came from".

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world...6No?li=AAgfLCP

    Submarine races: an excuse to bring a romantic partner to the seaside at night, hopefully under a full moon, park the car, and make out. [It sounds pretty predatory and creepy if the girl was clueless, but I would imagine that it was well-known slang and/or a joke].

    See you on the flip side: referencing the other side of a record. Basically I will see you later.
    Last edited by darkrose50; 2019-04-30 at 08:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by ForzaFiori View Post
    On the duchy of normandy/france thing: While the Norman's did speak french, and were "french" in culture, it's worth nothing that it had only been 100 years since they had invaded the duchy. There were still some parts of their culture that were held over, and their French is known to be slightly different from the rest of French. So they weren't still vikings, but they were no more french than an aquitanian - someone who spoke a similar language and maybe sent some money to Paris once a year. Back then France was an incredibly weak feudal state - the King could only really count on being listened to within a few miles of Paris before he hit lands that belong to vassels who (in practice if not legally) could over rule him if they had wanted to.
    Insofar as the question "Were the Normans French?" can be answered, I think the answer has to be "yes, insofar as it's possible to use the word "French" to describe anyone of the period who lived outside the Isle de France". As has been said, in 1066 the Normans spoke French, or at least a langue d'oil mutually intelligible with it; their culture had been Francified, and they were subject to the French king. They did have a culture distinct from the Isle de France, but no moreso than Aquitaine, or the Languedoc, or (particularly) Brittany. Ultimately, they may not have been French, but they were more French than they were anything else.

    As has been noted, the nation state as we currently think of it is a relatively modern development, and the idea of France as a singular political entity didn't really develop until the later Middle Ages - probably roughly occurring during the period between Philip II and Charles VIII. My understanding is that "France" as we now think of it was finally forged in the crucible of the Hundred Years War, which ended with the total victory of the French kings, not only over the foreign kings who had ruled parts of France for centuries, but over their most powerful vassals too. There was still the Mad War to contend with but that seems to have been the last gasp of old feudalism.

    I believe contemporaries called them Normans, which seems about right. They're not French, per se, but they're not Danes or Norse either; they're their own thing. Normandy was a sufficiently powerful and relevant entity in its own right to merit its own designation independent of the kingdom of France. England, after all, wasn't the only place the Normans (after becoming Norman) conquered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Ok, granted, I might be less pedantic there because I'm from Germany, which managed the whole consolidation very late and is practically a baby country in comparison.
    Though ironically in the period we're talking about, Germany was arguably more of a recognisable kingdom than France was: it held itself together rather better during and following the decline of the Carolingians. The Investiture Controversy did some damage a few years later, partially repaired under the Hohenstaufens, before their own collapse took the kingdom as a meaningful entity with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan
    I don't know how widespread a feeling of loyalty towards the king was. I tried searching for prayers for him in liturgy, but I couldn't get earlier than Philippe le Bel.
    I believe that the first Capetian king to exercise meaningful authority outside the immediate confines of his own demesne was Louis the Fat (and before him, Rudolph, almost 200 years earlier), although the extent to which this was expressed as actual personalised loyalty, who knows.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2019-04-30 at 05:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    They did have a culture distinct from the Isle de France, but no moreso than Aquitaine, or the Languedoc, or (particularly) Brittany.
    It bugs me when people mush together common phrases into single words, like "moreso", "everytime", or the hideous "alot".

    "Everyday" is especially bad because there is already a word "everyday", and it doesn't mean "every 24 hours". So all those supermarket advertisements are actually saying in bright bold letters that their products are ordinary and mediocre.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Norbert View Post
    It bugs me when people mush together common phrases into single words, like "moreso", "everytime", or the hideous "alot".
    As you probably know, "alot" is actually a word, meaning (more or less) allocate. I've a feeling that "moreso" is old, though I can't remember any examples. There is a distinct difference between maybe (which means perhaps) and may be, which means perhaps it will exist.

    "Everyday" is especially bad because there is already a word "everyday", and it doesn't mean "every 24 hours". So all those supermarket advertisements are actually saying in bright bold letters that their products are ordinary and mediocre.
    They probably know and hope that their customers don't.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    As you probably know, "alot" is actually a word, meaning (more or less) allocate.
    That word is normally spelled "allot", not "alot".

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    That word is normally spelled "allot", not "alot".
    Right. Spelling is difficult for me, I do care about it, I make a lot of corrections, but sometimes one escapes me entirely.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Unimportant 'Language Missuses' 2: Mother May II

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    And England should also not have existed, by royal style, until 1154. I wonder what William conquered, then?
    Well, I don't know what Edward the Confessor or Harold Godwinson called themselves (I would assume that at least right at the start of his conquest, William would take the same title as his predecesor for continuity), but according to some real quick googling, Alfred the Great (who was one of the first to unite most of what we now call England) called himself King of the Angles and Saxons, and his son Aethelstan was the first called King of the English/Rex Anglorum. This would have been about 100 years prior to the norman conquest however.

    William conquered England kinda right in the middle of it really solidifying it's boarders it seems. The 7 kingdoms had been around for a while, but they had only been fully unified under Aethelstan, and then a generation or two later I believe were conquered by Cnut to form the North Sea Empire, which may have pushed back the formation of a unique, independant nation-state (It's hard to form your own country when your part of another one. Not impossible, but hard)
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