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|Diagnosis - Chronic Word Otaku|
Prognosis - No Hope Of Recovery
Thanks to the Japanese, I have a new word to describe my condition, Otaku. And it sounds much better than obsession. And my otaku goes much deeper than just the meaning of words, I have to know the roots of words, the history of words, I want to learn new words and foreign words phrases and their origins and I want to know which people use which words.
I'll be there with bells on? What? Had to find out how the phrase came to be. Dressed to the nines? What? Look it up. Is there a difference between explain and expatiate? Of course. But it is subtle.
Do you find it interesting that medal, meddle, metal, mettle are almost perfect homonyms? What about karat, caret, carat and carrot? Do you ever have gloves in the glove box of your car? Why, when they hand you the bill in a restaurant, do they refer to it as a check?
Do you press or iron your shirts? Which sounds better, cellar door or basement door? Do you mow your lawn or cut the grass? Have you ever really considered using 'remuneration' in a sentence? People speak, but speakers give speeches. Why? And if you give a speech, take care not to orate. Or bloviate.
Have you ever looked up the etymology of entymology? Or wondered if the word 'knight' had anything to do with 'equine'? Do you cringe when you hear someone say, 'irregardless'? When someone says 'mute point' do you want to scream the word moot? Do you suffer from chronic word otaku?
Irregardless does make me want to hurt the person who spoke it. I also want to hurt the people who pronounce "nuclear" as "nuke-u-lure". But I digress just in case you're one of those persons.
When I was taking French in college, our prof handed us a vocabulary list. On it was listed "chest of drawers" and its French equivalent. I turned to my friend and said, "Huh, and here I always thought it was Chester drawers." She said, "Yeah, I always thought so too!" Neither of us knew who Chester was or why his drawers were so popular, but it made for a good laugh.
Irregardless: (n) To irrigate (e.g. to water an ornamental lawn) in a profligate, irresponsible manner.
I have in fact always wondered about the etymology of "entomology."
Otaku? - Me too. Oh foo!
|Do you cringe when you hear someone say, 'irregardless'? When someone says 'mute point' do you want to scream the word moot? Do you suffer from chronic word otaku? |
yes and yes.
And the person who helped sell my house was not a realator. <cringe>
And I hate it when some one says every 10 minutes: "See what I'm saying?"
I've never said "irregardless". However, I intend to use it as much as possible at the Vegas PubCon this November. :)
Otaku! You have given it a name! Bless/curse thee! :)
Once I overheard an (incompatible) roommate talking about me on the phone. He was saying disdainfully, "And another thing... he reads the dictionary! Thats right, I'll come out on a Sunday morning, and he's Reading the Dictionary!" It is a rare treat to encounter another similar in this way.
There is a book called "mother tongue" that you would really enjoy.
>>entymology / entomology
That's why I love words. Two desktop dictionaries show 'entymology' as the alternative spelling, while only one online dictionary lists it. The Greek entomon provides the clue. Otaku be damned. ; )
I was following along in this thread, thinking "well this is entymology, right?".
But where does the study of insects (entomology) come in?
Oh, and I'm entirely against the notion of importing new, trendy, words for things that have been adaquately described by previous purloining from other languages.
If people really need them, they can have their haikus, and feng shui.
But one has to draw the line, somewhere.
I guess studying words can become addicting.
.. For me, "addicting" is right up there with irregardless ;)
I love words and their origins, though I have not studied it in much depth. The differences between American English and British English interest me. I wondered why there were differences, until very recently, when I learnt about a guy called Noah Webster, who created a learning dictionary years ago that proved very popular. He and others were keen to make the language their own, by dropping vowels and changing letters. So now I know who to blame for "color", "fiber", "aluminum" and so on!
A lot of English comes from various invasions over the years. So we have a mix of German, Latin, French, Anglo-Saxon, etc. When I studied German at school, I was surprised how similar it was to English. While I found French much harder as it seemed to be radically different.
Then there are the oriental languages based on symbols, such as Chinese. There's a whole world of interesting things to learn about them. I tried to learn Japanese myself, but there was too much to memorize. (1,000 kanji and more? Agh!) I remember some of it, but not much.
If I was truly otaku, I'd have already known what otaku was... but it's nice to see that others here are kindred grammar & lexicon enthusiasts. It makes me squint when people misuse "less" and "fewer", or say things like "general consensus".
My pickiness extends into webmastery, where I continually try to get people to use the right names for things... for example, it's called a "select box", not a "drop-down list"; those are "hyperlinks", not "hotlinks"; "e-mail" does have a hyphen and it is neither a verb nor a collective noun; Adding <p> tags to some text is not "programming"; a "text box" and "text area" are not the same thing; and for the love of Berners-Lee don't confuse the Internet with the World Wide Web.
I do enjoy making up my own words when a concept needs deobfuscationizing. But I tend to be obvious about my wordplay.
Just to make everyone cringe...
My dad's favorite word is "illrelevant".
I like to watch TV shows about the abdominable snowman.
|I like to watch TV shows about the abdominable snowman. |
Is that the hairy white guy with big abs?
When my daughter was young, at Christmas she sang about the 'brown, round virgin'
I read the thread title with instant recognition, I knew what otaku was...
LisaB aka vocabulady
is visting a site the same as "logging on" as all the ads imply (infer?)
I refuse to infer what you think the ads are implying. :)
|My pickiness extends into webmastery, where I continually try to get people to use the right names for things... for example, it's called a "select box", not a "drop-down list"; those are "hyperlinks", not "hotlinks"; |
Not necessarily. An element can have a common name as well as a technical one. For instance "hoover" and "vacuum cleaner". When the common one becomes popular enough, it becomes the name for the item.
|"e-mail" does have a hyphen and it is neither a verb nor a collective noun; |
According to Dictionary.com's FAQ entry [dictionary.reference.com] "The hyphen may disappear over time, since that is what midword hyphens tend to do". I see the hyphen as pointless myself (like old books used to write "to-morrow"!) so I always spell it "email". Makes good sense to me.
Also, why is it not a verb? I can say "I emailed you the data" and it is correct, no?
Data is another interesting word. Officially it's a plural, but most people use it as a singular thesedays.
I think so long as everyone can agree on the clarity of the meaning, we shouldn't be too uptight on language. After all, it's constantly changing!
Now if only I could get posters on blogs to stop using "loose" when they mean "lose". That is my #1 word issue!
Or when bloggers use "sweat" in place of "sweet"... it changes the meaning somewhat.
|Also, why is it not a verb? I can say "I emailed you the data" and it is correct, no? |
You can say that, and I'd understand you, but it would be grammatically wrong.
|Data is another interesting word. Officially it's a plural, but most people use it as a singular thesedays. |
People will look at you quizzically when you use the word "datum", but that's because they're not used to hearing correct usage of the word. And how often do you talk about one datum? data always comes in big piles, doesn't it?
|I think so long as everyone can agree on the clarity of the meaning, we shouldn't be too uptight on language. After all, it's constantly changing! |
that's what this thread is about - people who are uptight about language.
|Now if only I could get posters on blogs to stop using "loose" when they mean "lose". That is my #1 word issue! |
one of my pet peeves is "boughten". It's practically a local dialect around here - boughten, as the past tense of "buy", as in "I've never boughten that brand before"
|For instance "hoover" and "vacuum cleaner". When the common one becomes popular enough, it becomes the name for the item. |
That has happened with Aspirin, Frizbee, Lego, Kleenex, Yo-yo... brand names that became highly genericized. Is it that the real generic term is socially incorrect, or an effect of highly effective marketing by Bayer and Wham-O? It's true - call a knock-off Frizbee a "flying disc" and people will think you're soft in the head. To me, Hoover was a U.S. President and a great big Dam, vacuum cleaner is the thing I kill dust bunnies with.
"Grammar is determined by usage".
I know about this stuff.
I'm a Languistics graduate.
|"Grammar is determined by usage". |
I seen a skit by Jeff Foxworthy about how, when it comes to sex, men have the ability to use any word or phrase as a verb.
Sort of like, "Yeah, I'd like to (insert word or phrase) her" :)
I've heard the word "ping" used in that Foxworthyworthy context. If ever there was a DEFINITION of uber-nerd, that is IT.
"Rofflawl" (pronounced ROFF-lawl). Said aloud deadpan, instead of laughing. ROFLOL. That one is going around and it's agonizing to hear. Equally annoying is "Roffle-mow", and people who say "double-you-tee-eff!"
You say "ping" - I say "P.N.G.",
You say "my sequel" - I say "My S.Q.L.",
Let's call the whole thing off!
[edited by: Hester at 12:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 4, 2006]
do you mean...
"P.N.G." - the graphics format?
or "ping" - what I do to see if an IP is available?
I do use the "sequel" pronunciation of SQL. My mom, who is a SQL expert of >15 years prefers "S.Q.L." like "ess cue ell". But she does say "Sequel Server" to refer to the Microsoft product.
"S.W.F." (the Flash/Shockwave format) or "Swiff"?
"F.L.A." (also Flash) or "Flah"?
"jay-peg" is common
so is "gooey" for GUI and "wizzy-wig" for WYSIWYG
one guy I know says "huh-tummel", like I'm supposed to understand that's how you pronounce "HTML". It usually comes out more like "hitamull". Loser.
curiously, most people prefer to say "A.S.P." instead of "asp" (the snake)
A word that I hear quite a bit, and wish that I didn't, is the incorrect pronunciation of 'processes', made to rhyme with indices. It's typically used by academic types and probably influenced by indices.
And while we're here... ;)
The plural of index is indices, not indexes. And yes, I prefer matrices to matrixes. However, I sometimes use 'forums' rather than fora, because I simply get tired of explaining 'fora'.
That makes me ill. Much like 'tooken'. And what is wrong with 'dived'? He dived into the pool. No need for such nonsense as 'He dove into the pool'. And then there's snuck instead of sneaked.
And let us dwell on the word moot for a bit. In most cases, the word is simply used incorrectly. People use it to dismiss a point as trivial, or worse, use it to mean that a decision or consensus has been reached with regard to that moot point. Unless the conversation is legal in nature, moot should be used to mean debatable, worthy of further consideration. Let us not remain mute on the subject. ;)
And one of my favorites, culled from a grammar site years ago, 'For all intensive purposes, the word 'moot', should be stricken from the language'. I just didn't have the heart to write the guy and explain 'intents and purposes'.
And those people that suffer from chronic word otaku aren't always prescriptivists, nor do they feel the need to correct incorrect usage in fora, and woe to those that feel superior when they see someone struggle with usage or spelling, for their own mistakes will out. Mine certainly do.
Those afflicted with CWO typically remain quiet. Even when they visit a grammar site and are presented with, 'Try and remember these simple rules' rather than, 'Try to remember these simple rules'.
Rather than torment others, people afflicted with CWO simply agonize privately over their own typos or thinkos made in fora in which the edit window is forever closed, and their misstep made forever public... ;)
|There is a book called "mother tongue" that you would really enjoy. |
The Mother Tongue (by Bill Bryson) is a must read if you are into this sort of thing. I would have boughten it but I got it as a present.
|Do you find it interesting that medal, meddle, metal, mettle are almost perfect homonyms? |
I once worked with a Spanische speaking guy from Chile who thought that English was very confusing. He could not get his head around cheap, ship, cheep and sheep.
|do you mean... |
"P.N.G." - the graphics format?
or "ping" - what I do to see if an IP is available?
As in the graphics format. It's supposed to be pronounced "ping", but I've always called it P.N.G. However, I say "ming" for M.N.G. files!
Another word being discussed on another forum is "Mozilla". I've always pronounced it to rhyme with "lozenge". But apparently it's supposed to be "Moe-zilla". I guess it derives from the word stemming from "Mosaic-Killer".
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