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Author Topic: Acceptable 'wrong' uses of words  (Read 12013 times)
starktheground
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2010, 09:40:53 PM »

It seems to me that if you want to communicate clearly to a large audience, you'd stick with the mumbo jumbo. . . But, then again, it drives me absolutely crazy when someone says they are "nauseous" instead of "nauseated."  rolleyes
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Ed
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2010, 02:39:58 AM »

Wow--I must say that this simple little question has opened into something with teeth (willing to swallow us whole).  Purist?  Innovator?  Don't know.  However, Shakespeare, when left without the right word to use, simply made up his own.  Of course using the correct meaning of a word is prefered over not, but isn't it proper to use the word in which the audience is most familiar with?  Decimated has come to mean almost completely destroyed--I understand that the root (deci) clearly refers to a tenth, but in a modern world do we use the correct or the understood?  But then again--do we simply let the language slide into modern mumbo jumbo just to satisfy an audience's preconceived notion?  

I'm kinda anal about using the correct word. I can't knowingly write something wrong and leave it. At least if I get picked up on something where I've used the right one, I can explain why it's right.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 02:49:46 AM by Ed » Logged

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Pharosian
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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2010, 06:24:04 AM »

I'm with Ed on this. I cringe when I read something with a misused word or phrase.

One I've seen abused several times lately is "free rein," as in "He gave her free rein to decorate the house." It means to give someone freedom of action or expression. It comes from the practice of giving a horse "free rein" as in holding the reins loosely so the horse can choose its own path. Unfortunately, many people today are substituting a homonym and writing it as "free reign," apparently thinking it means to allow someone to govern [a project] as they see fit... but historically there wasn't anybody above a king or queen who "allowed" the ruler to do as he or she wished.  rolleyes
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LashSlash
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2010, 07:54:39 AM »

sometimes people mix up irritate and aggravate
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jsorensen
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2010, 08:54:08 PM »

Honestly, I feel I am a purist when it comes to words, but I ususally go for the simplest of words anyhow and usually the Anglo Saxon ones--Latinized words are a bit to academic for me...besides there's something gritty and brutal with words like "gut" instead of "abdomen" or even "stomach".  Think Of Mice and Men--there is a novel that very quickly and simply sets mood, setting, and character with not only simple words but also ones the barely escape a single syllable...
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2010, 02:47:01 AM »

Think Of Mice and Men--there is a novel that very quickly and simply sets mood, setting, and character with not only simple words but also ones the barely escape a single syllable...

I'm going to have to read that one. My prose was once described as 'workmanlike', which I took to be an insult in the context it was given, but I'd far rather write plain English, as long as it's effective. Hemingway and Carver both made a good living out of it. I think their skill was in nailing perfect simplicity.
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