DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer »

Good. `We've got to get the optics right', whatever it means! :smile:
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley »

'Getting the optics right'. Gobbledegook! I refuse to even bother to find out if there is a precise meaning.
The best speakers with the greatest clarity are the ones who use simple direct language. The introduction of phases like that is simply to obscure the direct meaning as that makes it easier to defend yourself if something goes wrong.
Much the same technique is the 'flood of verbiage', listen to that jerk Williamson on yesterday's edition of Today being interviewed about the various cock-ups and cover-ups he is currently involved in for a perfect example.
Then go back and listen to Lady Hale's reading of the judgement on the proroguing case. Beautifully clear and precise.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Stanley wrote: 27 Aug 2020, 02:51 I refuse to even bother to find out if there is a precise meaning.
I've done it for you - here's a web dictionary definition and it seems to describe what spin doctors are concerned with. :smile:
`North American: (typically in a political context) the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public.'
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Which in a way proves my point. They are not concerned as to whether the policy is correct but how it is perceived and, by extension, what it does for their 'popularity' and chances of re-election or continuing in power.
What they should be concentrating on is getting the policy right and doing the maximum good for the most people. They forget that this is after all the reason why we have a government, to govern rationally and sensibly for the greatest good.
Phrases like 'getting the optics right' illustrate that this no longer their prime goal. Clarity and clear sighted vision are no longer their stock in trade.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Stanley wrote: 28 Aug 2020, 03:29 Which in a way proves my point. They are not concerned as to whether the policy is correct but how it is perceived and, by extension, what it does for their 'popularity' and chances of re-election or continuing in power.
What they should be concentrating on is getting the policy right and doing the maximum good for the most people. They forget that this is after all the reason why we have a government, to govern rationally and sensibly for the greatest good.
Phrases like 'getting the optics right' illustrate that this no longer their prime goal. Clarity and clear sighted vision are no longer their stock in trade.
i post from the hip, often a bit hastily, and it's seldom I go with everything you say, but I do here. :smile:
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley »

Nice one David. Nowt wrong with rational posts fired from the hip. Perhaps we need more of them.
I used a phrase this morning; 'ought to do' and it struck me how useful it is and that I have no idea how it happens to be a common usage. 'Ought' is such a strange word.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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That's interesting.

Ought - like' should' is a bit 'judgmental' for modern tastes and it seems is rapidly falling out of favour. It has largely been replaced by 'need'. Saying someone needs to do something sounds much more like you are doing them a favour, rather than giving them an order. :smile:
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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That's a good and perceptive point David. Thinking about it I have to agree. My mind was blank on the subject yesterday but now you've started me thinking.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Tripps wrote: 29 Aug 2020, 11:21 Ought - like' should' is a bit 'judgmental' for modern tastes and it seems is rapidly falling out of favour. It has largely been replaced by 'need'. Saying someone needs to do something sounds much more like you are doing them a favour, rather than giving them an order.
Even 'need' has been replayed by 'recommend' an approach that puts the onus back onto the individual. People of this world will always 'want' things which is different to 'need' things but in today's climate they will get nothing except the hope of 'jam tomorrow'. Which of course never happens because of 'events dear boy events'.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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I remember reading an article ages ago, by a psychiatrist, saying that the word ‘should’ can often represent our parents / teachers voices during our growing years. It can be like an echo and create guilt if we don’t do what we have to do, or feel is expected of us.
And it would be good to replace should with ‘when I can, I will...’
Obviously I can’t find the article now. 🙁
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Cathy wrote: 30 Aug 2020, 08:35 a psychiatrist, saying that the word ‘should’ can often represent our parents / teachers voices during our growing years. It can be like an echo and create guilt
Well remembered. I think he says the same, but has gone a step beyond what I said.

Another ambiguous word is 'want' which can mean a need or a desire. A greasy Tory got himself out of trouble once by switching between the meanings. :smile:
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Wendyf »

We probably all had "I want never gets" drilled into us children, I certainly did. I would love to have an emoji explaining that concept to folk in Facebook Land, especially those following the local dog rescue pages who comment "I want him❤" when a handsome dog is advertised and expect to get. :smile:
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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The whole of the modern advertising culture is founded on persuading people they need or want something. Powerful stuff, it drives great industries.
A good example of how powerful words are. We don't waste time when we examine them in depth.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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The Times Feedback column editor received a letter last week from someone with an unusual complaint. She relates...
Tuesday,” according to Eugene Suggett, “is too early in any week for a blast of bastard enumeration” — a sentiment with which I’m sure we’d all agree if we knew what he was talking about. Thankfully, he went on to explain. Apparently Fowler came up with this notion in The King’s English (1906) and, according to Mr Suggett, we perpetrated a textbook example on Tuesday in an article about tanks. Today’s warfare, we wrote, “demands more investment in cybercapabilities, space and other cutting-edge technologies”. “If (as it appears),” Mr Suggett writes, “the need is for more investment both in space technologies and other cutting-edge technologies, there needs to be an ‘and’ before ‘space’ as well as after it.”

The term bastard enumeration seems to derive from Section 7 of this page on Fowler: LINK
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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I've never read Fowler. This caught my attention in item 7; "They are difficult, and much debated by authorities on punctuation, but are of no great importance." :biggrin2:
The same could be said for many elements of 'correct' punctuation and grammar. I always remember a conversation I had with Stafford Beer about communication. (It was very late at night and we were with drink taken.) I asked him for an aphorism that encapsulated his beliefs and he said "It isn't what is communicated, how it is communicated or received, it is what is understood." I like that and have never forgotten it.
Despite the fact that I was 'taught grammar' at school, I never really understood it but in later years have been told that mine is good and passed an examination it it at university with flying colours. I can only put it down to a process of osmosis, as much from what I have read as what I was 'taught'. Some forms feel 'right' and better than alternatives. I find myself editing other people's writing and re-writing it. I don't know how it happens but it seems to work.
I also have this built-in detector that suddenly picks out a word and starts me thinking, as was the case with 'ought' earlier in the week. I don't understand why that happens either but always take note of it.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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By-names are on my mind this morning. There is usually a reason for them but sometimes it is so obscure that there is no apparent reason for them. Curious how we give people and sometimes objects nicknames.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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I used 'back and forth' this morning and it struck me that the phrase is perhaps becoming a bit old fashioned.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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'Fratching'; to worry about something. Is that local or more widespread?
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Fratching, no but I wonder if Fretting comes from it?
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Don't know Cathy. From what I can find it more usually means to arfgue rather than worry and thinking back I think that's true, I can remember my mother telling us to stop fratching when we were arguing.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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My latest Terry Pratchett book 'Carpe Jugulum' used the counting words 'Yin, Tan, Tetra, Which isn't that far removed from the Yorkshire Yan Tan Tethera . Link. I remember Ian mentioning it some time ago.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by PanBiker »

There are many variants across the different dales just like the minor changes in accents that a good ear can detect.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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A team of researchers once identified where changes in common words occurred and constructed a map with the oral equivalent of isobars on it. The name escapes me. The funny thing was that they marked the boundaries of the old Kingdoms of England.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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I had to send an email to the library today to point out that all their emails to me come in duplicate and they also sometimes mistakenly send ordered books to Wiveliscombe library rather than my local library in Taunton. When my Thunderbird email software spellchecked the message it wanted to change `Wiveliscombe' to `Discombobulation'. So much for artificial intelligence!
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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The term I was searching for is 'isogloss'. See THIS article for a full explanation. Fascinating stuff!
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