Language fleeting thoughts

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:54 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:I guess the way in which they are equivalent is that both mean "I'm not talking about specific cases", but in a different way in each case.
They generally mean the same, you mean? ;)

Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
English "or" just does not necessarily expect simultaneity. "I'll whitewash your fence only when you get me some whitewash or pay me an advance on my fee so I can buy it myself" does not mean that being handed a tin of whitewash with an envelope full of cash on top negates the prospect of you starting work. And "I am not staying in a hotel holding a jazz convention or hosting a school party on their way back from the alps" isn't an XNOR function.

Though "You can tell my ex-partner's solicitors that I will not accept taking custody of my beloved family dog or the house with the large yard" is clearly XOR. It has to be stressed to make this clear, though. (I even modified the dog description to indicate it wasn't unwanted, but in my head it still needed the explicit verbal stress.)

No real argument, just the result of mulling it over in my mind, and therefore subject to the same vagaries and imprecise threshold-mechanics as everything else that gets processed through wetware processors, no doubt.

User avatar
flicky1991
Like in Cinderella?
Posts: 632
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:36 pm UTC
Location: London

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:01 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
English "or" just does not necessarily expect simultaneity.
It does depend on context, I admit. I was thinking of sentences like "You can choose orange juice or apple juice".
any pronouns (mainly she/he)
----
Avatar from ArguablyDerek
----
Discord for Forum Games posters
(Please let me know if the link doesn't work)
Spoiler:
Weeks wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:Maybe I am a female Justin Bieber!
Justine Bieber. Alternatively, Miley Cyrus.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:22 pm UTC

Yup, that implies exclusivity. Perhaps its the threshold of "having chosen one, the other now doesn't figure - logic complete!". Now, if you get to tap it yourself from a manual dispensor/jug, and can mix half'n'half (which I might in a breakfast buffet situation!), nobody's gonna complain. Ditto if refills are allowed (even if partial servings aren't), without some explicit restraints over sticking or switching. But that probable says more about my breakfasting habits, when in such situations.

(A few Rice Crispies in the bowl, some All-Bran atop that, a few Corn Flakes, topped off with Bran Flakes. Or whatever selection I have available to dispense and whatever order suits my "looks (healthy/unhealthy) but secretly (plainer/healthier)". Hidden Frosties/etc below a bran-like layer, or vice-versa, is a nice trick.)

Still no argument. If you're picking up a single box of (single) juice, then the threshold thing makds it unavoidably XOR, obviously.

User avatar
Liri
Healthy non-floating pooper reporting for doodie.
Posts: 955
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:11 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Liri » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:17 pm UTC

...are you adding half & half to juice?

Or, are you discussing manufacturing your own (as Brits have generally failed to recognize its brilliance as an additive)?
He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:54 pm UTC

It was just a 50/50 proportion thing, I'm afraid.

Spoiler:
Many of the "official" half and halves sound interesting, but not my usual fare for breakfast, including the Welsh food option.

For the milk one, I tend to be a semi-skimmed person, and I try not to mix that with my juice anywhere before the stomach. I don't tend to drink milk at all, save for the remaining slurps at the bottom of a cereal bowl if I've miscalculated saturation and then the spooning effort to not end with just the right amount of soaking cereal.

But this isn't the place for that discussion, really. Sorry!

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:02 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:I guess the way in which they are equivalent is that both mean "I'm not talking about specific cases", but in a different way in each case.

Sounds about right, but they must have meanings related to the same thing in order to be antonyms. "Not talking about" has an ambiguous meaning here: either excluding or not limited to.

Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").

I think the OR sense is around as common as the XOR sense tbh, though I don't have any data on that.

User avatar
ThirdParty
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:53 pm UTC
Location: USA

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:35 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:Of course, that's not the only term where the mathematical use is different from the everyday use - "or", for instance ("or" in general English would be like mathematical "xor").
English "or" just does not necessarily expect simultaneity.
It does depend on context, I admit. I was thinking of sentences like "You can choose orange juice or apple juice".
It's not obvious to me that the "or" in that sentence is exclusive.

"And" can conjoin nouns to make sets, but "or" can't; "or" only conjoins propositions. So there's clearly some ellipsis going on in the sentence.

The simplest possible way to fill in the ellipsis is "You can choose orange juice or you can choose apple juice." If this is the correct interpolation, then the "or" is inclusive. The second person has the ability to choose orange juice, or he has the ability to choose apple juice, or he has both of those abilities. The sentence says nothing one way or the other about whether he might have an ability to choose orange-juice-and-apple-juice. (Though the implicature is that he does not, since that third ability, if he did have it, would have been mentioned alongside the other two.)

User avatar
Eugo
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 5:38 am UTC
Location: here
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eugo » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:23 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:I've mentioned elephant gun three times on this forum, but I've never--in text form--considered the many possibilities to what the noun 'elephant gun' could be.

Elephant gun (n.)
[list=i][*]A gun used specifically to fire ammunition at elephants..


Thanks for this... far better than what I come up with. Your contribution is duly noted at http://ndragan.com/lange/dvosmisleno_E.html
United we stand politically corrected, divided we fall in love

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:29 am UTC

I just discovered that "duck tape" is a real thing (tape made of cotton duck) and that some people allege that is the original spelling of "duct tape," with the application to wrapping ducts coming much later.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:29 pm UTC

I always (or at least once I found out there was a difference) used to understand that Duck Tape was a waterproof tape with specially water-insoluble adhesive that was useful in marine repairs (e.g. minor damage to fibreglass hulls, or holding loosened fixtures in a spray/wash endangerd position) whilst Duct Tape was a heat-resistant tape whose adhesive also does not easily melt ao that it is useful upon heating ducts, amongst other situations.

And that it is entirely possible that a Tape may be both Duct- and Duct-suitable, for (temporary!) hot-water pipe repairs, these days, so unless you're looking for specifcally foil-materialed products for long-term heating duct usage, it's suitable for almost any temporary repair you might encounter in everyday circumstances, no matter what it was actually designed for. (This does not include Home Waxing! Though that's not because it doesn't work in this role...)


The reality, it seems, is that the original (unofficially) "duck"-named stuff made with the duck-cloth was much copied and influential in the creation of various successor tapes, including later duct-tapes named things like "Ductape", and then "Duck Tape" arose as a ™able brandname (and distinctive advertising image) in the absence of any identifiable precursor with that name outside of the basic mnemonic confusion.

It's all quite confusingly funny, really,

User avatar
Flumble
Yes Man
Posts: 1951
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Flumble » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:19 pm UTC

TIL the english "duck" has two etymologies: one from duce/*ducan (the animal/the act of ducking or diving) and one from *doec/doeck (the type of cloth). And both are pronounced wrongly in english today. Or should I say one is pronounced wrongly, since you wouldn't be able to tell the two apart if you both pronounce them with an /u/.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:52 pm UTC

Nobody seems to have any actual primary sources for "duck tape" being used for adhesive tape before the 1970s, even though there are tons of assertions that it was used this way.

User avatar
chridd
Has a vermicelli title
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:07 am UTC
Location: ...Earth, I guess?
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby chridd » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:41 am UTC

Flumble wrote:TIL the english "duck" has two etymologies: one from duce/*ducan (the animal/the act of ducking or diving) and one from *doec/doeck (the type of cloth). And both are pronounced wrongly in english today. Or should I say one is pronounced wrongly, since you wouldn't be able to tell the two apart if you both pronounce them with an /u/.
TIL that "duck" can refer to a type of cloth.
~ chri d. d. /tʃɹɪ.di.di/ (Phonotactics, schmphonotactics) · they (for now, at least) · Forum game scores
mittfh wrote:I wish this post was very quotable...
flicky1991 wrote:In both cases the quote is "I'm being quoted too much!"

Derek
Posts: 2155
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Derek » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:14 am UTC

There's also a third etymology for the verb.

Isn't there a brand of duct tape called Duck Tape?

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:51 am UTC

(Verb? More like an attributive adjective, as I read it. Anyway, already mentioned…)
Soupspoon wrote:… and then "Duck Tape" arose as a ™able brandname (and distinctive advertising image) in the absence of any identifiable precursor with that name outside of the basic mnemonic confusion.

User avatar
flicky1991
Like in Cinderella?
Posts: 632
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:36 pm UTC
Location: London

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby flicky1991 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:24 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Verb?
As in to crouch down to avoid something.
any pronouns (mainly she/he)
----
Avatar from ArguablyDerek
----
Discord for Forum Games posters
(Please let me know if the link doesn't work)
Spoiler:
Weeks wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:Maybe I am a female Justin Bieber!
Justine Bieber. Alternatively, Miley Cyrus.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:49 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Verb?
As in to crouch down to avoid something.

In this context, though, it's nothing like the verb. (Probably noun-adjunct, but adjectival if not that. c.f. "waterproof (like a duck!) tape" rather than "water-excluding (like a duck does!) tape".) Thus my query. And even couched as "crouch tape" it still sounds like it's tape applicable to a (noun) crouch rather than a crouch (action). Something specifically designed to hold you (or the relevant button on your games controller) in the nominally desired position. Or, nounably, the capitalised Crouch Tape product might be a proprietary and branded form of goalkeeping aid? (Though there's bound to be a regulation against it.)

There's no accounting for tradenames, though. I wouldn't complain about the bad typography, spelling or grammar in "Toys'Я'Us". Except that the ersatz feature in that at least looks like a distortion of a recognisable verb-form.

IMO. YMMV.


((It was the proximity of the "it's a verb" to the brand-name that made me think that the two were conflated, rather than two separate points, BTW. That, and the bird noun and the act of "duck" being of identically rooted, the cloth descriptor the separate etymology. I might need to explain that this is where I was coming from. Though I'm over-explaining, now.))

User avatar
ThirdParty
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:53 pm UTC
Location: USA

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:36 pm UTC

How about the various types of clam called "duck"? e.g. Anatina and Anodonta. I assume they were named after the bird, given their Latin names. Was it because they looked like ducks, or tasted like ducks, or were eaten by ducks, or what?

(By the way, I'm not including Panopea in the category of clams-called-ducks, but thought I'd mention it parenthetically anyway.)

Derek
Posts: 2155
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Derek » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:09 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Verb?
As in to crouch down to avoid something.

In this context, though, it's nothing like the verb. (Probably noun-adjunct, but adjectival if not that. c.f. "waterproof (like a duck!) tape" rather than "water-excluding (like a duck does!) tape".) Thus my query. And even couched as "crouch tape" it still sounds like it's tape applicable to a (noun) crouch rather than a crouch (action). Something specifically designed to hold you (or the relevant button on your games controller) in the nominally desired position. Or, nounably, the capitalised Crouch Tape product might be a proprietary and branded form of goalkeeping aid? (Though there's bound to be a regulation against it.)

There's no accounting for tradenames, though. I wouldn't complain about the bad typography, spelling or grammar in "Toys'Я'Us". Except that the ersatz feature in that at least looks like a distortion of a recognisable verb-form.

IMO. YMMV.


((It was the proximity of the "it's a verb" to the brand-name that made me think that the two were conflated, rather than two separate points, BTW. That, and the bird noun and the act of "duck" being of identically rooted, the cloth descriptor the separate etymology. I might need to explain that this is where I was coming from. Though I'm over-explaining, now.))

Those were two different unrelated comments, hence the paragraph break. I was mentioning the verb "duck", and separately commenting that there is (I think) a brand of duct tape called Duck Tape.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 2549
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:58 am UTC

Understood afterwards. The ((Double bracketed bit)) was an extended ETA to that effect, rushed into existence after I'd grasped my error, but didn't get an "edited five times by Soupspoon" note, as expected. Until rereading the followups (cheers!) I'd stayed down a Garden Path of reading yours as a single two-stage thing with a convenient paragraph break, rather than two shorter things officially separated.

Which I only mention at all because it's still essentially a Language thing. Or at least typography. Probably still worth dropping, if we're all on the same hymnsheet on the original point again. ;)

gd1
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:42 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:47 pm UTC

French Dressing + Ranch = Franch.

Kehgrehdid
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:24 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Kehgrehdid » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:43 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:I've mentioned elephant gun three times on this forum, but I've never--in text form--considered the many possibilities to what the noun 'elephant gun' could be.

Elephant gun (n.)
  1. A gun used specifically to fire ammunition at elephants
  2. A gun that is in the shape of an elephant
  3. A gun that is the size of an elephant
  4. A gun that sounds like an elephant
  5. A gun that is designed to be used by elephants
  6. A gun that uses elephants as ammunition
  7. A gun made out of elephant
  8. A gun made by an elephant
  9. A gun made by a person called Elephant
  10. A gun named after a person called Elephant
  11. A gun named after, or inspired by, elephants

I think six would look like a giant cannon. (is that a cannon used to shoot giants? Or a cannon that shoots giants as ammunition? Or a cannon that...)


I would like to add a few that occurred to me, for the sake of discussion:
[*]A gun made in a place called Elephant
[*]A gun named after a place called Elephant
[*]A gun used to attack a place called Elephant
[*]A gun used to defend a place called Elephant
[*]A method of increasing fuel flow to an engine (gun) similar to the way an elephant would be imagined to, or developed by a person named Elephant, or commonly used in a place called Elephant. (Jackrabbit start, Thach weave, Tokyo drift).
Yes, I know the last is three but they are related at the root and the variation in branches has been captured already

User avatar
chridd
Has a vermicelli title
Posts: 779
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:07 am UTC
Location: ...Earth, I guess?
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby chridd » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:23 pm UTC

Kehgrehdid wrote:
Felstaff wrote:I've mentioned elephant gun three times on this forum, but I've never--in text form--considered the many possibilities to what the noun 'elephant gun' could be.

Elephant gun (n.)
  1. A gun used specifically to fire ammunition at elephants
  2. A gun that is in the shape of an elephant
  3. A gun that is the size of an elephant
  4. A gun that sounds like an elephant
  5. A gun that is designed to be used by elephants
  6. A gun that uses elephants as ammunition
  7. A gun made out of elephant
  8. A gun made by an elephant
  9. A gun made by a person called Elephant
  10. A gun named after a person called Elephant
  11. A gun named after, or inspired by, elephants

I think six would look like a giant cannon. (is that a cannon used to shoot giants? Or a cannon that shoots giants as ammunition? Or a cannon that...)


I would like to add a few that occurred to me, for the sake of discussion:
[*]A gun made in a place called Elephant
[*]A gun named after a place called Elephant
[*]A gun used to attack a place called Elephant
[*]A gun used to defend a place called Elephant
[*]A method of increasing fuel flow to an engine (gun) similar to the way an elephant would be imagined to, or developed by a person named Elephant, or commonly used in a place called Elephant. (Jackrabbit start, Thach weave, Tokyo drift).
Yes, I know the last is three but they are related at the root and the variation in branches has been captured already
A person whose first name is Elephant and last name is Gun (or a nickname for someone named Ellen?)
Something that has nothing to do with elephants but is derived from a foreign or obsolete word that sounds like elephant (and/or gun)
A game, book, or movie named after any of the other definitions
~ chri d. d. /tʃɹɪ.di.di/ (Phonotactics, schmphonotactics) · they (for now, at least) · Forum game scores
mittfh wrote:I wish this post was very quotable...
flicky1991 wrote:In both cases the quote is "I'm being quoted too much!"

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:39 am UTC

Or a decontextualized reference to the plot of a story, like the word "Shanghaied."

Maybe "Elephant Gun" was a novel about a man who killed someone by sicking circus elephants on him, and whenever that or anything like it happens in another context, people refer to the event as "an Elephant Gun".

gd1
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:42 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby gd1 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:12 pm UTC

Christmas pâté for a Christmas party.

User avatar
Sizik
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:48 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Sizik » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:52 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Or a decontextualized reference to the plot of a story, like the word "Shanghaied."


Which story are you referring to?
gmalivuk wrote:
King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one meta-me to experience both body's sensory inputs.
Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.

Derek
Posts: 2155
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Derek » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:14 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:Or a decontextualized reference to the plot of a story, like the word "Shanghaied."


Which story are you referring to?

No particular story, but supposedly sailors used to be tricked into joining crews sailing for China by getting them drunk until they were unconscious, then dragging them onto ships that would set sail before they awoke, at which point the sailor had no choice but to cooperate.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 3979
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:44 pm UTC

Huh, I always thought that was a hypothetical scenario Hume concocted as an analogy to being born in a country just to discuss tacit consent. Interesting to learn that that was a real thing.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
Sizik
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:48 am UTC

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Postby Sizik » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:58 pm UTC

Derek wrote:No particular story, but supposedly sailors used to be tricked into joining crews sailing for China by getting them drunk until they were unconscious, then dragging them onto ships that would set sail before they awoke, at which point the sailor had no choice but to cooperate.

Right, which is why I'm confused by Eebster's wording, which sounds like they think the word is inspired by a particular work of fiction.
gmalivuk wrote:
King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one meta-me to experience both body's sensory inputs.
Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.


Return to “Language/Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests