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Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:54 am UTC
by Soupspoon
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:01 pm UTC
by flicky1991
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".

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:22 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:17 pm UTC
by Liri
...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)?

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:54 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
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!

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:02 pm UTC
by Eebster the Great
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:35 am UTC
by ThirdParty
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.)

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:23 am UTC
by Eugo
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

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:29 am UTC
by Eebster the Great
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:29 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
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,

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:19 pm UTC
by Flumble
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/.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:52 pm UTC
by Eebster the Great
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:41 am UTC
by chridd
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:14 am UTC
by Derek
There's also a third etymology for the verb.

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

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:51 am UTC
by Soupspoon
(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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:24 pm UTC
by flicky1991
Soupspoon wrote:Verb?
As in to crouch down to avoid something.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:49 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
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.))

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:36 pm UTC
by ThirdParty
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.)

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:09 am UTC
by Derek
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:58 am UTC
by Soupspoon
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. ;)

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:47 pm UTC
by gd1
French Dressing + Ranch = Franch.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:43 am UTC
by Kehgrehdid
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

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:23 pm UTC
by chridd
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

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:39 am UTC
by Eebster the Great
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".

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:12 pm UTC
by gd1
Christmas pâté for a Christmas party.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:52 pm UTC
by Sizik
Eebster the Great wrote:Or a decontextualized reference to the plot of a story, like the word "Shanghaied."


Which story are you referring to?

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:14 pm UTC
by Derek
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:44 pm UTC
by Pfhorrest
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:58 pm UTC
by Sizik
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.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:29 pm UTC
by Angua
This has been bugging me all day. There's a word for things that are done specific for the person that they use in surgery - I want it to sound something like esoteric or eccentric but it probably doesn't and it basically means bespoke. But I can't find it anywhere and I feel like I'm going crazy.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:28 am UTC
by Derek
Not idiosyncratic, is it?

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:20 am UTC
by Ginger
I wonder why repetitive/unwanted body gestures or speech patterns are called, "Tics?" That's a weird, strange name for unwanted repetitive behaviors or speeches....

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:07 am UTC
by ThirdParty
Ginger wrote:I wonder why repetitive/unwanted body gestures or speech patterns are called, "Tics?" That's a weird, strange name for unwanted repetitive behaviors or speeches....

Interesting question. I tried Googling it and got a bunch of different answers. The most authoritative seemed to be Dictionnaire Littré's, which says that "tic" is from Italian ticchio, which is probably from German ticken, to touch lightly. That would make "tic" a cousin of "tickle", which sort of makes sense.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:15 pm UTC
by Ginger
Wow, thank you~! <3 You are a hero and a half. Another lang. fleet thought: What up with the phrase "Shut the front door?" I heard a lot of girls, and boys, use that one? Is it just a creative way to avoid saying another F word we all know and love/hate?

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:52 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
Indeed it sounds like a classic Minced Oath, to me. With the added side-meaning of "that thing you just told me will need some thinking about - now please go and close the door while I process this fact of great import, I need a few moments, and once it's settled in I may yet be even more exuberant in my (dis)approval in a way I'd rather not have passerbys on the street hearing about".

(But that side-meaning probably just makes it a more popular Mincing than other flash-improvised substitutions like "Shut the flowerpot/Ford Gran Torino/fondant cake/etc", propagating its memes more widely.)


"Shut that door!" also arose as a performer's catch-phrase, that link suggesting its different origins, but a 'minced' oath in a different way. It tended to be used by others more to 'key in' to the impression they were performing, in a camp register, either as an actual impressionist performing that character or as casting aspersions of effeminacy upon the one the words were aimed at in a sidelong insult. I don't think this meaning would have travelled across the years and miles across to your current neck of the woods though, in this different thing being flown in half-under the radar.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:57 pm UTC
by Eebster the Great
Every source I can find confirms my understanding that it is just a bowdlerized "shut the fuck up." In my experience, some people feel more comfortable using this version to express mere surprise, since telling someone to shut up after they tell you something could be misinterpreted. For instance:

Alice: "Did you know the president came to my school yesterday?"
Bob: "Shut the front door!"

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:08 am UTC
by Ginger
Thank you for answering my questions... both of you ha-ha two ppls answered I feel so language fleeting thoughts appreciated. <3

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:13 pm UTC
by pogrmman
We're working on reading and translations right now in Russian, and I've gained a lot more appreciation for how hard translation is. Just now, we had to translate a short Turgenev poem -- that's from the collection "Dream Tales and Poems in Prose". Just getting a somewhat decent translation that had the same number of syllables as the original was hard! Not to mention trying to get some semblance of the original rhythm.

I'd known translation was hard from stuff with Spanish and other stuff with Russian, but actually working on it has really impressed upon me how hard it is.

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:39 am UTC
by gd1
Write up
Write down
Stand up
Sit down
Stand down
Sit up
Stay up
Stay down
Pick up
Pick down
Put up
Put down
Take out
Take in
Give out
Give In

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:42 am UTC
by Derek
Pick down? I'm not sure I know that one.