Annoying words, and Words You Hate

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:43 pm UTC

Bra(h) is pretty annoying to me. It kind of grates on my ears for some reason.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:01 pm UTC

Should I feel bad that I use it ironically in real life?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby JohnGalt » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:32 pm UTC

I also started using "bra" ironically, but now I can't stop... Is that a problem, bra?

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:35 pm UTC

When you stare into the irony, the irony stares also into you.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:54 pm UTC

I also use "breh" in the same way. I think (hope) that's slightly better.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby pedroj012 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:04 am UTC

any time anyone spells out online acronyms in real life. Like "jay kay" "oh em gee". WTF not a fan

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:30 am UTC

So also not a fan of "okay"?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby pedroj012 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:43 am UTC

....Says the brb'er.


Not the same thing and you know it! Although it led me to read the wikipedia article on the proposed origins of ok, pretty sweet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okay

One of them is that in the early 1800's there was a nationwide fad of creating abbreviations of misspellings. All correct was spelled Oll Korrect and abbreviated to OK.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:13 am UTC

pedroj012 wrote:Not the same thing and you know it!
Um, actually it's *exactly* the same thing. OK began as an acronym (misspelled at that, but whatever). And now people frequently spell it out as though it were a single word, instead of just writing the letters as God Charles Gordon Greene intended.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby pedroj012 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:01 am UTC

Brb. Need to check the article again. k. The acronym is only 1 of 3 possibilities. If it's either of the other two then ok isn't really an acronym so much as an abbreviation that we spell the letters of whenever we say it. It's a fine line I suppose.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:31 am UTC

There is zero real documentary evidence for the non-acronym stories, and tons of well-documented reasons to believe that is the correct version. Even if the particular origin story suggested by Read isn't 100% true, the fact remains that *all* surviving early examples of its being used with anything like the current meaning involve just the pair of letters, o and k.

Listing two other "possibilities" is not the same thing as saying all three are equally likely, just like mentioning conspiracy theories in an article about the Moon landing doesn't mean they are of similar plausibility to the actual history of what happened.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:40 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:OK began as an acronym (misspelled at that, but whatever).


This is far from certain. In its earliest print appearances it is stated that this is the case however it could well have been in use before then and have had time to develop a folk etymology around "all correct" (just like tip supposedly coming from "to ensure promptness"). The true etymology of the word is uncertain.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:50 am UTC

The true etymology is actually irrelevant, since as a thing anyone ever wrote down O.K. clearly began as an acronym, which later started being written as the word "okay".

And I'm skeptical of the notion that as late as the mid-19th century, an expression could be around long enough and used widely enough to develop its own folk etymology, without ever having been written down before that.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:19 pm UTC

kristenjo wrote:irregardless/irrespective (or any word that people added extra prefixes to and the dictionary editors blindly accepted)

Why do you see irregardless and irrespective as similar?
"irregardless" is a very unnecessary addition of "ir", because it means the same thing as "regardless". I would kinda agree that "irregardless" is not a word, but a more exact way of saying this would be that it's a word used in speaking, but not in writing, or that it's non-standard. (Merriam Webster states it like that.) I certainly don't like it.
"irrespective" doesn't seem to be like "irregardless" in any way. Does "irrespective" mean the same thing as "respective"? I don't think so. I am a bit confused though why the word is only in the free online dictionary and dict.cc etc., but not in Merriam Webster. I guess it is "not a word" in some sense. Maybe a new invention? But it's still not like "irregardless", as it does not mean the same as the original word without "ir", but the opposite - as it should be. (Unless the in/im/ir prefix is not used for meaning "un" (opposite) but something like in/en, as in inflammable/flammable, which mean the same, which is not a problem or an error.)

Also, dictionary editors don't add words "blindly". Rather some people reject words blindly. I am looking at you :P .
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby pedroj012 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:42 pm UTC

In 200 years linguists will argue furiously about the etymology of NIFOC.

From here: http://www.netlingo.com/top50/acronyms-for-parents.php

some of my fav's: gypo: get your pants off! , iwsn: I want sex now! (exclamation points are my own)

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:52 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
kristenjo wrote:irregardless/irrespective (or any word that people added extra prefixes to and the dictionary editors blindly accepted)
Why do you see irregardless and irrespective as similar?
Wow, I must have missed that one.

Yeah, you're exactly right, Monika: irrespective and irregardless are *not* similar in the sense of both having unnecessary prefixes. The <ir-> in "irrespective" means the same thing it does in "irresponsible", "irrevocable", and "irredeemable". It is the form that <in-> takes before words that begin with r.

While you are correct to guess that <ir->, like <in-> itself, can also mean "in", as with "irradiated", that's definitely not the meaning it has in "irrespective", which is actually the word less ignorant grammar pedants wish we would use instead of the redundant "irregardless". (The most likely reason people started saying "irregardless" in the first place is because they'd previously heard the quite similar-sounding (and "correct") "irrespective", but were later unable to remember it accurately.)
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:The true etymology is actually irrelevant, since as a thing anyone ever wrote down O.K. clearly began as an acronym, which later started being written as the word "okay".

And I'm skeptical of the notion that as late as the mid-19th century, an expression could be around long enough and used widely enough to develop its own folk etymology, without ever having been written down before that.


The original article is also part of a wider context of humorous acronyms and bacronyms so it seems very plausible that "oll korrect" was given as a tongue in cheek explanation for ok. In fact, given the rest, I think it significantly less likely that the article was seriously suggesting it.

Besides, given the fact that "ok" has been thought slang until very recently, it is not at all surprising that it would not appear in print early in its life and would have plenty of time to gain a folk etymology.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Sir Novelty Fashion » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:47 pm UTC

JohnGalt wrote:I also started using "bra" ironically, but now I can't stop... Is that a problem, bra?

I suspect that the answer depends on whose underwear you are addressing.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby JohnGalt » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

Sir Novelty Fashion wrote:
JohnGalt wrote:I also started using "bra" ironically, but now I can't stop... Is that a problem, bra?

I suspect that the answer depends on whose underwear you are addressing.

Interestingly, I have never thought of underwear when hearing "bra" in this context. Your's was the first mention of this connotation I have heard. I must say that "bru" is obviously much worse, but not as bad as "bro".

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:18 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The original article is also part of a wider context of humorous acronyms and bacronyms so it seems very plausible that "oll korrect" was given as a tongue in cheek explanation for ok. In fact, given the rest, I think it significantly less likely that the article was seriously suggesting it.
Which article? The first instance of o.k., as you say, was part of a wider context of jocular acronyms (quite a number of which were intentionally misspelled, incidentally) in popular use at the time. Is it really so hard to imagine that another one would pop up which was a tongue in cheek initialism for "orl korrect"? Especially considering that o.w. and a.w. were contemporaneously used in place of "all right"?

Coining a new acronym and then immediately explaining it was actually exactly what was happening frequently. Because without the immediate gloss, no one would be expected to understand a never before used string of initials. If it was already in use, why explain it in that very first printing?

Besides, given the fact that "ok" has been thought slang until very recently, it is not at all surprising that it would not appear in print early in its life and would have plenty of time to gain a folk etymology.
And the folk etymology of this word, which had never once previously appeared in print, had become so pervasive and widely believed that nearly a century passed between the first known printing of "o.k." and the first known printing of "okay"?

Your alternate account actually bears quite a lot in common with "9/11 was an inside job" conspiracy theories. Yes, it's theoretically possible that things happened the way you suggest, but there is literally zero evidence for that. There is on the other hand quite abundant evidence for the "official story", which is additionally quite a bit more plausible on its face, given that "o.k." first appeared as part of a memeplex of silly unnecessary new acronyms.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:32 am UTC

It's only recently that these articles using "O.K." to stand for "orl korrect" have been cited as the origin rather than simply first example, of the word. The fact that they were not believed to be the origin nearer the time (when it was believed to be of native American origin) when people were more likely to know if it had been in use previously etc. suggests to me that the acronym was not in fact the true origin.

I do not know what the actual origin is (I suspect the Choctaw etymology is also unlikely), hence I think it best simply to say that the etymology is unknown.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:41 pm UTC

Citation needed on the claim that it was thought to be of Native American origin back around the time it first started being used. And the fact that slang etymology in general wasn't seriously investigated until the mid-20th century doesn't mean anything about "okay" in particular.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:06 pm UTC

To the first:

I misread this line from the wiki page "The folk singer Pete Seeger sang that "okay" was of Choctaw Indian origin,[2] as the dictionaries of the time tended to agree.". Looking back, that's still about 100 years later so not relevant. Sorry.

To the second, I'm not sure what you're referring to. I said that, as slang, it was likely to have been used before it was put in print which is clearly relevant to any etymological claim based on the first published use being the origin.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:37 pm UTC

I'm referring to the "only recently" comment. There was only recently *any* serious investigation into the origin of slang terms, so the fact that the "orl korrect" explanation showed up only recently doesn't mean anything about its validity as an explanation. And since "orl korrect" was literally the only definition or origin given at the time "o.k." first appeared in print, and since it has been synonymous with the very similar "all right" ever since that time. it seems quite likely that that is in fact the word's origin.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

(New post instead of edit because it's been a week.)

I recently reread some of A.W. Read's 1964 articles on O.K., and feel the need to strengthen a claim I made earlier: I believe there is no way "o.k." was in spoken use (long) before it first appeared in print in 1839. The number of printed examples in and after April of that year is quite high, and continues to be high ever after. The number of printed examples before then is exactly zero. If it was spoken before that, we'd instead expect a gradual increase in written use. (It's not like it was ever obscene or otherwise taboo, after all. If it had been, I might believe that seeing others use it first could lead rather quickly to its widespread acceptance as something now appropriate in polite(r) company.)

However, I am now willing to admit that it might conceivably have been used to mean other things before "all correct", and that we simply haven't found those sources yet. This is because "O.K." was used in and after 1839 to stand for a number of other things, likely as part of the same trend of jocular acronyms in newspapers at the time. Nevertheless, I think "orl korrect" or the like is still the best explanation of the origin of the modern word "okay", because none of the other definitions would be used in the same way, and none seem to have gained much currency apart from where they first appeared. A meaning like "all correct" or "all right", on the other hand, works *continuously* as an explanation for the vast majority of the word's appearances from 1839 through the present.

Even if, for example, Andrew Jackson had used the abbreviation as early as 1790 (for which there is no real evidence beyond what looks like a misspelling of "O.R.", for "ordered recorded"), it wasn't used by anyone else for another half century. He can no more be said to have coined the term than the ancient Greeks can be said to have invented the (modern) word "electron".
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:58 pm UTC

I just want to point out that OK is not an acronym. It is an initialism.

That is all.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby skullturf » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:29 pm UTC

I'm aware that many people maintain a distinction between acronyms and initialisms.

They say that acronyms are things like NATO, FIFA, and FUBAR, which we pronounce as though they were words. (We say "fee-fah", not "eff eye eff eh".)

And they say that initialisms are things like CEO, HTML, and BYOB, which we pronounce by saying the letters one at a time.

A question, though: How important is it to preserve this distinction? The two categories have a lot in common: each category consists of abbreviations obtained by taking the first letter of each word. We might very well want a term that covers both types of abbreviation. Is there a big practical need to have a term that refers only to such abbreviations that are pronounced as though they were words?

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby The Scyphozoa » Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

Does OK actually fit the definition of an initialism? Doesn't that require the O and the K to each stand for a word?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:02 pm UTC

O stands for "all", and K for "correct". Yes, those words actually start with different letters. Yes, that was intentional.

(And though it was awhile ago chronologically, we seriously just went over this in this very thread, up just a few posts from here.)
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby The Scyphozoa » Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

...............I shouldn't post while running on 3 hours of sleep. I am sorry for the disturbance.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:54 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I just want to point out that OK is not an acronym. It is an initialism.

That is all.

But OK is pronounced as a word, "okay". So even if you want to make the petty differentiation between acronym and initialism (a word that seriously nobody uses ... Firefox makes a red wriggly line under it) it would be an acronym.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:I just want to point out that OK is not an acronym. It is an initialism.

That is all.

But OK is pronounced as a word, "okay". So even if you want to make the petty differentiation between acronym and initialism (a word that seriously nobody uses ... Firefox makes a red wriggly line under it) it would be an acronym.

"Okay" is just a spelling that represents the pronunciation of the letters. It's like saying "effbeeai" is an acronym. It's not.

As for whether it's worth making the distinction or not...I only do so when I want to be pedantic.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby lorb » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

Ghoti is a word that annoys me very much.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:51 pm UTC

Oh right.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby hroobarb » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:55 pm UTC

I don't like the word "gorgeous" when meaning "beautiful". It just seem so creepy. "That girl over there is gorgeous." Who talks like that?

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:41 am UTC

skullturf wrote:A question, though: How important is it to preserve this distinction?

In the overwhelming majority of cases it isn't important at all. But like most minor distinctions, it still occasionally serves a purpose. There are times in writing and perhaps even in conversation when one might want to distinguish between those two clearly different styles of abbreviation.

In this context, there is no reason to care about it; I was just being overly pedantic.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby lorb » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:16 am UTC

hroobarb wrote:I don't like the word "gorgeous" when meaning "beautiful". It just seem so creepy. "That girl over there is gorgeous." Who talks like that?

Mid 19th century folks.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:53 pm UTC

Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:47 pm UTC


And for sake of comparison.

I wonder why "gorgeous" has seen such an increase in use with "woman", but while undergoing an overall decline?

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:34 pm UTC

According to etymonline gorgeous' previous meaning (cited as 15c) was "splendid, showy" (of clothing). It seems likely given the N-grams graphs that the change in usage only really took hold much more recently than you might expect (around the 70s).
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