Annoying words, and Words You Hate

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby mathmannix » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And what about if you want to talk collectively about people from the Americas?

West Hemispheran?
New Worlder?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quercus » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:02 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:New Worlder?

I fear this one will stop working once we begin extraplanetary colonisation :)

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

"New World" has its own whole host of issues, mainly stemming from the fact that it wasn't new to any of the people who had already been here for several thousand years.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby slinches » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:58 pm UTC

Do we really need a term to lump people from both continents together? I think there would probably already be one, if we did.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Carlington » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:05 pm UTC

I mean, as far as I'm aware, English is the only language that treats them as two separate continents. And along with that there are a whole host of issues surrounding the way we (inhabitants of the Anglosphere) divide that part of the world into North, Central and South America - in particular the way that we tend to set the boundary between North and Central America at the same place as the US-Mexico border.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:07 pm UTC

Yeah, there's definitely no actual problem with "American". In English in clearly refers to citizens of the US in almost all cases, and the exceptions are easily noted by explicit clarification. The times you want to refer to all inhabitants of North and South America are actually pretty sparse anyways, due to the great cultural difference between Latin Americans and Americans and Canadians. It's only really important to know that, when learning some other languages, the cognate to "American" is a false friend and refers to the continents, not the US. This will be just one of many false friends you have to learn.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby mathmannix » Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:"New World" has its own whole host of issues, mainly stemming from the fact that it wasn't new to any of the people who had already been here for several thousand years.

Yeah, but most of those people didn't speak English*, so if we're talking about it in English we can use the English as our reference point. English.

* - but Squanto did, right?

Anyway, that still leaves Western Hemispheran. Or just Westerner maybe. People West of the Prime Meridian. People more than an arbitrary distance of 2000 miles West of the Prime Meridian.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:38 pm UTC

I'm not talking about the problems that "New World" did or didn't have 500 years ago, though, I'm talking about the problems it has now, at a time when the descendants of the people who were already here mostly do speak English and are mostly really sick of having most of their pre-Columbian history routinely ignored or erased.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Grop » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

Also Australians would fit better as New Worlders.

Edit: Certainly, I was only keeping with the eurocentric nonsense.
Last edited by Grop on Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:39 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:12 pm UTC

There have been people there at least twice as long as there have been people in the Americas. And like here, the descendents of those people now mostly speak English and have very good reason to object to the erasure of their pre-colonization history.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:26 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:I mean, as far as I'm aware, English is the only language that treats them as two separate continents. And along with that there are a whole host of issues surrounding the way we (inhabitants of the Anglosphere) divide that part of the world into North, Central and South America - in particular the way that we tend to set the boundary between North and Central America at the same place as the US-Mexico border.

No we don't. We place the "border" south of Mexico, though Central America is considered part of North America.

The border between North and South America is less problematic, since it's an actual isthmus. It's more a geographical thing than a political thing.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Lazar » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:44 am UTC

If Wikipedia can be trusted, the 7-continent model is predominant in currently or formerly English-speaking countries as well as China; the 6-continent model with 1 America is predominant in Romance-speaking countries; and the 6-continent model with 2 Americas and Eurasia is used in the former Eastern Bloc as well as Japan. (Though this leaves a few areas, such as continental Germanic-speaking Europe, unaccounted for.)
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:55 am UTC

Not to sidetrack, but I really do like the six-with-two-Americas-and-one-Eurasia system. It's like if someone looked at a map and decided to name the things they saw.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:12 pm UTC

Yeah, it doesn't make sense to count one America but keep Europe and Asia separate.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Lazar » Thu Sep 03, 2015 5:24 pm UTC

Well, perhaps it does in historical, political or cultural terms (with many caveats), though it does seem to set aside any geophysical basis. I agree with Copper Bezel that the 2 Americas, 1 Eurasia system makes the most sense from a "neutral extraterrestrial observer" sort of perspective.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:06 pm UTC

This would be much easier if we could just call everything "Pangaea."

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:13 pm UTC

People who want to count the americas as a single continent need to treat eurasiafrica as a single continent; the suez canal is much longer than the panama so africa is a lot more connected to eurasia than north and south america are.

In most standard projections, I think Copper Bezel definitely has the obvious choice but, looking at a dymaxion projection (which apparently has the least shape distortion), I'd end up going for eurasiafrica, two americas, antarctica and australasia.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quercus » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:25 pm UTC

I need to get me an actual globe to look at - seeing that dymaxion projection made me realise just how much various map projections have been screwing with my sense of geography.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:38 pm UTC

Yeah, I should probably do this with a globe too. The fact the north coast of russia isn't approximately straight still manages to surprise me.

Edit: this website is pretty cool and useful for this sort of thing. Sadly it doesn't have the gnomonic projection (probably because it takes an infinite amount of space to project half the sphere) which is a shame because it's great.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Lazar » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:19 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:People who want to count the americas as a single continent need to treat eurasiafrica as a single continent; the suez canal is much longer than the panama so africa is a lot more connected to eurasia than north and south america are.

I disagree. The Suez Canal is a sea-level canal, meaning that Africa and Asia are totally separate and would be so even in the absence of humans. The Panama Canal, on the other hand, travels tens of meters above sea level and has several locks: it's a persistently artificial passage that would close without constant human intervention.

Regardless, I don't think either canal should have a determinative bearing on what's considered a continent – Africa and Eurasia, and the two Americas, would be distinguishable landmasses even without the canals. Otherwise, you'd have to posit that during the Pleistocene there was a continent of Euraframerasia.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:01 am UTC

I think the assumptions that apply looking at a globe with the water removed vs. looking at one with are just going to be different and there's really no way around that. It seems like special pleading to say that all the continents are isolated by oceans, except in the division between Eurasia and Africa, which is a couple of little seas. You could certainly make the case for one continent that's a little wetter in the middle. But looking at it as continuous exposed landmasses and ignoring the occasional little land bridge, the separation between North and South America and the one between Eurasia and Africa look like fairly similar things.

Edit: Not that I mean to appeal to practical human inhabitation terms about who is isolated from whom, because then we get back to Europe and Asia being two continents separated by mountains instead of water.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:20 pm UTC

If human habitation has anything to do with it, India is far more reasonably its own continent than Europe, what with its larger, more diverse population and higher, more impenetrable mountains.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:16 pm UTC

True point. The traditional breakdown is provincial in at least the two senses, not just the one, then.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby mathmannix » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:23 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Carlington wrote:I mean, as far as I'm aware, English is the only language that treats them as two separate continents. And along with that there are a whole host of issues surrounding the way we (inhabitants of the Anglosphere) divide that part of the world into North, Central and South America - in particular the way that we tend to set the boundary between North and Central America at the same place as the US-Mexico border.

No we don't. We place the "border" south of Mexico, though Central America is considered part of North America.

The border between North and South America is less problematic, since it's an actual isthmus. It's more a geographical thing than a political thing.

There is at least one map where Central America is part of North America, and still includes Mexico:
Spoiler:
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:24 pm UTC

Lol, well that map has a number of issues . . .

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:17 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If human habitation has anything to do with it, India is far more reasonably its own continent than Europe, what with its larger, more diverse population and higher, more impenetrable mountains.

India is certainly very diverse, and I agree that it could be considered it's own continent culturally, but I wouldn't say it's more diverse than Europe. Both have dozens of languages and ethnicities and a loosely shared culture and history spanning them.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:34 pm UTC

There are about as many languages with official status in India as there are in the EU, and between two and twelve times as many regional indigenous and other minority languages.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby araprado613 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:18 am UTC

I hate the word "literally". People use it the wrong way too much that now I just hate hearing it! I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:16 pm UTC

It's a common complaint and probably already mentioned in this thread at least once. Many words are used hyperbolically in English all the time, but I guess it's understandable that using the word specifically defined to mean not that in such a way could be annoying.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:35 am UTC

There's a common trend in English of using words that mean "in reality" hyperbolically. "Really", "actually", "literally", etc.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby jobriath » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

Monika wrote:I have often heard people complain about using less vs. fewer. I usually stab people who bring this up.

I've never seen Monika take a tone that was anything other than the considered and patient. Coming across a stab threat actually made me laugh at my desk. Would read again.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:48 pm UTC

Derek wrote:There's a common trend in English of using words that mean "in reality" hyperbolically. "Really", "actually", "literally", etc.


"very" is the best example IMO (from the old french verai meaning true).
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Lazar » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Interestingly, "really" seems to be supplanting "very" as the most common intensifier in vernacular English.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:15 pm UTC

huh, this surprised me to hear but does actually sound accurate now you've pointed it out.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:14 pm UTC

jobriath wrote:
Monika wrote:I have often heard people complain about using less vs. fewer. I usually stab people who bring this up.

I've never seen Monika take a tone that was anything other than the considered and patient. Coming across a stab threat actually made me laugh at my desk. Would read again.

e: apparently I failed to notice the passage of time. But mirth remains!

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PS: I think you mean considerate.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby slinches » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:49 pm UTC

I detest the use of the brand name "Skype" as a verb.

This is a problem now that MS Office CommunicatorLync is being rebranded as Skype for business

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:13 am UTC

Are all verbings of product names equally odious to you, or are googling, photoshopping, and the like acceptable?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:36 am UTC

Verbing nouns is pretty much universal at this point. That doesn't mean it will annoy you any less, but it does mean you'll probably have to get used to it.

Oh, and "verbings" is a nouned verbed noun, which is interesting.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby firechicago » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:42 am UTC

It's not the verbing that weirds the language, it's the renounification.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:20 am UTC

But if you can't renounify verbified nouns, how can you gerund?


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