Annoying words, and Words You Hate

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Xanthir » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:04 pm UTC

My wife's family uses the "needs" + past participle pattern; it was completely ungrammatical to me at first (I'm a gerund kind of guy), but I've started occasionally using it by accident. I've also noticed a smattering of other people using it; there doesn't seem to be a geographical connection between them. (I don't recall everyone's locations, but they weren't localized anywhere obvious.)

I don't think the present participle form is grammatical for anyone; I'm not even sure what it would mean.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:25 pm UTC

Well the past participle form seems to mean the same thing it would with "to be" stuck between the words, so perhaps the same thing?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:29 pm UTC

Right, so if an editor thinks a particular chapter of a book is too slow, he might tell the writer that it "needs more exciting." I don't know if anyone actually uses that construction, but it would be analogous.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:51 pm UTC

I'm not so sure it's analogous. In copper bezel's examples, the phrase is only applied to passive forms and so the (ellided) object of the verb is the subject of the modal leaving the verb without its own predicate, in your example, there's still a predicate (also, copulae are generally weird and expecting them to behave like polite verbs is unlikely to get you very far).

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:57 pm UTC

I'm still not sure I buy that it's a copula, though.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:43 am UTC

I might be misunderstanding you, but since the verb is in the passive voice, it doesn't have an object. As I understand it, "this" is the subject and "needs fixed" is the predicate. If we interpret "fixed" as a bare passive infinitive, then it is simply the object of "needs," which is not modal. The modal use of "need" is very rare these days and almost always in the inverted form in questions like "need I fix it?" I think most people would take issue with an answer "yes, you need fix it."

Modal verbs generally do not take an -s in the third person singular like this.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby CharlieP » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:59 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Right, so if an editor thinks a particular chapter of a book is too slow, he might tell the writer that it "needs more exciting." I don't know if anyone actually uses that construction, but it would be analogous.


Well, it's similar to the recent construction in "Internet speak", where people will deliberately ungrammatically drop everything between "because" and the important noun/gerund/adjective they're referring to:

"Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because Monday."
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:10 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
I'm still not sure I buy that it's a copula, though.


I meant the "be" being dropped in Eebster's example. I didn't mean to mean that needs was a copula hear.

Eebster the Great wrote:
I might be misunderstanding you, but since the verb is in the passive voice, it doesn't have an object. As I understand it, "this" is the subject and "needs fixed" is the predicate. If we interpret "fixed" as a bare passive infinitive, then it is simply the object of "needs," which is not modal. The modal use of "need" is very rare these days and almost always in the inverted form in questions like "need I fix it?" I think most people would take issue with an answer "yes, you need fix it."

Modal verbs generally do not take an -s in the third person singular like this.


Yeah, I ballsed up some of my terms here. I meant the (ellided) patient rather than (ellided) object and should probably have said auxiliary instead of modal.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Aiwendil » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:18 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:Well, it's similar to the recent construction in "Internet speak", where people will deliberately ungrammatically drop everything between "because" and the important noun/gerund/adjective they're referring to:

"Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because Monday."


This is straying from the topic, but I've always understood the grammar of that construction differently. I don't think it is to be parsed as "Because [it's] Monday". Rather, I think it comes from a humorous replacement of a (potentially) long and complex explanation with a single word meant to encapsulate that explanation. In other words, the underlying statement is something like "Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because [I didn't get to bed early enough last night, and I'm quite sleepy, and I really don't feel like going to work, and the thought of the whole week ahead of me only makes me wish that much more strongly that I could crawl back into bed]." But the speaker pseudo-humorously replaces the long clause with a single word that evokes the whole thing.

This is pedantic, yeah, but I feel like every time I see anything written about this construction, the writer seems to think that what is happening is that a word or two is being elided ("because it's Monday" or "because of Monday"), or that "because" is governing a noun instead of a clause. But I don't think that's what's happening at all. I think that (in this case) "Monday" is standing for a clause.

To get back on topic, and inspired by your sample sentence, I find myself annoyed every time I see the spelling "donut" instead of "doughnut". "Dialog" and "analog" (instead of "dialogue" and "analogue") irk me too. (Yeah, I'm really fun to be around).

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:14 pm UTC

I was at a talk by someone from the OED at a con I was at about words they added/are adding because they were suggested at that con in previous years and one of the examples they gave was "because [single word]" and your (Aiwendil's) analysis seems to be the one they use.

oxford dictionaries wrote:informal Used to introduce a word or phrase that stands for a clause expressing an explanation or reason
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby jaap » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:15 pm UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Well, it's similar to the recent construction in "Internet speak", where people will deliberately ungrammatically drop everything between "because" and the important noun/gerund/adjective they're referring to:

"Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because Monday."


This is straying from the topic, but I've always understood the grammar of that construction differently. I don't think it is to be parsed as "Because [it's] Monday". Rather, I think it comes from a humorous replacement of a (potentially) long and complex explanation with a single word meant to encapsulate that explanation. In other words, the underlying statement is something like "Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because [I didn't get to bed early enough last night, and I'm quite sleepy, and I really don't feel like going to work, and the thought of the whole week ahead of me only makes me wish that much more strongly that I could crawl back into bed]." But the speaker pseudo-humorously replaces the long clause with a single word that evokes the whole thing.

This is pedantic, yeah, but I feel like every time I see anything written about this construction, the writer seems to think that what is happening is that a word or two is being elided ("because it's Monday" or "because of Monday"), or that "because" is governing a noun instead of a clause. But I don't think that's what's happening at all. I think that (in this case) "Monday" is standing for a clause.

I agree with you. It reminds me of the scene in The Graduate: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word. [...] Plastics".

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:23 pm UTC

Semantically, it stands in for a whole dropped clause (or several). Syntactically, though, the best analysis seems to be that "of" or "it's" is dropped from the standard construction.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:29 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
I'm still not sure I buy that it's a copula, though.


I meant the "be" being dropped in Eebster's example. I didn't mean to mean that needs was a copula hear.

Eebster the Great wrote:
I might be misunderstanding you, but since the verb is in the passive voice, it doesn't have an object. As I understand it, "this" is the subject and "needs fixed" is the predicate. If we interpret "fixed" as a bare passive infinitive, then it is simply the object of "needs," which is not modal. The modal use of "need" is very rare these days and almost always in the inverted form in questions like "need I fix it?" I think most people would take issue with an answer "yes, you need fix it."

Modal verbs generally do not take an -s in the third person singular like this.
Yeah, I ballsed up some of my terms here. I meant the (ellided) patient rather than (ellided) object and should probably have said auxiliary instead of modal.
Can you just say exactly which words and phrases you're talking about?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby CharlieP » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:41 pm UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Well, it's similar to the recent construction in "Internet speak", where people will deliberately ungrammatically drop everything between "because" and the important noun/gerund/adjective they're referring to:

"Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because Monday."


This is straying from the topic, but I've always understood the grammar of that construction differently. I don't think it is to be parsed as "Because [it's] Monday". Rather, I think it comes from a humorous replacement of a (potentially) long and complex explanation with a single word meant to encapsulate that explanation. In other words, the underlying statement is something like "Stopped for an extra coffee and doughnut before work. Because [I didn't get to bed early enough last night, and I'm quite sleepy, and I really don't feel like going to work, and the thought of the whole week ahead of me only makes me wish that much more strongly that I could crawl back into bed]." But the speaker pseudo-humorously replaces the long clause with a single word that evokes the whole thing.

This is pedantic, yeah, but I feel like every time I see anything written about this construction, the writer seems to think that what is happening is that a word or two is being elided ("because it's Monday" or "because of Monday"), or that "because" is governing a noun instead of a clause. But I don't think that's what's happening at all. I think that (in this case) "Monday" is standing for a clause.

To get back on topic, and inspired by your sample sentence, I find myself annoyed every time I see the spelling "donut" instead of "doughnut". "Dialog" and "analog" (instead of "dialogue" and "analogue") irk me too. (Yeah, I'm really fun to be around).


To clarify, I was comparing "Because Monday" with the "needs more exciting" phrase that just entered the discussion, and not with the "needs fixed" that's dominated it. You're right though, on reflection dropping words isn't the right description of what's going on here, more an encapsulation. "Background dancers, give me more happy!" "Can't be bothered explaining why because reasons".
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:12 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:[much word salad on my part]
Can you just say exactly which words and phrases you're talking about?


My point's basically that the verb "to be" in a passive form and the verb "to be" as an ordinary copula can't really be expected to behave the same and so the fact one can be elided doesn't mean the other should be able to be.

In the sentence: "this needs fixed" I had originally called "this" the object of "fixed" which isn't really right, but it is definitely the (semantic) patient of it. I had originally called "needs" the modal but this was also definitely wrong, I guess it's still an auxiliary of some kind though.

In "this needs more exciting" though, the elided "to be" is just behaving as a copula rather than as part of a passive form so there's no reason to expect it to behave the same.

Does that clear it up a bit? Sorry for all the sloppy phrasing, my sleep schedule's been messed up and I did some controlled sleep deprivation to try and fix it.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:39 pm UTC

I see no reason "needs" can't just be interpreted in the conventional transitive manner taking "to be" as the object. That is, if we accept "to be" is implied, which seems the case.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:41 pm UTC

"to be" isn't a noun so definitely can't be an object. It can still form part of a predicate though.

The two example predicates are:

(To be) fixed
(To be) more exciting

One of these is a passive form of a verb and the other is just a copula; the primary verb in each predicate are different and, well, copulae are weird so expecting it to behave (when in a different voice as well) the same way as an ordinary verb isn't really justified.

I'm contending that his construction doesn't simply allow one to drop "to be" from any predicate but only from passive predicates which explains the examples copper bezel gave whilst also explaining why the example you proposed is not seen.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:20 pm UTC

Certainly, you don't have an elided word or phrase without context and the context can be arbitrarily specific. I'm becoming skeptical of the "to be" interpretation, though. This page has quite a lot more context on how the construction (which it calls the "needs washed" construction) is used and simply describes it as a special feature of these verbs to take a passive verbal participle.

Intuition is rarely helpful in these cases, but that does ring truer to me in my sense of how I use the construction - similar to these "adverb of place" constructions (I need in, I want down) with the same verbs, though probably not related. Just the habit of small and common words to develop special grammatical rules and classes all to themselves.

Due warning that if you find the construction unpleasant, the page contains many, many examples and may cause some physical discomfort.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:25 pm UTC

"To be" is indeed a noun phrase in the sentence "This needs to be fixed." Infinitives are often (usually?) nouns.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:00 pm UTC

Not strictly related to the issue with "needs washed" constructions and I may be in over my head at this bit, but I think that'd only be the case if "be" isn't taking a complement. Take "To run a marathon is hard" - "Goldfish is hard" works, but not *"Goldfish a marathon is hard". The thing that's acting as a noun phrase includes any complement of "be" if one is present. So "to be fixed" is a noun phrase, but the "to be" part can't be isolated as one in that context.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:38 pm UTC

I agree that "(to be) fixed" and "(to be) exciting" are structurally different and thus can't be expected to be equally grammatical in all situations. I only posited the latter form as a possible way to understand the meaning of the (ungrammatical) "needs exciting" sort of phrase.

Of course, another difference is that "fixed" is a verb while "exciting" is an adjective in those sentences (while "fixed" is an adjective in "looks fixed"). I can't think of examples with action verbs that could maintain a progressive aspect interpretation rather than a recipient-of-the-action interpretation. Even "this needs exciting" suggests the interpretation that we need to excite whatever "this" is (the same way "needs fixing" is parsed), despite the fact that "exciting" is far less common as a gerund than an adjective.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:48 pm UTC

Right, I mean, you can't *"need comfortable", even if you "need to be comfortable" or "need comforting" (or even, in this thread at least, "need comforted"), so the adjective reading of "exciting" would be straight out. That's different from a transitive linking verb that can take either an adjective as a complement or a noun as an object, where you could both "feel uncomfortable" and "feel skiing", with two entirely different senses of the verb, leading to wild and wacky joke-book shenanigans in past generations with the word "smells".

Whatever the needs washed phenomenon is, it applies only to verbals and never deverbal adjectives, and the meaning is the same regardless of whether the past or present participle form is used. If it's the present participle being the object of the verb, of course, there's nothing notable about it at all. And at this point I'm guessing it actually developed as a mistake from that, treating the past participle as a "state" noun, as opposed to by the elision of "to be".

Now I'm getting stuck on this adverb of place thing, though. If I think back, turn in, shoot up, veer off, stop by, or end up, the adverb is actually acting as an adverb in the sense of modifying the verb and telling me either 1) where I'm doing each of those things or 2) how they're being directed, whether literally or metaphorically. If I need in (to the system) or want down (from a ferris wheel), the adverb is no longer an answer to the question of where I'm doing the verb. It's a state, one that's acting, by all appearances, like an object of the verb, even though it couldn't do that with any other verb (even if I want in, I can't have in, even if I can get in.) I want to be in, in fact, or need to be down or off and so on, and couldn't intend or desire or wish to be in without "to be".

ETA: There is a difference between the two participles in that it's only the passive sense of the verbal. If I "need shooting", I may be talking about my expectations for an action movie, but if I "need shot", that's unambiguous. That's evidence for "to be" in a sense, but the past participle is also always passive, so.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby slinches » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:34 pm UTC

"needs exciting" sounds wrong to me unless the intent is to say "this electrode needs exciting to initiate the chemical reaction". "needs excitement" would work okay in most cases when the subject is implicit in the context and abbreviated comments are expected (e.g. the originally mentioned editorial not on a book chapter). Though, I'd still prefer more explicit phrasing.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:59 pm UTC

Right, it's nonstandard however "exciting" is interpreted, but the fact that the noun is preferred is evidencethat it's interpreted as a gerund there rather than a participle or participial adjective.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:45 pm UTC

"Echo boomer"

I've heard it twice and it already feels incessant.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Monika » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:06 am UTC

What does it mean?
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:05 am UTC

Monika wrote:What does it mean?

It refers to the children of "baby boomers." The U.S. (like many countries) had a huge boom in birth rates after WWII, so when that generation started to have children, it produced a smaller "echo boom" in the late 80s and early 90s. Most people call that generation "millennials," which frankly I don't like much more.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:54 am UTC

"These United States" and especially "these united states" (lowercase) annoy the hell out of me. It seems like some sort of unnecessary flourish which adds exactly nothing to the meaning. I've heard people claim that "these united states" emphasizes the individual states while "The United States" emphasizes the nation of which they are part, but that never seems to translate to actual usage.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:29 pm UTC

It makes sense in (only) an archaic sense. Using "America" to mean the all of North and South America and the Caribbean one can reasonably say "These united stated of America" versus "the other united states of America"
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:41 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:It makes sense in (only) an archaic sense. Using "America" to mean the all of North an d South America a and the Caribbean one can reasonably say "These united stated of America" versus "the other united states of America"

Except, that's not actually ever how it's used.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:50 pm UTC

Well the formation wouldn't really be archaic if people still used it the original way.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:26 pm UTC

As far as I can tell, that's never how it has been used, either.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:52 am UTC

I don't honestly think it's any more or less weird either way regardless. I mean, to my knowledge, there's basically always been a North America and a South America, which were the Americas, so no singular just-America, and then the name became closely associated with the biggest economy in said Americas because it was also in the name of said nation. It bugs me a little when people truncate the name in that direction as America instead of the United States or the US, but that is regardless one of the names it definitely has.

But even if that was a thing, you wouldn't really use "these" to distinguish in a situation like this. The distinguishing part is "united." If I say "these Midwestern states of America" or "the Midwestern states of America," they mean the same thing unless the context of the former is very specific and weird.

The phrasing itself is just a poetic flourish, but yeah, does mean you're talking about the states in plural rather than the States in singular, grammatically at the very least and conceptually to some extent as well.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:47 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I don't honestly think it's any more or less weird either way regardless. I mean, to my knowledge, there's basically always been a North America and a South America, which were the Americas, so no singular just-America, and then the name became closely associated with the biggest economy in said Americas because it was also in the name of said nation.

It depends on what you mean by "historically." In the English-speaking world, North and South America have been distinguished for at least four hundred years, very roughly corresponding to the modern period, so in modern history among English-speakers, yes, there have always been two continents in the New World. In some cultures, the two are considered subcontinents of a single American continent of which the isthmus of Panama is merely the narrowest point. If you go further back, there was never any meaningful distinction between North and South America; the geography was the same, but accurate maps did not exist to demonstrate that fact. If you go much further back, North and South America were indeed separated by ocean, but in that case all our modern notions of continents go out the window. At the other extreme, Central America is sometimes distinguished from North America as separate political, if not strictly geographic, entities.

As for why the word is used for the U.S.A., that's not a unique linguistic phenomenon, just by far the largest example. Consider the country commonly known as The Gambia, named for the river Gambia running through it. One might argue that the country ought to only be called "The Republic of The Gambia," since after all, the Gambia River also passes through significant parts of Guinea and Senegal. Nevertheless, five words is simply two many for a single country, so "The Gambia" stuck. Worse still is Congo, named again after the river (but commonly lacking the definite article in this case, for whatever reason). This is even more egregious, not only because the river is much larger but because there is a modern state called The Democratic Republic of the Congo. But because that state is much newer, only The Republic of the Congo is commonly called "Congo." Obviously there are other examples too.

And interestingly, Latinos sometimes refer to Americans from the U.S. as "norteamericanos," which clearly fails to solve the problem, as Canada and Mexico are also part of North America, as are seven countries in Central America, 13 sovereign island nations in the Gulf (assuming all Gulf islands are subsumed into the North American continent), and a handful of other territories and dependencies.

Copper Bezel wrote:The phrasing itself is just a poetic flourish, but yeah, does mean you're talking about the states in plural rather than the States in singular, grammatically at the very least and conceptually to some extent as well.

I would agree with all of this except that I have not actually observed the conceptual distinction in practice with the sole exception of the weirdos in the sovereign citizen movement (but that's a whole other story). But sure, grammatically we do almost always treat "The United States of America" as a singular proper noun and "these united states" as a plural noun modified by an adjective and a demonstrative pronoun.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby speising » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:12 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:And interestingly, Latinos sometimes refer to Americans from the U.S. as "norteamericanos," which clearly fails to solve the problem, as Canada and Mexico are also part of North America, as are seven countries in Central America, 13 sovereign island nations in the Gulf (assuming all Gulf islands are subsumed into the North American continent), and a handful of other territories and dependencies.


Incidently, the Latinos i know can get quite annoyed if i talk about "estadounidenses" as "Americans", since they are, as they claim, also Americans.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:28 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:And interestingly, Latinos sometimes refer to Americans from the U.S. as "norteamericanos," which clearly fails to solve the problem, as Canada and Mexico are also part of North America, as are seven countries in Central America, 13 sovereign island nations in the Gulf (assuming all Gulf islands are subsumed into the North American continent), and a handful of other territories and dependencies.


Incidently, the Latinos i know can get quite annoyed if i talk about "estadounidenses" as "Americans", since they are, as they claim, also Americans.

That's literally exactly what we've been talking about.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby speising » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:32 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
speising wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:And interestingly, Latinos sometimes refer to Americans from the U.S. as "norteamericanos," which clearly fails to solve the problem, as Canada and Mexico are also part of North America, as are seven countries in Central America, 13 sovereign island nations in the Gulf (assuming all Gulf islands are subsumed into the North American continent), and a handful of other territories and dependencies.


Incidently, the Latinos i know can get quite annoyed if i talk about "estadounidenses" as "Americans", since they are, as they claim, also Americans.

That's literally exactly what we've been talking about.

Literally, perhaps; but not exactly. Anyway, i was adding another data point.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:34 pm UTC

As an ESL teacher, I frequently have to explain to Latin Americans that for the majority of English speakers all over the world, "America" refers to the United States. It's not unreasonable to complain about that fact, but it's nevertheless a fact they need to be aware of if they want to avoid misunderstandings in English conversation.
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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Benjamin Bratt » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:48 pm UTC

I am pretty sure "Last but not least" is the most hated in essay writing because it has been overused by a LOT.

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Re: Annoying words, and Words You Hate

Postby Derek » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:12 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:"These United States" and especially "these united states" (lowercase) annoy the hell out of me. It seems like some sort of unnecessary flourish which adds exactly nothing to the meaning. I've heard people claim that "these united states" emphasizes the individual states while "The United States" emphasizes the nation of which they are part, but that never seems to translate to actual usage.

Isn't that mostly a historic usage, reflecting a time when the states were considered much more independent? I believe I've also seen similar data for a trend from "the United States are..." to "the United States is..." over time.

speising wrote:Incidently, the Latinos i know can get quite annoyed if i talk about "estadounidenses" as "Americans", since they are, as they claim, also Americans.

Cognates can have different meanings in different languages.


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