Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

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Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby kellsbells » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:39 pm UTC

I always love learning words that perfectly describe a situation or something else that would normally take up several words to (imperfectly) describe. I like efficiency in language, and I would imagine many fora members feel the same.

My example: inserting a word inside of another word (ex: abso-freaking-lutely or any-old-where) is called a "tmesis".

Do you guys have any other great words like this?
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby reetva » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:24 pm UTC

I've always liked "forbear" and its variations. It's a bit more common than some others which are bound to be said but I've used it in my writing a few times and it always seems to put a nice twist on a simple sentence. Here's an example of what I'm saying: When the man killed his father, 12-year-old Jimmy forbore the urge to attack the maniac. Well, that wasn't a very good example, but you get my point.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Adonis1x23 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:51 pm UTC

That is a really sad example...


So these aren't english words, but I am trying to bring them in.

Ototoni, it means 'the day before yesterday' in Japanese. Asatte means 'the day after tomorrow.' Ever since the movie with the same name as the latter came out, people always snicker or make some stupid joke about it. The former is just damn useful. It saves a sentence from sounding clumsy.

If anyone knows the actual english term for either, I would appreciate knowing.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Alcas » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

Adonis1x23 wrote:
Ototoni, it means 'the day before yesterday' in Japanese. Asatte means 'the day after tomorrow.' Ever since the movie with the same name as the latter came out, people always snicker or make some stupid joke about it. The former is just damn useful. It saves a sentence from sounding clumsy.

If anyone knows the actual english term for either, I would appreciate knowing.


After having a look around the internets, it turns out that "ereyesterday" is an English word for the day before yesterday, but it's obsolete. There is a similarly obsolete "overmorrow" for the day after tomorrow.

There's also a word -- apparently found in the OED -- which means "of or relating to the day before yesterday": nudiustertian, from the Latin nunc dies tertius est.

None of these seem to have terribly much use... the first two are very obsolete and the third you would rarely have occasion to use, as well as being snottily erudite.

kellsbells wrote:I always love learning words that perfectly describe a situation or something else that would normally take up several words to (imperfectly) describe. I like efficiency in language, and I would imagine many fora members feel the same.

Do you guys have any other great words like this?


I like "philtrum" - the little indentation-and-two-parallel-lines apparatus between your nose and upper lip.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby dourcynic » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:24 am UTC

I'm fond of "pettifog" (to quibble; to practice chicanery of any sort) and "atrabilious" (irritable; melancholy), myself.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby ZLVT » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:11 am UTC

Adonis1x23 wrote:That is a really sad example...


So these aren't english words, but I am trying to bring them in.

Ototoni, it means 'the day before yesterday' in Japanese. Asatte means 'the day after tomorrow.' Ever since the movie with the same name as the latter came out, people always snicker or make some stupid joke about it. The former is just damn useful. It saves a sentence from sounding clumsy.

If anyone knows the actual english term for either, I would appreciate knowing.


Dunno but Magyarúl we say "holnap után" or "tegnap elött" (tomorrow after, after tomorrow and before yesterday) so some variant using "morrow" I think
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby kellsbells » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:09 am UTC

These are all so great. I especially like "philtrum" because that is definitely makes any description easier. Also it's a funny word to say.

Oh, I remembered another one! I had to spell it in a spelling bee a few months ago- "preprandial" is relating to the time before dinner. Your doctor can recommend you take a preprandial dose of medicine.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Mr. Mack » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:44 am UTC

For all your future political discussion needs:

Kakistocracy - A government consisting of the worst people in a nation.
Myrmidon - An unquestioning follower. (nicer than"sheeple," eh?)

Isn't it about time that inter-tubes political rhetoric got some new additions?
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby ZLVT » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:51 am UTC

Mr. Mack wrote:Myrmidon - An unquestioning follower. (nicer than"sheeple," eh?)


I think that's mean, the myrmadons were loyal yes but brave warriors etc, i think it's mean to use their name in such a way. when will the englihs langauge stop its destruction [sobbs] when?!
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Sour Apple » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:12 am UTC

Alcas wrote:I like "philtrum" - the little indentation-and-two-parallel-lines apparatus between your nose and upper lip.


Haha. I've known that one since I was, like, seven, because my mother's a doctor and apparently I have a very large one of those. Philtrums, that is, not mothers.

"lavacultophilia" is the desire to stare at someone in a bathing suit. I know quite a few lavacultophiliacs, let me tell you.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby drbhoneydew » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:15 am UTC

Alcas wrote:I like "philtrum" - the little indentation-and-two-parallel-lines apparatus between your nose and upper lip.


I went off philtrum when it was used in a particularly annoying "Isn't it amazing what you can find out on the internet?" advert. I much prefer the more poetic "angel's kiss".

I remember being chuffed to learn equinimicable came from the Latin description of Stoicism (in aequo animo). And it serves as a smartarse alternative to "am I bothered?"

There's a word I cannot remember that I thought described something perfectly - a (Dutch?) insult that literally translated as bull pleasurer, which was doubly insulting as that was the job given to the village idiot in the early days of artificial insemination of cattle.
I'm sure someone here will know what it was (hopefully not because they've been called it though :shock:)
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Nimz » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:56 am UTC

A word that I first recall finding in these here fora, specifically this here forum, that fits the bill is defenestrate. The other day I was ending a phone call while in a car (I wasn't driving) and I accidentally threw my phone. I was glad the windows were rolled up or my cell phone might have been defenestrated (tossed out the window).

In Star Trek: TOS, Spock often used the word inimical: tending to obstruct or harm.

I'd also like to mention that I love number prefixes. E.g. sesqui-, meaning one and a half. So a sesquidecennial would be a 15th anniversary. Now that I mention it, I just might use it next time I hear about a quinceañera. Alas, I don't know what is the number prefix for 29 = 512 = my post count after posting this. (Woo! Milestone!)
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Vanguard » Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:11 pm UTC

I've started using "Mayhap(s)" recently o_O
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Masuri » Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:57 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:
Mr. Mack wrote:Myrmidon - An unquestioning follower. (nicer than"sheeple," eh?)


I think that's mean, the myrmadons were loyal yes but brave warriors etc, i think it's mean to use their name in such a way. when will the englihs langauge stop its destruction [sobbs] when?!


Er.

First of all, Myrmidon isn't an English word. It's from Greek mythology. And Mr. Mack is quite right that the word has been used that way. (I'd never heard it used in that context, by the way, I looked it up. Cool.)

I'll refrain from another rant about living languages and their evolution. However, I think this is a fine example of it. This is a word that originated in a story that is centuries old and written in another language, yet has made its way into our slang and here we are debating the usage of it. I love that.

Also... The 'englihs langauge?' There shall be no English rants where there is no spelling, sir! ;)
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby ZLVT » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:
Also... The 'englihs langauge?' There shall be no English rants where there is no spelling, sir! ;)


I can work with that but "English" is so annoying to spell, try "Engels" or "angol".
And I am familiar with the origins of the word, hence my rant on it (Latin student).

I am also aware of the conjunction at the begining of the previous sentence. Know that I could change it to "Besides which" should I deem it necessary. It shall remain there as a testament to my confidence in my English skills and the fact that I believe that people who do know the language should have the right to manipulate/abuse it to facilitate easier communication, which many common errors can help achieve.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby nmrboy » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:51 pm UTC

the sad fact of the matter is that english is first and foremost a mongrel language, and while this gives it a marvellous (or marvelous) variety of words it also means that essentially any abuse of it is permissible. there is no gold standard usage of english, and there is no committee for regulating the language (as in, say, french). not only does anything go, but that anything then becomes the standard through something no better defined than 'common usage'. when it comes down to it, clarity is everything (except for creative writing, when style can trump in although even this needs to be done with care). the use of archaic or obsolete words should be encouraged because they promote clarity, and the argument that 'no-one uses such words these days' is irrelevant.

on the subject of yesterdays, the word 'yestern' refers to 'of yesterday' (the road was covered with yestern snow), and 'yestreen' (as well as the less elegant 'yesterevening') refers specifically to, you guessed it, yesterday's evening. 'calumny' is a more specific form of slander or libel, indicating that the person's actions have been deliberately misrepresented (rather than lies having been made up) with defamatory intent, 'moribund' is surprisingly useful meaning on the point of death, or dying, and i've always liked 'avuncular' meaning relating to an uncle.

and sometimes you need to invent new words; my friend (a classicist) recently started using 'cynophile', as a more presentable word for people who waste inordinate amounts of time doing nothing (also known as f*cking the dog).
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby english_petal » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:08 pm UTC

kellsbells wrote: inserting a word inside of another word (ex: abso-freaking-lutely or any-old-where) is called a "tmesis".


I learned this as "interfixation", similar to "prefixation" and "suffixation", while listening to Word of Mouth on Radio 4 (My English teacher said it would help to listen for my exams... Not sure if it's working, but I do love English, so I don't mind.)
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Mr. Mack » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

nmrboy wrote:when it comes down to it, clarity is everything . . . the use of archaic or obsolete words should be encouraged because they promote clarity, and the argument that 'no-one uses such words these days' is irrelevant.

I feel confusion. How can I be speaking more clearly if I'm using words and definitions that people are less likely to be familiar with?

ZLVT wrote:It shall remain there as a testament to my confidence in my English skills and the fact that I believe that people who do know the language should have the right to manipulate/abuse it to facilitate easier communication, which many common errors can help achieve.

Y'all's gettin' kinda uppity thar, don'cha think? (silly face goes here)
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby ZLVT » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:24 am UTC

Mr. Mack wrote:
ZLVT wrote:It shall remain there as a testament to my confidence in my English skills and the fact that I believe that people who do know the language should have the right to manipulate/abuse it to facilitate easier communication, which many common errors can help achieve.

Y'all's gettin' kinda uppity thar, don'cha think? (silly face goes here)


Perhaps, but I believe in two things:
a) All people should learn good language history, grammar, syntax, idioms, and spelling. (I'm better than most but by no means do I profess perfection.)
b) Having proven adeptness in the above, people should be allowed to break the rules in calculated ways if it helps.

nmrboy wrote:the sad fact of the matter is that english is first and foremost a mongrel language, and while this gives it a marvellous (or marvelous) variety of words it also means that essentially any abuse of it is permissible. there is no gold standard usage of english, and there is no committee for regulating the language (as in, say, french). not only does anything go, but that anything then becomes the standard through something no better defined than 'common usage'. when it comes down to it, clarity is everything (except for creative writing, when style can trump in although even this needs to be done with care). the use of archaic or obsolete words should be encouraged because they promote clarity, and the argument that 'no-one uses such words these days' is irrelevant.


Well said. I've always wondered why English didn't have a regulatory committee, Although, then again, I hate it when people try to constrain things in stead of letting them flow as they will. That being said I happen to be a big fan of language purity and I do so want to teach Americans how to spell "colour". Perhaps "Queen's English" ought to be standardised and distributed and left at that. It will continue to be the one and only correct English, used in all official matters and the language will not be changed any more except to accomodate for new items and concepts.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:Perhaps "Queen's English" ought to be standardised and distributed and left at that.

How do you propose to "leave it at that"? The French have tried, and tend to fail pretty miserably since the way everyone actually *talks* is really damn different from the way the Academie would like to think French works.

No natural language in the history of the world has remained "pure". Hell, the Queen herself speaks differently now than she did 50 years ago. What version of the Queen's English do you propose to standardize and distribute?
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby eierkopf » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:22 pm UTC

I have a fantastic t-shirt that reads "English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar." The shirt has a great picture which helps to illustrate the phrase. http://www.pegasuspublishing.com/images/D/734214bk-01.jpg
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby SkaBassist » Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:25 am UTC

Yeah, this happened a few weeks ago. The word пошлость (roughly poshlost) is a word in Russian that's untranslatable, but some Russian guy wrote about it:

Boym wrote:This one word encompasses triviality, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity, and a lack of spirituality.


It describes a friend of mine absolutely perfectly.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby ZLVT » Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
ZLVT wrote:Perhaps "Queen's English" ought to be standardised and distributed and left at that.

How do you propose to "leave it at that"? The French have tried, and tend to fail pretty miserably since the way everyone actually *talks* is really damn different from the way the Academie would like to think French works.

No natural language in the history of the world has remained "pure". Hell, the Queen herself speaks differently now than she did 50 years ago. What version of the Queen's English do you propose to standardize and distribute?


This one. I'm saying, take it as it is NOW and make it the official language. I'm not saying people will use it, but it should be kept for official purposes, law, government etc. American, Australian, British, Canadian, and New Zealand Englishes are all diverging. It'd be good to have an Official Unified English Language, somethign we can adherre to, or pretend to. If for no other reason that to maintain mutual intelligibility with all Anglo nations hundreds fo years form now. Or have a United Accademy of English to keep all the English speaking nations in touch and so that foreigners can all learn the same English. Like the Dutch and Flemish do.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

ZLVT wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
ZLVT wrote:Perhaps "Queen's English" ought to be standardised and distributed and left at that.

What version of the Queen's English do you propose to standardize and distribute?

This one. I'm saying, take it as it is NOW and make it the official language. I'm not saying people will use it, but it should be kept for official purposes, law, government etc. American, Australian, British, Canadian, and New Zealand Englishes are all diverging.

And when they continue diverging, because you cannot stop language change, to the point where our calcified official version of English becomes unintelligible to all but a few specially trained people, what then? As things are now, language change means that in a few centuries' time stuff written today will be more difficult to understand. As you want things, a few centuries will mean, in addition, that official documents written in that future time are also more difficult to understand.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Nimz » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:25 am UTC

obfuscation. It's the perfect word for this circumstance, n'est pas?
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby eternal luna » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:34 am UTC

ZLVT wrote:It shall remain there as a testament to my confidence in my English skills and the fact that I believe that people who do know the language should have the right to manipulate/abuse it to facilitate easier communication, which many common errors can help achieve.


How do you suppose that "facilitate[s] easier communication" at all? Deciphering some of your posts is so difficult that I find myself glossing over most of what you write. I don't mention it because I feel it's beyond me to dictate how other people should write.

Side note: Doesn't facile mean easily in Latin? Eugh. Something about positioning "facilitate" next to "easier" just irks me.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby jobriath » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:11 pm UTC

On topic, there's a post-it note behind me with "synecdoche" written on it. It's when a part of something refers to the whole of the thing, such as when "hired hands" means labourers. Since I've never heard it spoken by someone else, I like to think it has the German-sounding friccative, "synecdoQQQ". Also, the Germans have "Übermorgen" to refer to the day after tomorrow and "Vorgestern" for t'other.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Moo » Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:16 pm UTC

Yes, Afrikaans has "oormore" and "eergister" which seem to be simplified versions of the same thing.

There are a few words I'm used to being able to call on in Afrikaans to express myself that I miss in English. The only one I can remember right now is fluks, but its meaning is hard to describe - eager and hardworking?
"Oh, you washed the floors before anyone got here this morning? Wow, you're fluks!"
"Wow you've got your assignment done quickly. You are fluks."
"Be a fllukse girl, come help grandma peal the potatoes please?"
"You've been to the gym three times this week already? You're more fluks than me!"

And, no, it has nothing to do with a "flux capacitor" :D

As for English, I really like portmanteau as a concise way to describe a concept that would otherwise need at least one or two sentences and an example. Ditto for onomatopoeia.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby evilbeanfiend » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:in a few centuries' time stuff written today will be more difficult to understand. As you want things, a few centuries will mean, in addition, that official documents written in that future time are also more difficult to understand.


whilst i agree with the gist of gmalivuk's argument (i.e. standardising natural language is pointless at best and dangerous at worst) i don't think we have any reason to suspect that english will mutate as quickly in the future as it has in the past, after all not all languages have mutated much over 100s of years. of course at the same time we have no reason to believe it will stay static enough that standardisation could work even if we wanted it to.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby AnonyMouse » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

evilbeanfiend wrote:
whilst i agree with the gist of gmalivuk's argument (i.e. standardising natural language is pointless at best and dangerous at worst) i don't think we have any reason to suspect that english will mutate as quickly in the future as it has in the past, after all not all languages have mutated much over 100s of years. of course at the same time we have no reason to believe it will stay static enough that standardisation could work even if we wanted it to.


I would argue that we have reason to suspect it will mutate, if anything, MORE quickly than it has in the past. With the internet bridging cultures and languages in an increasingly broad manner, and text-based communication becoming more and more common, we are already seeing alarmingly fast shifts of language in a lot of ways. In 100 years, will such a thing as a colloquialism exist or will all phrases be universal within a language? Look at the portmanteau thread, the language is changing, one page at a time.

edited for grammar.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby nmrboy » Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

there was a vaguely interesting article in new scientist last month (#2649) about the evolution (or whatever you might call it) of english, extrapolating forwards from the way old and middle english became modern english. the discussion of the 'regularising' of uncommon verbs was interesting - did you know that 'helped' was once 'holp'? another thing they consider is that 80% of interactions in english are between non-native speakers, and that global variations of english far outweigh what we might call 'the queen's english'. the queen being descended from william the conqueror, who was french, and from albert, who was german. :|

also, youtube for eddie izzard in 'mongrel nation' and watch him speak old english in holland in order to buy a cow (and succeed). interesting.

back to topic, the word 'nebbish' is useful to describe a non-entity of a person, someone who, when they walk into a room, makes you feel as if someone just walked out. although not that obscure, 'ersatz' is a perfect word for a cheap imitation of something and 'erstwhile' is a much better word for 'former'. a 'syllepsis' is a subcategory of 'zeugma', and is the use of one word to simultaneously mean two things (usually to comic effect): "john's driving license expired on the same day he did".
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Darkfather » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:12 am UTC

Maybe it's best reserved for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (19 Sept), but I always liked "Savvy?" It's much more succinct than "Do you understand what I said?". Seems Johhny Depp can't even bring a good word back.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Felstaff » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:58 am UTC

Alcas wrote:After having a look around the internets, it turns out that "ereyesterday" is an English word for the day before yesterday, but it's obsolete. There is a similarly obsolete "overmorrow" for the day after tomorrow.

You are my new hero of the week. Now I can use these terms in common parlance, particularly overmorrow. I'm always up for reanimating obsolete terms. Forsooth, my near-constant desire to use archaic mannerisms swinkly swoopstake has soothfast branded me an earsgang by my coworkers. Parfay!
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:49 pm UTC

Darkfather wrote:Maybe it's best reserved for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (19 Sept), but I always liked "Savvy?" It's much more succinct than "Do you understand what I said?". Seems Johhny Depp can't even bring a good word back.

Savvy comes from Portuguese and is common to a number of pidgin languages, owing to the fact that Portuguese traders were the first major naval force of the modern world.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby liza » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:58 am UTC

Paraph: the flourish made below or after a signature (originally intended to prevent forgery).
Footle: to waste time.
Felstaff wrote:
Okita wrote:"What are you up to?"

"Attempting to save the free world and preserve Democracy...without Liza"
But...But [that would] just be announcing you're definitely about to fail.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Ari » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:33 pm UTC

Overmorrow- so awesome!

gmalivuk wrote:
ZLVT wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
ZLVT wrote:Perhaps "Queen's English" ought to be standardised and distributed and left at that.

What version of the Queen's English do you propose to standardize and distribute?

This one. I'm saying, take it as it is NOW and make it the official language. I'm not saying people will use it, but it should be kept for official purposes, law, government etc. American, Australian, British, Canadian, and New Zealand Englishes are all diverging.

And when they continue diverging, because you cannot stop language change, to the point where our calcified official version of English becomes unintelligible to all but a few specially trained people, what then? As things are now, language change means that in a few centuries' time stuff written today will be more difficult to understand. As you want things, a few centuries will mean, in addition, that official documents written in that future time are also more difficult to understand.


Given the advent of the internet, I would've said English is a bit more likely to converge a bit more than it diverges, (of course, it will do both at once in many different ways) at least for a while, given that until now people in Australia/New Zealand and the UK and the USA didn't have much chance to talk to each other.

Darkfather wrote:Maybe it's best reserved for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (19 Sept), but I always liked "Savvy?" It's much more succinct than "Do you understand what I said?". Seems Johhny Depp can't even bring a good word back.


"Get it?"/"Got it?" could be used pretty reliably, although it sounds a bit more hostile than either of the alternatives, it's still two syllables.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Outchanter » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:53 pm UTC

In the spirit of Terry Pratchett I just googled a word for the smell of the earth after rain. Turns out it's "petrichor".

Somehow I was expecting something better.

Ari wrote:Given the advent of the internet, I would've said English is a bit more likely to converge a bit more than it diverges, (of course, it will do both at once in many different ways) at least for a while, given that until now people in Australia/New Zealand and the UK and the USA didn't have much chance to talk to each other.


Even before the Internet, I suspect TV was having a consolidating effect on English. Possibly more, since while forums encourage mutually intelligible writing, they would have no effect on diverging pronunciation.

Ari wrote:
Darkfather wrote:Maybe it's best reserved for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (19 Sept), but I always liked "Savvy?" It's much more succinct than "Do you understand what I said?". Seems Johhny Depp can't even bring a good word back.


"Get it?"/"Got it?" could be used pretty reliably, although it sounds a bit more hostile than either of the alternatives, it's still two syllables.


There's also "Capiche?" but that seems to have mafia connotations.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby steewi » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:03 am UTC

It's a made up word, but one from Douglas Adams' Meaning of Liff always sticks with me:

Draffan - The guy that always manages to turn up late, dishevelled and unshaven and still outclass every other man in the room.

We needed a word for that. Now we have one. (Other than jammy bastard).
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby liza » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:21 am UTC

Spindrift: airborne sea spray. Also called spoondrift.
Felstaff wrote:
Okita wrote:"What are you up to?"

"Attempting to save the free world and preserve Democracy...without Liza"
But...But [that would] just be announcing you're definitely about to fail.
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Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby gibberishtwist » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:36 am UTC

Personally, I love the word moot. Using it is a great way to end arguments or even just conversations, plus it's a fun word to say.

Outchanter wrote:In the spirit of Terry Pratchett I just googled a word for the smell of the earth after rain. Turns out it's "petrichor".

Somehow I was expecting something better.


Definitely not as good as I thought it would be. Maybe the person who came up with the word didn't like that smell. Also, Firefox doesn't recognize the word. Odd.

eierkopf wrote:I have a fantastic t-shirt that reads "English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar."


This seriously cracked me up. I'm talking about falling-over, scaring-the-cats almost knocking over my water laughter. Good times.
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