1661: "Podium"

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1661: "Podium"

Postby sfmans » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:02 pm UTC

Image
Title Text: BREAKING: Senator's bold pro-podium stand leads to primary challenge from prescriptivist base.

That's a controversial platform to stand on.

And as to the whole 'podiums' v 'podia' thing ...

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby wolf99 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:49 pm UTC

Lecturn
A podium is the raised platform a lecturn and speaker stand upon.
The thing athletic medal receivers stand upon is also a podium; in this case it can be normal to expect multiple people upon a podium, sometimes raised at different heights.

More contentious is the word rostrum. Does this also refer to a podium, a lecturn or both together?

One could say this would be a great platform to run for electuon on... Bdum-tsh!

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:51 pm UTC

If recent events are any indication, it's actually a bird perch :P
It just happens to have a microphone and a politician nearby
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:55 pm UTC

Made me think of (with apologies for dragging 'real' politics into this!) Trump's sometimes rambling 'conversational' style that seems to have grabbed so many people, but is doubtless actually a highly practised 'does not seem practised' patter.

Also reminds me of Marco Rubio's (apparent?) tangent off onto how he hated the schoolyard game "Marco Polo", when he was a kid, for the obvious reasons, and led him into adding to his "When I'm President..." statements that he would ban that game...


To be honest, it reminds me of loads of politicians, or at least all of those who have found a way to avoid just saying the same pre-scripted soundbite over and over again, but I don't know if Randall's heard much Boris Johnson1, and his tendency to lapse into archaic, if not downright ancient, language at the drop of a milliner's art...


And he's probably standing on a podium (or maybe just a stage?) but next to a lectern... *gargh... ninjaed*


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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Apeiron » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:29 pm UTC

The professor lectured from behind the lectern.

The podiatrist, who won the foot race, stood upon the podium.

The usage isn't changing, people are just ignorant about the difference.

We have different words because they have different meanings.

When we misuse words in this way we lose the distinctiveness the word once provided.

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:43 pm UTC

Apeiron wrote:The professor lectured from behind the lectern.

The podiatrist, who won the foot race, stood upon the podium.

The usage isn't changing, people are just ignorant about the difference.

We have different words because they have different meanings.

When we misuse words in this way we lose the distinctiveness the word once provided.

It's funny, because you apparently don't understand the meaning of the word "usage".

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:48 pm UTC

So you could put a lectern on a podium or a rostrum, but not vice versa (unless it's a really small podium, like from a dollhouse)?

Just askin' ...

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Rombobjörn » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:28 pm UTC

When he asks "Is this thing a podium or a lectern?", does "this thing" refer to the podium or to the lectern?

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:31 pm UTC

Rombobjörn wrote:When he asks "Is this thing a podium or a lectern?", does "this thing" refer to the podium or to the lectern?

Yes, before we identify the referent, we must first identify the referent!

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Cervisiae Amatorem » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:41 pm UTC

If the word "podium" wasn't already in use, it would make a great name for a pharmaceutical.

"Ask your doctor if Podium™ is right for you. Side effects include scrivener's palsy, restless molars, quivering rectum, and asymmetrical brows."

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:50 pm UTC

rostrum

I know this term only as something roughly meaning something like the upper snout of an animal. You definitely shouldn't put any sort of lectern on one of those.

I have to assume Apeiron is joking or possibly trolling, if only for the "podiatrist."
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:36 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
rostrum

I know this term only as something roughly meaning something like the upper snout of an animal. You definitely shouldn't put any sort of lectern on one of those.


I think that kind of Rostrum Camera would be an interesting device... ;)


From Wiktionary:
Etymology

From Latin rōstrum ‎(“beak, snout”), from rōd(ō) ‎(“gnaw”) + -trum, from Proto-Indo-European *reh₁d- + *-trom. The pulpit sense is a back-formation from the name of the Roman Rōstra, the platforms in the Forum where politicians made speeches. The Rōstra were decorated with (and named for) the beaks (prows) of ships from naval victories.


This complicates matters, though, for the rostrum camera. You could mount one upon a raised platform, pedestal or (at a DIY pinch!) perhaps even a modified lectern, to confuse things even further. ;)

(I still occasionally see Ken Morse namechecked, though not sure if it's always him or just his company, these days.)

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby scerruti » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:46 pm UTC

Ah, etymological history repeats itself like a California burrito on an empty stomach...

Catholic Dictionary

Term

AMBO

Definition

Elevated pulpit with a flight of stairs on each side, from which the Epistles and Gospels were read and sermons preached in the early Church. Later two ambos were used, one for the Epistle reading, the other on the right side of the altar for the Gospel. Generally, now, one ambo or lectern suffices for the entire Liturgy of the Word.

In the Greek Church the ambo is a table in front of the iconostasis, or screen where baptisms, confirmations, and marriages are celebrated. In the russian Church the ambo is a flight of stairs in front of the iconostasis. (Etym. Greek ambo, an elevation.)

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Coyoty » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:20 am UTC

What's the atomic weight of podium? Do you need protective gear to handle it? I've heard that getting up on podium could affect a person's mind.

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby addams » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:49 am UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Member: Royal Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things

No.
It is not possible for me to remember that.

.....ooohh....
....(?) Is that one of those Monty Python things whizzing around over my head?
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby ps.02 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:42 am UTC

Sure, sure. A podium is so named because you stand on it. A lectern is so named because it holds whatever you're reading from. So, Dear Prescriptivist, what do you call a lectern-shaped mic stand that you don't read from, e.g. because you're using a TelePrompTer?

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:48 am UTC

Apparently, a rostrum, since Roman orators probably wouldn't have kept notes (I know Greek orators made it a point of pride not to, right?)

Soupspoon wrote:I think that kind of Rostrum Camera would be an interesting device...

Lobster-sized GoPros. Somebody Kickstart this or something.
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby RogueCynic » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:00 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:If recent events are any indication, it's actually a bird perch :P
It just happens to have a microphone and a politician nearby

Apparently Bernie Sanders is for the birds.
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby KittenKaboodle » Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:47 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I have to assume Apeiron is joking or possibly trolling, if only for the "podiatrist."

I'm not sure if you are joking, but I think Apeirion is not: It derives from the Greek πόδι (foot)

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:22 am UTC

... Yes. Yes it does. I'm sure that's terribly useful information for someone in some context. With that said, Apeiron's first example was demonstrating the connection between the roots of lectern and lecture, which in some squidgy way illustrated that there's a meaningful connection in modern usage between these terms, or something?

Apeiron wrote:The professor lectured from behind the lectern.


But the second seemed to be mostly demonstrating that Apeiron knew a Greek word once.

The podiatrist, who won the foot race, stood upon the podium.


I mean ... why is it even a foot race? Is the implication that podiatrists, being very knowledgeable about feet, must be very good at running races that nominally acknowledge the role of the foot in locomotion? Is it intended as a kind of pun (the charitable interpretation above)? Or are we just stringing together random loose associations in an attempt to resemble an argument from a distance (a rather less charitable guess)?

In reality, knowing an awful lot about feet does not ensure competitive performance in a contest simply because it is named for feet, and being named for feet does not disqualify a thing from being a laptop holder intended for standing behind while coughing nervously into a microphone and looking for one's presentation files in Google Drive.

No one ever questioned the etymology of the words. The question (spelled out in the comic itself) was the relevance of that etymology.

Edit: Well, technically, there are two layers to it. There's the etymologies of the roots and the relationship they have with the original English meaning, and then there's the relationship between the original English meaning and the present one. So the etymology of the roots is at a deeper, less relevant level than anything the comic is referring to, and it's not fair to say that it's being acknowledged by the strip.
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby sharpfang » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:16 am UTC

Senator, what is your stance on a rostrum?

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby EngineNr.9 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:05 am UTC

Maybe Lecterns are just Pseudopodia?

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:48 pm UTC

sharpfang wrote:Senator, what is your stance on a rostrum?

"Back straight, shoulders back, arms held wide in an attempt to inclusively embrace the entire audience in an attempt to portray intimacy and a carefully unfocussed gaze across them all such that it gives the impression I'm 'just' talking to each and every individual (and camera-lens) out there..."

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Heimhenge » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:31 pm UTC

EngineNr.9 wrote:Maybe Lecterns are just Pseudopodia?


Reminds me of an old joke ...

An amoeba and a paramecium were walking down the street. The amoeba asks the paramecium "So how do you manage to get around so well without any pseudopodia?" And the paramecium replies "I've never heard a cilia question!"

This evokes a blank stare in most cases, but when someone gets the joke it's worth all those blank stares.

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Aiwendil » Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:58 am UTC

The thing he's talking about is a lectern, but he does also appear to be standing on a podium.

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby ijuin » Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:25 am UTC

And then there's the fungus Lycopodium, which is not like a podium at all.

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:15 am UTC

ijuin wrote:And then there's the fungus Lycopodium, which is not like a podium at all.


Does it have wolf-like feet?
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby orthogon » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:56 pm UTC

I guess the terms denoting the paraphernalia of public speaking are like any kind of relatively specialist vocabulary that finds its way into general speech. You always tend to hear them together and don't necessarily get enough context to work out which is which. Similarly a lot of people would have trouble distinguishing between joists and rafters or between fascias, soffits and barge-boards, even if they know all the words and all the referents.
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby xtifr » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:26 pm UTC

This comic got picked up for discussion at Language Log. The discussion there included a link to this fascinating article from 2010 on "podium" vs. "lectern".

It's worth mentioning that nobody ever calls an actual podium a lectern. Olympic athletes stand on a podium; never a lectern. However, the reverse, calling a lectern a podium, is common enough that it was first added to a dictionary in 1961. This is a usage that enough people complain about that it's worth avoiding in your own writing, but at the same time, is common enough that it's not worth complaining about in other people's writing.

(If you feel you must complain about something, perhaps complain about the use of "podium" as a verb. Although that's also well-enough established to have made its way into dictionaries. Curiously, no one seems to use "lectern" as a verb. "Podium" just seems to have become a more flexible word, for whatever reason.)
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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Soupspoon » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:55 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:(If you feel you must complain about something, perhaps complain about the use of "podium" as a verb. Although that's also well-enough established to have made its way into dictionaries. Curiously, no one seems to use "lectern" as a verb. "Podium" just seems to have become a more flexible word, for whatever reason.)


More recently than the verb Podium seems to have been the equivalent with the word "Medal".

As in: "If he does this well in next event, he's sure to medal." "She hasn't medalled since the National Championships." "They'll be certain of medalling if their opponents can't sort out those recurring mechanical problems." (Was certainly an often commented-about turn of phrase of the UK media regarding performances at the 2012 Olympics, and since then in further broadcasts of later competitions. It may or may not have been exported to any other anglophone country that the turn of phrase had not previously been imported from...)

(The homophonic nature of "medalling" and "meddling" has been remarked upon.)

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Re: 1661: "Podium"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:24 am UTC

I've only ever seen "medal" used for that, and I didn't realize "podium" could be used similarly. I'm fairly certain I still prefer "medal" there.
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