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Misnomers

Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Words that don't quite convey what they mean.

'Holistic' has nothing to do with holes.
'Wholistic' - now that's better and conveys the meaning in a nutshell.

Was there a campaign for reduced spelling in the last decade or so ?
other words :

'Organic' has nothing to with organs.

'Organismic' ? Much better, huh? Organismic vegetables is much closer to the truth about what organic vegetables are ; insects and bacteria having just as much chance as getting to them as you do.


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"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1390
On the other hand, cucumbers might be better described as "orgasmic" vegatables.
Gail Mikels
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Joined: May 07, 2001
Posts: 634
... and into the gutter goes the thread!!!

(Allright!!! )


Gail Mikels
Glen Tanner
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Joined: Apr 16, 1999
Posts: 147

The gutter is a friendly place.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

So what's with the word "gutter", anyway? You couldn't really gut anything with a gutter, could you? I suppose the aluminum kind on a house could be used for eviscerating somebody, but man, it'd be hard work.

Should be called a "watercatcher" or something.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15300
    
    6

Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
So what's with the word "gutter", anyway? You couldn't really gut anything with a gutter, could you? I suppose the aluminum kind on a house could be used for eviscerating somebody, but man, it'd be hard work.

Should be called a "watercatcher" or something.


Why isn't it just an aquaduct?


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
So what's with the word "gutter", anyway? You couldn't really gut anything with a gutter, could you? I suppose the aluminum kind on a house could be used for eviscerating somebody, but man, it'd be hard work.

Should be called a "watercatcher" or something.


How about "nasty thing that stole all my tennis balls"?
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
'Holesome' Frank.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
So what's with the word "gutter", anyway? You couldn't really gut anything with a gutter, could you? I suppose the aluminum kind on a house could be used for eviscerating somebody, but man, it'd be hard work.

Should be called a "watercatcher" or something.


I think a gut was originally a ditch or hole or vally-like structure of some kind: thus, your gut is the hole where you store food, etc.


Java Regular Expressions
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Peanuts are not nuts, they are beans. Peabeans.

Koala bears are not bears. They are furry creatures with two reproductive organs each. Not like the earthworm each of which has one of each. And two extremely short hands. And a pouch.
This thread is definitely heading for the aquaduct if not already in it.
Ray Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2000
Posts: 458
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
Peanuts are not nuts, they are beans. Peabeans.


They are legumes:
leg´┐Żume ( P ) Pronunciation Key (lgym, l-gym)
n.

1. A pod, such as that of a pea or bean, that splits into two valves with the seeds attached to one edge of the valves.
Such a pod or seed used as food.
2. A plant of the pea family.

A peanut is actually a pea? Well, I don't suppose you could go around calling it a peapea. Folks just wouldn't understand.


Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. – Charles Spurgeon
Jayesh Lalwani
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Joined: Nov 05, 2004
Posts: 502
This is kinda old:- Why do we drive on the parkway, and park on the driveway?
Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 805

Friendly Fire (in military terms) - not very frendly at all.

I think holistic was coined by Checkland and Scholes in one of their Soft Systems Methodology books (but I may be wrong). If so, blame them for that word.

'We may be lying in the gutter, but we are looking at the stars' - Oscar Wilde.


Regards Pete
Matt Fielder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 27, 2004
Posts: 158
I personally like ..

[you may, but don't use it here -MH]
[ November 23, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

Max, i think you were a little hasty in your editing of Matt's post, and the removal of my post. the definition of the word is as follows:

1 : grudgingly mean about spending or granting : BEGRUDGING
2 : provided in meanly limited supply

it pre-dates the other word you are confusing it with by 300 years, and had a completly different derivation - there is no linguistic connection between the two.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
For what it's worth, Matt's word was actually completely unrelated to the deeply offensive n-word it unfortunately resembles. Totally different etymologies and meanings. But yeah, we're probably better off not having it printed here, to avoid confusion. It's easy enough to use "stingy" instead., on the rare occasions you need it. The main use for Matt's preferred word nowadays is to confuse people, unfortunately.
[ November 23, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Fred: it pre-dates the other word you are confusing it

Now, I am curious to know what this "other word" is!

Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Well, it's on this page (toward the end) and means "stingy". Which is a useful clue, since that fact is mentioned in the text. 'Nuff said.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

i'll just make one more post, then i'll let it drop.

Since so much of this site is devoted to educating people, i'm sort of bothered by the fact that rather than use this oportunity to teach people something, we're just gonna sweep it under the rug, and ignore it.

Granted, this is not a "learn about the English language" site, but i do see occasional posts that correct people's grammer, the way they present questions, etc. i think it would be nice if in this case, we could teach folks the difference between an acceptable word and a horrible word.

This is a slippery slope, when you start to ban certain words because they're 'close' to being a bad word... are we next going to ban the name of a country in Africa here because it's awful close to that other word?

I am a firm believer in the fact that this is Paul's site, and he makes the rules. One of those rules is that the sherrifs and moderators can delete/edit/remove any post/thread for any reason they want. I just think this one was done for a wrong reason.
[ November 23, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Jim: Well, it's on this page (toward the end)

Thanks, I got it.

Fred: Since so much of this site is devoted to educating people, i'm sort of bothered by the fact that rather than use this oportunity to teach people something, we're just gonna sweep it under the rug, and ignore it.


I would agree with Fred. The words are not related, don't share the same roots... Just removing the post doesn't seem right
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
ather than use this oportunity to teach people something

And note how I clevely guided inquiries to a site listing etymologies, so that all the people mystified by this thread could, in fact, learn something. Taking care that the information was presented in a context where it would be clear that the two words are actually unrelated, while still respecting Max's delicate sensibilities.

This is a slippery slope, when you start to ban certain words because they're 'close' to being a bad word

Yes, we're planning on banning "as", "ship", "cut", and "Delores" next.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11499
    
  16

thanks, jim, for that humorous post. i actually DID laugh out loud.

i guess now i'm gonna get in trouble 'cause i said i'd let it drop, and here i am posting again. oh well.
Matt Fielder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 27, 2004
Posts: 158
Originally posted by Matt Fielder:
I personally like ..

[you may, but don't use it here -MH]

[ November 23, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]


My appologies. I was merely pointing out that a harmless word that is not related to what it phoenetically resembled can be misunderstood. I guess my points was a little too strong. My bad.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Matt Fielder:


My appologies. I was merely pointing out that a harmless word that is not related to what it phoenetically resembled can be misunderstood. I guess my points was a little too strong. My bad.


No problem Matt: we've had juvenile behavior lately, and it seems that you were caught up in it. This is often the case when people choose their own interpretation, either miserly or generous. I try to take the generous interpretation, even though it some people seem to mistake it for weakness.

M
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/744457/posts

And the school now forbids the Geography teacher from teaching about Niger.



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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
This is a slippery slope, when you start to ban certain words because they're 'close' to being a bad word... are we next going to ban the name of a country in Africa here because it's awful close to that other word?


And don't you dare mention that clothing store, FCUK!

Matt Fielder
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Joined: Oct 27, 2004
Posts: 158
...and off in the distance the other ranch hands hear what resembles someone cracking open a can of worms.

anybody want a worm. got plenty to go around.
Nick George
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Joined: Apr 04, 2004
Posts: 815
mmm... worms...


I've heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground
kayal cox
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Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Fear Factor
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Jim Yingst:

It's easy enough to use "stingy" instead., on the rare occasions you need it.

On the rare occasions when I need it, it's because I want to distinguish my meaning from that of "stingy". In particular, "stingy" has an implication that the subject is ungenerous to himself as well as others, while the banned word doesn't really imply anything in that regard one way or the other. Also, "stingy" tends to be used more with regard to money than portions, and I think it is more generally used with respect to the subject's own belongings than where the subject is acting as an agent for someone else.

Some might say these are fine distinctions. But without them, how will I confuse those not native speakers?
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
buggered - It is a good technical word.

as is barfed My screen barfed at me.
I'm surprised it's not on Jim's dictionary.
Oh, they are.
[ November 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Madhav Lakkapragada
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Joined: Jun 03, 2000
Posts: 5040
tetoteller - nothing to do with totals and nothing to do with telling!
teller - nothing to do with telling!

[After three days of thinking (slow) this is what I came up with].

- m
Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 805

RAM - if you did do this, randomly access your memory you would get gibberish!

SQL - Much more that a query language.

Oh and of course Java.
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Computing seems to be full of silly terms, several of them misnomers:

Windows
Mouse
Microsoft Works



Sometimes I come home from work and talk about GUIs and WYSIWYGs to people and they think I've lost the plot. Its quite good in awkward social situations though - whenever things get a bit boring I start using my secret powers - computing acronyms. A stream of XML, XSL, PHP, JSP, ASP, DTD, HTML, RSS and ADO is enough to send anyone to sleep, allowing me to make my getaway.
Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 805

Yeah TLW (Three letter words), GNU (Guh-noo's Not Unix) [a recursive acronym ], is my favorite.

Computer types are not the worst offenders however, military types are. They too have their own TLW's, but with more swearing!
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
buggered - It is a good technical word.


use of this word should be banned as it may be offensive to Bulgarians.
Peter Rooke
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Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 805

Bad Product Names

But - Some may find these offensive.
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Peter Rooke:
Bad Product Names

But - Some may find these offensive.


I notice that one of the images in that link is for Spotted Dick. What's wrong with that? Its perfectly possible, in the UK at least, to have a quick fag, eat some faggots and then chew on some spotted dick and perhaps eat some buns without causing any offence at all
Ray Marsh
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Joined: Jan 12, 2000
Posts: 458
Originally posted by Joe King:
I notice that one of the images in that link is for Spotted Dick. What's wrong with that? Its perfectly possible, in the UK at least, to have a quick fag, eat some faggots and then chew on some spotted dick and perhaps eat some buns without causing any offence at all


No offense, Joe. But if I'm ever in the UK, I'll pass on having lunch with you. Maybe just a spot of tea. That sounds safe.
Joe King
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Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Ray Marsh:

No offense, Joe. But if I'm ever in the UK, I'll pass on having lunch with you. Maybe just a spot of tea. That sounds safe.


Actually its not that bad - "fag" is cigarette, "faggots" are a kind of meat-ball, "spotted dick" is a kind of sponge with raisons in it (not actually a brand name like the link suggests) and buns are bread rolls.
 
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subject: Misnomers