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The fallacy of flawed people and clichés

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posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 06:15 PM
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Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus defines cliché as a trite phrase or expression.

For some reason people seem to think that they know the proper way to speak. Whether it is the word patronize or a simple turn-phrase like, "I want to eat my cake and have it too" even the most educated people in television and law have a regular tendency to screw it up.

Why can't people take some time to analyze the words they speak and then learn to speak them properly?

The word patronize has three entirely different meanings with two equally different pronunciations but is spelled the same way. It is one of few words in the English language that is obviously more complicated than the average word.

Dictionary.com defines patronize as:
1. to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one's regular patronage; trade with.
2. to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward: a professor who patronizes his students.
3. to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.

In the 1st and 3rd definitions the vowel "A" is sharp like in the words tape, ate, snake or bake. In the 2nd definition the vowel "A" is subtle as in words like pat, fat, rat or cat. Okay people, pretend you got an education with that college degree and learn how to speak.

Most people say, "I want to have my cake and eat it too." This is wrong. This phrase is supposed to be about regret for a loss of something we are supposed to appreciate. The fact is, it is wrong because you can appreciate it if you have it. There is no source for regret. However, what if you scarf that cake and then realize that you may never enjoy that flavor the same way again because you no longer have it? This is where the saying comes from. I want to eat my cake and have it too. OR Hind sight is always 20/20.

Even the title of this thread is wrong, as it is a double negative.

What words and phrases do you hear people mess up? What are your pet peeves? What are your solutions to fixing this cultural problem?




posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 08:28 AM
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Well... I'll assume you are an American.

In which case you make hundreds of mistakes everyday...with all your using the letter Z instead of S and removing vowels here and there from words like colour.


But thats puts me on a serious point, just because people pronounce the words a different way doesn't make them wrong.

Z can be pronpounced zed or zee depending on where you come from...

It's not neccesarily wrong...just different to the way YOU might say it.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 08:33 AM
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Language tends to be dynamic. What might seem wrong now might be ''correct'' in the future.

I do tend to try and tell people how to speak proper dutch if they mess up though.

One of the most abundant mistakes here is: "Het kost duur". Translated: "It costs expensive."

[edit on 18/1/09 by -0mega-]



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 09:04 AM
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What annoys me is when people try to say "I couldn't care less". Or worse, incorrectly correct someone who says it correctly! "I could care less", or "I could careless". Neither of them mean that you "don't care".
I couldn't care less means you have the lowest possible value for caring.

Double negatives being considered grammatical errors is a new trend anyway, didya know that? There's nothing wrong with double negatives themselves, people just use them incorrectly. For example, "I didn't do nothing wrong!". That's incorrect and is saying that you did do something wrong. Perhaps this is why double negatives are generally considered incorrect now, but they're not.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 09:06 AM
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Aye I tend to agree, if a double negative gets the point across the the speaker intended, I see no problem.

Only when they use it, like in your example and actually say the opposite of what they mean.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 09:14 AM
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I'm sure I make plenty of mistakes in grammar while speaking, and I know my writing isn't always best. One thing that really bugs me is when people end their sentance with "at". Like, "Where are you at?" or "Where is your house at?". Ahhhh!

[edit on 18-1-2009 by plainview]



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by MichJJC

The word patronize has three entirely different meanings with two equally different pronunciations but is spelled the same way. It is one of few words in the English language that is obviously more complicated than the average word.

Dictionary.com defines patronize as:
1. to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one's regular patronage; trade with.
2. to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward: a professor who patronizes his students.
3. to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.

In the 1st and 3rd definitions the vowel "A" is sharp like in the words tape, ate, snake or bake. In the 2nd definition the vowel "A" is subtle as in words like pat, fat, rat or cat. Okay people, pretend you got an education with that college degree and learn how to speak.


Thanks, I didn't realise that "patronise" had different pronunciations based on it's meaning. I've always used the sharp "A" for all three, but I'll be sure to watch that in the future.

My top 2 pet peeves...

1) The American spell checker when posting on this site that indicates "realise" and "colour" as spelling mistakes...as if the English don't know anything about their own language.

2) People who say "my believes" instead of "my beliefs"



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by StevenDye
But thats puts me on a serious point, just because people pronounce the words a different way doesn't make them wrong.

Z can be pronpounced zed or zee depending on where you come from...

It's not neccesarily wrong...just different to the way YOU might say it.


This a different situation from what I pointed out. Of the two hundred plus languages and thousands of dialects there are going to be an obvious difference in word and cultural accents to their own languages. Pronunciation of words within that dialect of that specific language should be an absolute. After all, what is language but a code we can all understand? As far as the letter "z, zee or zed" they are all ligitimate words to be used in any language.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by MichJJC
 


If they should be absolute why is tomato be said in two different ways? It is uncommon for a word to have two different meaning depending on how it is pronounced.

The way we all speak should not have to change for a few words, we are great at putting things into perspective. If sombedy used the wrong pronunciation of patronise in a sentense, I would still know which meaning they inteded to use.

Changing to have an absolute meaning would change everybodies lives... and effectively some peoples language all together, ie America....and often even simply different parts of a country.

America and Britain both use the language English, yet speak it entirely diffrent...chips is crips...fries are chips....pants are trousers.

[edit on 18-1-2009 by StevenDye]



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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Originally posted by the siren

My top 2 pet peeves...

1) The American spell checker when posting on this site that indicates "realise" and "colour" as spelling mistakes...as if the English don't know anything about their own language.

2) People who say "my believes" instead of "my beliefs"


These are very important. Good post siren.

There is a way around this though. Each IBM compatible computer with a MS OS has the ability to change the language settings for Word, Excel and other programs. You can adjust them to British English or even other versions of english from India, Canada, Austraila and more. MAC has a similar capability as does Linix and Unix. As for the one for the site goes, I can't help you. I didn't even know the site had a spell check.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by MichJJC

There is a way around this though. Each IBM compatible computer with a MS OS has the ability to change the language settings for Word, Excel and other programs. You can adjust them to British English or even other versions of english from India, Canada, Austraila and more. MAC has a similar capability as does Linix and Unix. As for the one for the site goes, I can't help you. I didn't even know the site had a spell check.


Yes, I'm aware of the ability to change the default language in MS environments.

The one on this site is not so much a "spell check" (wrong choice of words), as a "spelling mistake indicator". While you are typing, if you spell something wrong it should underline the word in red (just like in MS Word)...Maybe you've never noticed because you always spell correctly, but I'm always in a bit of a hurry...and I spell the British way so often the red underlines are glaring at me.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by StevenDye
reply to post by MichJJC
 


If they should be absolute why is tomato be said in two different ways? It is uncommon for a word to have two different meaning depending on how it is pronounced.



The pronunciation of tomato depends on dialect alone. Were you born in the North or South? Perhaps you lived it one town over another. Changing the pronunciation of the word doesn't change its meaning. A tomato is a fruit that most people believe is a vegitable. However, changing how you say patronize changes its meaning and used incorrectly in a sentence will distract a listener from the message path.



The way we all speak should not have to change for a few words, we are great at putting things into perspective. If sombedy used the wrong pronunciation of patronise in a sentense, I would still know which meaning they inteded to use.

Changing to have an absolute meaning would change everybodies lives... and effectively some peoples language all together, ie America....and often even simply different parts of a country.


Would it be so bad to change our lives? Modern society is all about change. For thousands of years we were content with the wheel the way it was and technology was... well you get the idea. Now we go into space and use magical machines never before used in history. Our language changes with us as new words are added to the dictionary each year. We chose to complicate our lives and language; we can't backtrack now by saying 'close enough'. It is the specifics of our dialects which allow us to communicate more quickly and definitively; and it is the gray area of language which leads nations to chaos and ruin (ie. Americans engage in lawsuits and devorces each year where the cause of many of the problems are the symantics of language being miss-understood or miss-communicated altogether.)



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:42 PM
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Perhaps spell check is a feature I would get if I donated $$$. I just tested it by deliberately miss spelling words but nothing happened. Oh well!! Thanks for the compliment siren. I was always horrible at spelling in school but I never gave up to be better at it.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 03:58 PM
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But why go throught the effort of effectively changing an entire countires language?

The tomato example was just used to show how its just the way people speak.



If i speak to an American i know when he writes color, it is his correct spelling and when he says chips I know he means crisps. It works....changing it so that everyone says chips will have little difference. It would be a waste of time, money and affect peoples English results, as suddenly chanign a bunch of words...you are likely to forget some.


Other simply wont want to...I'm stubborn....I will not change colour to color...no matter what....I like my language and don't intend to change it to make some people happy so they don't need to remember the difference between our two countries.



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by StevenDye

Other simply wont want to...I'm stubborn....I will not change colour to color...no matter what....I like my language and don't intend to change it to make some people happy so they don't need to remember the difference between our two countries.


So you are from the UK. I get that. I'm not suggesting any one country change their language to suit another country's idea of what your country's language should be like. I would be a prejudice fool to think anyone would even consider doing that but let me ask you a question. Is there anyone in your family, group of friends or local news station who speaks the way you do (language and dialect) but messes up the proper way to say certain words or miss quotes certain clichic phrases?



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 07:26 AM
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Yes...we all make mistakes and pick up bad habits...including myself.

Even if we know perfectly wee we are saying somethig wrong; my current greeting on MSN for example would be:

Gday
How be you?

How be you, it doesn't make sense technically, and I know that...but I still say it, and everyone knows what I mean, and often reply with the same phrase. It actually spreads..I sometimes now get people asking me like this before I ask them... within a few months everyone will do it, and then I'll change to something else and start again... just adds a bit of fun to something otherwise quite mundane.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by plainview
I'm sure I make plenty of mistakes in grammar while speaking, and I know my writing isn't always best. One thing that really bugs me is when people end their sentance with "at". Like, "Where are you at?" or "Where is your house at?". Ahhhh!

[edit on 18-1-2009 by plainview]


The rule against ending sentences with a preposition was created by some monk in the late 1500s. It was a single person with your same pet peeve. Somehow it ended up as a "rule", probably because other anal retentive types.

See where I'm coming from?



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by sir_chancealot
 

I never thought it was ever a real rule. It just happens to be something that bugs me, is all.



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 09:07 AM
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The general attention span and level of caring is pretty low in society.
But thats an advantage for those who do care to learn the details and intricacies of things - they will advance compared to the disinterested, timid and apathetic.

________________________________________________

What annoys me is when someone otherwise well-spoken says "I could of..." instead of "I could have".



posted on Jan, 19 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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language is nothing more than a process by which we vocally communicate the impression of our abstract thoughts. written language is a process of abstractly representing these vocalisations and is thus a double abstraction. given the complexity of the process of written abstraction to vocal abstraction to idea, anything that conveys this impression adequately to the listener or reader is an acceptable use of language, in my opinion.

while it is probably preferable to be concise, the reality is that most english speakers don't have the vocabulary to express themselves concisely and rely on inferred meaning. this is generally adequate, given that english is designed to be, and has evolved to be, a form of face to face communication, where non verbal and semi-verbal cues can be used to fill in the gaps.

let me give you an example, and correct the OP slightly.

"to patronise" means either to pay for the services of another on a semi-regular basis (this is regardless of the service provided, be it from an artist or a restaurant, the patron/patronised relationship is exactly the same) or to speak down to another as if you patronised them, ie. supported them financially.

the intended idea, the relationship between the parties, is the same in any case. the patroniser puts himself above the person he patronises.

i would suggest that the shortening of the "a" sound is a semi-verbal cue to suggest a negative connotation on the meaning of the word rather than a hard change on the meaning of the word, if you follow me.

so don't go mouthing off to people misusing their word's, it just ain't right. its all the one so long as you get what they're sayin', just because you don't like it doesn't make it the wrong thing.



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