Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 554995 times)

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Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #640 on: May 29, 2009, 08:08:19 AM »
I always hear "spiffy", but one person I know says "spiffing".

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #641 on: May 29, 2009, 08:09:44 AM »
I always hear "spiffy", but one person I know says "spiffing".

I've never heard the latter.

But, I don't run with the pack, either . . . .

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #642 on: May 29, 2009, 10:44:10 AM »
My sources indicate "spiffing" as an adjective is something found in England.  Americans say "spiffy" and so that must be right, since we bailed the British out of two wars!   $:)

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #643 on: May 29, 2009, 10:44:50 AM »
My sources indicate "spiffing" as an adjective is something found in England.  Americans say "spiffy" and so that must be right, since we bailed the British out of two wars!   $:)



Thanks, teach.

Offline Lethevich

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Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #645 on: May 29, 2009, 12:51:18 PM »
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline knight66

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #646 on: May 30, 2009, 01:21:57 AM »
'Spiffing' is indeed English, but not contemporary, probably not used colloquially since just after the second of those two wars you kindly bailed us out of. Mind you, we did much to give you the gift of life; so it is still only a partial return on he outlay.

Mike
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Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #647 on: May 30, 2009, 03:51:14 AM »
Dat's a spiffing good spliff, mon!

"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Jay F

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #648 on: May 30, 2009, 09:57:24 AM »
What do we need "bemuse" or "bemused" for? Aren't "amuse" and "amused" sufficient?

I just read this sentence on another forum: "I still have one that never fails to bemuse me." I thought "amuse" would have worked better. Then I decided I didn't know why we have "bemuse" at all.

Anyone?

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #649 on: May 30, 2009, 10:06:12 AM »
Bemused implies an additional puzzlement (I have always felt, in its instances of usage, anyway).
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Opus106

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #650 on: May 30, 2009, 10:08:50 AM »
I just read this sentence on another forum: "I still have one that never fails to bemuse me."

This amusing use of the word bemuses me.
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #651 on: May 30, 2009, 12:50:34 PM »
Bemused implies an additional puzzlement (I have always felt, in its instances of usage, anyway).
Yep.  Bemused = bewildered, amused = entertained.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

greg

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #652 on: May 31, 2009, 06:19:03 PM »
Well, not a long time ago, just last year!

The team behind the series has a new show coming out called "The Goode Family" which will apparently satirize politically correct radical enviro/vegan types.   8)
I saw the previews. At first, I thought it was seriously politically correct, and not a satire, but not that you say it is, I'm relieved.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #653 on: June 05, 2009, 08:28:58 AM »
Have we already run from whence they came through the gauntlet?

Is it genuinely as bad a redundancy as I feel it to be?  0:)

There seems to be a colloquial resonance to it, and I ran into it today in a column discussing the current "mashup mode" of news reportage here in the States:

Quote from: Howard Kurtz
There have always been serious news outlets and those that traffic in entertainment and gossip. The difference now is that so many are in mashup mode, sprinkling their nutritious fare with gooey treats, lest readers and viewers change the channel or click away in search of sweeter stuff.

In that context, I'm happy to yield Kurtz some grammatical leeway.

I couldn't possibly use it myself, however  8)

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble: When is a Stamp a "Meter" ???
« Reply #654 on: June 06, 2009, 03:49:51 AM »
Have we already run from whence they came through the gauntlet?

Is it genuinely as bad a redundancy as I feel it to be?  0:)


Yes, it is a bad redundancy, and the fight against adding "from" goes back several hundred years.  "Whence" already has "from" in its meaning (parallel with "woher" in German).

Word Grumble, courtesy of the United States Post Office:

This morning I went to the "Automated Teller Machine" at the Post Office to mail an envelope: 13.6 ounces.  The machine says: "Do you just want to buy the stamp?" or do I want any other additional services?  I push the button that says "Just Buy the Stamp."  Out comes a stamp with the exact price on it.

I then get a warning that because the envelope is 13.6 ounces, it breaks the "13 ounce Rule," which means that I have to hand deliver it to an employee at the counter!  I hate dealing with employees at the counter, which is why I went in at 7:00 A.M. to by-pass such an ordeal!

So I went back after the counter opened, handed the clerk the envelope, and said with a sigh: "This breaks the 13 ounce rule by .6!"

Clerk: "Oh, you can just drop it in the slot because it's not stamped."

I: "Yes, it is stamped.  I bought it at the machine."

Clerk: "That's not a stamp.  That's a meter." (Sic!)  ???

I (just slightly, but politely, annoyed): "But the machine called it a stamp!"

Clerk: "Yeah, I don't know why they do that.  But that's a meter.  If you put a real stamp on it, then you gotta give it to me.  But yeah, that's a meter, not a stamp." 

I stomped out...   :o

...and wondered again about the semiotics of civilizational collapse!  Of course, there is the whole nonsensical notion that if I really am an evil terrorist mailing an envelope smeared with plastic explosives or cyanide or something really lethal, like CheezWhiz, that I am so stupid that I will use over 13 ounces of the stuff, rather than 12.9!

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Jay F

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #655 on: June 06, 2009, 04:42:19 AM »
2009's Internet Induced Phrase of the Year, "epic fail," an epic failure, linguistically speaking. I'm sorry, but verb does not noun.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=epic%20fail

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #656 on: June 06, 2009, 05:15:38 AM »
The many and diverse contemporary uses of 'fail' are the shizzle, my nizzle! 0:)
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #657 on: June 06, 2009, 08:23:09 AM »
2009's Internet Induced Phrase of the Year, "epic fail," an epic failure, linguistically speaking. I'm sorry, but verb does not noun.
Some verbs do.  Stamp.  Smile.  Laugh.  Play.

"Epic" used in almost any context save the discussion of literature, especially when used other than as a noun, strongly suggests that the speaker/writer is less than fully conscious and probably an adolescent male who's played more than a few video games too many.

Yes, I know that's a prejudice.  We all have prejudices, formed without conscious intent.  The challenge is to recognize them and not let them determine our judgments about persons or even classes of persons.  Now I ask you:  is there anyone who uses "epic" in that way who does not fit that description?  ;)
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #658 on: June 08, 2009, 09:19:58 AM »
Every now and then, one company will buy up all the ad boards at the Park St 'T' stop. 9 times out of 10, that of itself is rather a nuisance of saturation.  On top of that, though, the current boards are missing apostrophes, entirely (where two or three are necessary).

Not my business, they ain't gettin'.

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #659 on: June 08, 2009, 09:20:54 AM »
Every now and then, one company will buy up all the ad boards at the Park St 'T' stop. 9 times out of 10, that of itself is rather a nuisance of saturation.  On top of that, though, the current boards are missing apostrophes, entirely (where two or three are necessary).

Not my business, they ain't gettin'.

Apostrophes are sooo 20th Century...