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Old 6th May 2007, 19:12   #51
John from Paris
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarie View Post
Then they must be thick.
Well, that's a point of view, I suppose...
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Old 6th May 2007, 20:37   #52
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Yes, it is a point of view and I fail to see why it should be deserving of some idiotic 'smilie'. Something is either specific or it isn't.
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Old 6th May 2007, 20:48   #53
John from Paris
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

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Something is either specific or it isn't.
What on earth do you mean?
You might just as well say that something either deteriorates or it doesn't. Which doesn't stop people saying deteriate... For similar reasons to those I outlined above.

I offered an informed linguistic/phonological explanation. To say that people "must be thick" is neither explanatory nor informative - nor is it intelligent. I'm surprised at you.
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Old 6th May 2007, 20:59   #54
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

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I offered an informed linguistic/phonological explanation. To say that people "must be thick" is neither explanatory nor informative - nor is it intelligent. I'm surprised at you.
Oh well. I must just be as thick as those I've been castigating.
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Old 6th May 2007, 22:44   #55
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

I think laziness and carelessness (ie. couldn't-care-less) does come into it: 'specific' certainly isn't the easiest word to say (my mum has trouble saying it, as I recall, but she has a good go), but people manage lots of other 'sp' words.
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Old 7th May 2007, 8:50   #56
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

There are certainly some sounds that are harder to combine than others. The name ''Ng'' comes up quite often in Australia due to Vietnamese refugees of 20-odd years ago but it's still a sound that native English speakers fing almost impossible to pronounce (unless it's preceeded by a vowel, apparently, such as -ing constructions).

I was wondering if ''sp'' might be difficult to say in words that go on to have another ''s'' sound (espresso and specifically both having come up on this thread) but maybe that doesn't hold after all... no one seems to have a problem with space. Which probably does incline me towards JfP's economy of usage explanation. It is lazy, though, and I soon tire of talking to people who are indifferent about whether or not they are saying what they mean.
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Old 7th May 2007, 9:00   #57
John from Paris
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

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Which probably does incline me towards JfP's economy of usage explanation.
It's not just mine, Kimberley... it's in all the textbooks, cf. my examples above, and others: clothes > close; handbag > hambag; deteriorate > deteriate; issue [is-you] > issue [i-shoo] ('sh', though two letters, is only one sound).

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It is lazy, though, and I soon tire of talking to people who are indifferent about whether or not they are saying what they mean.
Yes, it is lazy... and irritating... but I took i-shoo with amarie because I refuse to believe that lazy people are necessarily thick. Avoiding unnecessary effort is, in some circumstances, rather smart. But not in conversational circumstances, where, I agree, one should make a ssssssspecific effort to use the language properly.
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Old 7th May 2007, 12:24   #58
Beth
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Just did a Palimpsearch and came up with zero results for 'ain't'. Horribly misused. I don't even acknowledge it as a word and only use it occasionally in play. However, I find the use of 'hain't' by some mountain people rather charming. Has 'ain't' become standard fare?

Edit: A hain't is a ghost. Isn't this derived from the Elizabethan?

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Old 7th May 2007, 13:00   #59
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
Just did a Palimpsearch and came up with zero results for 'ain't'. Horribly misused. I don't even acknowledge it as a word and only use it occasionally in play. However, I find the use of 'hain't' by some mountain people rather charming. Has 'ain't' become standard fare?
'Ain't' doesn't even find it's way into my regular speech as a slip into slang; it's really hard for me to form the word ain't as part of a sentence. Physically. Particularly after the word 'I'. Too much effort to speak incorrectly.
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Old 7th May 2007, 15:25   #60
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Default Re: Top 10 Misused Words

Ain't always seemed rather old fashiioed to me, and like Peronel, I find it hard to just say it.

In His Dark Materials, when Lyra is being indolent she says ent, and that or int, which I've used in stories, are better versions of what I might say if caught out being a wee bit lazy. But never ain't.
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