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allegator

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allegator

Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:48 am

Thought that any GWotD that alleges a connexion between mere fallible humans and a certain reptilian family, the members of which suffer from a severe overbite, should not be denied fellow Agorists....

Henri

• allegator •

Pronunciation: æ-lê-gey-dêr • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: An alleger, someone who alleges, who claims something to be true, especially to make a claim without proof.

Notes: The verb, allege, has received considerable comment in the past. Aside from the frequent misuse of its past participle, alleged (the alleged bank-robber), it's action noun is allegation, with an unexpected -at- inserted. This noun comes from a synonym of to allege, namely, to allegate. This verb rarely rises to the surface of conversation but it does exist. It has an interesting agent noun, allegator, that indicates the doer of the action. Even if it is rarer than alleger, it is certainly more amusing for its homophone.
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In Play: Hey, I'm telling the truth! Now when you are subjected to false allegations, you have a more emotionally charged word for your accusers: "Ben Downe is nothing but a cold-blooded allegator who will swallow whatever the opposition feeds him, then regurgitate it for the press on command." How's that for an image of your accuser? Around the house? Sure: "Mom, I am not picking on Billy; he is just an irresponsible allegator." Now, doesn't this Good Word cast a much more powerful beam than alleger?

Word History: Today's Good Word is a creation from Latin allegat(us), the past participle of the verb allegare "to send off; to relate, recount". The verb is made up of ad-'(up)to" + legare "to appoint, assign". So, the prefix al- is really ad- "(up) to", whose consonant assimilates to any other consonant to which it is attached (that is also it in arrest, attest, adduce). The root is that fascinating Proto-Indo-European root *leg-/log- which gave us Latin lex, legis "law" and Greek logos "speech, word, idea". (The Greek root also gave us lexicon, lexical, and Lexiteria!) The best guess as to how these two meanings crossed paths is that this root goes back to the day when a king's word was the law.

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曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:52 pm

Aside from the frequent misuse of its past participle, alleged (the alleged bank-robber),

Why misuse?

Brazilian dude
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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:37 pm

It would seem that our good Doctor is of one mind with the learned doctor on the other Agora with regard to the use of «alleged» as an adjective....

Henri
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Postby tcward » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:32 pm

The root is that fascinating Proto-Indo-European root *leg-/log- which gave us Latin lex, legis "law" and Greek logos "speech, word, idea".


And quite appropriately, too -- is there anything more wordy than a legal document?

-Tim
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Postby KatyBr » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:32 am

I have nothing to add, but I'm hoping Henri goes back to his last post and fixes the url, I hate side scrolling. Thank you!

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Postby tcward » Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:42 am

Brazilian dude wrote:
Aside from the frequent misuse of its past participle, alleged (the alleged bank-robber),

Why misuse?

Brazilian dude


Because you can find numerous uses of the word alleged when the author doesn't mean it exactly as stated. As alleged means accused, but unproved (I went back-and-forth with unproven there...):

- You can have an "alleged murderer", but not an "alleged suspect", unless you don't know if the person really is a suspect, which basically amounts to rumor-mongering rather than reporting, at that point.

- You can have an "alleged incident" only if the incident itself has not been confirmed. As "incident" is a very open-ended term, it is possible that, technically, the incident itself is not alleged, but the purpose of the incident may be.

- This is a bit of a prescriptivist attitude, but here goes... We love to string words together in English, which is fine, but the problem occurs when we want to modify the string of words with an adjective... This kind of goes back to the "collective gerund" thing BD was talking about. So we have phrases such as "pregnancy discrimination", which is vague already (...are we talking about pregnant women who discriminate, or pregnant women who are discriminated against?) that end up being modified with alleged, becoming "alleged pregnancy discrimination". This is such a confusing string of words! No wonder people have a problem understanding English; sometimes it just doesn't make sense. ;)

I'm sure there are other examples. Probably there's even a usage note on this somewhere.

-Tim
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Postby KatyBr » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:46 am

tcward wrote: becoming "alleged pregnancy discrimination". This is such a confusing string of words! No wonder people have a problem understanding English; sometimes it just doesn't make sense. ;)

I'm sure there are other examples. Probably there's even a usage note on this somewhere.

-Tim

The confusing strings of words end up on Jay Leno for all of us yto chuckle at, well the few who 'get it' can laugh. lol

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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:45 am

KatyBr wrote:I have nothing to add, but I'm hoping Henri goes back to his last post and fixes the url, I hate side scrolling...


Katy, I'd be happy to accomodate you, but in my internet naïveté, I don't quite understand what is wrong. When I click on the link, I come directly to the yourdictionary.com WotD site for the above word. And what do you mean by «side scrolling» ? Please advise !...

Henri
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