Search found 284 matches

by David Myer
Tue May 19, 2020 10:49 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Misgender
Replies: 14
Views: 864

Re: Misgender

Many thanks for the follow up on this, Dr G. I certainly accept that many words have more than one meaning or use. But I do think we should minimise the double meanings to avoid ambiguity in communication. However, I will shut up now about 'they are' being a singular. Fine. Well, not fine, but accep...
by David Myer
Mon May 18, 2020 8:04 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Misgender
Replies: 14
Views: 864

Re: Misgender

Sorry, Iain. I omitted a response to your Spivak comment. As an amateur in this field, I had not come across Spivak or the other attempts. I followed your link and all very interesting. Gratifying to think that greater and more learned minds than mine have wrestled with this problem too. Why has non...
by David Myer
Mon May 18, 2020 7:43 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Misgender
Replies: 14
Views: 864

Re: Misgender

I'm happy with 'it'. I think it is perfectly fair to say that life's too short to argue on this one. There certainly are more pressing issues for us to worry about. Indeed, semantics is probably of little consequence in the broad scheme of things. But we are all here only because semantics is intere...
by David Myer
Mon May 18, 2020 8:03 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Misgender
Replies: 14
Views: 864

Re: Misgender

Yes, bnjtokyo, there are good workarounds for most of the situations where a gender-specific pronoun would otherwise be used. But wouldn't it be nice to have a singular pronoun that covers all genders and preferences and identities - just as we do have a plural pronoun? I, me, my He, him, his She, h...
by David Myer
Mon May 18, 2020 12:38 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Misgender
Replies: 14
Views: 864

Re: Misgender

Yes Debbie, we could try to get used to it - and it is certainly now accepted by the lexical powers. But in this case, I think we should continue to rail against it. This grotesque effort in our major 'quality' newspaper the other day: A well child will not starve themselves. Yes, an appalling const...
by David Myer
Wed May 13, 2020 6:17 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Hector
Replies: 9
Views: 769

Re: Hector

Well done bnjtokyo. And nicely disproving my ridiculous statement that the word is not used in Australia! Indeed, and by coincidence, a line in today's paper included the word: .. his recipe of nostalgia, bullying and reactionary politics, all delivered in a ranting, hectoring style .. No, not refer...
by David Myer
Mon May 11, 2020 10:26 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Hector
Replies: 9
Views: 769

Re: Hector

Interesting. Heckle. In Australia and I think UK, heckle is more commonly used for mildly abusive (but often amusing) comments from the crowd in the stands at a sporting event. Sometimes, particularly in cricket, it is done by players to intimidate or get under the skin of the opposition. In Austral...
by David Myer
Mon May 11, 2020 5:30 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: scotch
Replies: 2
Views: 2233

Re: scotch

Good question, William. According to phrases.org.uk it comes from the old French escocher to cut. Presumably score in the sense of marking the surface, has the same origin? Here's the full entry: Scotch: To Scotch a rumour is to expose a rumour. Scotch here has nothing to do with Scotland, but rathe...
by David Myer
Sun May 10, 2020 8:54 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Hector
Replies: 9
Views: 769

Re: Hector

This one is a surprise. In my day in England (I don't think it is ever used here in Australia), it meant to niggle, especially verbally, to nag. Bullying is far too strong a word for what we meant when we used it. And I have never heard it used for blowing one's own trumpet or boasting. And I have n...
by David Myer
Fri May 08, 2020 6:44 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Gander
Replies: 7
Views: 599

Re: Gander

I have had a gander at the animation and I will endorse Debbie and Luke's comments. Now we have mastered the animation perhaps we can work on adding gander noises. Gobble? Squawk?

And presumably, Luke, Gander Newfoundland is a stopping off point for geese as well as aeroplanes?
by David Myer
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:06 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bellwether
Replies: 1
Views: 244

Re: Bellwether

So veterenarian comes from Latin veterenarius, a beast of burden. What have either of these got to do with old age? How do we get from vetus, old, to veterenarius, beast of burden?
by David Myer
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:55 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Earth
Replies: 2
Views: 451

Re: Earth

I have long puzzled over a possible connection between the past participle of grind and the ground upon which we stand, sometimes called earth. If the ground on which we stand is not granular in nature, is it still ground?
by David Myer
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:45 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Tumult
Replies: 1
Views: 375

Re: Tumult

So, there is a difference between a tumult and a riot. We are not surprised to hear it. But is there a difference between tumult and turmoil and are they perhaps related in origin? I do recall first coming into contact with the Latin Tumere, to swell, and being introduced to the word tumescence at a...
by David Myer
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:41 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Debris
Replies: 2
Views: 201

Re: Debris

Nice one, David. A circle is a degenerate ellipse - rather than the other way round.

And further to the Word History, with 'burst' coming from the same brisier root, we can add 'bruise' as another common English word

Debris, burst and bruise. Marvellous
by David Myer
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:10 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Wimp
Replies: 8
Views: 1838

Re: Wimp

Good suggestion Phillip. An extraordinary story, completely lacking reference to the quality of the product. I did like that it lost ground in Israel to a rival called MacDavid's. Further investigation shows that MacDonald's sued MacDavid's over the name and that the outcome was that MacDavid's stop...

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