Unwoody Words

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Hermit
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Unwoody Words

Post by Hermit » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:18 pm

'Word aversion' is not a topic that has exercised my mind a lot. A few hours ago it came to my attention via one of those tabloid press type Facebook videos. Based on that, I thought "rubbish" (I quite like that word), and decided to do some digging.

It turns out that Paul Thibodeau, a cognitive psychologist at Oberlin College, Ohio, USA analysed why 'moist' is what one pulp magazine called the most cringeworthy word in American English. PLOS published the resulting study about a year ago. After conducting five separate experiments, some of which were no more than questionnaires, the author concluded that aversion to the word 'moist' originates in its connotation with bodily functions (other than sex) rather than its actual sound.

I think I could have told him that without having to spend hundred of hours studying the issue. Also, Monte Python's treatment of word aversionis much more entertaining even though it's totally barking up the wrong tree.

The word I feel the greatest aversion for is 'work'. I bet everyone can figure out the reason for that. Safe to say my aversion has nothing to do with its sound, bodily functions and certainly not sex. What is your least favourite word?

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subsymbolic
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Post by subsymbolic » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:43 pm

Horrid.

I fucking hate it. Anyone who says it without irony can fuck off.

Oh and amygdaline or any variations. It's fucking walnut shaped you pretentious asses.

Hmmm. Appears I needed to vent.

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Tubby
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Post by Tubby » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:34 pm

Hot water heater. Redundant. I make a point of just saying "water heater."

Orientate. I grew up using "orient" as noun and verb, and it seems clumsy to me when someone tacks on the -ate to form the verb.

Vase when pronounced with a short "a" sounds snobbish. (But I'll forgive Robin's Aunt Harriet Cooper for saying it that way on the 'Batman' TV series.)

There were certain words associated with early Hollywood. John Lennon ridiculed entertainers such as Judy Garland who clung to them in the 1960s. Simply maaahhvelous.
Last edited by Tubby on Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: long --> short (I had mixed up the meanings)

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:53 pm

[quote=""Tubby""]Hot water heater. Redundant. I make a point of just saying "water heater."

Orientate. I grew up using "orient" as noun and verb, and it seems clumsy to me when someone tacks on the -ate to form the verb.

Vase when pronounced with a long "a" sounds snobbish. (But I'll forgive Robin's Aunt Harriet Cooper for saying it that way on the 'Batman' TV series.)

There were certain words associated with early Hollywood. John Lennon ridiculed entertainers such as Judy Garland who clung to them in the 1960s. Simply maaahhvelous.[/quote]

As far as I am concerned, long "a" is the only correct pronunciation for "vase", but it may depend on nationality. I hate the way some Americans pronounce "route" as if it were "rout", but I suppose they don't know it's a loan word from French.

I agree about orient/orientate. I think the latter is probably a back-formation from "orientation".

I dislike the modern usage of "respect". It's something demanded by many religious believers for their cults. It's also something demanded by thugs who do nothing to earn it.

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:55 pm

"Vase" sounds snobbish when it's pronounced like "vahz."

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Post by Hermit » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:17 pm

[quote=""MattShizzle""]"Vase" sounds snobbish when it's pronounced like "vahz."[/quote]
Unamerican. To call it snobbish reveals the breathtakingly (skip over the next word, Sub) horrid combination of ignorance and arrogance.


I think the author of the above-mentioned study had in mind to study aversion to words that are grammatically incorrect or otherwise nonsensical. Such abuse is just too prevalent to fit into one single study.

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Tubby
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Post by Tubby » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:50 pm

[quote=""MattShizzle""]"Vase" sounds snobbish when it's pronounced like "vahz."[/quote]

Yes. I meant it that way, but may have goofed when describing the sound. I edited my post above.
Last edited by Tubby on Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Koyaanisqatsi
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:09 pm

Onomatopoeia. Considering its definition, it should at least be spelled ahnomahdahpaya.
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Post by Hermit » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:35 am

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]Onomatopoeia. Considering its definition, it should at least be spelled ahnomahdahpaya.[/quote]
:D

Considering it's a Greek word I'd be more inclined to comment on the peculiarities of English pronunciation in general and its degenerative North American variants in particular.

Image

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:28 pm

I hate always having to decide between pronouncing things correctly or sounding snobbish/effete. Happens a lot in my profession of course; there'll be a word in another language that has a correct pronunciation in that tongue, a "correct" pronunciation in English, and an "incorrect" pronunciation in English. The names of most Greek people/gods/concepts for instance. Or, well, anything from tonal dominant languages. Do you break up the cadence of English and probably get it wrong anyhow, or say the wrong word altogether and hope that there are no Hmong students in this term?

But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently, especially if they are correcting me to the more "high class" but still incorrect Anglicization, as often happens. (And no, you Brits are no better or worse about this than we; source: eight years of listening to BBC news reports struggling to pronounce our President's name even sort of correctly)
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Post by Jobar » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:46 pm

Least favorite word. Hmmm, that's a bit of a poser.

I suppose right now it's 'perfect', because my current ladyfriend uses it to describe anything that's going to suit her! But it isn't so bothersome that I've asked her to stop it.

I can't really think of any words that bug me due to their sound, or even their illogical or difficult spelling.

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:17 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]I hate always having to decide between pronouncing things correctly or sounding snobbish/effete. Happens a lot in my profession of course; there'll be a word in another language that has a correct pronunciation in that tongue, a "correct" pronunciation in English, and an "incorrect" pronunciation in English. The names of most Greek people/gods/concepts for instance. Or, well, anything from tonal dominant languages. Do you break up the cadence of English and probably get it wrong anyhow, or say the wrong word altogether and hope that there are no Hmong students in this term?

But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently, especially if they are correcting me to the more "high class" but still incorrect Anglicization, as often happens. (And no, you Brits are no better or worse about this than we; source: eight years of listening to BBC news reports struggling to pronounce our President's name even sort of correctly)[/quote]

This is all too problematic in America, as we continue to just ignore proper pronunciation without rhyme or reason especially in regard to someone's name. THEY would know how it's pronounced after all. Take Vincent Van Gogh's name for a prominent example. Or poor old Martin Scorsese. Or the bizarre insistence that Porsche is pronounced "PORSH" instead of "Por-SHUH."

Weirdness.
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Post by Tubby » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:20 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently[/quote]

The old FRDB/IIDB had an interesting thread a dozen years ago on the topic of "that time you knew better than your classroom teacher did." One of the posts I contributed to that thread told about the time my college freshman English teacher had us read out loud from the textbook (sounds more like an elementary school thing, I know), and when the passage I read had a Latin phrase in it, she repeated the phrase back in her pronunciation, as though this silly freshman had messed it up. But I had pronounced it precisely as I had been taught in Latin class back in high school. My high school Latin teacher said he was teaching us to pronounce the words the way scholars figured they were pronounced in the so-called Golden Age of Rome. One of the members at the old board figured my college English teacher grew up hearing Catholic mass, which evidently doesn't aim for Golden-Age pronunciation.

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Post by Jobar » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:42 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]Or the bizarre insistence that Porsche is pronounced "PORSH" instead of "Por-SHUH."

Weirdness.[/quote]

Blame Janice Joplin. ;)

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subsymbolic
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Post by subsymbolic » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:59 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]
Politesse;667464 wrote:I hate always having to decide between pronouncing things correctly or sounding snobbish/effete. Happens a lot in my profession of course; there'll be a word in another language that has a correct pronunciation in that tongue, a "correct" pronunciation in English, and an "incorrect" pronunciation in English. The names of most Greek people/gods/concepts for instance. Or, well, anything from tonal dominant languages. Do you break up the cadence of English and probably get it wrong anyhow, or say the wrong word altogether and hope that there are no Hmong students in this term?

But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently, especially if they are correcting me to the more "high class" but still incorrect Anglicization, as often happens. (And no, you Brits are no better or worse about this than we; source: eight years of listening to BBC news reports struggling to pronounce our President's name even sort of correctly)
This is all too problematic in America, as we continue to just ignore proper pronunciation without rhyme or reason especially in regard to someone's name. THEY would know how it's pronounced after all. Take Vincent Van Gogh's name for a prominent example. Or poor old Martin Scorsese. Or the bizarre insistence that Porsche is pronounced "PORSH" instead of "Por-SHUH."

Weirdness.[/QUOTE]

I have pronounced it 'porch' ever since an old girlfriend had one. At the time it was an affectionate joke, but it seems to have become a mild troll quite naturally. The old 924 races in the same 'pile of shit with delusions of sportiness' category as my Midas so it can be an amusing bit of track day banter.

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Post by Politesse » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:02 pm

[quote=""Tubby""]
Politesse;667464 wrote:But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently
The old FRDB/IIDB had an interesting thread a dozen years ago on the topic of "that time you knew better than your classroom teacher did." One of the posts I contributed to that thread told about the time my college freshman English teacher had us read out loud from the textbook (sounds more like an elementary school thing, I know), and when the passage I read had a Latin phrase in it, she repeated the phrase back in her pronunciation, as though this silly freshman had messed it up. But I had pronounced it precisely as I had been taught in Latin class back in high school. My high school Latin teacher said he was teaching us to pronounce the words the way scholars figured they were pronounced in the so-called Golden Age of Rome. One of the members at the old board figured my college English teacher grew up hearing Catholic mass, which evidently doesn't aim for Golden-Age pronunciation.[/QUOTE]
Well, there's that problem too... Yes, same thing with Greek. No one really knows whether "scholarly reconstruction" of Attic pronunciations are correct or not. But I think we can all agree that until English took over the world, Aphrodite had never rhymed with "Nightie", nor Ares with "Marries".
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Post by Hermit » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:09 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]...there'll be a word in another language that has a correct pronunciation in that tongue, a "correct" pronunciation in English, and an "incorrect" pronunciation in English. The names of most Greek people/gods/concepts for instance.[/quote]
And nobody gets Latin right. Everyone resorts to church Latin instead of the pronunciation Romans of the antiquity would have used. Cicero, for instance, would have been pronounced Kickero. Cop might be able to expand on that topic.

[quote=""Politesse""]...you Brits are no better or worse about this than we; source: eight years of listening to BBC news reports struggling to pronounce our President's name even sort of correctly[/quote]
What made you an expert on how to pronounce words of the Kiswahili language? :p

[quote=""Jobar""]Least favorite word [...] 'perfect', because my current ladyfriend uses it to describe anything that's going to suit her![/quote]
My dislike of particular words also stems from their abuse or misuse. One of those is 'literally'. Much of the time people use it to denote the exact opposite of its meaning.

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:21 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]
Politesse;667464 wrote:I hate always having to decide between pronouncing things correctly or sounding snobbish/effete. Happens a lot in my profession of course; there'll be a word in another language that has a correct pronunciation in that tongue, a "correct" pronunciation in English, and an "incorrect" pronunciation in English. The names of most Greek people/gods/concepts for instance. Or, well, anything from tonal dominant languages. Do you break up the cadence of English and probably get it wrong anyhow, or say the wrong word altogether and hope that there are no Hmong students in this term?

But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently, especially if they are correcting me to the more "high class" but still incorrect Anglicization, as often happens. (And no, you Brits are no better or worse about this than we; source: eight years of listening to BBC news reports struggling to pronounce our President's name even sort of correctly)
This is all too problematic in America, as we continue to just ignore proper pronunciation without rhyme or reason especially in regard to someone's name. THEY would know how it's pronounced after all. Take Vincent Van Gogh's name for a prominent example. Or poor old Martin Scorsese. Or the bizarre insistence that Porsche is pronounced "PORSH" instead of "Por-SHUH."

Weirdness.[/QUOTE]

I don't think anyone other than a Dutch or Flemish person will get "van Gogh" correct. Americans seem to make it "van Go" and British usually say "van Goff" or "van Goχ". I only manage an approximation because of having lived in the Netherlands. Hint: the "a" in "van" isn't much like an English short "a" and the "G" at the beginning is guttural as is the "gh" at the end.

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Post by Tharmas » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:36 pm

Regional variations in pronunciation don’t bother me. I think they add character to the language. I grew up in an area and time when the black population spoke a different dialect altogether from the white population.

Anglicization (or Americanization) of foreign loan words doesn’t bother me much either, except for a couple that for some reason that I’m a bit finicky about. One is “forte,” which is actually two loan words. When pronounced “for-tay” it’s the Italian for “loud” (musical term, as in “pianoforte”), and when pronounced “fort” it’s the French for “strong.” Really it’s so common and accepted that I’ve tried to quit fighting it, but when someone says “Pronunciation is my for-tay” I still cringe a bit – I can’t help myself.

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DMB
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Post by DMB » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:44 pm

[quote=""Tubby""]
Politesse;667464 wrote:But I hate more than anything, being "corrected" by someone who would have chosen differently
The old FRDB/IIDB had an interesting thread a dozen years ago on the topic of "that time you knew better than your classroom teacher did." One of the posts I contributed to that thread told about the time my college freshman English teacher had us read out loud from the textbook (sounds more like an elementary school thing, I know), and when the passage I read had a Latin phrase in it, she repeated the phrase back in her pronunciation, as though this silly freshman had messed it up. But I had pronounced it precisely as I had been taught in Latin class back in high school. My high school Latin teacher said he was teaching us to pronounce the words the way scholars figured they were pronounced in the so-called Golden Age of Rome. One of the members at the old board figured my college English teacher grew up hearing Catholic mass, which evidently doesn't aim for Golden-Age pronunciation.[/QUOTE]

Back in 19th-century England and no doubt much earlier, there was an accepted pronunciation of Latin more or less as though it were English. This was at a time when "grammar" meant "Latin grammar" and everyone at a good school had to know more Latin than they did English, so that by the time they left school they could not only translate but could compose Latin and Greek prose and poetry. It's from that period that we got the normal pronunciation of names like "Julius Caesar" and "Plato" (plate-o).

But of course children in other countries learnt to pronounce them in their own languages. So, for example, French people talk about "Jules César" (roughly "zhool sezar"). Church Latin is roughly Italian.

By the time I started learning Latin at an English school, most of us were being taught a supposed authentic pronunciation where we said "yoolius kyzer" etc.

Then after leaving school I went as an undergraduate to Oxford, where at that time a knowledge of Latin was obligatory for any subject, including sciences. We were then taken through the required pronunciation, which was like 19th-century English. That is still the standard used in the university ceremonies.

A few years ago I went to the degree ceremonies at which two of my children received degrees. I was secretly amused by the fact that the majority of the stuff was in the 19th-century pronunciation but a great deal was said by a Polish proctor who had a totally different pronunciation. I don't know how many people even noticed. Nowadays, most of them won't have learnt Latin. The college deans who had to make little speeches introducing their degree candidates were mostly reading their bits from papers held inside their academic caps, which they held in their hands.

When they give people honorary degrees, the oration is in Latin. A proctor told me that they then give a copy to the honorand that also includes an English translation "for any of your friends who don't have Latin".

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Post by MattShizzle » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:55 pm

By the time I was in HS Latin wasn't even offered. I believe this was the case in most schools in the area. Not even sure if it was at the University I went to. In HS I went to a very small school, so the only foreign languages offered were Spanish and German. We only got German exchange students until my Senior year when there was a Japanese girl. They've since expanded languages - I read a few years back they had a teacher from China come for a few years to teach Mandarin.

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Post by Politesse » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:14 pm

[quote=""MattShizzle""]By the time I was in HS Latin wasn't even offered. I believe this was the case in most schools in the area. Not even sure if it was at the University I went to. In HS I went to a very small school, so the only foreign languages offered were Spanish and German. We only got German exchange students until my Senior year when there was a Japanese girl. They've since expanded languages - I read a few years back they had a teacher from China come for a few years to teach Mandarin.[/quote]

A standard public education in the United States ceased to include Greek or Latin from early in the century; there was a concern that concentrating on them would result in less resources for teaching English itself, which the students presumably needed more. The same basic excuse, really, that has been used to axe just about everything except for Math and English in elementary education during the decades that ensued.
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Post by Tubby » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:36 pm

On only two occasions I can think of, I heard "Aristotelian" pronounced-- though I've read it in print numerous times. Both of the speakers made it sound like "uh RISTA tillion." How standard is that?

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Post by Old Woman in Purple » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:11 pm

[quote=""Tubby""]On only two occasions I can think of, I heard "Aristotelian" pronounced-- though I've read it in print numerous times. Both of the speakers made it sound like "uh RISTA tillion." How standard is that?[/quote]

Not knowing any better, I'd pronounce it "A-ris-toe-TELL-i-yun"... but I've never taken Latin. Am I way off?

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Post by Tubby » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:16 pm

[quote=""Old Woman in Purple""]

Not knowing any better, I'd pronounce it "A-ris-toe-TELL-i-yun"... Am I way off?[/quote]

Your way is closer to their way than how I imagined it when I had never heard anyone say it was to their way.

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