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Old 07-17-2006, 08:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Newspeak doubleplus ungood

With apologies to George Orwell

So I was reading an article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday and I finally cracked... I could no longer ignore one of my pet peeves.

The journalist was referring to mobile mail devices (basically Blackberrys), and how they were popular for "time-poor executives"... TIME POOR?!!!

WTF is wrong with "busy"?!!!

I abhor the increasing adoption of these nonsensical phrases that bring no value whatsoever to the language. Now, I'm all for the evolution of English. I don't mind that new words are introduced, but this kind of thing is just some journalist or on-line pundit creating what they believe to be a clever pithy phrase. In fact, they are showing themselves to be pretentious and boring prats.

I hated the phrase when I first heard it on a crumby TV advert about speedy, online banking, but I chalked it up to some bullshit advertising peon trying to impress their client. Now I see it has infested one of the few quality Australian papers. Where on Earth was this man's editor?!

Other stinking, valueless phrases I have seen in common usage lately are:

cognitive dissonance
Yes, I know it's a semi-formal psychological term, coined about UFO freaks no less. But what's wrong with "contradictory" or "counterintuitive"?

neocon
What's wrong with Fascist?! (joke! joke!)


What are you "favourites"?



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Old 07-17-2006, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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anything -impaired.

Seeing-impaired.
Mobility-impaired.
Speech-impaired.

Ya. Love society.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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- "Negative" or "negitivity" are probably my favorites, because they are so often overused by celebrities. "It's tough dealing with the neegativity of the industry" always makes me giggle. You mean the industry is bad? Are you trying to sound intelligent?

- The terms "terrorism" or "terrorist" are jokes now.

A quick word for cognative dissonence: it basically means that people tend to want to fight for something they've believed in - but have gotten slack for - for a long time. I'm not sure that can be boiled down to counterintuative, but I do see your point. When buzz phrases geet overused, they tend to lose meaning.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel

A quick word for cognative dissonence: it basically means that people tend to want to fight for something they've believed in - but have gotten slack for - for a long time. I'm not sure that can be boiled down to counterintuative, but I do see your point. When buzz phrases geet overused, they tend to lose meaning.
I just find it is used by people trying to sound clever. I can guarantee most of its uses on Internet fora are by those who don't know what it really means (on philosophical or epistemological basis) and really just mean "contradictory" or "counterintuitive".


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Old 07-18-2006, 02:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halx
anything -impaired.

Seeing-impaired.
Mobility-impaired.
Speech-impaired.

Ya. Love society.
Any-thing Hy-phenated...
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I blame political correctness. Less people complain when you say what it's not instead of what it is.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's all about impactful (choke) writing. We're a form-over-function society.

Cognitive dissonance? It's William Gibsonish coolspeak. "Contradictory" and "counterintuitive" are too vanilla. They could never prompt such depth of analysis:

"In evaluating the total magnitude of dissonance one must take account of both dissonances and consonances. Let us think of the sum of all the dissonances involving some particular cognition as "D" and the sum of all the consonances as "C." Then we might think of the total magnitude of dissonance as being a function of "D" divided by "D" plus "C."" - COGNITIVE CONSEQUENCES OF FORCED COMPLIANCE, Leon Festinger & James M. Carlsmith (1959)

I agree. It's high time for a little disambiguation.

This thread calls for a new "Bullshit Bingo" board.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I bet you can trace the origins of "Time-Poor" to the more established expression: "House-Rich, Cash Poor", meaning those who've bought a more expensive house than they can afford and are stuck without any disposable income to enjoy life otherwise.

"Time Poor" sounds pretty silly, but it does imply a wealth in some other area.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Now that you mention it, "disposable income" is one that bugs me. If your income is disposable, you are making too much money.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, using it in that sense is incorrect Your disposable income is what you're able to spend on things other than necessities. If you have an entirely disposable income, then you're making too much money. I'm on near minimum pay and I have disposable income, just not much of it
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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How about "morally aligned"? News casters like to term people in the high public eye as morally aligned with the whatever they may be speaking of.. WTF? That one gets me every time.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Anything-american, ie; Italian-American, Mexican-American, Russian-American.
I'm totally all for acknowledging our backgrounds, histories, etc., but if you're born in the US, you're American. Period.
And the same people who use the -American are the same ones who bemoan being singled out for their 'ethnicity' or heritage.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If you are white person from South Africa that is now a US citizen or if a US citizen has South African heritage are you still a African American?

I've always wondered that.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample
If you are white person from South Africa that is now a US citizen or if a US citizen has South African heritage are you still a African American?

I've always wondered that.
Apparently...no
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...threadid=42531
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
Interesting thread, Bill. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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"Freedom" as currently used by the U.S. administration.

I also hate the way po-mo academics (used to be one) make up or alter words using parentheses, like (un)conscious, or hu(man)ism. It's kind of cool, but it gets annoying after a while.

It's not just the PC police who do this - in fact, the neocons are some of the most virulent perpetrators of this kind of linguistic hijacking. Check out the book Talking Right for examples.
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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"Weapons of Mass destruction" or WMDs. I have few problems with this.

First, call a spade a spade, don't sugar coat it. It a bomb.

Second, is just because the White house changes the buzz word on something doesn't mean that the media must follow. Another case, roadside bombs turned into "improvised explosive device" or IED. I never hear about roadside bombs, they are always IEDs now.

Last, why is the media using acronyms or jargon that the military uses? They have their language and we have ours. Iím sure only a small percentage of Americans that are non-vets have any idea what these reporters are talking about sometimes.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample
"Weapons of Mass destruction" or WMDs. I have few problems with this.

First, call a spade a spade, don't sugar coat it. It a bomb.
Absolutely!

Quote:
Last, why is the media using acronyms or jargon that the military uses? They have their language and we have ours. Iím sure only a small percentage of Americans that are non-vets have any idea what these reporters are talking about sometimes.
Two words. Fox News.

Apparently it's "cool" and, one must presume, patriotic to use military speak.

It kinda gives me the shits to hear a TV journalist waffle on as if he/she graduated from Sandhurst or West Point.


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Old 07-18-2006, 10:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The use of jargon, as in using military terms for things when reporting on them, has always been employed by news agencies to appear informed and official on a wide variety of topics. Pretty much any topic, really. We just notice this more because the various conflagrations around the world are more and more heavily and thoroughly covered. "In Baghdad today, a soldier sneezed- two crews were there to capture the event unfold as two other soldiers blessed him and a third offered a handkerchief." You know what I mean.

Think about for just a second. What sounds more like the reporter knows what they're talking about and is reporting something legitimate?

"In Somewhere today, a couple of pissed-off arab guys constructed a homemade bomb and buried it in the middle of a military road, which then blew up and hurt 10 soldiers."

"In Somewhere today, insurgents placed an IED- or Improvised Explosive Device- in the middle of a military vehicle route which detonated, injuring 10 soldiers."

Honetly. You can't tell me there's no difference. Using the jargon of the subject matter conveys confidence in the material and gives it more of an informed and "official" feeling.

Think of being told something by a stupid stoner teenager using massive amounts of slang, vs. being told the exact same thing by a person who speaks clearly and with eloquence. We judge the source and apply our confidence in the material's authenticity depending on that source. Using the official-sounding jargon conveys that confidence.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I actually don't disagree with you analog, but I think the Fox News network takes it just a little too far. And it's quite acceptable to say "tank" rather than M1A1 Abrahms, or "handgun" rather than M1911A1 etc. That doesn't make you sound officious. It makes you sound pretentious. Why? Because the vast majority of people don't know what an M1911A1 is, but they sure know what a handgun is.

Indeed, the whole idea of embedded journalists, stage managed scenes, "live interviews" and carefully vetted (aka censored) reporting from war-zones makes me uneasy.

Of course journalists should use the correct terminology. However, they should avoid making up their own phrases ("homicide bombers" anyone?), throwing about jargon for no value and just to satisfy the quasi-militaristic self-masturbatory desires of some of their viewers/readers. I guess you could call me old fashioned, but I think they should try to maintain at least a semblance of impartiality.

Of course, some networks are pretty open about not being impartial and I guess that's OK too. I just hate watching them.


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Old 07-18-2006, 11:36 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample
"Weapons of Mass destruction" or WMDs. I have few problems with this.

First, call a spade a spade, don't sugar coat it. It a bomb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Mephisto
Absolutely!
I agree with the bulk of what you guys are saying but accuracy is good. WMDs aren't necessarily bombs, nor the reverse.

Makes me think of EAMNs (Elevator Aromas of Mass Nausea)
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Old 07-19-2006, 05:18 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulk
Well, using it in that sense is incorrect Your disposable income is what you're able to spend on things other than necessities. If you have an entirely disposable income, then you're making too much money. I'm on near minimum pay and I have disposable income, just not much of it
I know what it means and how to use it correctly, I just don't know where this idea came that it was "disposable". I don't remember hearing that term until the 90s.

Prior to that I am sure we just had spending money, pin money or something like that... calling it disposable, seems to a ploy to spend it rather than save it.
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:37 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I was watching CNN this morning before Seven (I hate local news). They had a reporter reporting from Israel. In a three minute period he used the word normalcy three times, and when they cut to the video tape of him talking for the other part of the segment he used it again three or four times. I thought about it, and other than the news I donít think I have ever once heard a regular Joe use the word normalcy in a sentence. I donít recall ever hearing on a regular basis before war. Why does it seem like I hear it everyday now? Is there no other word in the thesaurus that could be used in place of it?
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:47 AM   #24 (permalink)
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No one in American culture is better than George Carlin at choosing and using the correct words, so I'll let him speak for me on this one.

Carlin linky

Quote:
I don't like words that hide the truth. I don't like words that conceal reality. I don't like euphemisms, or euphemistic language. And American English is loaded with euphemisms. Cause Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent the kind of a soft language to protest themselves from it, and it gets worse with every generation. For some reason, it just keeps getting worse. I'll give you an example of that. There's a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It's when a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed to it's absolute peak and maximum. Can't take anymore input. The nervous system has either (click) snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war, that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables, shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was seventy years ago. Then a whole generation went by and the second world war came along and very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn't seem to hurt as much. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock! Battle fatigue. Then we had the war in Korea, 1950. Madison avenue was riding high by that time, and the very same combat condition was called operational exhaustion. Hey, were up to eight syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase. It's totally sterile now. Operational exhaustion. Sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course, came the war in Viet Nam, which has only been over for about sixteen or seventeen years, and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding that war, I guess it's no surprise that the very same condition was called post-traumatic stress disorder. Still eight syllables, but we've added a hyphen! And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-traumatic stress disorder. I'll bet you if we'd of still been calling it shell shock, some of those Viet Nam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I'll betcha. I'll betcha.
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:16 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I coined the term "Sex-Rich" yesterday in a thread...

And I loved that George Carlin rant... I could watch it 10 time a day and still laugh at every joke.
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Old 07-24-2006, 07:14 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Cognitive dissonance is one of my favorite phrases, actually. To me, it's far more than just being contradictory. It's always meant something about fundamentalists, in my understanding of the phrase. It defines people who are aware of the truth of a situation but deny it for fear that it would cause their core beliefs to become untrue. I think this is the case for people who believe in the New Earth type ideas. They're aware of and understand evolution and the fossil record -- but they're afraid of accepting because they'd have to admit their core beliefs were wrong.

That's why I like it, at least.

I don't have any real pet peeves with language lately other than those regarding technology that are incorrectly used. Reporters saying "hacker" when it should have been "cracker," etc. The worst of the technological words is the massive number that have been INVENTED by reporters. Blogs, Podblogs, Mobblogs.. I'm with Maddox on this one.. http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=banish

Quote:
Blogging: If minds had anuses, blogging would be what your mind would do when it had to take a dump.

Blogged: What you call a trivial or largely inconsequential topic once bloggers have processed through every tired detail. For more on this, look into: every minor news story.

Blogosphere: The "blogosphere" is the new buzz word that has replaced "information super highway." It's what idiots like to call a collection of "blogs," otherwise known as a tragedy.

Blogomania: Like all other manias, except relating to the infatuation of blogs. It's one step above the more caustic phrase "blog-o-rama." Thankfully the latter hasn't caught on to the extent of its brethren, but that doesn't stop me from punching anyone who says it in the dick.

Blogroll: A long list of links that nobody will ever click on. Bloggers not only link to their friends and fellow bloggers, but their eventual goal is to link to every linkable document on the Internet. Most "blog rolls" are so full of links that it can bring even the mightiest of search engines to a crawl as they sort through all the frivolous bullshit bloggers link to.

Thankfully, since most blogs are shallow in content, it won't take you long to load, and in turn, to close the browser quickly if you're duped into clicking one of these links. If you shut down quickly enough, you may be able to avoid downloading the mandatory 2 gigs of political banners on every blogger's website.

Blogshare: An imaginary share of a blog's worth, which is ironic, since most blogs have an imaginary share of readers.

Blogstorm: A zany phrase news anchors like to use any time they think there's an abnormal amount of posts on blogs regarding any particular topic. Of course, they fail to consider any amount of posting to a blog is abnormal since people who are well adjusted usually have better things to do, i.e., work, or failing that, anything else.
Ahh, Maddox.

Maddox also had something to say about "African American" lately..

Quote:
First of all, the label "African American" is the dumbest, most persistently used phrase in our vernacular. Every time you call someone an "African American," you're making at least two assumptions about the person:

<black guy in a picture>

1. That the person is an American. For example, if you saw this guy walking along on a street, you would probably think:

picture of a black guy, didn't want to hotlink..

...which is fine, except for one small detail: this man is British, which makes you a presumptuous cock.

2. That the person is African (because it's inconceivable that black people could come from Haiti, India, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Australia, or Jamaica). Nevermind that; BLACK PEOPLE ONLY COME FROM AFRICA.
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Old 07-24-2006, 03:25 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think it unwise to hate new words just because they have no use to you.

That is more directed at the original post concerning new phrases, I'll stay out of the PC discussion.

Also, I would say this is not Orwellian at all (course you did apologize, maybe I'm reading it too literally), that has to do with making language efficient, precise, and unemotional (specifically to get rid of concepts such as freedom.) If anything it is the opposite of Orwell's newspeak since we're adding new phrases and exploring new ways to think of concepts.

I'll state the obvious; what may not have use to you, may have use to others. Specifically I can see uses for a distinction between busy and time-poor (not that I would need those distinctions personally.)

Granted, maybe (probably) it is all about inane advertising trying to sound impressive (in which case I'll join you in your hatred of advertisment and pretentious bullshit) but I disagree with the terms of your argument.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:00 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'll state the obvious; what may not have use to you, may have use to others. Specifically I can see uses for a distinction between busy and time-poor (not that I would need those distinctions personally.)
I've been scratching my head for half an hour now and I cannot see any possible situation where the distinction between 'time-poor' and 'busy' would be useful. For that matter, I can't see that there is a distinction to be found between the two words.

I think--as it pertains to the OP--the purpose of such language depends on who's speaking. I mean, sure some of it consists of pretentious pundits and such trying to turn a clever phrase and some of it is certainly politicians, doctors, lawyers and such trying to obfuscate, but I think a lot of it is just plain laziness under the guise of efficiency.
He's not unavailable, busy, on the go or occupied, he's time-poor. Not wealthy, but money-rich. Not homeless or destitute, but rather house-poor and money-deficient. English is effortless to master when you do away with all the unnecessary words. Incredibly boring, but effortless.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:04 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guthmund
I've been scratching my head for half an hour now and I cannot see any possible situation where the distinction between 'time-poor' and 'busy' would be useful..
Well...of course not. Think about it. You actually had half an hour to invest in pondering the distinction between busy and "time-poor".


Just sayin'...
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:07 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Well...of course not. Think about it. You actually had half an hour to invest in pondering the distinction between busy and "time-poor".


Just sayin'...
Well, you know...things are slow. Sorry, busy-poor. Does that make me time-rich or meaningful work-deficient?
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:18 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Hey...don't look at me. I'm in the same boat. I've aparantly got the time to hold a conversation over ridiculous new linguistic phrasology.

Actually...I've got plenty to do...I just don't wanna do it.
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:32 AM   #32 (permalink)
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The use of "path to citizenship" instead of amnesty.

The use of "revenue enhancements" instead of taxes.

Using the term pro-choice to describe those in favor of abortion. Using the term pro-life to describe those against abortion.

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Old 07-25-2006, 01:12 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guthmund
I've been scratching my head for half an hour now and I cannot see any possible situation where the distinction between 'time-poor' and 'busy' would be useful. For that matter, I can't see that there is a distinction to be found between the two words.
Busy you are already familiar with and can be used in a wide amount of situations that I'm sure you're mostly aware of so I'll focus on time-poor. When I think of time-poor a situation with a deadline comes to mind. It's not that you are too busy to complete the project (you can devote all your time to it) it is that the situation is time-poor. In other words even working on that project 24/7 you will still not have enough time to complete it by the deadline.

Note: Notice I'm only defending a distinction between busy and time-poor, and not defending the way the word may have been originally used when the OP heard it. I am all against creating words just for the purpose of confusion to hide the fact that it's really an increase in taxes, or a company going out of business, etc.
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:26 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
The use of "path to citizenship" instead of amnesty.
I'm with you there

Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
The use of "revenue enhancements" instead of taxes.
I'm with you there, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
Using the term pro-choice to describe those in favor of abortion. Using the term pro-life to describe those against abortion.
Whoop...now you lost me.
Consider...I am decidedly anti-abortion. I am, however...pro-choice. I believe in keeping the choice.
Pro-choice is not necessarily synonomous with pro-abortion.
Conversely...anti-abortion is also not necessarily synonomous with pro-life.
It's all just nice little labels that we like to stick on things so that we can pigeonhole them.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:44 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights
Whoop...now you lost me.
Consider...I am decidedly anti-abortion. I am, however...pro-choice. I believe in keeping the choice.
Pro-choice is not necessarily synonomous with pro-abortion.
Conversely...anti-abortion is also not necessarily synonomous with pro-life.
It's all just nice little labels that we like to stick on things so that we can pigeonhole them.
I guess I don't like the idea of confusing the issue with labels designed to put each position in the best light.

If someone says that they are pro-abortion or anti-abortion, you pretty much know where they stand on laws concerning this activity. The opposite of pro-choice is anti-choice and the opposite of pro-life is anti-life. Not many people consider themselves to be anti-choice or anti-life no matter where they stand on the abortion issue.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:01 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
I guess I don't like the idea of confusing the issue with labels designed to put each position in the best light.

If someone says that they are pro-abortion or anti-abortion, you pretty much know where they stand on laws concerning this activity. The opposite of pro-choice is anti-choice and the opposite of pro-life is anti-life. Not many people consider themselves to be anti-choice or anti-life no matter where they stand on the abortion issue.
While the terms are clearly confusing and often used to put each position in the best light, Bill O' Rights just demonstrated that the terms may be more than that. Saying that you are anti-abortion does not necessarily indicate where you stand on laws concerning this activity.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:11 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeraph
Busy you are already familiar with and can be used in a wide amount of situations that I'm sure you're mostly aware of so I'll focus on time-poor. When I think of time-poor a situation with a deadline comes to mind. It's not that you are too busy to complete the project (you can devote all your time to it) it is that the situation is time-poor. In other words even working on that project 24/7 you will still not have enough time to complete it by the deadline.

Note: Notice I'm only defending a distinction between busy and time-poor, and not defending the way the word may have been originally used when the OP heard it. I am all against creating words just for the purpose of confusion to hide the fact that it's really an increase in taxes, or a company going out of business, etc.
Guess I should've scratched harder, eh?

I guess the point I was trying to make, albeit poorly, was that this is one case where simple might not be better. I believe that this movement towards a 'mix n' match' language is largely the result of laziness and I think it makes us look stupid--stupid for using it and stupid for tolerating it. Language should be complex; its complexity is its beauty. I certainly understand the need for abbreviated language and jargon in particular instances, but this crap is infecting the general lexicon. It's the corporate equivilent to 'ebonics' and 'texting.'
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:32 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapiens
While the terms are clearly confusing and often used to put each position in the best light, Bill O' Rights just demonstrated that the terms may be more than that. Saying that you are anti-abortion does not necessarily indicate where you stand on laws concerning this activity.
I understand what you and BOR are saying. It is interesting that both sides of the abortion debate probably consider themselves to be both pro-choice and pro-life in general.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:40 AM   #39 (permalink)
 
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Oh, there was a time not long ago when I had a whole list of these to rattle off. Today, though, only one comes to mind... I'll try to post more when I remember them.

--It seems like every single explosion these days is "ripping through" something, and it drives me nuts. E.g. a bomb or explosion "ripped through" a building/area/bus, etc. Find another fucking expression, please. The last thing we need are cliches about people and places being destroyed.

Oh yeah, and I hate the use of the word "free" or "freedom" in any kind of political/economic context right now, too. Such utter bullshit; please stop proclaiming this word as Truth and come with me on my job in the Philly ghetto to see how "free" this country really is.

EDIT: Let me also add that I cannot STAND evangelical Christian catchphrases. Mind you, I fully inhabited that world for many years, and I used the very same lingo throughout my stay in that foreign land. Which probably causes me to be even more sensitive to and offended by its use in my immediate surroundings. You could swear up a storm and it wouldn't irritate me as much as a little pair of evangelicals having a 1-on-1 "accountability meeting" at a local coffee shop, next to my table. Shut the fuck up already and go pray in your closet like Jesus said to do.
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Last edited by abaya; 07-26-2006 at 11:46 AM..
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:10 AM   #40 (permalink)
32 flavors and then some
 
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Location: Out on a wire.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flstf
I guess I don't like the idea of confusing the issue with labels designed to put each position in the best light.

If someone says that they are pro-abortion or anti-abortion, you pretty much know where they stand on laws concerning this activity. The opposite of pro-choice is anti-choice and the opposite of pro-life is anti-life. Not many people consider themselves to be anti-choice or anti-life no matter where they stand on the abortion issue.
Good general idea, poor example. I'm both pro-choice and anti-abortion, and don't see those as being in any conflict at all. There are several things that don't think people should do, but at the same time think they should have the right to do them. I can support the right to do something and oppose doing it at the same time and be entirely consistent in that stance.

-----

To add to the main idea of th thread:

Civilian contractors: This makes it sound like carpenters building facilities, plumbers installing plumbing, electricians doing wiring, computer technicians installing networking hardware and so forth. Most of the time it means mercenary. Why not use that word? It's clear, direct, and accurate, and doesn't muddy the meaning by using terminology that many people would associate with the guys who build houses for a living.

And of course, way back when, redubbing the Department of War into the Department of Defense. Easily my all time favorite.

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