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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the real root of the problem is that schools don't stress teaching proper English the way they used to, and parents don't go around correcting their kid's grammer anymore. When I was I kid, if I asked "Can I go downstairs to play ball?", one of my parents would correct me with, "MAY I go downstairs." Even if I was sick I told my parents "I don't don't feel good. Can I stay home from school", I'd hear "You mean you don't feel WELL. MAY I stay home." That was usually followed by, "Stop faking it, and go to school!" This stuck with me so well (as opposed to "so good"), that when I used tend bar and someone asked me "Can I get an Amstel?", I'd respond "MAY I get an Amstel?"; which was usually followed by "We're out of Amstel. You want a Miller Lite?"

Bottom line: You can never mean what you say, unless you say what you mean. (Literally)

As for the Darmok Dictionary...
Gees, and I thought it was nerdy when people at Star Trek conventions were speaking conversational Klingon.

What a bunch of pataks!
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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
The question that we need to ask is this, will our children be able to understand a letter or diary written by their great grandparent? Will they be able to read the declaration of independence? Will they choose the "lovely poetry of NSYNC" because Walt Whitman, "Like, makes no sense dawg".


I don't think this is that much of a concern. Certainly, we may have trouble understanding street jargon, but the speakers of street jargon still understuand *us.* Except, of course, when we slip into our own jargons, which may have academia's stamp of approval, but are still jargon when we try to use it on the street.

Regardless, language can change considerably while still retaining its essential accessibility. Contemporary readers can still get the overall gist of Shakespeare, after all. I'd say ol' Walt's still got a few good years in him.

That said, my feelings on the evolution of language is that when a change allow for greater clarity, then that change should be embraced. But when a change diminishes clarity, it should be rejected. The old rule against split infinitives hindered clarity -- and thus has been rightfully withdrawn. On the other hand, omitting serial commas often clouds meaning, so that particular trend is a step in the wrong direction.

As to figuratively vs literally, it seems to me that any time a word can also mean its opposite, that can't help but lead to confusion, and is therefore a bad change.
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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of interesting linguistic evolutions, here's one I find fascinating -- the history and correct usage of "ain't" and "hain't."

http://www.elp-blink.com/WofW-aint.htm
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to flog horse-meat, but today I had my point about the ambiguity of "literally" proved to me in an obnoxious way when (while writing a paper about Alan Moore's Watchmen, incidentally) I was trying to discuss the relationship between sexual impotence and impotence in the sense of being without power. My natural instinct was to use "literal" to describe sexual impotence, but that wouldn't really be right, given the origin of the word. But by the same token, the other meaning is really not tangible enough to be really "literal." So I ended up having to fudge around it.
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Rip Tanion
Reinvents understanding


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connor Moran wrote:
Not to flog horse-meat, but...
Did you mean that literally, figuratively, or metaphorically? Either way, flog that horse-meat in private, will ya, you perv. And don't you think calling it "horse-meat" is bragging, just a bit?
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
think calling it "horse-meat" is bragging, just a bit?


Walked right into that one.
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Kris Lachowski
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did anyone read Garfield this sunday? Yeah I thought not. Well there's a completist masochistic part of me that forced me to read Garfield this sunday and for a second i thought that it was actually funny because the punchline was "literally", but then I realized that Jim Davis or who ever shadows him currently had no notion of the conversation going on here and when I reread it thinking from that perspective I realized that Garfield still sucks.

EDIT: Here's the strip:
http://garfield.ucomics.com/?uc_full_date=20040118
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kris Lachowski wrote:
read Garfield this sunday and for a second i thought that it was actually funny because the punchline was "literally", but then I realized that Jim Davis or who ever shadows him currently had no notion of the conversation going on here
I remember reading somewhere that OverLord Davis decreed that dialouge produced on the Garfield assembly line should be simple enough so that the humor can be easily translated into other laguages; thus increasing international revenues for the Empire of the Cat.

Kris Lachowski wrote:
I realized that Garfield still sucks.
Literally.

Finaly a statement everyone can agree on.
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Kris Lachowski
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:


Kris Lachowski wrote:
I realized that Garfield still sucks.
Literally.

Finaly a statement everyone can agree on.


I present this link as evidence that Rip is right about garfield literally sucking. (First Panel)
http://garfield.ucomics.com/index.html?uc_comic=ga&uc_full_date=20030202

Of course he is a comic character so it might not be possible for him to literally suck. Except maybe in a literary sense. Does that make sense?
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icepick
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
I remember reading somewhere that OverLord Davis decreed that dialouge produced on the Garfield assembly line should be simple enough so that the humor can be easily translated into other laguages; thus increasing international revenues for the Empire of the Cat.


You're right about other languages, I read Garfield in Spanish everyday, the words are about at a 5th grade level, which makes it about my level of Spanish. I think it's a little funnier.

So, is all the Garfield slamming because you guys are comic gourmets(snobs?)?
We all like a big mac now, or my personal favorite...white castles.....Garfield is just that.

But the funniest cartoon ever about a cat is Get Fuzzy! hands down!
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
So, is all the Garfield slamming because you guys are comic gourmets(snobs?)?

Probably. It could also be that Garfield has lost the charm, wit, style and (yes, it's true) artistry that made it special in its first few years, back when it was truly a worthwhile comic.

icepick wrote:
We all like a big mac now, or my personal favorite...white castles.....Garfield is just that.

I haven't eaten a Big Mac in... gosh... maybe 6 or 7 years?

icepick wrote:
But the funniest cartoon ever about a cat is Get Fuzzy! hands down!

Get Fuzzy is a current favorite of mine. I particularly enjoyed the strips earlier this year where Bucky was reading the Garfield book and noticing how they paralleled his life. Only time will tell if Fuzzy maintains its quality and becomes one of the greats or is merely a flash in the pan.
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Connor Moran
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you have to be a comic gourmet or snob to realize that Garfield is really really not funny. I don't think I've heard anybody praise Garfield in a very very long time. Most people don't neccessarily require everything to be Shakespeare, but it doesn't take a member of the literary inteligencia to realize that years and years of the same non-jokes doesn't count as funny.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
white castles.....Garfield is just that.
So Garfield taints your bodily functions with the odor of onions for the next three days?

icepick wrote:
But the funniest cartoon ever about a cat is Get Fuzzy! hands down!
Funniest comic strip about a cat owned by an overweight, drugged-out hippie: Fat Freddy's Cat
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icepick
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
So Garfield taints your bodily functions with the odor of onions for the next three days?


Speak not ill of the holy creation!!....its a taste that stays with me for 3 or for days(less if I get the trots).

Rip Tanion wrote:
Funniest comic strip about a cat owned by an overweight, drugged-out hippie: Fat Freddy's Cat


Checked it out, must be funnier with those special cigarettes.....
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
[White Castle]....its a taste that stays with me for 3 or for days(less if I get the trots).
They had a slogan, years ago, The Taste Some People Can't Live Without. We call 'em Belly Bombers or Murder Burgers.

[url=http://go.vicinity.com/whitecastle/mapPrx.d?E=sL-W4fj1NqL-fXczSlRwai_bruOU05znsnAeptRf767maUqODUXzddxyg*6A5ucuulTxhNHNfmLi7Pj75XwR7XSp6A4qePuVUvLxc8XPp_PXSp7oddKnnqT3XGHXSp56k910B10oJkckDrpSEyh10pXCXTcOulM_dPA3j83wucU3-XTeJznHXTyLcfTjrpiroHXHsoYT3jIpix3jIphh3jIpkBvH5vhc4pv9S8vFzeMimdDFZW8ZMMBisreMmEn8uDePzfC5xTf94yW-V_gN4ubxkvpPId4k4D1NsfffSL65So4N9RfX0jKjK]Here's[/url] where I have my Zwol No-Prizes sent.

icepick wrote:
Checked it out, must be funnier with those special cigarettes.....
Yeah, well that gallery only had invidual panels. I coudln't find any actualy whole strips on the web.
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Cyborg Caveman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icepick wrote:
Rip Tanion wrote:
Funniest comic strip about a cat owned by an overweight, drugged-out hippie: Fat Freddy's Cat


Checked it out, must be funnier with those special cigarettes.....


Blasphemy! Fat Freddy's Cat is hysterical. Although between FFC and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers I've always preferred the Freak Bros. Wonder Warthog ain't bad either (I'm guessing that wasn't the proper use of ain't since I didn't bother to follow the link above). I strongly recommend both Fat Freddy's Cat and the Freak Bros. to everyone wether or not they smoke 'special' cigarettes. What's sad is not all the special cigarettes in the world could help Garfield.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Cyborg, go out and score us a lid...and try not get burned this time.
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Inverurie Jones
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote=" the ambiguity of "literally" quote]

Now, around my neck of the woods, using 'literally' when you don't mean it gets you funny looks. To say, to pinch an example, that you were 'literally torn apart' would get a sly laugh and earn you a good half hour of mockery. In some places, it seems, 'literally' still means what it is meant to.

To continue with the Star Trek bit, incidentally, I found that episode unusually touching. I'm not sure why.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that's what the old folks from the home like to call a "necro-post." Figuratively digging up the dead. I had no idea what "Trek" episode you were talking about, since I couldn't find the word Trek on the page at all. What does Star Trek have to do with a bunch of people pointing out how terrible a comic Garfield has become?

Then I noticed there was a page one to this topic...

Anyway. There is one sure fire way to make Garfield good again and that's to let Jack Masters have a go at it. So much better that way, do you think? A far less literal approach.
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Ray Radlein
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole foofaraw about "literally" and "figuratively" brings to mind one of the many "Radlein's Law"s I've coined in my time in a cheap bid for fame:

Eventually, all adjectives will be used to mean "good" or "bad" (including "good" and "bad" themselves), and all adverbs will be used to mean "very" (including "very" itself, which originally simply meant "truly").

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Tim Tylor
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray Radlein wrote:
The whole foofaraw about "literally" and "figuratively" brings to mind one of the many "Radlein's Law"s I've coined in my time in a cheap bid for fame:

Eventually, all adjectives will be used to mean "good" or "bad" (including "good" and "bad" themselves), and all adverbs will be used to mean "very" (including "very" itself, which originally simply meant "truly").


Cosmological, Ray! That is stochastically purple!
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Ray Radlein
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim Tylor wrote:
Ray Radlein wrote:
The whole foofaraw about "literally" and "figuratively" brings to mind one of the many "Radlein's Law"s I've coined in my time in a cheap bid for fame:

Eventually, all adjectives will be used to mean "good" or "bad" (including "good" and "bad" themselves), and all adverbs will be used to mean "very" (including "very" itself, which originally simply meant "truly").


Cosmological, Ray! That is stochastically purple!


And here I thought it was wicked, fat, and dope (I had thought about excepting adjectives that described physical characteristics such as color, but, frankly, there are plenty of examples of even those sort of adjectives being co-opted)
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