« | Home | »

Far-Gone Conclusions In A Doggy-Dog World

Topics: Editorial & Opinion | 5 CommentsBy admin | November 8, 2008

Though for all intensive purposes I’m not gamefully employed, I remain internally grateful

Some people use language like a bowl in a china shop. Although my spear of influence is small, this is something I’d like to nip in the butt. So girdle your loins, because without further adieu, and no holes barred, I’m sharing my two sense worth, a treasure cove of eggcorns. Although many of the “eggcorns” on the list seem like mere malapropisms, see this wicked pedia entry for more on why they’re not. I sometimes fall, pray (ha) to spending more time talking about language than actually using it purposefully. I routinely have to defend the word “Dissociated”, for instance; for some reason, college-educated people consistently think that there’s no such word, and chastise me for corrupting “dis-associated”. I’m also on a mission to clarify what Americans mean when they say “empathy” vs. “sympathy“. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to get it backwards! Although I spend a little too much time on this, at least I don’t sit around reading dictionaries. But I’m glad that fellow did, because that piece led me to this piece: 50 of Your Favourite Words, which led me to an un-freaking-believable word. Tmesis. Now I just need to find a word that describes phrases like post-traumatic cheesesteak syndrome.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by John Minock on 11.08.08 9:37 am

    What’s the big deal about sympathy/empathy?

    It’s like “there but for fortune go you or I” versus “shit, happened to me too.”

  2. Posted by John Minock on 11.08.08 10:00 am

    Regarding the 50 words, “kakistocracy” has recently popped up in reference to the passing of the current administration. Hey, you can even buy a t-shirt celebrating January 20, 2009 -
    http://www.theendofkakistocracy.com/

    And the Irishman from Glasgow could probably fit “rodomontade” into conversation more easily if he realized it is a noun, not an adjective.

  3. Posted by Mark Peters on 11.08.08 1:33 pm

    The post-traumatic thing is a snowclone:
    http://blog.oup.com/2008/07/post-traumatic/

    More on snowclones here:
    http://snowclones.org/

    Thanks for the link!

  4. Posted by Dojo Nick on 11.10.08 12:31 pm

    I’m surprised that none of the political inclined wordsmiths have messed around with the word “palimpsest,” whose etymology one of the contributors to 50 of Your Favorite Words indicated is from the combination of the Ancient Greek “palin” meaning “again” (as in palindrome) and “psen” which means “to rub smooth.” Did the McCain campaign attempt to rub Governor Palin smooth in an effort to get her to fit the needs of the campaign?

  5. Posted by admin on 11.11.08 7:54 am

    Odd. I always worry that the posts that require actual reading will turn viewers away. First, thanks John – I’ve always loved adding “ocracy” as a suffix when it suited my needs, but I wasn’t familiar with “Kakistocracy”. I wonder if Kaki King would take offense? And thanks for stopping by, Mark. Love your site. By sharing the word “snowclone” you’ve convinced me that the documentation of our language will soon exceed the usefulness of the language itself. And Dojo Nick – ack. Thanks for the gag-inducing image of rubbing Sarah Palin smooth. “Scriptio inferior” indeed…