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English Matters

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Ansuya, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    What are the circumstances under which the word "pretty" fills in for "very"?

    The Spectrum Television commercial goes as follows:

    Installer: "How does it look?" (after installing the dish in the front roof)
    Owner: "It looks pretty ugly".
    Installer: "It is pretty and not ugly-ugly, right?"
    Owner: "Pretty ugly-ugly".
    Installer: I hear still "pretty"
    Owner: "It is super ugly."
    Installer: "Super" too? Can you give a good review?
    Owner: "I am going to do it right now"
    Installer: "In those words, right?"
    Owner: "I have words".

    "Don't go for ugly dish and go with Spectrum" is the final word in the commercial.

    Viswa
     
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  2. BerryPine

    BerryPine Gold IL'ite

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    1.Usually one use very to make a word more emphasis. Very is an intensifier.
    ‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen. ~Florence King
    [​IMG]

    2. One use pretty to make a word less emphasis- Pretty is a mitigator in informal english.
     
  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    This is very helpful. I really appreciate you sharing this.
     
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  4. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    That was pretty good Viswa! :roflmao:
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Soka,
    Your comment is precious.:banana:
     
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  6. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Is a Grammarly subscription worth it when paying from own pocket? For:
    1) high school student (in an IB curriculum)
    2) student in college or university
    3) employed in a job that involves a fair amount of writing

    Assuming that the educational institution or business does not offer it to students, employees.
     
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  7. Amulet

    Amulet IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes. It is useful to pay the subscription. And see how well it is used for a year or so, and then continue. Getting a term paper (or other school work) corrected by parent is almost like learning to drive from a spouse.
     
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  8. sokanasanah

    sokanasanah IL Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I use it. For any kind of creative writing it can be annoying, but when it comes to expository writing, it will minimize unforced errors. It cannot compel you to do anything you don't want to do, but it can often save you from egregious mistakes. As long as one doesn't rely on it uncritically, it is useful to have. Treat it just as another doohickey in a well-stocked toolbox.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  9. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    25 Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do

    Found an interesting list of words on the web today! While I am guilty of not using some words correctly, some did make me go "Wait!!! What?"

    I am also copy pasting along with link (Was doing it for school anyways!!)

    Literally

    This is literally one of the most misused words in the English language. It's often used as a way to emphasize something that happened: 'I literally died laughing.' The word actually refers to something that actually happened, without exaggeration, such as, 'The tornado that came through literally destroyed every house in its path.'


    Peruse

    Many people believe the word 'peruse' means to read something quickly. In fact, the opposite is true: Peruse means to 'read with thoroughness or care.' Used correctly, you would say, 'I spent at least an hour perusing this report so that I fully understood it.'


    Terrific

    This is one of the words in the English language that has become completely disconnected from its origin. It's often used as a compliment or to describe a good feeling: 'That outfit looks terrific!' or 'I slept great and feel terrific today!' However, the origin and proper meaning of the word are completely different, and it means 'very bad' or 'exciting fear'—it does sound like terror, after all. You might hear something like, 'I just saw an absolutely terrific accident on my way home from work,' which would sound strange in modern language.


    Ambivalent

    Most people think the term ambivalent means you don't care about something. In fact, the word means that you have contradictory or mixed feelings about a subject matter—not that you're apathetic. Used correctly, you could say, 'I'm feeling quite ambivalent about where I want to go on vacation this year. I can't decide whether I want to go to the mountains or the beach.'


    Irregardless

    This is a grammar stickler's pet peeve—there is no such word. That's right. While it's popular in certain dialects, 'irregardless' simply doesn't exist in the English language. The word that you're looking for is 'regardless,' as in, 'Regardless of the cost, they said they're going to have a destination wedding.'


    Disinterested

    While many people believe this word means you're simply not interested, the original meaning of 'disinterested' refers to a lack of bias or being fair and impartial: 'We needed a disinterested judge to decide this case.' To indicate that you're indifferent about something, you should use the word 'uninterested.'


    Bemused

    People sometimes use the word 'bemused' in place of 'amused,' but the two are not synonyms. In fact, bemused means you're confused or bewildered: 'My friend really likes this movie, but the complicated plot left me bemused.'


    Grizzly

    When you hear the word 'grizzly,' you probably think of the bear—ferocious and wild. However, the term 'grizzly' means gray or gray-haired (unless it comes before 'bear'). The proper word to describe something that inspires horror or fear is 'grisly': 'That horror movie had a grisly scene, which I hope I never see again.'


    Entitled

    While most people know the word refers to the rights that a person has (sometimes with a negative connotation, like 'entitled brat'), others use it to describe the actual title of a book or movie, which is not standard English. To use the term properly, you would say, 'After his great uncle died, he learned that he was entitled to half of the estate,' and only use the term 'titled' to refer to movies, books, and the like.


    Electrocute

    People often use 'electrocute' to mean 'shocked,' when the actual definition means 'to kill with electricity': It's a blend of 'electro' and 'execution.' The origin of the word, which was coined in the 1880s, means that a shock is fatal: 'The prisoner was put to death by electrocution.'


    Irony

    This commonly misused word isn't a synonym for coincidence. Some people think it refers to a situational randomness—such as, 'Isn't it ironic that we're both here on the same day?' Ironic (and irony) actually refers to the opposite of what you expect to happen. 'You know what's ironic? Our pilot has a fear of heights!'


    Impeach

    This doesn't mean 'toss the bum out,' despite what you may have heard. The standard definition is to bring charges against a person, which may or may not lead to his or her removal. For instance: 'The senator was impeached because of misconduct, but was allowed to return to office.'


    Pristine

    This word is often used to refer to a room or environment that is sparkling clean. However, the true meaning of the word is 'not spoiled or altered' (such as by civilization), meaning that the area is in its original state. For example, 'This undiscovered beach is in pristine condition!'


    Refute

    This word is often used as a synonym for rebut or deny, such as: 'I refute the insinuation that I lied.' The real definition? 'To prove wrong by argument or evidence.' Used properly, you could say, 'The lawyer refuted the defendant's claims by presenting several witnesses who saw him at the scene.'


    Dilemma

    While most people understand the word 'dilemma' involves making a difficult choice, the standard definition is to make a choice between two unfavorable options. Therefore, saying something like, 'I have a dilemma: Do I want to eat the doughnut or the pie?' is incorrect. The proper use of the word has a much more negative connotation: 'The prisoner was faced with a tough dilemma: Should he accept the jail time, or turn in his friends?'


    Fewer/Less

    The words 'fewer' and 'less' are often used interchangeably, but they have separate meanings. The term 'fewer' refers to an actual amount you can count, such as, 'The little girl received two fewer pieces of candy than her brother.' If you can't count the items in question, then use the word 'less': 'That glass holds less water than that pitcher.'


    Oriental

    The obvious definition of the word 'Oriental' is 'of or related to the Orient.' The word is used to describe things—a rug, for example—but never people: That use is considered offensive.


    Concerning

    This is often confused with a similar-sounding word, 'disconcerting.' An upsetting situation or action is 'disconcerting,' but 'concerning' only means you're referencing someone or something. You talk with a teacher concerning your child because his behavior has been disconcerting. In other words, saying 'His behavior is quite concerning,' is incorrect.


    Momentarily

    While many people use the word 'momentarily' to mean 'in a moment,' the definition of the word is 'for a moment.' In other words, if you tell someone, 'I'll see you momentarily,' it means you'll only be seeing them for a minute or two, not that you'll be seeing them in a minute or two. Used properly, you would say, 'We momentarily lost power in our house when the storm passed through.'


    Enormity

    Because it resembles 'enormous,' many people think the origin of the word 'enormity' refers to a very large object or situation. However, the word actually means 'great evil or wickedness.' And here's a fun fact: 'Enormous' also used to mean 'an evil or wickedness' up until the 19thcentury, and the definition of the word 'enormity' seems to be evolving as well. If you want to be a grammar purist and use the term properly, you would say something like, 'The enormity of the vicious crime was shocking to the entire community.'


    Conversate

    Like 'irregular' and 'irregardless,' conversate isn't a word; it's listed as 'non-standard' in the dictionary, meaning that it doesn't conform to standard language. People use it in place of 'converse': 'The girls wanted to conversate with me about which concert they wanted to see.' However, if you want to be grammatically correct, remove the word from your lexicon and simply say 'converse.'


    Factoid

    Many people believe a 'factoid' is a small snippet of information, such as a piece of trivia—and the word is evolving to mean that. But the original definition of the word 'factoid' is a made-up fact that was believed to be true because it appeared in print—a combination of the word 'fact' and '-oid' (a suffix that means 'resembling,'—think: humanoid). More accurate use would be, 'That politician was spewing factoids about his opponent, even though none of his claims have been substantiated.'


    Nauseous

    If you're feeling queasy, you probably don't care about definitions. However, the word 'nauseous' is one of the most commonly misused words in the English language. The definition of the word actually means 'causing nausea,' while its linguistic relative, 'nauseated,' means you're feeling or suffering from nausea. So if you tell people you're feeling nauseous, you actually mean you're causing others to feel sick (which may or may not be true). Used properly, you would say, 'That burrito I just ate is making me feel nauseated.'


    Misnomer

    Some people use the word 'misnomer' as a synonym of 'misconception'—a mistaken idea. However, the definition is 'an error in naming a person or thing.' In fact, using the word 'misnomer' to describe a mistake is a misnomer in itself. For example: 'The term 'koala bear' is a misnomer; they're not bears at all—they're marsupials!'


    Ultimate

    While the meaning of the word 'ultimate' has evolved to mean 'the best,' the Latin origin of the word refers to the last in a list of items. To use the word properly at this moment: 'The word 'ultimate' is the ultimate word on this list!'

    25 Words That Don’t Mean What You Think They Do
     
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  10. Ansuya

    Ansuya Platinum IL'ite

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    I was languishing in a waiting room the other day, my only salvation an ancient Reader's Digest, that mainstay of the bourgeoisie and bored (an apt description of my childhood if there ever was one), when I came across this smashing little nugget:

    [​IMG]

    My spirits instantly buoyed, I put aside thoughts of hurling myself through the second-story window Tom Cruise-style, and remembered instead my other great love-hate, IL. Consider this a follow-on post from

    English Matters

    That is all.
     
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