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Malapropisms that need stopped

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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby crevice beatle » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:43 am

Not really a malapropism by way of similar sounding words, still, very irritating to me nonetheless:

"I don't believe in abortion." " I don't believe in the Iraq War." "I don't believe in spanking my children." etc, etc
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:49 am

Yeah, in the same way that the abbrevation thread resulted in me learning the specific meanings of and differences between acronyms and initialisms, I'm also learning that malapropisms aren't just "misspeakings," but a specific kind of misstatement that replaces words with a homophonic word or words.

Reading: It's fun and mental.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby fennel » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:49 pm

Another for the not-technically-a-malapropism thread:

"Reference" used as a verb, for purposes other than citation.
You can reference an article (title, publication date, etc.), but please do not claim you are referencing a conversation with your analyst about the perils of cross-dressing in Kandahar.

Instead, simply "refer" to it.

To use "reference" in place of "refer" is beyond ugly, and makes you sound like a mid-level military spokesclone. Or an M.B.A.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby bluethedog » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:49 pm

crevice beatle wrote:Not really a malapropism by way of similar sounding words, still, very irritating to me nonetheless:

"I don't believe in abortion." " I don't believe in the Iraq War." "I don't believe in spanking my children." etc, etc


Not too long ago my dad told me "I don't believe in colonoscopies".

I'm pretty sure he doesn't "believe" in seatbelts either.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby butters » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:49 am

I like a good malapropism or a mixed metaphor. They're often funny, sometimes clever, and sometimes ignorant--kindof like Archie Bunker, who was arguably one of the best malapropists out there.

Not a malapropism, but this phrase needs to be stopped: "Science has proven..." or "Scientists proved..." It's like fingernails on a chalkboard.

This adjective usage is also bothersome:
"Mother Teresa was notorious for helping the poor."
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 1:07 pm

You never heard her rap album,Notorious N.U.N.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby crevice beatle » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:00 am

Not even sure how I would catergorize this one, but I think it is worthwhile mentioning in this thread:

What is the deal with the word "depress"? As in, "Depress the button" or in the specific example from my Economics text book "In macroeconomics we observe that the car goes faster when the accelerator is depressed and that it slows down when the brake is applied." This is grammatically correct, but why?

Aren't these examples implying that "to press something" is the same as "to depress something"? I've looked at it from multiple angles. One could argue that when you "depress" a button, you are pushing it in, thus causing a depression. On the other hand, in my mind, it seems logical that the word "depress" when used in the context of "the button/accelerator" would mean apply or remove pressure in order to cause the button/accelerator to not be "pressed in", thus making it "depressed"." For example, on many household appliances when you push the on/off buttons to turn it them off, you are depressing the buttons. When you let your foot off the gas pedal, you are depressing it. I realize that in one instance you are applying pressure and in the other you are letting off - but again, why is "depress" used when you are pushing? Applying "de"in all other cases results in its opposite (deregulate, deconstruct, destabalize). Also, take note of my text book example; have you ever noticed that people say press, push, slam on, or apply when speaking of the brake - never "depress" the brake.?.?.?
Maybe I'm just overthinking this one; it's just that whenever "depress" is used rather than "press" or "push" in instructions, it makes me second guess the intended meaning.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby TheBookPolice » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:34 am

No, it's accurate. I will consult the Shorter Oxford when I get to work tomorrow and see if I can get you a good history of the use of the word to mean "push down."
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby crevice beatle » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:29 am

TheBookPolice wrote:No, it's accurate. I will consult the Shorter Oxford when I get to work tomorrow and see if I can get you a good history of the use of the word to mean "push down."


Right, I have looked it up in the past and realize this is correct usage of the word... however, something about it has always seemed a bit counter intuitive to me, primarily because as I said before, when you add the prefix "de" to other words, it insinuates the opposite. I have noticed that very few people follow my logic (yes, in general :? , but also specifically in this case). I would be interested to find out the history and if perhaps you can unravel if and/or why "press" and "depress" mean essentially the same thing when referring to buttons, knobs, pedals, etc.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:30 pm

crevice beatle wrote:... however, something about it has always seemed a bit counter intuitive to me, primarily because as I said before, when you add the prefix "de" to other words, it insinuates the opposite.

That all depends...
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby snoqueen » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:41 pm

Depressing.

And if something is labeled "inflammable," does that mean it can burst into flames, or it is in-flammable meaning not-flammable?
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby Ducatista » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:00 pm

crevice beatle wrote:What is the deal with the word "depress"? As in, "Depress the button" or in the specific example from my Economics text book "In macroeconomics we observe that the car goes faster when the accelerator is depressed and that it slows down when the brake is applied." This is grammatically correct, but why?

Depress doesn't just mean press, it means press down.

The prefix de in this case means down or away from. Think deboss, decline, descend, deplete, devalue.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby Ducatista » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:46 pm

I have a twice-weekly small-group meeting with people who say "verse" instead of "versus," as in "this verse that." It comes up all the time, and I find myself searching for substitutes so my pronunciation doesn't sound intentionally contrary. As opposed to, compared to, instead of... it's a conscious on-the-fly edit, and it's kind of a pain.

Funny that it's a group of people who probably know the term verso, as in recto/verso.
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby crevice beatle » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:34 pm

Ducatista wrote:
crevice beatle wrote:What is the deal with the word "depress"? As in, "Depress the button" or in the specific example from my Economics text book "In macroeconomics we observe that the car goes faster when the accelerator is depressed and that it slows down when the brake is applied." This is grammatically correct, but why?

Depress doesn't just mean press, it means press down.

The prefix de in this case means down or away from. Think deboss, decline, descend, deplete, devalue.


I'm feeling a bit thick headed on this one - the examples you use do make sense to me, to an extent, though I can't help but further challenge this (even though obviously, there are a myriad of exceptions to any rules within the English language).
When used as verbs: "Decline" negates "incline". "Descend" negates "ascend". "Deplete" negates "complete". "Devalue" negates "value". As you said, in these cases, the prefix does mean to go down and away from, but when you use their counterpart, it implies opposing action of the original verb on the direct object. When I ascend a moutain, I go up. When I descend, I go down - yet, regardless of whether I "press" or "depress" a button, it is referring to the same action and yields the same result. And now you have provided me with yet another example of this same type of prefix usage I find counter intuitive :evil: (boss and deboss). I can get on board with the concept that "depress" should be used specific to a downward motion (as in depressing the gas pedal). However, I often hear it used in a fasion that is not distinguishing "pressing down" vs. just simply "pressing." Would I be incorrect to say "Depress the button on the television" even though you would pushing horizonatally away?
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Re: Malapropisms that need stopped

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:14 pm

I guess we know how to push your buttons! :D
Gah! I used an emoticon!
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