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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    But I don't think that's exactly what those -ization words, or the -ize verbs they derive from, actually mean. You'd have to recast the whole sentence. Which quite likely would improve its readibility. But the reason those verbs and their derivative nouns were coined by academics in the first place was to be able to condense a complex concept into a single word.


    BTW, when I was in grad school I could never remember what "reify" or "reification" meant until I started to semitranslate in my head to "thingify" or "thingification."
    That's what I thought too. I'm a poli-sci major and I'm used to Political Scientists making up words in order to give a word or term to a complicated concept. Words like "polyarchy," "satisficing," "transaltology," etc.

    For example, problematization isn't simply "examining problems" but really a concept in which one basically challenges what is considered "common knowledge" or "common sense." Problematization as defined by Wikipedia.

    As for historicization, it seems that it was originally a tool developed by Bertolt Brecht for actors in which they must interpret their actions as a product of historical development. So, it's not really a "historical perspective" because in order to have that perspective, it must have occurred already, whereas historicization sounds like you have to make something historical when it's not. I could be wrong though. These are the first times I came across those two terms.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 10-15-2010 at 07:39 AM.
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  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    They come to us from the French . Damn Normans, screwing up the perfectly plain and functional Anglo-Saxon with Latin.
    Then blame the Danes.
    Normands (North men) were vikkings coming from Denmark and had just settled in France for a bit more than a century when they became interested in England.

    But mostly it's because -tion words (as well as other forms) are smothered verbs and using the verb forms whenever possible usually makes for clearer, more direct prose. Rather than trying to get people to shun ideas, the purpose is to force student writers into expressing their ideas more clearly.

    For example, a student might write:

    Additional authorization for the administration of the survey by the staff members has emanated from the director of the department.

    It's grammatically correct, but it's a clunky sentence that would greatly improve with some judicious shunning of the -tions.
    Ok, remember than I'm french so my reasoning might not fit exactly for english but ...
    Yes, you could write it differently but it would put the emphasis on different points.
    Here the emphasis is put on "additional authorization" and "director of the department. If I'm working in the secretariat of this administration, that's the two information that are going to interest me the most. So the information is better worded in putting the emphasis on these two points, because I'm going to look for a real paper with the right signature.

    Because if you word it like :
    The director of the department has additionnally authorized ..." oops doesn't work for this sentence but worded that way, it would emphasize the given authorization. A more interesting wording for the people who are waiting for it. But it doesn't tell the secretariat what kind of authorisation has been given. It could be oral as much as written as it is described as an action. As a secretary, I woud wonder if that information is supposed to matter to me. But let's try another one.

    The director of the department has emited an additional authorisation for the administration of the survey by the staff members ..."
    But then, the clarity and "lightness" has been reached not by getting rid of a "tion" word but rather by dropping an intransitive verb for a transitive one which gives a lighter structure to the sentence. With this sentence, everyone should be happy, the secretary as the staff members. But still, as a secretary, I would be more interested to have the additional authorization information first, as it is the one that interests me directly.

    To take one of the examples given in the blog
    We had a discussion about the matter with the staff director.
    We discussed the matter with the staff director.


    The first wording for me puts the emphasis about the discussion, gives it more weight and more will. The second indicates me that it was discussed but was it as an anecdote or as a serious issue that needed time ? I don't know. If I was waiting for the result of the discussion, I would really prefer the first wording.

    So no, I wouldn't prefer one form over another. That would restrain my capacity to adapt my language to the people I'm talking to or to put some nuances in my speech / writing.
    At least, that's how I see things from my own perspective.

    See, I really don't get the principle and it actually shocks me.




    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Here, too. I would guess most languages have them. Taboo words are just words that aren't used in polite society, not words that aren't used at all.
    What I meant is that there is no taboo word here.
    No beep on TV, no **** on boards.

    In polite society, you can say anything you want. It's the way to say it that matters. If it is done beautifully, with humor or not in a vulgar way, people will accept it. If not, people will label it as vulgar. Particularly ugly for the girls and ugly for the boys. Not that vulgarity is censored or prohibited either.

    Even with the very polite friends of mine, it happened I had the insult or slang dictionary within reach and we began a fun moment.

    Poets, singers, writers have dignified those words and they are absolutly not taboo (thinking about François Villon, Bruant, the very controversial but brilliant Céline, Ferré, Brel, Brassens, Audiard, Raymond Queneau with Zazie dans le métro, King Ubu, Perret, Renaud, and so many others). I'm particularly thinking about a hugely popular song from 1974, le zizi from Pierre Perret, which made kids and grannies laugh and sing about 'the dick' (in a quite descriptive way) with all their heart, even on tv screens.
    There is a true culture about popular language and love for words that actually transcends the notion of "polite society".

    Behaving is great but taboo words ? No way.
    It would sooo make me will to say them .

  3. #103

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    I was trying to watch 'Grey's Anatomy' online. I searched for it and couldn't find it. I could only get what I was looking for by getting rid of the apostrophe
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    Then blame the Danes.
    Normands (North men) were vikkings coming from Denmark and had just settled in France for a bit more than a century when they became interested in England.
    Only a century and still not considered French. Poor Normans, not wanted anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    But it doesn't tell the secretariat what kind of authorisation has been given. It could be oral as much as written as it is described as an action.
    But that is also the case with the original wording, in which the authorization can be oral or written. There might be a piece of paper, there might not be. The original wording would indicate to me that the authorization was more likely to be oral, actually, but that would be a guess on my part and not something I would count on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    The director of the department has emited an additional authorisation for the administration of the survey by the staff members ..."
    But then, the clarity and "lightness" has been reached not by getting rid of a "tion" word but rather by dropping an intransitive verb for a transitive one which gives a lighter structure to the sentence. With this sentence, everyone should be happy
    Er, I definitely wouldn't be. If anything,

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    The first wording for me puts the emphasis about the discussion, gives it more weight and more will. The second indicates me that it was discussed but was it as an anecdote or as a serious issue that needed time ? I don't know. If I was waiting for the result of the discussion, I would really prefer the first wording.
    Whether you discussed the matter or you had a discussion about the matter, "the matter" can still be either an anecdote or the subject of a serious discussion that needed time. There is no indication in either of the weight of "the matter," although in English. "the matter" would imply that the topic was a serious one, whether it was discussed or the subject of a discssion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    Behaving is great but taboo words ? No way.
    It would sooo make me will to say them .
    And it does indeed have that effect on some people.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    In polite society, you can say anything you want. It's the way to say it that matters. If it is done beautifully, with humor or not in a vulgar way, people will accept it. If not, people will label it as vulgar. Particularly ugly for the girls and ugly for the boys. Not that vulgarity is censored or prohibited either.
    Is this the case for French children, as well? Could a student greet a teacher with "Good morning, Mr. xxxx, you m-f'er!" if done in a sweet and cheerful manner? Would there be any discipline for such "vulgarity" in the classroom? From what you have posted about no words being taboo, I suppose not. It sheds a new and very different light on French culture for me.[/QUOTE]

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    I was trying to watch 'Grey's Anatomy' online. I searched for it and couldn't find it. I could only get what I was looking for by getting rid of the apostrophe
    Really? I tried "Grey's Anatomy" and it took me right here: http://abc.go.com/shows/greys-anatomy Full episodes and everything.

    And there's a whole page of links like:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey's_Anatomy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey's_Anatomy

    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Really? I tried "Grey's Anatomy" and it took me right here: http://abc.go.com/shows/greys-anatomy Full episodes and everything


    That link woudn't help Jen. Or me either.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norlite View Post
    That link woudn't help Jen. Or me either.
    Oh, yeah, I always forget those "geographical restrictions."
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  9. #109

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    In Canada, if you want Grey's Anatomy, you have to go to the CTV Website.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Oh, yeah, I always forget those "geographical restrictions."
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    In Canada, if you want Grey's Anatomy, you have to go to the CTV Website.
    Alas, I'm not in Canada either.

    I should have explained a little more - I could find it very easily to download a torrent or stream it - BUT I have a subscription to Graboid (it's apparently legal) which means I can download without the virus worry and watch later. On my search of Graboid, the apostrophe made all the difference. I could find last series, but not this one.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  11. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But that is also the case with the original wording, in which the authorization can be oral or written. There might be a piece of paper, there might not be. The original wording would indicate to me that the authorization was more likely to be oral, actually, but that would be a guess on my part and not something I would count on.
    That's the moment when one realize the nuances between similar words in diffirent languages are really different. (mainly because "additional authorization" sounds so administrative that I would automatically make the link with a written paper when that may actually be the opposite in english (?))


    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Whether you discussed the matter or you had a discussion about the matter, "the matter" can still be either an anecdote or the subject of a serious discussion that needed time. There is no indication in either of the weight of "the matter," although in English. "the matter" would imply that the topic was a serious one, whether it was discussed or the subject of a discssion.
    Ok. A noun or a verb would really imply a different nuance in french. Emphasizing the action or the process / result. If they are 100% equivalent for americans, that's something my mind is going to have trouble to deal with. That's always a good thing to learn. Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    Is this the case for French children, as well? Could a student greet a teacher with "Good morning, Mr. xxxx, you m-f'er!" if done in a sweet and cheerful manner?
    In what way would it be done nicely or smartly ? That's just plain, in your face, agressivity.

    Now let me tell you a story my grandfather told me. He was a student in medecine in the 20s. One day, one of his fellow students, let's call him A, went to see Mister B, an official of some kind in the university. He said :
    "Mr B, this is scandal. I'm outraged. I'm being publicly insulted, that's a shame. I protest."

    After a lot of protestation, A brings Mr B to the crime scene. And there, on the wall, in big letters, are written those words :
    "MISTER B IS AN IDIOT" (Monsieur B est un con)

    Then Mister B begins to look at A rather suspiciously.
    "And can you tell me in what way you are being insulted, A ?"
    Then A takes Mr B by the arm and brings him closer to the wall, in a corner of the big sentence, in which it is writen in very little letters :
    "And A is an idiot too"
    "See ?"

    A had to wash the whole thing and do some additional work but nothing drastic. Students had a good laugh and the university officials too.
    That was impertinence but yes, as long as it is done in a smart way, we tend to appreciate/forgive that.


    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    It sheds a new and very different light on French culture for me.
    French culture is a diverse as it could be.
    Foreign people tend to consider it very aristocratic and sophisticated. It can be.
    But actually if there is an aristocratic culture, there is also a working class culture, a culture of the poors that tends to be beloved even by the upper class. Céline, Bruant, Edith Piaf, Yves Montand, Gainsbourg ... They all come from the poorest background. And even when glory came, they remained close to their roots. People don't associate accordion (aka "the piano of the poor") with France for nothing. And aristocraty has always run to watch them sing, perform. Slang becomes poetry and dirty words become elegant in their mouth. It is a different kind of aristocracy that is very much beloved here and is not afraid of words. That is definitly part of my culture. It encompasses the whole social spectrum. I don't know a french person who doesn't lurve the songs of Léo Ferré (who was an anarchist), whatever part of the political spectrum they belong to or whatever their wealth. And I could find equivalents from nowadays like Noir Désir, Benjamin Biolay ...

    I would find a lot of french songs where the words "baiser" (fcuk or scr*w), "merde" (shit), "putain" (whore), "salope" (b*tch), even "pédé" (fag), "con" (a**hole, stupid or idiot) are used in really interesting ways that may actually be also funny, lovely or even moving.

    Words are screens on which we can project ideas or emotions. They are not bad in themselves.
    Last edited by Nmsis; 10-16-2010 at 02:56 AM.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    That's the moment when one realize the nuances between similar words in diffirent languages are really different. (mainly because "additional authorization" sounds so administrative that I would automatically make the link with a written paper when that may actually be the opposite in english (?))
    For me, it's the word "emanated" that would make me think it was oral rather than written. While emanated can mean "issued," it is more often used in the sense of "spreading outward," as in "the scent emanated from the candle."

    So I would have the impression that the authorization was being spread orally, although again, I wouldn't know for sure. If I were concerned about the nature of the authorization, I would have to ask. A phrase like "additional authorization" sounds all pompous and officious, but that doesn't mean it is. It just means that someone official said "Go ahead" in some way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    Ok. A noun or a verb would really imply a different nuance in french. Emphasizing the action or the process / result. If they are 100% equivalent for americans, that's something my mind is going to have trouble to deal with. That's always a good thing to learn. Thank you.
    It's not that they are equivalent, exactly. In terms of meaning, there are times when you might want to say that "A discussion was held" instead of "We discussed" because the meaning would then be different, but there is no real difference between "had a discussion about" and "discussed" except for the former being a wordier way of saying it.

    This is the sort of thing that made me cross-eyed and crazy when I was studying other languages .

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmsis View Post
    Words are screens on which we can project ideas or emotions. They are not bad in themselves.
    That was the first thing I learned in linguistics--words are neither good nor bad but thinking makes them so. We spent a lot of time talking about taboo words, which was much more interesting than talking about the international phonetic alphabet, the next subject at hand .
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

  13. #113
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    Oooh, just encountered another of my pet peeves on the radio this am: misuse of the word ironic. The radio host was talking about the new guidelines for doing CPR, and that one way to get the right 100 beats-per-minute rate was to use a song beat. The song suggested by the experts was, as he put it, "ironically titled 'Staying Alive.' "

    Um, no, that's not irony. That's an amusing, probably intentional choice, or otherwise a coincidence. Almost the opposite of irony.

    Is it just me, or is ironic used incorrrectly far more frequently than correctly? We can't even blame Alanis Morissette ...

  14. #114

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    While verb-izing nouns is annoying, at least it comes close to conveying what the speaker actually means...in contrast to "I could care less," which conveys the OPPOSITE.

    I'm a nurse, and we use printed reports to tell the next shift the status of patients. Some nurses have such poor punctuation, or a complete lack of punctuation, that the meaning of their sentences can be interpreted multiple ways. Dangerous.

    OTOH, I'm glad English is flexible enough to survive sloppy grammar and spelling,and to borrow from any language.

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