naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Ridiculously irritating thing of the day:

People who treat the word Halloween as Hallo-ween rather than Hallow-een and then proceed to make up words like "Jesus-ween" or "sexy-ween" or "Howl-o-ween" (this is a selection of things I've actually seen; I'm not intending to comment on the content intended).

It is All Hallows Eve(ning); the 'w' is part of "hallows" not "evening".

I just... don't understand why people do this.


(Also I've decided I'm going to try to post one thing that's been bugging me/on my mind/happens to sound interesting every day in November; instead of trying to write a novel which clearly would not work).

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 10:53 am (UTC)
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
From: [personal profile] liv
I think howl-o-ween is ok, because it's clearly a pun on hallow. The others I agree are really annoying.

And I'm (selfishly) much in favour of NaBloPoMo type approaches to Nano, cos I get much more benefit out of people posting more often than I do out of people writing first drafts of half a novel.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 12:46 pm (UTC)
ptc24: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ptc24
Jesus-ween: the celebration of supernatural entities from beyond the grave on Oct 31? Have these people not thought this through?

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 01:09 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (calligraphy)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
I think it's natural for a speaker to somehow split words that they find opaque along syllable boundaries, or something. Like hyphenation rules.

My favourite example of this is the number of helicopter-related words that are either heli[something] or [something]copter, despite the word breaking etymologically as helico/pter.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] atreic.livejournal.com
You're such a catholic atheist :-p :-)

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Date: 2012-11-01 10:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
ROFL! I guess that sums it up.

I had a conversation at work that basically went "Why is everyone in south/west europe on holiday tomorrow? oh, yeah, right, I guess people would celebrate all saints day, I forgot..." :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 10:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naath.livejournal.com
Yeah yeah.

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Date: 2012-11-01 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
Well, I agree that's very annoying, and if I'd heard it I'd probably want to strangle someone. But OTOH, people always make portmanteaus ignorant of the etymology, it's not a surprise... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 10:30 am (UTC)
simont: (Default)
From: [personal profile] simont
Also, there's a practical consideration of whether it's actually feasible for the listener to figure out what words have been portmanteaued. If I heard "Jesuseen" I'd probably say "what?", but "Jesusween" gives me more of a fighting chance if I've never heard the expression before (which, before I read this post, I hadn't).

Similarly with foo-copter (for assorted foo) – "foo-opter" sounds like somebody choosing a foo, so it's practically useful to include the c.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
Come to think of it, "Jesus-een" would presumably be Christmas Eve, or maybe Easter Saturday, although we already have words for those. But presumably "Jesus-ween" means "Like Halloween but with Jesus"? What is that -- is that like "dressing up as Jesus" or "dressing up at christmas" or "a midnight all saints service"?

So in fact, even if the etymology is dodgy, presumably there's actual useful meaning used by dragging the "w" along, if it shows you're mashing up "halloweeen" and not just "-een".

I hadn't expected this question to be so linguistic :)

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Date: 2012-11-01 10:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naath.livejournal.com
This is probably the reason.

However I fundamentally think "ween" sounds silly... which I think is adding to my dislike of this thing.

Is it really hellic-opter not helli-copter? I'd never thought about that before. I guess this annoyance is bizarely specific.

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Date: 2012-11-01 12:34 pm (UTC)
gerald_duck: (babel)
From: [personal profile] gerald_duck
Um. Isn't it "helico-pter"? So "foopter" rather than "foöopter"?

In any case, we've already joined "zo" with "-ology" to make "zöology", so there's precedent for doing that with words, even if people then spoil the effect by abbreviating "zöological gardens" to "zoo", ignoring the diaeresis.

That "Jesusween" is etymologically bankrupt whereas "Jesuseen" sounds odd might be a clue that people are trying to make a stupid word for a stupid concept. (-8

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Date: 2012-11-01 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-alchemist.livejournal.com
Why do you assume it's ignorance?

My take on it is that 'Halloween' is a word just as 'Hallow' and 'e'en' are word, and if people want to make portmanteaus based on a current word rather than on one of the two more old-fashioned words on which it's based, then that's a perfectly OK thing to do. It doesn't necessarily mean they don't know the old words, it just means they've chosen not to use them.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
You're right, sorry. I was falling in with Naath's general rant and assuming the individual examples she was complaining about were annoying[1], even if the etymology isn't wrong.

[1] I feel really stupid because I wanted to point out that portmanteaux were common even if you didn't like them, but felt hypocritical and argumentative by saying that without admitting that neologisms often annoyed me too. So I tried to empathise with the annoyance, but obviously that just drew a lot of criticism from anyone who felt I'd agreed too much or not enough.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 12:40 pm (UTC)
gerald_duck: (Oh really?)
From: [personal profile] gerald_duck
May I please put in a good word for "portmanteaux" at this juncture?

Discussions of language use are bad for me. Every time I see someone talking about "Jesusween" I start compensating by using words such as "juncture".

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
ROFL. OK, I endorse "portmanteaux" as more fun, while defending "portmanteaus" as still correct :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hatter.livejournal.com
I'm not sure if that's MOANvember or NaNoWhineMo but it sounds an entertaining project anyhow.


the hatter

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Date: 2012-11-01 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-alchemist.livejournal.com
By the logic of this post it's neither! The 'v' in November belongs with the 'No', and NaNoWhineMo would be 'National Novel Whining Month'.

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Date: 2012-11-01 11:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-alchemist.livejournal.com
I think I stopped being irritated by that sort of thing when [livejournal.com profile] robert_jones pointed out that it's just a linguistic shift. Whereas our ancestors constructed portmanteau words by going back to etymology, nowadays people construct them more straightforwardly based on the current word only, picking whatever sounds best. And that's OK.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 11:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com
I think I got a lot less worried about new coinages when I started thinking of them as the natural process of linguistics (which shouldn't prioritise whichever version of language happened to get frozen into written form if it's still developing usefully).

But there's some things that annoy me even if I think they shouldn't (primarily ones that obliterate a distinction I'm used to or sound ignorant even if they're not.)

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Date: 2012-11-01 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naath.livejournal.com
Well, I did put "ridiculously" in there; I'm not sure I should be annoyed by this at all. and normally I'm a descriptivist.

Though if the rule is "picking whatever sounds best" them Imma complain on the grounds that "Jesus-ween" sounds SILLY and possibly RUDE...

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Date: 2012-11-01 12:37 pm (UTC)
gerald_duck: (unimpressed)
From: [personal profile] gerald_duck
Yes, sure, the language will gradually shift direction.

But there are a lot of people trying to do horrible things to it. Someone has to push hard on the other end of the seesaw to stop them. (-8

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] feanelwa.livejournal.com
That must annoy you almost as much as it annoys me when people who normally make a point of talking like BBC radio plays come out with a pronounciation of beetroot that contains their entire yearly allowance of glottal stops: bee'roo' as if they were momentarily transported into being a West Country stereotype. And then continue to take the piss out of me for saying things like tha', i', just a bi' for that, it, just a bit, when I am tired and reverting to the way I learned to talk before Cambridge taught me I was the wrong class.

In fact I would also like to enforce Yorkshire linkages on them to see if they say t'bee'roo' and promptly explode.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-01 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] naath.livejournal.com
That's... very odd and obnoxious of them.

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Date: 2012-11-02 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rochvelleth.livejournal.com
Also Frankenweenie, the recent Tim Burton film? Or is that based on 'weeny' for small?

Yeah, this is an annoying thing. Jesusween and sexyween are actually making me grate my teeth.

I think particular linguistic developments are intrinsically annoying - back formations and hypercorrections are the worst offenders IMO. I suppose we're too used to seeing -o- as a compositional vowel (phil-o-sophy, bi-o-logy, Hipp-o-crates - think of the phrase "S/He's got an ology" where the -o- doesn't actually belong to the -logy), and from that it's easy to come up with Hall-o-ween. That's how new formations tend to work - the etymology is lost with time and then back formations and analogical processes arise.

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