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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:03 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
an seanduine wrote:
I am not sure if this is really correct here in the "divided by a common language" thread, but when I saw this quote I couldn't resist:"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
--James D. Nicoll

:D Bob

Sounds a bit too inclusive and collaborative to me. :P

What to one is rapine and pillage is, to another, inclusiveness and collaboration ... pardon me while I floss my brain.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Nanohedron -in another discussion wrote:
While "loathe" is still common in its proper use, "loath/loth" has become quite dated and may thus be counted among literary pretensions
I (in England) wouldn't find it remarkable in normal speech. Though usually with a 'softer' meaning than the verb, almost as a synonym for 'reluctant'. As in "I am loath to raise this matter, but..."


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:48 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Nanohedron -in another discussion wrote:
While "loathe" is still common in its proper use, "loath/loth" has become quite dated and may thus be counted among literary pretensions
I (in England) wouldn't find it remarkable in normal speech. Though usually with a 'softer' meaning than the verb, almost as a synonym for 'reluctant'. As in "I am loath to raise this matter, but..."

I guess I'm covering American tendencies, then. At most levels you won't hear or see "loath/loth" much in the States, except from the colorful; it's been pretty much replaced with "unwilling", "not inclined", "reluctant", or similar. In fact, it's so out of use that I'd be willing to wager that in a simple declarative sentence, a lot of Yanks wouldn't know what it meant even if used correctly.

My personal (and half-assed) suspicion as to the reason for its decline in popular use has to do with that pesky E, an important but fine distinction of letters that people were in the end loth to be arsed about. But if true, such laziness doesn't make any practical sense, because if it did, more people would be saying or writing, "I'm going to take a bathe."

BTW, apparently "loth" is a predominantly Left-of-Pond spelling, or so I'm informed. I do confess I am more comfortable with it, than the other.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:42 pm 
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I am one Yank who uses the word loath. To me it conveys more a distaste than a simple unwillingness.

But then, I used the word kerfuffle the other day, and my Harvard-educated coworker had no idea what I meant.

And my vocabulary, and my ability to use words, can't touch my wife's.

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