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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:26 am 
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DrPhill wrote:
Perhaps the distinction is that you are concentrating on the micturation

This is a total aside. Still, it interests me. I read that word "micturation" and it didn't feel right. Now, don't get me wrong, I have hardly ever come across the word "micturate" either, so I'm not being smug about this. I just find it interesting, is all.

It turns out that the word that all of this comes from is "micturition". This is a word which I have come across. The OED lists "micturate" as an "incorrect" back-formation from "micturition". It's incorrect for three reasons: it's a verb formed from a word which can only properly be a noun; it uses an 'a' when that isn't in the Latin root; and the OED says that "the sense is incorrect as well as the form". This last error is because the word "micturition" does not mean the act of making water, but rather the desire to make water, often in the sense of a medical condition.

The OED doesn't list "micturation" at all, even in passing.

Aside over. Carry on. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:47 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
To recap my take on the metaphor (one last time, and then I'm done): Because of boundaries, we conventionally don't like it when someone pees on our stuff. That's the gist of it. Conventionally speaking. All this being immediately apparent to me, I take it, DrPhill, that you must be anything but conventional. :wink:

I would think that DrPhill is displaying something of the exact subject matter of this thread, actually, rather than just being weird. :wink: I kind of have a running translation algorithm in my head which enables me either to understand Americanisms or at any rate to be able to get the gist. But "pee on your/my roses"? I had to switch on the next level of translation for that. Like DrPhill, it wasn't immediately apparent to me that this was a bad thing. The tone of the comment made me think a bit deeper about it, but it certainly didn't resonate, on its own.

Nanohedron wrote:
I was referring only to such people as would doggedly believe in falsehoods, like jumping lice. :)

They're totally real. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:10 am 
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Here in Scotland I've been hearing "I dinnae want ti pish on yir chips" for a couple of years now. (Translation: I don't want to pee on your French fries.) Just the same as raining on the parade, I guess, though a little more robust.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:58 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
...I had not heard the "peeing on roses" or "farting dust" before.

Interesting. Did you have an immediate understanding of their meaning, even so? The reason I ask is that I never had to have them explained to me, but apparently this may not be the case elsewhere. I find it frankly inconceivable, but then it's a big world, isn't it.

Just for future reference, remember it's not just "peeing on roses", but "peeing on someone's roses". There's a big difference, and it counts. :)


I didn't have an immediate understanding.
Just like you had to correct my repeating the idiom, I don't think I perceived roses as being a close personal possession and that is why it didn't seem obviously offensive or personal. Peeing on someone's French fries, that sounds offensive.

Nanohedron wrote:
Just a quick check on what may also be a regionalism: Do any Yanks outside of Minnesota use the word "spendy" at all?

No, I wasn't familiar with it. Though Google provided a nice graph when I looked up the word.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:49 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
DrPhill wrote:
Perhaps the distinction is that you are concentrating on the micturation

This is a total aside. Still, it interests me. I read that word "micturation" and it didn't feel right. Now, don't get me wrong, I have hardly ever come across the word "micturate" either, so I'm not being smug about this. I just find it interesting, is all.

It turns out that the word that all of this comes from is "micturition".

To be fair, I started this mess with the word "micturating" and DrPhill gamely played along, so you can blame me as instigator. Apparently its use is documented (if not approved) from 1842, so for better or worse, that horse has long left the barn. I've seen it a number of times before, and since my sources have been less grumpy about it than the OED (Merriam-Webster's not the worst you could ask for, after all), and I'm not all that leery of back-formations (indeed, sometimes I am even gruntled by them :wink: ), into my word-hoard it went. What can I say? I'm a magpie. :)

benhall.1 wrote:
But "pee on your/my roses"? I had to switch on the next level of translation for that. Like DrPhill, it wasn't immediately apparent to me that this was a bad thing. The tone of the comment made me think a bit deeper about it, but it certainly didn't resonate, on its own.

Again, this might be a particularly Minnesotan thing since fellow Yank AaronFW didn't catch it, either. So why does it seem so obvious to me, then? After all, in the end it's just words...

brianholton wrote:
Here in Scotland I've been hearing "I dinnae want ti pish on yir chips" for a couple of years now. (Translation: I don't want to pee on your French fries.) Just the same as raining on the parade, I guess, though a little more robust.

I caught it right away - no translation needed - but then, I've been rubbing elbows with the good folks at C&F for years now, so no doubt I have that to thank for it. It's exactly the same overall meaning as with the roses. I imagine there's a bit of extra play to be had with it, too: "What did you have for lunch today?" "Well, Ollie came by, and you know him, so it was a big helping of pish and chips". :)

AaronFW wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Just a quick check on what may also be a regionalism: Do any Yanks outside of Minnesota use the word "spendy" at all?

No, I wasn't familiar with it. Though Google provided a nice graph when I looked up the word.

Interesting graph, with its disappearances and re-emergings. I see the word's been taking off like a shot lately, though; go figure. For better context, it would be interesting to see a regional graph on it - rightly or wrongly, I've tended to associate it with Minnesota vernacular: "Hey, check out that ski suit there. It'd be quite the item up at the cabin, don'tcha know." "I dunno ... looks kinda spendy."

"Can an off spinner bowl a googly?" is pure gibberish to my ears, and I would think, "YOU need to sober up." :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:39 pm 
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Aha! Here's a North American regional graph for "spendy", so far as it goes:

Image

The blue "pins" are where people have heard or used it; red indicates the opposite. Interestingly, the highest concentrations of blue pins (Pacific Northwest and Minnesota) both have sizable Scandinavian-derived populations.

Article:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educa ... mar/spendy

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
To be fair, I started this mess with the word "micturating" and DrPhill gamely played along

Thanks for the exculpation, but I could easily have used the word in a similar fashion. So I have learned something today.

benhall.1 wrote:
But "pee on your/my roses"? I had to switch on the next level of translation for that. Like DrPhill, it wasn't immediately apparent to me that this was a bad thing. The tone of the comment made me think a bit deeper about it, but it certainly didn't resonate, on its own.

This was the nub of it for me. Nanohedron's prose is usually very clear, so the use of a metaphor that decreased clarity was enough to make me wonder if usage was greater on the other side. I could determine from the context that it was likely to be a negative, but using contextual information to decode a metaphor seemed wrong.

Nanohedron wrote:
"Can an off spinner bowl a googly?" is pure gibberish to my ears, and I would think, "YOU need to sober up." :lol:

I would agree. Anyone using that language can silly mid off!

I am fascinated by language. It is only grunts and squeeks but we have agreed meanings for certain of these and manage to communicate quite complex ideas. How we defined the meanings we have agreed is a fascinating topic of study. One problem is that people tend to mistake the word for the thing, and try to manipulate the words believing that they are manipulating the things. Another is the fact that meanings have to be agreed to be useful, and sme of the shades of meaning are subtle.
Quote:
When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’


The whole 'divided by a common language' is due to the fact that the meaning-agreements differ subtley on different sides of the pond but appear superficially similar so we are not warned of the dissonance in the way we would be if a french or german word cropped up.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:19 pm 
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DrPhill wrote:
...I could easily have used the word in a similar fashion.

Of that I have no doubt!

DrPhill wrote:
...the use of a metaphor that decreased clarity was enough to make me wonder if usage was greater on the other side. I could determine from the context that it was likely to be a negative, but using contextual information to decode a metaphor seemed wrong.

So, would "pishing (peeing) on someone's chips (French fries)" have been more clear to you from the start, then? I'm inclined to guess it might be. Having your food soiled is a negative (conventionally speaking; let us momentarily ignore the possibility of certain proclivities in the world of kink :o ), so the image should carry over well enough into the figurative realm. If you pee on my fries, my blood pressure goes up; as below, so above.

For me the issue with the fries is not so much that they are food - although it's definitely a factor - but that it's someone else's food, ownership making it off-limits. And for me that's where the chips metaphor stands shoulder to shoulder with the aforementioned roses, in that they are someone else's roses. The proprietary aspect, for me, is foremost in setting the stage; without it, where is the personal offence?

It's clear that this isn't about being divided by a common language, but rather about individual mindset.

DrPhill wrote:
One problem is that people tend to mistake the word for the thing...

Yes.

DrPhill wrote:
...and try to manipulate the words believing that they are manipulating the things.

I'm less clear on this. Could you provide an example so I could be better on board with your drift?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
So, would "pishing (peeing) on someone's chips (French fries)" have been more clear to you from the start, then?

Yes

Nanohedron wrote:
DrPhill wrote:
...and try to manipulate the words believing that they are manipulating the things.

I'm less clear on this. Could you provide an example so I could be better on board with your drift?

Let me think of a good example - I know that I have come across this several times, but thankfully not recently. It is a pet peeve of mine and when it happens it irritates me.
Part of it may be covered by people misusing specialist languages like quantum physics, or information technology (or even both together) to create gibberish.

Allow me a sidetrack.... If you take a lion from the serengeti and put it in a zoo do you still have a lion? I would say no. A lion is really only a lion when it is doing lion things in a lion environment. Eating lion-prey and mating with other lions.
Putting lions in a cage, and lion prey in the next cage does not 'reproduce the serengetti'.

Similarly with words. If you use the word 'electrolyte' outside of a physiology context it no longer means what it does to a physiologist.... ah here is an example (not a good one) but it might do for now.

"Our cells need electrolytes. We will put electrolytes in our tonic drink. Then our tonic drink will good for your health." Grammatically correct, it even loosely follows rules of logic, but unfortunately 'electrolyte' is a general term. A solution of sodium cyanide contains electrolytes, but that does not make it good for your health. This is a weaker example than I would have wanted I will try to think of a better one.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:16 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I would think that DrPhill is displaying something of the exact subject matter of this thread, actually, rather than just being weird. :wink:

Thanks Ben, but can I still be wyrd too....

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:20 pm 
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DrPhill wrote:
"Our cells need electrolytes. We will put electrolytes in our tonic drink. Then our tonic drink will good for your health." Grammatically correct, it even loosely follows rules of logic, but unfortunately 'electrolyte' is a general term. A solution of sodium cyanide contains electrolytes, but that does not make it good for your health. This is a weaker example than I would have wanted I will try to think of a better one.

Oh, I see. The use of the word "organic" as relates to food production, for example.

I confess I have to take a somewhat relaxed attitude about it when popular use is so overwhelming that railing against it is almost pointless any more. It becomes a form of code-switching (to misappropriate a term from linguistics :wink: ), where in farming parlance "organic" means one thing, but in hard science it's quite another.

Strictly speaking, I am guilty of this in having called myself a magpie. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:46 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Oh, I see. The use of the word "organic" as relates to food production, for example.

An unfortunate contraction of 'certified organic by the soil association' wilfully exploited by advertisers keen to add markup to their products. Since I was (and am) a keen advocate of the the Soil Association standards I found that misuse disappointing.
Not quite what I am looking for, but thinking along the right lines.

My phD was in 'organic chemistry' and was built on a brilliant example of the sort of thinking I am trying to describe. It is a bit technical but I will give it a shot.

(1) Pigs raise antibodies to foreign molecules.
(2) The antibodies help the pigs remove the foreign molecules.
(3) Male pigs produce boar taint which smell horrid and housewives wont buy boar meat.
(4) If we trick the pig into raising antibodies against boar taint then the pig will get rid of its own boar taint, its meat wont smell, and we can sell it.

Impeccable logic. Inescapable conclusion. Antibodies duly raised, blood concentration of boar taint duly reduced. Cheers all round, lets celebrate with a barbecue.
Staggering stink.......

So what went wrong?
Firstly, mistaking clear reasoning for correct reasoning.
Secondly by misunderstanding the nature of the phrase 'remove foreign molecules' - the only form of removal that the pig could devise was storing the antibody/boar-taint in the fat cells.
Thirdly by thinking nature is a machine. The pig wanted boar taint, and when there did not seem to be enough, made more. Which of course got stored in the fat. The metabolism did not realise that one part was making it and another removing it, so making went on full speed as did removing it. The consequence was hugely elevated levels of boar taint in the fat, all released during cooking.......

And exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

(I hope I struck the right balance of simplification/technical accuracy for the majority. Apologies if this comes across too complex or too condescending).

[Edit: 'cc' in impeccable - doh! (hey that is an amercanism I like)]

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:58 pm 
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DrPhill wrote:
Firstly, mistaking clear reasoning for correct reasoning.

A most important distinction.

DrPhill wrote:
Secondly by misunderstanding the nature of the phrase 'remove foreign molecules' - the only form of removal that the pig could devise was storing the antibody/boar-taint in the fat cells.
Thirdly by thinking nature is a machine. The pig wanted boar taint, and when there did not seem to be enough, made more. Which of course got stored in the fat. The metabolism did not realise that one part was making it and another removing it, so making went on full speed as did removing it. The consequence was hugely elevated levels of boar taint in the fat, all released during cooking.......

And exactly the opposite of the desired effect.

So was this a hypothetical example, or - as appears to be the case - did it actually happen? I'm no scientist, but to call boar taint "foreign molecules" is a big mistake obvious even to me. But that's as far as I go. I have no idea if selective breeding could be a more viable way to get rid of boar taint.

DrPhill wrote:
(Apologies if this comes across too complex or too condescending).

Not a bit. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:21 pm 
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This was an actual thought process, sufficiently convincing to elicit funds for me to be employed to get a phD. Not my reasoning - I was as taken in by the plausibility as any. (I claim youth and underdeveloped cyncism)
[Edit: the barbecue was a bit of poetic licence - cooking was done under controlled conditions and I never got to participate in the consumption. The research failed, I got my phD and bacon sarnies are still female)]

Nanohedron wrote:
call boar taint "foreign molecules" is a big mistake obvious even to me.

Ahh, that is my over-simplification. By modifying boar-taint so it could be attached to a truly foreign molecule (a protein from another species) that caused the boars imune system to get creative. Some of that creative response assumed that the boar-taint was part of the problem, and raised antibodies against it. Normally all the proteins in an animal are 'known', but boar taint is not a protein, so the boars system was tricked into believing the boar taint a 'foreign molecule'.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:42 pm 
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DrPhill wrote:
By modifying boar-taint so it could be attached to a truly foreign molecule (a protein from another species) that caused the boars imune system to get creative. Some of that creative response assumed that the boar-taint was part of the problem, and raised antibodies against it. Normally all the proteins in an animal are 'known', but boar taint is not a protein, so the boars system was tricked into believing the boar taint a 'foreign molecule'.

Sorcery.

Now I'm looking up boar taint. Didn't even know it was a thing. Life as a city mouse...

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