APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby JohnD » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:12 pm

It's fun to argue! If it's discussion, debate, not a quarrel.
As, I hope Chris will agree, having taken an opposing stance to mine, with effective points and argument, I am now considering my riposte.
Or not, as it is clearly, as he says, a matter of convention. Which I can use to win my argument by saying that is the glory of English! Unbound by strict grammar or rules of speech liberates us - and makes it the devil of a language to learn!

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:22 pm

JohnD wrote:It's fun to argue! If it's discussion, debate, not a quarrel.
As, I hope Chris will agree, having taken an opposing stance to mine, with effective points and argument, I am now considering my riposte.
Or not, as it is clearly, as he says, a matter of convention. Which I can use to win my argument by saying that is the glory of English! Unbound by strict grammar or rules of speech liberates us - and makes it the devil of a language to learn!

English is a rich language, made especially so by the variety of ways it can be used, the many different ways that the same thing can be expressed by different users. Indeed, English is the richest language. There is a reason that some English translations of foreign works are commonly viewed as superior to the originals, especially with much more impoverished languages like French.

IMO, the only "rule" of English usage is that whatever is said should be understandable to most of those who hear it.
Chris

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby neufer » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:54 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
E Fish wrote:
Regardless, I wasn't intending to turn this into something to argue about. My apologies.

This is a forum that has entertained many interesting discussions about language over the years.

Discussions, not arguments. No apology necessary!
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?all ... h=argument wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
discussion (n.) mid-14c., "examination, investigation, judicial trial," from Old French discussion "discussion, examination, investigation, legal trial," from Late Latin discussionem (nominative discussio) "examination, discussion," in classical Latin, "a shaking," from discussus, past participle of discutere "strike asunder, break up," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + quatere "to shake" (see quash). Meaning "a talking over, debating" in English first recorded mid-15c. Sense evolution in Latin appears to have been from "smash apart" to "scatter, disperse," then in post-classical times (via the mental process involved) to "investigate, examine," then to "debate."

argument (n.) early 14c., "statements and reasoning in support of a proposition or causing belief in a doubtful matter," from Old French arguement "reasoning, opinion; accusation, charge" (13c.), from Latin argumentum "a logical argument; evidence, ground, support, proof," from arguere "make clear, make known, prove." Sense passed through "subject of contention" (1590s) to "a quarrel" (by 1911), a sense formerly attached to argumentation.
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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby Ann » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:29 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:English is a rich language, made especially so by the variety of ways it can be used, the many different ways that the same thing can be expressed by different users. Indeed, English is the richest language. There is a reason that some English translations of foreign works are commonly viewed as superior to the originals, especially with much more impoverished languages like French.


When I studied English at the university, I was told that English is such a rich language because it has two very important roots, one Germanic from Anglo-Saxon, and one Latin, from French-speaking William the Conqueror and his reign. There are often two English words that can be used to express the same thing, one Germanic and one Latin, such as, for example, fatherly - paternal.

I decided to check up synonyms of the English word "calm", and I was impressed at what I found: still, tranquil, quiet, serene, peaceful, pacific, undisturbed, restful, balmy, halcyon. I like halcyon! :D Then there was another set of synonyms of "calm" as in windless at sea.

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby NAO Observatory » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:42 pm

Can somebody fix the spelling "meridian" in the English version? It is correct in the German APOD. :roll:

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby neufer » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:20 pm

Ann wrote:
I decided to check up synonyms of the English word "calm", and I was impressed at what I found: still, tranquil, quiet, serene, peaceful, pacific, undisturbed, restful, balmy, halcyon. I like halcyon! :D Then there was another set of synonyms of "calm" as in windless at sea.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcyone wrote:
<<In Greek mythology, Alcyone or Alkyone (Ancient Greek: Ἁλκυόνη, Halkyónē derived from alkyon αλκυων "kingfisher) was the daughter of Aeolus, either by Enarete or Aegiale. She married Ceyx, son of Eosphorus the Morning Star. Alcyone and Ceyx were very happy together in Trachis, and according to Pseudo-Apollodorus's account, often sacrilegiously called each other "Zeus" and "Hera". This angered Zeus, so while Ceyx was at sea, the god threw a thunderbolt at his ship. Soon after, Morpheus (god of dreams) disguised as Ceyx appeared to Alcyone as an apparition to tell her of his fate, and she threw herself into the sea in her grief. Out of compassion, the gods changed them both into halcyon birds, named after her.

TS Eliot draws from this myth in The Dry Salvages:
    And the ragged rock in the restless waters,
    Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
    On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
    In navigable weather it is always a seamark
    To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
    Or the sudden fury, is what it always was."
Ovid and Hyginus both make the metamorphosis the origin of the etymology for "halcyon days", the seven days in winter when storms never occur. They state that these were originally the 14 days each year (seven days on either side of the shortest day of the year) during which Alcyone (as a kingfisher) laid her eggs and made her nest on the beach and during which her father Aeolus, god of the winds, restrained the winds and calmed the waves so she could do so in safety. The phrase has since come to refer to any peaceful time. Its proper meaning, however, is that of a lucky break, or a bright interval set in the midst of adversity; just as the days of calm and mild weather are set in the height of winter for the sake of the kingfishers' egglaying.>>
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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby E Fish » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:09 pm

The last time I got into what I thought was simply a friendly discussion, the person ended up swearing at me and telling me to do all sorts of unsavory things. It took me very much by surprise. So I'm a little gun shy. :)

But I love languages. I've studied five (although I'm not fluent). So when people bring up words I know the etymology of, I love to contribute. :)

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:35 pm

E Fish wrote:The last time I got into what I thought was simply a friendly discussion, the person ended up swearing at me and telling me to do all sorts of unsavory things. It took me very much by surprise. So I'm a little gun shy. :)

But I love languages. I've studied five (although I'm not fluent). So when people bring up words I know the etymology of, I love to contribute. :)

Swearing is a fascinating area of linguistic study.
Chris

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby neufer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:55 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Swearing is a fascinating area of linguistic study.

    Fun F**ts:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profanity#Research wrote:
In English, swear words and curse words tend to have Germanic, rather than Latin etymology. A three-country poll conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion in July 2010 found that Canadians swear more often than Americans and British when talking to friends.

Analyses of recorded conversations reveal that an average of roughly 80–90 words that a person speaks each day – 0.5% to 0.7% of all words – are swear words, with usage varying from 0% to 3.4%. In comparison, first-person plural pronouns (we, us, our) make up 1% of spoken words.

Swearing performs certain psychological functions, and uses particular linguistic and neurological mechanisms; all these are avenues of research. Functionally similar behavior can be observed in chimpanzees, and may contribute to our understanding, notes New York Times author Natalie Angier. Angier also notes that swearing is a widespread but perhaps underappreciated anger management technique; that "Men generally curse more than women, unless said women are in a sorority, and that university provosts swear more than librarians or the staff members of the university day care center".

Keele University researchers Stephens, Atkins, and Kingston found that swearing relieves the effects of physical pain. Stephens said "I would advise people, if they hurt themselves, to swear". However, the overuse of swear words tends to diminish this effect. The Keele team won the Ig Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for their research.

A team of neurologists and psychologists at the UCLA Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research suggested that swearing may help differentiate Alzheimer's disease from frontotemporal dementia.

Neurologist Antonio Damasio noted that despite loss of language due to damage to the language areas of the brain, patients were still often able to swear.

A group of researchers from Wright State University studied why people swear in the online world by collecting tweets posted on Twitter. They found that cursing is associated with negative emotions such as sadness (21.83%) and anger (16.79%) thus showing people in the online world mainly use curse words to express their sadness and anger towards others.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Warsaw investigated bilingual swearing: why is it easier to swear in a foreign language? Their finding that bilinguals strengthen the offensiveness of profanities when they switch into their second language, but soften it when they switch into their first tongue, but do both statistically significantly only in the case of ethnophaulisms (ethnic slurs) led the scientist to the conclusion that switching into the second language exempts bilinguals from the social norms and constraints (whether own or socially imposed) such as political correctness, and makes them more prone to swearing and offending others.>>
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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby rstevenson » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:52 am

neufer wrote:
    Fun F**ts:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profanity#Research wrote:
... A three-country poll conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion in July 2010 found that Canadians swear more often than Americans and British when talking to friends.
...
... Functionally similar behavior can be observed in chimpanzees, ....>>

From which I conclude that Canadians are more similar to chimpanzees than are Americans or Brits. F***in eh!

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby JohnD » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:58 am

My cousins may be foul mouthed, but no less British!

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Re: APOD: A Day in the Life of a (mostly)... (2017 Aug 12)

Postby neufer » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:58 pm

JohnD wrote:
rstevenson wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profanity#Research wrote:
... A three-country poll conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion in July 2010 found that Canadians swear more often than Americans and British when talking to friends.
...
... Functionally similar behavior can be observed in chimpanzees, ....>>

From which I conclude that Canadians are more similar to chimpanzees than are Americans or Brits.

My cousins may be foul mouthed, but no less British!
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2013/12/13/skin-deep-2/ wrote:
<<During the filming of Planet of the Apes in 1967, Charlton Heston noted “an instinctive segregation on the set. Not only would the apes eat together, but the chimpanzees ate with the chimpanzees, the gorillas ate with the gorillas, the orangutans ate with the orangutans, and the humans would eat off by themselves. It was quite spooky.

James Franciscus noticed the same thing filming Beneath the Planet of the Apes in 1969. “During lunch I looked up and realized, ‘My God, here is the universe,’ because at one table were all the orangutans eating, at another table were the apes, and at another table were the humans. The orangutan characters would not eat or mix with the ape characters, and the humans wouldn’t sit down and eat with any one of them. I remember saying, ‘Look around — do you realize what’s happening here? This is a little isolated microcosm of probably what’s bugging the whole world. Call it prejudice or whatever you want to call it. Whatever’s different is to be shunned or it’s frightening or so forth.’ Nobody was intermingling, even though they were all humans underneath the masks. The masks were enough to bring out our own little genetic natures of fear and prejudice. It was startling.

(From Joe Russo and Larry Landsman, Planet of the Apes Revisited, 2001.)>>
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