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Author Topic: When in doubt, explain it
snopes
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quote:
Now, do we honestly think we have to explain to any but the most mentally challenged readers what (or who) is meant by Rumsfeldian? Maybe three or four years down the road, but not this soon after the president made headlines by canning his defense secretary after praising him to the skies.

This reminds Dr. Wordsmith of a possibly apocryphal story told years ago about the Los Angeles Times, in which a reporter quoted a public official as saying the City Council "couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again." A supercautious copy editor supposedly inserted a line in the story that explained, "a reference to a children's nursery rhyme concerning a broken egg."


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NeeCD
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quote:
But in the written form of the language, the past tense of sneak is sneaked. Let's try to keep it that way.
Is this true or is Dr. Wordsmith being too picky here? I know there are several snopesters who are knowledgeable about this type of thing, so what's up?

According to Answers.com (among other online dictionaries) "sneak (snēk) pronunciation

v., sneaked also snuck (snŭk), sneak·ing, sneaks."

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I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

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snopes
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There's no real linguistic reason for the past tense of "sneak" to be the irregular form "snuck." The correct form is/was "sneaked," but the colloquialism "snuck" has taken hold and caught on to the extent that it's probably more widely used than "sneaked" (at least in informal usage) and is typically included in dictionaries as a standard variant.

Whether Dr. Wordsmith is being too picky depends upon whether you're a prescriptivist or a descriptivist, I suppose.

- snopes

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DadOf3
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I guess I'm one of the most mentally challenged of readers. I wouldn't have had the slightest idea what or who Rumsfeldian was had Dr. Wordsmith not explained it in the next sentence.
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Steve
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I'm curious what kind of prescriptivist Dr. Wordsmith is. Do prescriptivists now count "effort" as a verb?
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Logoboros
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I believe the "verbing" of effort was being performed self-consciously in that sentence.

--Logoboros

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"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by Logoboros:
I believe the "verbing" of effort was being performed self-consciously in that sentence.

--Logoboros

You know, I'd considered that, but I figured it would ruin the brilliance of my point. Damn.

Eh, either way I say "snuck" is just fine. And I'll effort it's way into the language!

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evilrabbit
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"Died after being swarmed by bees" is technically correct. First he was swarmed, then he died. No, being swarmed would not automatically kill you, but most people would assume that a large group of bees gathering on a person would likely sting. Of course, the phrase is also handy if his death was unconnected to the bee swarm, but the swarming was somehow interesting in it's own right (like maybe he won a Guiness record, then dropped dead immediately after).
And according to at least a couple sources, you could collide with a stationary object.
quote:
collide with - hit against; come into sudden contact with
quote:
To come together with violent, direct impact
quote:
To come together or come up against with force: bump, crash.
quote:
1. crash into something: to hit a person or object moving toward you or a person or object you are moving toward
The only thing that suggests both parties have to be moving is "come together" and even that (to me) doesn't demand it.

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"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

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