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  #1  
Old 09-03-2016, 07:24 PM
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Default Toward Correct Verbage

I guess it's my turn to wear the Language Nazi hat; we need to start being more precise in the words we use to (attempt) to
describe
attitudes/actions used as labels for people. So ...

Discrimination: to discriminate, which describes the ability to distinguish one thing from another, or to show a refinement in
such
ability. It is not actually a pejorative and we should stop using it as if it were. When was the last time anyone was heard
to complain about
a product being advertised as appealing to "those with discriminating tastes"? (Neither have I.)

Prejudice: to pre-judge something or someone, either favorably or unfavorably, without knowledge. Bad? Maybe, maybe not.
While it
is undoubtedly bad when applied to people for insufficient reason – amount of melanin for instance – it is not of and
unto itself bad.

Prejudging people, situations, and things is actually a survival trait that we disregard at our peril. The person approaching
you late at
night in a lonely area, head down and wearing a hoodie, should put you into “orange alert” status. That is
definitely a prejudicial response
– that hoodie wearer may be a perfectly nice person – but until you know for certain your
prejudiced response is not a bad thing.


If both discrimination and prejudice are not necessarily bad things, we should stop using them as if they are always
indicative of ill will, at
least without some sort of modifier. For example, instead of saying a person is “prejudiced” (we all are)
we might say that person is
“racially prejudiced” as that does show ill will towards a person or group of people for
insufficient reason. [Why we should talk about
ethnicity instead of race will be the topic of another rant!] As far as
discrimination is concerned, there seems to be no way to attach a
modifier that would make it into something nasty; we must
perforce stop using it in that manner.


So, what can we say when we want to accuse someone of having an unreasoning dislike of some other race? Is there no
one word we can
use? As it turns out, there is just such a word: bigot. A bigot is a person who is utterly and completely
intolerant of any race, creed, or
belief other than his own. There are the usual variants which gives us bigoted and bigotry,
allowing us to fully and accurately discuss the
person and his ideas.

There you have it; my plea for a more rational use of the words our forebears thoughtfully provided. I don’t expect an
overnight change
in speech patterns based on my own desires, but if enough of us stop saying discrimination and prejudice
when we’re actually referring to
bigots and bigotry we may make a difference among the rational. (Nothing is likely to
make a dent with the KKK, Black Lies Matter, the
DNC, and similar groups that are themselves bigots.)
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Toward Correct Verbage

I've been accused of all of the above. Just before I retired in 2010 I fired an affirmative action hire. That gave him one strike right off the bat with me, but he still had two remaining.

Turns out the guy can't ever put a more then one 40 hour week together in a row. STRIKE 2.

When I confronted him about all his missed time informing him we do not hire part timers on this crew, he called me all of the above and then some. I smiled and said STRIKE 3. You're out.

Now that my friends was one glorious day seeing that POS leave the job site talking to himself. As you can see, I still remember it fondly.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2016, 01:22 PM
Glenn9643 Glenn9643 is offline
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Default Re: Toward Correct Verbage

[quote=Danang Sailor;20625047]I guess it's my turn to wear the Language Nazi hat; we need to start being more precise in the words we use to (attempt) to
describe
attitudes/actions used as labels for people. So ...


Not REALLY wanting to be a smartass but with the title of this post I couldn't stop myself!

http://outstandingwriting.com/verbage-or-verbiage/
The verbage vs verbiage issue is a good example of this. The two tend to be used interchangeably, and that is a big problem. Because only one of them is actually a word to be begin with.
Verbage
It might surprise you to know that ‘verbage’ is not a word. In fact, it is a common misspelling based on an improper pronunciation. So not only is it incorrect in spelling and use, but also just in spoken word.
Because the ‘i’ is commonly left unsaid, it changes the sound of the word. Think of it as the same kind of sound as ‘foliage’, where it will often be pronounced as ‘folage’. It is incorrect, but in that case, people don’t assume the two are different words.
Verbiage
The correct word to use in any instance is ‘verbiage’. This is said with a long ‘e’ sound, due to the silent ‘e’ at the end of the word.
But what, then, does ‘verbiage’ mean? There are two accepted dictionary definitions:
1) an excess of words, as in writing or speech.
2). a manner of expressing something in words.
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Old 09-04-2016, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Toward Correct Verbage

[quote=Glenn9643;20625084]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danang Sailor View Post
I guess it's my turn to wear the Language Nazi hat; we need to start being more precise in the words we use to (attempt) to
describe
attitudes/actions used as labels for people. So ...


Not REALLY wanting to be a smartass but with the title of this post I couldn't stop myself!

http://outstandingwriting.com/verbage-or-verbiage/
The verbage vs verbiage issue is a good example of this. The two tend to be used interchangeably, and that is a big problem. Because only one of them is actually a word to be begin with.
Verbage
It might surprise you to know that ‘verbage’ is not a word. In fact, it is a common misspelling based on an improper pronunciation. So not only is it incorrect in spelling and use, but also just in spoken word.
Because the ‘i’ is commonly left unsaid, it changes the sound of the word. Think of it as the same kind of sound as ‘foliage’, where it will often be pronounced as ‘folage’. It is incorrect, but in that case, people don’t assume the two are different words.
Verbiage
The correct word to use in any instance is ‘verbiage’. This is said with a long ‘e’ sound, due to the silent ‘e’ at the end of the word.
But what, then, does ‘verbiage’ mean? There are two accepted dictionary definitions:
1) an excess of words, as in writing or speech.
2). a manner of expressing something in words.
Thanks. I was concentrating on the best way to word my rant and didn't even notice that pesky typo in the title.

(Perhaps I should add a section regarding proofreading to my pamphlet, "How to Talk Real Better, and Get a Lots
Gooder Job"?)
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Toward Correct Verbage

I agree about those words and while we're at it, how about using statistics properly.

If one is going to say that a certian percent of something is something , they should really say percent of what.
In some cases it's obvious like 30% cloudy implies that a third of the sky will have clouds or that one third of the day will be overcast. But it is so often used in ways that are not obvious.

I can't think of a good example at the moment.

I actually complained to a small newspaper about printing an article that used the term 'per capita' to mean 100,000 people. They ended up saying that there were something like 9 breweries per person in NH.

Ignorance is spreading just as fast as information !
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:18 PM
mla2ofus mla2ofus is offline
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Default Re: Toward Correct Verbage

I think stupid is spreading even faster!! Darwin is the only thing that can fix stupid!! When I say someone is ignorant I make sure the person I'm talking to knows the person I'm referring to isn't stupid because ignorance can be educated.

Mike
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