Author Topic: Semantics.  (Read 1234 times)

Offline Kiltpin

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 02 September 20 16:14 BST (UK) »
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see anything offensively racist, ageist, or sexist about the idiom 'to luck out' and I have never heard it used in such a way.  Would it be cynical to suspect that your explanation is deliberately disingenuous?
   

Yes, it would be cynical - I did say, in the first sentence, that it was for my own amusement.   

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Chas
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Offline Erato

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 02 September 20 17:03 BST (UK) »
I quite understand.  It is, indeed, amusing to expose someone else's prejudice.
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Offline Kiltpin

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #11 on: Wednesday 02 September 20 18:23 BST (UK) »
I am sure you are amused. 

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Chas
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Online jbml

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 02 September 20 22:08 BST (UK) »
Without wishing to pass judgement one way or the other, I would merely note that mocking American idiom has been the standard stock-in-trade of British comedy for as long as I can remember.

Take, for instance, one of the earliest "Dad's Army" episodes that I can remember (and I remember seeing it the first time it aired - just) "My British Buddy"

[Corporal Jones tells a great long, convoluted anecdote, and then explains the gist of it for the benefit of anyone who didn't follow it when he told it the first time around]

American colonel: You don't say!

Corporal Jones: I DO say ... I just said it!
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Offline Erato

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #13 on: Thursday 03 September 20 00:39 BST (UK) »
"stock-in-trade of British comedy"

To be sure.  It's been going on for centuries.  One of my favorites is Samuel Johnson disdainfully dismissing the word 'tomahawk' and using 'tom-axe' instead because, you know, why should the rubes over there feel free to introduce new words or expressions into the language?
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Offline majm

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 03 September 20 05:56 BST (UK) »
Back in the penal colony of N.S.Wales in the 1820s,  the British Governors oversaw grants of land to emancipated settlers and to soldiers who were  completing their service and not returning to Britain. There were several variations on the ways to apply, but one was 'Grants Without Purchase' ... Those seeking a Grant Without Purchase had to find an 'UPSET'  amount and pay that to the governor's officials.   Today's word would be SET-UP.    :)   Without Purchase ... they were granted the Land without handing over the full purchase price.   That scheme was quickly changed because it became oversubscribed. 

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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #15 on: Thursday 03 September 20 07:51 BST (UK) »
talking about our family history with my niece I explained how my grandmother had a child before she married.
My niece then asked who grandmother had had an 'affair' with.  Then niece referred to this child as 'love child.'
Uncle Walter (1880-1959) was homosexual - not a secret - lived with his valet. Today he would be described as 'gay.'

Is it right to use modern terminology when describing things of the past i.e. should we talk about grandmother's 'affair' or about Uncle W being 'gay' because those terms were not around in their time?



In your specific example yes, it could and probably would be acceptable to describe him as gay, but there is a caveat.
Gay originally meant carefree and uninhibited which many young single people would be and it was not until the early 20th century it the meaning changed to homosexual.
However it is not as simple as that because in the latter part of the 19th century the term was applied to prostitutes and brothels, which could give entirely the wrong impression of your Uncle Walter.

In a similar way the term bastard was the official or legal designation of a baby born out of wedlock, it was not a derogatory term, there were many other terms that could and indeed were used to show disgust.
Cheers
Guy
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Offline Josephine

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #16 on: Friday 04 September 20 05:12 BST (UK) »
We say "lucked out" in Canada, too. I've never really thought about it until now. :D
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Online jbml

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Re: Semantics.
« Reply #17 on: Friday 04 September 20 18:00 BST (UK) »
I used to have a colleague of oriental parentage whose first name was Luckin (I shan't mention his second name as he is, to the best of my knowledge, still alive) ... is that the exact opposite of luck out?

(And I remember once asking a girl in my O level music class, whose surname was Newall, "what's the past tense of know-all?" She replied "Knew-all" without thinking ... but she was a lovely unassuming girl, who could NEVER have been a know-all ... )
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