How do you accept the definition of a word?

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How do you accept the definition of a word?

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Common usage
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Total votes : 15

Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#21  Postby Preno » Mar 15, 2010 1:13 am

irreligionist wrote:
gooseboy wrote:Now I'm pissed off. The meaning of literally which completely rubs me up the wrong way (don't ask me why) has made it into the Oxford. I think the only way forward for me is to abandon English and take up French.


Vraiment?

Littéralement.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#22  Postby gooseboy » Mar 15, 2010 1:16 am

Based on the responses so far, does anyone think that "someone who denies the existence of god" isn't a valid definition of "atheist"?

I'm getting over my shock about the evolved meaning of "literally". But I still don't like it. :waah:
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#23  Postby gooseboy » Mar 15, 2010 1:17 am

Preno wrote:
irreligionist wrote:
gooseboy wrote:Now I'm pissed off. The meaning of literally which completely rubs me up the wrong way (don't ask me why) has made it into the Oxford. I think the only way forward for me is to abandon English and take up French.


Vraiment?

Littéralement.

God - I hope the meaning of the word hasn't changed in French too.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#24  Postby irreligionist » Mar 15, 2010 1:33 am

gooseboy wrote:
Preno wrote:
irreligionist wrote:
gooseboy wrote:Now I'm pissed off. The meaning of literally which completely rubs me up the wrong way (don't ask me why) has made it into the Oxford. I think the only way forward for me is to abandon English and take up French.


Vraiment?

Littéralement.

God - I hope the meaning of the word hasn't changed in French too.


God's not going to help you get out of that terrible insult you just dished me up. Quelle horreur !
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#25  Postby gooseboy » Mar 15, 2010 1:42 am

irreligionist wrote:God's not going to help you get out of that terrible insult you just dished me up. Quelle horreur !

Huh? :scratch: What insult?
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#26  Postby irreligionist » Mar 15, 2010 1:43 am

gooseboy wrote:Based on the responses so far, does anyone think that "someone who denies the existence of god" isn't a valid definition of "atheist"?

I'm getting over my shock about the evolved meaning of "literally". But I still don't like it. :waah:


Hmm... 'denies the existence' sounds like someone has weighed up the options and has chosen to deny, whereas 'lacks a belief in the existence' allows for people who have never had any exposure to the concept.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#27  Postby irreligionist » Mar 15, 2010 1:48 am

gooseboy wrote:
irreligionist wrote:God's not going to help you get out of that terrible insult you just dished me up. Quelle horreur !

Huh? :scratch: What insult?


Apologies. I was using my usage of the word (and let's face I'm common) and let me tell you, I was insulted. But I'm ok now :waah:
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#28  Postby gooseboy » Mar 15, 2010 1:50 am

irreligionist wrote:
gooseboy wrote:Based on the responses so far, does anyone think that "someone who denies the existence of god" isn't a valid definition of "atheist"?

I'm getting over my shock about the evolved meaning of "literally". But I still don't like it. :waah:


Hmm... 'denies the existence' sounds like someone has weighed up the options and has chosen to deny, whereas 'lacks a belief in the existence' allows for people who have never had any exposure to the concept.

Be that as it may, it (from my experience) is the common usage of the word, and is the all knowing Google define: meaning.

AskOxford.com defines it as "noun the belief that God does not exist." (Which is pretty close to the above.)
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#29  Postby crank » Mar 15, 2010 2:53 am

Common usage is the only real determinant, dictionaries struggle to keep up, purists struggle (and always fail) to stem the tide. Languages change, they always have, and they always will. Look at what the intertubez is doing. I mourn the loss of the literal meaning of 'literal', but its gone, it ain't coming back. The influx of new words and old words given new meaning is marvelous, keeps a language vibrant and relevant in a rapidly changing world.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#30  Postby gooseboy » Mar 15, 2010 3:13 am

crank wrote:Common usage is the only real determinant, dictionaries struggle to keep up, purists struggle (and always fail) to stem the tide. Languages change, they always have, and they always will. Look at what the intertubez is doing. I mourn the loss of the literal meaning of 'literal', but its gone, it ain't coming back. The influx of new words and old words given new meaning is marvelous, keeps a language vibrant and relevant in a rapidly changing world.


Yes, I agree. I guess I can still say something is "literally literally ...". Or maybe I can something is "archaically literally ..."
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#31  Postby katja z » Mar 15, 2010 12:18 pm

crank wrote:Common usage is the only real determinant, dictionaries struggle to keep up, purists struggle (and always fail) to stem the tide. Languages change, they always have, and they always will. Look at what the intertubez is doing. I mourn the loss of the literal meaning of 'literal', but its gone, it ain't coming back. The influx of new words and old words given new meaning is marvelous, keeps a language vibrant and relevant in a rapidly changing world.


Yep, usage is what language is about. Well, usage in context. Many words have multiple meanings and you need the context to pinpoint the one you're looking for. (Yes, you can accuse me of being obsessed with context - I am that, I suppose, it goes with the job. I'm a translator.)

And of course language has to keep changing to keep up with changes in our world. We constantly need new words or new meanings of old words to refer to new social realities, new ideas, new objects ... and to express our social identities, this is an interesting factor of language change and differentiation too. Just look at the meaning the word "gay" has nowadays and you'll know what I mean.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#32  Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Mar 27, 2010 8:31 pm

Common usage, unless it's a technical word.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#33  Postby Wiðercora » Mar 28, 2010 12:02 pm

I look it up in a dictionary. I currently use the Paperback OED (3rd ed.).
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#34  Postby shh » Mar 30, 2010 12:35 am

Depends, if it's just a word I haven't come across the dictionary's probably good enough, if the definition is contentious, then some combination of the above, and philology where necessary.
Mostly I don't care so long as whoever's using a term clearly defines it up front.
wiki wrote: despite the fact that chocolate is not a fruit[citation needed]
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#35  Postby LIFE » May 20, 2010 12:45 am

virphen wrote:Typically around here it consists of the religious trying to tell us that atheism means that we are saying there definitely is no god, with atheists saying "well actually...". So who wins?


With a word like "atheism" I never understood how someone could twist it that much.
Atheos = "without God" or just "godless". No claim "There's no god".
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#36  Postby tuco » May 20, 2010 12:56 am

In my language usually common use, in English or with words I do not have good knowledge of common use dictionary.

MW defines Atheism as: b. the doctrine that there is no deity

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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#37  Postby gooseboy » May 20, 2010 1:01 am

LIFE wrote:
virphen wrote:Typically around here it consists of the religious trying to tell us that atheism means that we are saying there definitely is no god, with atheists saying "well actually...". So who wins?


With a word like "atheism" I never understood how someone could twist it that much.
Atheos = "without God" or just "godless". No claim "There's no god".


The problem with that is that it's using etymology, which gives pretty bad results when applied to many common words (eg awful).
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#38  Postby debunk » May 20, 2010 1:02 am

Answer to the OP: depends on the context.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#39  Postby Thommo » May 20, 2010 1:14 am

Seems simple - I try and interpret it the way the person using the word intended. To do anything else is fucking stupid.

Where it's not clear I refer to common usage, context, knowledge of that person's linguistic use and a dictionary if necessary. Or better yet, when possible I ask.
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Re: How do you accept the definition of a word?

#40  Postby LIFE » May 20, 2010 1:21 am

gooseboy wrote:The problem with that is that it's using etymology, which gives pretty bad results when applied to many common words (eg awful).


But when I strictly translate from Latin to English it gives me "no(t) god" or "(negate) god", no?
So a strict translation without extrapolating any further meaning is etymology?
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