The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

the 2nd definition of "cantankerous" in freedictionary Options
robjen
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:42:39 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2015
Posts: 398
Neurons: 2,255
The online dictionary, www.freedictionary.com, gives two definitions of "cantankerous"

A. Ill-tempered and quarrelsome; disagreeable:
B. Difficult to handle:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

I am interested in definition b. I am going to make up a sentence with it.

(1) My computer usually works well. However, it seems to be cantankerous today because it's doing different things than I want it to do.

Am I using the second definition correctly? Thanks.
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 5:25:30 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,127
Neurons: 187,611
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
I'm not sure there really is a separate "second definition", though I won't seriously contest the point.

There's nothing wrong with your sentence, but it feels to me like just a figurative extension of the main definition, meaning "troublesome" or "vexing".

towan52
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 6:28:27 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,675
Neurons: 159,313
Location: Midland, Texas, United States
I think also that "cantankerous" is more usually applied to people rather than things.

"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
Sanmayce
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 6:41:47 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/29/2012
Posts: 239
Neurons: 1,733
Location: Sofia, Sofia-Capital, Bulgaria
Hardly-traceable word!
The thing that got me thinking is the lack of similar form for 'troublemaker', we have adjective 'troublemaking' but why not 'troublemakerous' if following
Middle English contakour "troublemaker", https://www.etymonline.com/word/cantankerous

'Troublemakerous', covers both cases, no?

He learns not to learn and reverts to what all men pass by.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:30:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 776
Neurons: 181,973
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
I like your 2nd sentence. It suggests a slight human quality to the computer, as if it is being troublesome deliberately, and this is how we very often speak of our computer when we're experiencing difficulties with it. This, from a 40 year software development background -- first-hand info!
NKM
Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 11:33:57 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,127
Neurons: 187,611
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Wilmar (USA) wrote:
I like your 2nd sentence. It suggests a slight human quality to the computer, as if it is being troublesome deliberately, and this is how we very often speak of our computer when we're experiencing difficulties with it. This, from a 40 year software development background -- first-hand info!

══════════════════════════════════════════════

I agree. I've been programming computers (mostly mainframes) for a long time, starting in 1964 (IBM 1401). Through the years I've used a number of adjectives to describe the machines' behavior, ranging all the way from "stubborn" and "uncooperative" to "obstreperous".

(PCs are more cantankerous than mainframes.)

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:20:21 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,172
Neurons: 40,153
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Wilmar, NK,

I too assign my computers a personality: and a bad one at that! They are, at various times, sulky, uncooperative, sneaky, trying to be funny and downright malign.
georgieporgie
Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:31:48 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 8/7/2017
Posts: 88
Neurons: 440
Romany wrote:
Wilmar, NK,

I too assign my computers a personality: and a bad one at that! They are, at various times, sulky, uncooperative, sneaky, trying to be funny and downright malign.


That's the first time I have seen that word used as an adjective. Cool!

Obviously you guys are all Windows users.Whistle
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 1:36:50 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,172
Neurons: 40,153
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom


Sick
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, November 02, 2017 5:08:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 39,750
Neurons: 298,526
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
From another thread in Site Features about a year ago:

Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
As a longtime observer of computer anomalies I've found out it all depends on:

moon phase
weekday
air pressure
wind direction
humidity
the position of the stars
sea level
chance
state of mind, both of the computer's and the user's
possible deadline approaching
user's blood pressure

It might help if the user carries some frog legs and other talismanic items in a pouch, and puts two magical candles lighted up on both side of the bitchy machine.


I think you could add to the list:
that damn thing just decided to be cantankerous ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
towan52
Posted: Thursday, November 02, 2017 9:25:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1,675
Neurons: 159,313
Location: Midland, Texas, United States
This may be a bit dated but it still amuses me. When presented with a problem with my PC a few years back, the IT techie said it was "A PICNIC" fault. = "Person in Chair, not In Computer".

"Today I was a hero. I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle"
Romany
Posted: Thursday, November 02, 2017 12:29:07 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 13,172
Neurons: 40,153
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

NK - love that, too! I must pass it on to our techies at work!
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.