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D00M
Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2018 3:56:21 PM

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Joined: 3/24/2017
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Hello respected teachers,

Is the following correct English?

Earning money for its own sake can lead to disgrace and bestiality.

I am looking forward to your answers.
taurine
Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2018 6:05:02 PM

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Location: South Dublin, Ireland
I am not sure about bestiality as this word in my opinion has something stigmatic.
It was used to describe at Common Law sexual relations between a human being and an animal.


J'ai perdu mes amis en Afrique durant la dernière semaine de 2017
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, February 11, 2018 10:36:12 PM

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Joined: 9/19/2011
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"Bestial" means behaving selfishly, like a beast, so usually when describing someone as acting like a beast we say "bestial behavior" rather than 'bestiality", so as not to confuse that behavior with having sexual relations with a beast.

Since both behaviors are described with the same word, we want to make it clear which behavior is meant.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Romany
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 7:01:38 AM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

However "bestial" behaviour describes something very unworthy and seriously bad - it's not just degrading someone to use it against them, it's the kind of behaviour that is 'beyond the pale' - a kind of extreme bad behaviour. It's a really strong accusation.

It's not a word to throw casually around when you mean just 'bad' or 'selfish'. Anyone accused of "bestial" behaviour would have every right to defend themselves in a court of law against such a charge. So a general statement that capitalists descend into bestiality would cause an uproar.

Words are powerful. If we start using extreme words as part of our usual lexicon we rob words of their power and make them meaningless. Without meaningful words violence is often the only way left for some people to express themselves.

In the past 18 months we have seen the word "hate" become meaningless in the USA. It's used now to mean "dislike", "disapprove of", "don't agree with", "have a different opinion", "don't get on with", "take exception to.." . People now "hate" anyone who isn't on their team, or supports a different policy, or thinks differently, or doesn't agree with one...and so "hate" now has become acceptable in many quarters. Leaving one without a word to describe how one feels at the *rare* actions or people which cause deep abhorrence.
FounDit
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 12:57:06 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,568
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Romany wrote:


In the past 18 months we have seen the word "hate" become meaningless in the USA. It's used now to mean "dislike", "disapprove of", "don't agree with", "have a different opinion", "don't get on with", "take exception to.." . People now "hate" anyone who isn't on their team, or supports a different policy, or thinks differently, or doesn't agree with one...and so "hate" now has become acceptable in many quarters. Leaving one without a word to describe how one feels at the *rare* actions or people which cause deep abhorrence.


Very true. The same can be said for the words "racist, homophobe, misogynist, etc.". These also are used to disparage anyone holding a different opinion.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Romany
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 8:26:48 PM
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Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Perhaps that might pertain in certain places, but it isn't something that's been picked up on for those of us outside the USA.

Whereas the word I mentioned has certainly come to be used in a very cavalier way which has lessened its impact as a strong word.

We might be witnessing the beginning of a change that turns itself right around, as happened with "nice"!
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