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HWNN1961
Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 9:16:10 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,494
Neurons: 9,763
A recent thread regarding a "lost" city inspires me to examine a phrase. A decade ago, you'd never hear this turn of speech on US television, radio, and print media. Suddenly it became en vogue. I refer to describing someone who suddenly is MIA as having

"gone missing".

Do others agree with me that this is a rather brutal assault on the language?

To be missing is a status, not a destination. Yes? One does not "go missing" one "is" missing. There may well be a town named "Missing" someplace on the globe (maybe the Incan city's name of Machu Picchu is their word for missing), but, I don't think that is where Amelia Earhart, et al currently are residing.

Anyway, if there were such a location, and it were on the map, we could all go there and find those lost souls, taking their ease in Missing, Indiana, or wherever missing is. Problem solved, and I find my lost keys, my baseball card collection, and my left sock.

This seems to be a British phrase. My guess is that American media use it since all things British seem to confer immediate legitimacy here. That is why so many of the infomercials that infest airtime on our TV try to compensate for the slipshod nature of their wares by hiring someone with a ridiculously thick British accent as pitchman.

Similarly: sell perfume or other romantic items using a woman with a haunting French accent and sell practical goods using someone with a Scottish accent (they are renoun to be very practical and frugal...i.e. "cheap-asses).

But, I digress. I fear that the original intent of this post may have gone missing!
kitten
Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 9:52:00 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/28/2009
Posts: 2,463
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Location: the city by the bay
Perhaps it has to do with the documentary musical about things that go missing? GONE MISSING received its World Premiere by The Civilians at The Belt, New York City, October 9, 2003, directed by Steve Cosson

"Gone Missing." http://www.thecivilians.org/repertoire/gone_missing.html

From there it was integrated into everyday speech.

I usually think of the police or crimes when I hear "gone missing."


peace out, >^,,^<


Chessapprentice
Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 10:41:28 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/23/2009
Posts: 52
Neurons: 14,213
Location: Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
Well, that's the marketing logic. They do not mind of getting ridiculous to achieve their profit, as by using stereotypes (as if someone would buy a perfume because its ad has a girl with a French affected accent. No, we want good perfumes before everything!). Here in Brazil we've got some English words being ridiculously used by traders.

On the "gone missing" issue: http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/english/2005/08/went_missing.html
kitten
Posted: Friday, December 10, 2010 11:38:41 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/28/2009
Posts: 2,463
Neurons: 7,420
Location: the city by the bay
Thank you for the above post. As it explains it a bit more.

Take heart in the fact that it has yet to be used enough to be included in the dictionary like: Homer Simpson's "Doh" or Rachel Ray's "EVOO" for extra virgin olive oil.d'oh!

There are many of our words used in the UK and they do not like it as they feel it 'Americanises' their language.

There was an excellent 10 part???? Series on PBS fifteen plus years ago. The moderator went around the world, recorded how the dialects and the words and speech were changing. We are ever evolving. And at least it isn't text speak.Silenced

Mercifully we no longer use thee's, thou's and the language of 200 plus years ago, so some change is okay.


peace out, >^,,^<


MarySM
Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2010 6:53:17 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/22/2009
Posts: 1,627
Neurons: 6,084
I agree with you HW. It is another term that has crept into the language. A few years ago I started hearing the word “suicided” being used to mean someone who had committed suicide. I have even heard news commentators (and others who should know better) use the term. Would anyone say “homicided” instead of committed homicide? I hope not!
lenam
Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2010 7:20:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2010
Posts: 1,282
Neurons: 3,816
Location: India
In line with this is "goes offline". I have also wondered why some people say "I will go offline shortly" or "I will come online tomorrow."
Tovarish
Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010 7:27:55 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/2/2009
Posts: 11,101
Neurons: 39,933
Location: Booligal, New South Wales, Australia
I personally am offended when Military words are used in a general or sporting context.

MIA means, Missing in Action.

We don't have warriors on a football field, they are athletes.

I still have difficulties with a car being called KIA.

To me that still means Killed in Action
HWNN1961
Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010 10:17:06 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,494
Neurons: 9,763
Tovarish wrote:
I personally am offended when Military words are used in a general or sporting context.

MIA means, Missing in Action.

We don't have warriors on a football field, they are athletes.

I still have difficulties with a car being called KIA.

To me that still means Killed in Action



Tov, no offense intended. I have more than a quarter century of military in my background, and such terms are second nature to me. Usage isn't meant to diminish the importance of the term MIA. I fully understand the meaning of the term.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, December 12, 2010 11:33:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 4,287
Neurons: 166,581
Tovarish wrote:

I still have difficulties with a car being called KIA.
To me that still means Killed in Action

The first time I saw one of these commercials I was so slack jaw amazed, my expression scared my lady. I explained to her, that although I am nearly superstition free, we would never be owning one of these cars. I can not believe the acronymical* meaning escaped the founders of this company.

Regarding the OP, hmmm, yes I noticed this strange phrase, taken literally it is an intriguing concept, I always thought more along the lines of spontaneous disappearance though.
I know that "disappeared" has come to a new usage as well i.e., "keep talking like that in public and you'll likely be disappeared." or some such.

Corrolarically* speaking, I've always wanted to visit smithereens.



*I choose to use my poetic license freely and across all written or oral communication.
Tovarish
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010 10:31:30 PM
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Joined: 9/2/2009
Posts: 11,101
Neurons: 39,933
Location: Booligal, New South Wales, Australia
How interesting!

My last post has been removed, did I offend someone?
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, January 2, 2011 11:34:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2010
Posts: 1,546
Neurons: 78,988
I was just wondering if any of our Australian crowd are missing? Seems I haven't heard from Tovarish. Hope it is just a Christmas break and nothing to do with the floods going on there. (Surely, she didn't get offended, do you think?) Anyway, I hope that things will be improving for you guys real soon.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 6:20:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 595,331
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
[Tovarish wrote:]
How interesting!

My last post has been removed, did I offend someone?


Not that I'd noticed. Your MPI is still 3.03520499!
blue2
Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 6:35:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/2010
Posts: 2,552
Neurons: 23,044
Location: Préveza, Epirus, Greece
Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
. Your MPI is still 3.03520499!


Now that's Chinese to me!
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, January 3, 2011 7:12:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 43,131
Neurons: 595,331
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 10:35:29 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,713
Neurons: 57,408
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Re the "Gone Missing" thing:- I know this was British Air Force slang which originated in WW2 - whether it applied to other forces I simply don't know. I think it probably came about in the Ops. rooms when pilots or higher ranks came in demanding situational reports. Perhaps the WAFs would report "Squadron 2 has gone to Dieppe, Squadron 3's gone to Germany and eight planes have gone...missing. "

Yeah, ok this is probably not a very authentic piece of dialogue, but you get my drift. One wouldn't use MIA because, given the rather primitive (in comparison with present day) technology, one wouldn't be sure, in the initial stages, whether the planes had actually piled into a haystack in Kent, or "ploughed into the drink" or were just encountering radio transmission failures. So one wouldn't be sure where those eight planes had actually "gone", only that they were unaccounted for.

Does that make any sense?
blue2
Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2011 10:10:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/2010
Posts: 2,552
Neurons: 23,044
Location: Préveza, Epirus, Greece


So my MPI above is 2.9764419? (I don't get along with numbers so well.) Isn't that kind of low?
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