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orient vs orientate Options
clr707
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 7:01:50 AM
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Hi all..........
I have read various threads about the use of different words and it was suggested to me that I write a separate one on this topic. I've heard different opinions on the uses of the two- some say one is the shorter version, and that both are accepted. I even read somewhere that well-known authors have used both. For some reason "orientate" sounds wrong to me. I can't really explain it. It's like it's too bulky or something. Yet, it makes sense when turning the noun into a verb. Oh well. Just want to see what others think.
Andleu
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 7:32:13 AM
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My limited English tells that orient is a noun and also a verb. When it is a noun, it relates to the east particularly referring to Asian countries. As a verb, it concerns defining a location with reference to a focus point. Orientate is the same as orient as a verb. Therefore, I agree with you that it looks clumsy in using the former. Why making it complicated when simple is beautiful?
AJC
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 8:34:00 AM
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I think the same as you do one this one. It's the same with cohabit/cohabitate and preventive/preventative. I've heard these used in advertising and think it should be safe to assume the folks using these words know what they are doing. I've look up in grammer books and on line am still not satisfied. They sound unwieldly to me. Where's Grammargeek?
Socks
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 2:45:36 PM
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Several dictionaries seem to list orientate, but it sounds terrible. Let's all just agree not to use it and maybe it will become arcane. Shhh
krmiller
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 11:52:36 PM
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I like to think that "orientate" comes from people making an error in trying to make the verb form of "orientation," but that might just be because I don't like it and want it to be wrong.

Andleu, when used as a noun as in your explanation "Orient" is capitalized--it's a proper noun.
AJC
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 8:40:35 AM
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Socks wrote:
Several dictionaries seem to list orientate, but it sounds terrible. Let's all just agree not to use it and maybe it will become arcane. Shhh


AGREED! Now, if others wouldn't use it, I would be verrrry happy. There's a question for ya. Why in the world does it bother ME when someone else mispronounces a word? I'm sure I do it sometimes. My circle of family and friends have an understanding that we give one another the gift of correction when we hear the wrong word used or mispronounced. Sometimes, it brings about a lively discussion and a trip to the dictionary. We insist upon using a dictionary.
grammargeek
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:14:18 PM
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This one has been a hot topic in my family for years. My sister was continually irritated by our mother's use of the word orientated when it should have been oriented, according to my sister, anyway. Now my mother did have a history of occasionally mixing up her words in some way, and my sister has always had a very good grasp of the use of the English language. So after she pointed it out and tried to correct Mom many times, I became more aware of the whole issue.

For example, my mother might say something like, "Mrs. Jones went to work at her new job, but she just couldn't seem to get orientated." Her meaning was not that Mrs. Jones couldn't attend an official orientation meeting or the like, but rather that Mrs. Jones was finding it difficult to find her bearings and adjust to the new job. My sister would say that the correct sentence for the intended meaning would be, "Mrs. Jones went to work at her new job, but she just couldn't seem to get oriented." I tend to agree with my sister on this one, but now that I've reviewed the dictionary definitions again, it all becomes a bit more muddled. What do you think?

Geeman
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 2:58:23 PM

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I think this one is like "ironic" and "ironical." Neither is grammatically incorrect, but the latter is just unnecessarily long and, maybe, a bit awkward.
Articulate Dreamer
Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 3:25:18 PM

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This little debate
Is making me dis-orientate
It's about time i went
To the exotic orient.....

In India you will hear of 'neighbourers' and 'sponsorors' too!
abcxyz
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 1:57:38 PM
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A similar case is with present and presentate. No formal dictionary has listed the latter, but I've heard it being used.
grammargeek
Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 2:26:57 PM
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abcxyz wrote:
A similar case is with present and presentate. No formal dictionary has listed the latter, but I've heard it being used.


Hmm...another new one. I've heard orientate for orient, but I've never heard anybody say presentate for present.

One I have heard used here in the past few years is conversate instead of converse or discuss. In my own experience, I've primarily heard the words conversate or conversating used by individuals who speak Spanish as their first language.
kiran_11
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2009 7:55:13 AM
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Yeah especially in India, you hear words like robberers for robbers. It's just so irritating. I agree on the simpler forms; orient, present, converse... just makes life easier!!
Geeman
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2009 2:08:33 PM

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abcxyz wrote:
A similar case is with present and presentate. No formal dictionary has listed the latter, but I've heard it being used.

I suspect this is a corrupt form of the nominalization. That is, they hear "present" and "presentation" and think there's got to be something between.
ScallyWag
Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2009 6:48:24 PM
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Andleu wrote:
Orientate is the same as orient as a verb. Therefore, I agree with you that it looks clumsy in using the former. Why making it complicated when simple is beautiful?


Simple may be beautiful but sometimes it's just plain wrong. Orientate may 'look' wrong in the written word but it sounds right when spoken. At least to me, it does. I would only ever use the word orient when referring to The Orient.

I think if both are acceptable then each person is going to use what sounds correct and more comfortable - but that won't stop the arguments.
sandraleesmith46
Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2009 7:06:20 PM
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AJC wrote; "Why does it bother me so when people misuse or mispronounce words?" I don't have an answer yet, but I feel the SAME way! The irony is I love when people do it deliberately, while PLAYING with words, but when someone is speaking seriously, lecturing or making a speech, it drives me crazy! So whatever that's about, I've got it too, and been trying to figure it about for some 40-odd years. As for orient vs. orientate. the latter crept in somewhere after the late 60's. I first ran into those longer constructions while going through therapy for major depressions, because they're using a bunch of them in modern psychology/psychiatry. When I was in school, in the dark ages, you would have been marked wrong using them on a paper, or spelling test. For my money. they sound as awkward and clumsy as they look on paper, and I vote for the "drop the usage" plan too.
Robert Genis
Posted: Sunday, October 17, 2010 2:30:46 AM
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Re: Orientated vs Oriented usage;
After careful consideration, and weighing the differences between Canadian English, American English and The Queen's English... I have discerned by the several Dictionaries that I have consulted; that "Orientated" is proper usage when referring to a map, direction or navigation (to wit: or'ientate v.t. relate to the points of a compass; take bearings of.). However, when applied to the personal affectation of one's own relationship with the environment... the proper usage would always be "oriented". This would seem to be the standard across the board.
That being said, and that the Lexicon of the English Language is dynamic rather that static... I can only conclude that being educated and fluent in English grammar is quickly becoming a 'Lost Ability'. After all, to verbalize used to mean "to speak aurally", but now it seems to mean we create a Verb from a preexisting Noun.

Robert Genis
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