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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Saturday, April 11, 2009
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Last 10 Posts
irony vs. sarcasm
Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:23:47 AM
I'm sorry, but there is a lot of misinformation in this thread. Irony and sarcasm are in no way synonymous. Sarcasm is bitter, cutting speech. Often irony is
in sarcastic speech, but that speech is still sarcasm.
Irony, on the other hand, is speech or circumstance where something is other than what is believed or expected or normal. My sister told me that once the firemen of her town left potatoes cooking when they answered a call. The fire to which they responded was quickly extinguished, but as they were returning to the station, they received another call from the dispatcher. Their own firehouse was ablaze! Had it been the police station or an ordinary home or some shop, there would have been nothing out of the ordinary. But to have their own station burn was true irony.
The chief that department is a friend of my sister. I'm sure she (and many others) gave him some good-natured kidding about what happened. Had she laughingly said something like "Great practice exercise you planned for your department!" she would have been using irony. Had she cruelly said "Nice going, Bozo! You idiots can't even cook a pan of potatoes without burning down half the town!" that would have been an example of sarcasm. Yes, she would have still been using irony, but the overriding characterization of her speech would have been the sarcasm.
Romany's hilarious statement on the AK47 vs M16 thread, as referenced by Epiphileon, is full of irony; and it is her clever use of irony that makes the post so funny. But there is nothing biting or cutting or bitter about it; it is NOT sarcasm.
I haven't heard Alanis Morissete's song, "Isn't It Ironic?" but I'm curious about the part involving rain on her wedding day. While rain on one's wedding day might be very disappointing, it isn't really that ironic in itself. But if after an eight-month drought, the clouds suddenly open up on one's wedding day, that would definitely be ironic!
Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:20:17 AM
Any change in wording
effects a change in meaning, even if ever so slightly, to those for whom language is important. And the fact that you are here on this forum makes me believe that you are either one of us who do find language important or one who is eager to learn. Both are good!
A change in sentence structure brings about even more change. Between these two sentences, there is quite a difference.
First, capitalization alone shows differences. The capitalized "Internation Education" must be the name of some particular organization or program or such, or it would not be capitalized. The same words uncapitalized simply describe the model under consideration. Since the examples are not completed sentences, I'm not sure I uncerstand quite what specific "Faculties..." are involved, but again, since it is capitalized, it must be the first name of some specific faculty organization, not simply the faculties of certain schools.
Second, the change in sentence structure is very meaningful. In the first sentence, there is simply a collaborative model for the discussed education program. Who or what is involved in the collaboration is not yet clear, since we don't have the rest of the article of writing, but I'm sure that either has been fully discussed or will be developed in the article. The point is that it is not -- based strictly on the example given -- an international education model. In the second sentence, the model is definitely that of an international education one.
I hope I haven't confused you. If I have, please let me know what you wish clarified.
Looking for a word
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:21:13 PM
Shaw, I believe, said something to the effect that "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." In the U.S., an haberdashery carries men's items such as hats, ties, gloves, socks, shirts, etc., though the term has gone somewhat out of usage with the decrease in the number of such shops. They used to be often found next to tailors' shops.
What we in the U.S now call "fabric stores" were once called "dry goods shops". I really don't know when the change came about; it just evolved over time. Now fabric stores seem harder and harder to find; they are being replaced by craft shops, which may or may not carry fabrics, but generally do carry at least some notions.
"try and" vs. "try to"
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:46:35 PM
I once used the "try and..." form while talking to an Irish friend of mine. His answer was: "don't speak American to me". Could that be the difference? I've heard it a lot on the telly
Valenarwen, I've heard LOTS of things on the telly! Doesn't make them correct, though, LOL. I've even read many incorrect words/word usages/spellings/statements in more highly regarded mediums, written by supposedly educated persons. I've even come across a mistake or two in this forum. I know, unbelievable, isn't it? And one of them was mine! [blush]
Kidding aside, television can be entertaining and even informative, but like the internet, books, and elsewhere, there are a lot of mistakes made.
I understood perfectly your Irish friend's intention, whether "try and" is truly an American blunder, or just a general misusage.
"try and" vs. "try to"
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:30:14 PM
EllieMae, Romany is most emphatically correct. "Try and" is one of my pet peeves.
Cell phone. Other than talking why do I really need one?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:13:40 PM
Rather than launch into a rant on the deleterious effects of the current usage of mobile electronics on society, culture, and individual social development, I'll will just say, no sir I don't think you do.
Just one more thing, people who talk on cell phones while driving ought to have their driving license suspended for seven days, doubling the time for each additional offense.[/quote]
Sir, I can read your mind, and you are silently ranting very eloquently!
Furthermore, people who talk on cell phones in restaurants should have their eating privileges revoked for seven days, too.
I'm not nomally a "smiley" person, but this response just begged for them. I promise not to use them again for seven days!
an annoying spelling game never to be won by me.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:56:15 PM
"Preventive" is the preferred usage, even though, as others have pointed out, both words, "preventive" and "preventative" are acceptable. When you consult a good dictionary for "preventative", it will point you toward "preventive", the preferred word.
As you can see, I'm a "newbie" (Oh, I hate that term!) here, too, though I've used various forums for years. Many forums have an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), but I'm not finding that here. Maybe I've missed something. There is a link at the bottom of each page to "Forum Terms and Guidelines", but that doesn't address the point system. There is a query regarding this topic in the "Site Features" area, but still no clarification.
Once thing that is standard on all forums (and I mention this not to criticize, just to inform,) is that if you wish to comment or ask a question about something other than the topic of the original post in a thread, you should begin a new thread. To do that, just click on one of the "New Topic" buttons found top and bottom on the right edge of of each page. You would even do that with each of your two topics here, "preventive/preventative" usage and points system, making sure that each new thread is posted in the correct area.
an annoying spelling game never to be won by me.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:21:18 PM
Funny story! The cynic in me now (and even then) would want to say, "A spelling will be forthcoming just as soon as a definition is available!" but the truth is that I would have loved such a game. Upon hearing "I don't know whether or not the weather will be good today," I would have spelled both words and informed him that the two pronunciations were not quite the same!
Creative Puns for Educated Minds
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 7:52:00 PM
Very funny! You have some of my old favorites in here (14, 10, & 9); a few that always make me groan; and a couple of new favorites (4 & 5).
Another favorite of mine is "Two peanuts walked into a dark alley. One was assaulted."
desiccate vs desiccated
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 7:44:40 PM
I do believe you've got it. I sat here trying to think of any exception to your summation before posting, but nothing comes to me at the moment. Except, of course, my own typo and omission in my first reply. I just now edited those, but of course it lives on forever in the quote, lol!
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