Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Abusage

191 Responses

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  • Tom Semmens,

    Is "absolument!"


    O.K?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1810 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Bien sur.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Is 'absolument' OK?

    Absolutely not!

    The one that riles me is the use of the word 'quantum' in place of 'quantity' or 'amount'. Here is the usually-admirable Jane Clifton in the latest Listener:

    'The quantum of the new road use charge was an issue..'

    Aaaagh!

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I suppose the upcoming Bond film gets right on your wick then Carol. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Is 'absolument' OK?

    Absolutely not!

    Hmmmm. What if the speaker is cute and French?

    Just trying to establish if there is any absolute limit here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1810 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Carol - given the way people use "quantum", there's a lovely irony in the fact that in its other context it means "things that are very very very small".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 812 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Oh I agree with you ...umm... totally... on this one David.

    Was this spurred by that woman on Morning report this morning from Budgetting Services? Absolutely was her answer to nearly every question put to her.

    It is used everywhere, and so often, that has been devalued. Just the same way 'awesome' has been ruined.

    Now , where are my slippers and why don't those kids turn that bloody racket down!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    There was a women on Nat. Radio this morning from Budget Advice or something like that
    Her reply to all questions was ‘absolutely’
    Drives me mad, drove me mad
    I have noticed in certain bad teachers, it is just mental lazyness

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    All us old bugges posting at the same time

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Was this spurred by that woman on Morning report this morning

    Michael, yes it was. Absolutely.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Danielle - there's something of a tradition of bad names for Bond films - Octopussy! Goldfinger! But this one is bad and illiterate, which is quite something.
    Tom - it might depend on just how cute.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Danielle - there's something of a tradition of bad names for Bond films - Octopussy! Goldfinger! But this one is bad and illiterate, which is quite something.

    I love it. Let's get some big words, stick them together, and manage to convey absolutely nothing at all. It's practically existential.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    All us old bugges posting at the same time

    Call it the PAS hivemind in action...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Rickai,

    I agree it does sound declasse, but the correct pronunciation of "heinous" does sound like "penis" (according to my Concise Oxford Dictionary).

    Since Jan 2007 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Is it OK if they spell it mischievious?

    Be thankful you do not live in the USA where homes are burglarized and it's apparently necessary to point out that an arson is a fire.

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • michael o'brien,

    excuse my ignorance, but if heinous does not sound like penis... what does it sound like?

    (I've always thought that I was quite good at this sort of stuff....)

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    excuse my ignorance, but if heinous does not sound like penis... what does it sound like?

    Anus

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    while were at it can we do something about "quantum jump" - that would be the SMALLEST change ... the ex-physics student in me just cringes

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2172 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    excuse my ignorance, but if heinous does not sound like penis... what does it sound like?

    I would have said: "rhymes with Janus", but I have had this email:

    The only alternative to heinous/penis is heinous/anus, which is worse at best, under the circumSTAHnces.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    And to back me up...phonetically: Heinous = hā′nəs and Anus = ā′nəs

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • michael o'brien,

    many thanks...

    Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I would have said: "rhymes with Janus"

    Doh! My class is showing

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    while were at it can we do something about "quantum jump" - that would be the SMALLEST change ... the ex-physics student in me just cringes

    So you mean Dr Samuel Beckett wasn't travelling through time?

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Absolutely. Happy to.

    'The quantum of the new road use charge was an issue..'

    They are being a bit technically correct, if they are aware of it. Quantum refers (in this context) to a change in the amount. A very small change if one were to get heinously anal about it. Delta would be even worse...

    My personal hates:

    "off of"
    "paradigm" instead of "model"
    "agile"
    and #1 on the list
    "can I get" instead of "may I have" (I can even cope with "can I have" at a push...)

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Speaking of doing dumb things with language (so as not to sound like a total thread-jack)

    Language Log on 'black' holes

    Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

    Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

    It also contains the funniest sentence I've read this morning:

    I'm afraid, though, that the search for collocational analogies for X hole, beyond X=black and X=white, is hampered by interference from unrelated patterns.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

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