Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Abusage

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    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 suggest you hold a seance and tick of Ian Fleming. Forget about the "bad and illiterate" title, the story itself (which can most politely be described as sub-Somerset Maugham)is awful. The short story was not were Fleming's strengths lay; and I don't think the next Bond film is going to continue the tradition of drawing its title from Fleming. The one ones left are 'The Hildebrand Rarity', 'the Property of a Lady', '007 in New York' and 'Risico'!

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Anna I,

    One of my pet hates is when people drop the 's' of specific, pronouncing it as pecific/pacific - ggrrr. It winds me up just thinking about it!

    London • Since Jul 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    We once took and American friend (yes some of them are nice it is a big country after all and there are bound to be some nice ones) to lunch in Auckland city and she looked around and asked "why is everyone wearing black? Did something bad happen?"

    My mum says that in the olden days shops used to advertise that they had clothes in "American colours".

    Obviously I find this hilarious and work it into as many sartorial reviews as people are foolish enough to solicit.

    (But also: has said friend not been to NYC?)

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Speaking of americanisations, I have to say that I detest using the word "store" to denote shop. Hate it. Or vacation, which is slowly creeping in.

    Vacation vs. holiday is actually a useful distinction, I guess. (e.g. Valentine's Day is a holiday, even though you don't get the day off.)

    Did have an excellent moment when my sister asked my Jeopardy-winning friend whether his prizes had included a holiday. He couldn't quite comprehend why anyone would think that would be a typical prize, awesome though it might be. ["Vacation", I clarified. "Oh, no, that's more of a Wheel of Fortune sort of thing", he said.]

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Vacation vs. holiday is actually a useful distinction, I guess. (e.g. Valentine's Day is a holiday, even though you don't get the day off.)

    I think it's because we don't really celebrate those things in NZ. I know in the States that Halloween comes under the "holiday" umbrella, and Arbour Day, Presidents' Day etc. I guess that a holiday isn't a holiday unless you get the day off. Long weekend is what covers it here for public holidays, mostly, I think. For me, it's about retaining our own language. And although I accept that language, like culture, evolves, I like the uniqueness of our lexicon.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    At the risk of revealing myself as a public servant ... one of our managers loves to use the word "factoid", mistakenly believing it to mean a small fact. She kept asking me to write a memo giving some factoids from a piece of research.

    I had to check that she didn't really want me to write a memo containing incorrect information that had been repeated often enough that people thought it was true.

    And we're "going forward into the future" here. It makes me want to beat my head against a wall.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    "I'll have a coffee, but only if you're making one."

    The solution to this crime is to go away and make one coffee - and then drink it yourself!

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    , then maybe "quantum" is a reasonable term. It's a reasonable analogy with its scientific meaning, ...

    Argh no, quantum means the smallest possible unit. If you were talking about NZ coinage 10 cents would now be the quantum because it's the smallest possible unit. You simple can't give 5 cents change because that unit doesn't exist.

    In your example the change in energy levels is a quantum change because it's not possible to change half an energy level or two thirds the only possible change is one whole energy level.

    So a change in user charges of anything more than 10 cents per whatever is NOT a quantum change/leap.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    one of our managers loves to use the word "factoid", mistakenly believing it to mean a small fact

    Oh dear.

    What makes a fact a small fact? Or a medium sized or even large fact?

    Anyway, shouldn’t a small fact be a factette?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Anyway, shouldn’t a small fact be a factette?

    How about a Fact McNugget?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    one of our managers loves to use the word "factoid", mistakenly believing it to mean a small fact

    A quantum fact even?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Festoon your memo with factoids, Jojo, and you can't go far wrong.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Pedant baiting now? A new low for this blog.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Surely factesimal. Much more fun and scienterrific.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    "factoid", mistakenly believing it to mean a small fact

    Ah crap! That's what I thought a factoid was too. Consarnnit!

    I would go for quantum+fact = factum

    I also just had someone tell me about an "infinite number of possibilities". Really? That many?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Au contraire, Juha, this blog is where the pedants come out to play!
    A beauty just heard on Kathryn Ryan's programme: she asked someone (apropos of rest homes) whether the guidelines were 'adequate enough'.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I also just had someone tell me about an "infinite number of possibilities".

    Chuck Norris would know all about that. Afterall he counted to infinity. Twice.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    In American English, a "factoid" is a small fact, so we're just adopting their (incorrect, ugly, unnecessary, irritating) jargon. But in UK English, which my organisation claims to use as standard, it means a lie that's been repeated often enough to be convincing.

    I prefer "word geek" to "pedant"...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    See, I look at a quantum as being that big jump between energy levels that keeps the atom together. Which is infinitely bigger than an infinitesimal (1/∞) - which electrons could move by if it wasn't for quantum physics.

    So a price going up by $10 in one fell swoop is perceived as worse than one going up 3c every day for a year.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Points for using "fell swoop" correctly. Foul swoop or even fowl swoop are among my pet hates.

    It's easier to remember it correctly if you think of it as something a Nazgul is likely to do.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I wash rilly dwunk an I fell swoop dogg in ma rekord colleshun an chukt it on fo a lishin.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    jojo, what's a small fact? Inquiring minds need too know!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Austin,

    this just in - sorry to join so late...

    I feel a little guilty picking on sports stars and announcers as it really is like shooting fish in a barrel, but... it really irks me when players/coaches/commentators talk about single players in the plural, as in "we really need the Dan Carters and Richie McCaws/Jacob Orams and Brendon McCullums in the team" to "stand up and be counted/dig deep/take the game by the scruff of the neck (insert cliche of your choice...)" There is only one of each of them, last time I checked.

    Sticking with irksome, word of the week seems to be: outyears.

    Which I guess is where you end up when you've finished going forward, as long as the pre-planning has delivered the desired outcomes.

    Wellingbottom • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    it really irks me when players/coaches/commentators talk about single players in the plural

    That bugs me too, to the point of making me argue with the radio, which clearly can't hear me.

    It's not as grating, though, as listening to interviews with players where they feel the need to say 'y'know' about every three words.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    say 'y'know' about every three words.

    Followed with ummm.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

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