Wordsmithing.

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Wordsmithing.

Postby van » 16 Aug 2012, 03:31

Kia ora

Perused "Writers Corner", particularly 'What is it with Apps?' and perceive that Gary and I maybe kindred spirits.
Words, which at one time, clearly conveyed certain meanings have become indistinct being subjected to copious layers of bullshit as certain sections of Society attempt to stamp their identity with some form of legitimacy. My reason for raising this point is due to an article I read tonite which used the word "Immoral" in describing the establishment,by Tobacco Manufacturers, of a website whereby those who smoke have an avenue to express their point of view and catch up with the nefarious attempts by pressure groups to curtail smoking at all costs.

I confess to having an axe to grind and am merely whetting this implement as laboriously I slowly turn the whetstone.
What does the word "Moral" imply/convey?
Do we need to refer to a Dictionary to define what we attempt to express or are our perceptions based on 'life's lessons' ie our everyday experiences, feelings etc?
The topic ranges far wider than this of course, depending on the age and comprehension of each individual.
Look forward to your replies.

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Aio
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Kellemora » 16 Aug 2012, 10:48

I think the word MORAL has also taken a major reversal. Us olde-timers would use the word AMORAL for what today's generation considers MORAL, hi hi.....

And since you brought up smoking; all of these bans were set in place using false tainted data!
There has never been a proper study conducted on the use of Tobacco or its properties!

None of the information being spewed out regarding smoking and its quote quote hazards, have anything at all to do with tobacco!

The FDA has approved AS SAFE, 599 chemicals, which are used in manufactured cigarettes; 43 of which are Known Carcinogenics, and over 60 are Suspected Carcinogenics.
This is what they TESTED, NOT TOBACCO!

Now, if you take a glass of triple-distilled water, add these 599 chemicals, and performed the same type of testing on that glass of water as was performed on cigarettes, the RESULTS would be IDENTICAL. Water would be just as hazardous as cigarettes!
And that is the propaganda used to get all the bans in place, and higher taxes on cigarettes!
A cigarette manufactured only from Tobacco, without the FDA approved as SAFE chemicals, was NEVER tested!!!!!

TTUL
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 16 Aug 2012, 11:46

But ...... water IS as hazardous as cigarettes, isn't it?

And of course you're right that it's the carcinogens added to the tobacco, and the saltpetre in the paper, which causes the problems. The government should be asking themselves why they allowed these hideous chemicals in the first place, and it's precisely why I think they're trying to ban cigarettes altogether - because it's costing health care services millions, as people find themselves suffering from the effects of these chemicals. Can you imagine what'd happen if everyone wanted compensation?
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Yogi » 17 Aug 2012, 08:21

Perhaps a new topic within this forum could be introduced to focus on the happenings in government and the tobacco industry, but those events have little, if anything, to do with with the use of the word "moral." I realize that governments and big business might be examples of how morality (or ethics) is applied, but the etymology of the word is quite another topic.

As I pointed out in other discussions, the English language is not static. The elders among us might think or hope the language cannot change, but that line of thought borders on delusion. New inventions (read that to mean growth) require new words or changing the meaning of existing words to describe something that never existed before. In the case of morality, the word has not changed meaning. The values underlying that which composes morality has changed. Lamenting the evolution of a word here is like shooting the messenger. It's a fallacy of critical thinking. What was considered moral 50 years ago has no relevance in today's world. Morality today is what it always has been, i.e., a sense of personal values. The values certainly have changed over the years, but the meaning of the word stands.
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 17 Aug 2012, 09:22

Sorry. It wasn't intentional to get away from discussing the meaning of "moral", although that's just one word which could apply under the heading of .... wordsmith. It seems that "wordsmithing" isn't actually a word - but there we go, as an example of how words and/or their meanings can be applied or changed.
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Yogi » 18 Aug 2012, 10:57

No need to apologize - this is a special forum with strict rules. Many people, including myself, have a tendency to stray.

It's a bit of an irony to see the title "Wordsmithing" in a post that is questioning proper use of words. It just goes to show my point that the language is not static. Popular usage is what determines the meaning of a word or phrase. And, what is popular changes rapidly.
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby threenorns » 18 Aug 2012, 11:36

"english" is not static - that's why it's the language of choice for stuff like business. in french, for example, if you do not phrase it *precisely*, the person to whom you're speaking can't even begin to guess what you're on about - they have no way to do so bec french (like so many other languages) is very strict and rigid.

in english, however, you can say

"chair you here sit"
"sit you here chair"
"you chair here sit"

and so on, and we can easily work out the meaning.

that's because english is the linguistic equivalent of a Meccano set, rather than a fixed model kit where you *must* insert Tab A into Slot B.
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 18 Aug 2012, 13:04

I can see what you mean threenorns. It's like when we say: "Did you not" and "Have you not" - instead of the abbreviated "Didn't you/Haven't you".

Mind you - if someone said to me: "Chair you here sit" ...... I'd wonder if someone was talking about the chair or to me! : )

And yes, Yogi. I agree with you.
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby pilvikki » 19 Aug 2012, 03:09


not only does english pass for a language kit, it's pretty easy enough to learn "properly", although learning any language properly seems to have gone out of style lately.

the french verbs.... :o

meanwhile, back in finland you can say "kirjoitettuasi" and it means 'since you'd written'... yes, talk about linguistic gymnastics... :lol:

meanwhile, i've been thinking about words that have changed meaning, as in really become something else, but sod if i can remember any right now. i used to have old readers' digests and the word lists were the most interesting part, a whole lot of every day words have now a vastly altered meaning from just the 50's.
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Re: Wordsmithing.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 19 Aug 2012, 08:47

One of the most common ones is "gross". It never used to mean something that was horrible or outrageous.
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