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1

Something that motivates you is a motivator. Something that actually moves something else is a motive force. In this phrasing, "motive" is indeed an adjective. However, the more common word for something that physically moves something else is motor. motivation originally referred to the act of putting something into motion, but has taken on the ...


0

In the situation where there are clearly A B and C available as options; saying either "A and B are the stronger of the arguments." or "A and B are the strongest of the arguments." Both unambiguously state that A and B are stronger than C (or "the strongest arguments"). Personally I'd go with the first, but it's a matter of style. Also I think the ...


-1

Strength-wise, A and B are equal with C being the weakest


0

I think I would say A and B are each stronger than C. I do not believe strongest has any place here, since it would appear A and B are of equal strength. There is not therefore a strongest among them.


1

I'd regard cash-register-like as clumsy, or some kind of adjective fetish. :) A device like a cash-register. large-hadron-collider-like device.


2

Follow the direction of the manual of style you have chosen or the one thrust upon you. I use The Chicago Manual of Style, which prescribes that -like formations are solid (no hyphens) -- catlike -- except with proper names, Starbucks-like coffee shop, words ending in ll, a gill-like slit, compound words, a cash-register-like device.


3

Merriam-Webster on 'phobia,' '-phobia,' and 'homophobia' Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) gives one definition for the noun phobia but two definitions for the suffix -phobia: phobia n (1786) an exaggerated usu. inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation -phobia n comb form [no first ...


14

It should be noted that the suffix "phobia" or "phobic" doesn't always actually refer to a psychological phobia in the strict sense of an irrational fear. For instance, some substances are said to be "hydrophobic" because they separate from water when mixed. Having said that, in this case, as Josh's answer points out, the word "homophobia" did originate ...


20

Well, the word "homophobia" is a political word invented for political purposes. [Per discussion below, perhaps a more accurate statement would be: "A word primarily used today for political purposes." I'm leaving my original wording so the discussion makes sense.] Trying to break it down into component parts doesn't result in etymological sense. "Homo" = ...


31

The key element of a phobia as a mental disorder is its irrationality. No one will claim that you're suffering from pyrophobia if you run out of a burning building. Calling a particular prejudice a phobia is an attempt to call out the irrational component of that prejudice. There is a parallel to "homophobia" in descriptions of prejudice against black ...


43

Phobia: (Etymonline): "irrational fear, horror, aversion," 1786, perhaps on model of similar use in French, abstracted from compounds in -phobia, from Greek -phobia, from phobos "fear, panic fear, terror, outward show of fear; object of fear or terror," originally "flight" (still the only sense in Homer), but it became the common word for "fear" via ...



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