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Jul
9
answered Is there a word or short phrase to describe a movie that wins many awards
Jun
30
comment “It” vs. “this”
@alan Sure. Or, "I am sharing this" is not the most likely thing for a person to say to convey this message. I was just trying to give an example where it would make sense.
Jun
29
comment Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
@user8674 My point wasn't to give relationship advice, but to discuss the meaning of words. In this case, to discuss the fact that words can mean different things to different people. If someone asked about the meaning of, say, "energy", and I explained how it means one thing to physicists but something rather different in common speech, you wouldn't say that I was going off topic by discussing physics, would you? Arguably I made comments here that went beyond what was necessary to make the point. If you believe I did, okay, sorry.
Jun
26
comment Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
In current parlance, a dark-skinned person living in America is called an African-American even if he has never been to Africa in his life, and even if his grandparents came here from Jamaica. Calling a dark-skinned person who has lived his whole life in Britain and whose ancestors came from India an "African-American" seems a little silly to me. My grandfather came to the U.S. from Norway, so I suppose you could call me a "Norwegian-American", but I pretty much never call myself that.
Jun
26
comment Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1452762/…
Jun
25
answered Can a person's name be used to represent a group of people?
Jun
25
comment Can a person's name be used to represent a group of people?
In many of your examples, there's a popular, accepted meaning of the name. Not all attributes of the character from the story necessarily apply. Like if you call someone a "romeo", you are routinely understood to mean that he is romantic, perhaps obsessed with love, but few would understand you to mean that he is Italian, a member of a rich family, or doomed to die an early death.
Jun
25
comment Word for “referring to common but not universal attributes of a group of people”?
I think you mean "universal" rather than "ubiquitous".
Jun
25
answered Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
Jun
25
comment Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
@MathiasR.Jessen SOME of the "bad white" terms could be such a reversal -- like "whitewashing", sure, covering up the ugly non-white. "White flag" of truce -- maybe, but "white flag" of surrender -- no. "White-faced" for frightened, definitely no. "White out" for snow blindness -- no. Etc. And the positive black terms, like "in the black" and "black gold", are clearly positive for very literal reasons.
Jun
25
comment Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
@sumelic In the 1950s it was routine to call dark-skinned people "colored". And I've seen a million old Westerns where the Indians call the white people "paleface" -- though I have no idea if that's something that was really done or if that's just Hollywood.
Jun
25
comment Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?
@SteveJessop Sure "unconscious membership in the Communist party" seems unlikely, but it would not be at all implausible to say that someone "is an unconscious communist" in the same sense you are using "unconscious racist". He might agree with communist principles, but not realize that these ideas are called "communist", and even say that he opposes communism because his friends or family say it's bad, while holding these ideas.
Jun
21
comment Can you use the same word twice?
... assume that because he walked there that it must be a shoe store. Anyway, we've both said our piece on this, don't want a drawn out argument Feel free to get in the last word.
Jun
21
comment Can you use the same word twice?
@DavidRicherby Sure. If someone said, "I decided I needed a new car. So I drove to the dealership ...", I would logically assume he meant a car dealership. If someone said, "I decided I needed a new refrigerator. So I drove my car to the dealership ..." I would assume he meant an appliance dealership. If someone just said, "I drove my car to the dealership ..." with no previous reference, I would have no idea what sort of dealership. The assumption that it must be a car dealership because he drove there would be absurd. Exactly like if someone said, "I walked to the store ...", I would not ...
Jun
19
awarded  Nice Answer
Jun
19
comment Can you use the same word twice?
@DavidRicherby But in your version of the sentence, the only reference to cars is what I drove to the dealership. Why would a reader assume that just because I drove a car to a store, that that store must sell cars? Suppose I rode a bicycle the car dealership. Then the sentence becomes, "I rode a bicycle to the dealership, where I bought a new one." How would a reader know it was a car dealership? Would you now assume it's a bicycle dealership? If I said I walked there, would you assume it's a shoe store?
Jun
19
comment Can you use the same word twice?
@JanusBahsJacquet Oh, good point. That didn't occur to me.
Jun
19
comment Can you use the same word twice?
... Cars are a very common form of transportation. I use my car to go to the grocery store and the bank and the park and lots of places that have nothing to do with cars. Of course the meaning MIGHT be clear from the larger context, like if the preceding sentence was "I decided to buy a new car." But that just moves the repetition from the quoted sentence to the previous context.
Jun
19
comment Can you use the same word twice?
@DavidRicherby That was, of course, intended to be an extreme example. But sometimes you really do need to repeat the same concept because the same concept is coming up more than once. In your version, for example, you just say "dealership". How does the reader know you mean a car dealership and not, say, an appliance dealership? "Bought a new one." A new one of what? I could certainly drive my car to a boat dealership or many sorts of dealership. Indeed we would not normally assume that just because you drove somewhere in your car that the place you are going has anything to do with cars. ...
Jun
19
comment Is there a specific word for “goes without being said”?
Sure. There are lots of things that "everyone knows" that ain't so. We laugh at dumb things people believed hundreds of years ago. I'm sure that hundreds of years from now people will be laughing at the crazy things that all those dumb 21st century people believed.