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May 6th, 09:51 AM   #1
WhoIsToSay
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Default A Debate on Words

For the past few years I have had a real problem with people using words that should not be used in the context of what they are trying to say. I think this has become a huge problem today; i.e. not using the correct verbage to explain something.

Some good examples:

The word "just;" I think people use this word much too commonly to refer to "only" as in "for just $9.95" or "can i have just two scoops of ice cream?"

This is not what the word "just" is for. The verbage should be "only;" and I see this everywhere!

Another word that I felt was misused. I was watching a hockey game and they brought up the fact of "scoring chances" by both teams. These are not scoring "chances," but are instead scoring "opportunities." I think there is a huge difference between both words; yet it is commonplace to see the words misused; and I bring this up in a philosophy thread because no where should the verbage used be more defined than in philosophy.

Another word: Statistic. This word is being used in sports to define catches, home runs, hits, runs batted in, steals, rebounds, etc. when in fact these are facts. Statistics are avg., means, medians and modes, etc....

So my question is, am I right to think this way: that words are being misused today, and better yet, the words I have described above; but also, please feel free to input your own complaints on words that are being commonly misused.
 
May 6th, 11:09 AM   #2
Spud Sabre
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Words can have multiple meanings, and multiple words can have the same meaning. However some words are better suited for a situation than others.
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May 6th, 12:11 PM   #3
Dr. Hfuhruhurr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsToSay
For the past few years I have had a real problem with people using words that should not be used in the context of what they are trying to say. I think this has become a huge problem today; i.e. not using the correct verbage to explain something.

Some good examples:

The word "just;" I think people use this word much too commonly to refer to "only" as in "for just $9.95" or "can i have just two scoops of ice cream?"


Another word that I felt was misused. I was watching a hockey game and they brought up the fact of "scoring chances" by both teams.

So my question is, am I right to think this way: that words are being misused today, .
I suggest you avail yourself of a decent dictionary. Definitions change with usage.

The following are from Merriam-Webster on-line

JUST

Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French juste, from Latin justus, from jus right, law; akin to Sanskrit yos welfare
Date: 14th century
1 a: having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason : reasonable <a just but not a generous decision> barchaic : faithful to an original c: conforming to a standard of correctness : proper <just proportions>
2 a (1): acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good : righteous <a just war> (2): being what is merited : deserved <a just punishment> b: legally correct : lawful <just title to an estate>


Function: adverb
Date: 15th century
1 a: exactly, precisely <just right> b: very recently <the bell just rang>
2 a: by a very small margin : barely <just too late> b: immediately, directly <just west of here>
3 a: only, simply <just last year> <just be yourself> b: quite, very <just wonderful>
4: perhaps, possibly <it just might work>


__________________________________________________ ___________


CHANCE

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *cadentia fall, from Latin cadent-, cadens, present participle of cadere to fall; perhaps akin to Sanskrit śad- to fall off
Date: 14th century
1 a: something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause b: the assumed impersonal purposeless determiner of unaccountable happenings : luck <an outcome decided by chance> c: the fortuitous or incalculable element in existence : contingency
2: a situation favoring some purpose : opportunity <needed a chance to relax>
3: a fielding opportunity in baseball
4 a: the possibility of a particular outcome in an uncertain situation; also : the degree of likelihood of such an outcome <a small chance of success> bplural : the more likely indications <chances are he's already gone>
5 a: risk <not taking any chances> b: a raffle ticket
— chance adjective


Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): chanced; chanc·ing
Date: 14th century
intransitive verb
1 a: to take place, come about, or turn out by chance : happen <it chanced to rain that day> b: to have the good or bad luck <we chanced to meet>
2: to come or light by chance <they chanced upon a remote inn>
transitive verb
1: to leave the outcome of to chance
2: to accept the hazard of : risk <knew the trip was dangerous but decided to chance it>


Function: pronoun
Date: 14th century
1 : something identical with or similar to another
2 : something or someone previously mentioned or described —often used with the or a demonstrative (as that, those) in both senses
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May 6th, 12:15 PM   #4
in circles
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I think that the main value of language lies in communication. If using a word enables us to get the meaning of what we want to communicate across, then the word is a valid option. I place no intrinsic value in official meanings. Aesthetic value also should be considered, but I do not think that personal aesthetic ideals should be imposed on other people. So, if the common usage of 'just' is synonymous to 'only' in certain circumstances, then it is perfectly fine to employ 'just' in that way, in those circumstances.
Language is a constantly changing thing, and there is no reason to stop it changing. The changes often make it more relevant to the present society.
 
Yesterday, 02:11 AM   #5
Lomax
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I would have to agree with InCircles. Words are to represent thoughts, not the other way around.
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Yesterday, 03:57 PM   #6
DejaVu4Ever
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True meanings and definitions of words do change over time. Look at how many teenagers say "I like went to the beach like yesterday". They are misusing the word like. It is indeed a common thing.
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