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ktinkel
07-02-2005, 11:07 AM
For what seems like the 10th time in a month, someone on NPR used the word reticent when reluctant was required.

This time it was on On The Media; I have heard this same error on Morning Edition (many times), and All Things Considered.

What I can’t figure out is why do they do it? I know that all sorts of things become trendy (lately, nothing is done before some event, only ahead of it, for example).

But confusing reticent and reluctant is as bad as confusing imply and infer or flout and flaunt.

Makes me nuts.

annc
07-02-2005, 12:52 PM
For what seems like the 10th time in a month, someone on NPR used the word reticent when reluctant was required.

This time it was on On The Media; I have heard this same error on Morning Edition (many times), and All Things Considered.

What I can’t figure out is why do they do it? I know that all sorts of things become trendy (lately, nothing is done before some event, only ahead of it, for example).

But confusing reticent and reluctant is as bad as confusing imply and infer or flout and flaunt.

Makes me nuts.Haven't heard that one, but what's driving me crazy here at the moment is appeal the decision instead of appeal against the decision. And the perennial the car lost control instead of the driver lost control of the car. I've often wanted to write to our local daily about the latter, but as it's almost always used in reporting a road death, such a complaint seems inappropriate.

ktinkel
07-02-2005, 01:13 PM
Haven't heard that one, but what's driving me crazy here at the moment is appeal the decision instead of appeal against the decision. And the perennial the car lost control instead of the driver lost control of the car. I've often wanted to write to our local daily about the latter, but as it's almost always used in reporting a road death, such a complaint seems inappropriate.We’ve been saying appeal the decision forever. In fact, appeal in that sense is probably correct here, as it refers to a legal process (we have appeals processes and appeals courts).

And I haven’t run into the car lost control here, either. Usually, we hear that an elderly man (woman) lost control of the car and ran it through the window of a bakery or shoe repair shop.

My theory about reticent, now that I think further, is that it sounds classier than reluctant (which seems also to be the case for confusing infer and imply).

annc
07-02-2005, 01:36 PM
We’ve been saying appeal the decision forever. In fact, appeal in that sense is probably correct here, as it refers to a legal process (we have appeals processes and appeals courts).We also have the appeal process and appeals courts. I looked in Fowler (and got sidetracked by his table of Americanisms) but found nothing.

And I haven’t run into the car lost control here, either. Usually, we hear that an elderly man (woman) lost control of the car and ran it through the window of a bakery or shoe repair shop.You're more fortunate than we are, then. I know it sometimes happens here because the item is a small filler and word count is crucial, but it still irritates.

My theory about reticent, now that I think further, is that it sounds classier than reluctant (which seems also to be the case for confusing infer and imply).Hmm, no excuse for using a word with an entirely different meaning. Wonder how long it will take to arrive here.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-02-2005, 02:31 PM
NSOED gives both transitive and intransitive meanings and examples for appeal

annc
07-02-2005, 02:50 PM
NSOED gives both transitive and intransitive meanings and examples for appealInteresting. My Macquarie gives only a transitive meaning, and no examples.

Michael Rowley
07-02-2005, 03:32 PM
Anne:

at the moment is appeal the decision

That transitive use of 'appeal' is commonly used by English lawyers and is considered correct (according to the dictionaries); the intransitive use is far more common among us laymen.

The car that loses control though is just sloppy English (unless it means that the car is leaking from its radiator).

annc
07-02-2005, 03:42 PM
That transitive use of 'appeal' is commonly used by English lawyers and is considered correct (according to the dictionaries); the intransitive use is far more common among us laymen.Ah, well, I'll have to try to stop being irritated by it, won't I?

The car that loses control though is just sloppy English (unless it means that the car is leaking from its radiator).LOL!

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-02-2005, 05:45 PM
I thought of posting the entire NSOED "page" -- I have it on CD and installed on my hard drive -- but feared the copyright police might attack me.

Most of the intransitive examples are a good age -- like Shakespear ......

annc
07-02-2005, 06:21 PM
I thought of posting the entire NSOED "page" -- I have it on CD and installed on my hard drive -- but feared the copyright police might attack me.

Most of the intransitive examples are a good age -- like Shakespear ......I think those quotes appeal to the OED people. ;-)

Michael Rowley
07-03-2005, 08:20 AM
Ann:

I'll have to try to stop being irritated by it

There are ways of avoiding the transitive use yourself ('he appealed the verdict'). In our association's rules there are two headings: 'Appeals from decisions . . .' and 'Appeals against disciplinary masures'. I chose them after a fellow committee member pointed out that lawyers usually used 'appeal' in the transitive sense.

It is hopeless to try to correct other people's English (even, it seems, one's children's).

Steve Rindsberg
07-03-2005, 10:14 AM
... whereas quotes appeal against Macquarie?

Steve Rindsberg
07-03-2005, 10:15 AM
Anne:

at the moment is appeal the decision

That transitive use of 'appeal' is commonly used by English lawyers and is considered correct (according to the dictionaries); the intransitive use is far more common among us laymen.

The car that loses control though is just sloppy English (unless it means that the car is leaking from its radiator).
Or from a hose. It depends.

annc
07-03-2005, 11:31 AM
... whereas quotes appeal against Macquarie?Groan!

Mike
07-04-2005, 12:31 AM
For what seems like the 10th time in a month, someone on NPR used the word reticent when reluctant was required.

This time it was on On The Media; I have heard this same error on Morning Edition (many times), and All Things Considered.

What I can’t figure out is why do they do it? I know that all sorts of things become trendy (lately, nothing is done before some event, only ahead of it, for example).

But confusing reticent and reluctant is as bad as confusing imply and infer or flout and flaunt.

Makes me nuts.

What? As in, 'Ahead of the exam he was reticent to flout his knowledge in case his friends should imply his feelings of superiority.'?

ktinkel
07-04-2005, 05:53 AM
What? As in, 'Ahead of the exam he was reticent to flout his knowledge in case his friends should imply his feelings of superiority.'?Exactly like that!

You have a rare talent, Mike! <g>

Mervyn Long
07-04-2005, 08:13 AM
<g>

Mervyn

Steve Rindsberg
07-04-2005, 09:49 AM
[bow]

(the "wow" is silent)

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-05-2005, 12:50 PM
This morning's paper had a short article about an audio/optical system for tracking gunshots in the city (!) and quoted the spokesman for the police as saying "it is not used to surveil individuals".

I find that ugly but NSOED knows of it:

<< Infl. -ll-. M20.
[Back-form. from SURVEILLANCE.]

Subject to surveillance, keep a watch on. >>

I wonder when it came in and if it must stay?

Michael Rowley
07-05-2005, 01:26 PM
Hugh:

I find that ugly but NSOED knows of it

Surveiller is a legitimate word in French (since the 19th century) for 'keep a sustained watch on [someone]', but the COD doesn't include it, and it doesn't seem essential. The English verb surveil, apparently first recorded in the mid-20th century, isn't likely to be found much in the spoken language, because of it resemblence to survey, but perhaps your local police have got a francophone spokesman.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-05-2005, 01:58 PM
I know the French background -- it's my second language <g>

It's not my local police -- it's Chicago's -- but it's not the first time I've seen it. Perhaps it comes in the instruction manual. Or the reporteer could not spell "survey" <g>

Is COD Complete Oxford or Chambers Original? My paper first edition SOED does not give "surveil" but does include "surveillance" and quotes the mid 1850's

Michael Rowley
07-05-2005, 03:22 PM
Hugh:

Is COD Complete Oxford or Chambers Original?

Neither: the COD is the Concise Oxford Dictionary, now in its 10th or 11th edition (I've only got the 9th); first editor: H.W. Fowler himself. The COD is the Englishman's bible, since it's a fairly reliable guide to contemporary English as used in England. The OED contains all the words that have been written; the SOED is much-reduced version with the really obsolete words eliminated; but the COD tries to limit those to the words commonly used by the educated.

Of course, if it's Chicago, there's a much better chance that the police have a spokesman from across the water (Lakes Michigan & Huron, not the Atlantic or Pacific) or even from Québec.

Mike
07-05-2005, 10:38 PM
You have a rare talent, Mike! <g>

Yeah, lots of people say it's so rare that few have ever seen it.

ktinkel
07-06-2005, 05:44 AM
Yeah, lots of people say it's so rare that few have ever seen it.:-)

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-06-2005, 07:25 AM
Thanks -- I'd love to have the DVD version of the OED. I've read THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN <g>

My paper SOED was bought by my father in the early 30's for 3 Guineas - pencilled in the inside cover.

Michael Rowley
07-06-2005, 07:37 AM
Hugh:

I'd love to have the DVD version of the OED

I've got the CD version of the OED, but it doesn't work since Windows 2000. I believe the new version (of the software, not the OED) costs about the same in the UK, about £200, and works much better.

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-06-2005, 01:46 PM
Have you tried copying the CD onto your hard drive and running it from there. That often works when direct from optical media doesn't.

I don't like the current software of the NSOED nearly as much as the original I bought.

Michael Rowley
07-06-2005, 04:45 PM
Hugh:

Have you tried copying the CD onto your hard drive and running it from there

I don't think that would work in this case, since there is a program that has to be copied on the hard drive, and that is the one that doesn't work.

I find it quicker to look at the books I've got of the SOED. I've also got the OED in a version that has nine pages of the standard edition on one page; you have to use a magnifying glass though!

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-07-2005, 12:31 PM
Are you still on W2K or on XP? The latter seems very good at running older applications and even has a compatibility mode that you can set for individual applications.

I'd certainly try it.

Of course the advantage of the paper editions is what you learn when you are looking for something else <g>

I remember the micro-OED 8:(

Michael Rowley
07-07-2005, 01:45 PM
Hugh:

The latter seems very good at running older applications and even has a compatibility mode

I haven't thought of trying XP, as I was using Win 2000 when I tried to instal the old OED program: I shall try it. But v. 1 of the OED was a Win 3 application, so I might be unsuccessful. However, I still have the special OUP fonts, including Arial SC!

Hugh Wyn Griffith
07-07-2005, 02:56 PM
<< But v. 1 of the OED was a Win 3 application >>

I don't think that will stop it running <g>

terrie
07-18-2005, 01:53 PM
>>michaelr: I haven't thought of trying XP, as I was using Win 2000 when I tried to instal the old OED program: I shall try it. But v. 1 of the OED was a Win 3 application, so I might be unsuccessful. However, I still have the special OUP fonts, including Arial SC!

There's a thingie (wowexec.exe) that needs to load before a 16bit program can run on W2K. I run WINCIM which is 16bit and if I try to start it as my first 16bit program it doesn't really run properly but I also run a 16bit version of Quicken and I find that if I launch that first and *then* launch WINCIM, then WINCIM works just fine...

Soooo...do you have another 16bit program on your system? If so, run it first and then try running the old OED program...or try executing wowexec.exe and then run the old OED program...

Terrie

Michael Rowley
07-18-2005, 02:22 PM
Terrie:

There's a thingie (wowexec.exe) that needs to load before a 16bit program can run on W2K.

That's a very useful bit of information: thanks!

Molly/CA
07-18-2005, 08:38 PM
But imply and infer are legitimately confusing and deal with similar processes:

imply: to indicate or call for recognition of as existent, present, or related not by express statement but by logical inference or association

infer: to derive by reasoning or implication : conclude from facts or premises <we see smoke and infer fire


while "reluctant" and "reticent" have no conceivable relation to one another.

ktinkel
07-19-2005, 06:39 AM
But imply and infer are legitimately confusing and deal with similar processes …Not really. Imply means to hint at or suggest something rather than state it straight out. Infer means to take the hint or suggestion, to assume meaning without a straight statement. One is a giving; the other a taking.

… while "reluctant" and "reticent" have no conceivable relation to one another.Reticent means to be reluctant to speak; extended somewhat, it might suggest that someone is a bit shy. Reluctant means to be unwilling to act in general; if you qualify it, you could of course say that someone is reluctant to speak, but it doesn’t work the other way around.

Lately people seem to be using reticent to refer to all sorts of reluctances …

Michael Rowley
07-19-2005, 07:29 AM
KT:

Not really. Imply means to hint at or suggest something rather than state it straight out. Infer means to take the hint or suggestion, to assume meaning without a straight statement. One is a giving; the other a taking.

You are quite correct so far as 'normal' speakers are concerned, but English lawyers speak of 'implying something into' an agreement etc. I think it is downright wrong, but often the lawyer concerned is a judge, and judges don't suffer correction usually.

ktinkel
07-19-2005, 07:54 AM
Not really. Imply means to hint at or suggest something rather than state it straight out. Infer means to take the hint or suggestion, to assume meaning without a straight statement. One is a giving; the other a taking.You are quite correct so far as 'normal' speakers are concerned, but English lawyers speak of 'implying something into' an agreement etc. I think it is downright wrong, but often the lawyer concerned is a judge, and judges don't suffer correction usually.That may be, but no one in this thread (until you) has mentioned legal usage. I was complaining about people on the radio, in magazine articles, and in real life!

Let’s just leave legal beagles wherever they are — and out of this thread! <g>

terrie
07-19-2005, 11:39 AM
>>michaelr: That's a very useful bit of information: thanks!

You're welcome...

Terrie

Michael Rowley
07-19-2005, 12:06 PM
KT:

I was complaining about people on the radio, in magazine articles, and in real life

You might think the usage is part of real life if someone 'infers into' your contract that the penalty for non-fulfilment (on your part) is something really nasty.

You have been warned—so don't complain that I have been unduly reticent about the matter nor accuse me of reluctance to speak out!

ktinkel
07-19-2005, 01:48 PM
You have been warned—so don't complain that I have been unduly reticent about the matter nor accuse me of reluctance to speak out!Fair enough! <g>