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Dictionary Word of the Day is wrong


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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:57 PM

today's word is 'sblood, which the dictionary on the index page offers as "a euphemistic shortening of God."

Ok. No, it's not.  It is a euphemistic shortening of "God's blood" based on Christian emphasis on the blood of Jesus. Interestingly, however, the site has the correct definition: http://dictionary.re.../browse/'sblood

It's just our little widget is wrong. Why?

QT

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#2 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:09 PM

My total guess, which Orpheus can probably clarify:

Most likely the apostrophe in the definition somehow shorted out the widget, and it lost everything that came after?  :think:

SFG
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#3 RJDiogenes

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 06:27 PM

Zounds!  :o




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#4 Nonny

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 06:36 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 11 June 2015 - 06:27 PM, said:

Zounds!  :o




(Get it?  ;))

Exactly what I thought.   :lol:
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#5 Orpheus

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 12:28 AM

We use the widget that dictionary.com provides. I can't answer for any problems on their end.

However, as a past National Spelling Bee contestant, I can tell you to surrender all hope. I've been arguing with dictionaries for over 40 years -- there are entire LINES of dictionaries that I reject outright. Etymologies, in particular, are little more than educated folk wisdom, however credible the source -- e.g. Countless neologisms never catch on, or catch on decades to centuries after their first coining, when they finally resonate with the Zeitgeist. I've long argued that some resurgences in popularity are actually new originations that 'hit a new nerve' unrelated to their first bloom.

In short, the very ideas of 'when a word started' or 'what it originally meant' may be meaningless. It may not even make sense to ask those questions over a historical timespan; words are USED as contemporary constructs only as evocative (or not) as they were in the mind of the user. "Bloody", for example [born of the same theological/sacrilegious vein -- if you'll pardon the pun] has been a "cartoon swear word" in the US all my life -- suitable for use around the smallest toddler [The "hell" in "bloody 'ell" was the real curseword in Georgia when I was born, but has been effectively G-rated for decades] I'm aware that many of our Commonwealth members [clarification: "British Commonwealth", not "Systems Commonwealth"] still read it as a stronger curse, or at least recall when it was, even the younger ones.

Don't get me wrong. I love etymology and find it instructive. I just believe less in individual etymologies (and the notion of modern etymology at all) with each passing decade. Words are not as concrete as we often like to think they are.

#6 gsmonks

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 02:19 AM

Noah Webster comes to mind. He was hired to invent an "American language". The absurdity of the undertaking beggars description, but the result was that the English language was ham-handedly buggered up the arse by a tool with no background in etymology, taxonomy, historical precedent, or what have you. He also reversed the use of quotation and dialogue marks, which was beyond stoo-pid. "American English" really is "bad English", because there was no precedent of any kind for Noah Webster's inept meddlings.

However, even though the oral tradition long preceded the written word and standardised spelling, my leaning, where the English language is concerned, is nevertheless towards traditional English grammar, simply because the language itself received the very refinements that were necessary to education (the first university emerged some 400+ years ago), particularly in the sciences, mathematics, and most importantly, Logic, which is the foundation of the sciences, mathematics, Law, and in good part in politics. Precision in language is therefore directly related to the cohesive nature of modern society plus law plus the sciences plus modern business.

Conversely, the lack of precision in language leads in part to the situation you presently have in the United States, with the decline in public participation and interest in politics, the decline of education, the importing of skilled workers, mathematicians, scientists, and other experts in any number of fields, by virtue of the simple fact that the people its producing are functionally illiterate (able to read 'n' rite but don't know how the language or anything else woiks). They've even gone so far as to try to change the definition of "functionally illiterate" in a misguided attempt to try to make the situation not look so bad.

I quit teaching back in the 70's because of my disgust with the way things were deteriorating back then. It's far worse today because the chuckleheaded louts I went to university with produced a generation of even more chuckleheaded louts, and now a third, more inept version is taking heat across the board for their students' failing grades.

In fact, it was my generation that tried or at least wanted to get rid of the grading system.

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Edited by gsmonks, 12 June 2015 - 02:20 AM.

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