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HD: 1977 Words
Posted: 27 May 2012 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Brewskis, bibimbap, and loose cannons

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Posted: 27 May 2012 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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kir royale, n. The drink, made of champagne and cassis, debuts.

I know you must get tired of repeating “The term… appears,” but you should avoid stating that the drink itself was not created until that year, which I doubt is the case.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t mind s/he in print. It’s like using /s or (s) to indicate that the reader should interpret as singular or plural as appropriate.

How odd, that use of allophone, when there was already a _very_ well established word ‘allophone’ in linguistics. Shit happens, I suppose, but you’d think people would be more circumspect when coming up with neologisms

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Posted: 27 May 2012 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t mind s/he in print.

You may not, but I suspect you’re in a fairly small minority.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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loose cannon

Nixon used this term of John Dean at the time of Watergate. I can’t pin it down exactly but the Utica NY Observer of January 19th, 1975, makes reference to it. (File is in PDF format).

Later on Nixon had cause to describe Dean as a “loose cannon”, to worry “if the son-of-a-bitch had a tape recorder on him” when Dean talked with Nixon on March 21, 1973.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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languagehat - 27 May 2012 09:46 AM

I don’t mind s/he in print.

You may not, but I suspect you’re in a fairly small minority.

I’m very easy going.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I like the way you remind us, Dave, that relics of another, pre-WW2, sometimes even pre-WW1 age (Anaïs Nin, Anthony Eden, Charlie Chaplin, Leopold Stokowski, Guy Lombardo) were still living (even if only just ;-) as the year began. “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away”.

nip and tuck

I was amused to learn that this phrase is applied to cosmetic surgery. I suspect it’s originally a nautical term (or am I sickening for a bout of CANOE?). Does anyone know the original, literal sense?

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Posted: 28 May 2012 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I was struck by the seeming oddness of “allophone”, too, if not for exactly the same reason as OP Tipping. 

This sense of the term seems to be Canadian not only in the sense that it originated there, but also in the sense that it is very rarely used outside Canada (which isn’t too surprising, since Canada is one of the few countries that has a very large population whose first language is either English or French, and, thus, one of the few countries with a practical need for a term to describe those whose first language is neither French nor English). 

I was curious if my ignorance of the above sense of term was an idiosyncrasy peculiar to me or if the term is broadly not-known in America (and, perhaps, other English-speaking countries).  The “speaks something other than English or French” sense of the term does not seem to appear in many American English Dictionaries, including the Random House Dictionary (at least, as reported by Dictionary.com) or the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (although it may show up in M-W’s print dictionary, which I don’t have).  This sense of the word does appear in the World English Dictionary (published by Harper Collins) as reported in dictionary.com, and it is preceded by “Canadian” in parentheses.

I was also curious as to why such a term was coined, i.e., did the term have a negative connotation of a “foreigner” who can’t speak either of the official languages, or was it neutral, or even positive?

According to Wikipedia, the term originated in Quebec, and was coined as a product of the effort by Quebecois Francophones to integrate those who speak neither French nor English into French Canadian society.  (At the risk of oversimplifying, to try to ensure that some Allophones were converted into Francophones instead of, or in addition to, Anglophones).  So it doesn’t seem to have a negative connotation, and, if anything, is analogous a sales term designating one’s target audience.

Here is a portion of the wiki I found interesting:

“The word “allophone” is formed from the Greek roots allos, meaning other, and phone, meaning sound or voice. The term became popularized during the Quiet Revolution as French Canadian society in Quebec sought to integrate immigrants, most of whom had traditionally integrated into the English-speaking community. As integrating immigrants was deemed essential to assure the survival of French-speaking Quebec in light of plummeting birth rates, demographers devised this category to monitor the integration of immigrants into French- and English-speaking communities. Because Allophones often adopt English, French or both languages at home or learn one language before another, they can be grouped into English or French communities based on home language or first official language learned.”

It is also interesting to me that the etymology of the term, as used above, is more or less the same as the etymology of the sense of the term as used in the study of phonetics, despite the radically different meanings of those senses of the word: in each case, the word is derived from “allos” (other) + -phone (sound), although the “speaks a language other than French or English” sense is modeled after Francophone and Anglophone, so it is arguably “derived” from the Greek term in a very loose sense of the word (although, Francophone and Anglophone were apparently derived from the Greek root -phone, so if it is modeled on those it is also at least indirectly derived from the Greek root.)

, I was also interested to see that (at least according to the wiki) the term Allophone is generally not applied to members of indigenous cultures in Canada even if such people speak neither English nor French as their first language.  (Suggesting that the term DOES have an implication of “immigrant”, even if doesn’t carry it with the baggage that such terms sometimes carry).

As a final side note, and I apologize if this is a needless tangent, I found the M-W definition of “francophone” rather odd.  First, it only defines the adjectival form.  It notes that the word can be used as a noun, but it doesn’t give a definition of the noun sense of the word.  Second, the adjective is defined as: “of, having, or belonging to a population using French as its first or sometimes second language”.  I’m not entirely sure what is meant by the word “belonging” in this context: it might mean that the adjective applies to any person who “belongs” to a population that speaks French, even if that person speaks no French, which I think is an odd definition indeed of the term Francophone (and one that I think most native speakers of French would not agree with).  If “belonging” means something different (i.e., that the application of the adjective to a population conveys that the property of speaking French “belong[s]” to such a population), then that seems like a needlessly confusing way of defining the term.

[edit: it occurred to me that the m-w definition might be using “belonging to a population using French” in the sense of “a French-speaking population” (a group whose members, by definition, speak French) rather than a population group (such as a country) that, among other things, has a population that primarily speaks French. But, if that is what was meant, the M-W definition is phrased confusingly.]

Conversely, the dictionary.com definition of francophone based on the Random House dictionary conforms to my sense of the word is:  1. (adjective) (Also, Fran·co·phon·ic:): speaking French, especially as a member of a French-speaking population.
2. (noun) a person who speaks French, especially a native speaker.  (Note: I reformatted the definition to make it more readable, but left the text of the two definitions unchanged).  This definition conforms much more closely to how I have heard and seen the word Francophone used.

[ Edited: 28 May 2012 10:13 AM by Svinyard118 ]
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Posted: 28 May 2012 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I was surprised to see the OED’s primary definition of “AOR” as “album-oriented rock”, since I had only ever known the phrase as standing for “adult-oriented rock” The OED gives a reference for “AOR” as “adult-oriented” from 1980, but the expression “adult-oriented rock” itself is pretty easily antedated by Google Books to Billboard, February 11 1978. “AOR” itself first seems to turn up in Billboard‘s edition of November 13 1976, in a “job wanted” ad that reads (in part)

“Male 22 - 4 1/2 Yrs Exp 8 Formats - Rock, MOR, Country, Prog, AOR Etc Music Director Demographic Card Rotation AM and PM Drive, Contact: Ken Rink”

which must mean that “AOR” was already a widely known term of art (and indeed so was “prog”, a shortening of “prog rock”, or “progressive rock"). But we can’t tell from that if Mr Rink thought the “A” in “AOR” stood for “Adult” or “Album”.

The next Billboard mention is also in an ad, from the following week, November 20 1976, which says (in part)

“Englebert Humperdinck debuts on Epic*. ‘After the Lovin’’ is only the beginning. It all started when ‘After the Lovin’’, Englebert’s chart-staggering single, moved in on the AOR charts, then rapidly crossed over to Top 40. And now, hot on the heels of this undeniable hit, comes ‘After the Lovin’.’ That is, his debut album on Epic.”

Now, that implies that a single was on the AOR charts before it was released on an album, which might suggest (but certainly doesn’t prove) that the “A” in “AOR charts” stood in that advertisement for “Adult” rather than “Album”. But once again, “AOR” is clearly expected to be an instantly recognised initialism, suggesting there are definitely going to be antedates before November 1976, and quite likely before 1976 itself.

*those masochists who saw Humperdink’s miserable performance in the Eurovision Song Contest at the weekend, when he came second to last, might feel the only “Epic” that should appear anywhere near his name these days is the one in the phrase “Epic Fail”.

[ Edited: 28 May 2012 12:40 PM by Zythophile ]
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Posted: 30 May 2012 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Lionello:

I was amused to learn that this phrase is applied to cosmetic surgery. I suspect it’s originally a nautical term (or am I sickening for a bout of CANOE?). Does anyone know the original, literal sense?

Upholstery? As in diamond tuck.

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Posted: 30 May 2012 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The earlier use of “nip and tuck” is a close race, lead changing several times, or that the outcome of something was not clear until close to the end. “Phrase finder” has this going back to 1845.
However linking this to cosmetic surgery seems to be a stretch, unless in the 70s the art was poor and the result not known until the bandages came off ;)
Seems more likely it was a deliberate and new euphemism made in the profession to “lighten” the concept of the actual process.  “chop and change” would also be relevant but perhaps not so delicate or commercial…

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Posted: 31 May 2012 02:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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It seems to me that the cosmetic surgery definition is closer to what the words mean, certainly much closer than the close race usage.  I know there are other instances where a literal meaning appears later than a metaphorical meaning, but usually not that much later and easily attributable to the literal meaning just not making it into print.  But 130 years seems a bit of a stretch, particularly when the cosmetic surgery definition is not likely to be one that was used prior to 1845.  The nip part I can see.  Was there some meaning of tuck that would apply to the close race usage?

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Posted: 31 May 2012 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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However, linking this to cosmetic surgery seems to be a stretch

I don’t know, steve_g, if you were deliberately amplifying the anonymous plastic surgeon’s pun (which is obviously of very recent origin), or whether your choice of words was just a happy chance.
Either way, neatly done!

It has, I think, been clearly established that “nip and tuck” has been used as a metaphor (for what the Duke of Wellington might have called “a damned near-run thing"), for 150 years and more. So far, several posters have thoughtfully explained the sense in which the phrase is commonly used (which wasn’t asked for), but nobody’s got any forrarder with the original question --- whence “Nip and Tuck”? Iron Pyrite’s shot at “upholstery” strikes me as.....forlorn, to say the least (What’s urgent about upholstery?). I note that WWW has no answer that I could find - I’ve sent MQ a query

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Posted: 31 May 2012 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Lionello:

Iron Pyrite’s shot at “upholstery” strikes me as.....forlorn, to say the least (What’s urgent about upholstery?).

I thought I was responding to a question about cosmetic surgery, which is not normally urgent. I wasn’t really thinking about the “close race” version.

I was amused to learn that this phrase is applied to cosmetic surgery.

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Posted: 31 May 2012 11:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Iron pyrite: But I didn’t ask a question about cosmetic surgery, I asked about the etymology of the expression “nip and tuck”. I regret that my phrasing of the question led to a misunderstanding, and sorry if my subsequent comment offended you.

Reply from MQ to my query: Many thanks for writing. Unfortunately, I get many more questions
than I can possibly answer in the time available. Please do not be offended if it proves impossible to respond within a reasonable period of time.

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Posted: 31 May 2012 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Here is what OED has on nip and tuck, lionello.

nip and tuck, adj. and adv.

Etymology:  Origin uncertain; perhaps < nip n.3 + and conj.1 + tuck n.1

(nip, n.3 a sharp remark or comment, a slight rebuke, reproof or sarcasm obs.) (tuck, n.1 a fold or pleat in drapery)

orig. U.S.

Chiefly in predicative use. So closely contested as to make it hard to predict a winner; neck and neck. Sometimes used spec. in relation to a contest during which each of two competitors continually regains the lead. Also as adv

[1832 J. K. Paulding Westward Ho! I. 172 There we were at rip and tuck, up one tree and down another.]

1845 Amer. Whig Rev. Nov. 514 The boys used to say, it was nip and tuck between Jack‥and Castro, who would do the most foolhardy things.

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