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Posted: 21 September 2015 03:44 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello, all. Long-time lurker, first-time pedant here. 

No, just kidding. I’m perfectly happy to be called a pedant.

But I will argue if anyone tries to tell me that “ARGUMENTATIVE” is a correct word…

I mean, we don’t argumentate, we argue

Take it away.

[Moved from the test forum to here — dw]

[ Edited: 21 September 2015 08:13 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 21 September 2015 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s from the Latin, argumentat-, the past participle stem of argumentari plus -ive.

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Posted: 21 September 2015 05:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I mean, we don’t argumentate, we argue.

Usage is all that matters. Reason (especially goofy reason) be damned.

[ Edited: 21 September 2015 06:00 AM by happydog ]
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Posted: 21 September 2015 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Besides, if you feel you must blame someone, however inappropriately, blame the old French.  We may have gotten the word from their word argumentatif.

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Posted: 21 September 2015 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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D_Rive - 21 September 2015 03:44 AM

Hello, all. Long-time lurker, first-time pedant here. 

No, just kidding. I’m perfectly happy to be called a pedant.

But I will argue if anyone tries to tell me that “ARGUMENTATIVE” is a correct word…

I mean, we don’t argumentate, we argue

Take it away.

[Moved from the test forum to here — dw]

Actually argumentate as a verb is in the OED, although it’s marked as rare and only one cite is given, from Sir Philip Sidney, 1586. (Also it seems as if the line is spoken by a comic character, someone like the schoolmaster Holofernes in Love’s Labours Lost - the extract is from a masque written by Sidney - so this could be a nonce word.)

Argument itself was used as a verb, latest example is 18th century.

[ Edited: 21 September 2015 10:04 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 21 September 2015 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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You’re not by a long chalk the first lurker, nor the first pedant, to show up here. This forum takes all kinds.

Welcome!

Edit:  N.B. We don’t tent, either --- or do we?

How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, said Naaman tentatively.

[ Edited: 21 September 2015 10:23 PM by lionello ]
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Posted: 22 September 2015 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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We don’t affirmate, but we can be affirmative.

We don’t representate, but we can be representative.

We don’t figureate, but we can be figurative.

We don’t talkate, but we can be talkative.

Language doesn’t follow strict rules of logic and analogy.

(In the above examples, like argumentative, the modern English words come from Middle French ones with -atif endings. Talkative is an exception that was formed in English in the fifteenth century.)

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Posted: 22 September 2015 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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And by your argument we should be saying arguive.  Have we convinced you yet?

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Posted: 23 September 2015 02:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Well, that’s all well and good, but “argumentative” still sounds cumbersome to me. In fact, it sounds slightly comical.

Happydog says it’s all about usage. If that’s the criterion, then you’d expect people would choose to use the most simple construction. What’s wrong with “argumentive”?

Examples like “affirm” to “affirmative” sound alright because the word flows nicely. “Representative” is a bit less fluid, but “tentative” is acceptable because “tentive” could have multiple meanings.

Language may not follow strict rules of logic, (although I’d dispute that, too), but it should at least be somewhat influenced by aesthetics.

[Sorry for the delayed response. I didn’t get email notification of your replies].

[ Edited: 23 September 2015 02:31 AM by D_Rive ]
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Posted: 23 September 2015 02:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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lionello - 21 September 2015 10:19 PM

You’re not by a long chalk the first lurker, nor the first pedant, to show up here. This forum takes all kinds.

Welcome!

Thanks, Lionello.

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Posted: 23 September 2015 02:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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That’s just not how language works. Language forms by slow accretion, with millions of people adding to it and repurposing bits that already exist. Sometimes it does simplify; other times it grows more complex. And aesthetics vary. What you find cumbersome, others find charming. (There is a steady drive for phonetic simplicity, avoiding combinations of phonemes that are difficult to articulate, but that’s not what we’re talking about with argumentative.)

“Representative” is a bit less fluid, but “tentative” is acceptable because “tentive” could have multiple meanings.

Many, if not most, words have multiple, sometimes even contradictory (e.g., to cleave, to sanction), meanings, and we rely on context to sort them out. Polysemy is a feature, not a bug.

Language may not follow strict rules of logic, (although I’d dispute that, too)

Nope, it doesn’t. There are patterns that a particular language will tend to follow, but these are arbitrary and full of exceptions. The “rules” of grammar are an attempt at making sense of and applying a structure to how people use language, not laws of nature that language must or should follow.

It seems you’re deciding what should be based on your own personal taste. That’s not logical. You’re free to use language according to your whims, but you can’t expect others to follow suit.

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Posted: 23 September 2015 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Well, that’s all well and good, but “argumentative” still sounds cumbersome to me. In fact, it sounds slightly comical.

Well, that’s all well and good, but it’s entirely in your own head and is not a fact about English.  One of the first things one learns in studying linguistics is to separate the two; the fact that I don’t like a word or construction is a fact about me and not about the language, and it is a waste of time and effort (not to mention a breach of politeness) to go around telling other people they’re doing it wrong.  (Not that you’re doing that; you’re merely expressing your own feelings.  I’m just making a point.)

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Posted: 23 September 2015 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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it’s entirely in your own head and is not a fact about English.

When I finally learned this a great weight was lifted from me, and I suddenly began to have friends.

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Posted: 23 September 2015 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dave Wilton - 23 September 2015 02:51 AM

That’s just not how language works. Language forms by slow accretion, with millions of people adding to it and repurposing bits that already exist. Sometimes it does simplify; other times it grows more complex. And aesthetics vary. What you find cumbersome, others find charming. (There is a steady drive for phonetic simplicity, avoiding combinations of phonemes that are difficult to articulate, but that’s not what we’re talking about with argumentative.)

Yes, I’m one of those millions and if I had my way, I’d simplify many words, Dave. I’d suggest that a word containing “...tative” is likely to be difficult to articulate, at least for some people. Why not discard that syllable, and write it as “argumentive”? I’m not entirely comfortable with words being changed merely for phonetic simplicity, but in some cases it’s indicated. Can you give an example of words that have been modified to be more complex, rather than less? 

Many, if not most, words have multiple, sometimes even contradictory (e.g., to cleave, to sanction), meanings, and we rely on context to sort them out. Polysemy is a feature, not a bug.

Yes, that’s true. But that’s not what I’m objecting to.

Nope, it doesn’t. There are patterns that a particular language will tend to follow, but these are arbitrary and full of exceptions. The “rules” of grammar are an attempt at making sense of and applying a structure to how people use language, not laws of nature that language must or should follow.

Well, we can’t really say that language “follows logic” anyway. The rules of Logic don’t apply to grammar and a collection of words and phrases. Logic is only useful, (and necessary), in the employment of those words and phrases. For example, we can’t say, All words which end in “s” are plural; “ass” ends in “s”; therefore, everybody has two asses. :) That’s nonsense “logic”. The rules of Logic are irrelevant to a lexicon.

It seems you’re deciding what should be based on your own personal taste. That’s not logical. You’re free to use language according to your whims, but you can’t expect others to follow suit.

No, Dave, it’s not “not logical”. It’s egocentric. ;)

Anyway, that’s not what I’m doing. As one of millions, I’m attempting to repurpose my language.

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Posted: 23 September 2015 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Hello, D_rive, and welcome to the forum.

It can be fun to muse on ways that English can be improved or simplified, but it really does not mean anything to say that a very well established English word is not “correct”.

On a separate issue: I think it is a good idea to give threads titles that reflect their contents. This makes them easier to find later. In this case, for instance, I would give this thread the title “etymology of argumentative” or “argumentative is not a correct word” or something like that.

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Posted: 23 September 2015 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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but it really does not mean anything to say that a very well established English word is not “correct”.

I’ll rise to that fly…

It could be argued that “correct” is a value judgement and by it’s very nature open to interpretation. It could also be argued that declaring a word incorrect is a good way to open a discussion about how language works, if one cares to do that sort of thing.

I used to work in a lab that made artificial heart valves from the heart valves of pigs. Naturally, one of the areas that gets inspected many times in the process is where the cusps meet and seal together, which is known as a “zone of coaptation.” Coe-app-tay-shon.

However, the factory jargon for this area was simply “coaption.” “Check your coaption before you go any further.” It was odd, because we all knew the “correct” word - it was on a label we all filled out several times a day - but we all said it as “coaption.”

Language comes from the people you talk with, eh?

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