Otherwise
Posted: 22 September 2017 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3938
Joined  2007-02-26

Ivanka Trump recently tweeted a photo of herself holding her baby nephew, with the text: “Cuddling my little nephew Luke… the best part of an otherwise incredible day!”

http://forward.com/schmooze/383321/ivanka-trump-doesnt-know-what-the-word-otherwise-means/

This has led a lot of people to suggest that she doesn’t know what otherwise means. I’m not so sure: I think it is compatible with the normal meaning. This is the best part of a day that, even apart from this event, has been incredible.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2017 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6265
Joined  2007-01-03

It is a poor choice on Ivanka’s part. Otherwise connotes the opposite, alternative, or converse. It does not simply mean “in other ways,” it establishes a contrast.

The definition from Merriam-Webster: “something or anything else :something to the contrary”

From American Heritage:

1. In another way; differently: She thought otherwise.
2. Under other circumstances: Otherwise I might have helped.
3. In other respects: an otherwise logical mind.
4. Used to indicate a category to which the preceding adverb does not apply: All the students, dressed suitably and otherwise, went on the field trip.
5. Or else.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2017 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2999
Joined  2007-01-30

I suppose one could with a little ingenuity wrest the meaning she intended from it but it is indeed a poor choice of word. Omitting otherwise would have served her far better.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 September 2017 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4457
Joined  2007-01-29

On the other hand, it’s just a damn tweet.  Jeez.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 September 2017 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2652
Joined  2007-02-19

I think we spend a lot of time in this forum, discussing the use of words by people whose command of the English language is anything but authoritative. I suppose that includes most of English-speaking humanity; nevertheless, I find it hard to work up much interest in Ivanka Trump’s choice of words.  Is this a dangerously elitist attitude?  Or are there really cogent reasons why i should be concerned with the way English is used/abused by millions of people whose acquaintance with the language is pathetically casual? I realize, of course, that it’s those millions, rather than frequenters of wordorigins.org, who will determine the path of the language’s development. Still.......

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 September 2017 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Moderator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  207
Joined  2007-02-24

I agree with Aldi. Looks like she tried to get too cute.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 September 2017 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2999
Joined  2007-01-30

Or are there really cogent reasons why i should be concerned with the way English is used/abused by millions of people whose acquaintance with the language is pathetically casual?

Concerned, no. Interested, yes.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 September 2017 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6265
Joined  2007-01-03
aldiboronti - 26 September 2017 12:13 AM

Concerned, no. Interested, yes.

Yes. I couldn’t care less about Ivanka’s tweets, but how otherwise is used is interesting and non-obvious.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Dotard      Precariat ››