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In all seriousness
Posted: 02 September 2008 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Of late it seems that there’s been an increasing tendency to post only replies that are serious and/or scholarly.  Anyone who posts something that doesn’t fit with either of those categories does so at their peril, or so it seems to me.  I think the risk is of being ridiculed or having their posts pulled to shreds, is putting many folk off actually saying anything at all, whether it adds to the discussion or not.  Now there may be those of us who haven’t much to add - except to make the place feel a bit more human, but I think that they have actually got more to offer than we seem to realise.  There’s more than one way to add something of value and the way things are, this is in danger of becoming a stuffy and pretentious forum for a learned minority.  That way lies sudden death.

Lighten up, everyone!  Give a bit more slack.

[ Edited: 02 September 2008 09:33 AM by astal ]
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Posted: 02 September 2008 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have a feeling this is aimed at me, at least in part.  If I’m stuffy and over-serious to point out that someone has claimed, without apparent jocularity, that the OED gives a particular meaning for a word, but in fact, it explicitly calls that meaning erroneous, I guess I’ll just have to live with my shame.

[ Edited: 02 September 2008 04:10 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 02 September 2008 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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There’s nothing wrong with serious and scholarly as long as it’s balanced with a few lighter posts.  You, in fact, do serious and scholarly extremely well and I have no argument with that as every post of yours does add much of value, unless of course, it’s disagreeing with me*.  My post is aimed at the tone of the board at the moment, so as part of that, you do share part of the blame, but no more so than anyone else.

*Attempt at levity, everyone.  Just in case nobody got that. Which is the point of this thread - why should anyone feel they have to explain humour or over-explain posts in order to defend against possible sniping?  I believe oecolampadius started a similar thread recently saying much the same thing.

[ Edited: 03 September 2008 04:27 AM by astal ]
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Posted: 03 September 2008 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t think anyone wants to exclude humor from the board; the problem is that people have different standards and senses of humor.  No harm, no foul.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Stuffy and over-serious? Long-term members wouldn’t recognize that description of Doc at all. His quick, dry wit has always been a major bonus of this board for me.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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languagehat - 03 September 2008 04:58 AM

I don’t think anyone wants to exclude humor from the board; the problem is that people have different standards and senses of humor.  No harm, no foul.

I remember a post where I had a little fun with the word fun and you asked that the thread be deleted.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Stuffy and over-serious? Long-term members wouldn’t recognize that description of Doc at all.

Thanks, but I accept astal’s statement that this was not intended to describe me (at least not specifically).  No offense intended, and none taken.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I remember a post where I had a little fun with the word fun and you asked that the thread be deleted.

I don’t remember it, but if it was a joke post I stand my my response.  There’s a huge difference between jokey comments in threads and posts that exist only for the sake of a joke.  This is a word site, not a humor site.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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A word site, indeed. The topic at hand, however, is if anything other than scholarly posts have a place here.

There’s a huge difference between posting “Did you hear the one about the psychiatrist...” and posting something etymology related that isn’t serious yet invites a more meaningful discussion.

As you say, some of us get the joke and some of us don’t. Don’t be so quick to assume that you know the intent of the poster. It might just be that you’re not getting the joke.

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Posted: 04 September 2008 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Fair enough, and I’m always happy to be corrected.

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Posted: 04 September 2008 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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JFTR, the post happydog refers to is here.

It was a joke thread, but it was an etymological joke.  As Dave said (more or less) at the time, I wouldn’t want to see the board overrun with these, but one doesn’t want to see levity and facetiousness totally stamped out, either.

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Posted: 04 September 2008 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Well, what you said at the time was “we are being trolled.” But since the post was fine with Dave, it’s fine with me; it’s his show, after all.

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Posted: 05 September 2008 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful jollity,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks, and youthful smiles.
Bring them, though, in scanty measure,
Lest some think this site’s for pleasure.
Bring us laughter—drop by drop,
Always mindful when to stop;
Hoot, but keep the hooting piano,
Else you’ll soon be deep in guano.
Let us keep things dry as dust
(smiling thinly when we must).
Take a tip from Aristotle,
And your mirth discreetly throttle;
Keep tight rein on idle chatter ---
Words are not a laughing matter.
Indeed, to guard us safe from error
Stick to words like Pity and Terror.

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Posted: 05 September 2008 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hence, vain deluding joys
The brood of folly without father bred!
How little you bestead
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys.
Find out some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus’ train.

But hail, thou wondrous little board,
Hail Wordorigins dot org
Which sheds on words the light of day
And mythic fogs quite burns away.
Serious and sober, as is fit,
Yet always there’s a place for wit.

I’ll stop before it gets much worse,
It’s long since I turned out a verse.
It’s true I love a bawdy jest
And often, it must be confessed,
With Cloaca I can be seen,
“Listening delighted to the jest unclean
Of linkboys vile and watermen obscene.”
And I’ve been guilty more than once
Of ‘joking with no relevance’

I’ve learned the lesson with good grace,
A jest should always know its place.

[ Edited: 05 September 2008 12:18 PM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 05 September 2008 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Wonderful, da boat a yaz!*

Brilliant.

*the both of you in Chicagoese.

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Posted: 01 August 2009 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You’re barking up the wrong tree, astal. Erudition --- you will find at wordorigins.org in plenty; information --- as much as you could wish for. Dissent there is, too (make sure you’re on the side of the angels, though, if you know what’s good for you). If you seek levity, on the other hand, go look for it in the OED, which is, after all, the book that sets the tone at this site, the fons et origo of all wordly wisdom (you’ll find “levity” under L). Laughter? Try the Reading Room at the British Library.

There is a place for everything, including a jest; and a jest, as aldiboronti apologetically points out, must know its place. I think the preceding posters on this thread have made it clear that this isn’t it. “This is a word site, not a humor site”. Like it, lad—or loomp it.

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