The devolution of English language and slothful c.l.p behaviors exposed!

Ian Kelly ian.g.kelly at
Wed Jan 25 16:45:44 EST 2012

On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Rick Johnson
<rantingrickjohnson at> wrote:
> Wow, why i am not surprised! Let's pick one usage at random and try to
> understand it. "I think XYZ is pretty easy." You don't even need
> "pretty" to get your point across. You could simply say "I think XYZ
> is easy".

But "easy" and "pretty easy" mean two different things.  "Pretty easy"
is generally understood to be not quite as easy as just "easy".

> Furthermore, if you insist on QUANTIFYING a QUANTIFIER,

"Easy" is not a quantifier, so your talk of quantifying quantifiers
makes no sense.

> simply use any number of legal QUANTIFIERS. "I think XYZ is VERY easy"
> or "I think XYZ is SOMEWHAT easy" or "I think XYZ is difficult".

Now, don't be ridiculous.  Obviously, the One True Meaning of "very"
is "precise" or "particular", as in "That is the very thing I was
looking for".  This in turn is derived from the archaic meaning
"true", as in "the very God", which ultimately comes from Latin.  You
can't argue with Latin, and you can't just go around using "very" as
an adverb.  It doesn't even end in "ly"!

In all seriousness, the idea that "very" and "somewhat" are somehow
better in this context than "pretty" just because "pretty" has another
meaning in other contexts is flatly ridiculous.  The editors at disagree with you too:

Usage Note
The qualifying adverb pretty,  meaning “fairly or moderately” has been
in general use since the late 16th century. Although most common in
informal speech and writing, it is far from restricted to them, and
often is less stilted than alternatives such as relatively,
moderately,  and quite.

Not that is the final authority on the English
language, but I'll but a lot more stock in what they say than in a
random internet troll.


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