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

Rick Johnson rantingrickjohnson at
Wed Jan 25 18:23:10 EST 2012

On Jan 25, 3:45 pm, Ian Kelly < at> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM, Rick Johnson
> <rantingrickjohn... 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.

Only to you. In my world, the "pleasurable aspects of a tangible
object" can have no effect on my opinion of the difficulty of a task.

> "Pretty easy"
> is generally understood to be not quite as easy as just "easy".

So why not say "slightly easy"? "Slightly" can inject quantity into
another word, whereas "pretty" cannot. "Pretty" has no "quantity"

> > Furthermore, if you insist on QUANTIFYING a QUANTIFIER,
> "Easy" is not a quantifier, so your talk of quantifying quantifiers
> makes no sense.

Yes, i made a mistake here when i copy pasted the text. The original
phrase i referenced (in my draft) was "pretty much". I must have have
changed it unknowingly.

> > 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".

You don't need to quantify "easy". Something is either "difficult" or
"easy". If you think something is in between difficult and easy then
say so.

"""I was frightened that the finals might be difficult this year,
however to my surprise, they were not."""

In this case the writer does not *precisely* quantify the difficulty
of his final exams, however, we can infer that the difficulty level
falls somewhere between easy-peasy and devilishly-difficult -- WITHOUT
resorting to a language perversion!

Listen, you try to make an argument that "pretty" somehow quantifies
the "difficulty of an easy task". Okay, if "pretty" is a quantifier,
then what EXACTLY is it's quantity, exactly? You see, you've gained
nothing by using "pretty". All you have done is to inject clumsiness.
I've heard of captains tripping and falling into lifeboats, but this
is ridiculous!

> 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.
> """

So you have no capacity to reason on your own without outside
influence? I feel horrible for you. All of the classical philosophers
would have gulped poison like some college student at an all night
kegger if they knew the shameful outcome of our wasted centuries of

> 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
> [...].

Of course. Because as we all know, has the worlds best
philosophers, linguist, sociologist, and PR departments (apparently).
Let's see what intelligent words we can find here...

a name for something one doesn't know the name of, 1914, Amer.Eng.,
arbitrary formation.

a gadget or other thing for which the speaker does not know or has
forgotten the name.

Wow, this dictionary has high standards. i stand humbled!

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