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

Ian Kelly ian.g.kelly at
Wed Jan 25 19:20:26 EST 2012

On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM, Rick Johnson
<rantingrickjohnson at> wrote:
> 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.

Then your world is not the real world, that being the one that is
actually described by every dictionary that I've checked.

>> "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"

Just as "pretty" can mean "pleasing", "slight" can mean "delicate".
So I seriously do not understand why you object to one as a qualifier
and not the other, when both are frequently used as such.

>> > 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!

That is not what I infer from that sentence.  I take from it that the
writer expected the finals to be difficult, and they turned out to be
the opposite (i.e. "easy").  If you thought that that sentence clearly
implied that the finals were "between easy and difficult", then your
writing skills stink.

> 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".

It is a qualifier, not a quantifier, just like "very" and "somewhat",
which you have previously advocated.  Tell me, if something is "very
easy", EXACTLY how easy is it?  Or do you gain nothing by using those
words either?

> 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
> evolution.

No, actually what I have demonstrated by going to a dictionary is the
capacity to cite external evidence that bolsters my conclusions,
rather than simply insisting that everything I say is obviously true.
Are you able to do that as well?  Or are you so egotistical that you
believe you don't need to?

>> 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).

I said "Not that is the final authority on the English
language", and you interpret my statement to mean " has
the worlds best philosophers, linguist, sociologist, and PR

As long as we're on the topic of dictionaries, I suggest you look up
"straw man", because that is what your argument amounts to here.  And
let me tell you, the world's best philosophers would all agree that
it's fallacious.

> Let's see what intelligent words we can find here...
> """
> doohickey
> a name for something one doesn't know the name of, 1914, Amer.Eng.,
> arbitrary formation.
> thing·a·ma·jig
> 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!

Are you seriously arguing that an English dictionary should be
discredited because it includes English words (even if they are
informal)?  Not only is that an ad hominem (against a dictionary, no
less!), but it is also positively the most moronic thing I have heard

More information about the Python-list mailing list