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#201 theminimumcircus

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:55 AM

"Conversate" is totally colloquial--not standard in the least. "Disorientate" sounds like shit to the American ear; I chalk it up to the same hiccup as the limey pronunciation of "aluminum." Not "wrong," but irritating.
Wtf @ theminimuncircus retardly interjecting.

#202 Binko

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:03 AM

Fair enough. I just don't see how "orientate" is a word to begin with. What does it convey that "orient" doesn't?


Sorry, I edited the above. It looks like Robert Birchfield worked on that Fowler volume, not Fowler.

It doesn't convey anything "orient" doesn't. There's a lot of redundant words in the English language. "Orientate" is more UK usage, "orient" is US. Why do we use "burglarize" instead of the more concise UK "burgle"?

#203 Stan Gable

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:03 AM

Would somebody please help me with a simple explanation on when to use 'affect' and 'effect'? I normally pride myself on being part of the grammar and punctuation police, but I am ashamed to admit I fail when it comes to affect/effect. I've read a number of explanations online, but nothing has stuck or made sense to me.

#204 velocity

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:08 AM

Fair enough. I just don't see how "orientate" is a word to begin with. What does it convey that "orient" doesn't?


Seems like it's unnecessarily trying to do what "differentiate" does.

I was going to take this opportunity to rag on our Brit counterparts for their pronunciation of an extra vowel in "aluminum" ("aluminium") but it appears that word is correctly spelled both ways.

Instead, I'll gripe about any speaker who turns "mischievous" into "mischievious" [sic].

#205 Duff.

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:09 AM

Would somebody please help me with a simple explanation on when to use 'affect' and 'effect'? I normally pride myself on being part of the grammar and punctuation police, but I am ashamed to admit I fail when it comes to affect/effect.

I've read a number of explanations online, but nothing has stuck or made sense to me.



My understanding is "effect" is a noun, "affect" is a verb. Someone correct me if otherwise.

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#206 velocity

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:11 AM

Except, "affect" can also be a noun.

#207 theminimumcircus

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:11 AM

Would somebody please help me with a simple explanation on when to use 'affect' and 'effect'? I normally pride myself on being part of the grammar and punctuation police, but I am ashamed to admit I fail when it comes to affect/effect.

I've read a number of explanations online, but nothing has stuck or made sense to me.


Are you asking about "affect" and "effect" as verbs?

"Effect" is most commonly used as a noun; however, it is also a verb whose synonym is "create" or "make" or "bring about." The war effected new trade routes.

"Affect" is most commonly used as a transitive verb, meaning "influence, alter, cause to be different." The disease affected his ability to speak, for example.

However, "affect" is also a noun meaning "temperament" or "emotional responsiveness." His affect was distorted by years of abuse.
Wtf @ theminimuncircus retardly interjecting.

#208 Binko

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:19 AM

Would somebody please help me with a simple explanation on when to use 'affect' and 'effect'? I normally pride myself on being part of the grammar and punctuation police, but I am ashamed to admit I fail when it comes to affect/effect.

I've read a number of explanations online, but nothing has stuck or made sense to me.


OK, first, unless you're talking psychiatry/psychology (where it is pronounced "AF-fect"), the noun form will be "effect."

Now, as to the verb, "affect" means "to influence, cause a change in, or to move emotionally" and "effect" means "to bring into action, to make happen."

So, and I haven't tried this for every usage, but if you can substitute the word "influence" in without any drastic change in sentence meaning, then "affect" is your word. If you can put it "impel," then "effect" is your word.

In more cases than not "affect" is the verb you're looking for, unless you really want to say something impels something else, then "effect" is your verb.

#209 Waylon

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:23 AM

Somebody tell me, is it proper to say "more similar"? I suppose it's the same as saying "more alike," and maybe the -ar ending seems wrong because similar sounds like a comparative adjective.

Still waiting for Slackmo to delete this thread.


#210 theminimumcircus

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:25 AM

Somebody tell me, is it proper to say "more similar"? I suppose it's the same as saying "more alike," and maybe the -ar ending seems wrong because similar sounds like a comparative adjective.


I think it would be fine to use "more similar." Similarity is a matter of degree.

As long as you didn't pronounce it "more sim-U-lar."
Wtf @ theminimuncircus retardly interjecting.

#211 Stan Gable

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:45 AM

Are you asking about "affect" and "effect" as verbs?

"Effect" is most commonly used as a noun; however, it is also a verb whose synonym is "create" or "make" or "bring about." The war effected new trade routes.

"Affect" is most commonly used as a transitive verb, meaning "influence, alter, cause to be different." The disease affected his ability to speak, for example.

However, "affect" is also a noun meaning "temperament" or "emotional responsiveness." His affect was distorted by years of abuse.


OK, first, unless you're talking psychiatry/psychology (where it is pronounced "AF-fect"), the noun form will be "effect."

Now, as to the verb, "affect" means "to influence, cause a change in, or to move emotionally" and "effect" means "to bring into action, to make happen."

So, and I haven't tried this for every usage, but if you can substitute the word "influence" in without any drastic change in sentence meaning, then "affect" is your word. If you can put it "impel," then "effect" is your word.

In more cases than not "affect" is the verb you're looking for, unless you really want to say something impels something else, then "effect" is your verb.



Whoa.... Okay, I'll need to practice proper usage slowly. I should have never been sick those two days in fifth grade.

#212 Binko

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:47 AM

Somebody tell me, is it proper to say "more similar"? I suppose it's the same as saying "more alike," and maybe the -ar ending seems wrong because similar sounds like a comparative adjective.


Using the comparative and superlative with "similar" is fine. There are degrees of similarity. It's not a word like "unique," which sends many language mavens into a tizzy if it's modified by an adverb of degree or comparative adverb.

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:48 AM

Somebody tell me, is it proper to say "more similar"? I suppose it's the same as saying "more alike," and maybe the -ar ending seems wrong because similar sounds like a comparative adjective.


I think it would be fine to use "more similar." Similarity is a matter of degree.

As long as you didn't pronounce it "more sim-U-lar."

It's legal to use the comparative ("more"), even if the phrase sounds glunky to the ear. What you shouldn't do is use the comparative and the superlative (the suffix "er") in the same sentence. "It's more funner," which I used to hear all the time when I was a kid and it drove me nuts.

#214 Binko

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:50 AM

Whoa.... Okay, I'll need to practice proper usage slowly. I should have never been sick those two days in fifth grade.


OK, shorthand rule that will have you correct 95% or more of the time: use "affect" for the verb form, and "effect" for the noun form.

#215 Waylon

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:56 AM

Thanks Binko, theminimumcircus and NumberTenOx.

Somebody tell me, is it proper to say "more similar"? I suppose it's the same as saying "more alike," and maybe the -ar ending seems wrong because similar sounds like a comparative adjective.


I think it would be fine to use "more similar." Similarity is a matter of degree.

As long as you didn't pronounce it "more sim-U-lar."

It's legal to use the comparative ("more"), even if the phrase sounds glunky to the ear. What you shouldn't do is use the comparative and the superlative (the suffix "er") in the same sentence. "It's more funner," which I used to hear all the time when I was a kid and it drove me nuts.

I think that's what hangs me up. It never sounds right. I'm an instinctual grammatarian.

Still waiting for Slackmo to delete this thread.


#216 throughsilver

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:05 AM

disorientate is perfectly fine. i have been phasing it out of late (will self is my grammar barometer) but if, for example, one begins a new job and is being guided as to what is what, one is not going through a process of 'oriention'. it's really just a case of americans complaining about english people using english words in the english language

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#217 Binko

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:08 AM

disorientate is perfectly fine. i have been phasing it out of late (will self is my grammar barometer) but if, for example, one begins a new job and is being guided as to what is what, one is not going through a process of 'oriention'.


Using that logic, shouldn't "conversate" be the verb form, since one has a "conversation" not a "conversion"?

it's really just a case of americans complaining about english people using english words in the english language


But, yeah, a bit of this.

#218 Guest_NumberTenOx_*

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:25 AM

disorientate is perfectly fine. i have been phasing it out of late (will self is my grammar barometer) but if, for example, one begins a new job and is being guided as to what is what, one is not going through a process of 'oriention'.


Using that logic, shouldn't "conversate" be the verb form, since one has a "conversation" not a "conversion"?


The verb form is "converse", I think.

#219 elcorazon

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

disorientate is perfectly fine. i have been phasing it out of late (will self is my grammar barometer) but if, for example, one begins a new job and is being guided as to what is what, one is not going through a process of 'oriention'.


Using that logic, shouldn't "conversate" be the verb form, since one has a "conversation" not a "conversion"?


The verb form is "converse", I think.

and orient is also a verb form.
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#220 Guest_NumberTenOx_*

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:39 AM

disorientate is perfectly fine. i have been phasing it out of late (will self is my grammar barometer) but if, for example, one begins a new job and is being guided as to what is what, one is not going through a process of 'oriention'.


Using that logic, shouldn't "conversate" be the verb form, since one has a "conversation" not a "conversion"?


The verb form is "converse", I think.

and orient is also a verb form.

Just looking, "converse" is a noun and a verb. The "-ate" suffix means "to do" or "to make". So, "conversate" could be construed as a word. But since we have "converse" already... sort of like "utilize". We already have "use". Why make up a new word?