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Thread: Obsolete & Archaic

  1. #31
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    Words for the toilet have changed. 'Loo' is ubiquitous, whereas it was considered a bit posh when I was a child. 'Toilet' is still used a lot of course, but 'lavatory' has become the new upper class word.
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  2. #32
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    Another usage which has become the usual expression among the young would have been considered ungrammatical when I was young.

    Someone asks how you are - the young person replies, 'I'm good, thanks.' To my ear, he's claiming to be virtuous, because the usage when I was young, and still the 'correct one' in standard British English is - 'I'm well, thank you.'
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  3. #33
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    Facebook often tells me that it's a Friend's Birthday. When I post a message on her timeline, I'll always include 'Many Happy Returns' in my greeting. I'm usually the only one who does, so I suspect that this form of greeting may be on the way out, though still used and known.
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  4. #34
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    Another usage among the younger generation - if you asked someone whether they approved of a choice you'd made, say about the menu, they'd say, when I was young, 'I don't mind.'

    Now they say, 'Okay by me' or 'I'm easy with it.
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  5. #35
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    And instead of saying, 'It's your choice', they say, 'It's your shout.'
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  6. #36
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    The Southern English 'lunch' has replaced the Northern English 'dinner' as the word used for the midday meal.

    On the other hand the Northern English 'tea' for an early evening meal (rather than the afternoon tea and cakes collation) is now spreading to the south.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ella Beck View Post
    Another usage which has become the usual expression among the young would have been considered ungrammatical when I was young.

    Someone asks how you are - the young person replies, 'I'm good, thanks.' To my ear, he's claiming to be virtuous, because the usage when I was young, and still the 'correct one' in standard British English is - 'I'm well, thank you.'
    'I'm good, thanks' is also used nowadays in a pub when someone wants to tell the person offering them to buy the next round of drinks either that they're happy with what's left in their glass, or that they've finished their drink but don't want another one for the time being.
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  8. #38
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    People, mostly hippies, used to hold up two fingers and say peace as a farewell.
    For over twenty years now I'm the only person I've seen do that, when I do.

    I can understand what you're saying about saying "I'm good, thanks", as being virtuous.
    Over here, you really don't hear people, out in public, saying "how are you" or "how's it going" any more.
    People say "what's happening", and that's more about looking for some action you want to get into,
    or at least find out where it is happening.
    If I'm trying to get some conversation going, I'm always the first to start casting some aspersions.
    That confuses most people right way, wondering if I'm being serious or facetious/sarcastic.
    Let them wonder.
    I'll start talking about what I'm doing, saying I'm aspiring to greatness, and sometimes I hit it.

    Text talk, it's not really a language. People who are half-way to learning English need moderated talk.
    An'if sumpin's really going down... like it's where we gotta go... you gotsta go wit'dat flow.
    "Hey! You got some?", "You want some?", "You want another?", "You looking?", "Can I help you?",
    "Where you going?", "It's nice to see you", are all casual greetings over here.
    As much as words, it's about fist bumping, finger moves and hugging with some shaking hands.
    A lot of people don't want to touch other people, not even shaking hands.
    I like to say I demand my left-handed rights, and hold out my left hand to shake, depending.
    Last edited by John Watt; Feb-26-2019 at 04:38.

  9. #39
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    When I was a child, female actors were 'actresses' (still the common usage, but not everywhere), female gods were 'goddesses' (fading a little) and female poets were 'poetesses' (just about gone for good).

    Because of the feminist movement, these feminine endings are seen as diminishing or demeaning. I agree about 'poetesses', but not about the others.
    Last edited by Ella Beck; Mar-02-2019 at 10:00.
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  10. #40
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    Common expressions are now being forgotten, and incorrect or nonsensical versions are taking their place - a pirate ship is (correctly) 'the scourge of the seas' not 'the surge of the seas', and something that makes us feel sad should be 'heart-rending', not 'heart rendering'.
    http://archive.knoxnews.com/opinion/...359930721.html

    It may be that people using the incorrect expressions have only heard the cliches and never seen them written down.

    Sometimes, though, the written language can be responsible for misunderstandings. Which is correct - 'under way' or 'under weigh'?
    See this article: https://www.publichealth.org/public-...yths-debunked/
    Last edited by Ella Beck; Mar-18-2019 at 18:40.
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  11. #41
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Ya'know Ella Beck, I was thinking too much and trying to hard with my previous reply.
    After more recent thought I have to admit I over-looked what got me going in the first place.
    By far, the majority of people don't greet each other or talk while waiting in public.
    Some of that is people with earbuds on, using a device, or just keeping to themselves.
    I always have a greeting for anyone in my presence,
    and I can always get someone going in a conversational way while waiting in line,
    if not get some group thing happening. And then wattch out, because I might start singing.

    I'll be cool and not tell a story about an RBC bank machine line-up I was in yesterday...
    yesterday... all my deposits were there to take away... no... no... stop that...
    Hey! It's not illegal to harmonize with indoor sound systems, even in a financial institution.
    Okay, I have to say, what I ask is, if I was doing this song when it was out in the sixties or seventies,
    does that me cool or elevator music. I have to say, everyone says I'm still cool.
    I... typed... something wrong, now I have... to push re-set...... (descending notes)
    here's my pay... money I earned the easy way...

  12. #42
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you say "the loo" was posh for you.
    When I think of that, the first thing that comes to me,
    is some English woman with some kind of accent, probably Cockney,
    shouting at someone about going to the loo.

    When I think about lavatory, English movies with professors and scientists,
    such as Hammer films, vampires and such, used this more technical word.

    Okay, I have to ask. Don't you say "going to the john", or "porta-john"?

  13. #43
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    The language used about Race, like that about gender, is another minefield and particularly subject to change as dictated by the moods of the Zeitgeist.

    When I was young, it was polite to talk about people of Afro-Caribbean origin as 'coloured', and it was considered racist to describe them as 'black'.

    Now, it is the reverse - though maybe not so much downright racist to talk about 'coloured people' as somehow patronising.

    I have made the change without problem, but only recently a UK politician got into trouble for describing a British black person as 'coloured'.
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