Obsolete & Archaic

Ella Beck

Member
A usage from America that's crept in but would have been considered ungrammatical in the 1960s - outside of the house instead of just 'outside' the house.
 
Last edited:

Ella Beck

Member
A usage from Europe that has completely superseded the 1960s usage, though it came in during that decade - the figure 7 written with a bar through it. It still lacks the bar on the typing keyboard, but when people write it, they nearly always cross their 7s. Even I do!
 
Last edited:

Ella Beck

Member
One saying that my mother was fond of, but that younger people don't get the point of is 'to fancy one's onions'.

This means that the person is a bighead who likes to parade his/ her opinions and throw his/her weight about.

One never hears it nowadays.

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyl...ody-who-didnt-grow-up-in-the-uk-a3686021.html
There are some more interesting phrases mentioned here. Some are definitely new - 'several sandwiches short of a picnic' comes from the 1980s. When I was young, the now obsolete expression would have been 'eighteen shillings to the pound'. :)
 

Ella Beck

Member
'Disinterested' - historically, the word means that you don't have self-interest - i.e. you are impartial, rational, unselfish.

Even in the 1960s, when I was at high school, it was usually used in today's sense of 'uninterested' - but we were aware that it was considered an incorrect usage, and we found the word used in its 'original' sense in authors such as Jane Austen.

Now nobody much remembers its original meaning, let alone uses it in that sense. :)
 

John Watt

New member
I have never used the word ruminate to describe any mental activity of mine.
That's a bovine thing to do.
I would never use the word pontificate because there is no pontiff in North America.
And as far as a pope pontificating, that kind of depravity has no place in my life.
I have never seen anyone who is handwriting cross a 7. Over here, it's about the number one as 1 or l.
Predilections, while rare, are something I avoid, getting in the way of being creative.
When you are as patient and cautious as I am, a predilection is less than a whim.

I have never used "uninterested", using uninteresting.

I would see "to fancy ones' onions" as a semi-racist slur on Scottish people.
I've been brought up using onions in almost everything I cook and eat.
In American movies it's "one sandwich short of a picnic".

I'm not going to define what a demanding, with overtures of dominating, attitude of yours I'm seeing here.
That North American slang might cause you too much umbrage.
If you see me as changing the cadence of your font flow, or not obeying your self-presumed thread thought,
that's you, when I'm just happy to add content as another member.
I am always happy to see a more expansive reply that might take me to new places.

You might see the fast fontage of mine as being excessive, when it isn't at all.
I'm taking it easy, not using the English language as defined by other cultural groups,
such as my Mohawk to northern Newfie friends, who could be part Irish and part Inuit.
I don't use words such as darnbanks, frankum, clampers, Colcannon Night, to use a few.

And if I ever got into rock talk that would only seem inflammatory and insinuating.
If you met me in real life you might think I could take steel wool and knit you a bike.
But as we all know, they'll be white blackbirds before a woman ties the knot.

Here, in this forum, you type like you've got a straw up your nose.

Jus'sayin'. The six postings you have here in a row might be a new total for you.

"What better or properer can we call our own, than the riches of our friends?"
Timon of Athens, I, ii, 105-7.
That saying is associated with The Davenant Home at Crown Inn, an auld English establishment.
 

Ella Beck

Member
Regarding post #26, above, I have followed the advice given in section 2.3 of MIMF's Terms of Service https://www.magle.dk/music-forums/faq.php?faq=policies#faq_rules

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Returning to the thread topic:

'Different than' - an expression I first noticed on Star Trek, and an Americanism, is beginning to find its way into British English.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/usage/different-from-than-or-to

As this link points out, a more usual expression when I was younger was 'different to' - 'different from' is found in both varieties of English.
 
Last edited:

Ella Beck

Member
In the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, even quite 'genteel' people routinely swore. In the nineteenth century through to the 1960s, swearing in public was considered uncouth in middle class society, though it was rife in working class circles.

Now, though, swearwords have become common in all classes, even among children. And some of the most popular swearwords are the extreme ones, not the milder 'bloody' etc of days gone by.
 
Last edited:

Ella Beck

Member
'Ms' has not taken off in the way that one might have expected. In some ways, it has become old hat and women are opting to be called 'Miss' or 'Mrs'. Women who were young when 'Ms' was introduced are now older and therefore 'out of fashion' - that's my explanation for this phenomenon.
 
Last edited:

John Watt

New member
The Ms. phenomena in the United States was the leading edge of popular feminism.
Gloria Steinhem, a New Yorker, published Ms Magazine, seen as popularizing this new form of address.
After it became hardcore, what outsiders were seeing as a New York City mentality,
it became confused with the new "gay" and "lesbian" community.
One of the biggest selling feminist books was written by Erica Jong, called "Fear of Flying".
She invented the term "zipless f..k" which promoted anonymous sex as womens' liberation.
The cover featured artwork that showed the torso skin of a woman hanging on a clothes hanger.
That helped turn the average woman off.
It was also seen as the result of cocaine and pharmaceutical addictions,
what New York mentality means before it became a New York state of mind.

When I'm holding a door open or describing any woman I'm encountering,
I like to use the word lady or say my lady or these young ladies.
No-one has ever complained about that, even if they're holding the door open for me.
And I'll never forget the times a woman asked me out for a restaurant meal,
saying she wanted to pay, explaining she wanted to try out her new feminism,
or show me photo albums of her marriage to her now departed husband,
or letters from a husband or boyfriend in prison. Such is life in the twig city.
 
Last edited:

Ella Beck

Member
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.
 

Ella Beck

Member
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.'
 

Ella Beck

Member
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.
 

Ella Beck

Member
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.
 

Ella Beck

Member
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.
:)
 

Ella Beck

Member
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.
 

John Watt

New member
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:

Ella Beck

Member
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:

Ella Beck

Member
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...from-heartrending-ep-411844680-359930721.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-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/
 
Last edited:
Top