Banal expressions

JLM
#1
While we are on the subject of "zee" vs "zed", I would be interested in comments on a related topic- modern jargon that doesn't make a lot of sense (to me). I'll start the ball rolling with the term "learning curve", why a curve, who thought up this term, is it an accurate description of how we learn? Any other jargon of questionable meaning?
 
Spade
#2
The same difference

Hopefully

One off

The lie / lay of the land
 
Spade
#3
O, I almost forgot...

The new NHL
 
taxslave
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

While we are on the subject of "zee" vs "zed", I would be interested in comments on a related topic- modern jargon that doesn't make a lot of sense (to me). I'll start the ball rolling with the term "learning curve", why a curve, who thought up this term, is it an accurate description of how we learn? Any other jargon of questionable meaning?

Learning curve is an accurate term. Think of the bel curve. As you learn a new topic the first little bit goes quite fast and then slows down as you progress. Like snowboarding, it takes a couple of hours to learn how to get down the bunny hill but will be a season or two before you get down a black diamond run without falling on your butt.
Lay of the land comes from geography as in exploring a new area and seeing the ups and downs. Many terms had a usefull meaning at one time but have been preempted for unrelated topics over the years, Some are military acronyms that have come into common usage.
FUBAR-fu@#ed up beyond all recognition
SNAFU_ situation normal, all fu@#ed up.
 
taxslave
#5
I forgot one off. Comes from manufacturing meaning that you are making only one item as opposed to a run of the same thing.
 
JLM
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Learning curve is an accurate term. Think of the bel curve. As you learn a new topic the first little bit goes quite fast and then slows down as you progress. Like snowboarding, it takes a couple of hours to learn how to get down the bunny hill but will be a season or two before you get down a black diamond run without falling on your butt.
Lay of the land comes from geography as in exploring a new area and seeing the ups and downs. Many terms had a usefull meaning at one time but have been preempted for unrelated topics over the years, Some are military acronyms that have come into common usage.
FUBAR-fu@#ed up beyond all recognition
SNAFU_ situation normal, all fu@#ed up.

Well there you go, you learn something new every day. Fubar is new to me. Snafu, I've known about for 40 years.
 
Niflmir
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Well there you go, you learn something new every day. Fubar is new to me. Snafu, I've known about for 40 years.

FUBAR supposedly comes from an american army jargon and is supposed to stand for "F*ed up beyond all recognition" but was popularized in modern times by programmers.

Not sure about snafu...

I don't like how people use "literally" these days. I once saw an interview with a flight pilot who said, "The missile literally punched me out of the sky." I am pretty sure he meant figuratively.
 
Francis2004
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

I don't like how people use "literally" these days. I once saw an interview with a flight pilot who said, "The missile literally punched me out of the sky." I am pretty sure he meant figuratively.

Agreed about "literally"..

My daughter or her friends uses it all the time. We review if it really "literally" happened.
 
AnnaG
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

FUBAR supposedly comes from an american army jargon and is supposed to stand for "F*ed up beyond all recognition" but was popularized in modern times by programmers.

Not sure about snafu...

I don't like how people use "literally" these days. I once saw an interview with a flight pilot who said, "The missile literally punched me out of the sky." I am pretty sure he meant figuratively.

That was literally worth a giggle. Snafu is "situation normal; all f'd up"

Cops invent strange phrases. "Speed was a factor" Well, excuse me but speed = velocity, and if there was no velocity involved there would be no movement and hence, no infraction (other than possibly blocking traffic).
 
JLM
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

That was literally worth a giggle. Snafu is "situation normal; all f'd up"

Cops invent strange phrases. "Speed was a factor" Well, excuse me but speed = velocity, and if there was no velocity involved there would be no movement and hence, no infraction (other than possibly blocking traffic).

You can say that again Anna, and while we are on the subject I'm going to veer off a little to say that I get so sick of hearing "speed doesn't cause accidents"- maybe not, but that is irrelevant, when accidents do occur, speed certainly ascerbates the damage resulting, so while speed may not cause accidents, it sure as hell causes our insurance rates to sky rocket. Phew- got that off my chest.!!!!!!!!!!
 
AnnaG
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

You can say that again Anna, and while we are on the subject I'm going to veer off a little to say that I get so sick of hearing "speed doesn't cause accidents"- maybe not, but that is irrelevant, when accidents do occur, speed certainly ascerbates the damage resulting, so while speed may not cause accidents, it sure as hell causes our insurance rates to sky rocket. Phew- got that off my chest.!!!!!!!!!!

I get tired of hearing it, too. But I disagree, speed DOES cause accidents; the wrong speed. If people tell me it doesn't, I simply tell them try a higher velocity than road conditions allow. Go buzz around a 90º corner at 90 kliks an hour and they can see first hand what speed does.

Grassroots is another term that annoys me. lol Yes, grass has roots. My grass has roots. It grows its roots in my lawn.
People seem to use the term "infrastructure" loosely, also. Infra- means, below, underneath. The couldn't just stick to "foundation"? They had to invent this "infrastructure" word? Were people mistaking the definition of "foundation"? Funny people.
 
Niflmir
#12
Speed doesn't cause accidents, momentum does. :P

How about "Thinking outside of the box," these days if you are thinking outside of the box, you are thinking inside of the box.
 
AnnaG
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

Speed doesn't cause accidents, momentum does. :P

How about "Thinking outside of the box," these days if you are thinking outside of the box, you are thinking inside of the box.

Reconstruct the box. Reform it into a cylinder instead.
 
Niflmir
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

Reconstruct the box. Reform it into a cylinder instead.

How about attaching "quantum" on to everything? It seems to be the new "space-age."
 
AnnaG
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

How about attaching "quantum" on to everything? It seems to be the new "space-age."

Cool! The quantum cylinder way of thinking. lol
 
Niflmir
#16
The literal quantum cylinder learning curve way of thinking.
 
AnnaG
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

The literal quantum cylinder learning curve way of thinking.

... outside the box and at high velocity, low inertia.
 
SirJosephPorter
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

While we are on the subject of "zee" vs "zed", I would be interested in comments on a related topic- modern jargon that doesn't make a lot of sense (to me). I'll start the ball rolling with the term "learning curve", why a curve, who thought up this term, is it an accurate description of how we learn? Any other jargon of questionable meaning?


I read this thread just now and I was going to respond to it (how the term ‘learning curve’ is quite appropriate, but taxslave stole my thunder.

I would like to add one point to his post as to how the term learning curve is quite appropriate. In mathematics, there a concept called ‘asymptote’. Asymptote is the Y value which a curve will attain at the X value of infinity.

So as X become larger Y will also become larger and will approach the asymptotic value, without ever attaining it (not all the curves show this property, some do).

Learning is similar to that concept. As you learn about a subject (learn Physics, or learn to play chess), you gain more and more knowledge, you become more and more of an expert in it, without ever achieving perfection. You approach perfection asymptotically.
 
Niflmir
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by AnnaG View Post

... outside the box and at high velocity, low inertia.

I think the speed was definitely a factor.
 
Niflmir
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter View Post

I read this thread just now and I was going to respond to it (how the term ‘learning curve’ is quite appropriate, but taxslave stole my thunder.

I would like to add one point to his post as to how the term learning curve is quite appropriate. In mathematics, there a concept called ‘asymptote’. Asymptote is the Y value which a curve will attain at the X value of infinity.

So as X become larger Y will also become larger and will approach the asymptotic value, without ever attaining it (not all the curves show this property, some do).

Learning is similar to that concept. As you learn about a subject (learn Physics, or learn to play chess), you gain more and more knowledge, you become more and more of an expert in it, without ever achieving perfection. You approach perfection asymptotically.

Funny, I was going to show a plot with the same idea.
 
lone wolf
#21
That's gonna really put us on the map..... Well you've been on every map since 1880.....
 
SirJosephPorter
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Niflmir View Post

Funny, I was going to show a plot with the same idea.

Well, taxslave beat me to it, and I beat you to it.
 
LikelyGuy
#23
I hate the word 'signage', as in "We need more signage to get our word out."

What's wrong with "signs"?
 
JLM
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by LikelyGuy View Post

I hate the word 'signage', as in "We need more signage to get our word out."

What's wrong with "signs"?

Probably nothing- that one has been around for about 20 years that I know of, I guess sometimes variations of words do spice up the language a bit. The one I really hate is the word "utilize"- just an ostentatious way to say "use" and adds absolutely nothing to the meaning.
 
LikelyGuy
#25
I ran across this the other day and found it interesting.

"9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think"

1. Irregardless
2. Peruse
3. Ironic
4. Pristine
5. Nonplussed
6. Bemused
7. Enormity
8. Plethora
9. Deceptively

Here for the why's and how's, though beware of the swear words and obvious eye candy (if you're really that prudish) : 9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think | Cracked.com

And yes, it is the internet incarnation of that juvenille rag, 'Cracked Magazine' (though not with the modern connotation of 'Cracked'.)
Last edited by LikelyGuy; Nov 8th, 2009 at 11:48 PM..
 
Hazmart
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by LikelyGuy View Post

I ran across this the other day and found it interesting.

"9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think"

1. Irregardless
2. Peruse
3. Ironic
4. Pristine
5. Nonplussed
6. Bemused
7. Enormity
8. Plethora
9. Deceptively

Here for the why's and how's, though beware of the swear words and obvious eye candy (if you're really that prudish) : 9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think | Cracked.com

And yes, it is the internet incarnation of that juvenille rag, 'Cracked Magazine' (though not with the modern connotation of 'Cracked'.)

OK that was pretty funny!
 
JLM
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by LikelyGuy View Post

I ran across this the other day and found it interesting.

"9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think"

1. Irregardless
2. Peruse
3. Ironic
4. Pristine
5. Nonplussed
6. Bemused
7. Enormity
8. Plethora
9. Deceptively

Here for the why's and how's, though beware of the swear words and obvious eye candy (if you're really that prudish) : 9 Words That Don't Mean What You Think | Cracked.com

And yes, it is the internet incarnation of that juvenille rag, 'Cracked Magazine' (though not with the modern connotation of 'Cracked'.)

Here's one for you- there's at least one word in the English language with two meanings, one being the opposite of the other. What is the word?
 
LikelyGuy
#28
As you said, there is "at least one word". These were termed Antagonyms.

Source: Antagonyms
 
JLM
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by LikelyGuy View Post

As you said, there is "at least one word". These were termed Antagonyms.

Source: Antagonyms

Holy cow, there's a lot- the one I had in mind is "cleave". Very interesting.
 
LikelyGuy
#30
Did you notice that 'peruse' is on both lists? I guess that the jury's still out on that one.

This one was my personal favourite, "Fat chance; slim chance: (Both mean "not too likely") 'Chance' is my dog's name and, well, we live in Likely. And yes he is fat.
 

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