Useless Words? ("areal")

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Tiassa, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Why is "areal" a word?

    No, really. I just don't get why it's a word at all.

    It is an adjective, derived as we might suspect from the word area, and is used, for instance, in weather reporting such as the phrase, "areal weather advisory".

    It's not that one struggles to understand the definition. It just seems like an extraneous word, especially in American English.
     
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  3. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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    It is part of indoctrination. A real Is Real . The city of Peace . The angel also comes to mind . Probably not , but in symbolic jestering it could be worth consideration . Dreamers dream . Sticks out tongue. O.K. I would buy you beer too
     
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  5. veggiepatch Registered Senior Member

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    And I thought this was going to be interesting.

    Areally don't care.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
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  7. wlminex Banned Banned

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    . . . .wasn't areal a mermaid . . . or something? tee hee . . . .I use the term as in "areal extent" . . . meaning the surface extent defined by the area under consideration
     
  8. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Irregardless what you guys say, you are always wrong...
     
  9. realitystrand Registered Member

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    A long time ago on HBO there was a comedian who started a word movement called snigglets which are words we don't but should have to describe objects or attributes in our lives we experience on a daily basis. Some that I remember are:
    cinimuck -> the sticky crusty concoction found on the floors of cinema theaters
    eqwat -> balancing a lite switch just so it is sparking the light with the light not fully on or of they are "Equal"
    fenderburg -> That tenacious ice chuck that won't melt off your fender after the ice storm
    aquadextrious -> The ability to turn your bath water off with either your right or left foot.
     
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Because we can tack other words on to it, like extent, so that we can have conversations about the areal extent of wetlands without having to used clumsy phrases such as "the magnitude of the extent of the wetlands", which is important because talking about the extent of the wetlands is ambiguous, because their geographical distribution also forms part of their extent.

    "The distribution of the wetlands" or "The areal extent of the wetlands"
    Versus "The distribution of the wetlands" or "The magnitude of the extent of the wetlands".

    On a side note.

    Anyone else find that extent is one of those words that the more you say it, the less it sounds like a real word?
     
  11. wlminex Banned Banned

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    . . . this is the 'extent' of my posting on this subject!
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    No, really

    I have that problem with common words, like "Monday" and "cow".
     
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Chimney is another one.

    Heh, I came across one of those demotivational posters the other day:

    Epiphany: The moment you realize that after Tuesday the remaining week days begin with WTF.
     
  14. Deepuz Registered Senior Member

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    There's a funny local dialect phrase in Bristol UK that whenever the word 'area' is used, then they'll sling on an extra 'l' at the end to give 'areal'

    The throwing in of 'l's at the end of a word is quite common, actually, around here. One of my Bristolian computer engineering lab assistants would always ask the question: "So has anybody got any ideals about this?"

    There's a nice little reference to this on yahoo answers:

    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110704103911AA4vMV1

    I'm sure there's more but this is quite localised, I'd suspect.
     
  15. Deepuz Registered Senior Member

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    177
    By the way, the word "chimney" (i noticed in the post above) is often pronounced "Chimley" also very much Bristolian.
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That was a great show, thanks for reminding me! One of my favorites was renaming the "gearshift lever" to acknowledge the fact that today most cars and trucks have automatic transmissions. They called it the prndl, pronounced "prindle," because PRNDL is how it's labeled.

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    I can't access humor sites through this corporate server, but if you google Sniglets (only one G) you'll find several websites that catalog Rich Hall's weekly contributions to HBO's "Not Necessarily The News."
    Indeed. "Area weather" is not likely go be misunderstood, but "area extent" would be rather confusing. It sounds like two synonyms crammed together, the way most Chinese words are formed for clarity to compensate for their impoverished phonetics.
    As Tiassa mentions further down, this is a rather common phenomenon, at least for many people. There has to be a name for it, but I can't figure out how to search for it!
    Making "area" and "aerial" homonyms. The way "toe" and "toll" are homonyms in AAVE, by the phenomenon of dropping final consonants. This is attributed to the West African languages in which most words end in vowels, and used to illustrate the enduring power of ancestral languages, long after they cease to be spoken.
    "Bristolian"??? With all those charming ethnonyms you folks are fond of coining, like "Cockney," "Glaswegian," "Manx," "Oxonian" and "Brummie," you don't have some cute, barely recognizable, quintessentially British name for people from such a well-known place?

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  17. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps some sort of mild aphasia that most of us are prone to?
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I don't think it qualifies as aphasia. We still understand what the words mean, and we can still speak them and understand them. They just start to sound weird.

    Perhaps it's more like what people describe after an acid trip: seeing (or in this case hearing) something familiar in a new way.
     
  19. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    useless word?
    well take a gander at this:
    humuhumunukunukuapuaa

    why they can't call this a "hawaiian triggerfish" is a mystery.
     
  20. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    This is one of my favorite words - learned at a young age working in a petshop. This fish is very popular with saltwater aquarists.

    Huma Huma Nuka Nuka Apua. The accent is somewhere around the ah-poooahhh part...

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  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
     
  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    kinda sounds like my kid when he stubbed his toe.
     

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