December 26th, 2009

me reading

questions about "pleaded"

Hello, all! I just got into an argument about whether or not "pleaded" is a word and was ganged up on so badly that I need to find an answer!

Earlier, a few people and I were sitting around and the claim was made that "pleaded" is not a word. So, I figured I would look "plead" up in the dictionary, and sure enough "pleaded" is an accepted form of "plead." Somehow, it being in the dictionary was not good enough for these people!

I just read here that "pleaded" is the preferred form, however WikiAnswers is definitely not how I am going to resolve this argument.

What I am looking for is some sort of peer reviewed explanation for why and how "pleaded" became/is a word (because...the dictionary isn't good enough...?)

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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    frustrated frustrated

Elementary, dear W.

     Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates them - and good wishes to all the rest!
There's something I have been thinking of recently and I wonder if you could please help me find the right answer. Over the past years, I've noticed that characters in many English/American movies (or literature) are called Mr./Mrs., which is followed by the first letter of their name, often in a humorous way, for example in the movie 1776::
    T. Jefferson: "But I burn, Mr. A!"
    J. Adams: "So do I, Mr. J!"
Also, I noticed it also appears when a one character harbours romantical feelings for another one, such as Ms. Lovett who would sometimes call Todd Sweeney "Mr.T".
    Such form of address is certainly not popular in my native language (Czech) and even seems slightly weird to me, yet I really find it interesting, so can anybody please tell me a bit more about it? Are there more situations when you use it? Does it have a history? Does its origin come from some particular book or something else? Thanks! 
gingerbread man: *ded*

"blah blah blah" words

In doing some informal rehearsing the other day, we were all saying things similar to this:

"First I say, 'In the name of our Lord, I, gordoom, promise that I will one day blah blah blah, by the faith that is in me.' And then you say, 'In the name of our Lord, I, dustthouart, in the form and manner wherein blah blah blah, by the faith that is in me.' Then the priest..."

Also found in this example from the BBC miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice:
Mrs. Bennet: "'My dear friend,' there now! 'Dine with Louisa and me today... la-di-da, la-di-da, la-di-da... as the gentlemen are to dine with the officers.' - Oh, that's unlucky! Still you must go and make what you can out of it."

Another use, commonly encountered in linguistic pursuits, is in filler for templates such as... actually I can't think of any in English right this moment, but I can think of some in Chinese, such as 以什麼什麼為主. In writing this would usually be 以......為主. Which is "take... as primary" literally, and would be said aloud as "take what what as primary." In English I would say "something something" for this kind of filler. In both languages, the "what what" and "something something" are said quickly and kind of blur together.

Another one of these "speech replacement words" in English is "yadda yadda yadda", from (I assume) Yiddish.

1. Is there an actual linguistic term for this phenomenon?
2. What words or phrases do people use in other languages for this purpose?
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    curious curious
blessed is the norm


OK, I've been feeling kind of dumb about this, and wondering if I'm alone: until this year I had never heard that any Christians had a problem with using "X-mas" as opposed to "Christmas". Apparently it is seen as "taking Christ out of Christmas".

Am I alone in my cluelessness? Or are there places where it's not an issue? One explanation I read was that it only became a problem as fewer and fewer people were taught classical languages at school, but that's been the case for decades, so I'm not sure why it would suddenly be a big deal in the last ten years or so. Which is apparently the case, though like I said, it's news to me.


ETA: I should add that I do know that X-mas has been used for centuries, and that X is the symbol for the Greek letter Chi, first letter of Christ's name. What I was asking had more to do with how long it's been considered offensive and anti-Christian, presumably by people who have no idea that the X actually refers to Christ.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
Brandenburg Gate

German question?

I'm hoping this hasn't been asked before (this is my first post to this community, and I'm a little nervous,) but does anyone here know the difference between the German verbs 'zerbrechen' and 'brechen' (I'm not sure but I think I've seen this with zerfallen and fallen as well)?