Tag Archives: dictionary

Different Rant

image
Example of perfectly acceptable uses of the words ‘than’ and ‘from’.

My November Day Thirteen, and a Friday to boot.

And now for something completely different….

There is a ban

On ‘different than’

I learned that little rhyme in grade school and have never forgotten it.  When people use those two words together it sounds like lazy grammar and just grates on my nerves.  I want to correct them.  It’s ‘different from’.

Different FROM everybody!  Don’t be dumb, say different from.  That one I made up on my own.

I know both phrases are now acceptable, and maybe they were when I was taught that they weren’t, but it’s a good rule and I like it and it bugs me when it’s broken.  So stop saying it and writing it and thinking it in your head, okay?

Here is a convincing little blurb from my on-line dictionary.  Yes, I am still reading the dictionary.  I even downloaded the premier edition.  Is it geek week?

In formal writing, different from is generally preferred to different than. This preference has to do, in part, with the historical use of the word than. This term entered English as a conjunction often used with comparative adjectives, such as better, taller, shorter, warmer, lesser, and more, to introduce the second element in a comparison. Different is not a comparative adjective. Thus, when different than first started appearing in English, it sounded grating or less natural to discerning ears.

They are talking about my ears, attached to my anal brain.  This is almost as bad as mixing up YOUR and YOU’RE.  Almost.  Please tell me you’re not making this faux pas with your words.

I also read that in the UK it’s common to say ‘different to’.  Is that true?  It sounds backwards.  Although preferable to ‘than’.

The only instance in which different should be used with than is when you say something like

This house is different than I remember.

But you could also say

This house is different from what I remember.

Or you could simply pretend you don’t remember a damned thing about the house and shut up about it already.

I don’t usually rant on a Friday the 13th, or any other day really.  I have no idea from whence all this came.  Be thankful you aren’t having coffee with me and listening to this rather meaningless grammar lesson in real life.

Happy Friday everybody!

I think I will now get myself out of the house and into some fresh air, so tomorrow’s post will be pleasantly different FROM this one.

Advertisements

Let’s Play Lexicographer

Joseph Broch
Joseph Broch (Photo credit: puigjoan)

Daily Prompt  Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

Well I’m just enough of a geek to get all excited and anticipate that playing Lexicographer will be a lot of fun. I felt that way about Hungry Hippos once too, for about five minutes.

Here is my new word, the very first one in my Brave New Words Dictionary (that is also made up, so don’t bother looking for it on Amazon just yet):

rablentumentia – (rab-len-tum-en-chi-ah)

noun

a mental disorder or form of mild psychosis in which the patient is afflicted with very lengthy bouts of non-stop talking in a loud and obnoxious manner with complete disregard for audience and/or subject matter.

Word origins: from rablen, (middle English), to speak in a rapid confused manner;  from entia, (latin), the state of, and from tumlen, (yiddish),  to make a racket.

possible synonyms, also mostly made up – bureaucratosis, cacoethes loquendi, non-motivational speaker syndrome, chronic blarney verbitis

Sentence Examples:

1.  The CEO’s pointless rambling at board meetings was routinely ignored until one of the members arrived without his ear buds and was consequently subjected to twenty minutes of verbose indecipherable nonsense which he later described to his co-workers as almost certainly blatant symptoms of a rather severe case of rablentumentia, and was gratified to realize that not one person disagreed with his astute diagnosis of the problem, although that was perhaps due to the fact that none of them had had the misfortune of misplacing their own ear buds and were well-trained and practiced in the art of appearing to listen and give a damn.

2.  A person suffering from rablentumentia should not be considered for the position of telemarketer.  (So why are they, I wonder?)

3.  Some doctors have noted that the duration of rablentumentia can be lessened by the onset of laryngitis and that although there is no proven cure for the condition, being bound and gagged and placed in such isolation as a sound-proof room may significantly reduce the visible and auditory symptoms of the illness and thus the stress levels of everyone involved except for the patient himself, but what the hell, it’s a start.