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Improper use of terms

The Tesseract

TRIBE Member
Something i've noticed lately is that a lot of people have a tendancy to use certain terms improperly. I think i've encountered this way too many times while in school.

Here are a few of them:

- Engendered
Use: a concept that is reinforced by the social milieu
actual meaning: to bring into existence

- Hegemony
use: socially strengthened position
actual meaning: predominant influencing factor imposed by a certain group

- Reflexivity
use: Mirroring your positionality
actual meaning: directed back onto itself

This last one boggles me, cause it was the prof that used it. I hadn't thought anything of it at the time, but when i looked up the spelling I discovered it's meaning extremely different from what she meant to say.

- Doable
use: in place of feasible; something that is capable of being done
actual meaning: capable of existing or proving true

-Doctrinated
use: it's not a word!
actual meaning: it's not a word! it's INdoctrinated.

-Irregardless
use: to emphasize something that is already regardless
actual meaning: it's a bastardization of irrespective and regardless or some shit. it's poor english to use it.

- Positionality
use: to indicate where a bias comes from, or where a researcher stands within their own research
actual meaning: it has none... this is an entirely made up word, used SOLELY by Anthropologists. And not just any anthropologists... ONLY SOCIAL anthropologists.
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
You're right to a degree.... However, English is a fluid language. Its base is a mixture of germanic and romantic tongues.. And with each generation more changes occur..A while back 'don't', 'won't' etc..weren't accepted terms.. Also remember when my teacher wouldn't let us go to the bathroom unless we said "May" instead of "Can"..

My pet peeve is: "I could care less"..... Well if you could?.... It's: "I couldn't care less"...

Another one is 'dis'.. "She dissed you".. Cringe evertime I hear it. It originates from the word disrespect which is a transitive verb. "She treats you with disrespect" or "She was disrespectful"... Not "She disrespected me" or "Dissed me" :mad:

But, what are we going to do.. Language changes and molds..

Anyway, had a good night of chuckles and frivolity with friends and now off to bed. Selling daffodils tomorrow..Hope no one 'disses' me outside the LCBO!!:p
 
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Deus

TRIBE Member
The Tesseract said:
- Positionality
use: to indicate where a bias comes from, or where a researcher stands within their own research
actual meaning: it has none... this is an entirely made up word, used SOLELY by Anthropologists. And not just any anthropologists... ONLY SOCIAL anthropologists.
Who says people can't invent new words?

Also, words change meaning. Bakhtin calls this heteroglossia. Ever time you use a word its meaning slightly changes because you're using it in a new context. Eventually words change their meaning and become to mean more than one thing. The definition of words is fluid, and in this postmodern world, we can attribute whatever meaning we want to words. The definitions that are in the dictionary are not set in stone.
 

gollum

TRIBE Member
The Tesseract said:
-Irregardless
use: to emphasize something that is already regardless
actual meaning: it's a bastardization of irrespective and regardless or some shit. it's poor english to use it.
I love this word and use it all the time.

But we use it becuase we've heard others use it in place of regardless, and it drove us batty.

So now we use all the time irregardless of the fact that it shouldn't be used.

It can also be used in place of regardless, or as the synonym to regardless.
 

The Tesseract

TRIBE Member
Deus said:
Who says people can't invent new words?

Also, words change meaning. Bakhtin calls this heteroglossia. Ever time you use a word its meaning slightly changes because you're using it in a new context. Eventually words change their meaning and become to mean more than one thing. The definition of words is fluid, and in this postmodern world, we can attribute whatever meaning we want to words. The definitions that are in the dictionary are not set in stone.
I can understand that to a degree, but generally words change meaning when they are used by society on the whole, not by one specific set of individuals.

in Nemisis'eses example, if "dissed" was used only by say... the Jane and Finch crowd, and wasn't used elsewhere, that would be hardly grounds for it becoming a new word unto itself. Since "Dissed" originated somewhere else and spread through the media, it was eventually appropriated by other groups through the process of verbal diffusion.

As far as i can see in the case of "Positionality", where the word "position" on it's own would suffice... the use is strictly limited to social anthropologists from North America.

As for Mikhail Bakhtin... i find it interesting that he's the one who posed the idea of heteroglossia and hypertextuality, seeing as how he's russian, and the russian language hasn't changed in the last 200years or so. To catch up with modern times, they've had to appropriate terms and words from other languages (mostly english) to fill in the gaps created by technology. So while it makes sense in one way, it doesn't another.
 
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AshG

Member
Deus said:
Who says people can't invent new words?

Also, words change meaning. Bakhtin calls this heteroglossia. Ever time you use a word its meaning slightly changes because you're using it in a new context. Eventually words change their meaning and become to mean more than one thing. The definition of words is fluid, and in this postmodern world, we can attribute whatever meaning we want to words. The definitions that are in the dictionary are not set in stone.
gadzooks its like the heisenberg uncertainty principle.

at any rate, i'll add one: "disinterested"

no it does not mean uninterested; that's the word uninterested is for after all.
disinterested means "unbiased" and objective.
i don't think i've ever heard this word used correctly.

and now, after decades of mis-use, i think even some dictionaries do attribute a dual meaning to it. ah well, the earth still turns i suppose.
 

le bricoleur

TRIBE Member
The definition and meaning of a word is created and established through social use. For example, everyone decided to call that black furry animal that loves milk a "cat." We kept calling it a "cat" and now the name has stuck.
Thus, if the majority of society has reappropriated a word and given it a new "incorrect" use then the word's meaning has changed. The word's meaning is expressed according to new rules of grammar.

meaning is use, brother.

regardless of Wittgenstein's response, i'm still a stickler for good grammar.

b
 

nikki.classics

TRIBE Member
sorry, that was pretty vague. it's basically a book for grammar sticklers that pokes fun at grammatical errors in public places and such. the author gives some witty grammar lessons and makes some interesting comments on the history of punctuation. wow, i just made the book seem really lame but it's actually a good read.
 
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mingster

TRIBE Member
The Tesseract said:
Doable
use: in place of feasible; something that is capable of being done
actual meaning: capable of existing or proving true
i'm gonna hafta go ahead and disagree with you on this one. saying doable is totally doable.

you omitted "capable of taking place" from the definition. as well as "possible to do".
 
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MoFo

TRIBE Member
The Tesseract said:
- Doable
use: in place of feasible; something that is capable of being done
actual meaning: capable of existing or proving true
.
So the actor in Prison Break is capable of existing or proved to be true?
 

kmac

TRIBE Member
sugar said:
That book sucked ass.
Word. People who care and know about such things don't need it. Kind of like how only people who know how to spell actually use a dictionary. People who can't spell don't give a shit.
 
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Lovely N Amazin

TRIBE Member
AshG said:
gadzooks its like the heisenberg uncertainty principle.

at any rate, i'll add one: "disinterested"

no it does not mean uninterested; that's the word uninterested is for after all.
disinterested means "unbiased" and objective.
i don't think i've ever heard this word used correctly.

and now, after decades of mis-use, i think even some dictionaries do attribute a dual meaning to it. ah well, the earth still turns i suppose.
hey! i use that word correctfully. :cool:
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
The Tesseract said:
- Reflexivity
use: Mirroring your positionality
actual meaning: directed back onto itself

This last one boggles me, cause it was the prof that used it. I hadn't thought anything of it at the time, but when i looked up the spelling I discovered it's meaning extremely different from what she meant to say.

I'm assuming that this one was used in a talk about qualitative research. And in that context, reflexivity is certainly what your professor said it was. It's a practice that qualitative researchers use in order to describe how they might interpret certain types of information and phenomena in certain ways based on their experiences and social status (thus it's a description of your "positionality"). In effect, it is thought reflected back onto the self, which is what you say is the "actual meaning".

Like others have written, language does change and evolve over time (in ways that the Oxford dictionary doesn't always keep up with). It's also important to think about the context. Different disciplines use particular words that may mean something slightly different in another context. Language is neat!
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
emiwee said:
Different disciplines use particular words that may mean something slightly different in another context.
too true. there are so many words that are used in academic texts related to my discipline which you wouldn't find in most dictionaries.
it used to kinda bug me but now i just roll with it.
problematize, say what?
 

dyad

TRIBE Member
reactionary


misuse: prompting a reaction of any kind
definition: characterized by opposition to progress or liberalism

example: surprisingly this happened to me in the Socialist Bookstore I used to work at when i was asked by my boss to take neil diamond off the cd player because it was so reactionary it was driving her nuts.
 
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