Help with English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Saint, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    It has two different meanings.
    1: Rambling, passing aimlessly from one subject to another.
    2: Moving forward in a discussion by the use of reasoning and argument, rather than mere intuition.
    This is a word for people who believe that everyone is equal--especially economically and politically.
    A devil's advocate is a member of a group who advocates an unpopular cause (such as war or racism), in order for it to be better understood.
     
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  3. DrKrettin Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, but I have seen it used far more often on a personal level as a device when discussing a project. Say a friend thinks it's a good idea to emigrate to Australia and he enumerates the advantages (can't think what

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    ) and wants to discuss it. You then take up the position of devil's advocate and try to think up all the disadvantages to reach a balanced decision.
     
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  5. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    106
    The rain will come, for good or ill.
    The sky be dark, or clouds be still.

    Soon or late, you'll never know.
    Here comes rain. Hail and snow.

    Whichever language, chose to speak.
    Rain will come, as heavens leak.

     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I have not encountered that use of the phrase here in the USA, but that doesn't mean that people aren't doing it. Nonetheless, in formal writing and in academic discussions, I've never encountered it except in the original dictionary sense.
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Devil's Advocate - quite an enjoyable film starring the Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino, where he literally becomes the Devil's advocate.

    In the UK it's a common enough expression in the manner DrKrettin outlines.
    And it's not just about taking up an unpopular decision, but more specifically the contrarian position in the absence of anyone actually holding that view, for the purposes of exploring the merits or otherwise of arguments etc.
     
  9. Equinox Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    106
    Would it not be simpler to use the dictionary definition:

    noun
    1. a person who expresses a contentious opinion in order to provoke debate or test the strength of the opposing arguments.

    (Assuming the Catholic interpretation is irrelevant)

    So using the above definition in a loose term, its just somebody saying something in order to clarify an opponents response?
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,404
    "The dictionary"? Which one would that be? There are many. Which have you used?

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    But yes, it seems the dictionary you have quoted from is in agreement with what we have mentioned.
    Which is good to know.
     
  11. Equinox Registered Senior Member

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    106
    Ahh...

    This one referenced is : http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/devil-s-advocate (abridged).

    I can see you're point, language is fluid, regardless of the dictionary used.
     
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,519
    Nicola Sturgeon argues Scotland should have the choice on what path to follow in the wake of the Brexit vote.
    Sitting on the sofa, her shoes kicked off, putting the final touches to that letter

    "kick off your shoes" is an idiom?
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    chivalrous means being attractive to women?

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  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Partly. To kick off your shoes means to take your shoes off by making a kicking motion, but can also means to make yourself comfortable and "at home" and to relax.

    The idea is that after a stressful day wearing your shoes, you come home, kick them off and start to relax.
    Chivalrous means acting according to perceived notions of chivalry.
    Chivalry was the code of conduct (moral, social, religious) adopted by the knights of previous eras. Nowadays it means to be gallant, courteous, respectful, especially toward women. Some might see chivalry as simply being gentlemanly, kind, etc. Opening a door for someone, defending someone's honour, defending the disadvantaged etc, could all be seen as chivalrous.
    While women may well find chivalry attractive, I'm not sure all do, and being found attractive is not a consideration of being chivalrous.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    No. It simply means to remove your shoes by kicking them off, instead of carefully loosening the laces.


    They won't be easy to put back on, with the laces not loosened. So in a situation where people are kicking off their shoes, you can assume that they will have to spend the rest of the day barefoot.
     
  16. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    1,014
    "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"

    Close your eyes, close your door
    You don't have to worry any more
    I'll be your baby tonight.

    Shut the light, shut the shade
    You don't have to be afraid
    I'll be your baby tonight.

    Well, that mockingbird's gonna sail away
    We're gonna forget it
    That big, fat moon is gonna shine like a spoon
    But we're gonna let it
    You won't regret it.

    Kick your shoes off, do not fear

    Bring that bottle over here
    I'll be your baby tonight.


     
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  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    5,606
    I would say that "kick off your shoes" definitely IS an idiom. It's a state of mind more than an action. It may often involve literally kicking off one's shoes but it doesn't have to. For example, you could "kick off your shoes" after work by going bowling.
     
  18. Sylvester Registered Senior Member

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    467
    kick off your shoes and sit right down...



    ...kick off yer shoes an sit right down...
     
  19. Sylvester Registered Senior Member

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    467
    ...come on angel, my hearts on fire
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,404
    I agree, similar to the expression "let your hair down" in that it is often used in its literal meaning but also is used as an idiom more generally.
     
  21. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Student attrition means what?
     
  22. Equinox Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    106
    Reduced to nothing, it's that, what I am.
    Student of nought, no thought, no plan.

    A saint may ask it. And a Devil may cry.
    Attrition is nothing. When you ask why.
     
  23. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,519
    I don't think it means this in education.
     

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