Help with English

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

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    7,784
    No.
    To fall apart is to collapse into pieces.
    Fallout is the airborne particles resulting from an explosion, most commonly attributed to radioactive particles after a nuclear explosion. It also metaphorically refers to the inevitable adverse consequences of an action, as in "the fallout from the team's failure to win may include the manager being sacked."

    However, that is not to be confused with "to fall out" which could means to become detached and drop away from, whether that is falling out of an aircraft, falling out of a race, or falling out of a military parade.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It would help if we had an example of the context in which the term appears.

    They are not the same.

    Fallout is a noun. It originally meant the radioactive materials that are left following the detonation of a nuclear weapon in the atmosphere, which literally fall out of the sky onto the Earth. It has come to be used more generally to refer to the outcomes that are side effects of some kind of tumultuous process - often a heated debate.

    Fall apart is a verb meaning to collapse into pieces.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Oh, I see that Sarkus beat me to it.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Nope.

    They're not even grammatically the same type of word.

    One is a noun, the other is a phrasal verb.
     
  8. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    I sealed the letter into an envelope.

    Correct?
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    You could write that.

    Really what you did, though, was you inserted the letter into the envelope, then you sealed the envelope. Your version is a sort of compression of those two separate actions.
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    You could also write: "I sealed the letter in an envelope" which gets across the fact that you put it in an envelope and then sealed the envelope. Here I would use "in" or even "inside" rather than "into", though.
     
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    x times smaller
    x times closer
    why?
    is 1 seven times smaller than 7?
    is 4.9 seven times smaller than seven?

    why use times smaller or times closer?
     
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah. I've encountered this before.

    We know what it means intuitively, even if it's technically awkward.
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I've encountered it in my work-life and try to reinterpret it more clearly whenever I can. People struggle enough with just understanding % reductions to have to try to explain what "5 times lower" means. Whereas people generally understand what an "80% reduction" means.
    So I would suggest to always avoid "X times closer" or "X times lower".

    To me, 1 is not 10 times lower than 10, but 0.9 times lower than 10.
    When using "X times lower than A" the A becomes the reference value, and so the factor (X) must be in relation to that. If anything is more than 1 times lower than the reference value then the result is into negative territory.

    So in answer to your questions, at least as I would understand them, 1 is not 7 times lower than 7 but 0.86 times lower than 7, nor is 4.9, which is 0.3 times lower than 7.
    In fact I would say that -42 is 7 times lower than 7... 7 times 7 is 49, deduct this from the original and you get -42.



    Additionally there is also another issue: when someone says the result is "5 times higher than 2", do they mean the result is 10 or 12?
    Personally I see the underlying maths as the "higher" describing what to add on to the original. So if the original is 2 then the maths is 5x2 + 2 = 12.
    To me it is the same as saying it is 500% higher, where 4 is 100% higher than 2 etc.
    Some people would intuitively think that 100 is 5 times higher than 20, but I see that as incorrect.
    If something is 10% higher then we add on 10%.
    10% is 0.1 times the number, so if we are 10% higher then we are 0.1 times higher, and we add on 0.1 times the original.
    100% is 1 times the number, so if we are 100% higher then we are 1 times higher, and we add on 1 times the original.

    Hope that has cleared things up.

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    But it does get confusing, so suggest you avoid "5 times lower".

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  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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  15. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    What bugs me is when people say that 100 degrees is "twice as hot" as 50 degrees. You can't explain to them that it's just an arbitrary scale; it has nothing to do with the actual amount of heat.
     
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  16. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    goal, target, aim, objective,
    all mean the same?
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Can be used interchangeably, yes.
     
  18. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    In some cases. "The objective is to make a goal by taking good aim at your target."

    I'm beginning to think that someone's comment about Saint being a 'bot of some sort is true...
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I am virtually certain of it.
    Not so much that Saint is a bot, but that Saint is a person who is hydrating a bot's database.
    Then again, I'm not sure how sophisticated bots are at asking questions.
     
  20. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Really. Does he ever post anywhere other than this thread?
     
  21. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    1,106
    adjective pro-noun ?

    to do
    is doing
    was doing
    will do
     
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    they are as sophisticaed as they are programmed.
    emotionally humans are receptive to prose of ego.
    thus 1 liners for a bot work well when mixed with a variant interaction of actions words and query single question words.
    the mixed context fools a lot of people.

    some expresions have vary wide ranging meanings and popular meanings among various groups is real big money for companys like cambridge analytica

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Analytica

    saint is far more likely to be as you say, probably working with a variant design of siri for scientific audiences to make sexy hot babe clicks of computer profesional males.
    (non illegal)robot cat fishing for clicks and product sales.
     
  23. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    1,106
    no
     

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