Nonsense Expressions

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    Just a note- when I was a kid my parents used this so often that I began to take it literally. I'd spend a few minutes, think of the absolute LAST place I would look, then look there. I remember fondly going to look in the toilet for my shoes, or in the dishwasher for a pencil...
     
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  3. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    "That tastes like shit"-You've tasted shit before? Interesting.
     
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  5. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    "Colder than a witch's tit in a brass bra"-I have a few questions about this. Who has measured a witch's tit to be a different temperature from other tits? Does a brass bra make things colder? How does a witch's tit in a brass bra feel colder than, say, Joe Blow without a coat?
     
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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Fraggle - As opposed to more than one hundred national governments. "One" stresses the hypothesis that we'd be better off with just one gigantic slow-moving tax-sucking thirty-level bureaucracy instead of dozens of smaller and slightly more responsive and efficient bureaucracies. "World" stresses the hypothesis that we'd be better off with a "one size fits all" philosophy being applied to Americans, Chinese, Nigerians and Azeris, instead of just Texans and New Yorkers.

    Stranger - It should be A world government. Or a one government world.

    Fraggle - It was originally sarcasm, said with that peculiar whiney, disgusted voice that's supposed to identify sarcastic speech. But it's lost the voice and people don't notice that they're not saying what they mean.

    Stranger - That's a big part of the problem. People don't know what it meant/means, don't know what they're saying & usually don't care & the way they're using the expression now just plain doesn't make sense.
     
  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Colder than a witch's tit

    I know about this 1 & maybe Fraggle does but I bet 95% of people who say it don't know.
    I never heard or read the brass bra part tho.

    Hey, this is looking like a nice combination of fun & serious.
     
  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    When 1 door closes, another 1 opens - Thus when 1 door opens, another 1 closes.
    Someone's walking on my grave.
    Don't look at me in that tone of voice.
    I can't breathe! I can't breathe! I can't breathe!
    A wise man doesn't know he's wise.
    I was literally glued to the edge of my seat.
    Dead as a doornail.
    Oh god! Oh GOD!!! OH GOD!!!!! OH GOD!!!!!!! OHhhhhhh GOD!
     
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Can't you take a joke? - Usually said by a bully and/or someone who can't take a joke.
    No pain. No gain. - No thanks, I have enough already.
    Sit down! I can't see. - If you can't see, why do you need me to sit down?
    I'm riding shotgun! - I don't consider this 1 of the worst but it's a shame so many don't know where it came from.
    Hold your head up high.
    She has her nose in the air.
    Only the guilty flee.
    The police wouldn't have arrested him if he wasn't guilty.
    He's big as a house!
    I could eat a horse!
    Don't have a cow!
    When's your birthday? - It was a long time ago I won't have another until my next life.
    You'll be laughing out your ass.
    He doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.
     
  11. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah where did "don't have a cow" come from? Is it saying that giving birth to a cow is difficult and painful, so you shouldn't act that way? I'm not making sense anymore. Shutting up.
     
  12. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Don't have a cow
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Don't have a cow may refer to:

    a humorous cautionary phrase, dating from the late 1950s at least, possibly of UK origin. Means "don't get so worked up". If one pauses to reflect on the physical aspects of a human being giving birth to a full-grown cow, one can see what this phrase alludes to in terms of emotional expressiveness. Prior to "Don't have a cow", the phrase was "Don't have kittens" (or "Don't have a cat"). A variation in the past tense is also used when someone has already become worked up, e.g. "She had a cow when she found out he'd been smoking."
    Bart Simpson's usage of the phrase as a catch phrase in early episodes of The Simpsons.
    Also often used by Shaggy from Scooby Doo
     
  13. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Look what the cat dragged in.
    It raining cats & dogs.
    Don't let the cat out of the bag.
    You could've knocked me over with a feather.
    You could've fooled me.
    Run like the wind.
    Blood is thicker than water.
    Here's mud in your eye.
    Nothing worth having comes easy.
    If it was easy, everyone would do it.
     
  14. Mr. Hamtastic whackawhackado! Registered Senior Member

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    How about them squirrels?
     
  15. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    I AM NOT ALONE!!!!


    do you also hate:

    "ATM machine"
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    This is all about connotation again; remember that there is more than one kind of meaning. Your choice of words tells us how you feel about what you're talking about. People want to start the phrase with "one" because their focus is on the harmony they expect to blanket the earth if we don't have multiple governments constantly competing and disagreeing with each other. And they don't want to reverse "world" and "government" because that requires an extra syllable (not to mention a hyphen in print): "A one-government world." It loses its forcefulness.
    That's not nonsense. It's just a way of saying that under the conditions you currently perceive, you feel like your death is imminent.
    That's just silly. People are allowed to be silly. In fact I encourage it.
    Oh don't get me started on that one. People have co-opted "literally" to mean "not quite literally."
    That's just a simile. Doornails are obviously dead, so if someone is "dead as a doornail" it means you don't have to take their pulse to make sure.
    Anglophones are an irreverent culture, especially Americans. Some of our most common epithets would be regarded as blasphemy in other societies.
    There hasn't been a stagecoach in operation in the anglophone world for at least three generations, and therefore no roadside bandits, so it's not remarkable that people don't know why the seat next to the driver in a vehicle was once reserved for the guy with the shotgun. Still, "western" movies were popular up until 25-30 years ago so people of my generation are quite familiar with the origin of the phrase.
    Those aren't nonsense. People who are ashamed or timid tend to look downward. Which leads to the phenomenon of snooty people holding their heads so high that they're looking over our heads.
    Those aren't "nonsense expressions" either. There are unfortunately quite a few people who believe that crap. Please don't lose the point of this thread.
    Another simile, a perfectly proper and understandable statement. Not nonsense.
    An exaggeration. Again, not nonsense.
    That's a perfectly reasonable way of saying, "I'm so surprised that turned out to be false."

    Please try to stay on topic here.
     
  17. Gustav Banned Banned

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    12,575
    nonsensical expression > Nonsense Expressions
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  18. Gustav Banned Banned

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    12,575

    its a matter of aesthetics
    romance vs clinical
     
  19. Betrayer0fHope MY COHERENCE! IT'S GOING AWAYY Registered Senior Member

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    2,311
    The one world government is a good one, but say it this way instead. One [world government]. There is 1(one) world government. A government of the world, and there is one. One world government.
     
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Fraggle
    Doornails are not dead.
    Crap isn't nonsense???
     
  21. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    13,195
    Them squirrels try to bury my nuts.
     
  22. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    1,372
    I think that one has something to do with the theory of relativity... certainly a provable statement.

    ALL evil. Drug lords are just "doing their job." Assassins are just "doing their job." Weapons dealers are just "doing their job."

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    It worked while I was young... Now I realize time is a just a figment of my imagination.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    I beg to differ. Definition #3 of "dead" in Dictionary.com is:
    Well sure. I'm just pointing out that a great many of the aphorisms that have been posted on this thread are neither crap nor nonsense.

    "A watched pot never boils." -- If you single young men who eat take-out food three times a day had ever spent some time with a woman in her kitchen, you'd have heard her ask, "Is my pot boiling yet?" Women know five thousand adjectives that we couldn't define if our lives depended on it (quick, what's the difference between ecru and eggshell?), but they have a way of speaking that minimizes the use of nouns. They don't say, "Is the liquid in my pot boiling yet?" My wife and I call it "the nounless woman syndrome."

    In one of the novels in his Perelandra series, C.S. Lewis had a group of people living together in a mansion. They established the rule that men and women would never work in the kitchen on the same night. The rationale:

    If two men are washing the dishes, one will say to the other, "Put this large blue bowl on the second shelf in the cabinet above the counter, next to the smaller green bowl."

    A woman will say, "Put this over there with the other one."
     

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