Since when is buffy an insulting term???

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Syzygys, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    One small correction - NASA is usually considered to be an acronym, as people pronounce it as a word rather than saying the individual letters. Or am I wrong in this?
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Sorry, we Moderators call SciForums "the forum" and places like Linguistics and Free Thoughts are "subforums." I suppose it would be better to say "the website" and "the boards" to be clearer. So the answer to your question is: No. All subforums (boards) are subject to the same rules.
    Wow, hardly anybody remembers that. Most people only know the TV series. Joss Whedon was so disappointed by the way his script was turned into a pop comedy that he practically disowned the film. He basically started over when WB agreed to produce it for TV. Like most TV it certainly had its gags, but it was truer to his vision of the supernatural as a metaphor for teenage anxiety. One of his primary goals had been to present an empowered woman, reversing the horror-movie stereotype of a little blonde gal walking down an alley and being killed by a vampire, and the movie ruined it.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Not according to Wiki, and they can be both I guess... In a contraction you leave out the middle letters, and that stands for the above examples...
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

    I don't know -- I guess these days it's pretty borderline. The general rule of thumb is whether it makes a word or "pseudo-word."

    I like Wiki, but I don't always trust it. Some authors are pretty good, others just use whatever source fits their interpretations. "Mrs." does not comply with Wiki's definition though, as it adds a letter not even present in the actual word.
  8. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

    Guess that just shows that I was a child of the 80s. Never really watched the TV version much, as I just assumed it had the same concept and tenor of the movie. Interesting history to know that Whedon was involved in the TV version. As I recall, the movie did pretty well at the box office and its rentals.
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Mrs. wasn't even mentioned in your post, so where did you get it?
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Abbreviations include acronyms. As Wiki points out, there was once a time when they didn't, but it has passed.
    Mrs. is an abbreviation of Mistress.

    In any case, abbreviations are not strictly required to contain only letters found in the original word or phrase. For instance, Rx is the abbreviation for "prescription." It is a keyboard-simplified rendering of the symbol ℞, which itself is an abbreviation of the Latin word recipe, which means "take this!"--and doesn't contain an X either.
  11. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

    See my post at #158 in this thread.
  12. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

    As to Mrs., Wiki says differently. See At any rate, the point was is that it wasn't a contraction, but an abbreviation.

    Rx, if I recall, is American Shorthand (where nearly everything is an abbreviation by symbol). I could be wrong though -- I'm no pharmacist or professor of shorthand.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    As you surely know, Wikipedia is not the ultimate authority on anything, and does not claim to be. We all use it because this is not an academy, but we're all wrong once in a while. is the ultimate authority on American English:
    "Missus" or "missis" is a respelling (without the capital M!) to conform to pronunciation. It is only used humorously to exaggerate slang dialog in writing:

    "Wanna play poker tonight?"
    "I dunno. Gotta ask the missus first."

    "Want to," "Don't know," "Got to" and "Mrs." could all be spelled properly and still be read aloud in vernacular pronunciation, but they look funnier this way.

    In other words, "Mrs." came first, and "missus" is a back-formation from its modern pronunciation, as a word distinct from the one spelled "mistress." Perhaps we can call that an unabbreviation?
    I assume you mean Gregg shorthand, the stenography system used in the USA for English and much of Latin America for Spanish. It was invented in 1888. The Rx symbol is older than that and is used by doctors and pharmacists in countries where people don't speak English or Spanish, or write in Gregg shorthand.
    No, that's not how it works. It is a phonetic alphabet. But it's a cursive script so every word can be written in a continuous motion, with minor exceptions that were introduced to make the writing even faster; for example the suffix -ing is a dot under the last letter of the word, -tion is written SH (which is a single letter), and the common combination TR is expressed by breaking the word in two parts where it occurs, and writing one part above the other.

    Abbreviations are common; for example: K before a consonant stands for the prefix com- or con-, unaccented vowels are often omitted, and many often-used one-syllable words are represented by one letter.

    So "contraction" is written in four letters:

    A K SH

    But Gregg transcription is limited strictly to its alphabet. No other symbols are used. Stenographers are free to use symbols from the domain in which they work, such as math, chemistry or finance, and the ℞ symbol is certainly used in the medical domain, but those are not shorthand symbols.

    The workstation revolution has greatly reduced the number of professional stenographers and typists. (Which is not necessarily a great idea, if you've ever watched a manager spend half an hour trying to center the heading on a report in Excel.) So shorthand will soon be an antiquated skill.

    My mother taught me shorthand because she was sure it would help me take better notes in college. However, speed in stenography requires practice and familiarity with most of the words you're transcribing. She didn't stop to remember that she was planning on sending me off for a science education, where my lectures would be full of words like phenolphthalein.
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Or one of my favourites.

  15. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Buff? You think that Buff is ok?
    I wouldn't like that.
    That's what naked men are described as being in.
    As in: "Rodney the lifeguard looked really muscular in the Buff"

    Also, Buff is short for Buffy. You are just back to square one.
    Buffy is always being called Buff.

    Buffalo isn't bad, but that isn't what you called yourself is it?
    I advise you to demand Buffalo Roam. That's what you called yourself. It's not hard to spell. Make no compromises.

    Oh. And for the rest of you. My name is Captain Kremmen, not Captain, Kremmen, or any other vapid contraction.
    If you can't get the name right, don't bother speaking to me you assholes.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Aye-aye Cap'n

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  17. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

    Exactly the reason I'm an attorney, not a court reporter/stenographer. For those who still use shorthand or the steno machine, I love asking the reporter to read back testimony. Keeps them on their toes. Not only do they have to read it back, they must also keep a record of what is read back at the same time they're reading it back.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  18. Learned Hand Registered Senior Member

    I agree completely as to Wiki (see my earlier posts in this thread). But some people use it around here like gospel, so I thought I'd throw a monkey wrench in it all.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    But as to dictionaries: Oxford English (unabridged) is the still the pinnacle, with Merriam-Webster a scholarly and university accepted and endorsed reference of choice.
  19. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Fraggle, I kind of consider you the ultimate authority here on linguistics, but your answer left me more confused than I started...
    If you look at the context, I don't see where I implied any differently. In fact, I wasn't even aware that abbreviations didn't include acronyms once upon a time. I always thought the latter was a subset of the former. (I was educated in the sixties, so maybe it was before then?)

    Anyway, and maybe the answer was implicit in your reply as cited above, but I couldn't see it. All I want to know, is NASA classified as an acronym?
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Sorry if I confused you. NASA is:
    • An abbreviation, a contracted or shortened form of a word or phrase used to represent the whole. An abbreviation that is not also an acronym is pronounced one of two ways:
      [*]1. As the original; e.g., Dr. as "Doctor," IBM as "International Business Machines"[*]2. The names of the letters; e.g. USA as You Ess Ay, IBM as Aye Bee Em​
    • Also an acronym, a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words, treated as a word unto itself, specifically in pronunciation, e.g., Laser as "LAY-zer," not "L-A-S-E-R" or "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation"; NASA as "NAA-suh," not "N-A-S-A" or "National Aeronautics and Space Administration." In Hungary, USA is an acronym pronounced "OO-sha."
    So by definition, all acronyms are abbreviations. The distinction is in the pronunciation. If it's pronounced as a word, like Fortran or RAM, it's both an abbreviation and an acronym.

    Note also that an abbreviation need not precisely contain letters from the original words: LB is read "pound," even though it is formed from Latin libra. E.G. is invariably read "for example," by a population who has no idea that it's Latin exempli gratia, and in any case no longer understands the difference between e.g. and i.e.
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Boy aren't you the little stinker?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I am sure the court reporters look forward to seeing you in the court room. lol
  22. kenworth dude...**** it,lets go bowling Registered Senior Member

    in real life

    br - please dont call me buffy

    kh - hehehe buffy

    br- dont call me buffy

    kh- ehehehe buffy


    on sciforums a 9 page thread.

    its entirely obvious that buffy in this case was used in a condescending manner and to play ignorant i think qualifies as trolling.
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'm not saying that it wasn't. I'm just pointing out that "in real life" when a gentleman feels a troll has insulted him mildly and in a childish way (he was not called "a goddamned American" or a "mother-fucking Methodist/Jew/Baha'i/whatever" or a "shit-eating left-handed red-headed paraplegic Republican capitalist advocate of homeschooling"), what a gentleman does is SUCK IT UP! Just ignore it and keep on walking. As I noted earlier, the only thing trolls want is attention, so the best way to punish them is to ignore them.

    If a troll insults you and you stop and engage him in an argument, he has already won because that's what he lives for. He doesn't care who ultimately wins the argument, or whether the Big Bad Moderator comes over and revokes his videogame privileges for three days or a month. He's got what he wanted. He will happily spend the three days or a month dreaming up his next clever plot, or just go trolling on fifty other websites where the serious members have already put him on their Ignore List.

    And of course there's something else that's even worse. If a gentleman stoops to engage a troll in an argument over an utterly trivial insult, he's lowering himself and expressing a sign of weakness. By not being able, or willing, or constitutionally disposed, to suck it up like a gracious good-humored gentleman is supposed to do, he's inviting everyone who witnessed the event to lower their opinion of him and regard him as something of a pussy.

    So I ask you, which is worse:
    • To ignore a trivial insult by a troll, to withstand being called a name that you don't like, nothing more than a combination of phonemes with no intrinsic offense, just something that you and you alone and maybe thirty-five other people in the entire universe regard as an insult? And to be regarded as a strong, wise gentleman by everyone nearby?
    • Or to have all those people silently call you a pussy every time they see you?
    And of course trollhood is in the eye of the beholder. In this argument it seems pretty clear that both parties consider the other a troll, so I'm not taking sides.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010

Share This Page