Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Misused English words in EU publications

 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
37 messages over 5 pages: 13 4 5  Next >>
tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3786 days ago

1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 9 of 37
20 May 2014 at 2:12pm | IP Logged 
1e4e6 wrote:
"Quite a bit better" sounds strange, "quite" and "better" and any combination thereof to me sounds quite odd in general.

See, for me it is "quite a lot better" that sounds oddest. "A lot better", fine, "quite a bit better", fine, but "Quite a lot better", definitely not. I think it is because "quite" and "a lot" both express a "high degree" of something, so it is like someone saying, "The dessert I had at dinner was quite very tasty." :-)
1 person has voted this message useful



Alphathon
Groupie
Scotland
Joined 3301 days ago

60 posts - 104 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Scottish Gaelic

 
 Message 10 of 37
20 May 2014 at 10:35pm | IP Logged 
1e4e6 wrote:
"Quite a bit better" sounds strange, "quite" and "better" and any combination thereof to me sounds quite odd in general.

tastyonions wrote:
See, for me it is "quite a lot better" that sounds oddest. "A lot better", fine, "quite a bit better", fine, but "Quite a lot better", definitely not.


Both "quite a bit better" and "quite a lot better" sound fine to me. Perhaps their usage is regional.

tastyonions wrote:
I think it is because "quite" and "a lot" both express a "high degree" of something, so it is like someone saying, "The dessert I had at dinner was quite very tasty." :-)


While quite can be used to mean to a large extent, it can (depending on the tone) also be used to moderate words, in a similar manner to fairly and somewhat.

To me, it seems the quite in "quite a bit" is always (AFAIK) used to exaggerate the term, so means something like "a considerable amount" ("more than 'a bit'"). However, the quite in "quite a lot" can be used in either way. When there is no particular emphasis on any of the words or when the lot is emphasised it usually means something like "a very large amount" - more than "a lot" but maybe not quite "all" (if that applies). When the quite is emphasised it means something more like "less than 'a lot' but more than 'some'". For example, "There were quite a lot of people at the party." could mean "There was a large number of people at the party (more than I expected)." but "There were quite a lot of people at the party." would be more like "There were some/enough people at the party (enough to have a good time, but I'd have preferred more)."

Edited by Alphathon on 20 May 2014 at 10:36pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3786 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 11 of 37
21 May 2014 at 12:58am | IP Logged 
Alphathon wrote:
Both "quite a bit better" and "quite a lot better" sound fine to me.
Perhaps their usage is regional.


Hear! Hear!

As for the document itself, it looks as though it will be a refreshing read. I could
see that straight away just from the preface!

"actorness", "comitology"? Misusing a word is one thing, but making one (OK, two) up
out of the blue like that ... there's surely no excuse.

Does anyone know if they sully other official languages too?

1 person has voted this message useful



Medulin
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 3789 days ago

1199 posts - 2192 votes 
Speaks: Croatian*, English, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Norwegian, Hindi, Nepali

 
 Message 12 of 37
21 May 2014 at 11:13am | IP Logged 
Actorness is not in OED, while comitology is:

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌkɒmᵻˈtɒlədʒi/ , U.S. /ˌkɑməˈtɑlədʒi/ Forms: 19– comitology, 19– commitology, 19– committology.

Etymology: < commit- (in committee n.) + -ology comb. form.     

Originally: the study of the organization and functions of committees. In later use also: committees and their practices considered collectively, now esp. in the context of the implementation of European Union legislation and policy.


Edited by Medulin on 21 May 2014 at 11:15am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Doitsujin
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4441 days ago

1256 posts - 2363 votes 
Speaks: German*, English

 
 Message 13 of 37
21 May 2014 at 11:35pm | IP Logged 
Medulin wrote:
Actorness is not in OED, while comitology is:

IMHO, it's a sad state of affairs if EU English makes it into respectable dictionaries. What's even stranger is that they had to coin a neologism for it.   
1 person has voted this message useful



dampingwire
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3786 days ago

1185 posts - 1513 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian*, French
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 14 of 37
22 May 2014 at 2:20pm | IP Logged 
Medulin wrote:
Actorness is not in OED, while comitology is:


Ah, thanks. So they've only made one up and the other (comitology) is another one that
they've bent slightly.

1 person has voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 5824 days ago

9078 posts - 16472 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 15 of 37
22 May 2014 at 3:03pm | IP Logged 
I'm more inclined to think that somebody for once made a correct guess

PS the link had a couple of spelling errors, but I found the document with the help of a Google search. And I found a couple of dubious points in the explanations. For instance concerning the word 'dean':

DEAN
Explanation
In British and Irish usage, a ‘dean’ is either a relatively senior priest or the head of a university faculty. At the Court of Auditors, on the other hand, it is the name given to the doyen or chair of the institution’s audit chambers.
(...) ‘Dean’ is now the official title at the Court, but, in our dealings with the outside world, we should not be surprised if people think that we have our own in-house clergy (see also ‘hierarchical superior’ and ‘college’). When explaining the role to outsiders, ‘chair’ (-woman,- man -person) or ‘doyen’ might be more informative.


Well, Merrian-Webster gives the defintion "a person who has a lot of experience in or knowledge about a particular profession, subject, etc" (and then you don't even need to have a certain employment). Most other sources state that the doyen is the oldest or at least the oldest in a certain function, like the ambassador which has been accredited for the longest time span to a certain government. And he/she/it doesn't have to be the chairsomething of anything.

Edited by Iversen on 22 May 2014 at 3:19pm

1 person has voted this message useful



s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4551 days ago

2704 posts - 5425 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 16 of 37
22 May 2014 at 4:25pm | IP Logged 
Medulin wrote:
Continental EU English (cEU) is an epitome of non-idiomatic English,
many times, not only wrong words are used, but non-idiomatic expressions as well:


1.
cEU English: We recommended you to take these steps.
L1 English: We recommended (that) you take these steps.

2.
cEU English: It is not allowed to smoke in enclosed public places.
L1 English: You are not allowed to smoke in enclosed public places.
or Smoking in enclosed public places is not allowed. or: No smoking in enclosed public places!


3.
cEU English: Quite better.
L1 English: Quite a bit better. or Quite a lot better.

4.
cEU English: Look at the sky. It will rain.
L1 English: Look at the sky. It's going to rain.

5
cEU English: Please speak slowlier.
L1 English: Please speak slower. or Please speak more slowly.


They should hire more English teachers and language experts from the UK and Ireland, instead of
relying on non-native ''experts'' and Google translate fans.

Just because L2 speakers use and understand things like: '' We recommend you to try the cake; It is not
allowed to smoke here; Quite better.; Look at the sky, it will rain; Please speak slowlier'', it does not make
them idiomatic English. EU legislators and Wikipedia staff should hire native speakers of English before
submitting materials of doubtful idiomatic quality made by L2 users of English (you don't see anything
wrong with things like ''please speak slowlier'').


Wait a minute. Who says that these cEU forms are not idiomatic? A bit of searching on the Internet shows that all
these forms are quite current amongst native speakers of English. Even "slowlier" which I have not really heard
myself has the following entry in the Urban Dictionary website:

1. slowlier
moving slower than someone else, or not moving as fast. another word for slower
the man walked slowlier and slowlier


Edited by s_allard on 22 May 2014 at 4:26pm



1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 37 messages over 5 pages: << Prev 13 4 5  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3438 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2022 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.