Misused Terms You're Sick of Seeing

chikusho

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Johnny Novgorod said:
chikusho said:
The use of "freedom of speech" as something other than the right of not getting persecuted by the government for things you've said.

Johnny Novgorod said:
People using "literally" as a synonym for "really" or "a lot". It's maddening, and English isn't even my first language.
The word literally can now literally mean "a lot", or any other kind of exaggeration. It's called hyperbole. The word has multiple meanings now, and all that can be done is really to deal with it.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/literally
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/literally
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/literally
On the plus side this only applies to English as far as I know. Shame the language is a little more broken now though.
That, my friend, is entirely correct. *pouring one out for my lost definition*
 

Major_Tom

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IOwnTheSpire said:
If all it is a lack of belief, why do atheists wear something they lack on their sleeve? Why do they form groups and organizations based around something they lack? Why is there a symbol (the red A) for something they lack? We don't have a word for someone who isn't a golfer or a geologist or a lawyer other than attaching non- to it, but many atheists behave like an organized movement.
I don't know. Ask the society why it thinks theism is the default position.
 

happyninja42

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People who use decimate when they mean devastated. To decimate something, means to reduce it by a factor of 10, or by 10%, not to "totally wipe out something", which is how it's used these days.
 

happyninja42

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IOwnTheSpire said:
Major_Tom said:
I noticed a lot of people try to avoid label 'atheist' because they don't know what it actually means. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. That's it.
If all it is a lack of belief, why do atheists wear something they lack on their sleeve? Why do they form groups and organizations based around something they lack? Why is there a symbol (the red A) for something they lack? We don't have a word for someone who isn't a golfer or a geologist or a lawyer other than attaching non- to it, but many atheists behave like an organized movement.

The root of the word atheism derives from lack of belief, but its usage in society has evolved to mean something beyond its original form. Attaching the label of atheism to someone by splitting hairs over technicalities only creates stigmas and biases.
We do it because we don't live in a vacuum, and have to live in a world with people who make their decisions on laws and social interactions based on their religious beliefs. If people want to believe that the tooth fairy is real, and worship her, that's fine, most atheists won't give a shit. But once the Toothist's start trying to legislate their beliefs, and demand that all people, whether you believe or not, have to say for example, give up a tooth every year, because the Tooth Fairy said that is law. THEN we have an issue with it. So we form groups, to support each other, to try and make sure that the people who believe in invisible sky people don't sneak their bullshit into the lawbooks, which they try to do all the time.

And also simply because we are a social species, and like to hang out with people who have a similar mindset.
 

f1r2a3n4k5

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Shanicus said:
'Devil's Advocate', or 'Allow me to play Devil's Advocate'.
Nooooo!

I love this phrase.

Here's some word porn for you:

The phrase originated in the Catholic Church. You want to declare someone a saint, so you assemble a council of all the top religious scholars. Then, you appoint someone to argue *for* canonization, they are "God's Advocate." You appoint another guy to oppose the canonization, called the "Devil's Advocate."

Ultimately, each would be responsible for presenting evidence for their side of the story. Much like modern law.

Really, really, cool history.
 

Bad Jim

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Zen Bard said:
It WAS funny, however, to read the comments when the newsites announced the Conservative Party won the election in Great Britain. All the right wing Republican supporters were cheering simply because of the name without really understanding what the British party stood for. British Conservatives, for example, actually advocated Socialized Healthcare.
The Conservative Party is still more right wing than the opposing Labour Party, or the Liberal Democrats, so the Republicans are still justified in cheering. And scrapping the NHS would be political suicide, the Republicans can probably see that.
 

Bad Jim

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f1r2a3n4k5 said:
Shanicus said:
'Devil's Advocate', or 'Allow me to play Devil's Advocate'.
Nooooo!

I love this phrase.

Here's some word porn for you:

The phrase originated in the Catholic Church. You want to declare someone a saint, so you assemble a council of all the top religious scholars. Then, you appoint someone to argue *for* canonization, they are "God's Advocate." You appoint another guy to oppose the canonization, called the "Devil's Advocate."

Ultimately, each would be responsible for presenting evidence for their side of the story. Much like modern law.

Really, really, cool history.
However, the main thing about playing "Devils' Advocate" is that you aren't supposed to be pushing your own viewpoint. On these forums however, it seems that people do just push their own viewpoint. And since we don't know each other personally, it doesn't really matter whether we believe our arguments or not, so there is no point in saying it. An argument is either good or it isn't.
 

dreng3

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Apparently the quote thing didn't want to cooporate so I'm just gonna do this
Quote

Yes, an answer to "does god exist" which, like I said, wasn't the question. The question was "do you believe in god" to which the answer can be either 'yes' or 'no'. Agnosticism deals with knowledge, atheism and theism deal with belief. Most atheists are agnostic atheists (it's not possible to know that god exists, but I live like there isn't one, i.e. I don't believe in god), while most theists are gnostic theists (It is possible to know that god exists and I know it does and I believe in it).

Quote

But in addition to the simple yes/no part you could also answer "I don't know", indicating that you haven't given it any thought, or, alternatively, that you have given it some thought but not actually found anything to indicate whether or not you should believe. Much as we like to think that belief is simply a matter of the heart it is not so, we need to convince ourselves of our views, and let us say, for the sake of the argument, that in this case I am not convinced that there is a god so I guess I don't believe, but then again; I'm not convinced that there isn't a god, so perhaps I do believe. If one don't think there is a clear answer an I don't know is probably the best you'd get.
 

Relish in Chaos

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Working families. This is more to do with the British general elections having recently taken place, but whenever politicians use this phrase (or similar phrases, like ?hard-working citizen?), it just sounds really fake and the only people I can think that seriously use that phrase to describe themselves are those self-righteous pricks who simplistically blame the unemployed and immigrants for all their problems.

Freedom of speech. Funnily enough, it doesn?t exempt you from the freedom of consequence, nor is it a ?get out of jail free? card to insult marginalised groups of people and then end up getting a bunch of unrelated people attacked because you couldn?t shut your opinionated mouth.

Strawman. Partly because I don?t really know what it means; partly because the only times I hear it being used on a regular basis is on the internet.

Feminist. Like the above, I don?t really know what it means anymore, and the only feminists that seem to get the spotlight anymore are the radical feminists who spout unsourced bile at not only men but other women who don?t conform to their narrow-minded ideal of what it means to be a ?true woman?. If I was to try and identify myself as a feminist, I wouldn?t feel comfortable doing so, because ? like the phrase ?working families? ? it just sounds so self-righteous, as if it?s like the person?s saying, ?I am a feminist, and if you?re not, that means you?re part of the problem?.

Social justice. Again, like the above, it?s become so politicised as to fall into meaninglessness. Let?s face it: when people hear the words ?social justice?, they think of naïve Tumblr users demanding that everyone refer to them by their specific, doesn?t-even-exist-in-the-fucking-dictionary personal pronouns and claim to be progressive when, in reality, a lot of them are painfully small-minded and seem entirely ill-equipped to deal with the world outside of their laptop.

[/b]?Nice guy?.[/b] Because what if you genuinely are just a nice guy who happens to fancy a girl he?s friends with (or at least acquainted with) and feels a bit disappointed when she rejects him? It doesn?t make them a misogynist. It just makes them human. Where I come from, if there?s a guy that only acts nice to women because they expect something in return (sexual or otherwise), we don?t call them ?nice guys?. No. We call them ?assholes?.

Rape culture. Refer to ?feminist? and ?social justice?.
 

Hero of Lime

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The word 'corporate' is used in a way you would think was reserved for speaking about murder. Corporate literally just refers to something that has to do with a company, both large and small, good and bad. Yet you see people say/write it with such disgust that it sounds like a purely negative thing.

You could say something like "bad corporate practices" and it would make sense, but you can add 'bad' to anything to make a similar point. It's not a word that is meant to have a negative connotation is basically what I'm saying.
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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thaluikhain said:
CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Well if Heteronormative means something else then I'm sorry, cause that's the only thing I've ever seen people use it for. It just seems like an elongated version of "straight" in every context I've seen it used. If you'd like to provide another, go ahead.
Well, wiki has this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heteronormativity

My explanation would be that it's when being straight isn't a sexuality, one amongst many, instead it's the only sexuality that could or should exist.

CpT_x_Killsteal said:
Not, for lack of better phrasing, "being trans" is the default. If we came up with new words for each and every default of not being something it'd be a mess.
Well, being straight is the default. Being able-bodied is the default. I don't see how having words for what most people is a problem, otherwise we'd have to say "like most people" sexual/bodied or something.
So "Heteronormativity" is basically another word for homophobia? At or at least in practice?

I think you might have a point here. I'm still not gonna use that pre-fix for it though.
 

Flashmanic

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inmunitas said:
Major_Tom said:
"Agnostic". No, it doesn't mean a fence-sitter between an atheist and a theist. Stop saying "I don't believe in god, but I'm not an atheist", that doesn't make you agnostic, it makes you a moron.
A Theist believes in God or gods, an Atheist disbelieves in God or gods, and an Agnostic believes there is no evidence to support either theism or atheism.
But an atheist doesn't believe in a god because there isn't any evidence of a god existing. That's pretty much what defines an atheist, not an agnostic.
 

FirstNameLastName

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What's with all the people whining about "cisgender" in this thread? Last time I checked, this was a thread about words that are commonly misused, not words you have some bizarre hatred for.

Spiritual
Everything is spiritual, apparently. I dislike the way people throw this word around at any experience that they enjoy, like walking in the forest, doing yoga or smoking weed.

loa said:
___phobic
Newsflash, "phobia" means "fear of" which is not in fact equal to "hatred for" and no, the term sounding super catchy doesn't change that. I am an arachnophobe, I freeze up if I see a big spider crawling out of my bedsheets. That doesn't mean I hate spiders, I actually find them interesting to look at... from afar.
Ah, I forgot this one, but thank you for reminding me. "Phobic" is a suffix that seems to baffle some people, for some reason. When ever people are labling something a homophobic or transphobic, there's at least one person who stands up and declares that they aren't afraid of gays, they just dislike them; completely disregarding the actual meaning of the word. "Phobic" simply means an intense aversion to, which can mean a fear and/or dislike of something.

Zen Bard said:
It WAS funny, however, to read the comments when the newsites announced the Conservative Party won the election in Great Britain. All the right wing Republican supporters were cheering simply because of the name without really understanding what the British party stood for. British Conservatives, for example, actually advocated Socialized Healthcare.
Just to confuse things further, here in Australia our Liberal party is centre-right, as opposed to the far-left that the word is often associated with in America.

GarouxBloodline said:
It frustrates me that people expect for blacks to be referred to as "...African Americans..." - even if they were not born in, and/or do not have citizenship in Africa. Guess what? I am white, and if I was born in Africa and then gained citizenship in America, I would be "...African American..." too. It is simply asinine, and what cracks me up, is that it is typically white people that insist on the use of that terminology.

Cannot tell you how many times I have had a teacher/boss pull me aside, for referring to my black friends as "...Black..." xD
Good old euphemism treadmill at work. This is probably not the same everywhere, but for some reason it is often considered racist to simply say that black people are black. Some other words are:

Black
Brown
Person of Colour
African-American

As for which one is the most offensive, and which one is the least, I could not even begin to say.
 

runic knight

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IOwnTheSpire said:
Major_Tom said:
I noticed a lot of people try to avoid label 'atheist' because they don't know what it actually means. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. That's it.
If all it is a lack of belief, why do atheists wear something they lack on their sleeve? Why do they form groups and organizations based around something they lack? Why is there a symbol (the red A) for something they lack? We don't have a word for someone who isn't a golfer or a geologist or a lawyer other than attaching non- to it, but many atheists behave like an organized movement.

The root of the word atheism derives from lack of belief, but its usage in society has evolved to mean something beyond its original form. Attaching the label of atheism to someone by splitting hairs over technicalities only creates stigmas and biases.
We have a word to describe a lack of hair even though most of us are born that way since the presence of hair is still seen as default. A lack of belief having a word that derives from a negative of the "default" makes since in the same way calling people bald makes sense.

Personally I always saw atheism/theism and gnostism/agnostism as separate axis. Theism/atheism is a belief claim. I do believe or I do not. Gnostism/agnostism is a knowledge claim. I know or I do not. Thus you can have any combination of either axis ("I believe but don't know", "I neither believe nor know", "I don't believe, I know", etc). Always made sense when trying to address what the point of the words were in the first place to describe things. Some people don't believe in god, so a term applies to them because people like to have terms to describe things like that.

The usage of the word evolving though, I have to wonder. Considering who drove the largest changes in perception of the word, namely the religious themselves over the centuries, I sort of have to doubt evolve is a term those people would prefer to describe it.
 

TheStatutoryApe

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Major_Tom said:
"Agnostic". No, it doesn't mean a fence-sitter between an atheist and a theist. Stop saying "I don't believe in god, but I'm not an atheist", that doesn't make you agnostic, it makes you a moron.
Unfortunately the coiner of the term used it specifically to describe himself as other than theist, atheist, ect. Use the term as you will but I see no reason to call people "morons" for using it as they will, and not incorrectly at that.
 

TheStatutoryApe

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Oh, and my addition to the OP.

Troll: It doesn't just mean someone being a jerk on the internet. We call those people "jerks", or perhaps other more colourful terms.


capcha: take umbrage
 

Zen Bard

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Bad Jim said:
Zen Bard said:
It WAS funny, however, to read the comments when the newsites announced the Conservative Party won the election in Great Britain. All the right wing Republican supporters were cheering simply because of the name without really understanding what the British party stood for. British Conservatives, for example, actually advocated Socialized Healthcare.
The Conservative Party is still more right wing than the opposing Labour Party, or the Liberal Democrats, so the Republicans are still justified in cheering. And scrapping the NHS would be political suicide, the Republicans can probably see that.
From what I understand (and since I don't live in Jolly Olde England, I'm certainly open to being corrected), the UK Conservative Party is still more leftist than America's Republicans and seem more closer to our Libertarian Party.

The only reason the U.S Republicans are so staunchly against socialize medicine is that it's become a main tentpole platform for late 20th Century (and now 21st Century) Democrats. They forget that other Republicans, including Theodore Roosevelt were staunch advocates for it.
 

Zen Bard

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FirstNameLastName said:
Zen Bard said:
It WAS funny, however, to read the comments when the newsites announced the Conservative Party won the election in Great Britain. All the right wing Republican supporters were cheering simply because of the name without really understanding what the British party stood for. British Conservatives, for example, actually advocated Socialized Healthcare.
Just to confuse things further, here in Australia our Liberal party is centre-right, as opposed to the far-left that the word is often associated with in America.
Love it! Thanks for that. Just validates my point. As Indigo Montoya said "This word...I do no think it means what you think it means."
 

ThreeName

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KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
For the cis-gendered part. You know what? I'm transgender, want me to call you normal? Fine then you can call me normal too.
Luckily mine was within only a few post; people who don't use "normal" correctly.

Normal is a distributive pattern; it can basically be analogised to the "majority". Being trans is not normal for the simple virtue of being a minority of people.

If I've offended you or others, I would like to qualify this by adding that I also can't stand when people add a value judgement to "normal" either. Normal doesn't mean good and abnormal doesn't mean bad. They're just descriptives of statistics. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay, trans or other gender/sexuality combinations, but they are still not normal. There is nothing inherently good about being normal; being normal or abnormal should not dictate the treatment of an individual in any situation irrelevant to what makes one normal or abnormal (see 98% of all interactions ever).