Skip to comments.NPR know-it-alls drive me crazy with their historical revisionism of the English language.
Posted on 03/15/2012 6:20:33 AM PDT by dangus
Pet aggravation: NPR-style know-it-alls who rewrite the English language and then tell people they're wrong for using the traditional meaning.
Whales are fish. They're not from the phylogenic class of Pisces, but then neither are cuttlefish, jellyfish, starfish, shellfish, or 80% of the other creatures called "fish." Crazy bonus fact: Tuna are warm-blooded, but are Piscean.
The 2004 disaster that killed all those people in Indonesia was a tidal wave. Notice how it came in like a tide, instead of like a breaker? Ironically, "tsunami" means "harbor wave," and is thus an inaccurate description.
Look at any old, hand-written document. Notice that they leave more space after a period than between consecutive letters?
How the hell did the 7th planet become "urineness?" Is it that Kai Ryssdell can't stop snickering at the discovery of rings around your anus? Here's a tip: the Greek God was "oo-RON-niss." The irony? The planet is largely composed of water and ammonia. Yup, Uranis is actually made of urine. So, maybe I'll give NPR that one
And of course: It's "Meksicoh," not "Meheecoh." "Bruhzill," not "Brah-zeel." Unless you're also going to pronounce "Parriss" as "Puh-ree," and "Kwibehck" as "Kay-beck," etc. Bonus: "Torino" is the name given by its Italian conquerors. (Well, "conqueror" may be a bit of a stretch, but how often do you get to say the expression, "Italian conquerors," referring to something after the Fall of Rome?) The city is actually called Turin in the local dialect. So the Olympic broadcasters were Olympic failures.
Well ... my uncle did not marry an insect, neether ... uhhh ... nyether .... uhhh ... well, he dint .. that's all.
When did THIS happen?
Uranus was spelled (or spelt) omicron, upsilon, alpha, nu, omicron, sigma, with the accent on the ultima, and would therefore have been pronounced o-ran-OS by the Greeks.
But only a pedant would use the correct classical Greek pronunciation in English. You might as well say ‘Kaisar’ and ‘faikes’ instead of Caesar and feces.
Or the reporters who always sound like they came from south of the border when they have to pronounce Nicaragua?
How the hell did the 7th planet become "urineness?"
Because they got tired of all the jokes about your-anus.
Those aren't fish, either.
The rule is that if the inhabitants of a given place are non-White, you have to pronounce the city with the accent of those inhabitants. Even when the name is an exonym. It’s just that the minds at NPR would explode to discover that places like Argentina, Chile, etc., are predominant white.
But yes, NPR frequently makes me want to shoot something. They never seem to realize that as a class, they appear to be educated far beyond their intelligence.
Whales are fish.
If 80% of what are called ‘fish’ aren’t ‘pisces’, maybe its time to abandon the soppy shorthand that the definition of an ancient word is simply defined by a modern term. Fish =/= pisces. Get over it. Making that false presumption only destroys your ability to read Shakespeare, the prophet Jonah, and any other source where sea creatures are called ‘fish.’
Yes, but Etymology Man was defeated by a large bug he was unwisely summoned to conquer.
I agree. Whales are no more "fish" than a seal or sea lion is.
She: "I don't know why you keep calling them that? That's not what they're called!"
Me: "What should I call them?"
She: "Munchen and Bayern, of course!"
Good grief, has it gotten to the point where they’re saying “Meheecoh” on NPR now? Ever since Dear Leader started with the Pahkeestahn business, the media have really let themselves go with the non-anglo pronunciations (which is a form of sticking it to The Man and therefore irresistable to leftists).
NPR needs to use the correct “Commie” for “progressive” and socialist for ‘rat.
These are the same kinds of folks who would say that peanuts aren’t nuts and that tomatoes aren’t vegetables. I expect one of them will be shot in a pub one day while arguing how much beer should be in a pint.
The Prince of Whales will be upset to hear that whales are not mammals. The confusion is understandable; however, as NPR is almost exclusively populated by dead fish.
No, it wasn't. It had nothing to do with the tide.
Ironically, "tsunami" means "harbor wave," and is thus an inaccurate description.
Tsunamis are barely observable in the open ocean and build up their height when they reach the shore. So "harbor wave" is somewhat accurate.
The Oxford English Dictionary has over four full pages devoted to the word fish. (And these are BIG pages!) Here's the first definition they give:
In popular language, any animal living exclusively in the water; primarily denoting vertebrate animals provided with fins and destitute of limbs; but extended to include various cetaceans, crustaceans, molluscs, etc. In modern scientific language (to which popular usage now tends to approximate) restricted to a class of vertebrate animals, provided with gills throughout life, and cold blooded; the limbs, if present, are modified into fins, and supplemented by unpaired median fins. Except in the compound shell-fish the word is no longer applied in educated use to invertebrate animalsML/NJ
Your mileage may vary...
... which means "Thorn" IIRC, and wasn't that city once a stronghold for the Knights Templar in the 1300's or am I getting two places mixed up?
It's their fullness of themselves that drives me crazy.
Seals and sea lions live and reproduce on land. Whales live in the ocean. Aquatic creatures are “fish,” while terrestrial ones are “beasts.” Hence, whales are fish, and sea lions are beasts.
Not all piscean fish have scales.
Not all piscean fish are cold-blooded.
Not all piscean fish lay eggs.
Not all piscean fish have fins.
Pisces are defined only as a specific clade or evolutionarily related organisms, having no other workable definition; and thus, biologists are constantly changing their mind as to which organisms should be included into the phylogenic category called Pisces, and which should not.
Currently, sharks, rays, most (but not all) eels, and numerous other creatures which you probably would swear are fish are no longer categorized as Pisces, and are recognized as no more closely related to a Piscean fish than you or I.
“Is anyone here a Marine Biologist?”
The English invented a language they can’t speak.
Whales are mammals. Deal with it.
Wrong on all counts. Get your money back for your failed education.
The worst of the bunch (and therefore the most irritating) is Maria Hinojosa. Which, of course is pronounced "Mar-r-ria Heeneehooosah".
Ishmael thought they were fish. He was wrong too.
Wow, it’s amazing that three consecutive people posted in response to the first sentence, without bothering to read the SECOND sentence.
That’s the part where I acknowledge that I explain that whales aren’t pisces. Read post #26 for a longer explanation.
“The English invented a language they cant speak.”
Oh the irony! :D
Considering the frequent brash simplification of spelling required by American English whilst simultaneously convoluting the grammar, it’s a little hard for an Englishman who speaks English to take this thread seriously!
PS, will one of you please tell Bill Gates there’s no such thing as ‘British English’, it’s the most appalling tautology. :)
I read your second sentence. It was also stupid. A whale isn’t a fish. It lives in water - so what?
So what? The point is that in my second sentence I addressed your objection to the first sentence. My point is that the current definition of “fish” excludes all manners of creatures traditionally called “fish.”
This either means that the current definition is wrong, or that the people who traditionally called these creatures “fish” misunderstood the nature of what they were calling fish. The simple-minded refutation by two generations of idiot first-grade teachers is that “most people didn’t realize that they were really mammals.” That’s just plain stupid.
The ancient Greeks called dolphins (a subset of whales) “Ixthos delphis,” meaning, roughly, “womb fish.” (I probably botched the Greek cases.) See, the Greeks knew that dolphins had wombs, and called them “Ixthos” anyway.
So what makes a fish a fish?
The idiots of today say they are “finned, cold-blooded, oviparous, scale-covered, jawed vertebrates.” What they really mean is simply that they are members of a clade of supposedly evolutionarily related organisms lumped together as Class Pisces.
But that’s a problem since there is no working definition of Pisces.
Not all Pisces are cold-blooded.
Not all Pisces are oviparous (egg-laying).
All Pisces are vertebrates, but that only engenders the same confusion over Subphyllum Vertebrata.
Not all Pisces have jaws.
Not all Pisces have fins.
Several fish lack more than one of these qualities.
And, of course, the biggest problem is that Pisces is “parapheletic”; the scientists who supposed that they were all related to each other more closely than to members of other groups were simply wrong. According to biological cladistics, you have far more in common with a trout than that trout has in common with a shark.
Ahhh, didn’t realize we were using the biblical terminology minus the 2000 years of science.
Whales are fish? Wow. Will wonders never cease. And here I was thinking they were mammals like us. Jeez, don’cha’ hate bein’ outta the loop!
Must be are publik skool edjewcation.
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