Sunday, 5 February 2012

Boo and Hooray

Some words just signal BOO or HOORAY! Eighteenth century Philosopher Jeremy Bentham called them derogatory and eulogistic terms. Boo words sum up an entire attitude and somehow make it impossible to disagree. Hoorays are more rare.

Some words are already negative, but are used to mean another kind of sneer:
colonial (used to mean imperial, interfering, patriarchal, snobbish, arrogant)
arrogant (used to mean nasty or inconsiderate – and “thinks they are right”)

preach When believers tell others about their ideas, it is “preaching”. When nonbelievers do it, it is “aggressive atheism”. @richardwiseman

dated/character features We don’t want dated elements in the house we’ve just bought (boo!), but if old enough they are “character features” (hooray!).

Pairs
Do I have overweening vanity? or high self-esteem?
Is this art or a puerile prank?
Am I pushy, or am I confident?

gullible/trusting
hard/soft
(a hard economic valuation)
industrial unrest/industrial action
jungle/rainforest
musicals
(Gershwin, Rodgers’n’Hammerstein)/music theatre (cabaret, Brecht)
one-night stand/brief fling
perseverate/persevere
scheming/planning
self-conscious/self-aware

sell off/sell

sentimentality/feeling
Sentimentality = feelings we think people shouldn't be feeling. Or else we think (or hope?) that they are insincere.
shifty/subtle
style/good design
via @fatcharlesh

Declensions
I am cooperative/You are collegiate/He is tribal via ffranc@cix
compound Only tyrants ever seem to have "compounds". Curious typological distinction./ Maybe it's one of those conjugations: I have a headquarters; you have a base; he has a compound./I have a residence; you have a palace; he has a lair. @WillWiles Sects and cults also have compounds./Perhaps we goodies have bases, while baddies have compounds @entschwindet (Thankyou, Twitterfriends.)

Sneering about how people speak here. More boo words here.

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