RE: Need evaluation of a usage point page 3

This is a discussion thread · 279 replies
1 2  4 5 6 7 8 9 » 32
Adrian Bailey:
[nq:2]"Multiply" is jargon. It's like saying "subtract" instead of "take away".[/nq]
[nq:1]No it isn't. Do tell us why the everyday word "multiply" is jargon. This smacks of reverse snobbery gone mad.[/nq]
Whoa! The only kind of snobs around here are those people who are telling me I'm childish or illiterate for using the verb "to times".

First, let's be clear that I'm talking about the arithmetical use of the verb "to multiply". Consult a good dictionary and you'll find the definition accompanied by the word or abbreviation "Math(ematics)", signifying that it's jargon.
Second, let's also be clear that I'm not for one moment suggesting there's anything wrong with using the word in this way, whether it's jargon or not. We learn to use it at school, where we need to use it because scientific subjects require a certain linguistic precision, and some of us grow out of using the more natural words we used before, even when the context is far from scientific.
What's your attitude to words like "to wee" or "bye-bye"?

Adrian
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Adrian Bailey:
[nq:1]R.H. Draney:[/nq]
[nq:2]"Times the number by a thousand." Is this construction: (1) Rural/regional? (2) Childish/illiterate? (3) Jargonistic? (4) Pondially differentiated?[/nq]
[nq:1]I'd say either 2 or, on the grounds that you can verb anything and in jargon formation you frequently do, 3. Obviously, Adrian Bailey's experience is different.[/nq]
Mr Draney's too, by all accounts.
Adrian
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Dr Robin Bignall:
[nq:2]I'm Depends who you mix with, I suppose. I know ... is jargon. It's like saying "subtract" instead of "take away".[/nq]
[nq:1]As I do. I have never before thought of "multiply" or "subtract" as jargon. Is this because I am an accountant? Judging by the response to RHD's query I am not entirely alone, but I'd be very interested to hear from more Rightpondians on this.[/nq]
"Times" and "take away" were definitely infant/junior school terms for "multiply" and "subtract" for me. "Go forth and times" doesn't quite hack it, either.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Hertfordshire
England
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
CyberCypher:
John Dean wrote on 12 Aug 2004:
[nq:1]Harpo[/nq]
Zippo childish/illiterate., But, hey, that's how some people use the language, so who are we to criticize them for speaking and writing the English they learned on mama's knee (aka "kneenglish")?

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
R H Draney:
Adrian Bailey filted:
[nq:1]Second, let's also be clear that I'm not for one moment suggesting there's anything wrong with using the word in ... used before, even when the context is far from scientific. What's your attitude to words like "to wee" or "bye-bye"?[/nq]
I'll try something like that in a context equivalent to the original:

"During the test on 9 August, an input device got an owie, causing the operating system to fall down go boom"..r
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Rolleston:
[nq:2] No it isn't. Do tell us why the everyday word "multiply" is jargon.[/nq]
[nq:1]First, let's be clear that I'm talking about the arithmetical use of the verb "to multiply". Consult a good dictionary and you'll find the definition accompanied by the word or abbreviation "Math(ematics)", signifying that it's jargon.[/nq]
Nonsense multiplied.
The "multiply" we are discussing is a word that enters into the everyday discourse of millions of ordinary people. It is not sufficiently specialised, outlandish, or obscure to be reasonably thought of as jargon.
[nq:1]Second, let's also be clear that I'm not for one moment suggesting there's anything wrong with using the word in this way, whether it's jargon or not.[/nq]
"Jargon" is, in most of its uses, a pejorative word.
[nq:1]We learn to use it at school, where we need to use it because scientific subjects require a certain linguistic precision,[/nq]
That's what they "learnt you" at school, is it? Your preferred word is not less precise and "multiply" is not a word imprisoned within scientific contexts. Strewth. You'll be telling us the word "two" is jargon next.
Bye-bye.
R.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Mark Brader:
[nq:1]Multiply, Divide, Add and Subtract are what I use; Times and Share sound ignorant. I can't think of an equivalent ... maths teacher. When presented with a problem in English, pupils will sometimes ask "Is this a times or a share?"[/nq]
This is the first time I've heard "share" as a word for an arithmetic operation. From context I gather that it refers to division. For me, alternative ways of pronoucing "90 divided by 4" are "90 over 4" and "4 into 90". Each of the three is associated with a different written notation (see below), but since they are mathematically equivalent, that's often not important.
(The ISO 8859-1 character "÷" in the next item is supposed to look like ":" overstruck with "-". If you see something else, we do not want to know what it is. You are, as usual, expected to be reading this in a monospaced font for proper alignment.)
"90 divided by 4" 90 ÷ 4
90
"90 over 4" or 90/4
4
"4 into 90" 4)90
This last is the setup for either
"long division" or "short division"
22.5 22.5

4)90 4)9088
(which is the same process, only
20 keeping the intermediate results
20 in one's head)
The division process can, of course, be stopped at the decimal point, in which case the result may be expressed "4 goes into 90 22 times with
2 over", or "...with remainder 2."

To my co-workers from India, by the way, "into" indicates multiplication. If they said "4 into 90", the answer would be 360.
Mark Brader, Toronto > "Mark is probably right about something, (Email Removed) > but I forget what" Rayan Zachariassen

My text in this article is in the public domain.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Skitt:
[nq:1](The ISO 8859-1 character "÷" in the next item is supposed to look like ":" overstruck with "-". If you ... keeping the intermediate results 20 in one's head) [/nq]
I was taught to take it more step-by-step in the "long division".
22.5
4>90
8

10
8

20
20

0
To tell you the truth, the format in Latvian schools was like:
90 ÷ 4 = 22.58

10
8

20
20

0

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Adrian Bailey:
[nq:2]First, let's be clear that I'm talking about the arithmetical ... by the word or abbreviation "Math(ematics)", signifying that it's jargon.[/nq]
[nq:1]Nonsense multiplied. The "multiply" we are discussing is a word that enters into the everyday discourse of millions of ordinary people.[/nq]
Hmm. I've just had a look through quite a few random Google groups pages and though there are piles of examples of "multiply"+"by", the proportion that fits the bill as "everyday discourse of ordinary people" is low indeed.
[nq:1]It is not sufficiently specialised, outlandish, or obscure to be reasonably thought of as jargon.[/nq]
[nq:2]Second, let's also be clear that I'm not for one moment suggestingthere's anything wrong with using the word in this way, whether it's jargon ornot.[/nq]
[nq:1]"Jargon" is, in most of its uses, a pejorative word.[/nq]
I'm sorry if you can't cope with my using the word "jargon" non-pejoratively. "Jargon" is "the specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group" (AHD4). "Multiplication" is a mathematical "operation" (sorry, more jargon). It is unreasonable to argue that words like "multiply", "divide", "subtract" and "add" are not jargon when used in an arithmetical context.
[nq:2]We learn to use it at school, where we need to use it because scientific subjects require a certain linguistic precision,[/nq]
[nq:1]That's what they "learnt you" at school, is it?[/nq]
I don't use the word "learn" to mean "teach" but I'm happy to defend those who do from snidesters like you.
[nq:1]Your preferred word is not less precise and "multiply" is not a word imprisoned within scientific contexts.[/nq]
I didn't say it was.
[nq:1]Strewth. You'll be telling us the word "two" is jargon next.[/nq]
Is this discussion really so important that you feel the need to resort to strawman rhetoric?
[nq:1]Bye-bye.[/nq]
I seem to have touched a nerve here for some reason. Maybe it's middle-class angst. Instead of chewing my neck, do a Google and a Google groups search on "times it by" and see whether your thyroid can survive ploughing through the
320 pages of hits. I'll start you off with one you might like:

Jeff Lawrence told uk.media.tv.misc:
[nq:1]Correct. Now times it by 4."Times" it by 4? How vulgar. "Times" is not a verb, y'know... Ian Collier[/nq]
Maybe Ian should join the team here at a.u.e.s.?
I even found an old a.u.e.s. thread on the subject... http://tinyurl.com/5wmmn
Adrian
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here