Inappropriate terminology

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Off topic? Or relevant? The jury is out....

Too often people use the wrong words.

A common and nauseating howler encountered is the use of "barter"
(exchange of goods, trade by exchange, for example a sheep for a pig)
when people mean "haggle" (wrangle over a price)..

Within web sites, the word "sophisticated" is used where the writer
actually means "elegant".

Sophisticated comes from the Greek Sophistos, hence someone who use
clever, but deceitful arguments.

Elegant, however, infers cleverness through ingenuity, and at the same
time simplicity and taste. As contrasted with vulgar which implies
common, coarse and uneducated - most people mean when "not vulgar"
when they use the term "sophisticated", though they perhaps do not
realise it.

It is too depressing to describe when I receive arguments from people
supported by inaccurate dictionary definitions, though I quite
understand how people might be misled by such sophisticated works of


The Probert Encyclopaedia

Re: Inappropriate terminology

On 2008-05-01, (Matt Probert) <> wrote:
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Quibbles about grammar and word use are always on topic.

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It makes you want to scream and be sick at the same time?

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The meaning's shifted quite a bit. I would use "sophistic" to mean
clever-clever and misleading like the sophists.

The definitions here are reasonable:

1. (of a person, ideas, tastes, manners, etc.) altered by education,
   experience, etc., so as to be worldly-wise; not naive: a
   sophisticated young socialite; the sophisticated eye of a journalist.
2. pleasing or satisfactory to the tastes of sophisticates:
   sophisticated music.
3. deceptive; misleading.
4. complex or intricate, as a system, process, piece of machinery, or
   the like: a sophisticated electronic control system.
5. of, for, or reflecting educated taste, knowledgeable use, etc.: Many
   Americans are drinking more sophisticated wines now.

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<scream, puke> I think you meant "implies" :)

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The origin of a word isn't the only thing that influences its meaning,
although more sophisticated writers will be aware of the extra nuance.

Re: Inappropriate terminology

Ben C wrote:
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In alt.www.webmaster?


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