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Thread: "Engfish" and TV

  1. #1
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    "Engfish" and TV

    You read that right: "Engfish" with an "f" An Engfisher is, apparently, a speaker or writer who uses two or three words when he or she could more effectively use only one.

    There is a reason I bring up this strange linguistic quirk.

    As someone who was more or less a "shut-in" even before the Covid debacle, yours fooly was and continues to be an inveterate tube viewer. (This habit would under most circumstances be deemed shameful, apart from the fact that at times reading becomes difficult with vision loss associated with cataracts.)

    That leaves the idiot box whose images are easier than print to see. What to watch? My Bitter Half warns against spending too much time watching shows saved on the DVR. On the major networks and seemingly countless cable channels, there is an abundance of offerings with little or no quality.

    I'm no fan of the 20+ shopping networks, game shows, decades-old sitcom reruns, soaps (the few that are still running), courtroom judges (both real and mock), cooking shows (on which videotaped pre-pandemic audiences can be heard applauding stalks of broccoli) and most sports. For regular broadcast viewing, only news talk shows remain.

    Not the best choice, by any stretch. For one thing, the news talk shows generally take one political position, and one political position only. Very rarely do they present a spokesperson to present the other side. Very often the effect — please shoot me if I ever say "end result"is a situation of "preaching to the converted." More often than that, frequent viewers tune in to have their opinions. not challenged, but confirmed.

    There is, however, something worse than that. Many (shoot me again if I say "vast majority") commentators repeat the same catch phrases. Why do they even show up in the studio, or these days, turn on "Zoom"? Why not replay a looped tape? That's not much different than a typical news day, on which the discussion centers on one topic, chewed and rechewed

    That's not much different than what's shown these days. It has occurred to me that some of these talk show guests merely like to hear themselves talk.

    Yet why — I plead — do they use 40 words when 10 would suffice? Sometimes they don't even use the words they choose correctly, mispronouncing "formidable"and mistaking the meanings of "reticent," consternation" and using "concerning," instead of "troubling" or "worrisome." Why do they use "Engfish"? And for all that's good and holy, why do all these so-called pundits sound alike? We are becoming one big Engfish machine. Let's hope this isn't a glimpse of an Orwellian future.

    Just park me in front of the firing squad if I say "going forward."




    https://www.thoughtco.com/engfish-an...g-term-1690596

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    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    (lol)

    Cool word. My channels of choice tend toward the classic sci-fi fare and science's channels with a smattering of news from both left/right.

    First I'll state I'm middle-of-the-road when it comes to left/right, so bouncing back and forth from my left/right telly channels of choice can often make my head spin.

    One of the channels I watch (ultra-right wing) will periodically air a segment critiquing ultra-left-wing channels' (note plural possessive) proclivity to stick to their party's sound-byte of the day uttered by different talking heads (clones I believe) throughout the day on various networks; it would be quite humorous if it wasn't so blatantly obvious... which is the point the ultra-right wingers are trying to make.

    I miss the days of balanced news and true journalism on the tube... we did have that once long ago as I recall.

    Perhaps the engfishers are being paid to pad their wordiness like the pulp writers of old, only now instead of getting paid by the word they're being paid to pad their time to fill their segment... dunno.

    My pet peeve word is prerogative... most often pronounced perogative. Only one thing makes me wince more... seeing a chess board set up incorrectly.

    My church just had a bi-annual General Conference this past weekend and gave me a better definition (faith based) for the New Normal... another term bandied about in the media as of late that was setting me on edge (no more !).

    My fear is that Orwell was an optimist:
    Instead of tending towards a vast Alexandrian library the world has become a computer, an electronic brain, exactly as an infantile piece of science fiction. And as our senses have gone outside us, Big Brother goes inside. So, unless aware of this dynamic, we shall at once move into a phase of panic terrors, exactly befitting a small world of tribal drums, total interdependence, and superimposed co-existence.… Terror is the normal state of any oral society, for in it everything affects everything all the time.…

    In our long striving to recover for the Western world a unity of sensibility and of thought and feeling we have no more been prepared to accept the tribal consequences of such unity than we were ready for the fragmentation of the human psyche by print culture. - Marshall McLuhan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan
    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

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    About "prerogative:" Full disclosure: I hadn't thought of that one. Thanks for enlightening me. A quick plug-in to the Google machine for the song by Bobby Brown, the widower of Whitney Houston reveals the title of the song, "My Prerogative" is spelled correctly on the screen, but you're correct (see below*), we hardly ever hear the word pronounced the right way.

    Some "egregious" (how the pundits adore that word!) of Engfish include "very, very" (one intensifier evidently insufficient) and "shocked, shocked!" (A Casablanca reference cited on an earlier NitLet thread, "I Led the Pigeons to the Mondegreen."

    Bitter half has two pet language peeves. The one he considers the worst phrase is "I could care less" (when of course the speaker intends the opposed.) *He also cringes at the over affirmation. "You're absolutely right." (Alternative: "100% right.")

    In the original Engfish article the example of student's theme was amusing. I love how his impression was impressive.

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "Engfish" is an interesting word.

    Why use two or three words when you can say something with only one? But if you don´t know that one? Non natives (Should I say foreigners? But what about political connotations?) tend to be less sophisticated ( simpler?) in their use of language simply because their vocabulary is more restricted.

    But, of course, some people use some words or expressions just to embellish their language, they are a sort of mushrooms in the sauce.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Hi Danik.

    Was that a culinary deflection?

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I should say rather a culinary reflection than a deflection(whatever that is), .
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Every time I hear a certain — er— “world leader” speak, I recall a line from the great James Thurber:

    “You ever notice that people say everything twice? They say everything twice.”

    And while we’re on the subject, when was the last time you heard anyone use the word “said”?

    Some decades ago that simple verb for narration all but disappeared. What replaced it was an action verb.

    He goes, “Do you want to go out with me?”

    And I go, “It depends on where you want to take me.”

    Fast forward to a decade ago and even the “go” word, well, " went." Now dialogue runs something like this:

    So she’s like “ ‘Zup.”

    And I’m like “Wanna hang out?”

    Lately even the words themselves have been ousted in favor of emojis. No more “likes” (except on Facebook.)

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