Re: correct English usage
On Tuesday 03 April 2012 15:09:50 Pierre Frenkiel wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2012, Kelly Clowers wrote:
> > They are not wrong per say, but only the first definition you mention
> > (anatomy) is in widespread use these days (which is why it said
> > "chiefly").
> Is that specific to American English, or is it also true for
> British English, Canadian English, ...?
It is certainly true for English English. It would simply not be used in teh
way that you used it.
> Paul's statement was much more stronger:
> this is the wrong word in English to describe the relation between
> Squeeze and Lenny. Maybe OK in some other European language, but not
> in English.
I agree with Paul. It is simply not acceptable in practice.
> > If you say "posterior" people's first thought will be "ass".
> but in the given sentence, posterior is clearly an adjective?
Which yet again, is not a correct usage in modern idiom of that word.
> > That happens all the time with dictionary-based translations, by
> > the way. It can be very hard to tell if a definition is really used
> > much in practice.
> Then, for people whose native language is not English, in some cases
> the only way to find the right word seems to be try and error.
Or accept the word of educated native speakers.
> Note that the WordReference English Thesaurus © 2012 gave the most
> common meaning for posterior in second place, and that it was nowhere
> mentioned that the time related meaning was deprecated.
It isn't deprecated because no-one would use it in the first place.
> Is there a
> dictionnary where this kind of information would be available?
> > In general there is a tendency in modern American English to
> > use rather simple words or descriptive phrases made of simple
> > words rather than a single very precise but less well known word.
> Again, is that specific to American English?
No. Though the English are a bit prone to being pretentious. I was taught
at school that where an Anglo-Saxon word applied, it should be used in
preference to a Latin one. (In "Latin" I am including French.)