Re: [OT] Re: correct English usage
On Tue, 03 Apr 2012 23:20:10 +0200, Tony van der Hoff wrote:
> On 03/04/12 19:21, Camaleón wrote:
>>> "Ulterior" is certainly not a synonym for "posterior",
>> But it was, that's what I meant. It's not a term I would neither use in
>> my own language but it is still perfectly correct.
> Maybe, but you wouldn't pass for a native speaker, and that's what this
> is all about, isn't it? If I'm wrong about that, then all bets are off;
> use whatever word takes your fancy!
Well, I somehow disagree with that.
What a plain/normal/joe native English/Spanish/whatever speaker user will
consider "as native" depends on the readers' language education degree
which usually tends to be at an average level.
If I use the term "ulterior" (in Spanish) while speaking to my mother:
1/ She will understand what I said
2/ She won't think I'm not a Spanish native speaker :-)
3/ She can think I'm making a kind of joke and thus using a "poetic" word
My mother is a retired school teacher and her knowledge of the Spanish
language can be considered higher than the average.
Now, if I use the same term with another person, what it probably happens
1/ He/she won't understand what I said
2/ As he/she didn't understand the full phrase, he/she can think I used a
nonexistent word so he/she will think I'm not a Spanish native speaker
because I made a mistake :-)
3/ Still, he/she can think I'm making a kind of joke by using funny
Hope this simple example helps to illustrate what I try to highlight.
Anyway, what we were discussing here was the "correctness" of a term.
While I agree that using "posterior" or "ulterior" in the said technical
context is not the best choice, neither of those words are incorrect, it
is simply that there are better options.