[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

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 
is that:

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.



Reply to: