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Author: WhitemiataXP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 13903  
Subject: Re: Ad nauseum Date: 4/3/2003 11:01 PM
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WhiteMiataXP writes:
Basically if you put something Nauseous in an empty universe it would still be nauseous.

Since nausea is a feeling, in an empty universe, nothing would exist to feel that feeling. If a skunk rots in the forest and nobody smells it, is it still nauseating? Putrescent, odiferous, noisome, yes... but if nobody can smell it it, nausea can't occur.


Hum... well, if you really think about it, no words have meaning outside of human perception. Red isn't a feeling, but Red isn't a universal truth... it's simply the description of a human perception. Black & White seeing animals wouldn't even include Red in their vocabulary. However in a vacuum something which is Red, remains red. I realize it's my interpretation but I feel something nauseous is nauseous even in a vacuum.

I don't disagree with what you wrote. However in my opinion an action verb such as nauseating requires an object to be acted upon... while nauseous doesn't. In a sense it's like arrogant and irritating (I realize that they're not the same thing) ... I believe a man living alone in a jungle could be described as "arrogant" but not "Irritating" ... (unless the monekeys can't stand him, I s'pose) ... same thing with luminous (which conveys a source of light) and illuminating (which, at least to me, suggests more the effect of such light... as in the effect it has on objects around it - I like this analogy better than the arrogant/irritating one actually).

Anyway, language is subjective; if you find yourself speaking of empty universes, take it as a sign that you're splitting the hair just a little too finely.

Hum... pardon me if I find this rather humorous... as someone who's lurked on this board for over a year, and followed many threads with interest I find that a suggestion that there is such a thing as "splitting the hair just a little too finely" regarding Words here... would be comparable to someone saying "you're trying to save too much" on the LBYM board <grin>


As to the strength or vitality of the following statements:
The smell of onions makes me nauseated...The stench of Onions is nauseous....This second sentence is much much stronger.

The greater difference in the two comes not from the chosen form of "nausea," but from the choice of the richer, more evocative word "stench" in the second sentence. The biggest punch would have been to say "The stench of onions nauseates me." Which would hurt your feelings more... "You're nauseous" or "You nauseate me?"


I agree with you regarding the "stench" ... I was just trying to strenghthen it further, probably should have kept htat variable fixed. As to your question, frankly the first one, if you told me "you're nauseous" I would interpret that as meaning that "nauseous" is describing ME at a universal level... "you nauseate me" on the other hand at least to me has a much stronger connotation of the effect I have on the particular person. Therefore "you nauseate me" is in my eyes a much more *relative* term.

For instance I wouldn't doubt that there are people out there who would say that adult establishment nauseate them. And I wouldn't take issue with them saying "adult establishments nauseate me" ... i would on the other hand take exception with a statement such as "adult establishments are nauseous." On the ohter hand I wouldn't have a problem with someone saying "Child molestors are nauseous"

It implies universality... that is, if the statement is TRUE, then it must be true for everybody.

Well, yes, it implies universality... but generally nausea isn't universal, is it? Most people don't find onions or kissing nauseating (except perhaps when combined). Thus, your efforts would be better focused on sharing how intensely the smell nauseates those affected.


Of course not. But that whole thing was part of a joke. Humor can be conveyed in many ways, and one of them is exageration... which is what was going on in that case :-)

At any rate, the most powerful expression would make use of the active voice. "That gratuitous smooching business really nauseates me!" (Again, quite strong on your part, but definitely NOT a universal feeling).

I think we're basically disagreeing as to what "most powerful" means. I agree that the active voice is typically stronger. I guess by most powerful I'm implying less subjective... a comment that is objective is more like a boulder that can't be changed rather than a subjective opinion.

Of course they're both opinions, one just sounds more like one though :-)

a minor point, in closing....
...fear of incorrect correction (what's up with that anyway?

It's not necessarily a fear, but it certainly is an annoyance. Here's a page full of them. I don't put them all into daily use, but it's good food for thought:
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/nonerrors.html


I've seen that before, it is pretty cool actually :-)

By the way, though I hope my post was fairly civil, I'd like to apologize for making my first post a "I don't agree with you" one :-)

Alessandro
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