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Bruin Fisher

The Vagueries of the English Language (Vagaries?)

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(It turns out that both vagueries and vagaries are real words, with similar meanings, so that both, or either, are appropriate for the title of this thread!)

It's amazing that sometimes the most peculiar spelling or pronunciation conventions can be so entrenched that I don't even notice them.

I only recently noticed how strange is the verb prove.

A scientist must prove her theory, a prosecuting counsel must prove the guilt of the defendant, bread dough is left to prove overnight.

In British English it's pronounced so that the o sounds like the oo in food. It gets odder: the past participle is not proved, it's proven - and this time the o sounds normally, like owe.

"Case not proven!" barked the judge. The theory of Evolution has still not been proven after a hundred years of acceptance.

And there's a noun form the word, too, which is proof. And suddenly we have two o's so that the oo sound makes sense, but now the v has changed to an f. Language never ceases to fascinate.

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7 hours ago, Cole Parker said:

In the UK, a someone will get a drugs test.  In the US, that someone will get drug tests.

In the UK you sashay up to someone in a pub to score, in the US if you sashay up to anyone you get shot.

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On 5/15/2021 at 7:52 AM, Bruin Fisher said:

 The theory of Evolution has still not been proven after a hundred years of acceptance.

Sorry Bruin, but evolution has been proven and scientifically demonstrated. What has not been proved and almost certainly cannot be proved is Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Although there is massive evidence to support it, there is no experiment that can be done to prove it.

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8 minutes ago, Nigel Gordon said:

Sorry Bruin, but evolution has been proven and scientifically demonstrated. What has not been proved and almost certainly cannot be proved is Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Although there is massive evidence to support it, there is no experiment that can be done to prove it.

😄 I was only using that sentence as an illustration of the usage of the word 'proven'. I should have put 'Darwin's' in place of 'The' at the beginning.

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6 hours ago, Nigel Gordon said:

What has not been proved and almost certainly cannot be proved is Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Although there is massive evidence to support it, there is no experiment that can be done to prove it.

Just you wait.

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