Pedants United

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Kevin Williamson
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Williamson » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:13 am

When people say somebody needs to "redouble" their efforts, what does that mean? Is it quadruple or just double, and why not just say that instead?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:31 am

"When people say somebody needs to "redouble" their efforts, what does that mean? Is it quadruple or just double, and why not just say that instead?"

I assumed it was a reference to bidding in Bridge?

Paul Habershon
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:52 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:31 am
"When people say somebody needs to "redouble" their efforts, what does that mean? Is it quadruple or just double, and why not just say that instead?"

I assumed it was a reference to bidding in Bridge?
I suppose redoubling efforts is for emphasis, suggesting that efforts have already been doubled and now even more effort is being made. It is probably true that people don't say they double efforts as often as they claim to redouble them.

Bridge bidding is not so simple when doubles/redoubles are used. Basically 'double' can mean 'I don't think you can make that contract so I'm doubling the penalty' followed by 'redouble' meaning 'oh yes I can make it and, not only that, I am going to enjoy an even greater bonus'. However, the bids can have other meanings according to partnership agreement. The most common is probably a 'take out double', showing values and asking partner to bid something. There is also an SOS redouble asking partner to take you out of a doubled contract in the hope of finding safer waters.

'Doubling down' has become fashionable lately, I think, meaning a strengthening of resolve in a course of action. I see this is a blackjack term for increasing the stake - curious that it's not "doubling up'.

Rather intriguing is 'doubling up with laughter' when you are actually bending the body down. I suppose we do say 'curling up'.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:27 am

Perhaps it did have some credence before the age of computerization.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:25 pm

Kevin Williamson wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:13 am
When people say somebody needs to "redouble" their efforts, what does that mean? Is it quadruple or just double, and why not just say that instead?
Redouble is a tricky word. I can't, for the life of me, understand why redoubtable means an amusing opponent. Something in the etymology must, at least, partially explain that.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:32 am

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:25 pm
I can't, for the life of me, understand why redoubtable means an amusing opponent. Something in the etymology must, at least, partially explain that.
'Amusing'? Surely not. Redoubtable means formidable, to be feared or respected.

I did not know its etymology, but I see it's from Old French 'redouter' to fear, which in turn is from the Latin 'dubitare' to doubt.

Andy Stoker
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Andy Stoker » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:01 am

"I'll have to double check that".... don't bother ... just check it once.

Paul Habershon
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:18 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:01 am
"I'll have to double check that".... don't bother ... just check it once.
Nice one, Andy. A bit of chess in there too.

At the supermarket till:
'Did you want a bag?'
Unspoken reply:
'No, and I still don't, thank you.'

Important for smug pedants to have some manners.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:52 pm

I was recording a TV quiz show, probably Countdown, and after the microphone was fitted, they wanted to check the sound level. So I said something or other and the man said,
"Could we have a bit more level please?"
"Do you mean you want me to talk more loudly?" (which I said er, more loudly.)
"Yes - that's fine"

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MJMcCready
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Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:01 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:32 am
MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:25 pm
I can't, for the life of me, understand why redoubtable means an amusing opponent. Something in the etymology must, at least, partially explain that.
'Amusing'? Surely not. Redoubtable means formidable, to be feared or respected.

I did not know its etymology, but I see it's from Old French 'redouter' to fear, which in turn is from the Latin 'dubitare' to doubt.
Ah, perhaps then, I've been stitched up by the online OED?

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MJMcCready
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Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:34 pm

Just out of curiosity do you say pet peeve or pet hate, is one expression stronger than the other or are they more or less the same?

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John Clarke
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Re: Pedants United

Post by John Clarke » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:56 am

MJMcCready wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:34 pm
Just out of curiosity do you say pet peeve or pet hate, is one expression stronger than the other or are they more or less the same?
I'd say pet hate is the stronger - I've always understood peeve to mean a mild annoyance. But the qualifier "pet" to my mind considerably reduces the force of both.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Mike Alderson
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Mike Alderson » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:39 am

"It's more than me job's worth". Then why not do it?

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MJMcCready
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Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:14 pm

John Clarke wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:56 am
MJMcCready wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:34 pm
Just out of curiosity do you say pet peeve or pet hate, is one expression stronger than the other or are they more or less the same?
I'd say pet hate is the stronger - I've always understood peeve to mean a mild annoyance. But the qualifier "pet" to my mind considerably reduces the force of both.
Okay thanks, they are both strange concepts, something only us in the first world suffer from.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:33 pm

"I'd say pet hate is the stronger - I've always understood peeve to mean a mild annoyance. But the qualifier "pet" to my mind considerably reduces the force of both."

Yes - I agree with that, but maybe the "pet" suggests also, "I don't like this but I would understand if other people disagreed with me".

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