Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Talking What does "generically aware" mean?

    Hello there,
    I was stuck by a short phrase yesterday while working on my project. The phrase was "a generically aware context". Can anyone do me a great favour by telling me what this phrase means here, of which the context is as the following. I would appreciate your great great help.

    "one that revises the concerns of earlier British medical dramas, er within a generically aware context. And this generically aware context is kind of in dialogue with other British and U-S medical dramas."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    557
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Somebody back me up---there are all kinds of Google hits for this particular phrase and the word "generically" itself, and I think it's being used incorrectly to mean "generally."

    As your dictionary no doubt told you, "generic" is derived from the Latin "genus" meaning class or type. It means "pertaining or appropriate to large classes or groups as opposed to specific members of the group." Thus, I might say, "I need a generic white blouse, something I can wear to work with a suit and also with jeans on the weekend."

    "Generic" entered into common use in America in, I believe, the 1970s, when in response to wildly inflating costs, groceries began offering "generic label" foods. These were packaged in plain white or yellow labels with names like "COLA" or "GREEN BEANS" in stark capital letters. The idea was that the cost savings from not having to advertise the brand, print a fancy label, etc. were passed on to the consumer. Also, "generic drugs"---drugs manufactured and sold without the brand name after the patent has expired---represent a big savings to patients.

    Anyway, my hunch is that gradually, the very similar word "generic," which sounds much grander than "general," has come to replace it in phrases such as the one you quoted. Without context, I would guess that "[generally] generically aware" in the sentence you quoted was meant to mean "without reference to detail." "I was generally aware that Krispy-Kreme donuts were unhealthy, but I had no idea they had twelve grams of fat apiece."

    Anybody else want to jump in?

    Generic brand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by Delmobile; 10-Jun-2007 at 17:29.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    Somebody back me up---there are all kinds of Google hits for this particular phrase and the word "generically" itself, and I think it's being used incorrectly to mean "generally."

    As your dictionary no doubt told you, "generic" is derived from the Latin "genus" meaning class or type. It means "pertaining or appropriate to large classes or groups as opposed to specific members of the group." Thus, I might say, "I need a generic white blouse, something I can wear to work with a suit and also with jeans on the weekend."

    "Generic" entered into common use in America in, I believe, the 1970s, when in response to wildly inflating costs, groceries began offering "generic label" foods. These were packaged in plain white or yellow labels with names like "COLA" or "GREEN BEANS" in stark capital letters. The idea was that the cost savings from not having to advertise the brand, print a fancy label, etc. were passed on to the consumer. Also, "generic drugs"---drugs manufactured and sold without the brand name after the patent has expired---represent a big savings to patients.

    Anyway, my hunch is that gradually, the very similar word "generic," which sounds much grander than "general," has come to replace it in phrases such as the one you quoted. Without context, I would guess that "[generally] generically aware" in the sentence you quoted was meant to mean "without reference to detail." "I was generally aware that Krispy-Kreme donuts were unhealthy, but I had no idea they had twelve grams of fat apiece."

    Anybody else want to jump in?

    Generic brand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thank you for the reply, Delmobile. I now have a better understanding of this expression. So it seems to me that the use of "generic" or "generically" is just a phenomenon of wanting something 'new' to represent the same or similar meaning of something 'old'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    557
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    That's certainly what it seems like to me. I believe linguists have a term for when a similar-sounding word is used so often in error that the "wrong" meaning becomes the new "correct" (i.e., most universally accepted) one.

    Or, perhaps your speaker simply meant "the context of being aware of a large class" of whatever he was talking about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7
    Post Thanks / Like

    Talking Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delmobile View Post
    That's certainly what it seems like to me. I believe linguists have a term for when a similar-sounding word is used so often in error that the "wrong" meaning becomes the new "correct" (i.e., most universally accepted) one.

    Or, perhaps your speaker simply meant "the context of being aware of a large class" of whatever he was talking about.

    It could be though. The context where this utterance was made was in a class in a university in Britain. I wonder if this 'generic' expression from USA would have either a less or more 'generic' expression within the English speakers in Britain, or even the speakers in Australia. (ps. don't know if that's an appropriate way of using this expression "generic". )

  6. #6
    Jason72 is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    404
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Somebody back me up---there are all kinds of Google hits for this particular phrase and the word "generically" itself, and I think it's being used incorrectly to mean "generally."
    I agree with you.
    I have never heard 'generically aware' before, and 'generally aware', on the other hand, I have.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by weiteng View Post
    The context where this utterance was made was in a class in a university in Britain.
    The full context is here, http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ce...14_nopause.txt. "Generically aware context" makes sense, no?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    557
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    I must say I've read and heard lectures that were easier to understand. :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Agreed.

    On my first read through, I thought er er er meant ER, the TV medical drama.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    557
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: What does "generically aware" mean?

    Delmobile is emitting great gasps of laughter.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •