Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29
  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Netherlands

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 1,458
    #1

    The usage of "distaff"

    His take on the shows and the entire comic book subculture – while filled with stereotypes so clichéd that it made so-called computer nerds seem positively metropolitan – was nothing new: comic book people are geeky, dweeby, sexless onanists with no sense of the distaff and poor excuses for lives; Trekkies without the requiste hard-on for Shatner.
    According to this site ( distaff - definition of distaff by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. ), distaff can mean "woman considered as a group". But is this what the author meant? To me it seems that he could have easily said "with no sense of woman..", without changing the meaning.

    What does the dictionary mean by "as a group"? Does this mean woman in general?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #2

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    Yes. They have no women and have no sense of how to deal with them.

    This is an archaic term, not in common use. I had to look it up.

    The author could have phrased it some other way, but then he wouldn't get to show off the old word he knows.

  2. JohnParis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 773
    #3

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    According to this site ( distaff - definition of distaff by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. ), distaff can mean "woman considered as a group". But is this what the author meant? To me it seems that he could have easily said "with no sense of woman..", without changing the meaning.

    What does the dictionary mean by "as a group"? Does this mean woman in general?
    Chicken - who wrote that drivel (containing two dashes, one colon and a semi-colon in one sentence)?
    I had to look up BOTH 'onanists' and 'distaff'.
    Imagine, two fifty-cent words in one sentence. Give the man a cigar.

  3. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Netherlands

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 1,458
    #4

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    Chicken - who wrote that drivel (containing two dashes, one colon and a semi-colon in one sentence)?
    I had to look up BOTH 'onanists' and 'distaff'.
    Imagine, two fifty-cent words in one sentence. Give the man a cigar.
    Kevin Smith wrote that drivel. I've noticed that he uses a lot of weird words that I have never encountered. I think he does that, as mentioned above, to show that he knows a few words that no one really uses in everyday English.

    I had to look up onanist too. Never heard of it, then again, I'm not a native speaker, jus a dedicated learner.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #5

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post

    I had to look up onanist too. Never heard of it, then again, I'm not a native speaker, jus a dedicated learner.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    In all fairness to the author, that word is rather elegant. The other word for that

    activity is much too explicit and clinical. Not at all suitable for a family-friendly

    website such as this. (I hear some authors used to write certain words in Latin, for

    the English would have made English readers blush.)

  4. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Netherlands

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 1,458
    #6

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    In all fairness to the author, that word is rather elegant. The other word for that

    activity is much too explicit and clinical. Not at all suitable for a family-friendly

    website such as this. (I hear some authors used to write certain words in Latin, for

    the English would have made English readers blush.)
    Really? I don't think it's explicit at all. The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English does not indicate that it's impolite. The phrasal verb that starts with the letter "j" on the other hand is considered impolite.

  5. JohnParis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 773
    #7

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    I agree, Parser.
    Perhaps it's my clinical background that doesn't make me flinch at the meaning of onanist, but by using words that few people know, the only thing the author accomplishes is to make the reader look up the word in a dictionary. And when he does, what does he see? The clinical term.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #8

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    What kills me is that there are some people who think this passes for good writing!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #9

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    The guy's obviously swallowed a dictionary.

    I've only ever met 'onanist' in the context of a jokey name for a parrot, based on a quotation (King James bible?) about Onan who 'spilled his seed on the ground'.

    And I've only met 'distaff' in the context of genealogy: 'Edgar was related to Jacob on the distaff side'.

    b

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #10

    Re: The usage of "distaff"

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Really? I don't think it's explicit at all. The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English does not indicate that it's impolite. The phrasal verb that starts with the letter "j" on the other hand is considered impolite.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) I apologize for not writing clearly. (As they say, writing one good sentence is

    a very difficult task.)

    (2) I meant:

    Using the "O" word is better than using the "M" word. Of course, the "J" word

    is definitely out of the question.

    Now that's a clear sentence!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Correct usage of "a - an" and "the" articles
    By JustAlilBit in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 21-Nov-2011, 10:06
  2. [General] Usage of "Ass" and "Arse"
    By Williamyh in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2010, 09:40
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 20-Nov-2008, 23:38
  4. "apostrophe s" or "of" (possessive usage)
    By kk in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-Mar-2006, 02:20
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2005, 13:11

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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