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    #1

    tyro

    I've just learned the word "tyro". I find it hard to find out how the word is used. It seems to be quite rare. What would you think of a person who'd used it? Is it more common in some areas than in others? Is it used in speech or just in writing? Is it more common among older people?

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    #2

    Re: tyro

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I've just learned the word "tyro". I find it hard to find out how the word is used. It seems to be quite rare. What would you think of a person who'd used it? Is it more common in some areas than in others? Is it used in speech or just in writing? Is it more common among older people?
    Where and/or in what form/context did you "learn" it?


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    #3

    Re: tyro

    It's a word I have to look up on the very rare occasions that I see it. Intellectually I know that it means 'novice/beginner', but I always have to check. It has 18 citations in BNC, 31 in COCA. I doubt if I have met it ten times in my life.

    It strikes me as the sort of word that we who like to think of ourselves as intelligent are supposed to know


    but rarely do.

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    #4

    Re: tyro

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Where and/or in what form/context did you "learn" it?

    I played Scrabble, and my opponent used it. Then I looked it up and searched COCA for it. It seems to be used in more formal writing, for example:

    Boris Yeltsin's reported reference to President Clinton as a political tyro and, worse, a socialist, is a good example of the problem that is posed for American liberals by the Soviet collapse.

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    #5

    Re: tyro

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I played Scrabble, and my opponent used it..
    My guess, and it's only a guess, is that it is used more often by scrabble players than by anybody else in the universe.

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    #6

    Re: tyro

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    My guess, and it's only a guess, is that it is used more often by scrabble players than by anybody else in the universe.
    I don't usually ask about Scrabble words here, but I always look them up after the game. Somehow it's usually a Congolese instrument last seen in the 11th century.

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    #7

    Re: tyro

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I don't usually ask about Scrabble words here, but I always look them up after the game. Somehow it's usually a Congolese instrument last seen in the 11th century.


    I like to think that I have a reasonably rich vocabulary, but when I have looked through lists of accepted Scrabble words, I have to admit that I know astonishingly few of the shorter ones. When I see what they mean, I am usually relieved that I don't know them.

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    #8

    Re: tyro

    I have never come across the word in my entire life. When I saw the thread title I assumed it was a typo of "typo"! Had I read the newspaper piece which said "Clinton was a political tyro" I would have assumed it was an error, or a strange abbreviation of "tyrant".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: tyro

    I was going to say that I would think it was a typo for "pyro."

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    #10

    Re: tyro

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I was going to say that I would think it was a typo for "pyro."
    I've been looking at this for a while, trying to work out why the word rang a bell for me, a very specific "I've heard this in some kind of American context where it was presented as an ususual word" bell.

    Ten minutes of frustrated head-scratching later, I worked it out. I have heard it in an American teen movie, which is interesting considering we mostly seem to be agreeing that it's rather obscure - but then the context seems to support that to some extent, when you look a little closer.

    The movie in question is "Bring it On" (about teenage cheerleaders) and the quote goes:

    Darcy: Bring on the tyros, the neophytes and the dilettanti.
    Jan: S.A.T.s are over, Darcy.
    Darcy: And you're still jealous of my score.

    I tried to find a video clip but can't, which is a shame as the context is that the cheerleader named Darcy had created her own cheer to help her learn a long list of 'hard' words for her SAT exams, and the cheer itself is well worth watching for both comedy and educational value. If I remember correctly you only see part of it in the film itself but the whole things is on the DVD as an extra, and probably therefore on youtube somewhere.

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