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Chainsawsuit from 2/20/2015:

[h/t Matt Treyvaud]

In fact, it's absolutely amazing that people can learn as many words as they do, with as few major differences in usage as they in fact accrue.


  1. Victor Mair said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 8:33 am

    Long ago, I used to subscribe to a magazine called "Verbatim". I thought it was a good name for a language and linguistics journal aimed at the layperson.

  2. Dan Lufkin said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 10:15 am

    Ah, Verbatim, Wordways, Language on Vacation, Dmitri Borgman. The hey-day of recreational linguistics. A new palindrome to savor .. those were the days!

  3. Bloix said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 10:35 am

    "Accrues." Ha. This is a word whose meaning no one knows. Ask a lawyer when and how a cause of action "accrues." You will get a lot of confident gobbledygook which means after close inspection that you can argue whatever you want depending on the outcome that suits your client.

  4. Q. Pheevr said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 11:28 am

    I like my coffee the way I like my quotations.

  5. Neal Goldfarb said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

    Bloix: Knowing what a word means is different from being able to define it or explain its meaning. And in the case of "accrue," it's certainly possible to know what the word means—a cause of action accrues when all the events that give rise to it have occurred—without being able to give a gobbledygook-free explanation of how to figure out when accrual occurs (or maybe, given the topic of this post, I should say "when occural accrues").

  6. Andrew (not the same one) said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 3:18 pm

    What does the first speaker think 'verbatim' means? It's clear enough with 'accrues', but not with 'verbatim' – though the other speaker seems to get a definite meaning from what he says, rather than just being mystified.

  7. Mark Mandel said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 6:51 pm

    @Andrew (not the same one):

    "Perfect(ly)" would fit. And, for that matter, would be a plausible misinference of its meaning.

  8. Jeff Carney said,

    May 9, 2015 @ 10:27 pm

    Coffee-dude has been prepping for the SAT.

  9. Barney said,

    May 11, 2015 @ 6:38 am

    It doesn't seem a huge leap from 'verbatim' meaning 'exactly the same wording' to 'in exactly the correct way', which seems to be what the first speaker means. I might try using it to mean that. But there is a false assumption in there that coffee brewing is a matter of correctness rather than preference.

  10. Andrew Bay said,

    May 11, 2015 @ 10:39 am

    My interpretation is that he followed the direction on the can for the coffee exactly and the result is perfect.

  11. Jongseong Park said,

    May 12, 2015 @ 6:09 am

    I understood the use of "verbatim" here as being related to the use of "literally" as a general intensifier.

  12. Bean said,

    May 12, 2015 @ 6:37 am

    I thought he meant the cup was approaching the Platonic Ideal cup of coffee. I kind of like the usage.

  13. Lisa A said,

    May 13, 2015 @ 10:43 pm

    There is a coffee shop near me with the motto "Tailoring Coffee Joyously". Perhaps I should go in and praise the result as "verbatim", just to see what happens.

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