Luna’s Adventures in English

Adam-M

Thousand Master
Would you always make it that specific? Like if somebody has marks from handcuffs it just becomes handcuff marks?
Honestly, I'd just say something like "oh no, we've been naughty and now she's got marks on her arms - it wasn't me"....or something along those lines :confused:
 

Luna

Stand User
Uhhhh, how did this go to the naughty track ... ? At least no naughty parties intended. I was just reading some A certain magical Index in the train and Index has the habit to just randomly bite. And Touma got handcuffed (or was it a rope?) In that volume, too.
 

Adam-M

Thousand Master
Regardless of type, most people in my neck of the woods tend to just call them rugs. Not sure if that's a regional thing though.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Regardless of type, most people in my neck of the woods tend to just call them rugs. Not sure if that's a regional thing though.
Same here, but with the exception of the ones that originate from India/the Middle East/North Africa. They’re still carpets, for whatever reason (possibly because they were the original type of carpet before fitted ones existed) and I guess going for a ride on a “magic rug” wouldn’t sound quite right.

Also, it’s probably been long enough now that I can ask this question without looking like too much of a knob, but I see the words “tragic/tragedy” being used nowadays for any terrible event - Now it could be that I was totally mislead about this during my education, but I always thought that for something to qualify as a “tragedy” it had to be self-inflicted, even unknowingly or accidentally? Am I wrong? Did the meaning change? I’m baffled because I can’t find any explanation of this online.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
What's the difference between a rug and a mat?
While I don’t know for certain, I imagine a mat is a thing that exists specifically to become dirty so whatever is underneath doesn’t - Doormat, bathmat, placemat etc. A rug is more for decoration and comfort than wiping your wet feet or muddy shoes on. At least you might get some looks if you did.
 
While I don’t know for certain, I imagine a mat is a thing that exists specifically to become dirty so whatever is underneath doesn’t - Doormat, bathmat, placemat etc. A rug is more for decoration and comfort than wiping your wet feet or muddy shoes on. At least you might get some looks if you did.
Except for tatami mats, prayer mats...
 

Luna

Stand User
I always thought of tragedy as coming from the theater tragedy that hails from Ancient Greece. (Where afaik the point of tragedy is, that the protagonists are not guilty of warranting the catastophe befalling them.)
At any rate, tragedy was never something exclusively self-inflicted (that would be retribution in my books, unless retribution outscales the own guilt by a lot).
According to dictionary.com it's indeed like this:

The probably most know famous tragedy in the West might imo be Hiob. I don't think that the tragedies of him losing his family, wealth and health, because God and the devil made some bet, are really self-inflicted.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I'm not entirely sure I trust dictionaries any more, but see right there on that page it also says:
1. (esp in classical and Renaissance drama) a play in which the protagonist, usually a man of importance and outstanding personal qualities, falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he cannot deal

2. (in later drama, such as that of Ibsen) a play in which the protagonist is overcome by a combination of social and psychological circumstances
Which would indicate to me a sort of creeping feeling that either the person the tragedy happens to befall (or others observing it) could sort of see it coming. I think that's why I'm loath to apply it to things like terrorism or mass-murder, because the people affected didn't see it coming and what happened to them certainly wasn't a result of their own personal failings or inability to deal with the circumstances.

But then there's also this:
4. (in medieval literature) a literary work in which a great person falls from prosperity to disaster, often through no fault of his own
So I don't bloody well know. Gonna stick with the Renaissance version I think.
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I always thought of tragedy as coming from the theater tragedy that hails from Ancient Greece. (Where afaik the point of tragedy is, that the protagonists are not guilty of warranting the catastophe befalling them.)
At any rate, tragedy was never something exclusively self-inflicted (that would be retribution in my books, unless retribution outscales the own guilt by a lot).
I think perhaps we're mixing up self-inflicted with deserved here. My concept of tragedy certainly wouldn't be that a terrible thing that happened to someone had to be deserved, just that the person somehow brought it upon themselves. I'm struggling to think of a good example, so this crappy one off the top of my head will have to do - Say a person is allergic to peanuts, and they are driven to suicide and choose to eat peanuts and die. Tragic, because they did that to themselves. Now say they accidentally ingest peanuts and die. Also tragic, because while they didn't even know it, they still did that to themselves. This is what I understand is meant by the term "a tragic accident". Now say someone else purposely feeds them peanuts in order to kill them. Not tragic, just murder, because the person had no knowledge or hand in their own demise. At least that's how I understood the term. Of course, I may just be totally wrong.

I'm fairly certain my preconceptions stem from the literary term though, and the more I read the more I find myself leaning towards the idea that perhaps non-fictional situations shouldn't be referred to as tragedies at all.
 
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Adam-M

Thousand Master
The meaning of words does tend to change over time. Not only can it change but it can be used to mean something else (e.g. lol) and if the new word is used more often and is more popular it becomes more prevalent and people forget about the original one. Blame kids - I always do 😕
 

serpantino

Vampire Ninja
Tragedy is when the feeling's gone and you can't go on, when the morning cries and you don't know why. When you lose control and you've got no soul and with no-one to love you, you're going nowhere. (Just a joke courtesy of the BeeGees)

I would say tragedy is very much a contextual word and based on the expected reaction of society at the time. A father of 3 commiting suicide is a tragedy, a natural disaster culminating in the loss of lives is a tragedy, a suicide bombing resulting in the loss of other lives is a tragedy. The death of a hated war criminal, even suicide though is not considered a tragedy in the public eye but if you were close to the individual then you might refer to it as a tragedy in conversation.

So I would say the general rule with using the word tragedy is: Does it make you feel sad? Do you think it would make a lot of people feel sad or consider it sad? That would be the simplest thought process to use it correctly in everyday conversation. Academically there might be more nuances but, unless you're really getting into wordcraft, I'd say that's enough for you to understand the word and context as much as most of the native English speaking public.
 

Luna

Stand User
Proposal: Keep it simple. =P
Current dictionary definition states at the first meaning "a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster", that's pretty much what I see it being used as in general. It's something terrible, that is lamentable. (And lamentable kinda depends on the person's perception.)
So essentially that's completely removed from self-inflicted or deserving it or whatever.

Though, what ayase cites with that Renaissance bit seems to come from a British dictionary specifically. So BE/AE diffrence perhaps?
But if you remove the theatre and literary definitions there is also "the unfortunate aspect of something" and "a shocking or sad event; disaster".

I'm struggling to think of a good example, so this crappy one off the top of my head will have to do - Say a person is allergic to peanuts, and they are driven to suicide and choose to eat peanuts and die. Tragic, because they did that to themselves. Now say they accidentally ingest peanuts and die. Also tragic, because while they didn't even know it, they still did that to themselves. This is what I understand is meant by the term "a tragic accident". Now say someone else purposely feeds them peanuts in order to kill them. Not tragic, just murder, because the person had no knowledge or hand in their own demise. At least that's how I understood the term. Of course, I may just be totally wrong.
Then what about a lightning strucks down, when you were just out to bring out your trash. Self inflicted, because you just happened to be out at the time? Then would that also apply if someone runs amoks and kills people, self inflicted because they were unfortunately there at the time?

Though your distinction kind of reminds me of a TED talk from a woman working as a disaster relief worker. She was trying to convince people that death at the hand of a hurricane aren't just a natural disaster that befall you and that's just how it is. But that it's something that was foreseeable and avoidable, but goverment construction planning actively doesn't do. (Citing buildings done in dangerous regions or less greenery in poorer areas, causing those areas to heat up more and raise the chances of heat strokes.)
Not exactly the same and I also can't seem to find the talk anymore to check if she was talking about disasters or tragedies and how exactly, but her point to get across was essentially, that the tragedy/disaster is self-inflicted by humans themselves and nothing from a higher power or so.
 
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