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Please don't bare with me  RSS feed

 
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Whenever I hear the phrase "please bare with me" I cringe.

Many years ago I worked for a company that handles phonecalls from people of many different nationalities and we spent a lot of training time talking about this phrase and what it means in different parts of the world.  In many countries, if a woman was to say it, it would be asking a man to have kids with her.  Aka sex. 

Today I was working with a different company, in a different country, and someone asked me why I never use that phrase.  It's an exceptionally common phrase here that if we say something like, 'please wait a moment' that people start to notice.

I replied it was because I don't want to have kids.  Which required a great deal more explanation than I expected.

This got me thinking about how much English changes over time and place.  But also how we use phrases in our lives without thinking about the meaning of the individual words.

I don't know where I was going with this thought.  Please forgive me if I don't ask you to bare with me.  I just need a moment to gather my thoughts. (Are thoughts like apples?  Can we gather them in a basket and make pie from them?  Mmmm thought pie.)
 
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I did NOT know that about "bare with me"!

I won't be using that phrase any more!
 
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Actually, the phrase is 'please BEAR with me', as in he/she can bear a tremendous load.

To BARE with someone would certainly suggest horizontal folk dancing! 🤣
 
Nicole Alderman
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Someone said something about a bear?  Run!  Oh  . . . he's with you?  Then he must be cool.  Carry on.
 
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"please bare with me"  ---  LOL!!

...I can't wait to try out that line on the next bar-fly I come across!...... :-)
 
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F Agricola wrote:Actually, the phrase is 'please BEAR with me', as in he/she can bear a tremendous load.



This was discussed at some length in the training.  The "actual" meaning of a word or phrase in one part of the world, vs. the PERCIEVED meaning of the same word or phrase in another.

The word Root is another example.

In Canada, it talks about a person's source, traditions, and the part of the plant that is in the ground.  It is also used as a short word for Square Root.  As in Root Four.

Our exchange teacher from Australia was shocked that we used the word so freely and commonly.  It was especially hard for her because she was teaching math.  Root is a vulgar word for fornication.

 
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I admit I don't use that phrase very often but I probably would even knowing someone might take it this way.  :)

But... I really dislike the phrase "hit me up."  I see it a lot in online postings - if you want to get together, hit me up.  If you want to go out sometime, hit me up.  It is especially pervasive in online dating postings and I ignored any where someone used that phrase.  Partly because it feels so violent.  Not sure what else but it makes me cringe.  And I imagine if English were a second language it could also really lead to misunderstandings.
 
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English is a very confusing language because there are so many words that spelling makes the difference in the meaning yet they sound alike. bear, bare is a good example of this.
Then there are the regional differences in pronunciation of vowels and some consonants that can make a Californian give the deer in head lights look to a New Yorker or Bostonian during a conversation.
But if you really want to see "What did you say" looks of confusion come to the Deep South, we not only have word contractions to baffle the linguist but we have dialects galore (Cajun, Creole to name two that if you don't know the dialect your chances of comprehending what is being said is very low).

Wolf is from Canada where "Eh" can be a question or a statement but most folks can understand Canadians without any effort.
When Katrina hit Louisiana and some Cajuns came to Arkansas, we met them in the Grocery store and Wolf started talking to them about how they were doing.
Fortunately I speak Cajun from several years of friendship with many people of the French Cajun community.
It ended up that Wolf used me as an interpreter so she could understand the mix of French and English that is Cajun.
When we went our separate ways Wolf said that their language sounded wonderful but she couldn't understand a word they and I said. Then she asked me how I learned to speak Cajun.
I told her I knew many Cajuns and to speak to them you have to learn their language, because they don't do so well with northern style English.

In Science, exact expression is very important the absolute right words must be used so anyone in any part of the world will understand what you mean.
It is very much like math, if you don't get the language right, no one else knows what you are saying.

Redhawk
 
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When my dad moved to Canada, he said to a co-worker "I'll knock you up in the morning".

Meaning that he was giving her a ride to work, and when he arrives with the car, he'll knock on the door to let her know that he had arrived.

It means quite a different thing here. 
 
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Some neighbors found a baby dear the other day, which was very deer too them. I went two there house too pet the dear but it wasn't they're anymore... speaking that sounds find, reading it makes my skin crawl...
 
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The commonly used phrase is please BEAR with me, not bare.  I've seen the expression in written form many times, and it's always bear, not bare.

Here is a link discussing bear vs bare.  http://www.queens-english-society.com/bear-with-me-or-bare-with-me
 
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Jason Yoon wrote:The commonly used phrase is please BEAR with me, not bare.  I've seen the expression in written form many times, and it's always bear, not bare.

Here is a link discussing bear vs bare.  http://www.queens-english-society.com/bear-with-me-or-bare-with-me



Yes, and I deliberately misspelt it in this thread to get people's attention.

Up thread, we talk about "correct" meaning and perceived meaning. 

 
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It's like people using the word 'decimate' to mean something other than 'reduce by one-tenth'.

The 'correct' meaning of that word is very different than the 'perceived' meaning of it in North America. 

When I visited England, I was surprised to see people still using it in its correct sense and to use desolate to describe...well, desolation. 

English is such a wonderfully diverse language.
 
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In many countries, if a woman was to say it, it would be asking a man to have kids with her.  Aka sex.  



Hmm, this is very interesting.  So when they say it do they mean "bare with me" like get naked or "bear with me" like bear children?  If the latter, I find it quite funny seeing as the man doesn't do the bearing - not physically anyway.  So maybe they are using it the same way we do, just with very specific context: Please bear with me while I bear children

I was surprised to see people still using it in its correct sense and to use desolate to describe...well, desolation.



I'm not sure I understand how they're using desolate - as a noun instead of verb or adjective?

My in-laws all use "solace" to mean "pleasant alone-time."  Sometimes when family visits are getting too loud or hectic for me I'll go for a walk or sit and read outside somewhere for a bit.  I'm often asked when I come back in, "Did you enjoy your solace?"
 
Nicole Alderman
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Many people where I live think decimate means to "destroy almost everything." They use the word "decimate" to mean "desolate" (desolate means to destroy almost everything) instead of using the word desolate. Decimate means to reduce BY 1/10th--so if there we 10 buildings, one would be destroyed. Instead, we use it to mean that 9 or 10 of those 10 building got destroyed.

We do a similar thing with the word "Travesty"--which actually means a mockery. People will tell a sad/horrible story, and another person will say, "that's such a travesty." What they really mean to say is "Tragedy." But, we don't like using the word "tragedy" (or "desolate") for some reason. We instead use "travesty" (and decimate).

I refrain from using both Travesty and Decimate, because no matter how I use the word--by their literal definitions or by their informal use--someone will totally misunderstand what I'm saying.
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:They use the word "decimate" to mean "desolate" (desolate means to destroy almost everything) instead of using the word desolate.



Ahhh - thanks, Nicole!  I thought r ranson was saying there was a problem with the fact that they were equating desolate with desolation.  I get it now

I'm pretty sure most dictionaries now accept that the meaning of decimate has evolved - my husband and I were talking about that word a few months ago.  Seeing as I'm one of those people who cringes pretty much every time the word "moot" is used, I should probably keep my mouth shut though
 
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moot as in a moot hall?  A gathering place where a group debates and decides.

 
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Now I'm going to have to look up 'moot point'.  I always assumed it was a topic that had been discussed and decided.

 
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Got to admit, even in the workplace we giggle when discussing maths and someone says the 'square root' of something. Very unprofessional but it does break tension.

Most of the Commonwealth countries understand, to a degree, the various shortcuts: Canadians use 'eh', New Zealanders use 'eh Bro', the English and South Africans use a variety, Australians tend to use a mix but always shorten things: afternoon is arvo, g'day is good day, a servo is a Service Station, Macca's is McDonalds, etc.

The one thing that really annoys me is when someone says: '... their vote/opinion/decision was SQUASHED'. Our politicians have a habit of making that basic error - it should be QUASHED.

People will do what they want, so it's a moot point, eh? 😉


 
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There There, little one. They're just doing their thing over there.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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The English Language is indeed baffling.  I remember in school where we were given some basic lessons on how to know the way to spell things.  Like "I" before "E" except after "C"  clever rhyme and everything, eh?

A friend on facebook shared this, however: 


His name happens to be Keith as well.  I used to spell his name wrong.  :) 
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:True, but on the phone, who can tell which bear/bare one is talking about!



Interesting, where I am in New Zealand these words sound the same, but my Australian wife gets very annoyed that when she hears it, as she says them in a way that is distinct.

"bare with me" is probably a common expression in naturist communities? I'm surprised the number of people here making an immediate nudity = sex connection.
 
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r ranson wrote:Now I'm going to have to look up 'moot point'.  I always assumed it was a topic that had been discussed and decided.



You are correct, basically.  Something that there isn't any point in discussing for one reason or another.  With this one, it's because lots of people say, "it's a mute point" when they mean moot.

And I admit I'm a "decimate = utterly destroy" person.  I had no idea that was wrong.  Makes me feel a little less judgey ;)... a lot of people around me are not readers and only learn language from hearing it so they don't know it's mute/moot point or "toe the line" not "tow the line" etc. 

Or, like my mom, they read a ton and are educated but are an auditory and just can't spell.  There were many times when I would read her letters and need to read them out loud to myself so I would know what she meant to say. 
 
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:The English Language is indeed baffling.  I remember in school where we were given some basic lessons on how to know the way to spell things.  Like "I" before "E" except after "C"  clever rhyme and everything, eh?

A friend on facebook shared this, however: 


His name happens to be Keith as well.  I used to spell his name wrong.  :) 



I learned it as "i before e, except after c or when it says eh like in neighbour and weigh."  Takes care of some of those spellings, anyway.  And weird is just...weird :)
 
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I'm sorry.  I said I should keep my mouth shut, but I just can't. 

Sonja Draven wrote:

r ranson wrote:Now I'm going to have to look up 'moot point'.  I always assumed it was a topic that had been discussed and decided.



You are correct, basically.  Something that there isn't any point in discussing for one reason or another.



That's the "evolved" meaning of the word.  A moot point is something that cannot be resolved because it's open to debate.  As a verb, to moot something is to bring it up for discussion - like in r ranson's moot halls. 

I'd never heard of moot halls, so thanks for that, r ranson!
 
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Decimate (dec·i·mate)
verb
1. kill, destroy, or remove a large percentage or part of.
"the project would decimate the fragile wetland wilderness"
2. (historical) kill one in every ten of (a group of soldiers or others) as a punishment for the whole group.

The historical meaning is just that... historical. The English language changes over time, otherwise ...

Me thinks we would still speaketh Olde English.
 
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The historical meaning is just that... historical. The English language changes over time, otherwise ... 



And yet, in parts of the world, they still use the original meaning of the word.  So it's not historical everywhere.

There are little pockets of English that use the new meaning. 

That's the beauty of English.  It's not universal. 

For example, it is still the norm in most of the world to mean

Lucked out - out of luck.  A bad thing happened.

Lucked in - in luck.  A good thing happened.

Whereas in one or two countries, to luck out means to be in luck because a good thing happened.

Saying that one term has a "historical meaning" and no one uses it anymore, is saying that a huge chunk of the English Speaking world is "wrong". 
 
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Sonja Draven wrote: 
Or, like my mom, they read a ton and are educated but are an auditory and just can't spell.  There were many times when I would read her letters and need to read them out loud to myself so I would know what she meant to say. 


My mom can't spell either, despite reading a lot. I am her spellcheck these days, who would have guessed all those spelling bees would serve me well years later? I can recite spelling clearly, and accurately. What I often can't do with words is pronounce them. I read, I know the word, I know the meaning, I pronounce it the way it sounds in my head, and then add a desert drawl.

I had a friend in high school who was an exchange student from Germany. Through, threw, tough, thought etc drove him up the wall, and to throwing his English book across the room saying "I hate this messed up language!!"

And I just cringe at how people use words. "I was literally decimated when he dumped me."  Um, no. No, you weren't.  AUGH!
 
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