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Re: [YAEUT] Lexical variation survey

From:JR <fuscian@...>
Date:Monday, May 5, 2008, 0:00
on 5/4/08 8:41 PM, Kelly Drinkwater at mizunomi@GMAIL.COM wrote:

> Hey all, > I'm conducting a quick survey on lexical variation for my intro ling > class, and I thought it would be interesting to survey conlangers, to > see if being a language enthusiast / very conscious of language has > any effect. > > I would really appreciate your help here -- it'll only take a few > minutes. And rest assured that your data will be anonymized. > > So it would be great if you could reply (and reply-all if you feel > like it, but I don't want to swamp the list with people's filled-out > surveys) and fill out the following. (I'll post any noteworthy results > for further discussion if there's interest.) > > (adapted from the McGill Dialectology and Sociolinguistics Lab's > "North American Regional Vocabulary Survey") > > Date of birth: > Sex: > Where do you currently live? (city, state/province, country) > Please list the places you've lived between age 4 and age 18, with the > most recent first: > Occupation: > Highest level of education completed: > Ethnic heritage: > > What is/are your native language(s)?
June 14, 1982 Male Jerusalem, Israel Long Island, New York Unemployed Bachelor's degree E. European Jewish English
> Roughly how many years have you been conlanging or studying linguistics? > > How many years ago did you first encounter / begin reading (not > necessarily join / begin posting on) an online conlanging community?
About 10 years for both
> For each of the following items, please choose which word you use most > often, or put the word you do use if it's not a choice. Feel free to > leave comments if some aspect of your usage is noteworthy (eg if you > are > > 1. the metal device over a sink or bathtub that controls the flow of water: > faucet, spigot, tap
> 2. the apparatus from which you'd get a drink of water in a public place: > bubbler, drinking fountain, water fountain
Water fountain
> 3. the device that firefighters attach their hoses to: > fire hydrant, fire plug
Fire hydrant
> 4. the container in which you'd put water for washing the car or the floor: > bucket, pail
Either one. They're usually but not always interchangeable, and it's hard to sort it out. A bucket can be bigger than a pail, I think, and I think it would be a pail that one would fill with sand at a beach. And perhaps, everything else aside, a bucket is more likely to be full of something, and a pail to be empty. Not really sure though.
> 5. a machine that performs banking services: > ATM, automated teller, bank machine, cash machine, cash point, > guichet, hole in the wall, money machine, commercial name (eg MAC > machine, Instant Teller, Instabank)
> 6. stuff you throw away: > garbage, rubbish, trash
I think coarser and dirtier material, such as that in a dumpster, on the street, or even in the kitchen garbage, has a better chance of being called trash than does, say, a collection of paper products one might find in an office. But either way, garbage is number one, and trash comes in second. (I don't use 'rubbish' in this capacity, though I've gotten used to hearing it from Brits living here.)
> 7. the wheeled conveyance you put your groceries in while shopping: > basket, buggy, cart, trolley
Shopping cart. Cart alone sounds kind of slangy and abbreviated, but I do sometimes use it, particularly if the object is already established in discourse, or by implication if I'm in a (super)market at the time.
> 8. a shallow pan for frying eggs or meat: > fry pan, frying pan, griddle, skillet, spider
Frying pan. Egads, are there actually people who call something relating to food after a type of bug? Takes away my appetite....
> 9. a piece of chocolate, 4-6 inches long: > bar, candy bar, chocolate bar
If it's purely chocolate, or has nuts or a fruit-flavored or cream filling: chocolate bar. If it's got wafers, nougat, and/or caramel: a candy bar. My appetite's back.
> 10. a carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage, like Coke or Sprite: > coke, cola, cold drink, fizzy drink, pop, soda, soda pop, soft drink, tonic
Soda. Soft drink is an irritating marketing term. Tonic is something that goes with gin. Coke is short for Coca-Cola (if not cocaine), and cola is a catch-all for Coca-Cola, Pepsi, & the like.
> 11. cooking outside over a charcoal grill in the summertime: > barbecuing, grilling, grilling out, having a cookout
Barbecuing. I haven't very often heard or said 'cookout', but anyway it denotes not merely food preparation, but an event - and besides that I associate it especially with summer-camp-type settings.
> 12. a cold sandwich on a foot-long roll: > sub(marine), hero, hoagie, grinder
> 13. the sweet, creamy layer on top of a cake: > frosting, icing
Either one. Frosting might have a slight lead. Icing is better though for something simple and delicate, like a basic sugar & water mixture, though that can also be called glazing.
> 14. your main evening meal: > dinner, supper
Dinner. Supper is a little odd: it can sound kind of more down-to-earth and homey, or it can sound more sophisticated than dinner; either way though, I scarcely use it.
> 15. food picked up and taken home to eat: > carry-out, take-away, take-out
Take-out. (Take-away is used in Hebrew and "Israeli English", and my head spins a bit when I hear/see it - it sounds more like a theft than a proper transaction.)
> 16. an appliance on which you heat food in saucepans: > cooker, range, stove
The kind that's at the top of an oven is a stove. A small, portable one is a hotplate.
> 17. knives, forks, and spoons: > cutlery, flatware, silverware, utensils
I prefer silverware, but when non-metal objects are being referenced it sounds odd, so then I'm likely to say utensils, which is more inclusive (of both materials and types). Plasticware is also an option, where appropriate. Cutlery is a fancier term which I might use to sound pretentious, and flatware is just beyond the edge of my lexicon (maybe I've seen it in a catalog somewhere?).
> 18. contact someone by telephone: > call, phone, ring, telephone, buzz
Call, mainly.
> 19. the toilet facilities in a public place: > bathroom, facilities, ladies' room / men's room, lavatory, loo, > restroom, toilet, washroom, WC, john
Bathroom is more natural, but restroom seems more "proper" the more public and less personal the setting, and so, in such a setting I'd be more likely to say restroom if asking a stranger for its location - though I might revert to bathroom if referring to it later, in more at-ease conversation.
> 20. athletic shoes worn with jeans as casual footwear: > gym shoes, plimsolls, runners, running shoes, sneakers, tennis shoes, > trainers, brand name (eg Adidas)
Sneakers. Running shoes and tennis shoes are specific types of sneakers designed for use with those sports. The other terms are not familiar to me.
> 21. a sweatshirt with front pockets and a hood: > hooded sweatshirt, hoodie, kangaroo jacket, bunnyhug
Hooded sweatshirt
> 22. a piece of furniture that seats 3 people: > couch, chesterfield, davenport, divan, settee, sofa
Couch. Sofa sounds about as natural, but for some reason I rarely utter it.
> 23. a piece of furniture with drawers for socks, underwear, etc.: > bureau, chest (of drawers), drawers, dresser, highboy
Dresser. A chest is primarily either a dresser that's not for clothes, or a glorified dresser-width box that is for clothes or anything else (also called a trunk). Bureau is a fancy French word that I'm not sure how to use.
> 24. the last letter of the alphabet: > zed, zee
> 25. the place where you pay for something in a store: > cash, cash register, cashier, check-out, till
Cash register, which technically refers only to the machine used there. Check-out can be used too for a large store, but there's some interference from 'the check-out counter', which is one's last stop before borrowing or renting something at a library or video store. Cashier is not used so much to refer to the "place", it being mainly reserved for the actual person manning the cash register (in many but not all types of stores).
> Thanks so much for participating! > -Alioth
Josh Roth