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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2018-08-07 11:08:59

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1607

"Underscore" as deprecate

The metaphorical underscore means to emphasize. But for those who read score as evaluate, underscoring will be understood to mean “de-emphasize” or “underestimate” or “downplay”. A contracorn.

This linkage between fisheries management and compliance in no way underscores the central importance of an effective system of enforcement. … 22&f=false

Saying yes to the circumstances that transpire in no way underscores their impact on our life.

Despite that our software are user friendly, Performance Development Centre does not underscore the need for continued training of clients to better and fully utilize the systems to their benefit. … opment.php

The source of this one was student writing.



#2 2018-08-07 11:37:59

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2258

Re: "Underscore" as deprecate

Blending with undercut and similar words is likely involved. I like it!

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#3 2018-08-30 09:23:16

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2671

Re: "Underscore" as deprecate

You seem to have snapped a picture of a radical semantic shift in a popular metaphor. Perhaps “underscore” is going the way of “begs the question” and “a sight for sore eyes” and “spendthrift.”

A possible influence on this semantic move is the ambiguity of the “striking mark” meaning of “score.” When we use “score” by itself, it usually means to “efface.” We score an unwanted phrase out of a manuscript. Putting the line under the phrase, however, is a mark of hyperinclusion. We want to keep the phrase.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



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