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#1 2020-07-19 06:52:39

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1374

"explicitive" for "expletive"

A few hours ago, in an online discussion, a friend of mine said “explicitive” when she clearly meant “expletive”. I’d never heard this one before and I like it quite a bit, as both the pronunciation similarity and the meaning connection are very clear. I think this is the first mention of it in the Forum, though it is briefly mentioned in this 2005 Eggcorn Database entry on a related form, “explicative”.

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#2 2020-07-19 07:16:46

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2431
Website

Re: "explicitive" for "expletive"

Excellent find!
.
Explicitive is better than explicative for me. When I am expleting I am usually not explaining something people were not aware of or didn’t understand, but I am fairly often being explicit about aspects of it that would not usually be mentioned out loud or directly in public.


*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 .)

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#3 2020-08-26 22:41:56

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2431
Website

Re: "explicitive" for "expletive"

This published just now with regard to the rapper Cardi B, in a Fox news (online) article:

Her comment was in reference to her hit song “WAP,” which has received criticism from listeners for its sexual explicitly.

One might have expected explicity to be a parallel and alternative to explicitness . Conceivably that was written and a spell-checker “fixed” it. Substituting “-ly” for “-ness” is otherwise pretty bizarre―I don’t have any other examples of it.
.
A few paragraphs later:

[…¶…] She went on to explain that she didn’t see the song’s expletives as out of line for the hip-hop industry, and explained that the song is “for adults” rather than children.

The use of expletives in this context probably means something like “(offensively) explicit words/expressions”. I think a lot of people probably suppose it to be derived from or otherwise etymologically related to explicit . There is eggcorning somewhere between that and the original derivation from Latin ex-ple(re)-tivus “filling out (an otherwise blank space in an expression or rhythmic line)”. The idea is that an expletive is a sort of place-holder, inserted for reasons other than the meaning it conveys. For me still, and perhaps for others, part of the idea behind calling swear words and such “expletives” is that if you leave them out it doesn’t much diminish the sense of what is said (and may actually improve the expression of it).
.
Anyhow, it made me think of the discussion above.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2020-08-27 00:04:13)


*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 .)

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