Dust Mite Rodeo wrote:
I guess we know how to push your buttons!
Gah! I used an emoticon!
Almost...you should've said "I guess we know how to depress your buttons!"
Ducatista wrote:Most of your examples aren't apt, because the modified root is not itself a common word. To make a direct comparison, you'd have to pair descend with cend, or decline with cline, or deplete with plete.
Ducatista, keep in mind I do realize that I can not win this argument and that it is strictly internal reasoning guiding this discussion - nonetheless, I find it necessary to question outside reasoning. You say the modified root (though I would refer to it as "modifiable") itself is not a "common word" when in fact, the modified root is not a word at all. That is why we use prefixes, in order to determine what the intent is. When you add "de" to "cline, cend, plete, ter, nounce, lay" it creates a negating connotation.
Ducatista wrote:Want another crazy de- word to fret over? How about declaim.
Had me stumped for a moment on how to respond to this... but upon reading definitions, this example almost proves my point further. "Declaim" may not have a negating connotation overall, but it is still notably different than "claim" - its definition implies orating, or making a public announcement among an audience. Meanwhile "claim" on it's own is not distinguished as a public announcement. Also, it is relavant to point out that among it's definitions its meaning includes: "to inveigh (usually fol. by against): He declaimed against the high rents in slums." Again, although not a bottom line rule, yet another example of negating effect .
The issue I have with "depress" is that it is used when speaking of pressing any sort of device, whether it is downwards, upwards, sideways, backwards, etc. I am all for additional synonyms to the word "press", I just think that if you are going to add a "de" to it instead of using a different word completely, than its definition should be a bit more distinguishing.
Ducatista wrote:If you hold a debossed business card over your head and look up at it, it doesn't become an embossed card, right?
I don't know you tell me - ruling out declaim (I think there is adequate evidence to support the fact the definition of claim changes significantly when adding "de") when else does the prefix "de" added to a root word or modifiable portion of a word (I know there is a name for this but it's eluding me, not deluding me) not have a marked effect on it's definition. So far we have, de-press, and de-boss (which was only included in a handful of online dictionaries I referenced).