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Stuff and Nonsense! – Grammar et al

Stuff and nonsense is an exclamation of incredulity! 

I think, perhaps that I favour the Aussie alternative of Codswallop.  A term derived from a derogatory description for a new craze of drinking fizzy water in the late 1800s.  Hiram Codd developed the first bottle with a lid that kept the fizzy water fizzy, and wallop is the Aussi slang for a beer. 

Stuff; it is a word I use far too frequently.  It is as bad as using an um or an ah just to keep the centre stage in a conversation.  Instead of pausing to reflect what is the right and proper word to use we tend to substitute stuff instead.  It is just too easy to exploit this all encompassing noun.   It describes things that need not necessarily be particularised.  That makes it a nonsense word, even though those you are talking to will usually get your meaning.

Codswallop-581401200-large

I am embarrassed to admit that a couple of years ago a newspaper reporter phoned me for a quote on the 2012 Sailing opportunities in the Weymouth and Portland borough.  I used the stuff word twice in my response.  He printed what I had actually said word for word.  Pah!  A lesson learned.  Never again will I talk ‘off the cuff’ to a reporter. 

Or perhaps I just mean cobblers!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwIWEB7wEKc&feature=related

6.9

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3 Comments »

  1. Last time I looked there were 17 posts on WordPress this morning where the authors had included stuff in their Blog. Of course it sums up everything – this is my point! Not all stuff is good though. Some stuff is definitely crap especially when it is quoted in the paper!

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  2. guess it is all down to when to use formal and informal language language. having studied “clean language” science of using simple unambigiouslanguage to encourage devlopment of metaphors within discussion i see a place for both – not in the press though(or prhaps stuff has a place to play in cleaver eyecatching headlines – another topic i guess).

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