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Strange vocabulary choice by The Christian Science Monitor
#1
.
This morning, I went to my favorite source for international news - The Drudgereport - http://www.drudgereport.com - I found a story there that had this headline: Israel tries to tamp down Syrian anger after killing dozens of its elite soldiers

This thread may seem silly to you - like I'm making a mountain out of a molehill and I would have to agree with that. I'm just curious as to why this reporter (Arthur Bright) would use such an obscure word ("tamp") when he could have easily written that headline with a more common word. I'd like to ask if any of you have some idea why he would choose to do that?


I'm posting this thread not because I want to discuss this story. But because I am puzzled by his choice of the word "tamp". I had never heard of that word before and I like to learn new words by looking them up in the dictionary. So I looked it up here - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tamp?s=t

tamp - verb (used with object)
1. to force in or down by repeated, rather light, strokes: He tamped the tobacco in his pipe.
2. (in blasting) to fill (a drilled hole) with earth or the like after the charge has been inserted.

World English Dictionary
1. to force or pack down firmly by repeated blows
2. to pack sand, earth, etc into (a drill hole) over an explosive

I'm curious how many of you have ever heard of this word. It bothers me that the writer of this story would choose to use such an obscure word instead of, writing his headline using more common words. Would any of you have a guess why he would use such an obscure word? I think it forces people who want to know its meaning to take the time and trouble to look it up when the reporter could have easily used some more common word instead. I'm sorry if this seems to be a waste of your time. But I'd really like to understand why he would choose to use such a strange word and I'd like to know if you all would prefer reporters use more common language instead of such obscure words.
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#2
I've heard the word before Wink
Now you've learned a new word ... as you stated, you like to learn new words.
He's the writer of the story and is free to choose whatever words he wants to describe a situation.
Maybe to himself it wasn't such an uncommon word to use.
Maybe he thought it provoked curiosity towards his story.
Who will ever really know without asking the author Tongue

other choices ...
stomp down
force down
tramples down
quiet down
suppress
etc. etc.

Have a good day sweet girl Smile
You Give To The World When You Give Your Best To Somebody Else Hug
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#3
(05-07-2013, 01:24 PM)kath3 Wrote: I've heard the word before Wink

Have a good day sweet girl Smile

I'm glad to know you've heard the word before.

But I need to correct one thing in your post.

I am actually a middle-aged man.

I love sweet girls. But I am not one. Smile Smile Smile
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#4
(05-07-2013, 02:19 PM)AliShibaz Wrote: I am actually a middle-aged man.

I want to say that for awhile I also thought you were a girl Ali, until I saw someone else mention that you weren't. Sorry. Blush So don't feel bad Kath3, you were not alone. It is the avatar that does it, I think.

As regards your question Ali, I did not read the article so I don't know the content of it. I am only basing this theory on the headline alone.

Possibly the author was trying to downplay the actions of the Israelis. I have always regarded 'tamp' is a relatively mild word, used as you said, when in reference to packing a pipe, also patting down the soil around a plant or some other relatively gentle action. That is how I understood it anyhow.

Some of the words Kath3 mentioned, 'stomp', 'force', 'trample', 'suppress', while similar to 'tamp' suggest a more violent or aggresive action, at least to me.

I of course could be way off base, but that is how I see it.
that those with no rights,
display the right to have no life, to have respect they must accept
a world commiting suicide
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#5
it's a politically correct thing. examine the other synonyms, you will see that they can carry a negative connotation. by using a word like 'tamp,' that most people would have to look up and even then, it's less severe than the other options. also, it probably has a lot to do with transliteration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteration
"Yeah. I understand the mechanics of it, shithead. I just don't understand how this is any less retarded than what I'm suggesting." - Kiley; Housebound.
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#6
Sorry AliShibaz, I honestly thought you were a girl going by your name and avatar Blush ... down deep I wish you were a girl as we woman are a rare breed here. We could use more of us gals around here Tongue

... and SkinnyP, you're absolutely right Smile ... my choice of words do convey violence (that nasty twin of mine rises above sometimes ... I need to tamp her down Tongue )
You Give To The World When You Give Your Best To Somebody Else Hug
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