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I need a linguist

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Fred Weiss, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I'm looking for the correct word in the following situation ...

    You're out in a thunderstorm and you see a bolt of lightning and hear a clap of thunder. If you were to put what you just witnessed into words, you might say that it was thundering, but you wouldn't say it was lightninging. What word would you use to describe it?
     
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  2. TwoNine

    TwoNine Active Member

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    ...the conditions were that of thunder and lightning?? :) - Good question...I dunno.
     
  3. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    It's raining?
     
  4. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Electrical storm
     
  5. johnnysigns

    johnnysigns Very Active Member

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    The S hit the F?
     
  6. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    ...A smattering of electrons burst into luminescence, producing an audible report that echoed throughout the valley....

    (I had a wonderful composition teacher, back in the day)
     
  7. Stealth Ryder

    Stealth Ryder Very Active Member

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    Wow Fred, very good question...
     
  8. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Consult our (S101) resident linguist......Bob....from Earth.
     
  9. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    On a further note, lightning is a noun that we tend to use as a verb sometimes...which, as you mentioned, results in nonsense.

    So then, what I'd really like to know is "why do we call them thunderstorms, when thunder is only the byproduct"?

    Like that country song on the radio from a few years ago..."Thunder gets the credit, but it's the lightning that does the work"....

    JB
     
  10. We were going to go outside, but it started to thunder and lightning.

    or if there were multiple thunders and multiple lightnings:

    Yesterday we stayed in because it was thundering and lightning.

    Lightning is both singular and plural, therefore it would not be incorrect to say either

    We stayed in because of all the thundering and lightnings.

    or

    We stayed in because of all the thundering and lightning.
     
  11. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    I failed English class in school quite miserably, but I'll play. Why would one use "thundering" instead of just plain "thunder"? Lightning takes place before thunder. Thunder is the sound of the lightning, (light) which travels faster than sound, therefore.... The current conditions are "lightning and thunder", not thunder(ing) and lightning(ing).
     
  12. Did you hear all that thunder last night?


    It was thundering last night.
     
  13. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Did you hear all that thunder last night? Yes, I saw all the lightning too. That was quite a lightning and thunder storm we had.
     
  14. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Dang...why aint we gettin' any of that stuff here?


    JB
     
  15. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Couldn't find an answer from a linguist - how about this from a humorist:

    “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

    Mark Twain
     
  16. lightning may come first, but around here it's always thunder and lightning....
     
  17. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Yep...just like bacon and eggs. BACON always has to come first...no exceptions.


    JB
     
  18. BUT.... i always order the eggs first....

    yea, i'll have some scrambled eggs, rye toast,... hash browns....and bacon
     
  19. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Sorry to hear that...and, by the way it's always double bacon...I swap the sausage for more bacon.


    JB
     
  20. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    You would not say that it was 'thundering' unless you were referring to something other than thunder. 'Thunder' is the name of the thing. 'Thundering' is what non-thunder things might do.

    You'd say "There [is/was] thunder and lightning" not 'It [is/was] thundering". I should think that in this case the use if 'it is' rather than 'there is' would be informality to the point of almost being slang. In the same vein as 'I'm all..." and it's evil twin "I'm like..."
     
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