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#25340 - 03/11/13 08:35 AM A Fulsome Reply
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Also just passing through ...

RE
Quote:
Thanks for a fulsome reply...


Wrong word (in italics):
Fulsome is related to foul and means odious or overfull, offensively insincere. Ergo, "fulsome reply" isn't something like lavish response; it is unctuous and insincere reply. I doubt that you were trying to insult the respondent.


Edited by dianne (03/11/13 01:40 PM)

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#25342 - 03/11/13 10:45 AM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: grelber]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Really?

My Merriam-Webster has, as the primary meaning:

1 a : characterized by abundance : copious <describes in fulsome detail — G. N. Shuster> <fulsome bird life. The feeder overcrowded — Maxine Kumin>
b : generous in amount, extent, or spirit <the passengers were fulsome in praise of the plane's crew — Don Oliver> <a fulsome victory for the far left — Bruce Rothwell> <the greetings have been fulsome, the farewells tender — Simon Gray>
c : being full and well developed <she was in generally fulsome, limpid voice — Thor Eckert, Jr.>

Thanks for your offer of a meaning, but I think I'll go with Merriam-Webster.


Edited by ryck (03/11/13 10:47 AM)
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#25343 - 03/11/13 12:46 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: ryck]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
From the Apple dictionary (included with OS X):

WORD NOTE
fulsome
Revenge is a dish best savored when taken cold. At last, some years after writing The Professor and the Madman, I can now have my say in reply to those who accused me of misusing the word fulsome. I imagine I must have had 60 letters from readers, all professing outrage that in the book I had employed the phrase The most fulsome remarks made about the volunteers… and had in doing so misapplied and misunderstood the word grotesquely. Fulsome, they thundered, means "physically loathsome, foul, disgusting." How dare I to misuse it so—and in, of all places, a book about words? Does this not place the credibility of the entire book at stake? Well, I can reply at last: no it does not, because fulsome does mean exactly what I wanted it to mean: "abundant, plentiful, tending to cloying overabundance" usually used in reference to gross or excessive flattery, over-demonstrative affection, or the like. The readers who fulminated so were using out-of-date dictionaries, or prescriptive texts that demanded rather than described how words should, in the opinions of a small band of editors, be used. Fulsome, admittedly once laden with pejorative senses, has lately come to mean "abundant and excessive." Words evolve (as the Oxford English Dictionary constantly reminds us) and they do so evidently rather more rapidly than does the thinking and lexical understanding (this being the revenge, here supped on cold) of some of my correspondents. — SW
Conversational, opinionated, and idiomatic, these Word Notes are an opportunity to see a working writer's perspective on a particular word or usage.

Take your pick.

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#25347 - 03/11/13 01:45 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Actually, your quote is from the thesaurus included with (my) OS X (10.6.8); the Apple Dictionary has nothing to say on the matter: "No entries found."

The dictionary included with OS X 10.6.8 offers

Quote:
fulsome |ˈfoŏlsəm|
adjective
1 complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree : they are almost embarrassingly fulsome in their appreciation.
2 of large size or quantity; generous or abundant : a fulsome harvest.
DERIVATIVES
fulsomely adverb
fulsomeness noun
ORIGIN Middle English (in the sense [abundant] ): from full 1 + -some 1 .
USAGE The earliest recorded use of fulsome, in the 13th century, had the meaning 'abundant,' but in modern use this is held by many to be incorrect. The correct current meaning is 'disgusting because overdone, excessive.' The word is still often used to mean 'abundant, copious,' but this use can give rise to ambiguity: for one speaker, fulsome praise may be a genuine compliment; for others, it will be interpreted as an insult. For this reason alone, it is best to avoid the word altogether if the context is likely to be sensitive. (Emphasis added)

and, supplementing ryck's post, Fulsome - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds

Quote:
Fulsome became a point of dispute when sense 1, thought to be obsolete in the 19th century, began to be revived in the 20th. The dispute was exacerbated by the fact that the large dictionaries of the first half of the century missed the beginnings of the revival. Sense 1 has not only been revived but has spread in its application and continues to do so. The chief danger for the user of fulsome is ambiguity. (Emphasis added)

so while you may be standing on good ground, you're hardly authoritative.


Edited by artie505 (03/11/13 01:59 PM)
Edit Reason: Formatting
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#25348 - 03/11/13 01:47 PM A Fulsome Reply
dianne Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
This branch of posts has been detached from Spyware Question in the Networking forum and moved to the Lounge so discussion of "fulsome" can continue.
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#25353 - 03/11/13 03:35 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
the Apple Dictionary has nothing to say on the matter: "No entries found."

Ah the perils of being a late adopter smile . While the OS X 10.6 version of the Apple Dictionary may report "No Entries Found", the Dictionary in OS X 10.8 cites definitions of "fulsome" from The American English Dictionary, The American English Thesaurus (including the "Revenge is a dish best savored…" quote, The British English Thesaurus, and The British English Dictionary. All are in agreement that the first definition of fulsome is "Complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree…".

On the other hand both the American and English dictionaries are in agreement on the second definition which is, "of large size or quantity; generous or abundant."

So it would appear the the definition could legitimately go either way depending on the intended meaning of the user. Personally I have always intended the second meaning having, until now, been blissfully unaware of the first. I will most likely continue to use fulsome in the context of its second meaning.
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#25354 - 03/11/13 03:46 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: joemikeb]
dkmarsh Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09

I think artie is referring to that dictionary file named, literally, Apple Dictionary (/Library/Dictionaries/Apple Dictionary.dictionary), which has no entry for fulsome.
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#25355 - 03/11/13 03:52 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: grelber]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
Take your pick.

In that case, I'll go with Johnny Cash At Fulsome Prison. laugh
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#25357 - 03/11/13 04:08 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> So it would appear the the definition could legitimately go either way depending on the intended meaning of the user.

Which is in agreement with the "ambiguity" mentioned in both of my quoted sources.


Edited by artie505 (03/11/13 05:50 PM)
Edit Reason: "quoted sources"
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#25358 - 03/11/13 04:10 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

I think artie is referring to that dictionary file named, literally, Apple Dictionary (/Library/Dictionaries/Apple Dictionary.dictionary), which has no entry for fulsome.

Precisely! (Thanks for pointing that out. [Edit:] The Apple Dictionary is, in my experience, limited to tech terms.)

Edit: Who'd have expected anything less than a literal reference from grelber?


Edited by artie505 (03/11/13 04:21 PM)
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#25359 - 03/11/13 04:14 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
Quote:
Take your pick.

In that case, I'll go with Johnny Cash At Fulsome Prison. laugh

Damn!

You beat me to the Johnny Cash reference, but you missed a golden opportunity to take your pick and "pick along with Johnny Cash." frown
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#25360 - 03/11/13 05:25 PM Re: A Fulsome Reply [Re: grelber]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: grelber
Fulsome, they thundered, means "physically loathsome, foul, disgusting." How dare I to misuse it so—and in, of all places, a book about words? Does this not place the credibility of the entire book at stake? Well, I can reply at last: no it does not, because fulsome does mean exactly what I wanted it to mean: "abundant, plentiful, tending to cloying overabundance" usually used in reference to gross or excessive flattery, over-demonstrative affection, or the like. The readers who fulminated so were using out-of-date dictionaries....

Winchester was right about "out of date" dictionaries. I "went analog" and dug out my old unabridged Random House (published 1966) and its definition begins with "offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; gross..."

Thank goodness for Merriam-Webster keeping me from referring to Virtual1's help as something other than, well, fulsome.


Edited by ryck (03/11/13 05:26 PM)
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