[Ads-l] A spade is not a shovel.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 31 12:55:22 EDT 2017


> On Jul 31, 2017, at 12:41 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> Some months ago I purchased a spade whose manufacturer's label described at
> as a "garden shovel."
> 
> In disbelief, I consulted the label on the real shovel. It said "square
> shovel."
> 
> Perhaps "spade," like "paddy wagon," is now thought offensive.
> 
> JL

I’ll believe it when folks start referring to the Ace of Shovels.  

> 
> On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 10:44 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
> 
>>> On Jul 31, 2017, at 3:42 AM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
>> wrote:
>>> 
>>> What would be interesting to know is whether people who regularly use
>> both types of tools use the distinction, in which case “spade” might remain
>> in the US as jargon.
>>> 
>>> When I’m shoveling dirt, I usually use a spade because: 1) it’s lighter,
>> 2) shovels are more common, and 3) it doesn’t occur to me that there is an
>> advantage to using the squarish type.
>>> 
>>> BB
>> 
>> For me, “spade" is a hyponym of “shovel”.  If it’s got a pointed end, it’s
>> a spade (and also a shovel), if not, it’s a shovel (but not a spade).  I
>> have three snow shovels in my garage (different materials and shapes) but
>> no snow spade, but there’s a spade for digging in/up the garden with a nice
>> pointy end.
>> 
>> LH
>>> 
>>>> On 30 Jul 2017, at 23:08, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> “shovel” is US for “spade.”
>>>> 
>>>> Is that true of all 320,000,000 Americans, except for me, do you think?
>> Of
>>>> course, you are relying upon the authority of the Web and there's no
>>>> arguing with that. Perhaps the distinction will die with me, in about
>> five
>>>> years.
>>>> 
>>>> On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 12:05 AM, Barretts Mail <
>> mail.barretts at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> Despite my mom teaching me the difference about four decades ago,
>> they’re
>>>>> all shovels to me. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shovel <
>>>>> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shovel>) says that “shovel” is US for
>>>>> “spade.” BB
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On 30 Jul 2017, at 19:36, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A bunch of guys on TV with spades are calling them "shovels." Aren't
>> you
>>>>>> supposed to call a spade a "spade"? Or is the distinction between a
>> spade
>>>>>> and a shovel being lost, at least among city-folk, since no one uses
>>>>> spades
>>>>>> to dig ditches or uses shovels to shovel coal, anymore?
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> -Wilson
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> --
>>>> -Wilson
>>>> -----
>>>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>>>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>>>> -Mark Twain
>>>> 
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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