Guy Letourneau guy1656 at OPUSNET.COM
Sat Apr 24 16:34:59 UTC 2010

'Attenuator' is also used as a traffic engineering term for an onramp
which narrows from two lanes to one within a zone of intentional
vagueness, such as the end of a center dividing line of stripes, so as
to reduce the speed of traffic entering from the on ramp.

In this case 'attenuate' seems more like dissipating the speed of the
entering vehicles.

For the use of 'paying attention,' may once humbly seggest
'concentrate,' or 'focus?'

By the way, is there a term for selecting (or inventing) a longer
syllable word in order to sound more educated? Examples:

- 'Orientate' when 'align' or 'orient' may work

- 'Electronic' for 'electrical,' and even 'electronical [sic]' for

- 'precondition' for 'condition,'
  also 'pre-planning' (isn't 'planning' already in advance of the event?)

Also, what about 'close out of' or 'exit out of' heard mostly on
computer tech support calls?

Shouldn't 'close the window' or 'exit the program' be sufficient?


The American Dialect Society -

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