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Thread: disoriented/disorientated, disorient/disorientate, orient/orientate, oriented/orientated

  1. #21
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    The OED suggests that orientation may perhaps be "after orientation".
    While noting that orient is less common than orientate in BE, vice versa in AE, it also refers almost all definitions of orientate back to an equivalent definition of orient, but not the other way round.

    Disorientate is based on dis and orientate; disorient on désorienter.
    The orient versions include much older examples than the orientate versions.

    It seems very likely that orient and disorient were the original versions in BE that went across to AE and have remained in use there, uncontaminated by the later introduction in BE of orientate (perhaps from orientation).

    There are many examples of this phenomenon.

  2. #22
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by gaer View Post
    Disorientate(d), according to my own experience, is 100% correct in BE and is declared sub-standard by people in the US because of ignorance!

    Gaer
    I hate to disagree, but the reason we do not use that word has absolutely nothing to do with ignorance. Perhaps you could say that the Americans who condemn "disorientated", condemn it out of ignorance, but the fact that we don't say it is nothing more of a matter of that's just not how we say it here .
    Just another one of the minor differences in our two completey legitimate forms of English...nothing to argue or call names over.

    Quote Originally Posted by whatonearth View Post
    I'm sure we've had this debate before. Was quite a while ago though I think...anyway, it comes down to;
    Oriented = AE
    Orientated = BE
    That is all. ; P
    I completely agree.
    Just a minor difference (that wouldn't even hinder communication); nothing more even needs to be said.
    No hay mal que por bien no venga

  3. #23
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by panjandrum View Post
    Disorientate is based on dis and orientate; disorient on désorienter.
    Hi, Panj. I'm having trouble getting my head round the distinction you are drawing here: are you saying that désorienter is not based on dés and orienter?

  4. #24
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    It's just another one of those words that have become corrupted by Americans (no offence meant - I just mean it has changed) so there are now two ways of saying it and both speakers think the other is wrong! Personally I give a little shudder when I hear 'disoriented' but that's just because it sounds wrong to my British ears!

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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Redline2200 View Post
    Just another one of the minor differences in our two completey legitimate forms of English...nothing to argue or call names over.


    I completely agree.
    Just a minor difference (that wouldn't even hinder communication); nothing more even needs to be said.
    Except that La Reine V said the following was true of BE:

    When we are disoriented we can't navigate our way between east and west, or any other direction for that matter, when we've had a few.

    I don't agree with her, but other Brits may.

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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Tompion View Post
    Hi, Panj. I'm having trouble getting my head round the distinction you are drawing here: are you saying that désorienter is not based on dés and orienter?
    The distinction is that disorient came into English fully-formed.
    Disorientate was formed in English from dis- and orientate; orientate may well have been formed as a derivation from orientation.

    The overall points being to suggest that:
    the orient versions are older than orientate versions and
    the AE preference for orient versions is a consequence of their having emigrated using the older versions.

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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Tompion View Post
    Except that La Reine V said the following was true of BE:

    When we are disoriented we can't navigate our way between east and west, or any other direction for that matter, when we've had a few.

    I don't agree with her, but other Brits may.
    Yeah, it just leaves me confused when I am also hearing things like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by moo mouse View Post
    Personally I give a little shudder when I hear 'disoriented' but that's just because it sounds wrong to my British ears!
    I guess I don't know who to believe.
    No hay mal que por bien no venga

  8. #28
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Redline2200 View Post
    Corrupted eh? You Britons ever use the word "connotation" over there? This would be the case of a negative one attributed to your little word.

    Haha, I'm just playing with you, I just think it is a little comical how every time Americans and Britons start to talk about the English language we can never do it without using loaded words like "corrupted." Does it seem like we can't discuss the issue without someone out of the two groups immediately assuming their form of English is the only correct form in the world?

    How about "evolved" next time instead of "corrupted by the Americans"? It might make more people want to take you seriously .
    Ok I take your point!
    I also stand corrected by panj:
    Quote Originally Posted by panjandrum View Post
    The distinction is that disorient came into English fully-formed.
    Disorientate was formed in English from dis- and orientate; orientate may well have been formed as a derivation from orientation.

    The overall points being to suggest that:
    the orient versions are older than orientate versions and
    the AE preference for orient versions is a consequence of their having emigrated using the older versions.
    Next time I won't shudder but will remember the one time co-existence of both words and consider each derivation to hold equal worth!

  9. #29
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Redline2200 View Post
    I guess I don't know who to believe.
    You might be forced to take the view that practice varies across the British Isles. For what it's worth I emailed a friend who is a distinguished British grammarian. He wrote this morning, as follows:
    I dislike orient for orientate, but it is odd that it’s that way round.
    This suggests that he's familiar with both, but then he's always going to the States.
    I wish LRV would expand her view a little, because I'm not conscious of ever hearing orient or disorient in BE, and that agrees with what so many of the books and people are saying.

  10. #30
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Redline2200 View Post
    I hate to disagree, but the reason we do not use that word has absolutely nothing to do with ignorance.
    That is not my point.

    My point is that it is quite easy to check sources. Before making any comment on usage, I check at least one BE source and one AE source. It takes a bit of extra time, but I think it is worth it.

    I was equally ignorant of BE usage here and once told someone that "disorientat" is wrong, not in the US, but wrong. I was embarrassed later on to find out that I had not found "the rest of the story".

    I'm now aware that there is a usage difference, and I've noticed "disorientate" used by UK authors. I've never seen it used by an AE author.

    Panjy has given an excellent summary of the history of "orient/orientate" usage, I think!

    Gaer
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  11. #31
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Tompion View Post
    You might be forced to take the view that practice varies across the British Isles. For what it's worth I emailed a friend who is a distinguished British grammarian. He wrote this morning, as follows:
    I dislike orient for orientate, but it is odd that it’s that way round.
    This suggests that he's familiar with both, but then he's always going to the States.
    I wish LRV would expand her view a little, because I'm not conscious of ever hearing orient or disorient in BE, and that agrees with what so many of the books and people are saying.
    From personal experience I can tell you that "disorientate" is the choice in books written in BE.

    I would say the difference is almost as clear as "flashlight/torch".

    Gaer
    Antwortet mir bitte auf Deutsch! Ich schreibe nur auf Englisch, weil ich meine Gedanken so präziser ausdrücken kann.

  12. #32
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    For those who would argue that orient/disorient is unknown in the UK, I offer this quote from Robert Burchfield:

    I have decided to use the shorter form myself in all contexts, but the saving is not great. And one can have no fundamental quarrel with anyone who decides to use the longer of the two words."
    So that is at least one authoritative British source who prefers orient/disorient, although he also puts paid to the American urban myth that orientate is not a word.
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Interesting point, ElaineG...
    Burchfield can hardly be accused of an AE bias, as he was a New Zealander.
    He was also a Rhodes scholar, editor of the third edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage,
    and editor of the OED for nearly thirty years.
    That mod mods best that mods least...with apologies to Th. Jefferson.

  14. #34
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Hand up from a wee corner of the UK.

    I can't bear orientate and disorientate. It's probably something to do with living on the western fringes, or the fact that every family in my part of the world is claimed as ancestry by some crowd of AE-speakers somewhere. I quite happily use orient, oriented, disorient, disoriented - though not often.

    The orientated version is very clunky, particularly in the case of xxxx-oriented. For example, safety-orientated Why should I bother when safety-oriented sounds so much better and is perfectly acceptable.

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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by cuchuflete View Post
    Interesting point, ElaineG...
    Burchfield can hardly be accused of an AE bias, as he was a New Zealander.
    He was also a Rhodes scholar, editor of the third edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage,
    and editor of the OED for nearly thirty years.
    I didn't know he was from New Zealand actually, but I did leave out of my post the key information (which was really the point of the post) that he was an editor of Fowler's and not just some random bloke. Thanks for helping to make sense of my ramblings.
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  16. #36
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by panjandrum View Post
    Hand up from a wee corner of the UK.

    I can't bear orientate and disorientate. It's probably something to do with living on the western fringes, or the fact that every family in my part of the world is claimed as ancestry by some crowd of AE-speakers somewhere. I quite happily use orient, oriented, disorient, disoriented - though not often.

    The orientated version is very clunky, particularly in the case of xxxx-oriented. For example, safety-orientated Why should I bother when safety-oriented sounds so much better and is perfectly acceptable.
    […] Let's call the whole thing off. <humming famous song>

    I assume you are indicating your preference and not what you consider "more correct"!

    For me the the best part about being reasonably knowledgeable about both AE and BE is that it gives me more choices. If disorientate disorients me, I can make my own judgement or judgment.

    Gaer
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  17. #37
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by gaer View Post
    […]
    I assume you are indicating your preference and not what you consider "more correct"! [...]
    That's right. It's clear from the evidence that both are correct and both are currently used in BE.

  18. #38
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Quote Originally Posted by panjandrum View Post
    That's right. It's clear from the evidence that both are correct and both are currently used in BE.
    I was 99% sure, just wanted to confirm my assumption.

    Gaer
    Antwortet mir bitte auf Deutsch! Ich schreibe nur auf Englisch, weil ich meine Gedanken so präziser ausdrücken kann.

  19. #39
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    This is something I just researched and that is why I am late to this topic. Anyway, I prefer to "disorient" over "disorientate." The latter just seems like overkill. In fact, what sparked me to research this was because I was watching a DVD that had a British narrator and he said "disorientate" and it just didn't sound right to me.

    [moderator note: Welcome to the forum! Your off-topic comments were removed. Please search for "pronunciate" using the search function and add any relative comments there.]
    Last edited by JamesM; 3rd November 2007 at 3:40 AM.

  20. #40
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    Re: disoriented/disorientated

    Both are correct.

    I use both, but prefer disorientated.

    To me, when i hear disorient, I can't help but think of someone who has been taken out of the East. LOL!
    NZF

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