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Close minded or closed minded?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by boardslide315, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. boardslide315 Senior Member

    English, USA
    A friend of mine asked me today which was correct, and I honestly didn't know....Google results are roughly even for both, with a slight bias towards "closed minded."

    So which is right, close minded or closed minded? Or could it be that they are both correct?
     
  2. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    Think about it grammatically.

    It describes someone who has a close mind. :cross:

    It describes someone who has a closed mind.:tick:
     
  3. boardslide315 Senior Member

    English, USA
    ...but consider "close parentheses" or "close quotes"
     
  4. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I believe the correct phrase is "close-minded", and it's opposite is "open-minded", not "opened-minded". :)
     
  5. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I would say "closed parentheses."

    JamesM, if you work out that sentence:

    Someone who has a closed mind. :tick:

    Someone who has a close mind.:cross:

    Someone who has an open mind.:tick:

    Someone who has an opened mind. :cross: (Means something else in this context)

    I still stand by my previous post. :)
     
  6. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    I would go with closed minded.
    Closed being the opposite of open.

    .,,
     
  7. boardslide315 Senior Member

    English, USA
  8. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I believe it's closed parentheses and closed quotes.
     
  9. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    I agree.

    .,,
     
  10. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Language is not always logical. :) Several dictionaries refer to "closed-minded" as a variant of "close-minded". I also still stand by my previous post. :)

    By the logic you applied, it should be "It was a shorted-circuited connection", since the "the circuit is shorted", not "the circuit is short." ;)
     
  11. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    This is true, but at the same time, just because you use it does not make it grammatically correct. I think many people believe it to be correct because of a variant in speech.
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Idiomatic phrases are often grammatically incorrect.
     
  13. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I don't think that follows my logic. I think short-circuit is a form of a verb. When something short-circuits, a fuse is blown (or whatever happens). The past participle of that verb that is commonly accepted as "short-circuited" because the short-circuit as a verb has already been established. Also, you have the verb "to short" which accounts for your other example. So you have two instances:

    1. Short-circuit (verb) becomes short-circuited

    2. A circuit (noun) becomes a shorted circuit (noun with participle adjective)

    To close is a special instance. The past participle indicates one thing, and an infinitive that means another:

    Closed : not open

    [To] close : an action

    Please tell me if you find something wrong with this jibber jabber.
     
  14. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    But the circuit shorted and we've made a two word verb out of it (a short circuited lamp) and the mind closes (a closed mind). Why would we make both "short" and "circuit" past tense?:confused:
     
  15. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    The mind is closed. closed-minded :cross:
    The circuit is shorted. shorted-circuited :cross:

    I think it's a valid parallel. Yes, we have the phrase "short-circuited." I'm saying we also have the phrase "close-minded". Neither one can be expanded out to a full sentence and have it make sense. What I'm saying is that the test (of expanding it into a full sentence) is not a valid method to prove or disprove the correctness of the phrase. :)

    "Short circuit" was a noun before it was a verb. In fact, it really doesn't work as verb if speaking about a circuit. You "short" a circuit. You don't "short-circuit" a circuit. The circuit is "shorted". You close a mind. The mind is closed.

    If "short-circuited" is valid for a circuit that is shorted, I don't see why "close-minded" is not valid for a mind that is closed.
     
  16. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Just to answer your question before we go further down this path, they are both correct, according to several dictionaries. "Closed-minded" is listed as a variant of "close-minded." I wish I had an OED. It's so wonderful in tracing the history of a phrase through examples.
     
  17. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I don't believe close-minded is valid because there is no verb in English called "to close-mind." There is a verb "to short-circuit" which is why "short-circuited" is a valid past participle of that verb.

     
  18. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    You can believe what you wish. :) Dictionaries list "close-minded" as valid.

    We can agree to disagree about the logic of the phrase, but that does not erase "close-minded" from all the dictionaries of the world.

    Just google "close-minded definition" and see for yourself.
     
  19. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    No, but you're just proving my point.

    "Open-minded" is not a past-participle. It is a derivative of the statement "the mind is open." :tick:

    "Absent-minded" is not a past-participle. It is a derivative of the statement "the mind is absent." :tick:

    "Dirty-minded" is not a past-participle. It is a derivative of the statement "the mind is dirty." :tick:

    "Close-minded" is not a past-participle. It is a derivative of the statement "the mind is close." :cross:
     
  20. boardslide315 Senior Member

    English, USA
    darn, you read it before i could delete it :eek:

    I understand your point, but logic isn't always a valid tool for proving an English grammar rule..
     
  21. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I don't doubt that people use it, and dictionaries often reflect tendencies of the spoken language. My point is, however, that close-minded, while an adequate idiomatic expression these days, has no basis in grammar, and is just a spoken derivative of "closed-minded." It does not make it wrong, it just, technically, makes it grammatically incorrect. Since they're both acceptable, I think it might make more sense for the learner to use the one that is grammatically correct since he can then transform that phrase and use it in the sentence "the mind is closed," and not make a mistake by saying, "the mind is close."
     
  22. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    Of course not, but in a specific situation like this, it's useful in helping a learner understand the language. ;)
     
  23. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Absolutely. I have seen, on menus, the items "fry chicken", "ice milk", French-fry potatos". All commonly used because they slip into the language slowly but surely but they are grammatically incorrect and although we will all agree to disagree on "closed minded", I'm all for trying to correct the slippage.:)
     
  24. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Actually, a much older opposite of "open" was "close" (pronounced with a hard "s", as in "hold me close".) It could be that "close-minded" comes from this meaning of "close", which is the first definition of the adjective in Webster's:

    close, a. [ME close, close; OFr. clos, from clore, to shut.]

    1. shut fast; tight; made fast, so as to have no opening; as, a close box.

    (This is from the 1970 edition of Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary)


    Hockey13 is under the impression that "close-minded" is a variant of an original phrase of "closed-minded". I believe it is the opposite. It does appear to be a phrase in transition. I'm still searching for evidence of the age of "close-minded", but I do know that it is listed in a 1913 dictionary. If anyone has access to the OED, please let us know what it says.

    Here are a few older references I have found:

    Upper Annandale: Its History and Traditions by Agnes Marchbank, 1901

    "The king seems to have been close-minded as well as close-fisted. He began his
    great work by arresting Lord Maxwell, ..."


    An Autobiography: My Schools and Schoolmasters; Or, The Story of My Education
    By Hugh Miller, 1865

    "I enjoyed among my companions the reputation of being what they termed "
    close-minded ;" and Danie, satisfied, in some sort, that I deserved the character, ..."



    I imagine that Hockey13 would like to alter all the "close" phrases to "closed": "close-fisted", "close-mouthed", etc. Indeed, that may be what happens over time. As he says, it is logical, and sometimes logic wins in a language over time. It's important to know that phrases are also living history, though (in my opinion), and that they do exist and have existed long before us, as logical or illogical as they may be. :)
     
  25. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I believe you have to go back a while before you get to the crossover between close as a participle and closed as a participle. For as long as people have said "closed-minded," I don't doubt that it has been misheard to be close-minded. The age of this misunderstanding would only verify the age of the phrase in the first place.

    However, I am mostly under the impression that the phrase came about as a derivation of the phrase, "the mind is closed." Can you imagine another way?
     
  26. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Yes. I can imagine that it is from "his mind is close", from the older meaning of the word "close." The phrase is old, and words shift in meaning of time. There are too many of these phrases to consider it simply a mishearing or mispronunciation, in my opinion.
     
  27. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    I just typed this: closedminded. The suggestion to correct the wrong spelling: close-minded.

    Using "openedminded" does not even bring up a suggestion.

    These are both accepted:

    closed-minded
    opened-minded

    However, both "closeminded" and "openminded" immediately bring up the suggestions:

    close-minded
    open-minded

    I'm happy with either set—since when has English been logical—but I would probably pick, as my preferences:

    close-minded:tick:
    open-minded:tick:

    I would not get very excited if anyone disagreed. ;)

    Gaer
     
  28. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    For argument's sake, let's say that the first written example of "close-minded" dates back to 1750. Let's also say the first written example of "closed-minded" dates back to 1920. Since we only have the written word to base any judgments about age of a phrase, in this hypothetical situation would you accept that "close-minded" was the original phrase and "closed-minded" was the variant?
     
  29. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    Yes, I agree that it is possible that closed-minded could have derived from close-minded under certain circumstances, but at the moment, your argument is dependent on "close" being the former past participle for "to close," and if you prove that, you've convinced me that it's possible. You have made your point that it is accepted by many people (at least in this country). However, getting back to the original point, I think it's more helpful to the learner to learn "closed-minded" as it agrees in grammar.

    Incidentally, do you understand my argument before about the difference between short-circuit as a verb a shorted circuit as a participle+noun? This is crucial to understanding why "close-minded" is grammatically incorrect. You are right about how when something is accepted, it is essentially what is right when it comes to languages, but at the same time, it didn't appear that you understood the grammar before.
     
  30. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    If the sistuation is as you describe it, I would say your idea is reasonable.

    Is there some reason you are not using the quote function to answer? I can't tell who you are answering. This destroys the logic of the conversation.

    Gaer
     
  31. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I did quote in my most recent post. I apologize if I haven't done so earlier.
     
  32. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    I don't think it is ever helpful for someone learning to learn a variant first if the variant is less common.

    But in this case both forms (regardless of which form is the variant) seems to be used with just about equal frequency.

    To me the logical choice is to pick either—whatever feels most convenient—then realize that you will see both forms.

    Incidentally, do you understand my argument before about the difference between short-circuit as a verb a shorted circuit as a participle+noun? This is crucial to understanding why "close-minded" is grammatically incorrect. You are right about how when something is accepted, it is essentially what is right when it comes to languages, but at the same time, it didn't appear that you understood the grammar before.
     
  33. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    And if I hadn't heard so many English learners say something like, "The door is close," I would agree with you!
     
  34. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I am off to bed now. It was nice debating with you JamesM and Gaer! We should do it again some time.:D
     
  35. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    US-English
    Do you know what the strangest thing is?

    I had no idea which spelling was correct, preferred, original, etc., but the first thing I thought of is that "close" has two pronunciations, while "closed" has only one.

    Did you think of that? "Closed-minded" (clozdminded), no problem, but "close-minded" might be incorrectly pronounced by someone learning as "close-minded", with "close" rhyming with "dose", causing a possible mispronunciation.

    And I'm off to bed too. ;)
     
  36. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    [
    Actually, no it doesn't depend on that. "Open" is not the past participle for "open"; "opened" is. I have already shown that "close" (with a hard "s") is an adjective meaning "shut firmly". All that remains is to date the relative age of the two phrases. :)
     
  37. rob_h New Member

    USA, English
    I was looking this up today for a paper I was grading and happened upon your question. OED lists only close-minded. (I'd always used closed-minded, myself.) I have several different guides on style and usage--not one discusses the two variants. American Heritage, fourth ed. lists "closed-minded" as a variant of close-minded, so the latter seems the preferred in both UK and American English.

    Rob
     
  38. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    The word is close-minded.

    Close is an adjective, meaning "tight" or "narrow" or "confined" or "occupying a small space" or "extremely limited in extent" or "carefully guarded".

    Surely people are familiar with the adjective "close" used in these common ways:
    It was a very close election; Nixon lost to Kennedy by a narrow margin.
    Sailors on submarines live in close quarters.
    He prefers to have a close haircut.
    It was a close-kept secret.
    The prisoner was kept under close custody.

    To be close-minded means that your mind is narrow and confined, and closely guarded against new ideas.
     
  39. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hello rob_h, and welcome :)
    I see also that the OED lists close-minded under close (adjective/adverb) - nothing under closed, or close (verb). Earliest reference, 1854.

    British National Corpus:
    No entries for close-minded.
    Two entries for closed-minded.

    Time Magazine Corpus:
    One for close-minded.
    Five for closed-minded.

    Google Counts
    Not a great deal of difference, closed- more than close-
     
  40. Driven

    Driven Senior Member

    USA/English
    Obviously you can use either one and please half the people all the time.:)
     
  41. cjvideopro New Member

    Atlanta, GA
    English - American
    I found this thread today when my video producer asked me, the copywriter, which term was correct. I told him I believed "closed-minded" was correct, but that I would do some research to try to figure out the absolute correct term.

    Reading this thread did little to shed light on the issue, as both sides of the debate made good points. Finally, I turned to my own logic, and this is what I came up with.

    We are debating a phrase that is meant to describe a person, which would make the phrase an adjective. You say, "The door is open" or "The door is closed." You do not say "The door is close", because "close" is a verb. Therefore, when you substitute the word "door" for "mind", you get "The mind is closed." "Closed-minded" should be the correct answer, logically.
     
  42. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Hello cjvideopro - and welcome to WordReference :)

    The OED lists close-minded as parasynthetic.
    As what?
    I had to look that up.
    In English grammar applied to compounds one of whose elements includes an affix which relates in meaning to the whole compound; e.g. black-eyed ‘having black eyes’ where the suffix of the second element, -ed (denoting ‘having’), applies to the whole, not merely to the second element.​
     
  43. cjvideopro New Member

    Atlanta, GA
    English - American
    I can understand "black-eyed" because black is an adjective. "Close" (the antonym of the verb open) is not an adjective--it is a verb. Therefore saying "close-minded" would be a verb trying to act as an adjective, while "closed-minded" being used to describe someone makes more sense, since closed is an adjective.

    The fact that it is a parasynthetic has nothing to do with my argument, unfortunately, although I do appreciate the effort (and that I learned a new term!)
     
  44. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I should, perhaps, have mentioned that the entry about close-minded appears at the end of the OED entry for close (adjective). The OED has 20 distinct definitions for close as an adjective. For some of them, see close.
     
  45. ehsang New Member

    Persian
    It is interesting no one is addressing the differences between "adjectives" and "adverbs" and the need for hyphenation.

    Close is not the same as Closed in terms of adjective and adverb.

    Adjective:
    Close = near
    Closed = not open

    Adverb:
    Closely is valid
    Closedly is not valid and we would have to use a synonym such as secretly or covertly.

    The combination of "closed-minded" by itself is an adjective: He is closed-minded.

    This is a combination that is comprised of a set: "adjective-past participle". The adjective is "closed" and the past participle is "minded".

    This combination means a mind that is closed to outside influence.

    This combination is in contrast to the "close-minded" combination which really means "near-minded" or a mind that is near to a subject of an inquiry.

    For this combination, you can use either an adjective or an adverb, such as "Closed-minded" or "Psychologically minded". However, the difference is the hyphen! If you use the adjective in order to create a combination then you will need a hyphen as in "closed-minded". Thus, you can not use "closed minded". But if you use psychologically minded, you do not need a hyphen as you are using an adverb with a past participle.
     
  46. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Interesting suggestions, ehsang, but the previous posts, and examples of use, do not support "close-minded" as meaning "near-minded" in any sense. There appears to be no difference in meaning between "close-minded" and "closed-minded" - only a matter of choice.
    Many of the dictionary definitions of "close", adjective, are directly equivalent to the common understanding of "closed" rather than "near".
     
  47. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    Sorry, but you are mistaken (although not as grossly and ludicrously mistaken as those who baselessly claim that "close" is only a verb, and not an adjective.)

    It is a rare word in English that has only one definition. Looking at the Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary that I keep near my desk, I find these definitions for the adjective "close":
    and so on. You may also look at other definitions here:
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/close

    Certainly, to describe a mind as "close" rather than "closed" is a great deal more evocative of how such a mind works. It might also be noted that the oldest meaning of "closed" as an adjective" was "enclosed" rather than its modern meaning of "having no openings", which sense would have originally been carried by the adjective... close!
     
  48. ehsang New Member

    Persian
    Maybe. But you may be wrong, too, as the adjective can be used either way and in multiple ways. But to think that your reasoning is correct and the rest are incorrect, is the biggest mistake yet!
     
  49. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    Definitely.

    Excuse me, but that was exactly my point in providing multiple defintions of the adjective "close". You were the one who claimed that "close" as an adjective had only one meaning, and that this sole meaning was "near". Such a claim is insupportable.

    While your attempt to be insulting is clear, the actual meaning of this statement is not. Where have I used reasoning that is incorrect? Are you trying to argue that it is not erroneous to claim that close can function as an adjective, or that as an adjective it has more than one definition?
     
  50. Estiben

    Estiben Junior Member

    Minnesota, USA
    English USA
    I will accept that logic. Of course it means that "close-minded" should be pronounced with the hard "s", rather than the "z" sound, and I have never heard it pronounced that way.
     

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