Fine

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  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Greetings FairyTESOL,
    Welcome to the forums.

    As our rules (in FAQ, above and to your left) indicate, you need to offer context and a full sample sentence.

    You may also wish to have recourse to our dictionary, at the top center of the page. Just type in 'fine' and select 'English definition'.

    If you need help after that, we will be here.

    regards,
    Cuchuflete
     

    FairyTESOL

    New Member
    English
    Thanks for your reply.
    I have checked different kinds of dictionaries regarding the word "FINE" I need to do semantic analysis of this word. for example: denotation/conotation, amelioration/ pejoration, literal/ figurative. However after a long search I have no idea if the word "fine" has ameliorative or pejorative meanings. Maybe somebody can help me?

    Thanks again!
     
    FairyTESOL said:
    Thanks for your reply.
    I have checked different kinds of dictionaries regarding the word "FINE" I need to do semantic analysis of this word. for example: denotation/conotation, amelioration/ pejoration, literal/ figurative. However after a long search I have no idea if the word "fine" has ameliorative or pejorative meanings. Maybe somebody can help me?

    Thanks again!
    Fine is mostly a compliment. For example, "My friend is a fine person." "It sure is a fine day." So to answer your question I would say that it is ameliorative.

    However, there are cases where fine could be used in a pejorative sense. For example, if someone said "She is a fine piece of ass." which objectifies a woman. NOTE: I am only quoting this as an example. I do not agree with such usage in reference to a person.

    Another example of "fine" in a pejorative sense would be the following dialogue:

    Person 1: "Will you help me carry the trash out?"
    Person 2: "No, I don't feel like it."
    Person 1: "Fine, be that way."

    Is this where you were going? I hope this helps.

    drei
     

    FairyTESOL

    New Member
    English
    That makes sense! Thanks for your help.
    However, what do you think about this sentence " Singapore is a "fine" city". In this context, the word "fine" is not a compliment it means "penalty".
    Is it also called pejorative?
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    FairyTESOL said:
    That makes sense! Thanks for your help.
    However, what do you think about this sentence " Singapore is a "fine" city". In this context, the word "fine" is not a compliment it means "penalty".
    Is it also called pejorative?
    You need to tell us specifically which form of 'fine' you are studying. The adjectival uses are uniformly positive.
    The noun "fine" meaning a monetary penalty, is welcomed by
    a municipality or state as a revenue source, while it is negative for the person who has to pay it.

    My colleague who cited "fine piece of ass" as pejorative has confused the intent of a speaker with the analysis of an observer!
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Understood. Please define "ameliorative". This is a term not in common use for characterizing words. I can't quite understand how a word could ameliorate anything, unless it's a word of encouragement or part of a soothing phrase spoken to a person with an emotional or physical injury.

    Should we take it to mean: having a positive connotation?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    FairyTESOL said:
    Does the word FINE have ameliorative and pejorative meaning?
    Thanks!!!
    Apart from the vagueness associated with the word fine, which has six primary entries in the OED (two nouns, one adjective with 20 definitions, three verbs), you are making a big assumption that we will understand precisely what you mean, in your context, by ameliorative and pejorative.

    It may be clear to the grammar experts amongst us, but I suspect there are many here, including me, who will be wondering what on earth you are getting at.

    Whatever other meanings it has, fine has a particularly interesting current usage among people in the age range 4-18 as a universal, meaningless-but-sounding-positive reply to questions such as "How was your day?" "How are you?"

    I don't think that is pejorative, but it could be ameliorative.

    On the other hand, fine is also used as a one-word response to a conversation-ending statement in a dialogue such as
    "Well I'm going to go to Paris for the Rugby match anyway."
    "Fine."
    In that context it carries all the overtones of "OK, go if you like, but you'll never hear the end of it and be bloody sure I'll get you back in spades."
    Is that what you mean by pejorative? It certainly isn't ameliorative.
     

    FairyTESOL

    New Member
    English
    Pejoration
    Pejoration is the process by which a word's meaning worsens or degenerates, coming to represent something less favorable than it originally did.
    For instance, the word silly meant "blessed " in Old English times ", and now it means lack of common sense.

    Amelioration
    Amelioration is the process by which a word's meaning improves or becomes elevated, coming to represent something more favorable than it originally referred to.
    or example, the English word nice, which meant "foolish" in Middle English, now means kind or pleasant.

    What I am looking for either pejorative or ameliorative meaning in the word "fine", or maybe it doesnt have any.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Thanks for that simple explanation. In short, the current meaning is, if you will pardon me for saying so, meaningless.
    You are only after statements about whether the usages have changed, over time, in a positive or negative direction.

    I toss it back to you...please tell us, for each usage of the word fine, what it meant in some past era. Then we can compare its current meaning and come to a judgment.

    The Shorter OED shows no change in either the noun or adjectival forms over the past five centuries.
     

    FairyTESOL

    New Member
    English
    I've checked that, since 1300, the word "fine" hasnt changed much. It may change in the term of social context in a particular country. However thanks for your contribution. It's a nice discussion.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Frankly, FairyTESOL, it was a waste of our time - especially as you had already decided on the answer to your abstruse question.

    Please take care to express yourself more clearly in future.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    FairyTESOL said:
    I've checked that, since 1300, the word "fine" hasnt changed much. It may change in the term of social context in a particular country. However thanks for your contribution. It's a nice discussion.
    Nice? Hmmm...is that a pejorative use of the term?

    I find nothing especially ameliorative about a wild goose chase.
     
    panjandrum said:
    Frankly, FairyTESOL, it was a waste of our time - especially as you had already decided on the answer to your abstruse question.

    Please take care to express yourself more clearly in the future.
    You too please take care to express yourself more clearly in the future by not omitting required words in a sentence. Additionally I think we should give FairyTESOL a break since I believe he or she is not native to English from what I have read. Can we be more constructive on this forum? Sometimes lack of context is a good thing as it allows the forum-goers to use their imagination instead of falling into some monotonous rut. :thumbsup:

    drei
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    drei_lengua said:
    You too please take care to express yourself more clearly in the future by not omitting required words in a sentence. Additionally I think we should give FairyTESOL a break since I believe he or she is not native to English from what I have read. Can we be more constructive on this forum? Sometimes lack of context is a good thing as it allows the forum-goers to use their imagination instead of falling into some monotonous rut. :thumbsup:

    drei
    I have to take up for Panj--not that he cannot do it for himself. In the UK it is customary to say things like: "in future" and "in hospital" instead of "in the future" and "in the hospital" as we would say in the US.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    I often use "fine" to mean "feck off and don't annoy me!" as in....
    Mrs Maxiogee: "What's wrong with you?"
    Maxiogee: "Nothing, I'm fine!"

    Other times I use it to mean "Thank you very much for asking." as in....
    Mrs Maxiogee: "Would you like some more chicken, dear?"
    Maxiogee: "No, I'm fine."

    Then again I sometimes use it to mean "in great form." as in....
    Mrs Maxiogee: "You seem happy."
    Maxiogee: "Yeah, I'm fine!"

    No wonder the poor woman gets confused betimes!
    ------
    btw
    FairyTESOL self-defines as "Native of: English"
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    drei_lengua said:
    You too please take care to express yourself more clearly in the future by not omitting required words in a sentence. Additionally I think we should give FairyTESOL a break since I believe he or she is not native to English from what I have read. Can we be more constructive on this forum? Sometimes lack of context is a good thing as it allows the forum-goers to use their imagination instead of falling into some monotonous rut. :thumbsup:
    drei
    As has been pointed out already, "in future" is perfectly correct BE.

    FairyTESOL is a native English speaker - according to the user profile.

    I'm surprised at your suggestion that we are not constructive or imaginative in this forum. My impression is that contributions here are generally very constructive and often very imaginative indeed.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    panjandrum said:
    My impression is that contributions here are generally very constructive and often very imaginative indeed.
    So imaginative as to walk the thin fine line between on-topicness and chat? ;)
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "Fine" (from the latin finis "an end"; "conclusion" or "peak"; "height") has the denotative meaning of "elegant," but carries with it the ambiguous obsolete meaning of "dead, or deadly" and "immortal."
     
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