for flauting a federal court order

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Here is the misspelling "flauting." To correct it appears to have two choices ("flaunting" or "flouting" - both can mean "showing disdain."), which is better? Are both choices good enough?



Thanks in advance
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Roy Moore Loses, Sanity Reigns

<....>
Mr. Moore was twice removed from Alabama’s Supreme Court, once for flauting a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he’d commissioned for the court building, later for ignoring the United States Supreme Court’s protection of gay marriage by ordering Alabama probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses, saying it was their “ministerial duty.”

-NYTimes

Source
 
  • NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Well, it appears that British English denies this definition of flaunt (to ignore or treat with disdain). I wonder how American English speakers understand it. Is it popular in US?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Thank you. But:

    WRF:
    flaunt
    v.t.
    4. to ignore or treat with disdain:
    He was expelled for flaunting military regulations.
    Thank you but...

    That is simply completely, totally, and utterly wrong. I have never seen such a display of ignorance in a dictionary!

    Flout and flaunt are two verbs that are often confused in English, even by native speakers, but that is no excuse whatsoever for a dictionary to repeat the mistake.

    The "Usage" notes makes the distinction clear and yet the dictionary contains the error as an example!

    You will notice that 2a below, the nearest meaning to the erroneous one given in WRF, does not mean "to ignore or treat with disdain" and is intransitive.

    OED:
    Flaunt:
    1. intransitive. Of plumes, banners, etc.: To wave gaily or proudly. Of plants: To wave so as to display their beauty.
    2. a. Of persons: To walk or move about so as to display one's finery; to display oneself in unbecomingly splendid or gaudy attire; to obtrude oneself boastfully, impudently, or defiantly on the public view. Often quasi-trans. to flaunt it (away, out, forth).
    2. b. Of things: To be extravagantly gaudy or glaringly conspicuous in appearance.
    3. transitive. To display ostentatiously or obtrusively; to flourish, parade, show off.

    Flout:
    1. a. trans. To mock, jeer, insult; to express contempt for, either in word or action. Also to flout (a person) out of (something).
    2. intr. To behave with disdain or contumely, to mock, jeer, scoff; to express contempt either by action or speech. Also dial. to scold. Const. at; whence in indirect passive.
     
    Last edited:

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thank you. :)

    You have already had two correct answers.

    As to this incorrect use of flaunt, the dictionary notes, "This usage clearly arose by confusion, and is widely considered erroneous."
    Where did you get the note? I searched WRF flaunt entry page and didn't find it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    flaunt - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    4. The use of flaunt to mean "to ignore or treat with disdain'' (He flaunts community standards with his behavior) is strongly objected to by many usage guides, which insist that only flout can properly express this meaning. From its earliest appearance in English in the 16th century, flaunt has had the meanings "to display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly'' in public and "to parade or display ostentatiously.'' These senses approach those of flout, which dates from about the same period: "to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt;
    scoff at;
    mock.'' A sentence like Once secure in his new social position, he was able to flaunt his lower-class origins can thus be ambiguous in current English. Considering the similarity in pronunciation of the two words, it is not surprising that flaunt has assumed the meanings of flout and that this use has appeared in the speech and edited writing of even well-educated, literate persons. Nevertheless, many regard the senses of flaunt and flout as entirely unrelated and concerned speakers and writers still continue to keep them separate.
    This note is confusing and bears no relation to the correct and current use.

    There seems to be a pointlessness to pointing out what verbs do not mean.

    It is as if I had told you that "to see" does not mean "to boil" but then I had added an example where someone had used "to see" wrongly.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Flaunt" is so often used incorrectly to mean "flout" that when I use "flout" correctly people "correct" me and tell me that the word is "flaunt".

    A similar situation occurs with "careening" and "careering", however the "misuse" is now accepted as the "correct use". That may happen with "flout/flaunt" at some time in the future.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    The dictionary's task is to describe, not prescribe. Over time, a usage that was considered wrong becomes acceptable. I personally will maintain a proper distinction between the two verbs, but if the dictionary compilers comment that not everyone respects it, they are only doing their job.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The dictionary's task is to describe, not prescribe. Over time, a usage that was considered wrong becomes acceptable. I personally will maintain a proper distinction between the two verbs, but if the dictionary compilers comment that not everyone respects it, they are only doing their job.
    In print dictionaries there were always a preface where the editors explain their editing policy. That policy is what distinguishes one dictionary from another. The distinction can be significant and a dictionary buyer is well-advised to read that before making a purchase.

    With online dictionaries that "preface" or "editorial policy" is hidden somewhere. I've never seen one.

    Dictionary.com has an internal link called "about". All that does is give you the history of the dictionary.

    Word Reference dictionary tells me that it is really The Random House Unabridged Dictionary. I could not find an editorial policy on that either.

    The New York Times was more helpful:

    The Latest Word - New York Times

    (Half way down)

    Of course, one dictionary is as good as another to most people, who use them for spellers and bet-settlers and accessories to crossword puzzles and Scrabble games. But some people use them for more than that, or mean to.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Mr. Moore was twice removed from Alabama’s Supreme Court, once for flauting a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he’d commissioned for the court building, later for ignoring the United States Supreme Court’s protection of gay marriage by ordering Alabama probate judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses, saying it was their “ministerial duty.”
    To confuse things even more, a flautist is a flute player.:)
     
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