signs of puberty

quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
When Ashley's body started showing the early signs of puberty, or becoming an adult, her parents did something shocking: they asked doctors to do a series of operations to keep Ashley a little girl forever.

I wonder if I could say signs of youth. Does it sound good? Thanks.
 
  • liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Saying "showing signs of youth" implies getting younger rather than getting older. If you need an alternative try "adulthood" or perhaps "adolescence"
     

    Ecossaise

    Senior Member
    English
    Signs of puberty shows that the body is going through maturation. In the case of a girl it means she will start menstruating. In this particular context it has no alternative terms.
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, liliput.
    I get it--signs of puberty/adolescence/adulthood. Besides, this is also the point--we never know what could be said to refer to the same idea after we try it out.
    I hope this also answer winklepicker's question--puberty, youth, adolescence, and adulthood all share the meaning of being young, but only some collocations refer to the same concept. This is one of the most difficut parts for a non-native speaker.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    No, I don't think so. Puberty refers to a period of sexual maturation; this is different from youth, adolescence etc.
     

    sarcie

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Signs of puberty shows that the body is going through maturation. In the case of a girl it means she will start menstruating. In this particular context it has no alternative terms.
    No, I don't think so. Puberty refers to a period of sexual maturation; this is different from youth, adolescence etc.
    I agree with Ecossaise and winklepicker - in this case, puberty really cannot be replaced, because the "signs of puberty" are so definite, that to replace it with "signs of adulthood" or any of the other suggestions would distort the meaning too much.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I disagree Winklepicker, whilst youth refers to being young in general, adolescence refers to exactly the same thing as puberty, and the physical signs of adulthood are the physical signs of puberty.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    WRF Dictionary says puberty is the time of life when sex glands become functional. I think this is distinct from adolescence: in the state that someone is in between puberty and adulthood (ibid)
     
    My humble opinion is that "puberty" is indeed a specific period in the life cycle, a characteristic period of physical transformation. It does not seem interchangeable with any other term, to me. Adolescence is closely related, but puberty is a more specific reference to the beginning point of sexual maturation (pubic hair, breasts, hormones increasing).
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, my friends.
    I think I have the moral duty to say something I have in mind for liliput.
    I guess there is a vital point about this issue, that is, for example, when I talk to a native speaker using the following versions--When Ashley's body started showing the early signs of adolescence/adulthood, her parents did something shocking: they asked doctors to do a series of operations to keep Ashley a little girl forever.--Will he or she misunderstand my point? Would these two versions sound odd? If yes, then the two versions won't work. If no, I presume those two versions are acceptible.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Pick, pick, pick - that's what winklepickers do.

    Read this link. It's clear from the context that it was Ashley's puberty - not adolescence or youth any other thing - that was being arrested. The operation was done to prevent the onset of sexual maturation - or as we English speakers like to call it, puberty.

    If you remain in doubt, you'll see that as well as her uterus being excised, they removed her breast buds.

    Puberty, puberty, puberty... No, I will NOT concede... :D
     
    What a fickle winkle picker who picks winkles that way. Why do fickle winkle pickers pick winkles everyday? :D

    Technically speaking, you are 100% correct. But since I know our little dandelion is just testing out vocabulary for his/her own pleasure, and not to actually cover or translate the story, I conceded that indeed, your average Joe would understand. But puberty is far better and more accurate.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Originally Posted by liliput
    Saying "showing signs of youth" implies getting younger rather than getting older.

    Can you define getting younger, or better still, how you achieve it? :confused:
    Sorry, no magic potions here I'm afraid. I used this to point out that showing signs of youth wouldn't really make sense.
    As to the original question, I completely agree that puberty is the best word to use.
     

    sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Sorry, no magic potions here I'm afraid. I used this to point out that showing signs of youth wouldn't really make sense.
    As to the original question, I completely agree that puberty is the best word to use.
    Why is saying that a child showing signs of youth nonsensical?
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Why is saying that a child showing signs of youth nonsensical?
    It isn't, and nor did I say that it was. If you look at the phrase in it's context of a young girl developing "starting to show signs of youth" doesn't make sense because she's doing the opposite. She is a child, and as such already has signs of youth, but she's starting to show signs of adulthood.
     

    sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It isn't, and nor did I say that it was. If you look at the phrase in it's context of a young girl developing "starting to show signs of youth" doesn't make sense because she's doing the opposite. She is a child, and as such already has signs of youth, but she's starting to show signs of adulthood.
    Your comments are confusing. A young girl developing, "starting to show signs of youth" doesn't make sense because she's doing the opposite. (?!) Can you clarify this please?
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Pick, pick, pick - that's what winklepickers do.

    Read this link. It's clear from the context that it was Ashley's puberty - not adolescence or youth any other thing - that was being arrested. The operation was done to prevent the onset of sexual maturation - or as we English speakers like to call it, puberty.

    If you remain in doubt, you'll see that as well as her uterus being excised, they removed her breast buds.

    Puberty, puberty, puberty... No, I will NOT concede... :D
    I agree with winklepicker. I'm looking for an equivalence: How about, puberty is to adolescence as cock is to manhood. Puberty is very sexual-specific. Adolescence is marked by many signs, one of which is pubescence. Manhood is marked by many signs, including in some cultures the desire to hunt, but not every sign of manhood necessarily refers back to the sexual. At least not directly so -- regardless of what Freud might have thought.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Your comments are confusing. A young girl developing, "starting to show signs of youth" doesn't make sense because she's doing the opposite. (?!) Can you clarify this please?
    I will try to make it clearer for you.
    First of all, the girl is young (youthful), so she is already showing signs of youth. She can't start to show signs of youth because the signs are already showing.
    The girl is growing, getting older, developing in a normal way, going through puberty, therefore the signs that she starts to show are signs of becoming an adult rather than of becoming more youthful.
    I hope you can understand my meaning now. Perhaps the confusion has arisen because I am thinking of youth in terms of a general concept of juvenescence and you are thinking of it in purely in terms of adolescence. Looked at from this point of view it might make sense to say she is starting to show signs of youth, but, as we can see, the definition of "youth" is quite broad and can easily lead to misunderstanding.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    I will try to make it clearer for you.
    First of all, the girl is young (youthful), so she is already showing signs of youth. She can't start to show signs of youth because the signs are already showing.
    The girl is growing, getting older, developing in a normal way, going through puberty, therefore the signs that she starts to show are signs of becoming an adult rather than of becoming more youthful.
    I hope you can understand my meaning now. Perhaps the confusion has arisen because I am thinking of youth in terms of a general concept of juvenescence and you are thinking of it in purely in terms of adolescence. Looked at from this point of view it might make sense to say she is starting to show signs of youth, but, as we can see, the definition of "youth" is quite broad and can easily lead to misunderstanding.
    Usually the sequence is child > youth > adult. But "youthful" and "young" etc. can be applied to any of those groups ... hence part of the confusion, I think.
     

    sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I will try to make it clearer for you.
    First of all, the girl is young (youthful), so she is already showing signs of youth. She can't start to show signs of youth because the signs are already showing.
    The girl is growing, getting older, developing in a normal way, going through puberty, therefore the signs that she starts to show are signs of becoming an adult rather than of becoming more youthful.
    I hope you can understand my meaning now. Perhaps the confusion has arisen because I am thinking of youth in terms of a general concept of juvenescence and you are thinking of it in purely in terms of adolescence. Looked at from this point of view it might make sense to say she is starting to show signs of youth, but, as we can see, the definition of "youth" is quite broad and can easily lead to misunderstanding.
    Well that's plain enough. The girl cannot exhibit signs of youth because-she is-doing-so-already, is what you are saying. Confusion aside, "Doing the opposite" as you put it, is what galled me!

    "And the physical signs of adulthood are the physical signs of puberty"

    Meaning, the physical signs of adulthood are brought on by puberty, yes?
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Well that's plain enough. The girl cannot exhibit signs of youth because-she is-doing-so-already, is what you are saying. Confusion aside, "Doing the opposite" as you put it, is what galled me!

    "And the physical signs of adulthood are the physical signs of puberty"

    Meaning, the physical signs of adulthood are brought on by puberty, yes?
    You still seem a little confused, and you have misquoted me again. Becoming more youthful (or younger, to be clearer) is the opposite of becoming an adult (getting older) and is apparently impossible.
    Puberty is the process by which a child becomes an adult (sexually speaking) and this involves the development of physically adult features.
     

    sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Becoming more youthful (or younger, to be clearer) is the opposite of becoming an adult (getting older) and is apparently impossible.
    Becoming more youthful is much clearer than becoming younger - the latter of which is impossible. Why apparently?

    Puberty is the process by which a child becomes an adult (sexually speaking) and this involves the development of physically adult features.
    Indeed, but in your earlier post you said:
    "And the physical signs of adulthood are the physical signs of puberty"

    So what are the physical signs of puberty?
    The physical signs of adulthood?

    i.e. the sky is blue and blue is the sky!?
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    Becoming more youthful is much clearer than becoming younger - the latter of which is impossible. Why apparently?
    As far as I know it's impossible in the known universe with current scientific knowledge but I wouldn't be so presuming as to discount the possibility.
    Indeed, but in your earlier post you said:
    "And the physical signs of adulthood are the physical signs of puberty"
    Ah! So I did, my apologies. It's not really correct is it? I suppose I should say that the physical signs of puberty are the developments of the physical signs of adulthood.
    So what are the physical signs of puberty? The physical signs of adulthood?
    Although I'm reasonably well qualified to give a biology lesson I'm not disposed to do so at this time, ask a responsible adult.
    i.e. the sky is blue and blue is the sky!?
    What does this mean? "Blue is the sky" sounds rather poetic but "the sky is blue" more grammatically correct. I'm afraid the sky is rather dark here at the moment.
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Good morning, my friends.
    What a heated discussion I wake up to find out!
    Thanks to everyone for making great effort to clarify my question, especially to liliput. I perfectly made sense of your earliest reply in this thread:
    Saying "showing signs of youth" implies getting younger rather than getting older. If you need an alternative try "adulthood" or perhaps "adolescence"
     

    sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Ah! So I did, my apologies. It's not really correct is it? I suppose I should say that the physical signs of puberty are the developments of the physical signs of adulthood.
    the physical signs of puberty are the developments.....

    What are you saying, or trying to say?
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    the physical signs of puberty are the developments.....

    What are you saying, or trying to say?
    Well, I originally wrote "are the development.." but it didn't seem right to have "are" followed by the singular, so I changed it to developments. Frankly, it doesn't look very correct that way either but I didn't want to resort to listing them as "the development of this, the development of that". If you could help me with this problem, I'd be most grateful. I assume this is what you are referring to, however if your lack of understanding goes a little deeper I suggest you speak with the originator of this thread, who apparently understood me perfectly from the beginning.
     

    sloopjc

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think you mean, "__is the development" as opposed to "__are the development".

    "Puberty is the development of the physical signs of adulthood.
    "

    I hope this helps.
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Good morning, my friends.
    What a heated discussion I wake up to find out!
    Thanks to everyone for making great effort to clarify my question, especially to liliput. I perfectly made sense of your earliest reply in this thread:
    Saying "showing signs of youth" implies getting younger rather than getting older. If you need an alternative try "adulthood" or perhaps "adolescence"
    Oh, dandelion! Neither of these two words is a substitute for puberty.
     

    tomandjerryfan

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    I agree with winklepicker. Puberty refers to sexual development; it is a stage of adolescence, but it's not synonymous to adolescence. Adulthood is the stage of full development and maturity. The objectives of puberty are normally all fulfilled by this point.
     

    dobes

    Senior Member
    US English(Boston/NY)
    I would not understand "showing signs of adolescence/adulthood". We are talking about physical changes when we talk about puberty, and when those changes happen, they show. None of the other words makes sense here. The only other term I can think of to convey the same idea is "sexual maturity".

    As far as confusing the terms generally, puberty comes before adolescence, which is before adulthood, which is reached some time between 18 and 21. Youth can apply from puberty or just before it until early adulthood, with no specific borders. Only puberty applies to specific physical changes, the rest refer to times of life.
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    The Chambers Thesaurus lists puberty as a synonym for adolescence. I would think of adolescence as the period between being a child and an adult, i.e. the time that we go through puberty.
    I agree that puberty is by far the best word to use in the context given and the alternatives are perhaps inadequate, but if an alternative word were absolutely necessary, I think that adolescence or adulthood would be the best to use. If we emphasize "starting to show physical signs of adolescence/adulthood" this indicates a period of physical transition and the meaning is reasonably clear.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top