Re: Lion's Share - the ultimate usage guide

Subject: Re: Lion's Share - the ultimate usage guide
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 18:13:06 -0700

Martyn Perry wrote:
> Of course then, any misquote or interpretation--say of the Bible or the
> Constitution or anything else--then become the de facto interpretation
> regardless of the meaning of the original. This way, I think, lies
> misunderstanding and conflict and certainly does not make the reader's
> life any happier, nor the translator's any easier.

Wow, I've always thought of myself as a linguistic stick-in-the-mud: definitely prescriptive, rather than descriptive.

When you think about it, if the lion *really* took all of the kill, the pride would die, because the females would never get anything to eat. In fact, the lion comes over after the kill, eats its fill, and walks away, leaving the rest for the females and adolescents to divide among themselves. So, regardless of the fable, the "major portion" definition actually makes much more sense.

Besides, the phrase has been used to refer to the major portion (not the entirety) since BEFORE 1864! Now, I'll go down fighting "snuck" and "irregardless" and "impact" (instead of "affect") and all the other horrors chipping away at our language; but any battle over "the lion's share" ended centuries ago. I've moved on, and (from one stick to another) you should, too. :)



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