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insects/bugs

 
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le-paul



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Location: dans la chambre

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: insects/bugs Reply with quote

im teaching a text book at the moment. ive noticed that the word insect has been replaced by the word bug as a generic term to describe all insects. is this a correct/acceptable use of english or is it misleading? i was lead to believe that a bug was a specific type of insect like a stink bug? maybe its because insect is harder to learn? ... any thoughts/clarity? thanks (ps- sry for grammar, ipod pain/ tiny to type on here).
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Michlerish



Joined: 08 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insect is the proper term, while "bug" or "bugs" is a casual/slang term that can describe insects. Kids are more likely to call everything bugs, before they learn how to separate the species. In the dictionary, bug is a synonym for insect. I'd say using bugs instead of insects is perfect for children or young adults. If you're teaching adults, they should know they're called insects.
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le-paul



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Location: dans la chambre

PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheers
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A 'bug' is biologically a type of insect. However English speakers use the term interchangebly with insects, especially to refer to bad insects and it is correct to use it that way. A bug is actually a type of insect that has a horny proboscus that it uses to suck plant juices or blood. If you say bug, people will know you are talking about an insect.
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bbonthec



Joined: 07 Nov 2007

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it's more common in North American English, actually. We use "bug" to refer to all insects, and almost any other kind of creepy-crawly as well, such as spiders, centipedes, pillbugs, etc. I think it has something to do with how the same word can mean "bother", when used as a verb. 'Cuz ya know, bugs really bug you.

But yeah, I think it might be a N. American thing. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a true bug until I moved to Korea and met a bunch of Kiwis and Brits who criticized me for my loose usage of the word.
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andrewchon



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Location: In my goshiwon cubicle. Seeking moksha.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'insect' is a scholarly term for educated Norman-french, while 'bug' is used by Anglo-Saxon and Celtic commoners. If one prefers the simpler spelling word then he deserves to be discriminated for lacking sophistication.
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with andrewchon Laughing
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll have to take up your opinion with Goerge Orwell. Orwell claimed that when one writes one should use mostly Saxon words. He gave an example using a scripture from the King James Bible and the same scripture interpreted by him in words that were French in origin. Needless to say the Romance interpretation sounded like crap. I agree with Orwell and use the term bug in place of insect and it is not unsophisticated.
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George, not Goerge. What is your opinion on spellings?
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed it after I typed it, but who cares?

Last edited by young_clinton on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from one of Orwell's writings

Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:
I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:
Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account."
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Seoul_newbie



Joined: 29 Nov 2012
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an argument for the use of plain English. Are you saying that bug is the plain English equivalent for insect? Do you really think insect is such a hard word to understand?
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