English usage

Okay, I know language is always changing but some things annoy me. Two in particular.

  1. The pit of my stomach. I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s not I have a pit in my stomach or various other things that intimate I have this thing in my stomach rather than a place.

  2. The floor is beneath your feet INSIDE; the ground is beneath your feet outside. You cannot drop something on the floor standing on your lawn. You can’t drop something on the ground standing in your living room. It sound stupid frankly.

Does anyone besides me even care?

Sigh. Why do people who complain about word usage always avoid actually looking it up in a dictionary?

  1. You’re complaining about a phrase that’s been used since the 17th century.
  1. The “ground” has been used to mean floor since the 19th century.

So these “new” usages have existed since before you were born.

Anyway, I never said using an expression referring to the pit of the stomach was wrong. I said that referring to the pit of the stomach did not mean like an actual pit, like a prune or peach pit. I said it was a place rather than a thing. Go back and read where I said place, not thing. I cringe when people say I have a pit in my stomach rather than I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Also, we no longer live in houses (normally) with dirt floors in this country. But my great-grandparents did, in the south. And if we did we would say ground to refer to the inside. Or I would. But, now that most of us have wooden floors, I would say that ground is no longer appropriate and it should be called a floor. Ask an architect what he calls it. And ask a landscape architect what he calls the lawn beneath his feet. :cool:

Here’s another dictionary clue: a pit is also a place such as digging a pit or falling into a pit. It means a deep place. So the phrase “the pit of my stomach” means the deep place in my stomach.

Quoted for irony.

Doesn’t either meaning work equally well for the feeling described?

  1. I have a feeling of empty hollowness in the middle of my stomach
  2. There is a hard, cold inedible feeling in the middle of my stomach (remember the “pit” of a fruit is the hard inedible part in the middle of fleshy wonderfullness)

Not really seeing the problem?

#2 is the type of thing children say, and are promptly corrected by solicitous parents, fearing engrained ignorance.

A football pitch may be referred to as ‘the floor’ in the context of the game. e.g. 'This long ball game we’re playing is hopeless, we need to start playing it on the floor’.

Floors are floor and ground is ground. They’re two different things. It’s like you’re complaining that you can’t call a dog a cat.

I think his examples were of usages he disagrees with, which means you two actually agree.

I’ve seen houses that had actual dirt floors and others with soil (with plants growing out of it): would that count as the ground, or not? What if it’s “carpeted” by the method of dropping the carpet atop the dirt, but plants still valiantly manage to sprout? And no, I don’t mean greenhouses, I mean buildings people lived in. What about porches, do they not have floors now?

And what of the logical conundrum created by the building level closest to the earth - the ground floor. Argh, it’s both!!!

[Quotation marks added for clarity.]

I think I’d cringe, too, if I’d ever heard anyone say that. But I never have.

Move to south Georgia. People drop things in the floor down here. Mothers tell their offspring “Go clean up your room! Every sock you own is in the floor!”