Why I HATE the term "capture" for taking a photo...

Started Apr 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
Senior MemberPosts: 3,717
My opinions, captured...
In reply to JulesJ, Apr 25, 2013

JulesJ wrote:

photoreddi wrote:

Based on the appallingly ignorant reply that you made a few minutes ago to Najinsky, you use that silly avatar to make you think that you're effectively countering poor arguments. The fact it, it's you that can't come up with any good arguments. Languages live and evolve, almost always for the better. If "capture" was a poor choice, it would have been scrapped decades ago. The world has spoken but you're unable to hear, let alone comprehend. If you were able to think and respond clearly and logically, you would have no need for the deflection that your silly avatar provides. You'd look less foolish wearing a propeller beanie or even one of these, which is more appropriate.

Well you certainly know how to be rude Photoreddi. I will respond to you politely. Firstly, yes my avatar is there for people to use as an outlet and it's worked again and again. That is for me to say and not you.

I'm sorry that you feel that way, but if you write ignorant, ill considered things there shouldn't be anything wrong with pointing out the ignorance. I just didn't spell them out with quotes, but here are a few.

Why not say, excellent work, nice picture, or photograph. Why is wrongwith the proper term. Why invent a new one?

Vocabulary has been "invented" for eons, but you've never, ever communicated with or heard anyone utter "nice capture" that invented the the term. Practically everyone that uses "capture" does so because they've heard it and read it for ages and it sounds logical and makes sense, unless like some people, selected dictionary definitions are used to pretend that it doesn't make sense.

None of those. Just a heartfelt wish that you had used the great descriptive and more meaningful words that we already had..

As others have written, "capture" is greatly descriptive and just as meaningful as any of the words that you prefer. If you can't see this it's your problem, not the rest of the world that's continuing to evolve, albeit in ways that you don't approve. The advantage here, for those that have the ability or that care to take advantage of the greater number of words having similar meanings is the ability to speak more precisely, with greater nuance. This can have disadvantages if people aren't aware of the differences, but it also has considerable advantages. If English was a different type of language we wouldn't have this capture "issue", but then you might not enjoy/appreciate what we have.

There are about 7 times more words in the English language than in French (500,000 against 70,000). The majority of the people only know from 15,000 to 30,000 words, and even good writers rarely know more than 50,000 words (in a same language). This gives an idea of the huge diversity of vocabulary and nuances available to users of English.

Languages lacking such a diversity convey the same meanings by using words with a broader sense. The drawback with words having a too broad meaning or too many completely different meanings is that the language can become ambiguous. Imagine a language that did not distinguish bored from annoyed, or a leg from a foot. Well, such languages do exist. Being bored or annoyed are both ennuyéin French, and Japanese has no different word for leg and foot (ashi). Besides, Japanese notoriously possess countless homophones, that is words that sound the same phonetically but are spelt differently and have different meanings. English only has a few of them (e.g. dear vs deer), but most of the time they have a different function (noun, verb, adjective), therefore avoiding confusion.

French language also has numerous homophones (e.g.vert, vers, ver, verre, vair) because of the silent last consonant and the different ways to write the same vowel sound. Spelling is the key to distinguishing meanings in French. However, like for Chinese characters in Japanese, this only works in writing, leaving oral language ambiguous.

Being bilingual in French and English, I have often had arguments about which of the two languages was "better" than the other. Native French speakers will always always plead the superiority of the French language, while native English speakers will do the eulogy of their language. It's only natural. People want to believe that the language of their upbringing and culture is the best in the world. Although I grew up with French as my first language, it has long been clear to me that English was richer, more flexible, more nuanced and less ambiguous than French. It hasn't been easy to convince my fellow French speakers of this claim. Their first reaction is usually to deny it or ask me for "proofs". It is in this spirit that I thought of making a list illustrating how English typically has several words, sometimes adding nuances, sometimes affecting the formality level, when French only had one word.

For example, English has three words derived from the same Latin root for the French horrible: horrible, horrific, horrendous, each with a slightly different meaning and usage. One could say that "horrific" is closer to atrocein French; but then English also has the word "atrocious".

A French speaker (or most non-English speakers) could be forgiven for mistakenly using the word 'consummation', which is the act of consummating a marriage (meaning "having sex") instead of 'consumption' (of a product), for there is only one word for either meaning in French, consommation, like in most languages.

Another interesting example is how English often has distinct adjectives for positive and negative connotations. The French adjective terrible therefore translates either as "terrible" (negative) or" terrific" (positive). The English language has an abundance of near synonyms with different connotations, usages or levels of formality that few other languages possess.

It does happen that a language has no word at all for a particular concept. The French word for 'privacy' is intimité. This obviously lack the nuance between the English 'privacy', meaning being away from the observation of others to avoid disturbance (usually alone), and 'intimacy', which means being very close to someone.


I don't agree that language always evolves for the better. Listening to a lot of kids speaking here in the UK they seem to say the word like almost every other word because of their lack of communicative skills (even my own kids). I would say descriptive language is getting lazier and worse. But that's just my opinion, and in the UK. I'm sorry you don't think I can think, respond clearly and logically, I have just reread my reply and it seems just as clear and logical as your cantankerous rudeness above.

I agree that language doesn't always evolve for the better, but then those inferior developments tend to be short lived linguistic fads. Kids over here (USA) also overuse like, and you'd probably agree that saying "and so like, I went" instead of saying "and so I said" isn't a better usage, but that's kids for ya. They'll always come up with their own ways of saying things, usually in ways that sound silly to most of their elders, even if some of those elders are kids themselves. It's a relatively harmless way of identifying themselves with their peers, part of growing up,  and it's much less harmful than showing their 'maturity' by learning to smoke cigarettes. It's like, crazy, man.

Avatar are there for fun. I happen to use my real name and a real (fun I believe) picture of myself on this forum as well as honestly locating my country in my info. You don't do two of these things, i presume to hide your identity for some reason.

I agree that your avatar, silly as it may be, is also a fun thing to use. As others have mentioned, I found your opinions to be silly and some of them quite ignorant, so it should not be surprising to see that silliness linked to your silly avatar. But it's also a memorable avatar, so it would behoove you to avoid coming across as the kind of person that says silly things, because you might get away with it a couple of times, but do it one time too many, and then the memorability of your avatar will make you memorable for the wrong things.

I'm sorry to reply to you somewhat sill post above seriously and honestly, but that is what you seemed to be requesting. I hope you are happy and can reply in a similar way. If you can't then don't bother and neither of will waste any more of each other's time.

I tried, but I have no way of knowing if you'll agree or not.

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