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Bear vs. bare (rant)

(20 Posts)
salonmeblowy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:11:19

Dear pedants, please bear with me, as I am about to bear a child and may be a little emotional. Late pregnancy makes it terribly easy for me to get in touch with my anger.

The polyphonic nature of the English language has so much to answer for. I find the prevailing confusion between 'bare' and 'bear' almost unbearable. It is poised to replace my number one pedantic pet hate, namely the horrific use of 'should/could/would of' instead of 'should/could/would have', simply because most posts on MN where this aberration is used are grammatically and syntactically lacking in other ways, therefore giving me a fair warning to expect an appearance of an errant 'of' somewhere in the text. But the dreaded 'bare' crops up within perfectly spelled and syntactically sound posts that lull me into a false sense of security only to metaphorically slap me across the face, baring my abysmally low tolerance levels for language transgressions.

Thank you, that is better.

CaptainAnkles Mon 01-Dec-14 23:12:47

Yep. Can't bare it. Makes me bear my teeth at people.

salonmeblowy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:25:20

Ankles, that is how your post made me feel. What kind of a person could bear reducing a pregnant woman to a hysterical wreck? Doesn't my OP bare enough of my irritability?

TywysogesGymraeg Mon 01-Dec-14 23:28:03

I think your both being v v unreasonable grin

CaptainAnkles Mon 01-Dec-14 23:28:05

Sorry blush
Couldn't resist it.

salonmeblowy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:32:41

<shoots Tywysoges> <hugs Ankles>

I need to have a little lie down, don't I? Not that I can lie down comfortably.

SquidgyMaltLoaf Mon 01-Dec-14 23:39:14

If your going to get narky, at least be discrete about it. grin

God, even writing that made me antsy.

UnacceptableWidge Mon 01-Dec-14 23:42:41

Please educate me.
If I am asking a person to be patient, I'd ask that they 'bear with me'?
terrified of posting in pedants' corner but have to know the correct bear/bare

salonmeblowy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:48:25

I may need to hide this thread before I self-combust. Sorry Loaf, at this stage I cannot do discrete - pompous and OTT will have to do.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 01-Dec-14 23:54:01

You got it right, widge.smile

salon, you did right to bare your soul to us, but I'm afraid you'll have to grin and bear it. I think a lot of the problem is that people rely on spell checkers too much, which have no more wit than the hapless writer as to the correct homophone. I once read a motoring article in the Guardian which consistently used 'break' instead of 'brake'. Another example which irks me is the frequent confusion between 'bail' and 'bale'.

flowers - and rest assured that when the midwife tells you to bare your nether regions and bear down she will be using the correct word in each case.

salonmeblowy Mon 01-Dec-14 23:54:56

Widge, there is a beautiful and patient explanation here.

Yes, it is always 'bear with me'. In a nutshell, 'bare' is the rarer of the two, only referring to situations in which something is uncovered, naked or exposed.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 01-Dec-14 23:55:45

Interesting question - a pregnant woman can be discreet (until the final stages) but is she fully discrete ?

UnacceptableWidge Tue 02-Dec-14 00:11:30

Thank you.
Very timely thread Salon.
I sent a response to a request from my boss earlier today, asking him to 'bare with me' it looked wrong and I hesitated, indecisively for a while before correcting it.
I am so glad I didn't ask him to get naked with me

salonmeblowy Tue 02-Dec-14 00:13:28

Errol, how right you are. I could never hope to be discreet as I do not cope well with pregnancy (in case you could not tell), but it is precisely this experience of not being able to be entirely discrete which I find most disconcerting about growing another human being on the inside of my uterus. My life improves so much once I am a separate entity once more, when oxytocin floods my brain with every cuddle.

Your attention to detail immediately eased my back pain. Have you considered being a doula for pedants?

BackforGood Tue 02-Dec-14 00:24:55

Thank you for this thread.
It has always been one of those turns of phrase I've never known which is the correct one to use.
Now I do and will hopefully be able to remember in future.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 02-Dec-14 14:20:43

grin I suspect that's rather a niche market. Rumour has it that all niceties tend to be forgotten so rather than pedantry you might need a coach in choice Anglo-Saxon terminology.

WaltzingWithBares Tue 02-Dec-14 14:22:31

Hope my username doesn't wind you up too much OP.... grin

mummybare Tue 02-Dec-14 14:25:19

No idea what you're on about. Ahem.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 02-Dec-14 14:34:49

This is Pedants' Corner, not a hang-out for naturists you know.

salonmeblowy Tue 02-Dec-14 23:46:48

Errol, but you are such a natural - look how decisively you dealt with the naturist invasion. I found swearwords rather useless in my first labour. What I needed instead was an image of a happy place - Pedants' Corner on the beach fits the bill perfectly.

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