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Author Topic: remainer  (Read 307 times)
mkenuk
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« on: August 25, 2017, 03:34:16 AM »

re: the recent repairmen game.

remainer is a word that won't be found in many standard dictionaries, and because of that it gets a 'sorry, not known' response from Chi.
It is, however, a word that will be known and understood by almost everybody in UK. I suspect it may even be one of the words most commonly used in UK newspapers in the last 14 months or so - especially in the 'letters' pages and the online forums of the more serious newspapers.

Leaving the politics of the whole business to one side, the effect of the Brexit referendum in UK just over a year ago was to divide the country in a way it hadn't been divided since the Civil War. Now, instead of Royalists and Parliamentarians, we have 'leavers' and 'remainers'.

Obviously not a word that is used very much outside UK, but I venture to suggest that if the Chi lexicon were based only on UK words, it would be  not only known, but common.

A word for Chi? Up to you, Alan.

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yelnats
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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 11:37:13 AM »

I didn't get "remainer", but as it's been brought up, I have heard it before in relation to my mother's will. My brother got to live in the family house for life and the remainers could then inherit it on his death.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 05:36:37 PM by yelnats » Logged
Alan W
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 03:38:09 PM »

I'll answer the question in due course, but I'm reminded of a commentary piece I saw soon after the Brexit vote. The article said that the case for continuing in the EU was up against it from the moment the wording of the question had been decided. The everyday, salt-of-the-earth word leave was pitted against the posher sounding remain. After all, if someone says they're going to leave a party, you won't hear their friend say they've decided to remain a bit longer. They'll say they're going to stay.

If the choice had been between "leave" or "stay", the contest would have been more equal, and the pro-EU membership crowd would have been known as "stayers" - much more appealing than "remainers" which sounds like "remainders".
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Alan Walker
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Alan W
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 04:59:49 PM »

As yelnats recalls, the word remainer did exist as a legal term before the Brexit issue arose. It also had a general rare sense of "a person who remains or stays", and is listed as such in a run-on entry to remain in the Shorter Oxford. An example, courtesy of the OED, is from Contemporary Research in Personality, 1962:

Quote
An improvement in discomfort is not a function of duration or type of psychotherapy received, or of differences in the nature of dropouts and remainers.

Another example is from James Joyce's Ulysses:

Quote
How did the centripetal remainer afford egress to the centrifugal departer?

Based on this pre-Brexit usage, the word would be teetering on the brink of excessive obscurity. However it has certainly sprung into prominence since about June 2016. It looks to me as if a majority of occurrences of the word in this context are with a capital letter. However, quite a few are not.

The only reservation I have is about how ephemeral the word might prove to be. If the UK does complete its separation from the EU, remainer will presumably be used in a historical sense only. (Possibly a new movement might spring up: the re-joiners.)

On balance, I opt for accepting the word.
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Alan Walker
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