904. "Through" and "throughout" may seem interchangeable, but they're not. We have some creative memory tricks to help you remember the difference. Plus, we have fun with the word "honeyfuggler."
903. "Through" and "throughout" may seem interchangeable, but they're not. We have some creative memory tricks to help you remember the difference. Plus, we have fun with the word "honeyfuggler."
| Transcript: https://grammar-girl.simplecast.com/episodes/what-is-a-honeyfuggler/transcript
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The "through" segment was written by Ryan Paulsen who is an avid word nerd and co-host of the etymology podcast "Lexitecture.
The "honeyfuggler" segment was written by Edwin L. Battistella, who teaches linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he has served as a dean and as interim provost. His books include Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? and Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology. It originally appeared on the OUP blog and appears here with permission.
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Grammar Girl here. I'm Mignon Fogarty, and you can think of me as your friendly guide to the English language. We talk about writing, history, rules, and other cool stuff. Today, we'll talk about the difference between "through" and "throughout" and about why you should avoid honeyfugglers.
'Through' versus 'throughout'
by Ryan Paulsen
English can seem like a muddled, confused and downright chaotic language. One popular meme to express and demonstrate this involves the sentence “English is a difficult language to learn. It can be understood through tough thorough thought though.”
Although (see what I did there?) this sentence is an extreme example of the way English has words and spellings that just don’t seem to make much sense, it’s not exactly a sentence that rolls off the tongue and isn't likely to actually show up in the real world.
What does happen more often though, is confusion – especially when writing – between the words “through” and “throughout.” In fact, a listener named Jordan asked about the difference a few months ago.
At first glance, these two words seem like they might almost be interchangeable, so it can be tricky to know which one to use in any given instance.
Like in so many cases in English (I mean, the memes aren’t entirely wrong, after all) coming up with “rules” is dangerous territory, because there are always exceptions.
But if you want a handy guideline to remember when to use “through,” try dropping the “h.” You end up with “trough,” right? Now, this might sound like I’m still just riffing on the meme from above, but hear me out.
A trough’s primary characteristic is that it’s long and usually straight.
We primarily use the word “through” when we’re talking about either a physical or metaphorical straight line. There’s a sense of direction with “through” just like with a trough. If you are driving through a forest, you may not necessarily be going in a straight line all the time, but in a big-picture sense, you’re going from point A to point B and the forest is part of that journey.
Now, maybe a clearer example is when you think of punching a hole through a wall or a piece of paper. It’s localized and precise. You instinctively know that the wall or piece of paper is still mostly intact, so you haven’t damaged or destroyed all of it, but something (a drill or a pencil, for example) has gone from point A to point B, regardless of what was in the way.
We also use “through” when talking about time. You might talk about something (a favorite podcast, maybe?) helping you “get through” some tough times. When we give a range of dates – say, for describing a vacation – we’ll often say something like “from the 1st through 8th of December.”
In these cases, we’re using a metaphorical direction (a timeline, you might say), but we’re still talking essentially about traveling in a direction, and going from point A to point B, passing “through” something along the way.
"Throughout," on the other hand, has a slightly different connotation. There’s a more all-encompassing, bigger sense to it.
If you set off a large firework, it travels through the space low to the ground just above where it’s shot off, but throughout the space where it explodes in every direction.
Usually, we don’t use "throughout" when we’re talking about anything linear, but rather when we’re talking about a physical or metaphorical area. The new red sock in the washing machine might spread its color throughout the load of laundry or the newly relocated animals might repopulate and spread throughout the forest.
To continue our spelling-related memory tricks, if we started with “through” and instead of adding “out” to the end, we just stuck an extra O near the start of the word, we get “thorough.” And if something is, for instance, thoroughly mixed, it has been spread throughout the mixture.
Further, it may have occurred to you earlier that you can somewhat change the meaning of the word "through" by adding the word "all" before it, and that's right, and when you do that, it's essentially a replacement for "throughout." You could say the red sock spread its color all through the laundry or throughout the laundry. You could say the animals spread all through the forest or throughout the forest.
Hopefully this helps a little bit when you’re trying to remember whether to use "through" or "throughout," and if you listened through the whole thing, you found handy tips throughout!
That segment was written by Ryan Paulsen who is an avid word nerd and co-host of the etymology podcast "Lexitecture."
Don't vote for a Honeyfuggler
by Edwin L. Battistella
In 1912, William Howard Taft—not a man known for eloquence—sent journalists to the dictionary when he used the word "honeyfuggle." Honey-what, you may be thinking.
It turns out that "honeyfuggler"is an old American term for someone who deceives others folks by flattering them. It can be spelled with one g or two and sometimes with an O replacing the U. To "honeyfuggle" is to sweet talk, but also to bamboozle, bumfuzzle, or hornswoggle.
The word has some twists and turns in its history. According to both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Dictionary of American Regional English, it was first recorded as a Kentucky term in 1829 with the definition “to quiz” or “to cozen,” both of which at the time meant to dupe.
The earliest example in the Newspapers.com database is from an 1841 story in a Tennessee newspaper, the Rutherford Telegraph, in which an editor used the term to mean insincere flattery. He said of the Speaker of the Tennessee state senate that “Some may say it is impolitic of me to talk thus plainly about Mr. Turney, and think it better to honey-fuggle and plaster over with soft-soap to potent a Senator.”
An 1848 report from the New Orleans Picayunerefers to swindlers as honey-fuglers. An example from the Mississippi Free Trader in 1849 talks about political trickery intended “to honeyfuggle one party and exterminate the other,” and another Southern paper that year reported on a speech of General Sam Houston who attempted “to honey-fuggle the good hearers and get up a general hurrah of ‘Old Sam.’” The term remained in use in the second half of the nineteenth century, with a couple of hundred examples in newspapers around the country. It was used occasionally as a noun, and sometimes had the variants "honeyfunk" or "honeyfuddle" and it could mean also “snuggle up to” or “publically display affection.”
"Honeyfuggle" remained a marginal term, often characterized as slang or as a regionalism, but it popped into the national consciousness when Taft deployed it to characterize his predecessor and then-rival for the 1912 Republican presidential nomination. In a speech in Cambridge, Ohio, Taft said:
I hold that the man is a demagogue and a flatterer who comes out and tells the people that they know it all. I hate a flatterer. I like a man to tell the truth straightout, and I hate to see a man try to honeyfuggle the people by telling them something he doesn’t believe.
Teddy Roosevelt had plent y to say about his former protégé Taft as well, calling hima fathead, a puzzlewit, anda flubdub. Woodrow Wilson won the presidency that year.
Taft’s speech popularized"honeyfuggle" for a time, and in 1915 the Los Angeles Express even reported on a socialite named Miss Queenie Alvarez, who concocted a soft-drink known as the Honey Fuggle made with sweet fruit juices.
"Honeyfuggle" still never quite caught on as a drink or as a mainstream English expression, perhaps because of the near homophony of "fuggle" with a different f-word. But it made a brief reappearance in presidential news in 1934 when the Syracuse Herald referred to another President Roosevelt as “the prize honeyfuggler of his time.” And in 1946, the word appeared in the title of a novel by author Virginia Dare: "Honeyfogling Time." A reviewer explained that the book takes its title from “a colloquialism popular in the Middle West of the Eighteen Eighties,” referring to “dishonest intentions” concealed “by honeyed words and promises.”
Where does "honeyfuggle"come from? One theory, found in Bartlett’s 1848 Dictionary of Americanisms is that it is a variation of a British English dialect word "coneyfogle," which meant to hoodwink or cajole by flattery. "Coney" is an old word for an adult rabbit and was sometimes used to indicate a person who was gullible. "Fugle," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is older dialect term meaning “to trick or deceive.” So to "coneyfogle" or "coneyfugle" meant to cheat a mark.
Today the OEDreports that "honeyfuggle"is “Now somewhat dated.” Well, maybe we should try revive it.
That segment was written by Edwin L. Battistella, who teaches linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, where he has served as a dean and as interim provost. His books include Bad Language: Are Some Words Better than Others? and Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology. It originally appeared on the OUP blog and appears here with permission.
Finally, I have a familect story.
"Hey, Mignon. So today I would like to share my familect, which is really a word a friend coined, but it's still amazing. So I still use it and love it. I had been living in France for a year. I had changed countries, and for me, you know, the time I arrived was quite important. So I told my friend after I have live in the … "Hey, today's my birthday," which in French it really … they use the word for 'anniversary,' right, to say in French, to say birthday, and he was like, "Oh, really your anniversary? Your birthday?" Well, not really. My birthday is really a year since I came here. So my French arriving birthday. And he was like, he very spontaneously makes the word 'arrive' with 'anniversary,' French for birthday. And he came up with the word 'arriversary,' and I thought this was amazing. So on the 5th of December, next week, actually, I've used it every year, I celebrated my arriversary, the same way I celebrate my birthday, and all my friends know it and use it. So I just want to share it with you and thought it might be interesting. So I love your podcast. Bye."
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I loved it, and I hope you have a wonderful arriversary this week.
Grammar Girl is a Quick and Dirty Tips podcast. Thanks to my audio engineer Nathan Semes and my editor Adam Cecil. Our ad operations specialist is Morgan Christianson, our marketing and publicity assistant is Davina Tomlin, and our digital operations specialist is Holly Hutchings, whose favorite dessert is sour cream cheesecake with berries. And our intern is Kamryn Lacy.
And I’m Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. That's all. Thanks for listening.