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 Post subject: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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May you say that something is contaminated if it has just been exposed to good, wholesome dirt? (Edit: I mean, not a wound or something, but a thing like...dare I say it, a glove).

Is there word for saying "has got some dirt or something on it but not necessarily much or even visibly so"? I mean, covering the whole range from "not entirely clean anymore" to "heavily soiled".

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:46 pm 
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If I have a glove that has been in dirt, I say it's dirty. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:00 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
If I have a glove that has been in dirt, I say it's dirty. :)


Yes, I think dirty is best. I mean, dirt would be contamination if the gloves were supposed to be sterile and intended for surgery or something, but "contaminated" would seem out-of-place if they were regular work gloves.

I was just a little concerned lest "dirty" would imply that they were very dirty. But if I say "unclean", all I want to do is shout "unclean! unclean!" as if we were talking about some kind of ritual uncleanness.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:23 pm 
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Contaminated implies contacting (or being contacted by) and then carrying something other than the normal background chemicals and lifeforms. It implies that a harmful compound or chemical or virus or bacillus is now resident upon whatever is contaminated. That is in the physical sense.

In the more abstract sense, one's thinking can become contaminated -- changed in some deleterious way -- by an external input. Or by some internal miscalculation or convoluted reasoning. Many plays and stories are based upon this. Othello being a notable example.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:32 pm 
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In other words, using the word “contaminated” will always carry the implication that the item is now harmful in some way. I agree with Siggy; I might even say something about the “5-second rule” as I picked it up just to emphasize that no real harm was done.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:09 pm 
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Mrs. Timmy wrote:
In other words, using the word “contaminated” will always carry the implication that the item is now harmful in some way. I agree with Siggy; I might even say something about the “5-second rule” as I picked it up just to emphasize that no real harm was done.



Harmful or useless, as a sample intended for analysis may be contaminated with some substance rendering it useless for that purpose.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:12 pm 
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Is "soiled" less severe than "dirty"? I want it to include everything in terms of anything at all having got on the darn things. I plan to say "soiled or contaminated".

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:23 pm 
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I want a word that includes just about any possible thing that could mar the clean condition of a glove fresh from the packaging.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:27 pm 
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Norwegianblue wrote:
I want a word that includes just about any possible thing that could mar the clean condition of a glove fresh from the packaging.


Used. A bit worn. Slightly stained.

As far as "soiled", just don't use it as an adjective to modify "dove" and you should be OK.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:30 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
Norwegianblue wrote:
I want a word that includes just about any possible thing that could mar the clean condition of a glove fresh from the packaging.


Used. A bit worn. Slightly stained.

As far as "soiled", just don't use it as an adjective to modify "dove" and you should be OK.


So "soiled glove" would be all right?

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:36 pm 
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I'm getting every so much conflicting input about soiled. See the other thread, but also one friend (not on the forum) thought "soiled" the less "severe" word, whereas another friend (also not on forum) thought "soiled" would indicate excrement or blood or something and that "dirty" included the lesser dirtiness.


I

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:39 pm 
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Anyway, this thread is so "over an hour ago". The new happening place to be is my popular thread "Whic is less clean…" It's where all the cool kids hang out.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=170031

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:47 pm 
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As in near all languages, it depends upon the context. If I had a pair of brand new gloves and I used them to move wood, and they got dirt and creosote on them, I'd say they were getting a bit used and a little bit dirty. If I got diesel oil and mud and wood ashes on them, I'd say the got really dirty the first time I used them.

Depende el contexto.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:30 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
As in near all languages, it depends upon the context. If I had a pair of brand new gloves and I used them to move wood, and they got dirt and creosote on them, I'd say they were getting a bit used and a little bit dirty. If I got diesel oil and mud and wood ashes on them, I'd say the got really dirty the first time I used them.

Depende el contexto.


Sure. But is there, for instance, any difference in what is by necessity implied by "soiled" and "Dirty"? Does "soiled" always imply "visible stains" whereas dirty does not, for instance?

I am looking for the word most readily understood as flexible in degree and which includes "not very".

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:03 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
As in near all languages, it depends upon the context. If I had a pair of brand new gloves and I used them to move wood, and they got dirt and creosote on them, I'd say they were getting a bit used and a little bit dirty. If I got diesel oil and mud and wood ashes on them, I'd say the got really dirty the first time I used them.

Depende el contexto.


Sure. But is there, for instance, any difference in what is by necessity implied by "soiled" and "Dirty"? Does "soiled" always imply "visible stains" whereas dirty does not, for instance?

I am looking for the word most readily understood as flexible in degree and which includes "not very".

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:44 pm 
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I'd go with dirty then. It is broad and imprecise enough that, with modifiers, would serve well.

Sorta dirty. A little dirty. Completely dirty. Dirty, more or less. Beginning to get dirty. I guess it's dirty.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:12 am 
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I can't use modifiers, I'm afraid. It concerns leaving them in a dirty condition in general.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:49 am 
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Thanks for your help so far, Highlander. And everybody else who has replied. It's much appreciated.

Sorry to be a pest, but just trying further to tease out how people perceive these words.

1) Would you agree that soiled always implies visible diet whereas dirty doesn't necessarily mean that?

2) Is dirty the best word if one doesn't want to commit oneself to a clear minimum degree of dirt, e.g. visible dirt.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:56 am 
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Yes and yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Contaminated
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:08 am 
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Norwegianblue wrote:
1) Would you agree that soiled always implies visible diet whereas dirty doesn't necessarily mean that?

2) Is dirty the best word if one doesn't want to commit oneself to a clear minimum degree of dirt, e.g. visible dirt.

Yes - e.g. clothes are soiled when there are visible stains (and, depending on the context, will pertain to a certain type of stain), and are dirty simply in virtue of having been worn.

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