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what's an "underclassman"?

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  • what's an "underclassman"?

    This is your editor speaking: Benjamin is a junior, ergo not an "underclassman" (or is that another word which recent years of mangling of the language has changed the definition?)

  • #2
    Originally posted by gh View Post
    This is your editor speaking: Benjamin is a junior, ergo not an "underclassman" (or is that another word which recent years of mangling of the language has changed the definition?)
    In my defense, the first definition I saw was “not a senior” and since he had another year of eligibility left, that would still hold.

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    • #3
      The Merriam-Webster, Random House and American Heritage dictionaries all define underclassman as a freshman or sophomore.

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      • #4
        unfortuantely, if you google, the first thing that comes up is

        <<a student in high school or college who is not a senior.>>

        the latter actually makes more sense to me, but I didn't learn it that way!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gh View Post
          unfortuantely, if you google, the first thing that comes up is

          <<a student in high school or college who is not a senior.>>
          That tells me more about the imperfection of Google than it does about the definition of underclassman.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tandfman View Post
            That tells me more about the imperfection of Google than it does about the definition of underclassman.
            The 'old' definition was arbitrary and nonsensical, so this TOE will side with Google!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Atticus View Post
              The 'old' definition was arbitrary and nonsensical, so this TOE will side with Google!
              But it's not an "old" definition that I cited. It's the definition that currently appears on the websites of those three dictionaries.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tandfman View Post
                But it's not an "old" definition that I cited. It's the definition that currently appears on the websites of those three dictionaries.
                Dictionaries are notoriously resistant to change - they can't afford to move with the times lest the change be fleeting. I have NEVER heard the word used in conversation to mean anything other than 'non-seniors', and I've been 'in school' for 40 years.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                  Dictionaries are notoriously resistant to change - they can't afford to move with the times lest the change be fleeting. I have NEVER heard the word used in conversation to mean anything other than 'non-seniors', and I've been 'in school' for 40 years.
                  Same here. Always thought the reference was to non-seniors. I may have thought wrong but I also have not heard it used in these parts as anything other than that. However we're in nearly the same parts which may explain why we have similar experiences.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                    Same here. Always thought the reference was to non-seniors. I may have thought wrong but I also have not heard it used in these parts as anything other than that. However we're in nearly the same parts which may explain why we have similar experiences.
                    Nah. Born and raised in Kansas been in Texas a few decades, alway thought it meant non seniors. Of course grammar etc. is not my specialty.

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                    • #11
                      I always though it meant the lower classes - 9 and 10.

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                      • #12
                        Anybody not a senior.

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                        • #13
                          Iv'e never heard of a Junior being considered an underclassman.

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                          • #14
                            The last word on this subject?

                            https://english.stackexchange.com/qu...school-college

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tandfman View Post
                              The last word on this subject?
                              You KNOW dat ain't true!

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