Saturday, September 26, 2009

One of those oddities

When I was a kid, people often said "kitty-corner" instead of "diagonal". Now you hardly ever hear the first phrase.

"Up, down, sideways" is the equivalent phrase to "kitty-corner", yet nowadays people still say it rather than the formal term "orthogonal". In fact, most people don't know what orthogonal means when they first encounter it. So in game rules I use the formal term, but explain at first use what it means, something I don't have to do with "diagonal".

Who knows why this different treatment exists. Language is funny, and lots of it is a matter of chance.

1 comment:

Russ Williams said...

Amusing: I remember hearing "catty-corner" instead of "kitty-corner". I see from google both occur a lot, though indeed "kitty-corner" is more often. Probably a regional dialect thing.