Author Topic: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March  (Read 4314 times)

Tom

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Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« on: March 24, 2015, 01:21:26 PM »
Another word classified as 'rare' and I'm not sure why: compere. Is this another case of only in certain English-speaking part of the world? Can someone elucidate, please?

ensiform

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 01:47:56 PM »
This is a largely British term.

WordNet: ▸ noun:  British term for someone who introduces television acts or cabarets etc

American Heritage: com·pere Chiefly British
n.
The master of ceremonies, as of a television entertainment program or a variety show.

Dictionary.com:
compère
[kom-pair] British

noun
1.
a host, master of ceremonies, or the like, especially of a stage revue or television program.

Alan W

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2015, 04:26:41 PM »
Yes, Tom, it seems that compere is unknown in North America, although quite commonly known in Britain, Australia, etc. It was discussed a couple of years ago, in this thread, originally concerning compeer, which was classed as common at that time, but has since been reclassified as rare.
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Tom

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2015, 05:16:44 PM »
So, the criterion for a word not to be 'rare' is that Americans must use it? An ENGLISH word?

mkenuk

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2015, 06:54:41 PM »

So, the criterion for a word not to be 'rare' is that Americans must use it? An ENGLISH word?

Well, actually, Tom, 'compere' is a French word, adopted and used in Britain and Oz, but not very well known in US where they prefer 'MC'; strictly speaking, there should be a grave accent on the first 'e'.

And yes, since North Americans (US and Canada) make up  well over 50% of the 350+ million  native speakers of English in the world, it's probably only fair that a word unknown to them should be classed as uncommon.

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Tom

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 07:32:32 PM »
I'm not sure your argument for it being a French word is strong. In that case, half the words in the English language would not qualify. That, to me, is the beauty of the English language - the manner in which it has evolved and fearlessly adopted words from many other languages. But to classify 'compere' as rare is rather silly. 60 million Brits, 24 million Aussies, 5 million Kiwis (probably English-speaking people from the sub-continent and how many millions would that be?) all use the word freely and, I'd suggest, the majority of educated Americans are familiar with the word and probably use it on occasion.

rogue_mother

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 08:46:47 PM »
But to classify 'compere' as rare is rather silly. 60 million Brits, 24 million Aussies, 5 million Kiwis (probably English-speaking people from the sub-continent and how many millions would that be?) all use the word freely and, I'd suggest, the majority of educated Americans are familiar with the word and probably use it on occasion.

Speaking as one educated American, I'd suggest that the majority of us have never heard of compere as an English word, and we don't use it even occasionally. So why is it silly to classify a word as rare that so many people are not familiar with?
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Tom

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 09:05:21 PM »
..."so many people are not familiar with". But millions upon millions are familiar. And if my guess about the sub-continent is right, with many very educated people who speak English like a first language, then you can add many more millions upon millions.

TRex

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2015, 07:39:25 AM »

Tom

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2015, 09:41:40 AM »
Thanks T Rex, I have just read the previous discussion and still absolutely disagree with Alan that he classes it as rare. It seems from one of the posts that we can add South Africa to the list of those who probably use the word quite widely. Also compere can be used as a verb so what, I ask, is the verb of MC? I guess it must be MCeed!! Alan, you're the adjudicator and I bow to your position but, in my opinion (for what it's worth) your reasoning is neither fair (to those who commonly use the word) nor justified.

Alan W

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Re: Compere - 10 letters 22nd March
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 03:59:21 PM »
I feel we've been over these issues a few times before, Tom.

I'm a bit puzzled that you feel a decision to treat a word as rare can be unfair. Unfair in what way? How can it harm anyone? I could more easily understand a player feeling it was unfair if a word is wrongly classed as common. If you miss out on a rosette because of a word you've never heard of, that could be annoying. But if you expect a word to be common and it turns out to be rare, so what?

The reason for making a distinction between "common" and "rare" words in the puzzle is to provide a measure of success that focuses on the player's ability to spot the words that can be made with a set of letters but does not require an unusually large vocabulary. The goal is that it should rarely if ever occur that a player misses out on a rosette because of words classed as "common" that the player does not know. This is why I will class as rare a word that I believe is known to some segments of the player population but not to others.
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