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Old 03-08-2009, 07:48 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Why is this term so popular?

I know it comes from the Greek, meaning “with, across, or after.” In English it has generally combined with other words as a modifier that generally conveys its original Greek meaning:
  • It means change, as in (metamorphosis).
  • Or relative physical position (metatarsal).
  • Or a higher or secondary order of something (metaphysics).
  • In computer parlance it turns up in metafile, a format that can be used by different software or platforms.
  • And it refers to keyboard keys that perform a function with simultaneous use of a second key (metakey).
  • And it is used to describe a cancer that has moved from its source to other organs (metastasize).

Busy little prefix, but I get all that.

But “meta” all by itself? As in the sidebar of a WordPress theme? As in the name of a large type family by Erik Spiekermann? As in the title of a book review in today’s New York Times?

It is kind of ambiguous to stand on its own, n’est-ce pas?

   
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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I have a friend named Mehta. Not Zubin, though.

I tried to persuade him to buy the domain name Mehtadata but I don't think he went along with it.

   
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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kt: Busy little suffix, but I get all that.
Shouldn't that be prefix? '-}}[/quote]Ugh. Yes, of course. I will go fix it.

Quote:
>> It is kind of ambiguous to stand on its own, n’est-ce pas?

Perhaps it's being used as a sort of shortcut term for the cognoscenti?
Well, yes, I guess so. But is that a reason for using it? <g>
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
Why is this term so popular?

I know it comes from the Greek, meaning “with, across, or after.”

(...)
It is kind of ambiguous to stand on its own, n’est-ce pas?
Not at all - on its own, it emphasizes what it means on its own: Self-referential; at a higher level; see also 1. and 2. here. Thus meta data is data about data. That's where the WP "meta" comes from, as well as the name of the HTML tag!

   
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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Sigh. I guess it all makes a kind of sense, though “self-reverential” doesn’t strike me as a positive thing.

   
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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kt: Ugh. Yes, of course. I will go fix it.
LOL!!!


>>though “self-reverential” doesn’t strike me as a positive thing

I think you need the prescription for your glasses adjusted as it's "self-reFerential"??? '-}}

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Old 03-09-2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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Sigh. I guess it all makes a kind of sense, though “self-reverential” doesn’t strike me as a positive thing.
I'm pretty sure I copied-and-pasted that from the Wiktionary page - which has an 'f'.

   
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:12 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure I copied-and-pasted that from the Wiktionary page - which has an 'f'.
Think you did. But what is an 'f' — in most of the U.S. that means a failing grade! <g>

   
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:27 PM   #9
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Heh. You haven't seen some of the presenters I have.

Self-reverential fits just fine.

   
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:03 PM   #10
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kt: But what is an 'f' — in most of the U.S. that means a failing grade! <g>
LOL!! I wondered if you were making a joke...too much crap on my mind these days...'-}}

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