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Chaise Longue? (for Editors and Proofreaders)

awnlee jawking

Chaise longue is French. It means 'long seat'. Its plural is chaises longues.

So many Americans spell it as 'chaise lounge' that I consider it to be a language change and no longer bother to correct it. The problem is, what is/are the acceptable plurals of the American term. I've seen 'chaises lounge', 'chaises lounges' and 'chaise lounges', the latter in a dead tree novel which has sold over 110 million copies worldwide (and IMO is badly edited - I've spotted several obvious mistakes, including a character name change and 'showed' instead of 'showered')

So, for editors and proofreaders, what do you accept as the plural form?

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

Couches.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  madnige
richardshagrin

Lounges. Chaise looks to me to be modifying Lounge. Once the French longue is "Americanized" to lounge, it gets pluralized like an American word. With a very few exceptions like attorneys general. But how often do multiple attorney generals get together? Maybe the Judge Advocates branch of the army has several attorneys who are general officers, O7 or higher. Then they would be Attorney Generals.

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

Couches.


As far as I can tell, most American usage appears to be synonymous with what the UK would call a 'sun lounger'. That was certainly the case in the dead tree novel, as it mentioned them all being symmetrically lined up beside a swimming pool.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

AFAIK a chaise longue (long chair) is not limited to be a synonym for sunlounger. It's also a term for indoor furniture, similar to a settee or divan.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

what do you accept as the plural form?


chaise lounges

Ross at Play

I would consider 'chaise lounges' to be the lesser vulgarity.

In dialogue, I think I'd use foreign spellings and italics if the character pronounced it that way, whether or not the character knew how to spell what they were saying.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
AmigaClone

@richardshagrin

Chaise looks to me to be modifying Lounge.


It's actually the other way around.
Chaise is French for chair; Longue is French for Long

madnige
Updated:

@robberhands

Couches.


This answer gets my vote, as it made me laugh out loud. On a more serious note, there is a discussion about this on English Stackexchange

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@robberhands

It's also a term for indoor furniture, similar to a settee or divan.


I thought there was an implication that the seat/chair was for a single person, but a Google image search shows mainly pictures of sofas/settees/couches.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
awnlee jawking

@madnige

On a more serious note, there is a discussion about this on English Stackexchange


As far as I can see, the discussion there was about 'chaise longue'. I'd have more confidence if they had admitted chaise lounge had become normalised in the USA and discussed its plurals.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

chaise lounge had become normalised in the USA

This ngrams confirms that.

I love the way the English language evolves when speakers are inventive in taking existing words and expressions and applying them to similar but different situations.

However, I hate it when evolution occurs because speakers have misheard or misread some idiom and start using it incorrectly so often the error becomes an accepted new variation. 'Chaise lounge' in America is one of the most egregious examples of that I have seen.

I'd be splitting chips by now if I hadn't become so accustomed that. :-)

Replies:   Argon
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I would consider 'chaise lounges' to be the lesser vulgarity.


'Chaise lounges' was used in the dead tree novel, although I'm not convinced there was much of an attempt to edit/proofread it.

My sense of mischief compels me to wonder what Americans would use as the plural of 'femme fatale' ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
PrincelyGuy

My sense of mischief compels me to wonder what Americans would use as the plural of 'femme fatale'


60+ year old American who knows nothing about everything like all Americans ;). I would ASS-U-ME it is femmes fatale.

Argon

@Ross at Play

However, I hate it when evolution occurs because speakers have misheard or misread some idiom and start using it incorrectly so often the error becomes an accepted new variation. 'Chaise lounge' in America is one of the most egregious examples of that I have seen.

Like the asinine "Here, here!" instead of "Hear, hear!"?

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Argon

Like the asinine "Here, here!" instead of "Hear, hear!"?

Here's to homophones!

robberhands
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

I thought there was an implication that the seat/chair was for a single person, but a Google image search shows mainly pictures of sofas/settees/couches.

That might have been the original English understanding. 'Chaise longue' - a chair long enough to lounge on it. Since it's French, two people can lounge together just as well.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

My sense of mischief compels me to wonder what Americans would use as the plural of 'femme fatale' ;)

According to ngrams data, most still get that one right ... but not for long.

These are ngrams showing what percentage got it right, femmes fatales, in BrE and AmE from 1960 until the latest available figures for 2008. It appears that 'femme fatale' was used so rarely in English before 1960 that the ngrams results are meaningless.

That data shows about 90% of Americans getting it right until about 1980. That then started declining and was already below 70% a decade ago.

The Brits are not far behind. Over 95% of them got it right until beyond 1990, but that was down to 80% a decade ago.

I note the heavy bias of ngrams data towards books by professional writers. I suspect the number of non-professional writers who'd get it right is very small.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Michael Loucks

@awnlee jawking

Chaise longue is French. It means 'long seat'. Its plural is chaises longues.


Several sources insist that in the US it is almost always written as 'chaise lounge', and that is my experience as well.

Ross at Play

@Michael Loucks

Several sources insist that in the US it is almost always written as 'chaise lounge', and that is my experience as well.

That seems to be what manufacturers of the darn things call them in the US. I noticed Ikea websites use different names for the same furniture: what they call a 'chaise longue' in Britain is called just 'chaise' in America.

Ngrams suggests that written form 'chaise longue' may still be more frequent than 'chaise lounge' in the US - but it's rapidly being overtaken.

I wonder how often italics are used for 'chaise longue'. Probably a lot. So the dominant form now, when not specifically identified as being from a foreign language, would surely be 'chaise lounge'. The evidence I see suggests that is only recent, within the last few decades, but I'm not going to argue that point ... in fact, I need to go for a lie down right now.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I hope we never get to the point where editors and proofreaders 'correct' chaise longue to chaise lounge :(

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I hope we never get to the point where editors and proofreaders 'correct' chaise longue to chaise lounge :(

If they've instructed me they want AmE I couldn't leave 'chaise longue' uncorrected!

I'd say my favoured option would be to leave it but use italics. My alternative options would be 'couch' and 'bum support'.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I'd say my favoured option would be to leave it but use italics. My alternative options would be 'couch' and 'bum support'.


The 110 million copies sold, by an American author, story used chaise lounge as a synonym of sun lounger.

And I believe I read somewhere that you can buy a sort of bra for the buttocks, ie a bum support ;)

AJ

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

I read somewhere that you can buy a sort of bra for the buttocks

You're a genuine treasure trove for obscure knowledge.

Replies:   samuelmichaels
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


I note the heavy bias of ngrams data towards books by professional writers.


Actually, from what I've read, unless you stick to one of the fiction corpi, the bias (at least for more recent data) is towards academic papers, not professional writers.

Ernest Bywater

for simplicity I usually call such lounges a four-seat lounge. It saves a lot of worries about the correct spelling.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

'bum support'

Sounds like homeless aid.

samuelmichaels

@robberhands


@Argon

Like the asinine "Here, here!" instead of "Hear, hear!"?

Here's to homophones!

More like mondegreens.

samuelmichaels

@robberhands

a sort of bra for the buttocks


I think they call them panties. Or bikini bottoms.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@samuelmichaels

I think they call them panties. Or bikini bottoms.


Those cover but don't offer much support. I'm not sure of the optimum search terms but 'bra for the buttocks' and 'buttocks lifter' both return appropriate images.

Anyone here familiar with the jargon surrounding buttock support products? ;)

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Anyone here familiar with the jargon surrounding buttock support products? ;)


Do women still wear girdles?

StarFleet Carl

@Switch Blayde

Do women still wear girdles?


Well, I know my wife does at times. Especially when she wants to fit into something that's more formal than just the usual jeans.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Have any dictionaries accepted 'better' and 'best' as verbs yet? :(

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Have any dictionaries accepted 'better' and 'best' as verbs yet? :(

Both Oxford and dictionary.com accept both - with a sense of winning some contest. :-)

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Lounges. Chaise looks to me to be modifying Lounge. Once the French longue is "Americanized" to lounge, it gets pluralized like an American word. With a very few exceptions like attorneys general. But how often do multiple attorney generals get together? Maybe the Judge Advocates branch of the army has several attorneys who are general officers, O7 or higher. Then they would be Attorney Generals.

I'm an author and not an editor, so take my advice with a healthy dose of skepticism, but unless the term it italicized, denoting that it's a foreign and not an English term, I'd default to the English plural approach (pluralizing the final word), as it's no longer a French term but an Anglicized variant.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

Here's to homophones!

Hey, I've got nothing against each separate minority group choosing their own phones, it's an ancient principal called 'separate but equal'. 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Chaise longue is French. It means 'long seat'. Its plural is chaises longues.

Several sources insist that in the US it is almost always written as 'chaise lounge', and that is my experience as well.

The only time I've ever heard the term 'chaise longue' or 'chaise lounge' is when someone is trying to be pretentious when discussing their expensive leather couches. Thus I consider it a largely meaningless pretension, rather than an accurate description of a piece of furniture.

The fact that it's a fancy French term just makes it that much more pretentious.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I hope we never get to the point where editors and proofreaders 'correct' chaise longue to chaise lounge :(

How about if they correct it to "chaste lungs" instead? 'D

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Do women still wear girdles?

Nowadays they're simply called 'Spanx'.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

unless the term it italicized ... I'd default to the English plural approach (pluralizing the final word)

I almost agree with that. The exceptions are noun-then-adjective compounds, when it is the noun which is pluralised.

CMOS 7.7 lists these examples as being 'tricky': 'courts-martial', 'fathers-in-law', 'coups d'etat'. It says dictionaries list such exceptions, otherwise "common sense can usually provide the answer".

The literal meaning of 'chaise lounge' is 'chair chair'! Once you consider that as an expression in English the only possible plural form is 'chaise lounges'.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Both Oxford and dictionary.com accept both - with a sense of winning some contest. :-)

I'm sorry, but the dictionary's examples fall short. "I'm besting you," implies winning a contest, while "I'm bettering you," implies an imposed lesson on someone who's unappreciative of the effort.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

"I'm besting you," implies winning a contest, while "I'm bettering you," implies an imposed lesson on someone who's unappreciative of the effort.

Sigh! I was answering the question "do they accept?", not trying to list every possible nuance of meaning when they do.

And BTW, the first sense listed in my Oxford dictionary gives this example sentence: The work he produced early in his career has never really been bettered. Would you say that does not have "a sense of winning some contest"? Or comparison?

It is nitpicks like that which often make attempts to be constructive here very frustrating.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Have any dictionaries accepted 'better' and 'best' as verbs yet? :(

Both Oxford and dictionary.com accept both - with a sense of winning some contest. :-)


Damn, I forgot about that meaning. I better pull my socks up ;)

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

The only time I've ever heard the term 'chaise longue' or 'chaise lounge' is when someone is trying to be pretentious when discussing their expensive leather couches.


Actually, what I think about when I hear chaise lounge is swimming pool furniture.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross at Play

It is nitpicks like that which often make attempts to be constructive here very frustrating.

You're right. My objection wasn't with you for pointing out the dictionaries' point of view. It was with the dictionaries' points themselves. Is it nitpicking to point out the only exception, or in originally choosing a single example where your rule works (i.e. does the nitpicking claim rest with the dictionary entry).

My example could easily be "I bettered myself" or "when he betters his bread he'll be much smarter than he currently is." 'D

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Actually, what I think about when I hear chaise lounge is swimming pool furniture.

I agree with you there. Personally, I'd never use the term at all, unless the story unfolds in France and the phrase was italicized. Few English speakers use the phrase the way it was originally intended, but instead to convey that their couch is more expensive than yours.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Is it nitpicking ...

The point of my post was answer to answer one question. I added a few words of clarification, which were good enough for that purpose and not intended as a complete definition.

You could have written your post in a way to indicate you were adding information for the benefit of others rather than in a way which implied there was anything inadequate in my post.

I suggest you take more care to avoid using a destructive tone when you see someone trying to be constructive - otherwise you can forget about me trying to be helpful when you ask questions here.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

The point of my post was answer to answer one question. I added a few words of clarification, which were good enough for that purpose and not intended as a complete definition.

Valid point. But I wasn't specifically targeting your answer, but the dictionary's assertion. But you're right, there was no way to detect that I was referring to the dictionary entry vs. your response.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Okay and thanks.

Safe_Bet

Fuck it... I'm blaming the French! Now, y'all need to excuse me... I need to go compose a diatribe about how the damn Englishers don't know their boots from their bonnets.

Replies:   Dominions Son
samuelmichaels

@awnlee jawking

Chaise longue


Chase longed for another glimpse of his buxom neighbor sunbathing topless on the deck chair.

Dominions Son

@Safe_Bet

Fuck it... I'm blaming the French!


It's San Andrea's fault.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It's San Andrea's fault.

And she's got plenty of 'em, too!

Replies:   Safe_Bet
Safe_Bet

@Crumbly Writer

It's San Andrea's fault.

And she's got plenty of 'em, too!


Oh, sure San Andrea's has her faults, but her heathen cousin, Saint Anne Thrax, is even worse!

http://crazywisdomdivine.weebly.com/i-am-saint-anne-thrax-about-me.html

Replies:   paliden
paliden

@Safe_Bet


Oh, sure San Andrea's has her faults, but her heathen cousin, Saint Anne Thrax, is even worse!

http://crazywisdomdivine.weebly.com/i-am-saint-anne-thrax-about-me.html


Some people just have too much time on their hands.

Replies:   Safe_Bet  Crumbly Writer
Safe_Bet

@paliden

Some people just have too much time on their hands.


How DARE you insult a Saint like her! That goes double when you realize that I think she was the writer who wrote the great novel "Little House On The Prayery"! She may not be perfect, but Jesus thinks she's just to die for so who are you to second guess Him? Oh... and don't forget: If you never sin, Jesus died for nothin' so you are obligated to make his sacrifice worthwhile!

Crumbly Writer

@paliden

Some people just have too much time on their hands.

You're right, poor Anne Thrax needs something better to do with her time than her current hobby. 'D

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

If they've instructed me they want AmE I couldn't leave 'chaise longue' uncorrected!


Would you also correct 'rogue' to 'rouge' to satisfy AmE?

I've seen a lot of occurrences recently: rouge dog, rouge mage, rouge AI, rouge FBI agent, rouge CIA agent, and I don't think the authors meant they were recruited from Mars. The spelling seems to have become normalised here on SOL, and that's generally an indication it's become normalised in the USA at large :(

AJ

Replies:   sharkjcw  Ross at Play
sharkjcw

@awnlee jawking

Rouge is color

Rogue is a noun meaning bad or different

it is also a Nissan SUV;)

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Would you also correct 'rogue' to 'rouge' to satisfy AmE?

No. Even in AmE, 'rouge' is a shade of red (or similar) and 'rogue' means something that's gone bad (or similar).

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

What proportion of Americans would you require to habitually use 'rouge' instead of 'rogue' in order for your opinion to change?

While 'rouge' seems the majority spelling on SOL, I noticed rlfj used 'rogue' in his blog.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

What proportion of Americans would you require to habitually use 'rouge' instead of 'rogue' in order for your opinion to change?

I'd want to see evidence that a mistake has become the predominant form, not just anecdotal evidence of a few individuals doing it.

With chaise lounge, that is spelling used by a number of American manufacturers. IIRC Ikea uses different names for the same product on its UK and US sites.

Shall we talk about the errors British newspapers make instead? I've recently seen 'tow the line' used, and 'talks are muted' with an intended meaning of suggested, not low volume. :(

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Shall we talk about the errors British newspapers make instead? I've recently seen 'tow the line' used, and 'talks are muted' with an intended meaning of suggested, not low volume. :(


You used a smiley! Welcome to civilisation.

I agree about British newspapers - proofreading standards have dropped alarmingly of late. I guess they've had to hire the product of our backsliding educational system. I recently proofread a story by a former journalist, and they were horrified at the number of typos I found.

On a whim, I checked the frequencies of 'tounge' versus 'tongue'. While there's far too many of the former (IMO), they're just a drop in the ocean compared to the frequency of the correct spelling.

Perhaps Americans should just drop the letter 'u' from their alphabet. They're already on course, having dropped it from words like 'humour'. 'Chaise longe', 'roge', 'tonge' versus 'chaise lounge', 'rouge', 'tounge'. Hmmm.

AJ

Replies:   robberhands  Centaur
robberhands

@awnlee jawking

You used a smiley! Welcome to civilisation.

Smileys a benchmark of civilization? That's so horribly wrong, merely reading it makes me shudder.

Centaur

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps Americans should just drop the letter 'u' from their alphabet.

We did it to colour. I'm Sure we can keep going until it's eradicated.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

If they drop "u" what will they do to double u?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

If they drop "u" what will they do to double u?


of more interest is what will they replace it with in the leet style text messages.

Replies:   Keet
Keet
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

We did it to colour. I'm Sure we can keep going until it's eradicated.

I'm Sre we can keep going ntil it's eradicated.
I don't think so.

Edit: I don't know why is says it's a reply to Ernest because Centaur made that comment. Strange.

awnlee jawking

@Centaur

We did it to colour. I'm Sure we can keep going until it's eradicated.


I think there's a case for 'u' to be spared if it's the first letter of a word.

(And what on earth is an ited state anyway?)

AJ

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@awnlee jawking

what on earth is an ited state

Probably a typo. Omitting the U gives the nited states of America. Perhaps they sleep at nite. Or maybe some of them are Knights.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

I thought 'un' was a prefix meaning 'the opposite of'. Hence 'universe' is the opposite of 'iverse'. ;)

AJ

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