nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

All that jibe jive

One of the contemporary[1] errors which drives me up the wall is people who use "jive" when they clearly mean "jibe".

To my mind "jive" (can be used as noun or verb) means "bullshit". "Jibe" means "is consistent".

People keep saying things like "that jives with the facts". It would be kind of cool if they meant it was deceptively dancing with the facts (jive is also associated with jazz, both dancing and music), but they never seem to.

Googling "jives with" immediately turns up Clearspace: Collaboration that Jives with Enterprises: Choice is good, but Jive Software, known for its Wildfire XMPP (Jabber) server, believes that the lack of a uniform, extensible platform means that collaboration suffers. Knowledge traded within these mediums can wind up collecting dust within rarely visited intranet pages and email archives.. They clearly mean to say that their software is consistent with other software, not that it's bullshit. I suspect I'm not going to win this fight.

Jibe has a meaning in sailing which doesn't have anything to do with any of this, but seems to be better known than "is consistent". It can also mean joke (that one is also spelled gibe), but this entry isn't a practical joke.

The Free Online Dictionary has "To be in accord; agree: Your figures jibe with mine." as the second definition, so I wasn't hallucinating about what the word sometimes means.

Here's someone who's noticed the same thing I have:“Gibe” is a now rare term meaning “to tease.” “Jibe” means “to agree,” but is usually used negatively, as in “the alibis of the two crooks didn’t jibe.” The latter word is often confused with “jive,” which derives from slang which originally meant to treat in a jazzy manner (“Jivin’ the Blues Away”) but also came to be associated with deception (“Don’t give me any of that jive”).

This looks like a good site: I don't care if you use impact as a verb. The site says that most people don't care, but those who do care a lot. This matches my experience. (The site says that you wouldn't say "alittle", so don't say "alot". I'd normally use "alot", I think, but this post might be an invitation to nitpick....)

I was talking with dcseain about this, and he'd never seen "jibe" in the sense of compatible.

So, what are your meanings for jibe and jive?

[1] Errors go in and out of fashion, and someone who's *really* trying to set dialogue or text in a given period would try to get the errors right, or might even do it instinctively. For example, using "infer" to mean "imply" used to be common about ten or fifteen years ago. (Afaik, the error never went the other way.) More recently, it seems to me that neither word is used as much. I assume that most people noticed that there was something getting corrected, but going back to the old distinction seemed to much like work.
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