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The latest spelling, grammar etc. debate - Page 2

post #41 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Sorry mate the British Empire went down a long time ago, and the UK itself is pretty much f**ed for the next 10 years. And hardly anyone speaks anything close to resembling "proper" English of any shade in the UK.

Well that's where you're wrong. The last vestige of the empire is a pretense at owning the language. Because as we all know, the proper form of the language is spoken in Essex. Or perhaps Manchester.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Ahh... If you go to the southwest US or northern Mexico, a feature of the adobe archictecture used in missions and homes is a recess built into the wall. The recess is called a niche and is typically used to display a statue of a saint or an objet d'art.

The word niche is pronounced knee-chay.

Even Nietzsche would have found its pronounciation ironic.

Isn't that the green stuff served in Japanese restaurants?

Who was it that commanded the chattering classes to use the expression "at the end of the day" to excess and beyond? And don't get me started on nuclear and realtor.
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post #42 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Who was it that commanded the chattering classes to use the expression "at the end of the day" to excess and beyond? And don't get me started on nuclear and realtor.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that ending the day business started in the UK. But I first heard "the bottom line" in Hollywood (of course) circa 1973.

I am thankful we now have a president who can say nuclear, and much else.
post #43 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocket3d View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that ending the day business started in the UK. But I first heard "the bottom line" in Hollywood (of course) circa 1973.

I am thankful we now have a president who can say nuclear, and much else.

Yes, it's a British expression, which has been adopted by talking heads and politicians across America, presumably because they think it makes them sound more sophisticated. The other new one I've been noticing recently is the prevalence of "I was struck by." Nobody is simply surprised anymore.
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post #44 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Sorry mate the British Empire went down a long time ago, and the UK itself is pretty much f**ed for the next 10 years. And hardly anyone speaks anything close to resembling "proper" English of any shade in the UK.

We are currently talking about the spelling of a word, not how to pronounce it, to which, the British English spelling is still correct.
post #45 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

We are currently talking about the spelling of a word, not how to pronounce it, to which, the British English spelling is still correct.

In British English speaking countries only.
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post #46 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

We are currently talking about the spelling of a word, not how to pronounce it, to which, the British English spelling is still correct.

Orthography was settled for neither the US or the UK until after the two were separate, so I think it's idle to claim one or the other as globally 'correct.' Both 'realise' and 'realize' should be considered acceptable usage on an international board. If we're still arguing statistics of usage or something silly like that, that's similarly a split decision. Most of east Asia regards American orthography and pronunciation as more desirable/modern while south Asia retains a strong British English tradition. The Middle East goes to the UK dialect, South America to the US dialect.
post #47 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artificialintel View Post

Orthography was settled for neither the US or the UK until after the two were separate, so I think it's idle to claim one or the other as globally 'correct.' Both 'realise' and 'realize' should be considered acceptable usage on an international board. If we're still arguing statistics of usage or something silly like that, that's similarly a split decision. Most of east Asia regards American orthography and pronunciation as more desirable/modern while south Asia retains a strong British English tradition. The Middle East goes to the UK dialect, South America to the US dialect.

It doesn't really matter who likes what, and while you may think it is idle to claim something, I personally believe the British spelling is correctly, and since I live in an ex-British colony I am intitled to follow my belief that British English is the correct spelling. And personally I found it insulting and lazy when schools here started accepting American spelling of words as correct.
post #48 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

It doesn't really matter who likes what, and while you may think it is idle to claim something, I personally believe the British spelling is correct, and since I live in an ex-British colony I am entitled to follow my belief that British English is the correct spelling. And personally I found it insulting and lazy when schools here started accepting American spelling of words as correct.

What a coincidence! I *also* live in an ex-British colony (the US). I don't find correct British English spelling at all distracting, so I have no strong preferences. That said, I've encountered some Americans who affected British accents and/or orthography as a mark of distinction, and *that* is distracting even when (and this is rare) it's done well. I suppose I can understand the urge to reject unnecessary crossover or whathaveyou. That said, it seems a little odd to defend British English as 'the' correct English in this particular venue.
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artificialintel View Post

What a coincidence! I *also* live in an ex-British colony (the US). I don't find correct British English spelling at all distracting, so I have no strong preferences. That said, I've encountered some Americans who affected British accents and/or orthography as a mark of distinction, and *that* is distracting even when (and this is rare) it's done well. I suppose I can understand the urge to reject unnecessary crossover or whathaveyou. That said, it seems a little odd to defend British English as 'the' correct English in this particular venue.

It would be odd in any venue. Not to say odd, because I've seen it any number of times before, so it's much more of a matter of superciliousness in the extreme. Sadly, it's arrogance wasted on an utterly pointless cause, not to mention, a linguistically indefensible one. Ah well, I suppose I've tilted at a few windmills in my day.
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post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by HabaƱero View Post

Guess what: it's my name, so I get to spell and punctuate it however I want.

+1




do it yer way
post #51 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

+1




do it yer way

I guess you would be in favor of anyone exercising their nukyular option. Ignorance may be bliss, but it lacks respectability. Like with yer former president, the one without the charisma.
post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

I guess you would be in favor of anyone exercising their nukyular option. Ignorance may be bliss, but it lacks respectability. Like with yer former president, the one without the charisma.

huh?
post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artificialintel View Post

What a coincidence! I *also* live in an ex-British colony (the US). I don't find correct British English spelling at all distracting, so I have no strong preferences. That said, I've encountered some Americans who affected British accents and/or orthography as a mark of distinction, and *that* is distracting even when (and this is rare) it's done well. I suppose I can understand the urge to reject unnecessary crossover or whathaveyou. That said, it seems a little odd to defend British English as 'the' correct English in this particular venue.

Well except the US declared indepenence over 200 years ago, and you went to war to do it. I think this is a little different to a country that is still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

That said, I don't understand your difficulty with accepting that British English is correct
post #54 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Well except the US declared indepenence over 200 years ago, and you went to war to do it. I think this is a little different to a country that is still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

That said, I don't understand your difficulty with accepting that British English is correct

As he said, it is correct in British English speaking countries. What I don't understand is why you believe that American English is incorrect. But then I haven't seen you actually defend that proposition, so perhaps you don't really believe in it either.
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post #55 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

huh?

Well, I could clarify it this way: Habanero says he can spell his name with a tilde if he wants to, whether it's correct or not. Yes he can, of course, but in doing so he is perpetuating an ignorant mispronounciation of the word, and so he's doing a disservice to tens or hundreds of people who don't know the difference. You say he's right to spread ignorance if he wants to.

I'm saying it's like the mispronounciation of the word "nuclear." Would you also say it's all right for someone to spread around the ignorant "nukyular" when all around there are people pronouncing the word correctly, and the referent of the word -- the nucleus of the atom -- is so obvious? The analogy was prompted by your signature, which suggests that you would prefer that your president not be enough of a class act to have some charisma. Like his predecessor who for eight long years gave millions the wrong idea of how to pronounce the word?
post #56 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

As he said, it is correct in British English speaking countries. What I don't understand is why you believe that American English is incorrect. But then I haven't seen you actually defend that proposition, so perhaps you don't really believe in it either.

Simple, it was changed to distance yourselve from England, no other reason. And as I have said, I don't like that fact that the local education system has started accepting the American spelling as correct, as I have stated, it isn't
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Simple, it was changed to distance yourselve from England, no other reason. And as I have said, I don't like that fact that the local education system has started accepting the American spelling as correct, as I have stated, it isn't

So it's a simple matter of cultural conceit. We knew that.
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post #58 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Simple, it was changed to distance yourselve from England, no other reason. And as I have said, I don't like that fact that the local education system has started accepting the American spelling as correct, as I have stated, it isn't

Though there were certainly examples of the US changing orthography away from that in England, one should perhaps view that in light of the tendency in early years to change American standards to match those in England. Simply put, the US stopped evolving to match England and started evolving its own way. For example the 'u' in colour was only settled in the late 19th century after several centuries over retaining Anglo-French spelling versus more direct latinate spelling. The Americans went one way and the English another, but while this was made possible by the split, it doesn't appear to have been directly because of it. In Australia particularly there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the supposed 'American' usages that seem to have predated any significant American influence. Yes, the influx of Americans in the WWII era may have resurrected usages that were on the decline because the Americans shared those usages, but I don't believe the Americans introduced them. As far as I can tell, almost all the actual Americanisms introduced then have died out.
post #59 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Well, I could clarify it this way: Habanero says he can spell his name with a tilde if he wants to, whether it's correct or not. Yes he can, of course, but in doing so he is perpetuating an ignorant mispronounciation of the word, and so he's doing a disservice to tens or hundreds of people who don't know the difference. You say he's right to spread ignorance if he wants to.

I'm saying it's like the mispronounciation of the word "nuclear." Would you also say it's all right for someone to spread around the ignorant "nukyular" when all around there are people pronouncing the word correctly, and the referent of the word -- the nucleus of the atom -- is so obvious? The analogy was prompted by your signature, which suggests that you would prefer that your president not be enough of a class act to have some charisma. Like his predecessor who for eight long years gave millions the wrong idea of how to pronounce the word?

eh?
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artificialintel View Post

Though there were certainly examples of the US changing orthography away from that in England, one should perhaps view that in light of the tendency in early years to change American standards to match those in England. Simply put, the US stopped evolving to match England and started evolving its own way. For example the 'u' in colour was only settled in the late 19th century after several centuries over retaining Anglo-French spelling versus more direct latinate spelling. The Americans went one way and the English another, but while this was made possible by the split, it doesn't appear to have been directly because of it. In Australia particularly there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the supposed 'American' usages that seem to have predated any significant American influence. Yes, the influx of Americans in the WWII era may have resurrected usages that were on the decline because the Americans shared those usages, but I don't believe the Americans introduced them. As far as I can tell, almost all the actual Americanisms introduced then have died out.

No they haven't, they get used a lot, people forget to put the U in words, they use Z instead of an S in other words and they pronounce Z incorrectly. It is getting worse, especially with the education system accepting it.
post #61 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

No they haven't, they get used a lot, people forget to put the U in words, they use Z instead of an S in other words and they pronounce Z incorrectly. It is getting worse, especially with the education system accepting it.

So the point I was trying to convey was that Australians were spelling words without the 'u' since the 17th century* just like the rest of the anglophone world. When Britain standardized on including the 'u,' Australia tended to follow, but (so far as I can tell) not universally. Thus, when American soldiers flooded into Australia in WWII, they weren't introducing a foreign usage so much as resurrecting usage that had been in decline under the influence of the UK's imperial authority. Meanwhile, there were a fair amount of genuinely American words and phrases introduced, but most of those died out. I would tend to suspect they died out because they didn't 'fit' Australian English and alternate spellings have persisted because they were Australian in the first place. That's a hard theory for a layman like myself to test, but my reading of historical linguistics (I particularly recommend McWhorter's "The Power of Babel") convinces me that language and dialect is far more durable than most people give it credit for. In Australia's case it had meant that a great deal of official effort to expunge historically common usages had indifferent success, yet no official efforts were necessary to 'defend' from foreign introductions.

*Okay, in the 17th century it would be the ancestors of white Australians, but my point is that there were the multiple contemporary "correct" usages existing in unbroken continuity up until government-sponsored universal education narrowed the range of acceptable usages on a per-nation basis in the mid 19th through mid-20th centuries.
post #62 of 66
These are all excellent and well-reasoned explanations of the linguistic issues, but unfortunately what you are having to explain in reality is cultural chauvinism. You know, from the French. This, it seems to me, requires an entirely different set of explanations.
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post #63 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artificialintel View Post

So the point I was trying to convey was that Australians were spelling words without the 'u' since the 17th century* just like the rest of the anglophone world. When Britain standardized on including the 'u,' Australia tended to follow, but (so far as I can tell) not universally. Thus, when American soldiers flooded into Australia in WWII, they weren't introducing a foreign usage so much as resurrecting usage that had been in decline under the influence of the UK's imperial authority. Meanwhile, there were a fair amount of genuinely American words and phrases introduced, but most of those died out. I would tend to suspect they died out because they didn't 'fit' Australian English and alternate spellings have persisted because they were Australian in the first place. That's a hard theory for a layman like myself to test, but my reading of historical linguistics (I particularly recommend McWhorter's "The Power of Babel") convinces me that language and dialect is far more durable than most people give it credit for. In Australia's case it had meant that a great deal of official effort to expunge historically common usages had indifferent success, yet no official efforts were necessary to 'defend' from foreign introductions.

*Okay, in the 17th century it would be the ancestors of white Australians, but my point is that there were the multiple contemporary "correct" usages existing in unbroken continuity up until government-sponsored universal education narrowed the range of acceptable usages on a per-nation basis in the mid 19th through mid-20th centuries.

You might be right, I don't know, I don't live in, and have never lived in Australia.
post #64 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

It doesn't really matter who likes what, and while you may think it is idle to claim something, I personally believe the British spelling is correctly, and since I live in an ex-British colony I am intitled to follow my belief that British English is the correct spelling. And personally I found it insulting and lazy when schools here started accepting American spelling of words as correct.

Now, I can understand how that is concerning.

Ex-British colonies of Malaysia and Singapore maintain British English as the standard. However the general level of English ability has gone down as local language instruction took over from colonial teachers. The English-literate in their 40s to 60s tend to speak vastly better English than those younger than 30. Even though English has been taught in schools for the past 50 years.

To me, Australia settled on Australian English around the 1980's and never looked back, Australian English is considered the standard there, and in 8 years living there I never quite saw any significant differences from British English.

All this does not mean any particular English is the "correct English", by any stretch of the imagination.

It used to be in the ex-British colonies in Asia and the Pacific having good English meant better opportunities. Now, it's having multiple language skills like knowing Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, etc.
post #65 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Now, I can understand how that is concerning.

Ex-British colonies of Malaysia and Singapore maintain British English as the standard. However the general level of English ability has gone down as local language instruction took over from colonial teachers. The English-literate in their 40s to 60s tend to speak vastly better English than those younger than 30. Even though English has been taught in schools for the past 50 years.

To me, Australia settled on Australian English around the 1980's and never looked back, Australian English is considered the standard there, and in 8 years living there I never quite saw any significant differences from British English.

All this does not mean any particular English is the "correct English", by any stretch of the imagination.

It used to be in the ex-British colonies in Asia and the Pacific having good English meant better opportunities. Now, it's having multiple language skills like knowing Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, etc.

I dunno. The people I know from Singapore and Malaysia speak English incredibly well, enough that I would have taken them for having grown up in the US. Granted, this is not at all a random sample because it's entirely people who eventually settled in the US, but the difference between them and people from Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea is striking.
post #66 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artificialintel View Post

I dunno. The people I know from Singapore and Malaysia speak English incredibly well, enough that I would have taken them for having grown up in the US. Granted, this is not at all a random sample because it's entirely people who eventually settled in the US, but the difference between them and people from Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea is striking.

It's exactly those people that have all left Malaysia and Singapore! Smart, talented, with good English, they've all left here for a better life overseas.

Thankfully in general for the last 20 years Malaysians have generally better English than Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea because of Malaysia being an ex-British colony and that English is a de facto 2nd national language after Malay (though this will be challenged by Cantonese and Mandarin over the next several years)... Also, it is a common 2nd medium for interaction between the various races.

Singapore should always be ahead, because their medium of instruction for K-12 and tertiary education is English with Mandarin as a second language.

Malaysia experimented for a few years in having some secondary subjects in English and Malay but dropped it recently. Tertiary education is split between Malay for public universities (which preference the ethnic Malay majority) and English at private universities (open to anyone).

In any case as I mention though China's influence in South East Asia is not to be underestimated. It has led to a resurgence in Chinese language (Mandarin and Cantonese) use for Chinese-ethnic Asians in South East Asia; especially for the younger generation that don't see themselves moving to a Western country because of lack of interest or funds.
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