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Getting onto my soapbox, please forgive me! - Page 2

post #41 of 72
Originally posted by Voxapps
.......Grammar is the user interface of communication. Sure, you can get by with a lousy UI, but you can do much more with a decent one.



Well Windows has a bollocks UI compared to Mac OS X but guess which is used more? Heh... English usage and slang usage from a marketshare/mindshare perspective
BTW JimDreamworx your sentence really should have started with "Regardless..." There is no such word as "Irregardless"
post #42 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by tilt
Arrrrgh, I tried my best to restrain myself, but I couldn't. "Irregardless"???????


But what about my usage of "prioritize", "myself", and "absolutely?"

American English has turned into a contest.
If you use more syllables than the other person, you win!

For example, if you wish to answer in the affirmative, you could say:
"Yes."
"Correct."
"Exactly."
or demonstrate just how big your syllables are with
"Absolutely."

"Irregardless" is not correct, but it has one more syllable than the correct form. Ditto for most people's usage of the word "myself" which has one more syllable than the caveman-sounding "me."

"If you are unsure about anything, please contact myself."
post #43 of 72
Heh...
post #44 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx

But what about my usage of "prioritize", "myself", and "absolutely?"

American English has turned into a contest.
If you use more syllables than the other person, you win!

For example, if you wish to answer in the affirmative, you could say:
"Yes."
"Correct."
"Exactly."
or demonstrate just how big your syllables are with
"Absolutely."

"Irregardless" is not correct, but it has one more syllable than the correct form. Ditto for most people's usage of the word "myself" which has one more syllable than the caveman-sounding "me."

"If you are unsure about anything, please contact myself."

How anti-sesquapedalian of you!

My pet peeve right now is that "whom" seems to be making a resurgence. Every day, I see people writing things like "Anyone whom would like to talk to myself should contact me immediately, irregardless."
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #45 of 72
I once read somewhere that 90% of the times someone corrects a person stating that the word "whom" should be used instead of "who", the correcting person is wrong.
post #46 of 72
That sounds about right. I'm beginning toi suspect that people think "whom" is fancy or formal. It's sort of like "penultimate," which everyone seems to think means "really, reallly ultimate."

Harumph.
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post #47 of 72
Thread Starter 
Or as Isaac Hayes said. "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymystic"
post #48 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx

American English has turned into a contest.
If you use more syllables than the other person, you win!

My favorite is "utilize" in place of "use." "The purpose of this manual is to teach you how to utilize our software."
You can never justify the cost of building a bridge by counting the number of people swimming across the river.
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You can never justify the cost of building a bridge by counting the number of people swimming across the river.
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post #49 of 72
However, I feel that people use "however" when they really mean "but."
post #50 of 72
However, some people use it when they don't.
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post #51 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
However, some people use it when they don't.

I think you misspelled "utilize".
You can never justify the cost of building a bridge by counting the number of people swimming across the river.
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You can never justify the cost of building a bridge by counting the number of people swimming across the river.
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post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx
Irregardless

The horror! Just last week the dean of my senior class got up in front of everybody and gave us a speech about discipline and such during our last few weeks at school. Now this was great and all, plenty bearable, but at some point she started out with the "irregardless". I'm not terribly pedantic most of the time, but my Latin teacher pounded into my head a few years back that this was the worst "word" ever, so I broke out laughing in the middle of her lecture (no, I'm not one of the cool kids). Just had to get that off my chest.
post #53 of 72
Originally posted by Voxapps
I think you misspelled "utilize".



Ah, the [s] vs [z] debate - [s] is British/Australian English and [z] is used in American English AFAIK.
post #54 of 72
Originally posted by midwinter
....It's sort of like "penultimate," which everyone seems to think means "really, reallly ultimate."



I thought that's what it means. What does it mean then?
post #55 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Originally posted by midwinter
....It's sort of like "penultimate," which everyone seems to think means "really, reallly ultimate."



I thought that's what it means. What does it mean then?

It means "next to last."
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
That sounds about right. I'm beginning toi suspect that people think "whom" is fancy or formal. It's sort of like "penultimate," which everyone seems to think means "really, reallly ultimate."

Harumph.

Come on now... The Penultimate Supper is realllllllly the ultimate of suppers - a mother of a blow-out, y'know?
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #57 of 72
I think this entire thread highlights the problem with modern language. Who is the definite authority? Which english (British, USA, Aussie) is the "standard English". With everybody changing and ammending the language as they please (the words luke duh, google being added to dictionaries) it is tough to say where the line is between "good" and "bad" english. Or should there be a line?

Of course the problem with this is that after a point the exact meaning one's written and spoken language is lost... which defeats the purpose of a language in the first place.

It would be reasonable to say that, until there is one unified recognised authority that produces a standard for a language and this standard is agressively maintained and enforced by society, the language will continue to degrade in terms of people being able to precisely understand each other.
post #58 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
It would be reasonable to say that, until there is one unified recognised authority that produces a standard for a language and this standard is agressively maintained and enforced by society, the language will continue to degrade in terms of people being able to precisely understand each other.

There has never been a unified recognized authority for English and there never will be. Furthermore, your suggestion that the language will "continue to degrade" assumes (in its imagery) that there was some point of perfection and all usage after that has been somehow a corruption. That's simply not true. Languages change, and with the exception of idiom and accent, the written word in English is still mutually intelligible regardless of what kind of English you speak.

Additionally, you split an infinitive.
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post #59 of 72
Originally posted by skatman
...It would be reasonable to say that, until there is one unified recognised authority that produces a standard for a language and this standard is agressively maintained and enforced by society, the language will continue to degrade...



I would use the word "evolve" instead of "degrade"
post #60 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Contrast that with the most famous example of Middle English, Chaucer:
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote...

Ah, the memories! When I took the majors' introduction to English poetry, the professor opened the semester by having us all memorize the introduction to Cantebury Tales, and graded us on how authentic our recitation sounded (he spoke Middle English so well, we all suspected he was a contemporary - he certainly looked the part). It has forever after been seared into my brain. That was simultaneously one of the biggest mistakes I made in course selection and one of the most challenging and mind-bending courses I had the hindsight pleasure of suffering through.
post #61 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Additionally, you split an infinitive.

In an effort to seriously intentionally piss you off probably. Tee hee.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #62 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
That's simply not true. Languages change, and with the exception of idiom and accent, the written word in English is still mutually intelligible regardless of what kind of English you speak.


Can you define objectively the difference between "degradation" and "change" of a language?
For example, how would you classify Ebonics?
post #63 of 72
This is a bit off-topic, but...

When I first started learning sign language, I tried to sign (and when I didn't know the sign, fingerspell) in the same way that I would talk or write. The looks I got! Even though this communication used by the deaf has its roots in English, the shortform employed is interesting. Especially when you consider English shortforms like slangs used by every generation.

An example I remember early on from an episode of Barney Miller, where Levitt was playing interpreter, the question was "Where were you born?" The signing was WHERE BORN.

Currently, I have a medical condition with my voice (laryngeal papilloma) that has me minimizing my speech, often with very abrupt, incorrect usage. People have commented to me about how I talk "way different" than the the way I write.

For some, maybe communication is all about getting a point across and not worrying too much about how it sounds. Just an observation. I ain't got no point...
post #64 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
Can you define objectively the difference between "degradation" and "change" of a language?

We used to have case endings on our words, like Latin. We don't anymore. That's change.

I wouldn't define degradation in language, as it's a moral position. Degradation assumes that language can be "corrupted," which also assumes that language was, at one point, not degraded, which assumes that it was, at one point, perfect. It wasn't. Ever.

Quote:
For example, how would you classify Ebonics?

Ebonics was a teaching methodology developed by some teachers in California, if I remember correctly. The idea was that black kids spoke BEV (black English vernacular [characterized by a simplification of tenses, among other things]) among their peers and at home English in the same way they would teach them a foreign language.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #65 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx
This is a bit off-topic, but...

When I first started learning sign language, I tried to sign (and when I didn't know the sign, fingerspell) in the same way that I would talk or write. The looks I got! Even though this communication used by the deaf has its roots in English, the shortform employed is interesting. Especially when you consider English shortforms like slangs used by every generation.

An example I remember early on from an episode of Barney Miller, where Levitt was playing interpreter, the question was "Where were you born?" The signing was WHERE BORN.

Currently, I have a medical condition with my voice (laryngeal papilloma) that has me minimizing my speech, often with very abrupt, incorrect usage. People have commented to me about how I talk "way different" than the the way I write.

For some, maybe communication is all about getting a point across and not worrying too much about how it sounds. Just an observation. I ain't got no point...

My old History of the English Language prof insists that ASL is not English.
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post #66 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
My old History of the English Language prof insists that ASL is not English.

True, in regards to the signs, but the fingerspelling is definitely based on the English language. Although I never further studied whether other languages default to English fingerspelling.

Reminds me of how wherever you go in the world, the stop sign has the word STOP on it, except Quebec. And the air traffic controllers all speak English, except Quebec. English is a universal language, but if it is so universal, one wonders why there is no universal authority on its usage.
post #67 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx
one wonders why there is no universal authority on its usage.

You want to try to get England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada and America to agree on usage?
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post #68 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
You want to try to get England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada and America to agree on usage?

And Australia?
post #69 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by tilt
And Australia?

Nah. Australia doesn't count.
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post #70 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Nah. Australia doesn't count.

It has to count more than Scotland, Ireland, or Wales. Well, at least Ireland. Those damn Gaelics. . .
Cat: the other white meat
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post #71 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
We used to have case endings on our words, like Latin. We don't anymore. That's change.

I wouldn't define degradation in language, as it's a moral position.

Not at all. Langauge is a set of rules that follows a certain set of specifications in order to serve a particular purpose(s). Degradation can then be defined (although other definitions are possible) as such implementation of these rules that the system is not able to serve its original inteded purpose. There is no morality in that anywhere.

Quote:
Degradation assumes that language can be "corrupted," which also assumes that language was, at one point, not degraded, which assumes that it was, at one point, perfect. It wasn't. Ever.

I highly doubt that you know whether any language was ever perfect or not. One doesn't have to assume that any "perfection" existed at the start... just that it was more suited to its original purpose before at some point prior time.

If you want, you can say that the purpose has changed, but then it's a whole another argument.

Quote:
Ebonics was a teaching methodology developed by some teachers in California, if I remember correctly. The idea was that black kids spoke BEV (black English vernacular [characterized by a simplification of tenses, among other things]) among their peers and at home English in the same way they would teach them a foreign language.

That's the definition of which I'm also aware of. My question was whether you would classify it as a "change" or "degradation" and why?
Certainly you would not call it a separate language...
post #72 of 72
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
Not at all. Langauge is a set of rules that follows a certain set of specifications in order to serve a particular purpose(s). Degradation can then be defined (although other definitions are possible) as such implementation of these rules that the system is not able to serve its original inteded purpose. There is no morality in that anywhere.

Technically, I'd argue that grammar and syntax are the rules and that language—or even semiotics—is something else, but that's another discussion.

But let's get down to brass tacks: for you, "degradation" is a kind of falling away from a prior, better, condition. To which I ask: why is it not, instead, a progression towards a newer, better condition?

Still think there's no morality in there?

Quote:
I highly doubt that you know whether any language was ever perfect or not.

Am I a specialist in the History of the English language? No. Do I know more about it than the average joe? Yes. English was never perfect. It has never been perfect. There was never any moment when English was in its optimal condition or best "suited to its original purpose."

English is the kind of language that roughs up other languages in dark alleys and rifles through their pockets for loose grammar.

Quote:
One doesn't have to assume that any "perfection" existed at the start... just that it was more suited to its original purpose before at some point prior time.

What time was that, specifically? 1975? 1900? 1850? What country? What accent? Do southerners speak better English than Yankees? Is it OK if I use "fixin'" (as in, "I'm fixin' to go to the store") if I explain that it's an old naval term that goes back hundreds of years?

Can I be fast and loose with apostrophe usage? Jane Austen was. Can I be fast and loose with the usage of the letter "K," which didn't really sort itself out until the 18th century?

And yes, your argument does hold at its core that English must have, at some point, been perfect. If there has been degradation, there must, logically, have been a point at which there was no degradation.

Quote:
That's the definition of which I'm also aware of. My question was whether you would classify it as a "change" or "degradation" and why?
Certainly you would not call it a separate language...

The only people I know of who insisted it was another language were the right wing nutjobs calling into Limbaugh in 1996 or so. It's a dialect. Just like Southern dialects or Yankee dialects or these weird people in Utah who say "mou'ain" instead of "mountain."
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