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Old Nov 8, 2012, 03:27 PM   #126
vrDrew
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Originally Posted by nutjob View Post
My point is that if enough people use the language "incorrectly", it doesn't really matter, the language has moved that way. You can't quote some "higher power" and say people are wrong.
That is one of English great strengths as a language. It evolves over time, constantly adding (and discarding) words as time and circumstances require.

English doesn't have an Academy like they do in France to determine what IS or IS NOT correct grammar, usage, or spelling. Why? Because such institutions are fundamentally incapable of dealing with the rapid change in language and remain wedded to absurd notions of propriety. (The French clung relentlessly to word ordinateur over le computer, although there is perhaps a good reason for this...)

Spoken English English is fundamentally different from American English in one important way: The way English is spoken in Britain gives important clues as to the social class of the speaker. Whereas in the United States upon hearing a young woman from say, Atlanta speak, you would have very little idea as to her family's economic or educational status. (You could definitely tell she was from the South, and Southerners could distinguish her accent as being a Georgia one, as opposed to a Mississippi or Louisiana one). However even today you could probably guess, with a fairly high degree of precision, whether a young British woman went to a private school or not.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 03:46 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Foxfan View Post
You can't really equate the spoken language with the written language. For instance, Canadians SPEAK a dialect that is much closer to American English, but WRITE in British English.
The language is written and spoken all along the spectrum from formal to informal. And Americans do tend to write differently from the British, whether it's formal or informal writing.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 04:44 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
That is one of English great strengths as a language. It evolves over time, constantly adding (and discarding) words as time and circumstances require.

English doesn't have an Academy like they do in France to determine what IS or IS NOT correct grammar, usage, or spelling. Why? Because such institutions are fundamentally incapable of dealing with the rapid change in language and remain wedded to absurd notions of propriety. (The French clung relentlessly to word ordinateur over le computer, although there is perhaps a good reason for this...)

Spoken English English is fundamentally different from American English in one important way: The way English is spoken in Britain gives important clues as to the social class of the speaker. Whereas in the United States upon hearing a young woman from say, Atlanta speak, you would have very little idea as to her family's economic or educational status. (You could definitely tell she was from the South, and Southerners could distinguish her accent as being a Georgia one, as opposed to a Mississippi or Louisiana one). However even today you could probably guess, with a fairly high degree of precision, whether a young British woman went to a private school or not.
I will agree that Americans have NO sense of propriety. Hence when one travels on an aeroplane, one sees passengers commonly wearing pyjama pants, flip-flops, and a hoodie.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 06:19 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by knemonic View Post
Instead of skeuomorphisms, we'll end up getting little pop up quotes instead of notifications saying "you're all coat and no trousers, you are."
I think you have conflated: "All mouth and trousers" and "All fur coat and no knickers" both phrases meaning different things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OllyW View Post
If you think British vs American is confusing?

We dow spake like the rest on yow...

YouTube: video

I had a team of yamyams fixing my house the past couple of days. It was like going back in time.

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Originally Posted by Happybunny View Post
One word that has been lost to America is Truck.

I remember back in the early 1960's being taught that the English word was LORRY.
We haven't lost it. We just associate different things with the word. This is what I understand by the word truck:

http://www.sodyinc.com/images/moto-cart.gif

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Originally Posted by nutjob View Post
My favorite work when I lived in the UK was "mingin". Also had a friend who taught me how to sing "The sash my father wore", which was hilarious on the tube on the way to football matches.
I would steer well clear of sectarian chanting. It is anything but funny.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 07:01 PM   #130
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I think you have conflated: "All mouth and trousers" and "All fur coat and no knickers" both phrases meaning different things.



I had a team of yamyams fixing my house the past couple of days. It was like going back in time.



We haven't lost it. We just associate different things with the word. This is what I understand by the word truck:

Image



I would steer well clear of sectarian chanting. It is anything but funny.
I was quoting Beerfest: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0486551/quotes

Pim Scutney: You're all fur coat and no trousers, you are.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 02:08 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by nutjob View Post
Typical poms, think they still rule the waves... or anything. The British Empire died a long time ago. There is no "correct" English, and no-one owns it. Meanwhile the English are entirely irrelevant.
Typical ignorant arrogant yankee response! I have lost count of the grammatical errors in your statement!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaffa Cake View Post
When this thread started it was a load of 'We talk proper, you don't' and 'Our country's ways are better than your country's ways', and other such willy-waving nonsense.

Now though it's settled down into a lovely, civilised discussion about ace food and stuff. Don't under estimate the healing powers of puddings and gravy, everyone.

Or biscuits for that matter. Biscuits bring people together.

I think our american friends would prefer "cookies"?
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 06:00 AM   #132
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The original comment I posted which spawned this whole thread has just been reposted, revised for the US election, so I thought I'd just link it for you all.

It's the (fake obviously) Queens thoughts on the subject

http://news.uk.msn.com/socialvoices/...b-12aa2fb33160
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 05:25 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by kaldezar View Post
Typical ignorant arrogant yankee response! I have lost count of the grammatical errors in your statement!

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I think our american friends would prefer "cookies"?
Grammatical errors and bigotry, that's all you have?

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Originally Posted by Bendrix View Post
Jesus, that's exactly what they said. Once again, I think you did not read what I said, or what the people in the links said. These people and I are descriptivists, not prescriptivists. We believe what's "right" is the way people actually use the language, which is exactly what you believe. You're trying to label me as the exact opposite of what I've been saying.

She said "irregardless" is a word. Most grammar nazis would say it's not.
Really? Sorry, I may have been replying to another post or just not paying attention. I had a few replies.

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Originally Posted by weckart View Post
I would steer well clear of sectarian chanting. It is anything but funny.
You seem British but you're not familiar with dry humour it seems, how can that be?
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 01:37 PM   #134
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Grammatical errors and bigotry, that's all you have?

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Really? Sorry, I may have been replying to another post or just not paying attention. I had a few replies.

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You seem British but you're not familiar with dry humour it seems, how can that be?
You're implying that sectarianism is just 'dry humour'? Or that you were being dry? Religious bigotry doesn't make most of us laugh, we must be a bit touchy that way.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 04:57 PM   #135
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So I imagine that at one time you must have used the word Automobile, why did you not carry on using Auto like the rest of the world?
In Japanese it's "kuruma" which sounds a bit like "car", but I don't know whether that's its origin or whether it's just a coincidence
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:19 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by ItsWelshy View Post
You mean the correct spelling for the language that we created for you to bastardise and butcher?
By that extent, we should still be speaking Old English. According to your statement, the Norse, Norman French, Religion, and a whole host of others have also "bastardized" the language. According to you, we should still be speaking Indo-European as its proto-Germanic forms and subsequent languages are also bastardizations of language. It's just the evolution of language my dear friend. No need to get your knickers in a bunch
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:21 PM   #137
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Personally think standard American english (neutral Midwestern accent) sounds the best out of any english dialect/accent.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:58 PM   #138
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Personally think standard American english (neutral Midwestern accent) sounds the best out of any english dialect/accent.
Naw... it's the Ottawa Valley accent that sounds best. The old CBC announcers had it down pat - best of all Lorne Greene

Do you remember Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame... also Battlestar Galactica? Mr. 'Voice of Doom'?

Now that is accent that you could listen to all day, eh?
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 08:09 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by colourfastt View Post
When my grandparents were in school in the 1920s it was "aluminium" in the US as well. It has, however, been simplified in the US like so many other words. Today's generation is far simpler than any previous generation could ever aspire to be.
I used to work with a Chinese guy who learned English from scratch after he arrived in the states as a political refugee. He was 50 years old when he got here, so he came to the task without that plasticity of wiring that lets a child become polylingual with ease. He acquired a couple of bilingual dictionaries, and wore through them by using them hundreds of times a day. He became fluent within six months. I said once to him that it must be difficult to learn stuff like the different pronunciations of words like "through" and "enough" and "trough" and "drought" and "thought"... never mind parts of speech that are different but may sound the same.

He just smiled and then said that he was so happy to have gotten the chance to struggle to learn English. Now I think of him every time I wince at some email from a nephew misusing one of the notorious they're-there-their bogeymen or making some similar error. It's not that I don't love my nephews. It's that I know they don't struggle with their language. They don't bother. It's simpler not to bother.

I bailed out of "simplifying" things when previously reliable and thoughtful institutions began to accept spellings like "donut" and "lite" which are both just plain bone lazy. It started in the 1950s and was perpetrated by adults. Today's generations are just the victims. However, they have already become our teachers, and so, uninterrupted and uncorrected, they are also our future teachers.

If we still taught and learned grammar and the short but important lists of particular eccentricities of a language, we would not see people making the wrong choices between words like "your" and "you're" (or in the case of homophones, wrong choice of "petal" vs. "peddle" vs. "pedal") but we can and do see those every day.

The errors are not just in blogs or forum comments but in books and in the columns and articles of metropolitan newspapers and glossy magazines alike. Part of that is clearly due to cost cutting and lack of proofreading / copy editing. But more and more of it will be due to failure to learn, and then teach, the language. It's evolution, but it's retrograde.

Language was evolving forward, i.e. to describe inventions or discoveries, to accommodate globalization where one culture had no word for snow and another had no word for snake. Now we've slid backwards to where children cannot learn because their elders can but will not teach them, or in some cases cannot teach them. Talk about your tipping points. We've passed some already when it comes to literacy and language.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:43 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by LizKat View Post
I bailed out of "simplifying" things when previously reliable and thoughtful institutions began to accept spellings like "donut" and "lite" which are both just plain bone lazy. It started in the 1950s and was perpetrated by adults. Today's generations are just the victims. However, they have already become our teachers, and so, uninterrupted and uncorrected, they are also our future teachers.
I'm beginning to think that it's just plain laziness that's becoming the problem. Especially when I see people write, for example: I need picked up from work tonight. As far as spelling of various words, laziness is definitely the culprit, when "plough" became "plow" and "draught" became "draft." Also, I'm of the generation when diacritical marks were still used to identify when a double vowel was to be pronounced twice, i.e., coöperate, vacuüm, reënter, etc. Diacritic marks do have a distinct purpose, for example: resume and rèsumè. Fortunately, the New Yorker magazine still uses these, sadly, underused features of the English language.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:52 PM   #141
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Naw... it's the Ottawa Valley accent that sounds best. The old CBC announcers had it down pat - best of all Lorne Greene

Do you remember Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame... also Battlestar Galactica? Mr. 'Voice of Doom'?

Now that is accent that you could listen to all day, eh?
I don't know. I turned on NPR early in the morning the other day (having not listened to the radio for about six weeks prior to the elections). I was startled to hear a very British accent reading me some US economic news. Generally I don't dislike British accents but I found hers, or perhaps her voice, annoying. Is hiring Brit-accented news readers a fad or is it just that the Brits can still read?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:03 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by xdxdaustin View Post
By that extent, we should still be speaking Old English. According to your statement, the Norse, Norman French, Religion, and a whole host of others have also "bastardized" the language. According to you, we should still be speaking Indo-European as its proto-Germanic forms and subsequent languages are also bastardizations of language. It's just the evolution of language my dear friend. No need to get your knickers in a bunch
In a twist dear fellow get it right. Get serious, English is a language spoken in England by English people, American "English" sic is just a bastardised version. The only exception to this in our time is the adoption by Portugal of Brasilian Portuguese as the correct form. I don't think Mr Ive uses aluminium! and you wouldnt' be able to post here at all if not for Berners Lee another Englishman!

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Originally Posted by TSE View Post
Personally think standard American english (neutral Midwestern accent) sounds the best out of any english dialect/accent.
You cannot be serious!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:05 AM   #143
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Its called English for a reason... Americanish
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:06 AM   #144
kaldezar
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Originally Posted by nutjob View Post
Grammatical errors and bigotry, that's all you have?

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Really? Sorry, I may have been replying to another post or just not paying attention. I had a few replies.

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You seem British but you're not familiar with dry humour it seems, how can that be?
where's the bigotry?
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:19 AM   #145
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"Amurican"

For a bit of a twist, can we through in Shakespeare to this mess? I'm sure he would have many new things to say...
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:32 AM   #146
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Wel I never those blimey septik tanks 're garn ter 'ave ter speak english from na on. time for a sugar and spice cuppa Rosy Lee and then Frank Bough ter uncle ned
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:09 AM   #147
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I don't know. I turned on NPR early in the morning the other day (having not listened to the radio for about six weeks prior to the elections). I was startled to hear a very British accent reading me some US economic news. Generally I don't dislike British accents but I found hers, or perhaps her voice, annoying. Is hiring Brit-accented news readers a fad or is it just that the Brits can still read?
I think you are confusing the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) with the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)....

The CBC tends to like to use a middling accent, that is clear and easy to understand. People from the Ottawa Valley (near the Canadian Capital of Ottawa, not the British Capital of London) for whatever reason have it. Lorne Greene (Canadian, not British) was a good example - and he came from, iirc, the Ottawa Valley.

For more examples tune into the CBC Radio 1 National morning news with Peter Armstrong - they stream live. I can throw you a link if you want. Doesn't sound British at all. Or Alison Smith who the does the World News in the evening, again on Radio 1 - though I tend to find her inflection a bit flat - but still very easy to listen to.

My favourite "voice" on CBC is Heather Hiscox, though. She does both radio and TV.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:35 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by kaldezar View Post
In a twist dear fellow get it right. Get serious, English is a language spoken in England by English people, American "English" sic is just a bastardised version. The only exception to this in our time is the adoption by Portugal of Brasilian Portuguese as the correct form. I don't think Mr Ive uses aluminium! and you wouldnt' be able to post here at all if not for Berners Lee another Englishman!

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You cannot be serious!
Wiki: The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) adopted aluminium as the standard international name for the element in 1990 but, three years later, recognized aluminum as an acceptable variant.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:56 AM   #149
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This thread has deviated too far from it's original purpose. If you would like to start a PSRI thread disucssing the topic then please feel free.
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