Germanization of the English grammar

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rajalot, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. rajalot macrumors member

    rajalot

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    May 27, 2008
    #1
    I have noticed that quite often in the Internet people happen to write nouns - sometimes even adjectives - with capital letters. That's something that germans do when writing German language and that's by design, but to my amusement even native english-speakers do that when writing.

    Why is it happening? Here's one prime example of what I'm talking about: "Otherwise, choose a Descriptive Title"

    I'm not a native speaker so bad grammar in foreign languages is easy to spot.
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #2
    Are you sure people are not doing it Just For Emphasis? :D
     
  3. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Republic of Ukistan
    #3
    I would hesitate to reach any conclusion about "English" usage from a perusal of this site. I would not dream of Capitalising Anything Inappropriately.
     
  4. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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  5. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #5
    wHy Teh Hesitationation? U mean we do net speak here? :D

    Seriously though, if we had the grammar and spelling police out, we would have 100s of arrests. Including the author of this post (i.e. me).
     
  6. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #6
    I do it for Emphasis of what I'm talking about.

    TEG
     
  7. rajalot thread starter macrumors member

    rajalot

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    May 27, 2008
    #7
    Not only this on forum, but others too. Furthermore, I have seen even news articles with random capitalized nouns, most likely to emphasize something.

    EDIT:
    this is from a bloody science article:
    "An area on Chromosome 15, one of the bundles of genes in cells, harboured deletions in 9 cases and no controls, while an area on Chromosome 1 had deletions in 10 cases and only one control. "This tells us that variations in both of these areas are very potent risk factors for schizophrenia," said Dr Sklar."
    Chromosome is not a name, not even when it has a number after it. GG, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2008/07/30/scischiz130.xml
     
  8. powerdave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    Hamburg
    #8
    I know what you mean! Although I don't think that it has any link to German- it's just becoming normal and acceptable. I used to have to stop and think when reading reports where I would expect to see proper English, and I'd come across something like "as shown in Figure A"... personally I do it too sometimes, really because I see Figure A or Community Discussion as a title.

    I'm learning German at the moment and I find it really surprising how often I'm unsure as to whether or not a word should be capitalised, even though I know nouns are, as a rule... hopefully through learning German my English will improve a bit too...
     
  9. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    #9
    it looks like the name of a bundle of genes to me no? for instance, they could have called Chromosome 15 "Harry" but chose to call it Chromosome 15. A chromosome itself is not a name, but in this case the usage is such
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #10
    We have der Queensowngoodenglishgrammarconstructionskills forgotten.
     
  11. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #11
    English, in fact I'd say most, languages are just mongrels. English has germanic and latin influences as well as celtic, indian and even african too. Most recently general usage is being influenced by chavish at an alarming rate!

    I'm all for good communicating, but spelling and grammar don't really bother me hugely.
     
  12. rajalot thread starter macrumors member

    rajalot

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    May 27, 2008
    #12
    Not the case. Humans have 46 chromosomes and when you talk about chromosome 15, you know it's the 15th chromosome in order.
     
  13. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    #13
    yes english is a huge mish mosh of influences, but the grammar comes from teutonic history and in fact both the original Angles and the Saxons,which made up the Anglo-Saxons, were indeed teutonic migrants from northern europe. English is a fascinating language. 2000 years ago spoken only by a small tribe less than a thousand strong, and now what it is today.
     
  14. kabunaru Guest

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #14
    English is not a mixed language, but the French didn't influence it except in some vocabulary.
    English is about 98%-99% Germanic, 1%-2% Scandinavian and English came from a Low German Dialect.
    It's just that English has a lot of "borrowed" vocabulary.
     
  15. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #15
    Thank goodness we don't speak English over here on this side of the Atlantic, and thus have remained Untainted.
     
  16. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #16
    In my opinion, think I, that English into German not turning is.
     
  17. nmorris macrumors newbie

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    Apr 25, 2008
    #17
    Middle English

    In case you were not aware, all nouns used to be capitalized in the English language up until, and even after, standardized dictionaries were implemented.

    Cheers,

    -Nathan
     
  18. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #18
    I think part of peoples misuse of capitalization is a direct result of sheer laziness. However, since there is not a heavy emphasis on proper grammar, especially in college or the work place. I would guess that most people simply do not remember all of the rules for capitalization. Much of the time my grammar is correct but, it has been so long since I have had an English teacher correct my grammar and punctuation that it is difficult to remember all of the rules and to keep them straight. Though what makes it more difficult is the constantly changing rules from the MLA and the different writing styles.

    Anyways this is an interesting source for the rules to capitalization and there is a little quiz at the end.
    http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/capital.asp

    Learning German can help a lot in relearning English grammar and pronunciation. Though it can be confusing since there are so many cases, such a heavy emphasis on combining words and the importance of a words gender. Not to mention the tendency of an English speaker wanting to load a German sentence full of prepositions.

    What I did find interesting is some common mispronunciations used by American English speakers. Such as pronouncing "what" as "wut" rather than the proper "hwut". Sorry I do not know the dictionary method of phonetic spelling.
     
  19. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

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    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #19
    That's complete rubbish.

    English is a mix of the many languages brought by invaders to Britain throughout history. Including, but certainly not limited to, French, Viking (Scandinavian), Anglo Saxon (Germanic), Roman (Latin, early italian, greek) and Celtic. If you honestly believe that English is 99% Germanic then just go to OS X dictionary and notice the origin of the words. You'll find many come from Greek or Latin.

    Just to prove it, I've taken the liberty to write three simple sentences here:

    1. The brown fox ran quickly away after stealing a chicken from the farmer. (every word here is Germanic in origin except Farmer)

    2. Mrs. Parry's estate was practically given away due to market conditions. (every word here is Latin in origin except: given; away; to)

    3. The agnostic monk despised absinthe and hippopotamuses :)
    (Mostly greek, latin: despised. We wont even talk about medical specialisations)

    /rant over :)

    Right, to answer the original question. Capital letters have made their way into English as a way of emphasising certain things. I don't particularly like the bastardisation of any language, but I commit this one ALL (;)) the time myself. After spending a year in Germany I now find it very hard to write a noun without a capital letter.
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Palookaville
    #20
    Was sagen sie?
     
  21. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #21
    I'm reminded of this oldie-but-goody :)

     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Jul 16, 2002
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    #22
    Not complete rubbish, surely. English is classified linguistically as a Germanic language. I believe the other choices in the European language families are Romance and Slavic.
     
  23. kabunaru Guest

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #23
    Right. English is a Germanic language with "added" vocabulary from other languages.
     
  24. hobbbz macrumors 6502a

    hobbbz

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    Mar 8, 2005
    #24
    What about that one kid who posts every once in a while who capitalizes the first letter of every word of his writing. He even has to explain it in his sig because it irritates people so much. He thinks it makes it easier for him to read, but I think he's an idiot.
     
  25. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #25
    I Don't Know Who You Mean, But I Think You're Being A Little Harsh.
     

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