Let's have a big discussion on confusing linguistic concepts

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ZiggyPastorius, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Berklee College of Music
    I'm sure someone here on Macrumors is an English major, or a psycholinguist, or just knows a lot. I was reading some internet pages about some confusing linguistic concepts in the English language involving homophones, sentences that use ridiculous amounts of the same word, garden path sentences, et cetera. For example, the sentence "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo," or "The Buffalo buffalo who Buffalo buffalo buffalo also buffalo Buffalo buffalo." With "Buffalo" being the city, and "buffalo" being either the animal or the verb (to bully). These things are very interesting.

    This can be a list of garden path sentences or this can be various concepts that are similar to this. It doesn't matter to me whether it's one of those or anything...I just want a wealth of confusing (and possibly useless) English knowledge to be contained in this thread. :)
  2. spikespike macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2007
  3. DigiCatRedux macrumors member


    Aug 25, 2008
    Somewhere in New England, USA.
    I'm still upset with words in the english language where logic might suggest you SHOULD be able to spell them the way they sound - but no, they're just there to screw with you.

    Rendezvous: seriously? Why is there a "Z" in there? Phonetically, it doesn't even come close. Wren-dez-vaus? Is that how your supposed to say it?

    Others & more like this make me angry. Probably why we need college classes to understand our own vernacular.
  4. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Berklee College of Music
    Wow. I started reading that, and it makes zero sense to me. I'm not entirely sure how the thought process comes in...Apples. Apples and pears...stairs (???). Where does the pears come from? Why not bananas? Why not lairs instead of stairs?


    Eh, but there's no way to change it. It's more annoying for those who are learning the language...not so much for those who know it.

    I can tell you have an eye for detail in language, though :D

    Just to be clear, though, rendezvous is from the French language...which is why it's like that.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This one really made my day. :D I mean, srsly. "Hors d'oeuvre?" WTF? Who spells anything that way? Oh, yeah, French people do. :eek:

    Cockney Rhyming Slang fascinates me... but I've never really heard too much of it in person.

    Are there movies that have a lot of rhyming slang in them? I'd really like to hear more of what that's like.

    This is entertaining... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HngRt7guls
  6. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    Whether Buffalo (the city) should change its name to Bison is debatable, but the "Buffalo Nickel" is just plain wrong! :D

    In American Western culture, the bison is commonly referred to as "buffalo"; however, this is a misnomer: though both bison and buffalo belong to the Bovidae family, the term "buffalo" properly applies only to the Asian water buffalo and African buffalo. The gaur, a large, thick-coated ox found in Asia, is also known as the "Indian bison", although it is in the genus Bos and thus not a true bison. [Wikipedia]
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Haha, yeah, that made me laugh too, because everyone know it should be spelt "Whores doeverle" in English. Those French people should change.
  8. Berlepsch macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2007
    The Scandinavians have little respect to original spellings - loan words are written purely phonetically. For instance, in Sweden it took me quite a while to figure out what "byrå" and "kö" means.

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