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Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

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Dave B
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#341 Postby Dave B » February 5th, 2015, 9:57 am

Latest post of the previous page:

Good one, Alan.

Reading things without checking on how they are pronounced can leads to problems as well. In a story there was a character called the "Polemarch".

What on earth is a "Pole-march"?

Then something clicked in my mind and as "Polem-arch", "war chief", it all made sense!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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animist
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#342 Postby animist » February 5th, 2015, 11:05 am

Alan H wrote:
2015-02-04_22h42_51.png
does anyone remember singing a hymn at school which included the line "Teach us all to persevere"? I always wondered who Percy Vere was and why we needed to learn about him. I was trying just now to retrieve this song in Google but was not persevering enough to find it

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Tetenterre
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#343 Postby Tetenterre » February 5th, 2015, 1:56 pm

If we're moving onto misheard quotes/lyrics, etc., there's always Hendrix's "excuse me while I kiss this guy" (Purple Haze), but my favourite has to be from the Saw Doctors. Even after finding out what the lyric really was, I still hear "to injure swans" in the refrain. (The real lyrics are great, though)

Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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animist
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#344 Postby animist » February 6th, 2015, 12:24 pm

back to pedantry. Emma W shared this on FB:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ?CMP=fb_gu

I am actually glad that this super-pedant is doing what he does - rather him than me!

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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#345 Postby Maria Mac » February 6th, 2015, 10:11 pm

Reverting to irritating phrases for the moment, while I'm on sick leave I'm watching a lot of American reality TV (Survivor mainly) online and the one that is really doing my head is their misuse of the conditional, which seems to be standard usage for them e.g.

If I would have known you were coming, I would have baked a cake. :headbang:

I don't think I've ever heard an American get it right at least not in recent years.

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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#346 Postby Tetenterre » February 7th, 2015, 6:33 am

Just heard on R4: "...a lot of smoke, which is impacting on people..."

Athena wrote:... misuse of the conditional,
(...)

I don't think I've ever heard an American get it right at least not in recent years.
I've given up. I do a lot less :headbang: if I just accept that they speak a different language: we speak English, they speak Merkinese. :lol:
Steve

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Alan H
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#347 Postby Alan H » April 3rd, 2015, 7:20 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#348 Postby animist » April 4th, 2015, 9:46 am


many if not most of these contradicted other ones. Shame we cannot produce some ironcast linguistic rules. One thing that strikes me from this thread is the prescriptive and proscriptive flavour of most of the posts. For a bunch of iconoclastic non-believers we are quite judgmental?

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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#349 Postby Tetenterre » April 4th, 2015, 11:45 am

"different than"
Steve

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Dave B
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#350 Postby Dave B » April 4th, 2015, 12:53 pm

animist wrote:

many if not most of these contradicted other ones. Shame we cannot produce some ironcast linguistic rules. One thing that strikes me from this thread is the prescriptive and proscriptive flavour of most of the posts. For a bunch of iconoclastic non-believers we are quite judgmental?
To make it a question should that lastt sentence not be something like, "For a bunch of iconoclastic non-believers are we not quite judgmental?[

This raises some interesting ideas. Fixed language is, sort of, a product of fixed thought - little room for free thought, innovation. Yet we need a framework where everyone (speaking the same language) can communicate seamlessly with others.

There wss an item this morning, on R4, about ELF - English as a Lingua Franca.In that they said that this form dropped the "s" off word like, "goes", "He go to town". Can we expected some of these habits to be imported?

Should we welcome or resist such changes?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Tetenterre
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#351 Postby Tetenterre » April 4th, 2015, 9:40 pm

Thou shouldst resist, if (and only if) thou beest consistent with linguistic evolution.


Or something...
Steve

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animist
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#352 Postby animist » April 5th, 2015, 8:40 am

Dave B wrote:
animist wrote:

many if not most of these contradicted other ones. Shame we cannot produce some ironcast linguistic rules. One thing that strikes me from this thread is the prescriptive and proscriptive flavour of most of the posts. For a bunch of iconoclastic non-believers we are quite judgmental?
To make it a question should that lastt sentence not be something like, "For a bunch of iconoclastic non-believers are we not quite judgmental?[

This raises some interesting ideas. Fixed language is, sort of, a product of fixed thought - little room for free thought, innovation. Yet we need a framework where everyone (speaking the same language) can communicate seamlessly with others.

There wss an item this morning, on R4, about ELF - English as a Lingua Franca.In that they said that this form dropped the "s" off word like, "goes", "He go to town". Can we expected some of these habits to be imported?

Should we welcome or resist such changes?
actually it would be consistent with a more methodical approach to English (I think G. B. Shaw, the writer, was associated with this sort of simplification and rationalisation way back - maybe it was more the spelling of words, I don't know). There is no need for these chaotic verb conjugations as long as the subject of the verb is clear. What seems especially illogical is that we don't even consistently distinguish between singular and plural subjects: we say "you were" even if the addressee is one person. So "He go to town" is completely adequate as a present tense statement.

Your other comments - no, I don't think fixed language is at all indicative of fixed thought, it would just do grammar textbook writers out of a job. Scientific language in the broad sense allows new words if there are concepts to match! Re my self-questioning statement - this is a sort of rhetorical device, apparently saying something and querying it at the same time; I knew what I meant when I said this, but I wonder if a court of law might (if what I said was important enough) to ignore the question mark? (now I have done another odd thing: made a statement which was really a question and reinforced it with a question-mark!)

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Dave B
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#353 Postby Dave B » April 5th, 2015, 9:39 am

Yes, Shaw's famous "ghoti" spelling for "fish" in English.

He had some good ideas but, as with all susequent ideas, they got nowhere.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#354 Postby Tetenterre » April 5th, 2015, 6:44 pm

From an M&C Saatchi publicity thing about Stuart Lancaster, England Rugby Union coach. Curiously, his page on the Saatchi website has disappeared, althoug it is still available in Google cache.

With Stuart’s academic background he is quite unique. As a great leader he has shifted people’s perceptions of reality - inspiring people to do the impossible.
Apart from qualifying the absolute and the oxymoron, it turns out that the "academic background" is a few years as a PE teacher at Kettlethorpe High School (Wakefield).

It goes on to say:
he has finished runner-up in the Cook Cup, Hillary Shield and Millennium Trophy.
These are trophies given to the winners of games against the Wallabies, All Blacks & Ireland respectively: "runner-up" means his team lost the match!
Steve

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Dave B
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#355 Postby Dave B » April 5th, 2015, 8:39 pm

Tetenterre wrote:From an M&C Saatchi publicity thing about Stuart Lancaster, England Rugby Union coach. Curiously, his page on the Saatchi website has disappeared, althoug it is still available in Google cache.

With Stuart’s academic background he is quite unique. As a great leader he has shifted people’s perceptions of reality - inspiring people to do the impossible.
Apart from qualifying the absolute and the oxymoron, it turns out that the "academic background" is a few years as a PE teacher at Kettlethorpe High School (Wakefield).

It goes on to say:
he has finished runner-up in the Cook Cup, Hillary Shield and Millennium Trophy.
These are trophies given to the winners of games against the Wallabies, All Blacks & Ireland respectively: "runner-up" means his team lost the match!
I think they call this "spin" . . .
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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getreal
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#356 Postby getreal » April 5th, 2015, 11:35 pm

I hate the use of "how" instead of "why".

I was in Ayr on Friday and two young women, pushing a pram, approached the steps of the bank. "Ah, naw! How's it closed?" One remarked. I was very tempted to say "it is closed with a great big padlock" because it was. I didn't though, becuas they looked very tough.

I suspect it's a west of Scotland thing.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Dave B
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#357 Postby Dave B » April 6th, 2015, 10:25 am

I have heard, "How do you mean" instead of, "What do you mean" spoken in a Scottish accent.
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animist
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#358 Postby animist » April 6th, 2015, 10:27 am

getreal wrote:I hate the use of "how" instead of "why".

I was in Ayr on Friday and two young women, pushing a pram, approached the steps of the bank. "Ah, naw! How's it closed?" One remarked. I was very tempted to say "it is closed with a great big padlock" because it was. I didn't though, becuas they looked very tough.

I suspect it's a west of Scotland thing.
I guess they meant something like "How can it be that this is closed?" A sort of indignant and rhetorical version of "Why is this closed?" Your proposed but wisely suppressed response was about how it WAS closed, ie the means behind the purpose

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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#359 Postby Lord Muck oGentry » April 6th, 2015, 8:45 pm



I rather like whom, in speech as in writing. Besides, there are contexts in which it is mandatory: if " To who did you give the book?" doesn't cause you to raise an eyebrow, you've been overdoing the Botox.

The Oxford comma rouses mixed feelings in me. In many contexts it is wrong to the eye. However, I dislike leaving it out in writing when reading the sentence aloud calls for a small musical rest before the final and.
If it seems to be called for to clarify meaning, then I think of recasting the sentence.


Singular they is an abomination. If you cannot follow the old rule, you should write he or she throughout the paragraph. And it serves you right! :D

The lady who objects to try and... really needs to get a grip of herself. Hendiadys is sturdy English idiom, as old as the language itself. The only possible objection is that it may give an impression of informality where formality is called for.

I applaud the gentleman who objects to due to for because of. I still believe that matches are cancelled owing to rain and that rain is what the cancellations are due to.

Prepositions at the end are all right, but I don't think they are alright. Nothing's alright.


My word! There's nothing like a linguistic peeve for working up a good rant... :D :D
What we can't say, we can't say and we can't whistle it either. — Frank Ramsey

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Dave B
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#360 Postby Dave B » April 6th, 2015, 10:06 pm

It is a good day, I have learned something!

I had not heard of the Oxford comma but I have wrestled with it often. It seems necessary but also seemed to break rules that were hamered into me at school - don't put a comma before "and," or, "but". I am more relaxed about this now. Lord Muck's, "musical rest", is valid - unless it is something technical I normally try to write in a manner that suites the words being spoken, such pauses are then part of the rhythm.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Re: Grammer and phrases wot is irritating

#361 Postby Tetenterre » April 7th, 2015, 8:57 am

I've probably said this before, but the marvellous Tony Nagle, my O-level English teacher (who did his damnedest to make the language and literature interesting to adolescent boys who just wanted to get out onto the sports fields or swimming pool), drummed into us that all the rules of grammar, etc. should be adhered to unless breaking them improved clarity.
Steve

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