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Author Topic: Okay, grammar folks...  (Read 1322 times)
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jack

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« Reply #20 on: Mar 20, 2017, 12:51PM »

Quote
You may have come up with a statement that's impossible to properly make.

Is there a whiff of a split infinitive here?

Some British people think some Americans are careless with the English language.  (Not all, in either case.)
And some Brits think that some other Brits are careless with the English language.
Use of language easily becomes a cypher for educational and social status.
There are people who spend their entire lives working on this kind of issue.


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« Reply #21 on: Mar 20, 2017, 01:08PM »

this is so much easier in spanish.

...or swedish. The verb does not change in swedish depending on who wins (or who win?). In Sweden everybody is a winner (oops!! everybody is a group too, isn't it..oh no another one right away. Can't make a post without making at least one new example).

Swedish:
Han vinner.
Hon vinner.
Den vinner.
De vinner.
Vi vinner.
Ni vinner.
Gryffindor vinner!!!

Interesting topic :-)
/Tom
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« Reply #22 on: Mar 20, 2017, 01:27PM »

I just stick with:

They win!
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davdud101
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« Reply #23 on: Mar 20, 2017, 03:00PM »

...or swedish. The verb does not change in swedish depending on who wins (or who win?). In Sweden everybody is a winner (oops!! everybody is a group too, isn't it..oh no another one right away. Can't make a post without making at least one new example).

//
Gryffindor vinner!!!

Interesting topic :-)
/Tom

That's the most particular language (or group - knowing Norwegian is the same) I was referring to.

Must be a COMPLETE MESS in Finnish, knowing that they have the craziest number of grammatical rules and slight variations in spelling on completely different words based on such tiny details.
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« Reply #24 on: Mar 20, 2017, 04:56PM »

Is there a whiff of a split infinitive here?

Some British people think some Americans are careless with the English language.  (Not all, in either case.)
And some Brits think that some other Brits are careless with the English language.
Use of language easily becomes a cypher for educational and social status.
There are people who spend their entire lives working on this kind of issue.

It is a split infinitive. I don't mind them, especially in informal writing. I just use them by ear. Like sentence fragments.

"To go boldly where no man has gone before"? I don't think so.
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« Reply #25 on: Mar 20, 2017, 05:50PM »

The funny thing is, we are hung up on all these grammar rules as if they have been engraved in stone since English was a language instead of having been developed in the 19th and early 20th century.  Look at writings from before that time.  Spelling wasn't fixed.  Capitalization wasn't fixed.  Punctuation wasn't fixed.  All these 'rules' were developed in by English professors trying to make English adhere to Latin rules.
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« Reply #26 on: Mar 20, 2017, 09:30PM »

The funny thing is, we are hung up on all these grammar rules as if they have been engraved in stone since English was a language instead of having been developed in the 19th and early 20th century.  Look at writings from before that time.  Spelling wasn't fixed.  Capitalization wasn't fixed.  Punctuation wasn't fixed.  All these 'rules' were developed in by English professors trying to make English adhere to Latin rules.

But even then - you've gota admit that it IS nicer to have a slightly more coherent structure to a language. English, in all its flavors, seems to have pretty stable rules for each variation. It's just that people don't seem to use 'em!
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« Reply #27 on: Mar 21, 2017, 04:54AM »

The funny thing is, we are hung up on all these grammar rules as if they have been engraved in stone since English was a language instead of having been developed in the 19th and early 20th century.  Look at writings from before that time.  Spelling wasn't fixed.  Capitalization wasn't fixed.  Punctuation wasn't fixed.  All these 'rules' were developed in by English professors trying to make English adhere to Latin rules.

Hell, capitalization and spelling were matters of style.
 
And don't forget the fact that "proper" English is very much a matter of consensus. If a given word or phrase or even the use of a grammatical pattern becomes common enough, it's adopted (not as sure about grammar, though it seems inherent to phraseology) and becomes proper English, or at least an accepted alternative.
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 21, 2017, 05:04AM »

English is great because it usually makes sense no matter how horribly it is butchered. There are some languages in which you become unintelligible just because of an accent.

In English, you can literally string words together caveman style and still be understood. I think that there are no other languages where two non native speakers from two different parts of the world can meet half way and exchange ideas in non proficient language like English is capable of.
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« Reply #29 on: Mar 21, 2017, 05:51AM »

But even then - you've gota admit that it IS nicer to have a slightly more coherent structure to a language. English, in all its flavors, seems to have pretty stable rules for each variation. It's just that people don't seem to use 'em!


Nah, that's not quite right. Spanish and Italian have very stable structures and pronunciation rules that vary hardly at all - there is so much variation in English that the "rules" seem to occur with less frequency than the exceptions. English is a crawling chaos slithering into the sea, a germanic language masquerading as some Gaulic-Latin mushmouth of harsh sounds and poor spelling choices. English is definitely an "ear" language, one that has to be heard to get exactly right.


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« Reply #30 on: Mar 21, 2017, 06:51AM »

Nah, that's not quite right. Spanish and Italian have very stable structures and pronunciation rules that vary hardly at all - there is so much variation in English that the "rules" seem to occur with less frequency than the exceptions. English is a crawling chaos slithering into the sea, a germanic language masquerading as some Gaulic-Latin mushmouth of harsh sounds and poor spelling choices. English is definitely an "ear" language, one that has to be heard to get exactly right.
Good!

English is great because it usually makes sense no matter how horribly it is butchered. There are some languages in which you become unintelligible just because of an accent.

In English, you can literally string words together caveman style and still be understood. I think that there are no other languages where two non native speakers from two different parts of the world can meet half way and exchange ideas in non proficient language like English is capable of.
Good!

I have to agree with both of these assessments of English.  There are rules to cover most uses of the language, but they are obscure and the language is such that you can certainly get by without them.  So much of the understanding of English comes though context, implication and inference.  The spoken form an the written form can be strikingly different simply because the implied/inferred meaning can change dramatically through tone of voice, timing or inflection.  I've been told Japanese is much like this too.
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« Reply #31 on: Mar 21, 2017, 07:18AM »

English is great because it usually makes sense no matter how horribly it is butchered. There are some languages in which you become unintelligible just because of an accent.

In English, you can literally string words together caveman style and still be understood.


I'll agree if "usually" just means more-than-50%.  I've heard lots of English that was pretty much incomprehensible. By native-born Americans, even.  :D


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« Reply #32 on: Mar 21, 2017, 08:01AM »

Japanese has extremely rigid, regular grammar. Like latin, you tack "endings" (they're really grammar particles) onto the end of words or phrases to show how they are used in a sentence. This allows for word order that is essentially the same as latin or an algebraic formula -- it defaults to SOV, but you can put them in almost any order as long as the parts are denoted with the proper particles. This is useful for poetry, but in speech word order is more regular.

As for inflection and timing in japanese, there are a few similar sounding words that are differentiated with inflection: candy vs rain, bridge vs chopsticks but context will differentiate for you.

I love that language.
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« Reply #33 on: Mar 21, 2017, 09:34AM »


I'll agree if "usually" just means more-than-50%.  I've heard lots of English that was pretty much incomprehensible. By native-born Americans, even.  :D

:-P :-P
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« Reply #34 on: Mar 29, 2017, 10:00AM »

Si  Hi
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