Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 02:16 am
@JTT,
JTT, you are a joy; your entertainment value beyond measure. If you were not here, I would have to invent you.

If you do decide to take my advice and seek professional help for what is driving you (and I sincerely hope you do)...please take a copy of this thread with you. It will tell the professional more about you than he/she will be able to obtain in years of therapy--an invaluable shortcut to making you better.

By the way...this was a good line:

Quote:
I guess the upside of this is that you will no longer be chastising folks, mildly or otherwise, on their language use. That's a good thing, Frank, because there are so many incredible things to learn about language. Also, it lends itself to reducing the chances that another generation will be saddled with these fictions.


You are learning. From time to time you are fighting it and often have serious setbacks, but you are learning. Now you want to bring the lessons learned to your posts with others here in A2K.


spendius
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 04:08 am
@JTT,
Quote:
there are so many incredible things to learn about language.


The important ones are obviously outside your experience JT.

Language is an instrument for the expression of thought in an interesting manner.

Never use figures of speech you have copied from someone else. That hardly applies to you because you don't use figures of speech. I assume you can't.

Never use a longer word than is necessary.

Never use unnecessary words.

Never use foreign, scientific or jargon words unless there are no alternatives.

Always seek to entertain the listener.

You could elevate a large balloon if you pumped it full of your inert prose.

You only have one style. The bollocking. The diasymus with ladles of ecphonesis.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 04:20 am
@spendius,
The trouble with exclusive reliance on emotionally driven disparagement is that you need to seek out people to tell off.

Look how the woodwork is vacated when some heinous crime is committed. Emotionally driven disparagement from a position of great safety. Risk free ego jack-off in other words.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 08:59 am
@spendius,
Your usual tripe, Spendi. You say a lot but you rarely say anything of value.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 09:09 am
@Frank Apisa,
Fair enough, Frank. You've made a decision to refrain from offering advice on English grammar. I commend you on that wise choice.

See, Frank, it's not a general ignorance that you possess.

You have, so far as I'm aware, only shown ignorance in two areas; English grammar/the workings of English and language generally and US war crimes/terrorism.
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 11:52 am
@JTT,
Quote:
Fair enough, Frank. You've made a decision to refrain from offering advice on English grammar. I commend you on that wise choice.


Would you point out the language I used in making that commitment?

I think I made no such commitment.

Quote:
See, Frank, it's not a general ignorance that you possess.


I do not think I am ignorant...and if that is what you are saying rather than just feeding your need to be insulting, I agree.

Quote:
You have, so far as I'm aware, only shown ignorance in two areas; English grammar/the workings of English and language generally and US war crimes/terrorism.


I suggest I am not ignorant in either of those two areas. Your need to insult is taking control of your brain...and you have ceased to make sense on these matters, JTT.

It is sad. You could have made a contribution here. You could have educated...informed.

Instead, you chose to bludgeon...to make a mockery of the education process.

Bad choice! But in some ways, I doubt you are able ever to take the high road. That is not a reason to dislike you or condemn you...and I do neither. It is a reason to pity you...and I do that.

I hope one day you see the right path...and begin to travel it.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 12:22 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
Your usual tripe, Spendi. You say a lot but you rarely say anything of value.


The most anybody can expect after over 2000 years of literature is to say something of value to somebody. To do it rarely is not so bad.

What is of no value to you is not necessarily of no value to everybody. You are in danger of the thinking that everyone else is a clone of yourself.

Anyway--tripe is £3 a pound. Even your cliched metaphors are hopeless. You broke one of the important rules by employing a figure of speech that you copied from a very long list of cliche-mongers. And you were warned too. But I can see that a mind-set that sees little value in what someone has instructed you in will be emotionally precluded from you having noticed it and you will thus continue mouthing trite, unoriginal banalities for ever and ever without the slightest intention of interesting anybody.

The assertion "tripe" justifies your statement. Your conclusion follows automatically. You show no sign of creativity and language is a creative instrument.

You might have said, with a little effort, "your usual farrago of fanciful, far-fetched, fermented flapdoodle" which would be as much an improvement on "tripe" as a feather-bed is on a cold, flat tombstone for a night's sleep.

The reason you have got like this is your position on prescriptivism. It allows you too easy a ride. It's always easy when you make your own rules. Prescriptivism forces effort.

No pain--no gain.
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 03:38 pm
@spendius,
Quote:
Anyway--tripe is £3 a pound. Even your cliched metaphors are hopeless. You broke one of the important rules by employing a figure of speech that you copied from a very long list of cliche-mongers. And you were warned too. But I can see that a mind-set [cliche] that sees little value [cliche] in what someone has instructed you in will be emotionally precluded from you having noticed it and you will thus continue mouthing trite, unoriginal banalities [cliche] for ever and ever [cliche] without the slightest intention of interesting anybody.


Quote:
The reason you have got like this is your position on prescriptivism. It allows you too easy a ride. It's always easy when you make your own rules. Prescriptivism forces effort.


You have made it abundantly clear in your posts that you do not understand what prescriptivism is. Memorizing a limited number of simplistic prescriptions is what is the easy ride. After your out to lunch comments on Aidan's 'was', you disappeared, knowing that you weren't up for the tough stuff.

The rules of language are exceedingly complex, Spendi and you don't have near the focus to address these tough issues. Your absence is notable on language threads.

Quote:
No pain--no gain.


Try really addressing your mind to some complex language issue if you want to understand just how difficult it is.

Do you think the collection of people who spent ten years on the CGEL were looking for an easy ride? Do you think that Randolph Quirk erred when he noted the immense volume of work that went into the LGSWE.

Neither of these mighty works is prescriptive in nature. For at least two very good reasons. Had they been prescriptive in nature, they could have been completed in a couple of days and they would have been completely unscientific.

They both take the time to point out just how useless prescriptions are to the main body of language, but they also point out the places where prescriptions are useful.

Then they go on to describe language in all its glory, with NOTE WELL, actual proof of the existence of said structures used by real people in all the varying registers of language.

Quote:
You might have said, with a little effort, "your usual farrago of fanciful, far-fetched, fermented flapdoodle"


You just broke a number of prescriptions but I'm willing to also accept that yours is a fair description of your contributions to the discussion on language.




spendius
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 05:15 pm
@JTT,
A "mind set" is an objective expression. So is "little value". As is "unoriginal banalities". And "for ever and ever" fits the bill as well.

"Tripe" is a mere subjective blurt.

The assertion is your complacent conceit. For example--"
You have made it abundantly clear in your posts that you do not understand what prescriptivism is." Bollocks!!

What did I say about aidan's "was"? "Out to lunch" is a bit corny. I was dictating to my secretary. "... you disappeared, knowing that you weren't up for the tough stuff." That's news to me. What "tough stuff"? When did I disappear?

Quote:
The rules of language are exceedingly complex, Spendi and you don't have near the focus to address these tough issues.


Another ******* empty assertion. Following a banality.

Aroint thee, thou rump fed roynon.
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 05:40 pm
@spendius,
Just so you know, Spendi, it's when JTT starts to really insult you in a determined manner, that's when you know she really secretly likes you and wants you to come back with some good stuff. You're doing fine. You're playing right into her hads. You and Frank Apisa.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 05:55 pm
@spendius,
I know, Aleppo's been free from violence 'til now. You little tiger.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 09:07 pm
OK, I'm finally bored.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 09:10 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
The newspaper guy with more of his no thought assumptions.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 09:41 pm
@ossobuco,
Trying to cure yourself of ellipses, Osso, is like trying to cure yourself of breathing.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 09:55 pm
@spendius,
Quote:
What did I say about aidan's "was"? "Out to lunch" is a bit corny. I was dictating to my secretary. "... you disappeared, knowing that you weren't up for the tough stuff." That's news to me. What "tough stuff"? When did I disappear?


A check will reveal that you did indeed disappear on the issue of Aidan's "subjunctive", Spendi. You hid in plain view.

You offered two comments, one that was accurate but for the wrong reason and another that wasn't even in the ballpark.

======================


Quote:
EXPERTS: Is "was" correct...is "were" the proper verb...or are both correct?


Spendi: I think "was" is correct. The poor girl was short, fat, spotty, etc etc.

===================

Re: aidan (Post 5044806)
Quote:
The was form is possible in informal, familiar conversation.


Spendi: Which might derive from the difference in French of "tu" and "vous".

=========================
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jul, 2012 10:25 pm
@aidan,
Quote:
So, (to use Joe from Chicago's pet peeve) as it's not subjunctive, but conditional- would it still be correct if I were/was to use 'were' as in:

And then there'd even be more nuance and differentiation depending upon if your speaker 'were' white, black, hispanic, a debutante, etc., etc.'?

I mean, I'm just clarifying in terms of 'rules'. I know it sounds fine to my ear either way. I think I could have used 'was', 'were', 'is' and everyone would have known what I meant.

I guess what I'm asking is if the same 'rules' a prescriptivist would apply to the subjunctive also apply to the conditional?


The subjunctive is a conditional in most of its uses. It's just a conditional that operates on the conditional scale in the area of unlikely to impossible.

There's nothing magical about the subjunctive. It's a remnant of a much richer subjunctive system found in older forms of English just as 'whom' is a remnant of a much richer case system found in older forms of English.

If you had used 'were', I believe that you would have been hypercorrecting.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypercorrection

And, of course, you would have been understood. This is quite common among American speakers, probably because they have been taught to avoid 'was' in subjunctive mood situations.

If you want to read more on this, let me suggest a short little thread,

http://able2know.org/topic/171008-1#top

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 28 Oct, 2012 11:48 am
@contrex,
I wish someobody would tell me who "Tico" is, and when and how they "schooled" me.

Singular antecedent 'Tico is' with a 'they' that refers to that very singular. And no one notice it.

Not even Frank or Roberta. Smile
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Oct, 2012 04:53 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
Sound logic is expressed thru proper English grammar (for the most part).
Words fit together like numbers in math.


A huge pile of pure unadulterated bullshit that I won't bother to explain to a blockhead like you.

Quote:
U can be held responsible for what u say.


You are, and you do say some of the dumbest things about language and grammar, Om.

Quote:
Beyond that issue, there is the matter
of avoiding expressing yourself with enuf
conspicuous error to appear to be a fool.


That's a daily occurrence for you, Dave.

Quote:
Concerning the Bible, I dunno whether the logic of grammar
had been figured out back then, nor whether its authors
were familiar with those concepts.


Another clear illustration that you are an idiot of epic proportions, Sig. The logic of grammar has still not been completely figured out.

Quote:
"Many people are under the impression that the facts about a given language are all known. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much is not known about English, particularly at the level of discourse and in the dimension of pragmatics."

The Grammar Book - An EFL/ESL Teacher's Course @ page 6


Quote:
nor whether its authors were familiar with those concepts.


Very few of today's authors are familiar with the grammar of their language, [this is the important part, so listen carefully] in a conscious sense. Everyone is completely familiar with the grammar of their language in an unconscious sense.

In simple, plain English, that means we can deploy grammar with no conscious thought but when it comes to explaining the whys and wherefores the vast vast majority of speakers of any language are completely stumped.

You are a brilliantly shining example of this, Dave.

This thread has provided a good example of that with the nonsensical 'everyone/their' rule.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Oct, 2012 09:12 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Pinker seems to be saying the same thing I am...but I must acknowledge that he said it much, much better.


That's indicative of how little you understand of this whole controversy, Frank. Pinker is not even close to what you are saying.

He specifically stated, which you must have read,

Quote:
And now we come to the biggest and most bogus controversy of them all. The fact that many prescriptive rules are worth keeping does not imply that every pet peeve, bit of grammatical folklore, or dimly remembered lesson from Miss Grundy’s classroom is worth keeping. Many prescriptive rules originated for screwball reasons, impede clear and graceful prose, and have been flouted by English’s greatest writers for centuries.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_good_word/2012/05/steven_pinker_on_the_false_fronts_in_the_language_wars_.single.html


And that "rule" that started all this, the one that you and Roberta tried to correct Joe England on, the everyone/their rule - it originated for "screwball reasons", Frank.

Read on.

Quote:
Sometimes an alleged grammatical "error" is logical not only in the sense of "rational," but in the sense of respecting distinctions made by the logician.

Consider this alleged barbarism:

Everyone returned to their seats.

If anyone calls, tell them I can't come to the phone.

No one should have to sell their home to pay for medical care.


The mavens explain: [everyone] means [every one], a singular subject, which may not serve as the antecedent of a plural pronoun like [them] later in the sentence. "Everyone returned to [his] seat," they insist. "If anyone calls, tell [him] I can't come to the phone."

If you were the target of these lessons, you might be getting a bit uncomfortable. [Everyone returned to his seat] makes it sound like Bruce Springsteen was discovered during intermission to be in the audience, and everyone rushed back and converged on his seat to await an autograph.

If there is a good chance that a caller may be female, it is odd to ask one's roommate to tell [him] anything (even if you are not among the people who get upset about "sexist language").

Such feelings of disquiet -- a red flag to any serious linguist -- are well-founded. The logical point that everyone but the language mavens intuitively grasps is that [everyone] and [they] are not an antecedent and a pronoun referring to the same person in the world, which would force them to agree in number.

They are a "quantifier" and a "bound variable," a different logical relationship. [Everyone returned to their seats] means "For all X, X returned to X's seat." The "X" is simply a placeholder that keeps track of the roles that players play across different relationships: the X that comes back to a seat is the same X that owns the seat that X comes back to.

The [their] there does not, in fact, have plural number, because it refers neither to one thing nor to many things; it does not refer at all.

On logical grounds, then, variables are not the same thing as the more familiar "referential" pronouns that trigger agreement ([he] meaning to some particular guy, [they] meaning some particular bunch of guys).

Some languages are considerate and offer their speakers different words for referential pronouns and for variables. But English is stingy; a referential pronoun must be drafted into service to lend its name when a speaker needs to use a variable. There is no reason that the vernacular decision to borrow [they, their, them] for the task is any worse than the prescriptivists' recommendation of [he, him, his]. Indeed, [they] has the advantage of embracing both sexes and feeling right in a wider variety of sentences.

http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/1994_01_24_thenewrepublic.html

Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Oct, 2012 06:23 am
@JTT,
Hi, JTT.

Hope all is well with you. Here in Jersey we are getting the front edge of a hurricane which will be the first landfall in New Jersey of a hurricane in decades. Lots of wind and rain. I am not playing golf today.

There is even better stuff if you go back over a year...and several years back is a gold mine. I am happy you are enjoying yourself.
 

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