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IT JUST AIN'T RIGHT . . .

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 09:55 am
I have no objection to ending a sentence with a preposition, if that's what you're into.

And i see no reason not to start a sentence with a conjunction.

I ain't got no objection to none of those double-negatives.


There is always a dynamic struggle in language between innovation and the need for universal definition to ensure effective communications. How do you feel about language usage? Do you have pet peeves? Do you feel the application of "rules" (the origins of which are often obscure and individualistic) is necessary? Do you object to people writing as they speak?
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:10 am
Setanta, are we talking about here on this forum? If so, then I don't object to barbarisms as long as I realize that the posters know the difference between substandard and standard usage. Usage is really a social thing. If one plans to live in a community where a certain type usage is acceptable, then I guess it's okay to continue that practice.
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Equus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:19 am
Language is the tool of communication. If the speaker/sender and the listener/receiver both comprehend the message quickly and easily, there is no foul. Proper usage will TEND to facilitate communication, but there may be situations where improper grammar is more effective at communication than proper grammar.


A joke:
TEACHER: In some languages, like English, a double negative equals a positive. In other languages, like Russian, a double negative is still a negative. But there are no languages in which a double positive equals a negative.
STUDENT: Yeah, right.
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oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:26 am
Setanta wrote:
Do you object to people writing as they speak?


Writing as they speak helps their works go to populace, thus helps deepen democracy. Very Happy
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 10:28 am
Good one, Equus . . . that's definitely a horse of a different color . . .


Oristar, we could use a little democracy here in the land of the free and the home of the brave . . .
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 11:08 am
I don't mind the use of slang or even 'barbarism' (as Letty puts it) of the language if it is in aid of communication. However, I AM mysteriously compelled to correct people wherever I find opportunity (the legacy of my mother, who is much worse than myself when it comes to picking on grammar)
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 11:15 am
I write as I speak, generaly. And, I also start sentences with conjuntions (even worse, I often start sentences with 'But'). In a forum like this, I think it works better than strict and proper writing. It's more personal. Got to go, the baby's awake.........
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 11:16 am
Oh, I write as I speak, except when I speak I don't make typoes.
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 11:18 am
Really? I do. It's most confusing for all concerned.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 11:19 am
Let the parts of speech fall where they may! Each man and woman in the Land of the Free is entitled to a personal grammar!

All the same, I'll continue to make personal evaluations of each and every grammar and draw conclusions about the talents and merits of the writer or speaker.

I imagine employers feel the same way.
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Levi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 02:08 pm
Another thing to which most people don't object... :wink:

...Is using the D.O. form of a pronoun after the verb "to be". My sister and mother will still say this is she on the phone, but virtually everyone will say it is/was me rather than it is/was I.

As you can see ^, I don't end sentences with prepositions when I'm trying to be silly in informal situations. In formal situations, I don't care at all. Foreigners tell me they'd think it'd be the other way around, but for me it's just a matter of trying to sound goofy.

Besides, it wouldn't be a language if it didn't evolve.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 04:02 pm
Well, Shakespeare was very fond of the double negative, and used it as an emphasiser of the force of negativity - and so do I, at times!

Think of Donne's play on - not double negatives, exactly - but the paradox of distilling from nothingness:

"A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death - things which are not."

(Nocturnal Upon St Lucy's Day" http://search.able2know.com/About/3711.html )

Shall dull grammarians have us not, no never, write such things? Shall we part with paradox? Consign contradiction to the coffin? I think not!

But, bad grammar, with bad spelling (AND CAPITALS), follies and inconsistencies DO irritate me on fora, and I laugh at them whenever I can.

As to whether I think not following rules is good or poor writing, I cannot tell you - it depends upon the ambience of the particular post, and poster.

Picky? Indeed! Prolix, today? Indubitably!



And, some might say, overly fond of dashes.....and dots....
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Aug, 2004 04:09 pm
Levi wrote:
Another thing to which most people don't object... :wink:

...Is using the D.O. form of a pronoun after the verb "to be". My sister and mother will still say this is she on the phone, but virtually everyone will say it is/was me rather than it is/was I.

As you can see ^, I don't end sentences with prepositions when I'm trying to be silly in informal situations. In formal situations, I don't care at all. Foreigners tell me they'd think it'd be the other way around, but for me it's just a matter of trying to sound goofy.

Besides, it wouldn't be a language if it didn't evolve.


Heehee - I ADORE being pedantic about nominative after the verb to be (which I only know about because I got yelled at about it when learning German: "IT'S THE SAME AS THE ENGLISH, YOU IDIOT! DON'T YOU KNOW NOMINATIVE FOLLOWS THE VERB TO BE IN ENGLISH, TOO????!!!!!! "Er, well, I do now.....) because I can! I can recall being bewildered about that in a children's book I was reading, many long years ago - when the heroine got into trouble at school, when owning up to a wrongdoing, by replying, when asked "Who was the author of this infamy?!" "Me!"

She was punished for the deed, and her grammar. I was most puzzled.
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Not Too Swift
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 02:42 pm
I think you can break as many rules as you like if it's done in a manner you can't be faulted for. English does not have the most precise grammar anyways, just too many exceptions to the rule compared to, e.g., the romance languages which are Latin based. This so-called "deficiency" is what makes it so adaptable when practiced by the right people; that is, a language capable of being bent, inflected, re-ordered by talent and extemporized by thought mainly because it's grammar is not too "gravitational". Imo, that would be one of the differences between a language whose grammar was created virtually on the fly and one that was engineered like Latin. You ain't gonna get hillbilly lingo or Falstaffian speech oddities in those other languages although I still have a greater appreciation of their Latinized "musicality".

dlowan - really enjoyed the John Donne; may the blasphemy of grammar never approach to rejudge his works! But I do nominate the ellipse to denote a hiatus or moment of silence in thought...I need them to express absolutely nothing while thinking about what's next Exclamation
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fortune
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Aug, 2004 02:49 pm
dlowan, if you don't pick on that first sentence, I wont be able to restrain myself!!! lol
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annifa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 09:40 am
Y'know what really gets on my wick? When people use "should of" instead of "should have".

I shouldn't complain as my grammar (...and spelling for that matter) isn't perfect.. but please!!!

It's "should HAVE"!!!!!!!!!!

GRRRRRRRR. hmph.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 09:45 am
Ya should a known people were like that . . .
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urs53
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 10:03 am
And here I spent years and years trying to learn correct English... Man, I shoulda known...
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 11:28 am
I was editing an artist's statement yesterday in preparation for putting it on our gallery walls with his work; I do this for each gallery opening. I try to leave as much of the content intact as possible while expunging clear grammatic and spelling errors and putting the writing into our format re font and size and spacing, etc. In this case, the decisions were not simple, because to some extent the fellow's writing, which is exceptionally emotionally expressive, is well tied to his art. For example, some of the titles of his pieces are twenty or thirty words long and are illustrative of the meaning of the work.

The reason I bring this up in the context of this thread topic is that among the things I would change if I had written the piece myself, but left in because it reflected his style, were extensive capitalizations of the first letters of words, for emphasis.

It is usually people from the United States who do this, when I notice it. I might guess that it was generational, as I was taught to use a lot of capitals myself - but this fellow is 25 years younger than I am. I have gone the other way, and tend not to capitalize words like american, italian, canadian, much less words like Serenity, or, Fear.

This fellow also makes up words, a practice I share; it tends to throw people off track, but is quite a bit of fun. I certainly didn't edit those out.

Another trait in the piece yesterday was that he used ampersands for the word 'and'. Yep, I replaced them with 'and'. Have to draw the line in the sand...

Signed,

The a2k queen of dots............
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Aug, 2004 01:52 pm
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Capitalization for emphasis was once very common in English. There is also, of course, the German practice of capitalizing substantives. The French tend to go the opposite direction in some cases, in titles of essays and books, only the first substantive is capitalized, and the first word if that is not a substantive--Sur l'Origine de l'inégalité for example, or La Révolution et l'ancien régime.

Personally, i also enjoy making up words, capitalizing as it suits me, using spoonerisms . . . having done so since i was young, i've learned that a great many people cling to their notions of "proper speech" and "proper writing" as to life preservers. I once tried to explain to some people at a party how you get covered in mud in the jungle during monsoon season. I said: " . . . the mud just crawls up your pants-legs until you're filthy to the waist . . . " and a young college boy present immediately and vehemently objected that mud cannot move on its own. I explained metaphor to him, he was adamant. I explained how the metaphor worked, by describing in excruciating detail how some mud on your boots gets on your pants-legs, and then gets moved along further as you move and flex you legs . . . all to no avail, he became almost hysterical in his assertion that mud does not move on its own. As everyone else understood the metaphor, i suggested he would find more amiable conversational companions at any local bar, and invited him to go prove it for himself.

Unlike the French language, which with it's Academy founded more than three centuries ago has a regulatory body, English has never had a central authority. Many grammatical "rules" are simply the bugbears of individuals which they have been able to successfully foist off onto the rest of the poor, benighted and devoted speakers of this silly, wonderful, exasperating language. I have scant patience for those who cannot communicate without a rule book.
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