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The purpose of grammar is . . .

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The purpose of grammar is . . .

Old 14th Dec 2018, 19:37
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The purpose of grammar is . . .

The purpose of grammar is - you would suppose - to facilitate communication. But in some languages, including English, many of the rules are unnecessarily complex or illogical or downright silly. Sadly, some people - we could term them grammar bullies - are happy to quote grammar rules to show off their erudition or to humiliate those who struggle to follow the rules.

The use (and misuse) of apostrophes is a case in point. In the English language apostrophes denote elided letters or possessive character. (The 'possessive' apostrophe is in fact derived from the elided letter 'e' in the genitive case of declined nouns in old English.) Formal Spanish and German texts do not include apostrophes, proving that it is possible to manage without. So why do we need them in English?

Another cause of upset for the easily offended is incorrect spelling. But the spelling of many words in the English language is at variance with the way they are pronounced. If you're learning English and you come across the letter sequence 'ough' in a word, which of the six possible sounds are you to choose? Of course, French is a worse offender than English in the matter of non-phonetic spelling.

By contrast, Spanish and German words are pronounced in accordance with the sounds of their letters. But German loses points for absurd rules concerning word order in sentences and phrases. And all their nouns start with capital letters - a nuisance when typing.

So - let's have spelling reform and abolition of apostrophes! Or - lets hav speling reform and abolishen of apostrofes!

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Old 14th Dec 2018, 19:42
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let's have spelling reform and abolition of apostrophes! Or - lets av speling reform and abolishen of apostrofees,

BTW I stopped tayking shugar in my t yares ago
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 20:32
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Didn't Jesus have twelve apostrophes?
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 20:44
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Originally Posted by Discorde View Post
Another cause of upset for the easily offended is incorrect spelling.
Almost always these days it is an indication of laziness - can't be arsed to use a spell checker, can't be arsed to proofread, can't be arsed to edit to correct errors, and so on. If someone can't be bothered to spell correctly that demonstrates that they don't really care very much about the opinion they're trying to convey, so I'm not likely to take very much notice of it. Particularly if the document in question is a job application - if they can't be arsed to write their job application properly am I really likely to employ them to do things that require detailed and meticulous attention or write things that have to impress customers??

The "almost" comes from things like Twitter, which (a) doesn't spell check for you as you type (in at least some of its UIs) and (b) doesn't allow you to edit something when you spot an error after you've sent it.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 21:02
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Spanish & German texts indeed do not have apostrophes. On the other hand, we English speakers never have to say "The car belonging to Dave" or even a more straightforward "The car of Dave". German grammar can be a nightmare as they insist on something last heard of when the Roman armies were occupying this part of the world; declining of nouns. A nightmare that can only be learned by rote. I received a belt around the ear at grammar school when the Latin master told me to "decline mensa" and I answered "No thank you". He didn't have the decency to acknowledge I was actually correct! (humourless tyke, he was. Complete with hairstyle in the Cicero mode).
Gertrude makes a good point about spelling and spell checkers. When I am entering text into this forum, there is a hidden American, constantly watching my input and doesn't waste a second to highlight between my spelling and what the hidden American thinks it ought to be. At the end of a piece, you can end up with a piece of text gaily decorated with red underlining squiggles (I can see 2 in this piece already; 'humourless' and 'mensa'). How some people manage to ignore these indications and carry on regardless baffles me.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 21:09
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Ancient history of PPRuNe: US spellchecker was free. UK licence involved limbs and bloodletting.

Rob
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 21:15
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I never used to worry about capital letters until I had to help my uncle Jack off a horse.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 21:49
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GTW, whilst it is true that there are spell checkers there is also autocorrect and predictive text messaging. Typing with a fat finger on a display keyboard can also create mayhem. Correcting can also be a PITA with some software.

So far autocorrect worked but trying to remove the third and fourth words (aircrew st which should have been autocorrect) can be difficult. Trying to insert a missing letter using a fat finger more difficult still.

If I do proof read after posting then PPRuNe allows that.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:09
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I never used to worry about capital letters until I had to help my uncle Jack off a horse.
..... and that, dare I say old son, is capital, in itself.

Once when asked to decline the verb firm, a very smart boy in our English class said " I am firm; you are stubborn; he is pig-headed".
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:12
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
GTW, whilst it is true that there are spell checkers there is also autocorrect and predictive text messaging.
First thing I do when I get a new phone is find out how to turn them off. I can spell better than I can fight stupid software.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:27
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Well GTW , that last post yours could do with a slight replay on your bugle; where you have pluralised the necessary singular.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:36
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Originally Posted by Fantome View Post
Well GTW , that last post yours could do with a slight replay on your bugle; where you have pluralised the necessary singular.
Sorry? Don't get you? "Autocorrect and predictive text" are two things, are plural. Or have I missed something?
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:40
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I wish there was an 'autocorrect' device for spoken English.I have several close relatives and friends,all born and raised Englishmen,who seem unable to conjugate a verb.I constantly,when engaged in conversation,hear them saying 'I done this',I seen that',you was there',and particularly anoying to me,'I have took'.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:55
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'Misspoke'. Something that Trump admits to. He needs to have an 'autocorrect' function installed.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 23:04
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First thing I do when I get a new phone is find out how to turn them off.
. . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . .
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 23:07
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
German grammar can be a nightmare as they insist on something last heard of when the Roman armies were occupying this part of the world; declining of nouns. A nightmare that can only be learned by rote.
Which of course leads to:

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Old 14th Dec 2018, 23:26
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Originally Posted by Fantome View Post
. . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . .
Yes, "them" being "autocorrect", which is one thing, and "predictive text", which is another thing, for a total of two things, which is more than one thing, hence plural, hence "them".
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 23:34
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Those, surely ? ��
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 23:35
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
I wish there was an 'autocorrect' device for spoken English.I have several close relatives and friends,all born and raised Englishmen,who seem unable to conjugate a verb.I constantly,when engaged in conversation,hear them saying 'I done this',I seen that',you was there',and particularly anoying to me,'I have took'.
Not sure if it's an East Sussex thing but "them ones" is used by them ones who mean 'those'.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 23:42
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Well them sounds right to me. Thing was it referenced the quote so it jarred if you didn't read that as it seemed to refer to the singular phone.
With all the one finger touchscreen stuff I am begining to find capitals a bit labourious. They also sometimes just look ugly on the page. Apostrophes probably could get by without. I do try and do it properly here as there is the risk someone pipes up.
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