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English Language Hamsterwheel

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English Language Hamsterwheel

Old 18th Dec 2021, 04:20
  #301 (permalink)  
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I've often noticed that Americans refer to the Seven Forty Seven while we British - or at least me - say Seven Four Seven. To me the Cessnas are the One Fifty and One Five Two, One Seven Two, Four One Four, etc - I don't add in the extra syllable. Then again the KC-135 is a One Three Five, yet the KC-97 is a Ninety Seven. C-One Four One, yet C-Seventeen. If it is a two digit number I do add the extra syllable. Odd. Just me or... ?
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 06:38
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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I think you've just hit on the reason why, some years ago, the Pentagon restarted the sequence for most new aircraft types at 1 (well with a few exceptions).
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 07:49
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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And when did “May I have” or “I would like” become “Can I get”, especially when someone else still has to get whatever it is?
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 09:07
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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Tautology such as

Outside of
Reason why
Reason is because
reverse backwards

etc

Also inability to tell subject and object apart
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 11:12
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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....... don't get me started on 'arriving into'
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 11:19
  #306 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Alsacienne View Post
....... don't get me started on 'arriving into'
...station stop...
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 12:41
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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An American in New York would be admitted to the hospital as though there was only one in the whole metropolis - odd. Ms BB and I delight in, and are constantly amused by, the differences between American and British English - not least the pronunciation of the word water.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 14:47
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Uncle Fred View Post
Starting to wonder if anyone cares about precision in speech and writing in our modern world.

Yes languages are fluid and constantly changing. Yes it is true that no one loves a pedant who is drilling down through usage just be because he/she can. Yes we live in a world flooded by info.

...but doesn't anyone care about the differences we find in between and among? Or disinterest versus uninterest? Lay/lie, bring/take, and 1001 other examples?

My father made learning new words fun and I am grateful that he sparked the interest. I still find them immensely enjoyable. I do, however, feel as if an appreciation of language has been relegated to a backwater of the hobby world as in the real world few even care how it is used.
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.

Other causes of upset for the easily offended are failure to differentiate between esoteric word differences such as 'fewer' and 'less' and incorrect spelling. 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. All their nouns start with capital letters - a nuisance when typing.

The use (and misuse) of apostrophes is a minefield. In the English language apostrophes denote elided letters or possessive character. Formal Spanish and German texts do not include apostrophes, proving that it is possible to manage without. If the meaning of a phrase requires apostrophes it is easy to rearrange the word order to achieve clear and unambiguous meaning so that the apostrophes are not required. No need to banish them completely! Just restrict them to artistic purposes.

The purpose of language is communication.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 14:51
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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I was taught proper English in England. However, furriners who are excellent at English were often asked to check my Global comms., just in case I used some colloquial terms. Innit?
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 15:08
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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The purpose of language is communication.
Yeah, right, sorta, kinda, innit, y'no, 'kay, like and today's weather forecast advising us that "the cloud will be descending down"
Lazy tongue, lazy hand, lazy brain ?
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 16:10
  #311 (permalink)  
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As opposed to lowering clouds?

But yes, descending would imply going down…
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 16:21
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by visibility3miles View Post
As opposed to lowering clouds?

But yes, descending would imply going down…
Does that mean we can't climb up either?
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 16:37
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
Does that mean we can't climb up either?
No, it means we shouldn’t say “ascend up”. No problem with “climb up”, to differentiate it from “climb down”, as although climb usually implies upwards motion, it is also used to describe an action that can be upwards, downwards or horizontally - e.g. climbing down a rock face differs from walking down an incline.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 17:10
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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But doesn't 'climb down' also imply a change in position or point of view in terms of expressing an opinion or a series of actions and consequences?
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 19:46
  #315 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy View Post
An American in New York would be admitted to the hospital as though there was only one in the whole metropolis - odd.
And Britain, you are admitted to hospital???

Perhaps because, in an emergency, you do tend to go to the closest hospital…

Or you go to Universiry? Like it’s a single monolithic entity?

As opposed to going to the University of XYZ, or a(n) or the local university.

Although we do say that someone went to college (school,) not went to the college (school.)
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 20:17
  #316 (permalink)  
 
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Slight change of direction - How about "each" and "both?"
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 22:06
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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In the 50s, a Scottish lass was visiting us in rural Oz.

My mother said "Would you like a scone?"
She replies "That's no a scone, that's a biscuit."
Mum shows her a biscuit and says, "THIS is a biscuit"
"That's no a biscuit, that's a cookie."
"THIS is a cookie."
"That's no a cookie, that's a bun."
"THIS is a bun."
That's no a bun, that's a scone!"
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 03:49
  #318 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Discorde View Post
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.

Other causes of upset for the easily offended are failure to differentiate between esoteric word differences such as 'fewer' and 'less' and incorrect spelling. 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. All their nouns start with capital letters - a nuisance when typing.

The use (and misuse) of apostrophes is a minefield. In the English language apostrophes denote elided letters or possessive character. Formal Spanish and German texts do not include apostrophes, proving that it is possible to manage without. If the meaning of a phrase requires apostrophes it is easy to rearrange the word order to achieve clear and unambiguous meaning so that the apostrophes are not required. No need to banish them completely! Just restrict them to artistic purposes.

The purpose of language is communication.
Indeed the purpose is to communicate and while English does have buckets of odd corners that perhaps should be jettisoned, I believe without some rules of the road communication can be impeded.

While no one likes an ostentatious pedant, I enjoy those who enhance their spoken or written message through crisp adherence to the basic guidelines. When they deviate from them, they do so knowingly and to effect.

Idk, I just prefer some guardrails so that the words don't become a mishmash.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 04:23
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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George Orwell, who wrote English as well as most, had wise words on the subject: "Break any of the accepted rules in order to avoid writing something barbarous".
I agree that the main purpose of language is communication, but one should remember that it is possible, by writing poorly, to irritate at the same time, thus diminishing the intended communicative effect.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 06:36
  #320 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
In the 50s, a Scottish lass was visiting us in rural Oz.

My mother said "Would you like a scone?"
She replies "That's no a scone, that's a biscuit."
Mum shows her a biscuit and says, "THIS is a biscuit"
"That's no a biscuit, that's a cookie."
"THIS is a cookie."
"That's no a cookie, that's a bun."
"THIS is a bun."
That's no a bun, that's a scone!"
I suspect it might have been a doughnut, or a meringue?
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