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dman
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:50 am

Moem wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:30 am
Mod note:
I feel like an introduction is in order here...
Gentlemen, have you met? Catweazel, this is dman; he's new but very promising, and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. I'd say you really ought to give the young man a chance. Get off his case, will you, please.
Dman, meet catweazel; he's our curmudgeon-in-chief, he can be grumpy and cheeky but he knows plenty and he's also helpful, a lot of the time. If he's bothering you, please either ignore or ask the mods to step in, that's what we're for. This is not a cage fight, we have rules here.

I'm sure the two of you will get along swimmingly once you've gotten used to each others personal style. Now please, if you'd be so kind, stay out of each others hair and play nice. Thank you so much!
Thank you.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Faust » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:07 am

This thread looks like it has some legs on it !

I like that very much ..... and long may it run , but let's all keep it fun and light-hearted , Eh ?

I don't care if anyone wants to get "all pedantic on my ass " .... bring it on , that's what I say , so long as it stays genial .
I'd give Holofernes a run for his money when it comes to "correctness" in language .

So I'll weigh-in on the "correct " plural of Forum .
In Latin , it is Fora , there's no question about that .

But nobody speaks Latin , and in a sense , nobody ever did !
Only scholars who were writing Latin would care about getting it "right" , or even know the difference .

There would not have been a soldier or merchant or anyone else throughout the entire Roman Empire
who spoke scholastic Latin .
Hence the dazzling brilliance of the Monty Python scene where the centurion is correcting Brian's grammar.
It's particularly funny to anyone who was taught Latin .... and probably not out of choice either :mrgreen:

I reckon it boils down to this :-

Do you think that "correct " language is fixed or fluid ?
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:20 am

hi faust...loved the comment on latin, "But nobody speaks Latin , and in a sense , nobody ever did !
Only scholars who were writing Latin would care about getting it "right" , or even know the difference ."

so always remember..."non illigitimus carborundum est"...lol...DAMIEN
ORDO AB CHAO

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by catweazel » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:23 am

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:20 am
so always remember..."non illigitimus carborundum est"...lol...DAMIEN
Not to mention semper galia subgalia.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by DAMIEN1307 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:37 am

that could be very "bloody" indeed...lol...DAMIEN
ORDO AB CHAO

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Portreve » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:08 pm

catweazel wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:39 am
Moem wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:30 am
curmudgeon-in-chief
Signatured.
Indeed. And let me be the first to say you *rock* that signature, catweazel.
Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: the message which follows is vital to the future of you all.

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by HaveaMint » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:47 pm

Moem wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:09 am
SwanRider wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:55 am
I reference a book, you know the thing made out of paper with words in it
For those who are wondering: it's a stack of printed documents, glued or sewn together on one side and protected by a more or less sturdy cover. :P
And Kraft Paper
by Moem » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:20 am

HaveaMint wrote: ⤴
Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:11 am
That looks like a good book in avatar, your always reading it. :lol:

I'll let you in on a secret:
They're different books, I just cover them all in kraft paper to keep them from getting damaged. :wink:
"Tune for maximum Smoke and then read the Instructions".

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:59 pm

Schultz wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:09 pm
Most don't know this, but there was some effort to simplify the spelling of (American) English in the early 1900s. Andrew Carnegie was one of the main financial backers, and Theodore Roosevelt backed the idea (at first). I've read some stuff from back then that used this simplified spelling. The one word I remember most was "though" became "tho." Simple, but weird looking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_Spelling_Board
My view of that and most such efforts is that they are doomed to failure for several reasons. I consider that a good thing — a tremendously good thing. The most crucial reason is wrapped up in the history of how English came to be and how we learn to understand it. This goes for both native and non-native speakers. That English has borrowed and continues to borrow so much of its vocabulary from hodgepodge sources is a big reason the spelling is so inconsistent and why it seems, at first blush, illogical. But precisely these peculiarities of spelling can help us grasp meaning quickly.

In social anthropology, it's known that the first thing an individual tends to notice about an oncoming stranger is his or her sex. The second is his or her race. Then come less-obvious traits, prime among them being further clues as to recognition or possible danger lurking. The suggested explanations for this all have to do with the biological impetus to survive, to protect self and clan, and to propagate. If we take away clues about differences, we suppress a whole lexicon of natural indicators.

Likewise, the diverging spelling gives us vital clues about context and nuance. We tend to use a more complex vocabulary in writing than in speaking. If we take away clues offered from the spelling, then the pure vastness of the words available — there are lots more of them in English than in other languages — would make it tougher to distinguish them from one another in writing when other context is meager. I said 'put the dough in the oven,' not 'put the doe in the oven'!

Beyond this, the spelling gives us a scads of information about the word's origin, or how it came to become English. That's tremendously helpful. One example would be if the word word is one you don't know yet. If you can suss out a likely linguistic connection, you're a step ahead of the game. If the spelling is so simplified that we can no longer tell if it might be from Latin or Greek or something else, we're at a disadvantage.

Anyway, we all have computers now to help us spell, look things up, and more. We're far and away the most literate swell of humanity the Earth has ever known. Anyone today with a computer and a modicum of financial security beyond subsistence living has within his grasp the simple means of publishing his thoughts to thousands essentially at the flick of a wrist. That, friends, is power. We live in bountiful times unimaginable in ages past. We might, just might, succeed in pulling ourselves out of the muck and woe that has been our lot since Creation. (No, I don't mean 1/1/1970.)

Of course, the problem now becomes the same sort we have with endless TV channels to watch: almost nothing there is worth reading! Is Forums login grammar worth anybody's time? Hard to say.

/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by catweazel » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 pm

dman wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:59 pm
This goes for both native and non-native speakers. That English has borrowed and continues to borrow so much of its vocabulary from hodgepodge sources is a big reason the spelling is so inconsistent and why it seems, at first blush, illogical.
I have to disagree with that being the primary cause of poor spelling and rotten grammar for native English speakers, for a number of reasons. The primary reasons being:

1) Poor spelling is, among native English speakers, I think, caused by a degraded education system that doesn't teach either the rules of grammar or the rules of spelling.

Before I retired 20 years ago I would rail against corporate documents that read like they were written by a five year old child. The standard excuse always revolved around the notion of the culprits claiming they were never taught grammar and spelling as I was. When it came time to put my children through school I made it my mission to find a school that actually taught grammar and spelling rules.

2) While I agree that English is definitely a hodgepodge, I don't agree that being a hodgepodge is a cause of poor spelling. The bulk of the English language is based on Germanic Saxon and French Norman languages, plus a lot of Latin. The largest uptake of foreign words coming from Old French following the imposition of French as the language of court by William the Conqueror, and from where English gets nearly all of its artistic and finer-thing words from. All of these events took place in the distant past and there has been little uptake since in comparison to those times. Again, I think it comes back to poor education.

I really don't see events in the distant past as major causes for current issues with spelling.

The only other possible cause, I think, is the spread of messaging services... ?4U, b4, wutevr, 2ez, woot, 2mmorrow, truely, alot...

Pardon me. I must go and bleach my brain.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:54 pm

catweazel wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 pm
dman wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:59 pm
This goes for both native and non-native speakers. That English has borrowed and continues to borrow so much of its vocabulary from hodgepodge sources is a big reason the spelling is so inconsistent and why it seems, at first blush, illogical.
I have to disagree with that being the primary cause of poor spelling and rotten grammar for native English speakers, for a number of reasons. The primary reasons being:

1) Poor spelling is, among native English speakers, I think, caused by a degraded education system that doesn't teach either the rules of grammar or the rules of spelling.
I agree with you. But I think you didn't take from my paragraph what I intended to say. Maybe it was my fault.

I didn't mean to imply people can't spell well because of a problem in the language. I was trying to say there is no problem with the language, and that therefore the movement to simplify orthography a hundred years ago (and which has popped up occasionally since then) was misconceived, even if well-meaning. And that the idea is full of unintended bad consequences.

I hadn't intended to address there just why native speakers are lousy spellers. I was writing from an unspoken assumption that the spelling-revisionists simply didn't like how complicated it all was because they felt the naturally evolved spelling lacked logic, rhyme or reason. So they wanted to implement their "brilliant" ideas to fix a non-problem. I'd call it meddling where they didn't belong.

In any case, the reasons you offer to explain people's difficulty spelling mostly suit my thinking on it as well.

I don't think we're in disagreement here, unless you reject my hypothesis about what motivated the revisionists.

/dr [4 AM here; if something's still confusing, we can blame it on that or the wine]

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by catweazel » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:02 pm

dman wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:54 pm
I don't think we're in disagreement here, unless you reject my hypothesis about what motivated the revisionists.

/dr [4 AM here; if something's still confusing, we can blame it on that or the wine]
No disagreement here. Enjoy your hangover :)
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:56 am

DAMIEN1307 wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:57 am
heck...even the king james bible form of english was not standardised when it first came out in 1611...depending on who was printing it, the type setters would add or subtract letters in order to "fit" the text into even columns, sentences, etc. more for eye appeal than for accuracy in spelling, punctuation, etc. spelling and punctuation etc. wasnt even standardised in the KJV until1769...DAMIEN
The first English dictionary ever had only just been published in 1604. It was written by a schoolteacher named Robert Cawdrey. Shakespeare invented, conservatively counted, 422 words.¹ He died in 1616. English was in far greater flux at the start of the 17th century than it is today, notwithstanding the arc of technology — to a great degree because there were no standardized concordances or compendia and literacy was not widespread. In England in 1600 the male literacy rate was about 30% and the female rate was about 8%.² The clergy, important men of commerce and government, and a few scattered other scholars and poets were the ones who could read.

Johann Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg — that was his full name, and "Gensfleisch" means "goose meat"! — was born and died probably about ten miles from where I sit typing this. He was a goldsmith by trade. His movable-type printing press was nearly refined by 1550 and would remain the printing standard without great change until the start of the 20th century. Martin Luther had already died in 1546. His Luther Bible was printed using a more laborious process, with the full version released in 1534. It would revolutionize the whole of what is now the Modern German language in addition to spawning the Protestant Reformation. By the end of the 17th Century the Renaissance would give way to the Enlightenment, a.k.a. the Age of Reason.

The first English book ever published was back in 1473, recounting the Trojan legends of the Ancients. William Caxton's first English printing press, without Gutenberg's not-yet-invented movable type, would arrive in Great Britain three years later. It's little wonder there were not yet dictionaries or compendia of rules or conventions for writing until much later.

Caxton eventually published over 100 books, among them a wider distribution of the Canterbury Tales, the preeminent Middle English masterpiece that Chaucer had first printed about a century earlier. Caxton regretted the lack of standardization in printing and spelling. He saw a great need for some kind of conformity.

¹https://www.litcharts.com/blog/shakespe ... invented/
²https://www1.umassd.edu/ir/resources/la ... teracy.pdf

/dr (has invented at least three words, but hardly anyone knows about them yet)

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:17 pm

SwanRider wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:55 am
I did not use any "cite", because for an English teacher you would have known that was impossible for me to do. Nor did I use any web site. I reference a book, you know the thing made out of paper with words in it and in this case it was called a Dictionary.
"Cite" simply means specific details about the source. That way the interested party knows where to go to corroborate the material. The ISBN from the back cover of the book is enough, if it's there. Otherwise, from the front pages of the book, its exact title, author or editor, and copyright date.

One can also search online by ISBN. So for example, I'll take a reference book off my shelf and find the ISBN and plug that into Google and see what I find:

Code: Select all

ISBN 3-507-71100-1
Got it. Here it is: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/978350771100 ... 711001/plp

Best would be to scan or take a digital photo of the entry and upload it.

In case anyone here is wondering what I like in dictionaries, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ("AHD") was and still is one of the greats. It has an interesting Wikipedia page, too. I still have a couple of copies of the original 1969 "red" (red-cover) edition.

Here's its online reference for login:
https://ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=login

/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by lsemmens » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:07 pm

I am quite enjoying this discussion. My wife thinks it's funny when my sisters and I sit around a table and we have an open dictionary between us discussing the etymology of a word.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:53 am

lsemmens wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:07 pm
I am quite enjoying this discussion. My wife thinks it's funny when my sisters and I sit around a table and we have an open dictionary between us discussing the etymology of a word.
My wife is often the first one to run to the bookshelf to grab a reference book while I'm trying to look it up online. I've got her on Linux Mint xfce, now upgraded to Tara, on her laptop.

Here's a great book you might enjoy, written in the style of a true detective novel:

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
The national bestseller that chronicles the fascinating story of two extraordinary men and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.
https://www.amazon.com/Professor-Madman ... 0060175966

Or here's the Kindle version with online preview available:
https://www.amazon.com/Professor-Madman ... 062564617

/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by kyphi » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:10 pm

In addition, another book relating to the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, the story (also by Simon Winchester) of one of the contributors:

The Surgeon of Crowthorne, a tale of murder, madness and the love of words.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:26 pm

kyphi wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:10 pm
In addition, another book relating to the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, the story (also by Simon Winchester) of one of the contributors:

The Surgeon of Crowthorne, a tale of murder, madness and the love of words.
Interesting. I hadn't realized he'd done another one in the same vein.

I did email him about a mistake in the other book once. He answered me. He was nice about it. I was only about the thousandth person to mention it to him, he said. :twisted:

/dr

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by kyphi » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:37 pm

As a former member of the editorial staff of a printing and publishing company, it still rankles me to see "misprints" in printed matter. This should not happen.

On this forum you will see some clangers and I marvel with respect for those who can overlook these and solely deal with whatever was intended. I am often tempted to correct but never do so. It must be due to the onset of the tolerance age.
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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by Faust » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:48 am

catweazel wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 pm

......
The bulk of the English language is based on Germanic Saxon and French Norman languages, plus a lot of Latin. The largest uptake of foreign words coming from Old French following the imposition of French as the language of court by William the Conqueror, and from where English gets nearly all of its artistic and finer-thing words from. ......
Hey , lets not forget Norse .....the Vikings left their footprints in our language also .

eg. Horse , House , Husband
.... and the origin of the names of some weekdays ... eg. Woden , Thor , Freya

Not so sure about " Spam " though , despite the Monty Python song - :mrgreen:
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

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Re: Forums login grammar

Post by dman » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:50 am

Faust wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:48 am
catweazel wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 pm

......
The bulk of the English language is based on Germanic Saxon and French Norman languages, plus a lot of Latin. The largest uptake of foreign words coming from Old French following the imposition of French as the language of court by William the Conqueror, and from where English gets nearly all of its artistic and finer-thing words from. ......
Hey , lets not forget Norse .....the Vikings left their footprints in our language also .

eg. Horse , House , Husband
.... and the origin of the names of some weekdays ... eg. Woden , Thor , Freya

Not so sure about " Spam " though , despite the Monty Python song - :mrgreen:
Yes. And the Norse influence is seen a couple of places in today's German, too. What's fun to think about is the English word gift when thinking in German, because Gift in that language means poison. Yet, a dowry (wealth and goods a father bestowed on his new son-in-law on the marriage of his daughter; today the father simply pays for the wedding, in vestigial memory of the old tradition) — where was I? Oh: dowry in German is Mitgift. And mit, of course, means with. So, "I give you my daughter with poison!" more or less. :mrgreen:

The answer to that riddle is that the German word Mitgift has a different etymology: it comes from Old Norse and Scandinavian. That's also the source of to give, gift, as well as the German verb geben (to give).

If we changed spelling dramatically in advance of "simplification," most of the old half-subconscious clues a reader internalizes over a lifetime as to where words fit in the puzzle of tradition would disappear. That's why I'm against spelling reform.

By the way, I forgot to acknowledge catweazel's contribution that you've now requoted. Catweazel: yup, that's the gist of it.

/dr

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