Search found 911 matches

by goofy
Sat May 31, 2008 11:31 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Grammar & Vocab Books
Replies: 8
Views: 1934

Re: Grammar & Vocab Books

I would heartily disrecommend Eats, Shoots and Leaves and instead recommend The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left by David Crystal.
by goofy
Fri May 30, 2008 2:00 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Confusing and annoying things in your (non-English) language
Replies: 85
Views: 10269

Re: Confusing and annoying things in your (non-English) language

No, actually it was "constructed" from the trading language used by people in Indonesia from different tribes. As such the grammar itself is very simple/regular, not just that it is written phonetically. It was designed to be a unifying language and draws a lot on Malay and Javanese. Coul...
by goofy
Thu May 29, 2008 3:39 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Confusing and annoying things in your (non-English) language
Replies: 85
Views: 10269

Re: Confusing and annoying things in your (non-English) language

Luthen wrote:It was only constructed a few decades ago


You mean that the Latin alphabet was adopted for Indonesian a few decades ago, so the orthography is still very regular.
by goofy
Tue May 27, 2008 2:49 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Shall / Will
Replies: 16
Views: 3351

Re: Shall / Will

hopscotch wrote:I always like to remember the example from Strunk and White:


Strunk and White's rule is useless because it only ever described the English of the south of England. Much better advice is given by MWDEU.
by goofy
Sat May 24, 2008 7:49 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Shall / Will
Replies: 16
Views: 3351

Re: Shall / Will

Simbera wrote:Although you seem unable to detect sarcasm, you appear to be right about that, so my response is a humble "fair enough" and I take my leave of this thread.

<^>


If I misinterpreted your intent then I apologize.
by goofy
Sat May 24, 2008 5:54 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Confusing Wilson
Replies: 14
Views: 2118

Re: Confusing Wilson

Yeah I should have said "if the passive voice is confusing and ambiguous, then these constructions are too." It's not an actor in a deterministic/free will sense, in which only humans and animals can act. It's the noun which is performing the verb. The book is falling, so it's performing a...
by goofy
Sat May 24, 2008 1:12 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Shall / Will
Replies: 16
Views: 3351

Re: Shall / Will

That's stupid. Will has several meanings, not all of which pertain to the future? Gasp! No English word has more than one meaning depending on the context! I suppose we don't have a past tense either, because "have" can be used both in a temporal sense and in a possession sense. English d...
by goofy
Sat May 24, 2008 1:04 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Confusing Wilson
Replies: 14
Views: 2118

Re: Confusing Wilson

If you include everything, it's rarely more confusing, but the thing about the passive voice is it allows you to omit the actor. And if you omit the actor, it does become ambiguous: I was bitten VS The dog bit me. There are active constructions that omit the actor too. unaccusative: the book fell o...
by goofy
Sat May 24, 2008 3:35 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Shall / Will
Replies: 16
Views: 3351

Re: Shall / Will

MWDEU has 3 pages on the subject. The "traditional rule" only ever described a certain British dialect. German sollen is like "supposed to" and wollen is "want". I'm not an expert, but I don't think that they are used like their English cognates are. btw English has no...
by goofy
Fri May 23, 2008 7:58 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: I am no more mad than you are.
Replies: 10
Views: 2936

Re: I am no more mad than you are.

Seiichi MYOGA wrote:I'd like to ask native speakers of English about the interpretation of (1).

Do you think (1) is actually ambiguous?


Do you mean lexically ambiguous? Because "mad" means both "angry" and "insane"? Yes it is lexically ambiguous.
by goofy
Fri May 23, 2008 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Confusing Wilson
Replies: 14
Views: 2118

Re: Confusing Wilson

No, there's no passive voice in the relevant part of the quote. The passive needs better PR. How is

I was bitten by the dog

any more confusing or ambiguous than

The dog bit me

?
by goofy
Fri May 23, 2008 5:14 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Confusing Wilson
Replies: 14
Views: 2118

Re: Confusing Wilson

Formally, if a word has 1 sylable it takes the -er ending. If it has 2 or more syllables it becomes "more ...". So you're saying happier, friendlier, tinier, dustier, skinnier , etc. etc. are all wrong?? The Columbia Guide to Standard American English : There are two patterns for comparis...
by goofy
Wed May 21, 2008 12:47 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: A little rant (math vs. maths)
Replies: 202
Views: 71985

Re: A little rant (math vs. maths)

math is a singular noun c1847. maths is a plural noun c1911. mathematics is usuall plural and dates from 1573.
by goofy
Tue May 20, 2008 12:49 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Anymore
Replies: 15
Views: 2533

Re: Anymore

anymore and any more are both interchangeable and standard. On the dialectical positive anymore , see MWDEU . Careful with that one though: 'all right' is still preferred to 'alright' in formal settings, despite analogous, accepted constructions like 'already' and 'altogether' "It is clearly s...
by goofy
Thu May 15, 2008 2:18 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

I wasn't complaining about the use of an apostraphe in a contraction, I was complaining about using it to seperate a word from its suffix. Examples: "Everyone must remember to bring their ID's" Isn't that singular possessive? "I wikipedia'ed it." Grr.... My point is that the apo...
by goofy
Thu May 15, 2008 12:36 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

'Twas a wiki article, I was searching for old English pronouns and one thing led [I belive that is the correct spelling] to another.... It may well have been wrong and possible not Old English but rather Anglo-Saxon or some similar Gemanic language but I read that moderner English used bits and pei...
by goofy
Wed May 14, 2008 3:33 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

I personally despise the misuse of the ' character. The apostrophe was first used in English to represent elided letters. In the 18th century, there was debate as to whether it should be used to indicate the possessive, as in "the soldiers hats" vs "the soldiers' hats", because ...
by goofy
Wed May 14, 2008 2:15 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

I personally despise the misuse of the ' character. The apostrophe was first used in English to represent elided letters. In the 18th century, there was debate as to whether it should be used to indicate the possessive, as in "the soldiers hats" vs "the soldiers' hats", because ...
by goofy
Wed May 14, 2008 1:36 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

Do you mean schwa? You could argue that for non-rhotic speakers, this includes all verbs ending in <r>: offer, order, hear, suffer, etc.
by goofy
Tue May 13, 2008 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Little editing/grammar mistakes that drive you up the wall
Replies: 784
Views: 98218

Re: Little editing/grammar mistakes that drive you up the wall

commas have had actual rules for hundreds of years. What do you mean by "actual rules?" There are trends in punctuation, but trends change. In the 18th century it was common to put a comma between the subject and the predicate. This is discouraged nowadays. "Bring me [something] up&q...
by goofy
Mon May 12, 2008 8:39 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

Of course "dost thou ken" is going to sound closer to German, since it's three much older words in a row, and English itself used to sound much closer to German (to a modern ear, anyway). The relationship between "ken", "know", and "can" is interesting, in th...
by goofy
Mon May 12, 2008 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

It also shows up in can and German können. The zero-grade form shows up in English know, Old High German knāu, Latin gnōsco and Greek γιγνώσκω (info)
by goofy
Mon May 12, 2008 5:59 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?
Replies: 30
Views: 4774

Re: Dost thou ken the secrets of "To Wikipedia"?

wikipediad: 2,220 hits wikipediaed: 3,870 hits wikipedia'd: 127,000 wikipedia'ed: 38,200 wikipedia'd wins! also, is it just me, or does "dost thou ken" sound way more germanic than "do you know"? They both consistent of fine Germanic-derived words. "ken" and "know&...
by goofy
Mon May 12, 2008 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Little editing/grammar mistakes that drive you up the wall
Replies: 784
Views: 98218

Re: Little editing mistakes that drive you up the wall

Just reading this thread is "driving me up the wall". I hate when people misuse "me, myself, and I", mainly in two senses: 1. "When you're done gathering your research, print it out and give it to Ms. Martha or myself." How the crap am I supposed to give it to yourself...
by goofy
Mon May 12, 2008 1:55 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Welsh
Replies: 15
Views: 2361

Re: Welsh

The advantage of Welsh is that it's a completely phonetic language.


Not completely... some of the vowel letters have more than one pronunciation, and it's not always easy to predict whether the vowel is long or short. Also, /f/ is spelled with both <ff> and <ph>.
by goofy
Sat May 03, 2008 2:16 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Balkan languages, how many are there?!
Replies: 18
Views: 3821

Re: Balkan languages, how many are there?!

The Balkan languages are Latvian, Lithuanian, and Prussian.
by goofy
Fri May 02, 2008 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.
Replies: 88
Views: 14304

Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

The Welsh descendents of Proto-Indo-European *ghel- are glân "clean" and glain "jewel", and Middle Welsh gell "yellow".
by goofy
Fri May 02, 2008 4:12 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.
Replies: 88
Views: 14304

Re: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.

Sorry that I posted 3 times instead of editing.
by goofy
Thu May 01, 2008 5:03 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Word Etymology & Origins, &c., &c.
Replies: 88
Views: 14304

Re: What's the deal with yellow?

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary , the proto-Germanic word for yellow was gelwaz , from which English, German, Dutch, Icelandic and the Scandinavian languages derive their respective words for yellow. Most Romance languages derive their respective words for yellow from the Latin word ga...
by goofy
Thu May 01, 2008 3:39 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: The Subjunctive Mood is DYING in English!
Replies: 94
Views: 17238

Re: The Subjunctive Mood is DYING in English!

First of all, while it may be formal, it is neither indirect nor wistful. It is actually clearer and more direct than the other. Break it down like this: "I was fishing" describes a real situation in the past. "I wish I were fishing" describes an imaginary situation in the prese...

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