English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Lazar » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:25 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:I hope that's true, but given that the vast majority of written content these days is self-produced (social media, blogs etc.), and even that which is "formally" produced often goes unchecked (a bingo hall near me recently had large glossy posters outside proclaiming "Your just minutes away from a great bingo buzz!"), and there's a growing belief that "it doesn't really matter how it's spelt as long as the meaning's clear", I fear it may be not such a long time after all.

You do know that before the industrial era, spelling in English and other languages was an anarchic mess, right? And there was never a time when our societies were not awash in misspelled signage. If anything, I'd imagine that the widespread availability of spellcheck might finally make a dent in it.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby jaap » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:51 am UTC

Lazar wrote:And there was never a time when our societies were not awash in misspelled signage. If anything, I'd imagine that the widespread availability of spellcheck might finally make a dent in it.

But autocorrect might dash that hope again.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:44 pm UTC

In Germany a lot of signs on shops are like this: "Anna's Blumenladen" (Anna's flower shop) even though the apostrophe was outlawed in this position in the spelling reform (well actually really the first unified German spelling) of 1899 and the correct way is "Annas Blumenladen".

My grandmother was a teacher and she says what hugely improved society-wide spelling was the improved primary schooling after 1945 and the way she tracked this was the number of errors in the parents' notes (for excusing kids from school for illness etc.).
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby CharlieP » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:45 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
CharlieP wrote:I hope that's true, but given that the vast majority of written content these days is self-produced (social media, blogs etc.), and even that which is "formally" produced often goes unchecked (a bingo hall near me recently had large glossy posters outside proclaiming "Your just minutes away from a great bingo buzz!"), and there's a growing belief that "it doesn't really matter how it's spelt as long as the meaning's clear", I fear it may be not such a long time after all.

You do know that before the industrial era, spelling in English and other languages was an anarchic mess, right? And there was never a time when our societies were not awash in misspelled signage. If anything, I'd imagine that the widespread availability of spellcheck might finally make a dent in it.


Yes, but my perception (which might be completely wrong) is that we've just crested a hill, in that after centuries of "improvement" (through standardisation of language, better education) we reached a peak some time last century, and are going back down again. Struggling to interpret something written on Facebook by a teenager or young adult is reminiscent to reading Shakespeare for the first time.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:29 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:Yes, but my perception (which might be completely wrong) is that we've just crested a hill, in that after centuries of "improvement" (through standardisation of language, better education) we reached a peak some time last century, and are going back down again.

Your perception is completely wrong.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby CharlieP » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:53 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
CharlieP wrote:Yes, but my perception (which might be completely wrong) is that we've just crested a hill, in that after centuries of "improvement" (through standardisation of language, better education) we reached a peak some time last century, and are going back down again.

Your perception is completely wrong.


So what is clouding it?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

I suspect the situation we have now, with your/you're merged a significant minority of the time, is probably very old and very stable.
That kind of confusion is basically a natural result of having a language that has such weak phonetic rules.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:06 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:So what is clouding it?

What's the old writing you're comparing this to? Do you have comparison data of teenagers 20, 40, 60 years ago writing on a medium that they intended to be read only by other teenagers? Almost all old writing material you have as reference, unless you're a linguist digging through archived paper notes collected in classrooms passed around secretly, is formal writing where people paid attention to how they spelled and intended to follow official writing rules.

As Randall says in https://m.xkcd.com/1414/ : "I'd bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day."
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Sizik » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:28 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:As to if and when the spellings of the orally identical "you're" and "your" would merge: I'd say it's probably going to be a long time, unless some kind of intentional spelling reform takes place.


"ur"
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:34 pm UTC

Spellcheckers might not save us from that one.

"Ur so vain" does not set off my spellchecker because of the city.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Aiwendil » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:31 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Spellcheckers might not save us from that one.

"Ur so vain" does not set off my spellchecker because of the city.


Well, it's about time someone took the Sumerians to task for their legendary vanity.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby CharlieP » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:32 am UTC

Monika wrote:
CharlieP wrote:So what is clouding it?

What's the old writing you're comparing this to? Do you have comparison data of teenagers 20, 40, 60 years ago writing on a medium that they intended to be read only by other teenagers? Almost all old writing material you have as reference, unless you're a linguist digging through archived paper notes collected in classrooms passed around secretly, is formal writing where people paid attention to how they spelled and intended to follow official writing rules.

As Randall says in https://m.xkcd.com/1414/ : "I'd bet on the generation that conducts the bulk of their social lives via the written word over the generation that occasionally wrote book reports and letters to grandma once a year, any day."


I wasn't specifically thinking about teenagers (despite mentioning them in passing), more the generic state of the written word, and the increasing (according to my own observations which could be false or biased) frequency of mistakes in newspapers, signs, advertising, online content etc.

Could it be that people themselves are no better or worse at spelling/writing, but whereas in the past the job of creating written output was left to a subset of people with the right skills, and overseen by a cadre of "checkers", these days just about anybody is allowed/able to produce, and the pace of modern life means that there isn't time to check everything (e.g. typos in on-screen graphics on news broadcasts)?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:01 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:So what is clouding it?
One's spelling and grammar continues to improve as one ages.
bigglesworth wrote:Spellcheckers might not save us from that one.

"Ur so vain" does not set off my spellchecker because of the city.
Grammar checkers are getting to be better and more common.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:10 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:I wasn't specifically thinking about teenagers (despite mentioning them in passing), more the generic state of the written word, and the increasing (according to my own observations which could be false or biased) frequency of mistakes in newspapers, signs, advertising, online content etc.

Could be a recency illusion, where you notice it more recently and/or remember the recent ones more clearly.

Could it be that people themselves are no better or worse at spelling/writing, but whereas in the past the job of creating written output was left to a subset of people with the right skills, and overseen by a cadre of "checkers", these days just about anybody is allowed/able to produce, and the pace of modern life means that there isn't time to check everything (e.g. typos in on-screen graphics on news broadcasts)?

Yeah, that's possible, too. More people paid to write as many SEO-relevant words as quickly as possible for as little money as possible, where in the past the companies could not as easily hire some poor student to work over the internet.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:32 pm UTC

Cathode Ray Sunshine wrote:Is it ever OK to say, for example, "My friends and me" instead of "My friends and I" ? I understand that the correct way uses the I, but does it exist a case where "...and me" is correct?

I wonder if using "me" in subject positions was adopted from French moi. Not just in "me and my friends", but also in "Me, I prefer ...". In French the normal word for "I" is "je" but I'm pretty sure it's not okay to say "je et mon amis" nor "mon amis et je", it's "moi et mon amis" / "mon amis et moi", likewise "moi, je préfère". But moi is also the (stressed) object pronoun, à moi = to me.

And there are also other things were just the concept was transferred from English to French. E.g. I think creating the comparative and superlative forms of long adjectives with much and more is probably taken over from how it is done in French with plus and le plus, because even old German texts don't do it with mehr and meist as far as I am aware ... so unless Danish-Swedish-Norwegian do that (I don't speak any of those), I don't know where it would come from. Same for adding a suffix to form adverbs from adjectives, -ly in English and -ment in French. -lich is a suffix for adjectives in German, and adverbs / adverbially used adjectives are identical to adjectives, no suffix or anything. So again, if that's not a thing in the Northern European Germanic languages my guess is that the concept was adopted from French.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby CharlieP » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:46 am UTC

Monika wrote:
Cathode Ray Sunshine wrote:Is it ever OK to say, for example, "My friends and me" instead of "My friends and I" ? I understand that the correct way uses the I, but does it exist a case where "...and me" is correct?

I wonder if using "me" in subject positions was adopted from French moi. Not just in "me and my friends", but also in "Me, I prefer ...". In French the normal word for "I" is "je" but I'm pretty sure it's not okay to say "je et mon amis" nor "mon amis et je", it's "moi et mon amis" / "mon amis et moi", likewise "moi, je préfère". But moi is also the (stressed) object pronoun, à moi = to me.


On that note, a song by one of my favourite bands starts "You and me <pause> are the same...". If only there was a ", we" in place of the pause, it would be fine.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:51 pm UTC

In the US wasps are called yellow jackets, but it looks like "wasp" is also used for some other flying insect? Which one?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Deva » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:53 pm UTC

Probably hornets. Resembles yellow jackets closely, depending on species. Example: Yellow Jacket, European Hornet, and Bald-Faced Hornet.
Yellow Jacket.jpg
Yellow Jacket.jpg (55.01 KiB) Viewed 5504 times

European Hornet.jpg
European Hornet.jpg (55.98 KiB) Viewed 5504 times

Bald Faced Hornet.jpg
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Calls all three "wasps".

Edit: Sees WASP occasionally too. Refers to something else, however.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Aiwendil » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:04 pm UTC

Monika wrote:In the US wasps are called yellow jackets, but it looks like "wasp" is also used for some other flying insect? Which one?


I (from the U.S.) use "wasp" as a general term for a large number of flying insects - pretty much everything in the order Hymenoptera except for bees and ants. "Yellow jacket" for me refers to those species of wasp with a yellow and black coloration.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:08 pm UTC

Monika wrote:In the US wasps are called yellow jackets, but it looks like "wasp" is also used for some other flying insect? Which one?
Without looking anything up (telling you how I'd use the word, not whats prescriptively correct) I'd say that yellow jackets are a specific type of wasp, but the one that most commonly requires humans' attention in America (they like to build nest on doors and are aggressive and territorial).
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Derek » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:23 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:and the increasing (according to my own observations which could be false or biased) frequency of mistakes in newspapers, signs, advertising, online content etc.

The Grauniad didn't get it's name recently. This is not a new phenomenon.

Aiwendil wrote:I (from the U.S.) use "wasp" as a general term for a large number of flying insects - pretty much everything in the order Hymenoptera except for bees and ants. "Yellow jacket" for me refers to those species of wasp with a yellow and black coloration.

I agree with this. I'm not exactly sure where "hornet" fits in though.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:17 pm UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
Monika wrote:In the US wasps are called yellow jackets, but it looks like "wasp" is also used for some other flying insect? Which one?


I (from the U.S.) use "wasp" as a general term for a large number of flying insects - pretty much everything in the order Hymenoptera except for bees and ants. "Yellow jacket" for me refers to those species of wasp with a yellow and black coloration.

Right, me too. Yellow jackets are just one of the more common wasps we run into or have reason to comment on, due to their aggression and common-ness.

I had to look it up just now, but "hornet" is a subtype of "wasp". I use them pretty interchangably.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby CharlieP » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:26 am UTC

I'm currently completing an official form from the Royal Mail, and section 3 is entitled "Who wants their mail redirecting?". Now I've come across that particular formation plenty of times before (e.g. "Do you need your lawn mowing?", "If you want your car cleaning tomorrow, ..."), but always considered it non-standard or local dialect. Is it perfectly valid?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Aiwendil » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:04 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:I'm currently completing an official form from the Royal Mail, and section 3 is entitled "Who wants their mail redirecting?". Now I've come across that particular formation plenty of times before (e.g. "Do you need your lawn mowing?", "If you want your car cleaning tomorrow, ..."), but always considered it non-standard or local dialect. Is it perfectly valid?


It sounds non-standard and, indeed, quite "wrong" to me. I don't think I've ever heard or seen this construction before; I would expect the past (passive) participle in all those cases.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby jaap » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:05 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:I'm currently completing an official form from the Royal Mail, and section 3 is entitled "Who wants their mail redirecting?". Now I've come across that particular formation plenty of times before (e.g. "Do you need your lawn mowing?", "If you want your car cleaning tomorrow, ..."), but always considered it non-standard or local dialect. Is it perfectly valid?

I feel the same as you, that this construction is not generally accepted in the UK, at least not yet.
On the other hand, if they had used the more accepted version "Who wants their mail redirected?", it sounds to me like a rhetorical question with a negative answer. At least "redirecting" has the feel of a genuine offer of service, just like your examples.

I wouldn't use this form myself, and would have rewritten that section title. Maybe "Do you want your mail redirected?", or the more direct "Have your mail redirected".

Edit:
There is also a kind of opposite version, apparently used mostly in the North and in Scotland - "Your lawn needs mowed".

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby CharlieP » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:58 pm UTC

jaap wrote:
CharlieP wrote:I'm currently completing an official form from the Royal Mail, and section 3 is entitled "Who wants their mail redirecting?".

I wouldn't use this form myself, and would have rewritten that section title. Maybe "Do you want your mail redirected?", or the more direct "Have your mail redirected".


It's the section header for the part where one fills in the personal details of all the people whose mail needs to be redirected, so "Details of the people who need their mail to be redirected" would be better, but is too long to fit the space.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Derek » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

jaap wrote:Edit:
There is also a kind of opposite version, apparently used mostly in the North and in Scotland - "Your lawn needs mowed".

This is very common around Pittsburgh, where I live now.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby kalira » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:28 pm UTC

jaap wrote:Edit:
There is also a kind of opposite version, apparently used mostly in the North and in Scotland - "Your lawn needs mowed".


I thought of this construction immediately when I read CharlieP's initial message. I was kind of struck by the fact that there was an essentially opposite construction of the one I had heard of (have prior knowledge of "needs mowed" type, have never previously heard of "wants redirecting" type). "Need + past participle" (needs mowed) is also attested in the US, in areas of the Midwest mostly. It is also considered nonstandard here in USican English. I had a linguistics professor who used it as part of his natural dialect.

I wonder if the UK and US versions are related or developed independently...

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Lazar » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:33 pm UTC

I think it's associated with Pittsburgh – which isn't officially part of the Midwest, but in cultural and linguistic terms is arguably more Midwestern than Northeastern.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Derek » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:13 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:I think it's associated with Pittsburgh – which isn't officially part of the Midwest, but in cultural and linguistic terms is arguably more Midwestern than Northeastern.

Pittsburgh (both geographically and dialectically) sits at the intersection of the midwest, northeast, and Appalachia.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:56 am UTC

Is it correct to say something like "Not sure what the impact will be coding-wise / business-wise"?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Carlington » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:24 pm UTC

It's definitely something I would say, and sounds fine to me.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:03 pm UTC

Sounds completely natural to me and definitely something I'd say (although I'm very fond of deliberately generalising non-productive morphology).
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby thunk » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:32 am UTC

I use that grammatical form frequently.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:13 pm UTC

Great!

What's non-productive morphology?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby chridd » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:21 pm UTC

Monika wrote:Great!

What's non-productive morphology?
Prefixes and suffixes and such that are used in some existing words but which aren't generally used in new words/in combination with other roots where they're not already established. (Linguistics term.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Productivity_(linguistics)
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Moo » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:29 am UTC

Monika wrote:Is it correct to say something like "Not sure what the impact will be coding-wise / business-wise"?
I agree it seems right BUT I would add a comma:
Not sure what the impact will be, coding-wise

Although I'm at a loss to say why, except that whenever I say or imagine saying it, there's a significant pause there.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:02 pm UTC

Because coding/business is effectively modifying "impact".

The comma/pause indicates an afterthought that provides context, which the listener then sticks on whatever part of the sentence seems appropriate.

Without the comma, one is saying "the impact will be coding", which the listener could trip up over.
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Lazar » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:19 pm UTC

The 1960 Billy Wilder film "The Apartment" poked fun at "-wise", which I guess was seen as trendy then.

"Premium-wise and billing-wise, we are eighteen percent ahead of last year, October-wise."

"Baxter, we're a little disappointed in you – gratitude-wise."

"And as far as I'm concerned, you're tops. I mean, decency-wise – and otherwise-wise."

"I kept your name out of it so there'll be no trouble, police-wise or newspaper-wise."

"Well that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise."
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:25 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:The 1960 Billy Wilder film "The Apartment" poked fun at "-wise", which I guess was seen as trendy then.

"Premium-wise and billing-wise, we are eighteen percent ahead of last year, October-wise."

"Baxter, we're a little disappointed in you – gratitude-wise."

"And as far as I'm concerned, you're tops. I mean, decency-wise – and otherwise-wise."

"I kept your name out of it so there'll be no trouble, police-wise or newspaper-wise."

"Well that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise."

ØMG :D
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