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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:22 PM

R Grammar Gaffes Ruining The Language? Maybe Not

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/02/157616528/r-grammar-gaffes-ruining-the-language-maybe-not



Good grammar may have came and went.

Maybe you've winced at the decline of the past participle. Or folks writing and saying "he had sank" and "she would have went." Perhaps it was the singer Gotye going on about "Somebody That I Used to Know" instead of "Somebody Whom I Used to Know." Or any of a number of other tramplings of traditional grammar rules that have been force-fed to American schoolchildren for decades in popular parlance and prose.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:32 PM

1. Yes

for people who know traditional grammar.

For everyone else, no.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:33 PM

2. Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:27 PM

7. Nearly killed myself

Watching this video while walking on my treadmill

Post a warning next time

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Response to bpositive (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:32 PM

13. Ha! I'll try.


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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:36 PM

3. As an ESL tutor I predict that we will see a change in the 3rd person singular, present tense

during this century. Or at least in the U.S. I hear "he go" and "she say" and "he do" so often when I teach a conversational class. Beginning students are baffled by the conjugation exercise, even though I still do them.

I think "she would have went" is an abomination. It grates on my ear, OW! Geez...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:47 PM

8. You and me show up in these threads all the times.



Poor grammar (and inaccurate punctuation) are ruining the language, confusing meaning, and obscuring understanding. The erosion of our (admittedly complex, yet richly beautiful) language makes me very sad and often angry.

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Response to MANative (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:38 PM

14. My students often tell me that they have RULES in their language and why don't WE?

It's a good question and I don't have an answer...

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Response to MANative (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:42 PM

15. Tsk, tsk. Complex and richly beautiful is one way to describe it

A gloming of multiple languages, an ever changing set of arbitrary rules is another.

English got to its present form by a continuous process of change.


Modern English would sound like gobbledygook to Shakespeare, and would be absolutely incomprehensible to Chaucer.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:47 PM

11. Some of that is interlanguage.

Learners have a fairly standard progression in picking up morphology. Getting tense endings wrong by deleting them isn't all that uncommon.

It's reinforced by AAVE, which is the variety of native-speaker language a lot of LEPs are exposed to. They hear two varieties, one common and without final /s/ and one less common with it. They have a choice, they go with the simpler one, esp. since AAVE and Caribbean Spanish phonotactics agree on consonant simplification and the undesirablility of final /s/.


The past participle and preterite in English have been in flux since Chaucer's day. A lot of forms now standard as past participles were originally preterites. Irregular past participles are dropping like flies, mostly because of a lot of intralanguage register mixing.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:41 PM

4. If somebody hadn't gotten lazy and sloppy somewhere along the line

 

we'd still be speaking Old English with all it's grammatical case endings and complicated verb conjugations. English made huge strides forward in the way of streamlining during the Dark Ages when most English-speaking people could not read or write let alone speak "proper" English like this:

Fder ūre ū e eart on heofonum, (Father of ours, thou who art in heavens,)
Sī īn nama ġehālgod. (Be thy name hallowed.)
Tōbecume īn rīċe, (Come thy kingdom),
ġewure īn willa, on eoran swā swā on heofonum. (Worth (manifest) thy will, on earth as also in heaven.)
Ūre ġedġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dġ, (Our daily loaf do sell (give) to us today,)
and forgyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forgyfa ūrum gyltendum. (And forgive us our guilts as also we forgive our guilters)
And ne ġelǣd ū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.(And do not lead thou us into temptation, but alese (release/deliver) us of (from) evil.)
Sōlīċe. Soothly.

Note: The proper English alphabet has more that 26 letters. The letters "thorn" () and "eth" () are both spelled "th" these days, and "" is no longer used at all. Another sloppy mistake by illiterate peasants. Note that we no longer use the correct diacritical marks like the dot over the g and the lines over long vowels. There are very few people alive today who know proper English any more.

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:07 PM

10. You have made the ultimate grammar mistake

in the usage of it's. It's means it is. Its is the possessive form. I know proper English as I was a copy editor for 30 magazines for 13 years. And my job was to correct grammar, spelling and punctuation for all articles.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:05 PM

12. Haha! You're right. Sort of.

 

A book I read a couple weeks ago on the history of the English language pointed out that the removal of the apostrophe from the possessive pronoun is rather recent, dating back to somewhere around the late 1800's.

So in my defense, I'm doing it the traditional way, not the new-fangled way the youngsters do it.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:57 PM

16. Punctuation ?

I was going to send you a message RebelOne, but I don't have enough posts yet. Seems like you have good knowledge of punctuation. Do you by chance have any good sources for restaurant menu descriptions? Long story, but basically we have a disagreement about proper capitalization at work....and it is just a pet peeve of mine.

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:44 PM

5. Something like this, and not the influx of non-English speakers, will push me to...

support English as the official language.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:45 PM

6. Does anyone know if the French allow this to happen to their language?

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Response to ashling (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:49 PM

9. Think about it this way.

I'd bet that making the bad use of language rule-restricted would force a change back to the old usage. Lol

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