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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:22 AM
Original message
Grammar peeve: That is for objects, who is for people
You sound like a moron when you use "that" for people. For example, "I know this guy that can eat like a horse." Or "People that want to can come eat like a horse now."

It's "this guy who" and "people who."

Is that so difficult to remember?

Remember: you sound like a moron when you say "People that..."

This has been a public service message from Burt Worm.

:patriot:
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. Whatever. nt.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Nothing personal.
;)

Seriously. I don't have anyone at DU in mind.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Nothing personal back atcha. I am not AR on language. Maybe on other subjects, but I find the
debates over "correct" language usage (like it is set in stone- NOT) to be...

ridiculous...

just mho...

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. For me the debate is over logic.
Not over rules. It's over what makes better sense.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. Languages don't make sense.
if double negatives where so evil than why do Spanish-speakers have no problem saying "No conozco nada" (I don't know nothing)? double negation is extremely common. and it actually does exist in REAL, spoken English, the Grammar Nazis just decided to banish it from the formal language for no good linguistic reasons.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. Spoken English and written English are two different things.
Related things, of course, but different. Most people are pretty good at code-switching, though, and they know not to sound like a moron when speaking to someone they're trying to get a job from or interested in romantically. Context is everything.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #27
53. You keep missing the key distinction, which is not between "real" English
(whatever that is) and "formal" English (whatever that is), but spoken and written English. Spoken English is more free-style, improvisatory and spontaneous, perforce. Written English, on the other hand, is, perforce, more conservative and rules-driven, because it is intended to be understood in many different contexts over time. Neither one is better than the other. They're for different purposes.

But you still *sound* like a moron when you make a grammatical error in spoken English. There's simply no getting around it. It doesn't mean you are wrong or are a moron. It just means you sound wrong and like a moron. See the difference?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #53
66. I'll tell you what...
...go walk into a bar in a working class neighborhood and talk oh-so "correct" and we shall see who sounds like a moron. ;) I'll just sat that when I was a kid I was bullied a lot because my Asperger's Syndrome resulted in me talking in an overly formal manner.

In formal situations or formal righting I'll use "proper" English, elsewhere (like this message board), I'll talk (or post) like an actual human being.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #66
72. I'd bet you if I said "people who" in a bar no one at all would bat an eyelash.
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 03:24 PM by BurtWorm
But if someone in that bar was a person who paid attention to grammar and I said "people that," that person would think I sounded like a moron.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #72
76. If you think you never say "people that" you are deluding to yourself.
In conversation in one's native language people go by the grammatical rules they learned instinctively as a small child, not what they learned in a school book. If I only sound like a moron to grammar Nazis I could not care less what they think.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #76
80. I find that formulation totally repulsive.
I learned the rule I stated in the OP from a very early age. When I hear someone saying "people that," it's like fingers on a chalboard.

I'm happy for you if you can take every utterance by other speakers of English as equal and perfectly all right. That means everything that came out of Bush's mouth, for example, was fine with you. Nukyular is as smooth in your ear as nuclear. Misunderestimated is just as dandy as underestimated. It's all the same, just the bubbling crude out of which English is made. Good for you. I'm not made like that.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #80
91. A brit saying "If I was gone" bugs me, but that doesn't mean I think brits are stupid
I am not outraged when a Southerner says "I'm fixin' to go to the store".

"Nukular" is no more outrageous than "Febyuwary". "Misunderestimated" is a perfectly good example of English derivational morphology at work, derivation is how most languages make most new words. You most have been one of those people that go apoplectic when people use "fax" and "Google" as verbs.

That you find normal spoken English "repulsive" and "bubbling crud" says a lot more about you than any thing else, and what it says in not good. It betrays and anti-Progressive disdain for the common man, it's an elitist excuse to enhance one's own ego.

Language is in a constant state of change, your "English" is dead and soulless. Your precious "correct usage" is notion but a social convention. It is not a good or bad thing, it is not somehow "better" or "more right" than the spoken word, it is mere cross-dialectal convention influenced the the snobbery of those defending what is becoming an ossified hulk, like Classical Latin. People's writing would be a lot better if English teachers quit obsessing over minor grammatical points when most bad writing is the result of lack of clarity. Indeed, some shibboleths (like the illogical dislike of the passive voice and invented rules like no split infinitives) harm good writing.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #91
94. A-HA!
You do get bugged by other people's English! I knew it!

Welcome to human being. :toast:
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #76
96. You sure are posting a lot for someone who could care less.
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 09:35 PM by BurtWorm
:o

That's ok. I know I've pushed a button. It's all in good fun, though, isn't it?

:woohoo:

PS: I used the phrase "could care less" to demonstrate another dumb phrase that might bug you but which you can't now admit makes me sound like a moron. ;)
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
68. You think English is LOGICAL?!?!?!?
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 03:15 PM by Strong Atheist
:rofl: MAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Man, I could rip THAT to pieces so easily...




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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #68
70. Go ahead.
:popcorn:


And when you're done fighting with that strawman, show me where I said English or even language was logical.

:popcorn:
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #70
73. "For me the debate is over logic." nt.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. That's it?
That's all you've got? How does that equate with, "English is logical?"
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. You brought it up. You are talking about grammer, and then say the debate is over logic. Or are
you now going to say that the op and grammar have nothing to do with English?

:shrug:
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #75
77. My statement was 'the debate is over logic,' which you're claiming is equivalent to
'English is logical.' Are those really equivalent statements? Of course not. I'm not arguing that English is totally logical. Are you arguing that it isn't logical at all?

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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #77
83. Pretty much. It is a hodge-podge collection of junk from the last two
thousand years (going back at least to Latin), from multiple languages, with NO phonetic coherence (you would need 42 or 43 characters for English, for example), NO rules for spelling that don't have MULTIPLE exceptions, duplicate words (eg. synonyms) galore, etc.

The same thing for the rules; random, not logical, just cobbled together over time, which is one of the reasons that I find it ridiculous/annoying when people complain that arbitrary "rules" are being violated by the masses (who actually manage to communicate quite effectively).


I have had this argument several times in life, mostly with English majors who seem to believe that these rules they are so fond of were handed down from on high on tablets of adamantium with a heavenly choir singing in the background literally billions of years ago with no change ever. So of course, the rules we are using are the same as those used in England in 1600, or in the colonial times in America, right?

:eyes:

Well, when the mass of people shifts to the new ways, it is the grammar police who are the last to catch on, I guess, stubbornly insisting that their small group is right, and the overwhelming majority is wrong...

:shrug:

Grammar is changing as we speak, in many ways, some on the internet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet

In with the new, and those protest that everyone else is wrong... well, I guess they are "right" in ever-diminishing numbers, till they too are as distant as 1600 England, or colonial America...

Evolution in action...

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #74
78. "logic" is a prescriptivist euphemism for "how Latin does it"
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 03:54 PM by Odin2005
For example, the argument against the double negative is that it is "illogical", but that is not correct, double negatives, in most languages, give an emphatic meaning, nothing illogical about that. But Latin was one of the few languages that did not have a double negative.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. I'll grant you that every language has different rules and conventions.
In English one of our conventions is to make a distinction between persons and nonpersons. When we ask "Who is it?" we're talking about a presumed person. We don't say, "What wants to go see a movie?" What determines whether we use "Who" or "What" in those instances? Is it how Latin does it?
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
81. The word "It's" in your final sentence is not logical because the reader has to guess what the word
"It's" is referring to.

Not over rules.

"Not over rules." is a fragmented sentence.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. i enjoy it because its a learning experience. very rarely does DU teach me anything
occasionally the grammar threads do.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. There is a wide gap between grammatically correct English
and spoken English. And people who bug me about grammar may find out about that.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. What I always find amusing/annoying depending on my mood is the grammar police who seem to think
that language is dead; which is to say that it is static and has NEVER changed. Seriously, some people have argued with me that the rules are set in stone.

I believe language is CONTINUALLY changing, with new words and new definitions for old words and phrases. If you can make yourself understood, and MOST people in an area use the language in the fashion you are using it, then it is "correct".
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Spoken language changes rapidly.
Written language is more conservative. It eventually catches up to changes in spoken language that survive via natural selection. But written language relies heavily on logic, which is why we need the distinction between that and who.

I'm an editor; my job is to be strict when it comes to written language. But I have my peeves when it comes to language in general. I think everyone does.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. How is that a logical distinction?
It's just a traditional distinction. You can say "that person," so obviously "that" isn't a word that can't apply to humans. There is no logical reason you can't say "person that." It's just tradition, like split infinitives.

People get so hung up on the rules of language they forget that the language comes first, and the rules are only lagging attempts to describe the language. If people understand, then it's good English, no matter the rules. If people could understand more precisely with a better construct, then that construct would be prefered, but that doesn't mean the other construct is wrong.

Grammar rules are so elitist. They pretend that a person can only effectively communicate if they are initiated into the "proper" words and phrases and constructs, when in reality the opposite is true. If a person can't speak less rigidly, they are less able to understand those who can. Their linguistic skills are diminished, not enhanced. Language is democratic, rules are fascist.

Not saying that in cases of double negatives or the completely wrong use of words as most people understand them there isn't a proper versus a wrong way. As you say, logic has to apply. But the use of "that" only for non-people doesn't have that logical weight. I guess the use of "who" for non-people wouldn't work, but it's rare that people get that wrong--probably because it is a logical, not just grammatical, mistake.

Then again, if you are anthropomorphizing something, "who" can apply to a rock or a cat or whatever.

That's my story. I'm sticking to it, irregardless (it's a word) of objections.

Oh yeah, and if you are an editor, you'd be dumb to argue any of what I just did, because your job is to make everything look like your customers want it to look. So you're excused.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #28
33. Are you a person who says 'person that?'
Is that why you're so defensive?

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #33
60. No, the opposite. My pet peeve is people who slavishly follow rules they don't understand.
Fundamentalism, it's called, and grammar cops fall into that category. Can't end a sentence in a preposition, can't split an infinitive, can't say "irregardless," yada yada yada. They believe the rules created the language instead of understanding that language is an organic system that should be measured only by its effectiveness, not by how well someone adheres to a set of arbitrary rules.

Language is meant to communicate, not to be confined by a set of rules. The rules are created to understand how language works, not to dictate how it must work. If large numbers of people are breaking the rules, then the rules are out of step with the language, not the other way around. That's why we don't all sound like Chaucer. People with a need to communicate create the language, and silly grammarians struggle to keep up. It is the grammarians who get the language wrong, not the public.

And in addition to the misunderstanding of language, it's just mean-spirited. Fundamentalism, at its heart, is always elitist and anti-democratic. It creates a self-defined class and a much larger class of the masses who are by definition defective in some way. Just rubs me wrong. I'm too Democrat and too egalitarian, I guess. I have too many friends with "bad grammar" who are beautiful people, despite the fact that their linguistic development wasn't pristine.

And I'm not defensive. If I was defensive, I wouldn't have explained it so well, I'd have just made an offhanded comment asking if someone with bad grammar stole your girlfriend. :P
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. Ok.
:boring:


In all seriousness and with all due respect, people are free too speak however they want to speak. That freedom does not, unfortunately, protect them from sounding like morons.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #61
87. Remember how Bush used to think everyone else sounded like morons?
Everyone sounds like a moron to someone, whether they are or not.
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #87
93. Snooze smileys generally exhibit an attitude of defeat, but not to be admitted on this forum
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 09:19 PM by TK421
therefore...I don't hear you...I'm asleep because your logic is boring me...so I will post a snooze smiley just to show you how bored I am with your conversation..no matter how much it makes sense or how much shit it kicks out of the "logic" I have posted...I just don't want differing opinions on this matter, at all!!!!! And that, my friend, is the long and short of it!

You pathetic fucks edited to add: not you, Jobycom
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #93
97. You, too?
;)
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #97
98. Elaborate...if you dare
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 09:36 PM by TK421
edited to add: ;) I'll raise you
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. You took the words right out of my mouth!
It was like you were inside my brain!

;-)
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #99
101. That must be a pretty frightening place to be, too
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #101
102. You would know.
Right?
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #102
103. Would I? Gee...I thought I was asking YOU that question....
now I must be dealing with someone who either has a multiple personality disorder or...someone who just can't remember what they posted...funny thing, this internet
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. It is funny.
People are funny.

:toast:
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #104
105. on this board? I think you nailed it!
:evilgrin:
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #105
106. It's nice to agree with you about something.
:evilgrin:
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #106
108. Even better to know you have nothing else to say on the matter
:hi:
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #108
110. Really?
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #110
111. Um...no, I'm afraid that's just called repeating yourself, or calling attention
to your original post....not sure what your intention was with that one but....

I've already expressed my disgust at what the OP was directed at...some people, you see, will strike out at anything that hits close to home.....in my original reply I stated everything I hated about these call-outs to bad grammar or spelling...but perhaps you need ( in that tiny, perfect world ) a better explanation as to why you encounter bad spelling or improper grammar on an internet message board ( by the way...do you live your life on your computer? )

You see ( and I've been guilty of it myself ) I have typed out a post without spellcheck...because, I have things cooking on the stove...because I have friends over....because I'm watching something on T.V in between typing just so I don't miss anything...see where this is going? My entire BEING does not center around this fucking keyboard....apparently though, yours does! After I log on to DU, I'm probably not as focused on this board as you are...however, keep in mind that you get no prizes for it....

And that, I believe is what separates us as far as ability to communicate
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #111
114. Well good for you.
:applause:
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #60
67. I like both of your posts here. They said EXCATLY what I think about these
subjects.

:applause:

:yourock:

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #67
88. I guess we are both grammar atheists as well as religious atheists.
:)
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #60
121. Should be "If I 'were' defensive." nt
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Peoples-English Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-03-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
123. Is TOI printing correct English??!
Hey Burt...nice to see someone in country really care about good "Written" english...

On this i doubt whether most "beloved" newspaper of India prints correct english...Read this....

"R Gopalkrishnan of Anand Rehabilitation Center NGO "that" rescued the Gomes women on Tuesday"

You being an editor, i would really appreciate if you can help me know, the statement above printed by TOI is correct...

Aren't we having more of fancy english in newspapers now?

---Happy Writing!! ---
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #8
40. Then it's 'accepted'
"Correct" is another matter.



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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #40
50. Read up on some basic linguistics, please.
For native speakers there is no such thing as "correct" and "incorrect", just "formal" and "informal".
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. Linguistics is descriptive. It's designed to reflect language as spoken
without judgment. It's not, however, the final word on language. It's just one word, one perspective. If it were the final word, we'd have no argument.
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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #40
62. See? this is the kind of b.s. I'm complaining about. You understood me, you just want to be a
Edited on Wed Sep-23-09 02:00 PM by Strong Atheist
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #62
84. A what?
I understood you to be incorrect, yes. Complain away.



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Strong Atheist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. Which brings up the next point. How do you drive a _____ crazy?
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. There's no excuse for writing "people that" then.
You can say it all you want, but when you write it, you sound like a moron.

(Not you personally.)
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. What if you're writing dialogue
and trying to mimic the way people speak naturally? ;)
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. D'oh!
:crazy:
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. I sez to him I sez
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 09:31 AM by Rambis
them guys that hang out down there are trouble. Hear it all the time-
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. And then, he goes, like. . .
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Rambis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. totally!
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 09:36 AM by Rambis
I had a parent call last month and pretend to be a student to get academic information. I told the parent, I have spoken to this student previously and you have not used the word like at all in this conversation. Therefore, I do not believe you are the student and I will not answer any questions about this record.
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
35. Oh yes!
My dad and my uncles talked like that when I was a very little boy.

"So I sez to 'im I sez..."

Thanks for the free wayback trip! :hi:
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EndersDame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
7. could you please explain "lay" and "lie"
inquiring minds want to know
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. You lie on a bed. You lay the baby in the crib.
You lie down. You lay something down.
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EndersDame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Thank you ! When I command my puppy "down" is it lay or lie
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Lie down, puppy.
Or I'll lay you down.

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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #19
71. hmmmm...
:think:
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. "Lay" is active; "lie" is static
Sincerely, another Grammar Cop/editor. :hi:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. And both came from the same Proto-Indo-European root.
There was a causative suffix that caused a vowel mutation, and then was lost in late Old English, leaving two separate roots.
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
18. So you think Mark Twain sounds like a moron?
One of his more famous stories is "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg". This is the rule: if the meaning is lost by removing the clause, use "that"; if not, use "who" or "which".

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yes I do.
:P
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Well, you're still wrong but I appreciate your honesty
:rofl:
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
22. Had enough?
:popcorn:

:P
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. It's a dying distinction is spoken English, doing it is not "moronic".
In my mind using "who" too much in conversation exposes somebody as a pretentious snot.

On a related note, I never use "whom" in my speech, EVER, and I'm no moron. "Whom" is deader than dead in REAL English.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Using "that" where "who" is called for may not be moronic. But you sound like a moron when you do it
That's just a fact. If you don't mind sounding like a moron, by all means, keep saying "people that" instead of "people who."

It does seem "whom" is dying, which is a bit sad. I don't say "whom," but I do write it when it's called for.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #31
39. Then you are calling most people morons.
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 11:32 PM by Odin2005
Written English is not the REAL language, spoken English is the real language, for formal written standard is mere social convention with no objective basis. Language changes. The old 2nd Person singular form (Thou) disappeared 300 years ago. "Shall" is rarely used "Whom" is gone. Over in the UK the Subjunctive is disappearing, replaced with "should" constructions. A new "Be Gonna" future construction has developed. Use of "can" and "could" is becoming more generalized, replacing "may" and "might". "Got" passives are becoming more common (X got Y, instead of X was Y), and "got" is increasingly replacing "have" in many situations. For many people, myself included, "sneak" has become a strong verb (snuck, not sneaked, sneaked actually sounds WRONG to my ears even though it is formally correct.).

Here is my projection of the English language 2000 years into the future:

http://conlang.wikia.com/wiki/Eridanian
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #39
48. If the shoe fits...



You might as well be calling English the real language and not French. Written and spoken are two forms of language and each is as real as they other. Context is all.

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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #31
41. Don't ever read that title out loud,
or else people will think you're a snob.

"For Who The Bell Tolls" sounds so much more, oh, what's the word? BUSHIAN? Yeah, the kind of title Fuckface would embrace, because it's stupid. But it sounds so nice and common. Vulgar. Wrong.

Thank you for your OP, and for your spirited and quite correct defense of proper English, written and spoken. As a writer, I cherish my native language, and there is nothing more touching, to me, than a long and perfectly constructed sentence, one that is not only structurally impeccable, but which is punctuated properly and has a meaningful message. It tells me that the author was paying attention, being careful, loving his words and where they were going.

Kurt Vonnegut was all wrong about semi-colons; I think they're essential, but that, I think, was the only thing Vonnegut got wrong.

Again, thank you for underlining that distinction. There are basics at work here, and it's appalling how many people simply never learned - or even noticed - them. I was never taught how to diagram a sentence - I was out sick that day, I think - but I did get an education that stressed the importance of language. For that, I am grateful.

And for your OP, I am also grateful..................................
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #41
46. Thank you!
I was thinking about this last night as I drifted off to sleep. "Whom" is definitely still called for with direct objects--but you can drop it usually. You would sound like a Bush, for example, if you said, "The kid who I gave the ball to was snot-nosed." But you'd sound like a Roosevelt if you said "The kid I gave the ball to was snot-nosed."
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #41
49. Your snobbery is noted.
It's only "proper English" by mere social convention. Formal English is becoming like Classical Latin, a formal standard being left behind by the spoken language. Remember how Justice Roberts fumbled the presidential oath of office because he had hangups over ending sentences with a preposition (one of those BS "rules" drived from idiots trying to make English like Latin)? These grammar Nazis spount their nonsense entirely ignorant of lingustics.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. Your snobbery against grammar is noted.
Your a linguistics snob! Admit it! You think linguistics is it, but you don't seem to understand the difference between descriptive and prescriptive linguistics.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. Tell you what, dear heart -
stuff it.

Your inarticulate ramblings are amusing, and once you get the hang of the language, I'm sure you'll be able to understand all sorts of concepts that are now inconceivable to you, but, for now, being called a "snob" by the likes of you is nothing more than a sweet affirmation.

Go live a life, and while you're at it, get a grip.........................
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
25. I AGREE
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 08:29 PM by Skittles
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
29. Maybe not correct, but hardly "moronic".
:eyes:

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. There's a difference between being moronic and sounding moronic.
I'm talking about how this sounds, not how it is.

;-)
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
30. There are supervisors and other senior staff who, if they had to write well, would be axed...
and in less than two minutes too -- they are THAT bad.

Life isn't fair and if the doom'n'gloomers are right, maybe it will get worse.

:shrug:
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. Ain't that the truth.
I can only shake my head in puzzlement and disgust after reading some of the emails I get from people who make twice as much as I do.

Yes, language is invented every day...by children!
We grown-ups are supposed to have rules! Dammit!

:headbang:
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JonLP24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
36. It seems like something I'd do quite often
I didn't realize I sounded like such a moron though. :shrug:

Thanks for the tip.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. You're welcome.
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 11:20 PM by BurtWorm
Glad to help.

;-)

PS: In all seriousness, don't take it personally. It's just my humble opinion.
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mikeSchmuckabee Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
42. P is for pedantic
I beg to differ with your statement. "Which" is for nonhumans, "who" is for humans. "That" can be correctly used for either.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. Wrong.
"Which" is for relative clauses that can stand independently from a sentence when they take the place of a subject that is not a person:

That class, which was one of the most boring I've ever taken, was taught by Professor Pedantic.

Compare to:

The class that bored me the most was the one taught by Professor Pedantic.

Welcome to DU, by the way. :toast:
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mikeSchmuckabee Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #45
119. You are wrong, colorless, green ideas breath. And here's the citation
Edited on Sat Sep-26-09 06:03 AM by mikeSchmuckabee
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/that <4>

Choose the fourth entry and scroll on down to the third definition.

And your reply makes no sense. Are you really suggesting that "who" can perform functions which "which" cannot? They are parallel as far as relative pronouns are concerned. How can you possibly suggest that "which" is an unacceptable alternative to "that" in your second example? And I would certainly suggest that "who" is very problematic when it comes to collective nouns such as team or gang even when composed entirely of humans. I'm starting to feel like you are prejudiced against "which".

"That" gets plenty of use and has plenty of uses. But your premise is, as you can see from the entry, utterly without foundation.

Good day! Happy to be here. Thanks
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
43. Thanks! Can always use help like this!
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
44. According to a grammar handbook "Woe Is I,"
"If both sound right, it's because both are right. A person can be either a 'that' or a 'who.' A thing, on the other hand is always a 'that.' "

I am a copy editor, so therefore, I'm sort of a grammar expert.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #44
47. They don't both sound right. Weren't you listening?
;-)

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. They don't both?
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #58
63. Don't they?
:crazy:
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
54. I've been working on this one for myself. Well said! It's important to sound intelligent. nt
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ashling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
55. Democrats is for people!
:rofl:
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
57. Help me out with who's whose who is who's
I get confused when this comes up. It comes up a lot, too!

:D
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
59. That someone gives a care is encouraging.
Who gives a care is just snark.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
64. Grammar peeve - people who don't put words in quotes when they should be
:P

Just sayin'.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. .
:I miss the smiley that flips the bird:

:hi:
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
65. "I know this guy WHAT can eat like a horse."
You's welcome. ;)
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
79. That is for objects, who is for people, and periods are for ending a sentence.
Sentences should not begin with the words "but", "and", "or", or "it".

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #79
89. They used to teach that, until they got tired of trying to answer the simple question "Why?"
Of course a sentence can start with a conjunction. That silly old rule was tossed out even before Star Trek killed the split infinitive boogeyman.
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
86. Poster peeve: People who point out grammar peeves on an anonymous internet message board
what is the point? Do you want some anonymous internet poster to know how much their imperfections with grammar piss you off? Shit...if someone misspells a word I don't have a fucking fit over it....do words on a screen really affect people THAT much?

Christ on a fucking popsicle stick people are so fucking fragile these days.....gripe about something worthwhile why don't you?
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #86
95. Just trying to spread the word, my friend.
If I can inhibit just one person from saying "people that," it will have been worth it.

:woohoo:
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
90. Yes, but what about dogs?
That could be a fun flame war.
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yawnmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
92. I agree completely; I hate people that do that. eom
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
100. In the old days I tried to follow the advice and explanation
of MS Word and it said - if memory serves - that "who" should be used for specific clauses while "that" for general. Or something like that. Don't remember.

I am far from grammar maven so I followed that advice even though it did not sound natural enough for me.

Thanks for enlightening me.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #100
109. If the phrase needs the clause to refer to something specific, use "that."
"Hand me the bowl that my mother gave me." (that specific bowl, not any other)

Compare to:

"The bowl, which my mother gave me, is one of my least favorite birthday presents." (You can take the "which my mother gave me" out of the sentence and it's still clear that you're talking about the bowl as opposed to something else.)

You can usually just drop the "that," but you can't drop the "which." ("The bowl my mother gave me")

If you're talking about a person in those clauses, you should use "who" or "whom."

Maybe this will further clarify things for you: Most people know when to use "who," but a lot of people don't know when to use "whom," which is why "whom" as a form seems to be dying. "Who" takes the place of a subject pronoun, "whom" of a direct object. If you think of them as questions, the answer to "who?" is "he" (or "she" or "I" or "they") and to "whom?" is "him" (or "her," "me," "them"). Think who/he and whom/him.

Examples:

"The girl *who* wrote the award-winning paper is my daughter." (Who wrote the paper? She wrote the paper.)

"The boy *whom* they gave the award to is my son." (Whom did they give the award to? To him.)

You can drop the "whom" usually and no one will be the wiser--but you can't drop the "who."

And if you say "the girl that wrote the paper," I'm sorry to say, you sound like a moron. (Not you personally!)
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #109
116. Thank you! I will have to remember this post
very educating. I think that this also can be extended to "between you and I" vs. "between you and me"
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TK421 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
107. Hey everyone....I'm going to misplace a comma and commit OTHER atrocities here!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!
Here we go!

Walking out the door today to get breakfast at the diner down the street I met Shelly ( my neighbor ) who I waved hello to and continued on my merry way.............lalalalalalalala....and ( should I put a semi-colon here or what? WHO CARES? It's not like anyone reading this won't understand what I'm saying....right? RIGHT?!!!! I continue to run into a local who everyone knows as Fish ( his last name is Fisher ) Hey Fish!!! Hey Mark!!! ( the fucking quotation marks!!!! GOD!!!! why the fuck didn't I think of them? ).......Ouch....

that must have hurt....a lot...
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A-Schwarzenegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
112. My Uncle Leonard was a hermit that lived alone in the woods in the mountains for many years.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #112
113. I worship you!
:rofl:

(When's the book coming out? Did I miss it? I seem to remember something about the fall.)
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A-Schwarzenegger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #113
117. Mixed Animal is a book who keeps getting itself delayed.
Indie publisher hit hard by the recession, keeps delaying it,
till December at least now. Patience is the root of all
virtue.... Peculiar tic of the narrator Lemuel--the only time
he uses "who" correctly is when he refers to the animal.
Everybody else gets "that" and likes it just fine. :hi:
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
115. I'm with you 100%
If you habitually use poor grammar, and think you sound just fine, good for you; speak poorly, and let your "I'm just an average joe" flag fly.

But if your job requires others to believe you're intelligent, you may want to learn some of the rules. Or if you have to interact with well-educated people, and you would like them to believe that you, too, are well-educated, you may want to learn some of the rules.

As wrong as it is, sometimes, we judge the intelligence of others by how they speak, or how they spell their signs.

IMG]

Superficial? Yes indeed.

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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
118. Who's on first. That is in the outfield, I think. nt
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S n o w b a l l Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 06:17 AM
Response to Original message
120. To, too
Please use them correctly.

Thank you.
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-26-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
122. What if you treat people like objects?
Many do.......
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