Author Topic: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch  (Read 57473 times)

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cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #150 on: September 18, 2013, 02:40:54 PM »
Korean also does not have gendered pronouns (he/she). This doesn't come up in the writing much, but when my co-worker is speaking he often says the wrong one (he or she) and then corrects himself; that, I notice, I think because I rely on the pronouns more to help me understand the story he's telling.

I have a friend (British, of the English variety) whose wife of thirty years is Indian, from Gujarat.  She's a very sweet lady; but, it would seem, not a natural linguist; after decades of living in the UK and speaking English most of the time, her English can still be a bit "wobbly"; including, having problems with he / she. (One takes it that Gujarati, like Korean, does not have gendered pronouns.)

One is prompted to wonder: do Asian languages, which seem as regards word-use (pronunciation, a different thing) usually to go the "simple" route, maybe have the best idea?  Why tie oneself in linguistic knots about gender stuff, when such things can be worked out from the context?  That applies to relatively-simple English; let alone to such tongues as the Romance languages, and German and Russian, which -- it would seem -- gratuitously choose to make life difficult by assigning different genders to inanimate objects.

ASL is sort of the same way. I love watching Stephen Torrence (aka CaptainValor) do ASL versions of songs (mostly geek songs, but he also does some pop music). If you use the captions, it provides the gloss - the literal transcription of the ASL.

So in Jonathan Coulton's "Re: Your Brains" you can see that "We're not unreasonable/ I mean, no one's gonna eat your eyes" comes out as "We not crazy/ Not eyes eat."

a) It's funny.
b) It's like the most distilled form of language there is. No verb conjugations, no noun declensions.

Edited because "pop" music is not always "popo" music.

Sign language seems to have a lot going for it. Thoughts prompted, of  an "apocalyptic" novel series which I enjoyed for a while, which features a "tough and fierce" survivor group, one of whose founders was a resilient and competent bod who was deaf and dumb, and needed to converse in ASL; and another founder was a besotted Tolkien-nut. To belong to the group, one had to be fluent in both ASL, and Elvish.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #151 on: September 18, 2013, 02:51:00 PM »
Korean also does not have gendered pronouns (he/she). This doesn't come up in the writing much, but when my co-worker is speaking he often says the wrong one (he or she) and then corrects himself; that, I notice, I think because I rely on the pronouns more to help me understand the story he's telling.

I have a friend (British, of the English variety) whose wife of thirty years is Indian, from Gujarat.  She's a very sweet lady; but, it would seem, not a natural linguist; after decades of living in the UK and speaking English most of the time, her English can still be a bit "wobbly"; including, having problems with he / she. (One takes it that Gujarati, like Korean, does not have gendered pronouns.)

One is prompted to wonder: do Asian languages, which seem as regards word-use (pronunciation, a different thing) usually to go the "simple" route, maybe have the best idea?  Why tie oneself in linguistic knots about gender stuff, when such things can be worked out from the context?  That applies to relatively-simple English; let alone to such tongues as the Romance languages, and German and Russian, which -- it would seem -- gratuitously choose to make life difficult by assigning different genders to inanimate objects.

Well, not to get too far off on the linguistic tangent, but IMO most languages that develop organically over centuries/millennia reach about the same level of complexity overall, if not in one area then another. So maybe Korean doesn't have gendered pronouns, but I believe they do have a rather complicated (to me) system of address based on hierarchy and relationship, with different words and constructions used depending on if they're talking to someone older or younger, supervisory or supervised, etc.. Personally I think that would be very difficult to get correct as a non-native speaker--a mistake could be seen as rude, not just poor communication.

Sure -- "upsides and downsides", "you win some, you lose some".  Feel basically, that forbearance toward non-native-speakers, is the proper way to go -- for anyone, anywhere.  So long as they're trying; and not yelling "To heck with your baboon-jargon, you ought to perfectly speak and understand my language, which is the only language worth calling a language !"

cwm

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #152 on: September 18, 2013, 02:53:47 PM »

 I haven't read the entire thread yet, but one of my biggest pet peeves is using cause or cos instead of because.  It's not that difficult a word to spell!

 mixing up advice and advise is another.  And the last... misspelling ridiculous.  There is no e.

If I do the first, it's definitely shortened with an apostrophe. Why? No reason, just 'cause. That also distinguishes it from the actual word cause. Cos (or usually coz) is how I occasionally refer to a cousin.

Posted 'cause I'd hate to cause someone's cos any distress.

(Sorry, I couldn't help it.)

cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #153 on: September 18, 2013, 02:57:23 PM »
Hungarian doesn't have a separate word for he and she, so many of my Hungarian friends seem to have trouble remembering which is which when speaking English. I can't tell you how many times someone has said "she" about my husband :) I remind myself that I butcher their language in far more severe ways on a daily basis though, so I can't get too annoyed by it!

If it's any consolation -- in the far west of England, people tend to be fairly sloppy about "he" and "she" -- they know the difference in principle, they just can't be bothered.  Thus: "Where be Ted ?"  Answer: " 'er be down at the 'arbour."

DollyPond

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #154 on: September 18, 2013, 08:30:39 PM »
On the Web site Failbook (http://failblog.cheezburger.com/failbook) about a month ago there was a tweet supposedly from John Cleese (but I looked at his Twitter site and did not see it) that said essentially:

College entrance exam should be: use your, you're, there, their, there, (+ a few others) in sentences.  if you cannot do this, you need to go back to 4th grade.

Liliane

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #155 on: September 18, 2013, 08:38:08 PM »
On the Web site Failbook (http://failblog.cheezburger.com/failbook) about a month ago there was a tweet supposedly from John Cleese (but I looked at his Twitter site and did not see it) that said essentially:

College entrance exam should be: use your, you're, there, their, there, (+ a few others) in sentences.  if you cannot do this, you need to go back to 4th grade.

There was a fake "captcha" image going around Tumblr or Facebook a while back - it had the choices "there", "their", "they're", and an example sentence that asked the hypothetical user to pick the proper word to go into the sentence. At the bottom, it said something akin to "No one would ever be able to use the internet again."

Honestly, I kind of agree.
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Ereine

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #156 on: September 18, 2013, 11:44:12 PM »
Korean also does not have gendered pronouns (he/she). This doesn't come up in the writing much, but when my co-worker is speaking he often says the wrong one (he or she) and then corrects himself; that, I notice, I think because I rely on the pronouns more to help me understand the story he's telling.

I have a friend (British, of the English variety) whose wife of thirty years is Indian, from Gujarat.  She's a very sweet lady; but, it would seem, not a natural linguist; after decades of living in the UK and speaking English most of the time, her English can still be a bit "wobbly"; including, having problems with he / she. (One takes it that Gujarati, like Korean, does not have gendered pronouns.)

One is prompted to wonder: do Asian languages, which seem as regards word-use (pronunciation, a different thing) usually to go the "simple" route, maybe have the best idea?  Why tie oneself in linguistic knots about gender stuff, when such things can be worked out from the context?  That applies to relatively-simple English; let alone to such tongues as the Romance languages, and German and Russian, which -- it would seem -- gratuitously choose to make life difficult by assigning different genders to inanimate objects.

Well, not to get too far off on the linguistic tangent, but IMO most languages that develop organically over centuries/millennia reach about the same level of complexity overall, if not in one area then another. So maybe Korean doesn't have gendered pronouns, but I believe they do have a rather complicated (to me) system of address based on hierarchy and relationship, with different words and constructions used depending on if they're talking to someone older or younger, supervisory or supervised, etc.. Personally I think that would be very difficult to get correct as a non-native speaker--a mistake could be seen as rude, not just poor communication.

Finnish doesn't have gendered pronouns (or nouns) or articles or but we do have 15 cases for nouns, and pronouns and adjectives are inflected as well. Verbs are conjugated for all persons and we can do confusing things with suffixes.

My English is far from perfect so I try not to judge others but copywrite for copyright really annoys me.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 12:15:55 AM by Ereine »

TootsNYC

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #157 on: September 18, 2013, 11:47:46 PM »

Fuschia is another one I see misspelled a lot that makes me facepalm. "Fushia" - no. "Fuchia" - no, and that sounds vaguely obscene. "Fucshia" - that's even more vaguely obscene! "Foosha" - ...no. Just no. :P
psst...it's "fuchsia"



And that's what I get for being half-asleep and not proofreading. :-[ *slinks off to the corner of mild shame*
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baglady

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #158 on: September 19, 2013, 12:40:16 AM »
I remember the spelling of "fuchsia" by remembering that the three consonants in the middle are in alphabetical order.

I dislike the use of "feel" to mean think, believe, or consider. My personal rule is that if you need more than one word to describe it, it's not a feeling.

Wrong: I feel the movie will be a hit.
Right: I think the movie will be a hit. Or: I feel confident (there's your one word) that the movie will be a hit.

I am a professional copy editor. I edit the work of professional writers. It is amazing how often they use the above. Not to mention "free reign." And "like" instead of "as," "as if" or "such as."

"The museum has works by famous artists like Rembrandt and Cezanne." If you mean the actual artists, and not some posers whose work is similar to Rembrandt's and Cezanne's, you need to say "such as," not "like."

I'll give them a pass if they're quoting Prince, though. I won't change "Party like it's 1999" to "Party as if it were 1999."  ;)
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perpetua

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #159 on: September 19, 2013, 02:23:58 AM »
If it's any consolation -- in the far west of England, people tend to be fairly sloppy about "he" and "she" -- they know the difference in principle, they just can't be bothered.  Thus: "Where be Ted ?"  Answer: " 'er be down at the 'arbour."

Oh yes. Also, "Where's it to?" *is* proper English in that part of the world and shall be respected as such  ;D. My south east friends look at me askance for using it but it's so much a part of my vernacular that I can't shake it. And neither do I want to :)

starry diadem

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #160 on: September 19, 2013, 03:46:50 AM »
On the Web site Failbook (http://failblog.cheezburger.com/failbook) about a month ago there was a tweet supposedly from John Cleese (but I looked at his Twitter site and did not see it) that said essentially:

College entrance exam should be: use your, you're, there, their, there, (+ a few others) in sentences.  if you cannot do this, you need to go back to 4th grade.

Given that John Cleese is English and we don't call our school years "first, second etc grade", I'd doubt it was him.
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #161 on: September 19, 2013, 04:22:25 AM »
If it's any consolation -- in the far west of England, people tend to be fairly sloppy about "he" and "she" -- they know the difference in principle, they just can't be bothered.  Thus: "Where be Ted ?"  Answer: " 'er be down at the 'arbour."

Oh yes. Also, "Where's it to?" *is* proper English in that part of the world and shall be respected as such  ;D. My south east friends look at me askance for using it but it's so much a part of my vernacular that I can't shake it. And neither do I want to :)

The beloved West Country song:

Where be that blackybird to?
Us knows where 'e be:
'E be up that wurzel-tree,
Us be after 'e !

Elfmama

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #162 on: September 19, 2013, 11:14:39 AM »
If it's any consolation -- in the far west of England, people tend to be fairly sloppy about "he" and "she" -- they know the difference in principle, they just can't be bothered.  Thus: "Where be Ted ?"  Answer: " 'er be down at the 'arbour."

Oh yes. Also, "Where's it to?" *is* proper English in that part of the world and shall be respected as such  ;D . My south east friends look at me askance for using it but it's so much a part of my vernacular that I can't shake it. And neither do I want to :)

The beloved West Country song:

Where be that blackybird to?
Us knows where 'e be:
'E be up that wurzel-tree,
Us be after 'e !
Careful, you don't want our copy-editors to expire in convulsions! :D

The one I got when my first manuscript was published must have been stuck in Extremely Formal mode.  S/He tried to change all the character dialog to proper English. If a character says, "Me and him did thus-and-such," it's because the character didn't know any better, not because *I* don't!   It really stuck out with the few bits that were in dialect. (I don't do a lot of dialect, since I feel that too much makes it hard to read.)

Me: "Well, it's still jes' her word, bein' that he's dead an' cain't speak for hisself."
Copy-editor: "Well, it's only her word, since he's dead and cannot speak for himself."

« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 11:16:36 AM by Elfmama »
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BeagleMommy

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #163 on: September 19, 2013, 11:46:39 AM »
Oh, there are so many that make me twitchy!  Right now, it's "go/goes" used in place of "say/says".

"He goes "I want to see a movie" and then I go "Well, I don't".  AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

TootsNYC

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Re: Grammer and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #164 on: September 19, 2013, 11:49:49 AM »
Oh, there are so many that make me twitchy!  Right now, it's "go/goes" used in place of "say/says".

"He goes "I want to see a movie" and then I go "Well, I don't".  AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

In a recent interview we published, the person kept saying things like "and so he's like, 'blahdeblah.' "  I realized that "is like" has become a substitute for "say/said"