Author Topic: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch  (Read 66343 times)

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Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #315 on: October 16, 2013, 09:18:40 AM »
Fair and faire and fayre and fare. Fair for blond(e) is O.K.  (although I might also have a small mutter at the people who write 'John is the blonde' because he isn't) and fair for a gathering, like a trade fair or a funfair is fine. I'll swallow both faire and fayre as the archaic versions of that fair. Fare for food - not any of the other spellings and absolutely not fayre. It just isn't. Different word. Unfortunately it's become very common in the U.K. in things like pub menus, and it makes me shudder. Yes, I'm a snob but if you write 'Country Fayre' at the top of your menu, I just know that all the food was made in central Birmingham, brought in frozen and microwaved.

I'm disinclined to enter Ye Olde Shoppe too. The word is 'the'. We have the letters T and H nowadays rather than thorn or thurisaz. Don't mix and match. If you want to use thorn instead of TH,  why isn't the rest of your name written in Anglo-Saxon?

cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #316 on: October 16, 2013, 11:09:40 AM »
Fare for food - not any of the other spellings and absolutely not fayre. It just isn't. Different word. Unfortunately it's become very common in the U.K. in things like pub menus, and it makes me shudder. Yes, I'm a snob but if you write 'Country Fayre' at the top of your menu, I just know that all the food was made in central Birmingham, brought in frozen and microwaved.

I'm disinclined to enter Ye Olde Shoppe too. The word is 'the'. We have the letters T and H nowadays rather than thorn or thurisaz. Don't mix and match. If you want to use thorn instead of TH,  why isn't the rest of your name written in Anglo-Saxon?

FRHC -- you're probably aware of the following: but the "thorn" letter came, in medieval times, to be written pretty well indistinguishably from "y" proper, which it had already looked quite like. "Th" was already coming in, to represent that vocalisation; but the alternative for it, as "y", had its life artificially prolonged by the introduction of printing. For a good while, it was useful for printers to have the option of using "y" as an alternative to "th" -- particularly if they had run short of space. In such circumstances, pronunciation was always read-off as "th", not as "y proper" like in "yes" or "young". "Ye" as substitute for "the", showed up especially often in this context.

Concerning the "Ye Olde" thing, and the misuse of "fayre": I'd reckon that marketers -- and some at any rate of their public -- find appealing, bonkers-seeming supposedly archaic / rustic spellings of words, no matter how unauthentic.  A memory prompted by "fare" for food: an IMO ill-advised initiative a couple of decades or more ago, by our national railway undertaking -- British Rail as it was then -- which had an unfortunate way of coming up with annoying, would-be very "switched-on" advertising, tending to be on the pretentious side. For a (mercifully, quite brief) while, they rebranded all their refreshments outlets under the name of "Travellers-Fare" -- I think deliberately not putting an apostrophe after the s, in order for it to look still more "edgy".  I hated that title -- cringed at the utter precious-ness of it.

Layla Miller

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #317 on: October 16, 2013, 11:42:40 AM »
DD is in first year of university and taking a first year English course.

Recently, she got back an essay where she was discussing the character's compulsion to do something.

She used the word "geas" and the essay came back with the word underlined.
Her English teacher did not know that it was a word.

DD was in shock.
I was in shock. Neither of us considered it really obscure word, especially since this is a literature class and the professor is presumably well read.

I...didn't know it was a word, and I consider myself fairly literate as well. Someone can just not know a word. However, if I were a teacher and grading a paper, I'd check a dictionary to make sure I was grading fairly.

I've heard the word before, but very rarely.  I also do a lot of proofreading for friends, and any time I come across an unfamiliar word or phrase I go straight to Google or the dictionary before I mark it!  Like you said, if someone's grade is in the balance you darn well better be sure.  :)
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Elfmama

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #318 on: October 16, 2013, 02:59:30 PM »
DD is in first year of university and taking a first year English course.

Recently, she got back an essay where she was discussing the character's compulsion to do something.

She used the word "geas" and the essay came back with the word underlined.
Her English teacher did not know that it was a word.

DD was in shock.
I was in shock. Neither of us considered it really obscure word, especially since this is a literature class and the professor is presumably well read.

I...didn't know it was a word, and I consider myself fairly literate as well. Someone can just not know a word. However, if I were a teacher and grading a paper, I'd check a dictionary to make sure I was grading fairly.
I see that mostly in fantasy novels.  (Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen it outside of fantasy.) If the teacher doesn't read that genre ("*I* only read Literature.") then s/he might never have run across it.  Did the teacher mark her down for it, or just query its meaning?
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VorFemme

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #319 on: October 16, 2013, 03:38:54 PM »
I've read fantasy and folklore where geas was used - starting back in junior high (I ran out of juvenile books in elementary school and was reading at a higher level because that was what was on the book cases at home, when I couldn't get to a school library). 

I did reread a few things when I got older & picked up whole new layers of meaning after menarche & marriage!

Menarche is another real word that you don't see used much in real life - unless you're in a medical field...
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cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #320 on: October 16, 2013, 06:57:31 PM »
I've read fantasy and folklore where geas was used - starting back in junior high (I ran out of juvenile books in elementary school and was reading at a higher level because that was what was on the book cases at home, when I couldn't get to a school library). 

I did reread a few things when I got older & picked up whole new layers of meaning after menarche & marriage!

Menarche is another real word that you don't see used much in real life - unless you're in a medical field...

I first came across the word in a novel by Robert A. Heinlein; whom many find to have had things in the -- broadly -- sex-related sphere, rather on the brain...

VorFemme

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #321 on: October 16, 2013, 10:27:01 PM »
I've read fantasy and folklore where geas was used - starting back in junior high (I ran out of juvenile books in elementary school and was reading at a higher level because that was what was on the book cases at home, when I couldn't get to a school library). 

I did reread a few things when I got older & picked up whole new layers of meaning after menarche & marriage!

Menarche is another real word that you don't see used much in real life - unless you're in a medical field...

I first came across the word in a novel by Robert A. Heinlein; whom many find to have had things in the -- broadly -- sex-related sphere, rather on the brain...

I think it was in his Glory Road that I read the word.....since it would not have been used in Have Spacesuit, Will Travel or Podkayne of Mars.  Pure science fiction, no use of the term since it would not be the correct term for the milieu.
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SheltieMom

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #322 on: October 16, 2013, 10:36:14 PM »
Heinlein used it frequently in Time Enough for Love.
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White Dragon

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #323 on: October 16, 2013, 10:55:31 PM »
DD is in first year of university and taking a first year English course.

Recently, she got back an essay where she was discussing the character's compulsion to do something.

She used the word "geas" and the essay came back with the word underlined.
Her English teacher did not know that it was a word.

DD was in shock.
I was in shock. Neither of us considered it really obscure word, especially since this is a literature class and the professor is presumably well read.

I...didn't know it was a word, and I consider myself fairly literate as well. Someone can just not know a word. However, if I were a teacher and grading a paper, I'd check a dictionary to make sure I was grading fairly.
I see that mostly in fantasy novels.  (Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen it outside of fantasy.) If the teacher doesn't read that genre ("*I* only read Literature.") then s/he might never have run across it.  Did the teacher mark her down for it, or just query its meaning?

The teacher marked as being incorrect.
DD returned with extracts from two dictionaries.
Teacher corrected the mark.

It all worked out, but I was surprised the teacher assumed it was wrong.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #324 on: October 17, 2013, 01:32:32 AM »
Heinlein used it frequently in Time Enough for Love.

Think that's where I came across it -- was very keen on Heinlein for a while, sufficiently to read his later "mega-sagas"; which I'd find wearisome now. (Still like his more terse stand-alone ones -- pure sci-fi, as VorFemme notes.)

dawnfire

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #325 on: October 17, 2013, 07:11:05 PM »
Patricia Kennealy-Morrison used it in her Keltiad books as well.
Piers Anthony uses geas a lot.  In both his Xanth series and his Phaze/Apprentice Adept series.

Read these too. Still think I read it first in the Witch World ones.

Also pretty sure I came across geas in a version of the Hound of Cuchulainn when I was still in late primary school. Was used in the sense of being a taboo - there was something he couldn't eat (dog, maybe, because that's what he was named after).


It was dog he couldn't eat or refuse food from a woman, so when he was offered dog meat by a hag, it leads to his downfall.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #326 on: October 22, 2013, 04:11:02 PM »
Today, Annoying Coworker has pronounced "mine" as "my-yin" at least four times.  I want to swat her in the mouth every time she says it.

Editeer

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #327 on: October 22, 2013, 04:12:54 PM »
What's mine is my-yin, what's yours is . . . ur-ine?  >:D

BeagleMommy

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #328 on: October 22, 2013, 04:26:26 PM »
What's mine is my-yin, what's yours is . . . ur-ine?  >:D

Thanks, I needed that!

Slartibartfast

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Re: Grammar and spellling that make you twitch
« Reply #329 on: October 22, 2013, 06:01:49 PM »
Really mad about this one because it cost me actual money  >:(

I entered a writing contest recently - many local chapters of my writing association hold contests like this, and it's a good way to both get feedback on the first few chapters of your work and also to get your manuscript in front of agents and editors (if you final in the contest).

Only one of my three "judges" (other writers) had useful advice.  One other liked my book but said nothing substantial.  But the third . . . wow.

She marked my "grammar and craft" down substantially because, I quote, "You have alot of passive voice."  And she helpfully did a find-and-replace to highlight every instance of the word "was" in my entry, to prove it.

(For the record, sentences in the form "John was running as fast as he could, but the bear was still faster!" are NOT in passive voice!)

I'm debating whether to email the contest coordinators and let them know that this particular judge needs a refresher.  On the one hand, whoever-it-is clearly hasn't really understood fully what passive voice is.  On the other hand, I don't want to sound like a whiner just because I didn't win . . . and I'm not going to be entering this contest again anyway  :-\