Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 5296698 times)

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Iris

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24495 on: November 22, 2013, 06:43:09 PM »

...   

I'd been teaching his son in reading about silent e, and how it makes vowels say their name rather than their short sound (e.g. hop vs hope, sit vs site, etc.) which is useful, since there are literally hundreds of such words in English, including a lot of very common ones.

The dirty word? "nude"   ...


I loved your story, but I'm sitting here wondering what a 'nud' would be?   ;D

I take it that some words were just random words without a "no silent e" counterpart?

Of course there's the fact that for many of us, "nude" doesn't fit the silent-e-makes-vowels-say-their name "rule." I pronounce it "nood" not "newd"; (to keep it on topic) how about "rude"? Pretty much all of those "rules" are worthless in English. It would be fine if there were just a couple of exceptions but there are almost as many exceptions as examples that conform.  I may be weird, but I think i-before-e is another worthless one; who needs a "rule" that has two exceptions built in and lots of counter-examples, even to the exceptions? But perhaps I should rein in my irritation and stop being so scientific about it.

As someone who teaches this sort of thing, and who has observed literally hundreds of children learn and practice such rules before picking up a book and being able to read it for the first time, let me assure you that there are several extremely useful rules in English, where it's much easier to learn a single rule and a dozen exceptions than to just memorise the spelling and pronunciation of several hundred otherwise easy-to-learn words. I before e is not such a rule--it's often used as an example of English spelling rules and it's a terrible one, because the exceptions greatly outnumber the adherents. It's out of date and isn't even taught here or in Australia any more, nor has it been for decades, because it's so useless. Actual rules like whether or not a c is soft (basically always unless it's followed by an e, i, or y) are tremendously useful, and their exceptions are terribly few and often not words a child would even know. Silent k and g is another rule we teach: if a word starts with kn/gn, then the k/g is silent. The exceptions are incredibly few, and aren't words that even the majority of adults would know.

Here, "nude" is pronounced "nyood", if that helps. And I didn't go into detail because I felt it wasn't relevant to my original post, but the magic e and u actually has two options: u can either say "yoo" or just "oo" depending on the word. There is a reason for this which is technical and irrelevant here. But of the two options, only ever one is an actual word, and the other is gibberish, so you always know what to go with. I have lists of all English words (found in the dictionary, anyway) for each rule (typically hundreds or thousands depending on the rule) and all their exceptions (often a few dozen at most). So let me please assure you that there are not "almost as many exceptions as examples that conform" at all.


Going off on yet another angle, I learnt "i before except after c when the sound is ee" which always worked really well for me. Am I just not noticing the exceptions because I haven't actually relied on the rule for 30+ years? I saw a long rant about the rule on QI one night but they were using words like concierge and hacienda as their counter examples and I was left vaguely staring at the tv saying "But they don't say ee! The rule isn't even ABOUT them!?" and wondering why the big fuss when they weren't even doing it right...
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emwithme

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24496 on: November 22, 2013, 06:43:44 PM »
Ah yes, "I before E except after C.  Or when you're running a feisty heist with your weird beige foreign neighbours called Keith and Sheila".

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24497 on: November 22, 2013, 06:51:40 PM »
Ah yes, "I before E except after C.  Or when you're running a feisty heist with your weird beige foreign neighbours called Keith and Sheila".

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Pen^2

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24498 on: November 22, 2013, 06:56:07 PM »
Going off on yet another angle, I learnt "i before except after c when the sound is ee" which always worked really well for me. Am I just not noticing the exceptions because I haven't actually relied on the rule for 30+ years? I saw a long rant about the rule on QI one night but they were using words like concierge and hacienda as their counter examples and I was left vaguely staring at the tv saying "But they don't say ee! The rule isn't even ABOUT them!?" and wondering why the big fuss when they weren't even doing it right...

That rule actually is okay, but the one much more commonly taught is just, "I before e except after c. No matter what. End of story." On its own, and without reference to the "ee" sound, this 'rule' is pretty worthless. It's incorrect much more often than not. On QI they were talking about this more common 'rule' rather than the version that actually works but is, unfortunately, largely unknown and not taught.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24499 on: November 22, 2013, 06:57:33 PM »


My sister was a manager of a large retail department store and they often hired seasonal staff. My friend needed some additional income and my sister hired her for the season starting in mid October. All seasonal staff were hired with the knowledge they'd need to work black Friday, all weekends, Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas, New Years Eve, New Years Day, and Jan 3rd of that year because that was when the store closed early and they did year end inventory.

 

This reminds me of a lot of our customers, who think it will be "fun" to work in their favorite store. But its not just playing with the clothes. Esp if you close. there's actual work to be done! and then there are those, who even when hired, and agree weekends are fine, then suddendly can't work weekends. And they all end up quitting with a short period of time.

I've been there 8 years, and paid my dues.Yes, I don't work sundays but I have a FT job, and work 2 nights and every Sat, and only ask for those off if I'm going away, or have something going on. But if its at night, I'll try and work during the day, and vice versa.

LadyClaire

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24500 on: November 22, 2013, 07:15:02 PM »


My sister was a manager of a large retail department store and they often hired seasonal staff. My friend needed some additional income and my sister hired her for the season starting in mid October. All seasonal staff were hired with the knowledge they'd need to work black Friday, all weekends, Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas, New Years Eve, New Years Day, and Jan 3rd of that year because that was when the store closed early and they did year end inventory.

 

This reminds me of a lot of our customers, who think it will be "fun" to work in their favorite store. But its not just playing with the clothes. Esp if you close. there's actual work to be done! and then there are those, who even when hired, and agree weekends are fine, then suddendly can't work weekends. And they all end up quitting with a short period of time.

I've been there 8 years, and paid my dues.Yes, I don't work sundays but I have a FT job, and work 2 nights and every Sat, and only ask for those off if I'm going away, or have something going on. But if its at night, I'll try and work during the day, and vice versa.

I worked at Macy's last year over the holidays, mostly doing recovery (which was cleaning up displays, re-folding clothes and such). There were so many people on the recovery team who would just find a secluded corner of the store and just hang out there talking, not actually working. It would irritate the crud out of me because that meant more work for the rest of us.

artk2002

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24501 on: November 22, 2013, 08:25:42 PM »

...   

I'd been teaching his son in reading about silent e, and how it makes vowels say their name rather than their short sound (e.g. hop vs hope, sit vs site, etc.) which is useful, since there are literally hundreds of such words in English, including a lot of very common ones.

The dirty word? "nude"   ...


I loved your story, but I'm sitting here wondering what a 'nud' would be?   ;D

I take it that some words were just random words without a "no silent e" counterpart?

Of course there's the fact that for many of us, "nude" doesn't fit the silent-e-makes-vowels-say-their name "rule." I pronounce it "nood" not "newd"; (to keep it on topic) how about "rude"? Pretty much all of those "rules" are worthless in English. It would be fine if there were just a couple of exceptions but there are almost as many exceptions as examples that conform.  I may be weird, but I think i-before-e is another worthless one; who needs a "rule" that has two exceptions built in and lots of counter-examples, even to the exceptions? But perhaps I should rein in my irritation and stop being so scientific about it.

So that it rhymes with (for example) "wood" and not "food"?  That's a new one for me, seriously!

No, it rhymes with "food".The silly rule is that an "e" at the end makes the vowel "say its name." "oo" is not the name of "u".
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Iris

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24502 on: November 22, 2013, 08:59:35 PM »
Going off on yet another angle, I learnt "i before except after c when the sound is ee" which always worked really well for me. Am I just not noticing the exceptions because I haven't actually relied on the rule for 30+ years? I saw a long rant about the rule on QI one night but they were using words like concierge and hacienda as their counter examples and I was left vaguely staring at the tv saying "But they don't say ee! The rule isn't even ABOUT them!?" and wondering why the big fuss when they weren't even doing it right...

That rule actually is okay, but the one much more commonly taught is just, "I before e except after c. No matter what. End of story." On its own, and without reference to the "ee" sound, this 'rule' is pretty worthless. It's incorrect much more often than not. On QI they were talking about this more common 'rule' rather than the version that actually works but is, unfortunately, largely unknown and not taught.

This whole thing has appealed to my whimsical side now. After all this fuss the rule is in fact not wrong, it's just been incorrectly shortened to leave out vital information. Wicked Iris is suddenly tempted to start teaching that Pythagoras' theorem tells us that a^2 = b^2, leave off the "+c^2" or not tell students that a represents the hypotenuse or SOMETHING and then try saying "Well clearly, Pythagoras was a fool! His rule is wrong!" and see where that gets me.

Yes I know I'm odd. I'll just go lie down or something until it passes...
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

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parrot_girl

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24503 on: November 22, 2013, 09:37:04 PM »
I would like to nominate both the mother and child in this story:
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/angry-mum-may-sue/2089577/

the gist: the 7 year old boy was climbing all over a war memorial, fell off, dislodged a plaque on the way down that landed on him and gashed his head. Mum is going to sue the council.

what I think isn't really printable.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24504 on: November 22, 2013, 11:20:11 PM »

...   

I'd been teaching his son in reading about silent e, and how it makes vowels say their name rather than their short sound (e.g. hop vs hope, sit vs site, etc.) which is useful, since there are literally hundreds of such words in English, including a lot of very common ones.

The dirty word? "nude"   ...


I loved your story, but I'm sitting here wondering what a 'nud' would be?   ;D

I take it that some words were just random words without a "no silent e" counterpart?

Of course there's the fact that for many of us, "nude" doesn't fit the silent-e-makes-vowels-say-their name "rule." I pronounce it "nood" not "newd"; (to keep it on topic) how about "rude"? Pretty much all of those "rules" are worthless in English. It would be fine if there were just a couple of exceptions but there are almost as many exceptions as examples that conform.  I may be weird, but I think i-before-e is another worthless one; who needs a "rule" that has two exceptions built in and lots of counter-examples, even to the exceptions? But perhaps I should rein in my irritation and stop being so scientific about it.

So that it rhymes with (for example) "wood" and not "food"?  That's a new one for me, seriously!

No, it rhymes with "food".The silly rule is that an "e" at the end makes the vowel "say its name." "oo" is not the name of "u".

I see what you mean by that now.  Id never heard that before... it seems like an odd way to teach it, since as you pointed out not many words have a "yoo" sound in the middle for that.
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Coruscation

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24505 on: November 22, 2013, 11:36:33 PM »
Alternatively, it is a rule for English pronunciation, not American.

http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/oald8/nude_2

MommyPenguin

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24506 on: November 23, 2013, 12:06:06 AM »
We actually use a reading/spelling program that says that, despite what people think, most of English *does* follow rules.  The problem is that people just don't know that many of them.  Yes, i is often before e, but there are classes of words that have ei (like neighbor, weigh, etc.), etc.  I have learned *so* much from it!  Like why have and give have an e at the end... because English words don't end with v.  And why horse has an e at the end... because it clarifies that it's an s sound, but not a plural word.  Sometimes the words are borrowed words so they follow the rules of the language they come from, etc.  You see that in some ie/ei words that come from the German, where two vowels generally means you pronounce the second vowel as a long sound.

I think that the silent e making the vowel says it's name is made clearer if you say that the silent e makes the vowel *long*.  The problem is that kids often have trouble understanding what a long vowel is.  So we often say that a long vowel is when the vowel says it's name.  It's true for most of the vowels, but u can either say yoo or just oo.  So you have to give that little bit of explanation in there.  I think there is actually a rule for when it makes the yoo sound (cute) or just the oo sound (nude), probably something to do with the consonant that comes before it, but we haven't gotten to that lesson yet.  :)

This reading/spelling program is so interesting that my husband will actually listen in from the next room, and we'll be in mid lesson, and we'll suddenly hear him say, "Really?  Wow!  I never knew that was why that worked that way!" or whatever.  It's pretty funny.

Nikko-chan

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24507 on: November 23, 2013, 12:12:30 AM »
I would like to nominate both the mother and child in this story:
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/angry-mum-may-sue/2089577/

the gist: the 7 year old boy was climbing all over a war memorial, fell off, dislodged a plaque on the way down that landed on him and gashed his head. Mum is going to sue the council.

what I think isn't really printable.

He shouldn't have been there anyway....

Iris

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24508 on: November 23, 2013, 12:48:32 AM »
I would like to nominate both the mother and child in this story:
http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/angry-mum-may-sue/2089577/

the gist: the 7 year old boy was climbing all over a war memorial, fell off, dislodged a plaque on the way down that landed on him and gashed his head. Mum is going to sue the council.

what I think isn't really printable.

He shouldn't have been there anyway....

Quite aside from the idea that they were being disrespectful by him climbing on the war memorial in the first place, I was intrigued by the commenter who pointed out that 7 yos barely weigh 20kg themselves and if something his own bodyweight fell on him at all, how likely is it that a) putting his arms up to defend himself would have any effect other than broken arms and b) it would actually hit him on the head and only cause a gash. I am not a forensics expert nor do I play one on tv, but it seems to me the story itself is highly suspicious.

To me the main thing is that he was not badly injured. Too bad his mother doesn't seem to feel the same way.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Mollie

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #24509 on: November 23, 2013, 02:08:37 AM »
And of course, insulting the person you are asking a favor of always works so well. I am sure that if you didn't have parents and grandparents to see, you would be willing to do backflips in order to accomodate her request, right?

Why yes of course! The best way to get me to do a favor is to insult me while asking me to do it!

I think she saw I'd swap around a lot with other people and figured I'd just do this for her. She might have thought I was a push over (I'd ran into this with a prior co-worker), she was very surprised that in fact I did favors for people who were nice and did favors in return for me. I actually have a lovely spine, and I have no issue saying no to people.

When I had trained her (I'd been there awhile and the boss often had me help train people) she kept telling me she knew how to do all of this she had finished college after all and was going to be a teacher. Ok, great. I didn't get why she kept telling me she had finished college (I mean good for you, but it's not like you cured cancer), until someone pointed out to me she'd heard I was still in college and we were the same age (I was in grad school getting my PhD). The theory was that she was trying to tell me she was smarter then me. My word, if you wanna rub my nose in how brilliant you are start by telling me you're brilliant. A lot of people finish college. I started turning around on her "Oh, you went to college, you know how this works, right?" and force her to admit that no she needed help. She really looked down on our supervisor. A wonderful woman, kind, helpful, but she'd never been college and in fact had dropped out of high school to support her family. So SS was always talking down to her, which I always thought was just stupid, this woman had worked her way up from a part-time housekeeper to second in command at the front desk, she knew everyone. She's now the general manager of the hotel. I don't know what happened to SS. I'd heard she was pregnant and going to be a stay at home mom, which seems like a good fit for her. Though I doubt her kid(s) will care she graduated from college.
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