Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 966609 times)

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Ereine

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7485 on: April 24, 2013, 02:22:20 PM »
In Finland the official place for the return address is the top left corner on the front, though you can also put it on the flap. I used to do different types of postal swapping and I think that having the return address there wasn't particularly rare.

Edited to add: according to my collection of padded envelopes waiting for reuse, I've received envelopes with return address on the front from Romania, Germany, UK, The Netherlands, Italy and USA. Envelopes from Japan and Australia had the address on the back, as well as some from the UK.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 02:29:56 PM by Ereine »

guihong

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7486 on: April 24, 2013, 03:02:24 PM »

Speaking of postal services, do postal workers worldwide learn English as a kind of standard language?  When I address something to Russia, I write the address both in Russian and English, but I'm sure my Cyrillic is poor.  How does the letter still get there?  (the postal code, like our ZIP codes?)



perpetua

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7487 on: April 24, 2013, 05:05:33 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

MrsJWine

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7488 on: April 24, 2013, 05:09:16 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".


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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7489 on: April 24, 2013, 05:31:47 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

It isn't just the accent; I have found many many many many times that people just don't know the difference between the two.  People erroneously believe they are homophones (due to accents, yes, and also just ignorance of the difference between the words).
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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7490 on: April 24, 2013, 05:33:18 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

In my experience, they're pronounced exactly the same.
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MrsJWine

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7491 on: April 24, 2013, 05:36:42 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

It isn't just the accent; I have found many many many many times that people just don't know the difference between the two.  People erroneously believe they are homophones (due to accents, yes, and also just ignorance of the difference between the words).

I know it's not the accent. I was just telling her that here, they often are pronounced exactly the same, which explains some of the confusion for some people.


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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7492 on: April 24, 2013, 05:37:02 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

While as Mental Magpie notes, itís not just the accent, it can be not knowing, my SO, with his central NY accent does not pronounce them differently, and as much as I correct him (and all his teachers, etc), he says that he just canít grasp the difference in writing, because he says them the same. With my midwest accent, they sound different.

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7493 on: April 24, 2013, 05:39:05 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

While as Mental Magpie notes, itís not just the accent, it can be not knowing, my SO, with his central NY accent does not pronounce them differently, and as much as I correct him (and all his teachers, etc), he says that he just canít grasp the difference in writing, because he says them the same. With my midwest accent, they sound different.

This may be what lead to someone complaining about the "drug attics" hanging around their apartment I saw when I was on another forum  :o

Mental Magpie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7494 on: April 24, 2013, 05:55:46 PM »
Perhaps this is more one for the pronunciation thread, but in my interactions with Americans on various forums I've noticed several of them writing the word 'then' instead of 'than'. For example: 'My car is bigger then yours'.

Are the two words pronounced the same and if so I wonder if so whether people are writing them phonetically? I honestly can't see how the two words could be mixed up any other way and I notice it often enough for it not to be a quirk with one person.

It depends on the accent. There's a very wide array of "American" accents, but when I say the two words, they don't sound different to me at all. I know some people who do pronounce the "a" as a short "a" sound, but I pronounce both as a short "e".

It isn't just the accent; I have found many many many many times that people just don't know the difference between the two.  People erroneously believe they are homophones (due to accents, yes, and also just ignorance of the difference between the words).

I know it's not the accent. I was just telling her that here, they often are pronounced exactly the same, which explains some of the confusion for some people.

I said it isn't JUST the accent because I agree that it is partly the accent.  I wasn't discounting your post, just agreeing and expanding on it a bit.
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WillyNilly

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7495 on: April 24, 2013, 06:11:42 PM »
"Then" and "than" to me, are pronounced almost exactly the same (and if someone did say them the same I doubt I would notice). And further, while I'm sure it was covered at some point in some grammar lesson, to be honest I do forget the difference, as I think most people do (to the point I think most people don't know there is a difference). I mean I can glean from usage the difference but there is no clear rule I easily remember like there are for other English grammar quirks.

Mental Magpie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7496 on: April 24, 2013, 06:19:13 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.
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WillyNilly

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7497 on: April 24, 2013, 06:52:08 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.

Personally I think homophones are grammar quirks.

Two words that are pronounced the same and used similarly (then is an adverb, than is a conjunction... which is a word often used with an adverb), and spelt very similarly, to me is a quirky recipe for grammatical disaster.  :)

Iris

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7498 on: April 24, 2013, 07:07:38 PM »
It's not a grammar quirk, though, it's using the wrong word all together. That's like saying its a grammar quirk to say blue when you really mean spotted.

Personally I think homophones are grammar quirks.

Two words that are pronounced the same and used similarly (then is an adverb, than is a conjunction... which is a word often used with an adverb), and spelt very similarly, to me is a quirky recipe for grammatical disaster.  :)

They aren't homophones to the rest of us who speak English (Australia here) though. I don't say then and than at all similarly and until 2 minutes ago it didn't occur to me that anyone could mix them up because to me they are two totally separate and distinct words with completely different meanings - to me than is a comparing word (to put it simply) "I'd rather X than Y" and then is used to order things chronologically "I'd rather do X and then do Y". That's a massive oversimplification of course, but just to show my point.

Though in fairness given the number of people over here who mix up their, there and they're I suppose now I know that you guys pronounce them as homophones it shouldn't surprise me...
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jpcher

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7499 on: April 24, 2013, 07:12:07 PM »
Spoken out loud I believe that it's an accent thing (like pronouncing the word Milk or is it Melk?) and should be given leeway due to accent.

Written word, however, should be spelled correctly. Your and You're sound the same when spoken, but in written context mean different things, just like then and than.