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Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 2285101 times)

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Iris

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7455 on: April 24, 2013, 02:05:15 AM »
New stupid question that DH was asking today; He noticed that, in our area at least, place names named after people don't have apostrophes. For example something like Watsons Lake and similar things. Is this universal? Is there some sort of grammar rule relevant to the situation or is it just to make it easier for map makers?
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stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7456 on: April 24, 2013, 08:48:49 AM »
I think a lot of place names get simplified over time, and have been especially in the last 30-40 years with computer databases becoming more common (and poorly implemented ones not allowing 'special' characters).

The town next to my hometown is now "Lees Summit" on many signs and in many databases, but I am pretty sure its official name continues to be "Leeís Summit".

WillyNilly

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7457 on: April 24, 2013, 09:29:05 AM »
Postal address guidelines too. They have machines read the addresses on mail and the machine's don't like punctuation.

https://www.usps.com/send/addressing-tips.htm
Quote
Avoid commas, periods, or other punctuationóit helps your mailpiece speed through our processing equipment.

So it stands to reason if you can't use an address with an apostrophe its best to not create one.

Carotte

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7458 on: April 24, 2013, 11:55:27 AM »
Oh, this address thing had me wondering, how many countries beside the US have the return address on the front of the envelope?
That's the only place I know who does it,
In France we put the return address on the back, on the flap.
Hum, the only correspondence I get from the UK has a sticker with the return address on the back too.
If we put it in the front it would most likely be delivered but it would have to be hand sorted.

Ereine

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7459 on: April 24, 2013, 01:22:20 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, 01:29:56 PM by Ereine »

guihong

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7460 on: April 24, 2013, 02:02:24 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 #7461 on: April 24, 2013, 04:05:33 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 #7462 on: April 24, 2013, 04:09:16 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".


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

Mental Magpie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7463 on: April 24, 2013, 04:31:47 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).

Ms_Cellany

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7464 on: April 24, 2013, 04:33:18 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 #7465 on: April 24, 2013, 04:36:42 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.


I have a blog.  I hate that word.


Utah

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7466 on: April 24, 2013, 04:37:02 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.

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7467 on: April 24, 2013, 04:39:05 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 #7468 on: April 24, 2013, 04:55:46 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.

WillyNilly

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7469 on: April 24, 2013, 05:11:42 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.