Bad Grammar

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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Alanz » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:01 pm

:lol: :ugeek:
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Bouncy Castle » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:29 pm

chris.ph wrote:my grammer was a lovely lady :whistle: :whistle:


:doh:
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:24 pm

:lol: :lol:
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Sister Jennifer » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:20 pm

Grammar, the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit.
Undead yes -
Unperson no!
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Jo of the Gates » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:16 am

I've just discovered this thread, and read every post gleefully. A friend and I have a running rant going on, decrying the state of English usage today. I too am annoyed by the misuse and misspelling of common words, but I try to refrain from being too critical of the transgressor. We are not all equal in our capacity to learn subtle (and not so subtle) differences, or in the capacity to give a darn about it! If proper usage is not learned, it is largely the fault of the public education system, which, in my opinion, needs a complete overhaul. My favorite peeves include the common confusion of there, they're and their, its and it's, our and are, your and you're, and so on, but also gross mispronunciations such as nucular, irregardless, ekcetera, and structures such as y'know like (used after every fourth or fifth word), "the thing is, is . . . " and I could go on for hours! I'm a certified English teacher, and I have a degree in Speech and Drama, and I read a lot, so I guess I'm well trained to spot such gaffes. People in general grow up to speak like the people who taught them to speak. I grew up in Texas, which almost has its own language! When I am visiting family, it doesn't take long for me to start sounding just like my sisters, who are all college-educated, but never had any inclination to alter their dialect. To an outsider (a yankee perhaps) we probably sound like a bunch of dumb hicks. The media has unfortunately done a good job of portraying southerners as dumb, so there is an artificial stereotype. Sorry to have gotten a little off-topic. I personally love to read English written in dialect, which requires of the author some creativity and license in the spelling of words to make them "sound" like the dialect being spoken by the character. Terry is masterful at this art. I especially love to read aloud the speech of the Nac Mac Feegles! But his greater gift is seen in his prose, particularly when he arrives at the revelation of the over-arching point of the book; his writing is positively lyrical.

"Ah may not of goan whur ah intinded t'go, but ah thank ah've inded up whur ah neyded t'bey."
(Which is my usual signature transliterated into Texan. However it's not complete without the speaker thumbing his cowboy hat back on his head!)
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Dotsie » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:05 pm

Misspelling and missuse of words are how language evolves, as a teacher then it must make you so excited to see it happening before your very eyes! ;)
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Tonyblack » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:31 pm

Dotsie wrote:Misspelling and missuse of words are how language evolves, as a teacher then it must make you so excited to see it happening before your very eyes! ;)

And Muphrey's Law strikes again. :lol:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Dotsie » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:10 pm

My spellchecker likes it :P And I was defending those who can't spell as the saviours of a stagnant language, so the law does not apply here!
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Jack Remillard » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:08 pm

Jo of the Gates wrote: My favorite peeves include the common confusion of there, they're and their, its and it's, our and are, your and you're, and so on, but also gross mispronunciations such as nucular, irregardless, ekcetera, and structures such as y'know like (used after every fourth or fifth word), "the thing is, is . . . " and I could go on for hours!


There are a couple of nice videos by Merriam-Webster about some of those mispronunciations. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nYmWt1J4Lg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_fUMcTb1jI

I couldn't get the YouTube embedding to work this time for some reason.

One point that is made is that spoken language is primary, and that written English today often reflects the pronunciation of several centuries ago (like the word 'knight' for example). :)
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Jo of the Gates » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:51 pm

I guess I understand that this is how language evolves - through mistakes that are repeated until they become accepted. I guess grammar evolves the same way, but can someone please explain how this structure got into the language: "My lawn needs mowed." "My car needs washed." I hear it so often since moving from Texas to Iowa that I fear getting hooked and starting to use it myself! I never heard this usage in Texas, where bad grammar has become idiomatic.
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Jack Remillard » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:14 pm

How any non-standard regional dialect feature develops, I guess. Maybe somebody at some point thought the 'to be' was unnecessary in that kind of sentence (or didn't realize that it was required in Standard English), and then it just caught on in the local population. One person used it, then another, then another, then children started picking it up from their parents, and so on.

That's obviously simplifying it, but that's pretty much how language evolves. People have a tendency to copy the way other people use language, and certain new features catch on and spread amongst populations of speakers.

Another possibility is that that feature could have originated in a dialect that was around before English became standardized.
Last edited by Jack Remillard on Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby =Tamar » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:22 pm

Jack Remillard wrote:How any non-standard regional dialect feature develops, I guess. Maybe somebody at some point thought the 'to be' was unnecessary in that kind of sentence (or didn't realize that it was required in Standard English), and then it just caught on in the local population. [...] Another possibility is that that feature could have originated in a dialect that was around before English became standardized.


I am a native speaker of English and I've been reading both UK and American books since the early 1950s; I have read rather a lot of books published before I was born as well. I had never seen the construction lacking the "to be" until some time in the last two years. I suspect it came in from some place settled by the British, since that is the source of many variant forms. Normally I applaud the flexibility of the English language, but that particular malformation seems unnecessary to me because there is already a simple and correct form available. In fact, there are several correct forms available.
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Jack Remillard » Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:14 pm

It seems ugly or inelegant to you, which is fair enough. :) There are lots of uses of language which I dislike too.

But the thing is, the way language develops isn't driven by what is strictly necessary, it is driven by the ways people use it.

When you say 'correct', I assume you mean Standard English. Whether something is incorrect because it is a non-standard variety of English is a point of view. Many people think that, but there is an opposing point of view that all varieties of language are equally correct if they are capable of correctly communicating meaning to their intended audience, and that the various versions of Standard English that exist around the world are only superior to other dialects of English because social convention says they are.

As a (mostly) Standard English speaker, looking at the sentences above which are missing the 'to be', I think I'd have probably understood the meaning if somebody had said it to me before I'd read this thread. :D

If somebody spoke to me in a dialect of English that was sufficiently different from what I was used to that I didn't understand it, that would be a failed use of language. But in this case, the difference from Standard English usage is sufficiently small that it would probably successfully communicate its intended meaning to most people. But it would still be viewed as being incorrect by many because of the social convention. :)
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby ASDinMN » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:45 am

I agree, his gammar has been disintegrating and I really wish there were a copy editor. At the end of Snuff, and since then, he has abandoned or cannot use the subjunctive - e.g. "if you was", etc. which distracts from the content. I just read "Dodger" and even Samuel (who is presented as very well educated) and Queen Victoria say "was" when the correct word should have been "were". Am I the only person distracted by this? I know it sounds picky but I cannot help noticing this change.
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Re: Bad Grammar

Postby Dotsie » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:11 am

Welcome to the site! :D

ASDinMN wrote: I really wish there were a copy editor.

Hope you don't mind me correcting your grammar here, but it should be "I really wish there was a copy editor", as it is a possibility. If the situation is impossible, you should use the subjunctive, i.e. "I really wish I were a princess".
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