Bad Grammar

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Postby Beautiful Dirt » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:39 pm

No I don't think bad spelling should and will out, we're not cave men after all. 8)

There are a lot of spelling mistakes that annoy me, in addition to your and you're. Words such as definitely, unfortunately and the uses of been/being, and were, where and we're. I read those on message boards all the time, particularly sport forums.

It seemed from your post (perhaps I mis-interpreted it) that all characters in the series should speak perfect English unless they are a copper? Or do you perhaps mean that at least some of the characters should be a bit more linguistically savvy?

Other than dialogue I agree the grammar should be more accurate, if not for my sake (because I can't remember noticing :lol:) then perhaps for other people who do.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Well of course during Agnes Nutter's time spelling was advisory and punctuation optional and arguably women of her social standing would normally not have been scholars or even know how to write at all? :roll: Language evolves too and phonetics play a big part in that and the simple reason for the 've's and 'of' is because they're close enough in pronunciation to account for the laxness and/or confusion ('uv' and 'ov' not being a million miles apart in some regional British dialects). :D

If you try to read Shakespeare and especially Chaucer in the original you'd better be prepared to take your time because it's hard going and in places more like Norman French in expression and archaic styling. Even in the age of the Dictionary you keep wondering what all these 'receipts' Jane Austen keeps getting in her landed gentrys' kitchens are, when they're clearly not 'in trade'. :twisted:

It's these little colloquialisms that give colour and flavour to language (the elusive 'U' in 2 words in that very phrase being a typical, even famous instance of the divergence in 'Original' English and American English? :wink: ) and mark the journey of language across the globe with words like 'plough' morphing (or perhaps remaining even static?) in spelling as 'plow'... across the Atlantic. That's all 'of' and 've' is in essence and so long as people know what it means it AIN'T doing too much harm is it? :wink:
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Postby Dotsie » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:33 pm

I can't imagine a more stupid argument than saying kids would speak properly - of course they would say 'of' instead of 'have'. The children in this book are notable for their remarkable imaginations, not their academic achievements.

Having said that, you're very welcome to the forum Major - as long as you don't correct anyone's grammar :P
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Postby Beautiful Dirt » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:33 pm

Yes, be restrained like Pooh :lol:
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Postby ShadowNinjaCat » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Welcome to the forum Major Eyeswater. :)
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Postby spideyGirl » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:36 pm

ShadowNinjaCat wrote:Welcome to the forum Major Eyeswater. :)


Ditto from me! :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:05 pm

Beautiful Dirt wrote:Yes, be restrained like Pooh :lol:
Does he have the straight jacket on again? :lol:
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Postby Beautiful Dirt » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:29 pm

I was just being sarcastic, but he could have ;)
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Postby Major Eyeswater » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:18 pm

Firstly, thanks for all the welcomes. I half expected to get ripped to bits for appearing to criticise Terry. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can't get enough.

Beautiful Dirt wrote:It seemed from your post (perhaps I mis-interpreted it) that all characters in the series should speak perfect English unless they are a copper? Or do you perhaps mean that at least some of the characters should be a bit more linguistically savvy?

No, not at all. I'm more than happy for characters to speak how they like and say what they like (big of me, that, don't ya think? 8) :lol: :P )

The points raised here are 1) I believe that the narrative should be perfect (or damn near it), and 2) I can't believe that ALL of the characters in ALL of the Discworld books (and other books by the same author, including some which aren't Discworld) have exactly the same grammatical deficiency. It's been missed in the proofing for God knows how many years and I just want to find out why.

Dotsie wrote:...you're very welcome to the forum Major - as long as you don't correct anyone's grammar :P
No, I have no intentions of attempting to correct anyone's grammar - I'm just happy to be here :P :lol:
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Postby Beautiful Dirt » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:36 pm

It's nice to debate though, keeps the forum healthy. The good thing about this place is people rarely fall out and resort to insults. Of the many forums I've posted on in the past, I've only stayed with this one and my local rugby team's fan run forum. We're a friendly bunch :) anyway that's my welcome.
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Postby poohcarrot » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:20 am

You see Major, we're a nice bunch really. :D

Now I'm sure you know your phonics.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the shortened, unstressed "have" in "would've" pronounced exactly the same as the unstressed "of" in the United States of America?" :?

So to say that you heard someone on the telly-box say "of" instead of "'ve" is impossible. :?

It's like the word "can" (I'm not going to use phonic symbols, because some people might not know them and I can't be arsed to find all the symbols). :P

I can swim = [cun]
I can't swim = [carnt]
Can you swim? [cun]
Yes, I can = [can] - the only time "can" is pronounced as [can]
No, I can't = [carn't]

If anyone doesn't believe me, just try saying each aloud. 8)

PS Soryy four any speling misteaks, but wiv this stratejaket on I hav to tipe wiv my nose. :lol:

PPS I know what Major, I'll make a promise that if you can find, in any Terry Pratchett book (non-diologue), an example of where TP writes "of" instead of "have", I'll donate 10 quid to Alzheimers. I don' believe he has ever done it. I will of course need a page number and be able to verify it myself. 8)
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Postby Dotsie » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:47 am

Major Eyeswater wrote:The points raised here are 1) I believe that the narrative should be perfect (or damn near it),

It is perfect - for the characters. If children spoke perfect english it wouldn't be believable. It's because Terry is such a keen observer of his fellow man that his books have sold so well.

Major Eyeswater wrote:2) I can't believe that ALL of the characters in ALL of the Discworld books (and other books by the same author, including some which aren't Discworld) have exactly the same grammatical deficiency.

The characters don't all speak like this. You are mistaken. :D
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:48 am

poohcarrot wrote:You see Major, we're a nice bunch really. :D

Now I'm sure you know your phonics.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the shortened, unstressed "have" in "would've" pronounced exactly the same as the unstressed "of" in the United States of America?" :?

:shock: Blimey - we agree! :lol:

I wrote:Language evolves too and phonetics play a big part in that and the simple reason for the 've's and 'of' is because they're close enough in pronunciation to account for the laxness and/or confusion ('uv' and 'ov' not being a million miles apart in some regional British dialects).

:lol: Down moyyyy way in the SW we do say 'of' as 'uv' quite (quoit) a bit... Wee'm luuurves extendin' ow-wur vow-wells wee durrz' :lol: :wink:

Fair game for dialogue and if you're going to be picky about contractions as well then you are making a rod for your own back not to mention storing up more trouble if your going to start mixing up you're possessive nouns when your trying to be a smartarrrrrrzz :wink:

Apologies Major Eyeswater - a belated welcome to the madhouse :lol:
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Postby DaveC » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:03 pm

Well said Jan. I was about to point out that 'of' and 'to' are commonly substituted in the place of other words here in Bristol. :)

Not just here, though, Scott Mills on Radio 1, who hails from Northhampton, has the habit of introducing callers as 'Lucy off of London' bs opposed to 'Lucy from London'.
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Postby poohcarrot » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:10 pm

Anyhoos, Major can't really shouldn't complain about "'ve" and "of" being pronounced the same (ie; with a schwa), just consider his name which has two schwas. :D

MajOR EyeswatER = Made your eyes water. :lol:
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