Beautiful English

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Beautiful English

Postby Straw Walker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:27 pm

Pterry uses the English language in beautiful and clever ways, however, though I enjoy most English dialects, there are words and phrases coming into regular use that I just don't like.

A common one that can usually be dispensed with is 'get' or 'got' proper English but just ugly. As I've mentioned elsewhere, 'gotton' is eve,n worse. I don't wish to upset our friends across the Big Pond but most 'Americanisms' I also find horrid. I understand that English has evolved and taken words from many languages but some really detract from it's beauty.

What do you love and hate about the modern use of English?
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:41 pm

First of all let me make one point clear here as it's something that is often quoted but is usually incorrect. The American spellings of such words as 'color' 'favor' etc. are not necessarily wrong. Only a few hundred years ago there weren't any standard English spellings. If you've ever read any old books in English you'll quickly realise that the writers more or less made things up as they went along.

English people emigrated to the New World and they took these spellings with them. So American English is not wrong and the people using it are not lazy (as I have seen some people claim) they are merely using the English that they took with them to America. One could argue that in some cases their English is more like traditional English than modern British English is.

So let's not decend into slagging off Americans here. :)

Now then - I'm a great believer in protecting that endangered species, the humble apostrophe. I hate to see it used incorrectly and cringe when I see used in the wrong context.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:25 pm

Can we have an example of the humble apostrophe being used incorrectly?
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Re: Beautiful English

Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:29 pm

Straw Walker wrote:I don't wish to upset our friends across the Big Pond but most 'Americanisms' I also find horrid.


I could be wrong here because I'm quoting without checking, but in Hogfather doesn't Susan complain to one of the kids she's looking after that "horrid" is wrong and it should be "horrible"? "Horrid" is a kid's word.
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Postby Straw Walker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:35 pm

OK Tony, I have no problem with American spellings. It's the ' business speak' that I object to. The addition of suffixes like -age and -able in a random manner and generally misusing several long words when one short one will do. I understand that some expressions have evolved from baseball and American football which is as acceptable as ones we use evolved from our national sports - It's not cricket, old man. :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:36 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:Can we have an example of the humble apostrophe being used incorrectly?
Well I think Terry mentions the Grocer's Apostrophe. It's the one used on signs that say "Bean's 20p a can"

Then you have the incorrect use of 'who's' and 'whose' - 'its' and 'it's'. There's 'their', 'there' and they're' - which are often used incorreectly.
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Re: Beautiful English

Postby Straw Walker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:44 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:
Straw Walker wrote:I don't wish to upset our friends across the Big Pond but most 'Americanisms' I also find horrid.


I could be wrong here because I'm quoting without checking, but in Hogfather doesn't Susan complain to one of the kids she's looking after that "horrid" is wrong and it should be "horrible"? "Horrid" is a kid's word.


Horrible: adj Causing or capable of causing horror; repulsive; terrifying; shocking; coll very unpleasant or ugly.
Horrid adj repulsive; frightful;horrible. coll unpleasant; annoying.
So I was using 'horrid' coloquially to mean annoying.
Last edited by Straw Walker on Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:44 pm

Well I think Terry mentions the Grocer's Apostrophe. It's the one used on signs that say "Bean's 20p a can"


Tony, are you talking about a specific grocer who everyone knows, or grocers in general? If you're talking about grocers in general then surely it's grocers'. :wink:

That poor humble apostrophe, murdered again :cry:
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:47 pm

poohbcarrot wrote:Well I think Terry mentions the Grocer's Apostrophe. It's the one used on signs that say "Bean's 20p a can"


Tony, are you talking about a specific grocer who everyone knows, or grocers in general? If you're talking about grocers in general then surely it's grocers'. :wink:

That poor humble apostrophe, murdered again :cry:
I was making the point of the misuse of the apostrophe. :wink:

Glad you spotted it. :wink:

But it's a good example of how a misplaced apostrophe can change the meaning of a sentence.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:50 pm

According to my dictionary "horrid" is informal British English ie; kid's English, so I stand by by original comment
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Postby Straw Walker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:52 pm

Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Read it! It will drive you mad if you take it to heart. :P
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:53 pm

I was intrigued to find this Guardian article about "The Grocer's Apostrophe". :D
Last edited by Tonyblack on Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Straw Walker » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:55 pm

OK, so I'm a 66 year old kid :) I'll just go and sit in my corner and cry. :cry:
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:00 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Then you have the incorrect use of 'who's' and 'whose' - 'its' and 'it's'. There's 'their', 'there' and they're' - which are often used incorreectly.


But that's just bad spelling. It's like if I spell "dyslexia" wrongly.
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Postby poohbcarrot » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:06 pm

Put punctuation into this sentence;

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