Post by Lakeland Potter on Feb 27, 2004 18:17:17 GMT
Punctuation and grammar standards in schools have slipped since my day, Dave - and probably since yours as well. The apostrophe has become a misunderstood creature which either doesn't make an appearance or gets bored and sticks itself in any old place it can find. ;D
The use of the word "of" in place of "have" in posts by Stokies is more a localised thing. That's how many Stokies say have so that's how they write it. It is less worrying than poor punctuation as you can tell what the writer means when they use of - sometimes poor punctuation means that the meaning of a sentence is lost.
Anyway Dave, nice to see that you are prepared "to boldly question, where no Stokie has questioned before"!That's a split infinitive by the way and only interlectewals like winger are supposed to do that!
I hold my hands up and admit that I type in an "accent" so to speak, but nevertheless, I use apostrophies in the correct manner. Some of the ways that our language is misused is beyond belief and I have to refrain from pointing things out at the risk of being a pedant....schoolboy errors and the suchlike. What are the chances of somebody pointing out EVERY typo you make from now on, though?!
Post by Lakeland Potter on Feb 28, 2004 11:41:18 GMT
Ilford Dave is 10% right but no more than that. Language does evolve - it has to. You only have to look at some of the words and spellings in Chaucer's time to realise that.
BUT, language evolves very slowly (with the exception of new words) and usually by borrowing a more elegant or simple phraseology from another language. Sometimes we have to face the fact that another language can say something more concisely or less ambiguously than our own. Similarly, English (as spoken by the English) adopts words and phrases (and sadly, spellings) from the American version of English.
However, Smudge is right when he says that "you're" or "your are" will never evolve into "your" they mean different things - why would any language want or need to be amended to combine words with different meanings? That's not to say that words like bow can't have different meanings but that happened by accident not evolution.
There's no reason why 'you're' can't evolve into 'your' if enough people start to spell it that way.
Where does the 'real' English language reside, in the dictionary or out in the real world, where people use it?
Language isn't like maths - it has a system, but not one that corresponds to an external, empirically demonstrable 'reality' like maths does.
The rules might be laid down in a dusty set of volumes somewhere, but that's irrelevant to the 99.99% of people who happily go about their business actually using the thing and inevitably reforming it in the process.
A lot of this has to do with technology - the great agent of historical change. The advent of the printing press changed English almost beyond recognition. For most people, an oral culture became a written one for the first time. There had been no such thing as the concept of correct spelling, for one thing. Language didn't just change internally - it became a fundamentally different thing.
Electronic media and broadcasting changed it again. People in the north of England started to speak like people in the south. People in Japan started hearing American English. All these developments feed back into English back here at home.
The latest technological revolution has been via e-mail and texting. These things will inevitably result in abbreviations, Americanisms and a hundred other mutations.
There's no point worrying about whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. It just is.
Using words correctly helps improve communication between people. Evolution is based on this concept, I'm sure we could all go back to grunting and pointing and claim it as being evolution. This laziness is just another instance of dumbing-down it isn't a case of snobs pointing out the errors of the great unwashed, knowledge is power.
Post by Lakeland Potter on Feb 28, 2004 12:57:14 GMT
Double three, I say "sadly" when referring to spellings because changing spellings to conform with US standards seems rather pointless.
I am quite happy with the American colloquialisms which we adopt - if people are happy to use them, so be it and I'll wup anyone's ass if they try to make me change my mind. Similarly, Phrases like "At this moment in time" don't worry me although for the life of me I can't see why people don't just say "now". ;D
Its just that when we adopt American spelling (eg color instead of colour or aluminum instead of aluminium) it is usually because people have managed to get though school without learning the correct spelling!
PS - I have no problem with any of the changes the Americans have made to English - its as valid a language as ours. Its just just that I can't see the point of adopting their spellings.
I have to agree with the 'Management'. What annoys me is the appalling use of the apostrophe. It can be difficult to decide how it should be used but I'm sure I was taught at school. Examples such as James's penis, Sarah's fanny, the two houses' bricks spring to mind as they are by and large misused. Many people just seem to use apostrophes randomly nowadays.
Don't have a problem with language evolving - it always will due to local differences and colloquialisms (spelling?) but the written English language is universal and should be used correctly. Too many people write as they would if in conversation which is clearly wrong. The two are very different.
Anyway's, thats' my beef - I cant believe Im' having a rant over apostrphe's. ???
Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that we abandon spelling or grammar. The grocer's apostrophe bugs the fuck out of me, too. I'm just pointing out that, ultimately, language cannot be contained or controlled.
Agree with that Stonetezza. I have three kids of my own and know only too well what you mean. At 12 and 13 the spelling of my two eldest children's is nowhere near as good as it should be and yet no one at school seems even remotely concerned.
The fact that they both now have mobile phones and use MSN online is only making the problem worse. They are both reasonably intelligent kids but their spelling can be a shambles.
I worry for the future, for all kids and for our language.
I've always been a firm believer that if I communicate my point, then I've achieved what I've set out to do. The emphasis based on grammer and spelling was reduced when they brought in GCSE's and thank fuck for me it was, as I'm sure I verge on being mildly dyslexic. Luckily I have stengths in other areas, but when I need to, I have a spell checker and writers/proof readers to make sure these things get done properly in the work place.
As for grammer/spelling within a messageboard, I could't care less. I think users that post sarcastic replies highlighting someones grammatical errors discriminating. Its hardly a nice welcome to someone limited in their/ there( ohh I don't care do I)use of the written word.
Post by StuttgartStokie on Mar 1, 2004 16:06:34 GMT
A great book to read about the English Language is Bill Bryson's Mother Tongue. It shows how the French had an influence on the language and how it came from being a peasants. Also tells you why the Americans have removed the 'u' from a lot words.
I think it’s a bit hard to blame it exclusively on teachers and the education systems chaps. Reading books is the most effective way improving vocabulary and grammar. How many parents insist on their kids reading books regulary instead of watching Neighbours or developing humungous thumbs from the PS2?