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Last post Author Topic: A Point About Grammar  (Read 20157 times)

cranioscopical

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2011, 09:54:18 AM »
Oddly, that seems perfectly natural. The plural contraction doesn't. So sure, you can buy me a beer anytime~!

Another brewhaha come to a head.

mwb1100

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2011, 11:13:48 AM »
Can I just make a comment about the word "alot?"

It's not a word at all  :o

Something changes language overtime. Sometime hence, "alot" shall be altogether alright if it's not already.

I'd allot around 4 score years.

timns

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2011, 11:31:20 AM »
Can I just make a comment about the word "alot?"

It's not a word at all  :o

Something changes language overtime. Sometime hence, "alot" shall be altogether alright if it's not already.

I do hope you mean "all right" old bean  ;)

CWuestefeld

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2011, 11:56:51 AM »
The more you learn about language and "correct" writing, the more you discover the amount of rules that aren't taught in school (or not my school, any way).

For example, I was never taught what a transitive verb is (see Wikipedia if you don't know). But I notice this occasionally with my wife. (She's an immigrant, and with English as her third language, she does remarkably well, so much so that in casual conversation you wouldn't know she's not native.) But every once in a while she comes out with a clunker, all the more surprising because you can forget she's not a native speaker. And this is one of the common problems.

Another thing that most natives just get right from having heard it so much, but isn't really taught explicitly, is when a determiner is necessary. One of the things my wife finds most difficult is deciding when a noun needs a "the" in front of it.

Finally, there's an error that I see committed almost universally, and demonstrating how much it's not taught, I don't even know what the correct terminology is. I think of it as parallelization of lists. When giving a list, the items in the list need to all be of the same part of speech and conjugation. For example: "My dog Buster likes to chase a ball and poops in the woods". This is incorrect. I need to either change "poops" to "to poop" so that the list of what Buster likes is all of the same type, or I need to change it to "... and he poops..." so that it's not a list of what he likes to do.


mwb1100

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2011, 01:22:42 PM »
I do hope you mean "all right" old bean  ;)

Yeah, sorta.  "alright" might not be all right, yet.  But I think it's a lot further along being an accepted word than "alot" (see http://www.word-dete...tive.com/back-q.html).  And you can't seriously make me think that such stand-up Brits as "The Who" might not know how to spell (don't bother with the remake of that movie; it was no where - er, nowhere - near as good, even if they might have done better with the spelling).


My point is that sometimes word are combined (for various reasons) - it has happened for several words in that post, and will probably happen to some of the others.

Then again, words can fall out of favor or common use like "score" as meaning 20. And certayne wordes which might bring about yre and be considered garbidge today were once amonge truely correct spellings.

If I could trade 'word status', I'd gladly endure "alot" if I could get rid of "blog".  I don't like that word for some reason, even though there clearly needs to be a word for those things.  I just don't like "blog" - blecch.


« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 01:30:30 PM by mwb1100 »

40hz

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2011, 01:29:41 PM »
I like sentences that leave you unable to determine exactly what is being asked because text is unable to convey the voice inflection that would make its meaning clear to anyone. Example: this topic was recently posted in the forum:

A plea for help from a VS developer...

Is this a VS developer who is asking for help - or - is it someone attempting to solicit help from a VS developer?

(It was the second BTW  :) )

Benny Hill used to base a great of his comedy routines on wordplay that took advantage of pauses and inflection.

My favorite was this classic sentence found on a telegram:

NOT GETTING ANY BETTER COME HOME SOON. STOP.

Should it be read as:

Not getting any better. Come home soon!  :(

-or-

Not getting any. Better come home soon!  :P


Love it! ;D

timns

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2011, 01:34:20 PM »
@mwb1100: I enjoyed that!

I do actually agree with you about 'alright' - I find myself using it too and it's a hair's breadth away from being acceptable - which is my excuse whenever I type it ;)

For some reason I don't mind 'blog' - but I do know what you mean about some words or phrases being teeth-gratingly annoying. For instance, I hate to hear people say they "clicked through" a hyperlink.

40hz

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2011, 02:45:31 PM »
Parallelism is difficult to teach because there are many cases where making something grammatically (i.e. correctly) parallel leads to awkward sentence construction. When that happens, it's usually best to split the original statement into two separate sentences to avoid a weird sounding albeit grammatically correct sentence.

My dog Buster likes to chase a ball. He poops in the woods.

Alternatively, the widely misunderstood and (IMO) underused semicolon can be employed:

My dog Buster likes to chase a ball; and poop in the woods.

@CUW: In your example, wouldn't 'poops' be a verb within the context of the sentence. Unless, of course, your dog chases poops (as in the...um...object?) while in the woods. Can't imagine that being much of a challenge for him however. From my experience, poops don't run around all that much. And thank goodness for it!

 ;D
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 02:48:53 PM by 40hz »

cranioscopical

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2011, 02:48:46 PM »
I hate to hear people say they "clicked through" a hyperlink.

People seem to be "ticking boxes" quite a bit these days.
In the world as it is today, I like to avoid all kinds of ticking boxes.

40hz

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2011, 02:49:48 PM »
I hate to hear people say they "clicked through" a hyperlink.

People seem to be "ticking boxes" quite a bit these days.
In the world as it is today, I like to avoid all kinds of ticking boxes.

Why is that? They're quite the bomb.


Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2011, 03:11:38 PM »
So who wants to do a proper computing grammar tutorial?

cranioscopical

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2011, 03:33:45 PM »
So who wants to do a proper computing grammar tutorial?

That ain't nuffink as wot I could do  :(

Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2011, 03:55:49 PM »
So who wants to do a proper computing grammar tutorial?

That ain't nuffink as wot I could do  :(

We'll never get people to stop ticking boxes, mashing buttons, and clicking through hyperlinks with that attitude.

mwb1100

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2011, 04:17:23 PM »
We'll never get people to stop ticking boxes, mashing buttons, and clicking through hyperlinks with that attitude.

Is mousing around still OK?

Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2011, 04:32:35 PM »
We'll never get people to stop ticking boxes, mashing buttons, and clicking through hyperlinks with that attitude.

Is mousing around still OK?
That...Depends on who you're with...

cranioscopical

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2011, 05:07:28 PM »
We'll never get people to stop ticking boxes, mashing buttons, and clicking through hyperlinks with that attitude.

Is mousing around still OK?
That...Depends on who you're with...

Once you open that dor someone could have a field day.

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2011, 05:52:33 PM »
The clowning around is reminding me of this:

There-are-two-errors.jpgA Point About Grammar

Very fun book, it is.

Little linguistic tricks and whatnot can be a lot of fun.

From "Ratspike":

I went to the pictures tomorrow,
I took a front seat at the back.
I fell from the floor to the ceiling,
And broke the front bone in my back.

I went round a straight crooked corner,
I saw a dead donkey die.
I pulled out my pistol to stab him,
And he kicked me in the eye.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

timns

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2011, 05:59:58 PM »
I can see one of the the errors straight away. Anyone got any ideas about the other one?

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2011, 06:06:19 PM »
I can see one of the the errors straight away. Anyone got any ideas about the other one?

Hehehe! The first thing you see is straight forward. The next issue is perhaps a bit more insidious. Read very carefully again. :) You'll love it once you see it.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

mwb1100

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2011, 06:06:40 PM »
I can see one of the the errors straight away.

That right there is a clue to the other error.

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2011, 06:07:50 PM »
I can see one of the the errors straight away.

That right there is a clue to the other error.

And interestingly enough, your hint is somewhat misleading, which is another hint in itself. :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

timns

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2011, 06:10:42 PM »
D'oh! Of course, it's a grammatical trick:

It should be "There IS Two Errors"

timns

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2011, 06:17:23 PM »
OMG I think I know... who is this sadist?  :o

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2011, 07:11:22 PM »
D'oh! Of course, it's a grammatical trick:

It should be "There IS Two Errors"

Hahahah~! Nope. Verb-number agreement demands that it be "are".
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2011, 07:19:26 PM »
OMG I think I know... who is this sadist?  :o

Answer
The second "the" is the first error.

But there is no second error, so the title is wrong. But if the title is correct, then it isn't an error, and the only error is the first error, which means there is only 1 error, which makes the title wrong because it states that there are 2 errors when there is only 1.

So, is there 1 error or are there 2 errors?

This nicely shows how some statements do not have truth values.

e.g. Green ideas sleep furiously.

There is no truth value for that. It's simply nonsense.

(Ok, there's more to the debate than that, but whatever -- it's a good enough answer.)



Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker