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Last post Author Topic: A Point About Grammar  (Read 20136 times)

app103

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2011, 12:53:42 AM »
On that topic though, one uncountable noun that has crept into being a countable noun that I find somewhat irritating is "beers". It's like "waters". It contracts "X bottles of beer" or "X glasses of beer" into "beers". It just seems like a sloppy bastardization to me.

So does that mean you'd be against me buying you a beer?

Oddly, that seems perfectly natural. The plural contraction doesn't. So sure, you can buy me a beer anytime~! :P

Just seems a shame that you can have a beer but not a few beers.  Doesn't sound like as much fun.  :P

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2011, 07:13:03 AM »
In my Korean language classes some years ago, a fellow student was a professor of Linguistics. We had a very interesting conversation one time when he explained why you can have "un-fucking-believable" but not "unbelieva-fucking-ble" or "unbe-fucking-lievable" (and other similar cases of injecting profanity into words). I forget the exact reasons at the moment, but it had to do with intonation and stress. Those are some strange rules that we all know and use, but aren't really conscious of them, and never had a class where they were taught. :D

Quote
Just seems a shame that you can have a beer but not a few beers.  Doesn't sound like as much fun.

Yes. Very true. :)

I'd like to know why a non-countable noun can become a singular countable noun, but not a plural countable noun. I think it has to do with them being assumed contractions of the form "# units of noun" to "a noun" or "nouns".

e.g.

I'd like a water.

But not:

I'd like some waters.

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

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

cranioscopical

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2011, 01:58:24 PM »
Perhaps not entirely off topic (for a change)

To the many of you who have sent me personal messages enquiring with such concern as to why I am so dopey a (and here I'll paraphrase — there are simply too few asterisks available on my keyboard) fellow. This could be the answer:

Quote
Research by the British National Formulary (BNF), which advises doctors, nurses and pharmacists, found labelling that has been around for decades is now too difficult for members of the public to understand.

It found phrases such as "may cause drowsiness" are no longer "readily understood" and should now be simplified to say "this medicine may make you sleepy".

and, just to add further clarity

Quote
Likewise, the phrases "avoid alcoholic drink" and "take at regular intervals" caused indecision among modern takers.

The report recommends the labels should now read "do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine" and "space the doses evenly throughout the day".

For those of you who feel that this does not explain my mental state fully, I offer the following:

Quote
Drinking a glass of wine a day or a pint of beer can cut the chance of developing dementia by almost a third, according to researchers.

So, in future, I'll go for a few bottles of each beverage. That should fix it!

Ath

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2011, 02:04:56 PM »
So, in future, I'll go for a few bottles of each beverage. That should fix it!
:drinksmiley: ;D ;D ;D

Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2011, 02:10:52 PM »
So, in future, I'll go for a few bottles of each beverage. That should fix it!
:drinksmiley: ;D ;D ;D

Damn Straight! I'll sign-up for the Save-the-Marbles Drinking Competition (Er...) "Therapy" too!

40hz

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2011, 02:51:02 PM »
Save-the-Jewels erm..Marbles Therapy, huh?

Ok...I'll give it a try. Can't be to careful when it comes to issues of health.

However, I'll pass on the Martinis if you don't mind.

Make mine Stout, Bock (hey, ya gotta eat too!), or a nice microbrewed Dark Ale.

As long as it's dark and complex - and looks like there's a good chance some "pond life" lurking in it -  I'm in! ;D


cranioscopical

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #56 on: March 04, 2011, 03:10:15 PM »
a good chance some "pond life" lurking in it

Good and newtricious!

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2011, 04:44:55 PM »
Perhaps not entirely off topic (for a change)

To the many of you who have sent me personal messages enquiring with such concern as to why I am so dopey a (and here I'll paraphrase — there are simply too few asterisks available on my keyboard) fellow. This could be the answer:

Quote
Research by the British National Formulary (BNF), which advises doctors, nurses and pharmacists, found labelling that has been around for decades is now too difficult for members of the public to understand.

It found phrases such as "may cause drowsiness" are no longer "readily understood" and should now be simplified to say "this medicine may make you sleepy".

and, just to add further clarity

Quote
Likewise, the phrases "avoid alcoholic drink" and "take at regular intervals" caused indecision among modern takers.

The report recommends the labels should now read "do not drink alcohol while taking this medicine" and "space the doses evenly throughout the day".

For those of you who feel that this does not explain my mental state fully, I offer the following:

Quote
Drinking a glass of wine a day or a pint of beer can cut the chance of developing dementia by almost a third, according to researchers.

So, in future, I'll go for a few bottles of each beverage. That should fix it!


It's sad that so many people are basically illiterate and perfectly clear instructions need to be dumbed down that much.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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

Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2011, 05:09:40 PM »
You can bet your ass there is a lawyer behind it. Because (in reality) nobody is really that dumb ... But if the obvious can be muddied a bit in court...

Anybody dense enough to actually be confused by those instructions, would probably best serve the human race as a Darwin Award recipient.

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2011, 05:12:36 PM »
You can bet your ass there is a lawyer behind it. Because (in reality) nobody is really that dumb ... But if the obvious can be muddied a bit in court...

Anybody dense enough to actually be confused by those instructions, would probably best serve the human race as a Darwin Award recipient.

+1 and +1
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2011, 05:18:50 PM »
Because (in reality) nobody is really that dumb ...

And -1. I think that there really are people that are that stupid.

Evidence? Sure~! :D

[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church[/url]w

They provoked Anonymous:

http://www.bbc.co.uk.../technology-12523184

And now their website is offline:

www . godhatesfags . com

(Not giving them any link juice.)

But seriously... There's no end to just how surprisingly stupid some people can be. The only truly sad thing is that there are other idiots out there trying to keep them in the gene pool~! :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2011, 06:16:44 PM »
But seriously... There's no end to just how surprisingly stupid some people can be. The only truly sad thing is that there are other idiots out there trying to keep them in the gene pool~!

That's why I tossed in the second part as a qualifier... ;)

I saw the real-time hack that Anonymous did during the WBC interview and almost pissed myself laughing ... That was truly a beautiful thing to watch (hatred fall down go boom (hehehe)).

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2011, 07:29:50 PM »
But seriously... There's no end to just how surprisingly stupid some people can be. The only truly sad thing is that there are other idiots out there trying to keep them in the gene pool~!

That's why I tossed in the second part as a qualifier... ;)

I saw the real-time hack that Anonymous did during the WBC interview and almost pissed myself laughing ... That was truly a beautiful thing to watch (hatred fall down go boom (hehehe)).

I didn't see that. Do you have a link for a video of it? I'd love to see that~! :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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app103

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2011, 07:33:07 PM »
I'd like to know why a non-countable noun can become a singular countable noun, but not a plural countable noun. I think it has to do with them being assumed contractions of the form "# units of noun" to "a noun" or "nouns".

You can have a can of beer.
You can have a bottle of beer.
You can have a glass of beer.

You can have a few cans of beer.
You can have a few bottles of beer.
You can have a few glasses of beer.

What you are actually having is cans, bottles, or glasses.....of beer.

Without specifying whether it is in a can, bottle or glass...

You can have a beer.
You can have a few beers.

What you are actually having is [units] of beer....aka beers.



Quote
e.g.

I'd like a water.

But not:

I'd like some waters.

How many different waters do you see in this photo?

Waters.jpg

Renegade

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2011, 07:57:54 PM »
I'd like to know why a non-countable noun can become a singular countable noun, but not a plural countable noun. I think it has to do with them being assumed contractions of the form "# units of noun" to "a noun" or "nouns".

You can have a can of beer.
You can have a bottle of beer.
You can have a glass of beer.

You can have a few cans of beer.
You can have a few bottles of beer.
You can have a few glasses of beer.

What you are actually having is cans, bottles, or glasses.....of beer.

Without specifying whether it is in a can, bottle or glass...

You can have a beer.
You can have a few beers.

What you are actually having is [units] of beer....aka beers.



Quote
e.g.

I'd like a water.

But not:

I'd like some waters.

How many different waters do you see in this photo?
 (see attachment in previous post)

That's "what it is", but not why. I'm curious as to how contractions by deletion of units (and the like) works. I'm not a linguist, so I can't really speculate.





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I just hated listening to her. She's just painful to listen to. The video would have been much better with her edited out entirely. :)
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housetier

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2011, 03:10:07 AM »
There is a weblog about grammar as well: Throw Grammar from the Train

I have only glimpsed at a post about National Grammar Day.

It shows that we are not alone with our concerns about grammar :)

crabby3

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #66 on: February 10, 2014, 08:26:28 AM »
Am I the only one that's annoyed by the seemingly decreasing quality of language in "professional" news, articles and general writing?

I really don't care about people making mistakes in forums or informal writing. A lot of people don't speak English as their first language, and that's not a problem. What I find annoying is "professional" media that simply don't know how to use English properly.

e.g.
* Statistical "outlyers". It's "outliers". Sigh...
* "mass nouns" -- They're called "countable" and "uncountable", not "mass".
* Verb agreement

The list goes on and on.

It's just jarring to get "hit" by grammar, spelling, and word choice mistakes that there really is no excuse for.

It's one thing for it to be "the odd time", but it's not. It's all the time.

Am I just super-anal? Is poor grammar really acceptable in professional media?



can't here/scan no pro info, yokel stuffs way 2 boaring to.  :)

Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #67 on: February 10, 2014, 11:49:47 AM »
Am I the only one that's annoyed by the seemingly decreasing quality of language in "professional" news, articles and general writing?

I really don't care about people making mistakes in forums or informal writing. A lot of people don't speak English as their first language, and that's not a problem. What I find annoying is "professional" media that simply don't know how to use English properly.

e.g.
* Statistical "outlyers". It's "outliers". Sigh...
* "mass nouns" -- They're called "countable" and "uncountable", not "mass".
* Verb agreement

The list goes on and on.

It's just jarring to get "hit" by grammar, spelling, and word choice mistakes that there really is no excuse for.

It's one thing for it to be "the odd time", but it's not. It's all the time.

Am I just super-anal? Is poor grammar really acceptable in professional media?



can't here/scan no pro info, yokel stuffs way 2 boaring to.  :)

Yokels?! Hell man we're in "The South" grammar is so far gone here "the yokels" get close captioned on the history/discovery channel. God knows why the hell these people are considered fun to watch (much like a train wreck I guess). Jesus Christ man, when people have to be close captioned (e.g. translated for) on the local news because their enunciation is really that bad...there is a serious problem ... And I don't think it in the water either.  :D

IainB

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #68 on: February 10, 2014, 01:28:29 PM »
...Hell man we're in "The South" grammar is so far gone here "the yokels" get close captioned on the history/discovery channel...
If that were true, then I would suggest that the captions might be for the hard of hearing.
If it were not true, then it's a very droll remark.

crabby3

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #69 on: February 10, 2014, 04:55:02 PM »
can't here/scan no pro info, yokel stuffs way 2 boaring to.  :)

Yokels?! Hell man we're in "The South" grammar is so far gone here "the yokels" get close captioned on the history/discovery channel. God knows why the hell these people are considered fun to watch (much like a train wreck I guess). Jesus Christ man, when people have to be close captioned (e.g. translated for) on the local news because their enunciation is really that bad...there is a serious problem ... And I don't think it in the water either.  :D

Don't know where you are.  I'm in 'the South of Florida'.  Not The South or The Deep South.  That begins to end up around the border.
Back when the History and Discovery channels had less *reality* crap they had shows referring to The South.  Never mentioned Florida.
It was always Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Carolinas ..

Florida seems to be like a giant gravity water filter.  Don't know about Tampa but as you pass Mickey... most of 'The South' was been trapped.
Some make it down as far as the lake but the All-You-Can-Eat catfish places usually grab those.

...Hell man we're in "The South" grammar is so far gone here "the yokels" get close captioned on the history/discovery channel...
If that were true, then I would suggest that the captions might be for the hard of hearing.

When Closed-Captioned first started, down here, a voice would say: This program is Closed-Captioned for the hearing-impaired.  Of course this was stupid.
Soon they switched to verbage only.  Much, much better.  These days it's just cc in a box.

can't here/scan no pro info, yokel stuffs way 2 boaring to.

 ... hard making this joke .. ;D

Stoic Joker

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #70 on: February 10, 2014, 05:11:19 PM »
...Hell man we're in "The South" grammar is so far gone here "the yokels" get close captioned on the history/discovery channel...
If that were true, then I would suggest that the captions might be for the hard of hearing.
If it were not true, then it's a very droll remark.

The accents really are that bad. They can be heard just fine...but they must be translated for those unfamiliar with the tendency to jumble an entire sentence into a single (somewhat long) "word".

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2014, 05:19:28 PM »
Don't know where you are.  I'm in 'the South of Florida'.  Not The South or The Deep South.  That begins to end up around the border.
Back when the History and Discovery channels had less *reality* crap they had shows referring to The South.  Never mentioned Florida.
It was always Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Carolinas ..

I'm in the middle of central Florida. And while "The South" might officially end at the border...straying more than a mile or so off the interstate around here will bring one up to speed real fast about how far south The South really goes. We're talking Rebel flags, Confederate money, a 5th grade education, and 3 teeth per family - that's extended on both sides (assuming there are actually 2 sides...) mind you.

There are places in the national forest here that the cops won't go into with less than 3 vehicles in a caravan.

IainB

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #72 on: February 10, 2014, 05:26:04 PM »
...The accents really are that bad. They can be heard just fine...but they must be translated for those unfamiliar with the tendency to jumble an entire sentence into a single (somewhat long) "word"...
Gosh, then the language has become rather like a local dialect. Mind you, American-English is arguably a dialect of received English anyway.

crabby3

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #73 on: February 10, 2014, 05:37:37 PM »
Don't know where you are.  I'm in 'the South of Florida'.  Not The South or The Deep South.  That begins to end up around the border.
Back when the History and Discovery channels had less *reality* crap they had shows referring to The South.  Never mentioned Florida.
It was always Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Carolinas ..

I'm in the middle of central Florida. And while "The South" might officially end at the border...straying more than a mile or so off the interstate around here will bring one up to speed real fast about how far south The South really goes. We're talking Rebel flags, Confederate money, a 5th grade education, and 3 teeth per family - that's extended on both sides (assuming there are actually 2 sides...) mind you.

There are places in the national forest here that the cops won't go into with less than 3 vehicles in a caravan.

This is above Orlando?  We have Rebels, counterfeit money, many GED's and no teeth per.

We have the Everglades but the cops don't bother chasing.  There's only a few places with semi-potable water any time of year.
If the perps are driving... there's only one western exit... with cops waiting.  Most turn around and face the music.

4wd

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Re: A Point About Grammar
« Reply #74 on: February 10, 2014, 06:44:08 PM »
On SBS World News here, we sometimes get stories with subtitles for interviews with people in Africa - who are speaking understandable English.  They might then have a news story from somewhere in the UK where, because it's Scotland, Yorkshire, etc, you have to wonder wtf they saying even though it's meant to be English ;D