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"Proper" english

posted by Iron Curtain on - last edited - Viewed by 475 users

[quote]Proper "British" spelling? You mean French spelling, don't you? Theatre, metre, tyre ... oh wait. Okay, okay, so tyre is British, I guess, if you ignore the city in Lebanon of the same name.[/quote]

Quoted for truth.

BTW, "British" orthography is just as correct as "American" orthography. Or rather, British Orthography is "correct" for Brits (and Australians, and New Zealanders, et al.) whereas American orthography is correct for Americans. Just as much as "color" would seem incorrect for Brits, "colour" would seem incorrect for Americans (unless said Americans are trying to sound pretentious).

For instance, I can easily make a point that "Autumn," as a latinate word, seems out of place next to "Winter," "Spring" and "Summer," all which are Germanic. Also, I could say that "Fall" contrasts "Spring" in a way that "Autumn" doesn't (flowers "spring" up in the spring; leaves "fall" down in the fall).

So be careful when saying your orthography is the one true orthography, because I could very well make an argument in the opposite direction. However, that's not what I believe. I believe that British and American orthography are equally valid in their respective regions.

My point? Rather than saying that your English is "proper English" say that it's "British English." It's a more neutral, less arrogant term.

14 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • British English is the original English language. After all German comes from Germany and French from France. Maybe we should knock off this "correct" spelling business, we will be here all day.

    Lets talk about W&G. Looking forward to watching it tomorrow. :D

  • Its still proper English........

  • [quote]British English is the original English language. After all German comes from Germany and French from France. [/quote]

    "Original" does not equal "proper." Just because your dialect is from the place whence the language was spawned doesn't make it the only "correct" dialect. Hell, if you go back far enough, I can make an argument that you're speaking "incorrect" German and Danish (because Saxony is Germany and Angel is in Denmark, and English is, after all, modern Anglo-Saxon).

    Also, if "-ise" is the correct ending, why do your scientific journals use "-ize?" Some thing to think about.

    Edit: Here's proof (bold mine): http://www.nature.com/npg_/company_info/mission.html

    [quote] I. Articles written by men eminent in Science on subjects connected with the various points of contact of Natural knowledge with practical affairs, the public health, and material progress ; and on the advancement of Science, and its educational and civilizing functions.[/quote]

    Edit 2: I was wrong.

    [quote]Maybe we should knock off this "correct" spelling business, we will be here all day.[/quote]

    Good idea.

  • @Iron Curtain said: I can make an argument that you're speaking "incorrect" German and Danish (because Saxony is Germany and Angel is in Denmark, and English is, after all, modern Anglo-Saxon).

    I'd always understood that the English language was made up primarily of Celtic (pre-Anglo Saxon), Germanic, Danish and French (around 60% of words commonly used are of French origin - Defoe *I think* once joked the English was merely mispronounced French) - Though Wiki would probably be able to tell me I'm completely wrong :)

    I do know though, that it's just a language that’s been cobbled together by either making up new words or (more commonly) nicking other peoples to suit the occasion - Which is as true for British English as much as it is for American English (Though - Just to be needlessly snarky here - Didn’t a president simplify the spelling & pronunciation of a lot of words in the U.S. - like changing spelling of 'colour' to 'color' - in order to instantly raise the level of literacy in the US?)

  • @IronCladChicken said: Though - Just to be needlessly snarky here - Didn’t a president simplify the spelling & pronunciation of a lot of words in the U.S. - like changing spelling of 'colour' to 'color' - in order to instantly raise the level of literacy in the US?)

    I lol'd.

  • One of the most fascinating things about language, to me, is that it is so versatile and evolutionary. Confining oneself to a textbook definition of language is a denial of the culture of that language.

    I'd rather live in a world with its dialects and regional language differences. Further, I'd rather live in a world without pretentious linguists that would rather have slang erased from existence.

    Oh, and I prefer the British spellings for a Wallace and Gromit game, simply because these characters are quite distinctly products of the British culture. To divorce them from that in even the slightest way would be a disservice to the world and the characters that inhabit it.

  • Hey!
    Why don't you make an argument on Canadian english?

  • @Iron Curtain said: and English is, after all, modern Anglo-Saxon).

    I beg to differ. The anglo-saxon language (also known as "Old English" is remarkably like the old norse language, and I think it is also more akin to modern Danish (or Icelandic anyway) than it is to Modern English (or indeed to Middle English). Since the norman invasion the English Language has transformed into something entirely different. A peculiar mixture of German, Danish, Latin and French, which ought to be a confusing and ill sounding mess, but strangely isn't.

    Much like the Anglican faith, the English language is strangely coherent, logical and consequent, in spite of it being in fact the result of confusing wars, political stratagem and various whims of kings and queens.

    Fascinating country, England.

  • ... I hold with the people who prefer British spelling in the Wallace and Gromit game.

    Not that I mind the American spelling at all. :)

    (I mean - if someone were to suggest a second season of SBCG4AP with British spelling I would certainly protest.)

  • This is why English should be abolished entirely, and replaced with Binary. That way, you can have your 10111001, AND 10101111001 it too.

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