User Avatar Image

General Bitching

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 1.3K users

I looked and didn't see a thread like this, so I'm making one. Hopefully if the mods don't shut it down, you can all join me in this Anger Management class. Any stuff that pisses you off and you need to bitch about, whack it here.

-x-

So my Dad has an incredibly annoying habit of buying Christmas presents himself and then letting other people give them to him. He reasons that this means he definitely gets things that he wants, and other people don't have to worry about what to get him.

You can probably see where this is going.

Yep, I discovered today that the two main presents I got him, a pair of DVDs, are ones he's already bought for himself. I am so angry at the man I could just scream. And did (thankfully the house was empty or my mother would have had serious words at me).

All I've got left to give him are a few 'jokey' presents. And a mug. Woo. Almost tempted to keep them all for myself and just get him some coal, the git.

100 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Oh, that's just bullshit. Every day I find new reasons to hate the world, I really do.

  • Why the fuuuuuu can't tell tale release devils playhouse on xbox!? Ps3 gets every thing!!!

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu--

  • ...oh look, there's another reason. :rolleyes:

  • I'm okay with misspelled words being added to the dictionary due to common usage. Like, I used to misspell "all right" as "alright" (still do) but it's no longer a misspelling. Apparently.

  • User Avatar Image
    Vainamoinen Moderator

    @Darth Marsden said:

    It should though, because it bugs the hell out of me as well. It's like people not pronouncing letters when they speak. 'fing' instead of 'thing', for example. It's mangling the English language and you should be slapped across the face if you do it. Sadly, you can't do that over the internet - all you can do is correct them, and that gets you labelled as a Grammar Nazi. Bleh.

    Also, thanks for resurrecting my thread. Forgot I made it!


    All right, it's "general bitching", and I'll serve.

    "Spellling" and "grammar" are two completely different things just as spoken and written language are governed by different laws.

    First of all, it makes absolutely no sense to "pronounce a letter" in spoken language as if the writing somehow determined how things should be spoken. That's a jumbled logic. It doesn't work that way.

    Written language mostly follows the sound rules of spoken language and (almost) never vice versa. But if a change occurs in spoken language - and a language that people use always changes - these changes are not immediately put into writing. In fact, present writing could be regarded as a dated, incomplete and faulty representation of a language's sound rules.

    Orthography is an essentially arbitrary system of conventions about how certain words "should" be written. Now written English, mind you, through its varied history (and a lot of foreign early printers, no less) is known for its notoriously broken connection between written and spoken vowels. For such a random attribution of letters to sounds, there really is no need except tradition. If oh so many people spell a word "wrong" in the very same way, maybe present spoken language intuition dictates it and the writing should in fact change.

    Spoken language, as I have already written in the Grammar Nazi thread, is an ever changing entity. Some changes are only attempted, stay a fashion for some time, then disappear entirely. Other changes are adapted by more and more speakers and are one day considered a correct form by most speakers of the language. Pedants look in sixty year old grammar books and raise the index finger, but they're looking at completely dated material, because a grammar book is nothing but a desperate attempt to guess and describe the subconscious, changing language rules stored in the mind of the present language speaker.

    Now if a change in progress is spotted by so called language guardians, all hell breaks loose. All of a sudden, people who use the variation are supposedly stupid, ruin the language, do not understand its "logic" any more or make it incomprehensible.

    But the language guardians are the laughing stock of linguists for several reasons. Their kind is thousands of years old, and those from thousands of years ago who saw the downfall of the Greek language in this or that variation have been proven quite wrong. From an objective standpoint, there's absolutely no reason why /fing/ should not work as a word in the English language alongside or instead of /thing/. The only reason people get enraged is because it differs from their own use, and the "reasons" they make up why their usage is "right" and other usages are "wrong" have led sociolinguists to the sound belief that the central reason for this kind of language critique is the preservation and elevation of one's own social status by insulting other people.

    Sorry... I studied Language for too long.

  • @Vainamoinen said:

    Written language mostly follows the sound rules of spoken language and never vice versa. But if a change occurs in spoken language - and a language that people use always changes - these changes are not immediately put into writing. In fact, present writing could be regarded as a dated, incomplete and faulty representation of a language's sound rules.

    Orthography is an essentially arbitrary system of conventions about how certain words "should" be written. Now written English, mind you, through its varied history (and a lot of foreign early printers, no less) is known for its notoriously broken connection between written and spoken vowels. For such an arbitrary attribution of letters to sounds, there really is no need except tradition.

    As someone who works in linguistics (and in sociolinguistics specifically) I also feel the need to comment on this. Historically, English orthography is "broken" for a number of reasons. Essentially it is a matter of language planning & standardization. Back in the early days, when written English was just being codified with the invention of the printing press, there was tremendous regional variance in spoken language. Even for a word as simple as "Egg", a printer would often have to choose between two highly distinct forms within a single city. In this sense, it is anything *but* arbitrary, as spoken language change was actually heavily influenced by orthography (i.e. the other form for egg is no longer used because it was standardized away via the writing system).

    On the other hand, some aspects of English orthography really are just artifacts of changed pronunciation. For example, all the final 'e's you have in English actually used to be pronounced. i.e. 'House' used to be pronounced 'hoosuh' (in middle English). English also underwent a massive vowel shift which basically rotated the pronunciation of vowels around the articulatory space. English orthography hasn't really been updated much since the late 18th century, so a lot of that silliness remains.

    Prescriptive grammar (stuff like don't end a sentence with a preposition), however, is of no interest to linguists. Since linguistics is inherently a descriptive field, we generally laugh off any attempts to prescribe or proscribe language use. Sociolinguistics is probably the only field that seriously examines it, even if it is mostly for the purposes of proving how wrong and horrible language planning can be.

  • Oh dear sweet lord, what have I unleashed.

  • @Darth Marsden said: Oh dear sweet lord, what have I unleashed.

    A linguistics seminar! :eek:

  • User Avatar Image
    Vainamoinen Moderator

    They_were_in_dire_need.

    Thanks KuroShiro for stepping in and providing more detail for what I just called a "varied history". My degree is from early 2007 (GOD I AM SO OLD), and I have forgotten far too much to still be lecturing that way. ;)

    But maybe we should leave it at that before someone forces us to tell the egges or eyren story. :D :D

  • @Vainamoinen said: All right, it's "general bitching", and I'll serve.

    "Spellling" and "grammar" are two completely different things just as spoken and written language are governed by different laws.

    [...]

    Now if a change in progress is spotted by so called language guardians, all hell breaks loose. All of a sudden, people who use the variation are supposedly stupid, ruin the language, do not understand its "logic" any more or make it incomprehensible.

    But the language guardians are the laughing stock of linguists [...]

    So, you're bitching that people bitch too much/too loudly about inevitable changes in the spellings of words and phrases?

    By saying "'Spellling' and 'grammar' are [...] two completely different things," are you saying that your rant is about spelling nazis and not about grammar nazis'? I should hope so. The fact that a language changes over time does not excuse willful and blatant ignorance of how to use it. For example, so very many people can't tell the difference between when to use "I" verses "me" in a sentence, nor does this ever-increasing group of idiots know to phrase others before yourself in a sentence.

    ie. Using "me and her" (instead of "she and I") when referring to the subject of a sentence, is so obviously wrong yet used by so many, it's ridiculous.

Add Comment