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General Bitching

posted by Darth Marsden on - last edited - Viewed by 710 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.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    All right, all right, I'm sorry.

    Studying Language makes people rather open-minded towards and interested in other people's way of speaking, while language critique seldom strikes a chord.

    Being confronted with the ocean of mostly arbitrary changes the English language has experienced in its past, present battlefields of usage can just be interesting things to observe and record for us. The linguist knows full well that language change can hardly be stopped, and he also knows that it doesn't harm (or really advances) a spoken language as a whole.

    You pretty much think that after your studies, you understand how language works (a rather foolish assumption, come to think of it), while the "general public" just dares to retain their opportunist misconception that their language is right and that of others is wrong. People from a hundred years ago would undoubtedly call THEIR language decayed and perverted.

    But I can stop here. ;)

  • @Vainamoinen said:
    But I can stop here. ;)



    Gust as ik met mui süms üawareine kuommen was, dat wui niu oll Platt kuiern sollen ...

  • I'll put in my oar and say that I want everyone to learn proper spelling and grammar because I was forced to learn it. It really grinds my gears when other people can get away without spending all the time and effort that I spent learning and (even worse!) don't find it worthy of putting in the time and effort to learn.

    Also, reading chat-speak on facebook gives me a headache and a compulsion to delete seventy-five percent of my friends list.

    In short, evolution is one thing, laziness is another. Changing "all right" to "alright", adding "meh" to the dictionary, allowing use of prepositions at the end of sentences...that's all well and good. But "your" and "you're" mean very different things and shouldn't be used interchangeably since they obscure the meaning of a sentence.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    @Alcoremortis said: But "your" and "you're" mean very different things and shouldn't be used interchangeably since they obscure the meaning of a sentence.



    Let me address this to KuroShiro, because (a) I don't want to enrage people even more and (b) I just don't have the history at hand to back up my hypothesis. Maybe he can help. ;)

    "you're" is a shortened form of "you are". As far as I know, shortened forms are the red button for language guardians as they pop up, so I will assume that at some time in the English language history, people have protested their lungs out against people saying "you're" instead of "you are" (= stupid, lazy, incomprehensible, yadda yadda yadda).

    For such a shortened form to even reach writing, I would assume a second wave of protest to have occurred. One that hasn't necessarily ebbed out by today (you'd write "you're" on the Internet, but would you do it in rather formal texts?).

    Meanwhile, English spoken language has fully wiped out the sound differences between "you're" and "your". This is very widely accepted today, even among the highest educated classes. I would assume that this means the English language works just as well (or comprehensible, logical, formal, complex, right, yadda yadda yadda) without the explicit distinction.

    Now I like the written difference between your and you're. It helps me to interpret a written sentence as someone whose Native language is NOT English. And I do feel the occasional irrational language guardian anger when I see that mistake, as I feel as if my undoubtedly high learning was insulted. But as spoken English got rid of the difference completely, and therewith proves that the necessity for distinction doesn't really exist, the question should be natural whether English writing should reflect this as well.

    That said, of course no one who types "your" instead of the correct "you're" wants to make a stand in that matter. You would of course find these writing "mistakes" primarily in the messages of lower educated classes, those of very young people or in the writings of foreigners; and I see another reason in the Internet's natural tendency to save typing time by developing shortened forms (since time in memorial or at least since normal, non-computer-nerds took their first steps in the net; you may thank Apple, Facebook or the ordinary SMS for establishing dire need for ever-shortened orthography).

    And that is why you won't see me wasting letters in here just because coolsome doesn't get it. ;) ;)

  • Firstly, sorry if I got a bit rude before. We all have our pet peeves, and this thread happened to touch on mine. In terms of the your/you're distinction... well, people have always liked to make spoken language shorter and easier to pronounce, and sometimes if it becomes entirely pervasive it translated into orthography. Contractions in English are pretty long standing though, going back a few centuries.

    Anyway, if I somehow came across as being against proper education, then I didn't express myself very well. I *am* a teacher after all, that would be pretty silly of me. As I said, written language is very different from spoken. It's codified, and planned, and when you screw up in writing, it very much *is* incorrect. It always makes me chuckle (with rage) when some English teachers say that there's no wrong way stylistically to write English, while correcting how students speak.

    Anyway, I agree with you, messing up your/you're and their/they're makes you look stupid, and 'chatspeak' makes you look even worse.

  • Honestly, when I speak, there is definitely a difference between between "your" and 'you're". "You're" ends up being slightly more "oo"-like than the broader "your". Maybe this is why it bugs me so much.

    And I'm one of those weird people who tend to write more grammatically accurate texts. I may not always be up to finding the apostrophe, and in that case I end up writing the shortened version: "youre".

    Because I like the difference to still be there.

  • I hate lip syncing and phoned in sound. Friend of mine went off on Eurovision for this and that';s just garbage. I've seen some bad performances, I've been to venues with horrible sound, but I would still prefer that to listening to a track.

    For instance, KISS' ALIVE was half rerecorded in the studio because of mistakes(and general performance issues) and when this was revealed in an interview(in the 90s I think), a whole lot of fans I know instantly hated that record.

  • @Vainamoinen said: Meanwhile, English spoken language has fully wiped out the sound differences between "you're" and "your". This is very widely accepted today, even among the highest educated classes. I would assume that this means the English language works just as well (or comprehensible, logical, formal, complex, right, yadda yadda yadda) without the explicit distinction.

    Now I like the written difference between your and you're. It helps me to interpret a written sentence as someone whose Native language is NOT English. And I do feel the occasional irrational language guardian anger when I see that mistake, as I feel as if my undoubtedly high learning was insulted. But as spoken English got rid of the difference completely, and therewith proves that the necessity for distinction doesn't really exist, the question should be natural whether English writing should reflect this as well.



    Given that this is a written internet forum, I would speculate that most "language guardians'" anger in this context, (including my own) is largely referring to written language. For myself, I admit to have recently fixated on the verbally incorrect usage and order when referring to oneself ("me and him" instead of "he and I") but improper usage of the written word is a more prevalent problem concerning conversation on the net.

    They're, their and there; no and know; too and to... are not incorrect written usages that warrant one day becoming interchangeable, and they (among other similar things) do greatly annoy me.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    And I do see that. Homophones are always difficult to spell for less educated people.

    Concerning the "me and him" word order - I'm not that sure if I'd attribute the question to actual grammar. This is a politeness concept. The exact same word order idea is prevalent in German, including the harsh correction by one's mother.

    The idea is, of course, that naming oneself first would be a self-serving thing to do. But if the question was "Who wants a good beating?", would we object to the answer "Me... and my brother"? ;)

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