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#148101 - 09/22/05 04:28 AM Re: B.C.
TEd Remington Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
Faldo:

What people say and what people write (or should write) are not exactly synonymous. Certainly commas represent pauses, but what I started to say and then got distracted and forgot in my last post was that these usages were for written more-or-less formal English.

TEd

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#148102 - 09/22/05 06:34 AM Re: B.C.
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
these usages were for written more-or-less formal English.

Wull, y'see, 'ere's the parblem. Ain' nobody minds if y'all perscrippivis's goes round settin' no rules for no special occasions. It's when y'all starts garbigin' aroun' pulin' an' micturatin' about anybody does anyth'n differmints in any situation whatsoever.

An' ifn you checks 'at document wit all nem funny commas an stuff, they's a thang in nere says cain't bus nobudy fer doon someth'n what ain' bun made illegal yet. When did y'all start spewin out nem rules bout where y'all kin an cain't stick no commas?


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#148103 - 09/22/05 08:22 AM Re: B.C.
inselpeter Offline
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Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
Commas are rules, even if the rule is "pause here." Either that, or they are stray markings.

Where is the meat in the prescriptivist/descriptivist divide? So much seems the fault line of a parlor row.


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#148104 - 09/22/05 08:46 AM Re: P vs. D
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
> meat

yeah, seems to me to be skating the thin line between stagnation and anarchy.

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#148105 - 09/22/05 10:20 AM Re: P vs. D
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
the thin line between stagnation and anarchy. As in "The Thin Blue Line"? The grammar police?!


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#148106 - 09/22/05 10:56 AM A.D.
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10521
Loc: this too shall pass
After Deconstruction]

say Jackie, back to your original question: are you laughing yet?!


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#148107 - 09/22/05 12:09 PM Re: P vs. D
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
>>police<<

Smile

But I'm serious. Descriptivists, for example, may observe uses or 'gramars' that are not captured by the categories of prescriptivist grammar(s) which are themselves also based, in part at least, on observation. To some extent, the prescriptivists only convert observed into a rule. At the same time, descriptivists convert 'liberty' to a rule. Related is the approach to use in legal writing. It does more than pretend to accuracy, but also strategically subverts meaning.

Edit: I guess this is true of a lot of discourse. An ancillary question, then, is what distinguishes the subversive behaviors of legal speech and writing from those of other forms of discourse.


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#148108 - 09/22/05 01:34 PM Re: A.D.
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
are you laughing yet?! Yes! I hadn't expected that what I thought was a simple question would spark off such a debate, but that's fine. But I loved eta's getting back to the opening point!


Edit: darn it, why can't I learn/remember NOT to use the same word twice in close proximity!!

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#148109 - 09/22/05 01:44 PM Re: A.D.
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
I wish I could take credit for thinking of the Thin Blue line ref, but I was actually just sort of thinking out loud about what would happen were one scriptivist camp to win...

ok, I'll take credit anyway. <wink>

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#148110 - 09/22/05 05:33 PM Re: P vs. D
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
At the same time, descriptivists convert 'liberty' to a rule.

Exactly. The rules are there. Even in the most illiterate speech, there are rules. What the descriptivist does is describe those rules.


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