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#162751 - 10/23/06 02:20 PM Grammar
Debit Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 2
Loc: Laurel, MD
There was a wonderful article in the Washington Post this morning that gave me heart about the education level of the next generation:
Clauses and Commas Make a Comeback.

Thank goodness!

Of course, this is just for US schools. I'd be interested in knowing if grammar lessons vanished from other countries' schools as well.

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#162752 - 10/24/06 11:46 AM Re: Grammar
Zed Offline
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Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
They did from Canada and while I was grateful at the time I regret it now.

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#162753 - 10/24/06 05:18 PM Re: Grammar
Faldage Offline
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Maybe they just put grammar teaching on hold till they figured out what the rules really were.

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#162754 - 10/30/06 01:11 AM Re: Grammar
Father Steve Offline
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Thanks be to God. Now, if they would just restore the teaching of history in the Mother Country, that would be a sign that the world was not about to end.

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#162755 - 10/30/06 05:36 AM Re: Grammar
Faldage Offline
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Quote:

Now, if they would just restore the teaching of history in the Mother Country, that would be a sign that the world was not about to end.




Might could consider teaching it here, too.

Hint: Who won the War of 1812?

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#162756 - 10/30/06 06:30 AM Re: Grammar
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Quote:

Maybe they just put grammar teaching on hold till they figured out what the rules really were.




Just observe any three-year-old.

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#162757 - 11/01/06 06:57 AM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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As we are faithful followers of American novelties, the great sack of the grammar system took place here as well. Half way down the seventies.
Same thing, same complaints. University students unable to write a clear article and teachers not knowing the rules themselves.

We have a yearly national dictation contest on TV (the Grand Dictation of Dutch language) between Dutch and Flemisch- Belgian pariticipants which is practically always won by the Belgians. (who stayed more conservative in their education system)

Watchers of the program can join in at home.
I's fun to participate, not easy, very fast . All reading signs count.
It's about 30 lines long and the avarage failure rate on spellng and reading signs sits around 30. The big Winner mostly had one or two mistakes.

I hope we too will find a repair for two generations lost in grammar
limbo.

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#162758 - 11/01/06 02:13 PM Re: Grammar
Father Steve Offline
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Might could consider teaching it here, too.

The teaching of history in the US of A has fallen prey to a kind of political correctness which so warps the process that perhaps it is better left untaught.

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#162759 - 11/01/06 09:54 PM Re: Grammar
themilum Offline
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Well said, Father Steve. Sad, but well said.

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#162760 - 11/03/06 09:07 PM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Quote:

University students unable to write a clear article and teachers not knowing the rules themselves.




On a similiar note: I have a son in college.
His written assignments must be submitted in hardcopy and electronically.
I asked why and learned of a web resource the professors at his University use to detect plagurism. The electronic version is submitted to a site that automatically compares blocks of text to known sources.
Technology has taken away our need to learn to add, spell, form proper sentences.
But it is interesting that it also simplifies the detection of cheating!
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#162761 - 11/04/06 04:56 AM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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Quote:

Quote:

University students unable to write a clear article and teachers not knowing the rules themselves.




Technology has taken away our need to learn to add, spell, form proper sentences.
But it is interesting that it also simplifies the detection of cheating!




Of course it's pointless to compare the ('good') old times to now.
There's benefits and there are losses.
Technology simplifies the detection of cheating .

.There was hardly any cheating before technology made it so easy.
Both my sons went succesfully through university. They made extracts and papers themselves. When I was in college we read all the books and made the extracts ourselves. Now I still have a foster-son who I saw pull extracts from the computer and he never ever read the books.
And all his friends do.

.It's the cat chasing it's own tail somehow. Technogoly (strongly put) caused cheating, so now it's given credit for detecting cheating easily.

In 'hand written times' /.\ cheating wasn't even an issue (exept for the usual exeptions, which by the way were detected by an attentive teacher-prof just as easily. )
I know there is no way back, but I love creativity, craft, handwork and this complaint is heard from Dutch education managers and professors.. Lots of people still care and are worried about the basic capacity to express
thoughts, feelings and idea's in well written compositions.

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#162762 - 11/04/06 07:32 AM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Well put, BranShea!
I, too, find myself lamenting "the good old days" far more often as I gain years.

Remember the old adage:
When you take from one source it is plagurism.
But when you take from several sources it is called research.
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#162763 - 11/04/06 08:28 AM Re: grandma's glimmering glamour
zmjezhd Offline
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Funny. What was the need for prescriptive grammars back in the Victorian and Georgian eras? All the lads (sans lasses) were getting their daily dose of grammar in their grammar schools and being caned for cheating or by other means molded into model subjects of His or Her Majesty. So why is it that no matter how far back one goes, people then also complained about the language being degraded and becoming decayed and harkened back to the Golden Days™ when the language was pure and fraffly well spoken?
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#162764 - 11/04/06 08:30 AM Re: I stole it
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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interesting word.

plagiarism |'plj??riz?m| noun the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.
DERIVATIVES plagiarist noun plagiaristic |?pl?j??ristik| adjective ORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Latin plagiarius ‘kidnapper’ (from plagium ‘a kidnapping,’ from Greek plagion) + -ism .


(sorry for all the question marks... too early for me to digging up unicode/html code...)


Edited by etaoin (11/04/06 08:37 AM)
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#162765 - 11/04/06 09:08 AM Re: "plagurism"
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Addendum to etaoin's post: What's your excuse, PT, since you were educated before you allege "technology" took away the ability to spell (and know, or at least look up, roots)?

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#162766 - 11/04/06 10:43 AM Re: granny's pearls
BranShea Offline
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Yes Zmjezhd, I know that. All through history writers and educaters complain about this thing. But that is more a reassurance than a reason for regrets. I only find it hard to accept that so to speak
'the baby is thrown away with the bathwater'. Computers fine! But why throw away the basic clear common rules for commumication because we do not 'need 'them any more. They change all the time, that's OK, but
when I get a letter from someone working at my bank that starts with a total mess- sentence while she proudly puts a Drs. (meaning a university degree) behind her signature I feel embarrassed and send her a letter of complaint. Maybe a lost figh already, but ....


Edited by BranShea (11/04/06 10:44 AM)

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#162767 - 11/06/06 08:01 AM Re: "plagurism"
ParkinT Offline
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Quote:

Addendum to etaoin's post: What's your excuse, PT, since you were educated before you allege "technology" took away the ability to spell (and know, or at least look up, roots)?




Laziness (masked as overly busy). I have been duly reprimanded.
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#162768 - 11/08/06 01:47 PM Overly busy
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Works for me!

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#162769 - 11/13/06 09:08 AM Re: Grammar
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Loc: Virginia, USA
"Technology simplifies the detection of cheating ."
In some cases it does, but not in others. The amount of cheating that technology helps to detect is about 1 one millionth of that which it enables. My oldest daughter is furious that so many kids in her "honors" and "AP" classes are cheating. She talks to them about it - trying to get them to change their ways, but they INSIST that their parents actually expect them to cheat - to do ANYTHING to get better grades.

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#162770 - 11/13/06 10:24 AM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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This exemplifies an even larger problem with our (American) culture.
You see it in the childrens' sports events, too.
"Do anything to win". I think it is reinforced with these ridiculous television programs of (supposed) competition; survivor, great race, top model, whatever!

Hey, FF. Do you live in NoVA?
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#162771 - 11/13/06 11:06 AM Re: Grammar
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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"Hey, FF. Do you live in NoVA?"
Yes.

"The amount of cheating that technology helps to detect is about 1 one millionth of that which it enables. "
The truth is sufficiently tragic and irritating that it is dimeaned by this sort of hyperbole. We should also acknowledge that the truth is also more complicated than the discussion so far reflects.

There is, sadly, as with so many other tnings, a racial tinge to the conversation. My daughters have always been proud of their dual ethnicity, but recently my oldest daughter was almost teary when she confided that "sometimes she was ashamed to be asian."

She says that she's under enormous pressure to cheat. Other students are always trying to give her unsolicited information - and sometimes when she's desperate she's tempted. Sometimes they're really obnoxious about it - "HA! You're SOOOO STUPID! You spent all that time working on that lab and the whole thing is posted online!"

So far she has nearly straight As, but she expects her grades to drop soon. This is not something that worried me in school. I really didn't care in school. I actually believed (and still believe) that cheaters eventually get what's coming to them. Also, I just never cared about grades - not my own, and not anyone else's.

But this is really getting her. She's looking into colleges and is saying, "Daddy, look, I'm taking two APs this year and I'm barely hanging on. These other guys are 5 APs and they're getting the same grades. But colleges don't have any way of knowing who got their grades by doing the work and who got it by cheating."

"Well, not directly, but they're probably going to think it's pretty suspicious when someone gets straight As, but only gets a 3 on the AP."

"Not true. They have a ready excuse - 'I just don't test well.'"

"Well, why don't you just rat them out? Give them a warning - and say anyone I catching cheating after a certain date will be turned in."

"I can't! They're already pissed at me. Even the teachers will be won't believe who's doing it and you KNOW their parents won't. I just wanna get through this."

"How can your teachers fix things, if they don't understand the magnitude of the problem? Things are only going to change with you and other students make a stand."

And so on. Of course sports has similar issues, largely because there are full scholarships available for sports.

Actually, I've spoken to the principle about this - and he's taken a small measure to improve things, but she's still miserable. It sucks, but I'm convinced she's going to have to either accept it or act herself.


Edited by TheFallibleFiend (11/13/06 11:31 AM)

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#162772 - 11/13/06 11:25 AM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Loc: Orlando
I only asked about NoVA because (until 2004) I lived in Sterling for 16 years.
========
My son, in a Computer Science major in college, has encountered similar difficulties. The most astounding was a situation where one student was obviously cheating on software programming assigments.
The work he turned in was a direct cut-and-paste from online examples (including the comments!). What flabbergasted me was this:
when several students made a complaint to the instructor, the instructor addressed the issue by reprimanding the student (in private) for COPYING CODE COMMENTS FROM THE INTERNET.
You are apparently a software developer so you can appreciate how utterly ridiculous a concept this is!! Copying Comments!!
No penalty for cheating! No public disucssion about stealing his work.
This student received the same diploma as the rest of the class.
The only consoling factor is that this student will never keep a job as a software developer.

All: Please forgive the rant.
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#162773 - 11/13/06 11:48 AM Re: Grammar
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Registered: 01/23/02
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I taught various programming classes in college - BASIC, PL/I, Pascal, advanced FORTRAN, assembler, and Algorithms. In fact, the woman I would eventually start dating and marry took 3 courses from me and dropped each one within a few days. (Some people thought I inflated grades, but they ignored that I had a very high drop rate in the dept, sometimes as high as 50%.)

Anyway, the students occasionally absolutely confounded by the fact that I could detect cheating on their assignments. "How can you POSSIBLY PROVE THAT?" as if it were a big mystery or something.

Reminds me of an incident that happened with my oldest daughter when she's about 4 or 5. It went something like this:
"Amy! Come here! Did you write on this wall?"
"No. Maybe grampa did it."
"Hmmm...well, I asked him and he said he didn't do it."
"Well, maybe Anna (her about 1 year old sister) did it."
"Hmmm...that's an interesting idea, except for two things. First, I don't think she can reach that high, and secondly, I don't THINK she knows how to spell your name."

Usually, when my students cheated, it was about that obvious. I typically told them I wasn't accepting it unless they wanted me to split the grade between them. I always gave them a chance to do over, but I see now I should have been a lot more rigid on this. Inexperience. One of my coworkers also used to teach in college. He always just split their grade and never gave them a chance to make up. He made the students submit electronic copy and wrote a program to compare all the programs in the class.

My daughter consoles herself that the cheaters will eventually do themselves in - like that girl at Harvard who was found guilty of plagiarism. OTOH, that girl was never found guilty of cheating at school.

Her parents did, however, pay a huge amount to have a groomer prep her for entry to her favorite college. Reminds my daughter of a girl in her school who has and has always had an individual tutor for every single subject. She's pretty mad that this girl got into Governor's school as a sophomore when my daughter was rejected. Jealousy is unbecoming. I don't think there's any reason to believe that my daughter's friend is actually cheating and I don't that there's any reason to believe that Harvard student was cheating on her schoolwork either.

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#162774 - 11/13/06 12:12 PM Re: cheating, plagiarism, and lack
zmjezhd Offline
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Cheating was rampant in all the institutions where I've taught CS. On the first day of class, while reviewing the syllabus, I would point out the official university policy on cheating and plagiarism (by URL). Then I would say that if they were going to cheat, they'd have to do it well enough so that I couldn't detect it. Otherwise, immediate F on the offending assignment. It also helped that on programming assignments, I always supplied the API that they needed to implement. It changed from semester to semester and was unlike any other API that I could find on the web. I, too, have seen code copied from elsewhere with copyrights and explanatory comments intact.

My wife teaches also. She once had a student who handed in a mostly (i.e., 80%) plagiarized assignment. The student's excuse when confronted. She'd had a friend do the assignment for her, and it was that friend who was guilty of the plagiarism!
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#162775 - 11/13/06 02:09 PM Re: Grammar
Father Steve Offline
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They have a ready excuse - 'I just don't test well.'"

I consulted on an extremely senstive issue like this once, where a student/candidate did poorly on a three-day written examination but insisted that this was becuase he did not "test well." Wishing to indulge every charity toward the candidate, the group reviewing the results conceded that not everyone is well suited to a pencil-and-paper timed exam (done on a computer keyboard with a word processor, actually). So they determined to conduct an old-fashioned sit down with the candidate and converse kind of re-examination. What they discovered was that the testee showed even more poorly on the subsequent examination, which, in that case, put to rest the "I don't test well" excuse.

Moral: If you are charged with examining students who want to become brain surgeons, it is not a good idea to defer to their protestations that they do not test well until they have mucked up the brains of several patients, thereby demonstrating their incompetence ... especially if there is any chance that you might become one of their patients.

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#162776 - 11/13/06 02:24 PM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 293
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Quote:

I typically told them I wasn't accepting it unless they wanted me to split the grade between them.



Very Solomonic!

======================
BTW: How many Object Oriented Programmers does it take to replace a lightbulb?
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#162777 - 11/13/06 02:28 PM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Quite an apros pro example, Father.
Although I have argued the invalidity of (so called) I.Q. tests for many years - because the testers' ability to read/comprehend/deduce the test and the test-creator's ability to communicate are in question - I agree that a major part of everyday life involves these skills.
If you are unable to do well on a standardized test, it requires mastering the skill; not supplying a simple excuse.
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#162778 - 11/13/06 02:29 PM Graduation
ParkinT Offline
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Loc: Orlando
Hey!
That last post graduated me to Journeyman!!!

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#162779 - 11/13/06 02:33 PM Re: Graduation
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Quote:

Hey!
That last post graduated me to Journeyman!!!




Rut-roh! Ain't no stoppin' him now!

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#162780 - 11/13/06 02:41 PM Re: Graduation
ParkinT Offline
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In a college class, the onery old teacher (with whom I did not get along well) once accused me:
Constipation of ideas and
Diarrhea of words

I believe, 40 years later, I am able to offer prove to the contrary.
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#162781 - 11/13/06 02:47 PM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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#162782 - 11/13/06 02:56 PM Re: Grammar
of troy Offline
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parkins, every one knows, programmers don't change lightbulbs, it a hardware problem.

(unless of course they are MS programmers, then they still don't change the lightbulb, but they do market darkness as a 'feature' (and charge more $$ for it!)
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#162783 - 11/14/06 01:57 PM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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True, of troy.
But the query did specify the "Object Oriented Programmer". This is a bit more specific pertaining to peculiar features in Object Oriented Languages that support the answer:

"None. Providing the Constructors and Destructors were properly coded"

Alternately, "None. The new lightbulb is inherited from the lamp"
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#162784 - 11/14/06 04:33 PM Re: Grammar
of troy Offline
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Oh thanks i'll add that nuance to my collection of light bulb jokes..

meanwhile i hope you enjoy this--
why do Unix programmers confuse Halloween and Christmas?

(answer in white text on white background below-- highlight) to see

Ans: because Oct 31=Dec 25{/color]


Edited by of troy (11/14/06 04:33 PM)
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#162785 - 11/14/06 05:35 PM Re: Grammar
TEd Remington Offline
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Oh I like that!
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#162786 - 11/14/06 08:15 PM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Yes, that is "an oldie but a goodie".
Just like:
There are 10 kinds of people:
Those who understand binary
Those who don't
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#162787 - 11/14/06 09:35 PM Re: Grammar
of troy Offline
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one of my other passions is knitting.. you can learn some basics if you read the essay "hex and bin, meet my friends, knit and purl" (google it, lots of people have links to it.

knitting is binary made visible.
(the site Woollythougts over in the UK is another that has many idea's about knittings binary nature... they also have knit fractals and other cool math stuff.
(i have knit moebius scarves (a single edge) and Kleinbottle hats (for my math geek son))

but this doesn't have much to do with grammer does it?
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#162788 - 11/15/06 07:05 AM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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Helen, from another knitting adept. This is grammar too and it was
darn difficult to decifer it.

And this is what the grammar turned into:

( Pattern- grammar and mouse taken prisoner during image-host's site recontruction)


Knitting once saved the life of a man taken prisoner by the red army, who during the long march in 1934 with Mao Zedong was kept alive because he could knit clothing /sweaters-mittens for tha army. Whenever someone talks disdainful about knitting I say :learn it , it may save your life one day". Just a lighthearted item after a serious and not yet resolved problem.


Edited by BranShea (11/20/06 08:36 PM)

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#162789 - 11/16/06 06:35 AM Re: Grammar
Faldage Offline
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Quote:



knitting is binary made visible.


(i have knit moebius scarves (a single edge) and Kleinbottle hats (for my math geek son))







And cables are circular shifts.

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#162790 - 11/16/06 08:00 AM Re: Grammar
of troy Offline
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no cables are more like multiplication

take the first 4 bits of a byte,
(take the first 4 stitches of cable)
and put them into into a register
(and put them onto a cable needle)
Process the Upper 4 bits
(knit the next 4 stitches)
Take the bits from the register and process them
(take the 4 stitches off the cable needle and work them)

its been eon since i did any assembly language, (and i might have messed up the jargon) but cables are more like multipication than anything else.

of course there are cable that (diamond say in aran) that function more like for next loops with limiters..
where X (the cable) progresses in 1 stitch increments till it equals a max number, and then decreases till min number and then repeats.

knitting directions look very much like assembly code.
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#162791 - 11/17/06 05:58 AM Re: Grammar
Faldage Offline
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The first four stitches go onto a holding needle and the next four stitches go in the row. Next pass the second four stitches become the first four and the first four get knitted back on to the working needles as the second four. Left circular shift four.

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#162792 - 11/17/06 07:13 AM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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You will be amongst the survivers!-+_-+_-+_-+_

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#162793 - 11/17/06 08:37 AM Re: Grammar
TEd Remington Offline
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Yeah, but can you Nittany Lions?
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#162794 - 11/17/06 09:02 AM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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Nitters can nit whatever they like to pick.

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#162795 - 11/20/06 11:30 AM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Quote:

Nitters can nit whatever they like to pick.



A purl of wisdom?
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#162796 - 11/20/06 12:28 PM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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A mouse that roared.

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#162797 - 12/11/06 03:26 PM Re: Grammar
BranShea Offline
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A mere basic grammar question, which I would be glad to find an answer to:

When I put the TV on I just heard someone say :

" After all I'm a Stevens , aren't I?"
This is plural for the verb but not for the personal pronoun. Is this correct?

Should it maybe have been or could there also be used here: " , am I not?"

Are both forms correct maybe ? Would anyone be willing to aswer this question? Is it spoken and not written language perhaps?

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#162798 - 12/11/06 06:19 PM Re: Aren't I
Faldage Offline
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Another case of the rules being totally inapplicable to the language as she is spoke.

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#162799 - 12/11/06 06:44 PM Re: Aren't I
TEd Remington Offline
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Might have something to do with the royal we.

During Victoria's reign, things Australian and African were much in vogue. One time Vicky and all the ladies in her court dressed up to look like ostriches for a costume party.

A male member of the court mentioned to the Victoria that he thought they made absolutely stunning emus. Vicky drew herself up to her full height, which wasn't much, and looked down at the courtier haughtily and intoned those historical words: "We are not emus."

Of course this has nothing to do with the discussion at hand, but I can never resist even the remotest opportunity to tell that story.
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#162800 - 12/11/06 10:26 PM Re: Aren't I
of troy Offline
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a case is made for bringing back ain't!
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#162801 - 12/12/06 03:20 AM Re: aren't I tag questions
zmjezhd Offline
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One theory about its origin, which I read many years ago, is that it is a hypercorrected and rhoticized pronounciation of ain't (amn't).
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#162802 - 12/12/06 08:00 AM Re: aren't I tag questions
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Quote:

One theory about its origin, which I read many years ago, is that it is a hypercorrected and rhoticized pronounciation of ain't (amn't).




That's my understanding, too, helen o.t. and zm.

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#162803 - 12/12/06 08:13 AM Re: aren't I tag questions
BranShea Offline
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Yes, that makes sense as the sound rolls a bit similar. The word rhoticized may be quite a young word and is new to me. None of the dictionaries could present it. Only Wikipedia.


Edited by BranShea (12/12/06 08:14 AM)

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#162804 - 12/12/06 12:32 PM Re: Grammar
ParkinT Offline
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Registered: 10/30/06
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Your first instinct is correct.
The proper use of "I" and "me" is very often confused in (American Culture) English.
I can still recall grade-school teachers emphasizing the proper use of "John and I" as opposed to "John and me" and I think this has caused us to resist (hesitate) using "me" when it is appropriate; as in, "Carry that for Mom and me".

Additionally, I am continually annoyed by the misuse of "myself"; as in, "If you have any questions contact Bill or myself"
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#162805 - 12/12/06 06:06 PM Re: Grammar
Faldage Offline
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Quote:


The proper use of "I" and "me" is very often confused in (American Culture) English.




The proper use of "ye" and "you" is gone completely in almost all dialects of English, even disregarding the improper use of it as a singular pronoun.

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