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#206133 - 06/20/12 06:17 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: tsuwm]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
here's a llittle bit of that there evidence.

Really? Really? I read the peeves, the same old "I could care less" peeves, but I saw not the "evidence" that communication is going to hell in a handbasket. Maybe I skimmed.
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#206134 - 06/20/12 06:31 PM Re: draw me a sentence as a flying nun [Re: tsuwm]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
a decriptivist might surmise that he meant "Latin became" here.

Boy howdy. Gonna fire me my editor. He's been slackin' on the job. Wait a minute. I do not have an editor.

And a tit-for-tat peever would say "always start a sentence with a capital letter". In this case "A".

But seriously, or at least I'm serious about it: you do not see the difference between solecisms, usage choices, and simple typos? For me to mistype "because" instead of "became" is not really going to change the language.

I have been rereading Kitty Burns Florey's Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences and so, I am understandably a little cranky. She just does not seem to understand that Reed-Kellogg diagrams are a rather piss-poor tool for illustrating grammar.

Oh, and Miguelito: I have corrected my typo. Hope your blood pressure returns to normal ...
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#206140 - 06/20/12 10:28 PM Re: draw me a sentence as a flying nun [Re: zmjezhd]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10523
Loc: this too shall pass
and yours, Jimbo. (now where did I stick that there smiley?!)

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#206151 - 06/21/12 04:55 AM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: zmjezhd]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
here's a llittle bit of that there evidence.

Really? Really? I read the peeves, the same old "I could care less" peeves, but I saw not the "evidence" that communication is going to hell in a handbasket. Maybe I skimmed.

But dear Jim dear.. how can you expect evidence of something that has not yet happened? That article is about how to keep things clear and understandable now. Nobody there said language is going to hell altogether.

I'm a slow reader. I love to read an attractive sentence twice before I continue. But when I must read a sentence twice or thrice because it gets stuck somewhere or makes no sense, I'm irritated about it. Annoyed. ( hmm.. whistle.. a bit less fanatic then you). And that happens more often now.

I never knew you have been tortured with this in your early years:
Link


Edited by BranShea (06/21/12 05:31 AM)

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#206154 - 06/21/12 07:15 AM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: BranShea
how can you expect evidence of something that has not yet happened? That article is about how to keep things clear and understandable now. Nobody there said language is going to hell altogether.



People have been saying language is going to hell altogether for at least 400 years. Also, languages don't go through these changes at a constant rate. We can pretty much understand Shakespeare with minimal help from notes, mostly about word meanings but check these samples:

Originally Posted By: Alfred the Great (849-899)
Geenc hwelc witu us a becomon for isse worulde, a a we hit nohwer ne selfe ne lufodon ne eac orum monnum ne lefdon!


compared with

Originally Posted By: Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)
This frere bosteth that he knoweth helle,
And God it woot, that it is litel wonder;
Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder.


And grammatical correctness is not a guarantee of understandability. Here's a headline from BBC News:

Escaped wallaby caught using huge fishing net

Sure, it could be worded differently, but there's nothing grammatically wrong with it.

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#206155 - 06/21/12 08:31 AM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: BranShea]
gooofy Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: BranShea

But dear Jim dear.. how can you expect evidence of something that has not yet happened?


Right, so when it starts happening, show us the evidence. Until then, what is the fuss about?

Anyway, the evidence suggests that it is not going to happen. Surely it would have happened already? Between the years of 1100 and 1700 English grammar was not taught, there was no such thing as standard English spelling. And yet some of our best writers produced some the greatest English literature in that period.

Originally Posted By: BranShea

That article is about how to keep things clear and understandable now.


No it isn't, it's about people complaining about usages they don't like. The article presents no evidence that disputed usages or unedited English is causing or will cause any large-scale communication breakdown.


Edited by gooofy (06/21/12 08:56 AM)

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#206156 - 06/21/12 10:23 AM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: BranShea]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
I never knew you have been tortured with this in your early years:

To be perfectly honest, I am one of those rare students (like Florey) who enjoyed diagramming sentences. It's just that I don't think it helped me to be a better writer.

Somebody, somewhere , mentioned that we are being exposed to a lot more perishable writing because of technology (i.e., the Internet). There is an interesting book in my library, sitting near to the peevers' shelves, written by Charles Frees, an American linguist, called American English Grammar: The Grammatical Structure of Present-Day American English With Especial Reference to Social Differences or Class Dialects (1940). He uses as corpus files of informal correspondence of the US government. His is perhaps one of the first attempts at writing a descriptive grammar of General American English. As you might imagine, he found plenty of examples of where the actual grammar of GAE differs significantly from that prescribed by the peevers.
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#206159 - 06/21/12 03:05 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: gooofy]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Quote:
So when it starts happening, show us the evidence. Until then, what is the fuss about?

By chance ( or devils' play smile ) today I received an email letter from an employee of my insurance company about a damage declaration. Pity I can't copy it as evidence; it is not written in English. The composition showed that the writer was unable to transmit compact clear information. No fun. I answered her to explain that maybe after I would have regrouped her text( typo's, gaps, useless unclear repetitions, misspellings) I would be able to react to the contents. Simply a confusing mess, nt because the case is complicated, but because she messed up the language.

She directly answered with sincere apologies and excuses about pressure and having to send the letter to several adresses simultaneously and proposed to give me a call instead of writing. She proved not to be a dumb person. She only misses the skill. I hope our conversation will be allright.



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#206160 - 06/21/12 04:21 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: BranShea]
gooofy Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 37
Originally Posted By: BranShea
The composition showed that the writer was unable to transmit compact clear information. No fun. I answered her to explain that maybe after I would have regrouped her text( typo's, gaps, useless unclear repetitions, misspellings) I would be able to react to the contents. Simply a confusing mess, nt because the case is complicated, but because she messed up the language.


You didn't understand it, so she will explain it to you, and if both of you really want to communicate, then communication will happen.

This sort of thing happens all the time. It happened 50 years ago and presumably it happened 500 years ago. Yeah it's a shame, but I don't see how it means "a loss of grammar", pace Barzun.


Edited by gooofy (06/21/12 05:39 PM)

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#206165 - 06/22/12 05:32 AM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: gooofy]
BranShea Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
No dear, you don't understand. It did not happen 50 years ago.
I've lived 69 of those and it did not happen that a business letter was ever presented like this. I could send you a copy just to show the looks of it, but you would stick to your point of view no doubt.
People like this would get fired.
Of course, after regrouping the message I got the details straight. But why the waste of time and energy. Like for so many wasted things, people don't care or are unaware of their failings. ( good for them )

Sure, we will always be able to communicate. So can the deaf and blind.




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