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#206106 - 06/19/12 08:42 PM Re: the risk of un-meaning [Re: Faldage]  
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Question: Are you saying you find Shakespeare readable or Neal Stephenson readable?
Shakespeare. As the 'he' in your question clearly refers to Shakespeare, not to Neal Stephenson.

Question:Do you suppose he would find it readable?
I think he would find it (Neal Stephenson) readable, (with a large amount of annotations).

#206112 - 06/20/12 07:36 AM Re: the risk of un-meaning [Re: Faldage]  
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Anyway dear Faldage, my concern is not whether our languages will still be readable in 500 years. My concern is how to keep them readable today!

#206116 - 06/20/12 10:37 AM Re: the risk of un-meaning [Re: BranShea]  
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My concern is how to keep them readable today!

The syntax of English has not changed too dramatically between Shakespeare's and Stephenson's times. The vocabulary and the meanings of many lexical items more so. I'd say the biggest changes have been in the cultural and knowledge areas. So while I can imagine that Shakespeare might, with some ramp-up time, be able to "read" Snow Crash, he probably wouldn't understand a lot of it.

The same holds for Stephenson reading Shakespeare (or a lesser known Elizabethan-Jacobean writer) without modern editions and critical apparatus.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#206117 - 06/20/12 10:53 AM Re: the risk of un-meaning [Re: BranShea]  
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
Anyway dear Faldage, my concern is not whether our languages will still be readable in 500 years. My concern is how to keep them readable today!


I think much of the concern about the state of the language these days is due to the explosion of unedited writing seen on the web. Unfortunately this unedited writing is moving into the print media with the layoffs of copy-editors at newspapers but that's another problem.

#206118 - 06/20/12 01:28 PM Re: the risk of un-meaning [Re: BranShea]  
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
Anyway dear Faldage, my concern is not whether our languages will still be readable in 500 years. My concern is how to keep them readable today!


But where is the evidence that unedited English, bad grammar, or whatever is leading to huge breakdowns in communication?

#206119 - 06/20/12 02:05 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: gooofy]  
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But where is the evidence that unedited English, bad grammar, or whatever is leading to huge breakdowns in communication?

Exactly! When languages change, it is because the speakers/writers are speaking/writing differently. Once a language changes enough, another language emerges. Latin changed greatly between Plautus' time and Ausonius'. Then it changed even more, until Latin became Italian, French, Spanish, etc. Is French a degenerate form of Latin? Or an improvement? Neither. It is merely a different language.

About the breakdown in communication, I have always wondered how a peever can correct somebody else's grammar. Shouldn't they just be uncomprehending? If you can understand me to give your "correct" version of what I just said/wrote, then you understood me and there is no need for "correction".

[Corrected the typo that tsuwm pointed out.]

Last edited by zmjezhd; 06/20/12 10:18 PM.

Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#206125 - 06/20/12 06:01 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: zmjezhd]  
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here's a llittle bit of that there evidence.

#206128 - 06/20/12 06:39 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: BranShea]  
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a decriptivist might surmise that he meant "Latin became" here.

#206129 - 06/20/12 06:40 PM Re: the risk of un-meaning [Re: zmjezhd]  
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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
My concern is how to keep them readable today!

The syntax of English has not changed too dramatically between Shakespeare's and Stephenson's times. The vocabulary and the meanings of many lexical items more so. I'd say the biggest changes have been in the cultural and knowledge areas. So while I can imagine that Shakespeare might, with some ramp-up time, be able to "read" Snow Crash,, he probably wouldn't understand a lot of it.

The same holds for Stephenson reading Shakespeare (or a lesser known Elizabethan-Jacobean writer) without modern editions and critical apparatus.

Yes, it would have to be (very roughly) one quarter book and three quarter footnotes.

#206130 - 06/20/12 06:54 PM Re: the migration of tongues [Re: tsuwm]  
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Originally Posted By: tsuwm
a decriptivist might surmise that he meant "Latin became" here.

Thanks. I did't mean to be a prescriptivist. Just did could not fill that in.


Last edited by BranShea; 06/21/12 08:58 AM.
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