Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 266224 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3960 on: March 20, 2017, 12:55:46 PM »
Read a recent James Ellroy novel. Or, try to.

Thanks for the reco... the warning!  8)  I know nothing of the author, so I will skim through a book at a store or the library! ;)
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Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3961 on: March 20, 2017, 02:33:12 PM »
I am not exaggerating!!! Not one verb the whole time!!!

I note here that sometimes Microsoft is to blame. It should of course be:
I am not exaggerating!!! not one verb the whole time!!!

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3962 on: March 21, 2017, 05:39:42 PM »
Some people seem to treat exclamation points like legal forms, seeming unable to process less than triple usage. (!!!)
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3963 on: March 21, 2017, 06:00:22 PM »
Some people seem to treat exclamation points like legal forms, seeming unable to process less than triple usage. (!!!)

 ;)  Aesthetic opinion: I do not like the look of two exclamation points.  So, either I use one, or for greater emphasis (or irony) I use three!!!  0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3964 on: March 22, 2017, 04:01:55 AM »
It works, mate.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3965 on: March 22, 2017, 04:20:26 AM »

Some people seem to treat exclamation points like legal forms, seeming unable to process less than triple usage. (!!!)

;)  Aesthetic opinion: I do not like the look of two exclamation points.  So, either I use one, or for greater emphasis (or irony) I use three!!!  0:)


It works, mate.

Well, I think so!   ;)

I will now quote a "sentence" in a letter from a company whose name begins with "3" and ends in "M." 0:)

Mrs. Cato had sent a letter complaining about the complete failure of one of their products.  4 weeks later, a response came containing the following monstrosity:

"We may require that pictures for quality control purposes and you did send us a sample of your tape so thank you!"  ??? ??? ??? :o :o :o

The letter also has this curiosity: "If you call, please mention this email..."

It used to be that a Jane Hathaway would scrutinize such letters, before they hit the mail, and fix any errors.  But today, "Spellcheck" is good enough, and Jane Hathaway is nowhere to be found.

"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3966 on: March 23, 2017, 05:21:59 AM »
;)  Aesthetic opinion: I do not like the look of two exclamation points.  So, either I use one, or for greater emphasis (or irony) I use three!!!  0:)

I really must edit my carol book:
"Hark!!! the herald angels sing."
"Ding, dong!!! merrily on high"

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3967 on: March 23, 2017, 05:44:14 PM »
I really must edit my carol book:
"Hark!!! the herald angels sing."
"Ding, dong!!! merrily on high"

Well, three is a mystical number!   :D

Our most recent grumble comes from my Latin class: one of the students wanted to know if the "word" yolo was from Latin.  This is not the first time I have heard the claim that "yolo" is Latin.

Latin has no "y" except in words borrowed from Greek. 

You Only Live Once is about as profound as Yodo, and would of course be disputed by the billion or so people who believe  in reincarnation. 0:)

Yoda of course is quite profound!  8)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3968 on: March 23, 2017, 05:50:51 PM »
Well, three is a mystical number!   :D

Our most recent grumble comes from my Latin class: one of the students wanted to know if the "word" yolo was from Latin.  This is not the first time I have heard the claim that "yolo" is Latin.

Latin has no "y" except in words borrowed from Greek. 

You Only Live Once is about as profound as Yodo, and would of course be disputed by the billion or so people who believe  in reincarnation. 0:)

Yoda of course is quite profound!  8)

There is a simple answer. Yolo is a stupid word, hence it comes from French.

 :D
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3969 on: March 23, 2017, 06:15:16 PM »
There is a simple answer. Yolo is a stupid word, hence it comes from French.
 :D

Yes!  So obvious!  ;D  I have often commented about English spelling: in general, if it makes no sense, blame French!  $:) ;)

"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3970 on: March 24, 2017, 02:12:40 AM »
Eaudious!

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Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Ken B

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3971 on: March 24, 2017, 04:57:30 AM »
Eaudious!

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A meretricious coinage!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set him on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3972 on: March 25, 2017, 04:12:14 AM »
Eaudious!

A meretricious coinage!

Bilingual puns!  Great stuff!  The rule seems to be: if you have a chance to make fun of French, do it!  ;)

Today's Wall Street Journal carries a book review of a biography of Mussolini's (main) mistress.  Toward the end of the piece, the reviewer notes the following about the author and his "mangled" technique in English:

Quote
...Mr. Bosworth can write with verve, and the two earlier books I read in part, “Mussolini’s Italy” and “Whispering City: Rome and Its Histories,” have many fine passages. But they also have many blunders, and my failure to finish them was due to the pervasive not-quite-rightness of their prose. In “Claretta,” this errancy reaches a whole new level, with solecisms and bafflingly inept formulations at every turn.

For starters, there are redundancies worthy of Dan Brown, such as “personal emotions” and the statement that Mussolini, looking in the mirror, spotted “new wrinkles on his face that had not been there before.” Nonsensical word choices abound: contempt is scribbled, evidence is hostile, stereotypes are aroused, hindsight remarks, opinion reads rumors, and someone protests vivaciously.

As for Mr. Bosworth’s sentences, they tend to be long and muddled. At times he is inadvertently funny in his clumsiness, as when he says that Mussolini, during sex, once “scratched [Claretta’s] nose painfully with the explanation that, sometimes, ‘I lose control.’ ” But it’s hard to do other than groan at a sentence like this: “On 30 January . . . Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany, a rise to power destined to set Europe ablaze.” The chancellor is a rise? The rise sets Europe ablaze? (Never mind that Churchill’s famous phrase was an injunction to his own Special Operations Executive.)

One expects this sort of thing from Wikipedia but not from the normally rigorous Yale University Press. “My book might be best read,” Mr. Bosworth advises the reader, “with the Sturm und Drang of Clara and Ben’s favourite music, Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, playing loudly in the background.” Perhaps, but not even a German symphony could drown out the screech of English being mangled.

(My emphasis above.)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-bed-with-il-duce-1490382122

One assumes that this Bosworth is NOT a descendant of the more famous James Bosworth! 0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Online Wendell_E

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3973 on: March 26, 2017, 05:26:39 AM »
One assumes that this Bosworth is NOT a descendant of the more famous James Bosworth! 0:)

I've heard of James Boswell, but not Bosworth. Who is he? Googling didn't help.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3974 on: April 01, 2017, 08:22:27 AM »
I've heard of James Boswell, but not Bosworth. Who is he? Googling didn't help.

My joke was too obscure: a character in an American TV show called Halt and Catch Fire, and no, he isn't famous!  8)

During a trip to the American South, we encountered some interesting curiosities in language. 0:)

A docent in Tennessee at an antebellum mansion kept saying "Mainsion," which we had never heard before.  The central part of Tennessee is never referred to as the "central" part of Tennessee.  Everywhere in central Tennessee, one sees instead "Middle Tennessee," from TV stations to trucks proclaiming "Middle Tennessee Plumbing."  And there are no short or single vowels which cannot be squeezed into annoying-sounding long ones (e.g. "eeny" = "any") or into diphthongs (e.g. "cla-owset" for "closet").

Also noticed: local T.V. reporters have a proper (or almost proper) Midwest (north of the Ohio River) pronunciation, but the T.V. weatherman is allowed to drawl like the local yokels.  ;)


"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3975 on: April 02, 2017, 03:20:30 AM »
Another curiosity: two docents at the Andrew Jackson estate in Nashville insisted several times that his wife had been accused of being a "bigot."  The accusation was used against him in his political campaigns and apparently led to the duel where he killed wife's slanderer.

To be sure, slavery was present on the estate, but that was not the docents' context.  They claimed she was called a "bigot" because her divorce from her abusive first husband had not quite been approved by a court before her second marriage to Jackson.

We sent the management a little note about the difference between "bigot" and "bigamist." ;)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3976 on: April 05, 2017, 04:45:33 PM »
Another use of a certain term...but not the right use!  Seen in Cincinnati!

Legendary Lawn and Garden Services  ??? ???
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3977 on: April 05, 2017, 05:41:02 PM »
Another use of a certain term...but not the right use!  Seen in Cincinnati!

Legendary Lawn and Garden Services  ??? ???
Oh I've heard of them. They are storied, a fabled outfit.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set him on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3978 on: April 06, 2017, 04:10:42 AM »
Oh I've heard of them. They are storied, a fabled outfit.

 :D  Wow!  Legendary, storied, AND fabled!

But are they...epic ?!

I had a professor of Byzantine History many moons ago, who opined that a society may be showing signs of trouble, when it constantly exaggerates its language, and inflates things which should not be inflated.

Or, as one learns in the cartoon movie The Incredibles, "if everyone is super, then nobody is."
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #3979 on: April 06, 2017, 04:27:18 AM »
Well, perhaps they only service legendary lawns & gardens?—

The Lawn at UVa . . .
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 05:17:37 AM by k a rl h e nn i ng »
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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