Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 295198 times)

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Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2009, 11:12:27 AM »
Just wanted to show English is not alone in being abused by native speakers. :)

I'm sure it happens everywhere. Because...people are the same wherever you go.

Offline Florestan

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2009, 11:14:14 AM »
people are the same wherever you go.

Agreed.

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.Victor Hugo

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2009, 11:28:01 AM »
I say "indeed" all the time. It makes me feel so gay inside.

Indeed?

As a teacher of German, I can verify that Deutsch is infamous for its jargon: there are even special courses in "Business German" so that one can learn e.g. the 30 or 40 prepositions which will only be found in business memos!   :o

And then there are the compounds and acronyms! 

Kafka, I used to tell my students, was only possible in German, with his tales of out-of-control bureaucrats!
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2009, 11:50:47 AM »
Kafka, I used to tell my students, was only possible in German, with his tales of out-of-control bureaucrats!
Like that's never, you know, happened here--as if, Gogol, duh!  Whatever.

P.S.  I plead guilty to indeed!
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2009, 12:00:05 PM »
Like that's never, you know, happened here--as if, Gogol, duh!  Whatever.

P.S.  I plead guilty to indeed!

I fear that all bureaucrats have a tendency to go out of control!  Is not the only entity growing in employment right now the...government, especially the FedGov?

More stuff coming in to my desk today:

Three words for one: Medical Care Center = Hospital

or Medical Care Outreach Center = Small Hospital
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2009, 12:12:21 PM »
I fear that all bureaucrats have a tendency to go out of control!  Is not the only entity growing in employment right now the...government, especially the FedGov?

More stuff coming in to my desk today:

Three words for one: Medical Care Center = Hospital

or Medical Care Outreach Center = Small Hospital
Then I trust you do not specify a word count in writing assignments to your classes?
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2009, 01:54:10 PM »
Then I trust you do not specify a word count in writing assignments to your classes?

The padded anorexic is always easy to spot!   $:)

Seen in Atlantan suburbs, when we lived there 2 years ago: "Caution: Traffic Calming Devices Ahead" = Speed Bumps!   :o

In Atlanta they were also known as "Speed Humps", which I always thought was a surefire route to Divorce Court!   $:)
"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 #47 on: February 09, 2009, 02:26:07 PM »
Oh, and by the way:

The following hillbillyism seems to be spreading (my wife heard it on talk shows, and I have caught it on regular TV shows at least twice):

"I graduated high school"  or "I graduated Catholic schools."

NO! NO! NO!  $:)

You might be a graduated cylinder, but you need to graduate from high school, and if you don't use "from" with graduate, you should be sent to sit with the Kindergarten class! 

Yeah, I know, I'm a meany!  Just call me Isotope Feeny!
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2009, 02:35:13 PM »
Oh my, what a big load of fuddy duddy, arty farty, namby pamby anal stick-in-the-muds you all are...

Sure is good to be home  ;D

Dr. Dread

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2009, 02:37:06 PM »
Oh my, what a big load of fuddy duddy, arty farty, namby pamby anal stick-in-the-muds you all are...

Sure is good to be home  ;D

The Mogster.  8)

Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2009, 02:57:46 PM »
The Mogster.  8)

I expect i'll be spanked for not hyphenating "arty farty" and all that jazz. Grammar is important, granted, but i'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I feel comfortable enough with the rules to bend them to my will!  ;D


Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2009, 03:05:24 PM »
I expect i'll be spanked for not hyphenating "arty farty" and all that jazz. Grammar is important, granted, but i'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I feel comfortable enough with the rules to bend them to my will!  ;D



No, you will be censured for using the phrase at all!   $:)

Scatology is always inappoopriate!   :o
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2009, 03:14:21 PM »
Scatology is always inappoopriate!   :o

New rule folks. You turd the man.  >:D

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2009, 03:29:44 PM »
New rule folks. You tarred the man.  >:D

I am sure you meant "tarred", and if you aren't careful, we'll add "feathered" as well!   :o

Some people have asked me for vocabulary which will not only increase their erudition, but also their paychecks!  To be sure, this is a niche market, and if it were more philosophical, it could be a Nietzsche market.

Anyway, today's word is "apodictic"  (aka apodeictic), meaning that a statement is so obvious, it either does not need to be proven, or is very easily proven. 

So when you show your report on X to your superior, you should say: "You will be happy to know that my conclusions are apodictic!"

If your boss is a Yale man, however, all bets are off!   $:)
"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 #54 on: February 09, 2009, 03:32:50 PM »
Sorry, I will not and cannot agree.  Sister Mary Claude was not wrong about this!  You can use "eh" to talk about the first letter of the alphabet, otherwise not as a pronunciation for the indefinite article. 

And I don't care if you can find dictionaries which accept it!   :D
Editors of newer dictionaries who have acquiesced to this monstrosity should be drawn and quartered, burned at the stake, and smeared with peanut butter from Georgia factories.   :o

I can certainly find dictionaries. I don't think you mean the acceptance to be a subsidiary clause. Therefore: And I don't care if you can find dictionaries that accept this. Sorry but this misuse of 'which' is one thing that particularly annoys me.
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2009, 03:38:29 PM »
Sorry but this misuse of 'which' is one thing that particularly annoys me.

Which old which?  ;)

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2009, 04:43:05 PM »
I can certainly find dictionaries. I don't think you mean the acceptance to be a subsidiary clause. Therefore: And I don't care if you can find dictionaries that accept this. Sorry but this misuse of 'which' is one thing that particularly annoys me.

Yes, I do!  "Which" refers to the dictionaries, and opens the subordinate clause "Which accept this."  Not a misuse!   0:)  If "that" is a conjunction, what then is the subject of "accept" ???

A very pure purist would say that "that" should only be used for indirect discourse, and never as a relative pronoun, which (!) is what "that" still is in your version.

But the very pure purists are not around!   $:)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 04:45:26 PM by Cato »
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2009, 05:17:20 PM »
The wicked which!

Sorry, Ben..."arty farty" might be correct among the airy fairies in jolly old, but we couthless colonials call it "artsy fartsy" -- got a thing for plurals, I guess!

Another pet peeve:  using "was" instead of "were" in conditionals, i.e. "If I wasn't a gentleman, I'd tie your tongue in knots."  Obviously the speaker is NOT a gentleman.  If he were a gentleman, he would use the subjunctive case!
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2009, 05:40:00 PM »
"Full of scatological rock 'n' roll" . . . let's do The Strain!

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #59 on: February 09, 2009, 05:40:43 PM »


Another pet peeve:  using "was" instead of "were" in conditionals, i.e. "If I wasn't a gentleman, I'd tie your tongue in knots."  Obviously the speaker is NOT a gentleman.  If he were a gentleman, he would use the subjunctive case!

Quite right!  And you hear supposedly educated people unable to use the subjunctive correctly, another failure of English departments across the country.

Teaching the subjunctive to adolescents throughout the years has produced befuddled stares and puddles of drool from many of my students.  My wife claims that they cannot understand such a concept properly, because their brains are still developing.

I am not so sure about that, in spite of the research.  Some students have grasped the idea of contrary-to-fact and future-less-vivid conditions, etc.  My present group of students (Grades 6-8) are the youngest I have had: I will admit that only a minority correctly understand the difference between e.g. "If he was at the party, then he saw my sister there" (A Past True Condition in the Indicative Mood) vs. "If he were at the party, he would see my sister there" (Present Contrary-to-Fact Condition in the Subjunctive Mood).

A quixotic quest!   0:)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

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