Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 357337 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4280 on: February 03, 2018, 06:30:30 PM »
« ...the Eighth symphony gives us Schuman at his boldest and most provocative best » (liner notes to Sony SMK 63163).

Isn’t there something superfluous in this collection of superlatives ?

A surfeit, 'tis true.

I suppose you can be at your best, but not be at your boldest?  Or most provocative?  However, if one is provocative, is not boldness required?

What say ye?
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4281 on: February 03, 2018, 06:42:52 PM »
I suppose you can be at your best, but not be at your boldest?  Or most provocative?  However, if one is provocative, is not boldness required?

What say ye?
No. Examples.

Czerny was a greater composer than Beethoven— bold but too silly to be provocative.
Abortion should always be legal  — provocative, at least in some company, but too common and conventional, especially in some different company, to be bold.
Ives is rarely worth listening to — bold, provocative.
Bach is a great composer — neither.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4282 on: March 05, 2018, 11:06:25 AM »
Quote
Starting with this film, there was been two Alien movies every decade up.
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

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4283 on: March 05, 2018, 11:15:25 AM »
Ives is rarely worth listening to — bold, provocative.

Who knew I was so bold?

kishnevi

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4284 on: March 05, 2018, 07:25:14 PM »
I suppose you can be at your best, but not be at your boldest?  Or most provocative?  However, if one is provocative, is not boldness required?

What say ye?

One can be provocative with intending to be. Ask anyone who was run afoul of the SJW twittersphere.

Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4285 on: March 05, 2018, 07:28:08 PM »
Quote
Starting with this film, there was been two Alien movies every decade up.

Is that even English?
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4286 on: March 06, 2018, 02:06:01 AM »
Is that even English?

Not as we know it . . . .
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

Offline André

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4287 on: March 06, 2018, 05:31:11 AM »


Is that even English?

The google translate kind, maybe?

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4288 on: March 07, 2018, 03:43:11 PM »
Recent monstrosities:

Two college stoonts: one used the grammar goblin "has went," the other used "had saw," and she was not a carpenter!   Hence the ironic spelling for "students."

My "favorite" local T.V. news show offered: "Ohio Lawmakers Get Sexual Harassment Training??? ??? ??? :o :o :o  Yes, what a shock!  Who knew that they are spending our tax dollars to get training in such a thing?!

Another grammar goblin from this same station: "Juvenile Judge Steps Down??? ??? ???  :o :o :o  Maybe they should have written: "Juvenile Court Judge", but as they used to say in the '70's when tongue-tiedness struck:  "I think YOU know what I'm trying to say!"

And from an upper-level banker who has two college degrees: "We usually go to the movies with she and her husband."  :'( :'( :'(

Yes, I will send that to she.  And I will never gossip about she.  Maybe I should check on she. $:)

Oy!  The barbarians are everywhere! 0:)

And don't get me started on the increasing number of people saying the article "a" like the "a" in "day."  :-X
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

ComposerOfAvantGarde

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4289 on: March 07, 2018, 03:45:44 PM »
Recent monstrosities:


And don't get me started on the increasing number of people saying the article "a" like the "a" in "day."  :-X

Oh dear........I almost never hear this. Why is it even a thing?

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4290 on: March 07, 2018, 04:21:31 PM »
Oh dear........I almost never hear this. Why is it even a thing?

You are in Australia, I  believe?   0:)

Here in America it is a thing, unfortunately.  My theory is that the Illiterati* think it makes them sound smarter...except....it does just the opposite!

*The Illiterati are often slopping over with education!  0:)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 04:26:13 PM by Cato »
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline Ken B

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4291 on: March 07, 2018, 10:05:52 PM »
Oh dear........I almost never hear this. Why is it even a thing?

It can be a form of emphasis to emphasize just one. “I said a man, not a pair”, The a would be long there. 
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4292 on: March 08, 2018, 02:01:29 AM »
When I first came into extended contact with native speakers I was also puzzled at the "long" indefinite article, but I also think that is is often used in way the Ken suggests. Still it is strange because unlike in several other languages (German "ein", Italian "un/o/a"...) in English one could say "*one* man, not several" without having to distinguish the indef article from the number.
And this "a" is pronounced like "day" in "standard" English, not like in Australia where the first letter of the alphabet rhymes with "bye".
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4293 on: March 09, 2018, 11:48:10 AM »
When I first came into extended contact with native speakers I was also puzzled at the "long" indefinite article, but I also think that is is often used in way the Ken suggests. Still it is strange because unlike in several other languages (German "ein", Italian "un/o/a"...) in English one could say "*one* man, not several" without having to distinguish the indef article from the number.
And this "a" is pronounced like "day" in "standard" English, not like in Australia where the first letter of the alphabet rhymes with "bye".

The way Australians torture all vowels is...scary!  0:) ;)
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4294 on: March 09, 2018, 11:52:00 AM »
Hence:  “Strine”
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

Offline Ken B

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4295 on: March 09, 2018, 12:08:31 PM »
The way Australians torture all vowels is...scary!  0:) ;)

Do they really count as native speakers of English?
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline André

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4296 on: March 09, 2018, 02:53:57 PM »
Don’t start that debate. The French sometimes express doubt about Quebecers being native speakers of French  :P.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4297 on: March 16, 2018, 05:41:04 PM »
So...a story about a "language" I have called "Educationalese."

Recently our faculty was spiritually and intellectually assaulted by an educational terrorist known as a "downtown bureaucrat," i.e. a failed teacher who became a paper-pusher and worthless-form creator to present the appearance that she/he still has any kind of competence in anything.

Supposedly she was addressing us on the topic of our new no-grade grading system.  :o

Our question: "How do we explain to parents that this is an improvement over A through F  or percentages?

(I am not making this up!  Recorded and transcribed by one of my colleagues (English teacher))

"We decided that you should, in terms of the old grading system, uh, be, uh, that you can be more subjective now, because uh, the uh, the standards give you more flexibility, because you have to uh, follow them, the standards, so you can be more subjective because the standards are objective, and so you can tell the parents that uh, that, that kind of uh, flexibility just wasn't possible."  ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

Long stunned pause, until Cato dared to raise his angry hand (a colleague said he saw steam coming out of my ears more than once):

"How can standards, which we must follow, give us flexibility?  Are we free to change or ignore them?"

"Uh,well, no!"

"So how is this new syetem flexible?  And it still is not clear how it's an improvement.  And can you define the words "subjective" and "objective" please, just to be sure we are understanding you?"  ;) ;) ;)

Long stunned pause while the bureaucrat turns red: a 40-something woman, who is sitting at the edge of a table.  "Well, you have uh, more, more flexibility in the classroom now because of the standards, and so that uh, that leads to more subjectivity because you can change grades now, if, if, uh, if you don't think the grade is accurate."   ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

I (innocently): "I'm sorry!  Weren't you told that we very easily adjusted grades when they were letters and percentages?  How is this any better or more accurate, when it smears together grades from 95 to 77 into one grade?"  (Yes, behold the new "nobody is better than anyone else" system.  The "A" kid is really equal to the "C-" kid: all distinctions are artificial anyway!  0:)   )

More hemming and hawing and run-on sentences, and no, she never defined "subjective" or "objective" for us, words she obviously does not understand.

Our Third Grade teacher muttered: "And she's making 50% more than we are!"
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble: Dante's Inferno via South Park?
« Reply #4298 on: March 23, 2018, 07:52:16 AM »
One of my more brilliant yet highly erratic Seventh Graders was sporting a "New Version" of Dante's Inferno.

The "blurb" on the book's jacket lionized this version by mentioning how the translator had used references to "Shakespeare and Dickinson, Freud and South Park, Kierkegaard and Stephen Colbert."   ??? :o

(For the non-Americans here, South Park is an obscene, satirical cartoon show not suitable for children  8), and Stephen Colbert is a left-wing political humorist (for the Germans, er ist dem Zyniker Harald Schmidt aehnlich.)

https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/kultur/fernsehen/Schmidt-ist-der-uebelste-Zyniker-den-ich-jemals-getroffen-habe/story/19564342

The book is decorated with ink-and-pen drawings by an Edward Gorey wannabe. :D

So color me skeptical, but I am thinking I should take a look through it.  Certainly The New Yorker was skeptical:

Quote
...She (i.e. Professor Mary Bang) writes, “I will be most happy if this postmodern, intertextual, slightly slant translation lures readers to a poetic text that might seem otherwise archaic and off-putting”—especially, I presume, to nineteen-year-olds. On the surface, this appears to be a laudable purpose, but whenever you hear those words “true to contemporary life,” run for cover.

The trouble starts on the first page. The pilgrim speaks of his relief upon issuing from the dark wood. He says that he felt like a person who, almost drowned at sea, arrives, panting, on the shore. Bang places him, instead, at the edge of a swimming pool. But these two things—the ocean and the neighborhood pool—are nowhere near the same, and every nineteen-year-old knows what the ocean is. Other anachronisms create worse problems. Bang, in her lines, includes references to Freud, Mayakovsky, Colbert, you name it. She picks up swatches of verse from T. S. Eliot and Sylvia Plath. But, if readers get into the swing of these, what are they going to do when they encounter the Roman Catholic theology that is the spine of the Divine Comedy, and which Bang says, in her introduction, that she will honor? (“God has to look down from Heaven; Satan has to sit at the center of Hell.”) Wouldn’t it be better if she let the reader know that there are old things as well as new things—that there is such a thing as history? She is not unaware of this, as her learned footnotes demonstrate. Why is she keeping it from her readers? If they knew it, they might find out who Mayakovsky is, which I doubt that they have done.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/05/27/what-the-hell
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 07:54:54 AM by Cato »
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline DaveF

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #4299 on: April 10, 2018, 12:41:42 AM »
The danger of the insufficiently-observed comma in speech - heard on BBC Radio 3 this morning:

"A concert by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, featuring music by Welsh composers Mozart and Gluck."

I knew there was something good about those two guys.
"Just because I like something, it doesn't mean it's any good."