Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 555402 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #240 on: February 21, 2009, 06:04:13 AM »
...I still cringe at "more unique."
Aye.  On the other hand, it's useful in letting us know right away that the speaker is an idiot.  It's handy that way, like the nearly ubiquitous use of "surreal" to mean...well, I'm not sure what they think they mean by it.  (Fun?  Thrilling?  Unusual?  Unique?)  



As for "email", I've no objection to using it as a noun to distinguish electronic mail from snail, and care not at all whether it's hyphenated or the "E" is printed in upper or lower case.  Rapid coinage, assimilation, and acceptance of new vocabulary is one of the English language's greatest strengths (along with a streamlined and flexible grammar), a corollary (perhaps even the cause?) of the cultural open-mindedness and pragmatism that have guided native speakers in learning and exploring new things at least since the time when Sir Francis Bacon invented science.
"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 Ten thumbs

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1444
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #241 on: February 21, 2009, 07:12:51 AM »
In our house we use the computer to send messages. An email is information written on the back of a used envelope, such as "Gone to the shop for some milk".
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 Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #242 on: February 21, 2009, 07:13:17 AM »
But then, to be sure, it was a long time before I assented to We're going out for a beer. (I still hold the line at cup of coffee.)

I drink neither, but will gladly head for any pop machine with Diet Dr. Pepper, which is why Arby's here in Columbus has become one of my favorite restaurants!   8)

Except I cannot eat much there: a 99% vegetarian in a roast beef joint has few choices!   $:)

Today's word is "hydrate" because of an incident in my school yesterday.  Two little first-grade girls ran past me and as they disappeared around the corner I heard a Munchkin voice saying:

"I must stay hydrated!"    :o    :o    :o

Disbelieving my ears, I turned around and headed around the corner, and there they were at a water fountain.

"Who said that they must stay hydrated?"
"She did," says the taller girl.
"And why must you stay hydrated?" I asked.
"Because I don't want to be dehydrated!" said the Munchkin with just a little disgust at needing to explain something so obvious to a pathetically dimwitted adult.
"Were you ever dehydrated?"
"Yes, when I had strep throat!  It was awful!  SO!  That's why I always want to stay hydrated!"  Unsaid at the end, but heavily implied by the tone of her voice, were the words "you dummy!"

The future of America!  Watch out for these 21st-century women: they are hydrated and ready to rule!   8)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 07:15:32 AM by Cato »
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #243 on: February 21, 2009, 07:32:07 AM »
This, too, strikes me as an example of the admirable flexibility of the language in accommodating and expressing new concepts.  Granted, hydrated has been used traditionally only as the past tense of the verb hydrate.  Using it as an adjective (akin to surprised or gobsmacked) seems inoffensive to me and is an encouraging indicator of increasing awareness of the virture of drinking adequate water...and, if you really want to split hairs, be reminded that our physical beings are mostly water, after all.  ;)
"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

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #244 on: February 21, 2009, 07:41:25 AM »
Hydrated munchkins . . . what a wonderful world!

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #245 on: February 21, 2009, 02:34:23 PM »
Hydrated munchkins . . . what a wonderful world!

And you have should have seen them!  They were bona fide members of the Lollipop Guild and the Lullaby League!   0:)

Speaking of Oz, I will admit to not knowing until the mid '90's that the Australians slangily call their home country Oz.

Apparently the sibilants in the word "Aussie" deteriorated to a "z" sound, and led one to the conclusion that an "Ozzie" must come from "Oz."

But where did Harriet come from?   :o


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #246 on: February 21, 2009, 03:11:25 PM »
So you know now what Strine is?  ;)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #247 on: February 21, 2009, 03:41:49 PM »
So you know now what Strine is?  ;)

Hoot mon!   8)

Once I stood in the main train station of Rome, the real Rome, not that punk town in New York state.

In front of me stands a 40-something American couple, complete with cameras around the neck, and in front of them stands an Australian.  I know he is an Australian because he is dressed in khakis, has the traditional Australian slouch hat with half the brim buttoned up, and has a kangaroo on a leash and a koala bear on his shoulder.  (Well, okay...)

He is speaking in the most Aussie accent imaginable to a woman, who is apparently his wife.  The American couple is overhearing the Aussies' conversation and the husband eventually blurts out:

"Hi there!  I couldn't help overhearing.  What part of England do you come from?"

At which question the Australian husband turns around as if he had just smelled the most mephitic rodent, curls up part of his mouth and nose as his gorge riseth, and snarls:

"OWSTRIYA!"

To which the American said in confusion, and in a very low voice: "Oh!"
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 05:01:52 PM by Cato »
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Jay F

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1376
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #248 on: February 21, 2009, 04:38:57 PM »
Aye.  On the other hand, it's useful in letting us know right away that the speaker is an idiot.  It's handy that way, like the nearly ubiquitous use of "surreal" to mean...well, I'm not sure what they think they mean by it.  (Fun?  Thrilling?  Unusual?  Unique?)

Awsum.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #249 on: February 22, 2009, 08:16:09 AM »
Hoot mon!   8)

Once I stood in the main train station of Rome, the real Rome, not that punk town in New York state.

In front of me stands a 40-something American couple, complete with cameras around the neck, and in front of them stands an Australian.  I know he is an Australian because he is dressed in khakis, has the traditional Australian slouch hat with half the brim buttoned up, and has a kangaroo on a leash and a koala bear on his shoulder.  (Well, okay...)

He is speaking in the most Aussie accent imaginable to a woman, who is apparently his wife.  The American couple is overhearing the Aussies' conversation and the husband eventually blurts out:

"Hi there!  I couldn't help overhearing.  What part of England do you come from?"

At which question the Australian husband turns around as if he had just smelled the most mephitic rodent, curls up part of his mouth and nose as his gorge riseth, and snarls:

"OWSTRIYA!"

To which the American said in confusion, and in a very low voice: "Oh!"

Tangential Story: we had meetings with parents on Thursday, and our Math teacher came up to me with a question.  A father had a "really strange accent" like he is "from France or something".

No, I explained, for the father, complete with a Scottish last name, is from Australia!  aka "OWSTRIYA!"

But France???    :o
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22178
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #250 on: February 22, 2009, 11:52:56 PM »
Tangential Story: we had meetings with parents on Thursday, and our Math teacher came up to me with a question.  A father had a "really strange accent" like he is "from France or something".

No, I explained, for the father, complete with a Scottish last name, is from Australia!  aka "OWSTRIYA!"

But France???    :o

Isn't "France" the epitome of a foreign land in the streets of America? I remember watching a youtube recording featuring people interviewed in the streets about the next country which is going to be attacked by the USA. France got the prize of a scaring percentage of ladies and gentlemen and guess what? Asked to locate it on the map, they pointed to...

...yep, OWSTRIYA!

Delendam esse Gallia!  :D

(BTW, that Kuehnelt-Leddihn quote is a gem.  8) )
"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part."

 --- Claude Debussy

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #251 on: February 23, 2009, 06:25:57 AM »
Isn't "France" the epitome of a foreign land in the streets of America? I remember watching a youtube recording featuring people interviewed in the streets about the next country which is going to be attacked by the USA. France got the prize of a scaring percentage of ladies and gentlemen and guess what? Asked to locate it on the map, they pointed to...

...yep, OWSTRIYA!

Delendam esse Gallia!  :D

(BTW, that Kuehnelt-Leddihn quote is a gem.  8) )

The TV show Saturday Night Live had a skit called the Coneheads, which featured outer space aliens with huge coneheads trying to fit into American life.  They explained their strange heads and accents by saying that they were "from France."   :o

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 22178
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #252 on: February 23, 2009, 06:31:08 AM »
The TV show Saturday Night Live had a skit called the Coneheads, which featured outer space aliens with huge coneheads trying to fit into American life.  They explained their strange heads and accents by saying that they were "from France."   :o

At least they weren't "from France or something". :)

La Fayette and Tuffin de La Rouerie must be rolling in their graves...
"Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part."

 --- Claude Debussy

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #253 on: February 24, 2009, 10:26:25 AM »
Today's Grumble: Trite Phrases found on TV shows...or in real life!   :o

My wife (too often) watches crime shows like CSI, Law and Order, etc. which seem to concentrate on the previously unimaginable national problem of murderous millionaires.   $:)

I find especially grating more and more: "I'm sorry for your loss."  If this has any basis in reality, it should not!

And then the other trite phrase: "With all due respect..." which means an insult is coming.  This is often heard on "24" right before Jack Bauer puts some hoity-toity bureaucrat or corrupt politician in his place! 

"Corrupt politician" may be redundant given the tax cheats in the news these days.

Feel free to add phrases of similar nails-on-the-blackboard nature!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #254 on: February 25, 2009, 05:11:09 AM »
A question came up today about 2-syllable adjectives in the comparative and superlative degrees.

e.g. "trickier" vs. "more tricky"  or "clumsier" vs. "more clumsy."

In such cases the music in the one word is preferable to the clumsier music found in "more clumsy."  Certainly the illiterati are using "more" and "most" more and more, if not most and most!   :o

For words like "naive" one would go with "more naive."

Earlier, however, I quoted Robert Louis Stevenson's poem The Swing where he is not averse in a verse to using "pleasantest."
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #255 on: February 25, 2009, 09:46:19 AM »
And while I am grumbling, there is something that drives me crazy when it is advertised on TeeVee!

Some drug spelled "Humira."

Except that the narrator never pronounces an "i" after the "m"!!!   >:D

One hears in fact two pronunciations in the commercial: One is "Humayra"  and the other is more like a short "e" as in "Humerra".

Never does one hear a proper long "i" as in Hu-my-ra.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #256 on: February 25, 2009, 09:46:56 AM »
We're all on fire for Humira!

Dr. Dread

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #257 on: February 25, 2009, 10:11:59 AM »
Grumbling is not an attractive trait, don't ya know...

;)

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9260
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #258 on: February 25, 2009, 11:19:56 AM »
Grumbling is not an attractive trait, don't ya know...

;)

NO, but so cathartic!  8)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Dr. Dread

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #259 on: February 25, 2009, 12:16:00 PM »
Here's one of my favorites:

"I replied back to them."