Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 561632 times)

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Offline Jay F

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Re: Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #300 on: March 03, 2009, 08:14:41 AM »
Here is a mistake I often hear: "I could care less..." and it often comes from supposedly educated people.

"I could not care less" is correct, meaning that you have reached the bottom of being able to care about something.

If you could care less about something, then you still have some level (10% or so?) of caring above zero.
Very well explained. I hope I remember this.

Offline Jay F

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #301 on: March 03, 2009, 08:17:02 AM »
A quick Googling found a website claiming that "really really" came from a moronic 20-something movie called Zoolander.
I would have thought it was Valspeak (often spelled phonetically: "rilly, rilly").

Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #302 on: March 03, 2009, 10:28:59 AM »
The ratio of grumbling about to praising of the use of language is becoming perversely skewed. I demand more grumbling!  $:)

In a recent battery commercial: "...for more longer-lasting batteries"  ::)

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #303 on: March 03, 2009, 11:19:03 AM »
The ratio of grumbling about to praising of the use of language is becoming perversely skewed. I demand more grumbling!  $:)

In a recent battery commercial: "...for more longer-lasting batteries"  ::)

Okay, when one uses more to modify the noun, but the noun is preceded by a comparative adjective, you have a choice: either slow down between the two, or use "and."

Example: "I would like more, tastier apples."  or "I would like more and tastier apples."

Third solution: "I would like more apples that are tastier."

A solution for the commercial: "For even/much/better longer-lasting batteries, buy..."

Here in my grade school I hear monstrosities like: "That videogame's a lot more funner..."   :o 
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #304 on: March 04, 2009, 02:23:02 AM »
William Hazlitt's On the Ignorance of the Learned has as motto some lines from a poem, the last lines of which read:

Yet he that is but able to express
No sense at all in several languages,
Will pass for learneder than he that’s known
To speak the strongest reason in his own.



Learneder?  :)

"Melody is the essence of music." - Mozart

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #305 on: March 04, 2009, 04:59:44 AM »
William Hazlitt's On the Ignorance of the Learned has as motto some lines from a poem, the last lines of which read:

Yet he that is but able to express
No sense at all in several languages,
Will pass for learneder than he that’s known
To speak the strongest reason in his own.



Learneder?  :)



Wocka Wocka!   :D

Well, why not? 

Eons ago, when I was in college, I happened to be passing by the office of a professor of...(cue the sinister music)... Education!   :o

You should know that Education professors are considered the dumpster divers of academia, and not without reason!  So the good professor sees me and shouts: "Hey!  You would know this!" and he struggles to rise with a copy of a 2,000 page dictionary in his lap.

Such was Cato's reputation back then for omniscience, or at least polymathy, that even professors knocked on his brain's door for information!   8)

The good professor says: "We're trying to write invitations for the department's (i.e. the Education department's) cocktail party next week, and nobody knows how to spell hors d'oeuvres !" 

I revealed to him that the word was French, yielded to the temptation to make rude comments against the French, at which we both laughed heartily, spelled it for him, and retained the incident for future use as evidence against Departments of Edumbcation.

In America can you get a Ph.D. without any foreign languages in your background!
  :(

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

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #306 on: March 04, 2009, 05:43:27 AM »
Edumbcation.

Nice one.  :D

In America can you get a Ph.D. without any foreign languages in your background!
  :(

I once asked an American girl (Californian, if I recall correctly) whether she spoke other languages than English. She replied: Why should I;D

Slightly off-topic --- or maybe not --- I remember overhearing in Florence, Italy another American girl's complaint that her hotel room did not have a TV set. Coming to Florence to watch TV --- that is the top of tourism, methinks. :)
"Melody is the essence of music." - Mozart

"Believe nothing you hear, and only one-half that you see." - Edgar Allan Poe

Offline knight66

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #307 on: March 04, 2009, 11:55:52 AM »
I get very irritated by the qualification of the word, 'unique', as in, almost unique, very nearly unique. It is either unique, or the word is irrelevant.

The great unwashed have an annoying way of using the word, 'pacific', when they mean, 'specific.'

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

sul G

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #308 on: March 04, 2009, 12:04:16 PM »
I'm never sure if that isn't just mispronunciation, though, Mike - or, more specifically (  ;D ) the lazy can't-be-arsed British tongue which can't be bothered with the effort to articulate 'it's specific', so turning it into 'it's pacific'.

Offline knight66

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #309 on: March 04, 2009, 12:16:21 PM »
It might be that, but neither word is likely to be in the lexicon of, 'The Sun'. So it would not surprise me if the word has been substituted rather than merely distorted.

I used to work with an accountant working for my government department and between us we would have day long interviews with other accountants. I would try not to cringe while he dropped expressions into the encounter such as...."We was wanting to ask you some questions." or, "I can't never get a handle on that."

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #310 on: March 04, 2009, 12:27:42 PM »
Why don't they wash in the Pacific?

Offline knight66

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #311 on: March 04, 2009, 12:36:30 PM »
They might if they knew where it was.

I once flew to Corsica from the UK. One girl, from Birmingham, was surprised everyone spoke a furrin language. She also wore two watches, because, one of them was broken.

Mike
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 02:19:33 PM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #312 on: March 04, 2009, 01:01:04 PM »
I encountered a real humdinger just now - a packet of crisps displaying the slogan "made with real ingredients".
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #313 on: March 04, 2009, 01:03:46 PM »
That certainly does ding the hum!

Offline knight66

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #314 on: March 04, 2009, 01:07:50 PM »
I encountered a real humdinger just now - a packet of crisps displaying the slogan "made with real ingredients".

Brilliant. I remember a DIY expert on TV once claiming he was going to make, 'almost something out of nothing.' Even God did not catch onto that trick.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Bulldog

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Re: Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #315 on: March 04, 2009, 03:52:34 PM »
Here is a mistake I often hear: "I could care less..." and it often comes from supposedly educated people.

"I could not care less" is correct, meaning that you have reached the bottom of being able to care about something.

If you could care less about something, then you still have some level (10% or so?) of caring above zero.

Mistake or not, "could care less" is commonly used.  Most important, it represents understood communication.

Bulldog

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Re: Why, yes, I guess I could care less!
« Reply #316 on: March 04, 2009, 04:20:30 PM »
That is undeniable, as is the fact that it also communicates something that the speaker may not wish to convey.'



What might that be?

Offline Florestan

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #317 on: March 04, 2009, 11:16:46 PM »
I once flew to Corsica from the UK. One girl, from Birmingham, was surprised everyone spoke a furrin language. She also wore two watches, because, one of them was broken.

 :D :D :D
"Melody is the essence of music." - Mozart

"Believe nothing you hear, and only one-half that you see." - Edgar Allan Poe

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #318 on: March 05, 2009, 04:52:49 AM »
"Made with real ingredients" of course is an attempt to verify that nothing in the package is foaming with poisons.

"All Natural" is a big "buzz" word these days for food: I have even seen stickers saying so on bananas, to make sure you do not bite into one of those plastic ones! 

"Organic" drives me nutzoid: of course apples or carrots are "organic" !!!

And sorry to inform the aging hippies out there: poisons are also "real," "organic," and even "natural."   :o

And unless you have chemistry and physics from another universe in play, even the most virulent man-made chemicals are "natural" in essence, but that is a hair we do not need to stew over.   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #319 on: March 05, 2009, 06:32:01 AM »
"Organic" drives me nutzoid: of course apples or carrots are "organic" !!!

Don't know if it's any improvement, but in the Romance languages, the term is "biological"  8)