Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 554791 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #660 on: June 08, 2009, 01:17:41 PM »
Apostrophes are sooo 20th Century...

...which must mean the Apocalypse is nigh!   :o

Today my wife was watching a talk show where someone complained about nouns being used as verbs: since the show, of course, came out of Hollywood, the complaint was about a person who said his girlfriend was trying "Actressing" for a career.   :o

How that differed from "Acting" was unclear!   :o  Maybe you "act" in some productions, and you "actress" in others.  ???

Maybe when an actress "actresses," she simply stands sideways and breathes, like Raquel Welch used to do.   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #661 on: June 08, 2009, 02:00:35 PM »
...which must mean the Apocalypse is nigh!   :o

Today my wife was watching a talk show where someone complained about nouns being used as verbs: since the show, of course, came out of Hollywood, the complaint was about a person who said his girlfriend was trying "Actressing" for a career.   :o

How that differed from "Acting" was unclear!   :o  Maybe you "act" in some productions, and you "actress" in others.  ???

Maybe when an actress "actresses," she simply stands sideways and breathes, like Raquel Welch used to do.   0:)
That would explain the "actoring" of several contemporary heartthrobs.  I think you must have hit the nail on the head with this one, Cato--making the terms rather useful in distinguishing "acting"--the art of embodying a character in one's person--from "actoring" and "actressing"--mere posing as an actor.
"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 #662 on: June 08, 2009, 03:10:31 PM »
That would explain the "actoring" of several contemporary heartthrobs.  I think you must have hit the nail on the head with this one, Cato--making the terms rather useful in distinguishing "acting"--the art of embodying a character in one's person--from "actoring" and "actressing"--mere posing as an actor.

Any nominees?   $:)

Ben Affleck immediately comes to mind!   8)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

greg

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #663 on: June 08, 2009, 03:15:22 PM »
Some verbs do.  Stamp.  Smile.  Laugh.  Play.

"Epic" used in almost any context save the discussion of literature, especially when used other than as a noun, strongly suggests that the speaker/writer is less than fully conscious and probably an adolescent male who's played more than a few video games too many.

Yes, I know that's a prejudice.  We all have prejudices, formed without conscious intent.  The challenge is to recognize them and not let them determine our judgments about persons or even classes of persons.  Now I ask you:  is there anyone who uses "epic" in that way who does not fit that description?  ;)
Yeah, for me- I hear it all the time. For me, it's almost like a sacred word, so to hear people so much kind of ruins it.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #664 on: June 08, 2009, 03:51:40 PM »
Any nominees?   $:)

Ben Affleck immediately comes to mind!   8)
That's the guy!  Followed closely by Leonardo diCaprio. And then, judging from the glimpses I get in TV ads, there must be a host of "actoring" professionals nipping at their heels. 

And we used to think Tony Curtis was bad!
"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 #665 on: June 08, 2009, 03:58:25 PM »
And we used to think Tony Curtis was bad!

No bottom to that trend . . . .

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble: Off-Topic Bad Actor/Great Actor
« Reply #666 on: June 08, 2009, 05:24:51 PM »
That's the guy!  Followed closely by Leonardo diCaprio. And then, judging from the glimpses I get in TV ads, there must be a host of "actoring" professionals nipping at their heels. 

And we used to think Tony Curtis was bad!

I do believe the correct form is Leonardo di Crappio.   0:)

On the opposite, non-heartthrob, under-appreciated real actor list: Steve Zahn, who can do wild cartoon voices (Runt the Pig in Disney's Chicken Little), dark comedy (Sunshine Cleaning), and drama (Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn): most impressive was Zahn's uncanny portrayal of Robert Duvall's Lonesome Dove character - 30 years younger - in Comanche Moon.  Zahn channels the character perfectly: head wobbles, intonations, gestures, everything is perfectly done in accordance with the Duvall character seen first in Lonesome Dove.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

Offline owlice

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #667 on: June 08, 2009, 06:30:39 PM »
Have I posted this? If so, my apologies for the repeat.

An email I got from Sylvan Learning Centers (a company which tutors students in school subjects and for standardized tests) included this:
Quote
Congradulations!

Eek!


Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #668 on: June 08, 2009, 06:50:07 PM »
Have I posted this? If so, my apologies for the repeat.

An email I got from Sylvan Learning Centers (a company which tutors students in school subjects and for standardized tests) included this:
Eek!
Oh, my!  Should it not have said, "Congradulations, Gratuate!"
"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 #669 on: June 09, 2009, 02:35:56 AM »
Have I posted this? If so, my apologies for the repeat.

An email I got from Sylvan Learning Centers (a company which tutors students in school subjects and for standardized tests) included this:

Congradulations!


Eek!



Eek is right!  It seems we have the blind leading the sightless most of the time: I attended a meeting of supposed English teachers last week, where I heard monstrosities e.g. "If I was you..."   :o   "...should 'a' went..."    :o    :o    and one that makes me want to throw a brick at somebody   "...did it on accident..."   :o    :o    :o

Aargh!    >:D

To correct them gently, I was able to use all three phrases - in corrected form -  in an extended commentary.  Maybe they took the hint!


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

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

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #670 on: June 09, 2009, 04:03:25 AM »
Eek is right!  It seems we have the blind leading the sightless most of the time: I attended a meeting of supposed English teachers last week, where I heard monstrosities e.g. "If I was you..."   :o   "...should 'a' went..."    :o    :o    and one that makes me want to throw a brick at somebody   "...did it on accident..."   :o    :o    :o

Aargh!    >:D

To correct them gently, I was able to use all three phrases - in corrected form -  in an extended commentary.  Maybe they took the hint!

An interjection, in case anyone is still reading this thread who does not understand why some of us are so nit-picky:

Language is the medium for rational thought.  If one's language is muddled and imprecise, one's thought must be likewise muddled and imprecise, leading to error:  beliefs based on falsehood and faulty understanding.  People's actions are guided by their beliefs; if these beliefs are faulty, then people's actions entail unintended consequences, often contrary to the desired results.  At the personal level, this results in confusion, failure, frustration, unhappiness, regret, and so on.  At the group level, when large numbers of people act on faulty beliefs, the entire society suffers the consequences. 

So language and the grammar that determines the logical content of statements, not only matter, but matter more than anything else taught in our schools.
"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 #671 on: June 09, 2009, 05:02:31 AM »
An interjection, in case anyone is still reading this thread who does not understand why some of us are so nit-picky:

Language is the medium for rational thought.  If one's language is muddled and imprecise, one's thought must be likewise muddled and imprecise, leading to error:  beliefs based on falsehood and faulty understanding.  People's actions are guided by their beliefs; if these beliefs are faulty, then people's actions entail unintended consequences, often contrary to the desired results.  At the personal level, this results in confusion, failure, frustration, unhappiness, regret, and so on.  At the group level, when large numbers of people act on faulty beliefs, the entire society suffers the consequences. 

So language and the grammar that determines the logical content of statements, not only matter, but matter more than anything else taught in our schools.

Amen!   0:)

For a look at the latest Orwellian (ab)use of language by government, and how the media-sheep do not think logically about what is being claimed, (or just maybe do not want to think logically about what is being claimed) see:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124451592762396883.html

An excerpt:

Quote
"The expression 'create or save,' which has been used regularly by the President and his economic team, is an act of political genius," writes Mr. Mankiw. "You can measure how many jobs are created between two points in time. But there is no way to measure how many jobs are saved. Even if things get much, much worse, the President can say that there would have been 4 million fewer jobs without the stimulus."

Mr. Obama's comments yesterday are a perfect illustration of just such a claim. In the months since Congress approved the stimulus, our economy has lost nearly 1.6 million jobs and unemployment has hit 9.4%. Invoke the magic words, however, and -- presto! -- you have the president claiming he has "saved or created" 150,000 jobs. It all makes for a much nicer spin, and helps you forget this is the same team that only a few months ago promised us that passing the stimulus would prevent unemployment from rising over 8%."

(My emphasis above)

"Act of political genius" should be changed to "act of duplicitous arrogance."   0:)

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

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

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #672 on: June 09, 2009, 05:24:14 AM »
"Jobs created or saved" reminds me of the absence of tigers roaming midtown Manhattan "proving" that brushing with Crest® keeps tigers away.  ;D
"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 #673 on: June 09, 2009, 05:26:50 AM »
So much for plans to try any other toothpaste!

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #674 on: June 12, 2009, 08:13:47 AM »
As to this . . . weird question, and I'm not sure where the impulse to ask this critical question comes from . . . but is &al. correctly used if it's just one other person?

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #675 on: June 12, 2009, 05:16:44 PM »
I have never seen a style that said so, and least in academic writing.

If there are two authors, both are named in all citations throughout.

If there are three, all three are listed on first citation (e.g., Howard, Fine, & Howard, 1948), after which only the first author is named and the rest are referred to as et al. (e.g., Howard et al., 1948).

I'll stop here.'


Right!  Et al is short for et alii (and others), so you would need at least 2: Mister Apostrophe is correct for the academic journals.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

Offline The Six

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #676 on: June 12, 2009, 06:42:53 PM »
Women are Outperforming Men in Universities

Offline knight66

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #677 on: June 13, 2009, 03:41:58 AM »
My employers were recently involved in a disagreement with the in-house media folk. As part of a campaign to encourage people to use their computers to maintain business records, they wanted to use a photo of a man clutching a laptop to his breast and the caption was to be, 'It is a great place to keep all your stuff up to date.'

My boss went into battle and the caption was altered and the word, 'stuff' removed.

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 #678 on: June 13, 2009, 03:57:11 AM »
Right!  Et al is short for et alii (and others), so you would need at least 2: Mister Apostrophe is correct for the academic journals.

Urrah, I guessed that I was wrong!

I was lazy, of course; I just didn't know (nor could I be trounbled to investigate) who the second performer was . . . .

Offline owlice

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #679 on: June 13, 2009, 03:59:43 AM »
:: readies the wet noodle ::