Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 555260 times)

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #780 on: September 10, 2009, 08:15:57 AM »
I would be interested in how Germans would have influenced the -er pronunciation, since German has an "r" at the uvula, which would seem to be closer to the "waddah" pronunciation.

But in linguistics many things are possible: why you hear an "-r" added to a final "-a"  (JFK's (in)famous pronunciation of "Cuba" as "Cuber" is another mystery!

Today's grumble: hard to believe, but the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal printed the monstrosity "a ways to go last week!   :o

We might have a way to go, before we find Burger King, but there is no way that we would have a ways to go!   $:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #781 on: September 10, 2009, 09:40:30 AM »
Any of you fellows want to look over a novelette/novella?  ;D

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #782 on: September 10, 2009, 09:40:58 AM »
Is it creepy?

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #783 on: September 10, 2009, 09:42:13 AM »
Gosh, I hope so.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #784 on: September 10, 2009, 09:45:08 AM »
Well, it's not my thing, then.  Pity, for normally, I should like to be of service to you by looking the work over.  I don't do creepy, though.

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #785 on: September 10, 2009, 09:45:52 AM »
That's cool.

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #786 on: September 11, 2009, 01:31:55 AM »
But in linguistics many things are possible: why you hear an "-r" added to a final "-a"  (JFK's (in)famous pronunciation of "Cuba" as "Cuber" is another mystery!

That's what you get with a heavy Boston accent -- a's get added er's, and er's get switched to a's. When I worked in a cover band, the MC would announce "and now a song by Aniter Bake-ah:.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #787 on: September 11, 2009, 02:49:09 AM »
Thanks for arrrr the responses!   ???


Today's Grumble: Slang frum da 'hood on TV News!

Intrepid 20-something reporter Blondie Bubblehead on the local CBS station was reporting on the latest crackhead shooting.  30-something News Anchor Bubbles Blondiehead asks her (and I am not making this up, except for the names):

"So, Blondie, what's goin' down there?"

"Bubbles, a drug deal of some kind went down here, and it went down real bad: 3 guys shot..." etc.

Rule: Blondies from the 'burbs should not try to sound like they are from "da 'hood."   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 #788 on: September 11, 2009, 02:59:19 AM »
One of my favorite 'cultural artifacts' along these lines, is a bowdlerized line in the version of a Steve Miller song favored by a local radio station (apparently committed with Mr Miller's cooperation), wherein (we know) he does not want "to get caught up in any of that funky kicks goin' down in the city."

Personally, I defy funky kicks, wherever they be goin' down.

Joe Barron

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #789 on: September 11, 2009, 09:19:50 AM »
I would be interested in how Germans would have influenced the -er pronunciation, since German has an "r" at the uvula, which would seem to be closer to the "waddah" pronunciation.

As I said, I was fuzzy on the details.

"A ways" is a common idiomatic expression. It's nothing to get upset about.

Egebedieff

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #790 on: September 11, 2009, 10:29:08 AM »
As I said, I was fuzzy on the details.

"A ways" is a common idiomatic expression. It's nothing to get upset about.

I suspect that it comes out of the overlapping usage between ways and wise, especially as a suffix. For example, anyway /anywise or edgeways/edgewise.
'
 


karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #791 on: September 11, 2009, 10:36:16 AM »
. . . some are wise and some otherwise. They've got pretty blue eyes.

Offline Harpo

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #792 on: September 11, 2009, 12:04:18 PM »
OK, these phrases may be common usage, but they bother me:

If you say "I wonder where he went?" why is it punctuated with a question mark and not a period? You're stating what you are wondering about, not questioning if you're wondering or not.

What about the phrase "She went missing"? When you start out "she went," it sounds as if you know where she went. I would say "She is missing" or even "She disappeared."

Thanks for letting me vent.  :)


If music be the food of love, hold the mayo.

Egebedieff

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #793 on: September 11, 2009, 12:26:59 PM »

What about the phrase "She went missing"? When you start out "she went," it sounds as if you know where she went. I would say "She is missing" or even "She disappeared."

In 2003, I remember a news story on BBC World News (via NPR) about Beatles tapes that "went missing" (as in this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2646921.stm). Within the next week or so, I was struck by the fact I began hearing the expression in other news stories, local and national, and thought it was an odd coincidence, so I Googled "went missing," and page after page, all of the hits were from the UK and Australia. Now try it.

Sort of a Beatlemania aftereffect? Like all of the British expressions and spellings we picked up in the '60s (Many [most?] of which we subsequently dropped: fab, groddy/groady, groovy, along with slang of the period).

I wondered (not arguing that it is so, but still wondering) if it could have in some way been due to the fact that after 9/11, NPR stations began picking up the BBC World News feed overnight.

'

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #794 on: September 11, 2009, 12:37:40 PM »
OK, these phrases may be common usage, but they bother me:

If you say "I wonder where he went?" why is it punctuated with a question mark and not a period? You're stating what you are wondering about, not questioning if you're wondering or not.

Because that phrase is usually not used as a statement. When the inflection of the voice indicates it's a question, a question mark is used. I think you'll agree?     ;)
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline The Six

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #795 on: September 11, 2009, 08:35:36 PM »
The misuse of "literally" is really getting to me.

"I literally had to fly back to New York..."

Oh, really? You literally flew? You sprouted wings and flew? When did this word get to be so abused?

Egebedieff

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Oh, literally? You really flew?
« Reply #796 on: September 12, 2009, 12:15:07 AM »
The misuse of "literally" is really getting to me.

"I literally had to fly back to New York..."

Oh, really? You literally flew? You sprouted wings and flew? When did this word get to be so abused?

Coincidentally, there is a similar problem with the use of really, which is offered as a synonym for literally, even though we feel less need to use really literally.

The NPR interview transcript is especially enlightening on the topic.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4988053
http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/1499/
http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/literallygloss.htm

'
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 07:14:01 AM by ' »

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #797 on: September 14, 2009, 05:45:09 AM »
Concerning the question mark for: "I wonder where he went?"

As explained above, yes, the question mark is wrong.  This is an indirect question.  All you need is a period.  The direct question would be: "Where did he go?"

"Literally" and the NPR interview: I do recall that from 4 years ago!  Many thanks to Mr. Apostrophe for the link!   0:)

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

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

Offline Opus106

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #798 on: September 14, 2009, 06:04:06 AM »
In 2003, I remember a news story on BBC World News (via NPR) about Beatles tapes that "went missing" (as in this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2646921.stm). Within the next week or so, I was struck by the fact I began hearing the expression in other news stories, local and national, and thought it was an odd coincidence, so I Googled "went missing," and page after page, all of the hits were from the UK and Australia. Now try it.

Sort of a Beatlemania aftereffect? Like all of the British expressions and spellings we picked up in the '60s (Many [most?] of which we subsequently dropped: fab, groddy/groady, groovy, along with slang of the period).

I wondered (not arguing that it is so, but still wondering) if it could have in some way been due to the fact that after 9/11, NPR stations began picking up the BBC World News feed overnight.

'

Went missing through the years.
Regards,
Navneeth

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #799 on: September 16, 2009, 03:31:52 AM »
Not necessarily.  Use of the adverb focuses on the verb, i.e., on the action;  "eat healthily" to me suggests, e.g., chewing 30 times before swallowing.  I don't have any quarrel with "eat healthy," which I think is more a matter of ellipsis than of using an adjective where one really needs an adverb.

But, I should take this to Cato's Grumble Emporium  ;)

Cato, my neurons are slow this morning, or I should think I might find other examples of verb followed by adjective, as subtly distinct from verb modified by adverb.

Any enlightenment? Up to and including, you're just plain wrong, Karl  ;)