Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 563213 times)

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Offline Benji

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #80 on: February 10, 2009, 09:07:38 AM »
Fluffy stuff found on other websites: not here!!!   0:)

Oh I don't know about that...


Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2009, 09:46:17 AM »
Oh I don't know about that...



Would that be a Persian posting persiflage?   :o
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Offline John Copeland

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #82 on: February 10, 2009, 10:12:28 AM »
Indeed.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #83 on: February 10, 2009, 11:28:59 AM »
Would that be a Persian posting persiflage?   :o
Nah, just a typical tabby typing.
"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

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #84 on: February 10, 2009, 03:03:35 PM »

But thanks for the discussion!   0:)

Today's Vocabulary building word: persiflage    8)

Trifling, watercooler talk!  Fluffy stuff found on other websites: not here!!!   0:)

Splendid. I think we are on the same side, as is the cat!
I have come across airy persiflage.
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 DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2009, 03:10:55 PM »
Splendid. I think we are on the same side, as is the cat!
I have come across airy persiflage.
Puts me in mind of a business card:

     Percy Flage
           Airy Fairy
"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 Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2009, 06:30:03 PM »
the envelope has already been pushed out by the box, as in: "thinking outside the box" as was clearly demonstrated by the election races last year. While McCain was pushing the envelope  Obama was thinking outside the box.

 ;D

Yes, forget the election. What's important is who won out in the war of clichés.
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Sarastro

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2009, 07:33:40 PM »
I suffer

There is not much to suffer. You can always start educating yourself. There is plenty of books on grammar and other opportunities to learn the language in depth. I am jealous to those whose vocabulary is sufficiently rich to produce elegant speech, might the meaning of the speech be fallacious. :P

DavidW

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #88 on: February 11, 2009, 05:23:38 AM »
Cato's Rule of Education #3: Educational administrators are usually failed teachers, or coaches, who should be horse-whipped and sent to bag groceries at Kroger's.

I have come across too many "English" teachers who do not know grammar on the higher levels, and who lack any creativity in teaching technique, so that they can make grammar interesting: rules and charts will not enthuse students.

You are quite right: grammar can and should be approached by looking at the stories and essays of great stylists.  Instead, too often the teacher worries about pushing a certain political agenda through "interpretation" of the stories, or (more often) just wants to get through the day by going through the motions.

I have seen schools where English teachers relied on A-B-C-D tests, where the students rarely to never wrote anything themselves.   :o

But this was also true for History, Science, and other courses where students should be writing essays and reports.

I agree with what you said Cato.  About the tests, many teachers are bound to teach to the EOI exams.  Those exams were meant to bring back standards, but in some cases the reverse happens since the teachers will be judged by their EOI pass rates they sometimes end up with tunnel vision.

As a science teacher, I see what happens when other science courses do not have their students write lab reports.  I have to deal with some of my students writing in flowery prose, and omitting important technical information simply because creative writing is the only type of writing they had prior exposure to (as opposed to technical writing).

DavidW

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2009, 05:27:46 AM »
There is not much to suffer. You can always start educating yourself.

True, but what you've said still smacks of a lack of common sense.  One must have available time, and my job is a full time occupation.  Are you still a student?  That would explain everything.

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2009, 06:33:44 AM »
Full-time work takes over.  Then, one learns the art of getting other things done around the elephant in the room.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #91 on: February 11, 2009, 07:28:18 AM »
I agree with what you said Cato.  About the tests, many teachers are bound to teach to the EOI exams.  Those exams were meant to bring back standards, but in some cases the reverse happens since the teachers will be judged by their EOI pass rates they sometimes end up with tunnel vision.

As a science teacher, I see what happens when other science courses do not have their students write lab reports.  I have to deal with some of my students writing in flowery prose, and omitting important technical information simply because creative writing is the only type of writing they had prior exposure to (as opposed to technical writing).

Aye!  State tests from education department bureaucrats!  The bane of the age!

Such tests usually have unintended consequences, precisely because they are designed by bureaucrats!

In Germany there is a compromise (or at least this is how it worked some years ago): the teachers design their own graduation tests, and then submit it to the bureaucrats for approval, who usually rubber-stamped it so they could get back to their 3-hour lunches.

I witnessed the following German graduation test in English: students had read during the school year various "dystopian" novels (1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc.).  Part I of the test had the students reading an article from a London newspaper about the future of slum dwellers: no dictionary allowed!   They then were given 2 hours to write an essay comparing and contrasting the article with at least two of the novels they had read.

Part II was an hour question-and-answer session in English about the topic of "futurism" and how and why optimistic views do not seem dominant.

How many of our American seniors could handle such a test?   8)

But we remain optimistic!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #92 on: February 11, 2009, 07:32:33 AM »
Today's grumble: "There's" used with plurals!   :P

"There's thousands of dollars being wasted..."

NO!   $:)

There are thousands of dollars being wasted...!

Actually make that billions!

Or...trillions!   :o

Word for the day: one of my favorites!

Gadfly - an annoying person who runs around and bothers people about nonsense.  I think there is a Shostakovich work with the name!
"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 #93 on: February 11, 2009, 07:45:07 AM »
Gadfly - an annoying person who runs around and bothers people about nonsense.  I think there is a Shostakovich work with the name!

Based on the novel Овод, Ovod (metamorphosed into a film) by Ethel Lilian Voynich.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #94 on: February 11, 2009, 09:58:35 AM »
Word for the day: one of my favorites!

Gadfly - an annoying person who runs around and bothers people about nonsense.  I think there is a Shostakovich work with the name!
Or a person who annoys the self-satisfied by pestering them about things they'd prefer to ignore.  Socrates was a gadfly.  It got him executed, but also made him immortal.  No one would remember him just for his deeds as a warrior in the Peloponnesian War or as a sculptor working on the Parthenon, but they sure remember him for that nasty habit of asking questions and making observations that made hypocrites uncomfortable.
"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

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #95 on: February 11, 2009, 10:05:11 AM »

Word for the day: one of my favorites!

Gadfly - an annoying person who runs around and bothers people about nonsense.  I think there is a Shostakovich work with the name!

Begad!
When every one is somebodee (sic), then no one's anybody! (The Gondoliers)

Microsoft do not know that this is correct:
Hark! the herald-angels sing.
Yes, no capital letter after the exclamation! Exclamations and question marks may replace commas, semi-colons and colons, as well as full stops. When they do they are not followed by a capital. This is another grumble because Word tries to alter my typing, wrongly. :(
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 DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #96 on: February 11, 2009, 10:12:08 AM »
Yeah, Word's a bitch, always trying to enforce bad grammar.

Good grammar: the stuff that makes speech intelligible and precise or ambiguous as required.  ;)

Bad grammar: those stupid arbitrary normative rules that wacko pedagogue crammed down schools' throats in the 19th Century, like "never end a sentence with a preposition."
"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

DavidW

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #97 on: February 11, 2009, 10:50:19 AM »
Bad grammar: those stupid arbitrary normative rules that wacko pedagogue crammed down schools' throats in the 19th Century, like "never end a sentence with a preposition."

When I was a kid I would irritate my mother with that rule because she would always say "do you want to go with?" ;D

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #98 on: February 11, 2009, 11:22:58 AM »
Yeah, Word's a bitch, always trying to enforce bad grammar.

Good grammar: the stuff that makes speech intelligible and precise or ambiguous as required.  ;)

Bad grammar: those stupid arbitrary normative rules that wacko pedagogue crammed down schools' throats in the 19th Century, like "never end a sentence with a preposition."

Do you know Winston Churchill's famous pronouncement on that rule?

"That's a rule up with which I cannot put!"   :D
"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 #99 on: February 11, 2009, 11:30:29 AM »
One of my favorite rules is George Orwell's Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.