Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Topic started by: peliroja on May 01, 2008, 05:35:38 pm

Title: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on May 01, 2008, 05:35:38 pm
Just received this email...

Thank you for your email reply.  We do corporate rates for company’s and agent’s that use us on a regular bases, this are all; arranged through our Sales & Marketing Team.


Should you wish for me to pass you details over to them then please advise.

 :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 01, 2008, 05:38:47 pm
All your Sales & Marketing Team are belong to us :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 01, 2008, 05:39:07 pm
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on May 01, 2008, 05:44:07 pm
You are Lynne Truss and I claim my five pounds  ;D

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mike on May 01, 2008, 05:45:58 pm
what's wrong with "10 items or less"?  I've never understood that one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Basil on May 01, 2008, 05:49:11 pm
Fewer
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on May 01, 2008, 05:50:38 pm
Should be "fewer", innit.

How I work it out: if you can count them individually, it's fewer (fewer people on the streets, fewer sweeties in the jar). If it's a quantity of something like flour, it's less (less beer for your buck).

I'm sure there's a scientific explanation though.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on May 01, 2008, 05:51:31 pm
what's wrong with "10 items or less"?  I've never understood that one.

Fewer.

"Less" is used for a measurable quantity. 3kilos of flour, or less. 2.5 kilos is less than 3 kilos.

"Fewer" is used for a specific number. You can't have 9.5 items.

Edit: beaten to it by LMM. Flour - damned good example, LMM! :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mike on May 01, 2008, 05:53:39 pm
thanks!  Another cloud lifted.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on May 01, 2008, 05:55:17 pm
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D

M&S and Waitrose both use 'fewer'. Shop at either of these and save on marker pens.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 01, 2008, 05:58:50 pm
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D

M&S and Waitrose both use 'fewer'. Shop at either of these and save on marker pens.


I hate shopping at M&S - and their ads just make it worse.

We don't have a Waitrose near us - the closest is Oxford Street.  The attraction of the Sainsbury's is that it's a 'Sainsbury's Market' and all I have to do is turn left out of the front door...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: IanDG on May 01, 2008, 06:07:28 pm
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 01, 2008, 06:09:04 pm
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me


Your spelling is not that hot either.... ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: IanDG on May 01, 2008, 06:10:34 pm
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me


Your spelling is not that hot either.... ;D

whoops  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom B on May 01, 2008, 06:13:01 pm
I was recently praised (by an older man) for using the word 'fewer'. Does it truly matter, tho? Failure to make the distinction doesn't obscure meaning, it can't be used to deceive. It's not the sort of thing that Orwell would cite, were we to resurrect him and have him write a noughties 'Politics and the English Language'.

Wouldn't the UK be a better place if we channeled our language ire towards those solecisms that mislead, obscure, debase or are simply downright ugly?

Or, even better, made a unilateral decision to use  cut speling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_Spelling)   :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 01, 2008, 06:14:49 pm
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me

I shall refrain from adding a missing full stop.  Or substituting a colon or semicolon for the comma.  ;D

I don't see a problem with "less", when referring to countable items.  Indeed most other languages don't have separate words for "less" and "fewer".  Remember also that the English language is ever changing with the times.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: IanDG on May 01, 2008, 06:16:40 pm
 :-[

I only just scraped my English O level, you can see why.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on May 01, 2008, 06:17:08 pm
I have a small area of hell reserved for the signwriter who marked up a bus in Harwich with an advertisement containing the slogan "you're friendly local travel agent"
And "you'r"
And "your'e"
And "youre"


Space is also being held there for the people who paid him.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on May 01, 2008, 06:19:01 pm
Whilst fewer criminals would be good, I quite like the idea of less criminals.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 01, 2008, 06:19:56 pm
:-[

I only just scraped my English O level, you can see why.

Honestly, it doesn't matter, Windy.  Strike out that  :-[ and replace it with a  ;D!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 01, 2008, 06:22:39 pm
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 01, 2008, 06:23:36 pm
On "The Apprentice" last night, one idiot spent four hours trying to contact a sub-ed at the Torygraph to confirm whether there should be an apostrophe in "National Singles Day".

I think they went without in the end, which was probably best since it's an invented title, but National Singles' Day would have been OK.



Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clifftaylor on May 01, 2008, 06:26:15 pm
Whilst fewer criminals would be good, I quite like the idea of less criminals.

I saw a Fewer Spotted Woodpecker last weekend.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on May 01, 2008, 06:29:30 pm
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

No, it really does not matter.   Let's celebrate the glory and diversity of the English language in the variety of use both spoken and written around the world.  There is no need to be pedantic as long as the meaning is clear in the context of everyday use.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 01, 2008, 06:31:01 pm
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

No, it really does not matter.   Let's celebrate the glory and diversity of the English language in the variety of use both spoken and written around the world.  There is no need to be pedantic as long as the meaning is clear in the context of everyday use.

However, with the exception of Leftpondia, most English spoken around the world is 'traditional' English, with correct grammar and spelling. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on May 01, 2008, 06:33:33 pm
There's a fine line between pedantry and smugness (I should know, I often cross it).

A colleague had obviously just read the Lynne Truss Book and simply would not shut the fuck up about it.

After a week of it we set him a quiz of twenty phrases to correct, all for things covered in the book. He got fewer than 6 right. He shut up.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 01, 2008, 06:34:12 pm
I suspect that standard "correct" modern English has many useages that would have been considered incorrect in our great-grandparents' time.

I'm as big a Lynne Truss as anyone, especially when it comes to semicolons and apostrophes, but I struggle to get exercised about One Less Car.  Or missing full stops - or indeed spelling - on internet fora.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 01, 2008, 06:36:21 pm
I saw a Fewer Spotted Woodpecker last weekend.
More pedantry.  ;D
The words under discussion here are "fewer" and "less"; not "fewer and "lesser" which are not interchangeable.

Moreover, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) is so named because it is smaller than the Great Spotted Woodpecker (D. major).  Not because it has fewer spots.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 01, 2008, 06:37:46 pm
Indeed, because then, of course, it would be the lesser-spotted woodpecker - unless that was one that was just observed more infrequently ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 01, 2008, 06:40:37 pm
Indeed, because then, of course, it would be the lesser-spotted woodpecker - unless that was one that was just observed more infrequently ;)
Which - as it happens - is true: it is quite a rare bird.  My wife saw one once in our garden, but that was a lucky break.  The Great Spotted Woodpecker, on the other hand, is fairly common.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom B on May 01, 2008, 06:41:17 pm
Quote
I suspect that standard "correct" modern English has many usages that would have been considered incorrect in our great-grandparents' time

Indeed. My 1926 edition of Fowler's 'Modern English Usage' is fascinating reading  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on May 01, 2008, 06:41:42 pm
Some people, however, should know better:

Charles Clarke on Radio 4: "Education for its own sake is a bit dodgy . . . If we had less people studying philosophy I think that would be unfortunate."

He was Education Secretary at the time.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on May 01, 2008, 06:43:22 pm
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D

On the other hand I'll stick to "One less car" because the alternative might be right, but it sounds and reads terribly.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom B on May 01, 2008, 06:45:41 pm
Quote
Which - as it happens - is true: it is quite a rare bird.  My wife saw one once in our garden, but that was a lucky break

break or brake (http://www.bartleby.com/61/11/B0451100.html)?  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 01, 2008, 06:46:28 pm
I rather dislike "there's" as a contraction of "there are", but it's almost universal.  "Could of" is more annoying, though.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fred the great on May 01, 2008, 06:54:25 pm
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

No, it really does not matter.   Let's celebrate the glory and diversity of the English language in the variety of use both spoken and written around the world.  There is no need to be pedantic as long as the meaning is clear in the context of everyday use.

However, with the exception of Leftpondia, most English spoken around the world is 'traditional' English, with correct grammar and spelling. 

Regretfully incorrect ::-) and also English versions overseas are more likely to be an American version. In Thailand we call it Tinglish :P
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 01, 2008, 07:18:41 pm
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

No, it really does not matter.   Let's celebrate the glory and diversity of the English language in the variety of use both spoken and written around the world.  There is no need to be pedantic as long as the meaning is clear in the context of everyday use.

However, with the exception of Leftpondia, most English spoken around the world is 'traditional' English, with correct grammar and spelling. 

Regretfully incorrect ::-) and also English versions overseas are more likely to be an American version. In Thailand we call it Tinglish :P

I can assure you that, in the Commonwealth, British English rather than Leftpondian is the norm.  The British Council works very hard to ensure this, and this is why many countries still have their English exams set by UK examining boards.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on May 01, 2008, 07:33:55 pm
Quote
Which - as it happens - is true: it is quite a rare bird.  My wife saw one once in our garden, but that was a lucky break

break or brake (http://www.bartleby.com/61/11/B0451100.html)?  :)

Never mind its spots - it had a lucky beak.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: teethgrinder on May 01, 2008, 07:50:01 pm

Never mind its spots - it had a lucky beak.

It had a lucky magistrate? ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris S on May 01, 2008, 07:51:13 pm
Leverage as used (mostly) by Merkins, as a verb. Often used in conjunction with Made-up Words like "functionality" (another pet hate). Eg:

"This will help you leverage the functionality of your Deluxe Widget..."

Uh...  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on May 01, 2008, 08:00:56 pm
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

[fx: clears throat]

Having spent a considerable amount of time west of the Atlantic Ocean - where I believe lies this 'Leftpondia' of which you speak - I feel qualified to comment upon your remarks.

Rubbish!

Upon arriving in these blighted blessed Isles I was shocked and disgusted by the 'quality' of English.  From people on the pavements to signs in shops to internationally-respected newspapers, the English language is butchered.  I knew enough about the differences between the varieties of 'North American' English and 'British' English before arriving here. These don't qualify as butchery (though some may disagree).  I mean spelling, punctuation and grammar.

I would not be so foolish as to say that 'US' English is a better variant than 'UK', but in my experience the US locals seem to have a better grasp of their language.  Don't quote the current US president or soundbites and 'vox pop' interviews - that can cut both ways.

I quite enjoy winding up the locals when I'm criticised for using 'American' words like Fall instead of Autumn.  Do I need to point out which word is 'English' and which is 'foreign'?

There are times I would like to see more standardisation among the various varieties of English, but on the other hand I am not a supporter of American hegemony.

Live and let live, I say.  Viva la difference!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fred the great on May 01, 2008, 08:03:36 pm
But Regulator the Commonwealth is only a small part of the Regions to which I am referring. Having lived in the Middle East and Asia for more than 25 years you can rest assured that British English is not the norm. And students usually have American text books. In India for example the people I have worked with follow, speak and spell the American English way. The best British English people are the HongKong Chinese which is understandable. The Singaporean English by contrast is not very good. The British Councils are not very effective. One reason American English is so common is that many Graduates study in the USA. There are exceptions of course including a Thai that I know who speaks impeccable English but then all his Education was in the UK and he graduated from Cambridge University with a first class honours degree.

And of course this Programme that we use is an American/English one. It has already told me I can't spell honours and Programme ::-) :demon:

Anyway those are some of my experiences and I do not believe we will ever see British English spoken in the rest of the World.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: bobajobrob on May 01, 2008, 08:03:57 pm
Often used in conjunction with Made-up Words like "functionality"

That one's actually in the OED.

Quote
Functionality, functional character; in Math., the condition of being a function.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris S on May 01, 2008, 08:05:19 pm
Andrij - speaking as someone who has cycled alongside you a couple of times, I feel qualified in thinking of you as atypical when it comes to Merkins.

Not once did you use the word Leverage as a verb, even when the functionality of the gears on your bike was brought into question ;).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris S on May 01, 2008, 08:07:49 pm
Often used in conjunction with Made-up Words like "functionality"

That one's actually in the OED.

Quote
Functionality, functional character; in Math., the condition of being a function.

 :o

Ain't nothin' sacred? What's next, Mel Gibson in a remake of Edge of Darkness? Puuuurleeeez  ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nutkin on May 01, 2008, 08:08:32 pm
Or, even better, made a unilateral decision to use  cut speling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_Spelling)   :D

Ah, this explains the reasoning behind incomprehensible Y9 essays...

Viva la difference!

That ain't English, mate!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on May 01, 2008, 08:10:34 pm
Indeed, because then, of course, it would be the lesser-spotted woodpecker - unless that was one that was just observed more infrequently ;)
Which - as it happens - is true: it is quite a rare bird.  My wife saw one once in our garden, but that was a lucky break.  The Great Spotted Woodpecker, on the other hand, is fairly common.
...and the LSW is actually more striped than spotted....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on May 01, 2008, 08:15:28 pm
With regard to the awful American spelling reforms such as "color" and "center", I note they are the default in the E.U. I note that some people here seem to believe that they are Olde English spellings, as opposed to the reality that they are a modern invention. "Theater" was coined at the same time as "Nite" and "Thru".
My "favourite" such sign was in Karlsruhe: "English Car Center"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 01, 2008, 08:28:17 pm
Americans are actually quite strict about grammar (allowing for their own foibles).  Lynne Truss's* book is widely despised over there for the mistakes it contains.


*why is it Bridget Jones's Diary, but Levi Stubbs' Tears?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on May 01, 2008, 08:34:00 pm
It's the goddamn Oxford comma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma) I can't bear. Working for a USAian firm it pops up in all the literature I have to use. It's like a grammatical speed hump at the end of a list and is guaranteed to induce read rage.  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 01, 2008, 08:38:09 pm
its vs it's
they're vs their
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 01, 2008, 08:40:10 pm
It's the goddamn Oxford comma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma) I can't bear. Working for a USAian firm it pops up in all the literature I have to use. It's like a grammatical speed hump at the end of a list and is guaranteed to induce read rage.  :sick:

I use it if I have groups in a list, u, v and w, and x. Otherwise I don't.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 01, 2008, 08:42:42 pm
I use it quite a lot, I must say.  But I know that I am doing so :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on May 01, 2008, 08:46:48 pm
Andrij - speaking as someone who has cycled alongside you a couple of times, I feel qualified in thinking of you as atypical when it comes to Merkins.

Not once did you use the word Leverage as a verb, even when the functionality of the gears on your bike was brought into question ;).

Just wait till he gets a puncture. Those tires will be leveraged before you can say "Rumsfeld". ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 01, 2008, 08:53:03 pm
Upon arriving in these blighted blessed Isles I was shocked and disgusted by the 'quality' of English.  From people on the pavements to signs in shops to internationally-respected newspapers, the English language is butchered.  I knew enough about the differences between the varieties of 'North American' English and 'British' English before arriving here. These don't qualify as butchery (though some may disagree).  I mean spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Live and let live, I say.  Viva la difference!

... to students and, on paper at least, well educated colleagues. I find myself spending a lot of time editing dissertations, papers and reports. Naturally I am not always right; but some of the mistakes and some of the approximations I see are shocking. One explanation I have is that I learnt English with a lot of grammar and I find that many native speakers seem to have a poor grasp of basic grammatical principles, which does not help them with writing.

[/retreat carefully]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on May 01, 2008, 09:13:54 pm
Frenchie: quel est ce mot 'shoking' dont tu parles? ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 01, 2008, 09:15:31 pm
Frenchie: quel est ce mot 'shoking' dont tu parles? ;)

Damned! Can we have the spell checker please!  :P :-[
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on May 01, 2008, 09:16:49 pm
Frenchie: quel est ce mot 'shoking' dont tu parles? ;)

Damn! Can we have the spell checker please!  :P :-[

Use the Firefox web browser and install as many dictionaries as you need.  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Woofage on May 01, 2008, 09:24:43 pm
Andrij - speaking as someone who has cycled alongside you a couple of times, I feel qualified in thinking of you as atypical when it comes to Merkins.

Not once did you use the word Leverage as a verb, even when the functionality of the gears on your bike was brought into question ;).

Just wait till he gets a puncture. Those tires will be leveraged before you can say "Rumsfeld". ;)

Time I posted to remind myself whether I remembered to add my signature line to this new profile ;).

My personal hate is the use of the plural form of verbs when the singular form is correct. For example "the Government have introduced legislation...", "the Company have a policy...", "the public take the view..." etc etc. One Government, one Company, one public FFS!

Bah humbug >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jezza on May 01, 2008, 09:26:08 pm
I found a classic comma crime today, from a short story in the local rag:

Quote
"We shall soon know gentlemen" roared the Major. There were women present but the Major made no distinctions.

I would rather not know gentlemen, Major, especially if there are ladies present.

As for commas, Oxford or otherwise, The Economist has this to say:

Quote
Do not put a comma before and at the end of a sequence of items unless one of the items includes another and. Thus The doctor suggested an aspirin, half a grapefruit and a cup of broth. But he ordered scrambled eggs, whisky and soda, and a selection from the trolley.

http://www.economist.com/research/styleGuide/index.cfm?page=805695



 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on May 01, 2008, 09:39:02 pm
I love this language of ours.
This morning, I was writing a presentation ("Death by PowerPoint") about a computer product.  One of the bullet points was

Simple User Interface

Then I realised that the above could be interpreted as "Interface to Simple Users"

D'oh!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 01, 2008, 09:50:46 pm
I love this language of ours.
This morning, I was writing a presentation ("Death by PowerPoint") about a computer product.  One of the bullet points was

Simple User Interface

Then I realised that the above could be interpreted as "Interface to Simple Users"

D'oh!

There's a story - possibly apocryphal - about a professor of physics who wrote an advanced textbook on subatomic particles, intended for postgraduate students.  He entitled it "Elementary Particle Physics".  The publishers sent it back and advised him to change the title to "Physics of Elementary Particles" to avoid it being bought up by first-year undergraduates and sixthformers who would have found it too difficult.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Deano on May 01, 2008, 10:10:25 pm
The one which annoys me is over-use of the reflexive pronoun as if it's just a formal pronoun, eg "If ourselves my help you with anything...".

Ignorance and pretension in one compact package.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on May 01, 2008, 10:17:40 pm
Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on May 01, 2008, 10:30:41 pm
Never use a preposition to end a sentence with.
Quote from: Winston Churchill allegedly
Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nuttycyclist on May 02, 2008, 01:31:22 am
Quote
I suspect that standard "correct" modern English has many usages that would have been considered incorrect in our great-grandparents' time

Indeed. My 1926 edition of Fowler's 'Modern English Usage' is fascinating reading  :)

Not just out great-grandparents time.

If I go into work tomorrow later today and announce that I hope to have a gay time this weekend I will be laughed at.  Yet 50 (??) years ago that would have been perfectly acceptable language to say that I was looking forward to a happy and fun weekend.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 02, 2008, 06:43:58 am
My personal hate is the use of the plural form of verbs when the singular form is correct. For example "the Government have introduced legislation...", "the Company have a policy...", "the public take the view..." etc etc. One Government, one Company, one public FFS!
I admit to that one, as I imagine them as a collection of people rather than a single sentient being.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris S on May 02, 2008, 07:27:51 am
The title of this thread should be "Grammar what makes you cringe."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 02, 2008, 08:32:14 am
My personal hate is the use of the plural form of verbs when the singular form is correct. For example "the Government have introduced legislation...", "the Company have a policy...", "the public take the view..." etc etc. One Government, one Company, one public FFS!
I admit to that one, as I imagine them as a collection of people rather than a single sentient being.

Could someone explain that rule to me?

I was always taught: The police are...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 02, 2008, 08:40:59 am
There is a serious side to the ability to distinguish between good and bad grammar.
Yesterday I received an E-mail, purportedly coming from my bank (it had the correct logo at the head of the E-mail, etc. etc.).  It asks me to click on a link, whereupon I shall be asked to confirm my login details, as part of a 'security upgrade'.   Blah blah blah...

When I visited my online banking via the normal login, there was no mention of any 'security upgrade'.

What aroused my suspicion is the bad grammar in the E-mail, and a liberal sprinkling of exclamation marks, unlikely to feature in genuine messages from the bank.

Certainly I shall be checking this E-mail directly with my bank.  Until then, no way am I clicking on the link in it!

So, you see, assessing grammar has its uses!

Could someone explain that rule to me?

I was always taught: The police are...
Both may be correct.  Grammatical rules can be and often are ambiguous.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Phil on May 02, 2008, 08:53:02 am
I rather like the oxford comma - it makes the list read better in my head, and so I tend to use it. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 02, 2008, 08:54:00 am

Could someone explain that rule to me?

I was always taught: The police are...

The others  - government, company etc - are all singular and would take an s if plural.  There's no such thing as polices. 

Usually when you say "the police" you are using it as a collective noun for a bunch of people with blue uniforms and the right to arrest you, so "are" is correct.  But it is an odd one also because it's not always used as an independent noun.  You can't have one police, or even two police; you can have a police officer, some police officers or a police force, but it is the officers or force that determine whether you use "is" or "are".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 02, 2008, 09:03:29 am
So the government does not refer to its members, correct?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 02, 2008, 09:09:10 am

Could someone explain that rule to me?

I was always taught: The police are...

The others  - government, company etc - are all singular and would take an s if plural.  There's no such thing as polices. 

Usually when you say "the police" you are using it as a collective noun for a bunch of people with blue uniforms and the right to arrest you, so "are" is correct.  But it is an odd one also because it's not always used as an independent noun.  You can't have one police, or even two police; you can have a police officer, some police officers or a police force, but it is the officers or force that determine whether you use "is" or "are".

I think you are trying too hard here. You would always say "the pair of them are going shopping", not "the pair is", although there is only one pair (and you can have several pairs).

There's a difference between collective and plural action. If I say "My team at work is doing a sponsored bike ride," that suggests a collective action enforced by management: I, as a member of the team, have no choice about being involved. If I say "My team at work are doing a sponsored bike ride," that suggests that the individuals in the team are jointly entered, but not that it's an action of the team as a whole---I might very well not take part.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on May 02, 2008, 09:11:32 am
Viva la difference!

That ain't English, mate!

1) Oviously, that's why it was put in italics.  Or is that not a convention taught in the UK?

2) In spite of the supposed animosity between the two peoples, the British do use quite a bit of French, much more so than Americans.

3) Maybe I should have added a  :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Sophie Days. on May 02, 2008, 09:14:17 am
Weather presenters on the TV have recently begun to use 'the nightime hours' or 'daytime hours'.
I thought we had collective nouns for these; night and day?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 09:24:00 am
On the other hand I'll stick to "One less car" because the alternative might be right, but it sounds and reads terribly.

"One car fewer" sounds fine to me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Woofage on May 02, 2008, 09:25:03 am

I think you are trying too hard here. You would always say "the pair of them are going shopping", not "the pair is", although there is only one pair (and you can have several pairs).

There's a difference between collective and plural action. If I say "My team at work is doing a sponsored bike ride," that suggests a collective action enforced by management: I, as a member of the team, have no choice about being involved. If I say "My team at work are doing a sponsored bike ride," that suggests that the individuals in the team are jointly entered, but not that it's an action of the team as a whole---I might very well not take part.

Well, there are always exceptions!

I take your points about collective vs. plural action. I would say that my examples are those of collective action, therefore the singular rule applies, surely?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 09:27:05 am
I rather like the oxford comma - it makes the list read better in my head, and so I tend to use it. 

Except where used to aid clarity as illustrated by Frenchie and Jezza above, it's irrational. Lists are built from right to left:

red

yellow and red

blue, yellow and red

Why would you suddenly put a comma after yellow in the last example but not in the second?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nuttycyclist on May 02, 2008, 09:28:02 am
On the other hand I'll stick to "One less car" because the alternative might be right, but it sounds and reads terribly.

"One car fewer" sounds fine to me.

I'm not fussed over "one car less".  It sounds ok, plus it could be taken to mean "a person without a car. e.g. a car less person.  You wouldn't use the word fewer in that case.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 02, 2008, 09:30:49 am
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

[fx: clears throat]

Having spent a considerable amount of time west of the Atlantic Ocean - where I believe lies this 'Leftpondia' of which you speak - I feel qualified to comment upon your remarks.

Rubbish!

Upon arriving in these blighted blessed Isles I was shocked and disgusted by the 'quality' of English.  From people on the pavements to signs in shops to internationally-respected newspapers, the English language is butchered.  I knew enough about the differences between the varieties of 'North American' English and 'British' English before arriving here. These don't qualify as butchery (though some may disagree).  I mean spelling, punctuation and grammar.

I would not be so foolish as to say that 'US' English is a better variant than 'UK', but in my experience the US locals seem to have a better grasp of their language.  Don't quote the current US president or soundbites and 'vox pop' interviews - that can cut both ways.

I quite enjoy winding up the locals when I'm criticised for using 'American' words like Fall instead of Autumn.  Do I need to point out which word is 'English' and which is 'foreign'?

There are times I would like to see more standardisation among the various varieties of English, but on the other hand I am not a supporter of American hegemony.

Live and let live, I say.  Viva la difference!


I think you mean "Vive la difference!"   ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 09:37:22 am
Should be "fewer", innit... If it's a quantity of something like flour, it's less...

Should be such as  :demon:

In comparisons, "such as" is inclusive and "like" is exclusive.

"I wish I had a bike like a Mercian or an Argos" means that I'd like a quality hand-built machine, but from a different brand.

"I wish I had a bike such as a Mercian or an Argos" means that they are two of the makes I am considering.

Hence the above sentence refers to any similar substance with the exception of flour itself.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 02, 2008, 09:39:24 am
This is a very interesting thread!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Fab Foodie on May 02, 2008, 09:39:44 am
I'm fairly hopeless with grammar and speeling.  I try hard but I never quite grasp it properly.  I am however interested in pedantry and etymology...
I find this useful!  Many thanks to the fair Arch of the CC parish for posting this many moons ago.


Rools ov Inglish…

"To start with, here are some short rules. The point is that each of them illustrates the common error that it describes. Read them carefully, and be sure that you can see the error.

1. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5. Avoid cliches like the plague.

6. Also, always absolutely avoid and abjure annoying alliteration.

7. Be more or less specific.

8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) inappropriate.

9. No sentence fragments.

10. One should never, ever generalise.

11. Contractions aren't necessary, and shouldn't be used.

12. Do not use no double negatives.

13. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

14. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.

15. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

16. Kill all exclamation marks!!!!!!

17. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

18. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place, and omit it when its not needed.

19. Puns are for children, not groan adults.

20. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. "
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Frenchie on May 02, 2008, 09:42:37 am
As a foreigner what I have learnt about writing in English, and what I enjoy about it, is that short, crisp sentences are best. In English (science and engineering at least) it is about being prescise and concise. This is of of the beauty of the language over Romance languages for example: simplicity and clarity.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Fab Foodie on May 02, 2008, 09:46:13 am
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me

I shall refrain from adding a missing full stop.  Or substituting a colon or semicolon for the comma.  ;D

I don't see a problem with "less", when referring to countable items.  Indeed most other languages don't have separate words for "less" and "fewer".  Remember also that the English language is ever changing with the times.
In Swedish they have a similar scheme for the word "More".  They have Fler and Mer.  You use Fler when you are referring to something countable or quantifiable, and Mer when unquantifiable  e.g:

Fler fragor? = more questions
Fler bil = more cars
Mer vatten = more water

I find it hard to grasp the construction of foreign languages because I have a poor grasp of my own's structure.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 09:48:20 am
...Simple User Interface

Then I realised that the above could be interpreted as "Interface to Simple Users"
...He entitled it "Elementary Particle Physics".

In each case you have an adjective and a noun qualifying the final noun. To make the adjective qualify the first noun instead, hyphenate the first two words.


If they are not hyphenated, the basic assumption is that you mean the opposite:


Of course, such conventions only work to convey meaning if everyone agrees on them. That's part of the function of grammar :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 02, 2008, 09:49:30 am
Some English grammar no-nos, particularly the split infinitive and the preposition-at-the-end-of-the-sentence, are rather spurious.  They were based on an attempt to fit Latin grammatical rules onto a then new language in order to give it credibility.  In Latin it's impossible to split an infinitive.

It's acceptable to split infinitives nowadays, and the Churchill example is an excellent case for sometimes using a preposition to finish an sentence.

However*, rumours of whom's demise are greatly exaggerated and the really difficult subjunctive mood seems to be making a comeback.


*I particularly despise the use of "however" to join two sentences, however, lots of people do it  :hand:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 02, 2008, 09:52:55 am
In comparisons, "such as" is inclusive and "like" is exclusive.

"I wish I had a bike like a Mercian or an Argos" means that I'd like a quality hand-built machine, but from a different brand.

"I wish I had a bike such as a Mercian or an Argos" means that they are two of the makes I am considering.

Where do you get this from? I read "such as" as expository: " I wish I had a bike such as a Mercian or an Argos" is what you'd say to someone who knew Mercians and Argotes, but was a bit shaky about the more general concept of a bike.

If your other half is gazing in a window and says "I wish I had a bike like that", and you dive into the shop to haggle carefully over the closest possible match among their stock to the one in the window, but not the one in the window itself, your generous gesture will go astray...

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 09:53:22 am
Personal pet hate (but highly debatable in terms of actual usage over many years): "different to" or "different than".

The roots of the word "different" are in the Latin "carry apart". "Carry apart to" is an oxymoron, and "carry apart than" just doesn't make sense at all, so anything but "different from" clashes in the mind.

Discuss...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on May 02, 2008, 09:55:27 am
Live and let live, I say.  Viva la difference!


I think you mean "Vive la difference!"   ;)

I stand corrected.  :-[

But I still think it was a good effort, especially considering how difficult French spelling can be.  Also, I have never studied that language, but that will change in a few weeks.  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 09:57:53 am
In comparisons, "such as" is inclusive and "like" is exclusive.

Where do you get this from?

You want me to justify my opinions? ;)

OK, I own up, that one is just the way I naturally read things. I may well have read it in Fowler, but I can't lay hands on my copy at present.

I'd just hope that the bike in the window was the wrong size ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 02, 2008, 10:00:54 am
OK, I own up, that one is just the way I naturally read things. I may well have read it in Fowler, but I can't lay hands on my copy at present.
It's not in Gower's second edition of Fowler. I can't lay hands on a copy of any other edition without going over to the other bookcase.  ;)

Fowler has some particularly scathing words for the superstitious avoidance of "different to"---it's certainly wrong in general to appeal to Latin for questions of English prepositional usage---and gives some examples of where "different than" is correct.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on May 02, 2008, 10:10:14 am
Shakespeare split infinitives and used double negatives, but then he wrote before rules of English were invented.

Grammar rules are useful as a basis for clear communication, and can be a blight on the language if slavishly followed.

Speech is often less formal than the written word, partly because context and inflexion reduce ambiguity. However the apostrophe is finding its way into print more and more, and forms such as 'I'm' and 'you're' seem to be more common than 'I am' or 'you are'. I'm not sure why this is.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 02, 2008, 10:15:54 am
I am a pretty equable chap, for a pedant. But I admit to a small cringe at hearing, as is now almost invariable, "may" for "might": "The failed bombers of 21 July may have killed several hundred people".  No they bleeding didn't.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on May 02, 2008, 10:39:01 am
Should be "fewer", innit... If it's a quantity of something like flour, it's less...

Should be such as  :demon:


And to think I almost said I loved you for trouncing the Oxford comma  ;)

Well spotted. I actually dislike the use of "like" instead of "such as", so it just goes to show we can't all be perfect ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 02, 2008, 10:51:57 am
You would always say "the pair of them are going shopping", not "the pair is", although there is only one pair (and you can have several pairs).

But there you are using "the pair of them" numerically, in the same way as "the two of them".  You could also say  "the three of them", and it is a direct substituation for "they", but with numerical information

Yes you can have a pair, but you can't have a three or a two.

Quote
There's a difference between collective and plural action.

That is what I meant.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 10:55:39 am
Evidence found :)

Here's an exposition of such as and like (http://gmat-grammar.blogspot.com/2006/06/like-vs-such-as.html) linked to the US business-school "Graduate Management Admission Test (http://www.gmac.com/gmac/thegmat/gmatbasics/)".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 02, 2008, 11:17:07 am
Evidence found :)

Here's an exposition of such as and like (http://gmat-grammar.blogspot.com/2006/06/like-vs-such-as.html) linked to the US business-school "Graduate Management Admission Test (http://www.gmac.com/gmac/thegmat/gmatbasics/)".
Your example is on a page which confuses "there" and "their", and cannot decide between a question and its answer: "Why the above sentence is wrong?". Do you really want to call it in evidence?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on May 02, 2008, 11:45:48 am
Incorrect use of Fewer and Less is either laziness or ignorance. One is excusable and the other can be dealt with through education.

There's a pet hate of mine in one of the Avatars on this thread. "Weather conditions". A tautology.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Deano on May 02, 2008, 11:54:51 am
There's a pet hate of mine in one of the Avatars on this thread. "Weather conditions". A tautology.

Blame Durham County Council - ignorant and uneducated, in my opinion  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on May 02, 2008, 12:13:05 pm
I prefer to read "Your a muppet" on forums.  As wrong as it is, it sounds cooler and is more insulting, IMO.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on May 02, 2008, 12:46:16 pm
I rather like the oxford comma - it makes the list read better in my head, and so I tend to use it. 

Except where used to aid clarity as illustrated by Frenchie and Jezza above, it's irrational. Lists are built from right to left:

red

yellow and red

blue, yellow and red

Why would you suddenly put a comma after yellow in the last example but not in the second?

But what if I build my list as

red

red and yellow

red, yellow and blue

?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on May 02, 2008, 01:03:33 pm
Personal pet hate (but highly debatable in terms of actual usage over many years): "different to" or "different than".

The roots of the word "different" are in the Latin "carry apart". "Carry apart to" is an oxymoron, and "carry apart than" just doesn't make sense at all, so anything but "different from" clashes in the mind.

Discuss...

Ignoring "different than" because only Americans and people who watch too much telly would use that...

The analogy is with "similar to..." Presumably the roots of the word similar are similar, eg something like "bring together", so "bring together to" would be equally nonsensical. So the argument is that if we say "A is similar to B", we should say "B is different to C".

An equally good argument is that different is the opposite of similar, and from is the opposite of to, so if "similar to" is correct then "different from" would be correct.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on May 02, 2008, 01:13:11 pm
My partner's Ealing Polling card claimed that the polling station had a 'disabled entrance'. So how could the voters get inside to vote?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on May 02, 2008, 01:14:15 pm
I was recently praised (by an older man) for using the word 'fewer'. Does it truly matter, tho? Failure to make the distinction doesn't obscure meaning, it can't be used to deceive. It's not the sort of thing that Orwell would cite, were we to resurrect him and have him write a noughties 'Politics and the English Language'.


It can do.

Lots of intelligent people post in "The Pub", fewer intelligent people post in "Audax and Cyclosportive"

OR

Lots of intelligent people post in "The Pub", less intelligent people post in "Audax and Cyclosportive"


The Government wanted to employ less civil servants...

OR

The Government wanted to employ fewer civil servants...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 02, 2008, 01:37:13 pm
I prefer to read "Your a muppet" on forums.  As wrong as it is, it sounds cooler and is more insulting, IMO.
The canonical b3ta flame is "your all gay", which spawned its own website.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 01:55:24 pm
My partner's Ealing Polling card claimed that the polling station had a 'disabled entrance'. So how could the voters get inside to vote?
Probably through "this door (which) is alarmed". As opposed to that one over there, which is terrified.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on May 02, 2008, 01:58:53 pm
"Bus stopping at next bus stop. Please stand well clear of doors."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 02, 2008, 02:01:01 pm
So the argument is that if we say "A is similar to B", we should say "B is different to C".

An equally good argument is that different is the opposite of similar, and from is the opposite of to, so if "similar to" is correct then "different from" would be correct.

IMHO the first argument fails because of the sense of movement in "different". The two are diversifying, or diversified, from each other. You can't move apart and towards each other at the same time.

If you tried to extend it, you'd have to conclude that because "A is joined with B" then "C is separated with D".

The second argument produces the "right" answer, but not necessarily for sound reasons.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on May 02, 2008, 03:01:37 pm
So the argument is that if we say "A is similar to B", we should say "B is different to C".

An equally good argument is that different is the opposite of similar, and from is the opposite of to, so if "similar to" is correct then "different from" would be correct.

IMHO the first argument fails because of the sense of movement in "different". The two are diversifying, or diversified, from each other. You can't move apart and towards each other at the same time.

If you tried to extend it, you'd have to conclude that because "A is joined with B" then "C is separated with D".

But A is not joined with B, it's joined to B! Obviously, C is separated to.... errrmm, whatever, it's definitely not separated than D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Si on May 02, 2008, 03:08:58 pm
Fave at the mo:

"The winners are the ones that bring me the most amount of money."

I guess that if you've that amount of money no one ever corrects you as money talks louder than grammar.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fruitcake on May 05, 2008, 05:54:43 pm
Just heard:
"Shardlow has the most number of pubs"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 05, 2008, 09:04:51 pm
But A is not joined with B, it's joined to B!

It depends on the sense. A is joined with B implies the bringing together of two (approximate) equals, creating a greater whole. A is joined to B implies that B is pretty big and adding in A doesn't make an enormous difference. On the other hand, A is joined to B can also imply a very weak linkage.

For example, country A might be joined to country B by a narrow strip of land, but they would still have their separate identities.

You can certainly be joined with B in holy matrimony, even if some people feel that they are joined to ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 05, 2008, 09:22:08 pm
Uninterested and disinterested are commonly confused by writers who should know better.

Uninterested - don't give a toss
Disinterested - impartial
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on May 05, 2008, 10:57:56 pm
Oh, and momentarily - it means for a moment, not in a moment.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on May 05, 2008, 11:13:29 pm
I cannot abide weather persons who refer to "cold temperatures".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Quisling on May 05, 2008, 11:14:59 pm
Please enlighten me - when should one use "them" instead of "those".

Kate Bush referred to "Them heavy people" which sounds wrong, though in fairness Girls Aloud didn't "need no good advice" did they?

Q
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 05, 2008, 11:16:16 pm
One that bugs the inner physicist is "quantum leap"used to describe a big/fundamental change
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 05, 2008, 11:17:24 pm
I was recently praised (by an older man) for using the word 'fewer'. Does it truly matter, tho? Failure to make the distinction doesn't obscure meaning, it can't be used to deceive. It's not the sort of thing that Orwell would cite, were we to resurrect him and have him write a noughties 'Politics and the English Language'.



The Government wanted to employ less civil servants...

OR

The Government wanted to employ fewer civil servants...

Both of those are correct.  The Government employs fewer civil servant... and the ones they employ have definitely become less civil in my experience...  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 06, 2008, 09:41:19 pm
One that bugs the inner physicist is "quantum leap"used to describe a big/fundamental change

That always gets me too - glad I am not the only one. By definition, a quantum leap is surely the smallest advance possible, and one so small as to be immeasurable by all normal standards.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on May 06, 2008, 09:43:43 pm
I suppose that it is a step-change, a discontinuity - but as you say (usually) a very small one :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Johnny Thin on May 06, 2008, 11:31:44 pm
Please enlighten me - when should one use "them" instead of "those".

Kate Bush referred to "Them heavy people" which sounds wrong, though in fairness Girls Aloud didn't "need no good advice" did they?

Q

'Them' is a pronoun ie a substitute for a noun phrase.

'Those' is a "demonstrative adjective"?  So "them" could refer to "those heavy people", but only if they are having something done to them, rather than doing something - pretty obvious eg "I saw those heavy people, they were crossing the road" but not "them were crossing the road", but "I saw those heavy people, people are weighing them."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 07, 2008, 04:03:32 am
Strictly, a semi-colon should be used in your examples, thus:

"I saw those heavy people; they were crossing the road."

"I saw those heavy people; people are weighing them."

In each case, you have two clauses that are themselves complete sentences, so they cannot be separated by commas. 'Those' is being used as an adjective, i.e. it refers to the noun 'people' that accompanies it.

Just to complicate it, though, 'those' can be used as a demonstrative pronoun, thus:

"He gave those to his fellow-rider."

In my example, 'them' could be substituted for 'those'; both are pronouns, i.e. they stand in place of nouns. For example, if 'those'/'them' refers to energy drinks, then the pronoun stands in place of the noun "drinks":

"He gave the drinks to his fellow-rider."

'Them' cannot be used as an adjective and, as you say, "them heavy people" will always be wrong.

As a pronoun, 'those' is slightly stronger than 'them'. It suggests 'those particular ones', where special effort has been made to define which ones:

"John bought some apples and gave them to his mother."

but:

"John picked out the best apples. He gave those to his mother."

This is why 'those' is a demonstrative pronoun and 'them' is not. However, this is just a shade of meaning, and in many cases either pronoun could be used.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on May 07, 2008, 10:22:30 am
By definition, a quantum leap is surely the smallest advance possible

Not quite. Whilst the energy involved in a quantum leap is considerably less than the energy required to completely free an electron from an atom, it doesn't necessarily mean it is the smallest possible quantity of energy.

As MV says, the "leap" in the term is used to indicate a set of discrete energy levels between which the electrons leap. Classical physics had a continuum of energy levels which quantum mechanics tore to pieces.

And this is why, I thought at least, it is sometimes used to refer to massive changes. Quantum Mechanics blew large holes in classical theories and forced lots of people to rethink how stuff actually works.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: jellied on May 07, 2008, 10:28:37 am
what is the opposite of flamable?

and why does flamable and inflamable mean the same?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PeteB99 on May 07, 2008, 10:29:07 am
This weekends horrible word courtesy of Clyde coastguard Gun and Subfacts broadcasts

Deconfliction

I think I know what it means but I'd never heard anyone say it before.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PeteB99 on May 07, 2008, 10:29:52 am
what is the opposite of flamable?

and why does flamable and inflamable mean the same?

Non flamable?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: jellied on May 07, 2008, 10:30:32 am
why is it not "unflamable"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on May 07, 2008, 10:32:53 am
what is the opposite of flamable?


Perfectly crafted with no opportunity for a troll to come back?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 07, 2008, 10:39:30 am
what is the opposite of flamable?

and why does flamable and inflamable mean the same?

It's lucky this isn't a "spelling that makes you cringe" thread ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Melbourne12 on May 07, 2008, 10:41:34 am
This weekends horrible word courtesy of Clyde coastguard Gun and Subfacts broadcasts

Deconfliction

I think I know what it means but I'd never heard anyone say it before.

I first heard it in a military context, "to deconflict targets" meaning to make sure that two guns weren't both aiming at the same thing.

I guess it's American in origin.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on May 07, 2008, 10:46:19 am
what is the opposite of flamable?

and why does flamable and inflamable mean the same?

I think it's the case that 'flammable' is a modern construction because 'inflammable' was deemed to be capable of misinterpretation, but think of the difference between 'to inflame' and 'to flame'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Johnny Thin on May 07, 2008, 12:16:51 pm
Quote
Strictly, a semi-colon should be used in your examples ...


Is this a grammar thread or a punctuation thread?  Using semi-colons would hardly make the (not very well-chosen) examples any clearer.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Thor on May 07, 2008, 12:20:38 pm
Ad nauseum recorded message while queuing for a bank call centre operative "someone will be with you as soon as they are available"  >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rafletcher on May 07, 2008, 02:06:21 pm
A couple of grammatical (or possibly ungrammatical) traits from the Emerald Isle that I find irritating...

Using "bring" in place of "take" as in "I'll bring you to the shops tomorrow" a la America...

Using "avail" to mean (which it may in fact do!) "take advantage of" or "benefit from" as in "to avail of this offer phone..."

Strangely I've readily adapted to the use of Euro (singular) in place of Euros (plural) when saying "10 Euro" and now the use of the plural sounds odd to my ears. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on May 07, 2008, 02:23:21 pm

Strangely I've readily adapted to the use of Euro (singular) in place of Euros (plural) when saying "10 Euro" and now the use of the plural sounds odd to my ears. 

Is that the counterpoint of, "That'll be one pence, please."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 07, 2008, 02:37:26 pm
I rather like the optional rule that, for most wild animals (especially game animals) there is no separate plural.

"A herd of wildebeest"

"A school of fish"

"There are lion on these plains"

Sadly it doesn't extend to

"There was a great bunch of chav outside McDonalds".

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on May 07, 2008, 02:49:58 pm
what is the opposite of flamable?

Flame resistant.

and why does flamable and inflamable mean the same?

I spose it's cos the 'in' prefix does not mean not and is more akin to 'a' as in awake or abed (different language roots though).

<pedant>
It's flammable with a double m
<pedant>
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on May 07, 2008, 02:53:29 pm

Strangely I've readily adapted to the use of Euro (singular) in place of Euros (plural) when saying "10 Euro" and now the use of the plural sounds odd to my ears. 

Is that the counterpoint of, "That'll be one pence, please."

One pence has made me cringe for the last 37.245 years.

It never seemed to happen before decimalisation.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Johnny Thin on May 07, 2008, 04:02:52 pm
Is this a grammar thread or an idiom thread?   :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on May 07, 2008, 04:08:44 pm
It's an idiomatic guide to grammar.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hubner on May 07, 2008, 04:10:38 pm
Is this a grammar thread or an idiom thread?   :demon:

No, I think it's a pedant-who-subscribes-to-one-prescriptive-grammar  thread.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 07, 2008, 05:27:06 pm
One pence has made me cringe for the last 37.245 years.

It never seemed to happen before decimalisation.
I think I'd be delighted to learn that some item cost just "one penny", or "one pence", or "1p", or whatever...  ;)  Seeing as you can scarce get on a bus these days without taking out a mortgage....

In the early days of decimalization we all said "one pee", "two pee" etc., which made a lot of folks cringe!  But that was mainly to reinforce the message that we were talking decimal, at a time when many folks were still thinking in terms of half-crowns, sixpences, threepenny* bits, and old pence (and ha'pence) with a 'd'...  Happily the "pee" practice seems to have died out now...

*And now a poser for our younger listeners - what was the correct pronunciation of "threepenny"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 07, 2008, 05:54:29 pm
I rather like the optional rule that, for most wild animals (especially game animals) there is no separate plural.

"A herd of wildebeest"

"A school of fish"

"There are lion on these plains"
And of course a mob of euro. Though I don't think anyone actually hunts Macropus robustus, and my marsupial books call them, en masse, euros.

But actually the usage of not pluralising units of currency is defensible and regular. You don't dig in your pocket for twenty quids.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Johnny Thin on May 07, 2008, 06:07:34 pm
Is this a grammar thread or an idiom thread?   :demon:

No, I think it's a pedant-who-subscribes-to-one-prescriptive-grammar  thread.

Now, do you mean "prescriptive" or "proscriptive"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on May 07, 2008, 06:27:18 pm
One pence has made me cringe for the last 37.245 years.

It never seemed to happen before decimalisation.
I think I'd be delighted to learn that some item cost just "one penny", or "one pence", or "1p", or whatever...  ;)  Seeing as you can scarce get on a bus these days without taking out a mortgage...

You can't buy anything for 1p, but 'one pence change' adds to the pocket-ripping shrapnel after you've made your £*.99 purchase.


*And now a poser for our younger listeners - what was the correct pronunciation of "threepenny"?

Sorry, I'm not one of the younger readers...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 07, 2008, 07:22:24 pm
what is the opposite of flamable?

and why does flamable and inflamable mean the same?

It's lucky this isn't a "spelling that makes you cringe" thread ;)

But since it is a grammar thread, that 'does' should be 'do'. ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on May 07, 2008, 07:49:31 pm

*And now a poser for our younger listeners - what was the correct pronunciation of "threepenny"?

Thrupny?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 07, 2008, 07:57:53 pm

*And now a poser for our younger listeners - what was the correct pronunciation of "threepenny"?

Thrupny?
:thumbsup:  I just wondered if anyone didn't know....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on May 07, 2008, 08:14:53 pm
I'm old enough to have been very irritated when I first saw the word "flammable".

Inflammable comes from the verb to inflame. No doubt someone will be along in a moment to correct me, but the only verb "to flame" that I know is for a large group to shout down an individual by electronic means.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on May 07, 2008, 08:17:11 pm
In Ireland, 2d is pronounced "Two-penny", not "tuppenny".  As my father found out to his cost when teased about his pronunciation on coming to England in the '40s.

Yes, I am a second-generation economic migrant.  To be sure.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rafletcher on May 08, 2008, 01:12:45 pm


But actually the usage of not pluralising units of currency is defensible and regular. You don't dig in your pocket for twenty quids.
[/quote]

But you would for twenty pounds. Or the same quantity of dollars.  But then the British would say "Five Francs" whereas the French would say "cinq Franc" and the Germans "funf Mark"  - well they would have, and now would use Euro not Euros - which is perhaps why the Irish follow suit.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 08, 2008, 05:11:20 pm
I'm old enough to have been very irritated when I first saw the word "flammable".
Probably influenced by the fact that the word is prominently emblazoned across the back of the truck in the film Duel.


whereas the French would say "cinq Franc" and the Germans "funf Mark"
Maybe, but I think the French would be written "cinq Francs" but of course the 's' is silent, so it would sound like what you wrote.  As for the German, I think the plural of "Mark" is just "Mark", as with many German words which have no distinct plural ending.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom B on May 08, 2008, 05:17:06 pm
Quote
But actually the usage of not pluralising units of currency is defensible and regular

And standard in many parts of N England and quite possibly elsewhere
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on May 08, 2008, 09:16:13 pm
I'm old enough to have been very irritated when I first saw the word "flammable".
Probably influenced by the fact that the word is prominently emblazoned across the back of the truck in the film Duel.

I reckon I first noticed it in the mid 1960s. "Duel" was made in 1971.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: blackpuddinonnabike on May 14, 2008, 05:03:33 pm
I've started documenting the bits of bad grammar I see (yes, yes, I know, my anorak is just over there...)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3087/2492019766_5a8e13d1c8.jpg?v=0)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on May 14, 2008, 05:09:56 pm
I'm old enough to have been very irritated when I first saw the word "flammable".
Probably influenced by the fact that the word is prominently emblazoned across the back of the truck in the film Duel.

I reckon I first noticed it in the mid 1960s. "Duel" was made in 1971.

The OED's earliest citation for 'flammable' is from 1813.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on May 14, 2008, 05:23:00 pm
In contradiction to PolarBear on page 1 of this thread:

You, blackpuddinonabike, are Lyne Truss AICMFP.

The Greengrocer's apostrophe is a pet hate of mine too.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on May 14, 2008, 05:24:11 pm
I've started documenting the bits of bad grammar I see (yes, yes, I know, my anorak is just over there...)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3087/2492019766_5a8e13d1c8.jpg?v=0)

You should go into the shop and enquire (as the sign say's) "iPod's what?"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pete on May 14, 2008, 05:51:19 pm
They only have one iPod, and it is available.  Or maybe "iPod" is the name of one of the young ladies of the establishment?

You should go into the shop and enquire (as the sign say's) "iPod's what?"
Ahem.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peterh on May 15, 2008, 12:40:53 am
I've started documenting the bits of bad grammar I see (yes, yes, I know, my anorak is just over there...)


You can use this if you want to  :)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2106/2492813301_a790b5d3fb.jpg)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on May 15, 2008, 07:42:20 am
[uber-pedant]
Technically, "Rank for 2 Taxi's" could be treated as correct.  The apostrophe indicates missing letters, because the sign is not big enough for

"Rank for 2 Taxicabs"

[/uber-pedant]
How do we find out if the sign-writer was thinking that when he wrote it? Or if he just thought "Oh - plural ending in a vowel, must put squiggle in!"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: geraldc on May 15, 2008, 08:00:28 am
If they are referring to iPod as a brand, then it's correct.

E.g. 'Coke is available here', would be contracted to 'Coke's available here'.

If you were referring to iPods plural, it would be 'iPods are available here'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 15, 2008, 06:21:54 pm
Ah but that goes back to an earlier point. iPods are discrete units. Coke isn't. You have fewer iPods and less Coke :D

Therefore you can't entirely compare them.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on May 16, 2008, 06:23:45 am
In India for example the people I have worked with follow, speak and spell the American English way.
The people I work with, and everyone I speak to, in India, uses Indian English. It's definitely neither British nor American in grammar, syntax, vocabulary (obviously), or spelling. Nor in pragmatics come to that. However, most of the spelling used in official sources (government publications etc) is more British than American.

As for grammar that grates, but I nevertheless find increasingly acceptable, a new newspaper is being advertised with the slogan "Less words, more news".

In the context of cycling forums it makes me twinge - but not cringe - to see brake/break and pedal/peddle confused, even though the meaning is (so far at least) always clear.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on May 16, 2008, 06:41:51 am
The CTC sent me some junk mail yesterday telling me I could get my first three month's insurance free  :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on May 16, 2008, 01:39:58 pm
The CTC sent me some junk mail yesterday telling me I could get my first three month's insurance free  :D
Veering OT
I received that yesterday too and it made me VERY ANGRY!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Legs on June 24, 2009, 03:28:41 pm
[uber-pedant]
Technically, "Rank for 2 Taxi's" could be treated as correct.  The apostrophe indicates missing letters, because the sign is not big enough for

"Rank for 2 Taxicabs"

[/uber-pedant]
How do we find out if the sign-writer was thinking that when he wrote it? Or if he just thought "Oh - plural ending in a vowel, must put squiggle in!"?


I've sometimes thought that photo's is defensible for the same reason.

One thing I've noticed increasing markedly is people using brought as if it were the past participle of to buy.  What's that about?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 24, 2009, 07:44:22 pm
One thing I've noticed increasing markedly is people using brought as if it were the past participle of to buy.  What's that about?
Not enough bring and buy sales any more!  Or are they bling and bry?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tonycollinet on June 24, 2009, 08:09:17 pm
I tried to read the whole thread - I really did. But then I felt my will to live slowly slipping away.

So if this has already been said - sorry. But not very sorry.

As my A level English student daughter delights in telling me whenever I correct her garmmar:

English is a living breathing language, in a constant state of evolution. What is correct usage now, was not previously, and what is not now, will be in the future. The process of "Regularisation" (through which exceptions to grammatical rules will be eliminated) will continue, and popular usage will become "correct" usage.

It is quite likely S's will be replaced with Z's in some cases in the future - due to popular usage initiated on line.

Lolspeak anyone?
 ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on June 24, 2009, 08:33:26 pm
As my A level English student daughter delights in telling me whenever I correct her garmmar:

English is a living breathing language, in a constant state of evolution. What is correct usage now, was not previously, and what is not now, will be in the future. The process of "Regularisation" (through which exceptions to grammatical rules will be eliminated) will continue, and popular usage will become "correct" usage.

That's the usual excuse from those who can't do it properly  ;)

"A" Level English always used to be more about literature than technical accuracy anyway.

Back on topic, I found myself very, very slightly irritated by one of my daughter's books, where the main character complains "I wish my cat was exciting."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 24, 2009, 10:29:02 pm
I'm inclined to agree. Some of the modern variations break rules, thus complicating things and creating exceptions.

An obvious and older example is "attendee". Normally, an "ee" is the indirect object of an action and the "er" or "or" is the actor. For example, that's how we know the difference between a lessor and a lessee, and a referee is the person to whom disputes are referred. Thus, an attendee is the object of the attentions of an attendant, and cannot be someone who goes to a meeting. Breaking such rules makes English harder, not easier.

As my A level English student daughter delights in telling me whenever I correct her garmmar:

And when you correct spelling her? ;D

...due to popular usage initiated on line.

Should be "owing to" ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tonycollinet on June 24, 2009, 10:57:04 pm
Hmm

That's not spelling - that is a clear typo.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 24, 2009, 11:09:25 pm
Yes, of course it is. I never thought otherwise. I'm sorry, it's just funny sometimes that the word in which we make a typo is so well-chosen. If you're talking about English, then after actually mis-spelling the word "spelling", mis-spelling "grammar" is the one.

But maybe it's just my sense of humour. I'll go off and sit in the corner for a bit :-[
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 25, 2009, 07:58:36 am
And when you correct spelling her? ;D

[Yoda]
Word Order Not Important Is.
[/Yoda]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 25, 2009, 08:43:04 am
But drossal - most of the 'rules' were pretty arbtirary decisions by the eighteenth century grammarians who favoured etymology and consistent word order over commonly understood usage and communication. Often the aesthetics of the grammarian style (because it is a style), are horrible; as Winston Churchill commented: "This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put!"  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on June 25, 2009, 08:58:12 am
When did the written word start taking a much bigger part on our world? Could it have been in the 18th Century and could that be the main reason for favouring "etymology and consistent word order over commonly understood usage"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 25, 2009, 09:10:11 am
But drossal - most of the 'rules' were pretty arbtirary decisions by the eighteenth century grammarians who favoured etymology and consistent word order over commonly understood usage and communication.
"commonly understood usage" ?

Hmm. My experience seems similar to Drossall; breaking the rules generally makes things _harder_ to understand. Having 10 ways to spell 'bought' doesn't help anyone.

"Could of" ?
"Wich you" ?

Common perhaps, but not easily understood.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on June 25, 2009, 09:17:58 am


Hmm. My experience seems similar to Drossall; breaking the rules generally makes things _harder_ to understand. Having 10 ways to spell 'bought' doesn't help anyone.

"Could of" ?
"Wich you" ?

Common perhaps, but not easily understood.

There's a subtle difference between breaking the rules and making mistakes.

Informal usage is different from formal usage, but formal usage is becoming rarer. For instance, many serious publications now use apostrophised abbreviations.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on June 25, 2009, 09:24:36 am
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D

M&S and Waitrose both use 'fewer'. Shop at either of these and save on marker pens.

I prefer "Less".  It confuses the pedants and means there are less fewer less fewer (oh, what the f**k?) less people in the "10 items or less" queue
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Really Ancien on June 25, 2009, 09:27:10 am
Good grammar places good words in a setting that helps them shine and sparkle like fine crystal and lifts ideas from the page. Most of what's written deserves to stay stuck to the page, out of harms way. I dedicate this sentiment to all those marking scripts in the fine weather, when they should be out on the bike, as I will be today.

Damon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on June 25, 2009, 09:31:31 am
Good grammar places good words in a setting that helps them shine and sparkle like fine crystal and lifts ideas from the page. Most of what's written deserves to stay stuck to the page, out of harms way. I dedicate this sentiment to all those marking scripts in the fine weather, when they should be out on the bike, as I will be today.

Damon.

Nicely put.

Shakespear would have been banned by grammar-nazis of his day.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 25, 2009, 09:32:30 am
Good grammar places good words in a setting that helps them shine and sparkle like fine crystal and lifts ideas from the page. Most of what's written deserves to stay stuck to the page, out of harms way.
Oh I say, well put sir :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on June 25, 2009, 09:32:44 am
Poor grammar and spelling, whether intentional or not, are like CAPITAL LETTERS. They slow down comprehension. Caveat Scriptor.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on June 25, 2009, 09:36:50 am
Good grammar places good words in a setting that helps them shine and sparkle like fine crystal and lifts ideas from the page. Most of what's written deserves to stay stuck to the page, out of harms way. I dedicate this sentiment to all those marking scripts in the fine weather, when they should be out on the bike, as I will be today.

Damon.
;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on June 25, 2009, 09:40:36 am
Good grammar places good words in a setting that helps them shine and sparkle like fine crystal and lifts ideas from the page. Most of what's written deserves to stay stuck to the page, out of harms way. I dedicate this sentiment to all those marking scripts in the fine weather, when they should be out on the bike, as I will be today.

Damon.
;D
Pedagog paederast pedalo pedant.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 25, 2009, 09:41:24 am
Poor grammar and spelling, whether intentional or not, are like CAPITAL LETTERS. They slow down comprehension. Caveat Scriptor.

(Probably not a good example; that sentence makes it clear what capital letters are, thus aiding comprehension. ;) )
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 25, 2009, 09:52:19 am
There's a subtle difference between breaking the rules and making mistakes.

Amen to that.

I take the view that the rules are there to help you - they are an aid to clear communication. If you're a good writer with a feel for how language works, you can often get away with breaking the rules for the sake of style.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 25, 2009, 10:06:31 am
Breaking the rules v. mistakes: that is why I like phrases such as, "That made oi laugh," and, "I's 'appy, I is," but dislike, "Help me loose weight," and, "You should of peddled up that hill."

Whale putt.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on June 25, 2009, 10:23:35 am
Breaking the rules v. mistakes: that is why I like phrases such as, "That made oi laugh," and, "I's 'appy, I is," but dislike, "Help me loose weight," and, "You should of peddled up that hill."

Maybe we should all buy that book by the bitter women who got shagged by an ungrateful and dyslexic Panda (I assume that's what it's about from the title).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Really Ancien on June 25, 2009, 11:05:59 am
Good grammar places good words in a setting that helps them shine and sparkle like fine crystal and lifts ideas from the page. Most of what's written deserves to stay stuck to the page, out of harms way. I dedicate this sentiment to all those marking scripts in the fine weather, when they should be out on the bike, as I will be today.

Damon.
;D
That's punctuation, the apostrophe is an example of mutation, the pivotal problem there is the difference between 'it's',  i.e. 'it is' and 'its', the possessive. It's difficult to predict how this problem will meet its resolution.

Damon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 25, 2009, 12:20:41 pm
"commonly understood usage" ?

Hmm. My experience seems similar to Drossall; breaking the rules generally makes things _harder_ to understand. Having 10 ways to spell 'bought' doesn't help anyone.

That's only because you're at the fag-end of an educational system which has (often literally) beaten in an entirely constructed and elitist 'correctness' to generations of kids. It is the same mentality that regards Scots or Geordie as 'wrong' (rather than 'wrang'  ;) ) and thinks there is something good about 'received pronouciation' (as it that which is received in polite society - in other words, amongst snobs).

Thankfully, this is now changing again and we are once again recognizing English as the rich, messy thessauric stew which has made it so successful and adaptable a means of communication as well as a wonderful medium for song, poetry and prose.

Gan canny like, kidda.  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 25, 2009, 12:26:38 pm
BTW, I recommend that everyone who thinks that there is such a thing as 'correct' English and immutable 'rules' has a gander at David Crystal's The Stories of English. That'll learn you. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 25, 2009, 12:30:25 pm
That's only because you're at the fag-end of an educational system which has (often literally) beaten in an entirely constructed and elitist 'correctness' to generations of kids. It is the same mentality that regards Scots or Geordie as 'wrong' (rather than 'wrang'  ;) ) and thinks there is something good about 'received pronouciation' (as it that which is received in polite society - in other words, amongst snobs).

But there are plenty of 'snobs' who I think speak very unclearly.

(Slight tangent: Part of me thinks that the global mix of language across our planet is a nice thing that should be encouraged (perhaps even Welsh, but not Geordie). But then I remember that most conflict is due to people not talking. People who speak different languages are less likely to jaw not war. Would you fight for the right to speak funny?)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Really Ancien on June 25, 2009, 12:50:13 pm
Diversity promotes vigour in language and unity promotes understanding. Idiomatic speech has its Shibboleths to weed out the interloper and written language acheives the same through grammar. Increasingly there is a schism between those who write as they speak and those who speak as they read and write. I do have thoughts which are ungrammatical, I call them feelings, and it's rude to burden folk with emotions which are not resolved enough to be correctly parsed.

Damon
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 25, 2009, 03:53:47 pm
Diversity promotes vigour in language and unity promotes understanding.

That's a nice slogan but philosophically not robust at all! There is no necessary reason why we would all understand each other perfectly if we all spoke exactly the same way. It might create the superficial impression that we should, but that is a different thing. D'ya ken?

Quote
Idiomatic speech has its Shibboleths to weed out the interloper and written language acheives the same through grammar.

It simply isn't that clear cut - grammar is not designed 'to weed out interlopers' - because grammar in general is not the same as the concept of one kind of 'correct grammar'. Grammar is functional in all different kinds of ways, and had served different purposes throughout history. The creation of 'correct grammar' may well be designed to exclude and control - that has indeed been my argument. But not grammar in general - that is simply an emergent property of language.
Quote

Increasingly there is a schism between those who write as they speak and those who speak as they read and write. I do have thoughts which are ungrammatical, I call them feelings, and it's rude to burden folk with emotions which are not resolved enough to be correctly parsed.

That sounds rather like something Doctor Johnson would have said, it is every bit is witty and callous and ideologically loaded. So ironically it is an example of what you have said is not desirable - illogical and emotional, whilst at the same time being 'well parsed'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 25, 2009, 03:57:45 pm
... and unity promotes understanding.

That's a nice slogan but philosophically not robust at all! There is no necessary reason why we would all understand each other perfectly if we all spoke exactly the same way. It might create the superficial impression that we should, but that is a different thing.

Well, I have to admit that, despite using my own mother tongue, you have written something there that I do not understand at all. Explain yourself sir!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on June 25, 2009, 04:10:04 pm
"You and I" when it should be "you and me". Also see "He & I" in place of "him & me", etc.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Really Ancien on June 25, 2009, 05:01:00 pm
Shibboleths are a good thing, I can safely ignore e-mails that say 'You Log-In details is faulty'.
English is one of the less rigorous grammars, languages such as 'Hoch Deutsch' erect higher barriers between the colloquial and the correct.
I was wondering what it is that makes Obama seem so 'Presidential'. We believe that he thinks in those rounded rhetorical phrases, and that it betokens the keen analytical mind of a law professor. In contrast George W Bush used a colloquial Texan designed to indicate native cunning. Outside the USA it just made him seem dim. There are horses for courses and it can pay to adopt a universal idiom to avoid ambiguities.
I'm all for diversity though. Nearly everyone speaks in fractured language, punctuated with particles of speech, just like Obama when he's ambushed with a question without prior notice.
Anyone who doesn't do that is perceived as a con-man.

Damon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 25, 2009, 05:08:00 pm
"You and I" when it should be "you and me".

Ooh! That one really winds me up. You could argue that the error rarely leads to ambiguity and is therefore excusable, but what irks me about it is that there seems to be a widespread but misguided notion that "You and me" is always wrong, so people deliberately and consciously use "You and I" even when it is incorrect, thereby demonstrating that they haven't got a fucking clue about the simple grammatical rule behind it.

Dangling participles are another of my pet hates, although they can be unintentionally amusing.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 25, 2009, 05:31:32 pm
The creation of 'correct grammar' may well be designed to exclude and control - that has indeed been my argument. But not grammar in general - that is simply an emergent property of language.

I think there's a difference between what you might call "formal grammar" and "natural grammar". The latter is inherent in language and the same for all languages - what you get when you reduce language to pure logic. Formal grammar is an artificial construction, an arbitrary social code, a kind of verbal etiquette. (To be honest, I'm paraphrasing what bits I vaguely remember from studying Wittgenstein many years ago, and I suspect his ideas are considered out of date now anyway.)

We have to all do it the same to a certain extent, otherwise we wouldn't be able to understand each other, but a few misplaced apostrophes here and there aren't really all that important.

(FM, I think what I'm saying, in a very roundabout way, is that I agree with your comments.)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 25, 2009, 06:51:13 pm
"You and I" when it should be "you and me". Also see "He & I" in place of "him & me", etc.

Why does this actually matter? I mean, really? This is a perfect example of an obsession with 'correctness' over communication. There is no confusion of meaning here. 

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on June 25, 2009, 07:10:12 pm
"You and I" when it should be "you and me". Also see "He & I" in place of "him & me", etc.

Why does this actually matter? I mean, really? This is a perfect example of an obsession with 'correctness' over communication. There is no confusion of meaning here. 

Well, it depends what you mean by actually matter, I suppose. It may not actually matter to say something like, "Bad grammar makes you and I cringe", but would you say "Bad grammar makes I cringe"?

While I'm in pedant mode, I remember a nice illustration of why punctuation really matters (sometimes):
Don't stop.
or
Don't, stop.

All the same to you?  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on June 25, 2009, 07:26:00 pm
"Bad grammar makes I cringe"?

That's Bristolian, that is.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 25, 2009, 07:44:57 pm
"Bad grammar makes you and I cringe"
.. is an example of the meaning being totally mangled by using "I" rather than "me".  It's a perfectly acceptable sentence, with two verbs, joined with the conjunction "and".
I.e.  "Bad grammar makes you, and I cringe"
But it doesn't mean what was intended.

I like searching for the unintended meaning in what people say/write.  :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on June 25, 2009, 08:11:58 pm
I.e.  "Bad grammar makes you, and I cringe"
But it doesn't mean what was intended.

While I'm in pedant mode, I remember a nice illustration of why punctuation really matters (sometimes):
Don't stop.
or
Don't, stop.

All the same to you?  ;)
;)   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 25, 2009, 10:11:28 pm
There's also an important difference between "fewer difficult problems" and "less difficult problems". In the first case, the number is reduced, and in the second, the difficulty.

Perhaps more commonly, though, good punctuation makes it easier to read, and assimilate, text quickly.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on June 26, 2009, 12:31:27 am
"You and I" when it should be "you and me". Also see "He & I" in place of "him & me", etc.

Why does this actually matter? I mean, really? This is a perfect example of an obsession with 'correctness' over communication. There is no confusion of meaning here. 
What smutchin said. The error is almost always a deliberate choice, rather than a simple mistake. What really winds me up about the misuse of "you & I" in place of "you & me" is that the people saying it think they're avoiding a lower-class error, but are substituting a different - and to my mind, worse - one. It's one of the many cases of effort put into doing something which would be better not done.

BTW, the remnants of cases preserved in pronouns are a relic of times when the difference really did matter, as case - and case only, not word order - indicated the subject & object of a sentence.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on June 26, 2009, 01:31:16 am
"You and I" when it should be "you and me".

Ooh! That one really winds me up. You could argue that the error rarely leads to ambiguity and is therefore excusable, but what irks me about it is that there seems to be a widespread but misguided notion that "You and me" is always wrong, so people deliberately and consciously use "You and I" even when it is incorrect, thereby demonstrating that they haven't got a fucking clue about the simple grammatical rule behind it.

Dangling participles are another of my pet hates, although they can be unintentionally amusing.

d.


I'm sorry Smutchin but you seriously need to loosen up about this.  Who gives a shit?  We all know what they mean and it's snobbish to pretend, or care, otherwise.

Edit.  I think there's a case for following the example of Theodore Roosvelt and making "English" easier to spell.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 26, 2009, 08:01:49 am
Would "Inglish" be easier? ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on June 26, 2009, 08:05:58 am
I suppose he could have started with his name?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 26, 2009, 08:12:22 am
 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 26, 2009, 09:21:02 am
I'm sorry Smutchin but you seriously need to loosen up about this.

Pfft. That might be true if I didn't have a sense of perspective about it.

Quote
Who gives a shit?  We all know what they mean and it's snobbish to pretend, or care, otherwise.

If I thought it mattered, I'd be more circumspect about discussing it in an internet forum.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 26, 2009, 09:47:07 am
What really winds me up about the misuse of "you & I" in place of "you & me" is that the people saying it think they're avoiding a lower-class error, but are substituting a different - and to my mind, worse - one.
I think you're being a bit harsh here. Two reasons:
- you shouldn't presume _why_ people do something (without good evidence).
- I suspect many people who make this mistake are just making a mistake. They 'remember' being taught this as the right way to do it. Is there any harm in _trying_ to do something the right way?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Thor on June 26, 2009, 09:51:37 am
From this morning's Metro

Quote
One in ten people in Europe is drinking themselves to death

 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 26, 2009, 09:55:46 am
"You and I" when it should be "you and me". Also see "He & I" in place of "him & me", etc.

Why does this actually matter? I mean, really? This is a perfect example of an obsession with 'correctness' over communication. There is no confusion of meaning here.  

Well, it depends what you mean by actually matter, I suppose. It may not actually matter to say something like, "Bad grammar makes you and I cringe", but would you say "Bad grammar makes I cringe"?

While I'm in pedant mode, I remember a nice illustration of why punctuation really matters (sometimes):
Don't stop.
or
Don't, stop.

All the same to you?  ;)

You're not being a pedant, you're just confused! In fact you are confounding two completely different issues and trying to make them out to be the same.

If you read what I wrote, you will notice that I specifically mentioned that there was no confusion in meaning in the situation that annoyed Bledlow. And indeed there is not confusion of meaning to say 'bad grammar makes I cringe', in fact that is a not uncommon west country dialect usage (as Jaded noted). Just try and tell me that everyone who says that in the west country is 'wrong'...

You second example however is of a completely different situation - where punctuation can cause meaning to change leading to confusion. In that situation, as in the first, I am in favour only of avoiding such confusion.

Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change.

Language does what language does. You can't make it stop or behave how you want. You can only speak and write how you wish and hope, if that is indeed your hope, that others might chose to do the same.

IMHO, y'all all jus chill now, d'ya hear?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: oncemore on June 26, 2009, 10:04:07 am
Meaning rather than grammar, but I really dislike use of cannot when speaker means will not. Politicians particular culprits. "Government can't [do X]" when X is somthing that they COULD do and which Governments have done in the past. What they mean is "WON'T".

Bit like "can I?" and "may I?" Soon learned the difference at school. "Can I open the window, sir?" "Yes." Get up and do so...."Write out 100 times...."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on June 26, 2009, 10:11:16 am
'Less' and 'fewer'... my personal bugbear.

Even the Beeb is failing on this these days.  Only Evan Davies seems to understand the difference.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 26, 2009, 10:22:05 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation.
So why do you choose to write 99% of your posts in this artificial and arbitrary fashion? Are you just showing off?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 26, 2009, 10:23:37 am
Even the Beeb is failing on this these days. 

The Beeb has also historically been one of the worst offenders in trying to eradicate regional and class variety. It has also, fortunately, failed. Listeners schooled on this ridiculous elitism were apparently still objecting to Scottish accents on the radio in the 1980s...

These days however, the Beeb is more realistic about language realities and language chance. So much the better.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 26, 2009, 10:25:23 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation.
So why do you choose to write 99% of your posts in this artificial and arbitrary fashion? Are you just showing off?

Is there any need to be so offensive?

The answer is obvious - I was brought up in the same tradition. But I am aware of it. And I am interested in the subject. And I do not try to impose my way of expressing myself on anyone else.

Thanks for your interest in me, now let's get back to the subject eh?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 26, 2009, 10:27:59 am
So why do you choose to write 99% of your posts in this artificial and arbitrary fashion? Are you just showing off?

Is there any harm in trying to do something the right way? ;)

I suspect FM is taking an extreme position for the sake of making a point. Grammar does matter up to a point but it's silly to be pedantic about the details, because they are just arbitrary rules and it's the underlying meaning that matters. If your meaning is clear, a misplaced apostrophe or two really isn't important.

I totally agree with all that, but this thread is titled "Grammar that makes you cringe". I like a well-formed sentence for the same reason that I'd rather hear a piano played properly than listen to someone bash out Chopsticks with two fingers.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on June 26, 2009, 10:29:54 am
'Less' and 'fewer'... my personal bugbear.

Even the Beeb is failing on this these days.  Only Evan Davies seems to understand the difference.

But most of that is impromptu speech such as in live interviews. It's much more difficult to be grammatically correct when you're speaking on the hoof.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 26, 2009, 10:39:07 am
I suspect FM is taking an extreme position for the sake of making a point. Grammar does matter up to a point but it's silly to be pedantic about the details, because they are just arbitrary rules and it's the underlying meaning that matters. If your meaning is clear, a misplaced apostrophe or two really isn't important.

well, yes and no! Actually, I am pretty relaxed about the use of language so long as it communicates. I don't think this is an 'extreme' position, I think it's a recognition of reality. As I've said, the only concerns I have relate to miscommunication, and even then, if it isn't actually dangerous, these situations can be easily remedied by further discussion or just saying 'what did you mean?' (or perhaps that should be 'WTF' or  :-\ these days?  ;) )

The whole 'cringing' thing is interesting because it shows how much we are still under the thumb of those rigid and dried up old schoolmasters whether we like it or not!

Laters.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 26, 2009, 10:46:35 am
'Less' and 'fewer'... my personal bugbear.

Even the Beeb is failing on this these days.  Only Evan Davies seems to understand the difference.

But most of that is impromptu speech such as in live interviews. It's much more difficult to be grammatically correct when you're speaking on the hoof.

People also seem to get upset by stuff written on bbc.co.uk, forgetting that most of it is dashed off more quickly than we type posts on here.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on June 26, 2009, 10:52:29 am


The whole 'cringing' thing is interesting because it shows how much we are still under the thumb of those rigid and dried up old schoolmasters whether we like it or not!


I'll bet there's at least one person on here who had the difference between "less" and "fewer" drummed into
them pretty hard from a rigid schoolmaster.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 26, 2009, 11:06:03 am
Is there any need to be so offensive?
Didn't mean to be ...
Quote
The answer is obvious - I was brought up in the same tradition. But I am aware of it. And I am interested in the subject. And I do not try to impose my way of expressing myself on anyone else.

Thanks for your interest in me, now let's get back to the subject eh?
... I thought part of the subject was Why Do We Speak/Write The Way We Do. You've made various statements on the choices made by others, so I thought this was a relevant question. Mkay?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Really Ancien on June 26, 2009, 11:26:22 am
I have grammar that makes me smile, that exalteth me in fact. There's a cadence in certain phrases that carries a whole series of meanings which derive from the way they're constructed. It's the source of much rhetoric and binds together much of the English speaking world. Probably the greatest exponent in recent times was Prince, 'I can see whomever I want; in 'Nothing compares 2 U' conveys a brittle feeling due to the too careful grammar. My favourite one of his songs reliant on the rhetoric of grammar is this one.
YouTube - Martika-Love thy will be done (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpOW4LLRRTA)
Music is a grammar as well of course.

Damon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 26, 2009, 11:49:39 am
... I thought part of the subject was Why Do We Speak/Write The Way We Do. You've made various statements on the choices made by others, so I thought this was a relevant question. Mkay?

Whatever...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on June 26, 2009, 07:31:58 pm
From this morning's Metro

Quote
One in ten people in Europe is drinking themselves to death

 ::-)

Is they reading this thread?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: oncemore on June 26, 2009, 10:33:50 pm
"....drummed into them pretty hard from a rigid schoolmaster."

Ah, ol' skool!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on June 26, 2009, 11:23:26 pm
...Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change....
Naah - it's a lot more complicated than that. While you're right that old (though not all 18th century: it started before that) grammarians are guilty of a great deal, it's not all down to them. Fer a start, lotsa wot they thought was proper we now think wrong, both in spelling (we're far, far more rigid than they were) & in usage, where we say & write things they would have thrown up their hands in horror at, while rejecting as incorrect usages they considered correct. The language has changed, & our perceptions with it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on June 27, 2009, 10:03:56 am
Naah - it's a lot more complicated than that. While you're right that old (though not all 18th century: it started before that) grammarians are guilty of a great deal, it's not all down to them. Fer a start, lotsa wot they thought was proper we now think wrong, both in spelling (we're far, far more rigid than they were) & in usage, where we say & write things they would have thrown up their hands in horror at, while rejecting as incorrect usages they considered correct. The language has changed, & our perceptions with it.

Of course it's more complicated than my couple of sentences - which is why I was trying to encourage people to read The Stories of English as a good readable account...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Really Ancien on June 28, 2009, 03:15:05 pm
All ideas of what constitues grammar are of course redundant. We have more unmediated and unedited written language available to us than we could have imagined 20 years ago. Probably the most varied examples are comments on Youtube, these come from all over the world, often in a variety of languages. It's interesting to try to find some common thread in the way they are written, but difficult.
Any attempts to pin down grammar are doomed, because by the time you've put it into print, it can be undermined with a thousand examples. Textspeak is one example, now mutating into tweets. I think we will look upon the period when it was difficult to print and distribute words as a golden age. Without the idea of an Editor, we remove the inhibition of working to an internal Editor. If there are no objective standards, why put up with the bother of maintaining your own standards in an age when we are all our own vanity publisher?

Damon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 28, 2009, 08:14:31 pm
...the only concerns I have relate to miscommunication, and ... these situations can be easily remedied by further discussion...

But surely the main worry is when the two parties both believe that the communication was clear, but the message taken away was not the same? There will then be no further discussion.

Also, it's inefficient to keep asking for clarification when clear messages would have made it unnecessary.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on June 30, 2009, 08:02:23 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change.

If they1 misunderstood how languages change, how could their prescriptions be imposed?

Conversely, as languages do evolve and change, why does it matter to you how the rules of the language which we are using now were first introduced? What is "artificial"? Whence your snobbery?

There's no evidence that this set of rules limits what you can say---quite the opposite, as the existence of a formal register gives you the choice to switch into or out of it. Capeesh?

Also, you mean "Let's get this straight. Most of ...". You wouldn't want to mix your imperative and declarative sentences, now, would you?

1. They were most of them Scots, anyway, weren't they?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 30, 2009, 08:13:26 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change.

Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' in football is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C19th officials who  were trying to 'fix' the game in place and get rid of random and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way games evolve and change.

They would hardly recognise it now. Works better to have rules at any one point though... :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on June 30, 2009, 08:29:17 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change.

Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' in football is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C19th officials who  were trying to 'fix' the game in place and get rid of random and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way games evolve and change.


Some rules are more arbitrary than others: the off-side rule and the one against split infinitives both come to mind.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on June 30, 2009, 09:35:28 am
Now I see why the split infinitive rule isn't applied rigourously in lower league matches.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 30, 2009, 11:03:53 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' in football is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C19th officials who  were trying to 'fix' the game in place and get rid of random and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way games evolve and change.

They would hardly recognise it now. Works better to have rules at any one point though... :demon:

On a similar theme, I watched some of the Twenty20 cricket the other day. I'm a lifelong cricket fan, but I didn't understand what was going on. What's all this "power play" nonsense?

I think Twenty20 is the sporting equivalent of Esperanto.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on June 30, 2009, 11:43:45 am
More Colemanballs than poor grammar, heard on BBC News 24 yesterday:

"Barcelona are very keen either to re-sign Eto'o or to sell him to another club".

Well, you don't say.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 02, 2009, 07:08:55 am
When did the written word start taking a much bigger part on our world? Could it have been in the 18th Century and could that be the main reason for favouring "etymology and consistent word order over commonly understood usage"?
Probably earlier - in the 16th century, as a result of the move from Catholicism to Protestantism. This placed a greater emphasis on interpreting the word (or even the Word) and less on the visual and ritual. Indeed, it rejected much of that as idolatry, so instead of draping statues of saints with offerings we were encouraged to listen to long sermons and read the Bible.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on July 02, 2009, 08:25:03 am
"Barcelona are very keen either to re-sign Eto'o or to sell him to another club".
At least they didn't split the infinitive ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on July 02, 2009, 09:01:09 am
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change.

Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' in football is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C19th officials who  were trying to 'fix' the game in place and get rid of random and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way games evolve and change.

They would hardly recognise it now. Works better to have rules at any one point though... :demon:

Association fallacy alert!  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on July 02, 2009, 10:55:09 pm
Twenty20 could be accused of being poor grammar: tautology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(rhetoric)).

An example of true tautology would be a two-wheeled bicycle. Change one element of that and you get an oxymoron, such as a three-wheeled bicycle or a two-wheeled trike. By contrast a Twenty or a Twenty30 would be not so much oxymoron as one-sided match :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on July 02, 2009, 10:56:00 pm
Association fallacy alert!  ;)

I take it that that means that you don't agree?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on July 02, 2009, 11:08:04 pm
Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' English is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C18th grammarians who were trying to 'fix' the language in place and get rid of class and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way languages evolve and change.

Let's get this straight, most of what is seen as 'correct' in football is simply an imposed and artificial set of rather arbitrary rules imposed by a very small, self-selecting group of C19th officials who  were trying to 'fix' the game in place and get rid of random and regional variation. They utterly misunderstood the way games evolve and change.

They would hardly recognise it now. Works better to have rules at any one point though... :demon:

Association fallacy alert!  ;)

Is that why Americans manhandle the language, and Aussies have their own Rules?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on July 02, 2009, 11:49:47 pm
Twenty20 is right cos it is 20 overs from one and 20 overs from the other.

50 over match is wrong cos it is actually 100 overs.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tonyh on July 03, 2009, 07:21:01 am
Twenty20 could be accused of being poor grammar: tautology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(rhetoric)).

And the "Rhetorical"  tautology is worse than poor grammar, as it might look as if it has useful meaning when it doesn't, eg

"It is bad to drink too much water on a ride"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on July 03, 2009, 08:09:31 am
Not grammar, but I have noticed that even within these hallowed portals there is a trend of spelling the word 'lose' as 'loose'.  Please make it stop.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on July 03, 2009, 08:13:08 am
Under way, or underway?

Two words, orone?
Does it really matter?

Disc uss.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on July 03, 2009, 08:16:25 am
Not grammar, but I have noticed that even within these hallowed portals there is a trend of spelling the word 'lose' as 'loose'.  Please make it stop.

I must admit I have to consciously think about that one and I suspect I get it wrong from time to time.  I know perfectly well the correct usage at an intellectual level, but for some reason it's not as hard-wired into my language brain as it should be.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on July 03, 2009, 08:43:43 am

Is there any harm in trying to do something the right way? ;)


I appreciate your sentiment but, is there a right way?   

Rules evolved over time but human beings have communicated verbally for far longer, and, in many more varieties than the written languages portray.   Only last week I struggled to understand a local Orkney ferryman and yet his crew mate could understand every word.   Go to most corners of the UK, most regional housing estates, shopping centres, even schools and universities, and you'll find that the structure and use of words, phrases and punctuation differs from the codified set.     

As I understand it the rules are supposed to try and make it possible for example, for a Cornishman and a Shetlander to gain the same understanding.   However, even written English can be difficult to interpret as indicated by the fact that professions such as Law created extra rules to remove ambiguity within the profession.   

The rules do not reflect conversational English, the type of English used by many on this forum.   

Live and let live.

         
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on July 03, 2009, 08:46:24 am
Not grammar, but I have noticed that even within these hallowed portals there is a trend of spelling the word 'lose' as 'loose'.  Please make it stop.

Some of us may know the difference, even though occasionally using the wrong one due to slight dyslexia.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on July 03, 2009, 08:49:42 am
I agree with the posters who've mentioned the diversity of spoken English and the space for people to express themselves and play with the rules, but isn't all that a different thing from people who just can't be bothered to put sentences together properly ?

Though that argument doesn't hold up against the evolution of language one, I suppose.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on July 03, 2009, 08:52:20 am
The rules do not reflect conversational English, the type of English used by many on this forum.   
         
Yes they do. Most of us deviate from the rules to some extent much of the time,but most of our words, and many of our sentences, stick to the rules.

If we didn't you would have gibberish.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on July 03, 2009, 08:57:55 am
The rules do not reflect conversational English, the type of English used by many on this forum.   
         
Yes they do. Most of us deviate from the rules to some extent much of the time,but most of our words, and many of our sentences, stick to the rules.

If we didn't you would have gibberish.

I have seen posts (on other forums) where the language used plays so little heed to the rules that it's impossible to extract the meaning.  Not here though, I don't think.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Manotea on July 03, 2009, 09:06:01 am
I agree with the posters who've mentioned the diversity of spoken English and the space for people to express themselves and play with the rules, but isn't all that a different thing from people who just can't be bothered to put sentences together properly ?

Though that argument doesn't hold up against the evolution of language one, I suppose.

I blame Australian Soaps (Neighbours & co).
 
Tracylene: "I went. To the shops. And bought some beans. And then I walked home. And I got wet.  Because it started. Raining."
All said with a dreaded rising inflection (http://www.bbc.co.uk/leicester/content/articles/2005/02/15/why_i_hate_the_rising_inflection_feature.shtml) at the end of each fragment.

I've had strong words with the Mini Manoteas for 'not speaking in sentences' / thinking about what they were going to say before they said it. Thankfully they've grown out of it now.

Reactionary? Moi?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on July 03, 2009, 09:11:46 am
Not grammar, but I have noticed that even within these hallowed portals there is a trend of spelling the word 'lose' as 'loose'.  Please make it stop.

With this and a few similar "errors" we are witnessing the changing of the language. On web pages and forums it is so often wrong it may well already be the majority. Now, when I see the word "lose" I get a mental jolt like when a word is wrong, then I realise it's actually correct. Even the BBC website regularly uses loose for lose and lead when they mean led.

Things like that won't be picked up by spellcheckers and they even follow spelling rules, just the wrong ones. If you make loose rhyme with choose then you're stuck when you want to say something is loose. It's an anomoly though, why doesn't lose rhyme with close?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Riggers on July 03, 2009, 09:18:07 am
Or 'rough' with 'bough'. But that's an entirely different 'kettle of fish'.

"I'm going to have a row with my wife!"


"… but on the lake". What a pickle our language can snare us in type-thing.



Stop Rigby. Stop!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on July 03, 2009, 09:20:17 am


"I'm going to have a row with my wife!"



Oops upside your head
I say oops upside your head.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Flying_Monkey on July 03, 2009, 09:28:44 am
Association fallacy alert!  ;)

I take it that that means that you don't agree?

There was nothing of substance to agree or disagree with. You tried to make an association with something that appears superficially similar but in fact has nothing to do with what we were talking about. I don't think there's a lot more to say on this thread anyway. It is now starting to repeat itself...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on July 03, 2009, 09:41:37 am
The rules do not reflect conversational English, the type of English used by many on this forum.   
         
Yes they do. Most of us deviate from the rules to some extent much of the time,but most of our words, and many of our sentences, stick to the rules.

If we didn't you would have gibberish.

I'd suggest that the codification of language followed on from the spoken word and thus it is the codification which is limited in structure rather than the spoken word.  
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on July 03, 2009, 10:14:22 am

...If we didn't you would have gibberish.

I'd suggest that the codification of language followed on from the spoken word and thus it is the codification which is limited in structure rather than the spoken word.  

Perfect example!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on July 03, 2009, 10:26:57 am

...If we didn't you would have gibberish.

I'd suggest that the codification of language followed on from the spoken word and thus it is the codification which is limited in structure rather than the spoken word. 

Perfect example!

Yes indeed.  Without the Oxford comma after "word" it makes no sense whatsoever ;)

Quote
I'd suggest that the codification of language followed on from the spoken word, and thus it is the codification which is limited in structure rather than the spoken word. 


Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on July 03, 2009, 10:31:42 am
Thanks chaps.   ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on July 03, 2009, 10:32:00 am
So we've got a choice between codification and cod-ification.  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on July 03, 2009, 11:12:57 am
Even the BBC website regularly uses loose for lose and lead when they mean led.

Things like that won't be picked up by spellcheckers and they even follow spelling rules, just the wrong ones.
I have no evidence, but I'm pretty sure spellcheckers are to blame for this.

Writers infer correctness because their spelling has been passed "OK".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on July 03, 2009, 11:16:36 am
So we've got a choice between ...

Ooh, ooh, there's another one!

I would prefer
"So we have a choice between ... "

;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Thor on July 03, 2009, 11:22:41 am
So we've got a choice between ...

Ooh, ooh, there's another one!

I would prefer
"So we have a choice between ... "

;)

Isn't "there's another one" tautological?  Since "there's" (there is) is singular?  So you could say "There's another."  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on July 03, 2009, 11:25:30 am
Should it be:

We can choose between...?

;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on July 03, 2009, 11:58:38 am
This thread is turning into one of extreme excellence!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 03, 2009, 12:23:44 pm
Twenty20 could be accused of being poor grammar: tautology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(rhetoric)).

An example of true tautology would be a two-wheeled bicycle. Change one element of that and you get an oxymoron, such as a three-wheeled bicycle or a two-wheeled trike. By contrast a Twenty or a Twenty30 would be not so much oxymoron as one-sided match :D

Oxymoron: spot cream for chavs.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 03, 2009, 01:25:13 pm
a Twenty30 would be not so much oxymoron as one-sided match :D

...or something to do with the Duckworth Lewis method.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on July 03, 2009, 01:27:26 pm
Who were in  session on the Radcliffe & Maconie show last week :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on July 03, 2009, 01:51:07 pm
So we've got a choice between ...

Ooh, ooh, there's another one!

I would prefer
"So we have a choice between ... "

;)

Isn't "there's another one" tautological?  Since "there's" (there is) is singular?  So you could say "There's another."
Fair cop!

Actually the 'got' thing has gotten out of hand. Fine in informal conversation, but I received a document recently with something like:
"Before you start you've got to get ..."
which surely could have been:

" ... you need ... "
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on July 03, 2009, 01:54:48 pm
a Twenty30 would be not so much oxymoron as one-sided match :D

...or something to do with the Duckworth Lewis method.

d.


I personally prefer the Scaryduckworth Lewis (http://scaryduck.blogspot.com/2009/05/on-scaryduckworth-lewis-method-for.html) method.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PhilO on July 03, 2009, 03:43:52 pm
Actually the 'got' thing has gotten out of hand.

And there's one of my pet-hates: The past tense of 'got' is 'got'  :demon:

 ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on July 03, 2009, 03:46:54 pm
Actually the 'got' thing has gotten out of hand.

And there's one of my pet-hates: The past tense of 'got' is 'got'  :demon:

 ;D

If you take it a bit further back, it's arguably the USians who are correct on this one. "Gotten" is an archaic past participle of "get", and we Brits could be said to have corrupted the language in our dropping of it...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on July 03, 2009, 03:52:44 pm
Actually the 'got' thing has gotten out of hand.

And there's one of my pet-hates: The past tense of 'got' is 'got'  :demon:

 ;D
Sometimes one's posts can be _too_ subtle ... ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on July 03, 2009, 03:56:18 pm
 ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on July 03, 2009, 04:01:33 pm
Actually the 'got' thing has gotten out of hand.

And there's one of my pet-hates: The past tense of 'got' is 'got'  :demon:

 ;D

If you take it a bit further back, it's arguably the USians who are correct on this one. "Gotten" is an archaic past participle of "get", and we Brits could be said to have corrupted the language in our dropping of it...

Not that archaic.  It is still present in other words... e.g. forgotten, begotten.   :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: robbo6 on July 03, 2009, 04:05:03 pm
In some parts of England, "gotten" was not dropped completely.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PhilO on July 03, 2009, 04:16:43 pm
Ok, ok! I'll get my coat!  :-[

(I still find it inexplicably irritating, though!  :smug:)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on July 03, 2009, 04:56:29 pm
Reminds me...

Twitter from BBC Sports Reporter Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon...

http://twitter.com/carolinecheese/status/2385954961
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on July 03, 2009, 07:01:13 pm


If you take it a bit further back, it's arguably the USians who are correct on this one. "Gotten" is an archaic past participle of "get", and we Brits could be said to have corrupted the language in our dropping of it...

Someone complained publicly about the use in this country of the 'americanism' Fall instead of Autumn. But anyone who lives in Dorset will know it's an old English word. These things are often complicated.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on July 03, 2009, 08:23:23 pm
You tried to make an association with something that appears superficially similar but in fact has nothing to do with what we were talking about.
Not an association. Simply an application of the same line of argument to an unrelated area, to see whether it made sense there. If it didn't, there could be a problem with the line of argument.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 04, 2009, 04:02:47 pm
Following on from got/gotten and other common but "irregular" verb patterns, it's interesting (to me at least!) the way my son (5) confuses these. For instance, the past of "shoot" may be "shotten", on the pattern of "forgot, forgotten", but he's unlikely to say "shooted", even though that would seem to be a more obvious "mistake". Neither does he say "shot" until I correct him.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on July 05, 2009, 08:29:26 pm
My principally (for the time being) Hungarian-speaking son applies the perfectly sane logic of adding "-ed" to the end of every verb when applying the past tense. Put becomes putted, for example, and see becomes seed. Doesn't exactly make me cringe, but it's deeply ingrained and taking time to correct.

(He also occasionally adds "leg-" to superlatives as well, as in Hungarian, so fastest becomes legfastest)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on July 05, 2009, 10:47:53 pm
Dear all, especially newscasters, may and might are not the same. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PeteB99 on August 05, 2009, 09:00:36 pm
From todays Email about the companies half year results

'Negative goodwill credit'

AKA a loss

The management bullshitter who came up with that should be shot >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on August 05, 2009, 09:04:32 pm
Not that archaic.  It is still present in other words... e.g. forgotten, begotten.   :demon:
And ill-gotten gains.

The American past participles that really grate are "dove" (rather than dived) and "fit" (rather than fitted) - the last one just looks like using the wrong tense:

Those shorts fit me perfectly until I ate too many pies.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 05, 2009, 10:49:56 pm
Oh but surely it would be the bizarre:

"That short fit me perfectly..." :hand:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on August 06, 2009, 03:38:27 am
The Aussie rising inflection: so many of them go up at the end of their sentences bacause their ancestors went down at the start of theirs....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Basil on August 06, 2009, 07:38:47 am
Not actually grammar, but

I can't remember which one it is, but one of R4's Today program chaps insists on telling me that it is "Huff past seven".
Don't know why it annoys me, but it does.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 06, 2009, 12:43:56 pm
Little Cudzo uses "wan" as the past tense of "win", which means the past of "fit" is "fat".  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PhilO on August 06, 2009, 01:21:00 pm
...the past of "fit" is "fat".  :)

Funny - I've found that 'fit' is the past of 'fat'!  ;)

***ponders waistline***
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 06, 2009, 01:29:43 pm
People who say "o" instead of "zero" to represent the figure 0.

Number.

Not a letter. >:(

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on August 06, 2009, 01:34:40 pm
People who say "o" instead of "zero" to represent the figure 0.

Number.

Not a letter. >:(


That will be around 99% of the people in Great Britain.  :(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 06, 2009, 03:00:40 pm
Folk who say 'Korta' instead of 'quarter'.  It's just an affectation.

Edit:

And the word is 'vulnerable'.  I know the 'l' is dark, but not pitch black!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 06, 2009, 03:04:01 pm
People who say "o" instead of "zero" to represent the figure 0.

Number.

Not a letter. >:(



Room one-zero-one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: gordon taylor on August 06, 2009, 03:09:55 pm
I love some changes: like when young people use "aks" instead of "ask."

It sounds really cool and I wish I could do it naturally.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Manotea on August 06, 2009, 03:15:20 pm
People who say "o" instead of "zero" to represent the figure 0.

Number.

Not a letter. >:(


Go directly to Room 101, do not pass...

Edit: Dammit, Ian beat me to it!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on August 06, 2009, 03:16:38 pm
It's an affectation they think makes them sound Jamaican.

It's also how Chaucer wrote it  :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 06, 2009, 03:54:06 pm
I love some changes: like when young people use "aks" instead of "ask."

It sounds really cool and I wish I could do it naturally.
When you reach 80 and all your teeth have gone I am sure you will be able to old chap.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 06, 2009, 10:49:36 pm
...one of R4's Today program chaps insists on telling me that it is "Huff past seven".
Don't know why it annoys me, but it does.

Don't get in a half about it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: gordon taylor on August 07, 2009, 06:02:56 am
I love some changes: like when young people use "aks" instead of "ask."

It sounds really cool and I wish I could do it naturally.
When you reach 80 and all your teeth have gone I am sure you will be able to old chap.

 ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on August 07, 2009, 06:29:40 am
Miss Z ote all her dinner, or so she tells me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on August 07, 2009, 11:40:40 am
"Lose" "Loose" "losing" "loosing"???

Put 'em together and what have you got
bippity-boppity-boo.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on August 07, 2009, 03:49:59 pm
Burglarized.
Monetized.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on August 07, 2009, 04:09:45 pm
On the train, every night, different staff, same phrase:

Anyone dining for dinner this evening?

Plus:
... in the vistibbles at the end of each carriage
... please hesitate to ask.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 07, 2009, 07:33:07 pm
Burglarized.
Monetized.

Hospitalised: a witch waved her wand and turned me into Great Ormond Street.

Burglarised: I was honest till I met you, but you've turned me into a thief.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 07, 2009, 07:39:23 pm
Speaking of which:-

"Controlled" used as a verb with respect to Audaxes, as in:-

"We controlled at the petrol station on the outskirts of Wibbletown."

It just makes me cringe for some reason.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on August 07, 2009, 07:49:04 pm
On the train, every night, different staff, same phrase:

Anyone dining for dinner this evening?

Plus:
... in the vistibbles at the end of each carriage
... please hesitate to ask.

The NEEA trains' staff use an irritating turn of phrase as well. "We will soon be arriving in Ipswich." Surely not. We will soon be arriving at Ipswich station. I'm happy for the word "station" to be omitted - after all, it would be a surprise if the train arrived at Ipswich Town Football Ground - but the preposition should remain the same.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on August 07, 2009, 07:52:13 pm
I hate the expression "contact telephone number".

What else is a telephone number for?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 07, 2009, 08:20:13 pm
"We controlled at the petrol station on the outskirts of Wibbletown."

It just makes me cringe for some reason.

It's because "to control" is a transitive verb and the sentence lacks an object.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 07, 2009, 09:21:15 pm
Then there is the abuse of "-ee" words. Normally, the "-ee" is the object of the action and the "-er" is the subject. For example, a referee has disputes referred to him (or her), and a lessor lets a property to a lessee.

So what is a conference attendee? Presumably, the person to whom the attendant at the event serves drinks?

And a retiree is someone who has been retired, presumably against his will by an aggressive HR department? If it was his own choice, he'd be a retirer, obviously - or maybe the HR manager is the retirer, because he or she creates all the retirees? ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on August 07, 2009, 09:24:21 pm
Mortgagee is the most frequently-confused.  The borrower is the mortgagor; they mortgage their house to the lender, who is the mortgagee.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gasman on August 07, 2009, 10:54:37 pm
Surely the attendee is the conference itself.  Those who attend are attenders or attendants.

Similarly I had head in hands at a sign on a bus; "2 standees only"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 07, 2009, 11:39:53 pm
Drunk, obviously. Had to be stood up by others.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Thor on August 08, 2009, 01:28:07 pm
"Controlled" used as a verb with respect to Audaxes, as in:-

"We controlled at the petrol station on the outskirts of Wibbletown."

When such "speak" is creeping into the Audax world, there can be no hope.  :-\
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Julian on August 09, 2009, 09:20:19 am
BBC NEWS | England | Hampshire | Polish priest helps murder police (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8191223.stm)

Rilly?  :o

The article says that the priest helps the police investigate a murder. which is slightly different.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on August 09, 2009, 09:22:24 am
Our (very) local paper really did have an article titled "Antique clocks under the hammer"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on August 09, 2009, 09:31:28 am
There was a classic one from the DM or the News of the Screws (I forget which), decades ago:

LUCKY MAN SEES PALS DIE
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on August 09, 2009, 10:16:45 am
"Controlled" used as a verb with respect to Audaxes, as in:-

"We controlled at the petrol station on the outskirts of Wibbletown."

When such "speak" is creeping into the Audax world, there can be no hope.  :-\

Isn't this just a bastardisation of the verb "control" which is a homonym for the verb "check" in several European languages?

It should still be used in the passive though, surely?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 09, 2009, 02:30:45 pm
No, not (necessarily) in the passive, but as I said it is a transitive verb and needs an object. You cannot control; you have to control something. You can even control yourself, but there must be an object even if it is you yourself.

Passive use implies that you are the object in the active sense; I control you, so you are controlled (by me).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 10, 2009, 08:57:02 am
Hmmm. How about:

He is very controlling.

That is either wrong, or there is an implied subject (either people in general, or maybe the speaker!) ?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on August 10, 2009, 09:33:05 am
Isn't it just the word "control" being used as an adjective? Then it is being used to describe someone/thing, which removes the need for a subject/object.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 10, 2009, 09:49:13 am
Of course it is - doh! Must stick to the easy stuff on Monday mornings ...

(So are we in agreement that The Audax Usage should be taken out and shot?!?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on August 10, 2009, 09:52:30 am
Medalled. pah!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 10, 2009, 09:57:56 am
Writing that is comprehensible and thoughtfully composed is good. If it's also witty, that's even better. Good grammar is made by people who write well.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on August 10, 2009, 10:03:52 am
Re control/medal, may I remind you all of the useful axiom:

There isn't a noun that can't be verbed.

And the intransitive verb "to control" has a different meaning to the transitive verb "to control".

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 10, 2009, 10:07:27 am
I winced when I heard a BBC sports reporter saying that 'Britain has four medals in the pool'.  Eh?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on August 10, 2009, 10:11:23 am
I winced when I heard a BBC sports reporter saying that 'Britain has four medals in the pool'.  Eh?
But not as bad as "four Brits have medalled".  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Kathy on August 10, 2009, 10:23:51 am
I winced when I heard a BBC sports reporter saying that 'Britain has four medals in the pool'.  Eh?
But not as bad as "four Brits have medalled".  :sick:


And on that subject: "Dug deep". Will be heard at least twice in every post-event interview, and four times in the actual commentry of the event.  :sick:

"Wiggins has really dug deep here; he's giving it all he's got..."

He's not digging! There is no spade, and no allotment! He's cycling, not earth-moving!!!! >:( >:( >:( >:(

Even more annyoingly, I've heard it in swimming race commentry, when the term "digging deep" could potentially be used to describe the arm-stroke. If so, it would be an inefficient and poor technique, but the phrase has been used as if "digging deep" is a good thing! ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: alan on August 10, 2009, 10:24:12 am
When some says or writes..
"should of"
instead of
"should have"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on August 10, 2009, 10:30:35 am


And on that subject: "Dug deep".

As a contraction of "Dug deep into his/her reserves", which I think is where it came from,  it's probably OK, if you like that sort of thing.  Better than "gave 110 %" anyway.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 10, 2009, 10:41:05 am
"The first person to compare a woman's lips to a rose was possibly a genius. The second was was certainly an idiot."


(points for attribution).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on August 10, 2009, 11:09:25 am
Ok, it's not grammar, but I heard Griff Rhys Jones use that awful word "staycation" on Rivers last night.
 :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: onb on August 10, 2009, 12:00:30 pm
I hate missuse of their and there also where and were the rest I can live with .Apologies if mentioned upthread .
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 10, 2009, 12:02:49 pm
I hate misuse of its and it's.

I may have mentioned this before.  :-[

I also hate it when people talk 'around' an issue. Grr. I hope they make themselves dizzy.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 10, 2009, 12:52:22 pm
I hate it when people use the word "issue" instead of "problem"

A problem is something that needs to be solved or fixed, by saying that there is a problem though you quite rightly indicate that something has gone wrong, which in the end is something a good manager should hold up his or her hand up to. Sadly they don't so the weasle word "issue" is used instead.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on August 10, 2009, 04:05:15 pm
I winced when I heard a BBC sports reporter saying that 'Britain has four medals in the pool'.  Eh?
But not as bad as "four Brits have medalled".  :sick:


I'll see your "medalled" and raise you a "I hope to podium in $EVENT"

If it hadn't been Victoria Pendleton who said it, I might have found myself re-inventing the instep borer.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: jellied on August 10, 2009, 04:12:42 pm
I hate it when people use the word "issue" instead of "problem"

Like wise "software bug" instead of a FAULT. Don't try and dress up the fact that the programmer made a MISTAKE - there's a problem and it's needs fixing, not some cute cuddlely bug that needs dealing with.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 10, 2009, 04:18:52 pm
I hate it when people use the word "issue" instead of "problem"

A problem is something that needs to be solved or fixed, by saying that there is a problem though you quite rightly indicate that something has gone wrong, which in the end is something a good manager should hold up his or her hand up to. Sadly they don't so the weasle word "issue" is used instead.

Ah, but you need a label for things that SOME think are a problem, but others think are By Design, Not Fixable (for software), Matter of Personal Taste,  etc ...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 10, 2009, 04:24:48 pm
I hate it when people use the word "issue" instead of "problem"

Like wise "software bug" instead of a FAULT.

Take it up with Thomas Edison:-

"
It has been just so in all of my inventions. The first step is an intuition, and comes with a burst, then difficulties arise — this thing gives out and [it is] then that 'Bugs' — as such little faults and difficulties are called — show themselves and months of intense watching, study and labor are requisite before commercial success or failure is certainly reached.
"

Written in 1878. Source: Software bug - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_bug#cite_note-2)

"Fault" is a somewhat overused term in computing. It's most common meaning relates to "page faults" which aren't issues or problems :)

A software "bug" isn't considered cute or cuddly, it has just the same implied lack of care by the programmer as "software fault". Calling them "glitches" is usually the programmers way of trying to shirk responsibility for the problem by making it sound like something other than his/her fault.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peterh on August 10, 2009, 04:27:25 pm
Saw a TV trail yesterday on C4 or More 4 for a programme called 'My monkey baby'  :o

The voiceover promised that it would be about 'three very unique families'.  Wrong in several ways!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 10, 2009, 04:28:18 pm
What does he know?  Edison's biggest problem was when there wasn't a proper inventor around to plagiarise ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on August 10, 2009, 04:29:57 pm
I winced when I heard a BBC sports reporter saying that 'Britain has four medals in the pool'.  Eh?
But not as bad as "four Brits have medalled".  :sick:


I'll see your "medalled" and raise you a "I hope to podium in $EVENT"

If it hadn't been Victoria Pendleton who said it, I might have found myself re-inventing the instep borer.
Ha!
I'll see your "to podium" and raise you an intransitive verb of any colour medal of your choice:
"Sharon is expected to silver in the $EVENT".  :smug:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 10, 2009, 04:50:35 pm
What does he know?  Edison's biggest problem was when there wasn't a proper inventor around to plagiarise ;)
"Working out the bugs" = "Fighting a patent court case"

He was a git.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 10, 2009, 04:50:59 pm
;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fred the great on August 10, 2009, 05:07:32 pm
And two awful words, prolly and bawked.

They make me cringe so much that I ignore all the following threads
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on August 10, 2009, 05:10:45 pm
And two awful words, prolly and bawked.

They make me cringe so much that I ignore all the following threads

It's asherly "b0rked", which has a reasonable etymology, like "teh internets"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 10, 2009, 05:11:46 pm
lappy

*bang*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on August 10, 2009, 05:20:42 pm
And two awful words, prolly and bawked.

They make me cringe so much that I ignore all the following threads

It's asherly "b0rked", which has a reasonable etymology, like "teh internets"

Unless he meant the mis-spelt baulked?  I can't imagine him using or knowing b0rked.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fred the great on August 10, 2009, 05:49:43 pm
No, I meant bOrked.

I have only seen it used on YACF even though I am a Member of three other English speaking Forums.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on August 10, 2009, 05:56:35 pm
*amazed*

OK, b0rked is perfectly fine as Mal Volio says.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Martin on August 10, 2009, 05:57:05 pm
O2 shop window today (an official O2 sign too)

Now open on Sunday's

Sunday's what?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 10, 2009, 06:06:43 pm
No, I meant bOrked.

I have only seen it used on YACF even though I am a Member of three other English speaking Forums.

You need to get out more. A quick google should show you how prevalent its use is.

Especially if you "spell" it correctly, the second character is a zero (0) not a capital letter o (O).

It's a corruption of the Swedish word for 'away' as used by the Swedish Chef in the Muppet Show, he used to shout "Bork! Bork! Bork!" whilst throwing kitchen implements around.

"Bork!" was corrupted as "b0rk!" and it went from there.

It's even a supported "language" on google: http://www.google.com/intl/xx-bork/ (http://www.google.com/intl/xx-bork/)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 10, 2009, 06:19:49 pm
No, I meant bOrked.

I have only seen it used on YACF even though I am a Member of three other English speaking Forums.

You need to get out more. A quick google should show you how prevalent its use is.
<SNIP>

It's even a supported "language" on google: http://www.google.com/intl/xx-bork/ (http://www.google.com/intl/xx-bork/)

I think saying:
You should really know about this - look, there are entire websites about it!

...is about as robust as saying:
Of course I expect people to understand it - it's entirely grammatically correct Klingon!

(Of course, I may be missing the subtle irony in your statement
"You need to get out more". In which case - you got me :) )
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fred the great on August 10, 2009, 06:24:32 pm
No Greenbank, I'll stay in if you don't mind :P

I will never use it, spell it again or try to get used to it, thank you.


Ignore it, YES! :smug:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on August 10, 2009, 06:25:00 pm
New recruits at our place are now subject to "onboarding"  :sick:

D'you think it's anything like waterboarding?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on August 10, 2009, 06:33:51 pm
Tue 11 Aug 2009      09:00      BBC Radio 4

Fry's English Delight (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lv1k1)

Quote
Stephen Fry explores the highways and byways of the English language.

Stephen examines how 'wrong' English can become right English. For example, nowadays, more people use the word 'wireless' in a computer context than in a radio one. With help from a lexicographer, an educationalist, a Times sub-editor and a judge, Stephen examines the way in which usage changes language.

He applauds the council leader who claimed the services provided by her local authority should be seen as strawberry-flavoured and castigates attempts at banning government jargon like step change and synergie. Banning words is fruitless; he favours blue sky thinking, and strawberry flavouring.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on August 10, 2009, 06:37:06 pm
New recruits at our place are now subject to "onboarding"  :sick:

D'you think it's anything like waterboarding?

I doubt it.

Waterboarding is performed by sick, power-crazed, individuals whereas..no wait, this doesn't work.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on August 10, 2009, 07:02:36 pm
Re control/medal, may I remind you all of the useful axiom:

There isn't a noun that can't be verbed.

As Calvin said, verbing weirds words.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 10, 2009, 07:11:48 pm
That filthy Americanism

"Do the math"

Bloody colonials.

 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 10, 2009, 07:28:49 pm
But I'd really like to reach out and engage around the key learnings and takeaways of this thread...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 10, 2009, 07:31:06 pm
Onboarding of the issues no doubt...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 10, 2009, 07:32:35 pm
But I'd really like to reach out and engage around the key learnings and takeaways of this thread...

Fish'n'chips will do me. Who's paying?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 10, 2009, 07:41:19 pm
I hate misuse of its and it's.

But it takes a special skill to get the expansion (rather than the contraction) wrong:-

(http://www.greenbank.org/misc/IMG_0238.JPG)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on August 10, 2009, 08:21:02 pm
That filthy Americanism

"Do the math"

Bloody colonials.
"Look, I've been harvesting all day and I'm tired, OK? You do the math."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Martin on August 10, 2009, 08:29:55 pm
New recruits at our place are now subject to "onboarding"  :sick:

D'you think it's anything like waterboarding?

naah waterboarding's reserved for those staff who don't manage to get existing customers off the BMR  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 10, 2009, 09:56:37 pm
We've got onto software and words instead of grammar now, so we've got to give a star mention to salesmen who offer you a software "solution" when you didn't know you had a problem...

Usually it isn't even a solution, just a starting point that you can use.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Julian on August 10, 2009, 10:16:51 pm
UK Border Agency

Nobody "is appeal rights exhausted."  Okay?  That is not a sentence.  You mean "he has exhausted his avenues of appeal."

"Your letter of 6 May refers."  Refers to what?  Hm?  Or did you mean "I write with reference to your letter of 6 May"?

"He was applied for a Judicial Review."  No.  He did apply for one.  He applied for one.  He was applied means something entirely different.  In context:  I (wish I) was applying the Cluestick to UKBA's semi-literate representative.

And that's just from the first page of your letter, and I'm not going to start going through the abysmal punctuation.  I will say, though, that commas are not hundreds-and-thousands, used for decorative purposes.

*scream*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on August 10, 2009, 11:51:23 pm
Tue 11 Aug 2009      09:00      BBC Radio 4

Fry's English Delight (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lv1k1)

Quote
Stephen Fry explores the highways and byways of the English language.

Stephen examines how 'wrong' English can become right English. For example, nowadays, more people use the word 'wireless' in a computer context than in a radio one. With help from a lexicographer, an educationalist, a Times sub-editor and a judge, Stephen examines the way in which usage changes language.

He applauds the council leader who claimed the services provided by her local authority should be seen as strawberry-flavoured and castigates attempts at banning government jargon like step change and synergie. Banning words is fruitless; he favours blue sky thinking, and strawberry flavouring.

Bloody Trefusis. Donald always was a provocative git, & his alter ego also likes stirring just for the fun of it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on August 11, 2009, 10:04:50 am
Bloody Trefusis. Donald always was a provocative git, & his alter ego also likes stirring just for the fun of it.

But he makes an important point. Not all neologisms are necessarily A Bad Thing. Many of the complaints in this thread just sound reactionary for the sake of it.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 11, 2009, 10:10:09 am
...I will say, though, that commas are not hundreds-and-thousands, used for decorative purposes.


Whereas I'm always impressed by the complete lack of commas in official legal English.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 11, 2009, 10:16:06 am

But he makes an important point. Not all neologisms are necessarily A Bad Thing. Many of the complaints in this thread just sound reactionary for the sake of it.

d.


His most important point is that the creation of neologisms is unstoppable. It was an interesting to hear about the divergence between official regulated French as it appears in print, and colloquial spoken French.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on August 11, 2009, 10:20:12 am
I've spent the last couple of days reviewing a Disability Access Report.   Lots of curbing where kerbing was really intended!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 11, 2009, 10:22:07 am
Bloody Trefusis. Donald always was a provocative git, & his alter ego also likes stirring just for the fun of it.

But he makes an important point. Not all neologisms are necessarily A Bad Thing. Many of the complaints in this thread just sound reactionary for the sake of it.

d.

Not all neologisms are created equal. We have a right to throw out the bad!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Charlotte on August 11, 2009, 10:26:39 am
But I'd really like to reach out and engage around the key learnings and takeaways of this thread...

Perhaps if we sit down together, I can leverage some of your competency and together, we can really grow some fresh value and monetize our collaborative output?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Kathy on August 11, 2009, 10:43:38 am
But I'd really like to reach out and engage around the key learnings and takeaways of this thread...

Perhaps if we sit down together, I can leverage some of your competency and together, we can really grow some fresh value and monetize our collaborative output?

Going forward, I feel we need to action on your blue-sky thinking.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 11, 2009, 10:47:52 am
We need to enact the factualisation on the ground.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on August 11, 2009, 10:52:01 am
Be the bridge, guys, be the bridge.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 11, 2009, 10:59:03 am
I see you are all moving forward to a fulfilling cliche experience.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 11, 2009, 11:08:48 am
Indeed.  Taste the strawberry.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 11, 2009, 11:12:24 am
Single phrases are easy. There are people here who can talk for *hours* without conveying a single fact or making a single useful point. It's an art.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 11, 2009, 11:19:44 am
Back to grammar:-

Quote
The Business League is looking for you to build the Business League know how into new clubs and become Chairpersons of new branches of our well-proven Business Networking and Support Club and its great ethos to parts of the South and South West of England

You would be responsible for the formation and initial well being of new clubs and its members using a well established format and gaining good support from The Business League Head Office and Area Manager in the region.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Charlotte on August 11, 2009, 11:36:15 am
Tautologies definitely count.

"Planning ahead" makes me twitch.

When people refer to "ATM machines", I get all stabby.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 11:37:54 am
So, shall we traffic-light that principle?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on August 11, 2009, 11:38:15 am
Tautologies definitely count.

When people refer to "ATM machines", I get all stabby.

They'll be using their PIN numbers too   ::-)

Edit:  beaten to it.  
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Charlotte on August 11, 2009, 11:39:32 am
So, shall we traffic-light that principle?

How about we phase in a trial implementation of RAG reporting?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 11:44:36 am
how about an all-hands to deep-dive and bake that in; do you have the bandwidth?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Butterfly on August 11, 2009, 11:45:18 am
The more I read, the happier I am that the last time I worked in an office was 1989 ;D.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 11:46:51 am
So Butterfly, the high-level overview is that it's not a hi-pri for you? ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 11, 2009, 11:50:08 am
STOP IT YOU LOT!

Before I go postal with an AK47 and Mr Shovel....  >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 11:52:12 am
So, Reg, I'm sensing some pushback. Can we sync-up offline to engage around the ten-thousand foot view?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 11:53:06 am
... and identify your pain points?

(OK enough now ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Charlotte on August 11, 2009, 11:53:33 am
how about an all-hands to deep-dive and bake that in; do you have the bandwidth?

I say we sunset that idea.  You're a team player, but we're going off-piste where there's a lot of powder so expect some avalanches.  

It's about time we all started eating some reality sandwiches, so let's helicopter this one around the room...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 11, 2009, 11:54:47 am
I have Dilbert for this stuff - I don't need YACF doing it too!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 11:57:10 am
Have your people ping my people.  ;)

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Polar Bear on August 11, 2009, 11:57:39 am
Well, now you have double bubble and it's a win win situation  :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PaulF on August 11, 2009, 12:15:54 pm
Ping me when you get this and we'll touch base an strategize.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: spesh on August 11, 2009, 12:33:13 pm
<pouring petrol on already flaming waters>

Seeing as we've plunged past the shallow waters of mere bad grammar into the foetid ooze at the bottom of the business bullshit barrel...  :sick:

Obligatory disclaimer:
I can't claim the credit for this, and I am certainly not claiming any responsibility for blunt force trauma received as a result of executing the following liguistics matrix strategy whilst in dialogue with your colleagues.  :demon:

</pouring petrol on already flaming waters>

Acquire instant managerial and/or computer expertise! Careful use of this list can create 4096 important and technical-sounding phrases for your reports! No one will have the remotest idea of what you're talking about, but the important thing is that they are not about to admit it!

Simply choose any three-digit hexadecimal number between 000 and FFF, and extract the word corresponding to each digit from the table below. (Example: B31 = Scalable Reciprocal Flexibility.)

1st digit
0   Integrated
1   Total
2   Systemised
3   Parallel
4   Functional
5   Responsive
6   Optional
7   Synchronised
8   Compatible
9   Balanced
A   Automatic
B   Scalable
C   Intuitive
D   Modular
E   Professional
F   Interactive


2nd digit
0   Management
1   Organisational
2   Monitoring
3   Reciprocal
4   Digital
5   Logistical
6   Transitional
7   Incremental
8   Third-generation
9   Policy
A   Tactile
B   Pre-processing
C   Hyperbolic
D   Re-entrant
E   Boolean
F   Recursive


3rd digit
0   Options
1   Flexibility
2   Capability
3   Mobility
4   Programming
5   Concept
6   Welfare
7   Projection
8   Hardware
9   Contingency
A   Feedback
B   Architecture
C   Logic
D   Process
E   Debugging
F   Effectiveness


The procedure is simple. Think of any three-digit number; then select the corresponding buzzword from each column. For instance, number 257 produces "systematized logistical projection".

For an even more professional approach, and especially when a memorable sequence of letters or an intelligible acronym has been found, just use each word’s initial letter. For example: "This project will be undertaken using ABL and TOP".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Charlotte on August 11, 2009, 12:39:54 pm
Could we interlock brain spaces in my work area?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on August 11, 2009, 12:42:32 pm
put in some f2f time?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on August 11, 2009, 12:54:07 pm
Could we interlock brain spaces in my work area?

YA Gus Hedges AICMFP.

Quote from: Peter Ellis
First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing because verbing weirds language1. Then they arrival for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no verbs.

1 - The use of this phrase or saying is Strongly Deprecated.  Repeat offenders may be subject to one, or more, of the menu of available options:

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 11, 2009, 01:21:48 pm
So, Reg, I'm sensing some pushback. Can we sync-up offline to engage around the ten-thousand foot view?

If you all don't stop it, I shall use Google to google 'Google' and break the interweb...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on August 11, 2009, 01:59:52 pm
Tautologies definitely count.

"Planning ahead" makes me twitch.

When people refer to "ATM machines", I get all stabby.
So "The Algarve" is a no-no, then. ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 11, 2009, 02:04:25 pm
What about the River Ouseburn, or Pendle Hill, which are doubly tautological?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 11, 2009, 02:06:41 pm
What about the River Ouseburn, or Pendle Hill, which are doubly tautological?

Or Mount Fuji... or the River Ouse, or Lake Tanganyika?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on August 11, 2009, 02:07:10 pm
But he makes an important point. Not all neologisms are necessarily A Bad Thing. Many of the complaints in this thread just sound reactionary for the sake of it.

d.
Bah. What's wrong with proto-Indo-European?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 11, 2009, 02:09:32 pm
What about the River Ouseburn, or Pendle Hill, which are doubly tautological?

Only one tautology each, I'm afraid.

Interestingly, all these words derive from the one for 'river':

Ouse
Aire
Wharfe
and, apparently, Stour.

Or Mount Fuji... or the River Ouse, or Lake Tanganyika?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Charlotte on August 11, 2009, 02:16:31 pm
LCD display
sufficiently adequate
new innovation
in this day and age
Significant milestone
close proximity

Aghhhhhh!!!!!!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on August 11, 2009, 02:26:46 pm
LCD display
sufficiently adequate
new innovation
in this day and age
Significant milestone
close proximity

Aghhhhhh!!!!!!

"ABS system"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 11, 2009, 02:31:54 pm
http: //yacf.co.uk/forum

(Do I get a prize?)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on August 11, 2009, 02:32:32 pm
What about the River Ouseburn, or Pendle Hill, which are doubly tautological?

Or indeed the quadruply tautological Torpenhow Hill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torpenhow_Hill)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 11, 2009, 02:33:42 pm
Very good - didn't know that one, but surely, since you need two to make the tautology, that's an example of a triple?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 11, 2009, 02:36:17 pm
LCD display
sufficiently adequate
new innovation
in this day and age
Significant milestone
close proximity

Aghhhhhh!!!!!!

Just to be pedantic, 'close proximity' is not necessarily a tautology.  Although 'proximity' is derived from French and Latin words the word for 'nearest', it may also be used in the sense of a measurement in time and space.  'Close proximity' being something that is close, 'wide proximity' being some which is further away.

I blame the scientists, particularly the astrophysicists, for bastardising the language...  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on August 11, 2009, 02:43:55 pm
D

And, while it isn't tautology, "Baby-changing room," just doesn't sound right. What would I want to change my baby for? Should it not be a nappy-changing room?

It's not baby-changing room, it's baby changing-room.

I can't read this thread any more. It's worse than Dan Brown.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 11, 2009, 02:46:51 pm
D

And, while it isn't tautology, "Baby-changing room," just doesn't sound right. What would I want to change my baby for? Should it not be a nappy-changing room?

It's not baby-changing room, it's baby changing-room.

I can't read this thread any more. It's worse than Dan Brown.

[Fine] tooth-combe.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 11, 2009, 03:13:46 pm
Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh!!!!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on August 11, 2009, 04:11:27 pm
What about the River Ouseburn, or Pendle Hill, which are doubly tautological?

Or Mount Fuji... or the River Ouse, or Lake Tanganyika?
Mount Fuji? Mrs B doesn't think so.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 11, 2009, 04:50:53 pm
What about the River Ouseburn, or Pendle Hill, which are doubly tautological?

Or Mount Fuji... or the River Ouse, or Lake Tanganyika?
Mount Fuji? Mrs B doesn't think so.

Sorry - Mount Fujiyama is the tautology.  It means Mount Fuji-mountain...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on August 11, 2009, 04:57:28 pm
What this thread needs is some blue sky thinking.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on August 11, 2009, 09:19:41 pm
Again, maybe not quite grammar, but why (oh why  ::-))  are the prices of stuff, esp cycling stuff, always expressed as "Only...."

A Dura Ace cassette is not "Only £158.85". It's "£158.85. FFS  :o"

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on August 11, 2009, 09:33:17 pm
No, it's not an "automatic door" if you need to press a button to open it.  It's a POWERED door.

An automatic door would require no manual operation whatsoever.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on August 11, 2009, 10:04:41 pm
Not strictly grammar but...

Was listening to Radcliffe & Maconie this evening talking about Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. I was amused that Maconie said something along the lines of how interesting the Jackon 5's career was in light of the "enormity" of what Michael Jackson went on to do.

It's possible that he really meant that, bearing in mind the rumours and allegations that surrounded Jackson in his later life, but I suspect not.  ;D

d.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 12, 2009, 10:04:45 am
I dunno.  maconie chooses his words more carefully than you might at first imagine ;D

Meanwhile, I was reminded of a pet hate sign this morning:

Vehicle Continuously Stopping
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on August 12, 2009, 10:23:18 am
weather conditions. pah!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tonyh on August 12, 2009, 10:48:18 am

Too much of this is a bad thing.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: spesh on August 12, 2009, 12:15:31 pm

Too much of this is a bad thing.

Regarding the management bovine pasture consumption byproducts spattered up-thread, I'd agree.  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 12, 2009, 12:28:34 pm

Vehicle Continuously Stopping

There's nothing worse than a vehicle stopping ungrammatically.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: teethgrinder on August 12, 2009, 12:33:45 pm
I suppose there is the opposite of tautology, contradiction.

Hurry up and stop, or slow down faster.
Can't you see that you are blind?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 12, 2009, 12:44:50 pm

Can't you see that you are blind?

P1ss off!




 ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: spesh on August 12, 2009, 12:47:11 pm
Surely, the definition of grammar that makes you cringe is the old dear planting a sloppy kiss on your chops when you visit.

And you wished she'd stopped doing that when you were 8 years old.



Ayethangewe!  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: teethgrinder on August 12, 2009, 12:51:29 pm

Can't you see that you are blind?

P1ss off!




 ;)

That wasn't aimed at you.
If it was aimed at you I'd have said something like, "Remember you're a womble that your memory is real bad."



But I didn't because I'm good. O:-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 12, 2009, 12:58:29 pm

If it was aimed at you, I'd have said something like, "Remember, you're a womble that your memory is real bad."

But I didn't because I'm good. O:-)

I've got the memory of an elephant...




...it was in a circus somewhere.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 13, 2009, 09:43:19 am
...US military sources can become intelligent ...

Although they have shown no sign of it whatsoever....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on August 13, 2009, 09:55:19 am
...US military sources can become intelligent ...

Although they have shown no sign of it whatsoever....

Same goes for the British military of course.

Roadrunner's complaint is wrong, since intelligence is also news or information.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 13, 2009, 10:49:03 am
...US military sources can become intelligent ...

Although they have shown no sign of it whatsoever....

Same goes for the British military of course.

Roadrunner's complaint is wrong, since intelligence is also news or information.


Actually, news or information is exactly that - news or information.  Intelligence is the assessment of that news or information.

Therefore, road-runner is correct.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 13, 2009, 10:52:03 am

Actually, news or information is exactly that - news or information.  Intelligence is the assessment of that news or information.

Therefore, road-runner is correct.

Not according to the OED. It's an old use of the word that's coming back into use.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 13, 2009, 10:53:56 am
I believe that Shakespeare uses the transitive verb intelligence, as in 'He intelligenced me that...' for informing, but I can't remember where it was.  It may, of course, have been Milton or Jonson, or even Pope, for that matter, :-[ but I know it's quite an old usage, and it stood out when I read it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on August 13, 2009, 10:55:02 am

Actually, news or information is exactly that - news or information.  Intelligence is the assessment of that news or information.

Therefore, road-runner is correct.

Not according to the OED. It's an old use of the word that's coming back into use.

*GASP*  Regulator is wrong?  Well I  never...

 :demon: ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 13, 2009, 10:57:34 am

Actually, news or information is exactly that - news or information.  Intelligence is the assessment of that news or information.

Therefore, road-runner is correct.

Not according to the OED. It's an old use of the word that's coming back into use.

Care to give the full definition from the OED?  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 13, 2009, 11:04:15 am


Care to give the full definition from the OED?  ;)

Just the relevant bits (actually from the Shorter OED):-

Mutual conveyance of information; communication, intercourse. Now rare or obs. 1531.

Information, news, tidings 1450.

A piece of information or news -1750.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on August 13, 2009, 11:10:44 am
Since it's regularly used as such, why bother arguing the point, Reg?  Does it hurt so much to be wrong once in a while?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 13, 2009, 11:11:54 am
Since it's regularly used as such, why bother arguing the point, Reg?  Does it hurt so much to be wrong once in a while?

The fact that it's used doesn't make it correct.  Just like when people say 'less' instead of 'fewer'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 13, 2009, 11:17:15 am
Refer to Mr Fry.   Sad though it is, our language evolves and, for many people, 'less' is a synonym for 'fewer', and they will be understood.

The corruption/evolution of language (for example the attachment of 'loony' to 'left' or the replacement of 'respect' with 'political correctness', or, for that matter, the debasement of the word 'respect' itself) is something I might regret, but have not the defences to resist.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 13, 2009, 11:17:37 am
why bother arguing the point, Reg? 

It's one of his preferred forms of intercourse; and who are we to judge?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 13, 2009, 11:18:48 am
why bother arguing the point, Reg?

It's one of his preferred forms of intercourse; and who are we to judge?

I have other preferred forms of intercourse. Fnarr, fnarr....




IGMC for falling for such an open goal.  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on August 13, 2009, 11:19:31 am
  Just like when people say 'less' instead of 'fewer'.


If it upsets people enough to make them carry 'marker pens' into supermarkets, then I'm all for it.  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on August 13, 2009, 11:22:10 am
  Just like when people say 'less' instead of 'fewer'.


If it upsets people enough to make them carry 'marker pens' into supermarkets, then I'm all for it.  ;D

I have been know to amend offending supermarket signs.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on August 13, 2009, 11:24:52 am
  Just like when people say 'less' instead of 'fewer'.


If it upsets people enough to make them carry 'marker pens' into supermarkets, then I'm all for it.  ;D

I have been know to amend offending supermarket signs.

Serif?  Oh, of course darling.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 13, 2009, 11:47:16 am
  Just like when people say 'less' instead of 'fewer'.


If it upsets people enough to make them carry 'marker pens' into supermarkets, then I'm all for it.  ;D

I have been know to amend offending supermarket signs.

Heh. Middle class criminal damage.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: David Martin on August 13, 2009, 01:25:53 pm
I believe that Shakespeare uses the transitive verb intelligence, as in 'He intelligenced me that...' for informing, but I can't remember where it was.

Brilliant. I will have to verify that then use it in a seminar...

..d
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 13, 2009, 01:47:15 pm
Good luck in finding the source.  I suspect it ain't easily goooooglable :-\
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on August 13, 2009, 02:14:06 pm
Good luck in finding the source.  I suspect it ain't easily goooooglable :-\

Those books will all be in plain text in the Gutenberg project.
It's not in the complete works of Shakespeare, tho'.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 13, 2009, 02:24:58 pm
Good luck in finding the source.  I suspect it ain't easily goooooglable :-\

Putting double quotes around a word stops google trying to be clever and correcting it for you and searching for intelligence.

I can't find any references to use by Shakespeare, only using it whilst discussing Shakespeare's work.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on August 13, 2009, 09:02:56 pm
I have been know to amend offending supermarket signs.

Fewer/less in supermarkets actually offends me less than "colleague announcements", which are an abomination. Call a spade a digging implement, even when it's a person, and stop mucking about with the language.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fruitcake on September 05, 2009, 11:14:40 pm
Them cats that get photos of themselves and put words with it.  Their grammar's real bad.

I Can Has Cheezburger? (http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/06/09/funny-pictures-fur-disneyworld/)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on September 06, 2009, 08:33:20 am
Them cats that get photos of themselves and put words with it.  Their grammar's real bad.

I Can Has Cheezburger? (http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/06/09/funny-pictures-fur-disneyworld/)
(http://www.funnyphotos.net.au/images/lolcat-i-question-the-general-assumption-that-feli1.jpg)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: delthebike on September 06, 2009, 11:05:02 am
Has this thread improved you grasp of grammar? It has made mine more better.  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on September 06, 2009, 08:00:20 pm
(many from the forum)

*Collective gasp*

(http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p65/flyingfixie/police.jpg)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on September 06, 2009, 09:18:43 pm
Use of the verb "peddle" where the correct usage is "pedal".  Particularly in the red-top newspapers.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 07, 2009, 09:30:43 am
Use of the verb "peddle" where the correct usage is "pedal".  Particularly in the red-top newspapers.


Reminds me I've got a tandem to peddle. Must stick it on Ebay.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on September 07, 2009, 08:10:43 pm
Stupid usage (caption on photo a opening ceremony for cyclists' shortcut):
'Paul cuts ribbon and local residents'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/camdencyclists/3798827602/in/set-72157621970830750/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/camdencyclists/3798827602/in/set-72157621970830750/)

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on September 13, 2009, 06:53:49 pm
In Swindon they say "You're shitting me", so I wouldn't really know.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 13, 2009, 07:03:19 pm
Both "shitting me" and "joking me" are just examples of intransitive verbs being used as transitive verbs.

This is not uncommon in English. I'm sure there are plenty of verbs we use transitively today that a Victorian, say, would expect to be used exclusively in an intransitive way (can't think of an example of the top of my head, though).

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 13, 2009, 07:08:01 pm
Formerly intransitive verbs (http://www.171english.cn/html/grammar/00345.html)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 13, 2009, 11:00:04 pm
The latest free edition of my local paper has "masterbate", "infact", & "joint collaboration".

I despair.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 13, 2009, 11:04:40 pm
The latest free edition of my local paper has "masterbate", "infact", & "joint collaboration".

In the same sentence ?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 13, 2009, 11:21:39 pm
The latest free edition of my local paper has "masterbate", "infact", & "joint collaboration".

In the same sentence ?
That would have been impressive!

Unfortunately not. Three articles, on different pages.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on September 14, 2009, 06:29:09 am
The latest free edition of my local paper has "masterbate", "infact", & "joint collaboration".

I despair.
Does Razzle pass for a local paper now?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on September 14, 2009, 08:54:14 am
I've been to a lot of parties in which joint collaboration has taken place.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on September 14, 2009, 01:18:54 pm
THe omission of the word "against" after the verbs "to protest" and "to appeal".

I don't protest climate change, I protest against its causes.

People don't appeal a verdict, they appeal against a verdict.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 14, 2009, 01:47:06 pm
THe omission of the word "against" after the verbs "to protest" and "to appeal".

I don't protest climate change, I protest against its causes.

People don't appeal a verdict, they appeal against a verdict.
... at which time, they may well be
protesting their innocence !
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on September 14, 2009, 01:58:56 pm
THe omission of the word "against" after the verbs "to protest" and "to appeal".

I don't protest climate change, I protest against its causes.

People don't appeal a verdict, they appeal against a verdict.
... at which time, they may well be
protesting their innocence !

Which the OED regards as correct:

Quote
  • verb 1 express an objection to what someone has said or done. 2 take part in a public protest. 3 state emphatically in response to an accusation or criticism: she protested her innocence.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 14, 2009, 02:01:34 pm
I like the way this thread is nuancing.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 14, 2009, 02:02:09 pm
That's interesting* - I mentioned that usage because I thought it was correct, but I didn't realise that
innocence
is the only thing you can protest (directly).





* d'ya see what I did there?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fboab on September 14, 2009, 07:02:05 pm
Americans.... (http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/2009/09/22_misspelled_p.html)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on September 15, 2009, 07:47:47 am
That's interesting* - I mentioned that usage because I thought it was correct, but I didn't realise that
innocence
is the only thing you can protest (directly).
* d'ya see what I did there?
You can also protest your faith. I keep double-taking at headlines like NEONAZIS PROTEST ISLAM.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 15, 2009, 11:10:31 am
Ban generic plurals!

A great piece in the language log blog today:
Language Log - Mandatory treatment for generic plurals? (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1737)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on September 15, 2009, 11:30:12 am
Ban generic plurals!

A great piece in the language log blog today:
Language Log - Mandatory treatment for generic plurals? (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1737)

You would say that. It's well known that all Kentish cyclists dislike being tarred with the same brush.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on September 15, 2009, 11:27:46 pm
Americans.... (http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/2009/09/22_misspelled_p.html)

There is a big roadside banner, pointing to a farm, just west of Grants Pass, OR.  It reads "SWEET CRON" and I'm told has done so for years.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on September 15, 2009, 11:46:57 pm
UNIX geeks.  ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on September 21, 2009, 12:01:57 am
...I didn't realise that innocenceis the only thing you can protest (directly).

It's because to protest means (roughly) "to hold forth in public" - to make a public statement. You can state your innocence (or your faith) in public, but if you tried to state the verdict it would mean something rather different from what people are trying to mean by "protesting a verdict".

Thus, to protest a verdict is to publish it widely. If you don't actually agree with it, you do rather need to protest against it...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 21, 2009, 12:26:59 am
In tonight's Waking The Dead, Dr Grace Foley referred to a suspect's extreme "aquaphobia".

Any fule kno that "aqua" is from Latin and "phobia" is from Greek.

The word she was looking for is hydrophobia.

I feel a stiff letter to The Times coming on.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: softspeaker on September 21, 2009, 07:08:37 am
In tonight's Waking The Dead, Dr Grace Foley referred to a suspect's extreme "aquaphobia".

Any fule kno that "aqua" is from Latin and "phobia" is from Greek.

The word she was looking for is hydrophobia.

You'll have watched that on the teleopsis, then. Or was it the proculvision?

 

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on September 21, 2009, 08:31:20 am
In tonight's Waking The Dead, Dr Grace Foley referred to a suspect's extreme "aquaphobia".

Any fule kno that "aqua" is from Latin and "phobia" is from Greek.

The word she was looking for is hydrophobia.

I feel a stiff letter to The Times coming on.

d.


Bet you're a Radio4 listener.  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: TimO on September 21, 2009, 08:56:29 am
UNIX geeks.  ::-)

Well, they are bound to fsck things up. ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 21, 2009, 09:08:08 am

Any fule kno that "aqua" is from Latin and "phobia" is from Greek.


'Television'?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 21, 2009, 09:10:05 am
It'll never catch on with a name like thatTM
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 21, 2009, 11:53:57 am
You'll have watched that on the teleopsis, then. Or was it the proculvision?

Yeah, OK, point taken.

And to be fair, I've looked it up and it seems that aquaphobia and hydrophobia are recognised as two different conditions. So Dr Grace was right after all.

 :-[

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 21, 2009, 02:08:40 pm
You'll have watched that on the teleopsis, then. Or was it the proculvision?
Farseer. Or is that the tube with lenses in?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 19, 2009, 05:58:20 am
Just come across "to fellowship" in a "Christian" movie. Surely the -ship suffix makes it a noun? Oh, hang on, Christians "worship" so I suppose it's possible as a verb, but it certainly sounds wrong.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on October 19, 2009, 08:19:58 am
In tonight's Waking The Dead, Dr Grace Foley referred to a suspect's extreme "aquaphobia".

Any fule kno that "aqua" is from Latin and "phobia" is from Greek.

The word she was looking for is hydrophobia.

I feel a stiff letter to The Times coming on.

d.

Perhaps chosen so as not to confuse it with hydrophobia--rabies?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on October 20, 2009, 10:56:53 am
I'm seeing "as such" used incorrectly in lots of reports by graduates - very irritating (probably just as irritating as me changing it every time)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 20, 2009, 11:12:48 am
Example?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 20, 2009, 11:14:27 am
Perhaps chosen so as not to confuse it with hydrophobia--rabies?

Indeed. When I looked it up, I discovered that aquaphobia is "abnormal and persistent fear of water" whereas hydrophobia is "the physical property of a molecule that is repelled from a mass of water". As a symptom of the latter stages of rabies, it refers to being physically incapable of swallowing water.

It's a useful distinction, I suppose, but the mixed Latin and Greek still grates. I admit I've never had a problem with "television" but that's because it's a word I grew up with and was familiar with before I knew much about Latin and Greek. But now that it has been brought to my attention, I am mildly irritated by it.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on October 20, 2009, 11:46:57 am
Lots of trendy grammarisms have grated over the years - such as "I, myself, personally", "I will send a copy to yourself", "I have to actually physically do something".

The one that riles me at present is the use of "I am" in examples such as "I am liking this forum".  So, you like it now but you didn't yesterday and will not tomorrow.  This one started less than a year ago.  I wonder how long before it fades into yesterdays outmoded trendy speak, but I also wonder how on earth these things get started.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on October 20, 2009, 11:54:57 am
I notice an increasing appearance of elisive apostrophes in printed English, particularly can't, or won't. In my schooldays I was taught that this was entirely incorrect except in reported speech.

Here's something to consider: If, in prose, a shortened word with an initial apostrophe (eg. 'twas or 'bout) occurs at the beginning of a sentence, is the letter after the apostrophe capitalised?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on October 20, 2009, 12:09:18 pm
'Tis capitalised indeed.
Quote
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, &c.

I know people who use the Carrollian double apostrophe. I ca'n't, and wo'n't, get used to that.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on October 20, 2009, 12:12:24 pm
'Tis capitalised indeed.
Quote
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, &c.

But I did say 'in prose'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on October 20, 2009, 12:13:34 pm
Perhaps chosen so as not to confuse it with hydrophobia--rabies?


It's a useful distinction, I suppose, but the mixed Latin and Greek still grates. I admit I've never had a problem with "television" but that's because it's a word I grew up with and was familiar with before I knew much about Latin and Greek. But now that it has been brought to my attention, I am mildly irritated by it.

d.


veisalgia

How does mixed Norwegian and Greek affect you?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on October 20, 2009, 02:10:17 pm
Your Amazon order ****** has shipped.

No it hasn't; It's been shipped.

PS. Thank you for sending me such an email today, after the item in question arrived...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 20, 2009, 04:28:21 pm
I notice an increasing appearance of elisive apostrophes in printed English, particularly can't, or won't. In my schooldays I was taught that this was entirely incorrect except in reported speech.
Do you mean that one should write "cannot" ? Or something too smart for me?!?

[I shall lookup 'elisive' ... ]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on October 20, 2009, 06:53:48 pm
I notice an increasing appearance of elisive apostrophes in printed English, particularly can't, or won't. In my schooldays I was taught that this was entirely incorrect except in reported speech.
Do you mean that one should write "cannot" ? Or something too smart for me?!?

Yes: is not; cannot; will not; etc.

Quote
[I shall lookup 'elisive' ... ]
I made it up.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 21, 2009, 09:01:31 am
Quote
[I shall lookup 'elisive' ... ]
I made it up.

According to google, you've started a trend.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 21, 2009, 09:07:48 am
The one that riles me at present is the use of "I am" in examples such as "I am liking this forum".  So, you like it now but you didn't yesterday and will not tomorrow.  This one started less than a year ago.  I wonder how long before it fades into yesterdays outmoded trendy speak, but I also wonder how on earth these things get started.
Surely this is just an attempt to reflect in writing the use of emphatic particles in speech. I am liking this forum - surprisingly so, in fact.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on October 21, 2009, 09:10:41 am
...and surely makes no implication about any past like or dislike?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on October 21, 2009, 09:16:03 am
From an American colleague I just had 'Thanks for a great gather!'. Grr.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 21, 2009, 09:19:06 am
Perhaps he meant 'garter', and it was a text for someone else?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 22, 2009, 12:49:29 pm
I notice an increasing appearance of elisive apostrophes in printed English, particularly can't, or won't. In my schooldays I was taught that this was entirely incorrect except in reported speech.

The house style of the publication I currently work for is to always use elided forms, the idea being to keep the tone informal, friendly and reflecting the way people talk. The house style of the last publication I worked for was to never use elided forms.

Personally, I think any rule that says "always" or "never" is silly - you need to judge each case on its merits, otherwise you can end up with sentences that sound very unnatural and clunky. And some elisions are really ugly (eg "should've" or "would've").

Fortunately, as chief sub on my current publication, I get to enforce the rules as I see fit (though most of our style rules predate me and are firmly entrenched, so I can't get away with making major changes), so while I tolerate most elisions, the rule for me is not a blanket "always do this" or "never do that" but to make sure that the flow and rhythm of a sentence is natural and doesn't make the reader stop to think about it.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 22, 2009, 01:07:25 pm
Ugly they may be but they are preferable to should of (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=21548.msg384951#msg384951) and would of (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=22017.msg394471#msg394471).

Can't argue with that!

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on October 22, 2009, 01:38:21 pm
some elisions are really ugly (eg "should've" or "would've").

Ugly they may be but they are preferable to should of (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=21548.msg384951#msg384951) and would of (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=22017.msg394471#msg394471).

The latter is a phonetic misspelling of the former, which then feeds back into speech.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on October 22, 2009, 03:00:11 pm

The house style of the publication I currently work for is to always use ... to never use ... as chief sub ... .
I think I can infer what the style guide says about split infinitives, too.  8)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 22, 2009, 03:08:32 pm
I think I can infer what the style guide says about split infinitives, too.  8)

I follow the Guardian style guide's example on this matter...

Quote from: Guardian Style Guide
split infinitives
"The English-speaking world may be divided into (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; (2) those who do not know, but care very much; (3) those who know and condemn; (4) those who know and distinguish. Those who neither know nor care are the vast majority, and are happy folk, to be envied." (HW Fowler, Modern English Usage, 1926)

It is perfectly acceptable, and often desirable, to sensibly split infinitives – "to boldly go" is an elegant and effective phrase – and stubbornly to resist doing so can sound pompous and awkward ("the economic precipice on which they claim perpetually to be poised") or ambiguous: "he even offered personally to guarantee the loan that the Clintons needed to buy their house " raises the question of whether the offer, or the guarantee, was personal.

George Bernard Shaw got it about right after an editor tinkered with his infinitives: "I don't care if he is made to go quickly, or to quickly go – but go he must!"

Guardian and Observer style guide: S (http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide/s)

Believe it or not, I did carefully consider the split infinitives in my last post (probably spent far longer thinking about it than was necessary, in fact) and decided that to split was the better option.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on November 08, 2009, 08:52:20 pm
"You and I" when it should be "you and me", e.g.

Quote
X isn't trying to convert the likes of you and I to his cause.

It's easy to get right: take out the "you and" (& a bit more in this example, to make it clearer),  & consider whether you'd say -
Quote
X isn't trying to convert I to his cause.
It annoys I. It makes I want to shake people.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: RJ on November 08, 2009, 08:54:32 pm
From an American colleague I just had 'Thanks for a great gather!'. Grr.

Shepherd, are they?  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 09, 2009, 05:46:28 am
There was an article on Language Log Language Log (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/) about two years ago titled something like "The death of whom". It showed a photo of some demonstrators in the US with a banner using "whom" as a nominative.

I think sometimes people use "whom" and "I" incorrectly because they think it sounds somehow posher.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on November 09, 2009, 06:45:47 am
From an American colleague I just had 'Thanks for a great gather!'. Grr.
Isn't that something to do with curtains?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on November 09, 2009, 09:07:48 am
Adoption of more Americanisms, specifically newer and older.  e.g "for sale, newer bike frame",  "for sale older rear mech".

I always want to ask "older than what?".  It seems "newer" means not new but nearly so, and "older" means old but not old enough to be called old.  Can a user of these terms explain what is meant and at what point something that is newer becomes older?

Now a purely British one.  The singular of pence is penny.  I cannot receive one pence change.  This includes the middle aged newsreader who used "one pence" one TV a few evenings ago.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on November 09, 2009, 09:13:10 am
Adoption of more Americanisms, specifically newer and older.  e.g "for sale, newer bike frame",  "for sale older rear mech".

I always want to ask "older than what?".  It seems "newer" means not new but nearly so, and "older" means old but not old enough to be called old.  Can a user of these terms explain what is meant and at what point something that is newer becomes older?


If that truly is an Americanism, then it's a recent one (been away for a few years).  I've never heard newer/older used in such a way.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on November 09, 2009, 09:15:19 am
Mrs. Wow refers to people as being "older" when she just means "old" but is trying to be polite. I'm not sure if it's a Northern phenomenon, restricted to Stalybridge or just some idiosyncratic nonsense from Mrs. Wow's Mad Mother.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on November 09, 2009, 09:19:06 am
If that truly is an Americanism, then it's a recent one (been away for a few years).  I've never heard newer/older used in such a way.
I lived there 97-01 and it is common in for sale adverts.  It is one of those  annoying (to me) things I now find in use in this country.  It is fairly recent, only the last year or so, and can even be found in use in for sale ads on this forum.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on November 09, 2009, 09:20:24 am
If that truly is an Americanism, then it's a recent one (been away for a few years).  I've never heard newer/older used in such a way.
I lived there 97-01 and it is common in for sale adverts.  It is one of those  annoying (to me) things I now find now in use in this country.  It is fairly recent, only the last year or so, and can even be found in use in for sale ads on this forum.

Interesting.  Can I ask where in the US?  I left in '99 and I never heard it; wonder if it's regional.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on November 09, 2009, 09:33:43 am
Interesting.  Can I ask where in the US?  I left in '99 and I never heard it; wonder if it's regional.
All up and down the West coast.  Here's an example, a "newer" house NWhomes (http://apartments.nwsource.com/properties/search/results.php?qTerms=rent&qSearchTab=rent&qAction=search&qCity=mill+creek&qZip=&noProperyTypes=&qMinPrice=0&qMaxPrice=&qBedrooms=&x=0&y=0)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on November 09, 2009, 09:39:53 am
Mrs. Wow refers to people as being "older" when she just means "old" but is trying to be polite. I'm not sure if it's a Northern phenomenon, restricted to Stalybridge or just some idiosyncratic nonsense from Mrs. Wow's Mad Mother.
I've also heard this, up north.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on November 09, 2009, 09:41:18 am
Interesting.  Can I ask where in the US?  I left in '99 and I never heard it; wonder if it's regional.
All up and down the West coast.  Here's an example, a "newer" house NWhomes (http://apartments.nwsource.com/properties/search/results.php?qTerms=rent&qSearchTab=rent&qAction=search&qCity=mill+creek&qZip=&noProperyTypes=&qMinPrice=0&qMaxPrice=&qBedrooms=&x=0&y=0)

I see.  Well, they do funny things out on the Left Coast (born and bread Mid-Westerner speaking).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on November 09, 2009, 09:50:17 am
Mrs. Wow refers to people as being "older" when she just means "old" but is trying to be polite. I'm not sure if it's a Northern phenomenon, restricted to Stalybridge or just some idiosyncratic nonsense from Mrs. Wow's Mad Mother.
I've also heard this, up north.

It sounds quite usual to me - very common usage in Yorkshire, I think.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on November 09, 2009, 11:01:20 am
Fish has 2 plurals too. Fish and fishes.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on November 09, 2009, 11:01:40 am
This includes the middle aged newsreader who used "one pence" one TV a few evenings ago.

Heard on BBC telly and radio respectively:

"Viscount", pronounced as spelled.

"Corps", pronounced as spelled.


Morons (pronounced as spelled).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 09, 2009, 01:34:07 pm
The Toady program, this morning (http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8349000/8349912.stm).

"Skill" is a noun.

Camila Batmanghelidjh please take note.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on November 09, 2009, 03:41:06 pm
Fish has 2 plurals too. Fish and fishes.
And person.  Persons and People.  (Sort of)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on November 09, 2009, 03:51:07 pm
Fish has 2 plurals too. Fish and fishes.
And person.  Persons and People.  (Sort of)

People has a plural.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: grayo59 on November 10, 2009, 10:00:25 am
Isn't an elision different from a contraction?  As in saying for examples:-

"vegtable" instead of "vegatable" or "librey" instead of "library" are elisions which may be pronounced but not written whereas "can't" for "cannot" is a contraction which can be written.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on November 10, 2009, 10:18:24 am
People has a plural.

Should that be "People have a plural"? ;)

d.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Julian on November 10, 2009, 12:11:36 pm
Newsagents, stationers, poundshops and assorted retailers of West London:

You sell many items.  You thrive on variety.  There is little that cannot be sourced along the Uxbridge Road by the determined shopper.

However, whilst I acknowledge the surge in popularity of homegrown veg, keeping chickens, starting allotments and even the odd pig here and there, take it from me.  None of you are selling 2010 dairies as advertised.

H'mkay?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on November 10, 2009, 01:47:52 pm
None of you are selling 2010 dairies as advertised.
Is some great advance in milk processing technology imminent?  ???

;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 10, 2009, 04:15:09 pm


However, whilst I acknowledge the surge in popularity of homegrown veg, keeping chickens, starting allotments and even the odd pig here and there, take it from me.  None of you are selling 2010 dairies as advertised.

H'mkay?
I bet the signs actually say "dairy's" or "dairie's."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on November 10, 2009, 04:56:58 pm
Greg is normally on the ball. Tesco is a company, therefore I think it should be:

Tesco also produces a 'local farmers' milk ...

Tesco sells milk produced by cows on local farms. ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on November 10, 2009, 05:03:39 pm
None of you are selling 2010 dairies as advertised.

I hesitate to correct m'learned friend, but "none", being an abbreviation of "not one", requires a singular verb. :-*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 12, 2009, 09:46:44 am
This includes the middle aged newsreader who used "one pence" one TV a few evenings ago.

Heard on BBC telly and radio respectively:

"Viscount", pronounced as spelled.

"Corps", pronounced as spelled.


Morons (pronounced as spelled).
When finding the corpse of more than one such aristocrat, you can do a discount (not pronounced as spelled).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fboab on November 12, 2009, 09:55:46 am
Pressurised.

You can do it to chambers. You can do it to gases. You can't do it to a farrowing house.

Quote from: The Vet.
Mortality is unacceptably high. This area needs to be pressurised.

No it doesn't. It needs greater attention to be paid, it needs greater staff focus, it needs prioritising, it needs a procedural/ medication review. It might even need condemning, but it doesn't need to be pressurised. If it did, we'd need to rebuild the sheds to be air and water tight, and that would be dreadful for the poor little piglets.
Tcha.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on November 12, 2009, 11:08:54 am
Pressurised.

You can do it to chambers. You can do it to gases. You can't do it to a farrowing house.

Quote from: The Vet.
Mortality is unacceptably high. This area needs to be pressurised.

No it doesn't. It needs greater attention to be paid, it needs greater staff focus, it needs prioritising, it needs a procedural/ medication review. It might even need condemning, but it doesn't need to be pressurised. If it did, we'd need to rebuild the sheds to be air and water tight, and that would be dreadful for the poor little piglets.
Tcha.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on November 12, 2009, 09:33:09 pm
"Critique" as a verb.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 19, 2009, 06:29:59 am
Heard yesterday: "You have been involved in two pop-culture phenomenons."

Normally these Latinate plurals don't bother me either way - I don't mind when bacteria is used as a singular, say. I don't think I'd mind if they'd said "phenomenas" but "phenomenons" really grates.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 19, 2009, 07:25:39 am
And I don't know if "don't disgard it"
Gold at $5,000 an ounce? Don't disgard it - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/breakingviewscom/6587195/Gold-at-5000-an-ounce-Dont-disgard-it.html)
 means "don't discard it" or "don't disgregard it".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on December 03, 2009, 12:55:46 pm
Surviving the World - Lesson 8 - Grammar (http://survivingtheworld.net/Lesson8.html)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 11, 2009, 03:25:03 pm
Oi!  You're supposed to be selling books and increasing the overall literacy level, not doing this:

Quote from: Waterstones Website
All prices are for online purchases only and may differ to the prices in Waterstone's stores

::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on December 11, 2009, 03:30:32 pm
Oi!  You're supposed to be selling books and increasing the overall literacy level, not doing this:

Quote from: Waterstones Website
All prices are for online purchases only and may differ to the prices in Waterstone's stores

::-)

That's crazy. They'll end up loosing custom.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 11, 2009, 04:42:43 pm
Quote from: Waterstones Website

You missed the apostrophe from the company name.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 11, 2009, 04:49:22 pm
I noticed that, but left it as was.  I don't care about their apostrophe ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 11, 2009, 04:53:35 pm
There is some irony about that given the subject of this thread.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 11, 2009, 04:58:12 pm
Exactly my thoughts, which is why my post is the way it is ;)

However, I do expect teh website copy for a major book chian to be better prof-red than my postsings
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on December 11, 2009, 05:02:19 pm
Quote from: Waterstones Website

You missed the apostrophe from the company name.
The URL doesn't have an apostrophe in. So the website is just plain "Waterstones" !
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 11, 2009, 05:04:22 pm
But the text "Waterstones Website" is not a URL.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on December 11, 2009, 10:24:17 pm
Quote from: Waterstones Website

You missed the apostrophe from the company name.
If it was good enough for George Bernard Shaw . . . . 

BTW, I got the highest possible grade in my English language O level despite a firm refusal to use it. I think the examiners realised that total consistency was proof that it was deliberate, & accepted it as valid, as indeed it is.

Quote
Principle 3: the possessive apostrophe is an abomination, hallowed only by usage.
The apostrophe (http://www.dace.co.uk/apostrophe.htm)
Furthermore -
Quote
It appears there is some disease in the English mind which tends over the centuries to increase the number of apostrophes. This disease has now reached its crisis, in that it can hardly get any worse.

George Bernard Shaw tried to persuade people not to put in the possessive apostrophe, but this has not caught on. Nevertheless, if in doubt it is better to leave an apostrophe out than to put it in. This is because if you leave it out incorrectly this will be put down either to an oversight or to an affinity with the views of George Bernard Shaw [ed: works for me]. On the other hand, if you put it in incorrectly this will be attributed (rightly) to ignorance.
;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on December 11, 2009, 10:56:00 pm
Or everyone thinks you're a German writing English as a second language.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 13, 2009, 09:16:27 am
Even a German with only minimal English would know the difference between "there's" and "theirs", but some scriptwriter I had to deal with on Friday confused them.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on December 13, 2009, 09:52:19 am
I noticed that, but left it as was.  I don't care about their apostrophe ;)

Apostrophe's are very readily obtainable: on CD's, DVD's and even from grocer's - but not in pub's on todays special's.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on December 14, 2009, 10:50:33 am
Busses are what you give to someone under the mistletoe.

Buses are on roads.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 22, 2009, 11:42:07 am
The fact that the universe is far more limitless than he's been lead to believe.

Far more limitless?  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 22, 2009, 11:55:42 am
I'd hate it to be less limitless :-\
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 22, 2009, 12:02:45 pm
I'm not sure whether to really consider it sloppy grammar or syntax or vocabulary. It was in speech, but even so... You're just trying to say it's bigger than he ever realised, aren't you?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on December 22, 2009, 12:27:54 pm
(Insert obligatory H2G2 gag here...)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on December 24, 2009, 06:01:37 pm
Xmas - the abbreviation.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 24, 2009, 06:08:09 pm
THe Bloody Broad casting Corporation!

Temperatures are neither hot nor cold. Not even "best. They are either low or high.

And, Martha Fecking-Carney, what does "unpassable" mean? That one cannot defecate it, or that a vehicle can't go a long it (as of road)? Try "impassable".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on December 24, 2009, 06:21:01 pm
o instead of oo and vice versa.

to/lose

Get it right people - it isn't that hard and you've learnt how to use a computer.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 24, 2009, 06:54:31 pm
Xmas - the abbreviation.

It's fine, so long as people don't say it. It's a written abbreviation not a spoken one (like e.g.)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 24, 2009, 08:07:17 pm
I bought a Belgian bun today in the Co-op. The wrapper said it was a Belgium bun. Supermarket proofreader failure!

Perhaps it was made of Brussels.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on December 24, 2009, 08:44:37 pm
I bought a Belgian bun today in the Co-op. The wrapper said it was a Belgium bun. Supermarket proofreader failure!

Perhaps it was made of Brussels.

Like this?

   Why not try Whitstable's Brussels sprout ice cream?
 (http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/2009/december/22/brussel_sprot.aspx)

The bloke who owns the shop is an obnoxious self-publicist and this is clearly yet another publicity stunt, but as a regular customer, I can vouch for the fact that he makes pretty damn good ice cream, so maybe if anyone can pull it off, he can.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on December 24, 2009, 10:46:10 pm
From the BBC's news website here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm)

'The thief is thought to have drove off towards the New Theatre'

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 25, 2009, 10:11:38 am
From the BBC's news website here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm)

'The thief is thought to have drove off towards the New Theatre'
Not any more!  :thumbsup:
Quote
He is thought to have driven down Park Grove towards the New Theatre before abandoning the car in Park Place.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on December 25, 2009, 01:19:52 pm
Works canteen:
"The increase in VAT will effect prices"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on December 25, 2009, 02:29:48 pm
From the BBC's news website here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm)

'The thief is thought to have drove off towards the New Theatre'
Not any more!  :thumbsup:
Quote
He is thought to have driven down Park Grove towards the New Theatre before abandoning the car in Park Place.

The caption under the little map is as I posted earlier. Checked at 1420 Christmas Day.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 25, 2009, 10:43:19 pm
From the BBC's news website here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm)

'The thief is thought to have drove off towards the New Theatre'
Not any more!  :thumbsup:
Quote
He is thought to have driven down Park Grove towards the New Theatre before abandoning the car in Park Place.

The caption under the little map is as I posted earlier. Checked at 1420 Christmas Day.

Oh, beg pardon. I didn't look at that.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on December 25, 2009, 11:59:57 pm
From the BBC's news website here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8427671.stm)

'The thief is thought to have drove off towards the New Theatre'
Not any more!  :thumbsup:
Quote
He is thought to have driven down Park Grove towards the New Theatre before abandoning the car in Park Place.

The caption under the little map is as I posted earlier. Checked at 1420 Christmas Day.

Oh, beg pardon. I didn't look at that.

Well, I should have been more specific. I still think it is most cringeworthy.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Euan Uzami on December 26, 2009, 01:33:15 pm
THe Bloody Broad casting Corporation!

Temperatures are neither hot nor cold. Not even "best. They are either low or high.

And, Martha Fecking-Carney, what does "unpassable" mean? That one cannot defecate it, or that a vehicle can't go a long it (as of road)? Try "impassable".

Reminds me of a sign stuck in the leisure centre, outlining the customer charter - promising that floors will be kept clean, etc.
...
"8. Floors will be kept clean.
9. Temperatures will be kept at an ambient level for all.
..."
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on December 27, 2009, 08:59:06 pm
Another from Auntie

<<I lift the heavy German bread into two baskets - souvenirs of our local bakery in Paris - and omit a sigh. >>

No, you emit a sigh.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8420917.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8420917.stm)

In the same article, a photo has this caption. <<A visit to the sweetshop on Rue Vavin often ended in a family fued>>

I suppose this is a misspelling but I expect better from Auntie.

It's a shame a good report is spoiled this way.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on December 27, 2009, 11:29:15 pm
During the opening credits of the new Sherlock Holmes film, a newspaper front page flashes up on the screen, with the headline:

"Sherlock Holmes aides police"

Gah!

But I'm glad I didn't get up and walk out of the cinema right then - it was actually a pretty decent film despite that.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on December 28, 2009, 12:30:50 am
Yes, I saw it today and really enjoyed it. It was a shame that the audience didn't laugh at it as much as I did!  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on December 28, 2009, 12:40:03 am
I laughed a lot. But not as much as the woman in the row behind me.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on December 28, 2009, 07:28:58 pm
At my sister's this week I dipped into The Lynne Truss Book*.

I confess I learned a lot and found it well written and entertaining. Is this the beginning of the end for me?

*For it shall bring bad luck upon those who utter its full name.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on December 28, 2009, 08:30:46 pm
During the opening credits of the new Sherlock Holmes film, a newspaper front page flashes up on the screen, with the headline:

"Sherlock Holmes aides police"

Gah!


I noticed that, but I wasn't sure it that was how it was back then.


But I'm glad I didn't get up and walk out of the cinema right then - it was actually a pretty decent film despite that.

d.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on December 28, 2009, 08:35:57 pm
At my sister's this week I dipped into The Lynne Truss Book*.

I confess I learned a lot and found it well written and entertaining. Is this the beginning of the end for me?

*For it shall bring bad luck upon those who utter its full name.
I own a copy, & have read it. How far down the road to perdition am I?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on December 28, 2009, 11:32:07 pm
At my sister's this week I dipped into The Lynne Truss Book*.

I confess I learned a lot and found it well written and entertaining. Is this the beginning of the end for me?

*For it shall bring bad luck upon those who utter its full name.
I own a copy, & have read it. How far down the road to perdition am I?

Me too.  I keep my copy at work and have been known to suggest that some of our graduates might benefit from it.  I am, however, considered by some an extremist on this topic.  They do come to me for advice/ adjudication though.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on January 05, 2010, 02:47:12 pm
Semantics rather than grammar, but doesn't deserve its own thread...

While in Ikea the other day, I saw a sign saying: "If you want to know where something is, ask a co-worker."

Next day in the office, I asked the chap at the desk next to mine: "Where are the Billy bookcases?" He didn't have a clue what I was on about.

Perhaps I should have asked a member of staff. Or maybe the sign was aimed at Ikea employees rather than customers.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on January 05, 2010, 04:27:20 pm
What's wrong with 'colleague' all of a sudden?  Probably invented by the same smeg juggler who decided that 'slippery' should be replaced with 'slippy' ...............aarrrggghh!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on January 05, 2010, 04:48:02 pm
What's wrong with 'colleague' all of a sudden?

"Colleague" would have been equally wrong in this instance.

I have no problem with, say, John Lewis describing members of staff as "Partners" because that term is not necessarily contingent on my relationship with them as a customer of the store.

But "co-worker" (or indeed "colleague") implies a status that is shared by me (the customer) and the employee, and no such status exists.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on January 05, 2010, 04:50:02 pm
Comrade would do.. ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on January 05, 2010, 04:54:56 pm
I prefer cow-orker.  Another fave internetism.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on January 05, 2010, 05:12:37 pm
What's wrong with 'colleague' all of a sudden?

"Colleague" would have been equally wrong in this instance.

I have no problem with, say, John Lewis describing members of staff as "Partners" because that term is not necessarily contingent on my relationship with them as a customer of the store.

But "co-worker" (or indeed "colleague") implies a status that is shared by me (the customer) and the employee, and no such status exists.

d.


Quite so, but I was proceeding on the basis that the notice was intetended for staff rather than punters.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on January 05, 2010, 08:38:57 pm
Oh look, we are back to colleague announcements (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2205.msg405170#msg405170) ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on January 05, 2010, 08:57:29 pm
Since we are on inappropriate use of words, here's a philosophical question for you.

Some years ago we were told that British manufacturing industry had been destroyed, and we were now a service economy. Ever since then, very strange things have been happening in marketing.

In particular the financial services industry, which is called that because, er, it offers services, keeps going on about its products. Since when was a bank account a product? If the bank goes bust, it's not there any more. That's because they are selling you the promise of a service, rather than a product that (like a car) you have whether they are still there or not.*

Conversely, though, and more understandably, companies that do have products will try to differentiate themselves on the basis that they offer better service.

Is there anybody who has the confidence to admit what they really offer, instead of trying to be somebody else ;D

*Actually, you don't care whether the so-called product is still there. It was always secondary. It's your money that you want.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: GruB on January 05, 2010, 09:11:09 pm
Pop along to page 45 and 46 on the snowing thread - that is where it is all happening.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: teethgrinder on January 05, 2010, 09:24:51 pm
Pop along to page 45 and 46 on the snowing thread - that is where it is all happening.
Hey everyone! There's a fight in the playground!


FTFY :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Marj on January 05, 2010, 10:26:25 pm
Pop along to page 45 and 46 on the snowing thread - that is where it is all happening.

I came over here just to see if it had migrated  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on January 05, 2010, 10:45:29 pm
Oh look, we are back to colleague announcements (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2205.msg405170#msg405170) ;D

Ah! I knew I couldn't possibly have been the first to bring it up.  ;D

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 07, 2010, 10:57:14 am
Some cow's twat on the news last night said that she'd "never seen the weather as worse as this".  I'm afraid I got rather cross.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on January 07, 2010, 11:03:41 am
Well, maybe she hasn't! ;)

*runs*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cyclops on January 07, 2010, 11:23:18 am
Passing a local bowling club the other day I noticed a sign saying, "Bicycles will be banned from the bowling green". Shame it was shut as I was going to ask when the ban came into place and would they be getting a new sign made up. I also resisted the temptation to do some last minute wheelspins and doughnuts on the bowling green O:-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on January 12, 2010, 01:22:33 pm
Not exactly a grammar cringe, but this is the best place for it.

Why do Radio 4 presenters keep saying "temporally" when they mean "temporarily"? It's not just a pronunciation issue - I don't care when they say "Tempory" because it's clear they meant temporary - the point is that "temporally" is an actual word and it doesn't mean the same as "temporarily". I've heard it three times this week and it's driving me nuts.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on January 31, 2010, 12:51:58 pm

There is no noone.

(http://i578.photobucket.com/albums/ss226/SgtBikeo/ThereisnoNoone-1.jpg)


Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on January 31, 2010, 12:55:18 pm
Not exactly a grammar cringe, but this is the best place for it.

Why do Radio 4 presenters keep saying "temporally" when they mean "temporarily"? It's not just a pronunciation issue - I don't care when they say "Tempory" because it's clear they meant temporary - the point is that "temporally" is an actual word and it doesn't mean the same as "temporarily". I've heard it three times this week and it's driving me nuts.
It's like the way Americans use "momentarily" where we would use "presently".  "I will do it momentarily" means "I won't do it for long" in British English, but "I will do it very soon" in American English.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on January 31, 2010, 02:14:02 pm
At my sister's this week I dipped into The Lynne Truss Book*.

I confess I learned a lot and found it well written and entertaining. Is this the beginning of the end for me?

*For it shall bring bad luck upon those who utter its full name.
I also have David Crystal's reply to That Book, which deliberately has an almost identical appearance.
The thing drummed into us as linguists was always to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, and that "all texts are of equal value"
Bollocks. While there is indeed great scope in language development in moving on, with such variants of English as Aussie and Singlish, the primary function of language is communication. If there are no rules, we end up with potential ambiguity or incomprehension, such as in the temporally/temporarily dichotomy mentioned above. There is a fundamental difference between a child who writes an essay in txtspk because they are having fun, and one who writes in txtspk because that is all they know. Linguistic change is not the same thing as ignorance or laziness, and those who rant on about "grammer Natzis" fail to see a point that has been stressed many times here: if you turn up for a job dressed like a scruff, the message you are sending is not one of willingness to make an effort. If you are too lazy to check your grammar and spelling (typos happen; such is life) your message gets lost in the white noise of semiliteracy.

We are now,as I have mentioned before, in a world where a GCSE A* in French is awarded to someone who cannot conjugate the verb "to be" in the present tense.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on January 31, 2010, 07:51:00 pm

It's like the way Americans use "momentarily" where we would use "presently".  "I will do it momentarily" means "I won't do it for long" in British English, but "I will do it very soon" in American English.

Of course, as you might suspect, the British usage has changed over the years, whereas the American hasn't.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 31, 2010, 09:42:32 pm
We are now,as I have mentioned before, in a world where a GCSE A* in French is awarded to someone who cannot conjugate the verb "to be" in the present tense.
In that case, I want my old O-level upgraded.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Deano on January 31, 2010, 09:50:40 pm
We are now,as I have mentioned before, in a world where a GCSE A* in French is awarded to someone who cannot conjugate the verb "to be" in the present tense.
In that case, I want my old O-level upgraded.

English or French O-Level?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 31, 2010, 09:53:18 pm
French. English was grade 1, which I think means it can only be downgraded under the current grading scheme.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nutkin on January 31, 2010, 10:02:46 pm
Sitting opposite me on the train today were a well-spoken couple. The wife was engossed in 'The Lady' whilst the husband droned on about his bunions and corns. After a while he stopped chatting and sat in silence except for a few loud yawns. The wife then enquired if he was feeling ill, to which he replied, "I'm fine, but I'm rather wearisome today."

 ;D

I laughed and got a very stern look from the wife. Mind you, he was right!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on February 01, 2010, 12:41:04 am
"Second man arrested on suspicion of murdering Polish woman found dead in bathroom"

BBC scrolling headline on their news website just now.

The suspect is alive...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on February 01, 2010, 02:57:41 pm
(sings)

Suspected murderer of Tupac murder suspect
Murdered!

(bows)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: TimO on February 01, 2010, 05:30:15 pm
An interesting story in the Canadian News (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2010/01/31/12686831-cp.html) (link swiped from a Slashdot story).  I'm not sure the use of language in the UK's University system is as bad as described in Canada, but I don't see an awful lot of students written work, so I'm probably not in a great position to comment definitively.

As mentioned at the end, it's also a truism that everyone complains that things are no longer what they used to be, and that even Socrates and Plato complained about the degradation in standards.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on February 01, 2010, 07:52:08 pm
*students' written work
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on February 01, 2010, 09:13:11 pm
Omitting the apostrophe in the genitive is acceptable, as long as it is done consistently.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 01, 2010, 09:18:58 pm
Indeed. The absence of an apostrophe where one is commonly used or possibly optional is far less of a crime than adding one in where it is not necessary.

The latter ideally punishable by something causing a mild case of death, possibly SHOVEL related.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on February 01, 2010, 09:45:27 pm
Oh yes. Oh so very very yes.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on February 02, 2010, 01:21:07 am
From the BBC News website...

Girlguiding centenery marked in Royal Mail stamp issue

Why can't the Beeb spell 'centenary'?

I can't say I like the Girlguiding neologism either...

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on February 02, 2010, 06:34:41 am
Give it another 100 years and it'll be "Stamps celebrate Beavers".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on February 02, 2010, 07:56:12 am
Give it another 100 years and it'll be "Stamps celebrate Beavers".
You think there'll still be stamps in a hundred years?  It'll be a digital signature or summat that you can download and attach to an email.

C.f. the telegram from the Queen etc...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on February 02, 2010, 09:30:32 am
Indeed. The absence of an apostrophe where one is commonly used or possibly optional is far less of a crime than adding one in where it is not necessary.

The latter ideally punishable by something causing a mild case of death, possibly SHOVEL related.

I have to say I am a keen supporter of your proposal's.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 02, 2010, 09:48:42 am
Indeed. The absence of an apostrophe where one is commonly used or possibly optional is far less of a crime than adding one in where it is not necessary.

The latter ideally punishable by something causing a mild case of death, possibly SHOVEL related.

I have to say I am a keen supporter of your proposal's.

(Ups ante...)

You are a man of principal's I see.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on February 02, 2010, 11:35:14 am
I read a lot of things like online journals, and have become used to (but not happy with) the stupidity of using "your" for "you're"
What seems to be happening now is the use of "you're" for "your"
Possibly on the assumption that if it has an apostrophe it is a possessive....as in the sign at work, "Welcome to Gatwick and it's new terminal extension"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 02, 2010, 12:22:23 pm
Talking about airports, I remember being irritated beyond belief by a recorded announcement whilst waiting in the queue for security at Stansted. It was a woman's voice, not very BBC English for a start (rather Estuary), and she was saying something like "In order to get through security quicker, please remove your coat and shoes..."  She repeated this every five minutes or so as I was queuing (for probably half an hour) and it made me want to scream "MORE QUICKLY!"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 02, 2010, 12:45:27 pm
it made me want to scream "MORE QUICKLY!"

I would prefer "sooner" in that situation, but I would consider it acceptable to use "quicker" adverbally - indeed preferable to "more quickly", which just sounds clunky even if it is "correct".

You've reminded me of another pet peeve, though, which I don't think I've mentioned already: the use of "more well known" instead of "better known" or (which is worse) "less well known" instead of "lesser known" (surely "less well" is a contradiction?). And indeed any other similarly clunky comparative forms of compound-adjectives.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on February 02, 2010, 01:07:51 pm

Noone expects the Spanish Inquisition.









Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Comfy Chair.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 02, 2010, 05:23:01 pm
Presumably it comes from treating "well known" as one compound adjective, "well-known". In fact, I can't really see anything wrong with "more well-known" though I agree "better known" is less clunky. As for "less well-known", well, "lesser known" is great but might be considered a little formal at times.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on February 03, 2010, 06:47:33 am
Another one is "least amount" as in "whoever gets the least amount of votes".  WTF can't they simply say the fewest votes?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on February 03, 2010, 08:16:03 am
Or even, "least votes". Except that that would imply that there had been a flood of votes, too many to count. Which is kind of dodgy in terms of establishing the result ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on February 03, 2010, 09:51:07 am
Another from the Beeb...
"Top 20 London universities are attracting the most number of ethnic minority students, a study finds."
Eek!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom M on February 03, 2010, 11:02:15 am
A crappy looking shop is now opening in the village named "Round a pound"

WTF? Do you mean around a pound, or round about a pound?

Round a bloody pound makes no sense!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on February 03, 2010, 12:11:58 pm
Round a bloody pound makes no sense!
Is it a beer shop?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom M on February 03, 2010, 12:20:13 pm
No, is going to be a most stuff is about £1 shop I think.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 03, 2010, 12:23:14 pm
No, is going to be a most stuff is about £1 shop I think.

"about £1" or "around £1" ?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom M on February 03, 2010, 12:29:24 pm
Argh!!!!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: geoff on February 03, 2010, 01:54:20 pm
Hell is other people's notion of good enough. What does the jury think of "increasingly rarer":

"Serious infections are rare and getting increasingly rarer thanks to vaccinations." (http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2010/100203.html)

Surely, "increasingly rare" is "rarer" (so "increasingly" is redundant, making "increasingly rarer" recursive), grumble, grumble.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on February 03, 2010, 03:41:18 pm
Hell is other people's notion of good enough. What does the jury think of "increasingly rarer":

"Serious infections are rare and getting increasingly rarer thanks to vaccinations." (http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2010/100203.html)

Surely, "increasingly rare" is "rarer" (so "increasingly" is redundant, making "increasingly rarer" recursive), grumble, grumble.

Agreed.
 :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 03, 2010, 08:41:42 pm
Increasingly more rarer...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on February 04, 2010, 12:16:21 am
It is all to much.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on February 04, 2010, 09:21:22 am
Another from the Beeb...
"Top 20 London universities are attracting the most number of ethnic minority students, a study finds."
Eek!

And the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111525/UN-climate-change-panel-based-claims-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article.html):

"...coral reefs near mangrove forests contained up to 25 times more fish numbers than those without mangroves nearby..."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on February 04, 2010, 09:23:28 am
Fish numbers is what you eat with alphabetti spaghetti.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on February 04, 2010, 09:28:38 am
Bring back sub-editors and compositors.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Legs on February 04, 2010, 09:44:59 am
Hell is other people's notion of good enough. What does the jury think of "increasingly rarer":

"Serious infections are rare and getting increasingly rarer thanks to vaccinations." (http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2010/100203.html)

Surely, "increasingly rare" is "rarer" (so "increasingly" is redundant, making "increasingly rarer" recursive), grumble, grumble.

Surely 'increasingly rare' is first derivative - equivalent to 'rarer' - and by the same token 'increasingly rarer' is second derivative; there is an acceleration in the rareness?  However, I don't think this was what's meant!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Legs on February 04, 2010, 09:46:54 am
Another thing that irks me is 'however' at the beginning of a sentence without a comma (when it doesn't mean 'howsoever').
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 04, 2010, 09:58:28 am
Don't get me started on commas... I'm so tuned in to them and their placement/misplacement (in my opinion - I'm not a fan of the Oxford Comma) that I can't switch it off. I'm currently reading a book for review and the copy editor is regularly failing to put in commas and it's driving me WILD. Here are some examples, all from the second paragraph in the whole book!:

"All too often those having to respond to attacks on religion..."

"From the partition of India through the troubles in Northern Ireland to civil war in Iraq religion is identified..."

"Rid the world of religion it is suggested, and the world will be rid of a major obstacle..."

And in that same paragraph, a typo: "He quotes Mussolini: 'Facism is not only a party..." plus we have a misspelling of Baron von Clausewitz on the next page to Baron von Clansewitz." Where are all the copy editors/proof readers?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on February 04, 2010, 10:03:16 am
I notice that Alan Bennett is a comma minimalist. I assume that's his choice rather than an editor's.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on February 04, 2010, 02:35:27 pm
Where are all the copy editors/proof readers?
Fired. No longer wanted. Typos, poor grammar, & misspellings are now preferred to paying people to prevent them.

A pity: it's a job I'm good at, & I've done on some software manuals, & I could do with a job.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 04, 2010, 02:41:00 pm
I emailed the publishing company that produced the book I quoted from earlier and got this response: "Thank you for your message.  I apologize about the errors in the book and have made a note for the reprint.  We do have proofreaders and we are trying to tighten up on this."

I would, of course, have preferred 'apologise' to 'apologize'...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on February 04, 2010, 02:48:45 pm
They're using Word with the default spellchecker, because they know no better. :(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 04, 2010, 03:08:43 pm
Found this interesting site about differences in spelling between American and English: UK vs US spelling (http://www.tysto.com/articles05/q1/20050324uk-us.shtml)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 04, 2010, 03:27:51 pm
They're using Word with the default spellchecker, because they know no better. :(

Or they're doing it on purpose because they're based in America, were American educated or work for an American publisher.

All of our documentation is produced in American English so I have to make sure I use spellings such as 'color' and 'optimize' all over the code/docs.

Some differences are easy to get used to (it helps that I lived over there for a couple of years) but some things just blend into one; I can never remember which tyre/tire spelling is which for example, and I only once said to some US colleagues that I was "just popping out to get some new trainers as mine were getting tatty".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on February 04, 2010, 03:43:33 pm
I would, of course, have preferred 'apologise' to 'apologize'...

I use -ize rather than -ise and frequently have to defend myself against the charge that -ize is American and -ise is English.  I'm English, by the way.  My defence is fortified by Fowler and a Collins Gem (which, for instance, only gives -ize for 'organize').  The fortifications may be a bit crumbly, though, as both were published in the 60s and I suspect the battle has since been lost.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PhilO on February 05, 2010, 08:55:34 am
Another from the Beeb...
"Top 20 London universities are attracting the most number of ethnic minority students, a study finds."
Eek!

And the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111525/UN-climate-change-panel-based-claims-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article.html):

"...coral reefs near mangrove forests contained up to 25 times more fish numbers than those without mangroves nearby..."

Not really grammer, but I hate that use of 'up to', as well. 'Up to 25 times'? So it could be double, or even identical numbers of fish, then?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fboab on February 05, 2010, 11:45:09 am
Quote from: medication instructions
<snip>.. please see your doctor. They may ask you to start taking your tablets again and come of them more slowly.

I haven't started taking them yet, but I doubt very much I'll ever need to come of them.

Grrr.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on February 05, 2010, 05:54:36 pm

And the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7111525/UN-climate-change-panel-based-claims-on-student-dissertation-and-magazine-article.html):

"...coral reefs near mangrove forests contained up to 25 times more fish numbers than those without mangroves nearby..."

Not really grammer, but I hate that use of 'up to', as well. 'Up to 25 times'? So it could be double, or even identical numbers of fish, then?
(Upto) +1

I would bet that this crops up every single day in the major newspapers. Utterly misleading :(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 05, 2010, 06:59:09 pm
That one is not so much sloppy grammar as sloppy thinking. In fact, quite a lot of what gets taken as bad grammar or bad writing is probably just unclear thinking or incomplete understanding.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on February 05, 2010, 07:21:50 pm
In a similar way "less than" confuses me greatly, as in "Product A costs 10 times less than product B".

If product B costs a pound, then one times less than a pound is nothing at all.  So if product A is 10 times less then product B does it mean they are giving them away by the bucket full?

Or if you like; product A has 3 times less fat than product B --- similar logic.  They even do this with percentages, eg 400% less than.

I know they mean a tenth or a third (in the examples given), so why can they not write in plain simple English?  It even uses fewer words.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 05, 2010, 08:42:50 pm
It's advert speak, now widespread in other contexts. "Ten times" sounds more impressive than "a tenth" and "less than" emphasises "ours is cheaper".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on February 05, 2010, 09:15:07 pm
It's just that you're left hoping that the people who designed the product thought more clearly than the people who sold it to you ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 05, 2010, 09:29:07 pm
When designing and manufacturing, clear thought is a virtue, even a necessity. When selling, it seems not to be.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on February 06, 2010, 09:33:27 am
Good example of dimsalesdroidspeak: "-50% discount". That's quite a surcharge!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Keith on February 06, 2010, 10:04:03 am
Many, many years ago I complained to the ASA about a Colgate toothpaste claim of "Up to 30% fewer fillings" on the basis that it was misleading and the phrase "Up to" was scientifically incorrect. I believe that Colgate were the first to use this form. The complaint was upheld and the advertisement withdrawn. Now they are all doing it, and I bet a similar compalint these days would be met with the response that this is "common useage". Sigh, I feel tired. Still, is anybody fooled really do you think? Maybe just fools are.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on February 06, 2010, 10:26:55 am
We're getting quite OT now, but...

There's lots of talk of relationship marketing these days. Companies don't want to sell me things; they want to form a relationship with me as a customer. Given that, I'm slightly puzzled by anyone who tries to start a relationship on the basis of saying things to me that are plainly slightly misleading, as above. If I can see that someone is, shall we say, less than committed to being honest with me from the start, how am I ever going to trust anything else that they say?

Of course, it may be that they just don't understand what they are saying, which has much the same effect :-\
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 06, 2010, 12:11:46 pm
I was at the hairdresser last week and we were chatting and he told me that he once had a bet with his friend in a pub. His friend had said that he could do 50 press-ups, and my hairdresser said he could do between two and three hundred. His friend didn't believe Kenny could do so many, so they had a £50 bet. Kenny got down on the floor in the pub and did four press-up, said "four is between two and three hundred" and won the bet.

I said he should have made the other guy do 50 first.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on February 06, 2010, 02:12:02 pm
I hate "up to 50% off", "reductions of up to 50%" or "up to 50% off and an extra discount of 15% today".

(a) the first two are meaningless, and the retailers know this.

(b) is the 15% off the already-reduced price, or off the full price?  So if there was a product with 50% off, is it now 35% of the original price or only 42.5%?

And worst of all, there's the "up to half price sale".  Does this mean prices are no higher than 50% of the original price, or no lower than 50% of the original price?  In other words, are the prices up to half original price or are the discounts up to half original price?


Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 06, 2010, 04:01:48 pm
I notice some shops have taken to wording it as "better than half price", which is a valiant attempt to avoid the faux-pas but still nonsense.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on February 06, 2010, 05:52:02 pm
'Sale' or 'Discount' on goods that are available only from one company and the price is set by that company - meaningless.

As for the 'up to...'! Even applied to 'all or nothing' such as shampoo: if there's even 1 flake it's 0% flake-free.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 06, 2010, 07:55:15 pm
'Sale' or 'Discount' on goods that are available only from one company and the price is set by that company - meaningless.

Oh yes, another reason not to shop at DFS. Sofa reduced from £999 to £499 then further reduced to £399? What a bargain! Except it was only worth £399 in the first place and was never on sale at £999 (ISTR it was DFS or someone similar who once fell foul of trading standards on that one).

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on February 06, 2010, 08:03:43 pm
Or offers where "if you find the same product on sale elsewhere at a cheaper price, we'll refund the difference".  Normally applied to own-branded goods, or those for which the retailer has an exclusive distribution deal in the UK.  But now we're getting OT.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 07, 2010, 06:15:37 pm
I hate "up to 50% off", "reductions of up to 50%" or "up to 50% off and an extra discount of 15% today".

(a) the first two are meaningless, and the retailers know this.

(b) is the 15% off the already-reduced price, or off the full price?  So if there was a product with 50% off, is it now 35% of the original price or only 42.5%?

And worst of all, there's the "up to half price sale".  Does this mean prices are no higher than 50% of the original price, or no lower than 50% of the original price?  In other words, are the prices up to half original price or are the discounts up to half original price?
I always assume this means the latter, i.e. you will pay between 50% and 99% (or even, theoretically, 100%) of the original price. But I think the only way to find out is to ask the current price for each item, as the sales staff can't be relied to understand the difference.  :(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 09, 2010, 04:08:27 pm
Quote
  • high protection against scratches and dust
  • the Skin fits the iPhone a hundred percently
  • high quality converting
  • excellent heat conduction
  • extreme resilient


COOL BANANAS Silicon skin Case in black for iPhone 3G / 3GS Bag Sleeve: Amazon.co.uk: Clothing (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001E7TP4A/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=471057153&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0012PWZBO&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=02V3AYT3K55VFC5E6AAZ)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on February 09, 2010, 04:30:04 pm
That's not really fair as it was written by a German.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on February 09, 2010, 04:33:49 pm
That's not really fair as it was written by a German.


I'm not surprised - it does seem that a Brit's bad grammar/spelling is often distinct from that by Jonny Foreigner (usually worse!)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 09, 2010, 04:38:57 pm
It's a brave person that criticises the spelling or grammar of someone speaking/writing a foreign language.

I know my written French/German/Spanish is bad/bad/shocking.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 09, 2010, 04:50:11 pm
That's not really fair as it was written by a German.

a) how was I supposed to know that? For that matter, how do you know it was written by a German?

b) when I needed help with a Polish translation earlier, I didn't just guess, I asked someone who speaks Polish. If I were selling goods internationally, I would consider it a good idea to get these things right. You know, create an impression of professionalism and all that. It's not that difficult.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 09, 2010, 04:57:54 pm
a) how was I supposed to know that? For that matter, how do you know it was written by a German?

Probably a guess based on the fact that the contact number for the seller (kf-trendstore2) is +49xxxxxxxxxxx. (That information was just a click away.)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fboab on February 09, 2010, 04:58:09 pm
[off topic]My brother in law has a huge collection of bad-ingleesh-manuals. We shop at pound shops just to pick them up for him. [/off topic]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on February 09, 2010, 05:01:01 pm
The first one is interesting:
Quote
the Skin fits the iPhone a hundred percently


?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on February 09, 2010, 05:06:29 pm
This whole thread makes me cringe if I'm being honest.

 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: delthebike on February 09, 2010, 05:07:31 pm
This whole thread makes me cringe if I'm being honest.
Makes "one" cringe surely?  :P
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 09, 2010, 05:08:14 pm
This is one of my all time favourites:-

Danger Sign | Engrish.com (http://www.engrish.com/2000/11/danger-sign/)

"The little part which suffocates when the sharp part which gets hurt is swallowed is contained generously."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 09, 2010, 05:21:38 pm
a) how was I supposed to know that? For that matter, how do you know it was written by a German?

Probably a guess based on the fact that the contact number for the seller (kf-trendstore2) is +49xxxxxxxxxxx. (That information was just a click away.)

So the contact number for the seller is on a different page to the one I was looking at. And it's only there indirectly.

In future, I shall remember to spend more time investigating the author's background before making frivolous comments about bad English on an internet message board.  ::-)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 09, 2010, 05:22:31 pm
In future, I shall remember to spend more time investigating the author's background before making frivolous comments about bad English on an internet message board.  ::-)

Excellent.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on February 09, 2010, 06:47:12 pm
I like the way the sub-editors of the BBC RSS news service quickly mash words together to provide the detail

Giant snowman collapses on boy, 2

A 3m (10ft) snow figure falls on a two-year-old boy on holiday in Austria but he is unhurt after a night in hospital. 

Was the snowman hurt, or the boy, and just exactly what were they expecting the hospital to do?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hubner on February 09, 2010, 09:18:44 pm
I like the way the sub-editors of the BBC RSS news service quickly mash words together to provide the detail

Giant snowman collapses on boy, 2

A 3m (10ft) snow figure falls on a two-year-old boy on holiday in Austria but he is unhurt after a night in hospital. 

Was the snowman hurt, or the boy, and just exactly what were they expecting the hospital to do?

And who is on holiday, the snowman or the boy, or both?

Unless someone writes only in simple single clause sentences, these type of ambiguities are completely normal, context usually makes it clear what is meant. Would anyone ever use "he is unhurt" about a "snow figure"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on February 09, 2010, 11:03:57 pm
Anaphora resolution is a very tricky part of natural language processing (some bits of my NLP lectures from Yorick Wilkes stick in my head).

It should be easy for a human to work out which subject "it" refers to in a sentence such as "Mary dropped the plate onto the floor. It shattered." (It's unlikely the floor would shatter.) But it's non-trivial for a computer to do the same.

Given a sentence such as "Mary dropped the plate onto the glass table. It shattered." is truly ambiguous (even for a human).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on February 10, 2010, 07:12:46 am
Even more tricky in French, where both plate and table are feminine nouns...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 10, 2010, 09:11:06 am
'Tother week in my German studies at Uni we discovered that in German you are able to differentiate the following:

The journalist told the author (female) about her friend

In English we don't know if the friend is the friend of the journalist or the author. In German you use a different word for 'her' which shows you to whom the friend belongs. Which is nice and precise, in a typical German way!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on February 10, 2010, 09:17:25 am
I like the way the sub-editors of the BBC RSS news service quickly mash words together to provide the detail

Giant snowman collapses on boy, 2

A 3m (10ft) snow figure falls on a two-year-old boy on holiday in Austria but he is unhurt after a night in hospital. 

Was the snowman hurt, or the boy, and just exactly what were they expecting the hospital to do?

And who is on holiday, the snowman or the boy, or both?

Unless someone writes only in simple single clause sentences, these type of ambiguities are completely normal, context usually makes it clear what is meant. Would anyone ever use "he is unhurt" about a "snow figure"?

The main ambiguity is about being hurt in hospital. All the others are merely side stalls at the show.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 11, 2010, 12:12:29 am
'Tother week in my German studies at Uni we discovered that in German you are able to differentiate the following:

The journalist told the author (female) about her friend

In English we don't know if the friend is the friend of the journalist or the author. In German you use a different word for 'her' which shows you to whom the friend belongs. Which is nice and precise, in a typical German way!
"Seine" equivalent to the Latin "su" meaning "one's own"? I have forgotten how to say this in German  :-[ and have never learnt Latin, but a word with this meaning - belonging to the subject of the clause, but applicable to all persons - exists in many European languages. In Polish it's "swój".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 11, 2010, 07:43:39 am
You get 'ihrer' for her (the journalist), or 'derer' for her (the author).

My German teacher spent a fair while explaining how German can be excessively precise like this, thus why it's a good language for technical stuff.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Dez on February 11, 2010, 02:54:22 pm
A letter I received from my bank this morning:

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2789/4348955904_1714630491_o.jpg) (http://flic.kr/p/7Cix5m)

It would have irritated me slightly less if they'd actually sent me the envelopes I requested.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Legs on February 11, 2010, 04:05:28 pm
A letter I received from my bank this morning:

It would have irritated me slightly less if they'd actually sent me the envelopes I requested.

"Yes, I know I'm stationary!"

It's probably apocryphal; the story of the maths exam paper which said against every question 'Show your working'.  Sure enough, for every question, the little lad had drawn a picture of himself sitting at a table, working!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on February 12, 2010, 08:33:24 am
You get 'ihrer' for her (the journalist), or 'derer' for her (the author).

My German teacher spent a fair while explaining how German can be excessively precise like this, thus why it's a good language for technical stuff.

I think that there was an equivalent to this in Old and Middle English (unsurprisingly since English has the same roots as German).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Redlight on February 12, 2010, 09:37:22 am
Perhaps someone has mentioned this already but one I hate is the use of "invite" as a noun.  It's "invitation".

Calm now  8)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on February 12, 2010, 09:44:36 am
Perhaps someone has mentioned this already but one I hate is the use of "invite" as a noun.  It's "invitation".
Yep, that gets right up my nose too!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on February 12, 2010, 09:52:31 am
'There's a rockabilly party on saturday night
Are you gonna be there?
I got my invite'

>:(

That's grated since the first time I heard it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on February 12, 2010, 10:51:35 am
"I'm doning blood."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PhilO on February 12, 2010, 12:42:45 pm
A member of the British olympic team was heard, on the radio this morning, to speak of her potential disappointment if she 'fails to medal.'  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on February 12, 2010, 01:27:30 pm
A member of the British olympic team was heard, on the radio this morning, to speak of her potential disappointment if she 'fails to medal.'  :facepalm:

La Pendleton has been guilty of this crime in the past, as well as using "podium" as a verb.

I wordlack.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on February 12, 2010, 01:28:14 pm
If it was on the radio, are you sure she didn't mean 'meddle'? ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on February 12, 2010, 02:07:59 pm
If it was on the radio, are you sure she didn't mean 'meddle'? ;)

If I was interviewing these people, I'd play dumb:

"Sorry, what do you want to meddle with? Are you unhappy with the way things are run?"
" ... err ... "
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on February 12, 2010, 02:13:51 pm

I could have got gold, silver or even a bronze if it wasn't for those "medaling" kids.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on February 12, 2010, 02:42:48 pm
Burglarized

*smack*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on February 12, 2010, 03:19:21 pm
I can accept "medal" and "podium" as verbs, as there are no single-word equivalents. I don't like them, but I can accept them. But "burglarize" is actuallylonger than the existing standard word. What's the point? And if burglarize is the verb, then is the agent a burglarizer?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on February 12, 2010, 06:18:55 pm
Perhaps someone has mentioned this already but one I hate is the use of "invite" as a noun.  It's "invitation".

Calm now  8)

'Loan' as a verb; it's also ambiguous.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on February 12, 2010, 06:22:21 pm
And if burglarize is the verb, then is the agent a burglarizer?

carrying out burglarizations.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on February 12, 2010, 06:25:54 pm
I can accept "medal" and "podium" as verbs, as there are no single-word equivalents. I don't like them, but I can accept them. But "burglarize" is actuallylonger than the existing standard word. What's the point? And if burglarize is the verb, then is the agent a burglarizer?


I can't accept them. Then there's the use of 'talent' in sport as, e.g. "he's a talent".

As for longer verbs, in Electronic Times in the '80s there was "...if the operator errors..."!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LEE on February 12, 2010, 06:42:58 pm
A lot of these grammatical mistakes are just typical of the way English continues to evolve.

I understand "They're", "There" and "Their" can be seen as mistakes (no excuses on official forms) but things like  "He's a talent" are different.  That's not a mistake as such, it's part of the English language.  If Shakespeare had used it in that context then it would be seen as genius.

Shakespeare made lots of "mistakes" in that respect.

Don't let it make you cringe, just accept hat certain figures of speech can enrich the language. Only when it causes confusion is there a problem.

We all know what "He's a talent" means. Why problemize it?


Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PaulF on February 12, 2010, 06:49:19 pm

We all know what "He's a talent" means. Why problemize it?


I know what it means, I'm just not sure why you'd want to describe someone as a small, low value, ancient Greek coin. :D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on February 12, 2010, 08:23:51 pm
We used to call the people who impeded our lovely lightshows 'the talent', even if, as happened at the Bros gig, one of the crew marked out an area at the front of the stage labelled 'TFZ' for Talent-Free Zone.

Also known as 'thesps', 'turns', 'timber' etc...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on February 12, 2010, 10:32:42 pm
Burglarized

*smack*

I've heard of some unusual operations, but I've always thought that being hospitalised would be impressive. Where would they sew on the operating theatre, do you think?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on February 13, 2010, 10:11:03 pm

We all know what "He's a talent" means. Why problemize it?


I know what it means, I'm just not sure why you'd want to describe someone as a small, low value, ancient Greek coin. :D
That's not a talent. A talent was a big accounting unit, not a coin. If expressed in metal, it was far too much to be a single coin. It varied from time to time & place to place, but about 25-30 kg of silver seems to have been the norm. That's a good few years pay for most people, back then. The 5th century BC Athenian talent was 6000 drachmas (about 26 kg), & a drachma was reckoned to be a day labourers wage.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on February 14, 2010, 09:52:50 am
Never mind all that, how much does a Grecian earn?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PaulF on February 14, 2010, 09:56:36 am
Never mind all that, how much does a Grecian earn?

And why is the Venetian blind?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on February 14, 2010, 09:57:58 am
So, how does one make a Swiss roll ?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on February 14, 2010, 09:59:07 am
The same way as you make a Nazi cross...

Oh bugger - Godwin! :-[
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: delthebike on February 14, 2010, 10:03:07 am
The same way as you make a Nazi cross...

Oh bugger - Godwin! :-[
Finally, the thread ends.  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on February 14, 2010, 10:06:20 am
Shouldn't you have put an apostrophe before that s?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: delthebike on February 14, 2010, 10:21:23 am
Shouldn't you have put an apostrophe before that s?
Finally, the thread 'ends.  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on February 14, 2010, 10:25:13 am
Thank you.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on February 14, 2010, 05:28:21 pm
(Am I too late?)
A Colemanball from the BBC's oval ball anchor:
"... and the sheer brutility of the game in Paris ..."

[that was how he emphasised it, just to make his point]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on March 05, 2010, 11:28:01 am

Campagnolo: 75 Years of Cycling Passion.

It's "breathe in" not "breath in".   ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on March 09, 2010, 10:29:23 am
Hurrah:
losers spell it 'looser'
     (http://www.loseloose.com/)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on March 09, 2010, 11:08:57 am
WI Lady on R4 yesterday: "We have a specific criteria by which we judge marmalade"

Get in the cannon, woman.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on March 09, 2010, 11:36:58 am
Hurrah:
losers spell it 'looser'
     (http://www.loseloose.com/)

That needs to go on the side of every bus shelter in the country and all the London underground.   ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on March 09, 2010, 01:48:35 pm
What if you get lose/loose wrong despite knowing what the difference is?  It's not easy for everyone.   :-[
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on March 13, 2010, 04:41:03 pm
What if you get lose/loose wrong despite knowing what the difference is?  It's not easy for everyone.   :-[

There is no hope for you.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 13, 2010, 05:43:22 pm
WI Lady on R4 yesterday: "We have a specific criteria by which we judge marmalade"

Get in the cannon, woman.
Obviously, you judge marmalade by a criterium. Nothing to do with that criterion racing, that's for critters.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on March 13, 2010, 07:22:04 pm
What if you get lose/loose wrong despite knowing what the difference is?  It's not easy for everyone.   :-[

You'd be caught with your pants down when you lose the trousers with a loose waisband.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 13, 2010, 10:22:43 pm
And you become a loo's cannon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on March 14, 2010, 06:09:28 pm
... despite knowing what the difference is ...
There are a number of word pairs, such as stationary/stationery, that gave me no problems until my English teacher told us not to confuse them. This was, I suppose, a case of not having noticed what the similarity is ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on March 14, 2010, 06:38:13 pm
True, but until she mentioned it I didn't need such tricks ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on March 15, 2010, 11:26:08 pm
A new piece of business boll*cks I've not come across before:

"Let's float [the issue to] to Geoff for his sign-off..."

Float? Float?

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on March 15, 2010, 11:56:02 pm
Probably on one of those rafts they keep going on about.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on March 16, 2010, 10:53:05 am
We're having a team "download" next week. I'm not sure what she means, but we seem to be having a meeting at the same time, so I'll ask. Should I also tell her that, despite my crap Nintendo Wii Baseball skills, I still do not "touch base"...? No matter how often I hear that one, I still feckin' well hate it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on March 16, 2010, 10:54:15 am
Touching base could be regarded as sexual harrassment.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on March 16, 2010, 10:57:47 am
I was watching the cycling last night and the commentator clearly said "he's loosing speed"


Arghhhh, it now even exists verbally as well as written.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on March 16, 2010, 11:01:57 am
Perhaps 'loosing' was correct if the rider was unleashing his majesty ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on March 16, 2010, 11:49:16 am
Not grammar, but, if you can't even spell 'trolley', I'm not going to buy one off you. 

From the same catalogue, however, WTF is 'Lifestyle seating'? :o
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 16, 2010, 11:56:03 am
It's where you set your lifestyle down nice and comfy.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on March 16, 2010, 12:16:30 pm
Perhaps 'loosing' was correct if the rider was unleashing his majesty ;)

Maybe his QR lever was undone.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on March 16, 2010, 12:16:37 pm
From the same catalogue, however, WTF is 'Lifestyle seating'? :o

It's probably something you use to create a "lifestyle ambience", a preposterous phrase I heard used on some ridiculous home makeover programme a few years ago.

My son, who must have been about 6 or 7 at the time, misheard it as "lifecycle ambulance", which to be fair, makes just as much sense.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: TimO on March 16, 2010, 01:01:01 pm
My mother used to take the mick with paperwork that my sister brought home from school.  I think she'd got to the point where she resented putting down housewife under occupation, so one of the phrases she used was "Lifestyle Coordinator".  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on March 16, 2010, 01:58:55 pm
My friend's mum favoured the term "Domestic engineer".

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 16, 2010, 03:37:08 pm
"Lifecycle ambulance"

The same one that takes you to the maternity ward in womb takes you to the mortuary.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: windrush on March 16, 2010, 05:07:12 pm
Bit o/t but why do the people who bang on about needing 'me time' employ cleaners and always have way more time on their hands than I do ?

Actually next time I hear it I will point out in a pedantic way that time does not actually belong to them, it a universal variable over which they have no control.   At least they'll probably stop talking to me then  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on March 16, 2010, 05:34:25 pm
Silver bullets!  Haven't noticed a werewolf plague but there must be as I keep getting asked for them.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on March 16, 2010, 06:10:03 pm
From the same catalogue, however, WTF is 'Lifestyle seating'? :o

It's probably something you use to create a "lifestyle ambience", a preposterous phrase I heard used on some ridiculous home makeover programme a few years ago.

My son, who must have been about 6 or 7 at the time, misheard it as "lifecycle ambulance", which to be fair, makes just as much sense.

d.


"Makeover" is a word I detest with a peculiar intensity.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 16, 2010, 06:26:37 pm
Makeup will give you a makeover, then you can makeout with the accountant and makeoff with all the money.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: windrush on March 16, 2010, 08:12:25 pm
Actually better not hope some non-cyclist sees this, as I've got a feeling they could find a fair few pseudo-tecchie marketing phrases in our sport  :demon:
As in the word 'aero' being used to describe anything that looks streamlined, whether or not its been wind tunnel tested.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: windrush on March 16, 2010, 08:14:44 pm
I've just noticed 'Aqua' on the shampoo bottle, a mysterious ingredient that magically wets your hair.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CrinklyLion on March 16, 2010, 08:45:34 pm
I saw this, and I thought of "you" :)

The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks (http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 16, 2010, 10:20:44 pm
I've just noticed 'Aqua' on the shampoo bottle, a mysterious ingredient that magically wets your hair.
There was a tv advert a few years ago for some new moisturiser containing "aquaspheres." We assumed they meant "blobs of water."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 17, 2010, 05:37:59 pm
I believe water is described as aqua in lists of chemical ingredients in line with some international standard.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on March 17, 2010, 05:46:03 pm
I believe water is described as aqua in lists of chemical ingredients in line with some international standard.

Yes - an international standard devised by the cosmetics industry to mislead consumers.

According to this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Nomenclature_of_Cosmetic_Ingredients), the purpose is "for the purchaser to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction to an ingredient the user has had an allergy to before", but it's hard to see how that argument applies to calling water anything other than water.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 17, 2010, 09:56:52 pm
I don't see how you could have an allergy to water. But I don't claim to know that for certain.

However, calling water "aqua" isn't entirely misleading - the same list is used in all languages,* as far as I can see, so a Latin word that will be vaguely familiar from school chemistry lessons is quite likely better than an English one that will be totally unfamiliar to many/most. Of course, they could just translate the list, as with food ingredients, but there are two problems with that: 1) most chemicals have no common name in any language 2) having the same list for all means you can recognise an ingredient you know you are allergic to, wherever you may be.

Then again, the fact they do translate for Cyrillic, Arabic, etc, counteracts the second point (I don't know to what extent it's actually a translation, I expect it's more a transliteration).

*that use the Roman alphabet.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on March 17, 2010, 09:59:20 pm
water has a name in every language I know.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 17, 2010, 10:32:19 pm
Takes a tube of toothpaste from the bathroom.
No ingredients list. Hmmm...
Takes a bottle of shampoo (made and bought in Poland).

Składniki:
Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Methylchloroisothiasolinone (and) Methylisothiasolinone, ACID Citric, Propylene Glycol Turnig Extract, Sodium Chloride, Parfum, Cocamide DEA

I bet most of those ingredients don't have a name in most languages.

But... While I can see the logic in such "worldese" as "aqua" and "parfum", why do we have "(and)" in English? Why is ACID in capitals? As far as I'm aware it's not an acronym. And should we be worried that if they can't check for typos such as "Turnig" - they mean turnip - there may be other, perhaps more important, misprints? And why in any case is "Turnip" in English - it must have a scientific name that could be used?

But this all pales into insignificance compared to the toothpaste. You put it in your mouth, you want to know what it's made of!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on March 18, 2010, 09:58:56 am
Does poland really have shampoo made out of turnips?  Fantastic  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on March 18, 2010, 10:01:54 am
Does poland really have shampoo made out of turnips?  Fantastic  :)

It's good for the roots...

IGMC
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 18, 2010, 10:05:16 am
It's supposed to be good for greasy hair. Or perhaps it's dandruff or something, I forget.

Anyway it occured to me the following kind of translated lists could be used:
Ingredients/Składniki: Water/Woda, Cocamidopropyle, Turnip Extract/Wyciąg z rzepaka, Camel fat/Tłuszcz z wielbłąda, ....

No, we don't actually have shampoo made from camel fat. But I'm sure it would be good for something!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Moloko on March 18, 2010, 10:16:20 am
It's supposed to be good for greasy hair. Or perhaps it's dandruff or something, I forget.

Anyway it occured to me the following kind of translated lists could be used:
Ingredients/Składniki: Water/Woda, Cocamidopropyle, Turnip Extract/Wyciąg z rzepaka, Camel fat/Tłuszcz z wielbłąda, ....

No, we don't actually have shampoo made from camel fat. But I'm sure it would be good for something!

That one, as it contains lemon juice.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on March 18, 2010, 02:09:46 pm
I don't see how you could have an allergy to water. But I don't claim to know that for certain.

There is a very rare condition that causes the skin to have an allergic reaction to water. Possibly not entirely relevant here since a person with that condition probably wouldn't be in a position to use shampoo anyway.

Quote
Of course, they could just translate the list, as with food ingredients, but there are two problems with that: 1) most chemicals have no common name in any language 2) having the same list for all means you can recognise an ingredient you know you are allergic to, wherever you may be.

Mmm, maybe. I'm not convinced, but I'm not affected by any allergies so I don't know how it works in practice.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on March 18, 2010, 02:15:46 pm
Aquagenia umm, errr, aarrrgh I did know this. Severe histamine reaction...

*gives up and googles*

Aquagenic Urticaria.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: meddyg on March 21, 2010, 09:18:24 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8fbrUjjivw&feature=player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8fbrUjjivw&feature=player_embedded)

another 'Downfall' script; apologies if it appears on page 38....




COI I am Obersturmbannfuhrer in the Spelling Stasi...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on March 31, 2010, 04:51:38 pm
Latest USAism that has made its way here; the dropped preposition.

"In Cinemas Friday" - what's wrong with "In Cinemas On Friday"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on March 31, 2010, 04:52:21 pm
What's up that? :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Julian on March 31, 2010, 04:54:16 pm
The labels on the doors in the scout hut we stopped at on the FNRttC:

Scout's
Guide's
Beaver's
Cub's
Browneis

;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on March 31, 2010, 05:26:19 pm
Brown eis, hmm, sounds distinctly NSFW!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on April 06, 2010, 08:01:41 pm
Alongside my hate of the misuse of 'less' and 'fewer', I would like to add the misuse of 'sex' and 'gender', and 'fertility' and 'fecundity'...  >:(

And why is it always the so-called 'experts' who use the wrong words?   >:( >:( >:(

Perhaps we shouldn't allow someone to get a PhD unless they can quote Fowlers by heart...   ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on April 06, 2010, 10:59:31 pm
...unless they can quote Fowlers by heart...   ;)

Fowlers is not uncontroversial.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on April 07, 2010, 04:42:46 pm
How do you fill something with nothing?

Ah, but the Tory Manifesto hasn't been published yet ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on April 07, 2010, 05:29:38 pm
On Facebook, part of a political advertisement: Britain's roads are filled with potholes.

How do you fill something with nothing? Potholes are gaps, hollows, nothing but fresh air - or occasionally filled with water and thus dangerous puddles.

Quote
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CrinklyLion on April 14, 2010, 08:24:32 am
Rosscott, Inc.  &raquo; Archive   &raquo; The System 344: Exclaiming (http://www.notquitewrong.com/rosscottinc/2010/03/03/the-system-344-exclaiming/)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on April 14, 2010, 10:53:29 am
Exclamation point

*KATHOOOOOOOOOOM*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on April 19, 2010, 07:12:36 am
I have just received an email that mentors in a company program will be meeting their MENTEES for a session to develop goals.

How can this be a real word?  Am I being asked to ment this person?

I feel like I am the tormentee in this situation. Argh.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on April 19, 2010, 08:30:25 am
Perhaps it's a typo for manatees? I'd like to think so.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Biff on April 19, 2010, 01:34:58 pm
I'm loathe to dam this thread with feint praise.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on April 19, 2010, 01:56:20 pm
Nice link in the B3ta newsletter this week...
Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on April 19, 2010, 08:49:15 pm
I have just received an email that mentors in a company program will be meeting their MENTEES for a session to develop goals.

How can this be a real word?  Am I being asked to ment this person?

I feel like I am the tormentee in this situation. Argh.

'...ee' is getting more common and misused. Some buses have 'Standees' as part of the capacity, but should have 'Standers' - they are standing, not being stood.
'Retirees' is just about OK for those who have been retired by company policy but not for those who have retired voluntarily.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on April 20, 2010, 08:14:53 am
Arguably, if you are a mentor, there must be a mentee. The root is the same in each case. Not sure what menting is though...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on April 20, 2010, 09:05:12 am
Yet no-one bats an eyelid at "attendee".  They are doing the attending, they are attenders, no?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on April 20, 2010, 09:35:29 am
The "root" of the word mentor is a character in the Odyssey, not the verb "to ment", so it's nonsense to talk of a "mentee". A mentor might have a pupil, or perhaps a protégé, but not a mentee.

Edit: I've looked it up and it seems the most common terms for someone who has a mentor are "apprentice" or "disciple". We need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that such relationships need to be described with words that share a root.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on April 20, 2010, 11:07:15 am
True.  We don't have teacher & teachee, or lecturer and lecturee, nor doctor and doctee or nurse and nursee.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 20, 2010, 11:10:33 am
I think some of us have a nursey.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on April 20, 2010, 11:11:37 am
True.  We don't have teacher & teachee, or lecturer and lecturee, nor doctor and doctee or nurse and nursee.

Precisely. Any fule kno that in modern Britain the correct term-pairings for those relationships are: teacher and client, lecturer and client, doctor and client, nurse and client.

d.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on April 20, 2010, 11:14:45 am
True.  We don't have teacher & teachee, or lecturer and lecturee, nor doctor and doctee or nurse and nursee.

Precisely. Any fule kno that in modern Britain the correct term-pairings for those relationships are: teacher and client, lecturer and client, doctor and client, nurse and client.

d.



You must live in a posh area.  I thought the correct corollary was 'customer' :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on April 20, 2010, 11:18:33 am
I thought it was "punter". Or mug. Probably containing a substance once known as coffee.  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on April 20, 2010, 11:20:21 am
Winston Smith: Horse Tranquilisers and Recommended Reading (http://winstonsmith33.blogspot.com/2009/12/horse-tranquilisers-and-recommended.html)

(brilliant blog post by care worker told to refer to residents as "clients")

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on April 20, 2010, 11:49:48 am
We need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that such relationships need to be described with words that share a root.

If I describe anything incorrectly, feel free to unscribe it for me. Or rescribe, or ...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pingu on April 20, 2010, 03:02:47 pm
True.  We don't have teacher & teachee, or lecturer and lecturee, nor doctor and doctee or nurse and nursee.

Precisely. Any fule kno that in modern Britain the correct term-pairings for those relationships are: teacher and client, lecturer and client, doctor and client, nurse and client.

d.



You must live in a posh area.  I thought the correct corollary was 'customer' :demon:

Stakeholder

 :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on April 20, 2010, 03:05:07 pm
I thought a stakeholder was a vampire killers assistant.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on April 20, 2010, 04:39:53 pm
True.  We don't have teacher & teachee, or lecturer and lecturee, nor doctor and doctee or nurse and nursee.

Precisely. Any fule kno that in modern Britain the correct term-pairings for those relationships are: teacher and client, lecturer and client, doctor and client, nurse and client.

d.



You must live in a posh area.  I thought the correct corollary was 'customer' :demon:
I am required to use that "c"-word...... :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on April 20, 2010, 10:51:01 pm
Yet no-one bats an eyelid at "attendee".  They are doing the attending, they are attenders, no?
Yes, of course. An attendee is the object of the attentions of an attendant.

The "root" of the word mentor is a character in the Odyssey, not the verb "to ment", so it's nonsense to talk of a "mentee".
Ah, if that's the root, then your argument is unanswerable, and mentee is silly.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on April 20, 2010, 11:40:59 pm
So does that suggest "buggee"?

Hope that helps
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on May 01, 2010, 09:43:40 pm


Edit: I've looked it up and it seems the most common terms for someone who has a mentor are "apprentice" or "disciple".
I prefer "young padawan" or "Grasshopper."

I really hate it when people put a question mark at the end of a sentence that isn't a question?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on May 01, 2010, 10:28:25 pm
I believe that's the antipodean soap opera effect?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on May 01, 2010, 10:30:03 pm
I think it is?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on May 01, 2010, 10:34:43 pm
Is it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on May 02, 2010, 02:25:30 am
I think it is?  (But we do try to beat it out of our young - in a non-physical violence way of course)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on May 04, 2010, 09:43:01 am
I think it is?  (But we do try to beat it out of our young - in a non-physical violence way of course)

Glad to hear it Sandy! :thumbsup:

Of course, _writing_ a question mark after a statement is different - it's probably not 'correct', but in an informal context it can make your intention clear.

And rising intonation is fine if you WANT to make your statement a question,
"It is?" being a perfect example.

The problem is a rising intonation on EVERY SENTENCE; I guess people start to do this as a way of keeping the listener interested, but the effect is to make the speaker sound utterly uncertain about everything! (as well as needing more effort to listen to them)

I once attended a technical presentation (from a Brit) done entirely in this style. Almost incomprehensible.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on May 14, 2010, 03:26:08 pm
"With his arrest and subsequent imprisonment for thirty-nine charges of smuggling alligators into Shoreditch Public Baths, and two counts of smiling at vicars in second-class railway compartments, Frobisher had finally received his just deserts."

Which deserts?  The Gobi?  The Kalahari?  The Atacama?  That little one in Spain where they filmed the Spaghetti Westerns?

Or did you actually mean "just desserts"?

Cretin.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 14, 2010, 03:39:38 pm
It may help to note that your desert is what you de-serve (that is, what you are thoroughly well served with), whereas your dessert is what you are dis-served with (that is, what you eat as dinner is unserved and the table is unlaid). 

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: greenmeansgo on May 21, 2010, 01:04:36 pm
Don't know if this has already been posted, but won't harm to repeat:

Dear America (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/video/2010/may/20/language-usa)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: JJ on May 21, 2010, 02:54:25 pm
This isn't strictly grammer, but it does make me cringe.  I wouldn't mind it from an individual in say, a forum post, but it's on about a hundred gazillion notices printed at the behest of HMG.

"It is against the law to smoke in these premises."

You can't be IN premises.  You can be on them, or off them, but not IN them.  You can even base your argument on a premise, but you CAN'T be IN one.

HMG employ lots of well-educated people to write things and proof read them and check ad re-check them and sign them off.  How can they not get this right?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on May 21, 2010, 03:05:04 pm
This isn't strictly grammer

...or spelling, apparently. ;)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on May 21, 2010, 09:35:17 pm
I have spent time recently educating a soon to be graduate that the singular form of premises is premises not premise when talking about property.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: JJ on May 21, 2010, 11:26:35 pm
This isn't strictly grammer

...or spelling, apparently. ;)

d.


 :-[

 ::-) ::-)

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 23, 2010, 05:15:27 pm
I have spent time recently educating a soon to be graduate that the singular form of premises is premises not premise when talking about property.
??? It's usual to talk of "these premises", not "this premises". Is there a singular?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on May 23, 2010, 05:19:34 pm
I have spent time recently educating a soon to be graduate that the singular form of premises is premises not premise when talking about property.

On what premise do you base that?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Diver300 on May 23, 2010, 06:52:32 pm
On a government "Didn't we do well?" advert on a bus:-

500 less crimes in....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PrettyBoyTim on May 23, 2010, 07:44:17 pm
My guess is that 'less' will soon mean 'fewer' as well as 'less'. I wouldn't be surprised if fifty years down the road 'fewer' will just be a word you use when you want to sound quaint and twentieth-centruryish.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on May 24, 2010, 07:44:54 am
In Shakespeare's time there was a distinction between mo and more, mirroring that between less and fewer. The language is poorer for losing it, alas.

The last ten years or so have lost the distinction between "may" and "might". I've almost certainly grumbled about this before. If I had had my way, things may have been very different...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 24, 2010, 07:56:02 am
I've read that languages continually get simpler. Presumably we'll end up with one word meaning everything...

What I haven't figured out is where the complex languages come from if the above is true. Do they appear suddenly from a dictionary?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on May 24, 2010, 07:57:04 am
I have spent time recently educating a soon to be graduate that the singular form of premises is premises not premise when talking about property.
??? It's usual to talk of "these premises", not "this premises". Is there a singular?

It's in relation to the use of the term in town planning reports eg. the proposal is to erect premises for use as three "food premises" (defined term).  When talking about one of them it does not become a "premise" but remains premises.

As an aside, we used to use the term "curtilage" very often but in the drive for "plain English" it is being lost - pity.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on May 24, 2010, 03:41:12 pm
This thread has complained about quite a lot of verbs derived from nouns where there already exists a verb with the same meaning. "Leverage" and "burglarize" are two examples that spring instantly to mind. My addition to this category is "to acquisition".
Quote
I took out of my inside tunic pocket a small pad and a pencil stub that I'd recently acquisitioned from a desk drawer of my company Orderly Room at Fort Benning.
In think this verb is a good invention. Although it's meaning may be the same as "acquired" the ending lends a shade of "recquisitioned", particularly given the military context.
In any case, I'm not going to argue with J.D. Salinger.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on May 24, 2010, 05:39:05 pm
I've read that languages continually get simpler. Presumably we'll end up with one word meaning everything...

"It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the Dictionary 10th edition, would you, Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that thick. [narrows fingers]"

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PrettyBoyTim on May 24, 2010, 10:02:33 pm
This thread has complained about quite a lot of verbs derived from nouns where there already exists a verb with the same meaning. "Leverage" and "burglarize" are two examples that spring instantly to mind.

I looked into the whole 'burglarize thing'. As it turns out up until around 1850 there is no written record of either 'burgle' or 'burglarize' - there was the word 'burglar' but that was it. Then within a year of each other, the word 'burgle' turned up in texts over here and the word 'burglarize' turned up in texts in the USA. I'd always assumed that 'burlgar' was derived from 'burgle', but apparently it's the other way around and both 'burgle' and 'burglarize' were created independently.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on May 24, 2010, 10:28:27 pm
It's in relation to the use of the term in town planning reports eg. the proposal is to erect premises for use as three "food premises" (defined term).  When talking about one of them it does not become a "premise" but remains premises.
Is that legitimate? I think I'd want to talk about three sets of premises. It's not "a premises" when you have one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on May 25, 2010, 12:28:24 am
Definition of premises (1): land, and all the built structures on it, especially when considered as a single place; (plural only; not used in singular form) The subject of a conveyance or deed

Definition of premises (2): premises n. 1) in real estate, land and the improvements on it, a building, store, shop, apartment, or other designated structure. The exact premises may be important in determining if an outbuilding (shed, cabana, detached garage) is insured or whether a person accused of burglary has actually entered a structure.

The term premises (as used in Australia anyway)  relates to the use of the land and building/s.  It's premises if it is within one building. If it is one use within three buildings, it's still premises!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on May 25, 2010, 01:41:11 am
There appears to have been burglarization of meaning here.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on May 25, 2010, 03:36:15 am
There appears to have been burglarization of meaning here.
;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on May 25, 2010, 09:46:00 am
This thread has complained about quite a lot of verbs derived from nouns where there already exists a verb with the same meaning. "Leverage" and "burglarize" are two examples that spring instantly to mind. My addition to this category is "to acquisition".
Quote
I took out of my inside tunic pocket a small pad and a pencil stub that I'd recently acquisitioned from a desk drawer of my company Orderly Room at Fort Benning.
In think this verb is a good invention. Although it's meaning may be the same as "acquired" the ending lends a shade of "recquisitioned", particularly given the military context.
In any case, I'm not going to argue with J.D. Salinger.
That's a nice example of inventing a word for the sake of colour/humour.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves ...

It's completely different to then treat
"acquisitioned"
... as a useful new word. Daft, in fact. The military are well known for inventing stupid words and jargon - doesn't mean the rest of us should use it!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: JJ on May 25, 2010, 10:01:30 am
It's in relation to the use of the term in town planning reports eg. the proposal is to erect premises for use as three "food premises" (defined term).  When talking about one of them it does not become a "premise" but remains premises.
Is that legitimate? I think I'd want to talk about three sets of premises. It's not "a premises" when you have one.

Curiously, I'd be somewhat comfortable talking about "a premises", but "this premises" wouldn't sit right at all.

<Checks carefully for disleksia before capn Smudge gets here!>
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on May 25, 2010, 11:44:10 am
Definitize (verb).

AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on May 25, 2010, 04:05:16 pm
This thread has complained about quite a lot of verbs derived from nouns where there already exists a verb with the same meaning. "Leverage" and "burglarize" are two examples that spring instantly to mind. My addition to this category is "to acquisition".
Quote
I took out of my inside tunic pocket a small pad and a pencil stub that I'd recently acquisitioned from a desk drawer of my company Orderly Room at Fort Benning.
In think this verb is a good invention. Although it's meaning may be the same as "acquired" the ending lends a shade of "recquisitioned", particularly given the military context.
In any case, I'm not going to argue with J.D. Salinger.
That's a nice example of inventing a word for the sake of colour/humour.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves ...

It's completely different to then treat
"acquisitioned"
... as a useful new word. Daft, in fact. The military are well known for inventing stupid words and jargon - doesn't mean the rest of us should use it!
I don't think the military invented it - I got the impression Salinger himself invented it. But I haven't checked that.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pingu on June 08, 2010, 01:22:07 pm
Quote
Additional xxxx laptops are available for use in the meeting rooms, yyy and zzzz will require to use their own laptops in these rooms for presentations...

Will require what?  :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on June 08, 2010, 01:26:44 pm
I care not a fig for how well qualibobbed you are, Mr Lord Sir Professor Doctor Expert.

There is still no such word as "intregal".

That is all.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on June 14, 2010, 01:08:25 pm
Quote from: BBC News
The lower figure will likely increase the impetus of the coalition government to cut public spending, as lower growth means fewer tax revenues.

 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on June 14, 2010, 01:15:33 pm
Quote from: BBC News
The lower figure will likely increase the impetus of the coalition government to cut public spending, as lower growth means fewer tax revenues.

 ::-)

BBC News comes out with grammatical howlers and factual errors every day.

I can sometimes not be bothered to share them or point them out.

Today's:

"Stabbed MP reviews security
An MP who was stabbed while holding a public surgery in eat London speaks about the incident for the first time."

Maybe there are cannibals in Newham...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fboab on June 14, 2010, 10:41:48 pm
Quote from: Club Member this evening
Let's circularise that to the members
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on June 15, 2010, 05:10:34 pm
Quote from: BBC News
The lower figure will likely increase the impetus of the coalition government to cut public spending, as lower growth means fewer tax revenues.

 ::-)

And what is wrong with that?  ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: John Henry on June 15, 2010, 05:15:40 pm
Quote from: BBC News
The lower figure will likely increase the impetus of the coalition government to cut public spending, as lower growth means fewer tax revenues.

And what is wrong with that?  ???

'Fewer tax revenues' sounds odd. It would only make sense if they were reducing the number of separate tax revenue streams (fat chance!). I'd have written 'less tax revenue'. There's no need to pluralise 'revenue'.

There's also an argument to be had over whether 'likely' is an adjective or an adverb. I think it's an adjective, and I don't like seeing it used as a synonym for 'probably'. But I think I'm fighting a losing battle on that one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Regulator on June 15, 2010, 05:19:06 pm
Quote from: BBC News
The lower figure will likely increase the impetus of the coalition government to cut public spending, as lower growth means fewer tax revenues.

And what is wrong with that?  ???

'Fewer tax revenues' sounds odd. It would only make sense if they were reducing the number of separate tax revenue streams (fat chance!). I'd have written 'less tax revenue'. There's no need to pluralise 'revenue'.

There's also an argument to be had over whether 'likely' is an adjective or an adverb. I think it's an adjective, and I don't like seeing it used as a synonym for 'probably'. But I think I'm fighting a losing battle on that one.

I though about the 'revenue' v 'revenues' bit - but  if it is accepted that there can be more than one revenue (and this would appear to be the case from the mandarin-speak used in Whitehall and the Treasury) it is correct as written.  Although I'd agree with you it might be clearer to talk about 'revenue streams'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: JJ on June 15, 2010, 06:07:02 pm
Likely as an adverb is a ghastly americanism.  "I'll likely get donuts at the drive-thru".  Yuk!

"Publically" seems to be accepted by Websters too, but it's absolutely horrid.  To do something in a public manner would be to do it publicly.  To do it publically would be to do it in a publical way, surely?

I may be wrong but even if I am, I'm still not going to like it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 15, 2010, 06:09:24 pm
if it is accepted that there can be more than one revenue ... it is correct as written.

Maybe, if that were what they meant. But they seem to mean less cash, not fewer sources of cash.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on June 15, 2010, 06:22:58 pm
I posted it because when people get it wrong it's nearly always because they use less where they should have used fewer.

Revenues is ok at a pinch, if a bit affected, a bit like "moneys", but in the phrase "lower growth means fewer tax revenues" they are not saying lower growth implies fewer taxes they are saying it implies less tax.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 15, 2010, 06:40:54 pm
I posted it because when people get it wrong it's nearly always because they use less where they should have used fewer.

Funny, isn't it. It's been so fashionable for so long for pedants to complain about supermarkets using the "X items or less" formulation that it seems to have become a popular fixed idea that "less" must always be wrong.

People have the same trouble with "I" or "me", incorrectly using "I" when they should use "me". This seems to arise from them being corrected as a child when using "me" wrongly and therefore thinking that "I" is always correct - probably because they weren't told (or just didn't understand) why "me" was wrong on those occasions.

But yeah, whatever, I can live with it. Some people don't know the difference between a subject and an object. So what. The only time it really grates is when they do it in set phrases, such as "Between you and I". I have a colleague who says this all the time, and in his job (subediting), he really ought to have a better grasp of basic grammar. Ooh, it makes my skin crawl.  :facepalm:

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on June 15, 2010, 06:50:16 pm
My kids quite often use "me" as the subject of the verb, and they were all grammar-school educated and have good degrees. I don't think they did so quite so much when they were at school: it must be the influence of all these kids from bog-standard comprehensives ending up at university. ;) :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 15, 2010, 07:54:19 pm
"Me" as subject doesn't bother me so much - in fact, I should admit that I sometimes use it myself.

I don't know why "I" as object seems so much more offensive. Perhaps because it sounds a little affected, as if the person is trying too hard to be "correct" and still getting it wrong.

d.   
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 15, 2010, 08:03:27 pm
Oh, and another thing...

Dangling participles. Gah!

Writers, by all means try to liven up your dreary prose by varying sentence structure, but please at least make an effort to preserve your intended meaning. If you can't see why your sentence is now at best ambiguous, at worst nonsensical, I suggest that in future you stick to   Janet and John-style sentence structure. Morons.

d. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 15, 2010, 10:46:35 pm
"Me" as subject doesn't bother me so much - in fact, I should admit that I sometimes use it myself.

I don't know why "I" as object seems so much more offensive. Perhaps because it sounds a little affected, as if the person is trying too hard to be "correct" and still getting it wrong.

d.   
+1.
["Viz"-stylee syntax checking on]
I like grammar, me.
["Viz"-stylee syntax checking off]
Can someone parse the above sentence (particularly the last word) for me please?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 15, 2010, 11:14:21 pm
In that sentence, "me" is reflexive and used purely for emphasis. The meaning of the sentence is unchanged if you remove it.

cf "I myself like grammar."

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on June 16, 2010, 09:13:14 am
Larry "Laurence" Fishburne!

Did you really say "neumonic" on CSI last night?

You did?

Get in the cannon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on June 17, 2010, 11:06:24 pm
Fewer, I and whom. I saw a banner which used "whom" as the subject of a sentence.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Keith on June 19, 2010, 10:04:08 am
You and I went cycling
They came cycling with you and me.

I don't know about subject and objects. Just try taking out the "you and". If it still sounds right it probably is.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on June 19, 2010, 10:13:29 am
Starbucks napkins say "Less napkins.  More plants.  More planet."  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 19, 2010, 11:18:39 am
Just try taking out the "you and". If it still sounds right it probably is.
+ Lots.  Such a simple rule.  And it works. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 19, 2010, 11:23:17 am
Spot on, Keith. I tried explaining it to a colleague in similar terms but he still didn't get it. Some people are just irredeemable.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on June 19, 2010, 11:25:34 am
Just try taking out the "you and". If it still sounds right it probably is.
+ Lots.  Such a simple rule.  And it works. :thumbsup:


+ 1.

I do wish that my understanding of English grammar was better.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 19, 2010, 12:10:57 pm
The reason being, of course, that if I/me am a subject without "you and", I'm still a subject with "you and" added, and the same for an object.

Of course, the same applies elsewhere. If it's Peter's wedding, it's still his if we mention his partner, so it's Peter's and Mary's wedding, not Peter and Mary's :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Keith on June 19, 2010, 05:14:34 pm
Just try taking out the "you and". If it still sounds right it probably is.
+ Lots.  Such a simple rule.  And it works. :thumbsup:


The rule breaks down though in the more rural areas of the county that I inhabit, where this would be a perfectly acceptable sentence construction.

"Be you coming cycling with I?" . . . pronounced "Oi" of course.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 20, 2010, 08:29:01 pm
Of course, the same applies elsewhere. If it's Peter's wedding, it's still his if we mention his partner, so it's Peter's and Mary's wedding, not Peter and Mary's :)
I'm not sure I agree with that.
The "apostrophe s" construct is a shorthand for "of xyz"
So "Peter and Mary's Wedding" could be rendered as "The wedding of Peter and Mary".
Whereas "Peter's and Mary's Wedding" would be "The wedding of Peter and of Mary".
Both factually correct, but the first one trips off the tongue more easily.  (It makes "Peter and Mary" a single unit that can "own" a wedding - which is what a marriage is :thumbsup:)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 20, 2010, 10:05:36 pm
I'm not sure that's a legitimate construction. It's also open to ambiguity. For example:

"I met Peter and Mary's aunt."

How many people did I meet?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on June 20, 2010, 10:09:24 pm
Surely if you were meeting different aunts, you would say "I met Peter and Mary's aunts". You could say "Peter's and Mary's aunts" but that sounds a bit, well, officious.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 20, 2010, 10:20:23 pm
I met Peter and Mary
(two people)

I met Peter and Mary's aunt
(still two people; the possessive on Mary can't affect Peter, except that he has a different companion)

I met Peter's and Mary's aunt
(one person)

I met Peter's and Mary's aunts
(at least two people but possibly more, and not clear whether any of the aunts are in common; if not then "Peter's aunts and Mary's aunts" would be one way to express it)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on June 20, 2010, 10:23:32 pm
Reminds me of something my English teacher used to say about men with big noses...

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Keith on June 21, 2010, 08:08:50 am
Reminds me of something my English teacher used to say about men with big noses...

d.
+1
Careful guys, you can take these rules too far. I always read that the real strength of English was that the "schoolmasters" had not got hold of it and that consequently it stayed simple so that everybody could understand it. Unlike the French with their pedantic little Acadamie. I don't really care how many apostrophes are "correct", if the meaning is unclear then rephrase it so that it is.
I met Mary's aunt, who happens to be Peter's aunt too.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Keith on June 21, 2010, 08:15:49 am
This is a long thread but the one generic phraseology that drives me mad at the moment is the advertising speak:
"up to 50% saving"
"up to 20% off"
which of course is a completely meaningless statement. 0% falls within that catchment.
It all started with a toothpaste manufacturer in the late 70's
"Up to 30% fewer fillings"
I complained to the ASA at the time and it was upheld, but the phrase is endemic now.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on June 21, 2010, 08:41:56 am
I met Mary's aunt, who happens to be Peter's aunt too.

Presumably they are cousins then, as they have just got married? (or it is in Dorset, in which case they could be brother and sister?  ;D )
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Keith on June 21, 2010, 07:55:22 pm
I met Mary's aunt, who happens to be Peter's aunt too.

Presumably they are cousins then, as they have just got married? (or it is in Dorset, in which case they could be brother and sister?  ;D )
I think you'll find that's Norfolk and not Darzet  :o
This is the same Mary as tried to get married but couldn't agree on who owned the ceremony. What was not made clear before though was the fact that her brother was also called Peter.
This is getting silly, I'm stopping this sketch.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on June 21, 2010, 07:59:27 pm
I've just bought a cake recipe book which refers to castor sugar all the way through. I might not have bought it if I'd realised beforehand.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on June 21, 2010, 09:03:30 pm
This is a long thread but the one generic phraseology that drives me mad at the moment is the advertising speak:
"up to 50% saving"
"up to 20% off"
which of course is a completely meaningless statement. 0% falls within that catchment.
It all started with a toothpaste manufacturer in the late 70's
"Up to 30% fewer fillings"
I complained to the ASA at the time and it was upheld, but the phrase is endemic now.

One shop that I didn't try had signs up: "Up to -25% discount" - looked a bit expensive to me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on June 21, 2010, 09:20:57 pm
I'm not sure that's a legitimate construction. It's also open to ambiguity. For example:

"I met Peter and Mary's aunt."

How many people did I meet?
Because of that ambiguity, I'd hope that the author would use the alternative versions:
"I met Mary's aunt and Peter."
Or even
"I met Peter, and Mary's Aunt."
if that was what was intended.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on June 21, 2010, 10:07:57 pm
I agree with those who would reword to avoid ambiguity. However, Keith's wording:
Quote
I met Mary's aunt, who happens to be Peter's aunt too.
is quite a lot of extra words when just putting back the missing 's is equally unambiguous.

There is in fact no ambiguity anyway provided that the rules are followed. It's only because we can't rely on English writers to put both Peter and Mary in the same case that we have the problem in the first place. In some other languages, you couldn't get away with it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on June 22, 2010, 12:42:29 pm
BBC News website: Do you really mean " Budget, Tough but far"? Your proofreaders have surpassed themselves!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on June 22, 2010, 12:53:26 pm
Hehe, I noticed that one too, Helly. They've corrected it now (which took them about eight minutes).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on June 24, 2010, 11:34:47 pm
I have spent the day proofreading a booklet, written by A N Other for my partner. Ten pages of booklet have generated five pages of notes. It's a pdf so we can't edit it directly.
Missing commas, overlong sentences, logical disconnects 'the wind that night was calm with occasional gusts..'
loose/lose, effect/affect mistakes, erroneous photo captions etc.
GGGGGGRRRRRRRR!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on June 24, 2010, 11:42:19 pm
I do wish people would learn "loose/lose". It's amazing how many clever folks get it wrong.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jules on June 25, 2010, 09:47:06 am
They're losers!  Tie them to a lose cannon and loose them in the deep I  say ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on June 25, 2010, 09:54:34 am
Playing fast and lose with the language...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on June 25, 2010, 11:04:22 am
I do wish people would learn "loose/lose". It's amazing how many clever folks get it wrong.

Some people know the difference, and yet still can't get it right.  Something wrong in the head.
 :-[
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on June 26, 2010, 12:55:26 pm
I do wish people would learn "loose/lose". It's amazing how many clever folks get it wrong.

Some people know the difference, and yet still can't get it right.  Something wrong in the head.
 :-[

That would be me (okayzunally)! I call it:
making a mistake or a typo.

I make others, too - best not to let them get to you :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on June 26, 2010, 01:24:09 pm
Yebbut if I were to pay £7.50 (which is the price I believe will be charged) for the publication I am reading at present, I would SCREAM at all these howlers.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: fboab on June 26, 2010, 10:07:11 pm
Yebbut if I were to pay £7.50 (which is the price I believe will be charged) for the publication I am reading at present, I would SCREAM at all these howlers.

Which is why they have asked you to proof read it.

I am currently translating a couple of documents from Danish English to English English.
This is mostly because despite having no qualifications for such an activity, my colleagues are used to the groans/ moans/ tirades induced from reading Other Peoples' Typos/Mistakes.

My own are obviously forgivable, but Other Peoples' are not.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on June 26, 2010, 10:18:27 pm
Actually, they have not asked me; I'm doing it as a favour for my partner who is cringing in desperation. His frequent cringes have all but frozen him into inaction. I doubt the author of this work has much insight into his quality.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pingu on June 30, 2010, 04:49:56 pm
BBC News - Scottish workplace death figures drop (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/10466171.stm)

Quote
The number of people killed at work in Scotland last year has fallen, according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on July 01, 2010, 09:31:07 am
This is a long thread but the one generic phraseology that drives me mad at the moment is the advertising speak:
"up to 50% saving"
"up to 20% off"
which of course is a completely meaningless statement. 0% falls within that catchment.
It all started with a toothpaste manufacturer in the late 70's
"Up to 30% fewer fillings"
I complained to the ASA at the time and it was upheld, but the phrase is endemic now.

Buy 1 - Get 1 Half Price

Surely "buy two, get one half price" or even "buy one, get a second one half price"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on July 01, 2010, 09:54:51 am
FIFA (not Fifa) is ...

England is ...

The players are ...

The Government is ...

Ministers are ...

A collective entity is still AN ENTITY, as in ONE, singular.  A body can have 50 milliard members, but that doesn't make the 'body' plural!

Americans can handle this concept quite easily.  Does such a concept not exist in British English?  ???
 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on July 01, 2010, 10:33:41 am
England is ...

The players are ...

A collective entity is still AN ENTITY, as in ONE, singular.  A body can have 50 milliard members, but that doesn't make the 'body' plural!

Americans can handle this concept quite easily.  Does such a concept not exist in British English?  ???
 
No, the idea that eleven individual players could meld into one team is quite unknown to England.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 01, 2010, 11:18:51 am
Anatole Economist on the Toady prog this morning.  There is a big difference between simulation and stimulation.  Simulating the economy is unlikely to be a viable way of getting BRITAIN out of the recession.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 01, 2010, 11:33:10 am
Andrij, you're telling us how to speak our language, eh? And some people wonder why Americans have a reputation for arrogance... ;)

Serious answer: it's not Fifa itself that's a disgrace, it's the people who run Fifa who are a disgrace.

And it's not England that's failing to show unity (that would be illogical - how can an entity not be unified?), it's the England players. When you say "England are..." you're using a sort of rhetorical shorthand. It's not quite metonymy but I'm not sure what the correct term for it is.

Anyway, this is one of those occasions where strict grammatical correctness is WRONG. ;)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on July 10, 2010, 01:17:45 pm
"met with". Recently seen on this very forum.

Please, please! What's wrong with 'met'? Why add an unnecessary word? It's bad enough that Leftpondians perpetuate this solecism, but it's now spreading over here.

I'm dreading the random 'of' spreading outside the USA. So far, I've seen a few examples, all perpetrated by less than perfectly literate individuals who have been exposed to transatlantic-speak, but it doesn't seem to have caught on generally. Yet. :(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on July 11, 2010, 08:25:54 am
The thing that is really getting to me at the moment is 'should of'.

I don't have a problem with the written 'should've' but where did this abomination come from?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on July 11, 2010, 11:35:43 am
The thing that is really getting to me at the moment is 'should of'.

I don't have a problem with the written 'should've' but where did this abomination come from?
People writing the way they speak.  Since they cannot pronounce or enunciate correctly they write incorrectly as well.  I too hate all the would of, could of, should of etc.

We will soon be writing about "anuvah exampoo of bad spellun".  The poo ending amuses me.  People cannot seem to pronounce words ending in le these days, and so people becomes peepoo.  Makes me  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on July 11, 2010, 11:43:10 am
The poo ending amuses me.  People cannot seem to pronounce words ending in le these days, and so people becomes peepoo.  Makes me  :sick:

Come back Michael Howard - a real man of the peepilll.  :thumbsup:  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on July 11, 2010, 02:46:01 pm
The poo ending amuses me.  People cannot seem to pronounce words ending in le these days, and so people becomes peepoo.  Makes me  :sick:

Come back Michael Howard - a real man of the peepilll.  :thumbsup:  ;)

I always thought of it as 'pipple'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on July 12, 2010, 02:54:23 pm
Listen BBC - when it means the end of the day it's eve-ning, it's only even-ing when it means flattening.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on July 15, 2010, 08:37:04 am
Listen BBC - when it means the end of the day it's eve-ning, it's only even-ing when it means flattening.

Even Led Zeppelin got that right. "In the eeeeeev-ninggggg"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on July 15, 2010, 08:39:31 am
Did anyone else see the new series of "That Mitchell and Webb Look" last night ? They had a brilliant sketch where a boss in an office lost it and shot anyone who made a grammatical or pronunciation error. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on July 15, 2010, 09:30:13 am
The thing that is really getting to me at the moment is 'should of'.

I don't have a problem with the written 'should've' but where did this abomination come from?

Pronunciation spelling.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 15, 2010, 10:08:39 am
Did anyone else see the new series of "That Mitchell and Webb Look" last night ? They had a brilliant sketch where a boss in an office lost it and shot anyone who made a grammatical or pronunciation error. 

+1
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on July 15, 2010, 10:38:36 am
The ignoramuses / ignorami end was genius.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 15, 2010, 11:08:39 am
The ignoramuses / ignorami end was genius.

Oh yes, that was great.

As was: "It's whomever!"

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on July 15, 2010, 11:29:07 am
'Haitch haitch haitch'.  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Steve Kish on July 16, 2010, 10:33:14 pm
My big cringers:-

'haitch', of course.  Seems to be standard with every sales / service agent these days.  When asked my surname ... Kay-eye-ess-aych and they repeat it back as kay-eye-ess-haitch, must bite lip to avoid shouting NO, AITCH!

'revert back'

'best' (or similar) rather than 'better' when comparing two .... a great favourite on 'Top Gear'.

Quote
The Jaguar or the Aston ... both great, but which is fastest?

 :sick:

Double negatives in pop lyrics - one's even a triple:-


'Ain't gonna bump no more with no big fat woman!' ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on July 16, 2010, 10:38:48 pm
Complaining about pop lyrics is a good way to earn respect on this thread ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 16, 2010, 11:36:13 pm
'haitch', of course.  Seems to be standard with every sales / service agent these days.

Did you see That Mitchell & Webb Look this week? It'll still be on iPlayer if you missed it. You'll love it.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ham on July 19, 2010, 11:52:51 am
Grrrrrrr

On today's Evans site:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/__5EyI8Ck-Lw/TEQt2bf8oOI/AAAAAAAAUkk/jKK_U7SHHuM/s320/Evans%20Cycles%20%20Mountain%20Bike%20%20Specialized%20Bikes%20%20UK%20Online%20Bike%20Shop%20-%20Google%20Chrome%2019072010%20114925.jpg)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on July 19, 2010, 12:13:50 pm
Complaining about pop lyrics is a good way to earn respect on this thread ;)

Never having heard of the perpetrators is a better one.  O:-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Steve Kish on July 19, 2010, 01:07:44 pm
Grrrrrrr

On today's Evans site:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/__5EyI8Ck-Lw/TEQt2bf8oOI/AAAAAAAAUkk/jKK_U7SHHuM/s320/Evans%20Cycles%20%20Mountain%20Bike%20%20Specialized%20Bikes%20%20UK%20Online%20Bike%20Shop%20-%20Google%20Chrome%2019072010%20114925.jpg)


Evans ian't not never been the same since Gary Smith sold it on! ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: jane on July 19, 2010, 01:31:39 pm
The thing that is really getting to me at the moment is 'should of'.

I don't have a problem with the written 'should've' but where did this abomination come from?
People writing the way they speak.  Since they cannot pronounce or enunciate correctly they write incorrectly as well.  I too hate all the would of, could of, should of etc.

We will soon be writing about "anuvah exampoo of bad spellun".  The poo ending amuses me.  People cannot seem to pronounce words ending in le these days, and so people becomes peepoo.  Makes me  :sick:
This is a charming stage most young children go through when they begin to learn to write and spell, with basic phonic skills and before they learn the difference between standard and non standard English.  Non standard English (NSE) is fine- it's various forms add richness and diversity to the language and have done for centuries. The version of NSE you describe  may not be the way you speak but so what- who is to say which version of English is the right one? The problem with NSE is that it's situationally, culturally and  geographically specific.  So , obviously, we all need knowledge of standard English as well as our own form of NSE and we need  to learn when it's appropriate to use it and not appropriate to use our NSE.   I would agree, some people seem to struggle with this.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: little miss mac on July 19, 2010, 02:58:43 pm
Grrrrrrr

On today's Evans site:
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/__5EyI8Ck-Lw/TEQt2bf8oOI/AAAAAAAAUkk/jKK_U7SHHuM/s320/Evans%20Cycles%20%20Mountain%20Bike%20%20Specialized%20Bikes%20%20UK%20Online%20Bike%20Shop%20-%20Google%20Chrome%2019072010%20114925.jpg)


Evans ian't not never been the same since Gary Smith sold it on! ;D

Shouldn't that be "Evan's"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 25, 2010, 05:10:09 pm
From my Thumbs Up brand Tube Repair Kit:

Remove foil from the patch and apply on injury, stitch down thoroughly.

It's bad translation not grammar, and it makes me laugh rather than cringe, but this seems the best thread for it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Paul on July 25, 2010, 05:16:34 pm
Lucy Mangan is on my laminated list. Here's one reason (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/mind-your-language/2010/jul/24/style-guide-grammar-lucy-mangan).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on July 25, 2010, 05:32:06 pm
She's wrong about less and fewer though. There's all the difference in the world between "less difficult problems" and "fewer difficult problems". Did we cover that already?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on July 26, 2010, 08:39:58 am
Farm where I get my eggses has put up a sign giving the date when the eggs were picked and their use-by date. After that info it has:

Please recycle boxes[1]
Keep in a cool place[2]

[1]Why not reuse them?
[2]Do the boxes go off if warm?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: LindaG on July 26, 2010, 08:45:35 am
The thing that is really getting to me at the moment is 'should of'.

I don't have a problem with the written 'should've' but where did this abomination come from?
People writing the way they speak.  Since they cannot pronounce or enunciate correctly they write incorrectly as well.  I too hate all the would of, could of, should of etc.

We will soon be writing about "anuvah exampoo of bad spellun".  The poo ending amuses me.  People cannot seem to pronounce words ending in le these days, and so people becomes peepoo.  Makes me  :sick:
This is a charming stage most young children go through when they begin to learn to write and spell, with basic phonic skills and before they learn the difference between standard and non standard English.  Non standard English (NSE) is fine- it's various forms add richness and diversity to the language and have done for centuries. The version of NSE you describe  may not be the way you speak but so what- who is to say which version of English is the right one? The problem with NSE is that it's situationally, culturally and  geographically specific.  So , obviously, we all need knowledge of standard English as well as our own form of NSE and we need  to learn when it's appropriate to use it and not appropriate to use our NSE.   I would agree, some people seem to struggle with this.

Yes.  Most of our regional dialects have been standardised, or have died out altogether, and we are poorer for it.  IMO.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on July 26, 2010, 10:37:11 am
Oh, golly. I've just received a fundraising letter from a university---with an internationally respected publisher attached, too.

It's entitled "Oxford Thinking. And Doing." and the punctuation only gets worse. There are nine pages of captioned pictures which have full stops at the end of all, and only, those phrases which aren't actual sentences. There's a letter signed by the V-C telling me "We are becoming one world. Our world." 

Among all this horrorshow syntax the opening sentence of the letter, "Today, the defining struggle in the world is between relentless growth and the potential for collaboration" is almost invisible, but deserves honorable mention for tendentious vacuity.

Surely, surely, decent grammar is one of the first requirements for professional curmudgeon-squeezers?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 26, 2010, 10:44:34 am
Quote
"Today, the defining struggle in the world is between relentless growth and the potential for collaboration"

Astonishing. That is a true masterpiece of corporate bullshit.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on July 26, 2010, 10:51:32 am
Did anyone else see the new series of "That Mitchell and Webb Look" last night ? They had a brilliant sketch where a boss in an office lost it and shot anyone who made a grammatical or pronunciation error. 

I've just had to sit through a meeting where someone kept saying "illegible" where she meant "eligible". About 25 bloody times.

No-one shot her though.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on July 26, 2010, 10:57:05 am
Lucy Mangan is on my laminated list. Here's one reason (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/mind-your-language/2010/jul/24/style-guide-grammar-lucy-mangan).

Quote
In reality, not splitting infinitives regularly results in ruined rhythms and altogether unhappier sentences. I tend not to split them, because I can't face justifying myself to all those who would complain, but I state here for the record that I adhere to the rule primarily out of sloth and cowardice, not out of moral principle.

Unfortunately she shot herself down in flames there, as she should have practised what she preached:

Quote
I tend to not split them

 :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 26, 2010, 11:07:50 am
Unfortunately she shot herself down in flames there

Really? Are you sure? Do you want to read that again?

If I were looking for something to pick on in that paragraph, it would be her use of "regularly"...

Quote
In reality, not splitting infinitives regularly results in ruined rhythms and altogether unhappier sentences.

Halley's comet appears in our skies regularly - every 76 years. Is that what you mean, Mangler? Or do you mean "often"? In your defence, at least you didn't use the inexpicably popular "on a regular basis".

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 26, 2010, 11:08:40 am
Surely the "to" after "tend" is part of the infinitive that follows it, in this case "to split". So she followed her own advice, as I see it: she opted for the better rhythm, and doesn't have to justify herself (except to Rogerzilla).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 26, 2010, 11:10:54 am
Unfortunately she shot herself down in flames there

Really? Are you sure? Do you want to read that again?

If I were looking for something to pick on in that paragraph, it would be her use of "regularly"...

Quote
In reality, not splitting infinitives regularly results in ruined rhythms and altogether unhappier sentences.

Halley's comet appears in our skies regularly - every 76 years. Is that what you mean, Mangler? Or do you mean "often"? In your defence, at least you didn't use the inexpicably popular "on a regular basis".

d.

Quote
In reality, not splitting infinitives regularly3 results in ruined rhythms
Quote
3 Just kidding again – "frequently".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on July 26, 2010, 11:15:13 am
If I were looking for something to pick on in that paragraph, it would be her use of "regularly"...

Hmm. The original article has a footnote here explaining that her use of "regularly" instead of "frequently" was ironic. OK, I'll let her off this time.

[edit: crossposted with Cudzo]

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on July 26, 2010, 11:17:26 am
Quote
"Today, the defining struggle in the world is between relentless growth and the potential for collaboration"

Astonishing. That is a true masterpiece of corporate bullshit.

d.

Oh, and there's more. I feel a submission to the Eye coming on.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on July 26, 2010, 11:42:52 am
Unfortunately she shot herself down in flames there

Really? Are you sure? Do you want to read that again?
OK, she says she tends not to split them, but her principal* argument is that she'd really like to.  I suppose you could read it either way.


*I was going to type "principle" here as a subtle troll, but thought better of it  ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: RJ on July 26, 2010, 01:03:02 pm
Very principalled of you  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on July 26, 2010, 06:15:06 pm
Hmm. The original article has a footnote here explaining that her use of "regularly" instead of "frequently" was ironic. OK, I'll let her off this time.
For those who struggle with "regular" and "frequent":
The UK railway station with the most REGULAR train service is Fishguard Harbour.  A train at 0300 each day, and another at 1500 each day - Monday to Sunday.  That means a train every 12 hours.

By no means frequent.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on July 26, 2010, 07:53:04 pm
Hmm. The original article has a footnote here explaining that her use of "regularly" instead of "frequently" was ironic. OK, I'll let her off this time.
For those who struggle with "regular" and "frequent":
The UK railway station with the most REGULAR train service is Fishguard Harbour.  A train at 0300 each day, and another at 1500 each day - Monday to Sunday.  That means a train every 12 hours.

By no means frequent.


Indeed. Wound up partner big time when he told me I should clean my teeth regularly so I told him I'd do them every year.  ;) ;D :demon:
He didn't see the joke.
(TBF I'd crashed out without my customary nocturnal toothscrub.)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Deano on July 26, 2010, 07:56:35 pm
Oh, golly. I've just received a fundraising letter from a university---with an internationally respected publisher attached, too.

It's entitled "Oxford Thinking. And Doing." and the punctuation only gets worse. There are nine pages of captioned pictures which have full stops at the end of all, and only, those phrases which aren't actual sentences. There's a letter signed by the V-C telling me "We are becoming one world. Our world." 

Among all this horrorshow syntax the opening sentence of the letter, "Today, the defining struggle in the world is between relentless growth and the potential for collaboration" is almost invisible, but deserves honorable mention for tendentious vacuity.

Surely, surely, decent grammar is one of the first requirements for professional curmudgeon-squeezers?

"Tendentious vacuity" is my favourite phrase of the day.  I'm going to crowbar it into a meeting at work tomorrow.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on July 26, 2010, 07:57:04 pm
Farm where I get my eggses has put up a sign giving the date when the eggs were picked and their use-by date.

Do eggs grow on trees in Northamptonshire? ITWSBT.
 ;) ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on July 26, 2010, 08:00:39 pm
Farm where I get my eggses has put up a sign giving the date when the eggs were picked and their use-by date.

Do eggs grow on trees in Northamptonshire? ITWSBT.
 ;) ;D
Nothing wrong with that.

Picked (as in to pick) entails a sorting and selection process - it does not have to mean it came off a branch or grew in the ground.

You can indeed pick eggs.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on July 26, 2010, 08:06:23 pm

Picked (as in to pick) entails a sorting and selection process...

I didn't select my nose.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zoidburg on July 26, 2010, 08:07:07 pm

Picked (as in to pick) entails a sorting and selection process...

I didn't select my nose.
You refer to pick as in the old anglo saxon word "pike".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on July 26, 2010, 08:23:15 pm

Picked (as in to pick) entails a sorting and selection process...

I didn't select my nose.
You refer to pick as in the old anglo saxon word "pike".
Yup. Pick is from either pike or pitch, though my ancient Chambers' Etymological dictionary gives some entertaining Gaelic and Welsh options.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 26, 2010, 09:23:13 pm
Some pikey pitched a pick through it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pingu on July 28, 2010, 10:50:03 pm
Quote
How did you hear about us:   

i.e. a search engine, an existing user, an advertsiement [sic], saw usage on another website, in a dream, ...

I know I've moaned about this before  ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on July 28, 2010, 10:58:36 pm
You'd think they could proorfead! ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on July 28, 2010, 11:20:28 pm
Hmm. The original article has a footnote here explaining that her use of "regularly" instead of "frequently" was ironic. OK, I'll let her off this time.
For those who struggle with "regular" and "frequent":
The UK railway station with the most REGULAR train service is Fishguard Harbour.  A train at 0300 each day, and another at 1500 each day - Monday to Sunday.  That means a train every 12 hours.

By no means frequent.


Indeed. Wound up partner big time when he told me I should clean my teeth regularly so I told him I'd do them every year.  ;) ;D :demon:
He didn't see the joke.
(TBF I'd crashed out without my customary nocturnal toothscrub.)

I've forgotten how many years ago it was that Alan (as he was then known) organised a YACF trip to Hartington in Derbyshire.

During one of the rides we visited the George and Dragon in Alstonefield (which I think is actually over the border in Staffs). I mentioned to the landlady that I was a regular customer and she replied that she didn't remember seeing me before.

"You probably don't," I replied "because I was 18 the last time I came here. That was 34 years ago and I'm intending my next visit should be when I'm 86!"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on July 29, 2010, 10:37:28 am
Mercifully I cannot recall the name of the Stupid Thick Fucking Thick Stupid Bastard Tory Bastard on the BBC Londonton News the other day, but should I ever encounter Mr Stupid Thick Fucking Thick Stupid Bastard Tory Bastard in person, then he will be on the tooth-filled end of The Bear.

When referring to the legacy of the Londonton Olympics, Mr Stupid Thick Fucking Thick Stupid Bastard Tory Bastard, be advised that there is but one Olympic stadium.  Didn't they teach you anything at fucking Eton?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on July 29, 2010, 04:11:17 pm
Just read in a paper.  It was at the bottom of the page before it sank in, so I had to turn back to ensure I hadn't made it up:

'...a degree of immortality...'
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 29, 2010, 04:16:12 pm
A degree of immortality is nothing. You even get a PhD in the subject from any on-line "university".  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on July 29, 2010, 04:19:15 pm
;D

Like 'Doctor' Gillian McKeith? ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on July 29, 2010, 04:31:39 pm
I've just heard from a colleague that our mutual customer will "defiantly" be needing help.

Me: "So, how can I help you?"
Customer: "Bollocks!"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on July 29, 2010, 05:32:14 pm
Somebody here in a thread on another board used 'defiantly' instead of 'definitely'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on July 29, 2010, 07:55:54 pm
Just read in a paper.  It was at the bottom of the page before it sank in, so I had to turn back to ensure I hadn't made it up:

'...a degree of immortality...'

Lesser angels - you know, the ones on the heads of pins.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on July 31, 2010, 12:54:40 am
I know it's been raised many times before but:  principle/ principal  - how can I explain it so that graduates in my team get it?  I'm a bit tired of correcting it.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on July 31, 2010, 07:26:41 am
Best to point out the separate meanings, I'd have thought. If you start going into common roots, it just emphasises the similarity and makes it easier to confuse the words.

Then you just have to remember which is which - as with stationary/stationery.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on July 31, 2010, 07:39:22 am
I know it's been raised many times before but:  principle/ principal  - how can I explain it so that graduates in my team get it?  I'm a bit tired of correcting it.


Unless you mean the boss, "principle" is a noun, "principal" an adjective.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Redlight on August 17, 2010, 11:06:53 pm
Advanced warning

Is that as in: a warning offered? 

Of course, Advance Warning is pretty silly too when you think about it. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 17, 2010, 11:16:28 pm
Advanced warning


I think it means it's a sophisticated warning, as distinct form the basic sort.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 17, 2010, 11:21:16 pm
shipping cost (everywhere in the world)
under 10 € = 3.30 €
up to 10 € = 4.50 €

From the bottom of this page (http://www.chez-delaney.com/stickers.html).

What is the postage if I buy 10 or more euros worth of goods?
The rest of that page is in French, it's clearly a case of (very) bad translation. Yes, they should have had it checked, but is is different from crap grammar in your native language. I promise not to point out similar mistakes in your Slovak if you don't in my Polish.  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CAMRAMan on August 17, 2010, 11:27:15 pm
"The person, who cleans this toilet maybe male or female"

Crap sign at Wigan NW station. I quite often see "maybe" when it should be "may be".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on August 17, 2010, 11:28:40 pm
You can indeed pick eggs.

Indeed. Ask Oscar's Dad!!!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 18, 2010, 01:03:39 pm
Dobry dien!

I think your polski must be better than my slovenski, as what you wrote above was perfect to the ó.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on August 22, 2010, 02:12:31 pm
Headlines like this on the BBC News website annoy me by their ambiguity.
<More smokers quit using NHS help> from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11022380 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11022380)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on August 23, 2010, 12:07:45 pm
I know it's correct usage in USAnia, but the phrase or saying "different than" really gets on my pecs.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ham on August 23, 2010, 01:11:04 pm
"The person, who cleans this toilet maybe male or female"

Crap sign at Wigan NW station. I quite often see "maybe" when it should be "may be".

I've got a neighbour like that.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on August 23, 2010, 01:18:28 pm
"The person, who cleans this toilet maybe male or female"

Crap sign at Wigan NW station. I quite often see "maybe" when it should be "may be".

Or in this case you could petty safely replace "maybe" with "will be".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ham on August 23, 2010, 01:53:02 pm
"The person, who cleans this toilet maybe male or female"

Crap sign at Wigan NW station. I quite often see "maybe" when it should be "may be".

Or in this case you could petty safely replace "maybe" with "will be".

You haven't met my neighbour.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on August 23, 2010, 04:22:01 pm

Or in this case you could petty safely replace "maybe" with "will be".

 :o
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pingu on August 24, 2010, 04:03:38 pm
Quote
The contractor has arranged for both the internal and external area’s of the building to be inspected tomorrow affected by the water, and will arrange the appropriate repairs thereafter.

 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on August 24, 2010, 04:10:13 pm
"
Due to accounting system changes for [FOREIGN_COUNTRY], the current web-based property management system [NAME] will be discontinued until new property management system will be deployed in 2011. Further communication will follow prior to the deployment.
"

?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 24, 2010, 09:09:43 pm
Articles! Present tense with future reference after prepositions of time! Failed FCE.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ham on August 31, 2010, 01:06:50 pm
"I went through it with a fine tooth-comb"

Always supposing you can explain to me what a Tooth-comb is, please can you tell me in what way the one you were using was a particularly fine example?

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on August 31, 2010, 01:32:48 pm
I once heard someone use the phrase "tooth-comb" without the modifying adjective. Presumably an ordinary tooth-comb was sufficient on that occasion.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on August 31, 2010, 01:38:45 pm
A tooth-comb is what medieval orthodontists used to straighten out wonky teeth. No doubt the British Museum has some fine specimens.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 31, 2010, 03:41:25 pm
Quote
The contractor has arranged for both the internal and external area’s of the building to be inspected tomorrow affected by the water, and will arrange the appropriate repairs thereafter.

 ::-)

Obviously, they meant
Quote
repair's
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: robbo6 on August 31, 2010, 09:17:50 pm
A fine-tooth comb was what people used to catch the fleas and lice off dogs, cats and children before insecticides came into general use. Hence "going through it with a fine-tooth comb":- looking for very small details, "nit-picking".
They normally had a wide flat centre to squash one's catch against with  a thumb-nail.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on August 31, 2010, 10:27:56 pm
A tooth-comb is what medieval orthodontists used to straighten out wonky teeth. No doubt the British Museum has some fine specimens.

You got that by combing through wikipedia, didn't you.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on August 31, 2010, 10:29:13 pm
Nit-wit ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on August 31, 2010, 11:05:37 pm
[Frank Muir]

The term 'tooth-comb' actually originates from agricultural folk-law. Farmers who bred chickens for egg production were well aware that very occasionally a chick would be born with a small deformity in its beak. As it grew older, this would cause it's upper beak to misalign with its lower and as a consequence it would not be able to peck in the ground for grain and insects. The only way it could gather enough nutrition would be to feed off the eggs of the other hens. Its beak deformity or "hens tooth" actually made it easier for the hen to break the egg shells before eating the contents.

Clearly this was not in the farmer's interest to have an egg consuming hen in its flock, so he would try to identify these very rare toothed hens. Because the deformity did not develop until the hen was much older, it was said that a skilled farmer could spot a potential problem hen because before its tooth was fully developed, its comb tended to be very slightly narrower than that of a normal healthy hen.

With modern industrial scale farming, it is sadly no longer necessary to be able to identify a fine tooth-comb, although organic free-range farmers still claim to be able to spot them.


[/Frank Muir]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 01, 2010, 09:45:15 am
Nit-wit ;D
Ooooh, subtle!

I like the carefully thought out reference to the purpose of the sort of comb not quite described by 'fine tooth-comb'.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Clandy on September 01, 2010, 09:52:15 am
 "I've got a gut feeling in my stomach". What, that I might want to punch your head in the face?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 03, 2010, 05:05:19 pm
There is a singular form of 'consortia'! >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on September 06, 2010, 06:30:32 am
There is a singular form of 'consortia'! >:(

Indeed, in a similar vein there is also a singular form of 'criteria'.

Edit.  I have just remembered that the gits do it with 'phenomena' as well.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on September 06, 2010, 06:37:13 am
Not grammar as such, but has anyone else noticed the irritating 'development' of people substituting the word 'best' when they clearly mean ''favourite'?  My daughter asked me what my 'best' film was yesterday, I felt compelled to point out that I was neither an actor or a director. 

Almost as annoying as the way 'slippy' has supplanted 'slippery' in some quarters.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 06, 2010, 06:38:36 am
And still in a similar vein, the plural of media is not medias.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rogerzilla on September 06, 2010, 06:42:55 am
Media is a very over-used word now anyway, probably because "press" doesn't seem to cover the online stuff.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 06, 2010, 09:38:44 am
And still in a similar vein, the plural of media is not medias.

d.
I thought it was meeja.

(runs & hides)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 06, 2010, 10:53:06 am
There is a singular form of 'consortia'! >:(

Indeed, in a similar vein there is also a singular form of 'criteria'.

Edit.  I have just remembered that the gits do it with 'phenomena' as well.

Yes, I think that criteria was also misused in the same letter.  But the damn thing was about consortia, and how we would all be obliged to join 'a consortia' >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on September 06, 2010, 11:07:22 am
How many of the pluralists here use

medium
datum
agendum
graffito

when referring to one item from their more familiar plurals?

Or how many of you use

concerti
bimbi

in place of their more familiar singular versions?

Surely at some point, many of these words have become sufficiently Anglicised that an English plural is acceptable.

Having said all that, I will remain in what feels like a lone struggle to maintain 'data are' in everyday usage. I also refer to 'datums' when talking about more than one baseline upon which to measure relative height on a map.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 06, 2010, 11:12:46 am

Surely at some point, many of these words have become sufficiently Anglicised that an English plural is acceptable.

Insects have antennae; radio transmitters have antennas - by convention.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on September 06, 2010, 11:13:09 am
Panino, scampo.

You're not alone saying 'the data are'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 06, 2010, 12:55:34 pm
How many of the pluralists here use

medium
datum
agendum
graffito

when referring to one item from their more familiar plurals?

Or how many of you use

concerti
bimbi

in place of their more familiar singular versions?
All except agendum (sorry  :( ) & bimbi - but I will now correct the latter omission. I like bimbi. Ta.  :thumbsup:

And data are, of course.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 06, 2010, 01:10:47 pm
How many of the pluralists here use

medium
datum
agendum
graffito

when referring to one item from their more familiar plurals?

Er, I don't even know of an alternative singular form for any of these words, never mind use one.  ???

Like "trousers", they're not words you'd commonly use in the singular form anyway - the only time I would use the singular of media (for this sense of the word) is when quoting Marshall McLuhan.

Quote
Surely at some point, many of these words have become sufficiently Anglicised that an English plural is acceptable.

That's not the point. "Media" is already a plural, it doesn't need to be pluralised. The complaint is more about using plural forms with a singular sense.

I'm wholly in favour of anglicised plurals of adopted words (stadiums, forums etc), especially when the English meaning of the word is somewhat distanced from its native meaning - eg bimbo.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 06, 2010, 01:16:16 pm
How many of the pluralists here use

medium
datum
agendum
graffito

when referring to one item from their more familiar plurals?

Er, I don't even know of an alternative singular form for any of these words, never mind use one.  ???

Like "trousers", they're not words you'd commonly use in the singular form anyway -
Oh no! I've often found occasion to use medium (in the sense of a single medium of communication, e.g. radio), datum, & graffito. How else would you refer to a single picture or tag on a wall than 'a graffito'?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 06, 2010, 01:22:44 pm
Oh no! I've often found occasion to use medium (in the sense of a single medium of communication, e.g. radio), datum, & graffito.

I would use "medium" in an artistic context, eg "What medium did the artist use for this work?" but data and graffiti aren't common enough subjects of conversation for me that I can recall ever needing to use their singular forms.

"Panini" is a truly irritating word (what's wrong with calling it a bread roll, ffs?), but for me, it passes the adoption test, in that its specific English meaning is sufficiently different to the original for the native singular/plural forms to be irrelevant.

Quote
How else would you refer to a single picture or tag on a wall than 'a graffito'?

"The latest Banksy."

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 06, 2010, 01:32:01 pm
Oh no! I've often found occasion to use medium (in the sense of a single medium of communication, e.g. radio), datum, & graffito.

I would use "medium" in an artistic context, eg "What medium did the artist use for this work?"
+1 to that

I know that "data is" is incorrect, but it just fits so well with other related terms e.g.
"The data you supplied is incomplete, and so is the information from our other sources."
I suppose it's because I think of data encompassing a variety of forms other than simply a set of numbers e.g. "the data on a hard disk" may well include pictures, words etc.
That data is corrupt.


Sorry ...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 06, 2010, 01:41:42 pm
I know that "data is" is incorrect, but it just fits so well with other related terms e.g.
"The data you supplied is incomplete, and so is the information from our other sources."
I suppose it's because I think of data encompassing a variety of forms other than simply a set of numbers e.g. "the data on a hard disk" may well include pictures, words etc.

In that context, "data" has a singular sense - you're talking about a "complete set" of data, which is, grammatically speaking, like a bag of sand - you would talk about the sand in that bag in the singular, even though it comprises many individual grains.

So I would argue your example isn't grammatically incorrect.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on September 06, 2010, 02:01:59 pm

That's not the point. "Media" is already a plural, it doesn't need to be pluralised. The complaint is more about using plural forms with a singular sense.

I'm wholly in favour of anglicised plurals of adopted words (stadiums, forums etc), especially when the English meaning of the word is somewhat distanced from its native meaning - eg bimbo.

d.


But jo's point (I think), carrying on from Clarion's and Gandalf's examples, is that some people who criticize the use of the the plural form when the singular should be used do not do so consistently, and he quotes some examples of very infrequently used singular forms.  And then he adds the 'common sense' proviso:

Surely at some point, many of these words have become sufficiently Anglicised that an English plural is acceptable.

I looked up "agenda" in my Fowlers because I realized that I didn't know if an agendum would refer to a single list of items, or an single item on such a list:

"Although agenda is a plural word, it is pedantry to object to the common and convenient practice of treating it thus [referring to an introductory quotation] as a singular one.  If a singular is needed for one item of the agenda there seems no escape from that rather cumbrous phrase; agendum is pedantic and agend obsolete".

I think I'll start using "agend" just to show off.  Can we move on to the next agend please?

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 06, 2010, 02:23:40 pm
But jo's point (I think), carrying on from Clarion's and Gandalf's examples, is that some people who criticize the use of the the plural form when the singular should be used do not do so consistently

Yes, I'm sure some people do that. ;)

Quote
I looked up "agenda" in my Fowlers because I realized that I didn't know if an agendum would refer to a single list of items, or an single item on such a list:

Agenda has a singular sense in the same way as data in mattc's example. I entirely agree with Fowler on this matter. This isn't an inconsistency. Linguistically, it's an irregularity but not an inconsistency.

On the other hand, consortia, to pick on Clarion's example, can't be treated as a singular in the same way. It makes no sense.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 06, 2010, 05:51:17 pm
Interesting that these words are problematic in other languages too. The Polish words stadion, datum, medium, konsorcjum, are strictly speaking neutral because that is their Latin gender and form plurals stadia, data, media, konsorcja, but in practice they are often treated as masculine, in line with the general rule that words ending in consonants are masculine, which gives them problematic plurals stadiumy, datumy, etc. These just sound wrong and produce some strange declensions.

So, you're in international society with this one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 06, 2010, 09:52:08 pm
That wonderfully fine yet vague line between correctness and pedantry.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on September 06, 2010, 09:59:56 pm
Another plural that gets used as a singular:

"He contracted a bacteria".
(Possibly not as blatant as that, but similar usage has appeared here and there.)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on September 07, 2010, 08:55:07 am

All except agendum (sorry  :( ) & bimbi - but I will now correct the latter omission. I like bimbi. Ta.  :thumbsup:


I went to school with a Bimbi.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 07, 2010, 09:45:47 am
Not quite cringe-making, but the local, under-new-management, wine shop had a sign outside: We sell "ice".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on September 07, 2010, 09:56:05 am
I think that must mean that they sell methamphetamine.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 07, 2010, 10:15:07 am
Not quite cringe-making, but the local, under-new-management, wine shop had a sign outside: We sell "ice".

You'll like "this":
The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks (http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on September 07, 2010, 11:11:35 am
My favourite for superfluous quotation marks is the old design of Seabrook Crisps* (known for their Please Strong Avoid Light (http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Please-Strong-Avoid-Light-Seabrook-Crisps-Appreciation/118515338165789) design). Many an hour could be spent in a northern England  pub counting up the number of unnecessary inverted commas. From memory they included

"More" - than a "Snack"  [what is that hyphen doing?]
"Value" 31 grammes "e"  [What?! What possible sense are you trying to add to "e" there?]
"Crinkle" cut  [or was it Crinkle "Cut", or just "Crinkle Cut"]
Sea Salt original "Flavour"  [I love reading these as 'scare quotes' which turns the message on its head]

In what can only be described as a barbarous culling, almost all of these quotes were removed in a redesign sometime in the last decade.

I realise it really is quite sad that I can remember the wording and layout of a packet of crisps I probably last saw in the 1990s, but I feel compelled to share my problem with the group.


* I think only available north of Derbyshire. Our North of England Correspondent, Exit Stage Left, may be able to enlighten us on this matter.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on September 07, 2010, 11:14:28 am
"Value" 31 grammes "e"  [What?! What possible sense are you trying to add to "e" there?]

Quote from: http://www.reading.ac.uk/foodlaw/label/i-1.htm
With regard to labelling, products packed according the average weight system may use the 'e' mark when the nominal quantity is in the range 5g - 10kg (or 5ml - 10l). The mark shall be at least 3mm high, placed in the same field of vision as the weight/volume statement, and indelible, clearly legible and visible under normal conditions of purchase. The mark is not obligatory but when used is a guarantee, recognised throughout the EEC, that the goods to which it is applied have been packed in accordance with the relevant EEC Directive.

It's present on the pack of Hula Hoops that lies on my desk.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 07, 2010, 11:23:28 am
Seabrooks crisps are the best.

Their packaging designers are rubbish.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 07, 2010, 11:35:50 am
Quote
Fry slams BBC 'culture of fear'

might be quite hard for the BBC to report without the quotation marks.

In some cases I think it's a deliberate distancing of the BBC from the suggestion being made by whoever it is quoting.  

But things like

Quote
Red Planet 'may not be lifeless'

does look a bit silly, agreed.

edit: maybe they've decided to be consistent and always use them when re-reporting stuff other people have claimed. Else, I suppose, it might be perceived as an indicator of what the BBC does or doesn't believe to be true.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on September 07, 2010, 11:43:47 am
edit: maybe they've decided to be consistent and always use them when re-reporting stuff other people have claimed. Else, I suppose, it might be perceived as an indicator of what the BBC does or doesn't believe to be true.

Except that they're paraphrasing the claims. In most cases the phrase within quotes doesn't appear anywhere in the article.

ME 'virus link' found in children - The word 'link' does not appear anywhere in the article.

Political void 'threatens Iraq' - The word 'threat' (or any variant) does not appear anywhere.

etc...

They're trying to distance themselves from their own opinion which just makes them look silly.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 07, 2010, 11:45:30 am
Quote
Fry slams BBC 'culture of fear'

might be quite hard for the BBC to report without the quotation marks.

In some cases I think it's a deliberate distancing of the BBC from the suggestion being made by whoever it is quoting.  

But things like

Quote
Red Planet 'may not be lifeless'

does look a bit silly, agreed.

edit: maybe they've decided to be consistent and always use them when re-reporting stuff other people have claimed. Else, I suppose, it might be perceived as an indicator of what the BBC does or doesn't believe to be true.

I don't have a problem with the BBC's use. It seems to be the best way to report a 3rd party's comment. Newspapers do it - Man 'killed Bambi' , sort of thing - as a means of reporting allegations without getting caught for libel or contempt.

Edit:
Except that they're paraphrasing the claims...

That could put them on dodgy ground.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 07, 2010, 12:20:35 pm
Greenbank "paraphrased" BBC to make them "look silly"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 07, 2010, 12:48:21 pm
It's a long-standing newspaper convention. There are worse crimes against language committed in headlines on the BBC website (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1791).

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 07, 2010, 01:12:08 pm
But things like

Quote
Red Planet 'may not be lifeless'

does look a bit silly, agreed.
I'm sure it's terribly bad form to quote a post within this thread (and I'm sure you can find worse grammar crimes in some of my posts) but surely that should be "do look a bit silly". The subject is things, not Red Planet or the sentence containing Red Planet.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 07, 2010, 01:26:52 pm
But you're ok with starting sentences with a conjunction, are you?!?

;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 07, 2010, 01:28:21 pm
I am, yes.  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on September 07, 2010, 01:53:03 pm
And I am too.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 07, 2010, 02:43:16 pm
Though I am not sure why conjunctions are bad things to begin & end sentences with. ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on September 07, 2010, 02:46:36 pm
This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mike on September 07, 2010, 02:55:06 pm
working with an Indian office I get loads of poorly written emails, but this is the best I've seen in ages (and yes, her name really is Pinky...)

She starts her 'English as a business language' course next week  :)

Dear Mr. Mike,
Ref. trailing mail regarding documents required for UK Visa appointment.


We are planning a meeting with {...}  pertaining to Business Development.
For the purpose of same, I require Invitation letter from UK on letterhead. I request you to send across the same to me.
Please do the needful
Best Regards,
Pinky
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 07, 2010, 03:12:50 pm
I wouldn't call that bad English, I'd call it Indian English. Quite good Indian English at that!

Mr with given name - standard IE.
For the purpose of - standard IE love of wordiness.
Same referring to something mentioned in previous sentence - standard IE grammar.
Do the needful - if something is needful it is necessary.

I'm sure you've also come across "MG Road backside" many a time.  ;D
"But" for emphasis at the end of a sentence.
Etc etc.

English as the language of business for the entire world. In the near future it will probably have an Indonesian accent, perhaps later Brazilian.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on September 07, 2010, 04:21:19 pm
Newspapers do it - Man 'killed Bambi' , sort of thing - as a means of reporting allegations without getting caught for libel or contempt.

I missed that story.   That's terrible.  Killing one Bambo may have been an accident, but more than one...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 07, 2010, 04:22:11 pm
 ;D

I laughed so loudly that the kitten went and hid
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on September 07, 2010, 04:34:53 pm
'Please do the needful' was the phrase in any referral letter that made many junior doctors SCREAM!

It usually meant. 'This patient is sick; I don't now why. I CBA to do any work. You do it.'
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 07, 2010, 05:36:21 pm
working with an Indian office I get loads of poorly written emails, but this is the best I've seen in ages (and yes, her name really is Pinky...)

She starts her 'English as a business language' course next week  :)
Oh dear - that suggests things are going to get very much worse.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on September 07, 2010, 09:39:12 pm
I don't have a problem with the BBC's use. It seems to be the best way to report a 3rd party's comment.
Completely agree - provided that they are quoting and not paraphrasing. If they are paraphrasing, they must take responsibility for the words.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 07, 2010, 10:24:45 pm
A certain amount of paraphrasing inside quote marks in headlines is fine - you just need to be careful not to diverge from the meaning of the original quote. We do this all the time on the magazine I work on (mainly to turn a wordy quote into a short, snappy, sensational headline), and we have a very cautious legal department. We haven't been sued yet.

However, I want to make it clear that I'm not hereby endorsing some of the appalling headlines on the BBC website, where the 'quote' in the headline often bears no relation to anything that's been said by anyone. That is wholly unacceptable.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on September 08, 2010, 12:53:08 pm
However, I want to make it clear that I'm not hereby endorsing some of the appalling headlines on the BBC website, where the 'quote' in the headline often bears no relation to anything that's been said by anyone.

Yes, but quote marks are not just for actual quotations, they're also used where something is not necessarily true. In fact exactly what you did up there ^^^

From the earlier list:

Poor children dying 'of neglect'
Why does Jermaine Jackson back Gambia's 'iron-fisted' leader?
Case of condemned female 'adulterer' creating problems abroad for Iran
Spain dismisses Eta 'ceasefire'
Iran 'hampers IAEA investigation'
ME 'virus link' found in children
Fry slams BBC 'culture of fear'
Murder accused's 'gymnastic sex'
EU gets Barroso 'state of union'
Red Planet 'may not be lifeless'
'Genetic link' to breast cancer
Non-stick pan 'cholesterol link'
... plus others, all on the front page.

Poor children aren't actually being killed by neglect, the actual cause of death is something else; Gambia's leader's hands aren't actually made of iron, etc. Headlines have to be short, and quotes are a shorthand for "allegedly" or "so-called". This is especially important with the medical links above - the link is suggested by the research, it's not settled yet, and if you just read the headline you need to know that.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 08, 2010, 01:08:54 pm
quotes are a shorthand for "allegedly" or "so-called".

Yes, but who is doing the alleging?

Language Log &raquo; Mendacity quotes (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1017)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Exit Stage Left on September 08, 2010, 01:09:46 pm
The word 'Churn' used to indicate customer or staff turnover.
'Churn' driving growth in UK jobs as few new roles are created, says Hays - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/7978286/Churn-driving-growth-in-UK-jobs-as-few-new-roles-are-created-says-Hays.html)

I can't get my head round the mutation from noun to verb and back to a noun with a different meaning.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 08, 2010, 01:30:29 pm
This makes me cringe:

Peli & Woolly, and Ariadne IIRC (and us of course) own Octane 3s.


:facepalm: :-[
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on September 14, 2010, 08:47:56 am
a massive BANG!.  I'd had a spoke break. 

You weren't listening carefully. The noise made by a breaking spoke is clearly SPANG.

The use of "spang" on this forum to denote the sound of a frying pan wielded by the BEAR, or whatever it is, has been bothering me for months. It's an unnecessary confusion.

I couldn't squash this misconception in the bud because we were out on a tandem LEJOG of unceasing spang at the time. I was getting pretty good at removing the Arai drum, too.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 09:46:25 am
Ah.  Yes.  You see, this is why I specified the noise.  I've heard spokes go various flavours of spang over the years, but this was a much bigger, and more distinct  Bang.  Very odd.  I initially wondered whether it had been a blowout or a stone hitting the bike. 

Meanwhile, using an exclamation mark and a full stop? :o  What was I thinking? :facepalm:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 11:29:56 am
Quote from: chap on the wireless a couple of minutes ago
Little grass snakes should be coming out precisely about now

::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on September 14, 2010, 11:39:39 am
Do you think this company really wanted to name itself Principle Link Transport?
(http://www.principlelink.co.uk/images/Vehicles.jpg)

Their home page (http://www.principlelink.co.uk/index.php) claims they did, but it still doesn't make any sense.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 11:47:40 am
You wouldn't want dissociated principles, would you?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 14, 2010, 11:57:45 am
Quote from: chap on the wireless a couple of minutes ago
Little grass snakes should be coming out precisely about now

::-)
Even Radio 4 can't be held entirely responsible for the grammar of contributors chosen for their technical knowledge.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 14, 2010, 12:07:00 pm
Quote from: chap on the wireless a couple of minutes ago
Little grass snakes should be coming out precisely about now

::-)

Easy. They're coming out in a precise fashion - ie without repetition, hesitation or deviation - and they're doing it about now. ;)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 12:51:57 pm
Quote from: chap on the wireless a couple of minutes ago
Little grass snakes should be coming out precisely about now

::-)

Easy. They're coming out in a precise fashion - ie without repetition, hesitation or deviation - and they're doing it about now. ;)

d.


You are correct, of course, and I hang my head in shame for not understanding that ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 04:07:44 pm
Quote from: 'nother chap on the wireless
a Loo tenant in His Majesty's army

Not grammar, I know, but basic pronunciation error. >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on September 14, 2010, 04:21:13 pm
Quote from: 'nother chap on the wireless
a Loo tenant in His Majesty's army

Not grammar, I know, but basic pronunciation error. >:(

Yeah.  Everyone knows it's loyt-nant. ;)
 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on September 14, 2010, 04:24:56 pm
Oh dear, I feel a mis-pronunciation thread (or at least a major diversion of this one) coming on.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 04:27:20 pm
Quote from: 'nother chap on the wireless
a Loo tenant in His Majesty's army

Not grammar, I know, but basic pronunciation error. >:(

Yeah.  Everyone knows it's loyt-nant. ;)
 

*boils quietly with rage*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Manotea on September 14, 2010, 04:36:28 pm
When did it become compulsory to refer to our soldiers as troopers?

Is it some kind of pinko bleeding heart PC doublethink conspiracy?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 14, 2010, 04:44:04 pm
If they were members of a cavalry regiment then it would be the correct address, I think.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on September 14, 2010, 04:46:10 pm
When did it become compulsory to refer to our soldiers as troopers?
OK when referring to cavalry regiments but infantry ?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 04:47:14 pm
Infants?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on September 14, 2010, 04:49:56 pm
If they were members of a cavalry regiment then it would be the correct address, I think.

Army Air Corps and some artillery regiments as well (those that used to be horse artillery).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris S on September 14, 2010, 04:51:46 pm
I'm assuming the correct pronunciation is "Leff-tenant".

If so - where else in the English language (or anywhere for that matter) do the letters "Lieu" make a "Leff" sound ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 14, 2010, 04:57:58 pm
It's cos it comes from the French, and there has been a certain amount of confusion over w and f sounds at various times long past in various places...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 04:59:14 pm
ISTR it came via Belgium, which adds another layer of pronunciation difficulty.

However it came about, we have a correct way to pronounce the word, and the Army are clear about their usage.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: pcolbeck on September 14, 2010, 05:00:23 pm
I'm assuming the correct pronunciation is "Leff-tenant".

If so - where else in the English language (or anywhere for that matter) do the letters "Lieu" make a "Leff" sound ???

Since when has English pronunciation and spelling been regular ? You just have to accept that some words are not pronounced phonetically or even in the same way as other words with similar spelling or indeed similar meaning.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on September 14, 2010, 06:43:18 pm
When did it become compulsory to refer to our soldiers...

Our soldiers - I hate the phrase. They're British soldiers. You may think of them as your soldiers, but please don't involve me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: border-rider on September 14, 2010, 06:52:38 pm
Indeed


    YouTube
        - That Mitchell and Webb Look - Football
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN1WN0YMWZU&feature=related)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris S on September 14, 2010, 07:16:17 pm
One Show - BBC 1 - just now.

"Balsall Heath is a much pleasanter place to be."

*snigger*  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 14, 2010, 08:53:25 pm
... we have a correct way to pronounce the word, and the Army are clear about their usage.

Come on, pay attention at the back.


You've lost me with your first highlight, though I accept that the Army should agree to a singular.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on September 14, 2010, 09:58:33 pm
Oh, protest. On it's own it means "bear witness for". Pro as in for, and test as in testament. You can protest your faith, as lots of martyrs have died doing.

If you don't like something you can protest against it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on September 14, 2010, 10:01:10 pm
When did it become compulsory to refer to our soldiers...

Our soldiers - I hate the phrase. They're British soldiers. You may think of them as your soldiers, but please don't involve me.

Absolutely right! They are nothing whatever to do with me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on September 14, 2010, 11:12:54 pm
Not grammar but what seems to be a very nasty neologism.  The team from Missouri University of SCIENCE and Technology have a mini-bus, which proclaims on the side, in big friendly letters, that this particular department is "experiential"  ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 14, 2010, 11:15:59 pm
They develop technology through their experiences of the world? Or summat like dat. Unless it's just a typo...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on September 15, 2010, 11:28:50 am
Absolutely right! They are nothing whatever to do with me.

You don't pay tax? ;)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on September 15, 2010, 11:32:40 am
Absolutely right! They are nothing whatever to do with me.

You don't pay tax? ;)

d.


I suppose I don't in the sense that by far the greatest part of my income is paid by the taxpayer, to whom I'm eternally grateful.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on September 15, 2010, 11:33:57 am
Gold-plated, remember? ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Manotea on September 15, 2010, 11:46:08 am
When did it become compulsory to refer to our soldiers...

Our soldiers - I hate the phrase. They're British soldiers. You may think of them as your soldiers, but please don't involve me.

British soldier is fine by me.

Absolutely right! They are nothing whatever to do with me.

If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in english, thank a soldier.

I get the feeling that suggesting teachers who can read english and have gold plated pensions ought to be thanking soldiers too might be a rather hopeless cause...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 15, 2010, 10:51:35 pm
If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in english, thank a soldier.
Should tell that to Mugabe!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ham on September 20, 2010, 03:29:52 pm
What happens when you arrive after the cut-off time in the canteen.


(http://lh4.ggpht.com/__5EyI8Ck-Lw/S4PNel4-h3I/AAAAAAAAZKI/9uS86NHSAQs/s480/menu.jpg)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on September 20, 2010, 03:43:28 pm
Can I "loan" you a bike?  :-\

I know I can lend you one.  :)
I know I can give you the loan of one.  :)
I know you can borrow one.  :)

But I don't think I can loan you one.  :(
And you can't loan one from me either.  :hand:

Is that right?  ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on September 20, 2010, 03:53:01 pm
Can I "loan" you a bike?  :-\

I know I can lend you one.  :)
I know I can give you the loan of one.  :)
I know you can borrow one.  :)

But I don't think I can loan you one.  :(
And you can't loan one from me either.  :hand:

Is that right?  ???


You can.

Loan is a noun and a verb.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on September 20, 2010, 04:10:47 pm
Aye, I didn't know loan was acceptable as a verb, I though it had to be lend. Thanks for that.
Quote
And you can't loan one from me either.  :hand:
But can it ever be used to mean "borrow"?
eg, " You can loan a bike for a month for free"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 20, 2010, 04:12:30 pm
No, Radio 2 newsreader, Lauren Laverne has not become a mother for the second time. She became a mother when she had her first child and was still a mother when her second child was born.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on September 20, 2010, 04:57:56 pm
Had a corker on the conference call today, we were reminded to 'dialogue' with the End User  :hand:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on September 20, 2010, 07:14:34 pm
Aye, I didn't know loan was acceptable as a verb, I though it had to be lend. Thanks for that.
Quote
And you can't loan one from me either.  :hand:
But can it ever be used to mean "borrow"?
eg, " You can loan a bike for a month for free"?
I'm not aware of it being correct to use it to mean "borrow".
[Nevertheless, your example above is probably grammatically correct, if rather odd!]

& you can't
Quote
borrow him your own bike



Slightly narking Quick Crossword clue yesterday:
See sense (6,2,6)
A: Listen to reason

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on September 20, 2010, 10:24:05 pm
Aye, I didn't know loan was acceptable as a verb, I though it had to be lend. Thanks for that.
Quote
And you can't loan one from me either.  :hand:
But can it ever be used to mean "borrow"?
eg, " You can loan a bike for a month for free"?
I'm not aware of it being correct to use it to mean "borrow".
See Danish. One word for both lend & borrow, cognate with & pronounced much like loan: låne til (lend to) & låne fra (borrow from).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on September 21, 2010, 07:45:44 am
See Danish. One word for both lend & borrow,
which means that when Polonius told Laertes "neither a borrower nor a lender be", it didn't really sound nearly as good as in Shakespeare's translation.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on September 21, 2010, 12:13:04 pm
Nor.  Please.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on September 21, 2010, 12:14:24 pm
Oops. Finger slip rather than illiteracy, I'll claim.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on September 22, 2010, 08:36:38 pm
 Let's put a stop to this cliche – right now|Mind your language | Media | guardian.co.uk  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mind-your-language/2010/sep/22/cliches-politics-mind-your-language)

Very relevant. On Message, even.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on September 22, 2010, 08:45:34 pm
Slightly narking Quick Crossword clue yesterday:
See sense (6,2,6)
A: Listen to reason

 :facepalm:

Was today's clue with an answer of 'XMAS' any better?

*ugh*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on October 01, 2010, 06:21:50 am
I have just been having a flick through the Evans Cycles catalogue and found this gem "Garmin have recently announced the launch of the Edge 800 GPS, the predecessor to the popular Edge 705"  ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: asterix on October 01, 2010, 11:09:31 am
Grammar. That makes me cringe.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on October 02, 2010, 06:28:05 pm
I have just been having a flick through the Evans Cycles catalogue and found this gem "Garmin have recently announced the launch of the Edge 800 GPS, the predecessor to the popular Edge 705"  ::-)

Back To The Future!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on October 02, 2010, 06:33:35 pm
I heard a teacher say having dogs in the classroom made the children 'more calmer'.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11458464 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11458464)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 04, 2010, 12:32:17 pm
On the official Ryder Cup website:

(http://i88.photobucket.com/albums/k170/smutchin/ryder.jpg)

Now, I really don't care whether you choose to treat teams as singular or plural, but please just choose one or the other and stick to it.

At least for the duration of the sentence.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on October 04, 2010, 01:27:45 pm
Unless the 'they' is the gender-neutral singular form.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 04, 2010, 01:31:02 pm
If you treat USA as singular, what pronoun would you use for the second half of the sentence?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 04, 2010, 01:31:21 pm
Unless the 'they' is the gender-neutral singular form.

"If [USA] wins [3rd person sing] the current hole, they win [3rd person plural] the match."

My complaint is not that one is right and the other wrong, but that they've used both in the same sentence.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on October 04, 2010, 01:45:18 pm
An my point was that you can use the word 'they' in the singular when you wish to avoid attaching a particular gender to a gendered noun:

If [USA] wins [3rd person singular] the current hole, they win [gender neutral singular] the match.

I realise some people object to this, but I think gender neural 'they' as a singular is one evolution of the language which is quite helpful and avoids having to use passive constructions all the time.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 04, 2010, 01:49:17 pm
But even when they has singular meaning, we still use a plural verb form. Perhaps it's time to start saying 'they wins'.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 04, 2010, 01:53:35 pm
Is this related to my observation that Hugh Porter always says:
Italy are on the front
to indicate:
An Italian rider is on the front
?!?

[and yes, he says the same when several Italians are on the front  ::-) ]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on October 04, 2010, 02:00:49 pm
But this isn't an example of gender-neutral-singular-they. It's the perfectly usual problem where one group is several things, which are one group. Whether the group acts as one, or act separately and plurally, is entirely a matter of context and not of grammar at all.

Here the winner of the whole is a single golfer, who by synecdoche is representing his team, who by synecdoche are referred to with the name of the country they represent, which has a plural form but is a single country; his opponents represent a resolutely plural group of countries under a singular name.

If these things bother you you should probably avoid speaking any language at all. It's how the world is: don't blame the grammar.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jules on October 04, 2010, 02:06:08 pm
I have just been having a flick through the Evans Cycles catalogue and found this gem "Garmin have recently announced the launch of the Edge 800 GPS, the predecessor to the popular Edge 705"  ::-)

Back To The Future!

<digressing wildly and trying to make his point without too many grammatical howlers>

It's funny you said that! My first Garmin (a GPS II if I recall correctly) stopped working at about 88mph so it could not be used to assist in the navigation of powered aerial devices. Garmin charged more for those that could.

</as you were>
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 04, 2010, 02:19:42 pm
It's how the world is: don't blame the grammar.

But I'm not blaming the grammar!

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on October 04, 2010, 02:24:15 pm
If you treat USA as singular, what pronoun would you use for the second half of the sentence?

"It".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 04, 2010, 02:35:21 pm
Thank you, Ian.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on October 04, 2010, 03:27:16 pm
Is this related to my observation that Hugh Porter always says:
Italy are on the front
to indicate:
An Italian rider is on the front
?!?

[and yes, he says the same when several Italians are on the front  ::-) ]

Whereas, when Duffield used to say
Italy are on the front
there was a fair chance there was a Russian on the front.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 04, 2010, 09:25:40 pm
If you treat USA as singular, what pronoun would you use for the second half of the sentence?

"It".
"If the USA wins the current hole, it will win the match."

Works for me, as a sentence. The only problem is that it implies the country as one entity will win, whereas I would think of it of as a team consisting of multiple players - particularly as golf is not a team sport, so rather than one team acting in unison, as would be the case in, say, football, you have a number of players playing individually. At least, I presume that's how it works - I'm not really familiar with the format of the Ryder Cup. In any case, this has been dealt with already.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 04, 2010, 10:12:53 pm
It's not really the point though.

The verb has to agree with the subject. The pronoun has to agree with the antecedent noun. Ergo the same form of the verb must be used in both clauses.

"If USA win the current hole, they win the match."

"If USA wins the current hole, it wins the match."

Take your pick. One or the other. I don't mind either way.

If I were being really picky, I might make a point about appropriate use of the subjunctive and conditional, but... meh.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 04, 2010, 10:37:00 pm
I'm still in favour of forcing the pace of linguistic change by treating 'they' as a fully singular pronoun to be used in cases where gender is unknown, mixed, or irrelevant.

"If USA wins the current hole, they wins the match."

I reserve the right never to use this form again!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ham on October 05, 2010, 10:04:49 am
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D


Oddly enough, the supermarkets in France, Germany and Switzerland all say "maximum 8 items"...



I'm looking for a pic I shot in my local M&S, one till had a sign "10 items or less" and the next had "10 items or fewer
 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 06, 2010, 11:34:07 am
Dangling participles.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone who earns a living as a sub editor to be able to recognise a dangling participle when they see one. Nor do I think it's unreasonable to expect someone who earns a living as a writer not to commit the offence in the first place. FFS.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 01:29:27 pm
Not grammar per se, but language.

Does a sludge spillage have an epicentre?

And was it really from an aluminum plant?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 06, 2010, 01:34:09 pm
Does a sludge spillage have an epicentre?

I've noticed lots of epicentres in the news lately. I don't mind the term being used metaphorically, though some of the instances of its use seem rather odd - this being a good example.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 01:37:16 pm
I can just about go with it, if the spill was near the bed of the river, and we're talking about the point on the surface, but that would be daft.

Amazing what words people are prepared to use without knowing what they mean.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on October 06, 2010, 01:42:18 pm
The SOED offers a meaning of epicentre: figuratively, the centre or heart of something, especially something unpleasant. Mid-twentieth-century in origin, and supported by a quotation from Graham Swift.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 01:46:53 pm
That's silly.  Epi-  means on the edge of, like epidermis, rather than the centre of.  That's be Endo-

I can't help it if Graham Swift can't use English properly ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 02:09:09 pm
Isn't the word epicentre mostly used to descrive earthquakes? In which context it means the point on the earth's surface nearest to the underground point which is the actual centre of the earthquake - a sensible use of the word. But because from a general point of view, for just about anyone other than a geologist or a miner, that point on the earth's surface is the effective centre of the quake, the meaning drifts. A case of the law of unintended consequences at work in language, you could say.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 02:12:44 pm
I'd suggest that it's more like a case of bloody ignorance taking away a word with a specific meaning to be a synonym for a simpler word instead, undermining understanding of a technical term, and being a vain attempt to appear more clevererer by a hack.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 06, 2010, 02:23:46 pm
I'd suggest that it's more like a case of bloody ignorance taking away a word with a specific meaning to be a synonym for a simpler word instead, undermining understanding of a technical term, and being a vain attempt to appear more clevererer by a hack.
+1

Of course it's also an attempt to 'Big Up' an incident by comparing it with an earthquake (I've heard it used in political reports!).  Which is even more stupid with something like the Great Sludge Disaster.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 06, 2010, 02:28:29 pm
Yes, it's precisely because of that association with earthquakes that reporters use "epicentre" - never mind what it means, it heightens the impression of being part of a cataclysmic event. Nothing especially wrong with that apart from being lazy journalism.

Of course, the word "centre" is more accurate, simpler and perfectly serviceable.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 02:32:26 pm
Ah, could be that too.

I'd suggest it comes out at much the same thing; using a word that sounds appropriate, shifting its specific meaning to a more generalised one. Over time (and a few more cleverest jounos) the generalised meaning becomes the commonly accepted one. Epicentre = technical word for middle of something that's happening. Pity the poor geologists who either have to explain the original, specific meaning of the word, or invent a new one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 06, 2010, 02:48:55 pm
I can just about go with it, if the spill was near the bed of the river, and we're talking about the point on the surface, but that would be daft.

Deepwater Horizon?

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 02:50:43 pm
I used to work in an industry where we used the words light, lamp, lantern and luminaire.  They weren't interchangeable; they all meant something different.  And it mattered.

Similarly cable and wire...

I used to get really cross with people using the wrong words.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on October 06, 2010, 02:53:14 pm
And it mattered.

Yes, it matters in that context. I don't suppose most people care much what epicentre really means.

Most people are stupid, of course.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 02:54:02 pm
I can just about go with it, if the spill was near the bed of the river, and we're talking about the point on the surface, but that would be daft.

Deepwater Horizon?

d.


Yeah, that would have had an epicentre significantly removed from the point of the leak.

Thinking about it, ISTR that epicentre isn't just a geological term, but a mathematical one.  Euclid discussed them.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 02:55:19 pm
I wouldn't say that most people are stupid. I would say that for most people in most contexts the difference does not matter, if it's even evident in any way.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 02:56:55 pm
In a great many contexts, the difference between the words wrong and right doesn't matter much.  Doesn't invalidate the words. 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 03:05:11 pm
I don't think anyone's suggesting any words are or should be invalidated. I'm just trying, clumsily, to suggest mechanisms of meaning shift.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on October 06, 2010, 03:11:35 pm
Yeah, that would have had an epicentre significantly removed from the point of the leak.

Thinking about it, ISTR that epicentre isn't just a geological term, but a mathematical one.  Euclid discussed them.

Er, no. I can do you incentre, circumcentre, centroid, orthocentre...

None of these are named in Euclid, though they're constructed.

On edit, perhaps not all of them are constructed. I oughtn't to spend time looking this up, really.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 03:12:49 pm
I need to go look at my Elements...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 06, 2010, 03:36:13 pm
Yes, it's precisely because of that association with earthquakes that reporters use "epicentre" - never mind what it means, it heightens the impression of being part of a cataclysmic event. Nothing especially wrong with that apart from being lazy journalism.

Of course, the word "centre" is more accurate, simpler and perfectly serviceable.
Exactly - we shouldn't be encouraging the use of overly complex language (which might be hard for some to understand), especially where the meaning is a bit suspect!

You can't justify this with guff about 'meaning shift', it's still bad writing. These people aren't Shakespeares, creating poetic new extensions to the language; they're just pretentious and wrong.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on October 06, 2010, 03:38:36 pm
Exactly - we shouldn't be encouraging the use of overly complex language (which might be hard for some to understand), especially where the meaning is a bit suspect!

You can't justify this with guff about 'meaning shift', it's still bad writing. These people aren't Shakespeares, creating poetic new extensions to the language; they're just pretentious and wrong.

Does that include Graham Swift? ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 06, 2010, 03:41:43 pm
Dunno - was he a journalist?!?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 03:45:04 pm
You can't justify this with guff about 'meaning shift', it's still bad writing. These people aren't Shakespeares, creating poetic new extensions to the language; they're just pretentious and wrong.
No justification intended from me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on October 06, 2010, 04:56:46 pm
And was it really from an aluminum plant?

I thought American's had pronunciation problems until recently. Now I see that both my bikes have aluminum on them I realise that either they cannot spell properly or they use an alloy that is different to aluminium.

No, they don't.  Brits just have this obsession with declaring any difference in English, especially is if comes from the US, to be WRONG.

I know wikipedia isn't infallible, but this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium#Etymology) is worth a read.
 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on October 06, 2010, 05:43:59 pm
And was it really from an aluminum plant?

I thought American's had pronunciation problems until recently. Now I see that both my bikes have aluminum on them I realise that either they cannot spell properly or they use an alloy that is different to aluminium.

There's a third option...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on October 06, 2010, 05:46:52 pm
And was it really from an aluminum plant?

I thought American's had pronunciation problems until recently. Now I see that both my bikes have aluminum on them I realise that either they cannot spell properly or they use an alloy that is different to aluminium.
But the precious metal is "Platinum".  I've not seen any suggestion to call it Plat-in-ium.  So metal names ending "-um" rather than "-ium" isn't necessarily a USAnian thing.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on October 06, 2010, 05:48:39 pm
Bzzt. Deviation. This discussion should take placed in the "Spelling" thread.

</Paul Merton>
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 06:16:17 pm
Quote from: Wikipedia
The name "aluminium" derives from its status as a base of alum. "Alum" in turn is a Latin word that literally means "bitter salt".
So aluminium frames cannot be sweet handling?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 06, 2010, 06:33:35 pm
You can't justify this with guff about 'meaning shift', it's still bad writing. These people aren't Shakespeares, creating poetic new extensions to the language; they're just pretentious and wrong.
No justification intended from me.
Ah, sorry. Where I wrote 'you' I was meaning them! Hence:

"They can't justify this ... "  (the cads!)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 06, 2010, 06:36:56 pm
That's ok then.  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on October 06, 2010, 08:44:31 pm
I wouldn't say that most people are stupid. I would say that for most people in most contexts the difference does not matter, if it's even evident in any way.
But there's a duty to understand a word before using it. I've quite often looked up words I don't often use before putting finger to key, and found that they didn't quite mean what I thought - so I used something else.

Although meanings do develop, we now seem to me to be allowing that to happen at a rate that creates real problems. The main one is the need for a replacement word or term to mean what the one we have undermined meant. Quite often it's marketing-related or, as mentioned above, journalism. Examples are legion.

In photography, for example, a macro lens means a lens that magnifies so much that the image on the film (sensor, now) is bigger than was the original object. It's come to mean any lens with a bit of a close-up function. That's fine and dandy, but now keen photographers need a new term for "macro".

In the 1980s, I worked on summaries of magazine articles. Desktop publishing and electronic publishing were both emerging. One means using PC-type technology for layout and so on, although the end result is normally still printed on paper. The other means that the end product is an electronic book, journal or other item, whatever the technology that produces it (although it's difficult to do electronic publishing without a computer...) Some journalists were clearly unable to "get" the difference, life got quite confusing, and the need for a new term for electronic publishing seemed a real prospect. In the end the market took off more, desktop publishing became so common-place that people stopped bothering to talk about it, and the term "electronic publishing" survived.

How long before we're having to replace terms annually with new ones because their meaning has been lost? And how do you communicate when words change that fast?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on October 06, 2010, 08:48:11 pm
How long before we're having to replace terms annually with new ones because their meaning has been lost? And how do you communicate when words change that fast?

Kettle hammock getting it melon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on October 06, 2010, 08:58:34 pm
How long before we're having to replace terms annually with new ones because their meaning has been lost? And how do you communicate when words change that fast?

Festina cromulente, as they say in Latin.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on October 06, 2010, 09:53:58 pm
How long before we're having to replace terms annually with new ones because their meaning has been lost? And how do you communicate when words change that fast?

Festina cromulente, as they say in Latin.
;D ;D Genius  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PhilO on October 06, 2010, 10:04:17 pm
In photography, for example, a macro lens means a lens that magnifies so much that the image on the film (sensor, now) is bigger than was the original object. It's come to mean any lens with a bit of a close-up function. That's fine and dandy, but now keen photographers need a new term for "macro".

Is that the same as the way that 'accident' has come to be used to mean 'blame-free' when it actually means 'unintended'?

*Dons flameproof underwear and runs for it*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tonycollinet on October 06, 2010, 11:47:26 pm
It's should have people, should HAVE. The shortened form is should've

What it is not, is should of!

I swear the wrong form is more common than the correct - in fact almost universal.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on October 07, 2010, 09:17:13 am
"Fewer than 10 per cent of professors in the sciences are female."
     -Times Eureka magazine that came with today's paper.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: red marley on October 07, 2010, 09:27:58 am
"Fewer than 10 per cent of professors in the sciences are female."
     -Times Eureka magazine that came with today's paper.

While we all like to get exercised by fewer/less, I don't think it is always very clear cut. Presumably it would be ok to say "fewer than 10 per 100" as you are counting things, even if it is an illustrative ratio. Some measurements are counts as well.

I think there is a stronger argument for "Less than 10 percent of faculty [...] is" as you are treating the academic staff as a singular entity. Because your quoted sentence is simultaneously describing the faculty makeup as a whole and itemising the members that make it up, both 'fewer' and 'less' work for me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on October 07, 2010, 10:00:00 am
I like your reasoning, and it works, up to a point. But percentages are not necessarily integers, you couldn't say "fewer than 9.5 % of professors..."

Similarly, metres are things that can be counted, but you wouldn't say something was "fewer than 100 metres away".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on October 07, 2010, 10:04:58 am
That was my thinking too.

"Fewer than 10 in 100 professors in the country are female" would be ok (IMO) because the subject is/are indivisible professors.

The subject of the Times' sentence is the per cent, which are divisible.
Title: Grammar
Post by: Wowbagger on October 07, 2010, 10:14:04 am
Doesn't a lot of this depend on whether the numerical expression is an abbreviation of something else? Fewer than ten lbs, less than ten lbs' weight... I seem to remember my physics teacher saying that this was the correct expression.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on October 07, 2010, 10:21:34 am
I think it's fine to give a lot more leeway in impromptu speech than in written language. However, I then wonder about the instant journalism of the internet, where speed of response might be considered more important than absolute accuracy in grammar.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2010, 11:28:55 am
In photography, for example, a macro lens means a lens that magnifies so much that the image on the film (sensor, now) is bigger than was the original object. It's come to mean any lens with a bit of a close-up function. That's fine and dandy, but now keen photographers need a new term for "macro".
Good example! I don't know much about photography. Mrs Cudzo's camera has what it claims to be a macro function. I'm pretty sure that it's not macro in the original sense, it's simply a close-up. But as I don't know much about the subject, I'm naturally going to take the vocabulary used by the camera manufacture, who I would presume to know what they're talking about. If they've got it wrong, they're misleading me.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on October 07, 2010, 12:58:27 pm
Volunteerily?

No.  Fuck off.  Lord Bragg, do not ever allow this person within a day's march of your wireless show again.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 07, 2010, 06:41:28 pm
Is that the same as the way that 'accident' has come to be used to mean 'blame-free' when it actually means 'unintended'?
Not by everyone it hasn't, my friend - not while I'm still breathing anyway ...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on October 07, 2010, 10:20:13 pm
Mrs Cudzo's camera has what it claims to be a macro function. I'm pretty sure that it's not macro in the original sense... I'm naturally going to take the vocabulary used by the camera manufacture, who I would presume to know what they're talking about. If they've got it wrong, they're misleading me.
Precisely. I think that they are misleading you.

Although I suspect that, in fact, the engineers working for the manufacturer understand it, and most of the marketing team don't. Those that do understand it are under pressure to abuse the term anyway, on the basis that "the competition do, so if we don't it will look as though our product is worse than theirs".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 07, 2010, 10:43:25 pm
Yet another danger to marketing by functions/gadgets/gizmos rather than overall quality. As if the double-boinger BSO were not enough.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: drossall on October 09, 2010, 06:47:23 am
Forks and shorts (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=39099.0) (probably best to comment in that thread).

OK, probably more idiom than true grammar, but I cringe because I'm used to the idiom...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 27, 2010, 11:10:01 am
Perhaps it's the written representation of rising intonation?

[which I'm quite sure we covered at length not very long ago!]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 27, 2010, 11:19:51 am
Beatrix Potter used it.

Not that her writing is necessarily an example of good grammar, but it seems to be considered good enough to publish. I like her illustrations best.  :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on October 29, 2010, 11:03:50 am
"Due to adverse weather the 07:00 sailing from Stornoway has been cancelled therefore there will be no 10;25 from Ullapool."

Not sure if I like the semi-colon but:

How great it is to see the proper use of 'weather' with no 'conditions' adulteration.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on October 30, 2010, 11:33:50 am
"Due to adverse weather the 07:00 sailing from Stornoway has been cancelled therefore there will be no 10;25 from Ullapool."

Not sure if I like the semi-colon but:

How great it is to see the proper use of 'weather' with no 'conditions' adulteration.

Well, the semi-colon is only due to shift key non-use or non-function; sub-optimal but understandable/forgivable.

Agree that 'weather' without 'conditions' is a rare treat.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on October 30, 2010, 03:52:15 pm
Perhaps maritime "conditions" are a special case; i'd guess that a crossing would be abandoned due to big waves, rather than the wind itself.

Are waves weather? I'm no expert on sailing jargon.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 30, 2010, 05:50:47 pm
Surely waves are an effect of weather, like branches which, er, wave in the wind!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on November 02, 2010, 12:49:35 pm

I am trying to deter the habits ... of cyclists all over the world.

Seems harsh  :P
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on November 03, 2010, 12:49:59 pm
Just read this in the Guardian style guide (http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide), which made me smile:

Quote
Latin
Some people object to, say, the use of "decimate" to mean destroy on the grounds that in ancient Rome it meant to kill every 10th man; some of them are also likely to complain about so-called split infinitives, a prejudice that goes back to 19th-century Latin teachers who argued that as you can't split infinitives in Latin (they are one word) you shouldn't separate "to" from the verb in English. Others might even get upset about our alleged misuse of grammatical "case" (including cases such as dative and genitive that no longer exist in English).

As our publications are written in English, rather than Latin, do not worry about any of this even slightly.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 13, 2010, 07:57:08 pm
Health Professions Council, I was going to respond to your consultation document, but the last sentence of this
Quote
The majority of standards of proficiency are standards necessary to

produce safe and effective practitioners on entry into the profession. We

also set a small number of standards which are linked to the entitlements

to supply, administer or prescribe medicines outlined in paragraphs 2.11 -

2.13 above. For example, there is a standard of proficiency related to

supplementary prescribing. Registrants demonstrate that they meet this

standard by successfully completing an education programme which we

approve. Approval of the programme allows us to quality assure the

programme and ensure that all registrants meet the standards that we set.


so enraged me that I can't.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on November 13, 2010, 08:40:24 pm
Hmm. Was it the use of 'quality assure' as a verb that tipped you over the edge? If so, I share your fury.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 13, 2010, 08:55:58 pm
That was what did it. And these are the people who deem me competent to practise and register me. I despair.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on November 15, 2010, 04:24:03 pm
That was what did it. And these are the people who deem me competent to practise and register me. I despair.

ITYM they competent-to-practise deem you... ;)

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Pingu on November 26, 2010, 12:57:46 pm
Loose/lose
I.e./e.g.

You're still confusing these. Please stop  :demon:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 26, 2010, 01:29:41 pm
Yesterday there was a bloke on the telly talking about the Somali taxi driver who had acted as a go-between in the negotiations to free Paul & Rachel Chandler.  He used the word "dialoguing", for which he must be punished.  Severely.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on November 26, 2010, 02:07:12 pm
To Too To Too

 >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on November 26, 2010, 03:28:54 pm
Me: "Would you like a cuppa?"

Colleague: "Yeah. Can I get no sugar?"

Me: "Er... I don't know. Can you?"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on November 26, 2010, 04:01:03 pm
Yesterday there was a bloke on the telly talking about the Somali taxi driver who had acted as a go-between in the negotiations to free Paul & Rachel Chandler.  He used the word "dialoguing", for which he must be punished.  Severely.

Verbing weirds language, as ennysheddi know...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 29, 2010, 11:22:50 am
Yesterday there was a bloke on the telly talking about the Somali taxi driver who had acted as a go-between in the negotiations to free Paul & Rachel Chandler.  He used the word "dialoguing", for which he must be punished.  Severely.

Verbing weirds language, as ennysheddi know...

I am thinking of setting up a secret branch of the Python Police just to deal with people overusing the above phrase or saying ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on November 29, 2010, 11:59:48 pm
SHOCK HORROR FOR CTC COUNCIL CHAIR!

From latest Cycle:
"Struggling up the old A6, on a wet and very windy November night in Lancaster, astride a protesting Brompton, followed by fish and chips in a bus shelter..."

David and I giggled so much over this, we could hardly eat our supper. Somehow, the thought of fish in a bus shelter swimming behind the Chair's Brompton was too much!

 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on November 30, 2010, 09:54:41 am
Now, if there'd been an AUK in the bus shelter...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 30, 2010, 03:23:33 pm
"His wife signalizes her approval."

Quoted to show it's old and British - relatively - 1946, from the Temple Press, publishers of Cycling.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: CycleCindy on December 01, 2010, 10:26:52 am
You're/your....they're/their/there...  :sick: HATE those kinds of errors! So easily avoided.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 01, 2010, 10:32:13 am
You're/your...

Down here in Devon they say you'm instead of you're. Saves confusion.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on December 01, 2010, 10:37:21 am
When I was wee (in the middle of the last century) if we wished to assert a state of being, we wouldn't say, "I am". We'd say, "I'm are!".
The contrary was, "I'm are not!"
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 01, 2010, 10:39:51 am
When I was wee (in the middle of the last century) if we wished to assert a state of being, we wouldn't say, "I am". We'd say, "I'm are!".
The contrary was, "I'm are not!"

Whereas down here they shorten it to Arrh!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: ravenbait on December 01, 2010, 10:54:47 am
Loose/lose. Good grief, they don't even sound the same.

"Try and" drives me mental. I know that Fowler was more lenient than most, but if the rest of the declension always takes "to" then "try" should too. "He tries and ride through snow" makes no sense. "He tries to ride through snow" does. End of.

Anyway. Eny fule kno there is no try. There is only do or not do.

Infer/imply is another one.

Sam
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 01, 2010, 11:26:37 am
Infer/imply is another one.


*takes deep breaths to calm self after mention of pet hate*

I cannot believe how many people get that wrong.  Some mistakes are just 'meh', but that is destroying language.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on December 01, 2010, 11:33:07 am
To too loose lose infer imply their there.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 01, 2010, 11:34:46 am
To too loose lose infer imply their there.

A truly gnomic utterance.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 01, 2010, 11:36:42 am
It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's.
It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.

[Oxford University Press, Edpress News]
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on December 01, 2010, 12:08:13 pm
Help! I'm proofing an article about a couple - Mr & Mrs Wiggins - and the copy says "the Wiggins's then moved to Johannesburg". Should it be "Wigginses" or "Wiggins" or what?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Exit Stage Left on December 01, 2010, 12:11:36 pm
Help! I'm proofing an article about a couple - Mr & Mrs Wiggins - and the copy says "the Wiggins's then moved to Johannesburg". Should it be "Wigginses" or "Wiggins" or what?

Just call them Linda and Gary, or whatever these Wiggins' are called.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on December 01, 2010, 12:12:13 pm
Can't, and this problem pops up several times in the article.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on December 01, 2010, 12:15:34 pm
Ask him (http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTzsLKDbH5HEzqbEddjbQ74gapMVHn8K2DGqLGe6SSFWoTX97nU)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: ian on December 01, 2010, 12:15:57 pm
Can't, and this problem pops up several times in the article.

Mr & Mrs Wiggins then moved...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Rhys W on December 01, 2010, 12:16:38 pm
What I'm seeing absolutely-bloody-everywhere now is people writing loose when they mean lose.  

Please learn the difference, otherwise I assume you're stupid.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: ravenbait on December 01, 2010, 12:20:58 pm
Help! I'm proofing an article about a couple - Mr & Mrs Wiggins - and the copy says "the Wiggins's then moved to Johannesburg". Should it be "Wigginses" or "Wiggins" or what?

If you have to use the plural of Wiggins, it would be "Wiggenses", as in "dresses" or "messes" being the plurals of dress and mess respectively.

Sam
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: tatanab on December 01, 2010, 12:27:10 pm
Pretty common in speech, particularly amongst people under 30 years old, and in print in the latest CTC magazine -

half a pence

Equally common among youngsters on super market tills giving change -
one pounds and one pence.

The hint is even written on the coin where it clearly says "one penny".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 01, 2010, 12:33:24 pm
What about people who say "five pound"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 01, 2010, 12:37:40 pm
Pretty common in speech, particularly amongst people under 30 years old, and in print in the latest CTC magazine -

half a pence

Equally common among youngsters on super market tills giving change -
one pounds and one pence.

The hint is even written on the coin where it clearly says "one penny".

Within fifteen years dictionaries will be saying formerly plural, but now...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on December 01, 2010, 12:42:00 pm
Dictionaries will probably be online, with comments sections, like the Urban one.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on December 01, 2010, 01:12:42 pm
What about people who say "five pound"?
Time-honoured. Long predates anyone alive today.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on December 01, 2010, 02:50:11 pm
What about people who say "five pound"?

They don't. They say "five paaahnd".

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on December 01, 2010, 02:55:28 pm
You need to get out more, & read more old books. I used to hear it in rural Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire accents when I was a child, & I've heard it on the lips of Geordies, & many, many, others.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tom B on December 01, 2010, 03:00:14 pm
Quote
I've heard it on the lips of Geordies, & many, many, others

Normal on this latitude, on both sides of the Pennines
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 01, 2010, 03:06:02 pm
What about people who say "five pound"?

They don't. They say "five paaahnd".

d.


Oi've 'eard 'em say "Foive pewnd"!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on December 01, 2010, 03:34:36 pm
What about people who say "five pound"?

They don't. They say "five paaahnd".

d.


I've never referred to a green banknote as a 'five pounds' note...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 01, 2010, 03:45:56 pm
I've never referred to a green banknote as a 'five pounds' note...

Much in the way you hear "4 pint jug" or "20 gallon barrel".

But...

How much is that "Transformed Man" CD by William Shatner?
Five pound1.

1. Not a very good deal, even for his rendition of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 01, 2010, 05:32:41 pm
What about people who say "five pound"?

They don't. They say "five paaahnd".

d.


I've never referred to a green banknote as a 'five pounds' note...

They were all white in our day.  :-*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on December 01, 2010, 07:12:58 pm
Help! I'm proofing an article about a couple - Mr & Mrs Wiggins - and the copy says "the Wiggins's then moved to Johannesburg". Should it be "Wigginses" or "Wiggins" or what?
My 2p:
The Wiggins couple then moved...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 01, 2010, 10:31:30 pm
Help! I'm proofing an article about a couple - Mr & Mrs Wiggins - and the copy says "the Wiggins's then moved to Johannesburg". Should it be "Wigginses" or "Wiggins" or what?

If you have to use the plural of Wiggins, it would be "Wiggenses", as in "dresses" or "messes" being the plurals of dress and mess respectively.

Sam

Yup. Nobody has a problem with "keeping up with the Joneses", do they?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 01, 2010, 11:00:15 pm
Would not the Wiggins family be known as the Wigginses, not the Wiggenses? It seems a bit odd to change the spelling of their name.

This thread is a minefield.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: ravenbait on December 01, 2010, 11:56:49 pm
Would not the Wiggins family be known as the Wigginses, not the Wiggenses? It seems a bit odd to change the spelling of their name.

Yes. That was a typo on my part.

Sam
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on December 02, 2010, 04:23:12 pm
Slight issue was that one of said Wigginses would be checking my work once proofed.

In the end I went with "Fred and Thelma" (not their real names) although it was a bit awkward as we had this at the beginning of three consecutive paragraphs.

The whole thing is a minefield as I have to do a lot of editing of said Thelma Wiggins' work and I suspect it gets right up her nose; she's obviously not a 'copywriter' or 'proofreader' as she has many 'awkward' stylistic 'devices' which I continually have to 'remove' to make the work read more 'smoothly'. I feel like saying to her; "No, you don't do a semicolon before quotations." too. And should that have been a comma at the end of that sentence? Sigh.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 02, 2010, 04:39:23 pm
Oh.  Well, that's wrong, too.  Everyone knows that Fred is married to Wilma. ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on December 02, 2010, 04:45:49 pm
Pretty common in speech, particularly amongst people under 30 years old, and in print in the latest CTC magazine -

half a pence

Equally common among youngsters on super market tills giving change -
one pounds and one pence.

The hint is even written on the coin where it clearly says "one penny".

I'm afraid that the poor old penny was demoted to the 'wumpy' pretty soon after decimalisation.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on December 02, 2010, 04:58:01 pm
The plural of Wiggens is Wiggentes. Or, if they're all neuter (you never know), Wiggentia.



Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: SandyV on December 19, 2010, 06:48:42 am
It didn't make me cringe but did make me smile when I read in a magazine that I should "apply a volume-enhancing moose to roots".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Gandalf on December 19, 2010, 07:11:52 am
'Slippy'.   :sick: That is all.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: rower40 on December 19, 2010, 09:34:08 am
It didn't make me cringe but did make me smile when I read in a magazine that I should "apply a volume-enhancing moose to roots".
A cycling guide to York has advice to cyclists: "Do not approach horses in a manor that may frighten them."
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wendy on December 19, 2010, 09:51:29 am
'Slippy'.   :sick: That is all.

LOL!  Sorry...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 19, 2010, 10:47:23 am
... a manor that may frighten them."

It's OK, Peckham's not in York.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 19, 2010, 11:08:45 am
It didn't make me cringe but did make me smile when I read in a magazine that I should "apply a volume-enhancing moose to roots".
Bizarre, I always thought the moose ate the roots to increase its volume.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 19, 2010, 12:45:16 pm
'Slippy'.   :sick: That is all.

Absolutely. Damned silly non-word.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 19, 2010, 02:19:04 pm
'Slippy'.   :sick: That is all.

Absolutely. Damned silly non-word.

Although you could argue: Slippery: like a slipper; Slippy: prone to slippage.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: a lower gear on December 19, 2010, 04:57:36 pm
Mrs. lower gear hails from the upper midwest of the USA where 'bring' and 'take' are used interchangeably even in well-educated households; thus our two smaller gears are enjoined to 'Don't forget to bring your dinner money to school this morning', and so forth, despite Mrs. lower gear having spent almost all her adult life in the UK. Maybe its related to German or Scandinavian usage? - those are the regions from which derived the great majority of C19 immigrants to the upper midwest.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 19, 2010, 05:00:57 pm
'Slippy'.   :sick: That is all.

Absolutely. Damned silly non-word.

Although you could argue: Slippery: like a slipper; Slippy: prone to slippage.

I heard Ross Noble use "slippery - like a slipper" on ISIHAC in the New Meanings for Old Words game.

You'll be telling me next that "dipthong" is to wash an undergarment.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on December 19, 2010, 05:08:19 pm
Diphthong is a sound with two components...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: sub55 on December 19, 2010, 06:21:23 pm
Generally, young female shop assistants although not exclusively ,who hand me my change and say
1p
2p
3p etc,etc.
NO! 
It is either ,
A penny or one pence or ,
Two pence or tuppence or,
Three pence or thruppence  etc, etc . 
A p is round and green and comes in a pod, can be eaten ,either raw or cooked when fresh.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on December 19, 2010, 06:23:29 pm
So long as they give me the right change, I don't give a stuff what they say.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on December 19, 2010, 06:29:57 pm

Generally, young female shop assistants although not exclusively ,who hand me my change and say
1p
2p
3p etc,etc.
NO! 
It is either ,
A penny or one pence or ,
Two pence or tuppence or,
Three pence or thruppence  etc, etc . 
A p is round and green and comes in a pod, can be eaten ,either raw or cooked when fresh.

Spuds in!
One potato, two potato, three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more...
You're oot...
One potato, two potato...etc etc   

Just thought I'd share that, from my long-ago childhood.  :D

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: peliroja on December 19, 2010, 06:36:04 pm
My American colleagues' use of the simple past rather than the present perfect.

Did you get a ride yet?
Did you eat lunch already?

Instead of:
Have you found (someone to give you) a lift?
Have you eaten/had lunch yet?

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 19, 2010, 09:20:17 pm
My American colleagues' use of the simple past rather than the present perfect.

Did you get a ride yet?
Did you eat lunch already?

Instead of:
Have you found (someone to give you) a lift?
Have you eaten/had lunch yet?


Yes, but it's a different language, American.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on December 20, 2010, 12:08:54 am
Snowplough. It is snowplough!!

Snowplough!!!!!!!

Plow indeed.  :sick:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on December 20, 2010, 08:53:41 am
Snoughplough?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Greenbank on December 20, 2010, 08:56:33 am
There's no plow.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on December 20, 2010, 09:17:17 am
How now, snow plow.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on December 20, 2010, 09:36:45 am
A p is round and green and comes in a pod,
Sometimes it's yellow & liquid . . . .
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 20, 2010, 10:22:47 am
How now, snow plow.


                John Sutherland: Through or thru? Plow or plough? Beware the sting of the spelling bee  -
                    Commentators, Opinion - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/john-sutherland-through-or-thru-plow-or-plough-beware-the-sting-of-the-spelling-bee-929672.html)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Jaded on December 20, 2010, 10:55:39 am
Quote
Mr Griffin said: "On our approach a group of youths started throwing snowballs.

"Thankfully none of them actually hit the aircraft or the rotas because that could have been catastrophic really, it could have forced the aircraft either to crash or make a forced landing," he told BBC Radio Wales.

BBC News - Air ambulance stopped from Swansea landing by snowballs (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-12037245)

They should shut the office window if they don't want the rotas hit by snowballs. The BBC is a great institution.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 20, 2010, 06:00:57 pm
I like the plough spelling because it shows the similarity to the same word in Polish and (I presume, though have to admit I've forgotten) German.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on December 20, 2010, 06:29:51 pm
I like the plough spelling because it shows the similarity to the same word in Polish and (I presume, though have to admit I've forgotten) German.

der Pflug
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: a lower gear on December 20, 2010, 07:20:43 pm
My American colleagues' use of the simple past rather than the present perfect.

Did you get a ride yet?
Did you eat lunch already?

Instead of:
Have you found (someone to give you) a lift?
Have you eaten/had lunch yet?


Yes, but it's a different language, American.

Don't overlook 'gotten. In mitigation Mrs. Lower Gear only uses it when under stress.

An intriguing verb is 'visit', used to describe a conversation or meeting as well as  in the UK sense: 'We enjoyed Xxxxx's visit with us', when Xxxxx spoke to them on the phone.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Rhys W on December 21, 2010, 09:47:44 am
This is my latest: people saying "here, here!" in agreement with something.

I always have to reply with "where, where?"

 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on December 21, 2010, 01:16:59 pm
Are you sure they are not saying, "Hear, hear!" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear) Rhys?

Don't be silly. He wouldn't be complaining if they were saying that.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Rhys W on December 21, 2010, 04:54:29 pm
Are you sure they are not saying, "Hear, hear!" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear) Rhys?

OK, I meant only when it's written...  :P
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on December 21, 2010, 05:01:20 pm
Are you sure they are not saying, "Hear, hear!" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear) Rhys?

OK, I meant only when it's written...  :P

There, there, don't let it get to you.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on December 21, 2010, 05:20:39 pm
There, there...

Where, where?

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on December 21, 2010, 07:27:14 pm
Inga: Werewolf!
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Werewolf?
Igor: There.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: What?
Igor: There, wolf. There, castle.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Why are you talking that way?
Igor: I thought you wanted to.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No, I don't want to.
Igor: [shrugs] Suit yourself. I'm easy.
 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 05, 2011, 02:58:59 pm
The CTC Style Guide, received today by electronic mail.
That is all.

(To be fair, parts are fine but capitalisation and punctuation in some places leave something to be desired.)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nightfly on January 05, 2011, 04:28:34 pm
innit.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on January 05, 2011, 04:30:54 pm
Lahk
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: nicknack on January 05, 2011, 05:11:19 pm
An ad on the tele just a minute ago:

"When you've got nasal congestion and a blocked nose..."

 ::-)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wobbly John on January 05, 2011, 07:24:53 pm
Why the hell are people starting to use the phrase to "go on fire" or "went on fire"?

Things can: be on fire; be set on fire; catch light, but it can only go on fire if it travels while already in flames.  >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on January 05, 2011, 08:37:21 pm
I'm only pointing out that it's spelt tautology, because if I don't one of the 'kin yacf pedants will be along to do so.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Andrij on January 05, 2011, 08:39:33 pm
Tortology, as one should know, is the study of tortes! :)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Canardly on January 05, 2011, 09:57:08 pm
Mange tout mange tout Rodney.....
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 05, 2011, 10:12:08 pm
Why the hell are people starting to use the phrase to "go on fire" or "went on fire"?

Things can: be on fire; be set on fire; catch light, but it can only go on fire if it travels while already in flames.  >:( >:( >:(
Lots of things have went on fire in Glasgow. It's an expression which is commonly understood to mean you can't prove we did it so we'll just kid on it happened spontaneously.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 05, 2011, 10:16:51 pm
The CTC Style Guide, received today by electronic mail.
That is all.

(To be fair, parts are fine but capitalisation and punctuation in some places leave something to be desired.)
Oh dear. Perhaps the CTC needs a proofreader. Should I offer my services?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on January 05, 2011, 10:25:41 pm
The CTC Style Guide, received today by electronic mail.
That is all.

(To be fair, parts are fine but capitalisation and punctuation in some places leave something to be desired.)
Oh dear. Perhaps the CTC needs a proofreader. Should I offer my services?
Many years ago, proofreading was part of a job I had. When you've proofread manuals on how to lay linoleum, in Norwegian, then you've proofread, laddie.
(Is proofread one word or two? Maybe I should get an enquiry underway.  ;) )
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 05, 2011, 10:32:09 pm
I've not done that, but some of the IT manuals I've proofread* might as well have been in Norwegian, their comprehensibility was so poor. :(

*Seems to be the accepted term within the trade.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on January 05, 2011, 11:15:29 pm
It's two words, obviously: proo fread.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 05, 2011, 11:19:32 pm
The CTC Style Guide, received today by electronic mail.
That is all.

(To be fair, parts are fine but capitalisation and punctuation in some places leave something to be desired.)
Oh dear. Perhaps the CTC needs a proofreader. Should I offer my services?

Victoria Hazael, their Publicity Officer is on Maternity Leave so they might need help (if they have the dosh)...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 05, 2011, 11:37:44 pm
Oooh! I'll have to get in touch. I think I know who I'll talk to. I'll offer to do it dirt cheap.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Kim on January 06, 2011, 12:12:48 am
Are we allowed to have the use of "wiki" to mean "Wikipedia"?  It's a completely different word, dammit, and in some contexts (chiefly those with an associated wiki) can result in confusion or at least a mental backflip while you re-parse.

Also, the similar abuse of "USB" to mean a USB flash drive (or in extreme cases any kind of USB dongle), and "MP3" to mean an MP3 playing device.  *twitches*
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 06, 2011, 11:37:12 am
I'm only pointing out that it's spelt tautology, because if I don't one of the 'kin yacf pedants will be along to do so.
I sense some tension in this post.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Chris L on January 06, 2011, 01:03:59 pm
From http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=42446.0 (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=42446.0), this: "Firstly may I say how sorry I am to hear of the recent incident and that the person involved is now making a full and speedy recovery from their injuries."

Why's that?  Because they might feel well enough to sue the living arse off you?  Thought so.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 06, 2011, 03:17:52 pm
I've not done that, but some of the IT manuals I've proofread* might as well have been in Norwegian, their comprehensibility was so poor. :(

*Seems to be the accepted term within the trade.
I often came across this problem when I was translating and proofreading/editing other people's translations. Sometimes the original document was so poorly written that it was impossible to create a decent translation.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 06, 2011, 05:11:59 pm
From http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=42446.0 (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=42446.0), this: "Firstly may I say how sorry I am to hear of the recent incident and that the person involved is now making a full and speedy recovery from their injuries."

Why's that?  Because they might feel well enough to sue the living arse off you?  Thought so.

Good spot. How about this one:

Retroflectives (aka scotchlite) are also not visible at any distance and any angle.

i wonder if he meant " ... nor any angle." ?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: toontra on January 10, 2011, 09:09:51 am
Just been reminded of one of my current pet hates on R4 this morning.  Scientists, mathematicians and IT people, often campus based, who start sentences, and often whole conversations, with the word "so".  

It's as if they are picking up mid-conversation discussing proofs with a colleague, whilst also trying to convince you, in a patronising kind of way, that you have embarked on a level of dialogue of which they are master.

It's just plain irritating when such grammatical absurdities gain widespread use and are thought by the user to signify smartness.  Quite the opposite IMO.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nuncio on January 10, 2011, 09:27:51 am
Agreed.  I was discussing the 'So' phenomenon only last week. The first time I heard it a couple of years ago it sounded plain weird.

Also, British politicians and Australian cricketers who answer interview questions with 'Look.'  It makes them sound impatient, though I guess Australian cricketers may have good reason for being a little tetchy at the moment.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: toontra on January 10, 2011, 09:36:30 am
Hah, we are on a the same wave length!  I hate the "look" prefix almost as much as "so".  Blair used it a lot, in a very patronising way.  The aussie sportsmen do it in a slightly different way - more of a finger-poking assertive/aggressiveness.  Still, when it comes to sport you have to admit they do know what they're talking about  ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on January 10, 2011, 10:08:04 am
I heard Strauss and Swann using it in interviews last week. It's high time they came home. It's like Douglas Jardine wearing a hat with corks hanging from the brim.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 10, 2011, 11:21:54 am
"Look," indicates a premise; "So," a conclusion.

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 10, 2011, 02:32:08 pm
It's my perception that the "Look:" prefix started off as a defensive/irritated thing;
"Look, we're doing our best here ... "

Perhaps it gained popularity while our players were losing, and it's just become one of those vocal habits - like "y'know".

Not sure when Blair started using it.


Don't have a problem with "so", if used as:
...  "So," a conclusion.

I don't understand why it would sound[edit] patronising.   ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: toontra on January 10, 2011, 03:08:32 pm

Not sure when Blair started using it.

Blair started using it heavily in the run-up to the Iraq war!  His manner when using it was as if he was explaining things in simple language that children would understand.  He kept this device up for the remainder of his premiership.

I don't understand why it would patronising.   ???

It's patronising because it's using pseudo-academic language in inappropriate situations.  The people who use it are invariably being interviewed by the media specifically to explain often complex issues in layman's language.  To then start a reply with "so" immediately creates a gap in communication, because, let's face it, who in the real world starts a conversation with the word "so".  It sounds ridiculous.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 10, 2011, 10:03:11 pm
Quote from: toontra link=topic=2205.msg824427#msg824427
... let's face it, who in the real world starts a conversation with the word "so".  

Gloria Gaynor, for one:
Quote
And so you're back
From outer space...

You are missing a question-mark, by the way.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nightfly on January 10, 2011, 10:42:39 pm
Contro-versy  >:(  :hand:  The majority of gormless radio and TV presenters say this.

Con-trov-ersy   :thumbsup:

Conti-nue  :sick:

Con-tin-ue   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on January 11, 2011, 04:00:10 pm
Robert Pe e e e e e e e e ston
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on January 11, 2011, 06:02:53 pm
As in "Is that Pest on again?"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Nightfly on January 12, 2011, 01:16:22 am
As in "Is that Pest on again?"?

 ;D

Poor chap. I think he's been taking voice coaching lessons as you can tell he is trying desperately not to let his voice be so.......O weighhhhhh over the t............oppP.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on January 12, 2011, 10:04:22 am
As in "Is that Pest on again?"?

 ;D

Poor chap. I think he's been taking voice coaching lessons as you can tell he is trying desperately not to let his voice be so.......O weighhhhhh over the t............oppP.

I understand he overcame a childhood stutter (just to make you feel guilty).
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 12, 2011, 10:39:10 am
I do not know whether "scandal" and "condole" are really verbs but if they are, they shouldn't be.  R4 used both within five minutes this morning.

Americans are scandalled by British political cartoons.
Well-wishers have been condoling the family of Salman Taseer.

Hmmm.  Firefox's spill-chucker doesn't object to the latter.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 12, 2011, 10:48:18 am
Second one's sort of OK, but 'scandalled' is an abomination. The perpetrator should be forced to measure his length from Broadcasting House to the offices of the OED, repeating 'Scandalised' each time.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 12, 2011, 10:49:20 am
Americans are scandalled by British political cartoons.
Well-wishers have been condoling the family of Salman Taseer.

Hmmm.  Firefox's spill-chucker doesn't object to the latter.

Only because it doesn't know the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. You can condole with the family, if you really must.

On edit: actually you could condole a death. Condoling the family implies they're all to be lamented over---possible, but rude.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Ian H on January 12, 2011, 01:07:02 pm
On a related theme I have several times heard and read, "blood doning".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 12, 2011, 05:22:49 pm
Done by a donator!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: PeteB99 on January 12, 2011, 05:32:39 pm
As in "Is that Pest on again?"?

 ;D

Poor chap. I think he's been taking voice coaching lessons as you can tell he is trying desperately not to let his voice be so.......O weighhhhhh over the t............oppP.

I understand he overcame a childhood stutter (just to make you feel guilty).

I've never really understood what peoples dislike for him is driven by.

OK his speech isn't quite the 'queens english' but it's quite understandable and he seems to know what he's talking about.
 ???
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 12, 2011, 07:17:11 pm
Done by a donator!
Don't you mean doned?   ;D
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 12, 2011, 07:59:45 pm
As in "Is that Pest on again?"?

 ;D

Poor chap. I think he's been taking voice coaching lessons as you can tell he is trying desperately not to let his voice be so.......O weighhhhhh over the t............oppP.

I understand he overcame a childhood stutter (just to make you feel guilty).

I've never really understood what peoples dislike for him is driven by.

OK his speech isn't quite the 'queens english' but it's quite understandable and he seems to know what he's talking about.
 ???


ROBert PESTon's OVER-inflected SPEECH is VEry anNOYing to SOME of us who are SENsitive to SOUND. The VARiations in inTENsity seem to GRATE.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: toontra on January 12, 2011, 08:09:29 pm
I'm concentrating so much on his vocal contortions that I completely miss what he's actually saying.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 12, 2011, 09:10:03 pm
I think that's actually quite a good phrase for a slogan that's intended to be used internationally. It avoids those bothersome articles, for a start.  ;) And it gives a more positive emphasis than "Nothing is impossible", which would be open to the interpretation "(x) is impossible". The way they have it, it's like "The impossible is nothing to me (ie to you when you're wearing adidas)".
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on January 12, 2011, 11:28:33 pm
It pains me to admit it but I think that adidas slogan is actually rather witty.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Deano on January 12, 2011, 11:30:21 pm
As in "Is that Pest on again?"?

 ;D

Poor chap. I think he's been taking voice coaching lessons as you can tell he is trying desperately not to let his voice be so.......O weighhhhhh over the t............oppP.

I understand he overcame a childhood stutter (just to make you feel guilty).

I've never really understood what peoples dislike for him is driven by.


Personally, I've found his overweening self-importance and fawning attitude towards the captains of industry far more offensive than his odd stresses and pronunciations.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 13, 2011, 11:24:22 am
I was running late this morning, because John Frum bring firewater blong Scotland last night.  Hence I found myself listening to In Our Time, with Belvin Barg.  This is an intelligent programme, with intelligent guests.  I know this because Dr Larrington has been an intelligent guest on it more than once.  Today they were talking about random and pseudo-random numbers, so the intelligent guests were all clever mathemagicians.  In spite of which, two of the three intelligent guests continually referred to the rolling of "a dice".

(Sings, to the tune of If I Were A Rich Man)

Stabby stabby knifecrime
La la la la la la la
All day long it's stabby stabby time
If I were a stabby man

(Waits for audience applause, not a sausage)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on January 13, 2011, 02:36:49 pm
You obviously think they should die for such a crime.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 13, 2011, 02:43:25 pm
If you say "a dice", EVERYONE knows what you mean (but some people might stab you)
If you say "a die", noone will stab you, but some will wonder which meaning of die (or even dye) you intended.

It's always a gamble ...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 13, 2011, 04:28:57 pm
I wonder if my diced carrots have been dyed, they look a funny colour.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tigerrr on January 13, 2011, 04:55:09 pm
The dice is cast.  Man.
 Nuttin rong widat bro.
 
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 13, 2011, 04:58:01 pm
The die is cast iron or ally?

We all know what these words and phrases mean, sometimes it's best not to investigate the grammar and lexicology too deeply - or rather, it's fun and interesting to do, but frustrating and misleading if you do it with any intent of demonstrating right and wrong.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 14, 2011, 12:48:34 pm
If you say "a dice", EVERYONE knows what you mean (but some people might stab you)
If you say "a die", noone will stab you, but some will wonder which meaning of die (or even dye) you intended.

It's always a gamble ...

Belvin and the Third Mathemagician managed to get it right.  I guess it's a crap-shoot...

(dies (http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00548/dead-dog_682_548101a.jpg))
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on January 14, 2011, 01:46:37 pm
Quiz (http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/quiz.html)

I scored 20 out of 20, obviously.  :smug:

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 16, 2011, 05:26:18 pm
Quiz (http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/quiz.html)

I scored 20 out of 20, obviously.  :smug:

d.

Trying to confuse with similes in nr. 20, I see.
20/20.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 17, 2011, 12:22:38 pm
20/20 here also.  I think they only taught us that stuff in lat.  Fancy a grown man saying hujus hujus hujus as if he were proud of it it is not english and do not make SENSE.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Salvatore on January 17, 2011, 12:31:11 pm
Quote from: melvin bragg
Now to the question of dice.  I discovered – too late – that you can say dice meaning one die.  I felt a bit of a clot saying die all the time, but Tom Morris, the producer, was quietly insistent. It turned out that all the contributors used dice for one die.  Tom had said he would produce a die, or a dice, for the introduction in order that I could roll it.   
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on January 17, 2011, 12:34:15 pm
Quiz (http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/quiz.html)

I scored 20 out of 20, obviously.  :smug:

d.

Trying to confuse with similes in nr. 20, I see.
20/20.  :thumbsup:

I was a member of a forum once. They tried to ban similes. Or something.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 17, 2011, 12:36:37 pm
of a forum
fori
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on January 17, 2011, 12:37:34 pm
of a forum
fori...
...shall consider my cat Geoffrey?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 17, 2011, 12:42:57 pm
You are misattributing an ellipsis.

Anyway, smilies are an illusory association of images and words with a merely fictitious underlying reality. Idola fori, if you will.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 17, 2011, 02:25:09 pm
of a forum
fori...
...shall consider my cat Geoffrey?
Rejoice in the Lamb!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Wowbagger on January 17, 2011, 05:16:06 pm
of a forum
fori...
...shall consider my cat Geoffrey?
Rejoice in the Lamb!

Smart!
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Zipperhead on January 17, 2011, 05:21:27 pm
Today I saw this:

The Duke of York became King George VI, coronated in 1937

Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Giraffe on January 17, 2011, 05:31:43 pm
Now I could understand Edward VII becoming Corona Ted.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: iakobski on January 17, 2011, 06:13:35 pm
"A revenue inspection is about to commence throughout the train"

 :o
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 17, 2011, 06:44:51 pm
"A revenue inspection is about to commence throughout the train"

 :o
Did you declare any revenue?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 17, 2011, 08:09:49 pm
Today I saw this:

The Duke of York became King George VI, coronated in 1937



Is that like being Tango'd?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on January 17, 2011, 08:53:25 pm
Today I saw this:

The Duke of York became King George VI, coronated in 1937



::-) Everyone knows it should be crenellated.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 18, 2011, 10:26:03 am
On R4 just now (from some 'expert'):

individuated


This MAY be a real word, but it certainly shouldn't be.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 18, 2011, 10:51:01 am
It's perfectly well-formed (Cicero uses "indiuiduus", says the Latin dictionary), and I can't think of another word that means "specify uniquely" or "distinguish from all others"---"pick out" is the best Anglo-Saxon, maybe.

E.g. If you pick out a ball of snot you thereby individuate it.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 18, 2011, 10:56:07 am
"pick out" seems a much better choice in your example. (i imagine single out would work in some cases)

There can't be many situations where specify uniquely is better than specify, but I suppose it's possible  :-\

On the radio, the context was personalised.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: HTFB on January 18, 2011, 11:59:11 am
"Specify" doesn't mean what we want: going from the general to the specific is going from the genus to the species---it is a further step to go from the species to the individual.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 18, 2011, 04:46:38 pm
Spelling, rather than grammar but Auntie should know better.
Antartic is a lorry, surely?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12218170 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12218170)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on January 18, 2011, 04:52:51 pm
Spelling, rather than grammar but Auntie should know better.
Antartic is a lorry, surely?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12218170 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12218170)
In a similar vein, my winter cycling boots are Diadora Artics (http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+Shop/Apparel/Shoes/Shoes+-+Road/Diadora+Artic+Road+Shoes_DIADORA-ARTIC-ROAD.htm). They don't bend in the middle though.
And I suppose, being Italian, they have a slightly better excuse than the BBC.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: clarion on January 19, 2011, 10:24:22 am
... my winter cycling boots are Diadora Artics (http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+Shop/Apparel/Shoes/Shoes+-+Road/Diadora+Artic+Road+Shoes_DIADORA-ARTIC-ROAD.htm). They don't bend in the middle though.
And I suppose, being Italian, they have a slightly better excuse than the BBC.

Don't they carry a heavy load, though? ;)
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: eck on January 19, 2011, 10:48:56 am
... my winter cycling boots are Diadora Artics (http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+Shop/Apparel/Shoes/Shoes+-+Road/Diadora+Artic+Road+Shoes_DIADORA-ARTIC-ROAD.htm). They don't bend in the middle though.
And I suppose, being Italian, they have a slightly better excuse than the BBC.

Don't they carry a heavy load, though? ;)
:facepalm:
Aye, in my case, you're not wrong.  :P
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: hellymedic on January 20, 2011, 10:12:20 pm
Ooops!
Wrong word from Ham & High...
A RESPECTED Hampstead businessman today admitted to turning a blind eye to criminals using his Safety Depository company to store millions of pounds of ill-gotten games.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 21, 2011, 01:33:24 pm
Stolen copies of "Metal Gear Solid"?
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Bledlow on January 21, 2011, 03:04:06 pm
A USian micro-brewery website (link expunged) in which their brewster (so described) is named & pictured.  

Wrong gender. :facepalm:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Auntie Helen on January 21, 2011, 09:54:48 pm
A press release from America I read today enthused about the singing duo's "intrepidness"...
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: citoyen on January 22, 2011, 02:33:55 am
The instructions with my new headphones advised against using them in "trafficated" areas.

d.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: greenmeansgo on January 22, 2011, 09:12:21 pm
An historic event  :sick:
A historic event  :thumbsup:
An 'istoric event (when spoken)  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: Tourist Tony on January 23, 2011, 02:10:45 pm
Dog training book, from Usania. It's apparently wrong to let your dog flaunt the rules.
Title: Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
Post by: mattc on January 23, 2011, 02:44:17 pm