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Profile: Rman
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User Name: Rman
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Joined: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Last Visit: Friday, September 18, 2009 7:09:04 PM
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Pet Peeves
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 1:17:51 PM
Tito wrote:
Hi,
Very interesting discussion.
I'm an intermediate English student.

I have some questions:

Splitting infinitives is a no, no? I had been told otherwise.


If this has been addressed sufficiently, forgive. I did some research on this for something
I am working on. I'd like to offer this take on the split infinitive.

Lord Bishop of London, Robert Lowth (1710 – 1787 ) was a Bishop of the Church of England, and author of A Short Introduction to English Grammar, 1762. Lowth is known for prescribing English, much so based on the rules of Latin, which doesn’t do much for his reputation; but if people were as forgiving of Lowth as they are of Shakespeare, perhaps they wouldn’t advertise their displeasure with Lowth’s personal biases.
Lowth’s cross-lingual logic is not necessarily such a bad approach if the logic used is valid in both languages, but this was not always the case. Lowth spoke out against the split infinitive, for example. In Latin, the infinitive is a single unit, so there is no need for the proscription. In English the infinitive lends itself to being split.

That is my take, based on what I have read.
Topic: 'i' before 'e' except after 'c,' but skip this rule for 'weird' because it's weird !
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 11:13:44 AM
vr091073 wrote:
Betsy D. wrote:
[quote=arthbard][quote=Picaro]In the word 'neighbour' e comes before i disproving the weird rule.nope,i don't remember any rule as regards spelling.



It would appear that there exist almost as many exceptions as there are words which do follow the supposed norm. I can also think of 'inveigle,' yet another example that defies the general rule.


Society Whistle
Topic: Pet Peeves
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 10:45:43 AM
JPK wrote:
Taranaga wrote:
It's the incorrect use of "woman" and "women", can you believe!!??

I also wish journalists would proofread, welcome aboard!


In video, the editor makes the videographer look good. :-)

With that in mind, I once read an article in the paper that said journalists take too long writing their articles, so the editors don't have time to do their job before the paper goes to print.

Not the editor's fault...necessarily.
Topic: Pet Peeves
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 10:33:16 AM
Luftmarque wrote:

Of course, there's "choose" which rhymes with "lose" but that's part of English's richness, isn't it?


Is that a joke? (I'm really asking)

My girl is six. The richness of the Spanish language with regard to spelling allows her to read even if she does not know what a word means. She has much more trouble reading English. Consider, how do you pronounce "read"? It kind of depends.

There are so few irregularities of this type in Spanish, they are a non-issue.
Topic: Pet Peeves
Posted: Monday, August 24, 2009 10:10:04 AM
tfrank wrote:
"There's" for "there're," as in "There's lots more of those."

Perhaps people make this mistake because "there's" rolls off the tongue more easily than "there're"? Too bad; "there are" is always acceptable.


This is a big one for me as well. "There's" certainly does roll off the tongue more easily, but what is really happening is that the contraction disguises the singularity expressed in the word. Then, because the word does roll off the tongue so easily, "it must be right."

My biggest peeve is that you can't tell people that they have used the singular incorrectly, because they will tell you that you "know what they mean; right?"
Topic: which is correct ? was vs. were.
Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 6:05:21 PM
Quote:
The joke is on those who think that 'can' can't be used to ask permission. Yet another silly prescription based on poor analysis.


I think that should be proscription.

[quote Can Top]May I borrow your pen?
Can I borrow your pen?
Could I borrow your pen?
Might I borrow your pen?

This "rule" was invented and it relies on an easily provable falsehood. It's said that 'can' means 'ability' and it does of course, but modal verbs have many meanings and for 'can' and 'may', one of them is "possibility".[/quote]

Rman: English is a living language. If a "rule" as you say, or just a rule, is invented, and it adds functionality to the language, educated writers and speakers latch on to the rule as it allows for clarity and the use of precise language.


I want to apologize for not stating who my quotes were quoting before. I was having a bear of a time.

I also want to note that while a differentiation between can and may is helpful in writing and speach in my opinion, the 1828 online version of the Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary seems to state that the two words are interchangeable. Argh! It states:

Quote:
"5. To have just or legal competent power, that is, right; to be free from any restraint of moral, civil or political obligation, or from any positive prohibition...."


I support the differentiation for the reasons that I have removed from my post, but I can't argue my preference anylonger since my prescriptive source and current descriptive sources agree that the words are interchangeable. My 1903 Webster's shows the entry word can to have only the meaning of ability, but that proves prescious little beyond the fact that teachers of my youth were wrong.

Sorry to take up bandwidth.

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