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Profile: thar
User Name: thar
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Joined: Thursday, July 8, 2010
Last Visit: Saturday, November 16, 2019 8:39:13 PM
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: goddamn it
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 7:46:26 AM

For some reason, expletives in English come in three forms:
Sex - 'fucking' is no so common in the language you can hear people using it before practically every word in a sentence. Not good and very boring.
Bodily fluids - 'shit' is the most common version but people can get more inventive.
Religion - bloody hell, damn
Since until quite recently this was not acceptable, many 'alternatives' have arisen, like 'gosh darn' (for 'God damn') and 'blimey' (God blind me) heck (hell). But now a lot of people just use religious references - god, Jesus / Jeez, goddamn it.

I do not suggest you emulate the trend for any of these, however much you want your English to sound collquial. Whistle
Topic: forceful emotion
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 4:50:03 AM
Tara2 wrote:
(it is ridiculous for young children to be taught the entire grammar terminology - they must spend more time on that than on actually improving their language skills!)

Why is it ridiculous?

I am talking about the teaching of English in schools in England (the curriculum is different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so I am just referring to England).

Schoolchildren used to learn the basics of grammar terminology - nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, participles. Children who spoke English all the time just learnt naturally how sentences are structured and what sounds right. Students studying English language at a more senior level learnt some more technical grammar terminology.

edit- you do need to teach the names of punctuation marks so you can refer to them, so I am not saying teaching that is bad. Just the level of detail that children have been taught grammar has been too much.

But recently the teaching of English has changed so young children are supposed to learn the name of grammatical structures, and the tests for young children include questions where you need to know what it is called. I speak fluent English but there are questions on a test for primary school children I would not be able to answer because I don't know what a 'fronted adverbial' is.

For adult learners maybe that is useful, (though I doubt it) but for young children? It is just another chore to learn complex terms they probably don't understand. They learn by listening and talking and reading and writing.

You don't learn to ride a bike by studying the physics of it - you learn it by riding it - the physics of leaning inwards when you ride round a bend just becomes instinctual.

I think they might have changed the syllabus a bit now because there was such a backlash against the way schools were teaching English.

Pity our children – they’re being turned into grammar robots at school
Gaby Hinsliff

From adverbials to digraphs, the damage done by the government’s imposition of grammatical techniques is now there for all to see
Wed 10 May 2017 07.00 BSTLast modified on Tue 28 Nov 2017 00.31 GMT

‘Writing matters – even for those who will never make a living primarily from it.’

If you have no idea what fronted adverbials or split digraphs mean, beyond thinking that they sound unpleasantly medical, then you almost certainly don’t have a small child. For along with expanded noun phrases and the present perfect, they’re all grammatical terms that children aged 11 and under are required to identify and master as part of a new English curriculum seemingly designed to strangle at birth any love of writing.

These reforms are beginning to look like a recipe for churning out children who can name all the component parts of writing but barely know how to use them, and see vanishingly little pleasure in doing so. This isn’t bringing language to life but dissecting its cold corpse. All of which helps explain why I have read few things more enraging lately than an article in the Guardian analysing just how this indigestible stodge found its way on to the primary school menu.

The panel, assembled by Michael Gove when he was education secretary to advise on his new English curriculum, had little experience of primary education, and was thus “a bit unconfident” about pronouncing on it, according to Dick Hudson, an emeritus professor of linguistics at University College London and a leading panel member. Yet reading this account, one wonders if they were quite unconfident enough. Did Hudson see any evidence that making small children absorb all this grammatical terminology was developmentally appropriate? “No, there was no evidence, and we were guessing.” Just guessing! And while he still believes they guessed right, a groundswell of opinion among teachers, parents and even some of his fellow experts suggests otherwise.

Last week the education select committee concluded that the evidence did not show that teaching specific grammatical techniques improved writing; and it recommended that the new Spag – spelling, punctuation and grammar – tests should no longer be mandatory for older primary schoolchildren.
Geoff Barton, the incoming head of the Association of School and College Leaders and another panel member, has described the tests as woeful. Ask around any school gate, and the adjectives are less polite. Whoever is education secretary after June will face growing pressure to act.

I’m all for spelling tests and timetables, and being taught to put a full stop or apostrophe in the right place is hardly the stuff of educational oppression. Nor is it automatically a cause for alarm if children seem to be learning things that my generation never did, or grappling with the value of pi or the meaning of photosynthesis at a rather earlier age. That’s progress for you.

But as a parent and a writer, my gut feeling is that something is very wrong here. It’s not Sats per se that is the problem – although it obviously makes sense to minimise the stress – or even the inevitable “teaching to the test”. It’s whether what is being tested and taught actually does children any good. For what they are learning right now is that if they cram in the right number of semicolons and manage to write tidily they will get the marks, more or less regardless of what they’re saying; and that telling a story or making the words sing from the page doesn’t really matter by comparison.

This isn’t writing but a box-ticking exercise as frustrating for more able writers as it is torture for those who struggle. One anonymous secondary school English teacher interviewed this week described children breaking down in tears when asked to produce a piece of creative writing because they didn’t know where to start.

One English teacher described children breaking down in tears when asked to produce a piece of creative writing
edit - what school can think this is a good way to teach? Ignore the tests - they don't matter. Care about the children, not your school stats. d'oh!

It’s a rare child who will become a novelist, of course, and so there’s often an unspoken assumption that creative writing doesn’t really matter – or at least not in the way that maths or science does. But if anything, it’s the visible leap forward in maths teaching since I was at school, and the way maths has filtered into popular culture, that makes me sad for what English is becoming.

Numbers were never my thing. But watching Hidden Figures, the recent film about three pioneering black women mathematicians working for Nasa, for once I wished that they had been. It showed me that maths is also a language – one that can be used, just as words can, to describe and push at the limits of the known world.

But that film was based on a book, which in turn needed a scriptwriter to bring it alive for the screen. Scientists will increasingly need ways of explaining themselves to a questioning public while storytelling, creative thinking and communication skills are increasingly important to technology companies. In short, writing matters – even for those who will never make a living primarily from it. Killing children’s enthusiasm for writing is a mistake we will live to regret.

From The Guardian, a respected UK newspaper.
Topic: forceful emotion
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 3:14:49 AM
I am not entirely sure of the grammar terms (it is ridiculous for young children to be taught the entire grammar terminology - they must spend more time on that than on actually improving their language skills!) - but this is my understanding of it.

A forceful emotion - you can guess at what that means. It is an emotion with force - a strong emotion.

Dislike is not generally a forceful emotion.
I dislike him.

Hatred is a forceful emotion.
I hate you!

Punctuation is not about grammar rules, it is about transcribing what someone says into writing, so you can hear them speak as you read. Hear their tone of voice, their emotional expression.

So a question mark makes your tone rise and your eyebrows rise at the end of the question.

An exclamation mark makes your voice stronger. Your tone rises and falls more. You put more stress on the stressed syllables. Angry, shocked, scared, relieved, ecstatic, whatever the strong emotion is, you can signal it with an exclamation mark. You shout, you thrust your chin forward, you wave your arms - whatever expresses that emotion.

Punctuation is the writer speaking in your ear as you read the words.

I don't like you.
What? Why?
I don't know - I just...
Is it because of what I said? I'm sorry.
"I'm sorry". "I'm sorry"? Is that all you can say?
Yes! I'm sorry, OK? I'm sorry. I'm sorry! How many more times can I apologise?
Ugh! I hate you!

It can change the meaning of the sentence, without changing the words.
Normal tone:
We won
Loud voice, high tone, arms waving in the air:
We won!

Mild emotion:
I'm not happy .

Strong emotion, as your boss or your teenager shouts at you:
I am not happy!

An interjection is a sound or word that does not have meaning except to express emotion.

A goal is scored/ a wicket falls:
Yes! (Stands up, punches air in delight)
No! (Curls body in, clenches fists in frustration)

Since it expresses emotion, it might well have an exclamation mark. But it depends on what it is expressing. The word doesn't control that. The exclamation mark is used by the writer to show you, the reader, the level of emotion or type of emotion they are expressing.

You only use the interjection 'wow' if you are impressed, so it would probably have an exclamation mark.
Wow! That is amazing!

But you could be being sarcastic, so your voice is not raised in strong emotion at all.
Wow, I am impressed. You tidied your room like I asked you to. But I looked under the bed and you have just shoved everything under there. Now go and tidy it properly, and put your things away in the cupboards.
Topic: goddamn it
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 4:47:37 PM
Originally literally, my guess is it meant

May God damn it.

Ie let God punish it (whatever you are angry at, the situation)

But now it is just a fixed phrase. To some people it is sacrilege to use 'god' in a swear word, but for most people it is just an idiom and has nothing to do with God.
But the individual parts can't be analysed.

goddamnit is just a fixed interjection and has lost the connection to any origin it had. There are different ways of writing it because some writers may separate the words and others may just write down the sound of the word (God damn it / god damn it /goddamnit / damn it / goddammit / dammit/ damn / darn.
No difference in meaning.

In the same way as "goodbye" comes from "God be with you" but today it has its own meaning and has no connection to God. You can shorten it from goodbye to bye, which shows the original words have been lost because 'be with you' makes no sense.

There are various phrases using 'damnation/ damned/ [God]damn it'.


exclamation INFORMAL
expressing anger or frustration.
"Damn! I completely forgot!"

used for emphasis, especially to express anger or frustration.
"turn that damn thing off!"

adjective · adverb · nounINFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN
used for emphasis, especially to express anger or frustration.
"I feel so sick I can hardly raise my goddam head"

adjective or adverb
variants: or goddamn or goddam
Definition of goddamned
informal, sometimes offensive

Three syllables just gives you a bit more opportunity to vent your frustration! Whistle
Topic: goddamn it
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 3:37:23 PM
There is no 'it'. The whole thing is an idiom - just a way of swearing (profanity) to show frustration.

Originally I assume it was "[may] God damn it". Ie I hope it suffers. But there is no 'it' and it became fixed as just a way to swear.

It can even be combined into one word, which shows how the individual words have lost all of their original meaning.

interjection (sometimes initial capital letter) Informal: Sometimes Offensive.
(used to express anger, perplexity, amazement, etc.)
Topic: grammar
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 11:07:13 AM
X has hundreds of winners.

A person who wins something is a winner.

every day, hundreds of people win [the jackpot]

It must be about winning some particular jackpots, not about people winning and losing over time as they play games at the casino.

ie, it is not rare for someone to win the jackpot. Every day hundreds of people win the jackpot.
If you come here, you could be one of those winners! Drool
But of course the casino is there to make a profit, so although hundreds of people may win, they and thousands of others will lose more, overall. Whistle
Topic: Extravagant passage
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 6:38:30 AM
Passage = as you pass through it, ie travel through the city

Extravagant = rich (to the senses) - a lot to see and experience. The opposite of 'mnimalist" is probably the best description I can come up with.
Topic: One ought to obey his parents.
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 5:48:23 AM
No, it sounds wrong to me because the pronoun changes.

'one' has all the cases of a personal pronoun (except mine/yours/his/hers/ours/yours/theirs)

If you have two different pronouns that is two different people/groups of people

'him' refers back to some person mentioned previously, but is not the same person as 'one'.

Eg, a silly example but the only one I can think of:
He is the son of a the King and Queen. One should obey his parents.
Everybody else (one,) should obey that man's (his) parents, the King and Queen.
That is not what is meant in your example, I am sure.

Here, the subject is the same. So the pronoun is the same.

I should obey my parents.
You should obey your parents.

As a general rule for anybody:
One should obey one's parents.

If you just mean men:
A man/boy should obey his parents

Or for everyone
A person/child should obey their parents.

Topic: A meaning question
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 2:48:58 PM
alibey1917 wrote:

The book we mentioned is really good, thar, but the language he used through it is really bad. Is this a contradiction, maybe, but I think it will be well worth your time to read it.

Yes, there seem to be some interesting ideas and thought-provoking comparisons. And from that article in the newspaper he sounded like a man who had interesting things to say about urban planning and architecture. It just seems unfortunate he makes it such hard work to read it.

As a native speaker - albeit with no knowledge of architecture (some terminology I just didn't know) or social science - I should be able to be grappling with the ideas he puts forward, not working to extract the meaning from the way he has phrased his sentences.

The best writing is where you don't notice the words at all - you are just pulled in by the story or the ideas. The quality of the writing is what paints the picture, but it is best if you don't notice it. Page to brain without the intermediary step of the words.

Like the perfect referee - the less you noticed him during a game, the better he did his job.
(Maybe that is why I never did go in for literary, art or film criticism - I prefer my literature unanalysed.Whistle )
Topic: in that
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:21:16 AM
This is not the phrase 'in that' meaning that is how it is expressed.

she is idealistic in that she believes in the goodness of people.

It is
she is idealistic in 'that way [which is] associated with freedom fighters'.
ie it is describing which way.

she is idealisic in a single-minded way

She is idealistic
a particular way

In what way is she idealistic?

she is idealistic
the single-minded way [which is] associated with freedom fighters

she is idealistic
that single-minded way [which is] associated with freedom fighters

Neither of your sentences is correct.
1. She is idealistic in that single-minded and dedicated manner are associated with freedom fighters.

you are trying to make a plural subject here - but there is only a single subject (the "and" joins two adjectives)

that (single-minded and dedicated) manner...

but that doesn't work because that statement you make does not give an expression of how she is idealistic.
And 'manner' needs an article 'a manner, this manner, that manner'.

2. She is idealistic in that single-minded and dedicated manner <which are> associated with freedom fighters .....<it would have to be continued>
no, again, if you make this a separate statement, there is no link back to how she is idealistic.

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