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Whatever happened to proper English usage?


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Whatever happened to proper English usage?
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RichieB
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2006-04-24, 22:33

[VENT] I am amazed at how lax our society has become on accepting a more and more vulgar form of English as the norm. Slang is everywhere. It is no surprise to hear someone talk ONLY in cliches. What happened to good language skills? What happened to being proud about the command of a language? What happened to our writing skills? Have you seen a typical kid's handwriting lately? Atrocious. Penmanship is a lost art. I challenge ANY teen to write me in his/her own hand (not on a computer) a 1 page essay without a single spelling and/or grammatical error. He/She would fail that test miserably.

It is absolutely SHAMEFUL, the level to which we have stooped.

The straw that broke this camel's back was this thread.

Mac Donald, please listen to me, in the interest of proper English, when I say this:

One should NEVER pluralize ANYTHING using an apostrophe. Apostrophes are meant to denote POSSESSIVE attributes.

No, being a lawyer does not preclude you from making spelling errors.

Thank you all, for listening to my vent. [/VENT]

Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.
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Artap99
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2006-04-24, 23:16

That probably should have looked more like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Donald
I disagree -- standard convention is when pluralizing those, you use an apostrophe. CDs is not used as much as CD's. CD's, PC's, PDF's are right in my opinion. And they are not acronyms, they are abbreviations. An acronym is Radar -- it is prounounced as a word, but each letter in fact stands for something. PDF is an abbreviation for portable document format (not sure). CD is an abbreviation for Compact Disk.

As to the latter Blvd.s is definitely wrong. Blvd.'s is right.
[VENT] I am amazed at how lax our society has become on accepting a more and more vulgar form of English as the norm. Slang is everywhere. It is no surprise to hear someone talk ONLY in cliches. What happened to good language skills? What happened to being proud about the command of a language? What happened to our writing skills? Have you seen a typical kid's handwriting lately? Atrocious. Penmanship is a lost art. I challenge ANY teen to write me in his/her own hand (not on a computer) a 1 page essay without a single spelling and/or grammatical error. He/She would fail that test miserably.

It is absolutely SHAMEFUL, the level to which we have stooped.

The straw that broke this camel's back was this thread.

Mac Donald, please listen to me, in the interest of proper English, when I say this:

One should NEVER pluralize ANYTHING using an apostrophe. Apostrophes are meant to denote POSSESSIVE attributes.

No, being a lawyer does not preclude you from making spelling errors.

Thank you all, for listening to my vent. [/VENT]
As in being in the same thread.
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billybobsky
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2006-04-24, 23:21

The onus of not using clear language is on the writer and not on the reader -- a writer's point, presumably to be read, is less effective or even incoherent when clear grammatical rules have been ignored. However, if the writer gets their point across, they have accomplished their goal, and that shall we say is the end of the story.
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RichieB
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2006-04-24, 23:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artap99
That probably should have looked more like this:



As in being in the same thread.
No. That would be hijacking the Camino PDF problems thread for an unrelated subject. Hence the new thread on English.
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SpecMode
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2006-04-24, 23:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieB
No. That would be hijacking the Camino PDF problems thread for an unrelated subject. Hence the new thread on English.
Perhaps the Powers That Be would be kind enough to shunt the rest of those off-topic posts to this thread, where they would be (arguably) more relevant.
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johnny5w
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2006-04-24, 23:59

I could care less.

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Majost
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2006-04-24, 23:59

The usage of apostrophes in the plurals of initializations or acronyms is debatable. Technically it would be correct to pluralize the abbreviation without the apostrophe, but "our society has become ... accepting [of] a more and more vulgar form of English" and now tends to accept the apostrophe-plural as the norm.

The pot, my friend, is black, as is the kettle. (Edit 2: Aw, shit. I'm drunk. Upon re-reading this thread, I realized that you, RichieB, are not Mac Donald. Damn. Okay, so the pot isn't black. My apologies. But the following point still stands, except for the from-your-viewpoint comment. Heh. Oops. Since this has stood for almost a half hour, I'll keep it since you might have read it in its original form, and I want you to see my apology.)

If I were you, I'd be chasing after the you'res and yours of this internet world, as well as the other many grammatical missteps. But arguing about the pluralization of apostrophes is an exercise in futility, especially from your viewpoint. eeek.

Edit: I would agree that this would be best referenced in only the prior thread, especially if you're only citing something this pedantic... particularly if there's already been several posts there.

Last edited by Majost : 2006-04-25 at 00:25.
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Artap99
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2006-04-25, 01:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieB
No. That would be hijacking the Camino PDF problems thread for an unrelated subject. Hence the new thread on English.
That's what makes threads more fun
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Brad
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2006-04-25, 01:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieB
One should NEVER pluralize ANYTHING using an apostrophe. Apostrophes are meant to denote POSSESSIVE attributes.
Let's not forget that apostrophes are also used with contractions like can't, don't, and it's.

I always loved this comic:



I'm glad, at least, that we're not the only one bothered by the recent apostrophe abuse and general backsliding of English rules.

The Apostrophe Protection Society
The Apostrophe (from Purdue University's OWL)

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Artap99
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2006-04-25, 02:27

Another big apostrophe faux pas is writing "your's" instead of "yours" with a possessive meaning.
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turbulentfurball
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2006-04-25, 03:29

While incorrect usage of the apostrophe does annoy me, in my opinion, the worst abomination of language is 'lol'. It is, perhaps, the worst thing to have originated on the Internet. Since joining AppleNova, I think my English has improved, especially on AIM and MSN and I'm thankful for it. Thanks guys!
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AWR
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2006-04-25, 03:33

What don't you like about 'lol' specifically, tfb?
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Luca
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2006-04-25, 03:41

I don't see "lol" as much of an abomination because it is essentially its own word. It does NOT mean "laughing out loud" or "I am currently laughing out loud." It just means "I think that was funny."

Now, there are always a few words like this that become so ingrained in the culture that I no longer see them as abuses of language, but at some point it gets out of hand. It's one thing to type, "LOL, that was pretty awesome. Where did you find that?" and entirely another to type, "lol dat wuz prty awsm, whrd u fnd dat?" The former is grammatically correct and just happens to use a single "fake" word. The latter is barely readable.

Language will always evolve to accept new words, and I don't think we should try to hinder it too much in that regard. I think the misuse of existing grammatical rules is a much bigger issue.
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eventhorizon
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2006-04-25, 03:41

Somebody forgot to mind his p's and q's of grammar and remember that he must use apostrophes to denote plural lowercase letters.
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turbulentfurball
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2006-04-25, 03:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWR
What don't you like about 'lol' specifically, tfb?
It's overuse. I've seen it several times in one 'sentence' several times. I half expect a keyboard to be invented with a 'lol' key, since it's used so much.

Edit: Actually, I might patent that. Sounds like it may be a winner!
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AWR
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2006-04-25, 04:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulentfurball
Edit: Actually, I might patent that. Sounds like it may be a winner!
lol!!!!

Overuse is always a bad thing. That said, I agree with Luca that the growth of a language shouldn't be discouraged; rather, it's the incorrect use of the language that needs to be stamped out. (As a horrendous typer, I am often the victim of crappy grammar, though.)

'Lol' is quite handy - shorthand for 'I found that amusing/funny'. I think it would be just as tiresome to see 'That's funny' all the time.

I sometimes find myself compelled to add a smiley, even at the risk of adding one too many. But the interweb is an impersonal place and sometimes one wants to affirm where they're coming from.
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wecallitfall
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2006-04-25, 04:16

wot ya on bout ya big wuss i spk prpr
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scratt
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2006-04-25, 04:18

The problem with lol is I end up saying "lol" in my head when I find something funny. Then I have to mutilate myself as a punishment for being so crap!

When I first came went back to England from my 10 year stint in Japan I initially found it hard to speak English on the phone, and had a habit of gioing up to people and saying 'Genki des', which basically means 'Happy?'. It's a kind of informal greeting for friends more than anything else. If I was happy I was more likely to say something to do with 'Genki' than the English word happy, and not even realise it until people looked at me in a strange way....

I fully expect to burst into chuckles one day in public and go "lol lol lol" and promptly get thrown in an ambulance, and packed off to a loony farm!


'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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AWR
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2006-04-25, 04:34

But Genki, is MORE than just happy!!

(And I think it's properly spelled 'genki desu'.)

All languages (I presume) have words that are 'better' than the same word in your native tongue. I think Genki is a good example.

That said, you're right - you can sound like a doorknob going around asking people: Genki?
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scratt
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2006-04-25, 05:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWR
But Genki, is MORE than just happy!!

(And I think it's properly spelled 'genki desu'.)

All languages (I presume) have words that are 'better' than the same word in your native tongue. I think Genki is a good example.
Actually it should be "Genki Desu-ka" if it is a question.
I never wrote it in Romanji anyway, only in Hirogana.

"genki des" actually is a statement, but most people drop both the 'u' and the 'ka' in the way I was using it above, or simply use "Genki" as you suggested as well at the end of your post.
The 'ka' is implied with a rising tone, and the 'u' is dropped for convenience.

"genki desu" sounds like a girl would say it, and is pronounced UBER correctly! But if you pronounce it correctly you should also add the 'ka' question.
Therefore I was right with "Genki des" when giving it to you phonetically!
...and you speak like a girl!

But you are right that 'Genki' just sounds ridiculously happy! Much better than the English word, and thus far more natural to say without thinking.

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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AWR
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2006-04-25, 05:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt
Actually it should be "Genki Desu-ka" if it is a question.
I never wrote it in Romanji anyway, only in Hirogana.

"genki des" actually is a statement, but most people drop both the 'u' and the 'ka' in the way I was using it above, or simply use "Genki" as you suggested as well at the end of your post.
The 'ka' is implied with a rising tone, and the 'u' is dropped for convenience.

"genki desu" sounds like a girl would say it, and is pronounced UBER correctly! But if you pronounce it correctly you should also add the 'ka' question.
Therefore I was right with "Genki des" when giving it to you phonetically!
...and you speak like a girl!

But you are right that 'Genki' just sounds ridiculously happy! Much better than the English word, and thus far more natural to say without thinking.
Let's not get carried away.

-In a sentence, you are right, Genki desu-ka (or O-genki desu-ka)?

-It's hirAgana.

-NOW, you tell us you were spelling phonetically, like we all do. As you say, it is spelled the same way regardless of pronounciation.

-Almost ALL western guys speak like Japanese girls, as they typically act as the unarmed technical advisors.
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scratt
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2006-04-25, 05:22

おーじょすですね!

But that's better!

Last edited by scratt : 2006-04-25 at 05:28.
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AWR
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2006-04-25, 05:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt
される井戸

or if you prefer...

よいジョブ
No 1. chireru tomodachi? Chill, friend? Or have I just forgotten too much.

No 2. yoijyobu - what's that?

Oh no, thread derailment. Sorry.
Proper English useage ROCKS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt
おーじょすですね!

But that's better!
Now, that one's easy. That's what you get from any Japanese when you say hello to them in Japanese. (Figurative meaning: you speak Japanese well)

But that -ne at the end is a bit girly.
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scratt
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2006-04-25, 05:33

Sorry about derailment guys..

Wow! Your Japanese sucks AWR!

I have made an easier one for you!

Back to normal programming....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWR
Now, that one's easy. That's what you get from any Japanese when you say hello to them in Japanese. (Figurative meaning: you speak Japanese well)

But that -ne at the end is a bit girly.
That one is actually o-josu-desu-ne, and it means "You are skillfull, aren't you" and does not just refer to speaking! The "arn't you" bit is the ne, and is required unless you are making a statement; which would be forthright and a bit rude and embarressing for the recipient.

Anway.. Back to normal programming..

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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AWR
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2006-04-25, 05:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by scratt
Sorry about derailment guys..

Wow! Your Japanese sucks AWR!

I have made an easier one for you!

Back to normal programming....



That one is actually o-josu-desu-ne, and it means "You are skillfull, aren't you" and does not just refer to speaking! The "arn't you" bit is the ne, and is required unless you are making a statement; which would be forthright and a bit rude and embarressing for the recipient.

Anway.. Back to normal programming..
Sorry scratt. You kind of know what you're talking about but not really. Maybe you haven't heard someone say that before in that context, but I've heard it a lot. Literally it means what you've said, but figuratively it means what I've said (and that's why I said figuratively )

And 'cool' guys don't say 'aren't you' in Japanese.

But no harm no foul. BOT.

Edit: Article from Japan Times on jozu desu ne. Maybe this guy's totally wrong too.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1260037/posts

Last edited by AWR : 2006-04-25 at 06:23.
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scratt
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2006-04-25, 06:03

O-Josu-Desu-Ne means exactly what I said. What context it is used in, as to what meaning you infer is totally irrelevant to it's dictionary meaning!

Buddy.. Take this to PM. You are totally wrong in your understanding. But even your explanation shows that. Let's not derail the thread any more!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
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T-Man
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2006-04-25, 06:03

…I've only recently started to not use CD's, PC's, etc for pluralness.

I have very good English skills, and use them on AIM, MSN, every other client with people I talk to, and on the internet. I guess it took my about 13 years to get to where I am with English, though I was only born in '91. (I am 14 years old now and will be 15 this October.) And I have to say that whenever I get mad or annoyed on AIM, MSN, etc, I seem to start typing in this very formal-serious way… I like it.

I hate it when people can't use at least a capital letter for I! 'If you're not going to do anything else right, why not at least capitalize the letter/word pertaining to you, and probably in your opinion the most important word… after me.' I must say that I do have some buddies I talk to that have good English skills, and use them, but other of my peers rarely do; and I also hate "What's/Whats up" (<<You never see it spelled that way), "wats up", or the one that I didn't get the first time; "wats ^". I just ignore it and say 'Nothing' or 'Nothing new' and then tell them what I'm doing.

Back to LOL: Yesterday I read an article about PDAs on a PDA site in this non-punctuated-lol'd English, lol must've been every 10th word and there wasn't a dot to be seen. It was like trying to read a different language!?, which is why I didn't finish. So if lol doesn't mean Laughing Out Loud (anymore), and just That was funny, are many of the people I talk to always happy or just completely laughing at themselves??? I think our point has been proven with lol.

While learning Spanish, at times I end up saying things to people who've no idea what I'm saying. Oh yeah, and I think another language has helped me with my English much.

T.

PS: Have a thought of taking your offer, RichieB: I challenge ANY teen to write me in his/her own hand (not on a computer) a 1 page essay without a single spelling and/or grammatical error.
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staph
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2006-04-25, 06:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieB
[VENT]What happened to good language skills? What happened to being proud about the command of a language? What happened to our writing skills? Have you seen a typical kid's handwriting lately? Atrocious. Penmanship is a lost art[/VENT]
In order for language skills to have been "lost", they must have been found at some point. Perhaps standards are slipping, but frankly I think the majority of the population's language skills have been crap for a very long time indeed. How many school children have ever been able to write a whole page without the most crass errors throughout it? Really?

Reading the work of my highly paid superiors at work only reinforces this for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a language pedant with the best of them. I just think that an expectation of perfect compliance with the formal rules of the language is an expectation of disappointment, and always has been.
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staph
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2006-04-25, 06:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Man
PS: Have a thought of taking your offer, RichieB: I challenge ANY teen to write me in his/her own hand (not on a computer) a 1 page essay without a single spelling and/or grammatical error.
I hate to disappoint you T-Man, but there are a number of (minor) errors throughout that post. You may want to check a style guide on the use of semi-colons, for starters.
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chucker
 
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2006-04-25, 06:33

Aside from "Have a thought", which is either a weird expression, a simile or simply an error, I see nothing wrong with the quote. I also don't see where a semicolon would fit in there.
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