English thread. Why not?

If it's not ZDoom, it goes here.

Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Enjay » Sun Aug 15, 2021 2:50 am

Random X chromosome inactivation.

I have a female dog. We always refer to her as she, her, girl etc. Often people who don't know her will start talking about her using male pronouns (how old is he etc) but when they realise she is female (possibly by hearing me using she etc) they switch.

Using "it" and other gender neutral and quite impersonal terms is acceptable for an animal; especially animals that we have less empathy for. No one would get too upset about someone referring to a bug of some sort as "it" even if its gender was apparent. However, a person could also use he/she etc and it would not seem odd either.

On they/them (which was mentioned earlier) I have an increasing dislike for that. I used to think that it was a good way to write and speak using gender neutral terms but I have read quite a few documents recently and they/them/their can become very confusing and sometimes can be grammatically very clumsy and even misleading. One place where it can be confusing, for example, is if a document is referring to an individual using they/them who is interacting with a group of individuals. Unless the passage is written very carefully, it can very quickly become unclear who "they" are (is it the individual or the group). It also leads to grammatical ugliness or uncertainty. For example how to deal with 'she is walking down the street"? Does it become "they are walking down the street" which sounds right but using "are" to refer to one person doing a thing is odd. However, "they is walking down the street" sounds awful. I have seen both used.

I very much agree that language needs to evolve and that it is important for new words to appear. People do it all the time in English. Often the word will be used in conversation, understood and then forgotten. Adding a y to a word to create an adjective or an adverb is common (Joss Whedon did this a lot for the dialogue in Buffy) but they rarely get adopted long term. Occasionally new words become widespread and adopted (usually because they were used on some widely consumed medium or because they are relevant to some new, widely used technology). Shakespeare possibly goes down as one of the most prolific word inventors. He is generally credited with inventing around 1700 words.
User avatar
Enjay
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. Twain
 
 
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: Scotland

Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Gez » Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:15 am

Yeah, but there are some caveats to apply to Shakespeare's word coinage. The first is that he's the oldest known written source for some words. That doesn't necessarily mean he invented them, merely that he's the earliest known user of these words. But obviously we cannot account for spoken use of these words before, or for written works by other people that were lost.

The other caveat is tha a lot of these coinage are very obvious, the kind of things you do without even realizing. Like turning an adjective into an adverb by suffixing it with -ly.
Gez
 
 
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Enjay » Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:51 am

Gez wrote:Yeah, but there are some caveats to apply to Shakespeare's word coinage...

Indeed. My contrafibularities to you on picking that up. I have long considered the 1700 to be a touch on the generous side. It often goes hand in hand with people trying to either impress people with how great Shakespeare was or to make the point that there is nothing wrong with inventing new words because "even Shakespeare did it". I suppose what I wrote could be taken as the latter but it wasn't intended quite that way. I merely mentioned it because it seemed relevant.

Back to the word cromulent - it is only something that I have come across online from US English speakers. I actually thought that people were using it as a joke. I hadn't realised that it was actually becoming adopted.

Speaking of adopted words, gotten. This word is common with US speakers but it is increasingly common in the UK too (probably because of the prevalence of US culture in the UK). The thing is, it's an absolutely unnecessary word. I have yet to come across a situation where "gotten" has been used that the shorter "got" could not. So that strikes me as a weird one.

I have also noticed, not so much a new word but, the usage of a word. Increasingly common (I started noticing it about six or seven years ago and it has become very prevalent in the last couple) is to use the word "so" at the start of an opening sentence. It seems to be basically nothing more than an "ummm" that, I suppose, people think doesn't sound as bad. It is very common to hear it when people are answering questions. (I first noticed it when running mock interviews for training purposes at work and a large number of candidates started their answers with "so".)

"What was it about this position that attracted you?"
"So, I read your advert and..."

It is very common to hear it on news programmes where a journalist goes into the streets to get some sound-bites from the general public. I would suggest that it is more common in England than In Scotland. As a result, this manifestation stands out because our news programmes tend to be England (mostly London) centric and, also, the pronunciation of "so" in a south of England accent sounds subtly and yet distinctly different to someone with a Scottish accent. (People around here would tend to associate the "O" sound of "so" in a southern English accent as sounding "posh" (rightly or wrongly).)

To me, even more strangely, it has made its way into the written word. Just look at how many posts on here start with the word "so".

"So, I'm trying to get a door to work on my map..."

Seriously, loads of people are doing it. Weird.


Sorry to have caused anyone any pericombobulation.
User avatar
Enjay
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. Twain
 
 
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: Scotland

Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Gez » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:08 am

Enjay wrote:I have also noticed, not so much a new word but, the usage of a word. Increasingly common (I started noticing it about six or seven years ago and it has become very prevalent in the last couple) is to use the word "so" at the start of an opening sentence. It seems to be basically nothing more than an "ummm" that, I suppose, people think doesn't sound as bad. It is very common to hear it when people are answering questions. (I first noticed it when running mock interviews for training purposes at work and a large number of candidates started their answers with "so".)

"What was it about this position that attracted you?"
"So, I read your advert and..."

It is very common to hear it on news programmes where a journalist goes into the streets to get some sound-bites from the general public. I would suggest that it is more common in England than In Scotland. As a result, this manifestation stands out because our news programmes tend to be England (mostly London) centric and, also, the pronunciation of "so" in a south of England accent sounds subtly and yet distinctly different to someone with a Scottish accent. (People around here would tend to associate the "O" sound of "so" in a southern English accent as sounding "posh" (rightly or wrongly).)

To me, even more strangely, it has made its way into the written word. Just look at how many posts on here start with the word "so".

"So, I'm trying to get a door to work on my map..."

Seriously, loads of people are doing it. Weird.



People should go back to using hwæt for that.

"Hwæt! I'm trying to get a door to work in my map..."
Gez
 
 
 
Joined: 06 Jul 2007

Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Enjay » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:52 am

Or, you know, just:

"I'm trying to get a door to work in my map..." ;)

Well done though. You got me googling hwæt, and I learned stuff about the apparent misinterpretation of it in Beowulf.

https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/n ... iscovered/
or
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ente ... 21027.html
User avatar
Enjay
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. Twain
 
 
 
Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Location: Scotland

Re: English thread. Why not?

Postby Apeirogon » Wed Aug 18, 2021 12:30 pm

Enjay wrote:Random X chromosome inactivation.

I have a female dog. We always refer to her as she, her, girl etc. Often people who don't know her will start talking about her using male pronouns (how old is he etc) but when they realise she is female (possibly by hearing me using she etc) they switch.

Using "it" and other gender neutral and quite impersonal terms is acceptable for an animal; especially animals that we have less empathy for. No one would get too upset about someone referring to a bug of some sort as "it" even if its gender was apparent. However, a person could also use he/she etc and it would not seem odd either.

On they/them (which was mentioned earlier) I have an increasing dislike for that. I used to think that it was a good way to write and speak using gender neutral terms but I have read quite a few documents recently and they/them/their can become very confusing and sometimes can be grammatically very clumsy and even misleading. One place where it can be confusing, for example, is if a document is referring to an individual using they/them who is interacting with a group of individuals. Unless the passage is written very carefully, it can very quickly become unclear who "they" are (is it the individual or the group). It also leads to grammatical ugliness or uncertainty. For example how to deal with 'she is walking down the street"? Does it become "they are walking down the street" which sounds right but using "are" to refer to one person doing a thing is odd. However, "they is walking down the street" sounds awful. I have seen both used.

I very much agree that language needs to evolve and that it is important for new words to appear. People do it all the time in English. Often the word will be used in conversation, understood and then forgotten. Adding a y to a word to create an adjective or an adverb is common (Joss Whedon did this a lot for the dialogue in Buffy) but they rarely get adopted long term. Occasionally new words become widespread and adopted (usually because they were used on some widely consumed medium or because they are relevant to some new, widely used technology). Shakespeare possibly goes down as one of the most prolific word inventors. He is generally credited with inventing around 1700 words.



But jokes aside it just a specifics of language, that you probably did not realize, since you didnt have other language to compare it with.

For example, in russian here are quite phrase "Гло́кая ку́здра ште́ко будлану́ла бо́кра и курдя́чит бокрёнка" which reads as, approximately, "glOckaya kUzdra shtEko budlanUla bOckra i kcudrYAchit bockrEnka" (capital letters is a word stress). In russian it didnt have any meaning, since its literally a phrase constructed from meaningless words. BUT, because of specifics of russians semantic, and not only russian, language meanings of a phrase as a whole have meaning (tautology) for native speakers.

In the phrase, all word stems (glok-, kuzdr-, shtek-, budl-, bokr-, kurd-) are meaningless, but all affixes are real, used in a grammatically correct way and — which is the point — provide enough semantics for the phrase to be a perceived description of some dramatic action with a specified plot but with unknown actors. A very rough English translation (considering no semantic information is available) could be: "The glocky kuzdra shteckly budled the bocker and is kurdyaking the bockerling." Phrase are used to emphasise the importance of grammar in acquiring foreign languages. - thank you wikipedia.

In other words, you are stepped into the area of language, where you starts to doubt is word "woods" are actually describe....well woods. Have you ever seen woods? Is word "woods" are ACTUALLY sounds like real "woods" it should describe? Is it describe actual woods? What a strange word "woods"... Is word "woods" are a real word? Is the word "woods" are even exist? Am I even exist or it just an illusion of perception of a time?

So just try to learn some foreign language to see some 'obvious' flaws/specifics of an english language. I recommend french, because most girls for some reason really like when you says something like " Et qu'ils parlent de moi....qu'est ce que ça peut me faire..." (require guitar). Of course its highly specific, some of them would like to hear german "Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium..." (require orchestral ensemble and chorus). But the main point is still to see difference in language and how it "bend" ephemera though into common human communication pipeline.



I really should stop using internet when Im drunk....
User avatar
Apeirogon
I have a strange sense of humour
 
Joined: 12 Jun 2017

Previous

Return to Off-Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests