The random ramblings thread

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Postby dks » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:52 pm

Oh yes...that's a good bit 'o eye candy--a dandy of a guy in a baseball uniform... :shock:
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Postby Saturn » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:15 pm

Sheesh what have I done this thread has turned into the Cosmo readers page :shock:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:18 am

Eeew, don't insult us like that, Saturn. Cosmo is ridiculous.
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Postby Saturn » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:22 am

Sorry :oops:

I have no idea of what you girls read :oops:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:30 am

Books. :P
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Postby Saturn » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Yes but don't you also read women's magazines and fashion magazines etc also?

Edit: that sounds like a generalisation and terribly sexist but I'm not like that, seriously the modern female of the species is a stranger to me :oops:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:16 pm

Well, I don't. Occasionally I'll pick up an entertainment or music magazine, but fashion mags are full of crap, at least in my opinion.
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Postby Malia » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:17 pm

Well, just to let you know, we're not *that* different, Saturn. Women aren't another species (though I must admit, I sometimes think men are! :lol: ) What's that book say? Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Maybe two different planets, but we are in the same solar system ;)
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Postby Malia » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:44 pm

I don't remember if I have ever posted this before, but I thought you all might be interested in it. It's an article I picked off of bbc.co.uk some time in the past about the Americanization of the English language (perish the thought! :lol: )

Language Change by Philippa Law
Americanisation - Don't worry, it's not as bad as you might think
It's one issue that really gets people's goat: Americanisms. Tony Robinson from Cheltenham says, "In these days of mass communication it is sad to see the English language being battered by the ever advancing tide of Americanism."
Mark Hughes from Walsall doesn't like it either: "The thing that drives me demented is the rampant Americanisation of everything, especially British English, and the habit of turning nouns into verbs, such as prioritise and incentivise. Yuk!"
British English borrows lots of words from American English. Prioritise was apparently coined during the 1972 presidential election; teenager, blizzard and belittle originated in the USA and, unsurprisingly, there are umpteen computer-related terms that come from the United States.
It's not always obvious to speakers where new words have emerged from. As Virginia Reed from California writes, "I thought incentivise was 'all your fault'!"

The American linguist John Algeo notes a propensity in the UK to attribute changes in British English to the influence of the USA, whether it's justified or not: "The assumption is that anything new is American and thus objectionable on double grounds."
An example of misattribution is the word controversy. Some people pronounce it with the stress on the first syllable: CONtroversy; others stress the second: conTROVersy. It's a widely-held belief that the second, newer pronunciation is an Americanism, but it isn't - it originated in the UK.
And for those of you who don't like the phrase I guess..., did you know that the word gesse (for think or suppose) was common in England in the Middle Ages, and I gesse... crops up in Chaucer?
Patsy from Cornwall deplores Americanisms: "Let us ensure that future generations learn to use English correctly. We should be aware that the English language originated in England and was taken from here to other English speaking countries."

She's right that English originated in England, but it's not right to imply that other varieties of English are versions of 'our' language. Americans don't speak a different version of British English; English speakers in the UK and the USA speak modern dialects which have both evolved from 16th century English. Today's British English is no nearer that common ancestor than American English is!

As it happens, American English has been more conservative than British English in some respects. It has retained the third syllable of words like library and secretary, whilst many British dialects use the newer forms secretree and libree. Old words like diaper and fall are still used in America but have been replaced by new words (nappy and autumn) in Britain.

Why do so many people hate Americanisms? The word itself suggests it's something to do with America, rather than linguistic borrowing in general. As the linguist Steve Jones points out: "Ever heard jodhpurs referred to as an 'Indianism' or karaoke as a 'Japism'?"
He suggests that, "It would seem that when folk complain about the Americanisation of the language, their complaint is really about the insidious effect of Americanisation on our culture."
Whatever your feelings are towards Americanisms, there's no reason to think we'll all turn American any time soon. As Peter Trudgill explains, our language is most influenced by the people we interact with, not by watching TV. Even though the American and British vocabularies are getting more similar, our accents and pronunciation are more different than they have ever been - and are growing further apart.
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Postby Saturn » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:45 pm

I vaguely recall reading that before Malia so you may very well have already posted it but I'm sure many others haven't so that's fine.

Interesting stuff. I'm fascinated by the English language and the development of the language through the centuries.
Having read English authors like Chaucer in the original spelling and Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare and his peers it's always interesting to see what has changed over the years, what words have become obsolete, which have changed meaning or changed pronunciation etc.

In theory, judging by that article Americans should find reading Shakespeare easier than people in the rest of the English speaking world as their dialect evolved directly from settlers from the 16th century whose language would have been similar to Shakespeare's own vernacular.

Here's a little bit of useless trivia for you all. The first English king to have English as his first language and to address parliament in English at his coronation was Henry IV [1399-1413].

This book

Image

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventure-Engli ... 77&sr=1-10

I'd recommend to anyone who has an interest in the history and development of the English language over the past thousand years.

It's very readable, accessible to anyone, and believe it or not utterly absorbing I promise you.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:22 am

Ha ha, the comment in that article about wanting people to grow up speaking English correctly really amuses me, because there's one thing that absolutely drives me nuts about the grammar people use over here, and I seriously want to lecture anyone I hear using it. Granted, I have done a little reasearch and discovered that it's just generally considered to be a British thing (an Irish thing too, obviously) and therefore not really wrong, but I don't buy it. Seems to me like an excuse. :P

Anyway, the thing I am talking about is the way that people here have an awful tendency to pair singular nouns that are representative of multiple people/items/etc. with a plural verb. Example: "Keane are a great band." Yes, the band Keane may consist of multiple members, but the word Keane is representative of a singular body, the collection of all the musicians into one unit that is the band. Therefore, we must consider Keane to be a singular noun. The same thing applies to words like family, party, team. . . any word that implies multiple things but is, in and of itself, one cohesive body. Keane IS a great band, people! IS!!!
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Postby Saturn » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:41 am

I'm guilty of this error sometimes myself :oops:

I switch between the two sometimes.

What about the case of nations?

You wouldn't say "the Americans is..." the Irish is..."

I think I've said this before but grammar is not my strong point at all :oops:

Spelling I can do but grammar :oops:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:35 pm

In your examples, both "Americans" and "Irish" are plural forms of nouns which also exist in singular forms ("American" is obvious, but in terms of the word "Irish" you'd probably have to stay "Irishman" or "Irishwoman" for it to make sense). Words like the ones I listed above (family, party, team) are in their singular forms, but also exist in plural forms (families, parties, teams), in which case you'd obviously pluralize the verb to make it parallel. So to be singular, you would say "The American is. . ." when you are speaking of an individual person/thing which is American, and to be plural you would say "The Americans are. . ." to speak of a collection of people/things which are American. The problem doesn't exist where the singular form of the word is meant to represent a multitude.

I can't think of a case as far as nationalities where you don't have that same kind of singular and plural form, but in any case it would depend on the context.
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Postby Saturn » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:40 pm

Ah now I understand...sort of :oops:
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Postby Credo Buffa » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:51 pm

Nevermind, it's not important. We've seen the way you write here, and you obviously know how to communicate correctly. :wink:
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