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BS:threat to English language from Americanisms

The Sandman 13 Jul 11 - 05:34 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 05:52 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 06:16 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 07:37 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Jul 11 - 07:53 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 08:00 AM
Manitas_at_home 13 Jul 11 - 08:04 AM
MartinRyan 13 Jul 11 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 08:55 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 09:14 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 09:19 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 10:07 AM
Micca 13 Jul 11 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Jul 11 - 10:22 AM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jul 11 - 11:03 AM
The Sandman 13 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Jul 11 - 12:53 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 02:05 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 02:12 PM
Will Fly 13 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM
olddude 13 Jul 11 - 02:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM
Ebbie 13 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jul 11 - 02:59 PM
TheSnail 13 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 05:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 13 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM
Songwronger 13 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Jul 11 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM
Genie 13 Jul 11 - 08:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jul 11 - 10:06 PM
Gurney 14 Jul 11 - 03:57 AM
Will Fly 14 Jul 11 - 04:17 AM
Allan Conn 14 Jul 11 - 05:03 AM
autolycus 14 Jul 11 - 05:55 AM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Jul 11 - 06:18 AM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jul 11 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Ripov 14 Jul 11 - 07:28 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 11 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 11 - 11:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 11 - 02:09 PM
catspaw49 14 Jul 11 - 04:02 PM
Gurney 15 Jul 11 - 02:42 AM
autolycus 15 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 11 - 04:53 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 11 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Jul 11 - 09:16 AM
catspaw49 15 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Jul 11 - 10:52 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 11 - 11:41 AM
meself 15 Jul 11 - 12:12 PM
autolycus 15 Jul 11 - 12:31 PM
Steve Shaw 15 Jul 11 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM
Dave MacKenzie 15 Jul 11 - 02:03 PM
GUEST, topsie 15 Jul 11 - 02:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 02:26 PM
GUEST, topsie 15 Jul 11 - 03:05 PM
Genie 15 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Genie 15 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Jul 11 - 08:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 09:09 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Jul 11 - 10:04 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 11 - 11:57 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 11 - 01:24 AM
Jim Dixon 16 Jul 11 - 09:11 AM
Jack the Sailor 16 Jul 11 - 09:31 AM
kendall 16 Jul 11 - 10:17 AM
Big Mick 16 Jul 11 - 10:44 AM
Dave MacKenzie 16 Jul 11 - 11:27 AM
Steve Shaw 16 Jul 11 - 11:40 AM
autolycus 16 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM
Donuel 16 Jul 11 - 12:00 PM
Big Mick 16 Jul 11 - 12:04 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Jul 11 - 12:14 PM
catspaw49 16 Jul 11 - 12:15 PM
Donuel 16 Jul 11 - 12:15 PM
autolycus 16 Jul 11 - 12:16 PM
Big Mick 16 Jul 11 - 12:54 PM
Amos 16 Jul 11 - 01:30 PM
Big Mick 16 Jul 11 - 01:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Jul 11 - 02:00 PM
olddude 16 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 02:09 PM
autolycus 16 Jul 11 - 03:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 03:50 PM
catspaw49 16 Jul 11 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Lighter 16 Jul 11 - 03:58 PM
Jeri 16 Jul 11 - 04:04 PM
Ebbie 16 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM
gnu 16 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM
autolycus 16 Jul 11 - 04:55 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Jul 11 - 05:00 PM
Amos 16 Jul 11 - 05:02 PM
Jack the Sailor 16 Jul 11 - 05:04 PM
catspaw49 16 Jul 11 - 05:08 PM
gnu 16 Jul 11 - 05:08 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 11 - 06:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 06:37 PM
kendall 16 Jul 11 - 07:29 PM
Dave MacKenzie 16 Jul 11 - 07:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 Jul 11 - 08:17 PM
Steve Shaw 16 Jul 11 - 09:17 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Jul 11 - 09:26 PM
Genie 16 Jul 11 - 11:01 PM
Genie 16 Jul 11 - 11:15 PM
Genie 16 Jul 11 - 11:25 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 01:31 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Jul 11 - 03:36 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Jul 11 - 03:50 AM
autolycus 17 Jul 11 - 05:12 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 05:21 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Jul 11 - 08:22 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 08:40 AM
Stu 17 Jul 11 - 08:56 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 09:08 AM
artbrooks 17 Jul 11 - 09:35 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 10:32 AM
Stu 17 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM
Dave MacKenzie 17 Jul 11 - 11:42 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Jul 11 - 11:51 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 11:52 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 11 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,999 17 Jul 11 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,999 17 Jul 11 - 11:57 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 12:02 PM
Stu 17 Jul 11 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,999 17 Jul 11 - 12:07 PM
Big Mick 17 Jul 11 - 12:16 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 12:24 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 17 Jul 11 - 12:43 PM
kendall 17 Jul 11 - 12:46 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 12:52 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 01:07 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 02:19 PM
Nigel Parsons 17 Jul 11 - 02:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 03:17 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 03:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 04:28 PM
Ebbie 17 Jul 11 - 04:41 PM
kendall 17 Jul 11 - 04:49 PM
gnu 17 Jul 11 - 05:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 06:08 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 06:10 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 11 - 12:27 AM
Ebbie 18 Jul 11 - 02:14 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 11 - 02:36 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 11 - 03:23 AM
autolycus 18 Jul 11 - 05:55 AM
autolycus 18 Jul 11 - 06:09 AM
Big Mick 18 Jul 11 - 08:34 AM
kendall 18 Jul 11 - 09:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 11 - 01:20 PM
Will Fly 18 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM
catspaw49 18 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM
Stu 18 Jul 11 - 02:43 PM
Amos 18 Jul 11 - 02:50 PM
Will Fly 18 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM
Bert 18 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM
Big Mick 18 Jul 11 - 03:36 PM
Bert 18 Jul 11 - 03:50 PM
Penny S. 18 Jul 11 - 03:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 11 - 04:24 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM
Little Hawk 18 Jul 11 - 05:06 PM
olddude 18 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,ripov 18 Jul 11 - 05:33 PM
The Sandman 18 Jul 11 - 05:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jul 11 - 06:26 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Jul 11 - 07:31 PM
John P 18 Jul 11 - 09:10 PM
Ebbie 18 Jul 11 - 11:19 PM
artbrooks 19 Jul 11 - 01:03 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Jul 11 - 02:37 AM
Stu 19 Jul 11 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Stringsinger 19 Jul 11 - 10:43 AM
Little Hawk 19 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM
Stu 19 Jul 11 - 12:26 PM
autolycus 19 Jul 11 - 12:38 PM
artbrooks 19 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Lighter 19 Jul 11 - 04:33 PM
Keith A of Hertford 20 Jul 11 - 04:36 AM
kendall 20 Jul 11 - 07:48 AM
Jim Dixon 20 Jul 11 - 07:48 AM
kendall 20 Jul 11 - 07:58 AM
Dave MacKenzie 20 Jul 11 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,Lighter 20 Jul 11 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Patsy 20 Jul 11 - 08:13 AM
Nigel Parsons 20 Jul 11 - 08:28 AM
Will Fly 20 Jul 11 - 08:58 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM
The Sandman 20 Jul 11 - 06:41 PM
kendall 20 Jul 11 - 07:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Jul 11 - 03:29 AM
Nigel Parsons 21 Jul 11 - 09:10 AM
MMario 21 Jul 11 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Jul 11 - 09:48 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Jul 11 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Jul 11 - 12:29 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 11 - 04:26 PM
autolycus 25 Jul 11 - 06:21 AM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Jul 11 - 11:45 AM
Jack the Sailor 25 Jul 11 - 12:09 PM
Penny S. 25 Jul 11 - 12:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Jul 11 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Jul 11 - 03:48 PM
autolycus 25 Jul 11 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Jul 11 - 05:11 PM
Nigel Parsons 26 Jul 11 - 11:53 AM
autolycus 26 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jul 11 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Lighter 26 Jul 11 - 06:21 PM

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Subject: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:34 AM

tonight, wed 13 july, on bbc radio four, 845 pm , a programme called four thought. the threat to the english language from americanisms.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM

Well, what a waste of airtime that'll be.

There is no 'threat' - only constantly evolving change. Which is why English is one of the most dynamic languages and one of the most widely spoken in distributive, if not numerical terms. English has an amazing capacity to assimilate new words in ways that would cause shock and horror to the French Académie. Much American English contains words and spellings which were originally par the course in Britain and have now fallen out of use over here. A quick read of Bill Bryson's book on the subject is instructive here.

Bungalow, pyjamas, verandah... My God, how the English language has been corrupted by those devilish Indians, eh?

Even the Normans succumbed in the end. They added many useful words to the language then gave in and spoke English. That English changed - as ours will.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:50 AM

I wonder why 'threat'? Our language has been continually changing over the centuries, we no longer speak Shakespearian English after all. All languages evolve, responding to the need to express new ideas and describe new experiences. I used to be a terrible purist, growling whenever I heard a cringe-making innovation, but over the years I've come to enjoy these things. As an elderly lady, I've at last realised that 'Nothing stays the same', and that's as it should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:52 AM

Will Fly, we posted simultaneously, and I see you agree with me!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM

I say, Eliza old gal, such jolly ripping sentiments, what what? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM

Now, that's quite enough from you two. People will begin to talk!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:59 AM

Not half, old bean! (We seem to have been transported into a PG Wodehouse novel!)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:01 AM

If so, bags I the part of Honoria Glossop!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:16 AM

I want to be The Empress of Blandings...


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:37 AM

I shall take Lord Emsworth...


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:53 AM

Brits often overlook the fact that in some cases it is the British version of English that has changed while Americans have retained the old forms: "gotten" for example.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:00 AM

Exactly my point, Jim. There are some fascinating examples in Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language".


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:04 AM

"Gotten" hasn't died out in the UK. I still use it occasionally.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:10 AM

Warning: Thread drift!


Met a musician friend of mine today, emerging from a shop selling secondhand books. He passed one to me - Music and its story by Percy M. Young. It's (sic) a library copy and the library card from the local library has the title as Music & it's Story! Dates from 1970 or so.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:55 AM

Not being rude, Will Fly, but...er.... wasn't the Empress of Blandings a pig??


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 AM

Yup - and she had a great life!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:14 AM

... and she belonged to Lord Emsworth ~~ Me! So you are my pride & joy, Will. Now let us see you win me all those prizes!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:19 AM

"Grunt! Grunt! Snuffle!"

[Which is pig talk for "Are you blind? Haven't you seen all those rosettes decorating the sty?]

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:26 AM

Yes, but, dash it, McAllister the Scotch gardener says they distract from his beds, and he'll give notice if they aren't taken away. So try harder and get some silver cups for Beach the Butler to polish in the third drawing room.

Emsworth


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM

In all the sties in all the castles in the world, you have to come to this one... sigh...


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:07 AM

On reflection, I might prefer to be Pongo or Stilton (a drone's life for me!)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Micca
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:08 AM

" English doesnt Steal from other languages, it takes them into dark alleys and mugs them"


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:22 AM

How nice to hear from other Wodehouse fans. I thought I was alone in the world.

So often when people talk about language (as on this radio program) they are talking about single words. But Wodehouse was the master of the English sentence. Some of his sentences are complex sculptures, with clauses artfully linked in ways most of us have forgotten.

I believe my favorite Wodehouse story is the one about the administrative assistant in Hollywood and the gorilla that spoke the King's English.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM

'mugs them' Paul? - mates with them more like.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:03 AM

Sorry Micca - I got the posts and posters muddled.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM

Will Fly you are pre judging, Just because you dont like the terminology or the way they choose to present it, that is not a reason for not listening, it is ridiculous not to listen to the programme and to dismiss as a waste of time before you have listened, you remind me of that buffoon, Jack Campin
as a matter of fact I agree with you, so I will be interested in the arguments they are putting forward


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 12:53 PM

I'd like to hear that but will be folking


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM

Oh, Dick - I'm a allowed a little prejudgement occasionally - it's so boring being balanced and fair, even-handed, unprejudiced and equitable all the time.

Actually, I can't hear it as I'm otherwise engaged. I suppose, if pressed, I object to the emotive word "threat" in the title. And, if you care to do a little research,as I've done, you can see the substance and the driving force of Matthew Engel's talk (the subject of the programme) here.

I've read this and disagree profoundly with it, not because what he writes is nonsense, but because he's flogging a dead horse. Language changes. Period. (How's that last sentence for an Americanism, huh?).

Now Dick, you contumacious person, you - there's absolutely no need to insult a fellow 'Catter (Jack Campin) on this thread because of a dispute on another thread. No need for the word buffoon. If I were to follow your example, for example, I could pass a very negative opinion of your blues singing. But I haven't - neither there nor here.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:05 PM

The language spoken in the United States is the major branch of the English language, hence cannot be seen as a threat to the language.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM

Exactly, Q - though hide-bound people in the Uk might see it as a threat to their version of the language...

Interestingly, Matthew Engel, the talk-giver on the programme, is American.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM

Aren't the most English speakers in China?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:12 PM

Yes, they are, Jack - hence my phrase: "one of the most widely spoken in distributive, if not numerical terms". In head counts, Chinese wins every time; in geographical distribution and influence, English wins.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:13 PM

Sorry, missed out a "but" before "In head counts..."


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: olddude
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:17 PM

You All, English, Ain't no problem, yessiree it ain't ..
we all jaw away just fine us yanks do ... LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:18 PM

True, innit?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM

My young niece, on a gap holiday, sent a text to her mum:- "Cambodia innit".


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM

You All, English, Ain't no problem, yessiree it ain't ..
we all jaw away just fine us yanks do ... LOL

You betcha!


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM

Australian, New Zealand and Canadian contributions to the language have gained inclusion in the OED in the last 30 years or so. I expect more additions from the Asian continent, particularly India, in the next few years.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:59 PM

Will Fly you are pre judging, Just because you dont like the terminology or the way they choose to present it, that is not a reason for not listening, it is ridiculous not to listen to the programme and to dismiss as a waste of time before you have listened, you remind me of that buffoon, Jack Campin
as a matter of fact I agree with you, so I will be interested in the arguments they are putting forward


Well, here we have a short post which is missing five punctuation marks, which contains three which are misused, which omits one essential capital letter yet inserts one where it isn't needed and which contains one sentence which really ought to be four. And that's before any consideration of the thread title is taken into account. Not to speak of that gratuitous insult, of course. I think I know where the real threat to the English language is coming from.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM

Good Soldier Schweik

"Will Fly you are pre judging... ...you remind me of that buffoon, Jack Campin"

Having encountered Mr Campin for some considerable time over the internet and having known Mr Fly personally for several years, the resemblance escapes me.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:23 PM

I must admit that there are many program(me)s to which I will never listen. Prejudgement often rests on past judgement.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 PM

Careen. Add: 4 b. to lean over, to tilt.
1883 G. Meredith (Eng. poet), Now his huge bulk o'er Africa careened.
1895, Conrad, The big office desk, with one of its legs broken, careened over like the hull of a stranded ship.
1920, C. H. Stagg, A hundred times their throats choked as the car careened on a bank.
1938, British Birds XXXI, The bird was careening from side to side as though there were waves.

These added to Oxford English Dictionary in 1987, Supplement.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM

Ast any on yer geeten a record thingy of yon wirelss prog? I were powfagged n missed it.

No threat from yon daft cloutyeds o'er watter if you ask me though.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Songwronger
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:08 PM

Seems even Shakespeare corrupted the language.

Words Shakespeare Invented

In all of his work - the plays, the sonnets and the narrative poems - Shakespeare uses 17,677 words: Of those, 1,700 were first used by Shakespeare.

This list of words that we use in our daily speech were all brought into usage by Shakespeare:

•accommodation
•aerial
•amazement
•apostrophe
•assassination
•auspicious
•baseless
•bloody
•bump
•castigate
•changeful
•clangor
•control (noun)
•countless
•courtship
•critic
•critical
•dexterously
•dishearten
•dislocate
•dwindle
•eventful
•exposure
•fitful
•frugal
•generous
•gloomy
•gnarled
•hurry
•impartial
•inauspicious
•indistinguishable
•invulnerable
•lapse
•laughable
•lonely
•majestic
•misplaced
•monumental
•multitudinous
•obscene
•palmy
•perusal
•pious
•premeditated
•radiance
•reliance
•road
•sanctimonious
•seamy
•sportive
•submerge
•suspicious


That wack dude had some 'nads to tweak the lingo like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM

For fifteen hundred years the English language had shown itself to be impervious to threats.

The Beowulf poet spoke Old English. Chaucer spoke Middle English. Shakespeare spoke Early Modern English. Tennyson and Wolfe and Woolf spoke Later Modern English.

Even if you make the unwarranted assumption that the quality of English-language literature has declined since Beowulf or Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf, that would be a defect of individual talent, not of the English language.

English would be truly threatened only if people no longer find it advantageous to use it. That's what happened, for example, to Cornish and Manx and any number of Third-World languages.

We may be irritated - justifiably - by sloppy and ignorant and intenionally deceptive usages, but if they don't sink out of sight on their own (as some do), they become fully assimilated and less noticeable to later generations - who then rail about their own pet peeves.

My prophecy: despite everything, some enduring masterpieces will be written in English in the 21st Century. And the 22nd...

They may not be to our taste, but Hardy, Hemingway, and Heller would not have been to Samuel Johnson's taste either.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:33 PM

As long as it doesn't turn out to be JK bloody Rowling.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM

Now that *would* be annoying.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Genie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:06 PM

I don't think the introduction of new words into the language is a negative thing, especially when the new words apply to new technology, etc., or even when they start out as slang (e.g. "ginormous"). But when "the dictionary" (probably Merriam-Webster for the US) immediately accepts a mangling of the English language by Sarah Palin -- "refudiate" -- as a new word, I think that's outrageous, especially since this new "word" doesn't add anything to the lexicon beyond what "refute" and "repudiate" already mean. (This isn't like "telecom" being short for "telephone communication" or "blog" being short for the new word "weblog" or "Frankenfood" being coined as a term for genetically modified vegetables.)


I think the other thing that's fast threatening to destroy our language, at least where spelling and grammar and punctuation are concerned, is the rapidity of communication, especially on the internet, with people being exposed virtually overnight to all sorts of mispronunciation, misspelling, bad or absent punctuation, and horrible grammar. Texting and "tweeting" contribute a lot to this. So we end up with 'sentences' like:

"u need 2 loose sum wait so him and me will go on a diat for awhile cuz its the best way for you and I to doo it."

What's appalling to me is how quickly news anchors and other people with big TV and radio microphones pick up the bad grammar, etc., when they hear or see it in some informal setting.      I even hear a lot of this from English teachers sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:03 PM

The Oxford University Press blog says 'refudiate' is a verb "used loosely to mean 'reject'."
The New Oxford American Dictionary has named it the 2010 'Word of the Year'. The link below is to an article listing the top ten words of 2010.
There are no plans, however, to add it to the OED, Webster's or NOAD, or any standard dictionary. The Oxford University Press (OUP)says it must first become popular enough (unfriend, woty of 2009 has become popular enough and will be added to the OED).

OUPBlog-
http://blog.oup.com/2010/11/refudiate

OUP says Palin is not the first to use it, but don't say who that was.
(double-dip will certainly be added.)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:06 PM

As I said on the "sloppy usage" thread, history proves that English grammar, pronunciation, spelling, punctuation, and diction has always been awful - by any standard.

If most of us don't think so, however, it's because 99.9999% of actual utterances by actual people was never preserved.

And 95% (say) of what's ever been published is the well-edited work of unusually talented writers - even including tabloid journalists.

The average user of English anywhere on earth would be unable to write a publishable tabloid article without more training in every aspect of writing than he or she would likely get in a first-year university composition course, plus much dedicated practice and revision and a decent editor.

"Good English" is prized partly because it's always been so very rare. And "great literature" is a different and far smaller category entirely.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 03:57 AM

Will Fly, right up there , you said that even the Normans 'Gave in and spoke English.'
You raise the pedant in me. No, they didn't. The peasants spoke Saxon, the aristocrats spoke Norman French, and over time both languages were combined (largely) and became 'English.'


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 04:17 AM

Dear Gurney down here, from Will Fly up there :-)

Technically speaking, you're quite right. The English that we speak today has around 30% of its vocabulary derived from Norman French.

The point that I was making was that, in spite of being the ruling class in England, the Normans did not convert England into a French-speaking nation. The point of change - which I facetiously referred to as 'giving in' - was when a particular monarch (and I'm damned if I can remember which one at the moment) decided that official records, etc. would be maintained in English.

English - not French. And, yes, the mutated English of the time.

Cheers,

Will - now down here with you.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Allan Conn
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 05:03 AM

"the British version of English that has changed while Americans have retained the old forms: "gotten" for example."

Mind there isn't really a single "British version" of the language. The form of standard English spoken in Scotland is Scottish Standard English as oppposed to the various dialects of Scots - and words often thought of as Americanisms are common in SSE. For example 'gotten' and 'pinkie' etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: autolycus
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 05:55 AM

Matthew Engel is British-born [Northampton] not American.

He accepted that language changes. He said some Americanisms are an improvement. He said he no doubt committed some of the errors whereof he spoke.

two baasic points he made were that Britain was losing its own sense of self and

"But what I hate is the sloppy loss of our own distinctive phraseology through sheer idleness, lack of self-awareness and our attitude of cultural cringe. We encourage the diversity offered by Welsh and Gaelic - even Cornish is making a comeback. But we are letting British English wither."

He said indications of the 'threat' were british children thinking that you should say 'X,Y and Zee', 'take a raincheck', 'three strikes and you're out' and 'you got mail'; trucks rather than lorries, that in an emergency, you ring 911 instead of 999.

He especially fingered the American-driven internet which keeps correcting English spelling to American; Disney; and telly.


I had an experience like that the other day.

In a charity shop, they has the familiar "CD's 50 p"-type notice. I pointed out that the apostrophe was redundant, CDs being a simple plural like books. The lady told me if you type CDs and suchlike into the computer, it "corrects" it to CD's.

That's a threat to more than the language.




Following WillFly's logic, nobody can be corrected because we're all entitled to be prejudiced.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 06:18 AM

I don't know what software the lady in the chaity shop was using. Everything I use lets me type 'CDs' quite happily.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 06:29 AM

I set mine to US English and CDs didn't even warrant a wiggly red line underneath. Maybe she was fibbing to try to cover her mistake.

Children thinking the emergency number is 911 is more worrying.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Ripov
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 07:28 AM

I don't care what language they speak in America, but I wish they wouldn't call it English.
Kids nowadays don't realise that when we (the more mature we, that is) write something like "Nite-club" we're just taking the p... out of the yanks.
Of course, if language hadn't evolved then all those etymologists would be out of work.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 07:37 AM

Snail , will fly
I am going to listen on listen again then I will make a judgement, anyone who prejudges anything is showing prejudice and is an idiot or buffoon whoever they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM

Hold everything, I've got a statistic to contribute!

Since the late 1960's, I have read mystery stories to unwind. Probably by now I've read several hundred.

I could read a Peter Wimsey novel set in '30's or an Agatha Christie and rarely encounter a novel word. If they were different (jumper, for example) I could figure them out from context.

Last week I read a novel Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, an author born, bred and dwelling in London. Her novel, 'Body Line,' is set in present-day London and points south. I marked the englishisms in it for a possible 'translations from the British' thread. There are 19 of them. Every few pages I hit another one!

So I don't think the English are undergoing "sloppy loss of our own distinctive phraseology through sheer idleness." If anything, distinctive phraseology is increasing.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 11:21 AM

of course there some dialect words thare spoken still in england and arealso spoken in america, over yonder[east anglian, notably north essex]is apparantly still used in Virginia, according to virginia tam, Plus the hullo gretting, WHOOOP


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 02:09 PM

As I opined in an earlier thread, American English is the 'standard' since the collapse of the British Empire and its ubiquity in world media and as a means of communication among peoples of diverse languages. Other branches (Australian, UK English, etc. have their innings since media work both ways).

Yonder (not dialect), much used by writers from Chaucer onward but now out of fashion in both U.S. and England, doesn't need the modifier 'over', I must agree; however, it is used in song, folk and faux, yonside (i. e., America) if not in speech.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 04:02 PM

I would be all for referring to the languages (dialects included) which we use here in United States as American except I hate to piss off the Canucks.

I tend to think Micca had it right. English may have mugged other languages or as Topsie said, "mated with them," but here in the States we took English and ripped out the entrails and ate them for lunch then pissed on the rest before scooping the leftovers into a bucket, shitting on it, and then setting it on fire. That pretty well sums up the "American" language..........and we kinda' like it......sorta'..........

Ya' gotta' figure it was inevitable. This is probably the most ethnically diverse place in the world. Plus all that diversity happened in a very short time period. Additionally, as the country was settled and the Pacific reached, transportation grew rapidly. So instead of cities with huge ethnic populations living cheek by jowl we developed into an entire country that did the same as booms developed to the west and then flowed back to the east and the south and the Northwest and southwest and...........you get the idea. Even in the small eastern Ohio town where I was born, we had at least 12 (that I can easily count) groups living closely together.

It was only natural that all the other influences should change the English to "American." Hell, we don't even know where most of our words originated but we use them anyway. Sadly for many back in the UK, it seems their language is being taken over by nasty Americans. If you feel the need to hold the line for for "real" English, then y'all just go on out there and "git 'er done!" (;<))


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:42 AM

As Autolycus pointed out, kids are uncertain what the emergency number is, (even more awkward here as ours is 111) but I don't understand why all 3-figure numbers don't go to emergency services.
It isn't as if it is going to be anyone's ordinary phone, is it!
Maybe on a very small island.

'Spaw, in a thread headed as this one is, why did you put the apostrophes in "Ya' gotta' figure....."?;-)

Oh, I see! It is a wild punctuation movement. I: must, join!~


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: autolycus
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM

"late 1960's, I have read mystery stories to unwind. Probably by now I've read several hundred.

"I could read a Peter Wimsey novel set in '30's"


1960s and '30s.

No greengrocer apostrophes necessary - just simple plurals, like books, hands, apples.


One interesting, annoting example of the power of the American PC.

On a typing course I wrote 'fulfil', which is correct English. The computer it say 'fulfill', which is correct Ammerican English.

Anybody who thinks the computer must not be argued with would think 'Oh ok, 'fulfill' '

They would then be marked down on an English typing test for misspelling.


By the way, the charity shop lady alluded to some Windows programme telling her to write CD's. As yousaid, it might have been her covering up.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 04:53 AM

I should say, in fact, that both CD's and CDs could be correct, as it used to be the rule that the apostrophe should be used for plurals of abbreviations; but usage has rendered this optional of late, it is my impression.

Thus, service canteens operated by the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute might be either NAAFI'S or NAAFIs.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 05:26 AM

... or NAAFI's


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 09:16 AM

Probably covered elsewhere, but...

Do we know any actual, otherwise normal Canadians who get "pissed off" when Americans are referred to as "Americans"?

Now, if we started to refer to Canadians specifically as "Americans," as though Canada were the 51st state, I could understand their annoyance. But we don't. Or if we started calling Canadians "Brits." But we don't do that either.

Americans (from the United States of America) are "Americans" and Canadians (from Canada) are "Canadians." They live in North America with the Mexicans (from the United Mexican States).


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 09:34 AM

I don't think anyone actually cares but the joke/barb still runs along in good humor here in the USA. In Canada, it runs along in good humour...........


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 10:52 AM

"CD's" can never be correct as a plural because, among other things, it means something else: "I played the CD's fourth track." Inserting that apostrophe can't even be explained away as somehow making the meaning clearer, because it just doesn't. In fact, it does the opposite. "CDs" is perfectly clear as it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 11:41 AM

That doesn't mean it can 'never be correct', Steve. All you have done is demonstrate why you would prefer to use the alternative to avoid ambiguity, which is quite a different thing.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: meself
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 12:12 PM

Speaking as a Canadian: no "actual, otherwise normal Canadians" 'get "pissed off" when Americans are referred to as "Americans"'. What else are you going to call them, after all? Any Canadian who professes outrage at such is certainly not "normal", and may not be "actual".

Some of us get slightly disgruntled when USA is referred to as "America" - on the other hand, in the past decade or so, many Canadians themselves have begun to refer to "the States" as "America". So there you go.

-------------------------

It's my understanding that adding "'s" used to be the approved way of indicating plural abbreviations, but that the "rule" has changed within the last thirty years or so.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: autolycus
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 12:31 PM

So is there anything wrong with

"I should say, in fact, that both CD's and CDs could be correct, as it used to be the rule that the apostrophe should be used for plural's of abbreviation's; but usage has rendered this optional of late, it is my impression."

?


It may be a problem to find a better term than 'Americans'. There's no such problem finding replacements for America.

As I said in my earlier stint, you have the choice of U.S.,U.S.A., The States, The United States [often said by Yanks], Stateside - to name only 5.

I have heard tell that people in other countries of the Americas rather ming The States commandeering America for itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 01:05 PM

I would say that "CDs" is not an alternative - it's imperative. There is no more reason to insert that apostrophe than there is to stick one in "a pound of apple's." It doesn't help to clarify anything and is merely potentially confusing. "CD's" as a plural is simply illiterate. Wrong, in other words.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 01:57 PM

>I have heard tell that people in other countries of the Americas rather ming The States commandeering America for itself.

We've all heard this, but do they exist?

Americans don't squirm when Latin Americans routinely call them "North Americans." And since no Latin Americans are native speakers of Latin, I'd suppose that name should be disagreeable to them in any language.

Besides, millions of "Latin Americans" have grown up speaking American Indian and other non-Spanish, non-Portuguese languages. Shouldn't they be mad? Isn't this another serious impediment to international understanding? And even if you're going to ignore these people, why obscure the proud Portuguese and Spanish cultures behind that of the ill-behaved ancient Romans?

And shouldn't Canadians be angry for *not* being considered "norteamericanos"?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM

Re Ya', post by Catspaw:
Nuthin' wrong if it refers to y'all (yo'all).

But gramatically-
yo'- singular
yo'all- two, or a few.
all yo'all- a group.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:03 PM

"CDs" can't be an imperative (or even an indicative) as it's not a verb (yet). What the genitive plural of CD is, is another matter entirely. Is "Cd's'" a possibility?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:21 PM

That's a use of "ming" that I hadn't come across before - here it usually means "pong".


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:26 PM

ming = mind in the post?
Pong = unpleasant odor, in a British series I watched (Lovejoy).


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 03:05 PM

Oh . . . it's a typo. Sorry, how silly of me, I should have realised.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Genie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM

MtheGM,
"It seems that the one place where an apostrophe is needed in English for a plural is when its absence would make the word or abbreviation be misread. E.g., "There are four i's are there in "Mississippi," or "CD'S FOR SALE." But that's not the case with numbers, e.g., dates or when an acronym is in capitals and the s is in lower case.

The real problem with using an apostrophe for things like "during the '50s" is that people tend to put it in where it's not needed, between the number and the "s," and leave it out where it IS needed, in place of the century indicator.   If you say "in the 90's" or "in the 90s," are you talking about the "gay (eighteen) nineties" or the nineteen nineties (or some other century)?

Spell checkers can't be trusted for a lot of reasons, one being that they sometimes contain outright errors.   When I used to use MS Word, I found that every time I typed "singalong" or "sing-along" -- either of which is correct -- Word's Spell Checker changed it to "sing-a-long," which doesn't make any sense unless maybe you mean "sing a long song."


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Genie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM

GUEST,Lighter "...

And 95% (say) of what's ever been published is the well-edited work of unusually talented writers - even including tabloid journalists.

The average user of English anywhere on earth would be unable to write a publishable tabloid article without more training in every aspect of writing than he or she would likely get in a first-year university composition course, plus much dedicated practice and revision and a decent editor. ..."

Ah, yes, there have always been and will always be "average users" of a language who will butcher it (especially written English, which has such unpredictable spelling). What annoys me is how many "unusually talented" writers, journalists, commentators, news anchors, etc., have picked up bad grammar (e.g., "just between you and I" or "if you have a problem, come talk to myself") or spelling (confusing "its" and "it's" or describing a decade as "the 50's" instead of "the '50s"" or writing "sing-a-long" or printing a sign that says "tomato's $1.49/lb.).   I can generally count on The New York Times or Newsweek to use proper English grammar and spelling and punctuation, but the talking heads (including anchors) on CNN, the networks, even some NPR shows, plus entertainment magazines, not so much.

As for Sarah Palin not being the first to mangle "refute" and "repudiate" and come up with "refudiate," that's not surprising. I once had a supervisor, an RN, who constantly talked about "litigating circumstances" and I've known lots of people who say "irregardless." But the dictionaries didn't change the spelling of "tomato" to "tomatoe" just because Dan Quayle read that misspelling during a spelling bee, nor do they add "litigating" as a synonym for "mitigating" or legitimize "irregardless" just because a bunch of people make those mistakes.   
(I'm glad to know that the online dictionary I use doesn't recognize "refudiate.")


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 08:57 PM

Are you quite sure that "the dictionaries" have admitted "refudiate" as a new word? And if they have, is anyone using it?

I heard a Republican use "refudiate" on TV months before SP did. Because he wasn't famous, nobody cared or noticed.

Since then, the only person I've heard use the word is SP herself. So it doesn't seem like much of a threat to English, which already has an enormous vocabulary for people to choose from. If they want to say "refudiate," no one can stop them. If they want to write it seriously, an editor can change it.

People don't use every word they see in the dictionary anyway, so the presence of "refudiate" wouldn't frighten me.

It's pretty silly, but hardly more so than "OK."


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 09:09 PM

As I posted previously, dictionaries don't include new words that are too little used to warrant inclusion. There is a good possibility that 'refudiate', number one in the Oxford Press top ten list for 2010, will be accepted by major dictionaries; none accept it now because the word has yet to 'prove' itself.
"Litigating circumstances"? That made me smile, because 'my son the lawyer' talks about them. But I agree, the words ain't interchangable.

Irregardless has been a subject of controversy for almost 100 years. A much used word, it is included in The Oxford English Dictionary, but its double negative nature is noted and the definition "regardless' is given.
Like refudiate, it is a 'portmanteau' word, probably a combination of irrespective and regardless.


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 09:56 PM

Some portmanteau words:

anecdotage (yes, as I get older)
blog
brunch
chortle (Lewis Carroll)
chunnel
guestimate
e words, such as email
insinuendo
internet
infomercial
humongous
refudiate
slithy (Lewis Carroll)

I suppose one could ask- is the word necessary? (That would eliminate irregardless)


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 10:04 PM

Q, was "OK" necessary?


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Subject: RE: BS: the threat to the english language from
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 11:57 PM

Sorry, Steve, but you are deluded, and are being absurdly prescriptive, if you think the matter that simple. Here, e.g., is the wiki entry on the topic:

===The traditional style of pluralizing single letters with the addition of 's (for example, B's come after A's) was extended to some of the earliest initialisms, which tended to be written with periods to indicate the omission of letters; some writers still pluralize initialisms in this way. Some style guides continue to require such apostrophes—perhaps partly to make it clear that the lower case s is only for pluralization and would not appear in the singular form of the word, for some acronyms and abbreviations do include lowercase letters.
However, it has become common among many writers to inflect initialisms as ordinary words, using simple s, without an apostrophe, for the plural. In this case, compact discs becomes CDs. The logic here is that the apostrophe should be restricted to possessives: for example, the CD's label (the label of the compact disc).[31]
Multiple options arise when initialisms are spelled with periods and are pluralized: for example, whether compact discs may become C.D.'s, C.D.s, CD's, or CDs. Possessive plurals that also include apostrophes for mere pluralization and periods appear especially complex: for example, the C.D.'s' labels (the labels of the compact discs). This is yet another reason to use apostrophes only for possessives and not for plurals. In some instances, however, an apostrophe may increase clarity: for example, if the final letter of an abbreviation is S, as in SOS's, or when pluralizing an abbreviation that has periods.[32][33] (In The New York Times, the plural possessive of G.I., which the newspaper prints with periods in reference to United States Army soldiers, is G.I.'s, with no apostrophe after the s.)=== [emphases mine]

You see: not so simple as you appear, delusionally, to believe; and certainly no reason for you to adopt such a crushingly positive tone.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 01:24 AM

In fact, 'wrong' & 'illiterate' right back 2U ~ BIG'EAD!!!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 09:11 AM

I use MSWord. If I type "singalong" it flags it as an error, and it suggests "sing along" and "sing-along" as alternatives. It accepts "sing-a-long" if I type it that way, but I think it would do the same with any sequence of 3 valid words connected by hyphens, e.g. "one-two-three" or "one-too-three."

By the way, I once worked in an office where the computer consultant who set up our local network had installed MSWord so that the CUSTOM.DIC file resided on the server, so everyone in the company shared the same dictionary. I can see how that might be useful if you have a careful, literate person managing the file and everyone else keeps their hands off, but that's not what happened.

One day I noticed my spell checker was failing to flag common typing errors, so I investigated, and found that CUSTOM.DIC was full of dozens, if not hundreds, of misspelled words. It looked as if someone in the office (a bad speller or bad typist, no doubt) had been clicking "Add to Dictionary" every time their spell checker found a misspelled word!

I never found out who it was. I cleaned up the dictionary, and checked it periodically after that, and it stayed clean. Evidently the culprit had learned the proper way to use a spell-checker.

The next time we upgraded to a newer version of Word, it was installed in a more conventional way, so that each employee had his own CUSTOM.DIC file on his own C: drive.

I have heard lots of complaints about spell-checkers, but every time I have checked out someone's complaint on my own computer, I find it works just fine.

By the way, I once learned that you can create a file called (if I remember correctly) SUPPRESS.DIC and fill it full of words that you don't like (like "sing-a-long") and MSWord will thereafter always flag those words as errors. That can be very useful, especially if you have to edit documents that other people wrote. I did it once as an experiment and it worked, but that was a couple of computer generations ago, and I don't remember the details.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 09:31 AM

"crushingly positive?"


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 10:17 AM

I speak American English in a Maine dialect. Does that satisfy the UK pedants?

Didn't Charles De Gaul once say that France should come up with a French word for television? He also had a problem with English creeping into the French language.
I'll bet he didn't mind hearing English spoken while he sat on has ass in England while England, America and Canada freed his country from the Germans.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 10:44 AM

This is similar to the argument over the language that the Irish folks speak. In common usage, it is called Gaelic. But there is a whole family of gaelic languages divided into two subdivisions. The only one properly called Gaelic in English is Scots Gaelic which derived from the dialect of the Irish language of Ulster, as I understand it. The proper term for the Irish language is Gaeilge. Translated into English (as it refers to the language) that would be "Irish". It is also sometimes referred to as Irish Gaelic. The English language as spoken by the Irish is called Hiberno-English. From that I think it reasonable to suggest that the various dialects of the language spoken in the US and Canada could be referred to properly as American-English, remembering that all the peoples of this part of the world live in the Americas.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:27 AM

I once had the same problem with a communal dictionary, though this one wasn't on Word, might have been Wordstar. One of our number took it personally if he was flagged for a spelling error, and as we were supporting ICL GEORGE 3 systems, the dictionary was rapidly filling up with four-letter words starting with X, not to mention London post-codes. About the only words that didn't get put in it were the surnames of our Greek, Polish, Czech etc colleagues.

As for De Gaule, I don't think he did much riding in England, though I seem to remember him mounted on a much larger equine on ceremonial occasions. The French were involved in the Liberation, not to mention Scots, Poles, Antipodeans etc.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:40 AM

Well, we have to draw a line somewhere in order to prevent the degradation of our language. The construction "CD's" as a plural is both unnecessary for clarity and potentially misleading. There's nothing whatever to commend it. It's inelegantly greengrocerly. "CDs" is perfectly clear. If you want to defend the former it's possibly because you use it yourself and feel just a tad guilty about doing so. I'm all for exceptions when clarity is at stake, although, in many cases, simple rewording of the sentence can avoid the dilemma of choosing between one awkward construction and another. Common sense is all part of English too.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM

"I speak American English in a Maine dialect. Does that satisfy the UK pedants?"

Is it me, or is that just a bit touchy, or have I missed something?



"Didn't Charles De Gaul once say that France should come up with a French word for television?"

Dunno, but I do remember reading that Shrub complained that the French didn't have a word for 'entrepreneur'.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:00 PM

Thats right, the French gave us more English words than America.
French woman Marsha dePenguins has been secretly corrupting English with French words for nearly 30 anos.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:04 PM

No, actually, autolycus. It is not being "a bit touchy". We do not speak the "Queen's" or "King's" English in the United States of America. We speak the form of English that has evolved here. I note that the UK pedants that Kendall seems to be tiring of will contribute mightily to a threat from the USA to "their" language but I don't hear anyone complaining about the damage done to "their" language by Geordies or Cockneys. Before you all start picking that apart, I know the analogy can be attacked, but it's basic point is that you can protect "your" language. Go ahead. But I wish you would quit the implication that somehow the colonials are messing everything up. Your problem lies in your neck of the woods. But it is not with our language. It is that your citizens seem to be adopting much of how we speak it. The fact that "your" English has evolved here does not make what we speak incorrect. It is our language, spoken in our way.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:14 PM

Steve Shaw (or anyone else who enjoys a challenge): How would you punctuate (and/or capitalize, italicize, etc.) the following sentence?
there are four is in mississippi
—or, if that doesn't make sense to you—
there are four ss in mississippi


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:15 PM

Like I said, we like to corrupt everything and assume WE are right! Like the Bush/entreprenur thing proves we rarely know where our words originate. The Shrub was demonstrably stupid but...........

I like what Fran Liebowitz once wrote on the subject:

"Do you know on this one block you can buy croissants in five different places? There's one store called Bonjour Croissant. It makes me want to go to Paris and open a store called Hello Toast".


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Donuel
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:15 PM

There are two.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:16 PM

Mick

Thanks.

I don't really know how to go about preventing most computers [that i gather some people use] from being American-dominated, language-wise, nor, ditto, the internet. [Therefore see my comment upthread about 'fulfil' and 'fulfill'.]

Nor do I know how to keep U.S. cinema films from tending to dominate the film world.

By contrast, we're having more luck with British telly.

Please don't misunderestimate me, there are untold numbers of American films and tv programmes that I love.

I, and Matthew Engel making that speech, feel an enormous pressure from the afore-mentioned areas on English English.


Knowing what the difference might be between a pedant and someone with certain standards is also a tough one.

And not a clear one.


Hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:54 PM

autolycus, thank you for your last post. While I was speaking plainly, it was not meant perjoratively. But there was a bit of resentment on a general level due to certain attitudes that get expressed on this site from time to time. I take your posts not to be sniping at our language, but rather a concern on your part for your language and the infiltration of another culture into it. Given my ethnic background, I am sensitive to preservation of language and culture. Your post was helpful to my understanding of the issue. I thank you for it sincerely.

To any lurking pedants, please feel free to correct any and all errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. :>)

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 01:30 PM

Strictly speaking, CD's is correct because CD is not a word, as apple is, but an initialism. The rule of putting an apostrophe before the "s" in certain plural constructions was well established in the 20th century, but has fallen into disuse and overuse. It is not uncommon to see "'s" used (by those who should have re-done fifth grade) to pluralize normal nouns in handwritten shop signs, for example. So the language (and its typography) is evolving away from the rule because the lower 48% found it hard to keep straight.

I think there are good AND bad reasons for defending shifts in language. The good reasons are when the shift is slovenly or ignorant and causes a loss of clarity in current exchange. The bad reason is because "it ain't how I larned it", a curmudgeonly resistance to change. Change will not cease because of tantrums or resentment, which most 11-year-olds realize are a total waste of time.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 01:43 PM

It is my opinion that another reason for the incorrect use of the apostrophe, as well as incorrect use of homonyms (there, their) comes from the fact that we rarely write longhand anymore. I find myself making these mistakes because typing is almost a subconcious effort. Of late I have been forcing myself to always preview, and I often find that I used incorrect punctuation or homonym even though I am full aware of the appropriate methods and meanings.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM

Is OK necessary? It is to me, because I use it often.
If you wish to refudiate, I suppose a 'yes' or 'all right' are substitutes.

Amos, I won't try to refudiate your assertions, but I have been looking into old style manuals for pluralisms (oops, I almost wrote pleural) following initialisms and have found zilch. Did Fowler have anything? (OK, he tended toward British usage, but he was pretty good on grammar.)

Looking more into portmanteau words, some combine two nouns, others a noun and an adjective.
One new to me, on CNN last night- ridiculist (an itemization of silly actions or happenings).


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 02:00 PM

My views on this in verse - For Better or Worse


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: olddude
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 02:01 PM

I am fully aware of the proper way to write and speak. I just don't give a crap LOL


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 02:09 PM

olddude, I was aware when I had to be, writing for publication, but sinking into my 'senior years' of retirement (Gawd, how I hate those phewphemisms), I have forgotten it all and don't care (being too polite to use the 'c' word today).

Phewphemisms! I have coined a new word. Must submit to the Oxford Press.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 03:40 PM

Many thanks for your response, BigMick.

It's why I like coming here. A civilised place for civilised discourse.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 03:50 PM

Following a disaster, there is the disafter.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 03:52 PM

That's sad autolycus..........It would be more fun if it was a place for uncivilized intercourse.....................***sigh***.....................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 03:58 PM

"OK" was originally a humorous abbreviation for "oll korrect."   This etymology used to be in dispute, but the evidence (discovered and sifted fifty years ago by Allen W. Read of Columbia University), appears to be incontrovertible, regardless of what you may have heard.   

That makes "refudiate" sound positively edjimacated.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 04:04 PM

I like "newphemisms", or if they lack substance, "pneuphemisms".


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 04:25 PM

one-too-three." Surely not? How would one use that in a sentence?


I have seen "mens" and womens" in a store. Hard to fathom.

"there are four ss in mississippi" I would probably write it as 'There are four esses in Mississippi.'

Or I could say, There is an s in Mississippi; come to think of it, there are three more than that.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM

I would never use "one-too-three." I only invented that phrase to illustrate how a spell-checker works. Evidently the spell-checker assumes that any 2 or more words can be connected with a hyphen. It's a limitation, but it's an entirely predictable limitation, so as long as you don't rely on it to find that kind of error, you can make good use of a spell-checker.

So, would you say "There are four eyes in Mississippi"?

How about "There are two pees in Mississippi"?

Actually, there is probably a lot of pee in Mississippi.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: gnu
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 04:43 PM

"phewphemisms" I LIKE it! Disafter ain't bad either.

Amos... it's compact disks and not compact disk's. Hence, CDs. Not that I give two shit's from T'urdsday in any case.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 04:55 PM

In UK, it's compact discs.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:00 PM

Further to my link above, whilst the spelling of some words have been changed in America to make them more phonetic, many others have not - so where to draw the line?...why not just stick with the one English spelling of words, and accept that the diverse pronunciations of them (accents) is a good thing?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Amos
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:02 PM

Gnu:

The argument is not about the noun, disk. It is about the initialism, CD.

"Use in forming certain plurals

An apostrophe is used by some writers to form a plural for abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols where adding just s rather than 's may leave things ambiguous or inelegant. Some specific cases:

    It is generally acceptable to use apostrophes to show plurals of single lower-case letters, such as be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's. Some style guides would prefer to use a change of font: dot your is and cross your ts.[citation needed] Some style guides rule that upper case letters need no apostrophe (I got three As in my exams[44]) except when there is a risk of misreading, such as at the start of a sentence: A's are the highest marks achievable in these exams.
    For groups of years, the apostrophe at the end may be regarded as unnecessary, since there is no possibility of misreading. For this reason, some style guides prefer 1960s to 1960's[44] (although the latter is noted by at least one source as acceptable in American usage),[45] and 90s or '90s to 90's or '90's.
    The apostrophe is sometimes used in forming the plural of numbers (for example, 1000's of years); however, as with groups of years, it is unnecessary because there is no possibility of misreading.[citation needed] Most sources are against this usage.[citation needed]
    The apostrophe is often used in plurals of symbols. Again, since there can be no misreading, this is often regarded as incorrect.[44] That page has too many &s and #s on it.[citation needed]
    Finally, a few sources accept its use in an alternative spelling of the plurals of a very few short words, such as do, ex, yes, no, which become do's, ex's, etc.[46] In each case, dos, exes, yeses (or yesses) and noes are preferred by many authorities.[citation needed] Nevertheless, many writers are still inclined to use such an apostrophe when the word is thought to look awkward or unusual without one."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostrophe#Use_in_forming_certain_plurals


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:04 PM

"Why not just stick with the one English spelling of words(?)"

Who would get to decide? Some snooty language board like they have in France? No thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:08 PM

We can't do that Walky. Y'all can't spell for shit! I mean what's with the favour/humour/colour bit? This here's America and we got no time for extra letters that don't even fit! According to your crowd flavor should be flavour and hence rhyme with flour. Do it? Didn't think so........I don't feature it Boy............


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: gnu
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:08 PM

Amos... "Nevertheless, many writers are still inclined to use such an apostrophe when the word is thought to look awkward or unusual without one."

I content they are awkward, unusual and illogical.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM

I accept that "flavor" is better phonetically, SPORE, but again stress that there are many other words the American-spelling-police have, thus far, left alone - just go back to our unadalterated English spelling, but by all means pronounce them your own sweet ways, without ditching and tea NOT t!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM

"Any," sorry.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:08 PM

Yes, you certainly like to save letters ~~ as when you call

a lift, an elevator;
a car, an automobile;
a flat, an apartment;
a film, a movie;

Some savings!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

The Spanish have dropped that useless 'ph' in words from the Greek; fotographia for photograph, foton for photon.
Also gone is 'pn', so pneumonia becomes neumonia.

"Unadulterated English" can be a pain if the OED is followed: flavour but flavorous.
Pope and Dryden had no truck with that 'u'.
Dryden- "Myrtle, Orange, and the blushing rose.. Each seems to smell the flavor which the other blows."

Many English spell recognize with an 's', which is wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:37 PM

Lift a stone, ascend in the elevator.
A car is a car is a car- few say automobile. And a saloon is a place that serves liquor, not a large car.
A flat means the tire (note spelling) needs repair.
A film is a thin coating, or the plastic (formerly celuloid) on which a movie is recorded.

Disc- Amazon.com spells it with a 'c'. Disk is something thrown at the Olympics in field events. (A tisk is when the disk hits a judge.)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:29 PM

My comment about the UK pedants was not meant to be "touchy", it was meant to get a response.
Everyone who knows me knows that I am an Anglophile.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:41 PM

I always use discs, except when I'm working with, IBM equipment when it's disks.

My objection to attempts at spelling reform is that the people who make them up always talk funny.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 08:17 PM

Yeah, talk funny! My laugh of the day.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 09:17 PM

Steve Shaw (or anyone else who enjoys a challenge): How would you punctuate (and/or capitalize, italicize, etc.) the following sentence?
there are four is in mississippi
—or, if that doesn't make sense to you—
there are four ss in mississippi


I would apply common sense by writing the sentences as follows: "The letter 'i' occurs four times in 'Mississippi'. The letter 's' occurs four times in that word too." At first sight my alternatives seem longer and more laboured, but just consider the time saved by the recipient in not having to do the mental processing required to work out what I mean. Good English is not just about common sense; good manners enter into the equation too.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 09:26 PM

Bravo, Steve. I think you solved the problem quite nicely. And I agree with your comment about manners.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Genie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:01 PM

@ Lighter, I disagree that "refudiate" is no sillier than "OK." "OK" is just a shorter way of saying "all right" and as such, it serves a purpose, as do other shortened expressions. What the inclusion of "refudiate" would do is further confuse people who already have trouble with vocabulary and spelling. There's no reason to add it to the lexicon unless and until its usage becomes common among fairly literate people.
I don't know for sure if Merriam-Webster has 'embraced' it, but it's been reported that they've given it the status of their    "favorite new word of the summer," based on its being the most searched-for word on the internet.    I don't think that should be grounds for including something as a legitimate word.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Genie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:15 PM

Jim Dixon, I'm glad MS Word's upgrades have corrected their SpellCheck so that it no longer "corrects" you if you type "sing-along," but they should also accept "singalong," as that is an acceptable spelling per most dictionaries, whereas "sing-a-long" is not.    I don't agree that all sequences of three words would be accepted as hyphenated words.   The point is, that while "sing," "a," and "long" are three valid words, putting them together as a hyphenated word does not fit with the meaning of the word "sing-along."   "Singalong" or "sing-along" means an activity in which people sing along with each other, not an activity where they sing a long (song or whatever).

Since there is no such dictionary word as "sing-a-long" (it's "sing-a•long," with the bullet indicating syllabication), any good Spell Checker should flag that as a non-word.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Genie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 11:25 PM

The problem with using an apostrophe unnecessarily for plurals of dates ("the 1940's), acronyms ("SNAFU's), etc., is that it quickly spills over into ordinary words. E.g., the humongous, expensive 3-D sign in a Sears store that read "SHOE'S FOR THE FAMILY" or the grocery store advertising "Avocado's" or a menu offering "Hamburger's."   

And, as I said, if you start thinking an apostrophe means plural and for get its real purposes - to indicate an omitted character or characters or to indicate possession - it's very easy to write "during the 50's," which not only has an unncessary apostrophe but omits the one that should take the place of the "19."


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:31 AM

Q ~~ Do you honestly believe that 'recognise' is 'wrong'(rather than the standard, recognised English English spelling, or are you just playing wind-up merchant? If you do, then you are simply being simple - in the sense of 'stupid'...

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:36 AM

If you want to use 'recognise' that's fine - but all the other -ise/-ize words in the book or document should use -ise. Both 'recognise' and 'recognize' are correct but you should be consistent.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:50 AM

Choosing a long word than a short one can give the impression that you are trying to make yourself sound important. Car salesmen [or saleswomen] will encourage you to 'purchase' a car, rather than to 'buy' one.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:12 AM

A familiar quiz question is "How many esses are there in 'Mississippi'?" [for which one answer could be 'None, but a lot of boats and fish'].

That being the case, it's reasonable to want to know how to spell "esses" [my answer there.]


just to enlarge on one other point. The trouble with American English being the usual basis of computers is that, unless you know how to do otherwise, when you type English English, the computer [which is always right] tells you you are wrong, wrong noch, when you put in English spelling.

I experience that occasionally only in emails. There is some facility for changing the basis to English English but I'm enough of a technophobe not to have found it yet.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:21 AM

On Apple, you have an option to click on an Old Glory or a Union Jack in the header menu, thus notionally opting for American or British spellings & usages. But, even when I have put the U Jack up, it will still underline in red the word 'colour', e.g. {It's done it now, tho that won't survive on to the final online posting} ~~ so what is supposed to be the point? If I knew how to tell Apple about this design fault then I would: perhaps someone more techno might do so for me?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 08:22 AM

Some English youths are like so keen to copy Americans in their recent overuse of the words "so" and "like"!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 08:40 AM

Cool!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Stu
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 08:56 AM

"But I wish you would quit the implication that somehow the colonials are messing everything up. Your problem lies in your neck of the woods."

Oh puh-leese . . . don't start this bilge Mick. There ain't no problem, and no-one thinks of you yanks as colonials anymore, time to find something else to feel victimised about - some of those Iranians really hate you guys, you know that? We love you!

"Further to my link above, whilst the spelling of some words have been changed in America to make them more phonetic"

Yawn, little Englander pish . . . many of the spellings used in the US are the original spellings that have been preserved rather than changed by the citizens of the states, along with may other words and terms (and indeed, English music in the case of the people of the Ozarks and Appalachians). The changes made to the spellings in the UK are affectations to make them appear more cosmopolitan.

MthGM - what programme are you using? Changing the flags only changes the system dictionaries itself not other applications, and you might have to change the dictionary in each program's Preferences file.

There are plenty of 'UK pedants' because here in the UK we love our languages and take them very seriously; it's often a topic of conversation. So far from being pedantry it's simply people taking an interest in the language and taking pleasure in it. The French are the same and they argue endlessly about the genders of nouns and the like; in fact they get quite heated about the whole matter.

Of course, on our islands we've developed a right old hotch-potch of in English of words taken from almost every other language pre-Celtic (yes - England has a celtic heritage - shock horror), Welsh, Irish, Gaelic, Germanic, French and lord knows where else. We integrate words from the Indian sub-continent (cuddies) and everywhere else. Dialect is also massively important and there are some superb words still used but in danger of dying out (spugee, yaff) and believe me the dialects of Geordie and Cockney can't be a threat to the language because they are the language.

I love the way the language evolves, and being lucky enough to have a broad ancestry from these islands I use words from all across the place. Don't worry about us taking works from the Americans, they colour and enrich the language in the same way as everyone else.

Ever heard of the Profanisaurus? Now that's the evolution of the English language. Look it up.

Viva language pedantry! Twll dy din di!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 09:08 AM

Thanks for the hint re the flags & the dictionaries, Jack. But, not being a v techno type, is it unreasonable of me to expect the computer to have been so pre-programmed as to deliver exactly what it says on the tin, without my having to make my own way-beyond-my-abilities-and-understanding adjustments to get what the specification promised me from the off?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: artbrooks
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 09:35 AM

->MtheGM & autolycus: the operating system (e.g., Windows 7) with which your computer was factory-loaded may well have UK-English loaded, but the same is not necessarily true of the programs you use on it. For example, I use Firefox for web browsing and Thunderbird for email. The protocol for changing the language preference in Firefox is Tools>Options>Content>Languages. In Thunderbird it is Tools>Options>Composition>Spelling; they are similar because both are from Mozilla. On the other hand, in Microsoft Word (2007), you have to click the ball in the upper left, then Word Options>Proofing>Custom Directories>Dictionary Language and choose the version of English you want. I think that works for the spell-checker, but I'm not sure how to adjust the auto-correct or even if that is possible.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 10:32 AM

I am sure I do, Artbrooks. Can't you see that is just what I am complaining of. WHY should I 'have to' click on this & that & the other to get what should have been properly programmed in there right from the word 'go'?

~M~

Please observe that this animus is not directed towards you, who, I appreciate, are trying to be helpful, but against bloody . I am no messenger-shooter, me!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Stu
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:00 AM

"But, not being a v techno type, is it unreasonable of me to expect the computer to have been so pre-programmed as to deliver exactly what it says on the tin, without my having to make my own way-beyond-my-abilities-and-understanding adjustments to get what the specification promised me from the off?

Yes. It is doing what it says on the tin, this is operator error. The spec didn't say it could read your mind, and the spec on my bouzouki didn't say it'd play all the chords Donal Lunny does without some input from me. A computer's a tool and it needs to be learnt how to use it like anything else. Your issue isn't with Apple, it's with any computer.

What applications are you having a problem with? Feel free to PM me and I'll help if I can as this represents rampant thread drift of the most heinous type :-)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:42 AM

My favourite definition of a computer is a "machine which will do exactly what you know how to tell it to do".


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:51 AM

My Word documents have a box at the bottom saying 'English (United Kingdom)'. If you click on it you get a box with options for lots of different languages and language variations. You also can click on 'Do not check spelling or grammar' if you want to trust your own abilities.
Along the top of the document you can choose 'Review' and then choose 'ABC Spelling and Grammar' to turn off autocorrection.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:52 AM

Jack ~ It tells me that selecting the Union Jack in preference to the Stars&Stripes in the menu bar will select English spellings. But when I spell something in English, it underlines it as an error. So I repeat, for all your saying -- IT IS NOT DOING WHAT IT SEZ ON THE TIN. It shouldn't have to 'read my mind', for heaven's sake ~~ it should know what is in my mind from the option I have chosen, according to its own instructions.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:54 AM

Types of computer viruses

Adam and Eve virus: Takes a couple of bytes out of your Apple.

Airline virus: You're in Dallas, but your data is in Singapore.

Anita Hill virus: Lies dormant for ten years.

Arnold Schwarzenegger virus: Terminates and stays resident. It'll be back.

AT&T virus: Every three minutes it tells you what great service you are getting.

The MCI virus: Every three minutes it reminds you that you're paying too much for the AT&T virus.

Bill Clinton virus: This virus mutates from region to region and we're not exactly sure what it does.

Bill Clinton virus: Promises to give equal time to all processes: 50% to poor, slow processes; 50% to middle-class processes, and 50% to rich ones. This virus protests your computer's involvement in other computer's affairs, even though it has been having one of its own for 12 years.

Congressional Virus: Overdraws your computer.

Congressional Virus: The computer locks up, screen splits erratically with a message appearing on each half blaming the other side for the problem.

Dan Quayle virus: Prevents your system from spawning any child processes without joining into a binary network.

Dan Quayle virus: Simplye addse ane ee toe everye worde youe typee..

David Duke virus: Makes your screen go completely white.

Elvis virus: Your computer gets fat, slow, and lazy and then self destructs, only to resurface at shopping malls and service stations across rural America.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:56 AM

That was me.


Federal bureaucrat virus: Divides your hard disk into hundreds of little units, each of which do practically nothing, but all of which claim to be the most important part of the computer.

Freudian virus: Your computer becomes obsessed with marrying its own motherboard.

Gallup virus: Sixty percent of the PCs infected will lose 38 percent of their data 14 percent of the time (plus or minus a 3.5 percent margin of error).

George Bush virus: Doesn't do anything, but you can't get rid of it until November.

Government economist virus: Nothing works, but all your diagnostic software says everything is fine.

Jerry Brown virus: Blanks your screen and begins flashing an 800 number.

Madonna virus: If your computer gets this virus, lock up your dog!

Mario Cuomo virus: It would be a great virus, but it refuses to run.

Michael Jackson virus: Hard to identify because it is constantly altering its appearance. This virus won't harm your PC, but it will trash your car.

New World Order virus: probably harmless, but it makes a lot of people really mad just thinking about it.

Nike virus: Just Does It!

Ollie North virus: Turns your printer into a document shredder.

Oprah Winfrey virus: Your 200MB hard drive suddenly shrinks to 80MB, and then slowly expands back to 200MB.

Pat Buchanan virus: Shifts all your output to the extreme right of your screen.

Paul Revere virus: This revolutionary virus does not horse around. It warns you of impending hard disk attack---once if by LAN, twice if by C:.

Paul Tsongas virus: Pops up on December 25 and says, "I'm not Santa Claus."


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 11:57 AM

PBS virus: Your PC stops every few minutes to ask for money.

Politically correct virus: Never calls itself a "virus", but instead refers to itself as an "electronic microorganism".

Richard Nixon virus: Also known as the "Tricky Dick Virus", you can wipe it out but it always makes a comeback.

Right To Life virus: Won't allow you to delete a file, regardless of how old it is. If you attempt to erase a file, it requires you to first see a counselor about possible alternatives.

Ross Perot virus: Activates every component in your system, just before the whole thing quits.

Ted Kennedy virus: Crashes your computer but denies it ever happened.

Ted Turner virus: Colorizes your monochrome monitor.

Terry Randle virus: Prints "Oh no you don't" whenever you choose "Abort" from the "Abort, Retry, Fail" message.

Texas virus: Makes sure that it's bigger than any other file.

UK Parliament virus: Splits the screen into two with a message in each half blaming other side for the state of the system.

Warren Commission virus: Won't allow you to open your files for 75 years.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:02 PM

... and moreover, Jack, this is not thread drift of any kind, 'heinous' or other: for what could be more of a threat to English language from Americanisms [the title of this thread, in case you had forgotten for all the other drifts which really are drifts that have been going on] than the refusal of an American program to accept the English spellings that it has promised to accept by the options it has offered???!!!

Eh? I mean, wot-wot!? Hmmm?!

〠☠〠


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Stu
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:06 PM

Just trying to help.

Try going to:

Apple menu > System Preferences

then on the top line

> Language and Text

Try changing the settings via the tabs at the top as follows:

Language: Everything says English and English is the top of the list.

Text > Spelling (drop down menu on the right hand side): set to British English

Formats > Region > United Kingdom

Input Sources: Make sure British is the only checkbox selected.


Give that a go, and don't forget to change your application preferences too.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:07 PM

I think it's all the fault of those people from Rhode Island. Why Rhode Island you may say.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:16 PM

Then the thread title is erroneous. I think it can safely assumed that there is no one single and correct "English" language. The term "English speaking" is a general term which refers to a common base language that evolved in England and is now spoken in various forms over several continents. Perhaps you are referring to a "threat to the language of England from Americanisms". In that case the problem is the English adopting Americanisms. Also you seem to have a problem with manufacturers not catering to your preferences. Again the solution lies with English people demanding resolution.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:24 PM

Jack ~ Thanks for your efforts to help, which are appreciated. However, my Systems Preferences doesn't show Language & Text!

I'm getting a new computer this week anyhow, so shall stop worrying & hope it will do what it promises.

Thanks again

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:43 PM

Further to the above, when I read the last few posts I was like - this thread has so drifted to viruses.   ;-)>


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:46 PM

It doesn't matter; and it doesn't matter that it doesn't matter!

As long as we understand each other, that's all that language was created for anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:52 PM

But the whole point is, do we? Suppose I said to a lady of your acquaintance, in all innocence, that I was passing her way next week & would drop by & knock her up?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 01:07 PM

Mind you, Jack, I am an obstinate old sod, and, for all your well-meant attempts to help me in a dilemma, I must reiterate that I don't think you quite got my point. First, I wasn't complaining of being in a dilemma as I was not inconvenienced -- all that happened was that squiggly red lines appeared under some words but didn't delete them so I was able just to go on merrily anyhow. BUT these lines should not have been there in the first place, because a default English·English, that was promised 'on the tin', so I shouldn't have had even to think of SystemPrefs or reprogammings or whatever, JUST DIDN'T MATERIALISE. You can say that isn't a systems fault all you like, because it can't read my mind: in this instance I had told it what was in my mind by the method itself had demanded, but it still refused to read it.

That was an operational fault, or a design fault, or some sort of a fault, say what you will.

Best regards

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:19 PM

"Standard" English- surely M'GM knows that is wrong. The Oxford English Dictionary is the best repository of the language that we have since it has accommodated words from all parts of the English-speaking world.

I must refudiate M'GM: there is no "standard" English, only accepted English. Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Scots, English and Americans all speak the accepted English of their society. American English is dominant because of its acceptance in intercontinental communication by peoples speaking different languages.

In the pages of the OED, words are given in the accepted form first, variants second. Acceptance is based not only on frequency of use, but correctness of construction. Recognize is the first cited spelling because historically and linguistically it is the more 'correct' spelling, not just because it is the most used.
The spelling 'recognise' is the populist' version, the 'street' usage.

A new portmanteau word in U. S. papers is 'carmageddon', with reference to possible gridlock because of a highway closure around Los Angeles. Its meaning is expanding to discussions of highway congestion, and the word is a good bet for furure inclusion in dictionaries.

Finally, to repeat again, 'refudiate' has not been accepted by any major dictionary; as stated by the Oxford University Press editors, it must be accepted by a goodly sized number of people before it is included in the OED (or any other major dictionary). I like the sound, it has a Lewis Carroll feel, so I will use it.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:35 PM

Coming to this a little late:

From: Gurney - PM
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:42 AM

As Autolycus pointed out, kids are uncertain what the emergency number is, (even more awkward here as ours is 111) but I don't understand why all 3-figure numbers don't go to emergency services.
It isn't as if it is going to be anyone's ordinary phone, is it!

All phone numbers (of three or more digits) start with a three digit number. So every call you make would go to the emergency services as the first 3 digits of the number you dial would be recognised as an emergency call.
Of course, the switchboards could be set up to transfer any three digit call to emergency services if (and only if) a fourth digit was not dialled within a certain timescale.


From: Q - PM
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

The Spanish have dropped that useless 'ph' in words from the Greek; fotographia for photograph, foton for photon.
Also gone is 'pn', so pneumonia becomes neumonia.

Presumably (in true Spanish style) they'll deal with the remaining 'ph' in 'fotographia' manana

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:17 PM

Nigel, perhaps because the 'ph' is a little smoother on the tongue.
-----------------

All numbers in Canada and U.S. are preceded by a three digit number. Toronto, Ontario has two, 416 and 647 (assigned to different parts of the metropolitan area).
Detroit, Michigan has four, but Detroit, Oregon has one, 503.

The emergency code U.S. and Canada is 911.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:45 PM

Where do you allege that I refd to Standard English, Q. I have simply refd to 'English·English' merely as a system of spelling different from the American.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:28 PM

"17 Jul 11 01:31AM- Q, Do you honestly believe that 'recognise' is 'wrong' (rather than the standard, recognised English English spelling...."


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:41 PM

"Detroit, Michigan has four, but Detroit, Oregon has one, 503."

Interesting that you should mention Detroit, Oregon, Q. Detroit, the last time I looked, has fewer than three hundred people. It's a small drive-through town on the way to the Santiam Pass in the Oregon Cascades.

Oregon as a whole, all my life had only one Area Code: 503 Beginning in the mid '90s it evidently now has four. sheesh Until this minute I didn't know about 971 and 458, although I knew about 541. This world is getting crowded.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:49 PM

Mthe GM, what if I told you my car was on the bum? or that I was on the bum?

Those are small things I think and really don't cause a problem in communication between the UK and the USA. Most of us have traveled back and forth so if you said you were going to knock me up I would simply say "Not before 0600."


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: gnu
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:37 PM

Surely you meant to say zero six hundred dark hours?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:05 PM

0600 hours where?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:08 PM

This time of year, it ain't dark here at 0600 hours.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 06:10 PM

Q ~~ I was writing of what is the standard [i.e. usually recognised in English orthography] spelling of a word. That is not claiming any particular branch of the language as "Standard English", with caps ~ you will note that the word you hilite in bold in your cut&paste is NOT capitalised , is it?


If you propose to censor me to the extent of forbidding me to employ a common adjective of quality like 'standard', you might as well, while you are about it, throw a wobbly when I write 'the' ~~

~~ and then I suggest you take a guess at just what I think you can go and do to yourself.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 12:27 AM

===small things I think and really don't cause a problem in communication between the UK and the USA===

Think so, Kendall? I remember a Cambridge academic friend much diverted by the shock expressed by an American visitor -- a university professor, no less -- when she announced that she was just going to lay the table...

I am not making this up.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:14 AM

pah, Michael. He was easily shocked, indeed. Methinks he was a bit disingenous.

'Set the table' is probably more common but 'laying a table' is certainly not uncommon.


Hmmmmm. Suddenly I suspect that 'lay the table' is regional, rather like 'carry me to town'. I remember them both from when I lived in Virginia.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:36 AM

Have you noticed that when people were arrested here they used to be "cautioned"? Now they are "read their rights" ~~ a complete misnomer, because nothing is actually *read*; the police simply repeat a standard rigmarole, informing them of their right to remain silent and cautioning them as to what its consequences might be if they exercise it unwisely. They are then said to be "under caution", which has certain legal implications. They are not under "read rights".

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:23 AM

And here's another for you, Kendall. I just had to point out to Spaw on the Women's World Cup thread "Go USA" that he was unwise to say that he had been watching the Japanese women's team in the WC, as WC here = water-closet = privy, lav, restroom &c. I presume he really didn't know that, & has made something of a floater ~~ I mean, watching the whole of a women's football team there!!!!

{;~)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:55 AM

"Lay the table" is common in my S.England experience.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:09 AM

From: kendall - PM
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 12:46 PM

"As long as we understand each other, that's all that language was created for anyway. "


I wrote the following on a related thread.




"I don't think the problem is just about language.

"I think it's also about our relationship to language.

"It's also about our respective psychologies.

"As to the first, I think us Brits have a somewhat more formal attitude to our language whereas Americans are more freewheeling in their use.

"Regarding the second, The Brits are more down-to-earth, dour and phlegmatic. The Americans are more emotional in their use of language and often don't take well to be taken to task rationally."

So, insofar as there's much grief between Brits and Americans, it's because we often don't realise that we are a bit different from each other because we have what looks like a common language.

The differences in usage given throughout this thread are the more superficial manifestations of that paradox.

Imho.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 08:34 AM

Methinks you have it, autolycus. But it has been an interesting discussion. Even though it touches me in a different way, MtheGM central point is completely understandable and deserves to be addressed.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:16 AM

Water closet was a common term for privy when I was a boy.Even though there was no water in it.
The ship in which I served had WC and WR over the doors of the toilet and showers.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 01:20 PM

The 'rights' are written on a card that many American policemen carry, and which they read to the apprehended person.

Perhaps others can make sense out of that 'standard' statement by M'Gm; I will no longer try.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:22 PM

Well, I've just come back from 4 days away - and still this discussion goes on.

I have to tell you all that, despite the number of words written, the convoluted arguments, the assertions and counter-assertions, the favouring of this and the favoring of that (take note of that last sub-phrase), the spoutings of academics and the ramblings of the ill-educated, the English language will change - as it has always changed over hundred of years - and there's sweet fuck-all you can do about it. The forces that change language are huge, and you are few.

So, speak the version of the language that suits you, and accept other versions as you hear them.

Will Fly, CB (Certified Buffoon)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM

I forget which thread the "flat" versus "apartment" was on but let me get in on that one. Sometimes here we use flat to describe a type of apartment but what I need to ask is what the hell an allotment is. So............

What the hell is an "Allotment?"


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Stu
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:43 PM

The full glory of English.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:50 PM

I think this thread has attracted a lot of horse pucky. Surely individuals have a perfect right to choose how they wish to express themselves, and to enjoy the use of any vernacular they prefer? When did God die and leave pedants in charge?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM

Spaw, an 'allotment' in the UK is a piece of land, usually owned by a local council, which can be rented by members of the community to grow fruit, flowers, vegetables, etc. for their own use. Set up many years ago to help people with little or no land in their property.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Bert
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:19 PM

...but I don't hear anyone complaining about the damage done to "their" language by Geordies or Cockneys...

OI! Mick, you know I've told you this before. Cockney is THE CORRECT VERSION OF ENGLISH. just as Parisian French is the definitive version of the French language.

The version of the language spoken by those living in the Capital City truly defines the language. Cockney is the true language of Londoners and not the ponced up version put out by the BBC that a lot of modern Londoners speak.

As for Geordies, (A word which my spell checker doesn't like) I think you might have a valid complaint, if you could understand them that is. Just don't let Bill Sables hear you.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:36 PM

Bert, dear old friend, I wasn't complaining. Cockney, being the language of the working folks these days, is a tongue that is lovely to my ear. I won't get into the Parisienne v. Quebecois debate. Those French Canoodians don't take it well. ***ducking and running for cover behind a skid of Labatts***

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Bert
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:50 PM

Hi Mick,

'Cos I'm a Cockney myself I never miss a chance to claim that 'I' speak Correct English and that it is everyone else who has an accent ;-)

and MtheGM, knowing Spaw, when he says 'he had been watching the Japanese women's team in the WC' I suspect that he was just taking the piss.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:58 PM

There will be a group of allotments in a field together, each one a standard measurement based on ancient imperial lengths - I believe 10 rods are involved, and a sixteenth of an acre - though they vary.

Visualise all these plots together, dotted with sheds, which may be constructed from odds and sods of timber etc, cold frames from old windows, and lines of beanpoles - bamboo rods about 7 ft tall tied together in pairs to form a sort of ridge structure - brassicas in various stages of life standing around to attract the cabbage white butterflies, and nowadays, plastic compost bins.

There will be an allotment association who buy in essential supplies in bulk for the members, and police the plots to ensure that no-one lets theirs run to weeds to affect the others.


Allotments from the air

Allotments with few veg but probably pigeon lofts

Well kept allotments

There is supposed to be a compulsion on local authorities to make allotments available.

There's a waiting list of 18 at my local allotments - no point in signing up, as I'll be too old if I got one. I'm having to put up with dealing with the slugs in my garden.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 04:24 PM

Could understand little of Kenneth Williams. I listened to his "Ma crepe suzette," and wondered if she(?) is any relation to 'lucious crumpet'.

Noticed he said 'they 'ung him instead of the correct they 'anged him.
A person can be hanged but a jury is hung. Can't explain how that came about.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM

Q ~ Can't quite see what your problem is with the word "standard". But, as you say, American police carry a card from which they, literally, 'read [an arrested man] his rights'. Our police, on the contrary, have to memorise and recite this "caution":

"You do not have to say anything, but it could harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you say may be used in evidence".

That is what I meant by the 'standard caution', which you seemed to find so difficult.

I repeat accordingly my main point, that our press &c more and more write in inaccurately adopted Americanese of an arrestee being "read his rights" [it occured in The Times this very morning, which is what prompted me to post]. This is anomalous, because nothing is read to our prisoners, they have the official caution repeated to them by the arresting officer, who is required to have memorised it.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:06 PM

Is the expression "Ayyyyy-yup!" counted among these threats? And what about "Yo!"?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: olddude
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:22 PM

OK but the big question is, when I drive on the highway, I get a lot of people who give me the middle finger. Does that mean the same in the various dialects? That is, have a nice day LOL


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:33 PM

Nowt wrong with ayyup. Nor nesh nor mardy (except if you're the person being described). But does anyone know where the apostrophe(s?) goes in costna?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 05:57 PM

NO,if anyone listened to the programme[not program],they would have heard his punchline,use the British 2 fingers


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:26 PM

"standard caution"- nothing said about that.
My comment referred solely to ".... standard, recogni(s)ed English English spelling."; which is gobbledygook.
Not worth further comment.

[Is this expression also known in UK?- not worth the dew off my dong]


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 07:31 PM

Here's an article by an American professor of English who deplores (among other things) "a boom in Britishisms" amongst among his students:
...not only the weirdly popular "amongst," but also "amidst," "whilst"—I actually have gotten that more than once in assignments—and "oftentimes." (In a parallel move, the stretched-out and unpleasant "off-ten" has become a vogue pronunciation among youth, as has "eye-ther.") In spelling, "grey" has taken over from the previously standard "gray." I haven't seen "labour" yet, but the day is young....
You might also enjoy the responses at the bottom of the column.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: John P
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 09:10 PM

The differences between English English and American English is one of the enduring pleasures of my life. Why should anyone want to do anything about it? If Americanisms are creeping into English speech, it just means they are becoming part of English English.

I think advertisements and CorporateSpeak are a bigger threat. "Lite" is widely used and always painful. Any word with a capital letter in the middle of it is stupid. Texting language is useful for texting, I suppose, but really bad for any other form of written communication.

I have to admit to getting thoroughly tired of the "ough" words, though. I mean, enough is enough. If "enough" is pronounced "enuf", why isn't "though" pronounced "thuf"? Keeping track of this stuff is really tough. Keeping track of this stough is really tuff! And what is the REAL pronunciation of "slough"?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 11:19 PM

A snake periodically sloughs (sluffs) its skin. I go down to the slough (sloo) when I want to see mud.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 01:03 AM

That's a whole slew of stuff, there.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:37 AM

When we go to the town of Slough, Berkshire, it rhymes with "now". The muddy patch is pronounced the same as that over here, rather than 'sloo'.

~M~

cough, rough, bough, though, through, thorough, thought ~~ don't look for logic in English spelling. Think of the famous foreigner who thought he knew English till he saw the poster which said "The Mousetrap, pronounced success": so he went away and shot himself...


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Stu
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 03:27 AM

"Cockney, being the language of the working folks these days"

What!!! Only in the East me old china. Tell the working folks of Brum or Manchester that cockney's the language of the working folks and you'd get a right load of verbal down yer lug 'ole.

Aye lad, up north there's nowt clever about talkin' chuffin' cockney which is what them poncey southerners speak to look reet workin' class wiout actually bein' workin' class if thee catches that. Mithersome lot them are.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 10:43 AM

As to the economy of expression (which may be a red-herring) in Anglicized language, I use Dave Barry's opening reaction paraphrasing
an assent often used by Americans, "You bet your ass!" to be "I rather jolly well quite should say!" Both are equally expressive and reflect national differences.
    Language is fluid and the French have railed in vain against "Franglais". Slang often cuts to the chase when formalized convention is mired in muddy verbiage. Language, a form of music, is never limited, and to force an analogy here, one kind of music doesn't preclude the value of another. Does jazz or rock vitiate classical music?
   The only threat to the English or any other language is to stifle its growth. I have a vague concern that this perceived "threat" to the English language may have something to do with the agenda of the BNP.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM

Whit d' ye mean when ye sae "lughole"?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Stu
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:26 PM

LH - yer Toby Jugs, earhole.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 12:38 PM

"The only threat to the English or any other language is to stifle its growth."

That's from one end of the spectrum.

The threat from the other is to fail to maintain standards of comprehensibility in the dash for growth; and to fail to maintain a knowledge and sense of our language's history. To do that is to help make it coherent and understandable.

The other danger of letting language grow unchecked is worsening meaning, so that, like Alice in Wonderland, words mean whatever the speaker wants them to mean; not much use to listeners/readers.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: artbrooks
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM

I think there are three - or is it four - threads currently going on essentially the same topic.

It all reminds me of two CDs I got a few years ago: Song Links v1 and v2. Mudcat was one of the production sponsors. These are collections of English songs and their Australian (v1) and American (v2) variants. Songs, and language, change over time. That hardly means that one version is 'better' or 'more correct' than the other.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:33 PM

>That hardly means that one version is 'better' or 'more correct' than the other.

Not necessarily "better." But one could be.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 04:36 AM

I remember Slough when it was Bucks.
BBC has put up a list of 50 most hated Amercanisms.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14201796


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:48 AM

When I was on the job we were expected to memorize the Miranda warning. Otherwise you look like a child trying to speak a piece in a school play. We also had to memorize the 4th amendment to graduate Treasury School of law enforcement and criminal investigation.

Spaw, maybe you already know this, but "allotment" in this country is used in the military. That is the part of your pay that goes to your family.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:48 AM

That list from the BBC is fascinating for several reasons.

A lot of them don't seem to be Americanisms—they are never, or rarely, used over here. For example: "oftentimes." An American professor complained about that very word, but he thought it was a Britishism! (See my quote above.)

You British do have a tendency to blame America for everything that the British people do to their own language.

"Least worst option"? I've never heard it!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:58 AM

I use shopping cart, and period. I also pronounce Z as zee.
Most of the others I agree with.Yes I ended a sentence with a preposition. So purge me.

You've got, or we've got drives me batty!
a half an hour also.

To the Brit living in NY, get used to it. As George Bush said, "When in Rome, do as Romanians do."


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:59 AM

Personally, I blame the English.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:03 AM

Doesn't Murdoch publish a lot of those papers these complaints appear in?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:13 AM

Why bother with apostrophes at all? As far as I am concerned they are a waste of time. Why not just drop it all together? That is not being sloppy just practical if no-one can agree.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:28 AM

Drop apostrophes?
The religious cant!


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:58 AM

Good one, Nigel - LOL! (That's Laughed Out Loud in internet English)




Or should I've said (Thats...)



Or should Ive said


(Get's c'oat)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM

Some of the words amused me.
Everyone knows what is meant by two-timing gal, but double-timing gal would cause confusion.
Touch base probably is from baseball; players must touch base. I don't know what cricket players do.
Physicality appeared in print in 1593 (English writer). I don't recall hearing the word in speech.
Shopping cart- I always thought 'trolley' was something people ride on, as in the song, "clang, clang, clang, went the trolley."
Gotten, of course, is English, in print in 1340. Less used in UK, perhaps.

Most of the opinions seem based on personal preference, or failure to keep up with a changing language.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM

Listened to Cameron and the question period last night. My dog wanted out at 4 AM.
Both Cameron and the gentleman who led the labo(u)r leader were good speakers, well versed in debating skills, with excellent command of the language. I was also impressed by the questions which were both barbed and brief.

I wish I could say the same of the peoples representatives in the Canadian Parliament and the American Congress, both act on me like a strong soporific.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 06:41 PM

,cough, rough, bough, though, through, thorough, thought ~~ don't look for logic in English spelling. Think of the famous foreigner who thought he knew English till he saw the poster which said "The Mousetrap, pronounced success": so he went away and shot himself,
MGM, That is hilarious


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:35 PM

How about people who start a sentence with: "Well"... Ronald Raygun did that.
How about those who start with: "I mean"...


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM

Well, how 'bout that?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 03:29 AM

Our media now says something is "headed up" by someone instead of just "headed."
Why?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 09:10 AM

Our media now says something is "headed up" by someone instead of just "headed."
Why?

Indeed, why not just 'Led'?


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: MMario
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 09:25 AM

@songwriter

it would most likely be more accurate to say "Shakespeare is the first evidence we have of the use of these words" - that they are not found in any other WRITTEN material doesn't mean they were not in use prior to his writing them down.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 09:48 AM

You'll laugh. Years ago someone investigated the research of the Oxford English Dictionary in the nineteenth century and discovered that when the editors had to choose between a word in Shakespeare and the same word elsewhere from apparently the same year, they'd give priority to Shakespeare, presumably because he was smarter or classier.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 01:48 PM

The list of Shakespeare's 'first' is also skewed because it includes some words previously known but in a different tense. All such lists tend to be overly inclusive.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 12:29 AM

Why bother with apostrophes at all?

They distinguish possessives and plurals.

They show where letters are missing.

They protect us from frightening foreign words, such as solo's and   potato's. (They don't teach us that in school, but it's true.)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 04:26 PM

c'est vrai.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 06:21 AM

"Why bother with apostrophes at all? As far as I am concerned they are a waste of time. Why not just drop it all together? That is not being sloppy just practical if no-one can agree."


1. They cl;arify meaning when used correctly.

2. "No-one can agree" doesn't actually make sense.

However, I'd point out that it isn't that there is no agreement [which is what "no-one can agree" seems to imply]. It's that there is disagreement among two or more groups. Within those groups, they agree; it's the the groups that disagree.

That situation obtains pretty well in every field.

We don't usually decide to abandon standards, practices, theories simply because we cannot get universal agreement. At best, like here, we discuss it.

Otherwise, perhaps could someone name one single area where there is universal agreement.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 11:45 AM

perhaps could someone name one single area where there is universal agreement.

Each morning the sun arises somewhere in the northeast-to-southeast quadrant of the horizon, although sometimes the view of it is obscured by clouds.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 12:09 PM

"perhaps could someone name one single area where there is universal agreement. "

...the spelling of every word in that sentence, but not the smallcase "p" in "perhaps."


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 12:10 PM

Each morning an observer on the Earth can see the Sun appear to rise...


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 03:23 PM

"Each morning the sun arises......"
NO !

North of the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn't rise for much of the winter. During the summer, .....

In the Antarctic, the sun hides during part of their winter. In summer, .....


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 03:48 PM

Can't e all agree on this? (I paraphrase Descartes): "If you're thinking, you're existing."

Of course, it may not be "you," as you think of yourself, that's existing; the mind that "you" think is thinking might actually be something else entirely, like an imitation mind in a computer program a zillion years from now.

Nevertheless, that unfamiliar "you" would still be thinking, and you'd exist, even though you might be terribly deluded about who "you" really are. And if you're an imitation mind in a computer program, something else would obviously exist too - the computer and the code that programs you.

But as long as you're thinking, you're existing. Regardless of anything else.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 04:28 PM

The fact that different groups have differing opinions of the point or value of apostrophes is simply no reason at all for giving up on them. Especially as each group seems to sometimes have some sort of point.



Meanwhile, I'll stick to my view that there's next to nothig for which there's universal agreement.


One sentence isn't an area. Nevertheless:-

I don't think there actually is universal agreement on spelling of those words. [Never mind that perhaps wasn't the first word of the sentence.]

There are still people who think the Sun goes round the Earth, as their senses prove to them. Plus what Q said.

There isn't universal agreement about the nature of that 'you', nor of whether 'you's are thinking. Both of those are the kinds of arguments Descartes used for dismissing other proofs of our existence.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 05:11 PM

> There isn't universal agreement about the nature of that 'you', nor of whether 'you's are thinking.

That's beside the point. We can (what that means is "should if we want to be logical") agree that "if you're thinking, you're existing" in one form or another. Even if that "you" is only some kind of deluded colony mind just west of Antares. Some "you" exists, no matter what.

Of course, since there's always someone who doesn't want to be, or can't be, logical, not even that statement is something "we all agree on."

It's just something that's undeniably true by any sane standard.

Mathematical statements are only slightly less undeniably true (or false). Some day, perhaps, though it's hard to imagine how, 2 + 2 might not equal 4. But even if that were to happen, and you were to notice it, that would prove you still existed.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 11:53 AM

Some day, perhaps, though it's hard to imagine how, 2 + 2 might not equal 4. But even if that were to happen, and you were to notice it, that would prove you still existed.
2+2 is 11 (in base 3)


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: autolycus
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM

Anyway, the discussion, by lack of further examples, shows that there is little for which there's universal etc. and so, REGARDING APOSTROPHES, disagreement remains not a reason for abandoning them - my main point.


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 03:02 PM

No apo-STROPHE? What a cata-STROPHE !


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Subject: RE: BS:threat to English language from Americanisms
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 06:21 PM

Nigel, you know you're just playing with words; or, in this case, symbols.

But that doesn't bother me, because I have no proof that you even exist. All I know is that I do.


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