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We must stop correcting grammar

Dave the Gnome 28 Nov 17 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM
The Sandman 28 Nov 17 - 02:40 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Nov 17 - 04:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Nov 17 - 04:26 PM
Tattie Bogle 28 Nov 17 - 08:03 PM
mg 28 Nov 17 - 08:13 PM
leeneia 29 Nov 17 - 12:28 AM
robomatic 29 Nov 17 - 02:49 AM
Mr Red 29 Nov 17 - 03:36 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Nov 17 - 03:38 AM
Ebbie 29 Nov 17 - 04:16 AM
Jos 29 Nov 17 - 04:41 AM
Raedwulf 29 Nov 17 - 04:57 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 06:02 AM
Doug Chadwick 29 Nov 17 - 06:53 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 29 Nov 17 - 07:41 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM
Raedwulf 29 Nov 17 - 09:34 AM
Anne Lister 29 Nov 17 - 10:45 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 01:04 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 01:05 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Nov 17 - 01:09 PM
Doug Chadwick 29 Nov 17 - 01:14 PM
michaelr 29 Nov 17 - 08:52 PM
Rapparee 29 Nov 17 - 09:05 PM
robomatic 29 Nov 17 - 09:15 PM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 17 - 09:27 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Nov 17 - 09:37 PM
Joe Offer 29 Nov 17 - 09:47 PM
Ebbie 30 Nov 17 - 12:04 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 30 Nov 17 - 03:16 AM
Iains 30 Nov 17 - 03:34 AM
Mr Red 30 Nov 17 - 03:39 AM
Steve Shaw 30 Nov 17 - 05:16 AM
Doug Chadwick 30 Nov 17 - 05:55 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Nov 17 - 06:10 AM
punkfolkrocker 30 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM
robomatic 30 Nov 17 - 06:58 PM
ripov 30 Nov 17 - 07:20 PM
michaelr 30 Nov 17 - 08:37 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Nov 17 - 10:50 PM
michaelr 01 Dec 17 - 12:45 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Dec 17 - 03:35 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 17 - 05:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Dec 17 - 05:51 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 17 - 07:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 01 Dec 17 - 07:57 AM
Mrrzy 01 Dec 17 - 08:43 AM
leeneia 01 Dec 17 - 11:03 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 17 - 08:20 PM
Raedwulf 02 Dec 17 - 04:14 AM
Doug Chadwick 02 Dec 17 - 05:24 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 06:33 AM
Jos 02 Dec 17 - 06:36 AM
Doug Chadwick 02 Dec 17 - 06:45 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 08:12 AM
Raedwulf 02 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 08:58 AM
Raedwulf 02 Dec 17 - 09:02 AM
Mrrzy 02 Dec 17 - 09:40 AM
Doug Chadwick 02 Dec 17 - 10:47 AM
Raedwulf 02 Dec 17 - 11:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 02 Dec 17 - 11:53 AM
punkfolkrocker 02 Dec 17 - 12:22 PM
Raedwulf 02 Dec 17 - 12:42 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Dec 17 - 12:53 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 03:58 PM
Doug Chadwick 02 Dec 17 - 04:20 PM
Nigel Parsons 02 Dec 17 - 04:29 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 04:36 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 04:45 PM
Tattie Bogle 02 Dec 17 - 07:51 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 07:55 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Dec 17 - 08:01 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Dec 17 - 08:35 PM
Jos 03 Dec 17 - 07:14 AM
Mrrzy 03 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Dec 17 - 06:10 PM
Greg F. 03 Dec 17 - 06:35 PM
Tattie Bogle 03 Dec 17 - 06:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 05 Dec 17 - 04:52 PM
Raedwulf 05 Dec 17 - 05:43 PM
Jos 06 Dec 17 - 04:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Dec 17 - 04:54 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 05:40 AM
Raedwulf 06 Dec 17 - 06:48 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 08:44 AM
Will Fly 06 Dec 17 - 09:48 AM
Will Fly 06 Dec 17 - 09:50 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Dec 17 - 09:59 AM
Dave the Gnome 06 Dec 17 - 10:23 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Dec 17 - 11:01 AM
leeneia 06 Dec 17 - 11:11 AM
Will Fly 06 Dec 17 - 11:47 AM
Iains 06 Dec 17 - 12:41 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 01:04 PM
Raedwulf 06 Dec 17 - 01:12 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 02:02 PM
punkfolkrocker 06 Dec 17 - 02:47 PM
punkfolkrocker 06 Dec 17 - 02:50 PM
Raedwulf 06 Dec 17 - 03:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 06 Dec 17 - 05:09 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 05:17 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 05:19 PM
Raedwulf 06 Dec 17 - 07:00 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Dec 17 - 07:57 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 Dec 17 - 03:33 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 04:37 AM
Iains 07 Dec 17 - 05:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Dec 17 - 05:08 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 05:49 AM
Iains 07 Dec 17 - 05:58 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 06:15 AM
Iains 07 Dec 17 - 06:16 AM
Nigel Parsons 07 Dec 17 - 06:18 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 06:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Dec 17 - 06:31 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 06:44 AM
Donuel 07 Dec 17 - 06:56 AM
Mrrzy 07 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM
Nigel Parsons 07 Dec 17 - 08:53 AM
punkfolkrocker 07 Dec 17 - 09:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Dec 17 - 09:35 AM
punkfolkrocker 07 Dec 17 - 09:42 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 10:07 AM
Will Fly 07 Dec 17 - 11:13 AM
leeneia 07 Dec 17 - 11:49 AM
Iains 07 Dec 17 - 01:11 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 05:31 PM
Doug Chadwick 07 Dec 17 - 05:52 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 06:50 PM
bobad 07 Dec 17 - 07:40 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 08:00 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 08:02 PM
Tattie Bogle 07 Dec 17 - 08:38 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 17 - 09:14 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Dec 17 - 05:01 AM
punkfolkrocker 08 Dec 17 - 05:25 AM
Donuel 08 Dec 17 - 06:32 AM
Donuel 08 Dec 17 - 07:00 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Dec 17 - 08:23 PM
leeneia 08 Dec 17 - 09:44 PM
Will Fly 09 Dec 17 - 03:55 AM
Will Fly 09 Dec 17 - 03:57 AM
Donuel 09 Dec 17 - 05:56 AM
Mr Red 09 Dec 17 - 06:43 AM
Nigel Parsons 09 Dec 17 - 07:41 AM
Mrrzy 09 Dec 17 - 08:37 AM
Will Fly 09 Dec 17 - 08:43 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 17 - 08:47 AM
The Sandman 10 Dec 17 - 09:08 AM
Donuel 10 Dec 17 - 09:19 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Dec 17 - 04:56 PM
Mrrzy 13 Dec 17 - 08:23 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 Dec 17 - 10:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Dec 17 - 10:29 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM
Donuel 13 Dec 17 - 02:49 PM
punkfolkrocker 13 Dec 17 - 03:01 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Dec 17 - 08:29 PM
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Subject: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 06:39 AM

This really strikes a chord

Applies to many posts on here too. Are you listening? You know who you are :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM

I agree, Dave. Correcting grammar should be done in only a few situations.

1. Between parent and child
2. In the classroom
3. For a foreigner, who will truly be helped. I had a student asking me for the pattern for a "hand" recently. I taught her that the word is "potholder."

Here on the Mudcat, correcting is used mostly as a way to embarrass someone. Not nice.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 11:26 AM

A friend got a bit uptight when I corrected something he had written, and told me in no uncertain terms that there was nothing wrong with his spelling and grammar. Rather than lose a friend, I apologised, to which he replied,"Your welcome"!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 02:40 PM

I'm sitting in the garden in my little Noddy suit
With a sparrow on me fishing rod and frog spawn in my boot
Oh it's tiddling down with rain, I've got water on the brain,
But I'll sit here by the pond like King Canute.

The kids have knocked my nose off, and my boots are getting thin,
And the way that they all treat me here, it really is a sin.
And there's a pigeon I can see, he's aiming straight for me,
And the gardener strikes his matches on my shin.

Well, long ago I used to be a king upon a throne.
I met a wicked fairy and she turned me into stone.
And that is why I'm sitting in this garden all alone.
It's not much fun being a gnome.

I'm sitting here a fishing but these fishes never bite.
And anyway it's been so long I've lost my appetite,
Oh it really is a strain, here's that pigeon back again.
Has anybody got some dynamite.

There's a doggy comes to see me every evening after tea,
I used to wonder why he was so very fond of me.
And then I found out why, it hit me in the eye.
Have you ever been mistaken for a tree.

My earhole's full of cobwebs and my doublet doesn't fit.
Sitting on this toadstool well I feel a proper twit.
And the way that they all treat me here it makes me want to spit.
And it's not much fun being a Gnome.

But I'll sit here in the garden in my little Noddy suit.
With a sparrow on my fishing rod and tadpoles in my boots.
Oh it's piddling down with rain, I've got water on the brain.
But I'll sit here by the pond like King Canute, RULE BRITTANIA!
I'll sit here by the pond like King Canute.


[The Gnome, by Miles Wootton]


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 04:20 PM

Having your grammar/spelling/punctuation corrected is very annoying, but the beauty of it is that the person correcting you is invariably guilty of much more of said inelegance than you are. It's generally very easy to pick them to pieces on account of their own peccadillos, always far more numerous than yours, and the temptation to move in for the kill is too great to resist. Very naughty, but I'm only human.



It's "Britannia" by the way, Dick. Heheh!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 04:26 PM

Very good, Dick. I would have been even more impressed if it had have been an original or if you had credited Miles Wootton.

It is not true of course. It is great fun being a Gnome.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 08:03 PM

It will not be that long before we in Scotland get into the season celebrating our great bard, Robert Burns.(Possessive Burns' or possibly Burns's)
But it really gets up my nose to see BURN'S so often included in even official invitations, and also on our dance band set list (we have a Burns' Waltz Set and a Burns' reel set, both of which get wrongly placed apostrophes by the sender of the set list!) Now if someone was called James, you would, I hope, never write Jame's, so why Burn's??
And Britannia - only right about 50% of the times you see it in print! Oh yes, we have the Brittania Two-Step on our set list too!
So....why must we STOP correcting grammar? (I did read the attached article!)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: mg
Date: 28 Nov 17 - 08:13 PM

I also correct the correctors but not the original poster.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 12:28 AM

"So....why must we STOP correcting grammar?"

Tattie Boggle, stop wasting our time. You're not that naive. ============
Our relationship with apostrophes is far more wonderful and complex than the grammar books suspect.
=============
Re: Britannia. This is another of those words that have two of something, but many people are not sure which. (You'd think people would realize that if Britain has one T, then Britannia has one T.
But many people don't analyze language. They just let it flow over them.) Other examples:

zucchini or zuchinni?
Conecticutt or Connecticut?
brocolli or broccoli?
paralellepiped or not?

I have a friend whose last name is Henesey or Hennesey or Hennessy. Because of her, I started keeping my address book by my friend's first names.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 02:49 AM

From Brann The Iconoclast:
Do you understand, Jenks? Can you discover the beau-
tiful moral of the story without a diagram? Right here,
Jenks, I will present you ? ^as a worthy representative of a
considerable contingent of smart Alecs ? with a slug of
advice that is more precious than fine gold. Treasure it
tenderly and transmit it as a priceless heritage to the
Jenkses of the next generation : Whenever you encoun-
ter a grammatical error riding gayly along on a train of
thought, "Kill it and go on." Remember that even the
good Homer nods sometimes. If you aspire to be really
useful go sit on the bleaching board and watch an ama-
teur game of baseball, bestride a dry goods box and save
the country, spit at a mark, preach prohibition, play
croquet with a bevy of old maids, suck a cane? do anything
but play grammar sharp.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 03:36 AM

Correcting grammar may avoid errors of communication. Language is communication. Pure and simple.

Life ain't binary nor is language. The rule should be - can the other person understand?

English is full of homophones, homonyms and nuances. What you say is perfectly understandable to you. But does it communicate?

And are the receivers actually listening - grammar is a two-way process.

case in point that has no real resolution is: A through B is the same as A to B inclusive in the UK we may understand the former (depending on context) but does the US understand the latter?

And I always try to say "in the circumstances" which a lot of people would not notice and prefer "under" - but logic (not a hard and fast rule in English) should tell you circum surrounds you, not on top of you. Does it matter - not in this case but there are cases and they only reveal themselves when it costs you money, time or even life.

Anyone remember those temporary road signs that said "Wait while red light shows"? In Yorkshire** (predominantly) while means until. There were accidents with people who "knew" what it meant but took a chance by invoking Yorshirese in their defence.

** roses of other colours are available.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 03:38 AM

From: leeneia - PM
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 12:28 AM
zucchini or zuchinni?


When faced with a word which I have trouble spelling, I either look it up, or use a different defence mechanism:
zucchini or zuchinni? "courgette"

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 04:16 AM

Well. I grant that the article makes a good point, but I hate to give up the right to correct. Even if not publicly, at least in my own mind. Words are important, they have power, they are the means by which we create so many things.

I deplore the current trend of abbreviating and phoneticizing so many words on our phones and in our advertisements. How do we expect the upcoming generations not only to be able to spell correctly but to recognize the fact that communication is vital, that there is formal language and there is casual language?

On the other hand, I was humbled one night on a number of emails, even though it ended up being hilarious. See, a friend in New Mexico and I were in a leisurely conversation about words and their usage and we congratulated ourselves on our attention to detail.

We wrote back and forth perhaps four times - and each time we each made a mistake! We finally agreed to give it up and say good night.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jos
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 04:41 AM

While "in the circumstances" could refer to favourable circumstances, enabling you to do something that might not have been possible or sensible otherwise, "under the circumstances" suggests oppression, where the circumstances are preventing you from doing what you would have preferred to do.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 04:57 AM

Why should we stop correcting grammar? Why do we have so many different languages in the first place & so many people therefore can't communicate with most of the rest of humanity? Since we all came from a small group of common ancestors (allegedly) who presumably all spoke the same primitive language, how the hell did we wind up with the vast chasm between inflected & non-inflected, never mind odd quirks like glottal stops? (And yes, I'm just going to assume that everyone understands what I'm referring to; naughty me!)

The author of the article frankly strikes me as being something of a berk. "being a good person is HARD." No it isn't. It's dead fucking easy. We all have our off moments, but it's not difficult to not be a self-absorbed, self-centred twit 99% of the time. Oh, wait, sorry, for him it is. So can I just point out that it's not "who'd o' guessed?!"; it's "who'd `a' guessed?!" The vagaries of pronunciation mean a lot of folk do indeed say "of", but the word you are abbreviating is "have". There, that's my grammar Nazi moment for this quarter out of the way!

Spolling (sic) is a miner (sic) matter - it applies only to the written word. Grammar applies to both written & spoken, but remains a minor matter. HOWEVER! The point of both is that they are attempts to provide a structure to language that makes communication easier. Do you know what txtspk is? Do you know what l33t is? Have you come across the popular "mxeid wrods" meme / post? I can read them all, but my comprehension is slower, and I am more likely to misunderstand something, especially if I'm being rushed for some reason. People misunderstand each other easily enough as it is; you want to make it easier for that to happen?!

There is always, if you are so inclined, pleasure in demolishing a badly constructed argument, whatever its weaknesses, whether it's bigotry & ignorance, false arguments such as strawman or ad hominem, etc. What? I said I was good, I never claimed to be nice; not the same thing! :p Random (i.e. outside of actual education) grammar correction, in my experience, always occurs online, but a large part of our education, both formal & informal and throughout our lives, comes through the written word. Spelling & grammar may be minor, but that doesn't equate to unimportant. Good is not the same as nice, simple is not the same as easy; a car is easy / not hard to learn to drive for most people, but a simple piece of machinery it is not!

For the most part, it is not worthwhile correcting spelling or grammar; indeed, it can be counter-productive & you make yourself look a twit. One good reason for not doing it - you probably know nothing about the other person. They might be dyslexic. Stupid & ignorant - two words that also don't mean the same thing. Are they incapable of learning / understanding beyond a certain level? Has their education been disrupted? Almost certainly, either case is not their fault.

But there are two reasons why I will savage someone. The first is someone trying to be superior - "sorry, you're claiming to be better than them & you can't even..." The second is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy should, in my view, always be challenged. It's easy to hammer both of the author's examples "Why dont the Muslins cant not LERN ENGLISH??????" Why should they when you obviously couldn't be bothered, pal? The immigrant-bashing grammar Nazi is even easier - "How come you're not correcting your fellow racist bigots for whom this is supposedly their FIRST language?"

There's a third reason too, and it's why I deliberately used an aggressive word - "savage". The chances are you will have no useful effect whatsoever on the poster you are taking issue with. But the world is almost never bipolar. The light switch only goes on & off, the ballot paper may only have yes & no on it. But a thermostat has a range of settings, and a ballot paper usually has several choices. The world is rarely black & white. I hate preaching to the converted; it's pointless. I've a dear friend who nearly fell out with me. She's a bit of an eco-warrior, so frequently shares stuff from groups like Sea Shepherd. I don't like the killing of whales & dolphins, but I detest the hyperbolic garbage they put out & I'm on their side of the fence! Having eventually blocked them, I now won't see anything of theirs & I certainly won't support them. Well done, Sea Shepherd. The people who are going "Yeah!" already support you; the people going "No!" never will. It's all the shades of grey you want to influence. If you've pissed me off & I'm on your side, what have done with everyone else...

In making any counter-argument, you are unlikely to influence an original strong opinion. But you may well influence those who are less certain. In attacking a poster's grammar, you are committing a minor ad hominem (it's the only time I'll willingly & knowingly do that), but if you can further weaken someone else's poor argument by making them appear ignorant / ill-educated, I'd say that's legitimate. In general, I wouldn't (& don't) bother to correct people, unless they ask for help. But in the scenario cited by the article? Far from "never", I'd go for the throat every time that I could us it as a supporting argument, or if language was their original point.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 06:02 AM

Well we're not here to write legalese. We shouldn't be in a state of tension when typing a post just in case someone's out there hawkishly looking for flaws. Many flaws are not really flaws in any case. Grammar nazis frequently cling to rules that are not rules at all. It's never been wrong to routinely, or sporadically, or even just in isolation, split infinitives, for example. The nazi in that case doesn't understand what an infinitive is. When I look back at some of my posts, I see that I'm guilty of constructing somewhat elaborate and tortuous sentences at times. They might not contain actual mistakes but they give the reader too much mental processing to do. As has been well said, it's all about communicating ideas clearly. But just don't even think of gratuitously picking me up for little errors unless you want me to go for the jugular, that's all. I can't help myself!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 06:53 AM

When leeneia took Tattie Bogle to task for "wasting our time", I looked back at Tattie Bogul's post to see what had caused leeneia's reaction but accidently skipped the relevant post and went to an earlier one. On re-reading this earlier post, I realised that there was a punchline

          .............to which he replied,"Your welcome"!

that I hadn't seen. I read it with its intended meaning without noticing the deliberate grammatical mistake.

As leeneia said:      ....many people don't analyze language. They just let it flow over them.




Raedwulf,
Do you know what txtspk is? Do you know what l33t is? Have you come across the popular "mxeid wrods" meme / post?

I understand "txtspk" and "mxeid wrods" but what does "l33t" mean?


DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 07:41 AM

Have a look at Dave Gorman's "Modern life is goodish", the episode from last week, to see his theory about the textspeak geberation.

Basically, he believes that he is in the generation that uses correct spelling and punctuation because that generation were not brought up with mobile phones as children.
The next generation is using textspeak as they were brought up with them.
The previous generation are learning how to use smartphones from their grandchildren and so are also using textspeak.

Robin


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 08:22 AM

l33t = Leet
Wiki


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:34 AM

Indeed, Steve. To put the point another way, grammar (spolling inc!) should only ever be the nail in the stick, never the stick itself. In other words, if you feel you have a reason to argue with someone, it's an extra spanner in the toolkit, but if it's the reason you're arguing with someone, you probably ought to take a step back, find a mirror, and take a look at yourself!

Doug - Nigel has kindly provided a link. In brief, it is (99% of the time) replacing letters with numbers. C U ltr is txt; str8 i.e. straight is l33t. As a gamer, I use a certain amount of txt myself; gn for goodnight, np for no problem, etc; though I dislike txtspk generally. C U for 'see you' is, to my mind, just being bloody lazy - learn to type, learn to spell, both are useful skills! It usually takes me longer to proof-read; to ensure I'm saying what I want in the way I want to say it, as well as to correct errors; than it does to actually type a message! L33t I detest & won't use at all.

The only genuine reason for using either that I can see ("being in with the cool crowd" is not a genuine reason) is if you are being charged or limited by character count. Since I neither text nor Twit... ;-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Anne Lister
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 10:45 AM

I don't correct grammar, except in my head. However when I was engaged in internet dating, the ability of my correspondents to use language well was certainly a factor in my deciding whether or not the communication had any chance of resulting in a worthwhile encounter. It paid off, too - we've been together now for almost eighteen years! I am always surprised at the relatively low level of literacy skills in a lot of Facebook interractions, although not, generally, from people who are friends of mine (ah, but is that my selection process going on again, even for friendships?). However, I almost lost a friend when I asked her to read a draft of my novel to check for any inconsistencies and mistakes when cutting and pasting some sections and she took me to task for what she perceived as my grammatical mistakes. These turned out to be matters on which we completely disagreed with each other. I've been a language teacher and was trained in drafting clear English in a rigorous job before then. I'm having to fight a bit of a battle with the PhD thesis I'm currently writing, as I want to keep it clear and unambiguous but keep being told by my supervisors that my English isn't "academic" enough. Meanwhile an American friend posted a couple of days ago about the misuse of "nauseous" and "nauseated", and yet according to the UK English dictionaries this isn't a misuse, just a different usage.
It's a funny old world.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:04 PM

Yes, we hear that one here ad nauseum. Heheh...

"Nauseum" is just an ignorant blunder, but we have to be careful when discussing usage. Hanging on for dear life to a cherished meaning when so many around you are using the word differently is futile and puts you in danger of becoming a grammar cop and looking like a twit. It's fine to say that you're feeling gay today but unless you deliberately want to sound facetious you'd sound a bit daft. In writing, so many people write "alright" these days. It does me brain in, but there's no point arguing about it any more (anymore). I think most dictionaries have included it as standard English in some usage contexts (and dictionaries there to reflect, not judge). Some time (sometime) in the future we may (might) be looking back on all this, lamenting the degradation of the language. But the language will (er, not shall) continue to evolve regardless (irregardless - arrgh!) it's what people actually say and write what (wot, which, that) matters most.

And should there be a full stop outside that final bracket? I've never quite worked that one out!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:05 PM

Dictionaries ARE there...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:09 PM

Gawd, I didn't 'alf muck the end of that up! New sentence after "aargh!" and it was that bracket that I was referring to. I've lost my reading glasses.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 01:14 PM

Thank you Nigel and Raedwulf.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 08:52 PM

If we don't encourage the use of correct grammar and spelling (which means discouraging incorrect use) we will revert to barbarism. Society is already well on the way.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Rapparee
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:05 PM

Words are for communication, grammar and punctuation enhance communication:

"Let's eat, Grandma!"
"Let's eat Grandma!"

have two entirely different meanings which are clarified by the comma. In speech this is done by inflection and other vocal means, in writing such must be done by spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Yes, I can read and write 1337 and other things. Have for a very long time. I've also used emoticons when they help get meaning across.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: robomatic
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:15 PM

"I'm a Panda! Look it up!"

(Eats Shoots and Leaves)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:27 PM

For a brief time in the recent past, I bore the somewhat inflated title of associate editor of the "Rise Again" songbook. During that time, I corrected spelling and grammar with wild abandon. For the son of an English teacher, that was the ultimate power trip. Trouble is, there was somebody above me who bore the title of editor. But most of the time, I prevailed.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:37 PM

Not entirely sure what Leeneia was getting at there, but she didn't even spell my name correctly........
Nor did Doug Chadwick....
And my mother was an English teacher too.
You're welcome!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Nov 17 - 09:47 PM

I've always felt a certain kinship with you, Tattie Bogle. Guess it's because we're both Hated by Humanity,being the offspring of English teachers. My mom taught Latin, too - and now I'm a Latin tutor. There's no hope that anybody will EVER love me....


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 12:04 AM

And sometimes it is a fad or something, I guess. My daughter - who was an English major!- says, or used to (haven't heard her lately) something is 'funner'. Now, I know she knows better so I have never corrected her but why does/did she say that?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 03:16 AM

Leeneia, did you mean friends' ? (It makes a difference.)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 03:34 AM

The only function of grammar is to aid clear communication. In this day of texting, with accompanying word contraction anyone on this forum
insisting on correcting grammar and even spelling is a pedantic fool. They are more concerned with demonstrating their own superiority than anything else


Arrogance, pedantry, and dogmatism...the occupational diseases of those who spend their lives directing the intellects of the young.
Henry Seidel Canby


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 03:39 AM

"under the circumstances" suggests oppression, where the circumstances are preventing you from doing what you would have preferred to do. - "outwith" might service (in the lowlands of Scotland!).

as long as the receiver understands the nuance!
In verbal/song communication? Very unlikely. In text or e-mail? Unlikely. On paper - maybe, but who reads a newspaper twice? In a book - or a poem - ya got me there, re-reading especially for performance - sure. Subtlety is the name of the game.

The truth is that language morphs, and the words that morph slowly (if at all) are the ones used most of all. The peripheral words are considered fair game to a generation that want to to be associated with their peers. Those of us who were that generation long ago have to be dragged screaming, into this century, to be able to communicate with the young.

Then there is context. eg wicked or is it wkd ? And the vigilantes who misread paediatrician for paedophile. And could they spell it? In Brittain?

It's a jungle out there.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 05:16 AM

"And the vigilantes who misread paediatrician for paedophile."

Yes, absolutely shocking for those poor foot doctors.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 05:55 AM

....she didn't even spell my name correctly........
Nor did Doug Chadwick....


I apologise Tattie Bogle.

I did get it right the first time. The fact that I spelt it wrong again within the same sentence just confirms my lack of attention that I admitted to in the post. If it's any consolation, I spelt leeneia's name wrong at first and had to check it during the proof reading. I checked yours as well but didn't notice I had used it twice.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 06:10 AM

I actually thought that might be your little joke, just testing me, to see if I'd pick it up!
No hard feelings!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 10:13 AM

In the back of my mind is a paragraph of a text book from 35 years ago..

At that time it was a key insight for my developing politicised undergrad student view of the world.

Essentially, it pinpointed how pedantic imposition of over precise rigid rules of English Language
was a ruling class elite tool of oppression and power consolidation...

..something like that.. buggered if after 3 decades I can even remember the book or it's author,
let alone enough of the paragraph to paraphrase it adequately...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: robomatic
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 06:58 PM

Let's not forget the longstanding insult of the AM radio commentator crowd in shortening the adjective Democratic by leaving out the 'ic'.

I've been trying to come up with an effective countermeasure:
Republican'ts Republiwon'ts
Republic*nts
Replicants
or just kicking them in the b*lls.

I'll just have to try 'em all and see which one catches on.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: ripov
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 07:20 PM

I remember an establishment in Kent where they had gone to great pains to put the apostrophe in the correct place - the sign read CAF'E


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: michaelr
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 08:37 PM

pfr - "pedantic imposition of over precise rigid rules of English Language was a ruling class elite tool of oppression and power consolidation"

Well, in Britain, how one spoke was historically an indicator of class, was it not? (said he through his nose) So your statement makes some sense, until one asks the question what "over precise" means: who decides it's "over" just precise?

I grew up and went to high school in Germany, with teachers for parents. German is a much more precise and inflexible language than English, second probably only to Latin. No one speaks it the way it is written in literature, mainly because it would take too long. However, in my mind precision is a good thing. It affords the speaker a greater probability to have his meaning understood, which furthers communication. I hope we can agree that is a Good Thing.

I came to love the English language for its flexibility and degree of imprecision, shorter words and the possibility of shorter sentences. I would hate to see it degraded.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Nov 17 - 10:50 PM

I could have omitted "over precise"..

I was just trying to quickly string together a sentence that fairly paraphrased the little I could remember of a key paragraph
from an otherwise long forgotten social sciences text book...

While I needed a quick tea break from more important chores, like sorting out the recycle bins....


One of the best skills I learned at 6th Form College was how to precis long winded pompous writing.
We had one lesson a week dedicated to training our ability to shorten and improve the clarity
of an unreadable extract of legal/business/administrative/journalism/academic/etc text, within a set time limit.

This was one class I excelled at when I was 17...

It's ingrained in my character to seek essential core meaning and ignore superfluous waffle and flab.
Precision in communication genuinely matters to me.
I fully support the aims of "Plain English Campaign".

Unfortunately 4 decades of contending with the shit life throws at us, has deadened my intellect, screwed my ability to focus and articulate,
buggered my grammar and vocabulary,
and reduced me to the crap careless writer I now am...
Writing is a struggle........

So I really let down those teachers who had such high expectations I would have a career as a writer.
Probably why they were teachers and not fortune tellers...????

In fact out of my close group of old school friends I am the only one who has never made any money from writing.
That's the curse of being the only one of us who had boy band good looks and sex appeal....


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 12:45 AM

What an enjoyably honest post, pfr. I can relate to most of what you said, particularly "to seek essential core meaning and ignore superfluous waffle and flab". That is what we're all called to do in this age of insidious distractions. Those little grey cells are still capable of doing important work.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 03:35 AM

A bit off topic, but for me, grammar is a literacy problem that can be dealt with by simply pointing out the errors
What concerns me far more is the steady slide into sloppy and ugly speech, led largely by the broadcasting media who has banished word endings and inserted glottal stops - this has permeated everything from newsreading to shampoo adverts.
The beautiful sound of our language, including vernacular speech, is steadily replaced by the ugly grunting of Estuary English
I have little time for the old BBC Establishment, but come back Lord Reith and his respect for the language, all is forgiven.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 05:16 AM

I don't think degradation arises from splitting infinitives or starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions. But I do think it's a shame to not fight back against the phenomenon of the persistent ignorant misuse of words allowing that misuse to become enshrined as standard English. I think that there is a distinction worth preserving between "disinterested" and "uninterested," though it always came down to usage in the end, not a lost rule, because there never was a rule (as with those confounded split infinitives). Once, when compiling the reports for my class, I sent one back to the PE teacher who had written "Paula has not done as well as expected because she is disinterested in athletics." He hadn't broken a rule but (to my mind ignorantly) had selected by far the less appropriate of the two words. I was overruled.

Another misuse that is now acceptable is "begging the question" for "raising the question." It now hardly ever possesses its original meaning, but hey ho. A little piece of me wants to smirk at this example of pompous misuse, but, well, if that's how people want to use the expression...

But don't get me started on "albeit" or "prior to," both crimes against our beautiful language, punishable by loudly-expressed derision. I'm not having "alright" either, not ever! Although I already realise that I may not be altogether rational in rejecting it almost out of hand...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 05:51 AM

Well, that's alright then...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 07:14 AM

This suit of armour'll be alright on the knight...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 07:57 AM

I thought you has sword off making bad puns.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 08:43 AM

I know it is rude, but I do, sometimes, correct the grammar of native speakers who really ought to know better. With foreigners, I ask if they would like to be corrected if they make a mistake. When I speak foreign languages, I ask to be corrected if I make a mistake. I rarely make mistakes in my native languages, but appreciate correction if I do. But I won't dumb down to the level of the ignorant just to be polite.
I have learned to use local phrases like "store-boughten" but my tongue is visibly in my cheek when I use them.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 11:03 AM

Different isn't automatically ignorant. Some people simply use older forms of the word than others. This is particularly likely with past participles.

Y-clept, for example.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 17 - 08:20 PM

I'm not saying that different has to be ignorant. But it can be. Saying "albeit" instead of "but," "though" or "although" is not only highly pretentious but is also ignorant. Same with "prior to," which is equally pretentious and which is easily replaced every time with "before." I can't be doing with idiots writing in English who interpose the word "seisiun" for "session." They're just trying, and failing, to be clever and exclusive. It's a bloody session fer chrissake, unless you're writing in Irish. The misuse of "ironic" on Mudcat is frequent and appalling. "Comprised of" is bloody awful. "Acquiesce to" is just horrible. And if you can't pronounce it as a word, such as NATO or Aids, it isn't a bloody acronym. BBC is not an acronym. And what about horrors such as "ie, "e.t.c.", "ect", and "eg"?

I could easily go on ad nauseum.

Shit.

Innit.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 04:14 AM

On the other hand, Steve, if you keep saying / writing the same word, "but... but... but...", you may come across as sounding ignorant. I use albeit not out of pretentiousness (if you think I'm sometimes haughty, I'm no more pretentious than you! ;-) ), but as a variation to constant buts. I'll reconstruct a sentence so that I can "However, ..." rather than "..., although" again. And if you think there's a technical difference 'twixt (does that get me in trouble? ;-) ) albeit & but I'm curious to know what it is. My OED gives He was making progress, albeit rather slowly as an example of its use. Substitute "but" & there is absolutely no change in meaning.

Jim - I'd agree. The BBC has been slipping in both their standard of English & of journalism for a couple of decades. Oddly enough, that red-top turd, Phil McNumpty as Chief Sports Writer was employed in July 2000 - coincidence? I think not! Whilst I consider it a good thing that Auntie is no longer in hock to plummy voices & Received Pronunciation, the standard of English is another matter. And they are hugely influential, I think! The number of their journalists who publish articles & are then picked up by readers on basic factual errors; who are too busy trying to be too clever & trendy & up-to-date & to invent new buzzwords; who can't tell the difference between affect / effect, ensure / insure, "step foot" instead of "set foot" is one that's crept in lately that pisses me off (as I commented here in another thread)! And they all seem to rely on spell-checkers instead of actual proof reading these days!!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 05:24 AM

"Prior to" is a perfectly good alterntative to "before". Variety is the spice of life.


DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 06:33 AM

I don't agree, Raedwulf. If you're having trouble with repeating your buts you simply have to go to the effort of redrafting your sentence. No need to cling to your cherished first construction. Doug, same with you. Variety can be achieved by using different forms of words instead of scrabbling around among inelegant alternative words. "Prior to" is just awful every time.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jos
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 06:36 AM

I don't object to 'albeit'. I can put up with 'prior to'. But I get really irritated when people say 'post' instead of 'after' or 'since'.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 06:45 AM

There is nothing inelegant or pretentious about "prior to". It's just part of the rich vocabulary that the English language offers.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 08:12 AM

There is absolutely no circumstance in which "prior to" needs to be used in place of the beautiful and elegant "before." If you disagree, I challenge you to present me with an example of a context that demands it and disallows "before." It's an ugly monstrosity, rarely used prior to the twentieth century, albeit I can't claim that it's wrong. It looks ugly in writing and it sounds pretentious in speech. Bin it!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM

*gasp* Pretentious 'albeit' instead of plain old 'but'?! I think we are being teased by Mr Shaw! ;-)

As if to prove me & Jim right about the BBC, though, we have (from an article about our French-blocked accession to the EEC, as was), "It may seem hard to imagine, at a time when the business of getting out of the EU dominates the headlines, but back then you could hardly pick up a newspaper without finding a story about the UK's desperate efforts to get in.

As far as I can discover, no-one thought to call it "Brexin"."

Errr, well, no, because back in 1967 there 1) wasn't a journalistic obsession which stupid & ghastly portmanteau buzzwords & 2) it would have been "Britin", you bloody moron!

And BBC journalism & English slide a little further downhill... :/


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 08:58 AM

I used the two horrors in question on purpose. Wasn't it obvious?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 09:02 AM

Well, yes. That's why I acknowledged it! :p


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 09:40 AM

It is people not correcting others that leads to idiocies like Literally now being defined as Figuratively.

I also correct vocabulary, but usually with the line I do not think that word means what you think it means, said in an accent so people might recognize the reference.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 10:47 AM

Steve,
I accept that I don't need to use "prior to" instead of "before" but I can if I want to - and, if I choose to, I will.

Whichever one is chosen, the result will be equally understandable with no possible ambiguity. To this end, they both serve to communicate the message. One is not right and the other wrong. They are just alternatives.

Many words have synonyms which express the same idea. One man's pail is another man's bucket.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 11:25 AM

Surely, Doug, one man's Pale is another man's Light? Although it'd better not be, or there'll be fisticuffs! :o Oh, sorry, not the beer thread. I got confused... ;-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 11:53 AM

Can I have a bucket of pail ale please?

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 12:22 PM

I'm not a xenophobic nationalist...

But something inside me cannot tolerate Americanisms invading and obliterating our own traditional rich heritage of British slang and swearing...
Eff off back to yankeeland "Butt" "Mofo" F*g" "Dooood",
and all the rest of those irritating cultural pollutants..
.. and shove yer pathetic middle finger where it can never be seen again...

The glorious British two finger salute will always look the more powerful and defiant...!!!!!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 12:42 PM

If you're not careful, Mr Gnome, it'll be a bouquet of pale ail! ;-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 12:53 PM

Nice one Raedwulf :-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 03:58 PM

Indeed, Doug. As I said, it isn't a rule. But one is elegant, beautiful and traditional and the other is an ugly, recent upstart trying to do a job that is already being very well done. Why be perverse and choose the latter!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 04:20 PM

What I don't understand, Steve, is why it upsets you so but we all have our on views. Let's leave it that you hate it and I don't.

I'll offer you a couple of others for consideration:
   "Of all time" for "ever";

       "At this moment in time" for "now"


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 04:29 PM

I challenge you to present me with an example of a context that demands it and disallows "before." It's an ugly monstrosity, rarely used prior to the twentieth century, albeit I can't claim that it's wrong. It looks ugly in writing and it sounds pretentious in speech. Bin it!
The abbot asked the prior to take morning Mass. :)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 04:36 PM

Yes, Nigel, I was expecting someone to come up with that one!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 04:45 PM

I'm not upset and I don't hate it, Doug. I just wonder why anyone bothers with it. I've resigned meself to the fact that this offence against elegant English has become standard.

"At this moment in time" is just silly, though I suspect it's often used to buy a couple of seconds' thinking time for its user.

Other pointless constructions are "If I'm honest," "I have to say" and "To be fair." Know what I mean?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 07:51 PM

Seen in big blue illuminated letters across the front of one of Edinburgh's art galleries today: "EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT".......no, I'm not shouting: it just was in capitals, but I did groan!

Another word which gets littered about needlessly is "basically": in some people's speech it goes "prior to" every sentence! (And I've just deleted "that" and changed it to "which").


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 07:55 PM

Well groaned! And you've just reminded me of yet another horror, "on a daily basis." Horrible!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 08:01 PM

"going forward"


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Dec 17 - 08:35 PM

A raft of measures.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jos
Date: 03 Dec 17 - 07:14 AM

I am slightly amused when people say "he/she turned round and said ...".

But I have an irrational hatred of people who describe something or someone as "inspirational" when "inspiring" would be so much more elegant.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM

I've been thinking about this, and while I understand that I may be considered rude when I correct a grownup's grammar, I think it is much ruder to want to be uneducated or to complain about finding something out you didn't know.
Plus I try to do it by repeating what they said, only not wrong, as I go on with the conversation, so it's not as if I stop the conversation to say No, that is wrong.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Dec 17 - 06:10 PM

"I can see where you're coming from, but..."

"Today's victory was an historical win for the Reds..."

"I'm literally gobsmacked at today's news..."

"The fog will have cleared by dawn tomorrow morning..."

"At least today's rain will have washed the humidity out of the air"

"The band of rain will push its way westwards..."

"The odd shower may pop up anywhere..."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 Dec 17 - 06:35 PM

"At the end of the day...."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Dec 17 - 06:52 PM

That was "lethal", "fatal" - OK, so you're dead? Don't look it to me!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Dec 17 - 04:52 PM

Working a lot with project managers makes you a bit more tolerant of workspeak.

They say 'but the business needs this to be done by tomorrow' to which the reply is 'you should have asked for it yesterday then'.

The worst though is 'We all need to pull together to get this done'. Which actually means 'I have cocked up and need you to work all weekend to pull me out of the shit'. To which the only answer is 'Fuck off' :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 05 Dec 17 - 05:43 PM

You've not quite got the hang of this, have you, Dave? The correct answer is, in fact, "Here's the rope - start pulling; I'll see you Monday!" ;-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jos
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 04:50 AM

Many people seem to feel obliged to describe difficulties and problems as 'challenging' instead of 'difficult', but they continue to say 'No problem', not 'No challenge'.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 04:54 AM

We no longer have 'problems' but either 'issues' or 'opportunities for resolution' :-)

Raedwulf - I'll try that one! May even sing them a shanty while I am at it :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 05:40 AM

I've even heard the collapsed brexit talks described as "deferred success."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 06:48 AM

Ah, well, there, Steve, we're off the topic of grammar, and on to that of management speak, PR, spin (positive, in this case), AKA BS. All very appropriate for below the line... ;-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 08:44 AM

Just heard Sophie on the Bbeb news saying that some houses in the wildfires in California have been "razed to the ground." Grr.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 09:48 AM

Let's all read Orwell's essay "Politics and the English language again - and if you haven't read it, go and read it.

Kingsley Amis once wrote that every author should read what they have written out loud in order to improve the flow and clarity of their sentences. I'm no fan of Amis's politics, but I do admire his honesty and his clarity of language, and love some (not all) of his novels.

My own personal pet peeve is the popular (mis)use of the word "decimate", which is now used as a term for major destruction, rather than in the original sense of one tenth destruction.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 09:50 AM

There you are: an omitted " after language. I blame the iPad.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 09:59 AM

From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 08:44 AM
Just heard Sophie on the Bbeb news saying that some houses in the wildfires in California have been "razed to the ground." Grr.


"Razed to the ground"? What's the problem there?
Several online dictionaries, while defining it as "destroy totally" go on to use examples which include "razed to the ground".


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 10:23 AM

Just read that essay, Will. I had never heard it mentioned before so I am glad that you brought it up.

Nigel, it may answer your question.

DtD


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM

"Razed" means totally destroyed, smashed to the ground. Razed to the ground means destroyed down to the ground down to the ground.

You're going to have to live with "decimate," Will. You may as well try to hang on to "gay" as meaning happy and cheery.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 11:01 AM

From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM
"Razed" means totally destroyed, smashed to the ground.


Sorry, which is it?
If an American home with cellar, root cellar, and possibly nuclear bunker, is "totally destroyed" then all those below ground parts must presumably also be destroyed.
If everything above ground (as in hurricane season)is destroyed, it has been smashed to the ground.

If Razed means both totally destroyed, and smashed to the ground, then its meaning is unclear.
"Razed to the ground" then clarifies that meaning. The cellars survive.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 11:11 AM

This isn't incorrect usage, but it irritates me nonetheless. I dislike it when people use 'invest' to mean 'spend a lot of money', as in "We finally invested in a big, flat-screen TV."

To invest money is to buy something that you hope will bring in more money, such as a stock or bond. A TV isn't an investment, it's merely an expenditure.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 11:47 AM

Oh I gave up on decimate years ago, Steve - still a pet peeve though!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 12:41 PM

Merriam Webster   

Definition of raze

1 a archaic : erase
b : to scrape, cut, or shave off
2 : to destroy to the ground : demolish


Examples of raze in a Sentence

    an entire city block razed by a terrible fire


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 01:04 PM

Thank you for your support, Iains.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 01:12 PM

OTOH, from my OED, completely destroy (a building, town, or other site), following it with the example villages were razed to the ground, and gives the ultimate derivation as a Latin verb 'to scrape'. Remember when quoting M-W that the original W was the Anglophobe Noah Webster who, when selecting between variant spellings, always chose the spelling that wasn't the common English one! Thus inflicting abominations such as 'color' & 'center' upon the world (I don't think we can blame him for 'aluminum' - it hadn't quite been 'invented' when he published his first dikker! ;-) ).

I give best to Nigel on this one!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 02:02 PM

The word raze means to level a building right to the ground. As you can't partially raze it (as it wouldn't then be levelled), to say that it's been razed to the ground is a pleonasm. Other examples of pleonasms would be to say I'll meet you at 9am in the morning, I feel surrounded on all sides, he reverted back to type, I'll be receiving a free gift. "The building was razed" is complete, elegant and beautiful, unless it's your building and you didn't want it razed.

Foundations and cellars don't count, Nigel. They are below ground. Razing means to level, not to hollow out.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 02:47 PM

""The building was razed"
...excepting in speech 'razed' sounds like 'raised'...


..though not exactly comfortable with the wrong R word being applied to 'erection'...????


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 02:50 PM

oh drat those < / i >... the little awkward buggers..


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 03:40 PM

You're arguing with the OED, Steve. It's a figure of speech. It may be that it's a clarification (if you take Nigel's view). It may be that it's simply an extra emphasis; an intensifier, a doubling up, call it how you will; which isn't that uncommon in English. And that is one of the reasons why we have such a rich & many-coloured language. But, when it comes down to it, I'll trust to the OED more than to you. They say razed to the ground is fine.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 05:09 PM

and gives the ultimate derivation as a Latin verb 'to scrape'

Read Orwell's essay to see his opinion of why this is important.

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 05:17 PM

Raedwulf, you appear to have forgotten that the job of dictionaries is to reflect, not to judge. A dictionary can declare that a term has become so commonly used that it's become "standard." But that doesn't mean that those of us who want to preserve nuance have to accept it. You are perfectly free to use the word "irregardless." It's a word because people use it as a word. But it isn't a word you'll ever hear me using. Hopefully, you neither. Your dictionary doesn't say that "razed to the ground" is "fine." It says that the term is in common use and, non-judgementally, calls it standard English. But dictionaries are never arbiters. That isn't their job. Worth remembering by those whose last resort is to a book that is merely the work of a fallible human replete with his own idiosyncrasies. I've explained what "raze" means. Why not do as I did - resort not just to dictionaries (I did) but also to books specialising in the use of English (I have four). Not one supports your defence of the deliberate degradation of a perfectly good word.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 05:19 PM

And a "figure of speech" it definitely is not. Dearie me.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Raedwulf
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 07:00 PM

Who says I've "forgotten" anything? Should I suggest that you've forgotten that language is mutable & evolves? If the likes of Oxford aren't arbiters, who is? You? I think not. So there are no arbiters, language is mutable, and the OED is about as good as it gets as a reference. A book defining the use of a language is a fossil the moment it is published (I've many books about words & their use), because it is already out of date. I don't like much of the modern evolution of English, but in 50 years we both will be fossils too, and the language will still be evolving. So much for either of us!

By the way, yes, I do use "irregardless" sometimes. I am well aware that the ir- prefix is a negative (vice 'irregular'), but in the colloquial 'irregardless' it's an intensifier - "regardless, only more so". Which is an expression I don't doubt you will also instantly hate & will take issue with. But that's how & when I (rarely) use it.

English is wonderfully flexible. It doesn't fit into a straitjacket. You can either accept that, or fight it & lose. Pedantry is a process of painting oneself into a corner, all the time yelling "Don't step on my wet paint". Not a practice I intend to indulge in. I know what "raze" means. Its usage is more flexible than you are willing to accept. Hard luck. You can rail against it as much as you want. It isn't "wrong", language changes, you are not the judge of what is right & wrong.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 07:57 PM

You're getting very defensive, Raedwulf old chap. In hundreds of posts on dozens of threads that have touched on grammar and the use of English on Mudcat, my line has always been that the way we use our language is just about the most democratic phenomenon there is. The people decide, by using English the way they want to use English, how English evolves. It doesn't cost money to use English the way you want it, and the bigwigs are always in the minority. Eton, royal palaces, the BBC and guardians-of-language gurus notwithstanding, the masses will decide how English should be used, and the self-appointed rule-makers always fail, and rightly so. I rail against rules and ridicule people who adhere to predigested notions such as split infinitives and the like. I've even posted a set of around three dozen spoof rules of English that are just about as iconoclastic as it gets. However, there's a difference between celebrating the evolution of English and tolerating the ignorance-led loss of elegance and nuance. "Irregardless" is plain ignorant, whether or not it's become "standard English." "Razed to the ground" is ignorant because what you've done is copied what you've heard another ignoramus say without bothering to check what it means. "Prior to" is ugly and always unnecessary. None of it is wrong, as there are no rules, but you can be ugly-sounding and ignorant without actually being wrong. You can stand your ground and get all indignant when someone rails against your clumsy (though technically correct) use of language, and good for you if you do. But don't blame me if, as a result, you sound ugly, inelegant and ignorant and cause a raised eyebrow or two. I did try to tell you.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 03:33 AM

From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 02:02 PM
The word raze means to level a building right to the ground. As you can't partially raze it (as it wouldn't then be levelled), to say that it's been razed to the ground is a pleonasm. Other examples of pleonasms would be to say I'll meet you at 9am in the morning, I feel surrounded on all sides, he reverted back to type, I'll be receiving a free gift. "The building was razed" is complete, elegant and beautiful, unless it's your building and you didn't want it razed.

Foundations and cellars don't count, Nigel. They are below ground. Razing means to level, not to hollow out.


Steve, You're not just arguing with the OED, you're arguing with yourself.
An earlier definition you gave said: "Razed" means totally destroyed, smashed to the ground
Totally destroyed cannot mean partially destroyed, so when discussing buildings the difference between 'razed to the ground' and 'totally destroyed' rests with what remains below ground.

In saying "The word raze means to level a building right to the ground" are you using the same 'level' of tautology that you're complaining about?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 04:37 AM

Level in the context of "raze" means to make level with the ground, to leave no stone on stone if you want to get all poetic about it, though no doubt a pedant examining the scene, finding one or two stones still atop other stones, might complain that the destruction was not total enough to warrant "raze." Enjoy the language, Nigel. Revel in its poetry and, every now and then, when you feel like it, put up a little fight to preserve its nuance and colour. And stop worrying.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 05:00 AM

Most times I have seen "razed" used it has been "as razed to the ground".

The same phrase is used by many dictionaries as an example of the use of the word. I take the view that the dictionary explanation and example of usage are far far superior to any contrary views expressed here, especially by our resident self proclaimed polymath.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 05:08 AM

Seeing as no one else seems to have looked at the Orwell essay that Will mentioned I will provide a quote from it

Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones

Razed falls into this category.

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 05:49 AM

Thing is, Iains, if enough people over sufficient time use a word or phrase in a particular way then it becomes, with a shrug from the dictionary writers, standard English. But that doesn't mean it suddenly becomes beautiful and elegant English. Just think. Raze gives us razor. "To the ground" is fine if you really want to use it. But, to me, it implies that the person using the term, sadly, hasn't given thought as to the origin and connections of this slightly unusual, very useful and economical word. "Raze to the ground" is a pleonasm, no less than "the rain will have cleared by 6am in the morning." It also, subliminally, invites ridicule by dint of its paradoxical allusion to something being raised down instead of up.

I hate "fraught with" but the fight with that is long lost.

And never try to correct any of us ever again, Iains, until you have learned that "self-appointed" is hyphenated.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 05:58 AM

Glad you see that the "cap fits". Is that conceit, or what?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:15 AM

I tried to correct myself there but my post hung. I meant "self-proclaimed."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:16 AM

For stevie blunder:

Subject: RE: BS: Use of the English language
From: Iains - PM
Date: 08 Oct 17 - 03:40 AM


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:18 AM

Steve.
I see that you've managed to ignore the fact that your comment "The word raze means to level a building right to the ground" misuses 'level' in the same way you claim others are misusing 'raze'.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:29 AM

No, Nigel. "Level" does not carry the same connotation of destruction as "raze,' neither does it bear the same stigma of cliched usage as "razed to the ground." I could level a site by removing material, by redistributing material to fill hollows and eliminate high spots or by demolishing the buildings on it then steamrollering the whole lot to flatten it. "Raze" is a gorgeously economical word with little scope for variance. "Level" can mean several different things, though with a similar goal, and can usefully be helped along its way via supporting words. Relax and enjoy the lingo, Nigel, and stop worrying.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:31 AM

Aaaarrrrggghhhhh! Sorry I started this thread. One point that comes out of it though and underlines a point I have been trying to make for years on here. There are groups of people who have difficulty understanding each other. As grammar is supposed to be about clear communication it is a related topic. Unless we use very formal and precise language there will always be room for misinterpretation. At times this could be on purpose but I think it is generally accidental.

I have no problem at all in understanding Steve's point that it is not always a question of right or wrong but of elegance, economy of language or taste. To take the point in question, it was started by a report that some houses had been 'razed to the ground' in the California fires. We all understand what it means but would it not have been simpler just to say they had burned down?

Just my 2p.

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:44 AM

Exactly! I can't help thinking that "razed to the ground" had "to the ground" added by the newsreader to "help" the audience to understand what she was on about. Had she said that the houses were razed, maybe she'd thought that half the people listening would start searching in the sky for for flying houses. It would have been far more "helpful" just to say "burned down!" "Razed" is one of those words that works better written down.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:56 AM

I have often wondered about the speech and writing of people who are not dyslexic. Do they consciously write from a set of rules or is it an automatic process?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM

Decimate is 9/10, not 1/10, dead. One-tenth survive.

My latest peeve just happened again, when did all NPR announcers start saying Coming up in 1 minutes from now? Hey people, it's either in 10 mn or 10 mn from now.

My dad used to talk about the Department of Redundancy Department...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:53 AM

From: Mrrzy - PM
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:30 AM
Decimate is 9/10, not 1/10, dead. One-tenth survive.
My latest peeve just happened again, when did all NPR announcers start saying Coming up in 1 minutes from now? Hey people, it's either in 10 mn or 10 mn from now.
My dad used to talk about the Department of Redundancy Department...


Your meaning of 'decimate' is its modern usage. It has changed.

decimate
verb

verb: decimate; 3rd person present: decimates; past tense: decimated; past participle: decimated; gerund or present participle: decimating

kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of.
"the inhabitants of the country had been decimated"

drastically reduce the strength or effectiveness of (something).
"public transport has been decimated"

(historical)
kill one in every ten of (a group of people, originally a mutinous Roman legion) as a punishment for the whole group.
"the man who is to determine whether it be necessary to decimate a large body of mutineers"


With Coming up in 1 minutes from now? my objection would be using a plural noun for 1 minute. I also shudder when I hear the expression "one pence".


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 09:29 AM

I sooner put up with a good interesting person's fallible use of language,
than any amount of over sophisticated pompous windbags...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 09:35 AM

Seeing as it is a thread about the use of English, PFR, I think the term "over sophisticated pompous windbag" could easliy be cut down to one simple Anglo-saxon word. :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 09:42 AM

I like that word... It sounds good and strong..

It is a single word with two completely different meanings, one very nice, and the other usually a tory...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 10:07 AM

Moggy?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 11:13 AM

Sorry Mrrzy, "decimate" has its origins from Ancient Rome - a particular punishment being the execution of every tenth person in a legion for failure, treason or other offences.

I grant you the original word has now more or less a historical meaning, as opposed to its modern usage.

Another word used wrongly, even by people who should know better, is "enormity" - whose correct meaning is something of extreme seriousness or wrongness. But people use it to mean something large - confusing it with enormous.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 11:49 AM

The logical thing is to avoid using either word (decimate or enormity) so as to communicate clearly and avoid hard feelings.

I do the same with "comprise." I avoid it.

(Come to think of it, I wonder if they guys in the togas ever actually managed to decimate a legion. Can we suppose that the big, brutal, barbaric legionnaires simply lined up to be counted and killed? I suspect this is another one of those bad things in history which never actually happened.)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 01:11 PM

decimation


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 05:31 PM

When Liverpool beat Spartak Moscow 7-0 in the Champions League last night I was literally over the moon.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 05:52 PM

The article referred to in the opening post states that, in correcting grammar, a racist contributor to a web page " ...was using his education and his superior knowledge to put someone down and make them feel bad about themselves". The author then examined his own motives and realised that he was much the same:

"I wasn't trying to show people they were wrong, or using intelligent arguments to change their minds. I only wanted them to feel demeaned. I wanted to dominate them, and show that I was better than them"


I can see how the thread drifted from grammar to irritating phrases, expressions and tautology. However, arguing that a word "is plain ignorant, whether or not it's become 'standard English' " or that a commonly used expression "is ignorant because what you've done is copied what you've heard another ignoramus say without bothering to check what it means", seems to miss the whole point of the original article. Suggesting that those who use expressions that don't fit your own personal preference are "clumsy (though technically correct)" and, "as a result, you sound ugly, inelegant and ignorant and cause a raised eyebrow or two", is doing exactly what the article asks us not to do.

DC


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 06:50 PM

Then challenge and defend the specific points I've "complained" about, Doug, as I appear to be the main target of your contumely, of your unseemly high dudgeon.

In fact, I don't complain about misuse, not really. Complaining would have got Canute nowhere, as he ably demonstrated to his naysayers. I simply remark on the loss of elegance and nuance and the smudging of meaning. Let's see you defending "prior to" over "before." I quote no rule, as there isn't one, but I do rail against pompous inelegance.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: bobad
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 07:40 PM

Good work Doug, you've nailed it decisively.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:00 PM

Reflecting on my last post (before anyone else does, winking emojee), I think I'm referring not to the pomposity of those whose mastery of the language is such that they can use elegant yet rare constructions with ease, tripping them off the tongue with amazing elan, fluidity and consummate fluency (as that isn't pomposity at all), but to those who disdain common parlance (which is always the best of all) in favour of what they mistakenly regard as "clever talk" which, they think, will impress their readers so much as to have them dazzled into uncritical acclaim, sycophancy even. I'm talking not just about those insecure types who resort to office jargon but also people who seem unable to take the path of least resistance, always the best road to take in furtherance of one's English credentials. There is NEVER any need to resort to "prior to" or "alright" or "fraught with" or "albeit" or "razed to the ground." But do it if you want to. I may well think you're an idiot. I could well be right. But equally...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:02 PM

"you've nailed it decisively."

Cheers, boobs, for giving us the perfect illustration of a pleonasm!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 08:38 PM

Pleonasm - never heard that word - looked it up. Can think of a few who fit that bill! No gonnae dae that - tell a'body wha disnae understand "pleonasm" - they can look it up an a'! Too many words there!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 09:14 PM

Just look it up at 6am in the morning and you'll see it with your very own eyes. The final upshot will be that you'll hardly find a safe haven for your grammatical tautologies. You'd be better off listening to the recent news.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 05:01 AM

I put five pleonasms in my last post. What better way than by example! They're quite hard to entirely eliminate.

Look at that! A split infinitive AND a pleonasm in just three words! Whaddam I like!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 05:25 AM

'Pleonasm' had me rushing to look it up in an online medical dictionary...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 06:32 AM

When I see a thread like this I think "OH good, here's a chance to learn about grammar". The topic of grammar quickly evolves into personal reprisals.

You see, my angular gyrus is not dedicated to language. Instead automatic language function does not exist for me. My workaround is to process information bilaterally and send information back and forth between hemispheres. This bicameral processing takes more time in real time speech but makes for more interesting writing. Some things get lost in the translation and that is mostly proper names. I don't know what's going on in the la Broca speech region in the frontal cortex, but being male and having only the left region as opposed women who have one on each side, may be respondsible for language difficulty.

This spectrum condition called dyslexia appears as soon as kindergarten or 1st grade. The strategies being taught to dyslexic children today are much different and detailed than my early methods.

Vivre l'differance.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 07:00 AM

Its a small change but we used to say "I read it -in- the newspaper", when newspapers had an inside, but technology has changed so we often say 'I read it -on- the Guardian, or on Brietbart' or whatever.

Its what is on (the screen) not what is in the screen.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 08:23 PM

We really need to give up on decimation. Even if the word hadn't acquired its modern usage, just think: no army these days ever kills one-tenth of its own soldiers. The word would retain some mystical, arcane, redundant meaning only and would probably die away. But we've hung on to it by giving it a meaning beyond its literal past. I think that's really good meself. Now excuse me as I'm just off into the kitchen to decimate that leftover slab of lasagne...

Good word!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 09:44 PM

I agree, Steve. And I pity that poor lasagne. (I'm curious. Did you know how to spell 'lasagne' right off the bat, or did you have to look it up? I would have to look it up.)

Today I read a quotation that's right on point for this thread. I have to paraphrase:

People will forget what you did, and people will forget what you said. But people will always remember how you made them feel.
            ~ Maya Angelou

Those who feel free to make others feel small by correcting their usage should remember that.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 03:55 AM

I quoted Orwell' essay earlier on because one of the points he makes is that people sometimes use words or phrases in order to sound more "impressive", rather than to sound simpler and clearer. They think words such as decimate and enormity are somehow more meaningful - even when they don't fully understand the

"The enormity of the task was beyond him" is used to mean "The huge size of the task was beyond him", when it actually means "The vile nature of the task was beyond him".


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 03:57 AM

And the enormity of typing on this feckin' iPad keypad is beyond me!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 05:56 AM

Lasagna can be given an evocative power beyond deliciousness depending on the writer. "Helena had given birth just last Tuesday to beautiful little Tiffany. Helena was in wonderful spirits but her vagina still looked like a punched lasagna."

You gonna finish that slice Steve?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 06:43 AM

from splitting infinitives

WOT? U spekin Latin or sumpin?

There are scholars far more erudite than I (or me), let us just say professors of English at Oxford University, who claim it is not possible to split an infinitive in English.

First find your infinitive.

Don't argue with me, I just use English to communicate. Take your grievance up with the professor.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 07:41 AM

From: Steve Shaw - PM
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 08:23 PM

We really need to give up on decimation.


Hear hear!
Let's go back to pounds shillings and pence :-)


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 08:37 AM

Y'all are so right.

Vive la difference, indeed. With an accent on the e after the fs. I don't remember html either.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Will Fly
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 08:43 AM

One of my favourite sites...

http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/gobbledygook-generator.html


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 08:47 AM

"To" is not part of the infinitive. That's the point. Except that grammarians argue that point and there are different interpretations of "infinitive," but the argument is sufficient for the ditching of even the hint of that silly don't-split-it rule.

I'm very happy to see "decimation" remain in common currency, Nigel. Your point was right on the money. That's my one pence worth. Now excuse me as I have 2p off to buy the paper.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 09:08 AM

Now excuse me as I have 2p off to buy the paper.
An example of an unclear statement, do you mean you have to go off to buy a newspaper or do you mean you have a voucher worth 2 pence which you must use to buy a newspaper?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 09:19 AM

Will, An article on me in the Democrat and Chronicle used a title with the word gobbledegook in it since I employed the word to describe propaganda and obfuscation by some government agencies.
Instead the word was used to describe my statement, clever bastards.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 04:56 PM

I like to leave you in suspenders, Dick.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 08:23 AM

Um, "to" *is* part of the infinitive in English, that is why "to boldly go" splits the infinitive.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 10:26 AM

It's far worse splitting your trousers...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 10:29 AM

You have infinite trousers?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM

the waistband is expanding outwards at an an alarming rate..
and there are frequent uncomfortably big bangs in the rear...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 02:49 PM

Cosmology aside, we have all heard what Steve eats. How does he remain svelte? If I ate that much I'd be 18 stone.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 03:01 PM

Well I've gone from 15 stone of gym honed muscle to over 18 stone of flab since I joined mudcat...

Maybe I've needed to spend too much time sat on my arse double checking, then rechecking, all my spelling and grammar before risking posting to threads...???


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Dec 17 - 08:29 PM

"Um, "to" *is* part of the infinitive in English, that is why "to boldly go" splits the infinitive."


Not necessarily. "Mrs Steve had me clean the kitchen this evening" contains the infinitive "clean." No "to" required. The rule against splitting infinitives that allegedly included "to" was a Victorian invention. Many of the great poets, John Donne and Shakespeare included, split "to" infinitives for reasons of poetic licence. All power to their elbows!

But the point is this: "to boldly go" is beautiful English, so to hell with the naysayers. "Boldly to go," or "to go boldly" pale in comparison. English isn't about rule-makers in ivory towers. It's about wot us bloody plebs prattle on abaht in us daily lives, yeah?...


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