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We must stop correcting grammar

Donuel 24 Dec 17 - 05:55 PM
Donuel 24 Dec 17 - 05:52 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Dec 17 - 03:26 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Dec 17 - 09:06 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Dec 17 - 07:39 PM
Jackaroodave 22 Dec 17 - 07:27 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Dec 17 - 07:17 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Dec 17 - 12:11 PM
Iains 22 Dec 17 - 12:00 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Dec 17 - 06:55 PM
Iains 21 Dec 17 - 01:40 PM
leeneia 20 Dec 17 - 11:01 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Dec 17 - 07:18 PM
Donuel 20 Dec 17 - 10:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 17 - 10:56 AM
Tattie Bogle 20 Dec 17 - 10:51 AM
Donuel 20 Dec 17 - 10:16 AM
Jackaroodave 20 Dec 17 - 09:32 AM
Mrrzy 20 Dec 17 - 09:14 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Dec 17 - 06:45 AM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 17 - 06:32 AM
Mr Red 20 Dec 17 - 06:08 AM
Jackaroodave 20 Dec 17 - 02:19 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Dec 17 - 07:53 PM
Jackaroodave 19 Dec 17 - 06:12 PM
Jackaroodave 19 Dec 17 - 05:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Dec 17 - 04:28 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Dec 17 - 03:35 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Dec 17 - 03:08 PM
leeneia 19 Dec 17 - 10:46 AM
Mrrzy 18 Dec 17 - 11:49 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Dec 17 - 10:45 AM
Mrrzy 18 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM
The Sandman 18 Dec 17 - 02:30 AM
leeneia 17 Dec 17 - 09:57 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Dec 17 - 05:34 AM
The Sandman 17 Dec 17 - 02:46 AM
Steve Shaw 15 Dec 17 - 08:20 AM
Mrrzy 15 Dec 17 - 08:05 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Dec 17 - 08:29 PM
punkfolkrocker 13 Dec 17 - 03:01 PM
Donuel 13 Dec 17 - 02:49 PM
punkfolkrocker 13 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 13 Dec 17 - 10:29 AM
punkfolkrocker 13 Dec 17 - 10:26 AM
Mrrzy 13 Dec 17 - 08:23 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Dec 17 - 04:56 PM
Donuel 10 Dec 17 - 09:19 AM
The Sandman 10 Dec 17 - 09:08 AM
Steve Shaw 09 Dec 17 - 08:47 AM
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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Dec 17 - 05:55 PM

Whereas a painting is rather static.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Dec 17 - 05:52 PM

I suppose few have the experience of inventing languages in search of a language shared by all. The dyslexic compromise is viewed abstract to some like deciphering atypical song lyrics. It is what it is, like the fantastic diversity of life itself.

Unlike beauty being only in the eye of the beholder, the beauty of phrases shares a cooperation of the speaker's voice and the fun and mental ears of the reader. To me words change color upon each reading whe


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 03:26 AM

200!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 09:06 PM

As Chaucer said,

The life so short, the craft so long to learn,.
Th’ assay so hard, so sharp the conquering,

The secret of good writing is to not make th' assay too hard for everyone else!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 07:39 PM

So true!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 07:27 PM

Fer sure, but sometimes keeping it simple is so complicated. Easy reading's vile hard writing.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 07:17 PM

"Hmmm, not crazy about that "except to," Steve. ;-) "

Me neither (or, as the yanks might say, me either!)

Actually, I think that one of the problems (certainly one of mine) is that you come up with a construction, review and lovingly embellish it to the point at which anyone reading it would be forced to do a load of mental processing in order to understand it, then cling to it as if it were the precious fruit of your loins - when a far easier thing would be to spend a minute or two ditching the damn thing and completely redrafting your ideas. I think the sign of a really good writer is that his or her stuff possesses crystal clarity of expressed ideas that don't require convoluted metal gymnastics in order to get your head round. We all have to learn the trick of losing our cherished constructions if necessary!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 12:11 PM

Looking at all the stuff in the papers and what's written on the Christmas cards we get, it's just occurred to me that I've never written "Xmas" in my life. Well I suppose I have now...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 12:00 PM

For a twerp that cannot make links you are a very rude, patronising little lad shaw. Well into your dotage, or second childhood are you? And of course you have never mistakenly posted into the wrong thread, have you?
Try a little less meths in your cocoa, it might perhaps make you slightly more pleasant. But I suppose you can judge a person by the company he keeps. I find now fines are handed out, for dogs fouling footpaths, I no longer have to dodge company of a similar ilk.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Dec 17 - 06:55 PM

Duff link in wrong thread. Say goodnight to the folks, Gracie...


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Iains
Date: 21 Dec 17 - 01:40 PM

It ain't over till the fat lady sings!


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/damian-green-sacked-met-police-bob-quick-neil-lewis-porn-images-pornography-parliamen


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 11:01 PM

To be serious for a moment, I just read that fewer than 10% of sufferers from Tourette's Syndrome curse and swear. Most have other symptoms, but I can't remember what they are.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 07:18 PM

What do we want?

A cure for Tourette's!

When do we want it?

C*NT!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 10:58 AM

grin still burning...Those were the best laughs of the day


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 10:56 AM

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Man with Tourette's
Man with Tour...
Fuck off!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 10:51 AM

There's no polite answer to that!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 10:16 AM

Most recently Paul Bettany, actor & cellist, re-popularized the quip in 'Master and Commander but Jacko is correct.
Pointing to Sam the Man Johnson,
does anyone here have Tourette's?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 09:32 AM

Samuel Johnson?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 09:14 AM

The man who'd pun would pick a pocket! Points to anyone recognizing that reference.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 06:45 AM

An elderly couple knocked on my door last Sunday morning. All they wanted to talk about was vacuum cleaners.

"Bloody 'ell," I thought, "Not more Jehoover's Witnesses..."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 06:32 AM

I have noticed, particularly on US TV shows, taxis referred to as Ubers. Doesn't take long for these things to be become common parlance. How long has Uber been going?

DtG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 06:08 AM

Democracy that doesn't need money! Wow!

But money helps. People of a certain age (in the UK at least) refer to vacuum cleaners as Hoovers. I have heard younger peeps saying Dyson. In this day and age of Fakebook** and its manipulators - I would posit there is money swirling around there. Do you search the internet (or the WWW) or are you a "Goggle for it" kinda person? It ainta hurting them, now is it?


**other mendacities are available.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 20 Dec 17 - 02:19 AM

Hmmm, not crazy about that "except to," Steve. ;-)

I confess, descriptivist though I may be, it's nearly impossible for me to "split" an infinitive. I revere Miss Pincus, my junior high school English teacher, this side idolatry, but she has a lot to answer for.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 07:53 PM

Or, Jackaroodave, you could always rewrite it in order to include the dreaded split infinitive, thus:

"She could do anything a politician was expected to do except to cheerfully take a bribe."

Viola!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 06:12 PM

I wonder if prescriptivists also object to splitting the verb from the phrase-initiating word when it's not "to"? "She could do anything a politician was expected to do except cheerfully take a bribe." vs "As a politician, she was expected to take a bribe cheerfully."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 05:44 PM

Leenia, "bare infinitive" is the common term for a verb in an infinitive construction without "to." Linguists consider verbs following modals (can, will, etc) infinitive forms as well, as they don't carry tense or aspect. There is a list of other uses of the bare infinitive here:

https://www.englishgrammar.org/bare-infinitive/

The grammar police won't arrest you for calling them all idioms, of course, but usually the term applies to idiosyncratic, nonproductive forms: If a new verb comes into the language, however, it will be used with causative "have" in the bare infinitive form. "They had him schmerk"; "They bade her schmerk"; "They would do anything except schmerk" etc.

Tattie, in northern West Virginia (and probably elsewhere nearby) "needs washed" is a common form that invariably throws visitors for a loop. My former wife, who was from here, when asked, "Why do you folks say 'something needs washed,'" replied, quite sensibly, "Because it's dirty?" Settlers in this area call themselves Scots-Irish, and there may be something to that.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 04:28 PM

Swinton, Lancashire - Get thi neck wayshed.

:D tG


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 03:35 PM

There are different forms of "common usage" in different parts of the country (talking UK here), which are equally well understood and taken to be correct in those areas even if the hard-line grammarians might dispute this, e.g.
S half of England - Your face needs to be washed.
Further N in England - Your face needs washing.
Parts of Scotland - Your face needs washed.
Cork - Would ye ever be after washing yer face?


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 03:08 PM

If a construction is used often enough for long enough by enough people, it's standard English, idiom or not. Let's at least try to retain the concept that there's nothing more democratic than the language we use in the ways we use it. Democracy that doesn't need money! Wow!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Dec 17 - 10:46 AM

Sure, there's another explanation. It's an idiom.

Thanks for the lyrics, Sandman.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Dec 17 - 11:49 AM

I bow to all y'all's ken and appreciate the correction! Keep on keeping on!

"Beware of incorrect past tenses that have snuck into the language."


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Dec 17 - 10:45 AM

Just think of all those Latin infinitives. All single words!

As "had me clean the kitchen" is a pretty popular construction, it's standard English. What makes English English is entirely the way people use it. Even a novelist might use a thing like that and it would hardly raise an eyebrow. As such, it's vulnerable to linguistic analysis, and the word "clean" in that context has to be explained. It's a verb all right. There can be no other explanation than that it's the infinitive case. What if I'd said "she MADE me clean the kitchen?" Same thang!


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Dec 17 - 10:31 AM

If the "to" is sous-entendu, or whatever the English phrase is for goes without saying, it is still part of the infinitive. But I should look that up.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 17 - 02:30 AM

Steve, a far as Iam aware does not sing but he does play the harmonica. Confessions of a harmonica player blues,
I woke up this morning feeling sad and blue.
mrs steve told me i had jobs to do
get out the vinegar babe and clean those winders
get the shovel and clean up the cinders
I got the kitchen cleaning blues


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: leeneia
Date: 17 Dec 17 - 09:57 PM

I think that "Mrs. Steve had me clean the kitchen" is merely an idiom. Once analyzed, it makes no sense. We've simply heard it so many times we know what is meant.   

Why? Synonyms for 'had' are 'owned' and 'possessed.' Can we say

Mrs. Steve owned me clean the kitchen? No.
Mrs. Steve possessed me clean the kitchen? No

Saying that 'clean' is an infinitive does nothing to make sense out of an illogical construction.

However that may be, good on you for helping her out, Steve. I find that cleaning the kitchen is a good time for singing.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Dec 17 - 05:34 AM

Verbosity? My posts to this thread have been pretty short.

I ate a loquat in Florence in May and kept the seeds. I now have a flourishing loquat bush that's going out into the garden in the spring. My garden will be loquacious.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Dec 17 - 02:46 AM

how about mrs steve obliged me to desist from verbosity,or mre steve had medeist from loquacity


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 15 Dec 17 - 08:20 AM

Mrs Steve had me clean the kitchen.

Mrs Steve obliged me to clean the kitchen.

Both sentences contain an infinitive.


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Subject: RE: We must stop correcting grammar
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Dec 17 - 08:05 AM

I didn't say all tos are parts of infinitives, nor that all infinitives have tos. In your example there is no To to be part of the infinitive, but if there were, it would be, as I said.

And I'm not sure that in your example clean is in the infinitive, from my English-as-a-foreign-language classes.

I completely agree that there is no current rule against splitting the infinitive and that to boldly go is way better than either alternative, but I stick to my point that when the infinitive is in the form to verb, that to is part of that infinitive.

Gimme another hair, this one's gone to Croatia.

Split, get it? Bwa ha ha ha ha.


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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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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: 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 - 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: 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 - 10:26 AM

It's far worse splitting your trousers...


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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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