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BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II

The Beanster 12 Sep 00 - 11:43 PM
Terry K 13 Sep 00 - 01:54 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 13 Sep 00 - 02:54 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 13 Sep 00 - 02:57 AM
The Beanster 13 Sep 00 - 03:10 AM
Steve Parkes 13 Sep 00 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,Sam Hudson 13 Sep 00 - 07:20 AM
Sorcha 13 Sep 00 - 09:21 AM
Auxiris 13 Sep 00 - 09:33 AM
rabbitrunning 13 Sep 00 - 10:10 AM
GUEST 13 Sep 00 - 10:14 AM
Uncle_DaveO 13 Sep 00 - 11:41 AM
Terry K 13 Sep 00 - 11:55 AM
SINSULL 13 Sep 00 - 12:13 PM
Bert 13 Sep 00 - 12:14 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 Sep 00 - 06:25 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 14 Sep 00 - 02:04 AM
Steve Parkes 14 Sep 00 - 08:37 AM
kendall 14 Sep 00 - 10:46 AM
L R Mole 14 Sep 00 - 11:35 AM
L R Mole 14 Sep 00 - 11:35 AM
L R Mole 14 Sep 00 - 11:39 AM
mousethief 14 Sep 00 - 01:04 PM
KathWestra 14 Sep 00 - 02:51 PM
kendall 14 Sep 00 - 03:22 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 00 - 07:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 14 Sep 00 - 08:06 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 00 - 08:32 PM
Steve Latimer 15 Sep 00 - 01:50 PM
Bert 15 Sep 00 - 02:14 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Sep 00 - 05:16 PM
mousethief 15 Sep 00 - 05:30 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Sep 00 - 05:39 PM
Sula 15 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM
domenico 15 Sep 00 - 06:42 PM
Mbo 15 Sep 00 - 06:58 PM
kendall 15 Sep 00 - 07:11 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 00 - 09:30 PM
Uncle_DaveO 15 Sep 00 - 09:52 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 15 Sep 00 - 09:55 PM
Ebbie 15 Sep 00 - 10:06 PM
Ebbie 15 Sep 00 - 10:54 PM
Sula 16 Sep 00 - 06:15 AM
Penny S. 16 Sep 00 - 06:23 AM
Sula 16 Sep 00 - 06:23 AM
Ely 16 Sep 00 - 04:12 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM
The Beanster 16 Sep 00 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,equalrice 16 Sep 00 - 07:40 PM
Little Hawk 17 Sep 00 - 01:29 AM
mousethief 18 Sep 00 - 11:54 AM
Bert 18 Sep 00 - 12:56 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Sep 00 - 05:22 PM
oggie 18 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM
Bill D 18 Sep 00 - 07:24 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Sep 00 - 07:48 PM
mousethief 19 Sep 00 - 11:25 AM
Mbo 19 Sep 00 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 19 Sep 00 - 11:47 AM
Mbo 19 Sep 00 - 11:49 AM
Scotsbard 19 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 00 - 02:39 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Sep 00 - 05:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Sep 00 - 04:27 AM
Penny S. 20 Sep 00 - 06:26 PM
mousethief 20 Sep 00 - 06:30 PM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Sep 00 - 06:34 PM
Brakn 20 Sep 00 - 06:47 PM
Brakn 20 Sep 00 - 06:51 PM
Steve Parkes 21 Sep 00 - 03:46 AM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 21 Sep 00 - 12:40 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Sep 00 - 01:49 PM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 21 Sep 00 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,JohnB 21 Sep 00 - 04:35 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Sep 00 - 04:38 PM
Penny S. 21 Sep 00 - 06:12 PM
hesperis 22 Sep 00 - 02:41 PM
L R Mole 22 Sep 00 - 03:08 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 03:13 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 03:16 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 00 - 04:19 PM
Little Hawk 22 Sep 00 - 05:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Sep 00 - 07:21 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Sep 00 - 01:51 AM

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Subject: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: The Beanster
Date: 12 Sep 00 - 11:43 PM

Since the old thread was growing like a weed and causing much confusement to my browser, I thought I should start a new one so we can continue to conversate. Also, too, I got fatigooed waiting four the page to load. Mangulate away!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Terry K
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 01:54 AM

It's not exactly a mangle but I've always wondered whether Neil Armstrong was personally to blame for the first Moon misquote, or whether the sentence, which was obviously designed by the space race committee, was incorrect in the first place.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 02:54 AM

For those Brits or Euros who may have missed Neil Armstrong's famous flub, here is the deal. He was supposed to say, when setting his feet on the moon, "That was one small step for a man, and one giant leap for Mankind." Unfortunately, he left out the word "a", so that it sounded like "one small step for Man." Which of course makes nonsense out of the whole quip. Either way, it was a pretty lame line for one of the most important moments in human history. == Johnny in OKC

(I guess you had to be there.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 02:57 AM

From the tail end of Mangling I ...

A strange turnabout: instead of, "let's see if we can find the key," it's "let's see if we can't find the key."

For Brits ... I have been watching a Britcom called Last of the Summer Wine, about some old folks in a village. They are using words like "summat" for something, and "tha" for you. What part of Britain would this be??

Johnny in Oklahoma City


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: The Beanster
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 03:10 AM

I think it's forgiveable, seeing as how Neil was probably a little nervous.

I heard a guy (as a witness to an accident) on the news tonight say, "He looked pretty shooken up."

Here's one I forgot to mention before: A few years ago, one of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models was on TV doing an interview and they asked her what she thought of being chosen to be in the magazine. She said, "Oh! I think it's a real coop!" (instead of "coup") She pronounced the "p"--as in chicken coop. Oy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 03:31 AM

Banjo Johnny, Yorkshire is the place. I'm desperately hoping that I'll remember the name of the village before I post this, but if I don't there are lots of people who will tell us. The village really exists and is a big tourist attraction these days.

"Summat" is actually "somewhat" - perfectly respectable but rather old-fashioned English word - with the "w" dropped. This is perfectly respectable too, as is "Norwich" (pr. "Norrich", if you didn't know), but for some reason many teachers are ignorant of this, and will insist on pulling you up for it. For years and years It was drummed into me at school that my accent was not the correct way to speak, and then I found that it was perfect for reading Chaucer with the correct pronunciation. It makes me laugh too, to hear scholarly people with "correct" speaking habits reading Shakespeare in the way Will would have spoken himself - you can go to Stratford today and find "common" people who still speak like that!
Steve ... not at all bitter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST,Sam Hudson
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 07:20 AM

Banjo Johnny - that series is set in Holmfirth which is indeed in Yorkshire. A pretty place and host to a good annual festival, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 09:21 AM

I had an Eglish teacher (in US) once that insisted we pronounce Worcesterhire just like it is spelled--gack!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Auxiris
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 09:33 AM

Good ol' what's-this-here sauce. . . .

Aux


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 10:10 AM

By the time I was twenty (I grew up in Denver, Colorado and Omaha, mind you) I had gotten as far as knowing that "-cester" was pronounced "Chester" (sometimes) and that it meant something along the lines of "Fort". And that you slurred the final "shire", So "Wor-sess-ter-shy-er" became "Wor-chest-er-sher" in my pronounciation. Then the Air Force dragged me off to England for six weeks, and being a good little tourist (on my off days, anyway!) I paddled my way up to London and bought a map.

Imagine, if you will, the look on the poor bobby's face when I asked him how to get to "Lay-chest-er" Square... (Leicester -- said "lester" by those in the know.)

(He was a nice man. He also explained to me that I was looking for Madame Too-so's, not Madame Too-sod's Waxworks..)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 10:14 AM

Again, from thread I: there used to be a differentiation between "up the creek without a paddle" and "up s**t creek"; at some point they joined each other. The one I can't stand is "Up S**t's creek", as though it were a local landmark or someone's property. A similar lump is combining "the Old Boy's club" (or network) with "good Ole boys", producing some sort of southern/British hybrid. Shoot! Blast!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 11:41 AM

That's "up sh*t crick", not "creek".

A mango is a tropical fruit, everywhere in the world except Indiana. In Indiana, a mango is likely to be a bell pepper.

In my first year at the University of Minnesota, one of my roommates was a guy who was on what I'll call probationary admission to the U. He was from far northern Minnesota, what we call "up on the range". He maintained with great heat that he'd been taught in high school to the progression of "bad" was "bad, worser, more worser". I am relieved to tell you that he wasn't around any more after the first quarter.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Terry K
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 11:55 AM

Steve Parkes - I hate to be picky but in Yorkshire "summat" means "something" as was suggested. The word "somewhat" has a totally different meaning.

And whilst we are on the subject of your post, "Norwich" rhymes with "porridge" and is only pronounced "norrich" until you discover the correct way!!! (which you now have)

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 12:13 PM

Anyone catch George W. last night defending his TV ads as not "sublimnable"?
You can always tell the tourists by their search for Green Wich Village and Youston St.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bert
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 12:14 PM

It's Shits not shit's - It is plural because there was more than one piece of shit in Barking Creek.

See here


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 Sep 00 - 06:25 PM

And still is, including at least 4 supermarket trolleys....

LTS, who lives not far from the fabled Barking Creek.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 02:04 AM

Hi Brits & thanks for the info on HOLMFIRTH, YORKSHIRE ! On TV it looks absolutely idyllic.

Now for something that really does bug me. Some people are using deliberate mispronunciations to degrade or insult others. For example, Republicans are now refering to their opposite party as the "Democrat Party". I think this started with (the now defunct) Newt Gingrich, and is being continued by Tom Delay and others who know better.

The name of the party is the Democratic Party, and its members are Democrats. Everyone who says "Democrat Party" ought to be taken out and shot. == Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 08:37 AM

Whoa, Terry - "somewhat" is a noun meaning "something" (more-or-less), as well as an abverb meaning "rather"; thsi usage is a bit archaic nowadays - except in the more civilised parts of the UK like Yorkshire and Staffordshire. As for "Norwich/porridge", I stand corrected - oh, the iniquities of a grammar school education! My in-laws come from Suffolk, which is fairly safe if you don't pronounce the "l".

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: kendall
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:46 AM

There are other words that Dubbya cant say..Nuclear, particularly and exemplary. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who wont use all 5 syllables in PARTICULARLY. Yes, I know we dont pronounce all 5 syllables in ALUMINIUM either..


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: L R Mole
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:35 AM

Yeah--isn't it Ralph Nader who says "ptckee"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: L R Mole
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:35 AM

Yeah--isn't it Ralph Nader who says "ptckee"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: L R Mole
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:39 AM

Twice?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: mousethief
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 01:04 PM

'somewhat' isn't a noun it's a pronoun.

O..O
=o=
clickme


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: KathWestra
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 02:51 PM

Sinsull, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed. By the end of a long news day, with Dubyah continually referring to "subliminable" advertising, I was fair ready to scream.

My all-time favorite mangle -- wrong, but hilarious -- was a friend who reported that another friend had quit smoking because he was tired of being a "social piranha" at parties. The image that conjured up still makes me giggle.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: kendall
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 03:22 PM

I overheard a guy complaining about his girlfriend, he said "We only had sex twice when she started having CONTRAPTIONS!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 07:20 PM

On the pronunciation of kilometer: one dictionary says that the pronunciation "kil-OM-eh-ter" was based on a "false analogy with 'barometer'".

Words that end in "-ology" refer to the study of something, not the thing itself. "Psychology" means "the study of the mind" yet people use it as if it meant "mind" or "the function of the mind" when there is no suggestion that anything is being studied. And they use "psychological" as if it meant "mental" (of the mind). (Not to mention the Brits who use "mental" to mean "crazy"!) Likewise, "ecology" means "the study of the environment" but people use it as if it meant "environment", as in, "The ecology here is disturbed", meaning what? That scientists are being disturbed in their study?

People say "not to mention" and then mention the very thing they said they weren't going to mention! (Oops! -See above.) Or they say, "needless to say", and then say something that is very needful to say.

Someone asked for the coinage of a new "gender-free pronoun", so that we wouldn't have to say "If anyone has a suggestion, [he/she/they] should post it here". English already HAS a gender-free pronoun: "it"! We would just have to get over our illogical resistance to using "it" to refer to an adult human being. We already say (sometimes), "The baby lost its mother" or "The dog lost its bone". Why can't we say, "The teacher lost its temper"?

The word "thusly" seems silly and superfluous to me, since "thus" is already an adverb. Yet you hear even educated people say, "Aristotle explained it thusly."

It seems obvious to me that the verb "associate" should have a "sh" sound in it, since it comes from the same root as "social", "sociable", and so on. But a lot of people say "a-so-see-ate". Yet I wouldn't pronounce "society" with a "sh". It just goes to show how inconsistent the English language is.

How did we get started pronouncing "chemotherapy" as "KEE-mo-therapy"? Shouldn't it be "KEM-o-therapy", to be consistent with "chemical", "chemist", and "chemistry"?

And why do so many American doctors and nurses (and one former chemistry teacher of mine) say "SAWNT-i-meet-er" (the French way) instead of "SENT-i-meet-er" like everybody else? Shouldn't it be consistent with "cent", "century", and "centennial"?

Kids, and even some adults, seem never to say "my friend" but always "a friend of mine" pronounced as one word, "friendamine". I am eagerly awaiting the plural, "these two friendamines".

News commentators these days of fond of the phrase, "political pundit." Trouble is, a lot of them pronounce it with an extra N: "pundint."

I haven't quite figured out the purpose and meaning of "hey", but I'm hearing it more and more, for example, "We get criticized for this but - hey! - we do it all the time." "I thought it over and decided - hey! - life is too short."

The most bizarre recent fad is the repetition of the word "is", as in "The problem is, is that nobody listens." or "My point is, is that you're being inconsistent." This happens especially when people are arguing. The speaker emphasizes the first "is", then pauses slightly, then repeats it with much less emphasis. This is happening far too often to be merely a case of stuttering.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 08:06 PM

We don't say "The teacher lost its temper" because the teacher is either a he or a she, and we're clearly speaking of one individual, not a hypothetical or generic person. Now if the sentence is, "A teacher should not lose its temper," I can see the "its".

The PC craze has brought about a stupid (IMNSHO) usage in terms of the leadership of a deliberative body: "John Jones, the chair of the whatzis committee"--et cetera. No. He is the chairman of the committee. The chair is the office, not the officeholder. If you have a woman in that position, she's the chairman too, traditionally, but if you want to recognize the gender I have no problem with your calling her the chairwoman. But a chair is either a piece of furniture or, in this case, an office. I say this on the authority not only of immemorial usage but upon the pronouncement of the American Parlianmentary Association (Society?), a group of highly placed individuals in the field of parliamentary order and procedure. It is to be noted that this society is predomantly made up of female members, not male.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 08:32 PM

Dave Oesterreich: You're right. "A teacher should not lose its temper" illustrates the point I was trying to make better than the sentence I used.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:50 PM

I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but the the use of no or none in place of any drives me crazy.

"I ain't got no..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bert
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 02:14 PM

So I guess you don't like Country Music then Steve!

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 05:16 PM

The word "incredible" is vastly overused, and sometimes creates unintended irony. Whenever I hear a talk-show host brag that he's going to have some incredible guests, I think, "That's just the problem. I wish he'd have some credible ones for a change."

And people are using "traditional" too loosely. A tradition is something that is passed on from one generation to another. (I guess I don't have to tell you Mudcats that!) Yet people say, "On Wednesdays I stop off for my traditional latte" or "On Fridays we traditionally rent a video and make microwave popcorn." Try calling it what it is: a custom, a habit, a usual practice, or whatever.

Also, a tradition is something people do intentionally; it is not something that happens naturally. But you hear, "We traditionally have floods in the spring".


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 05:30 PM

Our fathers had floods in the spring, and they inherited this custom from their fathers, and passed it on to us.

The word that bugs me is when people use 'literally' for something that is in fact figurative. "I literally died out there" for example for someone with stage fright.

No you didn't. Otherwise you'd be dead.

Do we really need another meaningless intensifier? Already we have "really" (which used to mean "in reality") and "truly" (which used to mean "in truth") being used for "a lot" or "to a great extent". Also incredibly, fabulously, unbelievably, etc. Every time one of these words gets abducted as a synonym for "quite a bit" we lose another useful word, and gain another useless intensifier.

STOP VERBICIDE NOW!

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 05:39 PM

I think it was in this thread that someone questioned the meaning of "hey" in a setence such as "I want you to understand--hey--this is not rocket science."

Seems to me this a sort of verbal equivalent of an exclamation point. The exclamation point, though we often loosely call it punctuation, is really not; it's a rhetorical indicator. So is the interrogation sign (?). I think that the use of "hey" as in the sentence above is sort of a signal that what follows is sort of a leading verbal exclamation point, as it were.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Sula
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM

But isn't all this variation part of how our language develops, how each generation takes its linguistic heritage and changes it for complex reasons including fashion, new developments in technology and environment? Leaving aside that language in one area is characteristic and special to that area, what right does anyone else have to impose their own ways of speaking on others? The Welsh language was nearly lost this way. I'll stop radging about this now as they say hear in East Yorkshire!

best wishes sula.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: domenico
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 06:42 PM

Wow, Sula, you should have seen my post in the "Nazi" thread (due to peoples' apparent disgust at the "casual" use of an inflammatory word). Here was my two cents on the "living language" concept:

"...please do not feel personally attacked by individuals who use this term in their vernacular, as this word is doing what every word does eventually in a language, it evolves and gets incororated into the vocabulary. While you may feel it is losing its particular meaning, it is being used to explain the idea of intolerence. If you wnat to make sure it conveys the same sense of horror, feel free to remind people exactly what images it does convey. If anything, you either help them more correctly convey an idea, or perhaps you now learned that they feel just as passionately about an injustice as you..."

"Language is our only way of precisely conveying our thoughts, and English is a "living language", and with it, we all learn to express ourselves in an infinitely growing way.

Two such examples of this concept, and its limitations are the Hopi and Korean languages. I may be reciting Urban Legend here, so if anyone knows the details, please clue me in, but in a nutshell, at different times, these languages prevented a very simple task from being carried out due to the limitations of words.

In both cases, someone was trying to translate the Bible, so that they could be taught in the native tongue.

In the Hopi tongue, there was no word to convey the concept of a savior, and/or single omnipotent God. Their pantheon did just not apply in a collective sense, and they couldn't find the words to convey it.

In Korean, it was a similar situation, but it revolved around the concept of Brotherly love. Their literally was no word as "love" in that context, and their project suffered."

I think what I am trying get to is that while I do wish to have a better grasp of the English language, sometimes words mutate into a different thought, but still allow the speaker/writer to convey their ideas, and I hope that my fellow English speakers can appreciate my expression, regardless of a small faux-pas on my part.

To wit, I was once referring to my hesitation in an action that was being asked of me, and I referred to my "reticence", at which point I was rudely told I couldn't have been reticent, as I was not "speaking", I was "doing".

After crawling home and devouring my dictionary, I met with the classic dilemma of "The Letter of the Law vs. the Spirit of the Law".

To the interrupter, I concede to entry #1: "inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech"

But as the interruptee, I will beg to differ, citing entry #2, "restrained in expression, presentation, or appearance", as "restraining" my "expression" of doing the obviously odious, yet completely forgotten, task at hand...

I hope that I can at least make a tale more interesting by adding to the imagery with interesting words. If perhaps I screw them up a bit, I would love to know, and to learn, but sometimes, you just need to let it go. Eventually the word will change, leaving you with the challenge of inventing your own words... :)

Domenico


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Mbo
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 06:58 PM

What about in the old movies, where sentences always start with "why". As in "Why, I'll wake up and this will all have been a dream." What's that "why" fer, anyways?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: kendall
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 07:11 PM

What about "Well"? the Actor used to say that before anything else.And, forMIDable? Question..why do we care?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:30 PM

seems to me there's several classes of 'mangling' we are talking about here.

One is simple local/cultural variations in spelling and pronunciation.."aluminium" and "kilometer" and long & short vowel sounds, etc...interesting, but hardly significant except for games of guessing where someone is from...

Then there is the artificial warping in order to try to sound special...'verbing' of nouns and bureaucratic hyperbole...frustrating, but sometimes conveys meaning for local groups...

But then we have the 'funny' ones...the careless, stupid uses by people who try to use words they simply have made no attempt to look up, and often use similar sounding words or totally off-the-wall pronunciation...with grotesque results..."social Piranha" 'coop' for coup...etc.

Then there is the general 'bad grammar' category, which is often just a result of limited education, but which CAN be an obstinate resolve to not 'do it their way'....

I do try, when laughing at the wonderful posts here, to remember that there is a big difference between laughing at the words, and laughing at the perpetrator. But I also feel very strongly that some of these mistakes tell me a LOT about who I'd trust and respect in important aspects of life.....

"subliminable"???....*sigh*


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:52 PM

A large part of the glory of the English language is its EXTREME flexibility, its easy acceptance of neologisms and foreign imports. The shifts of balance and bumps that result tend to be uncomfortable to those of us who love language and communication, but the meaning or the spelling or the pronunciation your junior high school teacher taught you was not handed down from Mt. Olympus; it was developed from something else in the rough and tumble of daily communication, and probably seemed unconventional, controversial and--"hey"--ludicrous to our predecessors.

When, on occasion, I indulge in a nonstandard but (to me) justified usage and someone calls me on it, I like to tell the questioner (with a straight face): "I have the high privilege of serving on the committee that makes all the decisions on what's acceptable and what's not in the English language."

After they get through gasping and sputtering at this, I add: "It's called the Comittee of the Whole of All Users of the English Language! Some members' opinions are much more influential than others, but everyone gets to vote."

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 09:55 PM

Why can't "he" and its forms continue to include "she", as it has in hundreds of years of literature? It was never intended as an insult to women.

Tired of hearing people say ee-legal. Are they afraid I don't understand the word illegal? == Johnny


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:06 PM

Banjo Johnny- in a quick aside- in my opinion we should be saying 'womankind' and using its attendent pronouns. The reason is that 'woman' has 'man' in it so there is nothing exclusionary about it. Then when a newscaster said something like "Today was another great day in the annals of womankind," men need only remind themselves that they are included. Of course, you would be included- wouldn't the name itself be evidence enough? Here's to womankind!

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 10:54 PM

A couple of things that bug me: 'There were approximately 189 people present.' What?

My least favorite, however: 'I work hard-I always give 110 %, or, he always gives 200%.' You mean you give more than you can?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Sula
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:15 AM

Back to Worcestershire and other difficult pronunciations. I have a friend who was once enjoying a pint outside a Yorkshire village pub. A helicopter descended and landed on the cricket pitch!!! Sacred Soil!!! A man got out and demanded to know where "Harogatty" was. My friend taken aback as you may expect, denied all knowledge until the man showed him a map pointing to Harrogate, (pronounced "Harragut")by locals and "Harrow-gate" by more run of the mill tourists. He managed an inarticulate, yokel-like wave in the direction required and the helicopter and man departed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:23 AM

Banjo Johnny, I do not go round looking for masculinisation of the language, but a lot can be told from context, and very frequently, it is apparent from the rest of the sentence that he does not include women, that the base state of humanity is seen as men.

I once saw a presentation of "best practice" in computer teaching in a very impressive primary school with a really keen teacher. Full of photographs of little people sitting around keyboards busily working. The first one was all boys, captioned "children". No probs, though with equal access to the keyboard an issue on ever so many questionnaires, not the best choice to open with. Next one also boys, also captioned "children". Eventually a picture of girls, captioned "girls", and later one mixed, captioned "boys and girls". About twenty boys, five girls, and the girls never captioned "children". what is the subtext?

Granted, the word man originally was the equivalent of Latin "homo", not "vir", and was inclusive, with "wifman" and "wereman" the subgroups ("were" being cognate with "vir"), but there have been many years of change, and the influence of such thinkers as the Greek philosophers and Augustine, and the churchmen who held that women had no souls. "Man" is not used inclusively, nor is "he". Once you start noticing that you're left out, it becomes very obvious. Have a look at the tenth commandment, for example. You aren't supposed to covet a wife, but no banning of coveting a husband.

Natural usage seems to result in the use of "they" in a singular meaning, anyway, when the gender is unknown, and in spoken English it doesn't seem to sound wrong, as it does in writing.

One I find irritating is the use of "sir" for male teachers and "miss", without the surname, for females. Not equivalent. "Sir" is honorific, "miss" is diminutive, originally used for children. Many schools teach that both are polite, and do not notice that the roots go back to times when men were graduates and women not able to attend university, and compelled to leave teaching when they married (or were seen with a man). It is part of the failure to see women as included, and goes unnoticed, especially by men, some of whom with the best of intentions believe that the language is inclusive.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Sula
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:23 AM

Domineco, thanks I think that was what I was trying to say, language has to change to survive. Bill D that was a good summary of the discussion. I've heard of a system of communicating by learning 100 key words in loads of languages, but it has its limitations...blood, sweat and tears become blood, body water and eye water! Cheers Sula


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Ely
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 04:12 PM

We always used "Ma'am" for female teachers. But some of my southern-born friends insisted on calling my mother "Miss Bette" when she said they could call her by her first name. She hated that.

"Reason why" always bugs the Hell out of me. If you have "reason", you don't need "why". You might as well say either of them twice.

My boyfriend insisted for the longest time that "germ" (as in "wheat germ") should be pronounced with a hard "g", as in "gills" or "green". It didn't take me long to figure out that he often doesn't know what he's talking about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM

Ah but if you are talking about gills as in the liquid measure, it is pronounced "jill".

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: The Beanster
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:13 PM

This thread has become so interesting. When I put my two cents in at the beginning, I thought some funny posts would appear and we'd all get a chuckle and that would be that but I've really learned a lot here! (why am I surprised?)!

As far as the gender debate goes, when I'm writing, even in formal stuff, I now use "s/he" as an alternative to "he/she" or "they." It looks a little odd, I know, but it's the best I have found so far...

Heard a lady on the subway just the other day say, I swear to God--"The doctor told her she was obeast." What planet am I on?! lolol


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST,equalrice
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:40 PM

A lot of the this so-called mangling is really just the same old usage gripes from nitpickers. Now that that gripe is off my chest: my nominations.

On a 20/20 segment one of the reporters said this of a surly crowd: They started hurling racial epitaphs at each other.

And one of my all time favorites: at the Anita Hill hearings (anybody remember Anita Hill?), one of the senior senators (was it Orin Hatch?) spoke about the aligations and the aligaTORS.

By the by, Shits Creek would not be the correct way to refer to a number of said objects the same way lunches boxes would not be correct. Nouns used as adjectives take the singular form. Winter coat. Field day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 01:29 AM

It's "crick" in New York State. It's "creek" in Ontario (like a door hinge that needs oil).

It's "ruff" in New York State (sounds like a dog barking). It's "roof" in Ontario.

It's "warsh" in some places in the USA. It's "wash" here.

It's "owwwt" in the USA, "out" in Ontario, and "oot" in Aberdeen...but it's "goslibovitzka" in Brutopia.

Dubya, Dubya, Dubya...hey, nonny, nonny, ho, and ho, noony, nonny, hey.

I've got a suggestion. Let's take all the assorted manglings of the English language that have been posted in both this thread and its predecessor...and combine them into a single horrendous document...and then email it to Dubya! He needs a new speechwriter anyway...

Make it a speech on NU-CU-LAR energy, "so's" he can say NU-CU-LAR as many times as possible before it's done.

Hee! Hee! Hee! (fiendish laughter)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 11:54 AM

I suppose a racial epitaph would be attached to a gravestone, so having one hurled at you might not be a very nice thing! LOL.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bert
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 12:56 PM

equalrice, you said

"By the by, Shits Creek would not be the correct way to refer to a number of said objects the same way lunches boxes would not be correct. Nouns used as adjectives take the singular form. Winter coat. Field day."

Actually 'correct' in any language is determined by the inhabitants of the Capital City of the Country and not by some snotty nosed grammar professor;-)

Bert. - Now maybe it's because I'm a Londoner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:22 PM

Bulletin: Why do so many commentators think the plural of "process" is pronounced "process-ease"? I just heard an announcer on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" say, "Fujimori never had much respect for democratic process-ease." I have heard this many times before.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: oggie
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM

Surely there is a difference between pronunciation and mangling? Where a word is correctly used but said diferently is surely different to the incorrect use of a word where the meaning has been lost or it's pronunciation is so far out as to suggest that the speaker really does not know how the word should be said (or even means).

For example, I'm sure I heard Bush the Younger say 'subliminable' the other night on TV - that is mangling! In the part of Lincolnshire I lived in extra syllables were often inserted into double vowel sounds - so 'beans' becomes 'be-hans' (5 miles down the road on the 'Marsh' it became 'be-yans'). That I would descibe as an accent and in these days of estuary english something to be treasured not scorned!

All the best

Steve

PS Anyone for some 'forward planning'? Have you ever planned backwards?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 07:24 PM

nope...but I have 'pre-recorded'


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Sep 00 - 07:48 PM

How about "future plans" or "past history"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:25 AM

I'll bet "past history" is a mangling of "ancient history."

Perhaps "future plans" are plans you haven't made yet.

Just a thought.

Actually just two thoughts.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:33 AM

Down here in Eastern NC, when you want to talk to someone, you say "I need to get up with you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:47 AM

Has anyone done the Noddy Holder joke? ( tenuous musical connection)
He went into a clothes shop, say Zissman's in Brum (used to do a neat line in gold lame drape jackets in my day), in the 1970s. Bought a pair of red velvet flares,a horrible paisley pattern big collar shirt. The assistant thinks the outfit isn't complete.
"How about a kipper tie ,sir" he suggests.
"Foin,"says Noddy " two sugars, please."
(get Steve or Rana to explain it!)
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Mbo
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 11:49 AM

Ha ha! Kipper tie!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Scotsbard
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM

The unnecessary misconcatenation of "ORIENTATE" and its bastard offspring "ORIENTATED" drive me bananas. The proper words are "ORIENT" and "ORIENTED" unless by some remote possibility the speaker is referring to alignment with the eastern direction or perhaps far-eastern regions.

Aargh! ~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 02:39 PM

oh..YES, Scotsbard!...I have been tearing my hair over that one for years...along with "IMPORTATING"

seems to be a theory that if 2 or 3 syllables are good, 3 or 4 must be better...


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 05:55 PM

There is a Minnesota institution whose official name is (or was until recently) the Iron Range Interpretative [sic] Center. Honest. However, I see that the web site now says "Interpretive Center". But if you look closely at the page title - at the very top of your screen if you use Netscape - you will see "Interpretative". Also, the tourism page for the city of Chisholm refers to it as "the Iron Range Interpretative Center" and so do several other web sites. Even the Minnesota Session Laws!

That's not the goofiest thing that ever appeared in the Minnesota statutes. When I first got a fishing license, turtles were officially classified as "rough fish."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 04:27 AM

My mother in law seems to have taken lessons from Hilda Baker in humorous un-intentional mangling (reference probably lost on non brits and under 30's).

She recently bought an ornament to be a 'vocal point' in the living room and told us that her other son-in-law, Bryan, was taking anti-inflammables for his arthritis (Is that how you spell it?)

Earlier point about 'Miss' being diminutive is not stricly true BTW - both Miss and Mrs are short for Mistress. Ma'am is Madam - funny how both full length terms have now been mangled to mean something else isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:26 PM

I know both Miss and Mrs are short for mistress, but it is still taught that Miss does not require a full stop as it is not an abbreviation. By diminutive, I intended to refer to the meaning that it was the form used for the immature, rather than a short form of the word. In the time of Shakespeare, Mistress was used for all women, married or not, with subtle variations to indicate marital status. This then changed to Miss for the young, and Mrs for the older (like Master and Mister) before being attached to marital status only as at present. Except, apparently, for domestic cooks.

I've just had to go through the irritating business of form filling in a shop. Assistant writes Mrs, glances at me, asks if it is Mrs. I say that I don't use a title. She says the computer needs one. I say "Well, Miss, actually," like Dick Emery. Why can't I be addressed the way I want?

Penny (whose full name is enough for formal purposes, surely)


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:30 PM

My wife tells me that in the part of the American South(east) she hails from, you say "Miss" with a first name and "Miz" with a last name, regardless (irregardless?) of marital status.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:34 PM

NO. NOT "irregardless".


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Brakn
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:47 PM

Three words/phrases.
Saaink, Ow b'ist thee, Conversationalization.
One from London, one Wiltshire, one US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Brakn
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:51 PM

Something (Eastenders), How are you? (How be is thee?) and the last one I heard on Jerry Springer or Oprah.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 03:46 AM

Oh honestly, Roger!! Noddy Holder used to live round the corner from me - literally: I lived in Newton Road and he lived in Stephenson Avenue on the Beechdale (his mom still lives there). There is no way even a Brummie loike yo' could turn "tay" into "tie"! It might have worked with one of them southern bands ...

Any road, pronuncation, when it's the product of accent, is not mangling the language; if it was good enough for Chaucer and it was good enough for Shakespeare, it's good enough for Parkes!

Steve (Parkes, just in case you were wondering!)

That goes for double negatives, too - Will didn't hesitate to use 'em, and neither shall I. The French do it all the time: "je ne sais pas". Not that that's any recommendation!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 12:40 PM

We have "nonchalant" but we don't seem to have chalant. What does the "non-" prefix refer to if there is nothing for it to not be?

Here in Pittsburgh we have amongst a lot of other stupid words, "yins" or "yuns" (The latter being pronounced as a short oo sound like book) . Thet are both plural versions of "you". A friend of mine has speculated that it may be due to the Irish population that emigrated here, and believes it may come from the Irish "sibh" (you, plural). I think he's reaching a bit, but we've been using that in Irish class. For example, when asked what "agaibh" means we answer "at yins" This is the only time I use it. It didn't take more than one or two trips away from here to realize that our lingo sounds pretty stupid.

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:49 PM

It is a peculiarity of the English language that we do not distinguish in the second person between singular and plural or between nominative and objective case. A long time ago, we did: "Thou" and "thee" were singular and "you" and "ye" were plural. You can still see this in the King James Bible and in Shakespeare.

In modern times, in standard diction, we use "you" for everything, but this sometimes leads to ambiguity. Have you ever been invited to a party and then wondered, "Did she mean to invite me and my wife, or just me?"

Some people avoid the ambiguity by using special expressions for you-plural such as "y'all" (you-all), "you-uns" or "y'uns" (you-ones) "yous" (pronounced "yooz" or "yez" - That vowel should probably be a schwa, but I don't think my font contains one.) Probably the most common informal expression is "you guys". "You people" can also be used this way, but, for some reason, some people consider it offensive. Remember Ross Perot at the NAACP (or maybe it was the Urban League)?

While grammarians (dare I say grammar-Nazis?) have tried for years to stamp out such expressions, people persist in using them because they are so darned USEFUL. They really do convey a meaning that is missing from "you" alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 03:11 PM

Old joke:

He: I say, do you like Kipling?

She: I don't know -- I've never kippled.

Here in the Sooner State, "Miss" and "Mizz" are polite. "Madam" is reserved for brothel managers.

Do you remember in -The Producers- ...

"Thank you, madam." ---- "I ain't a madam! I'm a con-see-oydge!"

=== Johnny in Oklahoma City


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:35 PM

Please insure that you have enough house ensurance, or you may be out of luck if mangle your spelling as well as your pronunciation. Just one pet peeve of mine witch I sees constantly. JohnB


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:38 PM

Elephant in elephants graveyard - did you come here to die?

Brummy elephant - noo, Oy coom eer yisterdie!

Sorry.

Will that be a spectacliar nucular burglery then?

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Penny S.
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 06:12 PM

burglurisation


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: hesperis
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:41 PM

We have "disgruntled", so why don't we have "gruntled" anymore?

I am so gruntled to know that you all care!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: L R Mole
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:08 PM

I think "gruntled" does exist: pigs especially but dogs too, when one finally pays them attention and scratches them between the ears, grunt like all get-out (or, really, like the character Billy Bob Thornton played in "Sling Blade". mmmmMMMMum'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:13 PM

And we have warmth but no coolth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:16 PM

I know lots of people with no couth.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:19 PM

GLOSS
McCord, David (1897-)

I know a little man both ept and ert.
An intro-? extro-? No, he's just a vert.
Sheveled and couth and kempt, pecunious, ane,
His image trudes upon the ceptive brain.

When life turns sipid and the mind is traught,
The spirit soars as I would sist it ought.
Chalantly then, like any gainly goof,
My digent self is sertive, choate, loof.

[The Oxford Book of American Light Verse (Harmon)]


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 05:51 PM

Och, lad, ye're ane uncouth couf! Get ye tae a nunnery, and gi' the lassies some'at tae complain aboot!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 07:21 PM

Social piranha. I really like that. It's the kind of a mistake that builds up a meaning around it. A pearl of a mistake.

A social piranha would be the kind of pushy sharp-elbowed character that everyone hates, but seems to do quite well. The nastiest kind of yuppie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mangling the English Language, Vol. II
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Sep 00 - 01:51 AM

I saw an interview recently with George W Bush,in which he said we shouldn't be worried about "subliminable" ads,because the danger of "subliminable" ads was being exaggerated.It was funny to see the reaction of his staff.At first use they kind of smiled,but he repeated it several times,and you could just watch that far-away look coming into their eyes as they thought "please God make him stop."


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