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For pedants only

Snuffy 10 Oct 01 - 09:08 AM
Crazy Eddie 10 Oct 01 - 09:28 AM
Crazy Eddie 10 Oct 01 - 09:32 AM
LR Mole 10 Oct 01 - 10:35 AM
mousethief 10 Oct 01 - 10:38 AM
Orac 10 Oct 01 - 10:41 AM
mousethief 10 Oct 01 - 11:21 AM
Mr Red 10 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM
Snuffy 10 Oct 01 - 06:40 PM
Wyrd Sister 11 Oct 01 - 03:04 PM
Haruo 11 Oct 01 - 03:40 PM
SharonA 11 Oct 01 - 04:26 PM
mousethief 11 Oct 01 - 05:06 PM
mousethief 11 Oct 01 - 05:13 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Oct 01 - 05:53 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM
Gervase 12 Oct 01 - 06:27 AM
Crazy Eddie 12 Oct 01 - 06:46 AM
Wolfgang 12 Oct 01 - 07:03 AM
Mary in Kentucky 12 Oct 01 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Steve Parkes 12 Oct 01 - 10:10 AM
SharonA 12 Oct 01 - 10:16 AM
mousethief 12 Oct 01 - 10:34 AM
Mary in Kentucky 12 Oct 01 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,CLETUS 12 Oct 01 - 10:49 AM
Steve Parkes 12 Oct 01 - 10:54 AM
artbrooks 12 Oct 01 - 01:30 PM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Oct 01 - 02:23 PM
mousethief 12 Oct 01 - 04:08 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 01 - 05:01 PM
Haruo 12 Oct 01 - 07:56 PM
rangeroger 12 Oct 01 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk 13 Oct 01 - 03:22 AM
Haruo 13 Oct 01 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk 13 Oct 01 - 04:05 AM
Haruo 13 Oct 01 - 04:27 AM
Willa 13 Oct 01 - 09:20 AM
Paul from Hull 13 Oct 01 - 09:46 AM
Willa 13 Oct 01 - 03:58 PM
Paul from Hull 13 Oct 01 - 04:58 PM
rangeroger 13 Oct 01 - 08:00 PM
Paul from Hull 13 Oct 01 - 08:11 PM
Gloredhel 13 Oct 01 - 08:41 PM
Ebbie 14 Oct 01 - 12:15 AM
catspaw49 14 Oct 01 - 04:07 AM
catspaw49 14 Oct 01 - 04:10 AM
Paul from Hull 14 Oct 01 - 01:02 PM
Little Hawk 14 Oct 01 - 01:56 PM
robomatic 14 Oct 01 - 04:37 PM
Mary in Kentucky 14 Oct 01 - 08:07 PM
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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 09:08 AM

England is a smallish country England are going to the World Cup finals


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 09:28 AM

Snuffy,
An interisting use of a collective noun.

Nouns which stand for a group of people/ things are a special case.
Examples are, Team, Band, Herd. If I consider a football team to be one unit, I refer to the team in the singular; but if I think of the team as being made up of individual players, I refer to the team in the plural.

Therefore: "Shamrock Rovers is an excellent team" is grammatically correct, but so is "Shamrock Rovers are an excellent team".

GRAMMATICALLY correct , I said. :o)


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 09:32 AM

HTML strikes again!


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: LR Mole
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 10:35 AM

Walking home one day I came upon a sign for VEGAT'BLES. They were for sale, I guess. Had to give the signmaker credit, though: obviously he'd known something was wrong on there.
I could pedants all night.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 10:38 AM

Didn't realize "pedants" was a verb, let alone an uninflected verb.

Alex


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Orac
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 10:41 AM

Ok.. there's another that pisses me off.. Hearing Americans say don't when they mean doesn't "It don't matter".. gasp... you wouldn't say "It do matter" would you? What perpetuates these appalling misuses of English is modern songwriters, who give bad usage common currency. One of the worse is Dylan.(Because of his great influence on a generation) "It ain't no use to sit and why babe" .. "That's a light I never nowd" ... double gasp. We could go into double negatives here too.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 11:21 AM

Orac, I think there is a sort of "poverty chic" in American language, where people affect a "homier than thou" sort of dialect. "It don't matter" or "Who-done-it" or "Ain'tcha" (for "haven't you") are sort of little attempts to be folksy. (There's a million of 'em!)

At least, that's how I use them. (See, you knew I was affected!) And that's how they sound to my ear. And let's face it, would David Gates have had a smash top-ten hit with "It doesn't matter to me"?

"The light I never knowed" is of course a cheap reach for a rhyme. It doesn't grate the ear nearly as much as "Songs she sang to me, words she brang to me..." which my college Hebrew professor said haunted him as the ghastliest cheap-reach-for-a-rhyme in the English language.

Alex


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Mr Red
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM

Orac - aint yo never bin to the Black Coontry owr kid?
mousethief - In NZ & Oz anything and everything can become verb (transitive or intransitive) or if it ewasn't it is now a noun.
I think i will have me a relax now.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 06:40 PM

Why is "verb" a noun?


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 03:04 PM

Cos it's naming the type of word denoting actions.Whistle Stop, don't stop. The language needs you.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Haruo
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 03:40 PM

"Songs she sang to me, words she brang to me..."

How does (faux?) archaism in the second verse of Woodward's Christmas carol "Ding dong! Merrily on high" strike you? (The whole song can, I think, with its hyperelongated "glo>...>ria", profitably be viewed as a parody of "Shepherds in the field abiding" (what we Americans think of as "Angels we have heard on high").
E'en so here below, below,
Let steeple bells be swungen,
And io, io, io,
By priest and people sungen:
     Glo------------------------------ria,
          Hosana in excelsis!
     Glo------------------------------ria,
          Hosana in excelsis!
I note in passing that the Esperanto version makes no effort to preserve the archaism. And, for that matter, though translated by a Catholic sacerdote, it renders "priest" as "pastor", hence making it much more acceptable to us Baptists with our penchant for the Priesthood of the Believer. ;-)

Liland


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 04:26 PM

Hey, pedants! Quick question: is the term correctly styled

email
e-mail
Email
E-mail
e mail
or
E mail?


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 05:06 PM

I differentiate between two kinds of bad English:

(1) Done on purpose for some reason (to keep a rhyme, for instance)

(2) Done because the person doesn't know how to do it right.

Items in 2 are always irritating. Items in 1 can be merely quaint (like "swungen/sungen") or downright grating (like "words she brang to me"). I imagine the line between the two categories are fuzzy and different for each person.

Alex


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: mousethief
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 05:13 PM

Sorry. Line *IS* fuzzy. Sheesh.

Alex


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 05:53 PM

Sharon A, I looked in Small Business Office 2000 for Dummies and found e-mail. Another book has the same. I would guess the "e" means electronic.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM

Sharon A, just looked in the guide my cable provider gave me. It has Email. I think I have used all of your possibilities at some time.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Gervase
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 06:27 AM

Crazy Eddie,
It's a journalistic convention in the UK that sports teams are regarded as plural. Where I worked it used to cause all sorts of harrumphing and sighing from the linguistic purists in general news, but we excused the sweaties on the grounds that they were half-literate eejits writing for the illiterate, so it didn't matter!
(Tolerant places, newspapers. Our nickname for the sports dept was 'toys and games', the features section was usually 'the shallow end' and the sub-editors who laid out the pages and corrected our howlers were dismissed as the 'hod carriers')


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 06:46 AM

Gervase,
I don't know much about Journalistic conventions.
I learned about collective nouns in Primary school when I was ten years old. Our teacher at the time was one year away from retirement, & I suspect he may have been teaching, from an older syllabus! Since then, I've met people who've attended school until 17 yrs old, and they had never been taught basic grammar.
After all, what is life if one cannot discuss prepositions, adverbial clauses, adjectival nouns; and even better, homophones.... homographs...... acronyms......... port-manteau words ..........and ....... .....................
Eddie is leaving the computer now, before he becomes over-excited.....................


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 07:03 AM

May I add to Mousethief's two categories of bad English the most frequent category:

(3) slips and mistakes: neither done on purpose nor because the person doesn't know better (the first Mudcat instance that comes to my mind for its funny double-sense is the line Please make it clear that I did NOT right that parody

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 07:51 AM

SharonA, RE: email

I read somewhere that a word begins as capitalized and hyphenated (E-Mail) but as times goes on and it's used more frequently, it changes to e-mail, then email. Also Internet, internet, 'net, and net. I just watch large newspapers because they usually have a consistent policy.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: GUEST,Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 10:10 AM

You mean papers, Mary? *G*

Snuffy--I'm a bit late here, but never mind. "Wo'n't"="woll not" ("woll" now an archaic form, superseded in the last two or three hundred years by "will"); Carroll was correct in his apostrophisation (oops--big word!) of the missing letters, but the convention nowadays is to use "won't" with one ap'phe--likewise "sha'n't".

Whistle Stop, using "their" (plural) with "child" (singular) is generally acceped today as preferable to "his" (the pedantic form) or "his or her", which is clumsy. If you're speaking colloquially, it's OK to use the "gender-free" plural, but in formal writing, you may do better to recast the sentence if you can, and avoid the problem altogether. Anyway, Lewis Carroll did it, and if it was good enough for him ..!

Steve

If you like this kind of thing, check out Take our word for it and World wide words.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: SharonA
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 10:16 AM

Thanks, Dicho and Mary!


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 10:34 AM

Well added, Wolf.

Alex


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 10:46 AM

Yes Steve, do you remember them? *G*

Several years ago I had a link to "Brit Speak" which gave examples of the differences in American and English punctuation. (Americans like to put the period inside the quotes, "like this.") I can't find that info again. Has anybody seen anything like it?

Steve, I like your second link above. I'll follow some of the links there. Seems like I have too much time on my hands today!


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: GUEST,CLETUS
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 10:49 AM

Well I shur am surprized ta see that thizzeer subjeck dun showed up heer on Mudcat. An I gotta tell yall thet it makes me rite sorry ta see so menny uv you tockin bowt it. I aint red nun uv yur stuff cuz I jes doan holt with nobuddy messin around with kidz an doin thet nasty sexshul stuff. Yall needs ta git yersevs sum perfeshunal help ur sumpin. Ima gonna git on outta heer now cuz I doan want nobuddy thinkin thet I got ennything ta do with thizzeer kinda stuff.

CLETUS


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 10:54 AM

Cletus, aer kid, theer ay a lot yo con say tew that!
Br>Steve, in the Black Country


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 01:30 PM

Every dictionary I own, at work and at home, has "its/it's" marked or highlighted in some manner. I think I have a mental block about that word. Otherwise, I do ok for a Yank, except for an unfortunate tendency to end sentences with a set of periods.....


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 02:23 PM

That unfortunate usage, "Normalcy", was popularized, so to speak, by neither of the Roosevelts but by Warren G. Harding. It was immediately attacked, vilified, and ridiculed by the press and by us pedants, but it survived, more's the pity.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: mousethief
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 04:08 PM

What's wrong with neologisms? "Normalcy" has a certain charm. Remember when "coastal" was first coined it was thought to be barbarous both on the east coast of the USA and in old Blightey. The yanks have gotten over it; some Britspeakologists still get their hackles up. Comes from having a coast that must be measured in feet rather than miles. :)

Alex


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 05:01 PM

Mary in KY, BOTH British and American publishers put the period, comma, etc. inside the " marks. Just to make certain, I checked my collection of English and American first editions and found the same convention in both.


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Haruo
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 07:56 PM

Speaking of email (retpoŝto to us green-star folks; emajlo means enamel), some time back some of my email providers wanted me to log on (aka logon) and later to log off (or logoff), while others insisted I log in and thereafter log out. They, too, were not in agreement as to whether I was using them for email, Email or e-mail. The subsequent downturn in what virtually passes for an economy has, I think, applied a sort of Darwinian selection process (theistic or not as your taste runneth) to the issue, and there is now less typodiversity.

Liland


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: rangeroger
Date: 12 Oct 01 - 08:04 PM

OK,I'm here.Now what do I do?

rr


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 03:22 AM

There is a pub in Manchester called The Land 'O' Cakes. Pedant on that?

and (sic) what is the square root of minus 1. And this too


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Haruo
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 03:24 AM

Isn't the square root of minus one "i"?

Liland
who's not the mathematician he is the linguist


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 04:05 AM

Are pedants generally specific? Are they just language pedants or do they pedant on number as well? I am finding this very difficult to construct, I feel many pedants ready to pounce.

But would they care about the incorrect use of percentage or probability? Maybe 99% probably don't care?


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Haruo
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 04:27 AM

Upright query, GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk!

Powerful surmises!

Liland
who hopes they don't all pounce at once, it could be unsettling


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Willa
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 09:20 AM

Liland. You are correct about the square root of minus 1, though some pedants would insist upon calling the number -1 negative 1. Les/Manchester. Yes, there are polymathic pedants. I hate to hear team managers claim that their players give 110% effort. Willa (tongue in cheek again!)


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 09:46 AM

*LOL* Rangeroger!!!

(Sorry everyone else, you wont get the joke, I dont suppose)


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Willa
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 03:58 PM

Certainly did, Paul. Just shows some people do read thread titles carefully!


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 04:58 PM

*G* Well I think you were in on the original 'joke' werent you, M'dear....*G*


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: rangeroger
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 08:00 PM

Paul,it was Willa who proved I could start a sentence with but.

And end one too.

rr


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 08:11 PM

Hehehehehee!


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Gloredhel
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 08:41 PM

A pedant's favorite insult: "People will soon be referring to you in the pluperfect tense!"

ArtBrooks, if you do tend to end sentences with an elipsis, at least do it properly, with only four periods. Three means that you haven't finished, and five or more is just wrong....


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 12:15 AM

Gloredhel, my sources say that three dots is sufficient...

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:07 AM

I don't personally give a turkey........Ya' see, I use them as a pause.....some short...............and some long. It makes what I am trying to say a bit more, uh.....how do I say it?....hmmmm...Hopefully,coversational. I also tend to end sentences with unspoken thoughts....like, how I feel about pedants in general.....Well......................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:10 AM

Then again, maybe I just do it to piss people off.........................

Spaw (:<))


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:02 PM

*G*


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:56 PM

Yeah, it's sort of like...you know, when you...

- LH


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: robomatic
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:37 PM

As a true red white & blue American I want to second mousethief on the Yankee propensity for down-culture expression. I think it's interesting because it's due to an anti-individualistic motive. Most of us see no problem in obtaining an education, but it's perceived as gauche to call attention to it.

The hideous mis-use of apostrophes made the front pages in Anchorage this Summer. Have seen no sign of it in the States. Among my co-workers is a disturbing misuse of 'myself' such as "Call myself when you get this message." It drives me up the wall (and round the bend).


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Subject: RE: For pedants only
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 08:07 PM

Dicho, I hate to be pedant *G*...but...

this link seems to support the theory for a difference in American and British/Canadian punctuation preferences. I'm not sure about this particular link, but there were several when I searched on Google for British/ quotation/ marks.

The only reason I noticed this (NO, I'm really not a pedant) was that I was doing some proofreading for an Irishman and this just about drove me crazy.


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