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YET ANOTHER...

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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby richvh » Sun 04.15.2007 9:41 pm

anikaliki wrote:
Shirasagi wrote:
Another common mistake you'll see people make (even native speakers!) is to use "you" when talking to one other person. The correct term for the 2nd person singular is "thou".

B)


And isn't that acutally old English? Does anyone talk like that any more?


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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby phreadom » Sun 04.15.2007 9:42 pm

anikaliki wrote:
Shirasagi wrote:
Another common mistake you'll see people make (even native speakers!) is to use "you" when talking to one other person. The correct term for the 2nd person singular is "thou".

B)


And isn't that acutally old English? Does anyone talk like that any more?


Not outside of church. :)
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby Scavengist » Sun 04.15.2007 9:46 pm

this thread is classic. 愛
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby Scavengist » Sun 04.15.2007 9:57 pm

Shirasagi wrote:
Another common mistake you'll see people make (even native speakers!) is to use "you" when talking to one other person. The correct term for the 2nd person singular is "thou".

B)


It only exists in few places anymore. The standard english speech has "you". It's not a mistake, and thou is the informal anyway. It's like the Tú of Spanish, and our You is the Usted(es). Ye is You all.


If i'm not mistaken.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 04.15.2007 10:11 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Hopefully this doesn't start a linguistics argument.


Not that, but as you bring it up... ;)

"Hopefully" is an adverb. Properly used, it modifies a verb. "I hopefully wait for your reply" or "he read the letter hopefully."

It does NOT mean "I hope," so "Hopefully, XYZ" is incorrect, though frequently seen (much as is "irregardless").


I think that Steven Pinker's discussion of "hopefully" in "The Language Instinct" is probably the best description of this supposed "error" that I've seen. This is more of a shibboleth of English purists than anything else.

I assume you have no problem with:
Mercifully, the lecture was shorter than an hour.
Oddly, he didn't come today.
Amazingly, there was no rain in the entire month.
Understandably, he didn't come back any more after that.
Incidentally, I was going to talk to you about that later.
Generally, you shouldn't expect things like that to happen.
Admittedly, there's no reason why I should have done that.

All of these adverbs are what are sometimes called "sentence adverbs" in that they indicate the attitude of the speaker towards the content of the sentence. They are very useful and appear in Japanese as well with examples like あいにく.

Now, given that, there is nothing wrong with "Hopefully, this will not start a linguistic debate." It is fully consistent with the use of other sentence adverbs. (Unless you consider *all* sentence adverbs "incorrect" but even most language purists don't go that far.) It's true that you can replace some of those with other phrases (i.e. "Understandably" by "It is understandable") but I don't see why a longer phrase should be preferred to a shorter one.

ess_jay_arr wrote:
Just to get in on this, this expression doesn't really make sense either. In England, we say "I couldn't care less", as in "my current level of caring is so low, I couldn't possibly care any less than I do now" or more simply "I don't care". Whereas to say "I could care less" actually suggests that you do care.


Yes, that is what "I could care less" would "actually suggest" if the concept of sarcasm did not exist. Thankfully, it does (or should that be "I am thankful that it does"?), so there is nothing wrong with the phrase.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby flammable hippo » Sun 04.15.2007 10:22 pm

Since language is constantly changing, if something is incorrect but becomes very common and most people use it regardless of it being wrong, doesn't that turn it correct? It's just the natural progression of language. So I don't see how it can be considered incorrect English. If it's used that way to the point where even native speakers don't even think its wrong then it should technically become correct.

However, things like "We be burnin" which aren't mainstream or common don't really apply. That falls under the category of "heavy" slang, which still stands out in comparison with "normal English" which is why it hasn't been "naturalized" to the point of not realizing its wrong.
Last edited by flammable hippo on Sun 04.15.2007 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 04.15.2007 10:48 pm

flammable hippo wrote:
Since language is constantly changing, if something is incorrect but becomes very common and most people use it regardless of it being wrong, doesn't that turn it correct? It's just the natural progression of language.


There is a particular dialect used by educated native speakers in their writing (and to a certain extent speech) that is what people are commonly referring to when they talk about "proper" or "correct" English. However, what people sometimes fail to realize is that the sole reason why the educated dialect got that way is that the people with money and power speak it. It is not more logical, or more well-formed, or anything like that. So what happens is people start making up reasons for why certain things in the educated dialect are correct -- things that go against common and historical usage, comparison with other language elements, and logic.

And once someone makes a prescriptive rule, it's hard to get rid of it, even if it doesn't make any sense.

So I don't see how it can be considered incorrect English. If it's used that way to the point where even native speakers don't even think its wrong then it should technically become correct.


That's a very good way of looking at it. Linguistics research in the past century has shown pretty conclusively that it is impossible for someone (without any mental disabilities or the like) to lack internal grammatical ability -- this is not something that has to be taught. Usually when there's a very common "mistake" that people make, it's actually due to a quite regular and logical pattern (as with "hopefully") that simply is not reflected in prescriptive grammars of the educated dialect.

It's definitely useful to have a command of the educated dialect, but that doesn't mean you have to have misconceptions about it.

Other "mistakes" are simply due to language change -- people have less problem with them as they go on. For instance, "irregardless" is a formation of "ir" + "regardless" that doesn't make logical sense, but 子供たち has two pluralizers in it and that's fine. This sort of redundant formation shows up countless times in countless languages for various reasons. ("irregardless" is generally considered to be a blend of "irrespective" and "regardless")

Descriptively, "irregardless" is a normal English word that is a synonym of "regardless", but is not found in formal English usage. Prescriptively, it's still incorrect, although it may pass into standard "educated" English some day.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby phreadom » Sun 04.15.2007 11:13 pm

To illustrate the problem with "irregardless", let's say we're talking about something we're going to eat, but we say "tabemashita". That would be incorrect. And why? Because it violates basic rules of the language. Even if someone doesn't know taberu, they're still going to know you're speaking about something "past tense", if they know the basics of the language.

This is the same reason we have basic building blocks like un- in- ir- etc. or -less and -ful etc. You wouldn't say "regardlessful" any more than you should be saying "irregardless". People who aren't in on the "secret meaning" behind your broken word formation aren't going to understand what the heck you're talking about. "Does he mean 'without regard', or 'with regard'?" etc.

Language exists to facilitate the exchange of information. Logical structure and an advanced syntax and vocabulary enable more efficient exchange of information. When you start justifying illogical structure and haphazard adherence to said structure, you diminish the value of the language.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby flammable hippo » Sun 04.15.2007 11:21 pm

Then explain why we have technically correct phrases like "safe haven" which are completely redundant.

Or a better example. Take the word "disgusting". Dis is a prefix meaning not as in disorientated, "not orientated". So does that mean that disgusting means "not gusting"? Gusting isn't a word (or maybe it is like some form of the word gust, like wind). So for irregardless, maybe the i isn't acting as a negating prefix. It doesn't always have to be.

And also, since when has English ever made sense?
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby phreadom » Mon 04.16.2007 1:52 am

flammable hippo wrote:
Then explain why we have technically correct phrases like "safe haven" which are completely redundant.

Or a better example. Take the word "disgusting". Dis is a prefix meaning not as in disorientated, "not orientated". So does that mean that disgusting means "not gusting"? Gusting isn't a word (or maybe it is like some form of the word gust, like wind). So for irregardless, maybe the i isn't acting as a negating prefix. It doesn't always have to be.

And also, since when has English ever made sense?


"Late Old French desgouster, to lose one's appetite : des-, dis- + gouster, to eat, taste (from Latin gustāre; see geus- in Indo-European roots)."

As for "Safe Haven", Haven seems to have originally simply meant a harbor or port. Safe Haven would not necessarily be redundant in that context.

Yay for doing research. :)

"irregardless", on the other hand, fails to share the same explanations. It's simply an ignorant portmanteau of "regardless" and "irrespective", of which each constituent part contains its own negative suffix and prefix respectively. However, when combined we are left with an illogical word. Something like irregarding would make sense... but irregardless is a nonsense word.

Also, the only reason that English is such a mess is because we have incorporated words and grammar from such a wide variety of languages. I would hazard a guess and say that English has the most heterogeneous roots of any language.

Just like our old motto used to say... "E Pluribus Unum". "Out of many (come) one."

Fitting.
Last edited by phreadom on Mon 04.16.2007 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby paul_b » Mon 04.16.2007 3:17 am

tanuki wrote:
You MISSED the point.

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Well I never claimed to have great skills at ascii graphics but I thought that one was straight forward enough.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby phreadom » Mon 04.16.2007 6:02 am

paul_b wrote:
ピンポーン


? Is that onomatopoeia or something?
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby paul_b » Mon 04.16.2007 6:15 am

phreadom wrote:
paul_b wrote:
ピンポーン


? Is that onomatopoeia or something?


It's the Japanese for "pin-pon" the sound of a 'correct' buzzer going off in a quiz game.

It's really rather old fashioned now, アタリ might be better.
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby Shirasagi » Mon 04.16.2007 7:27 am

The (I guess too subtle) point of my "thou" post is that people only care about language change when it's happening during their life time. In Old English "show" meant "to look at" (cf. Modern German "schauen"). Here you have every English speaker using the word "wrong", but no one cares because the shift happened before they were born.

On the other hand, "irregardless" is perfectly good English, if looked at historically. The double-negative used for emphasis has been part of English far as long as we call it "English". The scholars with their hard-ons for Latin back in the 18th century (particularly Lowth) are the ones who decided it was not "good" English. Even though it was good enough for Chaucer! Happily, while they were able to stigmatize the double-negative, it's too much part of the language to be stamped out.

The true test of a word or phrase is if it clearly relays meaning in idiomatic use. And "irregardless" passes that test. "Purists" may grumble, but no one who hears it interprets it as "regardful".
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RE: YET ANOTHER...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Mon 04.16.2007 8:22 am

phreadom wrote:
To illustrate the problem with "irregardless", let's say we're talking about something we're going to eat, but we say "tabemashita". That would be incorrect. And why? Because it violates basic rules of the language. Even if someone doesn't know taberu, they're still going to know you're speaking about something "past tense", if they know the basics of the language.

This is the same reason we have basic building blocks like un- in- ir- etc. or -less and -ful etc. You wouldn't say "regardlessful" any more than you should be saying "irregardless". People who aren't in on the "secret meaning" behind your broken word formation aren't going to understand what the heck you're talking about. "Does he mean 'without regard', or 'with regard'?" etc.


There is no "secret meaning" of irregardless, though. Irregardless has been used as a synonym of "regardless" for at least 80 years now. Everyone understands the meaning of the word. Language change does not always proceed in a logical fashion.

Language exists to facilitate the exchange of information. Logical structure and an advanced syntax and vocabulary enable more efficient exchange of information. When you start justifying illogical structure and haphazard adherence to said structure, you diminish the value of the language.


I'm not justifying anything. All I'm saying is that speaking descriptively, "irregardless" is an English word that means the same thing as "regardless". It is probably on its way to eventually becoming an accepted word even in formal speech/writing, although that will take some time.

You're right that the formation of the word was not logical, and may have been based on ignorance of the meaning of some words. But what in language *is* logical? Why is it logical to have so many different negative prefixes (ir-, in-, un-, im-, etc.) Why is it logical for verbs to conjugate for the subject even though the word order and explicit subject marking make that unnecessary for the sense? Why do irregular verbs exist at all?

(Shirasagi makes the point much more succinctly than I did.)
Last edited by Yudan Taiteki on Mon 04.16.2007 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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