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English usage?

英語を勉強している方のためのフォーラムです。練習のために英語の文章を投稿してもかまわなく、英語の文法・語彙に関する質問をしてもけっこうです。

Re: English usage?

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 12.30.2008 10:44 am

Infidel wrote:TH, even though I recognize the name Victor Borge, I'd never actually seen him before your links. Is all of his comedy music based?


All of the comedy I have seen from him has been musically based, with the exception of his spoken word that I posted first. But even that was just a part of a bigger show where the piano was the major part of his comedy.
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Re: English usage?

Postby vinniram » Fri 04.24.2009 8:26 am

I think that saying things like "gtg brb" shouldn't be used is a bit silly - this is the evolution of language on the internet, and "lol", "nvm" and other things are going to pop up because that's just what's happening lately across the internet. I don't see why communicating using these phrases is incorrect, it's just natural evolution of language, and the internet has offered a new avenue for this evolution to occur. If people had said "we must not change language" 100 years ago, we'd be speaking very differently than we are right now. But no, people allow language change to occur, and I think to stop it is to resist the inevitable. Just my take, anyways. gtg cya :P
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Re: English usage?

Postby JaySee » Fri 04.24.2009 8:47 am

It's interesting how you seem to be very concerned about changes in Japanese regarding loanwords and kanji usage, yet here you say that the emergence of English internet 'slang' is just natural inevitable evolution of language, and denouncing its usage is a bit silly :roll:
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Re: English usage?

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 04.24.2009 10:51 am

vinniram wrote:I think that saying things like "gtg brb" shouldn't be used is a bit silly - this is the evolution of language on the internet, and "lol", "nvm" and other things are going to pop up because that's just what's happening lately across the internet. I don't see why communicating using these phrases is incorrect, it's just natural evolution of language, and the internet has offered a new avenue for this evolution to occur. If people had said "we must not change language" 100 years ago, we'd be speaking very differently than we are right now. But no, people allow language change to occur, and I think to stop it is to resist the inevitable. Just my take, anyways. gtg cya :P

Replacing the appropriate spelling of a word with an acronym is hardly language evolution to me. There needs to be a unified writing system to avoid confusing the recepient and it's not helping that people don't take their time anymore to learn from mistakes to get better at spelling. Neither is it helping that people abbreviate words and use acronyms all of the time for simple words that take no time at all to type. If you're accustomed to using a keyboard you should know that you'll save a few tenths of a second at most when you type "cya" instead of "see ya" and probably a half a second when you type "gtg" instead of "gotta go".

Spend a few extra seconds typing out words properly the next time you're posting to make sure you don't contribute to the decline of English literacy!

I completely agree with the original post. Even though I've been visiting this forum for years this is the first time I saw it.
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Re: English usage?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 04.24.2009 1:29 pm

That's correct; things like internet abbreviations are not "language change" in the way its usually discussed by linguists; that's orthography or writing system changes, not language changes.
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Re: English usage?

Postby Infidel » Fri 04.24.2009 2:07 pm

Doesn't orthography influence language change though?

If a word is spelled in a way that people mispronounce it so much that the mispronunciation becomes the standard...
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
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Re: English usage?

Postby two_heads_talking » Fri 04.24.2009 2:28 pm

You guys do realize that Vinniram necromancied this thread from a 4 month slumber?
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Re: English usage?

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 04.24.2009 3:05 pm

two_heads_talking wrote:You guys do realize that Vinniram necromancied this thread from a 4 month slumber?

This thread should be stickied so it doesn't matter. I also am a firm believer that if you want to discuss something that's mentioned in an old thread then you have the right to do so no matter how long ago the last post was posted in it. I don't agree with him at all but, everyone has a right to voice their opinion. Freedom of speach is the most important right that we have in today's society!
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Re: English usage?

Postby JaySee » Fri 04.24.2009 3:18 pm

Though it is language change in the sense that many internet terms (including acronyms like 'lol') are slowly being introduced into the spoken language as well.

Yes, orthography can influence pronunciation, but it doesn't happen very often. Examples I can think of for English are the reinsertion of the t-sound in "often" (pronunciation had shifted to "offen" before), the reinsertion of th [ð] in "clothes" (had shifted to "cloze") and the reinsertion of the w in "towards" (had shifted to "tords"). Of course these three words are also still pronounced without the reinserted sounds.

While I do agree that it would be best to try and spell words as properly as possible if the situation calls for it (e.g. on this forum), I'm not sure if I believe that abbreviating words and phrases directly contributes to a decline in literacy. People tend to mainly use internet talk in environments where everyone else is using it, and where it is thus ok for you (or even expected of you) to do so as well. The reason I think some people (at first) use it here too, is because on most forums the 'rules' with regard to writing are much less strict and they expect it to be no different here, not because they can't spell any differently.

With regards to spelling mistakes I'd say it's more or less the same. People aren't lazier than they were 50 years ago, and the decline in people's abilities to spell properly (if any) I believe is attributable to changes in the educational system more than anything else. With an orthography as retarded (literally and figuratively) as that of English, people are bound to make mistakes, which is is perfectly fine because many people it is hardly ever necessary to spell properly. If you're a plumber, when do you ever need to write something which absolutely needs to be 100% free of spelling mistakes? Yet still the idea prevails that everyone - including those who don't need and thus might not care for it - has to be able to spell flawlessly, and if you can't you're (unrightfully) stigmatised as dumb.

Being able to spell correctly is an ability just like being able to repair a dishwasher is (a really really broken one at that if we're drawing a parallel to English) and should be treated as such. Sure it's useful if you know how to repair one, and for some jobs it's even a requirement, but it's not expected/demanded of every single person that they be able to do it, knowing that not everyone has the same amount of talent in that area (many have two left hands and will never really learn), and not everyone needs the ability as much and therefore understandibly might not really care about it. People who can't repair a really broken dishwasher (rightfully) aren't considered to be dumb, nor are they pushed to learn how to do it.

I guess the bottom line is that English orthography either has to be drastically reformed so that mistakes can't be made (a rather utopian idea), or people have to stop complaining about them als long as it's all still legible.

I'll stop ranting now before I make any more people angry with my views.
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Re: English usage?

Postby astaroth » Fri 04.24.2009 3:33 pm

JaySee wrote:With regards to spelling mistakes I'd say it's more or less the same. People aren't lazier than they were 50 years ago, and the decline in people's abilities to spell properly (if any) I believe is attributable to changes in the educational system more than anything else.

What I don't understand of spelling mistakes is that they are not writing on paper, they are writing on a computer, where spell-checkers have been introduced many years ago. What's so hard to fire it up and correct when the spelling is found wrong? And in that way people will eventually learn to spell right.

I agree that English spelling is a little messed-up (to use an euphemism), but what I (personally) don't like is people not even trying to spell right. It's hard but it's not that hard that one can't even make a little effort.
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Re: English usage?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Fri 04.24.2009 4:14 pm

JaySee wrote:Though it is language change in the sense that many internet terms (including acronyms like 'lol') are slowly being introduced into the spoken language as well.


Yeah, that's true.

I'll stop ranting now before I make any more people angry with my views.


I liked your post. :)
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Re: English usage?

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Fri 04.24.2009 6:16 pm

JaySee wrote:I'll stop ranting now before I make any more people angry with my views.

I don't see why anyone would get heated up from a discussion about English, unless you happen to be a professor of English or something along the lines of that :p

but if ud lyk me 2 i ken start speling lyk diz bcuz iz totaly kewl 2 not spel proprly & abreviate everyfing.
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Re: English usage?

Postby vinniram » Fri 04.24.2009 7:57 pm

Well, JaySee, I guess I've sort of accepted gairaigo, after what everyone has told me (some more heated than others :P) about why it's just a natural process. So yeah, I've accepted that gairaigo are there, they aren't gonna go away, and they are a totally natural phenomenon considering Japan's close relationship to the West. I've also accepted that each speaker has the choice as to how much gairaigo they use, and for me personally I'll use less when I start learning the language, but that's just a totally personal choice. But yeah, I'm OK with gairaigo now :)
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Re: English usage?

Postby 8bitkoopa » Sun 04.26.2009 4:58 pm

I say the regression of a language is very sad indeed. While I'm not for internet chat abbreviations, I'm sure most of the kids that use that will eventually grow out of it once they realize it's not very cool.

random fact....

Speaking of languages regressing and dying out, I was startled to find that less than 1/3 of Scotland's population speaks Scottish Gaelic anymore. So then I tried to learn it and found out why--because it's too much to wrap your head around! Good grief, I thought chinese was hard to learn by myself, but this was way over my head.
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Re: English usage?

Postby JaySee » Sun 04.26.2009 5:18 pm

I don't think it has anything to do with the language being too difficult (unless you're talking about learning it as a second language, not as a first language - any language is equally learnable as a first language by a child).

The amount of native speakers of Scottish Gaelic is actually much less than 1/3 of the population of Scotland; there are only about 60.000 left (and all of them are bilingual). I think this number is still decreasing, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the language were gone in 100 years.
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