Login  
 
 
Go Back   Chamber of Secrets > Forum Archives > Non Harry Potter Archives

The Improve Your English Thread v3



 
 
Thread Tools
  #61  
Old October 12th, 2006, 9:04 pm
confutatis  Male.gif confutatis is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4499 days
Location: Outer Slobovia
Posts: 329
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by undomiel9 View Post
Someone had a good idea with this thread... thank you, whoever you are.

I have some questions to the English native speakers, as it has been bothering me for some time now: do you care if you read a post with poor spelling and grammar, and with misused phrases, everything totally mixed up? Is it easy for you to guess who is native and who is not? Does it bother you at all?
It is sometimes obvious that a person is not a native speaker by some of the phrases they use (or misuse) that a native speaker wouldn't use, or at least not use in that way. However, as Mundungus stated, non-native posters usually try harder to spell correctly. Also, when posting, many native speakers post the way they speak, which is not necessarily the way they would write if they were actually writing a paper for English class. The real irritant is ''cell phone spelling'' - which I have also seen called netspeak, which seems to be used mostly by people under the age of 15. I have seen non-native posters get into trouble trying to use this because they are not familiar with all the abbreviations and unintentionally say something taken as quite lewd by native speakers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rag View Post

Eg.:
In the 13th Century, people in Britain, even the professional writers, used double negatives. They were accepted by all until a Bishop or someone of important religious status declare that they are incorrect to be used. Personally I think he had the right idea, but it just shows how flexible language is.

P.S: Languages rule!!
Hey, many lawyers, judges and legislators still habitually use double - and sometimes triple - negatives


Sponsored Links
  #62  
Old October 13th, 2006, 1:39 am
Tiberius's Avatar
Tiberius  Male.gif Tiberius is offline
Zonko's Employee
 
Joined: 5493 days
Location: umop ap!sdn w,i
Age: 38
Posts: 3,974
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Multiple negatives should be avoided simply for the fact that they make things very confusing.

It cannot be said that it isn't the case that it's unwise not to use no multiple negatives.

See?


__________________

If this text is blue, you're going too fast.


Proud three-time winner of the Flirtiest Member Hogsie!
  #63  
Old October 13th, 2006, 1:48 am
NoDayBut2Day  Female.gif NoDayBut2Day is offline
Fourth Year
 
Joined: 4245 days
Location: Splotch of Blue in a Red State
Posts: 515
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Ouch.


__________________
  #64  
Old October 13th, 2006, 6:42 am
Rastaban43's Avatar
Rastaban43  Male.gif Rastaban43 is offline
Representative Homosexual
 
Joined: 4710 days
Location: chaos organisé
Age: 35
Posts: 4,107
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
It cannot be said that it isn't the case that it's unwise not to use no multiple negatives.
You know, your sentence is almost grammatically correct, if it weren't for that damned country "no" that you've tacked onto it.


__________________
  #65  
Old October 13th, 2006, 7:29 am
SGosling  Male.gif SGosling is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4985 days
Location: India
Age: 54
Posts: 1,100
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
Multiple negatives should be avoided simply for the fact that they make things very confusing.

It cannot be said that it isn't the case that it's unwise not to use no multiple negatives.

See?
not to be picky but

It cannot be said that it isn't the case that it's unwise not to use any multiple negatives


__________________
MIB 2010
  #66  
Old October 13th, 2006, 8:52 am
Tiberius's Avatar
Tiberius  Male.gif Tiberius is offline
Zonko's Employee
 
Joined: 5493 days
Location: umop ap!sdn w,i
Age: 38
Posts: 3,974
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

lol, I know it's a double negative, that's why I included it. I meant it as a proper "use no multiple negatives" way.


__________________

If this text is blue, you're going too fast.


Proud three-time winner of the Flirtiest Member Hogsie!
  #67  
Old October 13th, 2006, 9:48 am
undomiel9  Female.gif undomiel9 is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4534 days
Age: 38
Posts: 197
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
It cannot be said that it isn't the case that it's unwise not to use no multiple negatives.
I got puzzled at "unwise"...oh well
But I guess one would have a problem with multiple negations in his native language as well - that is why lawyers get paid so well

In my life, apart from being HP freak, I deal with translations. I often get EU certifacates of conformity and I remember I had some problems with abbreviations. Example:
"location of statutory plate: R or S [x], [y], [z]". Could it possibly mean "rear" and "side"?


__________________
Every Legend has the End
  #68  
Old October 13th, 2006, 10:34 am
Mundungus Fletc's Avatar
Mundungus Fletc  Male.gif Mundungus Fletc is offline
Head of the Dept of
Magical Fundraising
 
Joined: 4930 days
Location: England
Posts: 4,479
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Could it possibly mean "rear" and "side"?
It's a possibility but to be sure you would have to see the document describing "statutory plate"


__________________
Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give him a bank and he can rob the world.
  #69  
Old October 13th, 2006, 12:34 pm
undomiel9  Female.gif undomiel9 is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4534 days
Age: 38
Posts: 197
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

It is always a disadvantage of written translations that you usually have to be very specific even if you don't have enough data. It becomes more problematic when there are many possibilities and you don't know which word is actually used in a given context. Medical certificate or statement? Management contract or agreement?
And the differences between BE and AE - now that's a story.
Imagine my surprise when I got some US document regarding pension, issued by Senior Service Office...if I was to translate it literally into my language, I'd end up with a Navy document...as my dictionary says Senior Service = Navy
Anyway, thanks for your help, Mundungus Fletc


__________________
Every Legend has the End

Last edited by undomiel9; October 13th, 2006 at 12:35 pm. Reason: spelling
  #70  
Old October 13th, 2006, 1:31 pm
Freaky's Avatar
Freaky  Female.gif Freaky is offline
Zonko's Employee
 
Joined: 4521 days
Location: Mixed weather Devon, UK
Age: 41
Posts: 3,081
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rag View Post
What bother me are the so-called "upper-class" people in Britain who have a better education in their native language and enjoy to feel superior and criticize those who are not so good with writing (or speaking). When you really study English hard, you will realize that, like all languages, it develops through time, and there is no 'standard of correctness' long-term.
The developing language, it's true. I have great admiration for Stephen Fry who is undeniably very intelligent and he was on a program where they were asking whether he got upset at this "text talk" and he said no. I was surprised, but he went onto explain that languages develop, they don't stay the same.

I would also add, what does it matter if you spell "colour" or "color"? We all know what it means and I have heard an argument for leaving a child's spelling in these instances no matter which country you are in.

I had a friend who emigrated from South Africa (colour) to America (color) and they got into trouble each and every time they "misspelt" one of those words. Seems ridiculous.

So long as you understand what is meant, why worry?


__________________
Mrs Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother. The full weight of everything he had seen that night seemed to fall in upon him as Mrs Weasley held him to her. His mother's face, his father's voice, the sight of Cedric, dead on the ground, all started spinning in his head until he could hardly bear it, until he was screwing up his face against the howl of misery fighting to get out of him
  #71  
Old October 13th, 2006, 2:26 pm
Mundungus Fletc's Avatar
Mundungus Fletc  Male.gif Mundungus Fletc is offline
Head of the Dept of
Magical Fundraising
 
Joined: 4930 days
Location: England
Posts: 4,479
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
So long as you understand what is meant, why worry?
The problem is that there are accepted ways of spelling a word such as colour. If you apply for a job in Britain and your CV includes American spelling it will raise doubts.


__________________
Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give him a bank and he can rob the world.
  #72  
Old October 13th, 2006, 7:39 pm
BublGumPnkHar's Avatar
BublGumPnkHar  Female.gif BublGumPnkHar is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4702 days
Location: Cruising the world's oceans
Age: 73
Posts: 1,026
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freaky View Post

I had a friend who emigrated from South Africa (colour) to America (color) and they got into trouble each and every time they "misspelt" one of those words. Seems ridiculous.
You, Freaky, would have gotten in trouble for using "spelt or misspelt", there is no such word in the U.S., the correct word is spelled/misspelled. I, myself, think spelt sounds better than spelled but I do have to follow our rules in our language and so will continue to spell it "spelled" but pronounce it "spelt". How's that for being contrary. I'm old enough to get away with it. Haul me off to the "Misuse of American English Court" and let them try to prove it.


  #73  
Old October 13th, 2006, 7:45 pm
Freaky's Avatar
Freaky  Female.gif Freaky is offline
Zonko's Employee
 
Joined: 4521 days
Location: Mixed weather Devon, UK
Age: 41
Posts: 3,081
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
The problem is that there are accepted ways of spelling a word such as colour. If you apply for a job in Britain and your CV includes American spelling it will raise doubts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BublGumPnkHar View Post
You, Freaky, would have gotten in trouble for using "spelt or misspelt", there is no such word in the U.S., the correct word is spelled/misspelled. I, myself, think spelt sounds better than spelled but I do have to follow our rules in our language and so will continue to spell it "spelled" but pronounce it "spelt". How's that for being contrary. I'm old enough to get away with it. Haul me off to the "Misuse of American English Court" and let them try to prove it.
Which again brings me back to ... why does it matter? Language evolves, people should evolve with it. If it was accepted that the English could spell "colour" as "color" (without it raising doubts) the English language would probably be a little bit easier to learn.


__________________
Mrs Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother. The full weight of everything he had seen that night seemed to fall in upon him as Mrs Weasley held him to her. His mother's face, his father's voice, the sight of Cedric, dead on the ground, all started spinning in his head until he could hardly bear it, until he was screwing up his face against the howl of misery fighting to get out of him
  #74  
Old October 13th, 2006, 7:53 pm
Rag  Male.gif Rag is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4100 days
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 232
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

I wonder how many different versions of words like past participles there are amongst US and british english...
It is a shame that rules are so strictly imposed on language in work. I suppose it's all to make sure nobody finds technicalities and such in important documents, so I guess that some sort of standard is needed...
The way, though, that different variations of english words are disallowed in the US or in the UK reminds me slightly of North Korea where they also disallow foreign 'loan' words, and want to keep their dialect pure. I'm pretty sure that France also put restrictions of foreign words on products.


  #75  
Old October 13th, 2006, 8:05 pm
confutatis  Male.gif confutatis is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 4499 days
Location: Outer Slobovia
Posts: 329
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiberius View Post
Multiple negatives should be avoided simply for the fact that they make things very confusing.

It cannot be said that it isn't the case that it's unwise not to use no multiple negatives.

See?
Hey! You're the guy that wrote the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, right?

And try to decipher the IRS' rules and the Tax Code - you basically have to diagram every sentence to understand it, and even then it may be nonsense! [aside - when did diagramming sentences fall from grace in our educational system? My children never had to learn to do it. Is it still done in the UK schools?]

As to UK vs. American spelling - I found out the hard way many years ago that spell checkers (early ones, anyway - as in around 1984) accepted both English and American spellings. I prepared a judgment in a case for the judge to sign - spelling it 'judgement', which I understand is the UK spelling. The judge sent it back to me to REDO with the 'e' crossed out of 'judgement' everytime it occurred in the document. VERY, VERY embarrassing!



Last edited by confutatis; October 13th, 2006 at 8:18 pm.
  #76  
Old October 13th, 2006, 8:35 pm
undomiel9  Female.gif undomiel9 is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4534 days
Age: 38
Posts: 197
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by confutatis View Post
I prepared a judgment in a case for the judge to sign - spelling it 'judgement', which I understand is the UK spelling. The judge sent it back to me to REDO with the 'e' crossed out of 'judgement' everytime it occurred in the document. VERY, VERY embarrassing!
Now that's what I call picky.

Sometimes I wonder why people's personal prejudices are still working in places where they shouldn't be present at all! I guess you can't help your likes and dislikes, but when you represent an office, you should act objective.

I'm sure this judge must have had a VERY, VERY bad day.


__________________
Every Legend has the End
  #77  
Old October 13th, 2006, 8:49 pm
arithmancer's Avatar
arithmancer  Undisclosed.gif arithmancer is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 4522 days
Location: The Hogwarts Boathouse
Posts: 7,937
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by confutatis View Post
[aside - when did diagramming sentences fall from grace in our educational system? My children never had to learn to do it. Is it still done in the UK schools?]
I attended 'good' parochial and public schools in the US 1975-1986, and I have no idea how to diagram a sentence. The closest we ever came was underlining the subject, predicate, and object of a sentence sometime in middle school.


__________________
The Sorting Hat says I belong in Slytherin.



“Death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.”-D. H. Lawrence

All was well.


Avatar by nerwende, signature art by sigune, used with permission.
  #78  
Old October 14th, 2006, 1:33 am
Tiberius's Avatar
Tiberius  Male.gif Tiberius is offline
Zonko's Employee
 
Joined: 5493 days
Location: umop ap!sdn w,i
Age: 38
Posts: 3,974
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Yeah, how do you diagram a sentence?


__________________

If this text is blue, you're going too fast.


Proud three-time winner of the Flirtiest Member Hogsie!
  #79  
Old October 14th, 2006, 1:43 am
62442al_Man  Male.gif 62442al_Man is offline
Zonko's Employee
 
Joined: 4405 days
Age: 26
Posts: 3,082
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Going back to those blasted "Series" commas...I asked my English teaher and she says that the correct English, which may or may not include British English (vs. American English), for makes a series commas sentence is as follows:

The cat loved to run, skip, and play.

Versus what is used moer often than not:

The cat loved to run, skip and play.

No second comma. So now she has confused me even moer because the people on here say they are both correct. I will agree with that though, I am just looking for a second opinion.


  #80  
Old October 14th, 2006, 2:48 am
arithmancer's Avatar
arithmancer  Undisclosed.gif arithmancer is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 4522 days
Location: The Hogwarts Boathouse
Posts: 7,937
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62442al_Man View Post
Going back to those blasted "Series" commas...I asked my English teaher and she says that the correct English, which may or may not include British English (vs. American English), for makes a series commas sentence is as follows:

The cat loved to run, skip, and play.

Versus what is used moer often than not:

The cat loved to run, skip and play.

No second comma. So now she has confused me even moer because the people on here say they are both correct. I will agree with that though, I am just looking for a second opinion.
I had a post on the subject a while back in this thread which I listed US Manuals of Style that mandate the comma in front of the 'and' (courtesy of Wikipedia, of course!). It is a good number of them, I am not surprised your teacher would consider this a rule of American English. It is the rule I was taught as well.


__________________
The Sorting Hat says I belong in Slytherin.



“Death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.”-D. H. Lawrence

All was well.


Avatar by nerwende, signature art by sigune, used with permission.
 
Go Back  Chamber of Secrets > Forum Archives > Non Harry Potter Archives

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 8:08 pm.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Original content is Copyright © MMII - MMVIII, CoSForums.com. All Rights Reserved.
Other content (posts, images, etc) is Copyright © its respective owners.