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Old 04-12-2009, 07:01 PM   #61
jay73
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It's a little more complicated than that. American and British English can diverge because of differences in pronunciation. Say, "union", does not start with a semi-vowel for most Americans so it is not uncommon to see them pair it with "an.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 07:24 PM   #62
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OK,what I want to know and hopefully it will be explained here is; why is it you have had,why it isn't you have only or you had.
The difference between "have had" (present perfect tense) and "had" (simple past) can be tricky to explain but as a rule, the present perfect indicates something that is still going on while the simple past indicates something that is definitely in the past. Compare:
I had a dog when I was a child (I no longer have it).
I have had this dog for the last five years (I still have it).
I lived there ten years ago. (past)
I have lived there for the past few years (I still do).
Sometimes the distinction is a bit harder to make. Compare:
They worked together.
They have worked together (they may not any longer do so but the consequences are still relevant today - so in a way, the effects are still going on).

"Have" refers to the present so it is a lot easier to distinguish from a past tense.
I have a dog. (now)
I had a dog. (back then)

Last edited by jay73; 04-12-2009 at 07:28 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 07:30 PM   #63
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Quote:
nice idea, for one's woman : you'd say ? "I lufie thou"
More like:
Ic lufie še
True. Besides, it would have to be "thee" rather than thou. "Shall I compare thee to a Summer's day? Thou art etc."

Ah yes, Old and Early Middle English... Back when English, German and Dutch were almost identical. Too bad the French had too tamper with that nice arrangement, it would have saved me a few euros in terms of dictionaries

Last edited by jay73; 04-12-2009 at 07:38 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 07:43 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
It's a little more complicated than that. American and British English can diverge because of differences in pronunciation. Say, "union", does not start with a semi-vowel for most Americans so it is not uncommon to see them pair it with "an.
Ok, but it does not make it a rule to follow. Each language has some standards that should be followed. The fact that language is a living organism is another issue, but until most of the Americans consistently say 'an union/an university', I don't see the need to revise the phonological/grammatical rules. Then there's another question whether a language grammatical/phonological standards should be prescriptive or descriptive. Language evolves every day, but does it make it right to change the rules because eg. 60% of the population says 'He do..' I do not know.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Ah yes, Old and Early Middle English... Back when English, German and Dutch were almost identical. Too bad the French had too tamper with that nice arrangement, it would have saved me a few euros in terms of dictionaries
I really like Mike Skinner's (The Streets) approach to the differences between BrE and AmE:

Quote:
Two nations divided
By a common language
And about two hundred years of new songs and dances
But the difference is language
Or just the bits you got wrong
'Cause we were the ones who invented the language
...or just the bits you got wrong
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #66
jay73
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Then there's another question whether a language grammatical/phonological standards should be prescriptive or descriptive. Language evolves every day, but does it make it right to change the rules because eg. 60% of the population says 'He do..' I do not know.
Definitely but then what are "rules"? "Mistakes" made by native speakers (other than young children) are rarely mistakes, they simply arise from rules that characterize a different geographical area or a different social stratum. They become mistakes only when made in contexts where they are not at home. It's all about pragmatics - and pragmatics is all about numbers, money, power and influence. So if the 60% are poor and powerless enough, then no.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:04 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by jay73 http://http.cdnlayer.com/lq/images/q...s/viewpost.gif
Ah yes, Old and Early Middle English... Back when English, German and Dutch were almost identical. Too bad the French had too tamper with that nice arrangement, it would have saved me a few euros in terms of dictionaries

I really like Mike Skinner's (The Streets) approach to the differences between BrE and AmE:

Quote:
Two nations divided
By a common language
And about two hundred years of new songs and dances
But the difference is language
Or just the bits you got wrong
'Cause we were the ones who invented the language
...or just the bits you got wrong
Sounds familiar. There is a similar gap between Netherlands Dutch and Belgian Dutch. Two worlds living next door to each other. To make matters worse, we can argue forever about who invented the language because we used to be a single country.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:31 PM   #68
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they simply arise from rules that characterize a different geographical area or a different social stratum
It would be interesting to find out what exactly those rules are. For example, one could argue that the reason why people say 'he get' or 'innit?' (regardless of the personal pronoun at the beginning of the sentence) could be that they are eg. lazy. I wouldn't say it's true. It's more complex than that. It would be an overgeneralisation to say that most uneducated people are lazy or most people from Essex are lazy. There must be some other factors affecting the speech patterns of a particular area or a social stratum.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:45 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Sounds familiar. There is a similar gap between Netherlands Dutch and Belgian Dutch. Two worlds living next door to each other. To make matters worse, we can argue forever about who invented the language because we used to be a single country.
Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who. We can safely assume that it was the Proto-Indo-Europeans that 'invented' the language.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 08:57 PM   #70
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It would be an overgeneralisation to say that most uneducated people are lazy or most people from Essex are lazy. There must be some other factors affecting the speech patterns of a particular area or a social stratum.
Hold your horses there, I did not make any references to laziness. What I really meant is that different communities have different grammatical rules. Why they should be different is indeed rather complex. One factor would be the centrifugal movement of linguistic development (linguistic communities have a center of innovation; the further one moves from that center, the older the language - for example, as the center of English was London until well into the twentieth century, American English is essentially seventeenth century British English). Another would be immigration, people trying to figure out the rules of their adopted language and coming up with something that is actually more logical. Why not say "he do" when English has already dropped the distinction between first and second person singular and between singular and plural? Why preserve exceptions to the rule? Then there are considerations of social distinction. At this time, I notice that more and more speakers of Dutch here in Belgium are shifting from a rolling r to a velar r (French style) just as more and more people in Holland are shifting from velar r to a retroflex r (British style). Why? Apparently because these pronunciations have recently been heard in popular tv series about the upper classes and people of distinction. I do not think these explanations are exhaustive but it is not as if we have not got any clue at all.

Last edited by jay73; 04-12-2009 at 09:26 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 09:22 PM   #71
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Hold your horses there, I did not make any references to laziness
It was just an example for the sake of the argument.
Quote:
Why preserve exceptions to the rule?
Fair enough, especially that the general tendency over the last 1000 years has been towards simplification of the inflectional endings.

Last edited by sycamorex; 04-12-2009 at 09:24 PM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 11:04 PM   #72
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But it's not lazy to use && || instead of spelling AND OR out? Programming in C might seem incredibly lazy to some people, compared to, say, a more verbose language like Pascal or BASIC.

And while am at it, are you sure you're not just being a cryptic snob when you turn your nose up at anyone who doesn't pronounce SCSI the way you do? Just wondering...
 
Old 04-13-2009, 04:35 AM   #73
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But it's not lazy to use && || instead of spelling AND OR out?
That's completely different. It's like saying 'ad' instead of 'advertisement' or "I'd" instead of "I would", which is perfectly correct and within the rules of the language.

Quote:
Programming in C might seem incredibly lazy to some people, compared to, say, a more verbose language like Pascal or BASIC.
Again, we are not speaking of different languages. Any European language might SEEM incredibly lazy to Chinese. It doesn't prove anything as long as you follow the rules of the language you acquired.

Anyway, using the term 'lazy' wasn't a very fortunate choice for me. As I said, it was just an imaginary example of a possible way of reasoning, so please don't stick to it.
Quote:
And while am at it, are you sure you're not just being a cryptic snob when you turn your nose up at anyone who doesn't pronounce SCSI the way you do? Just wondering...
What's SCSI anyway?

Last edited by sycamorex; 04-13-2009 at 04:38 AM.
 
Old 04-13-2009, 05:31 AM   #74
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Thanks jay73!
 
Old 04-13-2009, 05:52 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
That's completely different. It's like saying 'ad' instead of 'advertisement' or "I'd" instead of "I would", which is perfectly correct and within the rules of the language.
"Perfectly correct and within the rules". Unlike texting or leet speak I suppose.

So the key is to have the authority to make up your own rules. Then you're in control of what's right and wrong. Or in this case, correct and incorrect.

Thanks for straightening that out. I thought all these seemingly arbitrary rules had something to do with language but now I see it's really about obedience.
 
  


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