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BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert

Jeri 29 May 16 - 11:23 PM
MGM·Lion 25 May 16 - 04:56 AM
Steve Shaw 24 May 16 - 06:31 AM
Senoufou 24 May 16 - 05:08 AM
MGM·Lion 24 May 16 - 01:50 AM
MGM·Lion 24 May 16 - 01:46 AM
Steve Shaw 23 May 16 - 05:19 PM
Steve Shaw 23 May 16 - 05:04 PM
MGM·Lion 23 May 16 - 04:16 PM
MGM·Lion 23 May 16 - 12:56 AM
Steve Shaw 22 May 16 - 09:40 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 May 16 - 08:04 PM
Jeri 22 May 16 - 07:33 PM
Steve Shaw 22 May 16 - 06:44 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 May 16 - 06:34 PM
Jeri 20 May 16 - 06:00 PM
MGM·Lion 20 May 16 - 02:51 PM
saulgoldie 20 May 16 - 02:26 PM
Mr Red 20 May 16 - 09:08 AM
Steve Shaw 20 May 16 - 06:31 AM
MGM·Lion 20 May 16 - 05:31 AM
Donuel 19 May 16 - 08:30 PM
saulgoldie 19 May 16 - 03:26 PM
Mr Red 05 May 16 - 05:20 AM
saulgoldie 04 May 16 - 09:47 AM
saulgoldie 04 May 16 - 09:46 AM
EBarnacle 28 Apr 16 - 10:11 PM
Senoufou 26 Apr 16 - 01:56 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Apr 16 - 01:42 PM
Donuel 26 Apr 16 - 01:32 PM
Donuel 26 Apr 16 - 01:27 PM
Bill D 26 Apr 16 - 01:10 PM
Bill D 26 Apr 16 - 01:08 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Apr 16 - 01:06 PM
Senoufou 26 Apr 16 - 01:02 PM
MGM·Lion 26 Apr 16 - 12:57 PM
Senoufou 26 Apr 16 - 12:38 PM
Bill D 26 Apr 16 - 12:05 PM
Donuel 26 Apr 16 - 09:54 AM
Bert 25 Apr 16 - 10:40 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Apr 16 - 09:31 PM
Bert 25 Apr 16 - 09:25 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Apr 16 - 09:03 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Apr 16 - 08:52 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Apr 16 - 07:52 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Apr 16 - 07:45 PM
Nigel Parsons 25 Apr 16 - 02:37 PM
Senoufou 25 Apr 16 - 07:49 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Apr 16 - 07:22 AM
Doug Chadwick 25 Apr 16 - 06:54 AM
Doug Chadwick 25 Apr 16 - 06:26 AM
Senoufou 25 Apr 16 - 06:00 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Apr 16 - 05:18 AM
Doug Chadwick 25 Apr 16 - 04:32 AM
meself 25 Apr 16 - 12:46 AM
Steve Shaw 24 Apr 16 - 08:50 PM
Nigel Parsons 24 Apr 16 - 08:04 PM
Senoufou 24 Apr 16 - 04:20 AM
Doug Chadwick 24 Apr 16 - 04:19 AM
Doug Chadwick 24 Apr 16 - 04:13 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Apr 16 - 08:01 PM
Airymouse 23 Apr 16 - 07:52 PM
Doug Chadwick 23 Apr 16 - 07:46 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Apr 16 - 07:20 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Apr 16 - 06:45 PM
Airymouse 23 Apr 16 - 06:17 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Apr 16 - 05:24 PM
Senoufou 23 Apr 16 - 05:09 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Apr 16 - 04:26 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Apr 16 - 04:15 PM
Senoufou 23 Apr 16 - 03:41 PM
Penny S. 23 Apr 16 - 02:37 PM
EBarnacle 23 Apr 16 - 12:04 PM
Mr Red 23 Apr 16 - 06:27 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Apr 16 - 06:03 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 22 Apr 16 - 04:00 PM
Senoufou 22 Apr 16 - 02:01 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Apr 16 - 01:21 PM
Senoufou 22 Apr 16 - 01:04 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Apr 16 - 11:14 AM
Mr Red 22 Apr 16 - 10:04 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Apr 16 - 10:02 AM
Mo the caller 22 Apr 16 - 09:49 AM
Senoufou 22 Apr 16 - 09:17 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Apr 16 - 06:37 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Apr 16 - 05:18 AM
Tattie Bogle 21 Apr 16 - 06:54 PM
Stower 21 Apr 16 - 04:11 AM
Rapparee 20 Apr 16 - 08:14 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 16 - 06:36 PM
Senoufou 20 Apr 16 - 06:09 PM
Mr Red 20 Apr 16 - 04:39 PM
Nigel Parsons 20 Apr 16 - 03:38 PM
michaelr 20 Apr 16 - 03:29 PM
Kampervan 20 Apr 16 - 03:00 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 16 - 01:15 PM
Senoufou 20 Apr 16 - 01:13 PM
Kampervan 20 Apr 16 - 01:06 PM
Kampervan 20 Apr 16 - 01:03 PM
saulgoldie 20 Apr 16 - 12:52 PM
saulgoldie 20 Apr 16 - 12:50 PM
Senoufou 20 Apr 16 - 12:37 PM
Kampervan 20 Apr 16 - 12:08 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 16 - 11:21 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 16 - 11:19 AM
Nigel Parsons 20 Apr 16 - 11:03 AM
Rapparee 20 Apr 16 - 10:48 AM
Kampervan 20 Apr 16 - 07:46 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 16 - 07:13 AM
Kampervan 20 Apr 16 - 07:00 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Apr 16 - 06:57 AM
Mr Red 20 Apr 16 - 06:16 AM
Doug Chadwick 20 Apr 16 - 05:52 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 16 - 08:41 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 16 - 07:58 PM
Kampervan 19 Apr 16 - 06:50 PM
Rapparee 19 Apr 16 - 06:19 PM
Stower 19 Apr 16 - 06:03 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 16 - 03:32 PM
michaelr 19 Apr 16 - 03:28 PM
Backwoodsman 19 Apr 16 - 03:18 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 16 - 03:07 PM
Helen 19 Apr 16 - 03:00 PM
Helen 19 Apr 16 - 02:59 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Apr 16 - 02:34 PM
Senoufou 19 Apr 16 - 02:11 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 16 - 02:04 PM
Senoufou 19 Apr 16 - 01:05 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Apr 16 - 10:16 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Apr 16 - 09:09 AM
Rapparee 19 Apr 16 - 08:44 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Apr 16 - 08:34 AM
Manitas_at_home 19 Apr 16 - 08:34 AM
Rapparee 19 Apr 16 - 08:26 AM
Backwoodsman 19 Apr 16 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Apr 16 - 04:08 AM
Mr Red 19 Apr 16 - 03:47 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Jeri
Date: 29 May 16 - 11:23 PM

Seen on that channel I have that scrolls the schedule, I notice that starting at midnight is "Town Hall: Maine's Heroine Epidemic". I'm not all that familiar with Maine heroines, and had no idea there was a problem with an excess of them. (Yeah, I know it's spelling, not grammar, but I didn't really want to start a whole new thread for it.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 May 16 - 04:56 AM

Eliza, your Bardic interpolations most germane, and much appreciated. But as to putting up my weapon: what warrant does that impertinent youth imagine himself to have to address me in such truculent & patronising tones: impudent little upstart as he is!

Not but what that is probably just such another hyperbolical overstatement as that to which it is in itas turn riposte; but I am as entitled to such hissiphitz as I may please to indulge in as is he -- and to calligraph such according to my own taste without the leave of him!

Innit!

Peace'n'❤·x·❤·2·all

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 May 16 - 06:31 AM

And I am not bound to placate thee with my ripostes.

(Haste Thou To t'North, Act 2 Scene 18, Eric The Red)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 24 May 16 - 05:08 AM

To Steve and Michael:

"Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them!
Good signior, you shall more command with years than with your weapons."

(Othello, Act 1 Scene 2)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 May 16 - 01:50 AM

I am not bound to please thee with my answers

The Merchant of Venice IV i 65

as I might just have quoted before


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 May 16 - 01:46 AM

As I might just possibly have


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 May 16 - 05:19 PM

In fact, Michael, I explained calmly to you in that thread, at 7.41 pm, why my patience with you had run out. You were having one of your especially silly days. On such occasions, at least half-expect derision.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 May 16 - 05:04 PM

I lie low then bite like an alligator. Ask Keith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 May 16 - 04:16 PM

Steve: Thought it worth checking re your "hissy fit". It was on the 'Whither Labour' thread on 10 May, where you suddenly turned most truculent about some remarks I had addressed to you which seemed to me no more contentious than the usual sort of give'n'take generally regarded as pretty well par-for-the course on this forum. I was somewhat taken aback by the apparent virulence of your response -- which also managed to get the date of my birthday wrong, and also enjoined me to indulge in some spirituous liquors when you know perfectly well that I never indulge in such and have not done so for about 15 years.

If that was not 'a hissy-fit', then, as the great Runyon might have put it, I guess it will do till a hissy-fit comes along!.

Regards

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 May 16 - 12:56 AM

I thought I recalled some spat between us on a recent thread that seemed a bit OTT to me at the time. But I can't recall details; so "let the dead bury their dead," as the guy said, & let's look to the future.

I rather liked my "hissi-fit" as a sort of creative neologism. Sorry if it offended your sensitive semantic sensibilities!*

≈M≈

*Aware of the quasi-tautology; but thought worth it for the alliterative effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 16 - 09:40 PM

There'll be no dread thrift here. Michael is inventing a spat I didn't know we had. Either that or I'm developing Alzheimer's...


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 May 16 - 08:04 PM

So do I: thread drift on The Northern Tide. Drifter alert! Tends to happen when personal spats get in the way of a good thread.

Hissyfit


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Jeri
Date: 22 May 16 - 07:33 PM

I like Hissyfit's music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 May 16 - 06:44 PM

What hissi-fit [sic] Michael? In this grammar-pedant thread, shouldn't you at least get that right? Michael, what you wrongly alleged I underwent was a hissy fit. Tsk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 May 16 - 06:34 PM

On a day out with the grandkids last Thursday, we took the lift (elevator) down to a play area, had a happy hour there, then had to get the lift back up 3 floors to the exit. It's one of these glass cage lifts in an otherwise big empty space. I said to the grandson, aged 5, "Go and call the lift" as I know he likes pressing buttons, but he threw his head back and bellowed loudly in that big echo-ey space "THE LIFT"!
His voice reverberated all around, but of course, he'd only done what I'd asked him to do!

And when my daughter was young and being a wee bit naughty, I said in very exasperated voice, "Oh, will you BE-HAVE?" she drew herself up to er full 2-year-old height, lower lip trembling, hands on hips and answered - "I AM HAVE!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Jeri
Date: 20 May 16 - 06:00 PM

Here's some Weird Al for ya.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 May 16 - 02:51 PM

Hello, Steve. Got over our hissi-fit then, have we? I remember one joker on Uni-Chall once, introducing himself as "reading The Little Red School Book".

Might be an absurd phrase, and often misunderstood: my mother who ran a restaurant once told a customer way back then that I was at Cambridge reading English; and he replied in shocked tones and apparently seriously "What! Can't he read yet?" But it just happens to be the idiomatic phrase for studying the subject of a particular university faculty. So go on being tickled by it; but just don't expect an Act of Parliament to insist that another locution must henceforth be employed.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: saulgoldie
Date: 20 May 16 - 02:26 PM

Not an English major, I. Curiously enough, 'twas English coursework what hindered me more'n math or science. But I keep relearning the importance of clear communication and the hijinks that ensue when it does *not* take place. Plus, I never had that much trouble with the actual English (he said, somewhat over confidently). My problem with "it" was more often with the teacher person with whom I would likely have personality clashes--their fault, not mine, natch. Oh, and the fact that there was so damn much *reading* that I had to do, which I unfortunately do v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 May 16 - 09:08 AM

Pick your context. IMNSHO "reading" a university subject is perfectly understandable, and common, if slightly archaic, usage.
And in the UC context, reading pornography would be quite a study. The studying kind, not the roomy sort, or the studding antics! (don't ya just love pedantry?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 May 16 - 06:31 AM

You read English, eh? But what did you study?


(Sorry, the absurdity of that expression always tickles me. I await the day that some linguistic iconoclast introduces himself on University Challenge by saying "Joe Bloggs, reading pornography and studying astrophysics.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 May 16 - 05:31 AM

I read English at university; but I wasn't an English Major: the highest rank I achieved in my Territorial Army days was Captain.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Donuel
Date: 19 May 16 - 08:30 PM

OK , all those who were English majors , sound off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: saulgoldie
Date: 19 May 16 - 03:26 PM

I scanned this thread to see if anyone mentioned this. Not grammar, but unforgivable, nonetheless.

One affixes one's "John Hancock" on the appropriate line. One does not affix one's "John Henry" unless one is using a 9 pound hammer. John *Hancock* was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He signed with an YUGE flourish. John *Henry* was, of course, a steel-driving man, and likely had little use for a fountain pen. Honestly, people, can we *puleeze* keep our "Johns" straight??

Oh, jeez! I just realized what I inadvertently did there with "Johns" and "straight!!" But it's too late, baby, this keyboard thing doesn't have a backspace/delete/correctype. So the error stays!

Yowzah!! It's not safe out there for anyone, anytime, anywhere!

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 May 16 - 05:20 AM

One doesn't round UP, one rounds. Also one doesn't round DOWN, one truncates.

In JavaScript truncation is a "Math.Floor(var);" jobbie (what is the plural in Amerispeak?)
In VBA it would be "Int(var)" etc
C++ is to complicated to even consider. IMNSHO

And on the subject of Amerispeak I came across the word instantiate and had to consult American dictionaries until it made itself a little more obvious.
It turned out to be the process of creating an instance of an object/variable and, yes, it is computerspeak !


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: saulgoldie
Date: 04 May 16 - 09:47 AM

BTW: BillD, czech yer massages and phone home. You know where to find me.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: saulgoldie
Date: 04 May 16 - 09:46 AM

As I have thought more about this thread and the bigger concept, it occurred to me that it is as with everything that there are them what cares, and them what doesn't. Those of us who care must inure ourselves to the manifold misuses of werdz and grandma, and just go on with our lives, secure in the knowledge that we are superior, and we are the keepers of "the mother tongue" and fie on everyone else. IMNSHO.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 10:11 PM

From the Paris Orly web site: 20% of flights delighted. My comment to the friend who sent this to me was that I hope she got to fly happily on a darkened aircraft.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:56 PM

Donuel, Stanley Unwin was a comedian (sometimes called 'Professor' Unwin') who could speak for ages in a strange garbled English he called Unwinese. If you look for him on Youtube, you can listen to him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:42 PM

Heard that old chestnut on the radio this morning, "the noise level rose to a tremendous crescendo." I suppose the lack of editorial attention mitigates against avoiding these errors...😉


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:32 PM

My English teacher was Dr. Irwin Corey.

Senoufou, Is Stanley Unwin a double talker extraordinaire?


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:27 PM

Bill, that example actually made me laugh out loud, ten seconds after I read it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:10 PM

"At this point in time, the intoxicated individual exited the vehicle."


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:08 PM

(To be pedantic, I did include 'usage' in my list. Had my mind not been fuzzy after 3 days of music, eating & drinking and driving 5-6 hours in mountains, I might have begun with actual grammatical examples.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:06 PM

Thanks Eliza. That is indeed the word I was fumbling for; but I tend to be getting maybe just an itty-bitty aphasiac in my dotage...!

≈❤M❤≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 01:02 PM

I would call them malapropisms. A late friend used to crease us up at bingo. She used to complain about her various veins. And one memorable evening, she announced to the whole table that her husband was putting up a dildo rail in their hall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:57 PM

Actually, Bill D, to be pedantic, those are errors of usage/vocabulary that you instance, rather than of grammar or spelling. But your point is nevertheless entirely valid.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:38 PM

Donuel, that sounds like Stanley Unwin!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 12:05 PM

If were made emperor, one of my first edicts would involve grammar and spelling and usage classes for military and/or police spokespersons.

I cringe every time I hear one confuse 'contingent' with 'contingency'.

"We sent a contingency of peace keepers to control the situation."

There are so many other examples that I dare not start listing them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 09:54 AM

I am tracing Steve's grammar rules for posterior.

On the other hand it is not fairly to attackment pacific people with bi Poland lysdickia just for bemusementality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Bert
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 10:40 PM

I wouldn't have said anything Steve, but the thread was about being pedantic, so I couldn't resist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 09:31 PM

I stand corrected, Bert. My only defence is that (woe is me...) my jokes were copy 'n' paste jobs...


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Bert
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 09:25 PM

One doesn't round UP, one rounds. Also one doesn't round DOWN, one truncates.

Anyway, the rules of grammar are different for songwriters where the use of the vernacular is almost de rigueur. Also, without the use of cliches Country music would die.

It is said (by whom I do not know) that one must listen to a song ten times before you can remember one line. However if you use a cliche, your song will be remembered on the first hearing, and if you can get that cliche in the title, you've got it made.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 09:03 PM

One day at school, the teacher said to me, " Hey, Shaw, stand up and tell me two pronouns!"

Rather surprised, I said, " Who, me?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 08:52 PM

Farmer to sheepdog: Did you round up the sheep?

Sheepdog: Yes.

Farmer: So how many were there?

Sheepdog: Forty.

Farmer: But there were only thirty-eight this morning!

Sheepdog: But you told me to round them up!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 07:52 PM

"Mummy mummy! I'm having real trouble with my grammar! Boo hoo!"


"Ah, diddums! They're, their, there! It'll be all right in the morning!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 07:45 PM

Yes, well we don't still live in medieval times. Generally speaking, the sealing wax can be dispensed with on most occasions and attesting by independent witnesses accepted instead.

As for threads on pedantry not being allowed to contain jokes, well that's a shame. Just when I was about to tell a pedantry joke. Hope it won't make Nigel and Doug choke on their porridge. Ahem:

Who started the pedants' revolt?

Why, Which Tyler, of course!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 02:37 PM

Couldn't your seal be your sign?
Nope!
As some of our legal experts will probably explain, in UK to be enforceable a contract relating to land must be Signed, sealed & delivered. That's 3 requirements, not two.
Or, to keep it musical on the 'Cat. Just listen to Stevie Wonder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 07:49 AM

Thank you Michael for your kind wishes.

Oh dear, does one need permission to make a joke on a thread now? Most threads on most forums drift a bit (or a lot) and certain posts trigger a funny incident or item from one's past. I think this mirrors normal conversation among friends.

To get back to punctuation (or lack thereof) the double-glazing van opposite has returned, complete with redundant apostrophes. I'm so tempted to get my red pen (never without one!) and 'correct' the mistakes. I might even give the chap detention.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 07:22 AM

Items on examination papers are conventionally called 'questions', even tho they are commonly injunctive rather than interrogative in form as somewhat pedantically & redundantly mentioned above; frequently taking the form of a quotation [often invented by the examiner, I suspect, rather than taken from some actual critical or discursive work as he hopes to make it appear] followed by the instruction to "Discuss".

≈M≈

Eliza -- You get·well·soon, yahear!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 06:54 AM

I think pedantry can be a real dampener on a bit of fun, if taken to excess.

If this were a joke thread, I would agree but it's a thread about pedantry. What did you expect?

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 06:26 AM

Unpleasant, Doug. No call for that.

There was no call for including me in your comment.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 06:00 AM

Well, it said 'sign' in the newspaper article, but of course Nigel is right, in those days the King would have set his seal upon the document. It was only a joke. I think pedantry can be a real dampener on a bit of fun, if taken to excess. However, it's true that one should phrase exam questions very carefully, in fairness to the candidates.

For what my feeble input may be worth, I find Steve's and Michael's posts to be interesting and also funny. I need a bit of a laugh, as I'm not too well today. It's Mudcat and Old Speckled Hen that are keeping me going at the moment!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 05:18 AM

Unpleasant, Doug. No call for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 04:32 AM

Sorry! I didn't realise that this thread was a vehicle for the Steve Shaw stand-up routine.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: meself
Date: 25 Apr 16 - 12:46 AM

My sign actually is a seal - balancing a ball on his nose .....


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 08:50 PM

Well, Nigel, that particular exercise was conducted in 1973. It could be that I constructed my worksheet rather more carefully than I'm letting on here. Who knows? And are you in league with Doug in the "let's drain this thread of any vestige of humour" department? Actually, taking into account the large number of intervening years, who's to say that signing and sealing were not, in effect, precisely the same thing? Couldn't your seal be your sign? I'd buy that...


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 08:04 PM


Heheh! That last one reminds me of a biology lesson I'd organised for a class of eleven-year-olds. Each pupil was presented with a woodlouse in a Petri dish and a lens, along with a worksheet to fill in based on their observations of said minibeast.

Question One was "Name your animal". Twenty-nine out of thirty answered "woodlouse." The other one answered "Jimmy."

Of course the 'odd one out' is correct.
Also, "Name your animal" is not a question, but an instruction. (so it can't be "Question one")
If teachers can't get it right, what chance do their pupils have?

From: Senoufou - PM
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 05:09 PM

Steve and Michael, I'm dying laughing here!

I seem to remember a list in some newspaper of howlers, and one was "Where did King John sign the Magna Carta?" answered by one bright spark, "At the bottom."


Apparently, again, the teacher is asking a misleading question.
King John did not sign the Magna Carta, he affixed his seal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 04:20 AM

in my experience, children have several 'speaks'. They have playground vernacular and accent, used among their peers and family. But they generally know how to modify their speech in formal situations. They can even adopt a very workmanlike RP pronunciation when required (job interview, presentation etc) Most young people aren't daft, and know how to adapt their communications skills to the situation.

I was born in West London and actually spoke in a rather Cockney-ish accent, with plenty of glottal stops and dropped aitches, much to my father's disgust. At Uni in Edinburgh, I started to speak 'Edinburgh' (and 'posh' in tutorials). Now I've been in Norfolk for forty years, and at first picked up a very convincing 'Naaaridge' accent. We're out in the sticks now, and I notice I'm more 'Norfolk' these days. My neighbour says he can't tell I'm a furriner. While visiting Edinburgh last year, I found myself slipping effortlessly into the old accent while chatting to a taxi driver, much to my husband's amusement. Words like 'wee', 'aye' 'hen' etc came so easily, it was fascinating.

My point is, if one can adapt and modify one's communication skills as the situation requires, one can't go far wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 04:19 AM

My 8 year old grandson, incidentally, uses the letter 't' better than his mother and much better than one of his aunties.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 24 Apr 16 - 04:13 AM

It's too late for the teachers to do anything. They're adults with children of their own.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 08:01 PM

Your children depend on the spoken word for communicating, Doug. Writing it down is the least of their worries, though their teachers will no doubt do their best to get them worrying. Ninety-nine percent of the time, same for me. But you and I have refined the way we use the written word. It's been hard, but it's been rewarding. Your children have an erudite fellow for their dad. They'll grow up loving expressing themselves in writing, but what's the rush?


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Airymouse
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 07:52 PM

Anyway, an Archimedes Screw is not so sexy as it sounds, and I cannot comment on the flying kind, because I do not know how to do it. Let me apologize for the sentence above: sorry about the indefinite pronoun reference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 07:46 PM

write it the way you say it.

The way my children speak, they would need lots of apostrophes to write something such as "I'm gonna pu' some bu'er on my bread"

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 07:20 PM

A solution to "Archimedes screw" would be to add an apostrophe at the end, "Archimedes' screw." Wiki does that. You could, alternatively, just say "the Archimedes screw." For me, "Jesus" is slightly different. In speech, if I say "Jesus's miracles," I'll write it down just that way because it's the way I say it. I think that should always inform the way we write it down - write it the way you say it. You simply can't be wrong if you do that, and the grammar police can take a hike.

Incidentally, what I've just said reminds me of a pet hate of mine, the use of "alternate" to mean "alternative." It's become a real virus, yank-led, and is being accepted even by respectable dictionaries. Shame!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 06:45 PM

We have to accept cheerfully what owners of names decide when it comes to plurals. Morrison founded Morrisons supermarket and Sainsbury founded Sainsbury's supermarket. Who are we to argue? When it comes to constructions such as "a number of people have disagreed," well you can be as pedantic as you want, but if you insist on saying "a number of people has disagreed" you will not only raise eyebrows but you'll also be wrong. Oh, the joys of English!

"Data" is fine without any specification of plurality. It's the way we use it. But you can't say "a data" or anything like that. But the word "datum" is a good English word but it has very restricted application. If I feel my knickers getting into a twist over any of these issues, I simply rejig the sentence from scratch. Hanging on to your beloved constructions come hell or high water is a mistake that will sap your energy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Airymouse
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 06:17 PM

Random thoughts.
It seems that in the "soft" sciences, like economics and sociology, "data" is always construed as a plural, whereas in physics and mathematics it is usually taken as a collective noun. Curiously, everyone agrees about the distributive use of "number," as in "because of the traffic jam, a number of people are going to be late."
Rule 1 of Strunk and White's Elements of Style says that the possessive singular is formed by adding 's. Even Strunk and White allow exceptions for biblical phrases and ANCIENT Greek Names; e.g., "for righteousness sake, in Jesus Name and Archimedes Screw."By the by, Archimedes Screw was invented hundreds of years before Archimedes was born. The U.S. Post Office routinely changes the names of addresses: "Tysons Corner" not "Tyson's Corner." "The Elements of Style" is very influential in the states, because even if you disagree with the rules, at least it's clear what the rules are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 05:24 PM

For a number of years I was an examiner for "A" Level biology at the University of London. On one occasion. I was marking an essay question on insect feeding mechanisms. I'll never forget this immortal explanation of how dragonflies feed:

"The dragonfly catches its prey on the wing. It then transfers its prey from its wing into its mouth."


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 05:09 PM

Steve and Michael, I'm dying laughing here!

I seem to remember a list in some newspaper of howlers, and one was "Where did King John sign the Magna Carta?" answered by one bright spark, "At the bottom."


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 04:26 PM

Heheh! That last one reminds me of a biology lesson I'd organised for a class of eleven-year-olds. Each pupil was presented with a woodlouse in a Petri dish and a lens, along with a worksheet to fill in based on their observations of said minibeast.

Question One was "Name your animal". Twenty-nine out of thirty answered "woodlouse." The other one answered "Jimmy."


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 04:15 PM

I once dedicated one of my monthly Folk Review columns to the howlers I had found in pupils' work, Eliza. A fairly common one was the shipwrecked passengers "raped in blankets by the crew". Also, one busy ship's captain who "spent the whole night on the bride until relieved by the mate". Then, after the triumphant 1966 World Cup, an essay on Bobby Charlton, who had a brother Jackie "who also played in the WC". And perhaps a hint for cosmetic manufacturers in a story from a female pupil about a girl who was universally popular "because she was so well-manured".

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 03:41 PM

Yes, Penny, I've never seen it spelt that way before either.
He must have read my posts on here, because the van has disappeared and he comes home in a car now!

I bet I'm not the only teacher with a long list of 'howlers' from pupils' written work. I taught 8yr olds for several years, and one year I asked the class to write a beautiful letter to Father Christmas, listing their wishes for presents. One little girl had a nice long list, but one item was 'a pair of tits'. I assume she meant tights, and wondered if Father Christmas brought the correct things.

Another child wrote that 'the fields were humming with incest'.

Finally a boy was composing a story about a brave knight, wearing heavy armour, complete with sword, shield and lance, galloping into battle. He rather spoilt the effect though by naming the knight's horse 'Fluffy'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Penny S.
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 02:37 PM

"facea" for UPVC additions to houses is a new one on me. I've spent years hating the vans labelled with "fascia" because I was sure it should be "facia". since it had nothing to do with things being bound together, but it turns out I'm wrong. Though the OUD does give it as an alternative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: EBarnacle
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 12:04 PM

There is nothing quite like a free gift which I and Lady Hillary will thoroughly enjoy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Apr 16 - 06:27 AM

food for thought. Don't eat the coat!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 06:03 PM

Yes, well, and this is thoroughly tasteless I admit, but a mate of mine in Bude advised me that it doesn't matter where you get your appetite as long as you only dine at home.

I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 04:00 PM

Punctuation is important. The following can be split into two perfectly logical sentences or one sentence with a colon.

John had had had had Bill had had had had had had had had had the teacher's approval.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 02:01 PM

Hahahahaha Steve! There could be a whole thread on thoughts we secretly harbour being disclosed inadvertently.

My husband has no idea I quite fancy Usher, the R&B singer (oh dear, at my age!). Actually, they look very similar. I don't know how he'd react if he knew. Laugh his head off probably.

But of course, my new device would have a user-filter, and one could control the output.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 01:21 PM

I also think that a lot of men would get beaten up by the husbands of good-looking young women...


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 01:04 PM

I suppose when you boil it down, any kind of communication, whether spoken, written or gestured, is basically transferring thoughts and ideas from one person's brain to another. Just imagine if there were some form of transplanted device which did just that. No need for spelling, punctuation or even vocabulary; the thought would pass immediately to the recipient. How simple that would be.

But I can see a danger. There would have to be a guard in place, or the lady next door would instantly receive my opinion that her new curtains are hideous and my husband would be very hurt to know I wasn't too impressed with his new red stripy top, which makes him look like a page from a 'Where's Wally?' book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 11:14 AM

I wonder who he meant was accepting it. Beyond a few hundred common words of vocabulary, I'd say that there isn't a centre as such, when you consider the wide variety of shades of expression in English. Think of the trouble you've had with call centres in India or Geordieland (unless you're Indian or Geordie). They're speaking perfectly good English but with accents, inflections and phraseology alien to you. The acceptance is not a bowing down to some central and unchanging structure, but is our general acquiescence in the need to communicate with each other effectively. All those Victorian guys who wanted to get all prescriptive with us about split infinitives, etc., were just making life more difficult for everyone. That isn't in any way to advocate linguistic anarchy; the acquiescence in that common need will see that that doesn't happen, though it will allow for evolution. So we get timesing, we get gay and we get nouns turning into verbs. It's all OK and the changes will go on despite our protests. Don't forget, nowhere in evolution is there any reference to prescription, improvement or striving for perfection! Written is a bit different because the real person is removed from the transaction. How stringent we need to be over rules depends on how formal the writing needs to be. At one extreme we have comic-book speech bubbles. At the other we have legalese, which takes language into the realms of absurdity. Where you place yourself in between when you're typing on Mudcat is a matter for your skill and judgement. We're not too hard on people who slip towards the lower end but it always feels good to do a bit of pomposity-pricking! 😉


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 10:04 AM

Who was it that said (to the effect) that language (English in his case) had a very well accepted centre, but the periphery was hard to determine and somewhat nebulous?
The original editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, Herbert Coleridge I believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 10:02 AM

Well, timesing instead of multiplying is a good example of nuance. It says, without extra words, that you're leaning towards being informal and unscholarly so as not to embarrass the recipient. I like it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mo the caller
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 09:49 AM

My pet hate neologism is "times it by" instead of "multiply it by".
It seems entrenched though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 09:17 AM

In spoken English, especially if the listener is facing you, I think gestures are more important than perhaps we realise. I smile when people do that 'hooked fingers each side of the head' to represent quotation marks. It's a bit affected and silly, but it's a quick way to indicate one is quoting someone else.

On the telephone, these visual aids are missing, and it makes conversation a little more difficult. On paper, it's even harder to communicate, unless one is very careful to punctuate and spell as accurately as possible.

I learned British Sign Language to Level 1, and of course the deaf have their own gestures and facial expressions (in addition to the recognised signing) which make meaning clearer.

French is terrible for needing tons of punctuation. I communicated with my husband (many years ago now!) on Messenger, and I had no idea how to convert my keyboard to produce accents, umlauts, cedillas etc. So my written French was naked so to speak. It meant that my words were open to misinterpretation to no small degree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 06:37 AM

The range of inflection available for speech is far greater than that for written English, which renders any formal spoken expression of punctuation redundant. That's why we need to retain the crutch of careful punctuation in writing. Context is something, as you suggest, but not everything. By abolishing apostrophes in the written word you are shifting the onus from where it rightly belongs (on the person doing the communicating) on to the poor recipient, who has to do more mental processing by dint of your omissions. Put that way, it adds a veneer of rudeness and laziness to the writer's attitude. I'm keeping all my apostrophes. I'm rude and lazy enough as it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Apr 16 - 05:18 AM

Apostrophe to indicate an omission of letter[s], eg '"don't, can't" &c, is a useful convention which should be retained imo; but that for the possessive is otiose, and that is the one I should be glad to see abolished. Context will usually resolve ambiguities – as it has to do in speech, where punctuation is only implied but not instantly accessible as it is in writing.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Apr 16 - 06:54 PM

Loved the video! Made me laugh out loud! (O.K. - too many exclamation marks already, and should I have used that hyphen or perhaps a semi-colon?)
Definite grammar/spelling/punctuation (GSP) pedant, thanks to my mother being an English teacher (although Scottish). (Now should that last full stop be inside or outside the bracket?)
My husband is dyslexic, and my 2 (two) children came through school at a time when it was all about "expressing yourself" and who cares about GSP? So now I end up being everyone's proof-reader.
The one that really gets me, as my husband writes his weekly rugby reports of matches against our local team is "Heriot's" - short for George Heriot's. Yes, it already has an apostrophe in it, as shown on the school's and rugby club's own websites. But if there is anything possessive in the narrative does it become Heriot's' or even Heriot's's - or do I do the modern thing and forget all of the apostrophes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Stower
Date: 21 Apr 16 - 04:11 AM

I love it when poor punctuation changes the meaning of a sentence.

There's a world of difference between 'Let's eat, grandma!' and 'Let's eat grandma!'; and between 'knowing your shit' and 'knowing you're shit'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 08:14 PM

You can't cant cant that way!

Using a cant hook can't get you canned, can it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 06:36 PM

Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana
Tits like coconuts


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 06:09 PM

I seem to remember that the glottal stop was represented by an upside-down question mark in Phonetic Script, but I may be wrong; it was a long time ago that I 'did' Phonetics as a module.

It's interesting, isn't it, to see various forms of punctuation used in an attempt to represent accents. One could easily just write, "Ow's Arry?" But the ubiquitous apostrophe makes it "'Ow's 'Arry?" Cockney, like Lowland Scots, is choc full of blessed apostrophes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 04:39 PM

I think I'm goin' to punch 'im on t'nose

Ah! The glottal stop, how to write it?

On t'other?
or as said
Ont other?

My preference is the latter, but then I lean (?) tu ' phonetic! 'Appen so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 03:38 PM

Time flies men cant they move too fast

Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 03:29 PM

Always use proper capitalization. It is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 03:00 PM

Precisely, Senoufou.

The rules are tricky and sometimes we get it wrong, but at least, if you've been taught the rules, you can try to make sure that people understand what you're trying to say.

Teachers shouldn't stop trying because the lesson is too difficult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 01:15 PM

One thing you cant do is leave the apostrophe out of cant. I cant believe there are people who cant bring it upon themselves to acknowledge why this cant be done, namely that there is another word, cant, that is so different in meaning to cant that the two simply cant be confused, except of course by people who certainly cant be described as in any way literate, it cant be gainsaid. Now I was going over to one of those religion threads to read some cant, but I honestly cant be arsed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 01:13 PM

Kampervan, our English master (Grammar School 1959) used to write on the board:

What do you think? I'll shave you for nothing!   and

What? Do you think I'll shave you for nothing?

to demonstrate the importance of correct punctuation. It got a bit boring, as it was his only party piece, much repeated, to our stifled groans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 01:06 PM

But I remember, to this day, my English master (1962 - Grammar School) using this as an example as to why it was important to understand the difference between 'shall' and 'will'.

'It could save you life' he said, and he meant it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 01:03 PM

Courtesy of 'Daily writing tips'.... now this IS pedantic

A foreign tourist was swimming in an English lake. Taken by cramps, he began to sink. He called out for help:
"Attention! Attention! I will drown and no one shall save me!"
Many people were within earshot, but, being well-brought up Englishmen and women, they honored his wishes and permitted him to drown.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: saulgoldie
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 12:52 PM

The rules above, as well as the rest of them below should be attributed:

(Source: Maximum Awesome; Image: William Safire in 1968, courtesy of NYTimes.)

       Remember to never split an infinitive.
       A preposition is something never to end a sentence with.
       The passive voice should never be used.
       Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
       Don't use no double negatives.
       Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
       Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
       Do not put statements in the negative form.
       Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
       No sentence fragments.
       Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
       Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
       If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
       A writer must not shift your point of view.
       Eschew dialect, irregardless.
       And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
       Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!
       Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
       Hyphenate between sy-llables and avoid un-necessary hyphens.
       Write all adverbial forms correct.
       Don't use contractions in formal writing.
       Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
       It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
       If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
       Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
       Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
       Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
       Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
       Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
       If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
       Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
       Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
       Always pick on the correct idiom.
       "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"
       The adverb always follows the verb.
       Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They're old hat; seek viable alternatives.
       Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
       Employ the vernacular.
       Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
       Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
       Contractions aren't necessary.
       Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
       One should never generalize.
       Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
       Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
       Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
       Be more or less specific.
       Understatement is always best.
       One-word sentences? Eliminate.
       Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
       Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
       Who needs rhetorical questions?
       Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
       capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with a point


Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: saulgoldie
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 12:50 PM

I would not be me if I resisted jumping into this glorious fray. I should point out that there are various degrees of importance with grammar, expression, and speeling errors. Some are just little annoyances for us grammar police. But some, like the misuse of "can't" are far-reaching, indeed.

To say that one "can't" do something is to say that under no circumstances can one do X, period, full stop. HOWEVER, it has come to indicate not only the absolute ability to do X, but ALSO to mean things that one actually "CAN" do, but CHOOSES to not do. One CAN take a longer lunch break; it is POSSIBLE. But one may CHOOSE not to given the possible consequences. You may say "tomato" and I may say "either" but we CHOOSE either way.

Most of the time when I hear someone use the word "can't" it refers to a choice that someone would rather not make. Thus, by using the word, they absolve themselves of responsibility of choosing, even if it is a very unattractive choice with painful consequences.

If you think I am being excessively pedantic about this, look around you, in your personal life and in the bigger world, and just listen to how the word is used and what the difference would be if one more properly indicated permission--I "may not" do it--and choice rather than actual capability.

And yes, language is fluid and dynamic. But there are just some violations up with which I will not put. And speaking of rules...

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 12:37 PM

I don't mind changes in language at all, I find them fascinating. At Uni, they played us a recording of some bloke who could speak 16th Century English, and the accent was very Northern, and very difficult to understand. Then we studied Chaucer, which needed a lot of footnotes. Our modern English is very different from these, and new words come into fashion daily. 'Twas ever thus... which brings me to:-

Apostrophes.
Being at Edinburgh Uni, we studied Rabbie Burns. He surely used more apostrophes than anyone in human history. I was a young girl from London and couldn't understand one word in three. This is the last bit of 'To A Louse' (NOT Mouse, Louse!):-

"What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion."

If the chap had used a keyboard, his apostrophe key would have seized up!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 12:08 PM

Nigel, the difference would have been 'You can get a free wheel nut' as opposed to 'You can get a wheel nut free'.

The former meaning wheel nuts are being given away gratis, the second that you can loosen a very tight nut.

Neither require the use of 'for'


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 11:21 AM

Grr. Dropped a capital I there!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 11:19 AM

Right on, Nigel!

But how about "See if you can free up that wheel nut..." 🤔

I think we also need to keep apostrophes for elisions and for things like dropped aitches. Look at these:

I think I'm goin' to punch 'im on t'nose

I think im goin to punch im on tnose

(Or even ont nose)

D'you think we'd better 'ang on to 'em? (Or dyou think wed better ang on to em...?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 11:03 AM

Saying that you can get a wheel-nut "free" (with or without the use of WD40) is different to saying that you can get a wheel-nut "for free" (or without paying).


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 10:48 AM

The US has, overall, abandoned the use of the umlaut (or my surname would use it) as well as the conjoined ae and similar typography. Thus, it's "feces" and not "faeces."

It is essential to keep the apostrophe if for no other reason than to differentiate between plurality and possession. And the use of numbers 4 words is illiterate beyond my power to describe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 07:46 AM

Point taken, but I would always use 'for nothing'.

I don't recall hearing 'for free' until relatively recently, last 10/15 years? 7
However, it's here and the users of English have spoken. So here, I guess, it will stay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 07:13 AM

Interesting one, "for free." It can be used quite effectively to add emphasis, a bit stronger than "for nothing" but it can't replace "free" all the time. "Are you really telling me that I can get it for FREE?!" I think I'd be OK with that in speech.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 07:00 AM

I agree that language is evolving and long may it do so.

I think that the current use of 'for free' is terrible, it should either be 'free' or 'for nothing'.

I think that change is here to stay and I accept it but I will never use it. However, for future generations it will be the norm and English has moved a little further.

It is that constant change that has enabled English to remain such a beautiful, expressive and relevant language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 06:57 AM

I'm not going to search for a means of inserting diacritics in words that have become everyday English words. So, for me, it's cliche and naive.   

I would never write or type "CD'S". If I were absolutely forced to use block capitals for the construction, I'd refrain from using the abbreviation at all. I can't think that it's an issue that's going to crop up very often.

Speaking of form-filling, I never see the need to write anything on a form in capitals except for my name and address. I regard it as exceptionally rude to be asked to do otherwise. Similarly, I don't see why I have to go searching for a pen that writes in black ink. Of course, if there was a risk of losing money I might feel obliged to comply under protest. As for forms that make you write one letter per tiny little box, they are the most ridiculous pieces of bureaucratic nonsense in all creation. If an employee of mine devised such a form I'd sack him!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 06:16 AM

my point about the video is this is an American Publication and they have pretty pedantic rules about how to spell! Like naïve and coöperation.

Now forgive me but the pedants of this parish - have they ever faulted these two words?

Tell me who among us regards data as singular or plural? OK,OK, collective noun, but common usage only since computers and not before the 1970s to my knowledge. If you were a pedant that is.

And how long has opera been singular (cf opus). Language is not static, even the French can't control it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 20 Apr 16 - 05:52 AM

The only purpose of having rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling is to make the meaning clear and unambiguous. If I were discussing my recorded music collection, it would be acceptable to abreviate "compact disc" to "CD". When referring to several of them, I would write "CDs". If, however, I am entering text on a form or into a computer that demands block capitals, "CDs" would come out as "CDS" which could easily be misinterpreted. In this case, I would enter "CD'S" even though it is not possessive. I suppose it could be seen as a contraction, with the apostrophe replacing "-isc" but, for consistency, the contraction would have to be C'D'S which is silly. I think that the apostrophe aids clarity and I will continue to use it this way, whatever the pedant thinks.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 08:41 PM

And I wholeheartedly agree with Kampervan, though he doesn't need to defend split infinitives when they're not being split in the first place. Actually, you can make yourself sound absurd by going through convolutions to avoid the alleged splitting. Hands up anyone who thinks that "boldly to go" is better, and that's only a mild example. Try this famous one: "She decided to gradually get rid of her teddy bear collection." If you put "gradually" anywhere else in the sentence (there are at least four or five possibilities), you either change the whole meaning or force the reader to go through mental contortions to understand what you're on about. Good rules make English work more clearly. Bad rules just make people think they can never do the right thing. But just because a good rule might be hard to master, it doesn't turn into a bad rule; a challenge, that's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 07:58 PM

If you think that it's wrong to say "to boldly go" because it's a split infinitive, you're wrong on two counts. First, constructions of the kind "to...(verb)" have been "split" merrily since time immemorial. Just because some crusty old Victorian pedant (whoever it was) says it's wrong, it doesn't make it wrong. Second, and more devastating still, "to" is not part of the infinitive in any case. In "to boldly go," the word "go" is the whole of the infinitive, sometimes referred to as the bare infinitive. Just think: if I said to you "Would you have me tell you a lie?", the word "tell" is the infinitive. Poor old "to" not only doesn't get a look-in, but it would actually be absurd to insert it: "Would you have me to tell you a lie?" See?


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Kampervan
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 06:50 PM

A split infinitive doesn't really harm anyone's understanding or interpretation of what's being said, but apostrophes are frequently essential to enable the reader to know what the writer is trying to say.

On that basis I tend to be on the side that says let's try and teach the proper use of apostrophes but accept that from time to time errors will be made. That doesn't mean that we should stop trying.

It's becoming far too popular to say that if something is difficult it should be abandoned.

Grammar should exist where it is useful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 06:19 PM

Looky, you guys, I got good grammar! I got lots of it! And I need to never split infinitives or anything cause I know what I want to speak and can communicate it very good! I can use simple compound sentences and know the declaratives and all that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Stower
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 06:03 PM

Rapparee, I agree: bad grammar needs to be corrected.

"But like I say, x irregardless x of ..." regardless
"those who misuse the x semi colon x." semicolon
"We need x less x bad grammarians and more good ones!" fewer
"I can say this without fear of contradiction because I x got x my baccalaureate" received - or - was awarded


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 03:32 PM

Not if it means "we need better grammarians..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: michaelr
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 03:28 PM

Rapparee: "We need less bad grammarians..." Surely that should be "fewer".


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 03:18 PM

"I love his lamb shoulder's, chicken's and Scotch egg's!"

Or should the last one be 'Scotch Egg's?

"No, we must keep the apostrophe and teach the usage of it properly. We've had too much degradation of language already."

I'm with you, Boo-Boo!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 03:07 PM

No, we must keep the apostrophe and teach the usage of it properly. We've had too much degradation of language already.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Helen
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 03:00 PM

Sorry, forgot to say, brilliant Rapparee!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Helen
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 02:59 PM

Brilliant, Steve!

Apostrophitis, the modern disease.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 02:34 PM

I have always thought the apostrophe should be abolished: a redundant piece of punctuation IMO. I used to teach that, if unsure whether or not to use one, leave it out: fewer mistakes would be made by using too few than too many.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 02:11 PM

As all languages evolve naturally over the years, do you suppose that redundant apostrophes will eventually become the normal way to write plurals?

(Or, as all language's evolve naturally over the year's, do you suppose that redundant apostrophe's will eventually become the normal way to write plural's?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 02:04 PM

We have a local butcher with a sign outside his shop full of greengrocers' apostrophes. He's a brilliant butcher though. I love his lamb shoulder's, chicken's and Scotch egg's!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 01:05 PM

Steve, that's brilliant!

A new chap opposite us parks his double-glazing van outside his house all evening, so I'm forced to look at a massive photograph of some windows, underneath which is written:

Conservatory's Orangery's and facea (sic) boards

It must be God's punishment for past sins, as it makes me grind my teeth.

(I've just had a terrible thought...could he be an ex-pupil of mine???!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 10:16 AM

LoL


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 09:09 AM

Always worth repeating, the Rules Of Good English.

Avoid alliteration. Always.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Employ the vernacular.
Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
Remember to never split an infinitive.
Contractions aren't necessary.
Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
One should never generalise.
Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
Be more or less specific.
Understatement is always best.
One-word sentences? Eliminate.
Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
The passive voice is to be avoided.
Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
Who needs rhetorical questions?
Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
Don't never use a double negation.
Capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point
Do not put statements in the negative form.
Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
A writer must not shift your point of view.
And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
Always pick on the correct idiom.
The adverb always follows the verb.
Avoid run-on sentences they look terrible.
Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
About those sentence fragments.
Just between you and i, case is important.
Don't use, commas, which aren't necessary.
Its important to use your apostrophe's correctly.
Correct spelling is absoluteley essential.
Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 08:44 AM

Hah!!

Rapparee
BA, MS, CDSA, Adv. Manage. Cert., 1/2 an MA, IS (Cambridge), ex-SGT and a bunch of other stuff too numerous to speak of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 08:34 AM

When you say you are 'a grammar pendant' [sic], Rap, you presumably mean your grammar is such as to make you deserve hanging!

I would remind all that, AINTOS,* I have been named online as one whose "pedantry is legendary", so claim yet again sole right to the title of Official Legendary Pedant.

≈M≈
MA OLP

*As I Never Tire Of Saying


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 08:34 AM

Fewer bad grammarians, surely?

As for "could care less" , I couldn't care less for that usage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 08:26 AM

Honestly! There is no excuse for whoever using bad grammar to communicate with! As for commas, they should be used, whenever there is a need. But like I say, irregardless of whose ever speaking, there is no reason for using bad grammar and the newest offenders are those who misuse the semi colon. We need less bad grammarians and more good ones! I can say this without fear of contradiction because I got my baccalaureate degree in English and that makes me a grammar pendant and cop. If you want to come across as a slob and grammar dummy then I could care less!


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 05:32 AM

I liked it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 04:08 AM

"Be afraid, be very afraid!"
Why - what's wrong with criticising bad grammar?
Phps u wd lk uz al 2 com lk ths?
Saves time!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: BS: Grammar Police/Pedant alert
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Apr 16 - 03:47 AM

The New Yorker's Comma Queen on TED.com

a pedants' (sic) pedant.

Be afraid, be very afraid!


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