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BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'

Snuffy 24 Dec 05 - 07:49 PM
*Laura* 24 Dec 05 - 12:04 PM
Peace 24 Dec 05 - 11:48 AM
The Walrus 24 Dec 05 - 11:45 AM
Mr Red 24 Dec 05 - 08:29 AM
Terry K 24 Dec 05 - 08:22 AM
R. Padgett 24 Dec 05 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Janine 24 Dec 05 - 03:51 AM
Peace 23 Dec 05 - 03:09 PM
Jim McLean 23 Dec 05 - 03:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Dec 05 - 02:12 PM
JennyO 23 Dec 05 - 11:58 AM
Paul Burke 23 Dec 05 - 10:17 AM
*Laura* 23 Dec 05 - 09:55 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Dec 05 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Albert E 23 Dec 05 - 07:52 AM
gnu 23 Dec 05 - 06:57 AM
Little Robyn 23 Dec 05 - 06:29 AM
freda underhill 23 Dec 05 - 05:04 AM
Terry K 23 Dec 05 - 04:56 AM
Wilfried Schaum 23 Dec 05 - 03:22 AM
The Walrus 22 Dec 05 - 07:14 PM
The Walrus 22 Dec 05 - 07:10 PM
HuwG 22 Dec 05 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Janine 22 Dec 05 - 03:02 PM
gnu 22 Dec 05 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Dec 05 - 07:18 AM
Nick 22 Dec 05 - 07:06 AM
GUEST 22 Dec 05 - 06:03 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Dec 05 - 04:32 AM
John O'L 22 Dec 05 - 04:27 AM
John MacKenzie 22 Dec 05 - 04:20 AM
Teribus 22 Dec 05 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Dec 05 - 03:46 AM
Gurney 22 Dec 05 - 02:21 AM
Little Robyn 22 Dec 05 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,Ken the mathmetician 22 Dec 05 - 12:11 AM
Little Hawk 21 Dec 05 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 21 Dec 05 - 10:03 PM
Gurney 21 Dec 05 - 09:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Dec 05 - 09:32 PM
pdq 21 Dec 05 - 06:32 PM
HuwG 21 Dec 05 - 06:23 PM
pdq 21 Dec 05 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Bert 21 Dec 05 - 05:52 PM
Ebbie 21 Dec 05 - 04:37 PM
John MacKenzie 21 Dec 05 - 04:27 PM
GLoux 21 Dec 05 - 04:09 PM
Rapparee 21 Dec 05 - 03:59 PM
Little Hawk 21 Dec 05 - 03:53 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 07:49 PM

On collective plurals Britsh English seems to be developing much quicker along the lines of making verbs, adjectives etc agree with the underlying logical subject, rather than the grammatical subject.

Thus "Brazil are World Champions" because "Brazil" does not mean the actual country, but "the players who comprise the Brazilian team". Likewise "The Army" is made up of many people and so is plural (except in this sentence!).


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: *Laura*
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 12:04 PM

I live in the Southwest UK and never thought drawRing sounded strange....


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Peace
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 11:48 AM

"what is the plural of data?"

Data is the plural of datum.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: The Walrus
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 11:45 AM

Two brief comments (of no realimport):

Q,
"...Someone mentioned the use of collective plurals.
In the UK, 'the army are' seems to be used; in the United States, it is 'the army is', and the same is true of some other collective plural usages.

When did the Americans shift over from "The United States are..." to "The United States is..."?

Mr Red,
"...and while we are at it - what is the plural of data?..."
Data IS the plural, the singular is datum.

Merry Christmas all.

Walrus.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 08:29 AM

depends whether you do Some or Sums?

Trigonometry or Trigonometries (harder)?
Algebra or Algebrus?
Calculus or calculii
Algoritm or Al Gore rhythmic
Spreadsheet or **!!!?(&%!! (pronounced Micro$oft)

and while we are at it - what is the plural of data? (or opera or modem for that matter)


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Terry K
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 08:22 AM

quote "I live in Yorkshire Northern England and we have much shorter 'a' and 'o' sounds and virtually non existant 'h' sounds" unquote

also the much deeper U, which has a great effect in certain words of four letters - so much more telling than the effete southern versions of the same words.....


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: R. Padgett
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 08:13 AM

Flippin 'eck!

I had not realised Aluminium was spelt Aluminum in US and thus explains the weird emphasis of the LU

In pronounciation I always believed that you started at the back and pronounced in full 'bits' syllables to the front ~ so the US pronunciation has always been odd in the UK

As regards 'Drawering' for drawing this is a Southern Uk thing

I studied accounting in the South and it annoyed me intensely when the Drawings became drawerings

I live in Yorkshire Northern England and we have much shorter 'a' and 'o' sounds and virtually non existant 'h' sounds

This is well known in the UK

so that 'tintintint'equals 'It is not in the tin' ~ probably worse than Spanish when spoken quickly!

There are many regional accents and speech pronunciations and great arguments will ensue if anyone particularly from the South dares to say that they speak the 'Queens English'

Be warned!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Janine
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 03:51 AM

Oddly, Calculus is often referred to (especially by the pendants) as The Calculus. Any explanations?
Janine


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Peace
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 03:09 PM

Math to me means arithmetic. Maths refers to assorted types: algebra, trig, calculus. Of course, that just the words. I have no idea what the numbers mean. Failed it all through school.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 03:05 PM

I remember listening to an argument between Dominic Behan and Enoch Kent, both rather the worse of a few drams. The argument seemed to centre around when the last person on Perthshire was executed. Dominic stated vehemently it was last week and Enoch insisted it was in the 18th century. To cut a long story short, Enoch thought they were talking about Perthshire (Scotland) and Dominic thought it was Persia!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 02:12 PM

Aluminium and aluminium require historical review to find the 'why'.
"In 1807, Davy proposed the name 'aluminum' for the metal, undiscovered at the time, [and used it with its discovery in 1812]and later agreed to change it to 'aluminium'. Shortly thereafter, the name aluminium was adopted to conform with the 'ium' ending of most elements.... Aluminium was also the accepted spelling in the U. S. until 1925 at which time the American Chemical Society officially decided to use the name 'aluminum' thereafter in their publications." Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, article by C. R. Hammond.
Aluminum appears now on periodic tables of the elements and in most non-UK scientific writings. Aluminium remains the preferred spelling in the OED and in English (but not American) speech.

When I was being taught the intricacies of English, 'an hotel' was proper, but now 'a hotel' is commonly heard on both sides of the pond. (English, she is changeable, like a woman.)

Twenty years ago 'covert' was pronounced cov'ert, kv'ert (also OED and Webster's dictionary citations), but now it has become co'vert. This destroys the connection with the root of the word, but dictionaries must reflect general usage, and Webster's Collegiate now has put co'vert in 1st place.

Someone mentioned the use of collective plurals.
In the UK, 'the army are' seems to be used; in the United States, it is 'the army is', and the same is true of some other collective plural usages.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: JennyO
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 11:58 AM

Mmm - PIE!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 10:17 AM

c.1380 as singular, replaced by early 17c. by mathematics (1581), from L. mathematica (pl.), from Gk. mathematike tekhne "mathematical science," fem. sing. of mathematikos (adj.) "relating to mathematics, scientific," from mathema (gen. mathematos) "science, knowledge, mathematical knowledge," related to manthanein "to learn," from PIE base *mn-/*men-/*mon- "to think, have one's mind aroused" (cf. Gk. menthere "to care," Lith. mandras "wide-awake," O.C.S. madru "wise, sage," Goth. mundonsis "to look at," Ger. munter "awake, lively"). Mathematics (pl.) originally denoted the mathematical sciences collectively, including geometry, astronomy, optics. Math is the Amer.Eng. shortening, attested from 1890; the British preference, maths is attested from 1911.

I bet you didn't know it came from a PIE base, but pie are square.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: *Laura*
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 09:55 AM

It's mathematicS because it refers to a collection of mathematic workings or problems.
The different branches of mathematic problems, such as algebra... trigonometry... whatever.... are mathematics. So calculus is a mathematic problem.

At least - thats the only half-logical explaination I can think of!

xLx


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 09:17 AM

Yes, "maths" is more logical, it being short for "mathematics", but that still leaves the question of why the "s" is there in the first place.

There are roughly a hundred singular nouns ending in "ics" in the English language. "Mathematics", "physics" and "economics" are a few of them. In most cases the same word without the "s" is not a noun at all, but strictly an adjective. One can study economics, but there's no such thing as an "economic". Calculus is a branch of mathematics, but I've never heard it referred to as a "mathematic".


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Albert E
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 07:52 AM

Mathematics


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: gnu
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:57 AM

I need some med.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Little Robyn
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:29 AM

Maths is the plural form Terry!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: freda underhill
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 05:04 AM

Maths.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Terry K
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 04:56 AM

If Maths really is plural, wouldn't you have to say Maths are plural?

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 03:22 AM

Don't ask me about Mathis, it could take until the 12th of never to answer that one
Ask me. Mathis der Maler (the painter), by Paul Hindemith. Sinfony 1934, opera 1938.

Merry Xmas to y'all!.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: The Walrus
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:14 PM

Returning to the original subject of the thread, we've sorted 'maths' and 'math'.
Do Americans study MAFS*? (I presume there is a different name these days).

W


* In my younger day, MAFS was Mathematics And Formal Statistics.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: The Walrus
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:10 PM

The use of "an" as the indefinite article before a noun starting with "H" is perfectly correct usage (if a trifle archaic).
Apparently the use dates back to a pronounciation change in English from the "French" silent H as in hour, honour, heir etc. to the harder aspirated "Germanic" H as in house, hotel and hair etc.
In short,'an' is technically acceptible (but not generally used) with all such nouns while 'a' is only acceptible for those with the 'hard' H. As yes, I do still use an hundred, an historian although strangely, a hotel.

Walrus.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: HuwG
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:31 PM

British comedian Michael Bentine was once at a dinner with a French producer, who announced, "My wife has a lovely arse". As Bentine and the other brits choked, he continued, "Yes, a beautiful arse on the Riviera, with three bedrooms and a big garden."

Bentine related the incident to fellow-Goon Peter Sellars. And so Inspector Clouseau's immortal accent was born.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Janine
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:02 PM

John, If you're really posh (or archaic)you pronounce hotel as 'otel and so say an 'otel. Like hour which confusingly doesn't distinguish it from our. Very silly. I'm not sure how you write it. However only the ignorant (or confused) would pronounce house as 'ouse, so it's a house.
Janine


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: gnu
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:42 AM

Guest, Ken said..."What I find most amusing is when you translate a phrase verbatim from one language to another, the meaning is gibberish or insulting."

A buddy of mine from Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland greets with this :
"Wot ye got in yer mout me ol cock?"

Thread drift... I once complimented an elderly Portland cement concrete finisher on his work on a large concrete pour. Beautiful work, all by eye. He replied with a heavy German accent, "Finish, ya. Carpenter. Electrician. Sheet metal. I jack off all trades."


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:18 AM

Reading through the various posts makes me more certain that the Bill Bryson book would be of great interest to many posters. Bill is an American, but is very well known in the UK via his books and TV appearances ( he lives - or lived - in the UK). His book - "The Mother Tongue", spends a lot of time talking about - and explaining - the parallel development of English in the UK and the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Nick
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 07:06 AM

Little Hawk

>>The Brits also say "al-you-MI-ni-um" instead of "a-LU-min-um". Very odd.

Probably something to do with the spelling of the word aluminium or do you always not sound the letter 'I' ...

Giok

Unfortunately stadiums is perfectly good English! Dictionaries offer either stadia or stadiums as valid plurals. Words that come from Latin do not necessarily have plurals in the Latin form (eg viruses/statuses etc).


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 06:03 AM

In England it is ALUMINIUM and, for some unknown and inconsistent reason, it is ALUMINUM in the US (I don't believe the US has CHROMUM for example).

I also don't say drawring, I believe it is people hearing what is more of an aspirant sound at the end of the w sound coupled with the following vowel sound which they, erroneously, think is an R sound.

Saw and sore and soar are all homonyms English


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:32 AM

It's no good complaining, it's our own fault, we made a total bollocks of teaching everyone our language.

eric


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: John O'L
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:27 AM

When I (Australian) was in California some years ago I needed to get some keys cut. I asked where I might get that done, and the guy I asked couldn't understand what I wanted until I produced some keys and made a sawing gesture. "Oh!" he said, "You want some kiisgirt!"

I guess he was thinking of Lebanese takeaways or something when trying to work out what 'keyscut' was.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:20 AM

I get annoyed when people say a hotel, or a house. Mind you I also jump up and down when people say stadiums instead of stadia.
Why can't they spoke proper English, like wot I speaks?

G ☺


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 04:19 AM

A lot of the differences come from the varying rates of development of the language in common use. In North America the advancement in development of the language was impacted and stagnated to a certain extent by the massive influx of non-english speakers during the mid to late 1800's.

Long, long ago I can remember being told that in the very early 1900's (1905 or 1911) there was a debate in the House of Representatives regarding the adoption of German in place of English as the official language of the US. The motion was only narrowly defeated (something like 12 votes). Now if that is correct, that might have made a bit of a difference to the history of the 20th Century.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:46 AM

Anyone interested in the development of the English language should read Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue". It's a "can't put down", fascinating read.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Gurney
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 02:21 AM

Little Hawk, that's my kind of environment.
On the web, I try to pretend that I can speak English, and so I can, just usually not as well as I write it.

I read a history of the Mosquito just last week. It was interesting in parts, but there were a LOT of lists and graphs and I never really finished it. A work of scholarship rather than entertainment. The plane was made as outwork by little shops all over the place, even in people's front rooms. Spruce plywood, so that probably came from Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Little Robyn
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 12:57 AM

Helen, perhaps the Queenslanders picked up the eh? from the large Maori population over there, eh?
For some reason Maori people often end a sentence with eh, even when it's not a question, eh?
Sort of as if they're asking for confirmation.
Back to the original question, that's easy - Math is singular, Maths is plural!
QED!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Ken the mathmetician
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 12:11 AM

Isn't it amazing what different dialects of the same language can bring? What I find most interesting is not just individual words, but idioms and phrases within the language. What I find most amusing is when you translate a phrase verbatim from one language to another, the meaning is gibberish or insulting. It makes me wonder about some of the translation programs for computers really work in an attempt to create the ultimate Douglas Adams' babelfish.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:55 PM

Oh, indeed, Gurney. I am thankful. I was just pretending to be an ignorant, loud-mouthed Canadian lowlife of the worst sort...the kind you find in crummy bars and pool halls. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 10:03 PM

"Every state is a separate star, With a different approach to the letter R." -- Ogden Nash

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love. :||


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Gurney
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 09:48 PM

Giok, some years ago, an American mistakenly boarded an AirNZ plane at LAX hoping to go to Oakland. He arrived in Auckland somewhat confused.

A local firm here gives away prodigous amounts of advertising stickers promoting Drury Tires. It does, a little, but they sell tyres.

Minor peeves of mine are the NOT dropping the 'H', but preceeding it with 'an', as in "An horrific accident." So common that it is accepted as correct usage, nowadays. The other is the growing practice of pronouncing grown as growun. Oddly, I've never heard anyone pronounce groan that way. Perhaps because I can't remember hearing anyone actually pronounce groan, as opposed to giving one.

EVERYONE speaks English with an accent and a dialect, even Queen Liz. She, however, has a better excuse than most, having so few English ancestors.

Little Hawk, shouldn't you in your turn be thankful to De Havilland for allowing you to develop the aircraft industry that has served you so well for so long? (You can put a ring around that, mate!)


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 09:32 PM

At American universities, if one says he is taking or studying math, it is assumed that he is majoring (specializing) in mathematics.

In a pub in Scotland, as a green tourist, I couldn't find a certain street on my map. At the next table, the group was having a lively conversation in Scots; my eavesdropping yielded nothing I could understand. With misgivings, I went to the table and asked for help. I got it, couched in perfect OED English. As with Bobert here at Mudcat, some prefer to post in their regional dialect rather than the President's English.

I was introduced to the roundelay (roundabout?) in England, where I drove around one the wrong way. The rationale for these strange affairs is beyond comprehension to an American.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: pdq
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 06:32 PM

Extended listening might beg a comparison, at least to some of us.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: HuwG
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 06:23 PM

I presume her name was inflected so that nobody would suspect any kinship between the singer and the Marquis de Sade.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: pdq
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 06:08 PM

"And how does one pronounce "Sade" (the singer)?"

A friend of mine who claims to be a polyglot pronounced her name "Shar-DAY". How you get there is unclear to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GUEST,Bert
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 05:52 PM

Oh, I was just having fun. Not serious at all.

Probably the closest to a definitive English is what they call "Educated Southern English". But who cares really.

I just love regional dialects. I think the nicest sounding dialect is spoken in Herefordshire. But that's not trying to put down anyone else.

And thanks for those Mosquitoes, they were great planes.

Cheers,

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 04:37 PM

In Maine, even the dogs have a regional accent: Ba'k Ba'k Ba'k


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 04:27 PM

Like the American tourist in London who hailed a cab and asked to go to Tutenkhamun, meaning the exhibition then current in London. The taxi driver then proceeded to take him to Tooting Common.
Giok ☺


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: GLoux
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 04:09 PM

A few years ago, I was on the Metroliner from NYC to Philadelphia and was seated next to folks who were travelling to Philadelphia from Boston. One gentleman asked me if I could tell him how to get to Macket Street once they get to the station. I told him that I had never heard of Macket Street. He said that he was told that Macket Street was one of the main streets in the city. I told him I was sorry, but I honestly had no idea where Macket Street was. He said that he thought City Hall was located at Broad and Macket. Oh, you mean Market Street...we all had a good laugh at that.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 03:59 PM

The definitive form of a language is that which is spoken in the capital city.

Boise!??!?!?!??


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Subject: RE: BS: 'Math' or 'Maths'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 03:53 PM

You're a thumb-thucking, thalathious thatiryathitht!


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