Flame of the week?
Much too well constructed and lacking the raging, slavering uncontrollable USE of RANDOM capital letters and an excessive provision of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6/10 - See me.
Have you ever uttered the sound "erm" while speaking? More to the point, have you ever erm'd when answering politicians' questions during a scrutiny panel session? If you have, says one Reg commentard, you are bastardising the English language. Oh yes. Turn your eyes, dear reader, to our writeup of the London Assembly's …
" those with which I believe a one Alistair Dabbs dabbles (SWIDT?) with"
If only you had left off the last "with", you would have crafted a sentence of excellent structure. (Well, that and the errant "a" between "believe" and "one Alistair Dabbs" )
I have to agree though, FoTW can provide some wonderful entertainment.
[edited to remove the suggestion you still had time to edit your post as that time has now expired]
Aye! To olde English thee must be true. To live, and breathe, and grow? Not us. We must, in time, be stricken as if in stone. I wager we would all be the poor, should our language change and we lose the meaning of things. Describe the new fangled? Never! That which is unfamiliar, should stay as the devil on the shore; an un-named mist, for it is not of our own loins.
ie. Ask Norman where, in the time line of the English Language, he would prefer us to weigh anchor. And then poke fun at him for such a suggestion.
Ask Norman where, in the time line of the English Language, he would prefer us to weigh anchor.
@msknight: I agree utterly with the sentiment of your post, but I'm bound to point out that to "weigh anchor" is to raise the anchor from the sea bed and, by implication, sail away. I think "drop anchor", or just "anchor" would make more sense in the context.
I believe "thee" is correct as I was using it - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thee - but I'm not an expert.
MW says, correctly of course, that it's the objective form. You were using it as the subject. When I grew up in Yorkshire second person singular was still in current use by older gernerations so, give or take the dialect pronunciation, it's second nature.
I, for one, am glad that Norman is undertaking efforts that put him in a similar light as the Académie française rather than putting his copious free time to use in some field that might hinder progress to have some stuck-up traditionalist clinging to the arbitrary rulebooks provided. He doesn't work in the public sector, does he?
In the case of our wondrous mongrel tounge, the rulebooks were generally dreamed up in the 18th and 19th centuries by prescriptivist linguists who appear to have had very little basis for most of the rules they created and whose main objective appears to have been getting the English language to be neat and tidy rather than the ability to express ideas and have conversations.
"[...] whose main objective appears to have been getting the English language to be neat and tidy rather than the ability to express ideas and have conversations.
IIRC There was another tidy up much earlier. Someone decided that as there were the words "would" and "should" - then the perfectly correct "coud" should match them by changing to "could".
When I was in college we had a professor whom we taped weekly for a radio show. His speech was littered with "ums", and "ah"s and if we had time we would edit these out of the tape (with real scissors!). Someone spliced all of these tape fragments together and it sounded like someone with something to say but couldn't get it out.
Old English might get us in trouble.
"Bird" meaning woman ( really "byrd", I believe ) is a Viking ( and therefore at some point in history, an English ) word.
I also believe Norman would moan at my northern use of 'ta', from the Danish (and therefore English) "tak".
The language of the Vikings was not Old English. It was Old Norse. The word for woman in ON is kvennalið.
The word for "woman" in OE is frōwe (see: germanic frau).
Both languages have other words and variations for the word woman depending on context. None of them are, or resemble, bird I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to discover them on your own.
My BigDic says that (paraphrasing to avoid the OED's predatory lawyers) ta is the baby-talk version of "thanks" because babies have issues with th and nks. First appeared in print in 1772. And so I learn something I never knew, despite being a Yank who uses the word daily. Ta, disgusted! This round's on me :-)
Maybe in the soft southern jessie pronunciation.
Oop North we use the one wi' the line on top! Mind you, we don't get to say it much, on account o' not 'avin' knobs when we were kids. Any we saw were left over from t'un invasions an' were corroded all ter 'eck.
If a human had produced the transcription of the statement, they may well have missed out the "erm", or possibly qualified it with some descriptive text.
But when you get a machine performing the transcription, all of these little hesitations, repetitions and deviations are reproduced verbatim.
Sounds like Norman is a fan of "Just a Minute"!
Not so. If you have ever read Hansard, the official publication of Parliamentary business, every "Oh" "erm" "like", "But" etc. is faithfully recorded. In the days before Hansard was published electronically (mid 1980s) I was part of a group of Department of Transport officials being interrogated by a House of Lords Scrutiny Committee. As we were getting up to leave at the end of the session one of their Lordships fired a late question that was directed to me. I wasn't expecting it and my response of "..er um, I think Belgium does it" was duly recorded in the Parliamentary archives.
If a human had produced the transcription of the statement, they may well have missed out the "erm", or possibly qualified it with some descriptive text.
They may include it, particularly if they want the person quoted to appear hesitant or confused. There are a number of utterances that are words in English, "um" appears in the OED, but "erm" does not, and maybe this is what raised our hyper-pedant's ire. Though by the time Wittegenstein appeared I was beginning to suspect Norman would need surgical help to remove his tongue from his cheek. "Erm" is definitely a sound that someone might make though, distinct from "um", it's a stylistic choice whether you write it phonetically or use a more formal 'real' word like "uh" or "um" to indicate the hesitation.
I don't find your argument compelling, I ain't Spartacus.
My own experience is that the scouse pronunciation is closer to dare-em-air (rendered phonetically since I can't be arsed to learn the IPA symbols for scouse nor import the font into my computer).
I think of my university pal Will when I hear a Liverpudlian voice these days. Last time I saw him was when St Etienne lost vs Liverpool in '77. Noisy night in the pool that day, and in the van driving back to UEA.
Will, hope yer well.
AT LEAST IT'S SHORT! I had an African national professor for Organic Chem II. Great guy and excellent English with a charming accent. However, he ended most sentences with "does that make sense." I deliberately dropped the question mark, he said it as a placeholder and without a questioning inflection most times. I started making hash marks every time he did it one day and noted 30 repetitions in 45 minutes. Apparently someone talked to him about it, because one day he started visibly trying to not say it to end sentences, grinning at himself when he slipped. Like I said, great guy and I actually passed that beast of a class.
Yep, another typical irrelevant anecdote. I gotta have a purpose.
I don't believe so. All those "ised/ized" words seem to be equally correct either way. As I understand it the "z" spellings are the original, which changed in proper English after the US had been coloni
zsed - and thus they didn't get the memo on the new way of doing things. If you check your OED - both are still listed as correct.
... here in the US, we still spell them correctly. You lot bastardized them.
Whilst this may be historically accurate, in that the US retained one variant spelling, whilst the UK retained the other, back at a time when either was probably considered to be perfectly acceptable, would you care to explain, on behalf of your fellow Left-Pondians, why you decided to start arbitrarily dropping letters from words like colour, labour, etc.?
I have heard (and I'm not sure how much truth there is to this, or whether it is apocryphal), that this was done to save money on newspaper adverts, when they were paid for by the letter, and free newspapers being one of the few printed things that many Americans were able to get hold of at the time, these spellings became common usage as a result.
Frankly, as a student of and lover of the English language, I personally don't give a shit about "correctness" of a given spelling outside the classroom. It's all shades of gr[e|a]y, innit. As long as you clearly get your point across, what difference does it make, outside of trying to one-up somebody who lives outside your country? And how sad is that, when you think about it. Shirley we all have more important things to argue about?
Doesn't mean I'm above needling people about minor nits, though ... but in my defen[s|c]e, it's almost always in jest ... and who amongst us doesn't have a pet peeve or seven?
That said, the Yank variants color, favor, flavor (center, defense, traveler etc.) can be laid squarely on the head of one Noah Webster. He figured that it would be easier when teaching kids to spell. Hogwash, I calls it ... but it's far too late for anybody to change things now. Language mutates, especially during a mass migration. It's not right, nor is it wrong. It just is.
The way I figure it, "When in Rome ..." applies.
Well, OK. The OED has both the "ised" and "ized" spellings of many words listed. Which means either are correct spellings. Which you pick is a matter for a style guide obviously - but the dictionary is saying either is acceptable. Whereas it doesn't list yzed for the same words - meaning that would be incorrect.
Then what on Earth is he doing on the Internet ?
Go back to reading Shakespeare, my good fellow. Oh, and don't forget to put wax in your ears when school kids are walking by, you'll sleep better.
The only language that doesn't change is Latin. Hint : it's because it's dead.
Oh, that's funny! At school we had to deal with THREE different pronunciations!
We had what might be described as "traditional anglicized" (basically, the Latin used in the law and so on), we had a new-fangled academic pronunciation (from ivory tower boffins trying to be faithful to what Romans might have said, as if anyone cares because they're all dead now, but still...) and we had a local variant that we used once a week that was more closely aligned with medieval church Latin as mucked about by generations of reluctant scholars (in which, for example, the word "nostris" was pronounced "noss-trees").
Latin doesn't change? Hah!
"The only language that doesn't change is Latin. Hint : it's because it's dead."
IIRC there is still some disagreement about how to pronounce Latin. The Latin of the Church has been influenced by Italian.
People express opinions about language. Get used to that.
For what it's worth, the OED doesn't seem to have anything to say about "erm" (unless it's masked, somehow, by ERM = Exchange Rate Mechanism), though it does have "hem" going back to 1525 and "um" going back to 1672, one of which, at least, is probably related. The spelling "erm" suggests to me that the R is not pronounced, which is a relatively modern phenomenon.
Nope. How about "if you often need to lay down a bit to rest while thinking, at least get used to not polluting the airwaves while you do. It's an exceedingly poorly veiled attempt to pretend that you're still talking and to prevent anyone else actually capable of thinking and talking at the same time to do so in your miserably pathetic stead)".
"The spelling "erm" suggests to me that the R is not pronounced, [...]"
In my English background "erm" has the R pronounced. It lengthens the sound and usually suggests some cogitation on the part of the speaker before they make a statement. The "um" and "hem" are short sounds that do not give the same impression of a deep or lateral thought.
As a foreign speaker of English I immediately wondered if the esteemed writer should not have put the "you know" in quotes to identify it as such, you know? It's that customary in Good English?
I must admit I have never heard any mode of English referred to as "Good" - I've heard "The Queen's English" which I assume is the mouth-full-of-potato variant, or "BBC English" which is the well enunciated variant you can hear on BBC if they're not trying to be regional.
Thanks for the laugh, and it's only Wednesday. I'm still grinning :).
old Japanese man ranting about the national public broadcaster (NHK, like BBC) over loan-words entering the language. I did read an article pointing out some good arguments, such as that many of the "native" words he suggested are in fact imports from China, but I can't find it again.
The correct usage is "em".
"Erm" is used by people with the RP speech problem. Even HM the Queen has largely got over that one. I think it was most widespread in the remote south east of the country - perhaps south of Cambridge and west of Oxford.
If you hear someone saying erm, see if you can notice other mispronunciations. My favourite is their habit of making so many of their vowels the same as in "her".
" I think it was most widespread in the remote south east of the country - [...]"
Standard pronunciation of "erm" in my northern working class childhood. The R lengthens the sound to indicate the speaker is cogitating before making a chosen statement about something.
Our 1960s secondary school English teacher had two language triggers. A kindness on his part was in trying to eradicate our local pronunciation of short vowels and some overstressed endings.
His real hatred was reserved for Americanisms. You learned to duck if one of the latter inadvertently escaped your lips. Even at a reunion 45 years later - old boys were careful to say "round" rather than "around".
Perhaps Mr. Clark had in mind Philosophical Investigations, no. 464:
"My aim is to teach you to pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense."
Now, I should not have thought that El Reg needed any help at all with patent nonsense; but Mr. Clark may have some right to consider himself as better at it.
"Nothing particularly ungrammatical about that sentence."
Sentence fragment? Perhaps. I disagree, however; there is an implied "There is" in front, which you've merely left off as redundant. Of course, I just did the same thing.
I'm not actually an expert, so I reserve the right to be wrong.
Meantime, I believe your flamelord's example of "you know" should properly been put in quotes, like I did here.
Had a manager who would pad their sentences with "obviously", with the implication that if you didnt understand or agree with what they were saying - you - were stupid. As they were high up in the food chain the habit pervaded the supervisory class.
It's just a fancier way of saying "ya know..", and like all forms of baseless endorsement and excessive reinforcement, it makes me doubt they actually know what they are talking about.
A flame of a week has random capitalization, plenty of expletives or shift-key substitutes, and makes it difficult to tell if it was written by a sentient being or something that wouldn't even pass for AI to whoever created the AManFromMars1 AI.
A good flame leaves you imagining the thick pool of saliva that must have been left on the sender's keyboard after "submit" was clicked.
It's new and has a department. It fits anywhere, particularly in the pause whilst I'm waiting. It's also become a thing in other situations, discussed on the radio, TV broadcast, in newspapers, at the bank, top of the charts and first in school. On the end of a cheque or in the tips jar. Mark my words. #cognitivevelocity
Balls, youth calling. TLDR and didn't listen as it wasn't a tweet. I'll have you on Wittgenstein,
I think its something to do with German language structure on English plus if you fiddle with the nuance in the translations, you can sort of see what he was getting at.
The problem is no-one has clue what you're on about half-time. #newlist #MCBigPopper
I've never heard anyone, English, American, or otherwise, say "erm". It would sound so bizarre to hear it.
It's the "r". People say "um" or "uh" or "ugh". Another commenter suggested it's meant to indicate a lengthening of the vowel - but that's better done by writing it as "uhm" or "umm" or even "uhmm".
I know in non-rhotic pronunciations an "r" preceding a consonant works to alter a vowel rather than making a true "r" sound on its own, but applying this to "erm" feels severely wrong, because if it is truly a word, then you'd expect Americans to pronounce it exactly like that - with a full "r" sound in the middle. But nobody does that, except in parody (see Mayor Quimby, or the ghost of Kennedy in the Simpsons.)
So the word is "uhm", or "ehm", and you can throw in a few extra "h" if you must, but it's not "erm". I'd slap anyone who actually says "erm".
I see your post as a solicitation for a job at some National Language Purity Ministry somewhere. Good luck wid' dat! That last such place I heard of like that was in Nazi Germany, and we all know how well that turned out. Oh, I forgot...there's always L'Académie française...but then you'd have to learn French, an endeavor that probably wouldn't fit your proclivities. So I guess you're shit out of luck, then.
'Erm', 'like', 'sort of', 'yerno' and several partners are usually introduced when the brain has run a bit behind the delivery - they're essentially fillers to avoid a pause that might cause an interlocutor to think one had finished speaking. The primary cause of their increasing prevalence is the cultural demand for immediate response without preparation, resulting in the need to formulate the idea while it's being expounded.
I've known of a few excellent lucid speakers who, when asked a question, habitually paused perceptibly to formulate their response before speaking.
As one who speaks quiet often in public, I've developed a technique for eliminating these interjections from one's delivery - record yourself live. When you play the recording back, every time you hear one of them, repeat it aloud immediately. Eventually, you'll condition yourself to pre-empt them mentally.
Linguists have proven that terms such "erm", "ugh" and a few others are common to all languages -- speakers employ them while putting together sentences in "real time". They have no particular meaning, they are "placeholders" in conversation.
The suggestion to stick to old English is interesting. That has not been the common form of English for several centuries. Does he actually read and speak old English? He seems to write Modern English fairly well.
I have three main pet hates in the english language - 'got', 'of', and 'di-sect'.
'Got' is a weed, which worms its way into the cracks in the language. The only valid use of 'got' is as past tense of 'to get'. It has for a very long time become an indication of necessity, as in "I have got to go to the bank". Leaving out 'got' results in "I have to go to the bank", which means exactly the same as the previous attempt. If more urgency is required, try "I must go to the bank".
I blame the Specsavers advertising campaign for the corruption of 'should have' to 'should've', which by back formation has become 'should of'. Several younger members of my family, plus assorted uneducated friends, use 'of' in place of 'have' at all opportunities - 'could of', 'should of', 'would of', 'might of', etc. etc., ad nauseam. I became so incensed some time ago that I even wrote to Specsavers to ask them to desist and have their adverts rerecorded using the proper term 'should have'. They declined for some inexplicable reason.
Where did that abomination 'di-sect' come from? The word is 'dissect', with two esses. Other double ess words do not appear to have been similarly bastardised - dissociate, dissemble, dissent, etc., so why has dissect been selected for this treatment? Many a TV police drama series has been ruined by the Medical Examiner (Yes, you, Ducky) saying that he was going to 'di-sect' the body that has been placed on his table. GRRRRRR!!!!!!
But my overwhelming all time hate is the use of the term 'Engineer' to describe a technician, who definitely does not have the qualifications to use that moniker. The latest offering from British Gas (ptooi!) says that they have 6000 'Engineers' waiting to service your gas appliance. NO they haven't. They may well have 6000 trained gas fitters, but not one of them has a BSc., BA., or other higher education qualification. I am afraid that an NVQ in Gas Fitting does not qualify them to call themselves 'Engineers' Honestly, the country is going to the dogs.
I'm sorry, Jake, but you are wrong. The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'got' as 'the past participle of to get', and no other definition. Admittedly, some more modern dictionaries list it as 'indicating the imperative', but the OED is the definitive source of the English Language, and as such takes precedence.
Are you Norman?
Perhaps you are simply simply projecting Norman's Saxon snobbery, but here in the Colonies at least, dī-ˈsekt is the preferred pronunciation of the word 'dissect' (See for yourself, you can actually push the button and hear it spoken with a perfectly loverly Midwest American accent.)
My BigDic, under "have", states Have and have got: there is a great deal of debate on the difference between these two forms; a traditional view is that have got is chiefly British and then goes on to state that "have got" isn't used in formal writing, implying that it's perfectly acceptable for informal use.
 OED2, dead tree version. Yes, all 20 volumes + supplements. Wedding present from my in-laws. I have got to remember to thank them again ...
I was going to take you to task over using arrogate instead of abrogate but decided to double check myself. It turns out they are both words and you used arrogate quite correctly - I must have learned both meanings assuming they referred to the same word.
So the ESN guy abrogated (repealed, annulled, cancelled)the original shutdown timescale, or would have if it had been part of a formal treaty or the like rather than the vague hope we all knew it was. And then you wisely avoided arrogating (laying claim without justification) a lack of knowledge to him.
Nicely done. I've been told.
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