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Grammar Pet Peeves

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  • JukilianJukilian Member Posts: 1,579 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 2016
    Oh yeah, there is definately alot of those persons.
    Rohai
  • JubalJubal Member Posts: 8
    Taeltwo said:

    I'm pretty unbothered by people's grammar choices, which I guess comes with the territory for linguistics. Spelling errors don't bother me much either.
    If you're going to throw around the Linguistics badge, then I'll point out that I, too, have a master's in linguistics.

    Taeltwo said:

    It has never been the case that fewer was only used with countables in English. Things haven't changed. People aren't getting sloppy. It's just a completely fabricated "rule". In fact, we know the precise origination of this particular prescription: Baker 1770. It's never had any basis beyond the fact that a singular guy in 1770 thought people should use the word that way.

    There are attestations of King Alfred using less for countables in 888.

    This is exactly the sort of thing that bothers me.
    That is a strictly descriptivist perspective. Sure, the rule was invented, but so were a very many prescriptive spelling and grammar rules at some time or another. It's a little disingenuous to suggest that the rule was "completely fabricated", as if it were substantially different than other prescriptive rules. Historically, linguists and lexicologists created rules to bring order to our beautifully diverse and evolving language. More than that, this particular rule did become accepted as standard according to the major style manuals, and it is what we were taught in grammar school. It is not accurate to say that things haven't changed. They did, in fact, change (albeit prescriptively) after the rule became standard. And I would argue that now it's finally returning full circle because there has been a noticeable decrease in the use of "fewer" during my lifetime, particularly in print and media.

    I am not a prescriptivist by any stretch, but I can still have grammar pet peeves. Why? Because any pet peeve is irrational. And complaining about people's pet peeves is equally irrational. :)
    RohaiHurai
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited February 2016
    I only wished to highlight that the peeve doesn't have a linguistic basis. It definitely doesn't "bring order" to the language. No one is confused when they hear less used with countables, nor have they been for the thousands of years it's been unproblematically used that way. And I wouldn't call Robert Baker a linguist - he was a self-styled grammarian writing what was essentially a style guide.

    Like all linguistic prescription, it has a socioeconomic purpose, not a linguistic one.

    What bugs me isn't prescription (which, as you point out, would be irrational), it's the attempts at linguistic justification of prescription - ideas like the use of less with countables being a new phenomenon indicating some sort of decline in language-users' dedication to "clarity" or some equally vague nonsense. I guess that's not what you intended and you make a fair point about the prescription fading (which it probably is). I probably shouldn't have assumed you were making the typical argument about how people have gotten sloppy and language use is going downhill and people aren't paying attention to a previously important distinction, etc.
  • KyrraKyrra Sanctum of the SkyMember Posts: 4,831 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Former and latter.
    (D.M.A.): Cooper says, "Kyrra is either the most innocent person in the world, or the girl who uses the most innuendo seemingly unintentionally but really on purpose."

  • RispokRispok Member Posts: 709 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    This thread was more fun when we were making errors in purpose.
    JubalAhmetHyperlith
  • JubalJubal Member Posts: 8
    Taeltwo said:

    But the main point is that, like all linguistic prescription, it has a socioeconomic purpose, not a linguistic one.
    I appreciate the explanation. I'm not too familiar with the notion of a socioeconomic purpose behind prescription. Could you elaborate a little? Is it simply that someone wants to make a style guide and sell the book, or is there more to it?
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    I feel like we should talk in PMs instead of continuing to derail this.
    Jubal
  • TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,724 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    If you think there's an "a" in "definitely", then you're definitely an a-hole.

    Rodhel
  • JonathinJonathin Grand Rapids, MIMember Posts: 3,323 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    lol idgaf how you say what you want to say as long as it gets the point across.

    My site will remain up, but will not be maintained. The repository will continue to have scripts added to it if I decide to play another game. Maybe I'll see you around in Starmourn!
    Tutorials and scripts  The Repository

    TaeltwoIsmayHurai
  • RangorRangor Member Posts: 3,205 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I write bad grammars too troll people on purpose.
    image
  • KlendathuKlendathu Eye of the StormMember Posts: 3,178 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Kiet said:
    Rangor said:
    I write bad grammars too troll people on purpose.
    You been trolling us all by misspelling Ranger for like 15 years now
    Wronger

    Tharos, the Announcer of Delos shouts, "It's near the end of the egghunt and I still haven't figured out how to pronounce Clean-dat-hoo."
  • AntoniusAntonius Member Posts: 4,807 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Skye: I'm not sure if that's supporting or condemning his point of view, since Stannis was kind of an insufferable dick.
    Taeltwo
  • SkyeSkye The Duchess BellatereMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 2,917 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I like to keep things ambiguous. :pleased: 


    Hyperlith
  • KryptonKrypton shi-KhurenaMember Posts: 2,377 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Taeltwo said:
    I'm a lot less bothered by things like people using literally as an intensifier than I am by people complaining about people using literally as an intensifier*.

    *It's had an intensifier usage (exactly parallel to really and truly, which gained intensifier usages at the same time) for more than three centuries and no one ever pretended it was confusing until about twenty years ago.
    All the major dictionaries added the use of "literally" as an intensifier to its official definition, in 2013, if I recall.

    yass queen, preach
    kween*
    (Mhaldor): Herenicus says, "Apologies, I am in-and-out of hold with Verizon wireless customer service."
  • JubalJubal Member Posts: 8
    Antonius said:
    @Skye: I'm not sure if that's supporting or condemning his point of view, since Stannis was kind of an insufferable dick.
    I assume neither.. she was just having fun. :)
    Skye
  • TaeltwoTaeltwo Member Posts: 55 ✭✭ - Stalwart
    edited February 2016
    Krypton said:
    Taeltwo said:
    I'm a lot less bothered by things like people using literally as an intensifier than I am by people complaining about people using literally as an intensifier*.

    *It's had an intensifier usage (exactly parallel to really and truly, which gained intensifier usages at the same time) for more than three centuries and no one ever pretended it was confusing until about twenty years ago.
    All the major dictionaries added the use of "literally" as an intensifier to its official definition, in 2013, if I recall.
    It was already in many of them - three hundred years is a lot of time to add it.

    Still, you'd think the last few adding it would have helped. In my experience, it hasn't. All of the self-styled arbiters of usage have just decided that dictionaries are bad and wrong.

    Which is at least something. Most dictionaries are pretty questionable as reference works in a lot of ways and maybe it means that the future holds fewer arguments about words "not being words" because they aren't in dictionaries (just like how a map that misses a mountain means the mountain doesn't exist).
    Sena
  • IsmayIsmay Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Haha, even as a native English speaker this thread makes me hesitate to talk to anyone.
    Mononokey
  • KlendathuKlendathu Eye of the StormMember Posts: 3,178 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    You missed a comma, Ismay. "Even as a native English speaker, this thread.." ;)

    Tharos, the Announcer of Delos shouts, "It's near the end of the egghunt and I still haven't figured out how to pronounce Clean-dat-hoo."
    IsmayMononokeyShirszae
  • JukilianJukilian Member Posts: 1,579 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 2016
    Mononokey said:
    As a non-native English speaker, this thread is scary.

    (now everything I type seems wrong)
    Nah, you've been doing well!
    Mononokey
  • KryptonKrypton shi-KhurenaMember Posts: 2,377 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Klendathu said:
    You missed a comma, Ismay. "Even as a native English speaker, this thread.." ;)
    A piddling error, compared to the dangling modifier!

    The sentence structure implies "this thread" is "a native English speaker," instead of "l (me)."
    (Mhaldor): Herenicus says, "Apologies, I am in-and-out of hold with Verizon wireless customer service."
  • KryptonKrypton shi-KhurenaMember Posts: 2,377 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    But do not be dismayed!

    We might get a U.S. President who doesn't even know what adjectives are!


    (Mhaldor): Herenicus says, "Apologies, I am in-and-out of hold with Verizon wireless customer service."
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,010 @@ - Legendary Achaean
          
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
    Blujixapug
  • VesimusVesimus Member Posts: 2
    Taraus said:
    The variety of ways people will misspell the word 'definitely'.

    And boy, are there alot.
    Definately one of mine as well ;)

    I will tear you heart to pieces. And when it heals, I will tear it again. And again. And again. That is your punishment.

  • IsmayIsmay Member Posts: 648 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I be ashamed+(
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