Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:52 am Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:23 am Post
...because that`s a perfect description of me (albeit, put far more eloquently than I ever could).Juddbert wrote:It's all getting too much. Looking back on my school days, I do recall having a genuine interest in words and how best to construct them in order to communicate clearly; though I doubt I'd have defined my interest in those terms at the time. At secondary school, while English Literature and English Grammar were still two separate subjects, they weren't given the priority of, say, Maths or Physics. To have made the most of my interest, to have nurtured it, I really needed a grammar school but my Eleven-plus exam failure effectively put an end to that avenue of possibility and consigned me to a secondary, and indeed second-rate, education. It's true I could have taken steps to remedy that situation but I was, as I now realise, a grazer, one of the crowd, a lemming. So I did nothing and my interest waned. I did nothing and my capacity to record structured, organised and concise thought slowing diminished. I did nothing and so let a precious, precious gift slip from my grasp. I did nothing, and one of the few latin expressions I know now seems eminently appropriate: Mea Culpa.
But all these years on I'm surprised to find my interest rekindled. I want to write, actually feel a compulsion to write, though I now realise that the act of constructing a simple sentence that makes clear sense is far from a simple matter. It takes effort, scrutiny and purpose. And there are rules – rules to be observed. Rules to be either followed or broken, but only within a deliberate framework – that's another rule then
Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:57 pm Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:30 pm Post
Juddbert wrote:I love English, but it's the English of my country. I love the way it constantly adapts and evolves, I love it's vibrancy. I'm happy to see new words, new meanings and, yes, new spellings evolve. What I don't want is a host of vapid americanisms foisted on me as a perpetual default by arrogant ill-informed dictionaries and spell checkers.
How would YOU react to having color corrected to colour, labor to labour, realize to realise, etcetera etcetera, ad nauseum? It's true that many well constructed programmes have excellent country-specific versions or 'localisations', sorry – 'localizations', but many more don't, and I find that an appalling omission given how far the rest of computing technology has advanced over, say, the last fifteen years.
Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:03 pm Post
xiamenese wrote: Interestingly, the prime mover was an American scientist, who said that, the first time he went to the UK as a visiting scholar, he was astonished and impressed by how much richer the language of his British counterparts was in terms of vocabulary, structure and range of expression.
That said, he later went on to tell me that I should modify and simplify my English and speak slowly and carefully like American teachers do, so that it would be easy for my students to understand what I say.
The Canadian said that at high school he had always been given very good marks for his written English, but that he went to university in the States and there he had always been marked down for writing over-complex sentences and using too wide a vocabulary. At this another American pointed out that academia in the US has basically settled for a linguistic competence fixed at that of the average 13 year-old.
Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:09 pm Post
druid wrote:...but you Brits also can't build decent toilets or stoves, so why quibble?
As for vapid, just visit an American slang dictionary if you want to see a truly vigorous, vibrant, energetic language. An example: "You've dribbled a bibful, baby." Or, in my neck of NJ, "Jeat jet?" for "Did you eat yet?" And then we have the colorful language of Merlin (Maryland). So, I'm not sure who's ill-informed here, but it's not the dictionaries or spell checkers. See System Preferences if you want to choose British English, or several other varieties.
It's pitiful that you Limeys always bring up the "colour" fetish as something sacredly British. Know who gave you that? The Normans, those frogs who whipped your sorry butts and killed off Old English. The spelling differences you cite do not affect pronunciation, and some (programmes) are silly (we make fun of it as "pro-grammys"). Again, if you don't like those red lines, go to System Preferences: Text: Spelling and adjust...
...(I think the monarchy is an archaic absurdity, but then so is our Electoral College.) I'm sorry that you think American English is some kind of hideous fascistic conspiracy, but I suggest that you check out System Preferences and change them, in order to revel in the impurities of your native tongue.
First, let me point out that your English ain't so hot. "I love it's vibrancy." You mean the possessive (its), not a contraction (it's = it is).
Sorry to be a vapid American (cap-A), but correctness counts. Basically, you are defending parochialism, the English you learned.
xiamenese wrote: At this another American pointed out that academia in the US has basically settled for a linguistic competence fixed at that of the average 13 year-old.
Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:34 pm Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:08 pm Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:50 pm Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:54 pm Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm Post
Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:52 pm Post
Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:21 am Post
Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:50 am Post
Juddbert wrote:Incidentally, my rant was partly induced by the fact choosing British English in System Preferences DOESN'T deliver the expected result.
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