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Payne
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I usually support the so-called mangling of the "Kinges Englishe" as this is how language evolves and what makes English one of the the most widley spoken languages in the world. Without evolution our language will become like French having no words for weekend, computer or entrepreneur.
However, this can also go to far as pointed out in the classic essay by Dolton Edwards Meihem In Ce Klasrum which can be found here
http://www.ecphorizer.com/Eck%20articles/meihem.html
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Sauron
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I feel somewhat guilty for typing my third post (after my introduction) on a thread which has nothing to do with magic, but the use of good grammar and spelling is something of a favourite soapbox subject.

My apologies for the unintentional alliteration.

I’m very happy to be a member of a board that discusses such things and boasts some very intelligent and thoughtful contributors. I believe this whole argument over what is or isn’t good writing is summarised most eloquently and concisely by Scott’s post:

Quote:
On 2002-06-03 18:56, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
I enjoy writing, and while I have a fairly extensive vocabulary, I try to use "plain language" unless there is a lesser-known word that more exactly conveys the meaning I am trying to achieve…

…My point (and I do have one) is that proper grammar is important, but going overboard with antiquated rules and "million dollar words" may make your meaning even more difficult to understand than someone who has relatively poor grammar. You'll just ‘sound prettier.’…

…The ideal for which I strive is to use proper grammar and exact language without letting it get in the way of successful communication.


Exactly. However, sometimes, the fulgent logodaedalist can often do you the favour of sending you to a dictionary to add some new words to your vocabulary. These new words can be dropped casually into conversations with people who will soon stop being your friends. Or they can be used on discussion forums and annoy the hell out of people who have probably already skipped onto the next post. I do like to read a (to me) new and different word occasionally, even if I’ll never, ever use it. Words like “scroddled”, “goluptious”, “beblubbered”, “obumbrate”, “spoffish”, “fantoosh”, and “nipcheese”. What fun!

As Scott suggests, there are some very outdated grammatical rules that, if adhered to, can produce awkward and stilted sentences.

For instance, the rule which states that one should never end a sentence with a preposition is only used by pedants and, as Winston Churchill said, “something up with which they will not put”.

Undue worrying about split infinitives is another pastime of those with too much time on their hands. To badly paraphrase Bill Bryson (or “to paraphrase Bill Bryson badly”, if you’re a purist), the rule of split infinitives applied to Latin, and attempting to apply it to our modern language is like trying to play football using the rules of cricket.

On a more (characteristically) unforgiving note, I agree wholeheartedly with Huw: “Text speak” IS deplorable and lazy, and those that perpetrate its reprehensible nastiness should have their fingers cut off.

To those of you with an interest in our language, I would heartily recommend four books: “The Chambers Dictionary”, Bill Bryson’s “Mother Tongue” and “Troublesome Words, and any of Peter Bowler’s “Superior Person’s” trilogy.

(Observant readers – and readers of Colin Dexter - will notice that I applaud the use of the “Oxford comma”).

Chambers is a treasure-trove of wonderfully arcane words and marvellously witty definitions. For example, “tautology” is defined as “use of words that (esp. needlessly or pointlessly) say the same thing”. And “bafflegab” (which, I humbly suggest, is a fabulous word) is expounded as “the professional logorrhea of many politicians, officials and salespeople, characterised by prolix abstract circumlocution and/or a profusion of abstruse technical terminology, used as a means of persuasion, pacification or obfuscation”. Of course. What else?

Bryson has a deep and lasting love affair with the English language and his enthusiasm is abundant in the pages of the above–mentioned books. He also puts forth a good case against those English people who constantly and misguidedly bemoan the notion that “the Americans have ruined the English language”. Did you know that “garbage” is an ancient word that would have been lost if the Americans hadn’t revived it? Bill Bryson told me that.

Language must evolve. Although, I do lament the loss of certain words because they have been hijacked. This is perpetrated mostly by the young, whose vocabulary is so limited that they have to adapt the odd words they DO know to mean something else entirely. “Wicked”, is a lovely, evocative word. Or, rather, it was. If you said it in front of most children today they would think you meant “cool” or “fantastic”; in fact, the complete opposite of its original meaning. How ridiculous! I suppose, (and this presumes that some of these urchins can read) they would think that Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is about the imminent arrival of a drug-laden benefactor. As you will, no doubt, assume, I will NEVER do magic for kids. I’d rather scrope my nadger with a grunge-futtock. (Please tell me I’m not the only person here who has heard of Rambling Sid Rumpo, even if it’s not from the original broadcasts).

Ahh. I feel much better now. If anyone is still reading this, thank you for letting me get all of it off my chest.

A couple of brief asides afore I go: Darrylthe Wizard, you have proved how much you love words by grafting the definite article onto your first name! You probably already know that you could also have described yourself as a verbalist or, indeed, a logodaedalus. How’s that for a word to impress the ladies with! “Hello, my dear,” you can purr as you smooth your eyebrows with your tongue, “I’m a logodaedalus, you know…”. They’ll be swooning at your feet. Provided they’ve quaffed about fourteen pints of tequila, that is. And I love your phrase: “barbaric joy”.

Finally, the best definition of “begs the question” I know of is “to take for granted”.

Thank you and goodnight.
Andy Leviss
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Quote:
On a more (characteristically) unforgiving note, I agree wholeheartedly with Huw: “Text speak” IS deplorable and lazy, and those that perpetrate its reprehensible nastiness should have their fingers cut off.


I'm not sure if it's a written rule or not, but a personal pet peeve of mine is the use of "that" when referring to people, when "who" would be much more suitable. That is to say, I would have written the latter part of that sentence as, "...and those who perpetrate its...." Then again, maybe that's just my personal quirk :o)

(Also note the appropriate use of a period following the points of ellipses at the end of a sentence, which many people leave off ;o)
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2002-08-02 20:40, Sauron wrote:
I believe this whole argument over what is or isn’t good writing is summarised most eloquently and concisely by Scott’s post

Thanks!

Quote:
I’d rather scrope my nadger with a grunge-futtock.
I concur.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Huw Collingbourne
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Quote:
On 2002-08-02 20:40, Sauron wrote:
Bryson has a deep and lasting love affair with the English language and his enthusiasm is abundant in the pages of the above–mentioned books. He also puts forth a good case against those English people who constantly and misguidedly bemoan the notion that “the Americans have ruined the English language”. Did you know that “garbage” is an ancient word that would have been lost if the Americans hadn’t revived it? Bill Bryson told me that.

In fact, American English has preserved many 'traditional' words, expressions and spellings which have fallen into disuse here in dear old Blighty. The past participle of "got" for example, is (bizarrely) "got" here in the UK but "gotten" in the USA. Since we say "forgotten", why not "gotten"?

Another curious "rule" of UK English is the requirement for "-ise" verb endings rather than "-ize". This is specified in the style sheets of many magazines (I know, I've written for them!) and is enormously irritating.

So, for example, you are supposed to write "standardise", "familiarise" and so on. Most editors believe these spellings to be ancient and 'correct' whereas the -ize endings are new and deplorable introductions from the USA. This is certainly not the case. Fowler's Modern English Usage contains several useful essays on the subject. In my experience this is not sufficient to convince magazine editors, however. So the "--ise" have it!

best wishes (and may your nadgers always shine and your bogle always lunge as you go about your cordwangling, my deary-oh)
Huw
Sauron
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Quote:
On 2002-08-02 22:04, Andy Leviss wrote:
I'm not sure if it's a written rule or not, but a personal pet peeve of mine is the use of "that" when referring to people, when "who" would be much more suitable. That is to say, I would have written the latter part of that sentence as, "...and those who perpetrate its...." Then again, maybe that's just my personal quirk :o)


I think you are right, Andy; it's not a personal quirk but my faux pas. I should have written: "...the perpetrators of..."!

I'm glad you agree with the post ellipses period. I like your alliterative "personal pet peeve", too.

Scott, you're most welcome. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who would rather werdle my cordwangle than entertain children. Just typing it makes me shudder.
Dolini
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Well I just finished reading the previous 4 pages. Here is my two (or is it too) cents worth.

1. Writing is communication. If you can not convey your thoughts then you have not accomplished your objective.
2. If you communicate sounding like you swallowed a dictionary will the reader understand what you say? If you write so poorly that no one understands what you write are you communicating? The question is are you communicating to your audience?
3. Some people who do not write effectively (or is it affectively) but often convey in their (or is it there) style profound thoughts. Winston Churchill had to have his wife read to him because he could not read well. Writing was also a problem.
4. Do we judge a man's intelligence on spelling and grammar?
5. Should those who write grammatically correct continue to do so? I think so. It gives me a good example to follow. Reading correct grammar improves your own.
I leave you with this " do not judge a book by its cover and do not judge a writer by his writing." But if you can't write learn how because we want to understand what you write.

Dolini Smile

PS - I ran this note through spell check before I posted it and I had 4 errors. Now the only thing I have to worry about is grammar.
John O'Shea Dolan
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