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Discussion in 'English' started by inky, May 10, 2002.

  1. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Yes, I thought it was a quaint one. Liked it.
    Bit like "Star Trek" with its "helm" and its "Bones" and its "captain's log", which in itself goes back to pieces of wood.
  2. I wonder what 'pedants anonymous' think about the new primary SATs grammar tests? How many of your colleagues in the English department could do the 'level 6' grammar test aimed at clever 11-year-old children? H-ha!

  3. I am not qualified to comment on "a 'level 6' grammar test aimed at clever 11-year-old children"; however, I was one of the early "Pedants Anonymous" and I look forward to hearing the rest of them in that thread who are still here do exactly that - starting with, of course, Inky.
    What have I been up to in the interim?
    A propos the topic of grammar, I have just published my 2012 revision of J.M.D. Meiklejohn's "A Grammar and History of The English Language" (1886)
    With best wishes for a Happy Christmas to all in the T.E.S. English thread!
    - "Ikabod" (with an extra "k", as I had to re-register here)

  4. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I can't quite see how handwriting fits in here.
  5. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I don't want to appear awkward or facetious but what would happen to a child who scored really well on grammar and punctuation but was quadraplegic or who had lost an arm so had to use a scribe?
  6. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    <u>What</u> sort of grammar tests?
    Have to say, as a pedant, SATs are tests for university entrance. UK children's national curriculum tests have never been s-anything a-anything t-anythings. Total myth.
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I thought they'd sorted that one, Markuss, though I don't have the foggiest how.
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Hello pedants, and a happy new year to you all.
    Can somebody explain why we <strike>all</strike> say 'aren't I?' rather than 'am I not?'
    I'm sure there are people who would die rather than say aren't I.
    Yes, dear markuss, I'm looking at you for a crisply-worded explanation.
  9. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Happy New Year, inx.
    In some regional dialects, you do hear "amn't I", which you might think is a clearer contraction than "aren't" (which also goes with "you", "we" and "they" but "aren't" has only two syllables instead of three. Hence it's popularity (I guess!)
  10. Markuss!
    Happy New Year, anyway.
  11. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Thanks. Happy new Year.
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter


    Did that need a capital h? It didn't come at the start of a sentence but I added an exclamation mark after it, so does that make it somehow unbalanced?
    Markuss, I guess you're right... ish.
  13. This complaint may be just a sign of my age.
    I have suddenly begun to notice a few particular adjectival misuses. For instance, there was a time when a temperature could be high or low; now it seems invariably to be hot or cold. This can be heard on the lips and seen in the writings of the supposedly well educated, never mind the persons advising us on weather prospects.
    Just a bit more chipping away of the integrity of our language, I suppose.
  14. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Dog goes into local newspaper offices to place a sales ad.

    Man behind counter: Do you want it in English or in Dog?

    Dog: Well, I'm selling my collection of bones. So it'd better be in Dog.

    Man: OK. What do you want to put?

    Dog: Woofwoofwoof woof woof woofwoof woofwoof woof.

    Man: That'll cost you £10. That's our minimum charge. You could have another "woof" at no extra cost. Shall I put another one at the end?

    Dog: But that wouldn't be grammatical.
  15. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Very Chomsky-ish, Markuss! I like it :)
  16. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Ah! Thanks. I once actually attended a N Chomsky lecture on grammar when the great man was in London. Took very few notes. Hardly understood a word of it!
  17. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    This is true. A lovely slip of the tongue.

    I was to play bridge with a regular partner yesterday - but he was ill. A woman's partner also ill - so we teamed up, me and her. I asked her what system she liked to play.

    "Oh, I just do standard Acol," she replied, "But with a few..."

    Now, she meant to say "tweaks", I think, but the word "quirks" was also in her head, I guess.

    This is a very proper, elderly lady I'm on about. So, it was funny when she said not "tweaks" or "quirks" but a blend of the two!
  18. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    My name is markuss.

    I am a pedant.

    Just got to wondering about Justin Bieber's command of English (as you do, pedantically).

    When he goes on (and on and on and one) about "one less lonely girl" (or whatever) is he really on about one girl (or whatever) who is now not so lonely

    OR does he really mean to say/sing "one girl (or whatever) FEWER?

    The lyrics of his song are not that clear. Not clear at all.

    I really feel sorry, pedantically speaking, for the word "fewer". It's being neglected, sadly, shamefully, almost.

    Know what I mean, inx?
  19. CaptGrimesRetd

    CaptGrimesRetd Occasional commenter

    I'm not able to comment on Mr Bieber but I have never quite forgiven the Rolling Stones for "Hey, you, get off of my cloud". All these years later it still grates.
  20. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    Always thought it was "off" plus schwa in order to make the line scan!

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