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(Some Guy)   102 year old challenges the English language in a creative manner   (blameitonthevoices.com) divider line 44
    More: Misc, English language  
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3616 clicks; posted to Video » on 07 Oct 2012 at 6:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-07 02:35:46 PM
 
2012-10-07 02:49:52 PM
English is a particularly hard language to learn, because of its own internal idiosyncrasies in spelling. It has these, because, despite being at heart a Germanic language, has strapped on Latinate influences, adopted odd rashings of Welsh, Gaelic and the native languages of the British Isles, and as a trade tongue, it is amazingly flexible in absorbing words. Its spelling conventions are often chaotic and even capricious, because of so many languages being distilled into one. English is amazing in its ability to just absorb words and even whole phrasings into itself, and when it does so, it usually brings in the original spelling conventions that went with it. What's fun, is when it absorbs words from languages that don't share its alphabet, and imposes its own conventions upon those foreign words.
 
2012-10-07 03:27:55 PM

hubiestubert: English is a particularly hard language to learn, because of its own internal idiosyncrasies in spelling. It has these, because, despite being at heart a Germanic language, has strapped on Latinate influences, adopted odd rashings of Welsh, Gaelic and the native languages of the British Isles, and as a trade tongue, it is amazingly flexible in absorbing words. Its spelling conventions are often chaotic and even capricious, because of so many languages being distilled into one. English is amazing in its ability to just absorb words and even whole phrasings into itself, and when it does so, it usually brings in the original spelling conventions that went with it. What's fun, is when it absorbs words from languages that don't share its alphabet, and imposes its own conventions upon those foreign words.


I think my brane gust pharted.... :-(
 
2012-10-07 06:41:53 PM
I approve.

Mowr like this.
 
2012-10-07 07:03:43 PM

hubiestubert: English is a particularly hard language to learn, because of its own internal idiosyncrasies in spelling. It has these, because, despite being at heart a Germanic language, has strapped on Latinate influences, adopted odd rashings of Welsh, Gaelic and the native languages of the British Isles, and as a trade tongue, it is amazingly flexible in absorbing words. Its spelling conventions are often chaotic and even capricious, because of so many languages being distilled into one. English is amazing in its ability to just absorb words and even whole phrasings into itself, and when it does so, it usually brings in the original spelling conventions that went with it. What's fun, is when it absorbs words from languages that don't share its alphabet, and imposes its own conventions upon those foreign words.


Actually, the Celtic influences were the "native" languages of the British Isles. The Germanic base came in with the Anglo-Saxons, but you forgot the French that came in with the Norman invasion.
 
2012-10-07 07:10:10 PM

KiplingKat872: Actually, the Celtic influences were the "native" languages of the British Isles. The Germanic base came in with the Anglo-Saxons, but you forgot the French that came in with the Norman invasion.


French is a Romance language, thus I thought it was included with the "Latinate influences"...
 
2012-10-07 07:20:32 PM
I burst out laughing at 1:32.
 
2012-10-07 07:23:52 PM

hubiestubert: French is a Romance language, thus I thought it was included with the "Latinate influences"...


Well, that's really too vague. Spanish and Italian did not have the impact on the English language French did. French came in directly, bringing in it's vocabulary as well as general structure. For over hundreds years, the official language of the court was French and it had the most impact on English after the Anglo-Saxons.
 
2012-10-07 07:52:20 PM

hubiestubert: English is amazing in its ability to just absorb words and even whole phrasings into itself, and when it does so, it usually brings in the original spelling conventions that went with it.


It did it to itself even. The word "one" was spelled many different ways, and pronounced many different ways (in Mid. Eng., varied by region). "Standard" English took the spelling from one dialect ("one") and the pronunciation from another ("wunn", IIRC).

Anybody who hasn't read this book, should, if this stuff interests you

www.longitudebooks.com
 
2012-10-07 08:02:41 PM

KiplingKat872: hubiestubert: French is a Romance language, thus I thought it was included with the "Latinate influences"...

Well, that's really too vague. Spanish and Italian did not have the impact on the English language French did. French came in directly, bringing in it's vocabulary as well as general structure. For over hundreds years, the official language of the court was French and it had the most impact on English after the Anglo-Saxons.


Perhaps for you it was too vague. Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and even Yiddish have all had an impact on English. It is a vacuum for loan words and cognates. English takes what it can from languages that is near, and what's fun about the language is watching the development of dialects in the Pacific. Malaysia and Guam are having a field day with the tongue, as are the Philippines where it gets thrown together with Tagalog and yes, that pesky Spanish. Likewise, you see English playing along nicely with Spanish in Puerto Rico and all throughout South America, and the development of odder dialects in Caribbean.

English a great language in that it is still very much active, very much still changing because of use, in a variety of forms. What's going to be fun, is watching what happens with English with the millions upon millions in Asia--not just in Hong Kong but on mainland China, throughout the Pacific and on the continent itself. As a language of commerce, it is interesting watching who uses it, and for what.

Impact is constant. The American dialects have certainly impacted, as have the Aussie and other former colonies, and spread the tongue even as the British Empire has shrunk and contracted. There are now many hundreds of millions more non British speaking her tongue. Spanish still beats English for native speakers, but not by much. Mandarin has both beat, put together though, and with that rise of Chinese speakers of English, that is going to be awful interesting to see how the tongues shake down together in the long run. French, while its influences have been decent in the past, English is a language that very much keeps evolving and absorbing new influences--which amounts for the spelling quirks.

Americans, with our fascination with dictionaries and peddling "our" tongue over that of the English themselves--and our insistence in publishing our own dictionaries and grammars--has done a great deal to play merry hob with the mother tongue, and that itself is interesting to see as a linguistic influence--from within and radiating outwards not from the nation of tongue's origin, but radiating out from our own economic and political machinations.

I have the utmost respect for the lands of our mother tongue, and am grateful that this ugly step child of Germanic raiders who beat up natives of the British Isles and then took wives and captives from the lands decided to make it home, and turn said Isles; cast off by the Romans as being WAY too much trouble; into a melting pot of an Empire of their own. The Normans left their mark, as did the Romans, as did years of looking Latin as a tongue for the educated, as did trade with European courts, having to deal with native populace, as did running an Empire across the globe. It is a non-stop process though, and looking to only ONE source as being primary on the tongue does a grave disservice to the utility and flexibility of the language that rose up from being essentially a trade pidgin.
 
2012-10-07 08:08:02 PM

Lionel Mandrake: It did it to itself even. The word "one" was spelled many different ways, and pronounced many different ways (in Mid. Eng., varied by region). "Standard" English took the spelling from one dialect ("one") and the pronunciation from another ("wunn", IIRC).

Anybody who hasn't read this book, should, if this stuff interests you

[www.longitudebooks.com image 200x308]


Not just the formal English, but what is entertaining with the language is that in America, as well as abroad, the working class has had a huge impact on the use and development of the language. Not just court and the halls of power, but English has been long a working language. Heck, for many years, there were few in the English Court who could even speak English, let alone use it in a fashion to move the masses. It is a language that thrives on cultures grinding up against one another, and that is what has resulted with the language being such a fine hairy beautiful mess, and a constant source of frustration for the folks who would LOVE to see it be less frolicsome and vigorous a tongue.
 
2012-10-07 08:14:37 PM

hubiestubert: Perhaps for you it was too vague. Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and even Yiddish have all had an impact on English


Not like French. Not even remotely.

But if you want to show off how pedantically clever you are without any other pendant getting your way, far be it from me to rain on your parade.
 
2012-10-07 08:17:20 PM

KiplingKat872: hubiestubert: Perhaps for you it was too vague. Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and even Yiddish have all had an impact on English

Not like French. Not even remotely.

But if you want to show off how pedantically clever you are without any other pendant getting your way, far be it from me to rain on your parade.


Well, French and Anglo-Saxon German. Yes, other languages have impact on English and continue to, but those two are foundation blocks. If you are going to be pedantic, be specific.
 
2012-10-07 08:21:08 PM
Wow. Gallagher has aged, here he is doing the same bit a few years ago

Link
 
2012-10-07 08:53:53 PM

KiplingKat872: KiplingKat872: hubiestubert: Perhaps for you it was too vague. Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and even Yiddish have all had an impact on English

Not like French. Not even remotely.

But if you want to show off how pedantically clever you are without any other pendant getting your way, far be it from me to rain on your parade.

Well, French and Anglo-Saxon German. Yes, other languages have impact on English and continue to, but those two are foundation blocks. If you are going to be pedantic, be specific.


To be clear, Latin itself had a huge influence on English, especially for the educated. French influenced the Court to be certain--specifically since for many years there were English rulers and nobles would couldn't actually speak the language themselves--but as the Brits became a unified kingdom, they folded those disparate elements of Great Britain into themselves. The study of Latin itself by the educated class, both noble and commoners alike, had a large impact, even to this day.

For all the love that the English have for one of their greatest masters of prose, Shakespeare, he was still a bloody commoner. America during her formative years had more public performances of the Bard's work, and it can be easily said that America's contributions to the language stemmed from a love of not just the Bible, but a love of the Bard himself. Even when his plays waned in popularity at home, America preserved his legacy, and the foundation of American oratory was based on a love of the Bard in our educational halls. In much the way, that the study of Latin was a hallmark of the British system. As much as a study of Greeks influenced the Romans.

French had a large impact, yes. And not just for the leadership, but with tradesmen who had to deal with their Norman lords, and later, when the Normans fled, there was still conflict, and rivalry, but English came more into its own, when the Court itself conducted its business in English. But, the tongue itself was adopted by the ruling class to cement their ties to the people. English has been spun by every language it's butted up against, be that French, be that Spanish in Miami and across the bordertowns in Texas and New Mexico, the seas of Tagalog speaking Filipenos, be that Engrish speakers in Japan, be that clipped and trained IT workers in India who today serve as international assistance for those who want to boot their computers out a window, or keep their porn addictions a secret from their loved ones.

The story of English, as a tongue is a glorious one, because it isn't just a high falutin' tongue. It is rich in its depth, and that use by both formal and informal sources keeps the language very much alive. Not just literature, not just oration, but hard use. Technical use, artistic use, constantly flowing over with dialect after dialect forming, spinning off, cross pollinating with other dialects equally diverse with influences. Be that in Kingston, Southies in Boston, the erudite Brahmins of Boston, the Down Easters of Maine, or Jafaican in London or the mildly Cuban roll of Southern Florida's accent and the queerer dialects of many immigrant communities that continue to cross back and forth, the weirdness that the Québécois roll with, or Tinglish in Thailand, or from speakers in Singapore and from Hong Kong. And thank the Gullah every time you reach for some goobers. English isn't just a formal language, but a rich working tongue. It absorbs and enriches the tongue in its very hardy use.
 
2012-10-07 09:57:52 PM
This is not a repeat of 2008.

oh wait, yes it is.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ucCJ_Vn58w

RIP Dr. Edward Rondthaler (June 9, 1905 - August 19, 2009)
 
2012-10-07 10:32:11 PM

hubiestubert: To be clear, Latin itself had a huge influence on English, especially for the educated. French influenced the Court to be certain--specifically since for many years there were English rulers and nobles would couldn't actually speak the language themselves--but as the Brits became a unified kingdom, they folded those disparate elements of Great Britain into themselves. The study of Latin itself by the educated class, both noble and commoners alike, had a large impact, even to this day.

For all the love that the English have for one of their greatest masters of prose, Shakespeare, he was still a bloody commoner. America during her formative years had more public performances of the Bard's work, and it can be easily said that America's contributions to the language stemmed from a love of not just the Bible, but a love of the Bard himself. Even when his plays waned in popularity at home, America preserved his legacy, and the foundation of American oratory was based on a love of the Bard in our educational halls. In much the way, that the study of Latin was a hallmark of the British system. As much as a study of Greeks influenced the Romans.

French had a large impact, yes. And not just for the leadership, but with tradesmen who had to deal with their Norman lords, and later, when the Normans fled, there was still conflict, and rivalry, but English came more into its own, when the Court itself conducted its business in English. But, the tongue itself was adopted by the ruling class to cement their ties to the people. English has been spun by every language it's butted up against, be that French, be that Spanish in Miami and across the bordertowns in Texas and New Mexico, the seas of Tagalog speaking Filipenos, be that Engrish speakers in Japan, be that clipped and trained IT workers in India who today serve as international assistance for those who want to boot their computers out a window, or keep their porn addictions a secret from their loved ones.

The story o ...


Yes, dear. I know. I known since "The Story of English" came out 1986.

Really, this weekend I've had enough of poeple trying to look clever and then undercutting themsleves with ignorance, and then engaging in mental gymnastics to try and cover for it. One guy trying to lecture me for hours about B.S. literary analysis while completely misusing the term "metatextual" four times. I just don't have any patience for it anymore. Trying to claim that Spanish (or Yiddish) had the same impact on English that Norman French did is silly and you had better expect someone is going to call you on it when you make silly statements.
 
2012-10-07 10:47:31 PM
So he was talking about off-rhymes for the first part. Does it get stranger? English can't really be challenged in the sense it's like trying to command the ocean to stop washing upon the shore. You just roll with it as it changes.
 
2012-10-07 11:16:22 PM
Old timer won the internet at 1:32.
 
2012-10-07 11:16:47 PM
Now, I'm thinking of this quote:

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
-- James Nicoll

Maybe the only bigger whore than your mom is your mother tongue, though your mother's tongue may be playing catch-up.
 
2012-10-07 11:27:52 PM
fark this guy, and fark Language Log. Learn to enjoy and understand the forensic history of our great mother tongue. Don't give me that wood would tomb doom plain plane bullshiat, you ignorant farkheads, tell me WHY it ended up that way. Otherwise we all end up in the shiat, speaking esperanto, and I farking hate that idea.
 
2012-10-07 11:31:04 PM
Gallagher did pretty much the same thing back in the 80s. Start at 4:40:

Gallagher
 
2012-10-07 11:40:13 PM

KiplingKat872: Really, this weekend I've had enough of poeple people trying to look clever and then undercutting themsleves themselves with ignorance, and then engaging in mental gymnastics to try and cover for it. One guy trying to lecture me for hours about B.S. literary analysis while completely misusing the term "metatextual" four times. I just don't have any patience for it anymore. Trying to claim that Spanish (or Yiddish) had the same impact on English that Norman French did is silly and you had better expect someone is going to call you on it when you make silly statements.


It depends on what you call impact.

Yiddish has impacted American English fairly heavily in many dialects. Beyond just Yeshivish. In popular culture, in common usage, Yiddish has impacted English, especially the American dialects fair heavy. Spanish is about as widespread as English is--with its own dialects and its own linguistic influences as well, and in American dialects, it has had a deep effect, which if you have traveled anywhere in the South West, or Florida, you can see.

The Romance languages, with an emphasis on Latin and in French, and depending on which dialects you look at, Spanish, Chinese, Hawaiian pidgin, or the bastard child that Quebecois there are varying degrees of influence. And more importantly, the continued development of the language.

The "French" roots in English are as much a result of continued contact with the French--see those pesky Canuckistanis as a for instance to what continued influence that French has had on their dialects--as the Normans' influence--which waned oddly enough when English aristocracy started using English and promoting IT has their mother tongue. American English is rooted in British English, and since, we have expanded and played with it with use.

Oddly enough, my experience with the language is as Language Arts instructor. Actual teaching certificate, and everything. I have a great and grand love of the language, and its use. BTW: you might enjoy C.M. Millward's A Biography of the English Language. It's not a heavy text, but it does track the language's development, from phonology, Indo-European roots, to Old English, Middle and onward to Early Modern, as well as how the dialects have developed and spread. It's a decent starter, but the important thing to understand, is that English is a living language, which means that it hasn't stopped, and is constantly morphing and shifting. Dialects form, they influence, they are absorbed, some die off, some change back and forth, but the language itself is not a static thing. If anything, with as many disparate populations now using it as a working language, there is a concern for many about mutual intelligibility between the various dialects. Even BBC English and the American Broadcast English, as artificial creations as they are, are new developments, and that is the exciting thing about the tongue. It is still growing, it is still developing.

Looking back to the changes to English from the Norman courts is sort of like looking at engines being influenced by the French Grand Prix in 1894. English has had many influences, and continues to grow and evolve. More than just the pesky French. You might do to take a look at the flurry of self reflection on the language in the 16th century, with pushes to standardized spelling post the Great Vowel Shift, and an increase interest in scholarship thanks the Renaissance. Latin educated scholars were agog at the irregularity of spelling in English, and its sort of chaos, which oddly enough, influenced the French themselves to look at their own orthography as well. English has long been about reform, and reformation of its own self. The rise of dictionaries themselves was a huge development to the language, as a means to self regulation of the sort of freeform spelling that typified much of the language for such a long while. Couple it with changes to the Empire herself with the loss of the American colonies, and our own efforts to impart our own "American" imprint on our language, and you have a rush to codify and neaten the tongue with standardization of "correct" spellings and usage.

But back to the point: French had an effect on the tongue. As did Latin. As did the Germanic tongues. As did the native tongues of the British Isles. As has EVERY language that English has butted up against--and shows up those areas first where there is contact. Some of which is absorbed, some is made simply local dialect, some is absorbed into the whole by popular culture when put into books and histories. French continues to this day to have an impact, see the Quebecois, see the creole in Louisiana, see the French influenced Caribbean. See French influenced Africa. See, even Vietnam. These effects are not static, which is the point. The language moves onwards, and continues to do so. It isn't a matter of what happened back in the Battle of Hastings, but of the flexibility of a living language to move on beyond such moments. For as much power as the Normans had, they were eventually subsumed by their Anglo-Saxon subjects. Middle English then gave way to Early Modern, and the language continued to develop. Not because of French meddling and influence, but because the language is in constant use. English is a robust language in that it has continued to develop and absorb and alter to fit the needs of its users, or rather, its users have altered the language to fit their own needs. It isn't some sacrosanct pillar of knowledge, but a tool.

Perhaps it is my love of English, and its history, and its rich and often hilariously dirty underpinnings and very working class roots--English is very much a working language--that gives me an appreciation for her. She isn't a doll who sits propped up in a corner, to be venerated. It's a grand language because she is used so well, so terribly useful as a trade tongue, as a technical language, as an artistic language, and remains playful. Ours is a language that is meant to be used, and IS used, by not just scholars or bishops or clergy or the government, but has spread to the beat box poet, the sports writer, the comedians, and even the half wits at The American Thinker. My caution is not to venerate the past too much, because English is not so much about the past, but about the now. It is a language that keeps morphing and changing to fit the needs of its speakers. That is really its greatest strength, and to discount the MANY influences is to undercut those things that make the language vigorous and very much alive, and continuing to serve us well.

English isn't a done deal. It's a living language, and in that, it continues to grow, and fit the needs of its speakers, which are far more than just what sit here in America and in England. I mention this, again and again, because the poor schmuck who is railing on the idiosyncrasies of English spelling is much like the folks who want to put the language into some sort of static bubble, and freeze it. Much like grammarians have tried again and again over years, in order to preserve the "best" dialects' features on future generations. We get those pushes over time, as folks worry about mutual intelligibility and change that they fear. And from someone who has actually studied the language and enjoyed that study, I don't have that particular fear, because the language is far more resilient than folks suspect.

Dialects? Dialects fade and are absorbed and form off new again fair often. They fall into and out of favor, and that is the process of the language and social bonds. It's normal, it's natural, and the language itself will survive.

Mind you, you seem to be focusing on ONE line of influence. One that faded several hundred years ago, as a "formative" event. The language moved on, and has continued to move, and continues to do so. More than just the Normans were responsible for the Latinization of English. You also have to look at the role of the Church as well. Not to mention the use of Latin as a basis for many borrowed scientific terms in the Industrial Age, and the influence of those pesky Romans on the tribes that settled the Isles as well. It's not a One Fer sort of affair, but a living language that grows in spurts and seeds long sown sometimes sprout oddly down the line.
 
2012-10-08 12:08:50 AM
At first I was thinking, aw, he's just replaying the Gallagher bit, but it turned out even better.

I love English, but I do feel sorry for anyone who has to learn it after childhood. It can be tricky, often for no good reason but tradition. I suppose the global English of the future will be more sensible.
 
2012-10-08 06:55:10 AM

thesharkman: Wow. Gallagher has aged, here he is doing the same bit a few years ago


I was going to say, that was practically verbatim. I'm guessing not too many 70 year olds were watching gallagher back in 1985
www.matadorrecords.com
 
2012-10-08 10:10:33 AM

KiplingKat872: ... French came in directly, bringing in it's vocabulary as well as general structure.


KiplingKat872: ...
But if you want to show off how pedantically clever you are without any other pendant getting your way, far be it from me to rain on your parade.



*sigh*
 
2012-10-08 11:43:47 AM
yep sqw it at gallagher II
 
2012-10-08 11:44:26 AM
oops saw
 
2012-10-08 12:38:38 PM
hubiestubert: Everything you said is true, but I'll make it even truer:

English Each dominant language in the history of mankind is amazing in its ability to just absorb words and even whole phrasings into itself, anIts spelling conventions are often chaotic and even capricious, because of so many languages being distilled into one. d when it does so, it usually brings in the original spelling conventions that went with it. What's fun, is when it absorbs words from languages that don't share its alphabet, and imposes its own conventions upon those foreign words.

English does this. Mandarin does this. Japanese does this. French did this while it was the lingua franca, although now that it's no longer a language required for world diplomacy, it struggles vainly to retain the image of itself from those days with laws and snobbery. Before that, Latin did it, and Greek before it.
 
2012-10-08 01:00:26 PM

Broom: English does this. Mandarin does this. Japanese does this. French did this while it was the lingua franca, although now that it's no longer a language required for world diplomacy, it struggles vainly to retain the image of itself from those days with laws and snobbery. Before that, Latin did it, and Greek before it.


It's a living language, and is very much in flux and in use. Not a characteristic of a dominant language so much, as one that is in vigorous use. Tagalog is a great example of a language that is very much alive and well, and developing still, side by side with both English and Spanish in the Philippines. A neat language, and entirely unrelated to either English or Spanish, but it is adopting features from both, and Filipino English has its own interesting features as well.

The greater point that I was making to our humor challenged red headed friend was we can't really look at enshrining languages and their influences. The joy in language is its use. Its play. Grammarians would love to lock languages into wee boxes that don't change, don't shift, don't morph, and while we can retard the growth and change within a language through some fairly artificial means in education, use tends to win out over any concerted effort to rein it in. Even the changes that English saw with its brush with Norman French, were natural developments because of usage, as opposed to being imposed by the state and the nobility.
 
2012-10-08 01:50:11 PM
OK, agreed. :)
 
2012-10-08 02:30:58 PM

hubiestubert: The greater point that I was making to our humor challenged red headed friend was we can't really look at enshrining languages and their influences. The joy in language is its use.


Nice strawman. You were making a point A. that I knew already and had said so and B. was not relevant to what I was saying. You were just trying to distract from the point that you were wrong about the influence of Norman French in the FOUNDATION of the English language, since after all, the Anglo-Saxon laborers needed to communicate with the Norman landholders a lot more frequently than used the Latin read my parish priests, many of whom did not actually speak the language, but merely recited masses by route.

Anglo-Norman Language

But hey, keep being a dick about it. I'm sure I'll be convinced eventually.
 
2012-10-08 02:47:50 PM

KiplingKat872: hubiestubert: The greater point that I was making to our humor challenged red headed friend was we can't really look at enshrining languages and their influences. The joy in language is its use.

Nice strawman. You were making a point A. that I knew already and had said so and B. was not relevant to what I was saying. You were just trying to distract from the point that you were wrong about the influence of Norman French in the FOUNDATION of the English language, since after all, the Anglo-Saxon laborers needed to communicate with the Norman landholders a lot more frequently than used the Latin read my parish priests, many of whom did not actually speak the language, but merely recited masses by route.

Anglo-Norman Language

But hey, keep being a dick about it. I'm sure I'll be convinced eventually.


The foundation of the English language was Germanic in origin. It still is a Germanic tongue. What I have continued to point out, is that the Norman influence was one of many.

The British Isles were a confluence of cultures. From the waves of immigration and invasion, and the Latinate influence has been ongoing, since the days of the Romans--before even the Gaulish tribes had even settled into the tongue that became French.

If pointing out that is "being a dick" as much as liking both natural AND dyed red heads is in your mind, a dick I will be, I suppose. I can't help that the point keeps sailing past that upturned nose. English is a language that has complicated its spelling from a variety of influences, and yet remains consistent in its own internalized rules, which are complex thanks to the waves of many linguistic influences. Beyond just the Normans.
 
2012-10-08 03:02:52 PM

hubiestubert: The foundation of the English language was Germanic in origin. It still is a Germanic tongue. What I have continued to point out, is that the Norman influence was one of many.


I already said that. I said that Anlgo-Saxon Germanic was the basis while you (at first) treated it an another influx. But the impact of Norman French was huge, as proven by the link I provided.

Want more?

Link

Link

Yes, there were other influences, I ALREADY SAID THAT. There always have been and English is very adaptable. I never said it was not. But you you realy need to get over the fact that you are wrong here. Norman French is a major foundation block of Middle, and therefore Modern, English.

But hey, don't let pesky facts get in the way of your pontificating.

Just next time, don't try to act superior to someone who actually knows more about it than you do who graciously left the conversation. If you have a grudge against me for an argument we had a few months ago, get over it. Really. I wouldn't have even connected you to that argument because I forgot.

Because it's the internet.
 
2012-10-08 10:40:00 PM

KiplingKat872: hubiestubert: The foundation of the English language was Germanic in origin. It still is a Germanic tongue. What I have continued to point out, is that the Norman influence was one of many.

I already said that. I said that Anlgo-Saxon Germanic was the basis while you (at first) treated it an another influx. But the impact of Norman French was huge, as proven by the link I provided.

Want more?

Link

Link

Yes, there were other influences, I ALREADY SAID THAT. There always have been and English is very adaptable. I never said it was not. But you you realy need to get over the fact that you are wrong here. Norman French is a major foundation block of Middle, and therefore Modern, English.

But hey, don't let pesky facts get in the way of your pontificating.

Just next time, don't try to act superior to someone who actually knows more about it than you do who graciously left the conversation. If you have a grudge against me for an argument we had a few months ago, get over it. Really. I wouldn't have even connected you to that argument because I forgot.

Because it's the internet.


lh4.googleusercontent.com

The sad thing is, you haven't actually understood much of what has been said, and so far, the only butthurt that has been seen is on your part. That's OK. I can accept that you have some insecurities that need assuaging. Some folks feel that the tiny piece of a puzzle that they understand is the MOST IMPORTANT, which is understandable. It is fair common. Interestingly, you sort of glossed over, even in your first link, the importance of Latinate borrowings--not just from the Norman, but oddly enough from Latin itself. One of my earlier points even.

And the point you KEEP missing, is that pointing to the language has continued to progress, beyond just the Latinate infusions, but especially in the matters of spelling, the rules have progressed further than just those Latinate infusions, with attempts to stratify the tongue into strict dialects that are "approved" even when those very dialects themselves have changed, merged, and moved on.

Take a look at Shakespeare as a for instance. His phrasings seem odd to the modern ear, but when parsed with dialect and accent of the day, much of the so called awkwardness in some of his phrasings, which our modern ears sort of tune out, become nil, but flow and reveal puns and word play that can be hidden to the modern pronunciation. And that is very much at the heart of this discussion. Not the stony underpinnings, but the play. The use. How the language has marched on, even from your standpoint of the Norman foundation of the language, as opposed to the fusing of Anglo-Saxon/Norman cultures which is much more the picture. Normans subsumed into the culture of those they had conquered, and eventually becoming fused within it. Important to understand, but nowhere near the whole story. Nowhere near the MOST IMPORTANT, because languages' progression isn't something that freezes or stops--unless of course that culture dies. Even wholly artificial languages like Esperanto have their own dialects, because that's what people do with them. They use them, adapt them, and if the language serves a solid purpose, it skews and gyres and adapts to such use.

Dislike that or not, pointing the Franks is again, akin to pointing at the Grand Prix, and thus ignoring a LOT of the rest of the show. You missed the first point, and instead are fixed upon one tiny piece, and thus, my "pontificating" is annoying you, because you missed the whole of the argument. I annoy you, and I accept that. It will be my cross to bear. Won't stop me chuckling at you, or posting up pics in redhead threads of gals I find cute, but in the end, you might want to step back and understand that the annoyance you feel is your own. Me? I'm just sort of giggling at the girl who is like a cat looking at the finger instead of the food...
 
2012-10-09 12:30:14 AM

hubiestubert: Won't stop me chuckling at you, or posting up pics in redhead threads of gals I find cute, but in the end, you might want to step back and understand that the annoyance you feel is your own.


Dude, that thread was months ago.

You seriously need to get over it. Holy fark. I mean seriously. This is slightly pathological that you would throw in a completely unrelated thread from months prior into an argument now.

I mean really, what exactly are you getting out of getting snippy over my definition of red head here? Do you think it makes your argument more convincing to throw in something that utterly unrelated? From months ago?

Secondly, the Normans were not Franks. The Franks were the French of Germanic origin, the original French from the Merovingians on who took over Gaul after the Romans backed out to the Carolingians (Charlemagne etc.) and then when that empire split from what became the Holy Roman Empire (Germany), the western part became France.

The Normans were the French of Norse origin who came along later.

I don't have an issue with any of the rest of what you say about English being a highly adaptive language, that it has grown since then. I agree completely. Have a few times now. Hence the reason I am not discussing it at great length the way you are as you try to bury that you got your facts mixed up at the outset with screamingly obvious stuff. Oh, English doesn't sound the same 400 years ago as it does now?

*gasp* Shocker!

You act like no one here has read Chaucer or Shakespeare before.

But the influence of Norman French, as the influence of Anglo Saxon, is still felt in both our grammar and our vocabulary Those are the two blocks at the foundation of the English language. Their influence has not been eliminated by time and adaptation. Lessened, but after almost 1000 years after the initial cross pollination, they are still there. And the links I posted prove it. Yes, English has changed, but those Norman French and A/S are still two big hunks of it.

According to different sources, nearly 30% of all English words have a French origin

Lesson I have seen three people need to learn in the last week:

I watched a "medievalist" claim that medieval graves were exceedingly rare in Europe, had someone lecture me about literary analysis while misusing the word "metatexual" four times, and then you.

Life lesson: If you are going to pontificate to show off how clever you are, try to know what you are talking about. If you do not, Karma guarantees that someone around you actually will and boy won't you look silly, even more so when you let embarrassment outweigh the need to actually learn something and you try to argue your way out of facts.

Grow up, get a pair, and get over it and yourself.
 
2012-10-09 03:03:14 AM
One can find printed texts from the 17th and 18th centuries in which a word is spelled two or three different ways on the same page. Pronunciation shifts have historically led to spelling changes, but orthography has become a business, and there is no governing body for the English language, so it is unlikely to change much now. Text messaging may actually lead to some shifts in spelling, although I doubt it, because for some reason people who work for the OED, no matter how socially progressive, tend to be linguistically/orthographically conservative.

I don't understand why it is important that we all agree on the spelling of words. It reduces the influence of regional accents and dialects on the language, which makes written language increasingly dull. And it actually convinces intelligent people who correctly apply phonetic tactics to spelling that they are stupid. This is why when I teach children spelling I make it very clear that it's about convention, not about right and wrong. I say lots of things like "it's usually spelled this way."

Pet peeve is people who are obsessive or picky about the spelling of their name. Shakespeare's name was spelled many different ways, including in his own hand, I believe. If it was good enough for one of the greatest masters of the English language, it's good enough for someone who reads at a 7th grade level. I have a cousin named Lynn and I regularly spell her name "Lin." I said that I will spell it differently when she pronounces it like an upsilon.
 
2012-10-09 06:53:41 AM

BoxOfBees: I don't understand why it is important that we all agree on the spelling of words


The problem is we have seen is that when people are not constrained by spelling and grammar, they become unintelligible to others outside their group. In college we see this a lot, sadly. Working in a science department, the kids come in who can't write a paragraph explaining an observed reaction in general chemistry I lab report because now-a-days a lot of school systems don't teach grammar and these kids are used to communicating in a casual shorthand. They can't communicate intelligibly so others, like their instructors, can understand them.

People dealing with a larger world have to be able to communicate with others outside their social group. Without standards of grammar and spelling, they can't. Any complex thought beyond what you want to do for lunch requires a standardized spelling and grammar in order to others to understand what you are saying.

As this article points out, bad grammar can lead to costly problems:

Link

"This agreement shall be effective from the date it is made and shall continue in force for a period of five (5) years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five (5) year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party."

Rogers Communications believed the placement of the second comma stated the contract was good for at least five years, while Bell Aliant said the comma indicated the deal could be terminated before if one year's notice was given.


They went to court over one misplaced comma.

A misused homonym (for instance: They're, Their and There, all phonetically identical), can make a sentence difficult to understand.

Even in terms of just a memo, most of the time in the working world, people don't have time to sit there and puzzle it out. If a professor has to go through one hundred essay tests, if they can't understand it in the first read-through, you're screwed because they do not have time to sit there to try to figure out what you are trying to say.

People have to be able to read and write at higher than a 7th grade level to get a job even in the business world. Even as a administrative assistant, I have to be proof by Department Chair's letters. Someone working on a merger with another company, even if it is just to write the correspondence, can't be constrained by 7th grade writing skills.

Spelling differences still exist between the U.S. and Commonwealth nations (color/colour, etc.) and there are governing bodies for spelling in both regions: Dictionaries. Merriam-Webster, Oxford, etc. The OED and Webster acknowledge new words every year, but I believe it is only if they are either term for a new concept (so people can talk about it), or a proven longevity. Text shorthand is/has neither. "U" is "You." That is not a new concept and that could be gone in a couple years.

"I came to see yew/you." Did I arrive to see a tree or a person?

I am not sure there are governing bodies for grammar, but there are for writing formats in different fields. For instance, Modern Language Association (MLA) is used for liberal arts work, American Psychological Association (APA) is for papers written in that field, the Chicago Manual of Style is used by historians, there is technical writing for people in engineering, etc. It just helps to create a concise, commonly understood format so that others reading that paper can quickly understand what is being said.

And Shakespeare was one of the forces that helped standardize English. Because everyone was seeing/reading his plays they began following his grammatical structure. His also contributed both words and phrases that are commonplace to us now.

If you are teaching kids to be lackadaisical about spelling and grammar, you are crippling them for their future education and their ability to find a job. And you are wasting college faculty time when they have to take a break from their teaching schedule (which is usually very tight) to cover some basic grammar and sentence structure. A chemistry professor should be proof-reading students' (student's or students', are you talking auto one person's possession or a group?) work or taking time in class to explain how to write an intelligible paragraph.

As for someone being picky about their name, it just disrespectful to not address someone as they want to be addressed. You think you are being cool and rebellious, but you are really just discounting who they are as a person as you re-write their most basic expression of self identity in your image. If you want to play with spelling among your friends, peachy, but don't tell people what their name is.
 
2012-10-09 06:55:20 AM
And now I have to apologize for my grammatical error in the first sentence. I changed how I was phrasing it halfway and didn't go back that far to proof.

And now it is harder to understand, it is not?

/Need coffee.
 
2012-10-09 08:11:15 AM
You have to remember, most companies look at a cover letter for a resume as a writing sample and, trust me, resumes get chucked out for poor spelling and grammar. We don't care if the resume is good, we don't want that person representing our department. I know, because we pass the worst ones around the office and laugh at them.

Exploring language form in poetry is fun, encourages imagination and questioning conventions, but those kids have to communicate to others.
 
2012-10-09 11:38:56 AM

hubiestubert: KiplingKat872: hubiestubert: The foundation of the English language was Germanic in origin. It still is a Germanic tongue. What I have continued to point out, is that the Norman influence was one of many.

I already said that. I said that Anlgo-Saxon Germanic was the basis while you (at first) treated it an another influx. But the impact of Norman French was huge, as proven by the link I provided.

Want more?

Link

Link

Yes, there were other influences, I ALREADY SAID THAT. There always have been and English is very adaptable. I never said it was not. But you you realy need to get over the fact that you are wrong here. Norman French is a major foundation block of Middle, and therefore Modern, English.

But hey, don't let pesky facts get in the way of your pontificating.

Just next time, don't try to act superior to someone who actually knows more about it than you do who graciously left the conversation. If you have a grudge against me for an argument we had a few months ago, get over it. Really. I wouldn't have even connected you to that argument because I forgot.

Because it's the internet.

[lh4.googleusercontent.com image 512x640]

The sad thing is, you haven't actually understood much of what has been said, and so far, the only butthurt that has been seen is on your part. That's OK. I can accept that you have some insecurities that need assuaging. Some folks feel that the tiny piece of a puzzle that they understand is the MOST IMPORTANT, which is understandable. It is fair common. Interestingly, you sort of glossed over, even in your first link, the importance of Latinate borrowings--not just from the Norman, but oddly enough from Latin itself. One of my earlier points even.

And the point you KEEP missing, is that pointing to the language has continued to progress, beyond just the Latinate infusions, but especially in the matters of spelling, the rules have progressed further than just those Latinate infusions, with attempts to stratify the tongue into stric ...


You got me thinking, there have been no fewer than four distinct Latinate incursions into English, some of them overlapping by centuries. There's the original incursion through Old French via Normal French, and then the same through legal language (much of our legal language is Old French, in words such as 'mortgage'), then Church Latin, and finally scientific Latin -- which, back in the 18th Century, included no small bit of French of the period. In more modern times, we continue to experience Latinate incursion through the growth of Latin populations in and around us. The entire Western Hemisphere, but for the U.S. and Canada, is very much Latin, and both our nations have large and growing Latin populations. Canada, of course, has alwasy lived with French (of a sort), and we are taking in more and more Hispanic dialects -- and cultivating our own.

If there is a global language of the future, I imagine it could be a of English, Spanish, and Mandarin, the languages of culture and commerce that dominate in our time. Cross-dialects such as Chediac seem to embrace this approach. (Chediac or Chiac, a dialect of eastern New Brunswick, is essentially French-Canadian grammar with English vocabulary -- "you drivez le car," for example -- a kind of real-life 'franglais' that actually works.) While not widely accepted by adademics, they show that people are keen on that approach, and I think where it's shown to work, it's likely to catch on. (Chiac certainly seemed popular in Moncton last time I was there.)
 
2012-10-09 12:13:24 PM

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: You got me thinking, there have been no fewer than four distinct Latinate incursions into English, some of them overlapping by centuries. There's the original incursion through Old French via Normal French, and then the same through legal language (much of our legal language is Old French, in words such as 'mortgage'), then Church Latin, and finally scientific Latin -- which, back in the 18th Century, included no small bit of French of the period. In more modern times, we continue to experience Latinate incursion through the growth of Latin populations in and around us. The entire Western Hemisphere, but for the U.S. and Canada, is very much Latin, and both our nations have large and growing Latin populations. Canada, of course, has alwasy lived with French (of a sort), and we are taking in more and more Hispanic dialects -- and cultivating our own.

If there is a global language of the future, I imagine it could be a of English, Spanish, and Mandarin, the languages of culture and commerce that dominate in our time. Cross-dialects such as Chediac seem to embrace this approach. (Chediac or Chiac, a dialect of eastern New Brunswick, is essentially French-Canadian grammar with English vocabulary -- "you drivez le car," for example -- a kind of real-life 'franglais' that actually works.) While not widely accepted by adademics, they show that people are keen on that approach, and I think where it's shown to work, it's likely to catch on. (Chiac certainly seemed popular in Moncton last time I was there.)


Spanish is already impacting English, beyond Spanglish, in its use so heavily across the globe. As a language for business, it is NOT the most popular, but it is certainly in the top five. As the Hispanic population grows in the US you will see it become more and more of an issue--especially with Hispanics projected as becoming one of the most populous of minority groups in the US by 2030, and white folks eventually looking at dropping below the 50% mark for percentage of the populace--and not just in areas like Miami where there is already a tinge to the dialect.

Chinese is going to be more and more an issue as time goes on. With their hefty percentage of the world's population, and growing economic importance, we are going to butt up against them more and more linguistically. Being entirely an entirely different linguistic family, it is going to be interesting to see how integrations occur--though we can see in Hong Kong and throughout Asia how English and Chinese, and certainly in Okinawa and Japan how these languages blend and mix and influence one another.

The Latinate influence to English has been ongoing. Confused our grammar a bit certainly, in ways that flout the Germanic origins, but it is interesting to see how things will shake out with the next waves. Where cultures butt up is where you see the most play, and then it drifts into the common parlance, and from there, we will see how it goes.
 
2012-10-09 02:02:10 PM
You guys have forgotten the other rapidly rising global economy that we are starting to have more and more contact with already, more than China at this point: India. They have already had an impact in the U.K., Caribbean, Madagascar, and given the growing exposure to their popular culture as well as their influx into academic circles, it will be interesting how much of an influence they will have on the English language.
 
2012-10-09 02:03:29 PM
English is the unifying language of India already, so it is primed to mix with U.K. and American English.
 
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