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(Digital Spy)   Apostrophe ban council reverses decision after being threatened by Farker's   (digitalspy.com) divider line 62
    More: Obvious, punctuation  
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4697 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 8:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 12:50:18 PM  

CarnySaur: I believe the headline should read "Apostrophe ban council reverses there decision after being threatened by Farker's".


Your now my favorite Farker.
 
2013-03-19 01:08:28 PM  

TheShavingofOccam123: I'm all for getting rid of as many articles as possible. There are languages who don't use them. But my big complaint is with gender. It only complicates what is already a complicated tool.


I'm sorry, but you're missing my point.  Articles aren't useless at all, nor does that fact that some languages eschew them prove that all languages should or even could.  By the same token, gender in languages that have them (such as German and Spanish) isn't useless, nor does the fact that English lacks gender prove that German and Spanish should get rid of theirs.

Let me use an analogy with computers.  A language is basically a "transfer protocol" that allows an idea to be transferred from one mind to another, much like a compression algorithm or file transfer protocol allows files to be transferred from one computer to another more efficiently.  Two things that you worry about when you transfer a computer file are the size/speed of the file (hence compression) and the possibility of the transmission getting damaged, garbled, or lost (hence error-checking).  To some degree these are competing goals, as the more error-checking you do, the bigger/slower the transmission.  So there's a trade-off.

The same is true of human speech, and many language features are the way they are because of that trade-off between ease/speed/efficiency on the one hand, and error-checking/prevention on the other.  To use an example I gave earlier, take "a" versus "an."  Why does English use both?  Why can't we just always use "a"?  Or always "an," for that matter?  The reason is indeed a trade-off between speed/ease and reducing the chance of a "garbled" transmission.  "A" is slightly easier to say, but "an" is more clear.  So when there's little chance of confusion, we use "a" (He got out of a car") and when there is more of a chance of mishearing the article, we use "an" for extra clarity ("She cut an onion").  The RULE we teach is something like "use 'an' before a vowel and 'a' before a consonant", but the REASON isthat "a onion" is more likely to get garbled (because there's no consonant between the words) than "a car" (because the consonant "C" break the two words apart).

We COULD just use "an" but that would slow us down and require more effort from the speaker --- and we want speech that is fast and easy.  We also COULD just use "a" but that would lead to more "garbled transmissions" (say "a apple" five times fast and you'll hear how it slurs together into a mush nobody can understand), which would force us to slow down and repeat ourselves --- and thus, in the long run, be slower.

The conceptual problem here is that you're focusing on what makes a language easy to LEARN, not easy to USE once learned, and, as native speakers who have already learned the language, how easy it is for someone else to learn just isn't that important.

To use another computer example, think of a computer language that's difficult to master, yet isextremely powerful/flexible, versus a computer language that is easy to learn but that mostly gets studied in Computer Science 101 and isn't use much after one earns their degree.
 
2013-03-19 01:49:19 PM  

picturescrazy: uttertosh: xanadian: reillan: So, let's add apostrophe's everywhere, like the Canadian's do.

No, no no no no no.  That is NOT what the Canadians do!

...

They add extra vowels & letters and shiat.  "The alphabet is from 'a' to 'zed'".  ZED???  "I think we should paint the house a different colour."  ColoUr?  Is it pronounced "kull-OWER" or "KULL-orr"?

STOP DOING THAT

Zee's dead baby. Zee's dead. (and for it to be kull-OWER it would have to be colouur, as the 'double-u' you used would change the pronunciation - Hear the difference in the pronunciation of flour and flower? No? You might just be American.

Wait are you saying Canadians pronounce flour like fler?


WTF are you on about? Please clarify your question. I don't even.
 
2013-03-19 03:14:38 PM  
With no Apostrophe to guide them, I hope they get lost on their way to St Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast.
 
2013-03-19 03:38:27 PM  

ZAZ: The American street sign standard says "Word messages should not contain periods, apostrophes, question marks, ampersands, or other punctuation or characters that are not letters, numerals, or hyphens unless necessary to avoid confusion."


Land of the fre'e
 
2013-03-19 03:53:14 PM  

Psychopusher: imontheinternet: Is there a Comma Protection Society?  If so, I think I may have found my calling.

That depends.  Are you for, or against the Oxford comma?  Choose wisely.


I endorse, support, and use the Oxford comma.  People who don't are stupid, retarded, and idiots.
 
2013-03-19 04:01:52 PM  

ciberido: Why is it "I gave you an apple" but not "I gave you an money"? Why is it "I gave you an apple" but "I gave you a red apple"? Why did the article for apple change from "an" to "a"? When should I use "a", when should I use "an", and when no article?


You use "an" when the next word starts with a vowel.  That one's actually pretty simple.
 
2013-03-19 04:25:45 PM  

andychrist420: ciberido: Why is it "I gave you an apple" but not "I gave you an money"? Why is it "I gave you an apple" but "I gave you a red apple"? Why did the article for apple change from "an" to "a"? When should I use "a", when should I use "an", and when no article?

You use "an" when the next word starts with a vowel.  That one's actually pretty simple.


Vowel sound... Very important distinction... It's "an hour", but yet its "a hit", because the "h" isn't pronounced in the former, but is in the latter...

But, like ciberido clarified later, that's just the rule, not the reasoning behind it...
 
2013-03-19 06:00:22 PM  

andychrist420: ciberido: Why is it "I gave you an apple" but not "I gave you an money"? Why is it "I gave you an apple" but "I gave you a red apple"? Why did the article for apple change from "an" to "a"? When should I use "a", when should I use "an", and when no article?

You use "an" when the next word starts with a vowel.  That one's actually pretty simple.


I put those two paragraphs in a different font to suggest I was quoting one of my students.  I used to teach English overseas, and those are all questions I was asked and tried to answer.

Sorry, I should have explained more explicitly that I was quoting someone else.

In my defense, it's another example of trading "error-correction" for speed: I was less clear in order to make my post shorter.
 
2013-03-19 07:40:32 PM  
In all these apostrophe misuse rants, I've never seen anyone complaining about this site's title on the main page. It should be Drew Curtis's FARK.com. It makes no difference when a singular noun ends with an s.
 
2013-03-19 09:22:08 PM  
fark you subby.
 
2013-03-20 07:58:48 PM  

1-phenylpropan-2-amine: fark you subby.


s'ubby.
 
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