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(Slate)   The comma is disappearing from English which is fine because it's pointless silly and dumb but while nobody really needs to use it anymore that doesn't mean grammar isn't like important   (slate.com) divider line 179
    More: Interesting, John McWhorter, Oxford comma  
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3651 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jan 2014 at 2:15 PM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-29 02:33:34 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Commas?

How about the proper use of hyphens?


Yeah, that is an annoying ass-problem.
 
2014-01-29 02:34:48 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Commas?

How about the proper use of hyphens?


Pff. I've seen semicolons panhandling for lack of work.
 
2014-01-29 02:35:02 PM

Pumpernickel bread: Did anyone else notice that he didn't use any commas in that article?


He tried not to, and almost made it but not quite. I'll give him a free pass when quoting someone else who used commas in their original sentences. However:

"Let's say everybody wore their socks mismatched," posits McWhorter.

In this sentence, the author added the comma- it is NOT part of the original quote.
 
2014-01-29 02:36:20 PM
hee hee

weknowmemes.com
 
2014-01-29 02:36:45 PM

cman: So you are gonna tell me that the King James bible didnt use standardized spelling? Because it did. That was back in the 1600s. The current spelling standards we have come from the Chancery standard at the end of the Middle English period. The GH was pronounced back then. The silent "e" on many words were pronounced back then. There was no such thing as a silent K. English standards were based upon phonetic spelling and it hasnt been updated for a few centuries.


The KJV may have used consistent internal spelling but that doesn't make it any kind of universal "standardized" spelling. And assertions about how things were pronounced fly in the face of the widespread variations in dialects, let alone accents. And none of this was necessarily phonetic, it was a blend of Old English, French, Latin and other influences along with evolved usage.

Furthermore, Chancery Standard was not a "standard" in the sense you are using it here. It provided a common core of Middle English, and was an amalgam of London, Midlands, and Northern dialects, and became the language of bureaucracy, but common spelling didn't crystallize until much later, and by that time speech had already drifted from what it was when Chancery Standard was formed.

tl;dr: the whole idea that there was some Edenic moment when English language pronunciation and spelling were both standardized and beautiful harmonized is a fantasy. Language does not work like that.
 
2014-01-29 02:38:45 PM
Grammar thread? Grammar Ashley.

i1126.photobucket.com
 
2014-01-29 02:39:21 PM

cman: Why cant we write English like we say it?

Why must we be so fanciful with our writing style?

Why cant we update the spelling standards to have English spelled phonetically again? No one pronounces the "gh" anymore, why still have it?


The difficulty with phonetic spelling is that you're essentially asking us to fork the language, since it means different things entirely even from state to state, let alone country to country.
 
2014-01-29 02:39:37 PM

cman: Why cant we write English like we say it?

Why must we be so fanciful with our writing style?

Why cant we update the spelling standards to have English spelled phonetically again? No one pronounces the "gh" anymore, why still have it?


mr. sP33K3r, mr. V1c3 Pr3s1d3N7, M3M83r2 0f k0NGR3sS, MY ph3lL0w am3r1CanS:
70DAy 1n Am3r1CA, a 73Ach3R sp3N7 3X7RA 71m3 W17 A s7ud3n7 Wh0 N33d3D 17, aND D1D H3r pAR7 70 l1F7 Am3R1Ca'2 grAdUa710n rA73 70 172 H1Gh3s7 l3v3L 1N M0R3 7hAn 7HR33 d3cAd32.
A 3N7r3PR3n3UR PHL1Pp3d 0n 7h3 l1gh72 1N h3R 73cH s7ar7uP, anD d1d h3r PAr7 70 aDD 70 7H3 m0r3 7haN 31Gh7 M1Ll10n n3w j082 0ur 8US1N3sS32 hAV3 CR3A73D 0v3R 7h3 PAS7 Ph0ur Y3Ar2.
An AU70w0Rk3R PH1n3-7un3d S0M3 0f 7h3 83S7, M0S7 PhU3l-3Ff1c13n7 cAr2 1n 7h3 w0rLd, ANd d1D h12 pAr7 70 h3lP Am3R1cA w3AN 17s3lF 0ff ph0R31gN 01l.
a PhaRM3r pr3par3d Ph0R 7H3 SpR1n' AF73r 7H3 S7r0nG3s7 pH1v3-Y3aR s7r37Ch 0F pHaRm 3Xp0R72 1n 0ur h1s70RY.  A RurAL d0C70r GAV3 A J00NG ch1LD 7H3 pH1RS7 pr3sCr1p710n 70 7R3a7 As7hMA 7H@ h12 m07H3r k0ULD Aff0RD.  A MaN 700k 7H3 8u2 H0M3 phr0m 7H3 gRav3YArd SH1f7, 80n3-71r3D 8U7 dr3aM1N' 81G DR3AM2 ph0r h12 S0n.  aNd 1n 71Gh7-kn17 K0MmUn17132 acr0ss AM3R1Ca, Pha7h3r2 ANd M07h3r2 W1ll 7UCk 1N 7h31r k1D2, pU7 An arM Ar0UND 7h31r sP0u23, r3M3m83r pHALl3N k0mrad32, AnD G1v3 7hx Ph0r 831n' H0M3 Phr0m a waR 7h@, af73R 7w3lv3 L0ng Y3aR2, 12 ph1NALly k0m1N' 70 A 3Nd.
 
2014-01-29 02:39:50 PM
mrwgifs.com
 
2014-01-29 02:39:59 PM
This description, published in The Times, of a documentary by Peter Ustinov:

... highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.
 
2014-01-29 02:40:03 PM

czetie: cman: So you are gonna tell me that the King James bible didnt use standardized spelling? Because it did. That was back in the 1600s. The current spelling standards we have come from the Chancery standard at the end of the Middle English period. The GH was pronounced back then. The silent "e" on many words were pronounced back then. There was no such thing as a silent K. English standards were based upon phonetic spelling and it hasnt been updated for a few centuries.

The KJV may have used consistent internal spelling but that doesn't make it any kind of universal "standardized" spelling. And assertions about how things were pronounced fly in the face of the widespread variations in dialects, let alone accents. And none of this was necessarily phonetic, it was a blend of Old English, French, Latin and other influences along with evolved usage.

Furthermore, Chancery Standard was not a "standard" in the sense you are using it here. It provided a common core of Middle English, and was an amalgam of London, Midlands, and Northern dialects, and became the language of bureaucracy, but common spelling didn't crystallize until much later, and by that time speech had already drifted from what it was when Chancery Standard was formed.

tl;dr: the whole idea that there was some Edenic moment when English language pronunciation and spelling were both standardized and beautiful harmonized is a fantasy. Language does not work like that.


COL' got to be! Y'know? Sh*iiiit.
 
2014-01-29 02:40:47 PM
Throw the yule log on Uncle John.
 
2014-01-29 02:40:52 PM
Vive la virgule d'Oxford!

Not only do I believe the comma to be useful in making clear the intent of the writer, but I also contend that the semi-colon is necessary to ensure that lists containing epithets or defining clauses remain readable.

Einstein was right: you should "make things as simple as possible, but not simpler".

All spelling and grammar reformers tend to neglect this sensible maxim and go overboard into confusion and lack of clarity. You don't have to be a lawyer, but make sense and be precise in your usage.

If we followed the advice of extreme spelling reformers, people would write the way they talk and it would be impossible for a Southerner and a Bostoner to communicate, let alone an English cockney and an American hillbilly.

You can see this everytime you read a post by somebody who can't spell and who confuses common confusibles such as to, two, and too.

On the other hand, there are plenty of school-marmish rules that are unnecessary or even dead wrong. Go after them instead of perfectly cromulent "errors"
 
2014-01-29 02:41:04 PM
Subordinate clauses, nonrestrictive relative clauses, sentence connectors, and a variety of other grammatical structures NEED commas to function properly.  Otherwise you have sentences like this one that run on and don't have the proper structure because they have no relationship of where the clauses are separated but it doesn't matter because anyone with a 3rd-grade education can understand all of this anyway so what's the big deal why not just make writing have no commas?

Seriously, if you write to me like a 3rd-grader, I'll assume you have the intelligence of one.
 
2014-01-29 02:41:25 PM
I never had a problem with the comma, the semi-colon on the other hand I never understood other than for making winky faces.  That can vanish and I wouldn't miss it.
 
2014-01-29 02:43:40 PM
Texting has enabled millions of people to embrace their grammatical ignorance.
 
2014-01-29 02:44:26 PM

Far Cough: Mugato: It's here but it's disguising itself. It's a "comma chameleon".

I'll show myself out.

Dammit, I was going to post a Boy George photo.

rkiller1: I say kill the hell out of the apostrophe but the comma is a useful marker. And comma-splices should be legalized, they are perfect in most contexts.

I like apostrophes quite a bit, but I could live with that compromise.  Comma splices are just fine in informal communication, they just don't belong in formal writing.

Getting rid of the comma would be as inane as getting rid of the double-space-after-periods.

/I'm serious
/I type 'em anyway
/oh look an apostrophe
/old


I mainly dont like apostrophes because they make me shift my right pinky finger east, which is awkward.
 
2014-01-29 02:46:23 PM
rkiller1:

I mainly dont like apostrophes because they make me shift my right pinky finger east, which is awkward.

What is "First world problems?" Alex
 
2014-01-29 02:46:52 PM

ArcadianRefugee: "The problem is, or rather one of the problems, for there are many, a sizeable proportion of which are continually clogging up the civil, commercial, and criminal courts in all areas of the Galaxy, and especially, where possible, the more corrupt ones, this."
~Douglas Adams


That is a thing of beauty.
 
2014-01-29 02:52:16 PM

Arachnophobe: Grammar thread? Grammar Ashley.


If THAT can't get boys interested in improving their English, English is in biiiig trouble.
 
2014-01-29 02:53:17 PM
I hate commas... really... really hate them.
 
2014-01-29 02:53:58 PM
i2.cpcache.com
 
2014-01-29 02:54:51 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Commas?

How about the proper use of hyphens?


Well, you know, girls these days are so physically active that by the time many of them reach puberty...
 
2014-01-29 02:57:04 PM
imagizer.imageshack.us
 
2014-01-29 02:57:09 PM
I'm not even gonna read this thread, because I already know the lack of commas is going to give me a headache.

I just came here to say that it really drives me nuts when people totally skip using punctuation when they type.  It's almost forgivable when you're typing from your phone or something.  But when you are sitting at an actual keyboard, and you still insist on writing a block of text with no punctuation, it's very frustrating to those trying to read it.

The only thing I hate worse than that is people using shorthand, even when not on a phone.  Like I really want to sit there and translate the entire message as I'm reading it.
 
2014-01-29 02:58:00 PM

rkiller1: apostrophe



Very few people know that an apostrophe exists, let alone how to use it. (eg: your vs you're)

/I'm Pro Oxford comma

//poured myself 3 drinks and joined TF for 6 months, I must be drunk.
/// My grammar skills have gone out to lunch.
 
2014-01-29 03:00:17 PM
the colon is under rated. it can be used in many ways, but be careful with it.
 
2014-01-29 03:01:03 PM
Shouldn't we get rid of those  transvestite hermaphroditesemicolons first?
 
2014-01-29 03:02:37 PM

colon_pow: the colon is under rated. it can be used in many ways, but be careful with it.


Definitely be careful. Colons are always full of sh*t!
 
2014-01-29 03:03:01 PM

colon_pow: the colon is under rated. it can be used in many ways, but be careful with it.


...or else you could end up with a semicolon.
 
2014-01-29 03:03:22 PM
Man i hate grammar, nazis
 
2014-01-29 03:03:55 PM
Most younglings with aspirations for writing use too many commas.

/Girlfiend and the comma.  I know, I know.  It's serious.
 
2014-01-29 03:05:42 PM

Glenford: Shouldn't we get rid of those  transvestite hermaphrodite semicolons first?


Right after we eliminate spaces.
 
2014-01-29 03:05:59 PM

xanadian: colon_pow: the colon is under rated. it can be used in many ways, but be careful with it.

...or else you could end up with a semicolon.


The only time I use a semicolon ever is for this...   ;)
 
2014-01-29 03:06:07 PM
Is everything stream of thought now?!
 
2014-01-29 03:08:51 PM
It's interesting how online sites, which already suffer from little to no editorial support, have proclaimed that necessary punctuation, spelling, grammar, and so on, just isn't all that necessary. One would almost suspect that they're deliberately sandbagging such things, using technology as an excuse for poor communications, to encourage acceptance of poor communications. "Gee, there's only 140 characters on Twitter, so why use a comma?"

That's OK, mind you - the dumber you get, the longer I get to work and the more money I can squirrel away before retirement. Keep at it, folks.
 
2014-01-29 03:09:26 PM
TFA-writer is a retard.  Since when do we regard Twitter as the blueprint for how we should write everything, in every circumstance and context?
 
2014-01-29 03:10:19 PM
splitsider.com
 
2014-01-29 03:14:37 PM

Far Cough: Getting rid of the comma would be as inane as getting rid of the double-space-after-periods.

/I'm serious
/I type 'em anyway


I got a lecture from someone about using a SINGLE space after a period (he was adamant there should be no space). His question was "Who does that anymore".... my answer was "I do, STFU"

Communication is successful if the other person got what you said. If that is achieved, who the fark has cause to debate ?
 
2014-01-29 03:14:46 PM
Yeah well that's just like your opinion man.
 
2014-01-29 03:14:59 PM

czetie: Eats shoots and leaves.


Wow. Smart and fast.

farm3.staticflickr.com
 
2014-01-29 03:15:34 PM

Drubell: [i2.cpcache.com image 250x250]


Would ANY sane person be confused by either representation ?
There is a basic social assumption that cannibalism is not recommended.
 
2014-01-29 03:17:09 PM
www.freewebs.com
 
2014-01-29 03:17:32 PM

czetie: Eats shoots and leaves.


Eats roots and leaves (lookup kiwi slang for "root" for the lulz)

img.fark.net
 
2014-01-29 03:18:26 PM

Haoie: Is everything stream of thought now?!


No. The article's gist is that "well, the last two generations apparently can't tell the difference between informal writing and formal writing, so let's just beg off that whole 'formal writing' schtick. Kids don't know how & when to use a comma, and Twitter doesn't require them for all of the scintillating prose dumped there by millions of rapt fools, so we're betting they're just going to fade away. It's not like anyone reads out loud any more, and therefore understands that a comma actually provides a slight pause during verbal communication, so, sure, let's go with that."

It's the push to turn pre-college education into occupational training. "The barista doesn't need to know how & when to use a comma to make my latte. The janitor doesn't need to know the difference between an em dash and en dash to sweep. The waiter doesn't need to know how to solve a quadratic equation. Why bother teaching them? We're just unnecessarily complicating their lives."

I'm all for it. I'm tired of explaining to people why it is that education, in and of itself, is a good thing. Over the last 30 or so years, we seem hell-bent on destroying the progress our country made during the previous couple of centuries - all to make rich people richer and keep poor people in their place. Fark it. Race yourselves to the bottom. If you can't figure out why language, math, and science skills are necessary, then, well, you're right - you probably won't need them. I'll be quite happy to continue making money as a result of the overall decrease in education. Oh, right - wrong crowd. Hold on...

tl;dr: Stay stupid - it's better for me and easier for you.
 
2014-01-29 03:19:27 PM

MattyBlast: TFA-writer is a retard.  Since when do we regard Twitter as the blueprint for how we should write everything, in every circumstance and context?


Since we've adopted "Screw the right way - the easy way is the way to go" as America's informal motto.
 
2014-01-29 03:20:00 PM

cman: Why cant we write English like we say it?


You may write English "like we say it" but, allow me to point out that you "say" English like an illiterate, brain-damaged drug addict.

Why must we be so fanciful with our writing style?

Who is this "we" you speak of? Your use of "we" suggests you are a part of the group that writes using proper English; there is no evidence of that.

Why cant we update the spelling standards to have English spelled phonetically again? No one pronounces the "gh" anymore, why still have it?

"We" cannot even get the driving public to use turn signals; what makes you think "we" could change English spelling? Languages evolve slowly. Rather than changing the English language as it is understood by hundreds of millions of people, maybe you should consider learning how to spell. You live in the age of computers with spell checker programs; "we" have made it easy for you. Having problems with homonyms and homophones? Contractions got you down? There is a little book, The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White; it is available in PDF online. You could look it up.
 
2014-01-29 03:22:16 PM
Came here for Stalin and Grandma.  Leaving, so, very, satisfied.
 
2014-01-29 03:23:13 PM

Slartibartfaster: Far Cough: Getting rid of the comma would be as inane as getting rid of the double-space-after-periods.

/I'm serious
/I type 'em anyway

I got a lecture from someone about using a SINGLE space after a period (he was adamant there should be no space). His question was "Who does that anymore".... my answer was "I do, STFU"

Communication is successful if the other person got what you said. If that is achieved, who the fark has cause to debate ?


Maybe that was me. I get paid to care (giraffic designer) about setting text. And almost everything I have read online states there is no need for two spaces.

And of course I was taught that way.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/01/space_in va ders.html

I guess I don't care what you do, but no way in hell am I setting up a brochure or whatever with two spaces after periods.
 
2014-01-29 03:23:35 PM
James Joyce used eccentric punctuation. When you become as facile a writer as he, you may do likewise.
 
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