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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 33
    More: Interesting, John McWhorter, Oxford comma  
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3651 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jan 2014 at 2:15 PM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-29 02:31:14 PM
3 votes:

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?


A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling 
   by Mark Twain

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
2014-01-29 12:49:28 PM
3 votes:
www.cenolithic.com
2014-01-29 12:07:15 PM
3 votes:

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

You're saying that English is tough to spell? That's rough. Frankly, I've had enough of people who want to slough off difficulties. *cough*

I am saying that English has changed significantly since the spelling standards were put in stone.


When is it exactly that you imagine the spelling standards were "put in stone"? And where?

And when was English ever spelled phonetically? And whose pronunciation are you going to deem correct?
2014-01-29 10:15:47 AM
3 votes:

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


You're saying that English is tough to spell? That's rough. Frankly, I've had enough of people who want to slough off difficulties. *cough*
2014-01-29 09:10:58 AM
3 votes:
Eats shoots and leaves.
2014-01-29 10:22:24 PM
2 votes:
I'm torn.  On the one hand, the best part of this piece MIGHT be that the author doesn't appear to know jack about the topic on which he is writing:

Correction, Jan. 29, 2014: Due to an editing error, this article originally misstated that the Oxford comma comes after the last item in a series. It comes after the penultimate item.

On the other hand, it might be his failure to use parentheses correctly:

McWhorter and Curzan both suggest that the lack of definitive comma guidelines results in a punctuation mark that is especially malleable and prone to use modifications. (There is no similar confusion about when to place a question mark or a period.)

CSB:

I had an Irish student the first year I was teaching freshmen composition at the local college.  I got his first paper and spent about ten minutes trying to figure out when in the hell he had been smoking, because the thing was barely readable (the words that were comprehensible were spelled fantastically wrong).  Then I realized that, much like many American students, he was just spelling words the way they sounded... and they sound pretty freaking different when spoken in an Irish accent.  I had a good laugh about it, spent the semester working with the kid, and he got himself shipshape.

The moral of the story: standards matter, you stupid reformers.

/Even if adhere to them imperfectly
2014-01-29 02:41:04 PM
2 votes:
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 02:26:25 PM
2 votes:
27.media.tumblr.com
2014-01-29 01:00:53 PM
2 votes:

mindseyewrestling.blog.com


RIP

2014-01-30 10:25:32 AM
1 votes:

The hopeless imp: ISO15693: As a software engineer, what really bugs me is the accepted English method of closing nested parentheticals with just a single parentheses.

"I was walking down the street (Mulberry Street (the one on the east side of town) and witnessed a car accident. "

It just seems WRONG

I've learned to avoid nesting partheticals. Saves my sanity as well as keeps me from digressing too much.


Wait wait wait.  It just "seems wrong" because it IS wrong.  Since when is that kind of sloppy stupidity accepted in formal writing?  Of COURSE you close out all your parentheses; I wasn't aware this was a question.

The best way to approach it, for me, is to alternate [ brackets and ( parentheses, and maybe throw in a { or two if you want to get fancy.  Of course, if you find yourself nesting like that, you're probably expressing yourself incorrectly.

A "writer" using "anymore" to BEGIN a sentence?  Really?  I think not.
2014-01-29 07:29:35 PM
1 votes:

whidbey: I'm a writer. Pretty sure that's how I know what I'm talking about.


Citations needed.
2014-01-29 06:21:28 PM
1 votes:

whidbey: red5ish: whidbey: Grammar isn't very important period. Anymore, people just do what they want with it, and practically any attempt to point out rules gets you branded as old fashioned.

I suppose it all comes down to what you do for a living. Based on your comment, I am guessing that you are a butcher.

I'm a writer. Pretty sure that's how I know what I'm talking about.


That isn't possible.
2014-01-29 05:27:27 PM
1 votes:

whidbey: Grammar isn't very important period. Anymore, people just do what they want with it, and practically any attempt to point out rules gets you branded as old fashioned.


I suppose it all comes down to what you do for a living. Based on your comment, I am guessing that you are a butcher.
2014-01-29 03:59:54 PM
1 votes:

Paris1127: [www.grammarblog.co.uk image 640x960]


Based on the use of all caps for "ONLY", it appears that those classes of people are not welcome anywhere else in the establishment BUT for the toilet, and must head there forthwith.

There is no reasonable argument against the Oxford comma.  People who deride the Oxford comma are just plain fools.
2014-01-29 03:18:26 PM
1 votes:

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 03:14:37 PM
1 votes:

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 02:58:00 PM
1 votes:

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 02:57:09 PM
1 votes:
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 02:53:58 PM
1 votes:
i2.cpcache.com
2014-01-29 02:46:23 PM
1 votes:
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 02:39:21 PM
1 votes:

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 02:30:04 PM
1 votes:

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
2014-01-29 02:28:53 PM
1 votes:
"I want him to suck, mike" is not the same as "I want him to suck mike".
2014-01-29 02:27:06 PM
1 votes:
So his basic argument is "We don't need commas because Twitter."

That's just stupid. It's like saying "it isn't raining today so I should throw out my umbrella." There's a time and place for everything, and twitter should not be driving basic language rules.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
2014-01-29 02:24:08 PM
1 votes:
farking a biatch

vs

Farking A, Biatch.

Or

Helping uncle Jack off a horse

Or

helping uncle jack off a horse.

No, comma and punctuation are not important.
2014-01-29 02:22:50 PM
1 votes:
this idea literally sucks.
2014-01-29 02:19:38 PM
1 votes:
Oxford comma 4 lyfe!
2014-01-29 02:14:57 PM
1 votes:
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.
2014-01-29 01:32:30 PM
1 votes:
It's here but it's disguising itself. It's a "comma chameleon".

I'll show myself out.
2014-01-29 01:19:38 PM
1 votes:

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?


www.bestcoloringpagesforkids.com

LOLWUT
2014-01-29 01:00:44 PM
1 votes:
www.funnytypos.com
2014-01-29 12:49:45 PM
1 votes:
Let's eat grandma.
2014-01-29 10:04:28 AM
1 votes:
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?
 
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