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Author Topic: English is weird  (Read 103303 times)

Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #850 on: 24 Jan 2019, 08:04 »

I wonder if going a bit further, it might not come back to the same thing after all. Proto Indo-European is reconstructed as *ensla, wich might easily be construed as the same construction your proto-Germanic has, of combining water and land roots. That's just conjecture, though.

Do both Latin and the Germanic languages derive from proto-indo European?
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #851 on: 24 Jan 2019, 08:13 »

They do: Indo-European Languages

Or, to put it more visually:
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2019, 08:25 by Cornelius »
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Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #852 on: 24 Jan 2019, 10:39 »

Oh, purrrty!

And what is that branch with Dutch, Flemish & Afrikaans called? "Low Franconian"? And why isn't it closer to the High German branch? Dutch is closer to German than English, methinks? And Frisian is definitely closer to German than either English or Dutch?

And what does 'year 0' mean?
« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2019, 10:45 by Case »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #853 on: 24 Jan 2019, 11:00 »

And Frisian is definitely closer to German than either English or Dutch?

I thought it was closer to English, as the old rhyme I know (and so does Wikipedia) suggests:

Quote from: Wikipedia
One rhyme that is sometimes used to demonstrate the palpable similarity between Frisian and English is "Bread, butter and green cheese is good English and good Fries", which sounds not very different from "Brea, bûter en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk".
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Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #854 on: 24 Jan 2019, 11:46 »

Brot, Butter und grüner Käse sind gutes English und gutes Friesisch.

Hmmmh, Ok, I see what you mean. IDK - for starters, Frisians are Germans, though a lot of them would probably say they are Frisians who happen to also speak German. English really clicked for me, in a way that French never did, and with a good foundation in German & English, Dutch isn't really that hard to learn (though I've heard it's harder the other way round), so for me, Frisian feels more like another color on the spectrum.

Doesn't mean that I could immediately follow a Frisian conversation in a loud bar, but I'm pretty confident I could handle myself given half a year or so of Immersion.

Also: Standard high German is itself as much a specification as a language - it was very deliberately used to strengthen social cohesion during the 150 years of unification. The old dialects are still there. In my native Rhineland, we sometimes use a grammatical construction that exists in standard Dutch, but not in standard German.
« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2019, 11:56 by Case »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #855 on: 24 Jan 2019, 12:18 »

Oh, purrrty!

And what is that branch with Dutch, Flemish & Afrikaans called? "Low Franconian"? And why isn't it closer to the High German branch? Dutch is closer to German than English, methinks? And Frisian is definitely closer to German than either English or Dutch?

And what does 'year 0' mean?

It's from a post-apocalyptic comic: year 0 is when disaster struck in the story.

As such, it's not entirely accurate in closeness. On the other hand, it does take into account Limburgs and Luxemburgs as well, along with other smaller languages that often don't figure in the overview As for the relation between Friesian, Dutch, German and English, this is the - decidedly less inspiring - tree wikipedia gives for that branch:



Edit: looking back on the picture of the tree, the detail in the lower panel does give the right sequence for the west-germanic branches.


« Last Edit: 24 Jan 2019, 12:33 by Cornelius »
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Cornelius

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #856 on: 24 Jan 2019, 12:23 »

English really clicked for me, in a way that French never did, and with a good foundation in German & English, Dutch isn't really that hard to learn (though I've heard it's harder the other way round), so for me, Frisian feels more like another color on the spectrum.

Personally, I feel people are mostly scared off by the case system that's rather more prominent in German. That's the only thing that's really much different.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #857 on: 24 Jan 2019, 12:51 »

You wouldn't normally guess that the words "mercy" and "mercenary" have much to do with each other, but in fact they come from the same root.

The root is the Latin word for money, "mercare."  In the sense of donations made to charity (or money pleaded for by beggars) "mercare" became "mercy."  In the sense of an explanation for why some young men would leave behind civilized behavior, at great risk to their own lives, and slaughter strangers in large numbers without even believing in anything they were fighting for, as long as they got paid enough to party on weekends, it became "mercenary." 

So next time you see someone pleading for mercy from a mercenary, you're going to have to avoid thinking about this, because in that situation, laughing about the linguistic convolutions of those words would brand you as a complete ass insensitive to the suffering of others, as well as probably getting you shot.
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #858 on: 24 Jan 2019, 14:02 »

Interesting. So you're saying that the words "mercy" and "mercenary" are very much two sides of the same coin.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #859 on: 24 Jan 2019, 14:33 »

And Frisian is definitely closer to German than either English or Dutch?
I thought it was closer to English, as the old rhyme I know (and so does Wikipedia) suggests:
Quote from: Wikipedia
One rhyme that is sometimes used to demonstrate the palpable similarity between Frisian and English is "Bread, butter and green cheese is good English and good Fries", which sounds not very different from "Brea, bûter en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk".
I recall that the TV documentary series "The Adventure of English" said that Frisian was a closest relative of English.

I don't know enough about the history of German, Dutch, and related languages to know whether it is historically relevant, but I've spoken before about how Flemish commentary on cycling events like the Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) confuses the English-speaking part of my brain into thinking I ought to be able to understand it, because it sort of sounds like English.
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Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #860 on: 24 Jan 2019, 16:57 »

Well, if you ignore all the romance-vocabulary, English is still a Germanic language.

Sort of.

Nominally.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #861 on: 24 Jan 2019, 19:36 »

We all know the popular line about the way English "borrows" from other languages - sometimes a brazen daylight theft and sometimes by following them down dark alleys, beating them senseless and going through their pockets for loose vocabulary.  Let's face it, English is a thug.

English is a bastard child of the Romance and Germanic families that's has fallen into theft and other crimes, and at this point has been cast out by the families of both its parents.  Romance and Germanic families both hem and hum and act embarrassed whenever the subject of English is brought up.

But both seem miffed that being disowned by them doesn't really bother English in the least.

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Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #862 on: 25 Jan 2019, 03:37 »

In Europe, it's mostly the romance cultures that are miffed that English has won the European lingua-franca  wars. Crossing that line between the language families is quite challenging, and cultures with substantial shares of the populace that are comfortable with languages from both families are rare - IIRC, in the northwest, only Belgium and Luxembourg.

Until the mid 90s, a large share of both French and German students studied the other countries' language, but since then, that share has dropped.

For the north-western countries, English is simply much, much easier to learn, and with the EU accession of the Central-Eastern countries, and their decision for English as second language, the balance shifted decisively.
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Cornelius

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #863 on: 25 Jan 2019, 03:45 »

Crossing that line between the language families is quite challenging.

It gets even more interesting when you go to where there's an overlap between those. The East Cantons for instance; official languages are both German and French, and they do use both of them. Besides, they're friendly people, so if they hear you speak Flemish, they'll happily throw in whatever vocabulary they have. That was an interesting afternoon.
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Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #864 on: 25 Jan 2019, 13:09 »

I think I confused two different languages in our above discussion about Frisian:

There are three different Frisian languages - west-Frisian, spoken by about 430.000 people in the north-east of the Netherlands, as well as east-Frisian and north-Frisian, spoken in a handful of places on the German north sea coast and in Southern Schleswig on the Jutland peninsula.

The latter two are nearly extinct, and have been largely replaced by standard (high) German and local low German dialects.

What I thought of as (east) Frisiam  is in fact East Frisian low Saxon, a low-German dialect (According to the respective German wiki, it seems the misnomer is quite widespread amongst non-Frisian Germans).

I knew that the German Frisians regard themselves as an ethnic minority, but our constitutional court rejected their request for official recognition

Low German is indeed ... well German, it can be difficult to understand, but it doesn't feel like a foreign language. Genuine Frisian otoh is definitely a language apart, albeit a related one. Low German dialects - what we call 'platt' or 'plattdütsch' (lit. 'flat German' ) - are spoken in virtually all of northern Germany,, even my own hometown has its own 'platt'. Or rather had :The last people I heard speaking it were my maternal grandparents. So it's no mystery that the Frisian variants of low German would feel familiar to me, since they are related to the low German dialect of my childhood (Sadly, I've lost all but a few words)

North Frisian sounds like this:and here's a bit of east-Frisian low Saxon:
I'd still say that the German Frisian variants sound more German to me than English - if anything, it feels more like Germandutchsomething - , but that might be due to the speakers shifting back and forth between high German and Frisian pronunciation. And yes, this is definitely a language apart, albeit, sadly, one that appears to be destined to fall victim to the very strong pressures to speak high German. I guess that's probably due to policies pursued during the unification process of the last 150 years (Germany, as a nation, is really quite young, and its constituent parts needed quite a bit of convincing to feel German rather than Bavarian, Rhenish, Prussian etc. - that was the original meaning of the (in)famous 'Deutschland, Deutschland über alles': It wasn't at all unthinkable for 18th Century Germans to side with foreign powers in wars against their own brethren)

Sorry, my bad :oops:
« Last Edit: 25 Jan 2019, 13:42 by Case »
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #865 on: 25 Jan 2019, 16:19 »

and here's a bit of east-Frisian low Saxon:
<youtube>naa naa naa naa naaaaa naaaaaa</youtube>

Well, some things are universal.
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Morituri

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #866 on: 27 Jan 2019, 11:37 »

One thing about English that I have appreciated is that English has a great capacity for coining new words that are, even though perhaps made up on the spot, recognizable as proper English words. Some are understood by nearly all native speakers  ("He didn't like people in general, but he was feeling particularly _stabby_ that morning because he was angry about the car.") and some by most ("Well, an _omnicidal_ species could launch relativistic kill missiles toward every star in the galaxy relatively cheaply.").  And some are deliberately obscure, or understandable to relatively few ("Trump's foreign policy seems potentially _eschatogenic_."). 

It's mostly a pale shadow of the compounding capabilities of German, in that there aren't any formal construction rules or really exact methods of tying a constructed word its meaning.  But it's remarkably clear and creates relatively short, easily usable words.   And in some ways, I think the very lack of those formal construction rules makes it more flexible.

Mostly it uses existing English root words, with unexpected or unusual affixes.  Or it uses Latin or Greek roots.  Like most of the vocabulary thefts of English, it imports roots meaning the same thing in different languages and then draws distinctions between them for finer gradations of meaning.  Sometimes that differentiation can result in mixed constructions blending roots from different languages.  For example, "_polyamory_", a relatively recent coinage, is a blend of Latin and Greek roots for "many loves" denoting someone who forms multiple romantic attachments, where "_polyphilia_", which would be the consistently Greek form, would denote someone who has many sexual pathologies.  Why? Because one root has been imported into English associated with romantic or emotional love, and the other with sexual deviance.  For unknown reasons.  We don't even think about this, but it just sort of works out.
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Cornelius

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #867 on: 28 Jan 2019, 05:47 »

It's mostly a pale shadow of the compounding capabilities of German, in that there aren't any formal construction rules or really exact methods of tying a constructed word its meaning.  But it's remarkably clear and creates relatively short, easily usable words.   And in some ways, I think the very lack of those formal construction rules makes it more flexible.

While I agree with most of what you say, most languages do not have any real formal rules, outside of the realm of prescriptive linguistics. But the implicit rules that most speakers with a certain rate of proficiency use, are fairly unbending - hence why real language change is a fairly slow process - other than vocabulary fashions. The limit on compounds in English is one example of that.

Although, the inability to form longer compounds might have more to do with the definition of a word in English. Though it's not easy to find a good definition of what can and cannot be considered a word in English - or in most languages.

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Case

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #868 on: 28 Jan 2019, 06:05 »

It's mostly a pale shadow of the compounding capabilities of German, in that there aren't any formal construction rules or really exact methods of tying a constructed word its meaning.  But it's remarkably clear and creates relatively short, easily usable words.   And in some ways, I think the very lack of those formal construction rules makes it more flexible.

Morituri? This is what happened when German discovered that English had a word - spillage - that itself did not:



('Tropfmengen sind sofort aufzunehmen' - lit.: 'Drip-amounts are to be soaked up immediately' = 'Please clean up spillages')


Please tell me again about those rules you speak of. :facepalm:



English may be a thieving Bully, German ... is ze Borg. The result doesn't need to be pretty, but you will be assimilated.
« Last Edit: 28 Jan 2019, 07:09 by Case »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #869 on: 04 Feb 2019, 13:29 »

In Europe, it's mostly the romance cultures that are miffed that English has won the European lingua-franca  wars.
Do the Italians, or Spaniards, get bent out of shape about it, or is it just the French?  :mrgreen:

One thing about English that I have appreciated is that English has a great capacity for coining new words that are, even though perhaps made up on the spot, recognizable as proper English words.
The fact that verbs have no case in Chinese means that the distinction between nouns and verbs is perhaps a bit weaker than in more strongly inflected languages. Formally a "particle" character is used to tell the reader if the preceding character is to be read as a noun, verb, adjective etc. but it is often dropped if the context makes it clear. So you can pretty freely use nouns as verbs and vice versa. Although English has done this too, for a long time, as displayed by words like "roof", my impression from reading modern English usage, compared to old novels, is that noun-verbing and verb-nouning is becoming more and more common.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #870 on: 06 Feb 2019, 14:06 »

More common, certainly - though we still look askance at extreme examples like Shakespeare's "But me no buts".
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #871 on: 06 Feb 2019, 22:48 »

It sounds interesting. A cursory search doesn't turn up a study on this particular mechanism. I'll have another look on my day off next week.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #872 on: 07 Feb 2019, 02:25 »

In Europe, it's mostly the romance cultures that are miffed that English has won the European lingua-franca  wars.
Do the Italians, or Spaniards, get bent out of shape about it, or is it just the French?  :mrgreen:

In my personal, biased, and not at all representative experience? The Italians don't deign to notice(*), and Spaniards will bend you out of shape. :mrgreen:

Getting over your lost Empire is seen as a sign of maturity amongst European societies (**).


(*) Researchers exempted here - they have pretty decent English.
(**) Commenting on the Brexit-debacle, the Spanish (?) foreign secretary recently observed that 'there are only two kinds of countries in Europe: Small ones, and those that don't yet know they are small'

« Last Edit: 07 Feb 2019, 10:33 by Case »
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #873 on: 08 Feb 2019, 00:02 »

I’ve got a weird question. I’m ... uh... I’m gunna go ahead and ask it.

Why are Americans so fond of this little mannerism? “I’m gunna go ahead and do something “ rather than simply “I’m gunna do something.” It seems especially popular on YouTube, but I’ve seen it elsewhere (including here).

There’s nothing wrong with it, but it seems redundant and a little odd to my ear.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #874 on: 08 Feb 2019, 00:54 »

I say that too, which I think I got from America. It is a bit redundant but has implications to the sentence, because it implies giving yourself permission.

I have primarily used it to re-assert my own agency/authority or, much more likely, because it is a fun and amusing thing to say.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #875 on: 08 Feb 2019, 01:52 »

Guessing from a linguistic perspective, it's to put more emphasis on the phrase. That's usually the reason why languages develop phrases that sound illogical and have redundancy.

"I'm gonna" has many meanings and it borders on a purely grammatical construction, with little semantic meaning (it can imply intent, the way things are currently developing, and other things as well). Adding "go ahead" adds a verb that implies active action and intent. "I'm gonna" can be used in plenty context where the person isn't even an active participant in something or doing anything.

(so basically, what Trillho said, but also "I'm gonna is vague")

EDIT: also, "I'm gonna go ahead and (...)" implies an immediate time frame, even moreso than "I'm gonna" in isolation, which again - is fairly nebulous and doesn't imply anything beyond the general direction things are going, and that something is going to happen soonish.

EDIT 2: also, never underestimate just adding words to a phrase to make it more emphatic and for no other reason. See also constructions like "y'all" (and even "all y'all") or adding "literally" to make a statement seem stronger. That's just something people do when a commonly-used phrase feels like somehow not enough.
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #876 on: 08 Feb 2019, 13:10 »

I say that too, which I think I got from America. It is a bit redundant but has implications to the sentence, because it implies giving yourself permission.

That gels with my understanding of the phrase as well. Which makes it all the more reason for it to be weird for me when it's used by a YouTuber on a video demonstrating something when the demo it's literally the reason I'm watching the video.

EDIT 2: also, never underestimate just adding words to a phrase to make it more emphatic and for no other reason. See also constructions like "y'all" (and even "all y'all") or adding "literally" to make a statement seem stronger. That's just something people do when a commonly-used phrase feels like somehow not enough.

The emphatic usage idea makes sense to me.

Urban Dictionary has an interesting take on it (for a change). It indicates that the phrase is used to soften a command. This seems feasible.

If this is a popular usage, then it's only a matter of time until people start to use it when describing what they are about to do themselves on YouTube videos.
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Morituri

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #877 on: 11 Feb 2019, 08:00 »


There's a little noise people make when they're startled and alarmed and I don't know what it's called.  If it were fully voiced, it would be a "Yelp," and a whole lot louder.  But it's  a sharp exhalation, usually partly voiced, often accompanied with a physical startle response like recoiling or jumping back from something.  I'm sure everybody's heard this vocalization at least a few times, even if they personally haven't made it themselves.  What the heck is it called?  A "reverse gasp", in that someone is exhaling rather than inhaling?  A "stifled yelp," in that it's not deliberately or fully voiced?

What is a name for it that I can write down and have people understand what happened without further explaining it?

There's another little noise people make when they're annoyed, and I don't know what it's called either.  But at least it has a ready referent.  Marge, of the TV show "The Simpsons," habitually makes this noise when she's upset but realizes trying to correct the problem would be useless.  It sounds like  "Hmmm," but with a passive-aggressive intonation, more air pressure behind it and a constricted throat.  It sounds like starting to say something and then mentally grinding gears as you realize there's nothing to say.  If it denotes anything, it may be "unwilling but passive acceptance of a bad situation."

What the heck *is* that?  Is there a verb for making that noise?  Is there a noun that is the name of it?  When a character in the theater of my mind makes that sound, what the heck could I write down to describe it?
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #878 on: 11 Feb 2019, 08:40 »

Grumbling?
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #879 on: 11 Feb 2019, 09:01 »


There's a little noise people make when they're startled and alarmed and I don't know what it's called.  If it were fully voiced, it would be a "Yelp," and a whole lot louder.  But it's  a sharp exhalation, usually partly voiced, often accompanied with a physical startle response like recoiling or jumping back from something.  I'm sure everybody's heard this vocalization at least a few times, even if they personally haven't made it themselves.  What the heck is it called?  A "reverse gasp", in that someone is exhaling rather than inhaling?  A "stifled yelp," in that it's not deliberately or fully voiced?

What is a name for it that I can write down and have people understand what happened without further explaining it?

Yelp sounds right to me here for some reason even if its not fully voiced.

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There's another little noise people make when they're annoyed, and I don't know what it's called either.  But at least it has a ready referent.  Marge, of the TV show "The Simpsons," habitually makes this noise when she's upset but realizes trying to correct the problem would be useless.  It sounds like  "Hmmm," but with a passive-aggressive intonation, more air pressure behind it and a constricted throat.  It sounds like starting to say something and then mentally grinding gears as you realize there's nothing to say.  If it denotes anything, it may be "unwilling but passive acceptance of a bad situation."

What the heck *is* that?  Is there a verb for making that noise?  Is there a noun that is the name of it?  When a character in the theater of my mind makes that sound, what the heck could I write down to describe it?
I call it a groan
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Morituri

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #880 on: 11 Feb 2019, 09:49 »

Hmm.  All of those suggestions seem to me to denote things which are distinctly different - but perhaps I'm drawing distinctions that most don't.
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oddtail

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #881 on: 11 Feb 2019, 11:10 »

I'd call the latter an annoyed grunt. I don't think there's a word for something this narrow and specific, at least I can think of none.
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #882 on: 11 Feb 2019, 12:21 »


There's a little noise people make when they're startled and alarmed and I don't know what it's called.  If it were fully voiced, it would be a "Yelp," and a whole lot louder.  But it's  a sharp exhalation, usually partly voiced, often accompanied with a physical startle response like recoiling or jumping back from something.  I'm sure everybody's heard this vocalization at least a few times, even if they personally haven't made it themselves.  What the heck is it called?  A "reverse gasp", in that someone is exhaling rather than inhaling?  A "stifled yelp," in that it's not deliberately or fully voiced?

What is a name for it that I can write down and have people understand what happened without further explaining it?

The only thing I can think of is a "start." Although strictly, that refers to the physical involuntary movement rather than the sound. But I think of one as produced by the other.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #883 on: 11 Feb 2019, 15:13 »

I have seen the phrase "an audible start", which might work for some.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #884 on: 11 Feb 2019, 16:49 »

I think a "start" might actually be the right way to say that.  You'd have to qualify it with "audible", or just refer to it as a sound in some other way (somebody heard it, etc) - by default it does refer to the physical action, but if you're talking about the sound of a start ... well, it's that sound.

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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #885 on: 11 Feb 2019, 21:27 »

For your other question, the best I can come up with is an “ugh.”
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #886 on: 21 Feb 2019, 09:49 »

There was a great zinger in "Words on the Move" where the linguist who wrote it said "English spelling is a tragic accident".
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #887 on: 21 Feb 2019, 20:21 »

Consider the contrast between the pronunciations of plough ("plow"), cough ("coff"), and dough ("doh")...
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #888 on: 21 Feb 2019, 20:47 »

I still remember being introduced to the creatively misspelled "ghoti" at school.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #889 on: 22 Feb 2019, 00:25 »

Consider the contrast between the pronunciations of plough ("plow"), cough ("coff"), and dough ("doh")...

...and rough ("ruff"), and hough ("hocch" - the glottal CH as in scots "Loch" (not Lock))
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #890 on: 22 Feb 2019, 02:08 »

...through (oo); hiccough (up); thought (or); thorough (uh/ə).

Special mentions:  "Slough" can have three of those sounds, with three different meanings; and the town name "Loughborough" uses two of them in the same word (ˈlʌfb(ə)rə)!

Oh, and "hock" is an acceptable alternative pronunciation of hough according to the OED.
« Last Edit: 22 Feb 2019, 16:02 by pwhodges »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #891 on: 22 Feb 2019, 13:30 »

English spelling is actually a much better guide to what English pronunciation in the 17th century was like than it is to what English pronunciation today is like.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #892 on: 25 Feb 2019, 00:42 »

...through (oo); hiccough (up); thought (or); thorough (uh/ə).

Special mentions:  "Slough" can have three of those sounds, with three different meanings; and the town name "Loughborough" uses two of them in the same word (ˈlʌfb(ə)rə)!

Oh, and "hock" is an acceptable alternative pronunciation of hough according to the OED.

What can I tell ya... it's wrong!!!!   :)
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #893 on: 25 Feb 2019, 02:12 »

Well, Chambers dictionary also says that - and is, I am led to believe, generally a more reliable source for Scottish usage.  And remember, dictionaries are about reported usage, not opinion of what is right or wrong.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #894 on: 25 Feb 2019, 07:56 »

Well, Chambers dictionary also says that - and is, I am led to believe, generally a more reliable source for Scottish usage.  And remember, dictionaries are about reported usage, not opinion of what is right or wrong.

Of course...

But this is a fact... FACT, I tells ya!!!  :)

(Joking aside, I can honestly say I have NEVER heard it pronounced that way. Hock is a totally different thing (the end of a pigs leg! But NOT the hoof!))
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #895 on: 09 Mar 2019, 10:58 »

This morning I woke up considering the relationship between the words "Deception" and "Deceased." They sound like they sure ought to be related.   Perhaps by the concept of "cessation."

But if that were the case, I can think of a few people who ought to be falling over dead any day now.

"Deceased" sounds like the past tense of an active verb.  For example you could decease ants by stepping on them.  If that were the case, then the act of deceasing the ants would be called deception.  Which sort of offers a possible etymology, in that often someone must be deceived in order to decease them.

And it may relate to deception in another way.  Once deceased, the ants are no longer ontologically valid.  It no longer makes sense for them to be the subject of a sentence with an active verb. So a statement that the ants do or are doing anything is, prima facie, false, and if presented as truth amounts to a deception.

This sort of thing wanders through my mind between being asleep and awake.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #896 on: 09 Mar 2019, 14:26 »

Well, if you cease to live, you're deceased. Kind of weird to go from cease to de-cease, which feels like meaning some kind opposite.

While "deception" is bound to "to deceive", I don't see how it could be connected to cease though.


Funnily enough, transfer and translate come from the same Latino verb. Makes sense though, since translating is transferring text from one language to another. Weird thing though - "translatum" is the past participle of "transferre", which literally kept its meaning as "to transfer".
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Tova

Re: English is weird
« Reply #897 on: 09 Mar 2019, 15:33 »

Well, if you cease to live, you're deceased. Kind of weird to go from cease to de-cease, which feels like meaning some kind opposite.

The de- in this case denotes 'away' rather than 'opposite'.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #898 on: 19 Mar 2019, 11:37 »

Does it bother anyone else when someone says or writes "All of a sudden" instead of "Suddenly" when conveying a story?
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #899 on: 19 Mar 2019, 12:00 »

Well, that depends on the style. In normal conversation? Probably quite weird. except if you're telling some suspenseful story, I see 'all of a sudden' as a possibility.
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