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Author Topic: English is weird  (Read 154306 times)

Tova

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #950 on: 26 Aug 2020, 10:20 »

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.

I've been doing a lot of online learning (via skillshare and its ilk) and this phrase has gone from bemusing to painfully grating. I know, I know. I'm letting a trivial thing get to me, but when I'm listening to a set of instructions and every instruction in every course is prefaced with "... go ahead and..." .... UGGGHHHH.
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Morituri

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #951 on: 26 Aug 2020, 17:08 »

"Go ahead and" implies that the speaker's been thinking about it, or meaning to do it, or procrastinating about doing it, or considering alternatives to doing it, for some time before making the decision to actually do it.  It signifies making a decision rather than just having a plan.  It's used for decisions that *result* in having plans, so it may be a bit subtle.  When encountered in instructions, it implies that there are a lot of other things you might have done or might have thought you could do, and that this is the one you should decide to do, and that's ... it ranges from "more subtle" to "meaningless verbal tic."

It does grate on the ear.  It tends to be dialect rather than formal speech.  But in the usual case it's dialect that does legitimately signal meaning that formal speech usually doesn't.  In the case of instructions, it signifies considerably less meaning.

For example, "I'm going to go ahead and have that chair fixed" several months after it breaks, after having guests over and finding that there's not enough seating for them all.  As opposed to "I'm going to have that chair fixed" by way of explanation when loading it into the car on the day after it breaks.
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« Reply #952 on: 26 Aug 2020, 20:55 »

Only english of my language forgot it's second pronoun to second-person i.e. ``thou'' e.g. french ``vous,'' ``toi;'' german ``Sie,'' ``du;'' &c. It's peevish English can't say to company ``you'' and know I mean company than representer.
How to pronounce -on endings?
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Is there any rhyme or reason to why we pronounce -on endings in two different ways? Sometimes -on sounds like a short o as in marathon, hexagon, and neutron. But more often, the o sounds like a schwa as in carbon, watermelon, and abandon. Is it just a matter of what language the word was derived from?
Maybe mishearing but hexagonal has schwa, but carbonic not has schwa. Terrible fun.
« Last Edit: 26 Aug 2020, 21:07 by TorporChambre »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #953 on: 31 Aug 2020, 15:05 »

Only english of my language forgot it's second pronoun to second-person i.e. ``thou'' e.g. french ``vous,'' ``toi;'' german ``Sie,'' ``du;'' &c. It's peevish English can't say to company ``you'' and know I mean company than representer.

I once wondered why calling someone by their first name was such a big deal. Missing said formality, English lacks a certain middle ground. In German I can call someone by first name, but still use the formal "Sie". That has become a rarity, but still is an option.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #954 on: 02 Sep 2020, 14:06 »

The classic usted/ustedes frustration, and the source of 'you all and y'all'.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #955 on: 02 Sep 2020, 14:16 »

I once wondered why calling someone by their first name was such a big deal. Missing said formality, English lacks a certain middle ground. In German I can call someone by first name, but still use the formal "Sie". That has become a rarity, but still is an option.

We've by and large gotten rid of the formality in most cases, and that's even true in US Spanish, where people I barely knew used the familiar form, and were obviously not trying to be insulting.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #956 on: 02 Sep 2020, 15:03 »

The schwa conversation has reminded me that Melbourne residents are so terribly keen to persuade visitors to pronounce the schwa in their city’s name, they refer to themselves as “Melburnites.”
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #957 on: 08 Sep 2020, 03:07 »

In German I can call someone by first name, but still use the formal "Sie". That has become a rarity, but still is an option.
While some people indeed do that, it sounds REALLY odd, as far as I can tell its not really propper German, and I'm also unaware this was ever common.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #958 on: 08 Sep 2020, 03:22 »

In German I can call someone by first name, but still use the formal "Sie". That has become a rarity, but still is an option.
While some people indeed do that, it sounds REALLY odd, as far as I can tell its not really propper German, and I'm also unaware this was ever common.

IIRC, that wasn't uncommon until recently as a way to imply social hierarchy - eg. with bosses addressing their underlings. Look for some movies from the 50s and 60s, where some character tells their secretary "Frau Ursuala, bitte schreiben Sie".
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #959 on: 08 Sep 2020, 05:10 »

In German I can call someone by first name, but still use the formal "Sie". That has become a rarity, but still is an option.
While some people indeed do that, it sounds REALLY odd, as far as I can tell its not really propper German, and I'm also unaware this was ever common.

IIRC, that wasn't uncommon until recently as a way to imply social hierarchy - eg. with bosses addressing their underlings. Look for some movies from the 50s and 60s, where some character tells their secretary "Frau Ursuala, bitte schreiben Sie".


DARN MILLENNIALS ARE DESTROYING HIERARCHIES!

But seriously. All the companies I've worked for were either too small for much of a hierarchy, so big that you didn't really have had anything to do with the "higher ups", or had really flat hierarchies.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #960 on: 08 Sep 2020, 06:38 »

IIRC, that wasn't uncommon until recently as a way to imply social hierarchy - eg. with bosses addressing their underlings. Look for some movies from the 50s and 60s, where some character tells their secretary "Frau Ursuala, bitte schreiben Sie".
Hmm. Okay.

Yes conversations between bosses and underlings are strange. I have to know the first name of everybody at my company in order to talk to fellow workers, but the last name of everybody to talk to my boss about them.

Still, "Ursuala" isnt a first name I ever came across. Do you mean "Ursula" ?

And yes, admittedly I basically never watch german movies. General rule of thumb, they suck. I mean, there are a few exceptions, like the really old ones, such as "Metropolis", before the nazireich, when Germany still actually made important movies. And there is of course "Das Boot". And some other stuff, like Otto or Dieter Hallervorden, or some of the stuff of Til Schweiger.

Cant think of anything from the 1960s that I've ever watched though.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #961 on: 08 Sep 2020, 21:58 »

Still, "Ursuala" isnt a first name I ever came across. Do you mean "Ursula" ?

No, that'd be her younger sister who works as a receptionist at the Cape Diem Lodge in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #962 on: 17 Sep 2020, 22:40 »

I've decided that I prefer the term 'schmaltz' over 'saccharine' to refer to something that is excessively sentimental but that I also have a soft spot for in spite of that, purely because the latter refers to artificial sweetener (which is awful), whereas the former refers to chicken or goose fat (which is awesome*).

* In moderation as part of a balanced diet.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #963 on: 18 Sep 2020, 16:54 »

I've always interpreted "saccharine" as something artificially sentimental or having a forced sentimentality to the point of being cloying. Something "schmaltzy" is more...I guess honest is the best term. It still makes your roll your eyes, but it means well (like an overbearing aunt or grandmother).
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #964 on: 19 Sep 2020, 21:18 »

At first I thought the CAPTCHA on this forum was asking "3 > 5?" rather than "5 + 3?" So my first try was "No", but obviously I figured it out.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #965 on: 20 Sep 2020, 20:43 »

Why do people call the Republicans the "GOP"?  There's not a single "grand" thing about them.

But there is one remarkable characteristic that stands out:  We could call them the "OWP" because every last one of their senators are Old White People.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #966 on: 20 Sep 2020, 20:47 »

Geriatric Old Protestants?
Groaning Old Portraits?
Gravely Old Pigeons?
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #967 on: 20 Sep 2020, 22:48 »

Government Of Putin
Greedy Old Pædophiles
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #968 on: 21 Sep 2020, 01:27 »

Not to be confused with the GPO.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #969 on: 13 Oct 2020, 11:44 »

I've decided that I prefer the term 'schmaltz' over 'saccharine' to refer to something that is excessively sentimental but that I also have a soft spot for in spite of that, purely because the latter refers to artificial sweetener (which is awful), whereas the former refers to chicken or goose fat (which is awesome*).

* In moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Sorry for digging this up a month later, but I just stumbled over this again.

In German exists the word "Schmalz". Which literally means ... lard. Pure, unadulterated fat, and (around here) typically pork fat. So, if I twist this a little, you're basically saying "everything is better with bacon", apparently even sentimentalism.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #970 on: 13 Oct 2020, 14:06 »

Genau.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #971 on: 19 Oct 2020, 09:40 »

Only the fool would take the trouble to verify that his sentence was composed of ten a's, three b's, four c's, four d's, forty-six e's, sxteen f's, four g's, thirteen h's, fifteen i's, two k's, nine l's, four m's, twenty-five n's, twenty-four o's, five p's, sixteen r's, forty-one s's, thirty-seven t's, ten u's, eight v's, eight w's, four x's, eleven y's, twenty-seven commas, twenty-three apostrophes, seven hyphens, and, last but not least, a single !

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am that fool.  It's a perfectly true sentence, but it'd be a lot of work to translate it into other languages.

To be fair, it's not original.  It's a literal textbook example used for pedagogic purposes in one of my grad-school textbooks on Search.  Yes, "Search" is an entire field of study.

If anyone cares, the sentence above represents one solution of a system of nonlinear discrete equations.  Such systems are generally considered insoluble, UNLESS (A) there are many solutions in the search space and (B) the value of each term has consistency constraints against less than half the other terms, and (C) the number of possible values each variable can take is expected to be less than n*log(n) of the number of variables.  If these things are true, then a system of nonlinear discrete equations can be solved (or at least one of the solutions can be found) using an obscure algorithm called Cycle Search.

Cycle Search is not usually implemented even in databases or advanced mathematical packages, because people don't understand the constraints on its usability and when they try to use it on problems that don't meet the constraints it diverges hard.  Besides, solving such systems is considered bizarre and likely to be useless for any practical purpose.  They are far more likely to implement a loosely-related algorithm called the RETE algorithm.  RETE is usable on a set of problems considered far more practical and valuable, and doesn't require the variable values to be numeric.  It could in theory be used on problems like the above, but the RETE algorithm diverges hard on nonlinear cases and would take until well after the sun burns out to find a solution to this.

A sentence like the above is a "small" instance of such searches.  If you are sufficiently OCD, you can do it on paper, by hand (translate that sentence into another language) in about a week with less than 500 pages of paper to work on.   Which is about the same amount of time it takes a good programmer to correctly implement Cycle Search, so it's pretty much a break-even case.  If a problem the same size as the above had only one solution, it could, in theory, eventually be found using Cycle Search, but it might take several centuries of computer time.  Not as bad as RETE, but in a one-solution case, pretty bad.

« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2020, 09:52 by Morituri »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #972 on: 19 Oct 2020, 10:26 »

Only the fool would take the trouble to verify that his sentence was composed of ten a's, three b's, four c's, four d's, forty-six e's, sxteen f's, four g's, thirteen h's, fifteen i's, two k's, nine l's, four m's, twenty-five n's, twenty-four o's, five p's, sixteen r's, forty-one s's, thirty-seven t's, ten u's, eight v's, eight w's, four x's, eleven y's, twenty-seven commas, twenty-three apostrophes, seven hyphens, and, last but not least, a single !

It's really not much trouble:


Code: [Select]
echo "Only the fool would take the trouble to verify that his sentence was composed of ten a's, three b's, four c's, four d's, forty-six e's, sxteen f's, four g's, thirteen h's, fifteen i's, two k's, nine l's, four m's, twenty-five n's, twenty-four o's, five p's, sixteen r's, forty-one s's, thirty-seven t's, ten u's, eight v's, eight w's, four x's, eleven y's, twenty-seven commas, twenty-three apostrophes, seven hyphens, and, last but not least, a single !" | fold -sw 1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn  74 
  47 e
  41 s
  38 t
  28 ,
  25 n
  23 o
  23 '
  16 r
  16 f
  14 i
  14 h
  11 y
  10 u
  10 a
   9 l
   8 w
   8 v
   7 -
   5 p
   4 x
   4 m
   4 g
   4 d
   4 c
   3 b
   2 k
   1 O
   1 !

Add an "i" to make 15 instead of 14 though, if you fix "sxteen". And don't worry, the tally is correct-- only the entry of the word is not.
« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2020, 10:32 by flfederation »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #973 on: 19 Oct 2020, 11:24 »

Only the fool would take the trouble to verify that his sentence was composed of ten a's, three b's, four c's, four d's, forty-six e's, sxteen f's, four g's, thirteen h's, fifteen i's, two k's, nine l's, four m's, twenty-five n's, twenty-four o's, five p's, sixteen r's, forty-one s's, thirty-seven t's, ten u's, eight v's, eight w's, four x's, eleven y's, twenty-seven commas, twenty-three apostrophes, seven hyphens, and, last but not least, a single !

It's really not much trouble:

Code: [Select]
echo "$that_sentence" | fold -sw 1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn
You didn't really go through all the trouble, your computer did. The question becomes whether your computer is the fool. According to "$that_sentence", he would be.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #974 on: 08 Nov 2020, 05:05 »

Why do people call the Republicans the "GOP"?  There's not a single "grand" thing about them.

But there is one remarkable characteristic that stands out:  We could call them the "OWP" because every last one of their senators are Old White People.
I always figured it was meant as a tongue in cheek sort of thing once they got co-opted by rich industrialists and started getting corrupted.

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Sorry Hedgie, but they don't have a monopoly on that one. Granted there are more of them on Epstein's leaked client list. WhichI rather hope everyone looks through while voting in their state's run-off elections. There's a Reddit thread for it.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #975 on: 09 Nov 2020, 08:12 »

I've decided that I prefer the term 'schmaltz' over 'saccharine' to refer to something that is excessively sentimental but that I also have a soft spot for in spite of that, purely because the latter refers to artificial sweetener (which is awful), whereas the former refers to chicken or goose fat (which is awesome*).

* In moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Sorry for digging this up a month later, but I just stumbled over this again.

In German exists the word "Schmalz". Which literally means ... lard. Pure, unadulterated fat, and (around here) typically pork fat. So, if I twist this a little, you're basically saying "everything is better with bacon", apparently even sentimentalism.

I think "schmaltz" is American English for "poultry fat", while in German it's typically pork fat. Like "pastarmi" is New York English for a kind of dried beef jerky, while in Southeast Europe and Anatolia "pastarma" is pork .
 
My mom just told me pastarma can be made with goat and horse meat also.
« Last Edit: 09 Nov 2020, 08:37 by zmeiat_joro »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #976 on: 09 Nov 2020, 18:03 »

In America, pork fat is 'lard' in some contexts and 'suet' in others.  And I think it varies mostly by temperature, in that 'lard' is room-temperature or warmer (or if it has been cooked no matter its current temperature) and 'suet' is room-temperature or colder. 

Either I have that wrong, or it's particularly odd.  But there's nothing odd about oddity.  After all we're talking about dialects of English that aren't even English.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #977 on: 13 Nov 2020, 02:14 »

I just read an eerie similarity of english ``acorn''---the oak fruit---german ``Eichhörn'' (the ``-chen'' is diminutive)---the creature stereotyped as eating oak fruit. In both cases, there's a false folk etymology, related to oak: english has it like oak-corn but really just meant tree nuts, german has Eiche (oak) Horn (not sure how horn is even remotely squirrelley) but it's really ``aig'' (swiftness) + ``wer'' (burning).
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #978 on: 13 Nov 2020, 02:33 »

I thought suet was specifically the fat around kidney's and loins, used raw, whereas lard is generally pork fat, that is processed - i.e. cooked and purified.

Also, suet is mostly beef or mutton fat, it seems. If purified, it's known here as Ossewit (Ox white), and mostly used for deepfrying.

In my experience, lard and suet can both be used interchangeably in a lot of recipes, as in, you will get a somewhat decent result, but it will taste differently. If I remember correctly, they have different melting and boiling points as well, so you need to be careful about burning. Especially if you use the unpurified version. But maybe that's something we should take to the cooking thread.
« Last Edit: 13 Nov 2020, 02:41 by Cornelius »
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #979 on: 13 Nov 2020, 04:08 »

Since this conversation continues, I decided to pull my copy of fat by Australian chef Jennifer McLagan off my shelf to see what she has to say about it. I'm not going to try to claim this to be definitive, but ... well, she's obviously more authoritative than I am.

suet: kidney fat, found in the animal's cavity (usually beef fat, sometimes lamb fat).
lard: rendered pork fat.
schmaltz: In the Jewish kitchen, refers to rendered poultry fat; however, the word is German in origin, where it often refers to pork fat.

I think all of this has popped up in this thread from a variety of posters.

Exercise for the reader: Schweineschmaltz, Flomenschmalz, Griebenschmaltz, Gänseschmalz.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #980 on: 13 Nov 2020, 04:15 »

Those match the primary usages reported by the (UK) Oxford English Dictionary.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #981 on: 13 Nov 2020, 11:03 »

Oh good, someone actually knows.  :-)

When I'm speculating on the Internet, I at least *try* to mark it out as speculation, instead of giving people stories that I suppose are probably true or think ought to be true or just hope are true, instead of just pretending something is true.

But, while marking it out is at least better than not, obviously it isn't all that helpful when I'm only speculating because I'm too lazy to go look up the facts. 

Hmmm.  If it was beef instead of pork fat when we were putting out suet for birds, then it's confusing how much they smell alike.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #982 on: 13 Nov 2020, 18:51 »

Hmmm.  If it was beef instead of pork fat when we were putting out suet for birds, then it's confusing how much they smell alike.

You mentioning putting suet out for birds inspired me to dive for the book again and quote a section.

Quote
Suet

Suet is an ingredient seldom seen in recipes today. For many people it conjures up images of bird feeders rather than culinary delights. Suet is the fat that surrounds an animal's kidneys, and although all animals have it in varying amounts, in the kitchen the term usually means beef suet, which is the most readily available. Suet is a very hard fat with a high melting point, making it excellent for deep-frying and pastry. Rich, but with no strong beefy flavor, suet is good for both savory and sweet dishes. While it is best known for enriching mincemeat, suet is essential for steamed puddings and make slight, fluffy dumplings. Unlike other animal fats, suet doesn't need to be rendered before use; it can simply be grated, making it a great fat to have on hand. So get that suet out of the birdfeeder and put it back in your kitchen.

The book also mentions dripping - "the fat released when the meat is roasted." I remember my parents buying dripping from time to time.
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Morituri

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #983 on: 14 Nov 2020, 18:57 »

Okay, here's a thing.  The word 'Quixotic' - denoting a great deal of effort spent on a cause clearly futile or unnecessary from the outset.

I grind my teeth every time I hear someone saying it "Quick Sot Tick" because long ago I remember that word as "Key Hoe Tick" - and then it occurred to me that I hadn't heard the correct pronunciation in a long time - even from pros, like TV news presenters. 

We Americans often "text regularize" things - turning the phonetic spelling thing on its head by pronouncing things the way they're written.  So a word that was originally a Spanish name, for example, gets pronounced as though it were a different word.  This new word is pronounced as though the same sequence of letters represented English-default orthography, and coincidentally, spelled the same! 

Is this now understood to have happened to 'Quixotic'?  Do people actually consider the new pronunciation correct?

IIRC we've sort of done the same thing to 'Fresnel.'  The man was French and in his name the 's' was silent.  But when we're talking about the type of lenses he invented, which arre putatively named after him, the 's' is frequently voiced, resulting in me being annoyed.

Even though actually voicing the 's' turns it into the sound we'd write as 'z' if we wanted to be more specific.
« Last Edit: 14 Nov 2020, 19:06 by Morituri »
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Cornelius

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #984 on: 14 Nov 2020, 23:00 »

Ironically, with Fresnel, you arrive back at the historical French pronunciation, which I understand is still used in some dialects.
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« Reply #985 on: 15 Nov 2020, 02:54 »

I kihotikali adhere to (some) original pronunciations. (Oktapadees is dead, long live oktapoads!)
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Tova

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #986 on: 15 Nov 2020, 03:14 »

Here's the thing. English words should follow English pronunciation rules (yeah I know, I can hear you laughing - but still).

If quixotic were a Spanish word, then there would be an argument that we should pronounce it as such. But it isn't. It's an English word. Even if it derives from a Spanish name.
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N.N. Marf

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #987 on: 15 Nov 2020, 05:30 »

So.. his name's not like ``quick's oat?'' I've been saying it wrong for months (reading/discussing it) and no-one's said a peep about it. Some friends I have, letting me labor under that false impression.
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Cornelius

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #988 on: 15 Nov 2020, 07:22 »

On the other hand, transliteration brings its own problems.

For instance, I've been looking for three days for a certain brand of paint brush, only to find out the surname is transliterated in three different ways in English.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #989 on: 15 Nov 2020, 14:29 »

So.. his name's not like ``quick's oat?'' I've been saying it wrong for months (reading/discussing it) and no-one's said a peep about it. Some friends I have, letting me labor under that false impression.

One of the big pleasures of this stupid language, that the name 'Quixote' got turned into 'quixotic.'

jwhouk

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #990 on: 15 Nov 2020, 15:05 »

Don KEE-OH-TAY.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #991 on: 15 Nov 2020, 15:21 »

On the other hand, transliteration brings its own problems.

Yeah, that was the kind of thing I had in mind when I wrote my "I can hear you laughing" aside.
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Morituri

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #992 on: 15 Nov 2020, 18:03 »

The relationship between English phonology and English orthography is more than a little complex, inconsistent, and problematic, at least, as compared to most languages.

Basically every letter is pronounced every way it ever was in any of the languages we stole words from.  Except we're only guessing on the fly, and usually in a subconscious way only, what language something was stolen from, and we often get it wrong. 

When that happens our pronunciation can rapidly switch from Historically Accurate to Hysterically Approbate.  At the same time the word picks up a new pronunciation and a pack of variations that get pasted on it from the language we're mistaking it for.  And if the meaning or pronunciation drift too far, we'll just steal the original word again!  That's why 'Saloon' and 'Salon' have different (though related) meanings in English.

It's a very sloppy process, and proceeds by steps each and every one of which seems to infuriate a different half of us. 

But it's creative.  English continues to change and adapt pretty rapidly relative to most others, and that may be a feature rather tha a bug.

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #993 on: 15 Nov 2020, 18:38 »

An argument can be made that English is more of a creole than a language, but it's a bit thin.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #994 on: 16 Nov 2020, 03:06 »

So.. his name's not like ``quick's oat?'' I've been saying it wrong for months (reading/discussing it) and no-one's said a peep about it. Some friends I have, letting me labor under that false impression.

Tangentially: You said you resent 'queer' since the orginal meaning was 'strange or crazy'. That's maybe true for the word's English usage history - but it's originally a loanword from Dutch and/or German. In German, 'quer' means 'orthogonal to' or 'not parallel to'. Tellingly, German LGBT+folk have adopted the English spelling & meaning, because 'quer' is both ubiquitous as well as rather innocuous. (Would that be a 're-import word'?)

So taken in its true 'original' meaning, queer would be rather apt - especially as it is often used within compound-nouns to signal 'something that is orthogonal to the dominant paradigm' (e.g 'querdenken' = 'thinking outside the box')
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #995 on: 16 Nov 2020, 03:19 »

Often the same distant origin word is imported with different meanings.  But one case in which different routes to English give different spellings but the same meaning is the pair of words: "till" and "until".  "Till" was not formed as an abbreviation of "until", but has its own separate history.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #996 on: 16 Nov 2020, 07:20 »

I, for one, quixotically insist on the abbreviated version with apostrophe, and will do so 'til the day I die.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #997 on: 16 Nov 2020, 07:50 »

So.. his name's not like ``quick's oat?'' I've been saying it wrong for months (reading/discussing it) and no-one's said a peep about it. Some friends I have, letting me labor under that false impression.

Tangentially: You said you resent 'queer' since the orginal meaning was 'strange or crazy'. That's maybe true for the word's English usage history - but it's originally a loanword from Dutch and/or German. In German, 'quer' means 'orthogonal to' or 'not parallel to'. Tellingly, German LGBT+folk have adopted the English spelling & meaning, because 'quer' is both ubiquitous as well as rather innocuous. (Would that be a 're-import word'?)

So taken in its true 'original' meaning, queer would be rather apt - especially as it is often used within compound-nouns to signal 'something that is orthogonal to the dominant paradigm' (e.g 'querdenken' = 'thinking outside the box')

To an extent, you could translate "quer" as 'misaligned'.
Also, there's the expression "sich quer stellen", literally meaning something like "to turn/stand sideways". It mostly means blocking something (think it like a police car blocking a road/lane by turning sideways), more loosely it means being simply uncooperative. And being queer kinda means being uncooperative with the ("conservative") norm - at least in my eyes, simply because you have to be right now. Don't get me wrong in any way, I don't mean that in any way bad or degrading, it's actually a curageous thing, especially in certain areas on this space rock we call Earth.



Okay, here's a thing.  The word 'Quixotic' - denoting a great deal of effort spent on a cause clearly futile or unnecessary from the outset.

I grind my teeth every time I hear someone saying it "Quick Sot Tick" because long ago I remember that word as "Key Hoe Tick" - and then it occurred to me that I hadn't heard the correct pronunciation in a long time - even from pros, like TV news presenters.

Well, that word is quite something. It's an old Spanish spelling, or rather a spelling from a Spanish dialect that has vanished since (or more honestly, probably has been vanished). If you want to explain the difference to someone: ask them why they think it's written Mexico, but spoken as if spelled Mejico. There's a reason why in Spanish the Spanish language can be called "Español" or "Castellano" interchangably.
There's a certain irony to the whole thing though: the institution founded by the Spanish government for promotion of teaching spanish and spanish culture is called "Instituto Cervantes", is named after Miguel de Cervantes, author of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha...
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N.N. Marf

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Re: English is weird
« Reply #998 on: 16 Nov 2020, 12:15 »

but it's originally a loanword from Dutch and/or German. In German, 'quer' means 'orthogonal to' or 'not parallel to'. [...] So taken in its true 'original' meaning, queer would be rather apt - especially as it is often used within compound-nouns to signal 'something that is orthogonal to the dominant paradigm' (e.g 'querdenken' = 'thinking outside the box')
It's not that I'd resent it, but consider it inappropriate for what should be simply accepted as part of the world, rather than something in contrast to what's accepted. Something like `strange' or `weird' might be more emotionally charged, but the essence would be the same with `oblique' or 'orthogonal.' But I'm afraid I'd be underqualified to attempt suggesting alternatives.
Tellingly, German LGBT+folk have adopted the English spelling & meaning, because 'quer' is both ubiquitous as well as rather innocuous. (Would that be a 're-import word'?)
If the analogy is `loan' words, that'd be foreclosure.
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Re: English is weird
« Reply #999 on: 16 Nov 2020, 12:24 »

In fact, Chambers has:

until /un-tilˈ or ən-tilˈ/
preposition and conjunction
Till
ORIGIN: Pfx und- as far as, and till1

till1 /til/
preposition
Up to the time of
To, towards (Scot)
To (with the infinitive) (Scot)
conjunction
Up to the time when
ORIGIN: OE (Northumbrian) til, from ON til; cf OE till a fixed point, Ger Ziel end, goal

TIL  :claireface:
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