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David Jardine 04-03-2011 10:02 PM

English language
 
On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 03:17:55PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 04/03/2011 02:54 PM, David Jardine wrote:
> >On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 03:08:55PM -0400, Doug wrote:
> >>
> >>Thank God there is no "English Academy."
> >
> >As a native English speaker I entirely agree, but I can understand the
> >frustrations of others who are effectively forced to use our language as
> >a lingua franca and cannot find a single, stable definition of it.
> >
>
> Kinda like Spanish...

... but not entirely. Perhaps because of my limited knowledge of
Spanish, I feel that the various versions of that language are more
homogeneous. More importantly, Russians don't have to learn Spanish to
communicate with Japanese, nor Swedes to do business with Pakistanis.

>
> > How do they say
> >"Disneyland" in French?
> >
>
> Terre de Disney?
> Terre de Souris?

Not bad :) "Pays de Disney" might be closer.

> > A nationalistic dictionary compiler (anti-
> >British
>
> Webster completed his /American Dictionary/ while at U. Cambridge.

But that was a pretty small proportion of the time he spent on it.

> Would an anti-Brit really go to England to do his work?

Frankly, why not? Where did the anti-colonialist future leaders of
newly independent African and Asian countries study? Mostly in England
or France. And are you really suggesting that Webster was not anti-
British - or at least fiercely opposed to British influence on America?

> > rather than anti-French) caught the mood of the times and you all
> >lapped it up.
>
> That can only happen when there's no canon. spelling is in flux.

But was that the case? Were some people writing "center" and others
"centre". I may be wrong here, but I think that "centre" was the accepted
spelling, but Webster decided otherwise.

> > I don't know if England had its own xenophobic equivalents,
> >but I think the English would be less likely to accept changes of spelling
> >decreed from above.
> >
>
> Above? Webster didn't get his dictionary mandated by the government.

By "above" I didn't mean government. Webster was "above".

> Anyway, two words: Samuel Johnson.

Good point. I do feel, however (very possibly wrongly) that Johnson was
trying to sort out conflicting practice whereas Webster was creating new
practice.

>
> >>The French may hate everything English, but those of us who speak
> >>any variety of English
> >>appreciate its variety, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
> >
> >But is it _our_ language any more?
> >
>
> Not after you beggared yourself after the two World Wars.

Misunderstanding: by "our" language I meant the language of native
speakers of English - American, Australian, English or whoever. If, for
example, we insist on saying, "We've been doing it like this for ages",
who are we to say that "We do it like this since ages" is not correct?

Thanks for your comments, Ron. I appreciated them.

Cheers,
David


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Ron Johnson 04-03-2011 10:32 PM

English language
 
On 04/03/2011 05:02 PM, David Jardine wrote:

On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 03:17:55PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:

[snip]



Would an anti-Brit really go to England to do his work?


Frankly, why not? Where did the anti-colonialist future leaders of
newly independent African and Asian countries study? Mostly in England
or France. And are you really suggesting that Webster was not anti-
British - or at least fiercely opposed to British influence on America?



I'd go with the latter.


rather than anti-French) caught the mood of the times and you all
lapped it up.


That can only happen when there's no canon. spelling is in flux.


But was that the case? Were some people writing "center" and others
"centre".


According to Wikipedia, there were many regional spellings and meanings
of various words.



I may be wrong here, but I think that "centre" was the accepted
spelling, but Webster decided otherwise.



Accepted by Samuel Johnson because he was a Frogophile.


I don't know if England had its own xenophobic equivalents,
but I think the English would be less likely to accept changes of spelling
decreed from above.



Above? Webster didn't get his dictionary mandated by the government.


By "above" I didn't mean government. Webster was "above".



Who decreed that Webster was "above".


Anyway, two words: Samuel Johnson.


Good point. I do feel, however (very possibly wrongly) that Johnson was
trying to sort out conflicting practice whereas Webster was creating new
practice.



See my comment about SJ being a Frogophile.

Regarding "re" vs "er", Webster removed French the influence that SJ had
added in 1755.





The French may hate everything English, but those of us who speak
any variety of English
appreciate its variety, and we wouldn't have it any other way.


But is it _our_ language any more?



Not after you beggared yourself after the two World Wars.


Misunderstanding: by "our" language I meant the language of native
speakers of English - American, Australian, English or whoever.


Successfully spreading your empire (and thus your language) around the
world /de facto/ dilutes your ownership of the language, by virtue of
each group you teach it to morphing it to their own needs.



If, for
example, we insist on saying, "We've been doing it like this for ages",
who are we to say that "We do it like this since ages" is not correct?



If they were doing it "this way" before I was born, then they've been
doing it for ages... :)


--
"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure
the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally
corrupt."
Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749


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David Jardine 04-04-2011 12:24 AM

English language
 
On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 05:32:34PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 04/03/2011 05:02 PM, David Jardine wrote:
> >On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 03:17:55PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:

> >>> I don't know if England had its own xenophobic
> >>>equivalents, but I think the English would be less likely to accept
> >>>changes of spelling decreed from above.
> >>
> >>Above? Webster didn't get his dictionary mandated by the government.
> >
> >By "above" I didn't mean government. Webster was "above".
> >
>
> Who decreed that Webster was "above".

Who decreed that Microsoft was "above"?

> >>>But is it _our_ language any more?
> >>
> >>Not after you beggared yourself after the two World Wars.
> >
> >Misunderstanding: by "our" language I meant the language of native
> >speakers of English - American, Australian, English or whoever.
>
> Successfully spreading your empire (and thus your language) around
> the world /de facto/ dilutes your ownership of the language, by
> virtue of each group you teach it to morphing it to their own needs.

It's not mipela empire and language, it's yumipela empire and language.

> >example, we insist on saying, "We've been doing it like this for ages",
> >who are we to say that "We do it like this since ages" is not correct?
> >
>
> If they were doing it "this way" before I was born, then they've
> been doing it for ages... :)

But my grandchildren (mixed English, French, German, Italian) insist
that they have done it since agess. :)

>
> --
> "Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure
> the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally
> corrupt."
> Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749

I just love the spelling of "Advertiser". ;)

Cheers,
David


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Chris Brennan 04-04-2011 05:08 AM

English language
 
Plz 2 invades ur werdz insteadz!


P.S. While this meant to be funny and light-hearted, in reality, not all of us Americans are stupid, dumb rednecks who eye their cousins and farm animals.


-- Sent from my Droid (sorry for the top post)

On Apr 4, 2011 12:50 AM, "Chris Bannister" <mockingbird@earthlight.co.nz> wrote:> On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 05:32:34PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:

>> Successfully spreading your empire (and thus your language) around
>> the world /de facto/ dilutes your ownership of the language, by
>> virtue of each group you teach it to morphing it to their own needs.

>
> Yep, the Americans don't even need to invade the country anymore.
>
> --
> "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
> -- Napoleon Bonaparte

>
>
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>

Chris Bannister 04-04-2011 05:53 AM

English language
 
On Sun, Apr 03, 2011 at 05:32:34PM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> Successfully spreading your empire (and thus your language) around
> the world /de facto/ dilutes your ownership of the language, by
> virtue of each group you teach it to morphing it to their own needs.

Yep, the Americans don't even need to invade the country anymore.

--
"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte


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Lisi 04-04-2011 08:19 AM

English language
 
On Monday 04 April 2011 01:24:03 David Jardine wrote:
> I just love the spelling of "Advertiser". ;)

Do Americans spell it with a zed?

Lisi


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Lisi 04-04-2011 08:22 AM

English language
 
On Monday 04 April 2011 06:08:27 Chris Brennan wrote:
> Plz 2 invades ur werdz insteadz!

Plz 2???

> P.S. While this meant to be funny and light-hearted, in reality, not all of
> us Americans are stupid, dumb rednecks who eye their cousins and farm

Where did that come from? Who, other than you now, has suggested that you are
or might be thought so?

Lisi


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Nate Bargmann 04-04-2011 12:41 PM

English language
 
* On 2011 04 Apr 03:21 -0500, Lisi wrote:
> On Monday 04 April 2011 01:24:03 David Jardine wrote:
> > I just love the spelling of "Advertiser". ;)
>
> Do Americans spell it with a zed?

Mostly, yes.

- Nate >>

--

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
possible worlds. The pessimist fears this is true."

Ham radio, Linux, bikes, and more: http://www.n0nb.us


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Francis Southern 04-04-2011 12:56 PM

English language
 
On 4 April 2011 13:41, Nate Bargmann <n0nb@n0nb.us> wrote:
> * On 2011 04 Apr 03:21 -0500, Lisi wrote:
>> On Monday 04 April 2011 01:24:03 David Jardine wrote:
>> > I just love the spelling of "Advertiser". ;)
>>
>> Do Americans spell it with a zed?
>
> Mostly, yes.
>

I don't think so, I'm fairly sure ``advertise' is the most common
spelling everywhere. ``Advertize' may be a strange US variant, but I
don't think it's the norm.


> - Nate >>
>
> --
>
> "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all
> possible worlds. *The pessimist fears this is true."
>
> Ham radio, Linux, bikes, and more: http://www.n0nb.us
>


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Ron Johnson 04-04-2011 01:16 PM

English language
 
On 04/04/2011 07:56 AM, Francis Southern wrote:

On 4 April 2011 13:41, Nate Bargmann<n0nb@n0nb.us> wrote:

* On 2011 04 Apr 03:21 -0500, Lisi wrote:

On Monday 04 April 2011 01:24:03 David Jardine wrote:

I just love the spelling of "Advertiser". ;)


Do Americans spell it with a zed?


Mostly, yes.



I don't think so, I'm fairly sure ``advertise' is the most common
spelling everywhere. ``Advertize' may be a strange US variant, but I
don't think it's the norm.



"Advertiser" and "advertise" are the correct US English spellings.

--
"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure
the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally
corrupt."
Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749


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