AAR
Click here for full forums index
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
 
Is perfect text possible?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Romance Potpourri Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
limagal



Joined: 17 Jul 2010
Posts: 94
Location: lima, peru

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating discussions from very informed people from what I can see. I love language and lingusitics. Perhaps it sounds unnatural, but from the time I was in grade school and read those rules in English books- lie/lay, etc. I endeavored to use them correctly. It wasn't that I was trying to be someone else, or sound "highfalutin" or anything- I just was that way. I wanted to correct what I knew was wrong. I also dropped the "r" sound as in "worsh" and started to say "Washington" and not "Worshington" as I heard all the time. I am from the same area almost as Charlotte, in my case - a small town on the Allegheny River up from Pittsburgh. I will print off that inforamtion about the dialects but I also think that some of it is wrong. For example, I have seen another source which says that Pittsburgh is a linguistic island in itself - different from places that are closeby, like Erie and Ohio.
Here in Lima, I am never pegged as coming from PA- people invariably think I'm from New England, Canada or Scotland and it isn't just that I changed my way of speaking. As early as 9 years old, when I crossed the bridge from Niagara to Canada, I was stopped by the border aunthorities and questioned more than the other students as to where I was from, etc. I think it is just an idiosyncrasy with me. I never had a good ear for languages although I speak several. I like the grammar part and the symantics. I like the reasoning about why people express something differently in other languages and what this says about their way of thinking.
Well, this has gotten off the sunject, but, keep the discussion going- I love it..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the interesting PBS links. Of course, I liked these lines:

---What's Standard English? According to The American Heritage Dictionary it's the speech of educated speakers

---American Heritage suggests there's no single, universally accepted standard for how to speak or write American English. Even so, school systems, professional communicators and businesses all have standards and, not surprisingly, the rules (at least for grammar) do not vary dramatically from place to place.

---What's more elusive is finding an accent that sets the standard.

---The differences between American and British are not due to Americans changing from a British standard. American is not corrupt British plus barbarisms. Rather, both American and British evolved in different ways from a common sixteenth-century ancestral standard. Present-day British is no closer to that earlier form than present-day American is. Indeed, in some ways present-day American is more conservative, that is, closer to the common original standard than is present-day British.

I've read something like that last line in a number of places. One example is that there are some isolated geographical pockets of Americans with older English accents and words.

I think what may be happening in this discussion, though, is our varying use of the word dialect or even standard. Some are emphasizing accents, some idioms and words, and some grammar.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
limagal



Joined: 17 Jul 2010
Posts: 94
Location: lima, peru

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza,

I have also read that American English is closer to an older version of English. It seems they have deduced this in Shakespeare's works, for example- that some works rhyme when pronounced in American English but not in modern British speech. I also have read that "mad" did mean "angry" at one time in the UK as well - a long, long time ago.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

limagal wrote:
Eliza,
I have also read that American English is closer to an older version of English. It seems they have deduced this in Shakespeare's works, for example- that some works rhyme when pronounced in American English but not in modern British speech. I also have read that "mad" did mean "angry" at one time in the UK as well - a long, long time ago.


I hadn't read about either of the examples you used. Thanks so much. I love stuff like this too! Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. I know the difference between lay and lie, and absolutely hate when "lay" is used for "lie." Kid tells the dogs to "lay" down, I tell them to "lie" down. I doubt using it correctly makes me sounds highfalutin', although it may make me sound old. Wink

Karen T.
www.karentempleton.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're probably right, eggletina; a great many people probably say hot cup of coffee. But written language and spoken language are not the same things at all. For one thing, written language draws more attention than spoken, and that's exactly what happened when I read the bit about the hot cup of toddy. It drew my attention because it made the brain jiggle a bit and think, Wait, it's the coffee that's hot. When I'm reading, I want adjectives, phrases, and clauses to modify what they are supposed to modify and make sense in the doing of it. When they don't, I invariably stop and change things around until they do. Perhaps it's idiosyncratic, but such things bother me.

Last edited by dick on Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:23 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
limagal



Joined: 17 Jul 2010
Posts: 94
Location: lima, peru

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dick,
I didn't say anything about the hot cup of coffee. I drink tea, actually, but that's beside the point. However, to put my 2 cents in - I don't worry about a hot cup of coffee vs. a cup of hot coffee. Yes, technically it sounds like the adjective "hot" is modifying the cup instead of the coffee, but the nuance is too slight for me to care. Either one will do - most of the time I probably say "a hot cup of coffee" and don't care less. The distinction for me is far less than the "lay" and "lie" errors.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@limagal: Apologies. I'll edit the post.

But, while I'm posting, anybody heard or read "neck-in-neck" rather than "neck and neck" or "neck to neck."? It's probably a mis-heard "neck-n-neck" where the speaker slid over the "and" as many do.

Reminds me of a word my mother often said. She often used the verb "mizled" (long /i/). It wasn't until years later that I realized that she was mispronouncing "misled."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Statements I really agree with:

"...I also think language is a gift of such inestimable value that we should touch it only with kindness and resist its sliding into barbarisms wherever they are encountered."

"I like the reasoning about why people express something differently in other languages and what this says about their way of thinking."

"...surely clarity in communicating is the most important factor to consider, and clarity in communicating is best achieved by following the 'rules.'"

"...written language and spoken language are not the same things at all."

I also agree that proper syntax usage is meaningful and significant. Like other elements of language, it indicates how one thinks and more than helps communication.

An example from a mistake I made on this thread: "I had a teacher once who reminded us...." I should have said "I once had a teacher..." because it changes "I had a teacher for just the one time" to "I at one time had a teacher." Better yet--I didn't need the word "once" at all since the past tense "had" had it covered.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4210
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza wrote:
An example from a mistake I made on this thread: "I had a teacher once who reminded us...." I should have said "I once had a teacher..." because it changes "I had a teacher for just the one time" to "I at one time had a teacher." Better yet--I didn't need the word "once" at all since the past tense "had" had it covered.

In the School/Community Relations Department in which I worked, we had the responsibility for news bulletins, brochures, guides, annual reports of 40 schools, etc. The two administrators who headed this department were both former newspaper writers. I learned a lot from them. One of the things was less is more when writing a story to appeal to the masses. As individual school annual reports arrived at the central office for final editing, we literally weeded out the unnecessary words and phrases to keep statements efficient. It was amazing how paragraphs could be condensed into smaller ones and still convey the meaning, not only better, but absolutely more clearly. So, I agree, Eliza. Many times, after rereading something I've written, I'll go back to eliminate anything that may be redundant or not needed for clarity. Not always, mind you, but usually. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
... It was amazing how paragraphs could be condensed into smaller ones and still convey the meaning, not only better, but absolutely more clearly. So, I agree, Eliza. Many times, after rereading something I've written, I'll go back to eliminate anything that may be redundant or not needed for clarity. Not always, mind you, but usually. Very Happy


I think it was Eloisa James who said not too long ago that she felt her real writing started after the first draft was done when she started whacking out unnecessary bits and adding missing elements.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4210
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza wrote:
I think it was Eloisa James who said not too long ago that she felt her real writing started after the first draft was done when she started whacking out unnecessary bits and adding missing elements.

Step one, I would think, is to get those ideas into words on paper. Then the subsequent steps would be to fine tune the written piece according to who and where it will be read.

Verbally, we speak out without too much thinking. Difficult to take back words or add them in later. Of course, we do that by further explanations in the conversation. Ah, but writing gives us the opportunity to showcase the language. It is done differently, I believe, as well it should. The written word does not go away (usually).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

limagal wrote:
I also dropped the "r" sound as in "worsh" and started to say "Washington" and not "Worshington" as I heard all the time.


LOL! I was a teenager before I even realized I was saying "worsh" and "wrench" for wash and rinse. I still sometimes have to think about how to pronounce them before I speak.

Quote:
Statements I really agree with:

"...I also think language is a gift of such inestimable value that we should touch it only with kindness and resist its sliding into barbarisms wherever they are encountered."

"I like the reasoning about why people express something differently in other languages and what this says about their way of thinking."

"...surely clarity in communicating is the most important factor to consider, and clarity in communicating is best achieved by following the 'rules.'"

"...written language and spoken language are not the same things at all."

I also agree that proper syntax usage is meaningful and significant. Like other elements of language, it indicates how one thinks and more than helps communication.



The ability to use language is a talent like any other. Not everyone has it. I know I don't. I particularly struggle with wordiness. I admire authors who can write succinctly, but that's even more of a skill which has as much to do with instinct as following rules. Good authors know when to follow and when to break out from the rules, and they make it feel effortless (though in fact it may have taken them many drafts to get to that point).

I agree written language and spoken language are not the same, but fiction is a far different beast than writing a paper or an essay. A character's thought processes are often more informal, may very closely follow spoken language, and sometimes it is okay to step outside of stringent rules.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the decades during which I taught college comp courses, that idea--that writing well is a natural talent--was the most difficult barrier to overcome. But I believed then, and still believe, that anyone can learn to communicate his ideas, clearly and for the most part correctly. Some required more time and a great deal of personalized attention, but if they wanted to learn how, they could. The second most difficult barrier was getting them to accept that a comp. course was but a start, not a cure-all.

I do agree that writing fiction differs from writing expository prose, but of the two, I think the second the more difficult to do well.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:

Verbally, we speak out without too much thinking. Difficult to take back words or add them in later. Of course, we do that by further explanations in the conversation. Ah, but writing gives us the opportunity to showcase the language. It is done differently, I believe, as well it should. The written word does not go away (usually).


I agree with this to a point but also agree with Charlotte that when writing from a first person point of view their individual personality should influence the text rather than perfect grammar. Age and location are going to influence how their thoughts are expressed and I want to see that in the writing for an authentic feel. This can also be said for all the dialog really. Most people that I live and work with would use lay over lie (just stealing the same exmple) and I wouldn't want to see that changed if you were to write a story about them just so they could have perfect grammar. I think it's more important to have a character that speaks in a believable way rather than textbook perfect.

Linda
_________________
"The Bookshop has a thousand books, all colors, hues and tinges, and every cover is a door that turns on magic hinges." ~ Nancy Byrd Turner
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Romance Potpourri Forum All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 3 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group