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
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm adding this to my statements list:
"..that anyone can learn to communicate his ideas, clearly and for the most part correctly."

I also agree that (1) it first requires the desire to learn followed up by the effort to do so, and (2) that it's an on-going process, not one-stop shopping. At least for me, that is, obviously.

As for lay/lie in fiction (bring/take, etc.), I can tolerate mistakes in dialogue if it fits the character's general or occasional misuse of language, but it's a deal breaker for prose though. I expect far more from authors and editors. As for first person POV, I think it's hard to pull off well without it reflecting back on the author.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1353

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurred to me that the lay/lie errors I described in my logged errors thread provide evidence for the confusion argument over the argument that the incorrect intransitive use of lay is taught. More than one book with lay/lie errors has the errors in both directions: a form of lay where lie is correct and a form of lie where lay is correct. This is confusion, not a different usage taught as correct.
As I have said more than once in this thread, I don't expect fully correct grammar in dialogue and first-person narrative if the errors show aspects of characters.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a side note, from someone who writes what's called "deep" third-person POV: This is a technique in which the narrative, as well as dialogue, is always in the characters' voices -- not the author's. In other words, the characters are telling the story nearly as much as in first person -- grammatical quirks and all. Not to the same extent as in dialogue, perhaps, since that can get wearing, depending on the character, but enough that the reader should be able to identify whose POV she's reading at any point in the story.

So if, say, I'm writing a character from the deep South, or Brooklyn, or New England, or wherever, while I'm in that character's POV the narrative is going to reflect his/her syntax/speech patterns -- not mine. Basically I hear the characters, then transcribe their thoughts/observations...and if their grammar isn't always correct, so be it. Their voices need to be unique to them, and their syntax be consistent throughout the story.

BUT.

The writer who doesn't know the rules isn't going to effectively, or correctly, manipulate those rules. I am by no means an advocate of sloppy or ignorant usage. And the writer's goal is to be in control of her language toolbox, to know how to use those tools to achieve a desired effect. But "perfect" can be cold and boring, and would lead to all writers, and characters, sounding the same. And who wants that? Shocked

Karen Templeton
http://www.karentempleton.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tee



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

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
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.

Absolutely. For instance, Nora Roberts does a good job with third-person narrative in her In Death books, the series I'm now reading. When it comes to authentic dialogue and first-person, she has to write Dallas as she sees her and that's imperfect. The swearing and everything else is pure for her and shouldn't change or else the character suffers. When I was talking about the written word, it went even beyond books, although they are a part of it. First-person narrative has to be character-driven.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Charlotte McClain



Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 396
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza, I chose the map based on visual similarity to the map I remember from my linguistics textbook which I kept, but which is currently a few thousand miles away from me in storage. I don't believe that local dialects are disappearing as fast as you might think. When I took the linguistics class, I read articles dating back as far as the invention of the telephone claiming that the new technology was going to kill local dialects. My professor and I were discussing the idea that the internet may intensify local dialects in phonology if not lexicologically because people are reading more than hearing. (I might have been professor's pet. Very Happy )

Mark, of course I have studied intransitive verbs, however, language is learned through imitation before it is formally taught. The saw I heard most often was "dog lay, only people lie." Might have had something to do with Catholic education. However, 12 years of elementary through high school, a bachelor's degree in English/Secondary Education, a year toward a Master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and multiple rounds of editing through 5 novels, 5 novellas and 1 short story cannot trump my parents, grandparents, sister, brother and other assorted relatives who got to me first and taught me the wrong thing. I'm not proud of it; it's actually kind of embarrassing, but I can't seem to fix it. (I also have math issues that I got from my mother. Can't fix that either.) The only thing I have been able to do is work around it. My students will not learn that particular verb from me. They will, however, come away with a peculiar pronunciation of "o" as /aw/ and possibly the constructions of "needs -ing" and "shut out the lights."
_________________
Angsty romance with scattered humor.
My Faux Website
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tee



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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlotte McClain wrote:
Mark, of course I have studied intransitive verbs, however, language is learned through imitation before it is formally taught. The saw I heard most often was "dog lay, only people lie." Might have had something to do with Catholic education.

I will say anything regarding grammar if I feel I know the rules. The lie/lay issue is one that I just never retained. I, too, attended eight years of Catholic schooling and the nuns were fantastic when teaching. But that rule was one I'm sure I got at one time or another, then lost along the way. Quite frankly, I don't think I cared that much, either. Overthinking a rule before you begin speaking just takes something out of the conversation. I'm fairly particular about most things regarding grammar, but a few have fallen by the wayside. Most of the time, if words are used improperly, they just sound off in a sentence. The lie/lay words sound right no matter how they're used. I think I'm in denial. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1353

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More than one post in this thread has expressed the concern that perfect text would be boring. I don't see that at all. In fact, to me that sounds like the insistence by non-readers of romances that all romances must be the same. Text without errors is still as rich and varied as text with errors, it just doesn't have the stumbling blocks that jerk readers like me out of the flow.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1014

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Karen T: I couldn't agree more with you when you said, "The writer who doesn't know the rules isn't going to effectively, or correctly, manipulate those rules." Also, "And the writer's goal is to be in control of her language toolbox, to know how to use those tools to achieve a desired effect." Otherwise we wouldn't have books like Ulysses or The Sound and the Fury, right? As for "perfect," it may be unlikely for some but I would still like to think of authors with the talent to use grammar properly while controlling everything else involved without being cold or repetitive.

@Charlotte M: Thank you for getting back with further info on the map. If I had it to do over, I would have handled my post differently or not posted at all. Apologies if I offended you in any way. As for the Internet, cellphones, or other coming events, I guess only time will tell how sound and word usage may change. I'm all for celebrating differences; I just see the world as getting smaller rapidly.

ETA: Oh geez, Mark, I had a statement similar to yours again. At least this time I must have been writing while you were posting.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eliza wrote:
@Karen T: I couldn't agree more with you when you said, "The writer who doesn't know the rules isn't going to effectively, or correctly, manipulate those rules." Also, "And the writer's goal is to be in control of her language toolbox, to know how to use those tools to achieve a desired effect." Otherwise we wouldn't have books like Ulysses or The Sound and the Fury, right? As for "perfect," it may be unlikely for some but I would still like to think of authors with the talent to use grammar properly while controlling everything else involved without being cold or repetitive.


Karen's statement pretty much sums up my philosophy on the matter. I've always felt that language is elastic, and being the staunch individualist that I am, I get a little frustrated with the rigid application of rules in cases that are debatable (or the critic doesn't understand or refuses to acknowledge alternatives and exceptions to certain rules). But Karen is right. One does need to understand the rules to manipulate them, similar to understanding the spirit of the law and enforcing according to its intent. And, of course, I do realize that Mark's intention is to track clear-cut cases of error.


As for usage examples I invite an opinion on:
I have noticed errors (at least according to how I learned) with subjunctive verbs in several books I've read in recent years ('if I was' instead of 'if I were' when expressing a wish, for example).

What's your opinion on this example of give/take in a compound word?
This particular grammar stickler complained about health professionals calling themselves caregivers. He said, based on the root definitions of give and take, they should be called caretakers. Where I come from we've always called health care and day care professionals caregivers. Never would I call them caretakers and never has anyone in my region called them that. Caretaker is a word I would use for a janitor or groundskeeper. Do the definitions vary by region or is this just an individual's bugbear?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tee



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

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eggletina wrote:
As for usage examples I invite an opinion on: I have noticed errors (at least according to how I learned) with subjunctive verbs in several books I've read in recent years ('if I was' instead of 'if I were' when expressing a wish, for example).

One of my super pet peeves. "Were" is definitely the verb to use and it drives me to distraction when it's used improperly in this kind of situation. I always insert it in my mind as I read, so that I never get accustomed to hearing/using "was."

Eggletina wrote:
What's your opinion on this example of give/take in a compound word? This particular grammar stickler complained about health professionals calling themselves caregivers. He said, based on the root definitions of give and take, they should be called caretakers. Where I come from we've always called health care and day care professionals caregivers. Never would I call them caretakers and never has anyone in my region called them that. Caretaker is a word I would use for a janitor or groundskeeper. Do the definitions vary by region or is this just an individual's bugbear?

To me, it would be caregiver, because that person is not taking care from a needy individual, but giving it. How clear can that be?


Last edited by Tee on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This particular grammar stickler complained about health professionals calling themselves caregivers. He said, based on the root definitions of give and take, they should be called caretakers. Where I come from we've always called health care and day care professionals caregivers. Never would I call them caretakers and never has anyone in my region called them that. Caretaker is a word I would use for a janitor or groundskeeper. Do the definitions vary by region or is this just an individual's bugbear?


IMO, this is partly about semantics -- the idea of "giving" care to someone encompasses far more than "taking" care of something. Hence I would never use the term caretaker when talking about some responsible for another person's well-being.

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: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see the guy's point. If we were to break up the compound, we'd mostly likely say "I take care of so and so" rather than "I give care to so and so." I.e., I assume responsibility for that person's care. And it's certainly true that doctors and nurses don't "give" care as a gift; in fact, the care is usually quite costly. It would be interesting to know where and with whom the compound originated.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1353

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The oldest example for caretaker in the OED is from 1858, but caretaking is at least a century older.
My OED doesn't have caregiver, even in the 1987 supplement, so it is definitely a neologism compared to caretaker.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Eggletina



Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caregiver is indeed more recent. The Online Etymology Dictionary dates it as of 1974.
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 4 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