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Thread: Increase in bad grammar...

  1. #1 Increase in bad grammar... 
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    Hey Forum,
    There is a perfect storm brewing inside the school halls and its name is "Slang." More and more I'm seeing my generation, the younger generations as well, struggle with not only pronouncing a word, but spelling it correctly ... and the teachers don't seem to care. Back before my time teachers would be, I wouldn't say "strict," but adamant about good grammar and they would flunk you if you had a immense amount of misspellings on your test. I remember when I was in high school and community college, some teachers wouldn't mind if one would confuse "there" with "their" or replacing "and" with a simple "n." What was seen as a "simple glitch" has now become a wild fire of bad grammar. Kids today can't tell the difference between the "to/too/two's" and their new version of spelling is beyond recognizable. (Example: "ahhaha dAt wAz qUd U cRzyY y0uR 0nE fUnNiE do0Dee") I fear that if this continues to happen without mention, with all the inane broadcasting and lethargic entries to fame and unwillingness to educate themselves, we may be headed to a frighting future. Am I being paranoid, or are there others who feel the same way I do?

    *Side note: That example was an actual sentence sent to me via Facebook and it took me a while to decode it.

    Two-thirds of teachers allow children to use slang and text message speak in school tests | Mail Online


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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imati ozomatli View Post
    Am I being paranoid, or are there others who feel the same way I do?
    Well, you are not alone; people have been making similar complaints for all of recorded history. On the other hand, the fact that people have always been worried about this and the world hasn't ended might mean it is not too big a problem.

    The linguist David Crystal, for one, sees it as an example of creativity in language use: 2b or not 2b: David Crystal on why texting is good for language | Books | The Guardian

    Also, I saw a survey recently that suggested that it is mainly "older" people who use txt-style abbreviations and many young people look on it as an embarrassing affectation.

    And finally, this is the sort of story the Daily Mail loves. Loves to make up, quite often. I prefer to get my news from a newspaper.


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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    wtf is ur deal theres nthing wrong w txt slang k? ttyl
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  5. #4  
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    lol.

    I think it's all pretty funny. Language is fluid and will change anyhow.

    And I do hope some of the changes become enduring;

    "U" for "you" for example. It's an excellent replacement following the "I" convention.
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    If you ever need a lawyer then you will wish you had learned proper English.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    that's what the lawyer is 4
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    U ppl just dun now your're your from your your're. Your in school, so get it ryt.
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  9. #8  
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    I can see that the occasional simple alterations aren't bad, they come in handy when you're in a hurry, but I'm regarding the almost unreadable sentences or things of that nature. Though Lynx_Fox you're right about it changing constantly, we might have a shift like when old English began to shift. Strange, I've tried to look up that survey, but couldn't find it. You think you can give me a link? The 2b or not 2b was a good read.

    P.S. I'll take Daily Mail with a big grain of salt for now on. Lol
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by imati ozomatli View Post
    Strange, I've tried to look up that survey, but couldn't find it. You think you can give me a link? The 2b or not 2b was a good read.
    I'm afraid I can't remember where I came across it. I have a vague feeling it may have been a radio program discussing this very subject (perhaps with David Crystal) but beyond that ...
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I'm afraid I can't remember where I came across it. I have a vague feeling it may have been a radio program discussing this very subject (perhaps with David Crystal) but beyond that ...
    Ah darn, well I'll try to further my search for it. It sounds very interesting...
    Thanks for the article Strange.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    that's what the lawyer is 4
    Bad grammar is going to limit the field (of lawyers that is). Like I mean, would you like you're lawyer to like, right up a contrack for you, like in words I can, like, understand.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  13. #12  
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    I'm sure we'll still be able to sustain the few couple percent of good writers necessary to be lawyers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imati ozomatli View Post
    . Back before my time teachers would be, I wouldn't say "strict," but adamant about good grammar and they would flunk you if you had a immense amount of misspellings on your test.
    You cannot have an immense amount of misspellings. Amount refers to continuous entities. You can have a large amount of earth to move. You can have a large amount to drink, but if you have too many drinks then you have had a large number of them, not a large amount of them. Similarily you can have fewer drinks or a lesser amount of drink. You cannot have less drinks.

    I expect this useful distinction to disappear completely within ten or fifteen years. LF is correct that language is dynamic. That does not mean we have to applaud every change. Some of them stink.
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  15. #14  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    that's what the lawyer is 4
    Bad grammar is going to limit the field (of lawyers that is). Like I mean, would you like you're lawyer to like, right up a contrack for you, like in words I can, like, understand.
    I thought the function of a lawyer was to write things up in a manner that laypersons could not understand.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by imati ozomatli View Post
    . Back before my time teachers would be, I wouldn't say "strict," but adamant about good grammar and they would flunk you if you had a immense amount of misspellings on your test.
    You cannot have an immense amount of misspellings. Amount refers to continuous entities. You can have a large amount of earth to move. You can have a large amount to drink, but if you have too many drinks then you have had a large number of them, not a large amount of them. Similarily you can have fewer drinks or a lesser amount of drink. You cannot have less drinks.

    I expect this useful distinction to disappear completely within ten or fifteen years. LF is correct that language is dynamic. That does not mean we have to applaud every change. Some of them stink.
    Sorry John, but I need an authoritarian reference on the specificity of "amount" to either a continuous or discreet context.

    Oh, by the way, I am personally horrified by text speak. FTSRIIA yo!
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  17. #16  
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    The distinction is about things that are and aren't countable.

    An amount of money v. a number of dollars.
    Lots of furniture v. How many tables?!
    More music v. many tunes
    Too much work v. three jobs


    Countable Uncountable
    dollar money
    song music
    suitcase luggage
    table furniture
    battery electricity
    bottle wine
    report information
    tip advice
    journey travel
    job work
    view scenery

    from Countable Nouns, Uncountable Nouns
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    [Sorry John, but I need an authoritarian reference on the specificity of "amount" to either a continuous or discreet context.
    On this one I'm the authority and brook no disagreement. However, in the spirit of education consider the following:


    Fowler's Modern English Usage (2nd Edition)
    Revised by Sir Ernest Gowers Oxford University Press 1968 ISBN: 0-19-869115-7

    "The modern tendency is so to restrict less that it mean not smaller, but a smaller amount of; it is the comparative rather of a little than of little, and is consequently applied only to things that are measured by amount and not by size or quality or number, to nouns with which much and little, not great and small, nor many and few, are the appropriate contrasted epithets." page 331


    Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers (4th Edition)
    Lynn, Quitman and Troyka Simon & Schuster 1987 ISBN: 0-13-204215-0

    "Do not use less and fewer interchangeably. Use less with noncountable items or values that form one whole. Use fewer with numbers or anything tha can be counted: They consumed fewer calories; the sugar substitute had less aftertaste." Page 275


    Who’s (oops) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway?
    Barnes & Noble C.Edward Good 2002 ISBN: 1-56731-576-3

    "Many writers confuse fewer and less, usually uisng less when they mean fewer. Let's review the differences between these words so that you can use each with precision.
    Note that fewer and less are adjectives. Necessarily, they modify nouns. Right off the bat, we can identify a key difference between the two words: The word less modifies singular nouns, while fewer modifies plural nouns." Page 86

    "But the singular/plural distinction goes only so far. I could not, for example, say I should eat less cookie. So the singular noun has some special trait prompting its need for less. As a rule, it will describe something that cannot easily be counted. Thus, the singular nouns milk, medicine and asphalt are very tangible and capable of some sort of measurement, but the nouns themselves are not susceptible to any kind of tally. So you would want to drink less milk, take less medicine and purchase less asphalt. But if you take these nouns and identify those units of measurement, then you'll need to turn to fewer when you want to drink fewer ounces of milk, take fewer pills and purchase fewer tons of asphalt." Pages 87 - 88


    Usage and Abusage
    Penguin reference Books Eric Partridge 1971 reprint of 1969 Edition ISBN: n/a

    "Less for fewer, not so many, is incorrect in the example given by C.C.Boyd, Grammar for the Great and Small, 'There were less people at the match than I expected'. - In the correct 'the number of people was less', less qualifies number, not people." Page 171
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  19. #18  
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    Times change, people change. Language is very flexible just look at how old words are replaced by new ones. My grandparents used to tell me words that I never heared before. This is how things work, you cannot outrun the inevitable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imati ozomatli View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I'm afraid I can't remember where I came across it. I have a vague feeling it may have been a radio program discussing this very subject (perhaps with David Crystal) but beyond that ...
    Ah darn, well I'll try to further my search for it. It sounds very interesting...
    Thanks for the article Strange.
    I found this: Language Log » It’s true which is not exactly what I was thinking of ...
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    Yep. Only a matter of time before I Posted on this Thread. No, It's not because I am into the love of pro-nouns. Not even Nouns. ( I always honour Nouns with a Capital). Even Adjectives, with their lovely descriptive opportunities. No, my fancy is for adverbs and part particules. Or is it ciples? Even conjunctive verbs do little for me these days.

    Years ago when I put in a Thesis on the Construction of a good Sentence, the Reviewer( notice this is not a noun as such, not even considered to be a pro-noun), the Reviewer rejected the Theses on the basis that nobody could understand it. Now, I ask you, how many Sentences have you read recently that end in it?

    The Phaseology of modern written communication has, in the first instance, been written and compiled to convey something to someone of equal intellectual compacity. It therefore may have meaning. I doubt it, but there you are.

    Now, if young Members and Guests have any difficulty with my Threads or Postes( the westwind ""e "" in westwind's spelling of Poste, is to indicate to youall of his breeding.), then feel free to comment here with your constructive criticism. westwind.
    Last edited by westwind; December 5th, 2012 at 10:40 AM. Reason: correcting bad grammar.
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  22. #21  
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    I almost never know what the hell you are talking about, but I know you mean well.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    [Sorry John, but I need an authoritarian reference on the specificity of "amount" to either a continuous or discreet context.
    On this one I'm the authority and brook no disagreement. However, in the spirit of education consider the following:


    Fowler's Modern English Usage (2nd Edition)
    Revised by Sir Ernest Gowers Oxford University Press 1968 ISBN: 0-19-869115-7

    "The modern tendency is so to restrict less that it mean not smaller, but a smaller amount of; it is the comparative rather of a little than of little, and is consequently applied only to things that are measured by amount and not by size or quality or number, to nouns with which much and little, not great and small, nor many and few, are the appropriate contrasted epithets." page 331


    Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers (4th Edition)
    Lynn, Quitman and Troyka Simon & Schuster 1987 ISBN: 0-13-204215-0

    "Do not use less and fewer interchangeably. Use less with noncountable items or values that form one whole. Use fewer with numbers or anything tha can be counted: They consumed fewer calories; the sugar substitute had less aftertaste." Page 275


    Who’s (oops) Whose Grammar Book Is This Anyway?
    Barnes & Noble C.Edward Good 2002 ISBN: 1-56731-576-3

    "Many writers confuse fewer and less, usually uisng less when they mean fewer. Let's review the differences between these words so that you can use each with precision.
    Note that fewer and less are adjectives. Necessarily, they modify nouns. Right off the bat, we can identify a key difference between the two words: The word less modifies singular nouns, while fewer modifies plural nouns." Page 86

    "But the singular/plural distinction goes only so far. I could not, for example, say I should eat less cookie. So the singular noun has some special trait prompting its need for less. As a rule, it will describe something that cannot easily be counted. Thus, the singular nouns milk, medicine and asphalt are very tangible and capable of some sort of measurement, but the nouns themselves are not susceptible to any kind of tally. So you would want to drink less milk, take less medicine and purchase less asphalt. But if you take these nouns and identify those units of measurement, then you'll need to turn to fewer when you want to drink fewer ounces of milk, take fewer pills and purchase fewer tons of asphalt." Pages 87 - 88


    Usage and Abusage
    Penguin reference Books Eric Partridge 1971 reprint of 1969 Edition ISBN: n/a

    "Less for fewer, not so many, is incorrect in the example given by C.C.Boyd, Grammar for the Great and Small, 'There were less people at the match than I expected'. - In the correct 'the number of people was less', less qualifies number, not people." Page 171
    I had forgotten all about this thread.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The distinction is about things that are and aren't countable.

    An amount of money v. a number of dollars.
    Lots of furniture v. How many tables?!
    More music v. many tunes
    Too much work v. three jobs


    Countable Uncountable
    dollar money
    song music
    suitcase luggage
    table furniture
    battery electricity
    bottle wine
    report information
    tip advice
    journey travel
    job work
    view scenery



    from Countable Nouns, Uncountable Nouns
    Sadly that list is quite misleading. Electricity is countable, or the power company would be unable to send you a bill for your usage. Information is countable, this is the digital age, information is often discrete bits. A book can contain several pieces of advice, that too can be discrete like 'Don't eat yellow snow' is a single piece of advice, and 'Always wear clean underwear in case you get run over' is another. Work is also measurable, it has SI units, or does to us scientists at least, things that have units can be counted.

    Also, a 'battery' can be a collection of discrete items, in the case of say, a PP9 9v 'Battery' it's a collection of six 1.5v electrochemical cells, and a 'Battery' can also be a group of artillery pieces. So 'Battery' is like 'luggage' it's a word we use for an unspecified amount of items.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogistician View Post
    Sadly that list is quite misleading.
    I think that is a bit of an exaggeration.

    Electricity is countable
    Firstly, we are talking about grammatical categories of nouns, not the power industry. But, more importantly, they don't count "electricity" they count "units of electricity".

    Beer is uncountable. But glasses of beer aren't.

    And, of course, it depends on context. If you go to a beer festival, they may have 300 types of beer or, 300 beers (using it as a countabkle noun).

    Information is countable
    Not grammatically. You don't (normally) say 1 information, 2 informations.

    A book can contain several pieces of advice
    Exactly: uncountable nouns (like advice) have to be used with some sort of unit specifier (pieces) if you want to enumerate them.

    'Battery' can also be a group of artillery pieces
    It is still countable, "How many enemy batteries have we destroyed?"

    So 'Battery' is like 'luggage' it's a word we use for an unspecified amount of items.
    That is not what defines a count/non-count noun.
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