Comments for Pain in the English Forum for the gray areas of the English language Fri, 27 Nov 2015 13:36:16 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on “Can I get” vs. “May I have” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Thu, 26 Nov 2015 19:01:56 +0000 Overhead yesterday in a coffee shop:
Customer: Excuse me; I was wondering if I could trouble you for a side salad.
Waitress: Side salad?

Slight mismatch of styles!

Comment on “Can I get” vs. “May I have” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Thu, 26 Nov 2015 16:24:50 +0000 How should a waiter or bartender address a customer?
"Do you want .........................?"
"Would you like.....................?"

Comment on “Can I get” vs. “May I have” by Dave Jenkins Dave Jenkins Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:48:56 +0000 When you say, "Can I get..?" in the UK, it's generally considered a f**king rude Americanism. Happy Thanksgiving, though.

Comment on “This is she” vs. “This is her” by Mellinda Mellinda Wed, 25 Nov 2015 14:35:04 +0000 She and her father look alike
Her and her father look alike

Comment on age vs. aged by Linda Westhar Linda Westhar Mon, 23 Nov 2015 13:58:09 +0000 Which is correct? aged 45 years or over OR aged 45 years or more

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Mon, 23 Nov 2015 04:20:40 +0000 @jtu

Your apology is noted.


Comment on “I’ve got” vs. “I have” by Mark Bolles Mark Bolles Sun, 22 Nov 2015 03:30:24 +0000 Although the addition of "got" may not follow the strictest syntax rules I believe it's use can be justified here because it serves as an intensifier that emphasizes the need to act is greater than the use of "have" alone connotes.
Also, when the contraction "I've" is used then the addition of "got" improves the word structure sonically by preserving the normal rhythm of a sentence because the contraction works as a single word that serves as the noun, or rather, pronoun of the sentence and leaves a need for another verb.

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Fri, 20 Nov 2015 13:09:33 +0000 @WW Sorry, I assumed 'cacography' was just a made-up word - it's all Greek to me ;}

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Fri, 20 Nov 2015 08:41:43 +0000 @jayles - OK, let's deal with cacography first. Yes, literally, in Greek, it means what you say, and that seems to be the standard dictionary definition, but it also seems to have taken on a new meaning, at least in linguistics:

"Cacography is deliberate comic misspelling, a type of humour similar to malapropism ... A common usage of cacography is to caricature illiterate speakers." Wikipedia.

Languages are creative like that, giving new meanings to adopted words, and so HS was perfectly correct.

You ask HS why he is resorting to Greek. But I could also ask why these (for me, at least) weird Anglish-inspired words have been noticeably creeping back into your own comments recently ("spider-dread" - come on, get real!). For me they have even less to do with natural English than Greek loan words, and I very much doubt that "normal people" have much time for them either.

English is a glorious mix - and I relish it. I have no objection to keeping things simple, but personally I hate this idea of language purism as much as I hate pedantry. Leave the language alone, it's just fine as it is!

I wouldn't have mentioned this if you hadn't brought the subject up :). And as for Stephen Fry, he has made one of the best commentaries on English I've ever seen:

Comment on mixing semicolon and em dash by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Fri, 20 Nov 2015 07:43:23 +0000 Not an answer, but a comment on the use of dashes in British English. As far as I know BrE doesn't talk much about em-dashes, for example you won't often see -- (substituting for an em-dash) from British contributors to forums etc. We simply use a dash, in writing the same length as a en-dash, (but on a computer just using a single hyphen), and we put spaces either side - like that, for example. And they don't seem to be used nearly as much as in American English.

From one website on British grammar:

'The double dash encloses supplementary information in the same way as round brackets –
"Alaska – purchased from Russia in 1867 and granted statehood in 1959 – comprises some 586,000 square miles and 624,000 people."
But brackets are preferred in formal scripts.'

This is from the Chicago Manual of Style Online:

"note that it is also the common British practice to use an en dash with a word space on either side where American publishers would use an em dash closed up to the surrounding words"

But I've noticed that the Economist has recently started using M-dashes without gaps. In the online version they are obviously M-dashes, and there's no real problem, but in the print edition they don't seem to be as wide. This is really confusing my students (and me, to be honest), who think they are hyphens, reading the two separate words as one hyphenated word. It turns out that Polish, like British English always uses gaps. I'm beginning to wonder about other European languages. WW will have to investigate!

Comment on Is ‘love’ continuous or not? by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Tue, 17 Nov 2015 13:07:48 +0000 The exact origin of the continuous aspect in English is debatable. The theory that I find most useful is that it corresponds to the dialect German eg: "Sie war am Buegeln" = She was an-ironing. This exists in English in phrases like:
"A-hunting we wil go"; "The cocks were a-crowing"; and so on.
The "a-" prefix was, as I understand it, originally a preposition as in "asleep", "awake", "abed", and so forth. In time the prefix fell by the wayside to form the continuous aspect, but the meaning of being in the process/activity remained.
The reason I favor this explanation is that it makes sense of the so-called "present perfect continuous" - "What have you been doing? I've been hunting. (cf I've been a-hunting.) The root idea behind the continuous is still to this day about being engaged in an activity or process.
Thus if one could say:
"How's the burger, Rastus?" "I'm a-loving it"
then it would all make sense. That it does not quite - as "loving" is not really an activity unless it involves bodily movement - demonstrates the underlying meaning of the continuous.

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Tue, 17 Nov 2015 12:42:15 +0000 The whole thrust of the original question is misguided. Why do we need "a word" for "intentionally incorrect spellling". Surely the "word" is "intentionally incorrect spelling" if that is what one means. Why bury the meaning in some obscure word that few know or understand? Where does this mentality come from? We seem to do it all the time; for example "arachnophobia"? Who are we kidding? It's just very Stephen Fry and snobby. What's so wrong with "fear of spiders" - or even "spider-dread" or something that a normal person would understand. After all, isn't language for communicating with normal people? Why make it so esoteric?

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Tue, 17 Nov 2015 11:09:51 +0000 @HS Why are you resorting to Greek? Why do you think that we must find and borrow a Greek/Latin word in order to make up a "proper" word for something? Why not just use an English expression like "willful misspelling" or something?
BTW "cacography" would just mean "bad writing" IIRC - 'kakos' means 'bad' and 'graphein' is to write cf 'cacophony' = bad sound

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Mon, 16 Nov 2015 22:21:27 +0000 cacography

Comment on What is the word for intentionally incorrect spelling? by Carol Carol Sun, 15 Nov 2015 16:15:46 +0000 Orthographic Variation

Comment on Should a rhetorical question end with a question mark? by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:59:47 +0000 BTW when I started skool (and dinos roamed the earth) one of the beginner classes was named "2B", so we said:
2B, or not 2B?
Note the different pron!

Comment on Should a rhetorical question end with a question mark? by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Sun, 15 Nov 2015 14:52:20 +0000 There are three choices: question mark, period (full stop), or exclamation mark, depending on the intonation required.

Punctuation is there to show how the sentence is to be read, denoting pauses, intonation, interpolations and so forth.
Many rhetorical questions need a rising intonation at the end, so a question mark is appropriate. Sometimes a falling intonation is sought with a period (full stop). Try saying the following out loud and notice how the intonation changes:
To be, or not to be ?
To be, or not to be !
To be, or not to be.
To be or, not to be ??

Comment on Should a rhetorical question end with a question mark? by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Sun, 15 Nov 2015 03:08:00 +0000 Yes.

Comment on ‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF by Cassie Sherman Cassie Sherman Sat, 14 Nov 2015 12:33:03 +0000 Alright, I'm a native English speaker so you can probably trust what I say. Both methods mean the same as a general rule, meaning I can't think of any sentences at the moment that would result in a different interpretation between the two forms. However, you will almost never hear a native English speaker say The__of ___. It sounds awkward and while technically correct and meaning the same thing as ____'s _____, I wouldn't recommend that form. It's kinda a tell-tale that you don't quite have a handle on the language quite yet.

Comment on “Sic” or “Sick” something on someone? by Prof EF Hubb Prof EF Hubb Wed, 11 Nov 2015 13:13:14 +0000 more ... (interesting!
Origin of SIC

Latin, so, thus — more at so

First Known Use: circa 1859
From Merriam Webster online --
Definition of SIC

chiefly Scottish variant of such

transitive verb \ˈsik\
: to attack (someone or something)
sicced also sicked \ˈsikt\ sic·cing also sick·ing
Full Definition of SIC

: chase, attack —usually used as a command especially to a dog
: to incite or urge to an attack, pursuit, or harassment : set
Variants of SIC

sic also sick \ˈsik\

adverb \ˈsik, ˈsēk\
Definition of SIC

: intentionally so written —used after a printed word or passage to indicate that it is intended exactly as printed or to indicate that it exactly reproduces an original
Origin of SIC


see also

Comment on “Sic” or “Sick” something on someone? by Prof EF Hubb Prof EF Hubb Wed, 11 Nov 2015 12:44:51 +0000 It stands to reason that the Latin "sic" meaning "thus" as in "so" is the origin of the active verb for chase or seek, noted as the origin above. "Sic semper tyrannis" and "Sic transit gloria mundae" come to mind. "Thus always to tyrants" & "Thus passes or so goes the glory of the world"
Make sense?
Prof H

Comment on “Defeat to” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Tue, 10 Nov 2015 20:49:48 +0000 @WW

Once again I must compliment you on your exhaustive research.


Comment on “Defeat to” by Dyske Dyske Tue, 10 Nov 2015 08:44:11 +0000 @warsaw

The latest comments are at the bottom of the "Discussion Forum" page.

If you guys want any particular features or changes, please email me at

Comment on “Defeat to” by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Tue, 10 Nov 2015 07:47:25 +0000 Most of what Ngram is picking up from 200 years ago are false positives, like "ascribes / likens / attributes / owes his defeat to", or you find that defeat is followed by a comma or full stop. I thought I'd found something with this, from 1790:

"Conon, who commanded the Athenian forces, retires after his defeat to Evagoras, king of Cyprus."

But it turns out that Conon in fact took refuge with Evagoras. And then there was this, from 1709:

"Michael, a Natural Son of John, the King's Unkle, revoking in Asia, fled after his Defeat to the Sultan"

But it was followed by - ", who supply 'd him with Troops to invade the Empire," so it seems he fled to the Sultan.

So I would suggest that it is highly unlikely that "defeat to" was used this way two hundred years ago.

Fast forwarding to the 1980s and 1990s, though, we can find a couple of real examples at the British National Corpus, for example:

"Scotland's last hopes of pipping Canada for a quarter-final place ended with the 3-0 defeat to Sweden." (Independent - 1989)

"But Sunday's win should erase those ghosts, as well as make up for last year's defeat to France in the final in Lyon." (Today - 1992)

Although to be honest most of the other 34 instances of "defeat to" are false positives.

And what of HS's example? Well results are somewhat mixed: (Google p1 counts):

"after defeat to Liverpool" - 13,500
"after defeat by Liverpool" - 4,210
"Chelsea's defeat by Liverpool" - 23 300
"Chelsea's defeat to Liverpool" - 14,900

I'm afraid HS's exact quote only appears on this page, but we can find similar quotes with both "by" and "to":

"RAMIRES has revealed what Jose Mourinho said to Chelsea's stars after defeat to Liverpool - nothing!" (The Express)

"Chelsea Jose Mourinho quotes in full after defeat by Liverpool." (SkySports)

And what Ngram does show is that there has been a slight increase in "defeat to", combined with a drop in "defeat by" since around 2000, which might suggest something.

It then occurred to me to try "defeat to Australia", something that has no doubt been talked about since the nineteenth century. There are no examples in Google Books for the nineteenth century (3 for "by"). In fact there is nothing until 1977; the 70s and 80s have only one example each, and there still only four for the 90s. (For "by" - 1900-1949 - 5, 1950-1999 - 10). So twentieth century 15x "by", 6x "to".

This then is my candidate for first published use of "defeat to Australia":

"The Australian Board too may not like it if the Test record showed that in the 1977-78 series India handed out a crushing 4-0 or 5-0 defeat to Australia! " (Link 1977)

The picture changes with the first decade of this century, with 23 examples (13 for "by").

So, yes it looks as though the increase in use is fairly recent, but has it taken over? I'm not so sure.

On a different subject, I really miss having easy access to latest comments. It's possible to find them through the RSS link, but it doesn't seem that easy to log in.

Comment on fact vs. opinion by stitchy stitchy Sun, 8 Nov 2015 17:27:55 +0000 I would say that it depends who is making the statement and what position they are in to know about how "Everyone..." was feeling.

If the person offering that "Everyone wanted to..." can speak for everyone else because they have already gained knowledge of what everyone else wanted, then it is might possibly be a fact. Of course then you could question the validity of that person's knowledge. Did they gain it by observing everyone else's demeanour (so they might not be totally sure)? Or did everyone else volunteer this information?

Alternatively, it could be pure conjecture. The person speaking felt that the new ride looked exciting. They wanted to persuade someone to go on it. Therefore saying "Everyone wanted to..." might be a useful way to persuade the other person.

I should state that I tend to be sceptical about things that look like "facts" but I'm ok with that. I don't mind people having subjective opinions either. I just like to acknowledge them as such.

Comment on “I’ve got” vs. “I have” by Hadi Hadi Sat, 7 Nov 2015 02:50:13 +0000 On usage, the Cambridge Grammar of English (p883) states:
The present tense form of have with got used for possession is more than twice as frequent in spoken BrE as in AmE:
•I've got one sister and one brother. (BrE)
•I have a cousin who never married. (AmE)
On formality, Swan in Practical English Usage (p230) states:
Got forms are especially common in an informal style. ... In very informal American speech, people may drop 've before got. I('ve) got a problem.

Comment on mixing semicolon and em dash by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Fri, 6 Nov 2015 22:04:03 +0000 It seems like a story written as a converstion, breathy and slightly disjointed, with double-nested interpolations. The long interpolation all the way from the first dash to the colon, rather undermines the contrast between "at first" and "now", so it is a bit hard to get back on track.
One could try a third dash instead of the semi-colon; or even insert "whereas" or "but"; not sure that makes it better though.

Comment on “Defeat to” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Fri, 6 Nov 2015 01:12:18 +0000 @jtw
I don't believe that at any point I claimed that the phrase was erroneous, merely that to me it sounds strange.
If or when I shuffle off this mortal coil I can only hope that another grumpy old pedant will spring up and continue to point out examples of strange and/or unusual phrases.
Given the lack of logic in the language I doubt that any kind of empirical measure exists.

Comment on Comma before “respectively”? by brookworm brookworm Fri, 6 Nov 2015 00:10:23 +0000 I'll bite.

BrockawayBaby, a semicolon should NOT be used, as there not a list. There are only two items. Even if there was a list, there would not be a semicolon before "respectively" anyway. "Respectively" is a comment on the order of "18" and "200," not part of the items. Your solution is grammatically incorrect.

Comment on “Defeat to” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Thu, 5 Nov 2015 08:21:54 +0000 @HS if the sole criterion of "right" or "wrong" English were what falls soft or hard upon your ears, then what shall we do when you are gone?
Come, we need an more empirical measure.

Comment on “Defeat to” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Thu, 5 Nov 2015 08:11:19 +0000 @HS "defeat against" also crops up, although to my ear it sounds a bit odd; the point here is that just because we have not come across a particular collocation in our own milieu or experience - that does not make it "wrong" per se. In teaching English to "foreigners" we do emphasize normal collocations like "a telltale sign", "a dead giveaway", but that does not make "a telltale giveaway" wrong, just unusual.

What in fact is the difference between a collocation and a well-worn cliche, or indeed a treasured quote from Shakespeare or KJV?

"Some candle clear burns somewhere I come by." - is this "right" or "wrong" English? (from Gerald Manley Hopkins)

If one takes on board that English has always been changing, then (whilst I admit "defeat to" would not be a phrase I would use) - then the only question is whether its current usage makes it acceptable in business/academic/media contexts i.e. is it now "standard" English? Clearly yes indeed.

Comment on “Defeat to” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Wed, 4 Nov 2015 16:48:56 +0000 Perhaps I should add that in other contexts the use of "defeat to" may well not sound wrong, but in the example I quoted I think it does.

Comment on “Defeat to” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Wed, 4 Nov 2015 16:45:25 +0000 @jayles
Sorry, but "defeat to" falls hard upon my elderly ears, and thole it I will not.

Comment on “Defeat to” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Tue, 3 Nov 2015 21:55:01 +0000 Dear Grumpy
1) It is not an evolution - it has been around for some time (perhaps 200 years according to Ngrams), if you would care to google "defeat to", although I could not sleuth out the actual quote.
2) If you choose to be grumpy about it, of course you will thole; if, however, you came to realise that evolution is a natural on-going process, then your tholing would lessen greatly.

Comment on “Defeat to” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Tue, 3 Nov 2015 17:04:36 +0000 Dyske omitted the line about my donning the grumpy pedant cap for this topic.


Comment on Backward vs. Backwards? by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Sat, 31 Oct 2015 09:40:05 +0000 @Deanne - Merriam-Webster is of course an American dictionary, and one of my favourites. But before saying what applies to Great Britain, perhaps a look in a British dictionary might be a good idea:

And if you read Merriam-Webster more carefully you'll see: "toward - also towards"; "Variant of backward: backwards". And it even has an entry for forwards" with this example "for every step that her campaign takes forwards, it seems to take two backwards"

Comment on fact vs. opinion by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Wed, 28 Oct 2015 02:58:31 +0000 Opinions are often stated as facts; of course statements are often just the opinion of the writer, unless quoted or otherwise.
In an academic treatise one must ask where is the evidence; was there as survey of "everyone" in this case or is the statement just wishful thinking on the part of the writer?
Sometimes journalists say or write things like "everyone here is (something or other)"; and one must wonder how many people they asked and whether the respondents reflect a proper (random) cross-section of "everyone".

There is a tradition in English academic (and business) writing to avoid the first person and not to preface every sentence with "I think that". One of the results is that opinions tend to be stated as if they are facts.

The above is of course just my own opinion. You should wonder where the evidence is.

Comment on Backward vs. Backwards? by Deanne Deanne Mon, 26 Oct 2015 20:43:40 +0000 According to the Merriam - Webster ' s dictionary, backward, forward, and toward are correct. Adding an s letter to any makes it NOT a word. Applies to Great Britain and America.

Comment on fact vs. opinion by Dyske Dyske Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:31:06 +0000 I would say the statement itself is a fact, not an opinion. It is expressing the fact that everyone expressed the same opinion (or preference).

Comment on Capitalizing and pluralizing official titles by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Sun, 25 Oct 2015 15:45:58 +0000 Offices, titles, and positions such as president, king, emperor, pope, bishop, abbot, executive director are common nouns and therefore should be in lower case when used generically: Mitterrand was the French president or There were many presidents at the meeting. They are capitalized only in the following cases:

When followed by a person's name to form a title, i.e. when they can be considered to have become part of the name: President Nixon, not president Nixon
When a title is used to refer to a specific and obvious person as a substitute for their name, e.g. the Queen, not the queen, referring to Elizabeth II
When the correct formal title is treated as a proper name (e.g. King of France; it is correct to write Louis XVI was King of France but Louis XVI was the French king)

Comment on my same school by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Tue, 20 Oct 2015 07:16:57 +0000 Rather not. Better is "she is in the same school as me"

From Practical English Usage (Swan):
'We normally use the before same ... before a noun we use "the same as":

"You've got the same idea as me, (NOT ... my same idea)"
"Her hair's the same colour as her mother's" '

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Sat, 17 Oct 2015 20:49:42 +0000 @WW
(a) This has nothing to do with "anglish"; it is just about how Middle English came about, and in particular, why we ended up with something of a creole, rather than one language winning out with just a few hundred words borrowed, as happened in Gaul, Ireland, or indeed Hungarian under Ottoman/Turkish occupation.

(b) I don't disagree with your explanations; after all Middle English does sound like someone who learnt English as a child, but was taught French. The question is: how and when did illiterate peasants and the village blacksmith take onboard all those French borrowings? It just seems to me that, away from court and castle , words like "frith", "wlite", and "ea" may have kept on for much longer than written records would suggest. (In fact I heard "ea" in Norfork about 1960). However, short of time-travel we may never be sure!

(c) Perhaps hearing the bible read out every Sunday in Welsh (from 16th century) onwards saved that language. Perhaps all those French words in Wycliffe's translation overwrote the older English equivalents in the minds of English folk.

(d) I suppose my whole thinking is based on the assumption that borrowings from Anglo-Norman and/or French are unusually high in comparison with similar takeover situations. Perhaps in the intial phase it wasn't - it was the inroads made by "Parisian" french from the late 1200s onward which are atypical.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Sat, 17 Oct 2015 12:20:25 +0000 The first question I might be interested in is why virtually no words survived from the Brythonic Celtic. The Normans weren't the only people to invade England, and while Old English survived that particular trauma, the Celtic language didn't survive the earlier Anglo-Saxon one (at least not in most of England), and nobody really seems to know why.

The loss of inflections seems to have been partly due to several germanic languages and dialects living sided by side (not only Anglo-Saxon, but also Scandinavian). It is thought that these languages were similar enough to allow communication, but differed in inflexions, etc, so they just dropped away naturally.

"Norse influence may also have contributed to an important grammatical change, which mainly occurred in English between the 11th and 14th centuries, and which marked the transition to Middle English (ME) (conventionally dated c.1100-1500). OE had indicated many grammatical categories and relationships by attaching inflections (endings) to word roots, in a similar way to Latin or German."

Being largely ignored by the Norman upper crust, Old English probably went on its own quiet way. And remember that many from the 'middle sorts' learnt French so that they could sell stuff to the 'big house', and that the mix could as well come from them, as from the offspring of the Norman invaders.

It appears to be with the loss of French territories under John Lackland (1204, I think),that the Norman nobility started looking more to England and to the English language in the 13th and 14th centuries (parliamentary papers were in English from about the middle of the 14th century). And the consensus seems to be that the greatest influx of French words took place after this change. This was not, however, Norman French, but Paris French, as Paris was seen at the time as the cultural capital of Europe.

And Frensh she spak ful faire and fetisly,
After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
For Frensh of Paris was to hir unknowe.
At mete wel y-taught was she with-alle;

Canturbury Tales, the Prologue.

It is perhaps ironic that this French influx came at the very time when English was in the ascendancy, eclipsing French at court and in the manor houses of England. And at this time many educated people in England were trilingual. You could actually look on this transitional period as a great victory for English. Yes, it absorbed many Latin words, but English took over the legal functions Latin much earlier than in some other European countries. And yes it took in a lot of French words, but it completely replaced French in courtly and baronial circles.

"There was no need for all that borrowing". Well evidently people at the time thought there was. And when it comes to stool and chair, we have both, but each with a specific meaning, and that's the case with a lot of borrowings; they didn't totally replace older words, but existed alongside them, each taking a more specific meanning. That's what I call enrichment. English today is what it is precisely because of its history, and I don't see any need to regret anything about its develpoment. Some of the behaviour of our forbears maybe, but not the language. I don't want to bring up the Anglish wars again, but I for one rejoice in English's mongrel pedigree. And for a mongrel, it hasn't half done well for itself.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Sat, 17 Oct 2015 01:24:28 +0000 @jayles

Sent email to NSCB.
Secretary has responded saying she will forward mail to all band members.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by Hairy Scot Hairy Scot Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:17:49 +0000 @jayles

Unfortunately I am otherwise engaged on Saturday, but I would welcome the chance to meet you if you happen to have further engagements in the area.

Comment on Over-use of periods by C.M. Berry C.M. Berry Fri, 16 Oct 2015 18:45:58 +0000 This style of writing originated in the advertising world--and its use in advertising stems from hypnosis or more specifically, neurolinguistic programming (NLP).

I am a hypnotherapist myself. This type of punctuation would be used to que the sub-conscious mind in an authoritative matter, as a means of eliciting a submissive response and thus allowing one's message to be more fully focused upon, as well as acquiesced to. It is, essentially, the written version of an inductive speech pattern.

It is effective when it is used correctly and annoying when it is not.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Thu, 15 Oct 2015 15:13:19 +0000 Just to clarify:

A) Yes OE was changing and losing inflections already.

B) In many cases the invaders impose their own tongue as the language of administration, but native languages live on more or less intact in the hills and among the peasants, at least in some areas. Eg: Spanish, Portugese in Central/South America. Latin in Western Europe. Contrast this with ME and the slaughter of OE vocabulary.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Thu, 15 Oct 2015 14:59:42 +0000 @WW Thanks - I had quite overlooed the northeast extent of OE.

I have been struggling to get my head round the origins of Middle English. The ask is whether the English that has come down to us today is the result of OE gradually taking onboard Anglo-French words instead of the original ones; or whether ME is really just a creole used by the ruling class to communicate with soldiers, merchant and the like (and the peasants continued speaking OE)

What seems clear is that (1) OE was actually quite a large number of dialects, and (2) the number of Norman settlers was very small (8000?) in relation to the OE-speaking population (1-1.5 million).

The Franks invaded Gaul, and yes French took in a thousand Germanic words but didn't change like OE->ME.

The French tried it again in Vietnam, but after sixty years with French as the language of the ruling class and taught in all schools, the impact on Vietnamese seems quite small, just a few hundred words at the most - words for ideas and things which were new. And no creole.

(There's also the impact of the English in India, Australia, NZ and so on, or the Russians in the Caucasus and Siberia, to consider.)

But I fail to understand how 80% of OE vocabulary fell by the wayside. If ME began as an upper-class creole, how did it come to be adopted by uneducated peasants? Or why did OE borrow "chair" when it already had "stool", "joy" for "frothe" (and all the others) - there was no need for all that borrowing; law-french, yes, new ideas yes, but everyday words how come?

This may all sound a long way from the original thread topic; but we need a framework to make any deeming about English today or to-come.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by Warsaw Will Warsaw Will Thu, 15 Oct 2015 08:42:02 +0000 @jayles - Gaelic in the Lowlands.

It is likely that English (of the Northumbrian variety) was spoken in the eastern Lowlands before the arrival of Gaelic from Argyll (the south-western part of the Highlands), and that in the western Lowlands, Cumbric, a Brythonic Celtic languag, was spoken by Celts who had moved north into Galloway, and as far north as Glasgow, at the time of the Anglo-Saxon settlements in Cumbria. Gaelic was certainly spoken in parts of the western Lowlands, and became spoken more widely with the merger of the Gaelic Kingdom of Alba with the Kingdom of the Picts, centred in the north and west (where Gaelic slowly replaced Pictish), but:

"In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was ever widely spoken. The area shifted from Cumbric to Old English during its long incorporation into the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria. After the Lothians were conquered by Malcolm II at the Battle of Carham in 1018, elites spoke Gaelic and continued to do so down to c. 1200. However, commoners retained Old English" -

And under Malcom III, the move to English as the language of the Scottish court began. The reign of Gaelic as the lingua Scotia was a very brief one. If English surplanted anything in the Eastern lowlands, it is more likely to have been Pictish than Gaelic.

Comment on “feedback” and “check in” by jayles the unwoven jayles the unwoven Thu, 15 Oct 2015 03:00:56 +0000 @HS Panglish is already here: just listen in the supermarket or coffee shop; they already miss the 's' off dollars, like "Ten dollar thirty, please". But it is no horror, just change is normal.
Again, standard English may well have a good innings, just like Latin did.

BTW I'm playing at Albany Presbyterian Church this Sat 2 pm - your neck of the woods, I think.