Your Pain Is Our Pleasure
24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More
September 3, 2009
Total number of comments
Total number of votes received
Douglas, you appear to be very well educated in English linguistics, for which I respect you. Your quotes create a very formidable argument. Due to my upbringing, I understand and somewhat agree with B. Garner in that a words origin may be ignored if it is used and naturalized in another language (and that more obscure or rare words may not be). But I assert that if you know the original plural, you might as well use it. I don't think it is necessarily wrong if you anglicize the plural, just that for common words like radii and fora, the original plural form is pretty widely recognized and so one would have no real excuse not to use it.
I do concede, though, that it would be acceptable to use an anglicized plural for a word with a plural form that is rather obscure and not widely known (I didn't know that platypodes was the plural for platypus, and I'm Australian!).
Having said that, I think that the education system might be in a better place should the English faculties concentrate more on correct linguistics, grammar and punctuation; and less on how to decompose and analyze texts. I may see it differently to others, considering I haven't studied English since high school (I am an Engineering student).
First off, Douglas, this is a discussion board - and we can do without the individually aimed smart-arse sarcasm. I'm here to put forward my opinion, not to be ridiculed.
I understand that the plural system has changed in the advancement of the English language, and had I been around at the time of these changes I probably would have disagreed.
"Some system! Shall we modify it to something sensible? Or would that be “very wrong?”"It is a reasonably complex system, but students are taught English all of the way through school, up until Uni, in which time the we become able to use the system almost subconsciously. Modifying the system would be wrong, because it would give us reason to modify the entire language so as to make every word easy to spell, probably followed by simplifying the grammatical rules and punctuation, until we end up with a language system not unlike binary code.
If we are do not use the 'original' English language correctly, then why should we use it at all? Why should we have to spell things correctly? Why can't we just spell everything the way it sounds?
My simplest answer would be for the sake of everyone else. The language itself is used as a means of communication. A communication that may only be made if all parties understand the language - which I believe would, most generally, require us all to use the 'same' language 'correctly'.
I can understand that as time goes by, we will forget where some words originated and so their respective plural system will be forgotten, but until then why would only some words be anglicized? Either all words or only words of English origin should use the plural system.
Again, to what extent does this rule apply? Are we to just guess when a word does or doesn't use this rule?
Thank you for understanding, Porsche.
"Hot4teacher, using the English-based plural system ALWAYS applies. forum is NOT a Latin word used in the English language. It is an ENGLISH word whose origin is Latin."
If radius is now an English word, does that mean that entrepreneur, feng shui, and umami are now all English words/phrases as well. Where does this rule end?
Oh, and FYI the Cambridge dictionary claims the plural of radius to be radii. If anything, the Cambridge dictionary is essentially a solid copy of the English language, so whatever it claims to be correct should be correct, in spite of what anyone else says. If not then the English language has become somewhat of a tribal series of languages, each based on the one ancestor, but with subtle differences.
There is something very wrong about modifying the English language. We cannot trust what people claim to be correct, other than what is solidly stated and globally confirmed. This free alteration has led to some disgraceful modifications to common language - including the use and apparent conception of the word bouncebackability! There is a word for bouncebackability, it's resilience! If we continue to neglect correct use of our language, we will wind up with a dictionary full of abbreviations and disgracefully simple words.
Anyway, I am getting tired of acting like an old cynic. Speak with whatever language you wish, but be wary of the increasingly poor state and occurrence of the English language.
I can understand why people disagree with me on this - and, after all, my argument isn't necessarily directed at anyone in particular; and I assume that most people understand where I stand and why.
As for our Rugby team; assuming that you are a Pom, I could have said the same to you.I have just about given up on Union in Australia (except for the mighty Waratahs). League is where it's at, but cricket is good too (each to his own).
Oh and PS... We use the term free-kick as well as indirect (simply to differentiate between direct and 'not direct').
Jim, my argument over penalties and free kicks was solely that a free-kick is a way of penalising one team, by offering their opponents a free-kick.
You implied that the term penalty refers to a direct inhibition of one teams chances, but this doesn't really differentiate between penalties and free-kicks. A penalty (or direct as we call them in Aus) is essentially a free kick that gives more of an advantage to the attack, rather than 'taking anything away' from the opposition. The defense is penalised in both cases.
I can't really speak for other countries, but here in Australia, we refer to (what you call) free-kicks as indirect penalties, and (what you call) penalties as direct penalties.
Either way the team is penalised by giving an advantage to their opposition.
P.S. I am familiar with the rules - I played plenty of soccer and rugby.
Touche porsche. It is very ironic that I made such a mistake. In my defence, though, it is just that - and I do know the correct use (for those who do not, you would simply use "who" where you might use "he/she", and use "whom" where you might use "him/her")
As for my argument over the use of forums instead of fora... "Are you really claiming that “forums” isn’t a standard or “correct” English word? Fora is a Latin plural, correct English, yes, but obscure at best."
Yes I am claiming that. Since the word "forum" is a Latin word used in the English language, I do not see how using the English-based plural system would apply. Using "forums" is much like using "octopuses", "radiuses" or, to a lesser extent, "fishes".
For those whom are against the correct use of the English language, you are all idiots. Why would you use an incorrect spelling/form of a word if you know that it is incorrect and you know what the correct spelling/form is. It pisses me off when I hear someone say forums instead of fora (and to make my point even stronger, this word processor has found fora to be spelled incorrectly!). If you are going to speak English speak it properly.
I don't mind the use of acronyms such as LOL or WTF, considering the fact that their sole purpose is to quicken typing speeds.
Other incorrect spellings or usages that give me the sh!ts are: ATM "machines", the incorrect use of "who" and "whom", the incorrect use of pronouns, the incorrect use of punctuation, the use of "pronounciation" instead of "pronunciation", and the list goes on.
If you know the correct spelling/use of a word, then use it! If you don't, then go back to school and learn how to!
It also pisses me off when people tell me I'm wrong for calling a "free kick" in soccer a "penalty"! They tell me "It's not a penalty, it's just a free kick." to which I reply "It is a penalty! The opposition is being 'penalised' by giving the attacking team a free kick!"
That's my 2c.
©2022 CYCLE Interactive, LLC.All Rights Reserved.