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John Gibson

Joined: November 20, 2011
Comments posted: 19
Votes received: 7

Recent Comments

Gosh, I just made a few mistakes in the last comment, didn't I? A case of "more haste, fewer speed" ....

John Gibson May 8, 2014, 9:20pm

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Ok, I'll try to learn not to be vary annoyed by "less lorries", "less tigers" etc., and I hope that this will be reciprocated if "fewer noise" and "fewer music" becomes similarly tolerated.

John Gibson May 8, 2014, 9:17pm

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@Warsaw Will

I was merely making the point that RP was always the dialect of a minority - although one would never have guessed this, if one's listening was confined to the BBC up to the 1960s. The few RP speakers left are probably heavily weighted towards descendants of the Norman conquerors of 1066 .... which, if true, makes them pretty indigenous.

John Gibson February 1, 2014, 2:49pm

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Surely this is a case where the RP pronunciation was inferior (less logical) to that of the common indigenous Britons. Are there other cases of silent 't's in British English?

John Gibson January 31, 2014, 6:32pm

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The BBC has a number of agendas that it has pushed relentlessly for a number of decades. One of the strongest is the benefits to the UK of membership of the EU. And this explains its avid support for the replacement of Imperial measures by metric ones. Thus, it even instructs its foreign correspondents to speak about metric distances, metres rather than yards. Occasionally, this breaks down as when senior corresponent, John Simpson, was walking outside Kabul on camera .... a sudden explosion ... Simpson ducked ... and burst out with "that landed only 10 feet away!"

John Gibson January 31, 2014, 6:26pm

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In North-East England in my youth it was quite common to hear "yous", and it was used in constructions such as:

"yous lot, you don't know you're born" [you young people, you're living in much easier times, with far fewer hardships and much greater opportunities, than was the common experience when I was young]

"yous over there, listen to this ...."

and

"I divvent agree with yous" [I don't agree with you {two/three/four etc.} people]

Whether it is still common there, I don't know, as my visits to NE England are rare.

John Gibson December 9, 2013, 7:29pm

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You good people may wish to also consider the by-no-means-uncommon use of the phrase/interjection in British English speech of "my, my" or "my-my" (there are over 5,000,000 google references to the phrase!). There is a Ringo Starr song called 'Oh, my-my" and there is one by Taylor Swift:

"Mary's Song (Oh My My My)"

She said, I was seven and you were nine
I looked at you like the stars that shined
In the sky, the pretty lights
And our daddies used to joke about the two of us
Growing up and falling in love and our mamas smiled
And rolled their eyes and said oh my my my

Take me back to the house in the backyard tree
Said you'd beat me up, you were bigger than me
You never did, you never did
Take me back when our world was one block wide
I dared you to kiss me and ran when you tried
Just two kids, you and I...
Oh my my my my

John Gibson December 9, 2013, 6:10pm

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@annp

Yes, indeed. This is dubbed, if I recall, the "fused particle" construction and may be the way I would express it in speech. In fact, I might refer to "the children", rather than "our children", given that one of the children was not mine.

John Gibson March 16, 2013, 1:24pm

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If two or more players are attacking, "England are on the attack" seems a better verbal description of the events than "England is on the attack".

I've never liked the American tendency to use a coolective noun with a singular verb. It never seems to marry well with the idea that individuals may have different opinions and perform different roles. I always think of a team as a "they", rather than a he/she/it. Thus, I prefer "Newcastle beat Chelsea" to "Newcastle beats Chelsea".

John Gibson February 21, 2013, 3:16pm

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This, a big hit in the UK charts of 1960, answers your question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r1usQ221A0

Someone else's baby
Someone else's eyes are blue
Someone else's baby
Someone else's five-foot-two

Oh, who's got a hold up
Nine carat gold love
I wonder who's in the loveseat
Who's got a heartbeat, like thunder

If I acted bad
I could steal his fairy queen
I know he'll be mad
But I can't resist the thought of being kissed

By someone else's baby
Someone else's special date
Someone else's baby
Someone else is kinda late

He'd better mind out
She's gonna find out I love her
This little fellah is gonna tell her
That someone else is me

Well, if I acted bad
I could steal his fairy queen
I know he'll be mad
But I can't resist the thought of being kissed

By someone else's baby
Someone else's special date
Someone else's baby
Someone else is kinda late

Oh, he'd better mind out
She's gonna find out I love her
This little fellow is gonna tell her
That someone else is me

John Gibson February 21, 2013, 2:47am

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I would certainly like to see the conjugation of the verb "to of".

I thought this was solely a usage in the UK, where all teaching of grammar ceased about 30/40 years ago. However, I recently found an American using "would of", "could of".

John Gibson February 19, 2013, 5:12pm

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I recommend that y'gan and spend a couple of weeks in the toon of Newcastle in Geordieland. From Wikipedia:

The dialect of Newcastle is known as Geordie, and contains a large amount of vocabulary and distinctive word pronunciations not used in other parts of the United Kingdom. The Geordie dialect has much of its origins in the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon populations who migrated to and conquered much of England after the end of Roman Imperial rule. This language was the forerunner of Modern English; but while the dialects of other English regions have been heavily altered by the influences of other foreign languages—particularly Latin and Norman French—the Geordie dialect retains many elements of the old language. An example of this is the pronunciation of certain words: "dead", "cow", "house" and "strong" are pronounced "deed", "coo", "hoos" and "strang"—which is how they were pronounced in the Anglo-Saxon language. Other Geordie words with Anglo-Saxon origins include: "larn" (from the Anglo-Saxon "laeran", meaning "teach"), "burn" ("stream") and "gan" ("go").[70] "Bairn" and "hyem", meaning "child" and "home", are examples of Geordie words with origins in Scandinavia; "barn" and "hjem" are the corresponding modern Norwegian words. Some words used in the Geordie dialect are used elsewhere in the northern United Kingdom. The words "bonny" (meaning "pretty"), "howay" ("come on"), "stot" ("bounce") and "hadaway" ("go away" or "you're kidding"), all appear to be used in Scottish dialect; "aye" ("yes") and "nowt" (IPA://naʊt/, rhymes with out,"nothing") are used elsewhere in northern England. Many words, however, appear to be used exclusively in Newcastle and the surrounding area, such as "Canny" (a versatile word meaning "good", "nice" or "very"), "hacky" ("dirty"), "netty" ("toilet"), "hoy" ("throw"), "hockle" ("spit").[71]

John Gibson February 14, 2013, 8:35pm

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This history professor may well have suffered the damaging impact of a brick hitting his head, so I think we should treat him with the appropriate mix of understanding and disdain.

John Gibson February 14, 2013, 8:15pm

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Instead of:

“I so appreciate you taking mine and Gregg’s child to school today.”

Use this:

“I so appreciate you taking Gregg’s child and mine to school today.”

Or even:

“I so appreciate you taking Gregg’s and my child to school today.”

Usually, in English, manners determine that the other person comes first in a sentence. Certainly it rules in cases where two pronouns are used.

More natural, in the course of a conversation where it was understood that two children, one being Gregg's, were involved, would be this sentence:

“I so appreciate you taking our children to school today.”

John Gibson February 14, 2013, 8:00pm

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Brockaway: "All of the following is wrong and sounds wrong:"

Well this certainly sounds wrong to me. I would always wriite:

All of the following<b> are</b> wrong and <b>sound</b> wrong:

John Gibson February 27, 2012, 2:57pm

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Hamish - Imagine one is giving a written description of someone in a noisy bar, and he keeps hearing scraps of conversation and describing his (puzzled/wondering) reaction. What are the words in ellipsis for the fragments?:

"Fine"
"Friday"
"Never!"
"Mrs Biggs?"
"Monica"
"Mercedes"

John Gibson February 27, 2012, 1:59am

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"If people make mistakes on the Internet, Google will find them."

Similarly, the internet allows the uninformed and lazy to wander in. For the not-too-lazy my google shows that many educated writers in English have used "sift the juice". But, if it's all too much for you, don't strain yourself.

John Gibson February 27, 2012, 1:48am

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Being sure I'd heard it before, I Googled "sift the juice". And there are lots of examples. Quoting from the first one:

"Peel and slice golden pippins, according to what quantity of jelly is required ; boil them to a marmalade with a little water, and a lemon sliced, and sift the juice ..."

John Gibson February 20, 2012, 8:30am

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I do encounter one word sentences in my reading (often in modern novels) from time to time. Usually they are mid-paragraph, but sometimes they are in dialogue. I was always taught that a sentence must make complete sense, but I now think that's incorrect. Rather, it's a sufficient condition that what appears has a capital letter, is followed by a full stop and it's meaning/intention can be understood, within it's context.

John Gibson February 19, 2012, 3:05pm

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