Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

Examples of funny and/or annoying mississpellings, and other grammatical errors

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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#221  Postby don't get me started » Apr 02, 2019 4:23 am

Nice video. Thanks for posting it Piper. :thumbup:

In the past, scholars and maniacs had to actually sit down with a printed text and go through word by word and keep count and cross reference. Not surprisingly, this only got done for 'big' books like the Bible or the complete works of Shakespeare.
With the advent of computer technology, the possibilities have become enormous.
I often use BNC/ COCA for checking frequencies and collocations (British National Corpus. Corpus of Contemporary American)

https://www.english-corpora.org/bnc/

I'll give an example here.
In Japanese, there is a distinction made between feeling that one needs to go to sleep (眠い.. nemui ) and the feeling that one has expended a good deal of physical and/or mental energy. (疲れた..tsukareta) In English, you can express both feelings by using the word 'tired'.

'I'm tired. I'm off to bed'
'I've been working at the computer all day. I'm tired.'

My students often use the word 'sleepy' which is a direct translation of NEMUI.
My intuition got me thinking...is 'Sleepy' a common word? How do English speakers use it?

So, off I went to the corpus and checked.
Lo and behold...Sleepy comes in at 412 occurrences in the BNC corpus. Tired comes in at 3821 occurrences.
So, pretty clear data to support the claim that 'tired' is more frequent than 'sleepy'.

When I started looking at individual occurrences another pattern emerged.
Both words can have extensions of meaning. E.g. 'I'm (sick and) tired of it' doesn't mean that I'm tired and need to have a sit down.
But, tired got used a lot in its core meaning (needing rest or sleep) and also gets collocated with body parts such as 'tired legs, tired shoulders etc.
On the other hand sleepy had a lot more usage in its more metaphorical meaning, e.g. 'a sleepy backwater' , 'a sleepy village' etc.

So, it seems that my intuitions were on the right track and Japanese speakers making a consistent distinction between 'tired' and 'sleepy' is a carry over from their own language and is at some variance with the usage of native/proficient English speakers.
Not that it is a fatal error or anything...just a point of interest and also an illustration of the fact that the ultimate corpus concordancer is not on a hard drive somewhere, but on the 'soft drive' of the human brain. It seems we are all pretty good at keeping track of frequencies and collocations.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#222  Postby The_Piper » Apr 02, 2019 11:57 am

It's amazing, the amount of info our brains can hold and automatically recall. I don't even use the word sleepy, that I'm aware of. I say tired most often, exhausted, wiped out, but not sleepy. :lol: :lol:
It's also fascinating that some of our irregular verbs have roots that are several thousand years old.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#223  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 02, 2019 1:58 pm

In Dutch there is one word for tired and the like: moe (like moo from a cow). Ik ben moe.
Slapperig (sleepy) is used in medical terms as results from medicine.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#224  Postby felltoearth » Apr 02, 2019 2:01 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:In Dutch there is one word for tired and the like: moe (like moo from a cow). Ik ben moe.
Slapperig (sleepy) is used in medical terms as results from medicine.

The latter would likely be more accurately translated as drowsy.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#225  Postby don't get me started » Apr 07, 2019 2:58 am

My little boy just asked me what 'either' means as he was trying to use it in a sentence.
It got me thinking about the words neither and either. :think:

First off, there seems to be no real consensus as to how they are pronounced.
Neether or Nyether, eether or eyether.
(I think I use both. A bit like eeconomics/ehconomics.)
This seems to violate a commonsense assumption that a word should have some kind of standard, agreed upon pronunciation.
But, language being the human artifact that it is, that is probably expecting too much...

Then I was wondering about the usage.
I seem to remember some of my North American colleges using 'either' when agreeing with a negative statement.

A: I don't like Natto*
B: Me either.

This always struck me as a usage error.
To my way of thinking, agreeing with a negative statement needs a negator in the agreeing statement.

A: I don't like Natto.
B: I don't either/ Neither do I/ Me neither.

In both of these versions there is a negator. (Don't + either) or Neither with a hearable 'N'.
The response 'Me either' seems to be missing something to my ear.

* Natto, for those who don't know, is fermented (i.e. semi-rotten) soybeans. You either (!) like it or you don't.
There is no middle ground.
I don't. :yuk:
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#226  Postby OlivierK » Apr 07, 2019 7:35 am

Just to be contrary, I'm on the middle ground regarding natto. I wouldn't seek it out, but I don't hate it. (I know I'm odd in this regard, though! :lol:)
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#227  Postby don't get me started » Apr 15, 2019 6:34 am

In some of the academic papers I read, the authors insist on treating the word 'data' as a countable noun, i.e. one that can be singular or plural.
"The data are conclusive..."

Nah. Data may have been countable in the original Latin, but it is a way to refer to 'information' and in English, 'information' is unambiguously non-countable.
( He told me a lot of informations*)

As I've mentioned before, transferring grammatical classes, morphology and the like across languages makes no sense to me.
Where do you stop?
I usually resist the Latinate form and treat it as an uncountable noun, even if my editors and reviewers bring it up.
'A single piece of data' not 'a datum' and 'Lots of data'.

Similarly, in speaking I often refer to curriculums not curricula.

But, upon reflection, I definitely use the phenomenon/phenomena distinction when I write, so I'm not quite the iconoclast I thought I was.

At least with the word 'data' I stick with the underlying principles of English pronunciation and don't put two short 'a' vowels in adjacent syllables in order to provide a stress contrast. I say 'day-tuh' (The second one is a schwa).
I have heard some people pronounce this word as 'dartar', which just sounds wrong to me...
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#228  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 15, 2019 7:44 am

I'm not an atheist; I just don't believe in gods :- that which I don't belong to isn't a group!
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#229  Postby don't get me started » Apr 15, 2019 8:14 am

Spearthrower wrote:


Ha ha. very good. :thumbup:
Mind you, at 1:09 the seated character says 'Will you stop shooting people for saying things wrong?'

A purist would probably have insisted on the adverb form...'saying things wrongly'. :think: :roll:
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#230  Postby romansh » Apr 15, 2019 4:11 pm

don't get me started wrote:
At least with the word 'data' I stick with the underlying principles of English pronunciation and don't put two short 'a' vowels in adjacent syllables in order to provide a stress contrast. I say 'day-tuh' (The second one is a schwa).
I have heard some people pronounce this word as 'dartar', which just sounds wrong to me...

I am ambidextrous when it comes to the "a" in data. It could be an European influence?

In Latvian "a" is pronounced as in car. So this my default when seeing a name for the first time, like Kara, is to use the hard "a" in both cases.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#231  Postby The_Piper » Apr 16, 2019 3:16 am

"That made me laugh out load n is still making me smile...!"
"I have a pet sequel.. LOL why not.. man.. LOL there fun.. his name is chip..."
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#232  Postby laklak » Apr 16, 2019 4:30 am

"Tooked" as the past tense of "take".

I done tooked it.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#233  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 16, 2019 6:35 am

Very Irish. :lol:
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#234  Postby Fallible » Apr 16, 2019 10:40 am

Things I find when watching Judge Judy -

"The car was tooken to the mechanic."
"I asked him if he could borrow me $500."
''That morning, I had went to work."
From the woman herself, '"'priorly' isn't a word."
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#235  Postby The_Piper » Apr 16, 2019 11:58 am

:lol: You watch Judge Judy?
One I can hear right here in Chainsaw Country: Them weren't-int dee-yah, them were a moose!
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#236  Postby The_Piper » Apr 16, 2019 4:35 pm

"loses power when pressing on gas, and need a new Cadillac converter," :picard:
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#237  Postby don't get me started » Apr 24, 2019 12:13 am

How do you console a grammar Nazi?

'There, their, they're'

:hug:
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#238  Postby Hermit » Apr 24, 2019 1:06 am

don't get me started wrote:In some of the academic papers I read, the authors insist on treating the word 'data' as a countable noun, i.e. one that can be singular or plural.
"The data are conclusive..."

Nah. Data may have been countable in the original Latin, but it is a way to refer to 'information' and in English, 'information' is unambiguously non-countable.
( He told me a lot of informations*)

As I've mentioned before, transferring grammatical classes, morphology and the like across languages makes no sense to me.
Where do you stop?
I usually resist the Latinate form and treat it as an uncountable noun, even if my editors and reviewers bring it up.
'A single piece of data' not 'a datum' and 'Lots of data'.

Similarly, in speaking I often refer to curriculums not curricula.

But, upon reflection, I definitely use the phenomenon/phenomena distinction when I write, so I'm not quite the iconoclast I thought I was.

At least with the word 'data' I stick with the underlying principles of English pronunciation and don't put two short 'a' vowels in adjacent syllables in order to provide a stress contrast. I say 'day-tuh' (The second one is a schwa).
I have heard some people pronounce this word as 'dartar', which just sounds wrong to me...

Oh, how I wish that I've never learnt any Latin. It makes it really difficult for me to listen to stuff like "The media/phenomena/data is..." without it sticking in my craw. I'm making progress, though, no longer insisting that the plural of atlas, coming from Greek, is atlantes.

Oh, idea for a post in another thread now. Cya.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#239  Postby OlivierK » Apr 24, 2019 10:21 am

Phenomenon being Greek in origin, of course. But I hear you; one of my pet hates is criteria as a singular noun.
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Re: Adventures in the English language; AkaThe YGS thread

#240  Postby Svartalf » Apr 24, 2019 10:34 am

the singular is criterion, criteria is by definition a plural.
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