Does the nature of English make sense to you?

Is it even logical?

Discuss various aspects of natural language.

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English does it make sense?

1) No
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2) yes
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Total votes : 15

Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#1  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 5:08 pm

simple question, I'm lysdexic so I would say know, but can anyone explain it too me who isn't so that it makes any reasonable sense as a language or is it just a horriffying mish mash of gibberish words from sevaral cultures?

:D

[Reveal] Spoiler:
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#2  Postby Fallible » Dec 28, 2010 5:10 pm

a horriffying mish mash of gibberish words from sevaral cultures


This except I would substitute 'fascinating' for 'horrifying'.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#3  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 5:11 pm

Fallible wrote:
a horriffying mish mash of gibberish words from sevaral cultures


This except I would substitute 'fascinating' for 'horrifying'.


Good point. :D
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#4  Postby Animavore » Dec 28, 2010 5:12 pm

Well it makes sense in that I can understand it. I've been on LSD a couple of times where English suddenly took on strange and alien characteristics and talking became weird and it certainly seemed, at the time, that language was an oddity.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#5  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 5:14 pm

Animavore wrote:Well it makes sense in that I can understand it. I've been on LSD a couple of times where English suddenly took on strange and alien characteristics and talking became weird and it certainly seemed, at the time, that language was an oddity.


Well to be frank I don't but that's probably more my problem than yours. :D
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#6  Postby Watchman » Dec 28, 2010 6:29 pm

The problem with the English language is that it is truly a Bastard , most languages have two or three "parent" languages. English however has the aboriginal Celtic languages ,Latin ,Anglo-Saxon ,Danish , Norwegian ,Norman French ,High French & Dutch plus several other linguistic inputs (Flemish ,Hindi ,Urdu ,Mandarin & Cantonese). The differing sources for words account for the differing pronunciations of similarly spelled words .. Cough & Rough are pronounced one way while Plough is pronounced another.
These historical differences are further complicated by the English passion for not discarding any obsolete words but merely redefining them and continuing their use but only in specific coditions. Consider the number of different words for a simple body of water flowing across land ,beck ,burn ,brook ,stream ,rivulete ,river ,creek ,rill & estuary. Not much help but at least one of the reasons why it is so difficult.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#7  Postby Weaver » Dec 28, 2010 6:35 pm

There is a story, not positive how true it is, but I've heard it from multiple sources, that English is among the most difficult languages to master.

The US Army Defense Language Institute ranks languages by their difficulty to master, on a scale of 1-5. Arabic and Mandarin Chinese come in at level 4. This much I know is true.
Supposedly, the only level 5 language is English.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#8  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Weaver wrote:There is a story, not positive how true it is, but I've heard it from multiple sources, that English is among the most difficult languages to master.

The US Army Defense Language Institute ranks languages by their difficulty to master, on a scale of 1-5. Arabic and Mandarin Chinese come in at level 4. This much I know is true.
Supposedly, the only level 5 language is English.


That's subjective if you are from Japan it is if you are from France not so much.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#9  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 6:43 pm

Watchman wrote:The problem with the English language is that it is truly a Bastard , most languages have two or three "parent" languages. English however has the aboriginal Celtic languages ,Latin ,Anglo-Saxon ,Danish , Norwegian ,Norman French ,High French & Dutch plus several other linguistic inputs (Flemish ,Hindi ,Urdu ,Mandarin & Cantonese). The differing sources for words account for the differing pronunciations of similarly spelled words .. Cough & Rough are pronounced one way while Plough is pronounced another.
These historical differences are further complicated by the English passion for not discarding any obsolete words but merely redefining them and continuing their use but only in specific coditions. Consider the number of different words for a simple body of water flowing across land ,beck ,burn ,brook ,stream ,rivulete ,river ,creek ,rill & estuary. Not much help but at least one of the reasons why it is so difficult.


Quite, it's bemusing and spelling is just convention it has no rhyme or reason IMHO.

Some people aren't dyslexic they are just confused by inconsitancy. Unlike Creationists who are just confused by logic.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#10  Postby chaggle » Dec 28, 2010 7:47 pm

There are easy bits and difficult bits to every language.

For example: In English, pronunciation vis a vis spelling is a complete bastard, verbs however are much easier in English than in romance languages.

There are also easy and difficult stages. English (provided you learn it by ear and not from the written word) is quite easy in the early stages but gets harder and harder as you advance. Other languages are harder at start-up but once you've cracked it things get a bit easier.

I am native English but live in Spain and speak Spanish and French. I have asked many foreign language speakers (Dutch, Belgian, Polish etc.) which is the easier of the two (Spanish, English) to learn and most say English.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#11  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 7:50 pm

chaggle wrote:There are easy bits and difficult bits to every language.

For example: In English, pronunciation vis a vis spelling is a complete bastard, verbs however are much easier in English than in romance languages.

There are also easy and difficult stages. English (provided you learn it by ear and not from the written word) is quite easy in the early stages but gets harder and harder as you advance. Other languages are harder at start-up but once you've cracked it things get a bit easier.

I am native English but live in Spain and speak Spanish and French. I have asked many foreign language speakers (Dutch, Belgian, Polish etc.) which is the easier of the two (Spanish, English) to learn and most say English.


I tell you what teaches me to spell Firefoxes spell checker by badgering me into spealing correctly, without it I might as well be speaking Hebrew. Nothing I know can teach me to spell English except time and patience. Hell it's all you have left when you look at: English.

It's a horrible language that is a lingua franca that no one can really fathom, lets go back to Greek or French. :P

Tu parle Francais?
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#12  Postby chaggle » Dec 28, 2010 9:00 pm

Tu parle Francais?


Well I used to be fluent but when I started on Spanish 10 years ago I lost my French. I can now understand French OK but as soon as I try speaking it I lapse straight into Spanish. It's an age thing I think. Learn language young.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#13  Postby virphen » Dec 28, 2010 9:18 pm

Why is it a horrible language?

You speak as if you expect it to have been designed, but...
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#14  Postby pilot » Dec 28, 2010 9:45 pm

I'm with dammed on this one, but would add that the only thing I find more incomprehensible than English is religion.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#15  Postby katja z » Dec 28, 2010 10:21 pm

virphen wrote:Why is it a horrible language?

You speak as if you expect it to have been designed, but...

:this:

Natural languages arise by processes that are very similar to biological evolution. They aren't perfectly designed because they aren't designed. They're just good enough. You can think of English spelling as an equivalent of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, or wisdom teeth. It's not the best you could come up with if you sat down and thought up a system of writing from scratch, but people don't die from it often enough for it to disappear :grin: (Note: yes, I realise that the second part of the analogy is wrong. It's meant as a joke. But the bit about cultural evolution is perfectly serious.)

a horriffying mish mash of gibberish words from sevaral cultures

Like all languages. Oh, and I'm with Fallible on this one. It's fascinating, not horrifying. :grin:

:cheers:

ETA: Oh, and to answer the question in the thread title ... I've no idea what "the nature of English" is supposed to be, but no, it's not logical. I don't mean this as a criticism; a natural language is not a logical system.
Last edited by katja z on Dec 28, 2010 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#16  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 10:22 pm

chaggle wrote:
Tu parle Francais?


Well I used to be fluent but when I started on Spanish 10 years ago I lost my French. I can now understand French OK but as soon as I try speaking it I lapse straight into Spanish. It's an age thing I think. Learn language young.


I agree up to a point just learn language, you're never to old unless your hopelessly luysdsjkhddexic like me.
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#17  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 10:23 pm

katja z wrote:
virphen wrote:Why is it a horrible language?

You speak as if you expect it to have been designed, but...

:this:

Natural languages arise by processes that are very similar to biological evolution. They aren't perfectly designed because they aren't designed. They're just good enough. You can think of English spelling as an equivalent of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, or wisdom teeth. It's not the best you could come up with if you sat down and thought up a system of writing from scratch, but people don't die from it often enough for it to disappear :grin: (Note: yes, I realise that the second part of the analogy is wrong. It's meant as a joke. But the bit about cultural evolution is perfectly serious.)

a horriffying mish mash of gibberish words from sevaral cultures

Like all languages. Oh, and I'm with Fallible on this one. It's fascinating, not horrifying. :grin:

:cheers:


It's horrifying to me but then as I said I can't speak English not even remotely and it's my first language, that is my problem. :)

Put it this way if I turned off my active spell checker you'd all hate me for not making any sense, well even more than you do now. :P
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#18  Postby katja z » Dec 28, 2010 10:44 pm

The Damned wrote:
It's horrifying to me but then as I said I can't speak English not even remotely and it's my first language, that is my problem. :)

Put it this way if I turned off my active spell checker you'd all hate me for not making any sense, well even more than you do now. :P

You are confusing the general ability to use a language and the much narrower skill of using the correct (=agreed-upon) spelling. Your English is fine; your dyslexia just makes spelling it difficult for you (well, more difficult than it is for other people). If it's any help, I know several people with very good verbal skills (poets, translators and the like) who are mildly dyslectic, which has convinced me that dyslexia has about as much to do with linguistic ability as poor eyesight - that is, it can make written communication more difficult, but this is a completely technical problem. A spell checker for you, glasses for me, and we can read and write just like anyone else. :grin:
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#19  Postby The Damned » Dec 28, 2010 11:07 pm

katja z wrote:
The Damned wrote:
It's horrifying to me but then as I said I can't speak English not even remotely and it's my first language, that is my problem. :)

Put it this way if I turned off my active spell checker you'd all hate me for not making any sense, well even more than you do now. :P

You are confusing the general ability to use a language and the much narrower skill of using the correct (=agreed-upon) spelling. Your English is fine; your dyslexia just makes spelling it difficult for you (well, more difficult than it is for other people). If it's any help, I know several people with very good verbal skills (poets, translators and the like) who are mildly dyslectic, which has convinced me that dyslexia has about as much to do with linguistic ability as poor eyesight - that is, it can make written communication more difficult, but this is a completely technical problem. A spell checker for you, glasses for me, and we can read and write just like anyone else. :grin:


Yeah but I get so much abuse on this and other forums for not conjugating the verb to go it's not even funny. Why do people subject me to that, and yet they don't kick people in wheel chairs because they can't walk it's such a double standard and I for one am fed up with it. :roll:

I know why because its easier to troll me than to ask what I meant. Dummards!

At least I've said I wont make sense now, but will it end will it fuck everyone will just keep on in until I explode because now they know my weakness, humanity is disgraceful. Why don't you all go piss on a beggar or a down syndrome child or anyone then you assholes? I'll tell you why because you don't give a crap about anything. And I'm damned tired of giving a crap about you. :roll:

I'm not fucking joking I can't fucking spell.

I'm 38 if I haven't learnt it by now do you really believe I'm ever going to learn it? You cunt?

/rant

Now a particulary political broadcast on behalf of the rational party. :D
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Re: Does the nature of English make sense to you?

#20  Postby virphen » Dec 28, 2010 11:17 pm

The Damned wrote:
Yeah but I get so much abuse on this and other forums for not conjugating the verb to go it's not even funny. Why do people subject me to that, and yet they don't kick people in wheel chairs because they can't walk it's such a double standard and I for one am fed up with it. :roll:


You're right. From now on I am going to start beating on paraplegics.

Having a go at spelling and grammar always seems rather petty to me. Although I can't stand txtspk either.
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