The semantics thread

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Re: The semantics thread

#21  Postby surreptitious57 » Feb 16, 2016 10:51 am

I is always used at the beginning of a sentence though me has an identical meaning. And it may be a class
thing with regard to its use at the end of a sentence but how extensive that is I cannot say. I also like the
use of one when referring to myself and that may be a class thing as well. This despite the fact that I am
not even slightly middle or upper class but do like written language to be as clear and precise as possible
Spoken language has fewer rules and is primarily spontaneous so clarity and precision are not so absolute
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Re: The semantics thread

#22  Postby The_Piper » Feb 16, 2016 8:44 pm

Thanks for the responses.
The_Piper wrote:

Is I used when I am referring to myself from my own "point of view", and me used when referring to myself from an outside "point of view"?

The difference between 'I' and 'Me' is to be found when one considers the concepts of 'subject' and 'object' in language.
Basically, the subject of a sentence is the the person or thing that performs the action. The object of a sentence is the person or thing that receives the actions.
So, if we take a sentence like 'The dog bit the man'. We know that it was the dog doing the biting and the man getting bit.
English indicates these relationships primarily by word order. That is, the person who does the action comes first, then the action, and the the receiver of the action. If you change the word order, you change the meaning. (Consider 'The man bit the dog'. Same words, different order, different meaning.)

How about saying "The man was bitten by the dog"? Now the man is the subject, but it still means the same thing as the dog bit the man.
Now I've strayed from the I/me discussion.
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Re: The semantics thread

#23  Postby The_Piper » Feb 16, 2016 8:49 pm

Here's a common one that annoys me a little " I could care less".
I wonder if the phrase originally had more to it and is just an abbreviation now. But what? I could care less, and I do? :lol:
I say "I couldn't care less".

And the Mrs, Ms, mizz phenomenon. Why not just Ms/miss for all women over a certain arbitrary age...
Is Mizz a real thing? Is that reserved only for unmarried widows?
Also, why abbreviate as Mrs, shouldn't it be Mss? :lol:
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Re: The semantics thread

#24  Postby igorfrankensteen » Feb 16, 2016 9:49 pm

I always enjoyed the "I could care less/ I couldn't care less" absurdity. Opposite sounding phrases which communicate the same intent, while at the very same time, being functionally and specifically pointless. That is, if someone asks what you want to see happen in some instance, and you respond EITHER with "I could care less," OR "I couldn't care less," the questioner (especially if it were I) would respond "Fine, I understand that you are in a condition of caring which might be described as indifferent, but that isn't an answer to the question posed."

A question for the thread starter:

Where does "I wish to go to the Loo." fit in? Other than being a sort of threat, I mean.

I was one of the offspring of a dual-major Math/English major, so we all came to be the insufferable types who will respond to "can you open the window?" with "yes, very likely," followed by inaction; and then to "WILL you open the window?" with "Quite possibly!" and further inaction.

Oh, and by the way.... here in the U.S., public schools ARE actually public schools. They are paid for by taxes, which means that even if an individual cannot pay, they may still attend.
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Re: The semantics thread

#25  Postby surreptitious57 » Feb 16, 2016 10:02 pm

The Piper wrote:
Why not just Ms / Miss for all women over a certain arbitrary age

Men only had the one title regardless of their marital status. Women had two which denoted whether they were
married or not. This was rightly seen as being sexist so Ms was introduced to counter it. A better solution though
would be to dispense with such titles altogether. As you already have a name so anything else is just superfluous
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Re: The semantics thread

#26  Postby igorfrankensteen » Feb 16, 2016 10:10 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
The Piper wrote:
Why not just Ms / Miss for all women over a certain arbitrary age

Men only had the one title regardless of their marital status. Women had two which denoted whether they were
married or not. This was rightly seen as being sexist so Ms was introduced to counter it. A better solution though
would be to dispense with such titles altogether. As you already have a name so anything else is just superfluous


Well, sort of. The titles are added, not for the sake of labeling the INDIVIDUAL, but for declaring their relative SOCIAL STATUS.

There did USED to be more than one term for males. There was Mister, and there was Master. The latter indicated that the person was not yet officially of a status appropriate to decision making.
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Re: The semantics thread

#27  Postby monkeyboy » Feb 16, 2016 10:24 pm

The_Piper wrote:Here's a common one that annoys me a little " I could care less".
I wonder if the phrase originally had more to it and is just an abbreviation now. But what? I could care less, and I do? :lol:
I say "I couldn't care less".


Just saw this thread and was about to post this one. I never get the " I could care less" on its own. It's used where "I couldn't care less" is meant so why not juyst say that? "I couldn't" is the flippant dismissal whereas "I could" suggests further interest, generally the opposite of what is intended. It's just weird.
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Re: The semantics thread

#28  Postby surreptitious57 » Feb 16, 2016 11:22 pm

I could care less means that you actually could care less but it would then
require effort on your part and the thing in question is simply not worth it
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Re: The semantics thread

#29  Postby Fallible » Feb 16, 2016 11:42 pm

How would it require effort to care less?
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: The semantics thread

#30  Postby The_Piper » Feb 16, 2016 11:48 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:I always enjoyed the "I could care less/ I couldn't care less" absurdity. Opposite sounding phrases which communicate the same intent, while at the very same time, being functionally and specifically pointless. That is, if someone asks what you want to see happen in some instance, and you respond EITHER with "I could care less," OR "I couldn't care less," the questioner (especially if it were I) would respond "Fine, I understand that you are in a condition of caring which might be described as indifferent, but that isn't an answer to the question posed."

I think, like Monkeyboy said, it's used more for "flippant dismissal" than for indifference. At least that's how I use it, and understand it to mean.
for indifference I'd use phrases like "I don't care" or "it doesn't matter."
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Re: The semantics thread

#31  Postby scott1328 » Feb 16, 2016 11:56 pm

There is a distinction between "I could care less" and "I couldn't care less"

The former is sarcastically expressing that one's indifference to a matter could become greater. The other is simply flatly proclaiming complete indifference to a matter.
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Re: The semantics thread

#32  Postby surreptitious57 » Feb 17, 2016 12:53 am

The whole point about apathy is that it should require minimum effort and so
if you are consciously trying to be more apathetic then you are doing it wrong
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Re: The semantics thread

#33  Postby don't get me started » Feb 17, 2016 4:11 am

The_Piper wrote:Thanks for the responses.
The_Piper wrote:

Is I used when I am referring to myself from my own "point of view", and me used when referring to myself from an outside "point of view"?

The difference between 'I' and 'Me' is to be found when one considers the concepts of 'subject' and 'object' in language.
Basically, the subject of a sentence is the the person or thing that performs the action. The object of a sentence is the person or thing that receives the actions.
So, if we take a sentence like 'The dog bit the man'. We know that it was the dog doing the biting and the man getting bit.
English indicates these relationships primarily by word order. That is, the person who does the action comes first, then the action, and the the receiver of the action. If you change the word order, you change the meaning. (Consider 'The man bit the dog'. Same words, different order, different meaning.)

How about saying "The man was bitten by the dog"? Now the man is the subject, but it still means the same thing as the dog bit the man.




Now I've strayed from the I/me discussion.


When you say 'The man was bitten by the dog', this is what is known as a passive construction. In this construction, focus and importance is given to the receiver of the action, not the doer. This sentence is perceived as being about the man, not the dog.
Putting the object first requires English speakers to mark the sentence so that the listener can figure out who is the doer and who is the receiver because the normal word order rules don't apply in this case.
English does this by placing a 'be' verb after the first noun, then using the verb in it's third form (bite, bit, bitten), then using the preposition 'by' to further show that the following noun is the doer of the action.
The man WAS BITTEN BY the dog. Three big signals that the normal word order rules don't apply.
Different languages do this in different ways.

In German it is like this: Der Mann wurde von dem Hund gebissen.
After the first noun there is a form of the word 'werden' (become) then a preposition 'von' (like English 'by') then the article also shows that the following noun is an doer of an action. (Der Hund is 'The Dog', but in this case it changes to 'Dem Hund') and finally there is a form of the verb 'Beissen' changed to 'gebissen'. All together this adds up to a passive, so Germans can work out who is doing the biting and who feels the pain.

Japanese doesn't mark in this way. Rather, they have verb endings that specifically show that this is a passive construction.
This the verb for 'eat' is TABERU (食べる) but the way to express 'is eaten' is to change the ending of the verb. Knock off the 'ru' to give the stem 'TABE' and then add 'RARERU', giving TABERARERU.(TABERARETA in the past)
男はバナナを食べる (Hito wa banana wo taberu = the man eats the banana.)
バナナは人によって食べられました (banana wa hito ni yotte taberareta) (I changed to the past tense RAREU = RARETA)

As far as I am aware, it is a linguistic universal that active sentences are the unmarked , 'normal' way to express actions in all languages and that passives are derived from actives, and indicated by special marking, addition of extra words, changes in word order from the normal, active way to express actions in the world.

(Apologies for any minor errors that might be spotted by native speakers of German or Japanese. The principles are correct, I believe.)
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Re: The semantics thread

#34  Postby DougC » Feb 17, 2016 6:24 am

Professor- :naughty:
'Two positives, can never mean a negative.'
Scotsman- :coffee:
'Aye, right.'
To do, is to be (Socrate)
To be, is to do (Sartre)
Do be do be do (Sinatra)
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Re: The semantics thread

#35  Postby don't get me started » Feb 17, 2016 7:33 am

DougC wrote:Professor- :naughty:
'Two positives, can never mean a negative.'
Scotsman- :coffee:
'Aye, right.'


:thumbup:
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Re: The semantics thread

#36  Postby Alan B » Feb 17, 2016 1:32 pm

"Can I go to the loo?"
"Yes, you can. But you may not."

"Can" is a word implying ability. "May" is a word implying permission.
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Re: The semantics thread

#37  Postby RNeto » Feb 17, 2016 1:42 pm

Alan B wrote:"Can I go to the loo?"
"Yes, you can. But you may not."

"Can" is a word implying ability. "May" is a word implying permission.


As a weak english speaker, i would give this "may" an interpretation of a suggestion/advice.
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Re: The semantics thread

#38  Postby don't get me started » Feb 17, 2016 2:37 pm

Alan B wrote:"Can I go to the loo?"
"Yes, you can. But you may not."

"Can" is a word implying ability. "May" is a word implying permission.


Can doubles up: It can refer to both ability and permission.
May doubles up: It can refer to both permission and possibility.

See post no. 15 upstream.
There is no getting away from it, they are multi-functional words.
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Re: The semantics thread

#39  Postby don't get me started » Feb 17, 2016 3:01 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:

A question for the thread starter:

Where does "I wish to go to the Loo." fit in? Other than being a sort of threat, I mean.


It seems that when 'wish' is used in this construction ('Wish to' as opposed to 'wish that') it is simply another way of saying 'want to'.

Compare:
" I wish I didn't have to go to the toilet every 20 minutes."
" I wish to be given an update every 20 minutes."
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Re: The semantics thread

#40  Postby The_Piper » Feb 17, 2016 4:10 pm

don't get me started wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The_Piper wrote:Thanks for the responses.
The_Piper wrote:

Is I used when I am referring to myself from my own "point of view", and me used when referring to myself from an outside "point of view"?

The difference between 'I' and 'Me' is to be found when one considers the concepts of 'subject' and 'object' in language.
Basically, the subject of a sentence is the the person or thing that performs the action. The object of a sentence is the person or thing that receives the actions.
So, if we take a sentence like 'The dog bit the man'. We know that it was the dog doing the biting and the man getting bit.
English indicates these relationships primarily by word order. That is, the person who does the action comes first, then the action, and the the receiver of the action. If you change the word order, you change the meaning. (Consider 'The man bit the dog'. Same words, different order, different meaning.)

How about saying "The man was bitten by the dog"? Now the man is the subject, but it still means the same thing as the dog bit the man.




Now I've strayed from the I/me discussion.


When you say 'The man was bitten by the dog', this is what is known as a passive construction. In this construction, focus and importance is given to the receiver of the action, not the doer. This sentence is perceived as being about the man, not the dog.
Putting the object first requires English speakers to mark the sentence so that the listener can figure out who is the doer and who is the receiver because the normal word order rules don't apply in this case.
English does this by placing a 'be' verb after the first noun, then using the verb in it's third form (bite, bit, bitten), then using the preposition 'by' to further show that the following noun is the doer of the action.
The man WAS BITTEN BY the dog. Three big signals that the normal word order rules don't apply.
Different languages do this in different ways.

In German it is like this: Der Mann wurde von dem Hund gebissen.
After the first noun there is a form of the word 'werden' (become) then a preposition 'von' (like English 'by') then the article also shows that the following noun is an doer of an action. (Der Hund is 'The Dog', but in this case it changes to 'Dem Hund') and finally there is a form of the verb 'Beissen' changed to 'gebissen'. All together this adds up to a passive, so Germans can work out who is doing the biting and who feels the pain.

Japanese doesn't mark in this way. Rather, they have verb endings that specifically show that this is a passive construction.
This the verb for 'eat' is TABERU (食べる) but the way to express 'is eaten' is to change the ending of the verb. Knock off the 'ru' to give the stem 'TABE' and then add 'RARERU', giving TABERARERU.(TABERARETA in the past)
男はバナナを食べる (Hito wa banana wo taberu = the man eats the banana.)
バナナは人によって食べられました (banana wa hito ni yotte taberareta) (I changed to the past tense RAREU = RARETA)

As far as I am aware, it is a linguistic universal that active sentences are the unmarked , 'normal' way to express actions in all languages and that passives are derived from actives, and indicated by special marking, addition of extra words, changes in word order from the normal, active way to express actions in the world.

(Apologies for any minor errors that might be spotted by native speakers of German or Japanese. The principles are correct, I believe.)
:cheers:
When you say passives are derived from actives, do you mean in a previous sentence?
For example "What happened to him? He was bitten by a dog"
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