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Author Topic:   Linguistic Pet Peeves
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 2691 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 31 of 164 (150683)
10-18-2004 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tony650
10-18-2004 4:14 AM


The rule I was taught is that "an" is used before a vowel or vowel sound and "a" before a consonant or consonant sound.

In the case of "h" we have the following:
an hour - because of the vowel sound
a historical, house, horse etc. - because of the consonant.

They should have used an "a" before university because it has a "y" sound, which is usually a consonant.

quote:
For example, "I have a hypothesis" vs. "I have an hypothesis" or "It's a historical fact" vs. "It's an historical fact."

You have a hypothesis and a historical fact.


A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Tony650, posted 10-18-2004 4:14 AM Tony650 has replied

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Nighttrain
Member (Idle past 3228 days)
Posts: 1512
From: brisbane,australia
Joined: 06-08-2004


Message 32 of 164 (150685)
10-18-2004 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Tony650
10-18-2004 4:11 AM


Thanks for clearing that up, Tone. Of course, having the Aus Govt. Style Manual handy means we are safe from the infidels.:-)

This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 1404 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 33 of 164 (150706)
10-18-2004 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Tony650
10-18-2004 4:35 AM


quote:
That's odd because I've always said, "a herb" (fully pronouncing the "H").

"erb" andf "herb" are both correct. The first is the common pronounciation in the US, the second in the UK and those countries which speak English heavily influenced by the UK.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Tony650, posted 10-18-2004 4:35 AM Tony650 has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 164 (150709)
10-18-2004 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rrhain
10-17-2004 6:46 AM


ATM machine.

See also: PIN number, SAT test, and so on.


"If I had to write ten jokes about potholders, I don't think I could do it. But I could write ten jokes about Catholicism in the next twenty minutes. I guess I'm drawn to religion because I can be provocative without harming something people really care about, like their cars."
-George Meyer, Simpsons writer

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Rrhain, posted 10-17-2004 6:46 AM Rrhain has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Dr Jack, posted 10-18-2004 10:28 AM Dan Carroll has replied
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Tony650
Member (Idle past 3266 days)
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 01-30-2004


Message 35 of 164 (150710)
10-18-2004 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Dr Jack
10-18-2004 6:42 AM


Mr Jack writes:

You've stumbled on my big pet hate in speech. Double negatives. The idea that double negatives are 'wrong' or amount to a positive is an utter invention, an ugly convention forced on language by academics with their heads far too far up their own bums. In natural English grammar a double negative, like a double positive is an affirmation or strengthening of the statement.

Double-negatives are grammatically correct? I didn't know that. Well, if that's what you're saying. I'm afraid you kind of lost me but I think that's what you meant. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Dr Jack, posted 10-18-2004 6:42 AM Dr Jack has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Dr Jack, posted 10-18-2004 10:13 AM Tony650 has replied

  
Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1339 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 36 of 164 (150712)
10-18-2004 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Tony650
10-18-2004 10:07 AM


Double-negatives are grammatically correct? I didn't know that. Well, if that's what you're saying. I'm afraid you kind of lost me but I think that's what you meant. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Somewhere around the middle of the nineteenth century there was a big push towards formalising grammar (the kind of formalised grammar they teach in schools), much of which was just a big exercise in intellectual oneupmanship. The two most glaring examples are "don't split infinitives" (derived from Latin, where you couldn't; but utterly stupid in English grammar) and "double negatives". I challenge you to find a single native english speaker who doesn't understand "I didn't do nothing wrong".

The natural grammar of English uses double negatives as affirmatives.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Tony650, posted 10-18-2004 10:07 AM Tony650 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Tony650, posted 10-18-2004 10:33 AM Dr Jack has replied

  
Tony650
Member (Idle past 3266 days)
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 01-30-2004


Message 37 of 164 (150714)
10-18-2004 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by purpledawn
10-18-2004 8:31 AM


Hi purpledawn.

Yes, this is similar to what I was taught. For some reason, though, I also recall being taught "an hypothesis" and "an historical." I'm not really sure why. For these words, it doesn't seem to make sense but I can understand others, such as the case of "herb" mentioned earlier.

I've always assumed that it's just an Australian thing but I don't know for sure. Anyway, I noticed at a very early age (thank you, Sesame street ) that Americans pronounce the letter H "eytch," whereas I was taught that it's "heytch," with the actual H sound (as it sounds at the beginning of "house," for example) pronounced.

This obviously affects the way I pronounce certain words, like the aforementioned "herb." Americans say "erb"...I say "herb" (with the H sound. As such, an American would say "an herb" but I would say "a herb."

I'm interested to hear from the other Aussies on the forum. Is this the correct Australian pronunciation or was I taught incorrectly? How were the other Aussies taught to pronounce the letter H; "eytch" (no H sound), or "heytch" (with H sound)?


This message is a reply to:
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Tony650
Member (Idle past 3266 days)
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 01-30-2004


Message 38 of 164 (150715)
10-18-2004 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Nighttrain
10-18-2004 8:38 AM


Nighttrain writes:

Thanks for clearing that up, Tone.

No problem, Nighttrain. Happy to help.


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Tony650
Member (Idle past 3266 days)
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 01-30-2004


Message 39 of 164 (150716)
10-18-2004 10:26 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by nator
10-18-2004 9:58 AM


Ah! Thank you, schraf! I thought so, but I wasn't sure. Heh, I should have read to the end of the thread before replying to purpledawn. Anyway, thanks for the confirmation.

This message is a reply to:
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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1339 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 40 of 164 (150717)
10-18-2004 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Dan Carroll
10-18-2004 10:06 AM


ATM machine.

See also: PIN number, SAT test, and so on.

All of which are the correct grammatical usage. Sorry.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Dan Carroll, posted 10-18-2004 10:06 AM Dan Carroll has replied

Replies to this message:
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Tony650
Member (Idle past 3266 days)
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 01-30-2004


Message 41 of 164 (150718)
10-18-2004 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Dr Jack
10-18-2004 10:13 AM


Mr Jack writes:

I challenge you to find a single native english speaker who doesn't understand "I didn't do nothing wrong".

I'm not questioning whether or not people understand it, I just wondered if it conforms to the correct formal English grammar. I honestly don't know, that's why I was asking. As I said, I'm really not that well versed in the formal rules of English. That's why I could only give Lam my own personal experience regarding his question of "have" vs. "has." I could tell him what I believe "sounds right" but I couldn't actually tell him why they're used this way. Sorry if I came across the wrong way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Dr Jack, posted 10-18-2004 10:13 AM Dr Jack has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by Dr Jack, posted 10-18-2004 10:39 AM Tony650 has replied

  
Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 1339 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 42 of 164 (150719)
10-18-2004 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Tony650
10-18-2004 10:33 AM


Formal grammar, no; the actual grammar of English, yes.

Real grammar describes the structure of the language; formal grammar proscribes it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Tony650, posted 10-18-2004 10:33 AM Tony650 has replied

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Tony650
Member (Idle past 3266 days)
Posts: 450
From: Australia
Joined: 01-30-2004


Message 43 of 164 (150722)
10-18-2004 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Dr Jack
10-18-2004 10:39 AM


Oh, you mean the common usage of grammar? Alright then. Thanks for clarifying. Sorry about my confusion.

This message is a reply to:
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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 164 (150733)
10-18-2004 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by Dr Jack
10-18-2004 10:28 AM


Dan writes:

ATM machine.
See also: PIN number, SAT test, and so on.

Mr Jack writes:

All of which are the correct grammatical usage. Sorry.

So? They're still stupid.


"If I had to write ten jokes about potholders, I don't think I could do it. But I could write ten jokes about Catholicism in the next twenty minutes. I guess I'm drawn to religion because I can be provocative without harming something people really care about, like their cars."
-George Meyer, Simpsons writer

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by Dr Jack, posted 10-18-2004 10:28 AM Dr Jack has taken no action

  
Gastric ReFlux
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 164 (150745)
10-18-2004 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Rrhain
10-17-2004 6:46 AM


I find this amusing, that on a board largely dominated by evolutionists that people would be objecting to what might be called the evolution of language. Well, maybe not, I don't know, we all have our various peeves and there are certainly some things that make my teeth gnash.

But I also feel any mostly objective examination of language reveals that it is subject to its own form of evolution. Think about it, we don't even come close to speaking the English of Chaucer's time, or Shakespeare's time. Hell, we should go back to the Norman invasion and stop what was the unholy crossbreeding between English and French. Grrr, what were they thinking?


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Replies to this message:
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