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Author Topic: What it is 'n' what it ain't.  (Read 87040 times)

Robert Roaldi

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2013, 01:59:06 PM »

There are no (and never have been) rules about splitting infinitives. The placement of the adverb before, in the middle of, or after the infinitive should only be guided by the meaning that you are trying to convey. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't. The correct version is the version that correctly conveys the meaning that you mean to convey.

I currently make my living copy-editing scientific journals. This does not make me an expert on grammar or spelling, but it does make me a near-expert on using style guides. There are lots of them, and the one thing they have in common is that they contradict each other all the time. When people try to assert that their rules of grammar or spelling are correct and that others are wrong, well, I just laugh out loud. There are common basic rules of course, but I am talking about the more subtle uses of language, the ones all debates are about.

Spelling and rules of grammar change all the time, especially spelling. The progression of compound words into hyphenated forms, and later into combined nonhyphenated versions is commonplace and occurs very quickly. It's not wrong, it's not even unusual. The conventions that happen to be popular at the time that you learn them are no more correct than earlier or later ones. Get used to it.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 03:20:39 PM by Robert Roaldi »
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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #41 on: February 18, 2013, 03:13:32 PM »

There are no (and never have been) rules about splitting infinitives. The placement of the adverb before, in the middle of, or after the infinitive should only be guided by the meaning that you are trying to convey. Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't. The correct version is the version that correctly conveys the meaning that you mean to convey.

I currently make my living copy-editing scientific journals. This does not make me an expert on grammar or spelling, but it does make me a near-expert on using style guides. There are lots of them, and the one thing they have in common is that they contradict each other all the time. When people try to assert that their rules of grammar or spelling are correct and that others are wrong, well, I just laugh out loud. There are common basic rules of course, but I am talking about the more subtle uses of language, the ones all debates are about.

Spelling and rules of grammar change all the time, especially spelling. The progression of compound words into hyphenated forms, and later into combined hyphenated versions is commonplace and occurs very quickly. It's not wrong, it's not even unusual. The conventions that happen to be popular at the time that you learn them are no more correct than earlier or later ones. Get used to it.

I remember my first day in an Advanced Grammar class my last year at University, the professor told us that most of the rules of grammar were more suggestions than actual rules. We spent the rest of the semester learning how to correctly "break the rules".   There are almost always exceptions to the exception....
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Colorwave

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #42 on: February 18, 2013, 03:33:26 PM »

You kids get off my lawn!

LOL (kid's speak for Ridere Clara Voce)

Best of luck trying to nail Silly Putty (language) to the wall.  Robert and Bryan capture the concept quite succinctly and accurately.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 03:35:06 PM by Colorwave »
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kencameron

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2013, 01:43:10 AM »

The conventions that happen to be popular at the time that you learn them are no more correct than earlier or later ones. Get used to it.
Absolutely. However, it is useful to be aware of the prevailing conventions and how they have changed. "Errors of grammar" may be errors of rhetoric. Rob, and an unknown (to me) number of people like him may be distracted from what you are trying to say if they don't share your conventions. Spelling is mutable too but I find it very hard to seriously attend to anything written by someone who can't spell, despite knowing very well that Shakespeare couldn't spell.
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Ken Cameron

Rob C

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2013, 05:07:56 AM »

Absolutely. However, it is useful to be aware of the prevailing conventions and how they have changed. "Errors of grammar" may be errors of rhetoric. Rob, and an unknown (to me) number of people like him may be distracted from what you are trying to say if they don't share your conventions. Spelling is mutable too but I find it very hard to seriously attend to anything written by someone who can't spell, despite knowing very well that Shakespeare couldn't spell.




You're doing this for spite, aren't you?

;-)

Rob C


Regarding poor spelling: I could forgive that far more easily than bad grammar. Spelling comes into a rather different set of recognition/memory areas. Under bad spelling I don't place the misuse of words such as there and their; I don't think those types of error have much to do with anything other than the lack of reading books or, perhaps disadvantages of childhood education. And the latter doesn't necessarily deserve to be placed on the shoulders of systems or parents: kids contribute (or don't!) a hell of a lot to their own future problems or success.

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 05:11:43 AM by Rob C »
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Bryan Conner

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2013, 07:27:29 AM »




You're doing this for spite, aren't you?

;-)

Rob C


Regarding poor spelling: I could forgive that far more easily than bad grammar. Spelling comes into a rather different set of recognition/memory areas. Under bad spelling I don't place the misuse of words such as there and their; I don't think those types of error have much to do with anything other than the lack of reading books or, perhaps disadvantages of childhood education. And the latter doesn't necessarily deserve to be placed on the shoulders of systems or parents: kids contribute (or don't!) a hell of a lot to their own future problems or success.

Rob C

I am glad that you specified the reading of books and not newspapers and websites....especially newspapers.  I find it inexcusable (not unexcusable) for a newspaper to contain misspelled words.  But, I suppose that the misuse of words may be a bigger problem than misspelled words.  There is too much reliance on computers to check the spelling instead of actually proofreading a text. 
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WalterEG

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2013, 12:19:02 PM »

Has the proof-reader's position gone the way of the Linotype Operator's pivotal task?

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Rob C

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Re: What it is 'n' what it ain't.
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2013, 12:39:48 PM »

I think that pretty much everything is going home to meet the dodo.

If this 'progress' keeps up, soon there won't be any work for humans, and then who's going to buy what with what? Will anyone be left to make it matter?

I saw today on the news that parts of the UK have decided to create electrical recharging points for a new generation of electriclly powered automobiles. It's going to be less expensive then petrol. Really? My last electricity bill here in Mallorca was 314.14 for 1,547 Kws. I use it only for heating the water for one brief shower a day, making tea and coffee, the electric blanket, one sitting room heater, and cooking two meals at the weekend. As it is, the power coming into the house is way down from what it should be and they constantly try to get you to cut consumption. Where would electrical cars drive the money and supply equation?

Effin' crazy: the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing!

Rob C
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