Teach me the secrets of English grammar!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by valcik, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Isn't that pretty much what people already thought about Shakespeare?

    I kinda have the feeling that we are stuck in a constant loop here.
     
  2. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    The "k" in these words are holdovers from Middle English and earlier. There was a lot of Saxon and Scandinavian influence in older English, and the "k" used to be pronounced rather than silent. Knight used to be more like "K'n-ICHT," if that makes sense. I think it all got softened after the Norman conquest.

    The double-c comes from Latin and tends to follow Latinate rules in words like vaccuum, success, and succinct. Technically both c's are supposed to be pronounced, but almost no one does that. Other double letter follow (and break) a variety of rules. In general they have a slightly longer pronounciation than single letters. Often when you turn an action into a person you insert an extra letter, like this: I swim - I am a swimmer.

    I blame the french.

    Essentially it's a break between two sentences that isn't as hard as a period. Here's a good link to explain in detail:
    http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/semicolons.asp

    Frankly, there are so many different people from so many different places speaking so many different shades of English that you can get away with quite a few errors. Most English speakers are used to decoding what people are trying to say. Much of the time that includes other native English speakers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  3. The_WitchDoctor

    The_WitchDoctor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    102
    Jun 8, 2015
    In short, English is just basically a massive mixture of different languages (Latin being the most popular, after all the majority of Western European languages stemmed from some for of Latin or another).
     
  4. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    Not only that; it's The Borg of lanuages. Anytime it encounters a new word or concept it doesn't already possess, it instantly assimilates it.
     
  5. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    My favorite such word is cavalier. COMPLETELY different pronunciation in English from its French origin. "Ka va lee ar" vs "Sha Vel Yay" XD

    Like I said, English is a "conquered language", though calling it the "Borg of languages" sounds like a more readily understood analogy.
     
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  6. Juza The Cloud

    Juza The Cloud Nanto Goshasei

    606
    Jun 3, 2015
    I call English the "Hinduism of Languages" for similar reasons; its ability to adsorb foreign words and the amount of adjectives is insane.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
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  7. Cistern Logic

    Cistern Logic Assistant to Dr. Mobius

    72
    Jul 21, 2015
    Here's some that a good number of my countrymen routinely get wrong.

    Let's prepare for the G.O.A.T - English, Vault 101:

    To Too & Two "This is a letter (to) you (two). You have been invited (too)."

    There Their & They're "(They're) taking (their) children (there)."

    Hint: They sound identical, and the spell checker won't always catch them but if they're used incorrectly, the language police will jump all over you on a message board. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  8. Buxbaum666

    Buxbaum666 Heterostructured Nanorod oTO Orderite

    Dec 5, 2003
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  9. SnapSlav

    SnapSlav NMA's local DotA fanatic

    Jul 1, 2012
    But not before the Fallout hardliners jump you YOU for using a FO3 callback. =D
     
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  10. The_WitchDoctor

    The_WitchDoctor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    102
    Jun 8, 2015
    Can somebody explain to me what the fuck Knicks are?
     
  11. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    It's short for Knickerbockers, a type of trousers.
    "Knickers" in BE usually means panties, though.
     
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  12. The_WitchDoctor

    The_WitchDoctor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    102
    Jun 8, 2015
    Ah, I still don't have British idioms and slang words down. I used to know a British ex-pat though (who I constantly tried to, well you can figure it out). I picked up some words from her, like "trolly" instead of "shopping cart", and bonnet/boot for hood/trunk.
     
  13. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    There are other explanations and definitions for "knicks", though. The Urban Dictionary is always helpful when it comes to that :D
     
  14. The_WitchDoctor

    The_WitchDoctor It Wandered In From the Wastes

    102
    Jun 8, 2015
    Except that I can never take the UD serious because half the writers on there are trolls. It's like Wikipedia if it wasn't heavily moderated.
     
  15. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Yeah, it requires a lot of scepticism, but it's a fun read nonetheless.
     
  16. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    Yeah, that is pretty good. The pictures help the ADD crowd (and Bethesda fans).

    In Brit slang "fanny" means crotch, which makes the term "fanny pack" sound funny to them. In the U.S. fanny means butt, so a fanny pack is a small pouch you wear on the back of your belt.

    Brits also use the word "pissed" to mean drunk. In the U.S. pissed means angry, as in, "I'm pissed off at you!"

    The most annoying thing I see from North Americans is incorrectly substituting "of" in place of "have." For example, "I should of gone to the store," instead of "I should have gone to the store." It looks horrible in writing because it's so simple. It makes you look like you're either really stupid or really careless, or some combination of the two. It's the kind of mistake non-native speakers don't make because they're paying attention to what they're writing and trying to get it right.
     
  17. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Level 27 Wizard Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    "Should've" is kinda how it should be said if someone wanted to shorten it, but writing it out that way is definitely wrong. I go to the Urban Dictionary for slang all the time since I over analyze words and their meanings. I am curious about words that sound strange to me for no reason. Some words you say your whole life without thinking too deeply about the meaning. People around here call soft drinks pop usually. I always called it that out of habit until I heard people elsewhere calling it soda and it naturally wore off on me.
     
  18. UniversalWolf

    UniversalWolf eaten by a grue.

    Aug 28, 2005
    As far as I know, "pop" is a Midwest thing. Everywhere else I've ever been everyone says "soda," and they look at you like you're crazy if you say "pop." I guess when "soda-pop" was shortened, one part of the country went one direction and everyone else in the country went the other direction.
     
  19. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Level 27 Wizard Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005
    Here in Oklahoma people call it pop for the most part. It just varies from state to state really. I'm a soda convert. :)
     
  20. I call it high-fructose cancer juice.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2016
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