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Descartes
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10 May 2010, 1:43 pm

I've seen British people horribly misuse the English language as well, so clearly it's not just an American thing.



pluto
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10 May 2010, 4:29 pm

Most English words of more than 1 syllable are ultimately derived from Latin or Greek rather than Anglo-Saxon. In that respect English is a world language and it could be argued that people like Spanish Americans probably have as much of a connection to 'English' (via the shared Latin heritage) as the rest of us !


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10 May 2010, 5:01 pm

Ebonwinter wrote:
Here in Kentucky it can get pretty annoying people around here tend to mix words together when they talk


OMG I almost failed 4th grade because it was like speaking a whole new language! I moved from PA, land of fantastic schools (in the 80s) to Cacey (sp) KY. DO you know where that is? OMG they had one school: 1st - 12th grade (screw Kindergarten!) and each grade had one classroom and one teacher all day.

I couldn't understand them. The teacher wanted to beat my ass because she thought I was being a bratt. It only got marginally better when I moved to South Fulton, where my teacher would also have beat my ass if my mom hadn't threatened hers with a whoopin. Then I moved to one of them city schools in TN. At least they had a gifted program LOL.



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10 May 2010, 7:45 pm

Having grown up in England and recently moved to the States a few years ago, I've been making the effort to use the American spellings and pronunciations whenever interacting with Americans. I did it begrudgingly at first, but decided in the end that not adapting and being perceived as a bad speller out of stubbornness would've been pretty dumb. I switch between the two ways of typing/speaking pretty easily these days - still using British spellings here on the forum, for example.

I'm not really bothered by the rules of a language being bent and broken when people speak with each other. To be honest it would be kind of boring if everyone spoke perfect English.



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11 May 2010, 4:08 am

lightening020 wrote:
I can't speak for other states, but it is bad in California. I think it is because of all the immigrants to this country that the language gets leveled out in standardization. But there is also too much slang and sloppy speaking. So on one side the language is too basic, and on the other it is too lazy. I guess it just depends on who is speaking.

...and there are too many slang words for "gay" and gay insults as such. Practically half the words can have some stupid double "urbandictionary" meaning that people use as insults and everyone is amazed with the clever wordplay.

does anybody agree with me on this? I really wish I knew a different language, and then leaned English as a second language.


Actually English is a very dynamic language and it's evolution was quite rapid until it started to become standardized during the Early Modern period when the feudal system began to fall out of popularity and a need for reliable communication between shires and the central government of Great Britain arose.

Up until then, people had been rather isolated to their respective geographic areas and, each having their own dialect. It had so arisen in some regions a conflict of words, where in one region, "him" may have meant what we know today as "him" while in another region "him" may have meant "them". These small inconsistencie had the potential to introduce large communication gaffes in the declaration, and enforcement of laws and so a dialect in which matters of government could easily be conducted was decided upon.

However most individuals at the time were commoners who had no dealings in government, and the vast majority of them were also illiterate. It was the advent of the printing press and the greater availability of printed materials to the lower classes that saw the language take another step towards standardization, and the advent of public education greater strengthened it into it's current more concrete form. It really wasn't until public education became mandatory in the US and other English speaking countries that the language we speak today was finally cemented though.



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11 May 2010, 5:42 am

There are still plenty of regional and even town to town dialects in England. Most of these exist outside of the cosmopiltan south east england.

Here in South Yorkshrie for example practically all the major settlements around here have their own dialects. This is the dialect of people I work with and it took some getting used to being a "well spoken southerner"

I didn't quite know what to make when I was greeted with this in Barnsley

"Hey ooop cocker, hows thou doin?"

took me a minute to realise he wasn't calling me a cock

Then in Derbyshire you get called Duckie (although it sounds more like dookie) and thats another greeting term a few miles down the road



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11 May 2010, 5:46 am

lightening020 wrote:
I can't speak for other states, but it is bad in California. I think it is because of all the immigrants to this country that the language gets leveled out in standardization. But there is also too much slang and sloppy speaking. So on one side the language is too basic, and on the other it is too lazy. I guess it just depends on who is speaking.

...and there are too many slang words for "gay" and gay insults as such. Practically half the words can have some stupid double "urbandictionary" meaning that people use as insults and everyone is amazed with the clever wordplay.

does anybody agree with me on this? I really wish I knew a different language, and then leaned English as a second language.



I first visited 'The States' around 30 years ago and in my opinion even then, the quality of spoken English was much inferior (with limited exceptions at either end of the linguistic spectrum) to the other English speaking countries (with the exception of Singaporeans who I found and continue to find almost incomprehensible).

I think you have to go back a VERY long way indeed in 'The States' to find a time when the country was not being linguistically influenced by 'immigrants' :!: :roll: :arrow:


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11 May 2010, 6:23 am

Actually, it can be quite grating. The urban grammar and Valley talk really gets to me. Does everybody in North America have to talk like Valley Girls?


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12 May 2010, 6:08 am

There is nothing I hate about English. I love this language! :D My first love was British English and now I also love that sweeeeeeet accent from southern part of the USA!


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12 May 2010, 7:32 am

pumibel wrote:
Ebonwinter wrote:
Here in Kentucky it can get pretty annoying people around here tend to mix words together when they talk


OMG I almost failed 4th grade because it was like speaking a whole new language! I moved from PA, land of fantastic schools (in the 80s) to Cacey (sp) KY. DO you know where that is? OMG they had one school: 1st - 12th grade (screw Kindergarten!) and each grade had one classroom and one teacher all day.

I couldn't understand them. The teacher wanted to beat my ass because she thought I was being a bratt. It only got marginally better when I moved to South Fulton, where my teacher would also have beat my ass if my mom hadn't threatened hers with a whoopin. Then I moved to one of them city schools in TN. At least they had a gifted program LOL.


Wow that sucks.

In Northern Kentucky born and raised in the woods where I spent most of my days. Wandering and climbing and being very good after I did my home work when I got out of school, then there were some guys up to no good started making trouble in my neighbourhood I got in one little fight and my mom got scared.

Enough I am sorry for the the Fresh Prince of Bel Air joke.

I never heard of Casey county. The teachers and students can both be very mean if you ask them to repeat themselves



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12 May 2010, 8:17 am

I HATE British English. With the "colour" and all that other quirky crap.


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12 May 2010, 8:21 am

Today I had a lecture with two Turkish ladies. They spoke very interesting English :D


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12 May 2010, 9:45 am

gramirez wrote:
I HATE British English. With the "colour" and all that other quirky crap.


Color is closer to the original, but further from the pronunciation of the word. English spelling (any flavour :wink: ) is a phonetic mess. :? "Kuller" or "kulla" would be better. I blame the Latin alphabet. We don't need "c" and could really do with "þ" (th, thorn) back as a beginning. :)


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12 May 2010, 11:46 am

As a non-native English speaker, I prefer UK English, and have a particular fondness for Scottish accent, but I don't regard either form as more correct than the other - the correct English is American English on US soil and it's UK English on British soil as far as I'm concerned. There's plenty of misuse of the language on either side of the Atlantic, so it's hard to say who uses it 'best' - fascina'in', innit?

While standard forms are useful and exist for a reason, it would be very dull if they were all there was, accents, idioms, etc spice up a language.


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12 May 2010, 2:09 pm

Compromise, and settle on Canadian english.

The British will appreciate the continued presence of the letter u, but the americans will find familiarity in the spellings of words like aluminum, jail and tire.

The excessive accents of places as far flung as Boston (both of them) and Birmingham (both of them) can be rationalised into the dulcit, melifluous tones of Southern Ontario; or perhaps the more precise diction of the West Island of Montréal. A little local flavour can be found with the long a's and guttural r's of the Maritimes.

We can make ourselves understood by all of you, and have television imported from both of your fine nations to ensure that we can understand you. I offer you our services as interlocutors to ensure an ongoing, transatlantic dialogue.

(Also, this will take some of the pressure off our own internal squabbling on language issues, which we won't go into now! :oops: )


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