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"Allot" is not the word you think it is


Madog Barfog
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I'm not one to correct grammar but one that really drives me bonkers is the incorrect use of seen.

 

Ex. Oh yeah, I seen him at the store the other day, don'tcha know. (<--hehe added because its funny, true, but still funny)

 

My hubby is from a super small town, mainly farming community, and you can't go anywhere in town without hearing that.

 

I see him over there.

 

I saw him at the store.

 

I have not seen him lately.

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I must say that "diaskeuism" is new to me, and apparently also to the print Encarta, Webster's 3rd Collegiate, and Google. The OED has "diaskeuast" (glossed as "reviser of a poem, interpolator") and "diaskuasis", which I assume are related, but I must admit that I'm finding it difficult to discern your meaning here. Perhaps you would be kind enough to expand.

 

ps. I hope you didn't take my first comment too seriously. I only get really combative about this topic when I infer bad faith or ill will in a debating partner; I infer neither here.

 

"Diaskeuast" as "reviser," though not strictly of poetry, makes it somewhat similar to, though not 100 percent synonymous with, "editor" as pertains to written material. In one of my journalism classes it was held up as one of the more unnecessarily complicated titles a copyeditor might lay claim to. "Diaskeuism" is that word revised into an appropriate form for my usage. Apologies for the confusion.

 

I am glad you infer no such combativeness from my end; none is intended, rest assured. I do, of course, apologize that my typos were not amusing enough. :P

 

 

I fall in with Theodore Bernstein (and Noah Webster) in disagreeing with this. (Even Safire strongly recommended recasting any sentence where "whom" would be formally correct such that it is not necessary.)

 

As has been pointed out by several other posters, language does tend to fluctuate a bit. The idea that usage dictates grammar is quite true, after all. The who/whom bugaboo is one place where I would like to see written language alter itself less rapidly than it has. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I accept more of that flux in speech than in print.

 

Bryan's post illustrates why, to an extent: it isn't until we go back 500 years or more that English literature becomes entirely incomprehensible to the untrained reader (somewhat incomprehensible, certainly, but not entirely so). It requires only a few decades before much of the spoken English language is quite foreign, and merely a century before dialectical differences would make it very difficult for a contemporary speaker to communicate with a speaker from the past (far from impossible, but certainly not easy). Much of our current writing--especially that found online--will be difficult to comprehend much sooner (relatively) than that of our literary forerunners.

 

I hope that made sense; it is past my bedtime. I'll try to make it more succinct: the current rate of flux in written language seems, to me, to be closer now to the rate of flux in spoken language than it was some decades ago. To be somewhat banal about it, the advent of the internet and of texting seems to have narrowed the gap between spoken and written language.

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One I remember regarding butchery of language and southern colloquialisms is this. Back in high school French class. the teacher often asked us to write short freestyle paragraphs on various themes in French as bonus work after we finished with regular tests. One particular week the theme was "Describe your bedroom". After spending five minutes flipping back and forth through the French-English dictionary, one student walked up to the teacher and asked what the French word for "Chester" was. The poor teacher tried to explain that Chester was a proper name and should not be translated. Finally, when the student handed in her theme, the teacher figured out what was going on...and had to explain that the word is "chest of drawers" ..not Chesterdrawers.

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There is only one "o" in the word "lose", only one who can keep it from becoming "loose". And he does not share power!

Similarly, chose and choose are often chosen incorrectly.

 

Until, 'til and till. To till is to plow, as in 'till the soil'. Also a noun, 'ten bucks in the till'. Until is often shortened to 'til in speech and sometimes in text, but substituting till is a common mistake.

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One I remember regarding butchery of language and southern colloquialisms is this. Back in high school French class. the teacher often asked us to write short freestyle paragraphs on various themes in French as bonus work after we finished with regular tests. One particular week the theme was "Describe your bedroom". After spending five minutes flipping back and forth through the French-English dictionary, one student walked up to the teacher and asked what the French word for "Chester" was. The poor teacher tried to explain that Chester was a proper name and should not be translated. Finally, when the student handed in her theme, the teacher figured out what was going on...and had to explain that the word is "chest of drawers" ..not Chesterdrawers.

 

 

oh oh that reminds me... winder and warsh. "I warshed the winder"

 

I don't think I've ever seen that in writing though. Which really just makes it more frustrating. Grandma, how do you spell that? w-a-s-h. Now say it again for me? Warsh. *headdesk*

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"Diaskeuast" as "reviser," though not strictly of poetry, makes it somewhat similar to, though not 100 percent synonymous with, "editor" as pertains to written material. In one of my journalism classes it was held up as one of the more unnecessarily complicated titles a copyeditor might lay claim to. "Diaskeuism" is that word revised into an appropriate form for my usage. Apologies for the confusion.

 

No worries; always happy to add to my store of questionably useful knowledge. For some reason, I get a kind of a disparaging sense out of the OED definition. Perhaps it's just bleedover from "poetaster". When I was the editor of a few periodicals (now I'm just a peer-editor, which pays better <_< ), I insisted on the title "Editor", unqualified. It was sort of a protest against the proliferation of writers calling themselves "associate editor", "contributing editor", and the like.

 

I do, of course, apologize that my typos were not amusing enough. :P

 

:rolleyes:

 

As has been pointed out by several other posters, language does tend to fluctuate a bit. The idea that usage dictates grammar is quite true, after all. The who/whom bugaboo is one place where I would like to see written language alter itself less rapidly than it has. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I accept more of that flux in speech than in print.

 

Fair enough; I have a few of those myself, in some of which I dislike usages that have a pretty long history in the language.

 

Bryan's post illustrates why, to an extent: it isn't until we go back 500 years or more that English literature becomes entirely incomprehensible to the untrained reader (somewhat incomprehensible, certainly, but not entirely so). It requires only a few decades before much of the spoken English language is quite foreign, and merely a century before dialectical differences would make it very difficult for a contemporary speaker to communicate with a speaker from the past (far from impossible, but certainly not easy). Much of our current writing--especially that found online--will be difficult to comprehend much sooner (relatively) than that of our literary forerunners.

 

In the cases where I dislike the changes, I mostly regard it as King Canute (or Cnut or Knut, depending on the transliteration) regarded the tide.

 

I hope that made sense; it is past my bedtime. I'll try to make it more succinct: the current rate of flux in written language seems, to me, to be closer now to the rate of flux in spoken language than it was some decades ago. To be somewhat banal about it, the advent of the internet and of texting seems to have narrowed the gap between spoken and written language.

 

You might be right, but that coin has two sides, of course. Better congruence between spoken and written language can also facilitate communication. I agree that we're probably losing some elegance. But for each loss*, there's almost certainly a similar gain, even if I don't see it.

 

* For reference, there is no problem in English with starting a sentence with a coordinator. Citations available upon request. If your English teacher told you otherwise, he** needed better instruction. (I suspect that Sanael doesn't need the citations, but this isn't exactly a closed discussion. :rolleyes: )

 

** Speaking of budding archaisms.... (I think I like that metaphor, BTW. :rolleyes: )

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Until, 'til and till. To till is to plow, as in 'till the soil'. Also a noun, 'ten bucks in the till'. Until is often shortened to 'til in speech and sometimes in text, but substituting till is a common mistake.

 

Oh goodie, an incorrection: "till", spelled exactly that way, is also a preposition, synonymous with "until", and in some dialects, "to". It is not new* and it is not a contraction of "until". Check your dictionary; particularly the etymolological notes.

 

* Except in a geological sense; it's from Old English.

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oh oh that reminds me... winder and warsh. "I warshed the winder"

 

I don't think I've ever seen that in writing though. Which really just makes it more frustrating. Grandma, how do you spell that? w-a-s-h. Now say it again for me? Warsh. *headdesk*

 

The phrase you want to know about (though you probably didn't realize it) is "hyper-rhoticity". It's a different dialect than (or "to", if you speak BrE) either RP or newscaster Midwestern, but it's not an error. (It is a bit marked, though, so probably worth the effort to suppress in many contexts.)

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oh oh that reminds me... winder and warsh. "I warshed the winder"

 

I don't think I've ever seen that in writing though. Which really just makes it more frustrating. Grandma, how do you spell that? w-a-s-h. Now say it again for me? Warsh. *headdesk*

 

Ahh...regional dialects...

 

"Warsh" bothers me very little, but then it has a bit of the comfort of home about it, in my case.

 

Being a transplant to Pittsburgh has given me a new appreciation for many of the vagaries of the Texan (Houstonian in particular) dialects I left behind. Pittsburgh is home to the somewhat usual "dahntahn" and "goin' aht," but has also birthed the usage of "yinz," which Texans would understand better as "y'all," ya'll" or "yall;"* "redd up," meaning to clean; and "nebby" in place of "nosy" or "nosey" (and can also be a verb, as in "I'm just nebbin' around"). Pittsburgh's dialect is restricted almost exclusively to a less than hundred-mile radius in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which makes it very unique, even more so than Boston's or Wisconsin's.

It's interesting to note that most of the major oddities in the dialect seem to be in pronounciation and vocabulary rather than in grammar; the Texan and Oklahoma dialects (which I grew up with) are rife with grammatical anomalies. The major exception to this in "Pittsburghese" is the removal of the verb "to be," as in, "this winder needs redd' up," "these cupcakes need frosted" and so forth. What bugs me most about this is the ease with which it could be corrected: "this winder needs redding up," "these cupcakes need frosting."

 

*A contraction about which we may wish to forgo discussion, regarding such debate as one would religion or politics.

 

You might be right, but that coin has two sides, of course. Better congruence between spoken and written language can also facilitate communication. I agree that we're probably losing some elegance. But for each loss, there's almost certainly a similar gain, even if I don't see it.

 

As do all coins, yes. And I certainly agree that, as web-based as we have become, written language must make some strides toward the spoken, and/or vice-versa (or perhaps arsy-versy, since we're speaking of archaic language). If nothing else, it makes it easier to avoid the pitfalls of "wait, is that sarcasm, or is the poster just being terse?"

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Until, 'til and till. To till is to plow, as in 'till the soil'. Also a noun, 'ten bucks in the till'. Until is often shortened to 'til in speech and sometimes in text, but substituting till is a common mistake.

 

Oh goodie, an incorrection: "till", spelled exactly that way, is also a preposition, synonymous with "until", and in some dialects, "to". It is not new* and it is not a contraction of "until". Check your dictionary; particularly the etymolological notes.

 

* Except in a geological sense; it's from Old English.

I sit corrected. Awareness of geological and/or archaic examples of usage notwithstanding (but excluded in my examples for the sake of brevity, a virtue with which I seldom frequent), I find my seat in a row of similarly situated English teachers and professors whose classes I have attended. One in particular comes to mind; stiff-backed, stern of countenance, red pen in hand, tensed and ready to strike down any mistake with cobra-like quickness...

 

*shudder*

 

But I digress. I believe we should chalk this one up to the ebb & flow of the language like the oceans' tide. I concede two points: (1) till and until were interchangeable prepositions many years ago, (2) they have returned to such usage in common writing and in various dialects. The tide was 'in' for both times. However, I recall very clearly being taught "till" was never to be used as a preposition. Perhaps the tide was out.

 

Honestly, I will probably not use it in this context because I prefer the clear meaning of the full word "until" to the (MHO) ambiguous synonym. I may occasionally (poetically or musically?) use the contracted form, 'til, in text and constantly in speech, but that's all. A matter of preference, then, rather than a mistake.

 

So, you are correct - there are other meanings and usages. I apologize for my didactic correction, believing my knowledge and experience were more common than was proper. I hope no one was offended.

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Alrighty..I'm a bit bored and hanging at the house tonight, so I'll bite. And, no, I'm not proofreading my own post in the hopes of protecting myself from the grammar/spelling police. You'll all just have to deal with my mistakes.

 

I guess the first thing I'll call out is the very slight bit of irony is this statement..

...proper communication skills can be a very marketable job skills...
:poke:

 

The following is all stated in good spirits, but it does stem from years of being repeatedly being poked at for my southern accent and colloquialisms. ::D:

 

Under any circumstance, I'm a southerner. A southerner with a pretty strong accent. However, I've been told by a number of folks practicin' pedagogy that I have a fairly decent mastery of the English language. I've been labeled as "unlearned" a number of times because of my speech, particularly by "non-southerners" that don't know me. Anyone that does know me will generally say that I'm a pretty good distance, on the other end of the scale, from "unlearned". Those same people may also say I'm an intolerable a**, but that's not what we're discussing here. ::P:

 

To the point (and I'll dramatize a bit). Like the majority of native North Georgians, my heritage is Gaelic. I'm a hillbilly...a redneck. My forefathers were Ulster-Irish. Some may use the incorrect moniker of Scots-Irish, but it's all one in the same. The Queen's English was not our first language.

 

When we landed in the Colonies, we were pushed into Appalachia, where we had to fight the natives on one side and England on the other, constantly, just to have a safe place to sleep. And this was after the centuries of oppression from England that sent us here to begin with. Any southern hillbilly's family would have a pretty good chance at being from this Gaelic heritage.

 

As a result of "my people" being somewhat isolated, until relatively recently, we picked up (and still use) a few little oddities from the incorporation of the Gaelic lnaguages into English.

 

With all that said, I really enjoyed some of the posts about language morphing, over time, into something almost unrecognizable from its original roots. So, I thought I'd share some oddities from the Gaelic/Hillbilly influence that some folks may find interesting.

 

I'm sure some of you have heard a southerner say he "was fixin' to do something". The word make, do, and a-going are all synonyms of fix in Gaelic--namely the phrase "ag dul". So, "I'm a fixin' to lay down", is a phrase rooted deeply in this heritage.

 

Also, there's no good word for "only" in Gaelic. So, you'll often hear a southerner say "There ain't but one"....as opposed to "There is only one."

 

When you hear a southerner say "Who with?", instead of the proper "With whom?"--again, Gaelic influence.

 

You'll hear many southerners use the word "what" instead of "that". "He's the guy that went to town" becomes "He's the guy what went to town" when a Gaelic influence is felt.

 

And a few words that most everyone uses that came from these same influences---please excuse my spelling, as most of this is from memory---

 

uisce beatha---a Gaelic term meaning "breath of life". Well..that's "whiskey". Yep. The hillbillies did, and do, distill their own liquor--a skill brought from the "motherland".

 

smithereens--smidirini is a Gaelic word meaning "small pieces".

 

slob--slaba, in Gaelic, is "mud".

 

slew--sluagh is a "crowd".

 

shanty--sean tigh means an "old house".

 

galore--go leor is "enough".

 

even the word "session"....

 

Anyway, I just thought I'd take a moment to share. And please understand, when I say "Gaelic", I use that in a *very* general sense. Just understand it to mean one of the few Gaelic languages (Irish, Scottish, etc). And for the purposes of this post could even mean Celtic. Because of the melting pot that is my accent, I just chose to leave out all the historically accurate minutia in favor of simply conveying the spirit of the post somewhat succinctly.

 

Cheers,

Kev

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