Discussing grammar with my friend and me [not I]

477
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
I believe you have it right Pete, in option 2. I haven't looked it up to see if it's correct, but that appears to be the right way to say it. Just an awkward sentence all around.
 
929
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Joined Jul 28, 2006
Mangy cur...I should have closed the gate.  Then we wouldn't have this problem.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif
 
6,367
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
We're going a little astray, when we look at the spoken word instead of the written word. Nobody speaks grammatically correct. Nor should they. Fully correct grammer is reserved for formal occasions, not day to day speech.

The real problem is the education system. Those who attended parochial school, or who otherwise studied Latin, tend to be more grammatically correct than those who attended public school.

Quick test for public school attendees only: Did you ever really learn to parse a sentance---or even know what that means?

Another word that gets me is:

"irregardless."........

Doesn't that just set your teeth on edge!

Another one:

Flamable----inflamable---nonflamable. Which one means the s-it won't burn?
 
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I would always take the bad spellers........

Just out of curiosity, Chefross, what does spelling and grammer have to do with a person's ability to cook? I never thought of them as requisites to work BOH.

Or are we talking about a different job classification?
 
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With spell check and online dictionaries there is no excuse for bad grammar.

You'd think so. But most people do not.

Saw a study, a few years back, on email habits. When it came to spelling and grammer checkers, turns out that editors and English teachers were the least likely to use them in their personal messaging.

And before anyone jumps on it, I'm fully aware that electronic communication is the only place where "message" is a verb.
 
477
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
Quick test for public school attendees only: Did you ever really learn to parse a sentance---or even know what that means?
I'm a proud graduate of a public high school (in Louisiana, no less). Stereotypes would say I'm terrible with grammar. While I'm nowhere near a linguistic expert, I think my abilities are on par with most other equally educated individuals. To your question: yes. I can still remember breaking down sentences and drawing diagrams to identify parts of speech, determine the correct usage of modifiers, etc. However, I think the education I received was far better than what some receive in public schools.

However, if we want to get into the "plight of the education system" debate, I believe we first have to turn to the parents before looking at the schools themselves. Even in the schools that I went to -- which I feel are well above average, particularly for the deep south -- there were plenty of students that simply didn't learn some fundamentals of English, mathematics, etc. So what is the difference between one of those other students and myself? All I can deduce is the level of parenting and motivation. Both of my parents have baccalaureate degrees, and one parent has a master's degree in special education. Needless to say, my parents understand the value of a good education, and therefore pushed me to learn all that I could in school. Expectations were high, and so were the consequences for bad grades. If we really want to fix the education system in the United States, we have to start with the parents of the children that are attending public schools.

I shall step down from my soap box now...
 
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Di-A-Gram!In my short experience (graduated HS in 1960 and took Latin), most HS and even college students have little, if any, grasp as to the meaning of the word as relates to the study of English.And I take umbrage at the "verbalization" of nouns, especially certain "titles", such as "cheffing"! WTHDTM?
 
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I would always take the bad spellers........

Just out of curiosity, Chefross, what does spelling and grammer have to do with a person's ability to cook? I never thought of them as requisites to work BOH.

Or are we talking about a different job classification?
I have my standards and quirks just like everybody else I guess. If I was hiring for a dishwasher, I don't think it's a problem, but if I were hiring for a cook, who has to read recipes, calculate quantities, take an inventory and create reports, then I feel these things are important.
 
929
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Joined Jul 28, 2006
 Fully correct grammer is reserved for formal occasions, not day to day speech.
 I disagree completely with this statement. I went to an ordinary public school,  but at a time when correctness was valued.  Grammar is a social skill.   Proper usage is always appropriate.   In addition,  it's quite easy to allow bad habits to creep in and become established if one is not careful. 
 
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6,367
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So you're saying you never use slang, or colloquial, or idiomatic expressions? Never verbally end a sentance with a preposition? Never start a sentence with a dependent clause? Or answer one with a fragment? I reckon regionalisms are banned from your vocabulary as well?

 I disagree completely with this statement.

Which, of course, is fully your right. But can you parse that sentence? My suggestion was that if you went to public school you probably can't. And, implied in that: if you can't parse it then you don't truly understand sentence structure. And if you don't understand structure, then you can't understand grammer and usage---no matter how hard you try.

Don't worry about it if you can't. I can't either. But I've successfully earned a living for more than 50 years by stringing words together, and judging the way others do so, by using the bane of English teachers: It just sounds right.
 
477
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
So you're saying you never use slang, or colloquial, or idiomatic expressions? Never verbally end a sentance with a preposition? Never start a sentence with a dependent clause? Or answer one with a fragment? I reckon regionalisms are banned from your vocabulary as well?
I think I'm guilty of all of those faults. It's tough to get the North Louisiana slang out sometimes. "Ain't" will never leave my spoken vocabulary. I end sentences with prepositions all the time. Everyone else does too. If you say you don't, you're lying.
 
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Not me, Pete. The strict grammarians.

Ending a sentence with a preposition is something I'm often guilty of.
 
929
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So you're saying you never use slang, or colloquial, or idiomatic expressions? Never verbally end a sentance with a preposition? Never start a sentence with a dependent clause? Or answer one with a fragment? I reckon regionalisms are banned from your vocabulary as well?

I'm not saying any of those things.  I certainly do break the rules, most often in favor of convenience. However, I thought I made the point quite clear that correctness is not reserved for formal occasions.  Correctness is appropriate at any time, in any place that one chooses to be correct, if that is the standard one has set for oneself. 

 I disagree completely with this statement.

I=subject

disagree=verb

completely=adjective

with=preposition

this=subjective pronoun <--- Oops,  objective  No, no....that is the object of the preposition /img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif

statement=object of the preposition "with" <--- so, what function does the word "statement" serve?  Oh, who cares? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lookaround.gif

Which, of course, is fully your right. But can you parse that sentence? My suggestion was that if you went to public school you probably can't. And, implied in that: if you can't parse it then you don't truly understand sentence structure. And if you don't understand structure, then you can't understand grammer and usage---no matter how hard you try.

Let's not bash the public schools.  I do not believe them to be any worse than many private schools.  They simply do not carry the same [so called] good credentials to which private schools try to lay claim.  There are plenty of Ivy League graduates who are also grammatically ignorant.

.
 
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Regarding grammar, I'm probably more picky than the average person. The goal of verbal communication is to say or write something so that the recipient(s) understands what you mean, as precisely as possible. Right? If I have to figure out what someone means because they didn't express it well, they could use some improvement, imo. On the other hand, if what they say or write wasn't strictly correct, but I understood it very well, I say they have communicated well with me. If it's in a formal context, such as on a resume or in formal public speech, I say it (grammar) matters a lot.

Then there's taking writing to an art form, which some here do imo. I include KYH, Chris Lehrer and others in that (not that my opinion matters, jes sayin ...)
 
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477
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
completely=adjective

Completely modifies how you disagree. Therefore, in this case, completely would be an adverb, no?
 
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not that my opinion matters, jes sayin ...)

Of course your opinion matters, OY. Whatever gave you the idea that it wouldn't?

In this context, however, the opinion that matters most is that of an editor with a checkbook. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif
 
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Proper usage is always appropriate. 

Yes it is. But you may not be using that phrase correctly.

In verbal communication, "proper usage" is defined as the way the educated members of a community talk. Putting aside any argument over how to define "educated," the key word there is "community." Thus, a New Yorker and somebody from Alabama might not understand each other, even though they are both speaking properly.

Or, to put a point on it, when one of my neighbors with a masters degree says, "I don't care to...." when he means the exact opposite, that is proper usage in this community, even though it would be ambiguous, at best, outside of Kentucky.

I'm not saying any of those things.  I certainly do break the rules, most often in favor of convenience.

You're just proving my point---that people do not speak the way they write, and that the spoken word is more casual, and less constrained by formal rules. I would actually expand that to include writing on boards such as this, where few people actually pay attention to proper grammer, sentence structure, etc. In short, they write on message boards the way they talk. But I'd betcha the same person who comes across as semi-literate on a forum pays a lot more attention to those details when writing a report for work, or doing a homework assignment.

Thomas Jefferson was one of the worst public speakers in history because of that. He was such a perfectionist that he would be mentally editing and revising what he just said, which would cause him to stumble on the next statement, etc. But, when you can write the way he did, who cares how you talked. Compare, for instance:

"You been screwin' with us, and we ain't gonna take it no more," with the American Declaration of Independence. At base they both say exactly the same thing. But I'll take Jefferson's version. And, just to put a point on the written/verbal thing, I have no doubt that Sam Adams, when rabble rousing out in the streets, used some version of the first sentance.
 
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As essentially a newbie here on this site, I'm absolutely fascinated that I've stumbled across a conversation between chefs and assorted foodies on points of grammar. Although highly entertaining (just the thought of it!) I'm quite heartened that there are people around, aside from erudite itellectuals hiding out in the Academy, to whom such things matter. Although I do consider myself a victim (sic) of public schools, the fault of my finding myself at a very late age in life, practically illiterate, is certainly my own fault as well. However, I am making a concerted effort to educate myself, daunting and frustrating as it seems sometimes. (When in the heck does one use the pesky "that" as in "He told me he went to the store" vs. "He told me THAT he went to the store"?? I find often I don't even know how to look these silly things up!

All that aside, my pet peeve is the politicization of language. No wonder some of us don't know what's correct!  We either have to call people "its" or have our verbs and pronouns disagree, so as not to offend women. Or, perhaps, enlightened men. Even worse, in my opinion, is that somehow the grammatical term "gender" came to be used exclusively for the "correct-for-thousands-of-years" word  -sex. Now that, to me, is like nails on a chalkboard (...would be!)  All this use of politically correct vocabulary and grammar is causing us to bend into grammatical contortions at best; at worst, IMO, it takes all of the "colour" out of life. Okay, off the soap box and back to the food forums....... 
 

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