English language peeves

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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alaudacorax
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Re: English language peeves

Post by alaudacorax » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:41 am

One of my favourite hobby horses is the daft idea that you shouldn't split infinitives.

As far as I can find out, some plonker back in the 19thC wrote it in some journal on the grounds that you shouldn't do it because you couldn't do it in Latin. He was slapped down, it being explained to him that they weren't actually writing in Latin, and also that it could be quite properly argued that 'to' isn't part of the infinitive in the first place. The trouble was that back in those days it took a couple of months to publish a riposte in a journal and by that time the idea had got a grip. Unfortunately, the damnable idea was then revived by William Strunk Jnr., in 'The Elements of Style', who really should have known better - how is torturing a sentence to avoid 'splitting an infinitive' going to lead to better style? 'The Elements of Style' has seen sense in later editions, but I quite recently came across the advice that you should never split infinitives in job applications because it's a fair bet that the person who reads it won't know that it's not incorrect!

So I urge you all to do your bit to defend the flexibility of the English language and civilization in general by striving to deliberately and joyfully SPLIT AN INFINITIVE AT LEAST ONCE EVERY DAY!

ETA - Sorry! Should have been '... the persons who read them ...'

DerekH
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Re: English language peeves

Post by DerekH » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:02 pm

Surely you meant "So I urge you to all do..." :-)
Why split one when you can split two in one sentence, after all...
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alaudacorax
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Re: English language peeves

Post by alaudacorax » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:13 pm

DerekH wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:02 pm
Surely you meant "So I urge you to all do..." :-)
Why split one when you can split two in one sentence, after all...
Missed that one ...

Rasputin
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Rasputin » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:39 pm

alaudacorax wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:41 am
So I urge you all to do your bit to defend the flexibility of the English language and civilization in general by striving to deliberately and joyfully SPLIT AN INFINITIVE AT LEAST ONCE EVERY DAY!
Hear hear!

Call out spurious peeves... they suffocate the language.

Mind you, if you look back over this thread, the vast majority of peeves are in the 'spurious' category. As a result, 'careful writers' often have the worst English. We must not let up on them, or their electronic henchmen!

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Evocacion
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Evocacion » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:11 pm

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature despite confusing 'lay' and 'lie' in reference to his big brass bed.
Unless, of course, the Lady was actually his pet chicken...

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martinardo
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Re: English language peeves

Post by martinardo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:02 pm

Ah, good point, Evo. I wonder which came first: the brass or the bed ?

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Leitmotiv
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Leitmotiv » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:37 am

Your' mentioning this Zimmy single reminds me of an occasion in the early '70s when a fellow named 'Bods' Nolan (Bods liked his food) played it over and over on a little portable turntable one summer holiday afternoon. It is unusual in that he sings the whole way through; his style normally is kind of speak/singing.

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Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:01 am

Bob just liked to have a good cluck on his big brass bed.
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amezcua
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Re: English language peeves

Post by amezcua » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:47 pm

My pet peeve this week ----And Cetra . A good match for --Very much so .

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Mike Steede
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Mike Steede » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:21 pm

Nice use of RUSH as an example! Bravo!
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soltirefa
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Re: English language peeves

Post by soltirefa » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:41 pm

Evocacion wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:11 pm
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature despite confusing 'lay' and 'lie' in reference to his big brass bed.
Unless, of course, the Lady was actually his pet chicken...
Maybe Bob Dylan meant, "Lay Lady lay (a blanket) across my big brass bed."

OR

Maybe Bob Dylan is saying, "(Yesterday) the lady lay across my big brass bed." In this case "lay" is the past tense of to lie. Many people use "laid," but that's the past tense of to lay, as in "Yesterday I laid a book on the table."

Very confusing that "lay" is the past tense of to lie.

Wuuthrad
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Wuuthrad » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:50 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:41 pm
Evocacion wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:11 pm
Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature despite confusing 'lay' and 'lie' in reference to his big brass bed.
Unless, of course, the Lady was actually his pet chicken...
Maybe Bob Dylan meant, "Lay Lady lay (a blanket) across my big brass bed."

OR

Maybe Bob Dylan is saying, "(Yesterday) the lady lay across my big brass bed." In this case "lay" is the past tense of to lie. Many people use "laid," but that's the past tense of to lay, as in "Yesterday I laid a book on the table."

Very confusing that "lay" is the past tense of to lie.

I interpret this song in a different way, looking past the face value. The first verse:

"Leigh, Lady Leigh, Lay Across My Big Brass Bed"

(which I think is grammatically correct, and refers
to the Actress Lady Vivian Leigh.)

Given the general theme of this song, I think it's fair to assume they shared more than a passing interest! Also he stole a verse from her film "A Streetcar Named Desire" in a later song.

And the following verses in the song would freely switch tenses and perspectives, which leaves a lot more to the imagination than at first listen.

Further supporting my interpretive hypothesis is the fact that Dylan recorded songs with no music, and no charts:
In fact he would go into the studio and just play and the band would follow along with nothing being written down!

He carries on a bardic tradition of sorts even still to this day, which I believe makes his genious even more deserving of the novel prize.

Jeffrey Armbruster
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Jeffrey Armbruster » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:30 pm

I heard that the lyrics are actually "lei lady Day, lay across etc." It's about an Hawaiian woman that he met who was a Billie Holiday look-alike.
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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:09 pm

One that crops up a lot recently is confusing underestimate with overestimate. For example;
"The extent of Janet's knowledge can't be underestimated." What the speaker means is that Janet's erudition is so vast that it is impossible to 'overestimate' it.

Rasputin
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Re: English language peeves

Post by Rasputin » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:20 pm

Maybe they are using 'can't' in the sense of 'mustn't', in which case it all works out...

I forget now who is supposed to have said 'they misunderestimated me'.

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