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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZelyeUrsuli
    Grammar Nazi actually is the proper term We make light of such things to shield us from the past pain.

    Well, then. I guess I AM a pretentious, grammar Nazi - and American.

    I mean, if you are going to learn the language, you may as well learn it the proper way.

    Otherwise there will be complete and utter chaos on our looseleaf paper.

    "Him better then me." Count the errors!

    P.S. I haven't said "looseleaf paper" in over four years!
    I would be careful where you write "Nazi", because it is easy to quote you like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by ZelyeUrsuli
    I AM a [...] Nazi - and American.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    I love creative editing.

    It's why I love marketing

    At first, you think your movie received a terrible review: "This movie is horrendous. The best thing I can say is that I didn't actually kill myself while watching it. Truly, the movie is the worst I have ever seen."

    That becomes: 'This movie is...the best...I have ever seen.'


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    Leaving all the rhetoric aside for a moment, let us consider a couple of things.

    1 There are grammar "rules". This is another way of saying that in many or most cases English and other languages follow predictable patterns which allow for the formation of novel utterances.

    2 There is nothing, to my knowledge, to be gained by calling these rules "absolute". There are a few rules which never have exceptions at all, but there is no reason to suppose that even those rules will never develop exceptions in the future while still allowing for meaningful communication.

    3 There is a well known discrepancy between the language of formal grammar and the language of common communication. This does NOT imply that speaking in vernacular English means total disregard for all rules and loss of communication. Certainly there are plenty of common expressions which are much more vague and ambiguous than carefully crafted academic language, but on the other hand academic language has its own ways of being ambiguous and/or misleading.

    4 There are grammar "mistakes", i.e. constructions running against the grammar of the grammar books, which are considered acceptable or normal within various populations. There are infinitely more potential mistakes which would always be considered mistakes. The goal is not to try to ape the grammar books as closely as possible, but to be able to communicate with people. It is the job of the grammar books to try to describe how native speakers do in fact communicate, not the reverse where it's the job of the native speakers to try to imitate the grammar books. Somehow English managed to get along before the advent of grammar books.

  5. #25
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    I have come across a number of English teachers lately and it seems that they are all to be considered "grammar nazis". They never accept the normal spoken form of English and try to pound out of me all my "mistakes". Like the rule about not putting "would" after "if". I know so many native speakers who talk this way but it extremely frowned on to teach that in a class.

    eg: If I woulda' (have) known you were such a jerk, I would have kicked your ass yesterday.

    Apparently I am not allowed to teach that to anyone. Hmmmm...oh well!
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Nice example

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    I have come across a number of English teachers lately and it seems that they are all to be considered "grammar nazis". They never accept the normal spoken form of English and try to pound out of me all my "mistakes". Like the rule about not putting "would" after "if". I know so many native speakers who talk this way but it extremely frowned on to teach that in a class.

    eg: If I woulda' (have) known you were such a jerk, I would have kicked your ass yesterday.

    Apparently I am not allowed to teach that to anyone. Hmmmm...oh well!
    There's no apostrophe in "woulda". :P
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    I have come across a number of English teachers lately and it seems that they are all to be considered "grammar nazis". They never accept the normal spoken form of English and try to pound out of me all my "mistakes". Like the rule about not putting "would" after "if". I know so many native speakers who talk this way but it extremely frowned on to teach that in a class.

    eg: If I woulda' (have) known you were such a jerk, I would have kicked your ass yesterday.

    Apparently I am not allowed to teach that to anyone. Hmmmm...oh well!
    There's not an apostrophe in "woulda". :P
    Little known rule: using apostrophes to mark dropped sounds in reported colloquial speech. E.g. the ol' gray mare, I ain' gon' do it, come back again, sug' (short for sugar) etc.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulb
    Leaving all the rhetoric aside for a moment, let us consider a couple of things.

    1 There are grammar "rules". This is another way of saying that in many or most cases English and other languages follow predictable patterns which allow for the formation of novel utterances.

    2 There is nothing, to my knowledge, to be gained by calling these rules "absolute". There are a few rules which never have exceptions at all, but there is no reason to suppose that even those rules will never develop exceptions in the future while still allowing for meaningful communication.

    3 There is a well known discrepancy between the language of formal grammar and the language of common communication. This does NOT imply that speaking in vernacular English means total disregard for all rules and loss of communication. Certainly there are plenty of common expressions which are much more vague and ambiguous than carefully crafted academic language, but on the other hand academic language has its own ways of being ambiguous and/or misleading.

    4 There are grammar "mistakes", i.e. constructions running against the grammar of the grammar books, which are considered acceptable or normal within various populations. There are infinitely more potential mistakes which would always be considered mistakes. The goal is not to try to ape the grammar books as closely as possible, but to be able to communicate with people. It is the job of the grammar books to try to describe how native speakers do in fact communicate, not the reverse where it's the job of the native speakers to try to imitate the grammar books. Somehow English managed to get along before the advent of grammar books.
    I agree with everyting you say, but when a foreigner is learning English and asks a question on what is the correct way to say something, I think we, as native speakers, should err on the side of caution and tell them the "textbook version", as, at the end of the day, they are probably going to have English exams, and they could be marked down for using incorrect grammar.

    My issue was with suggestions that if you do follow all grammar rules, you are trying to be pretentious, but some people were just taught like that.

    I think, foreigners learning English should learn a more formal, textbook style, and all the colloquialisms and such can be picked up when they are exposed to the everyday language. I have met a lot of foreigners in London who don't really know English that well, but still try and use lots of slang and colloquial expressions and stuff, and it just sounds really strange. The same thing happened in Russia with me; when I used Russian slang or mat, my Russian friends laughed at me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulb
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    I have come across a number of English teachers lately and it seems that they are all to be considered "grammar nazis". They never accept the normal spoken form of English and try to pound out of me all my "mistakes". Like the rule about not putting "would" after "if". I know so many native speakers who talk this way but it extremely frowned on to teach that in a class.

    eg: If I woulda' (have) known you were such a jerk, I would have kicked your ass yesterday.

    Apparently I am not allowed to teach that to anyone. Hmmmm...oh well!
    There's not an apostrophe in "woulda". :P
    Little known rule: using apostrophes to mark dropped sounds in reported colloquial speech. E.g. the ol' gray mare, I ain' gon' do it, come back again, sug' (short for sugar) etc.
    True. But there's still no apostrophe in the non-word "woulda."

    TATY: if you start mixing you get something like, "He ain't taller than I."

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulb
    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    Quote Originally Posted by DDT
    I have come across a number of English teachers lately and it seems that they are all to be considered "grammar nazis". They never accept the normal spoken form of English and try to pound out of me all my "mistakes". Like the rule about not putting "would" after "if". I know so many native speakers who talk this way but it extremely frowned on to teach that in a class.

    eg: If I woulda' (have) known you were such a jerk, I would have kicked your ass yesterday.

    Apparently I am not allowed to teach that to anyone. Hmmmm...oh well!
    There's not an apostrophe in "woulda". :P
    Little known rule: using apostrophes to mark dropped sounds in reported colloquial speech. E.g. the ol' gray mare, I ain' gon' do it, come back again, sug' (short for sugar) etc.
    It's not a little known rule. It's very common:

    Fish 'n' Chips. Afterall, the apostrophe is often used to indicate a dropped letter, e.g. don't (the apostrophe replaces the omitted O).

    But when people write the slang word "woulda" they don't use an apostrophe. If they don't know/can't be bothered to write "would have" do you really think they know about correct apostrophe usage?
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    I have been in America for 18 years and typically the people who correct your grammar in conversational speech
    are .
    Correct my mistakes and I will give you +1 internets.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by xRoosterx
    I have been in America for 18 years and typically the people who correct your grammar in conversational speech
    are .
    А как бы ты предпочёл узнать об ошибках в твоей речи?
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    что это значит, совсем?
    There is a large chasm of difference in written and spoken speech. You inevitably shorten words and disobey proper grammar 'laws' when your trying to get your point across quickly.
    Correct my mistakes and I will give you +1 internets.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by xRoosterx
    что это значит, совсем?
    There is a large chasm of difference in written and spoken speech. You inevitably shorten words and disobey proper grammar 'laws' when your trying to get your point across quickly.
    Absolutely! And don't forget regional differences. UK conversational (spoken) English is sometimes almost as difficult for an English Canadian to understand as it is for someone with little English experience. And don't even get me started on Newfoundland. I'm lost there. Completely. I might as well be in Quebec trying to muddle through with my grade school French.

    It's more than accent. Phrases and words are different or have different context meanings, and/or muddled with local slang.

    And then there is American English. They use words or phrases that we don't and vice versa.

    When learning English for general communication rather than formal business purposes, I would recommend conversational learning, as opposed to formal ESL.

    As for correcting someone- I never correct anyone's speech, unless told ahead that they wish it. To me that seems very rude. Especially if I understand their intention. I've heard that English is hard to learn (although I think Russian is difficult - I am struggling). I think I need to learn how to think in Russian instead of just trying to translate my English thought into Russian words. Hmmmm....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matroskin Kot
    Quote Originally Posted by paulb
    Quote Originally Posted by ZelyeUrsuli
    People generally don't say "He is taller than I" because they have poor grammar.
    ..
    You seem to be laboring under the illusion that there are absolute rules for grammar aside from actual usage. If the forum readers want to learn English the way it is spoken by actual English speakers, then we'll have to ignore the "rules" from time to time.

    If someone, when speaking to an American, said "He is taller than I" it would sound funny because that is not common usage. If you add "am" at then end then it's fine, of course.
    Very true. It's good to know the rules so that you know what you are doing if you have to break them, and break them you shall, at least from time to time.

    No one says "than I" unless they want to sound somewhat pretentious, or they don't mind being known as a grammar nazi. It's the same with, "It is I," and similar constructions. It may have been a hard and fast grammar rule in the past, but it doesn't sound "right" to talk that way, and it's not just an American thing, either -- it applies to all English speaking countries.
    Well put!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZelyeUrsuli
    Grammar Nazi actually is the proper term We make light of such things to shield us from the past pain.

    Well, then. I guess I AM a pretentious, grammar Nazi - and American.

    I mean, if you are going to learn the language, you may as well learn it the proper way.

    Otherwise there will be complete and utter chaos on our looseleaf paper.

    "Him better then me." Count the errors!

    P.S. I haven't said "looseleaf paper" in over four years!
    LMAO

    Actually, if you're using "then" in reference to a time frame....ah never mind!

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    Thinking in a language will inevitably come with time. I'll step outside and immediately think to myself 'Сейчас холодно.' or every time I'll say something and think, 'wonder what that is по-русски. (Corrected. L.)
    Correct my mistakes and I will give you +1 internets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xRoosterx
    по-русски.
    Четвёртый.
    If you have problems with both posting new messages and sending PMs, you can send an e-mail to the Forum Administrator here:
    http://masterrussian.net/sendmessage.php
    У меня что-то с почтой, на ЛС ответить не могу. (

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    Quote Originally Posted by xRoosterx
    Thinking in a language will inevitably come with time. I'll step outside and immediately think to myself 'Сейчас холодно.' or every time I'll say something and think, 'wonder what that is по-русски.
    Wow! I hope so! I know a little French (very little) but still have to think in English as I find and say the right French word or phrase.

    Maybe I should just learn how to shrug in other languages? (That was a joke by the way- in case it didn't translate well)

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