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Doomkid

English is the stupidest language ever, bar none

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9 minutes ago, Gez said:

Europe doesn't speak English outside of the UK. (Okay, and Ireland, where the Irish language has been nearly extinguished.)

And America-the-continent also contains Canada, where it's colour, too.

 

And much of the South Pacific speaks English, including, but not limited to:

 

Australia

New Zealand

Solomon Islands

Tonga

Samoa and American Samoa
Fiji

Vanuatu

Northern Marianas Islands (US Territory)

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For me personally I always hated the:

 

Could've/Could have vs. Could of

 

Where the latter isn't even grammatically correct yet for some reason my brain always defaults to that spelling when I'm writing something.

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44 minutes ago, Gez said:

Europe doesn't speak English outside of the UK. (Okay, and Ireland, where the Irish language has been nearly extinguished.)

And America-the-continent also contains Canada, where it's colour, too.

 

Sorry. Usually when speaking normally with friends and family, we refer to the US as America and slipped up. Also did not know which European countries outside of the UK spoke English.

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7 hours ago, TheMagicMushroomMan said:

 

That's when you run into problem #2:

 

"Everyone tells me I'm pronouncing this word in an entirely fucked way, but I'll keep doing it regardless because I think everyone thinks everything I do is cute even though I'm a COMPLETE FUCKING DUMBASS FROM ALABAMA AND I'LL BEAT YOUR ASS IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE. BACK IN MY DAY WE DIDN'T CARE ABOUT STUPID SHIT LIKE WORDS! THIS IS AMERICA AND I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!!!

Show up playing a banjo at the next family gathering. He'll get the message.

 

If he actually catches you, you probably deserve the beating.

 

6 hours ago, Gez said:

"Four score and seven years ago..." is not a speech that was said in French.

 

If you prefer, you can look at the Swiss or the Belgians and get "octante" and "huitante" as alternatives.

This would also be considered absolutely archaic by today's standards, though.

 

Also, it's a defined number (like a dozen or a gross), but not part of the actual numbering system itself. Why Lincoln chose "Four score and seven" and not "Eighty-seven" isn't known to me, but we don't call twenty "score," forty "two-score," and so on. So that's barking up the wrong tree.

 

54 minutes ago, Gez said:

Europe doesn't speak English outside of the UK. (Okay, and Ireland, where the Irish language has been nearly extinguished.

Plenty of Europeans speak English outside the UK, like in the Netherlands and Germany. It's just not an official language. But there's plenty of places it's a secondary language, or often the one taken by students in school.

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All languages I don't understand are the most stupid.

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Since this is the perfect topic to riff on a detail of Portuguese which I hate, consider the following sentence:

 

The neighbors will have helped us tomorrow.

 

The following ways are correct ways of writing it in Portuguese, all equal in meaning:

- Os vizinhos terão ajudado nós amanhã.

- Os vizinhos terão ajudado amanhã a nós.

- Os vizinhos nos terão ajudado amanhã.

- Os vizinhos terão nos ajudado amanhã.

- Os vizinhos ter-nos-ão ajudado amanhã.

 

That last one. What even is that one. You split the verb and put the pronoun in the middle of the verb. Why? Who thought this was a good idea? Why was this even invented? Is Latin or Arab to blame, or something else entirely different?

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Posted (edited)

You are absolutely right about English having lots of nonsensical arbitrary rules, and that it can be frustrating. However, as a fluent English speaker whose native language is Portuguese, and someone who has studied translation and linguistics for over half a decade, I can assure you this isn't an English thing. Every language does that, and from my experience, all about as often.

 

It is possible that English is more inconsistent than other languages, by virtue of being spoken practically everywhere, and some people including linguists claim that to be the case, but I kinda doubt it. Portuguese is full of little rules almost no native speaker gets right; for instance, everyone I know uses the word "desapercebido" to mean "unnoticed", and even Google translate will tell you that's what it means. It isn't, it means unprepared. Unnoticed is "despercebido". Also the adverb "sequer" (meaning roughly the same as "even" in English) can only be used in sentences with a negation in it (usually "nem"; so "nem sequer" = "not even"), but everyone omits it as if it's implied, which it isn't.

 

As for something in English, the contraction "should've" apparently doesn't exist, and I use it all the time. You have to write "should have" to be grammatically correct.

Edited by QuotePilgrim : typo

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, QuotePilgrim said:

As for something in English, the contraction "should've" apparently doesn't exist, and I use it all the time. You have to write "should have" to be grammatically correct.

Should've is in Merriam-Webster and Cambridge dictionaries, I'd say that's enough proof of its existence/acceptance.

 

It is, however, like most contractions, considered informal, so if you are trying to be very formal-sounding, you should never use them. That might be where you're getting mistaken.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Dark Pulse said:

It is, however, like most contractions, considered informal, so if you are trying to be very formal-sounding, you should never use them. That might be where you're getting mistaken.

Could be the case. An English teacher several years ago told me that it was invalid, not informal. He specifically said that in informal text using "could've" is fine, but "should've" should never be used. Either this changed at some point or he gave me incorrect information.

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Huh, I've never heard of the "should've" contraction, or at least I don't remember whether I heard it or not.

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Well, "could have" implies that one can make a choice between one or the other, but "should have" generally implies one made the wrong choice.

 

"You could've chosen to save yourself. You should've. No regrets, now."

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On a unrelated note, I noticed majority of people spell lose as loose. Like 80% of the time. I'm starting to question myself.

 

For all the linguistic experts, please help confirm this for me.

 

Am I using these correctly?

 

"That nail is starting to get loose"

"If I have to play another map with 100 chaingunners, I will lose my mind.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Chezza said:

"That nail is starting to get loose"

"If I have to play another map with 100 chaingunners, I will lose my mind.

Yup, that's correct. "Loose" is when something is about to fall apart, come out, etc. "Lose" is, well, you lost something.

 

A quick way to remember it is that someone who loses is a loser, not a looser. :)

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I don't know if one of you has already brought this up, but why the hell do we capitalize singular "i" 's.

We don't do it for other letters, it's not "I went to A movie" or "i went to A movie"

Why "i", in my opinion it is kinda ugly to see a sentence all good then a big fat   I    in the middle

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16 minutes ago, Reelvonic said:

I don't know if one of you has already brought this up, but why the hell do we capitalize singular "i" 's.

We don't do it for other letters, it's not "I went to A movie" or "i went to A movie"

Why "i", in my opinion it is kinda ugly to see a sentence all good then a big fat   I    in the middle

iirc the person who wrote the canterbury tales thought the lone capital i looked nicer than the lone lowercase one, and since that was a major influence on the modern english writing system...yeah

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I always thought it was because "I" is a proper noun when someone says it. Strange!

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Dark Pulse said:

A quick way to remember it is that someone who loses is a loser, not a looser. :)

I've seen a lot of people type "looser" on the Internet... Maybe a better trick would be that someone who loses is someone who has lost, not someone who has "loost". I've never seen anyone write "loost". Well, before my own post right now.

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25 minutes ago, Gez said:

I've seen a lot of people type "looser" on the Internet... Maybe a better trick would be that someone who loses is someone who has lost, not someone who has "loost". I've never seen anyone write "loost". Well, before my own post right now.

The Dutch apparently write "loost" quite a bit.

 

(I know, I'm busting your balls. Thanks for playing along, I'm heading to bed now.)

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35 minutes ago, Gez said:

I've seen a lot of people type "looser" on the Internet... Maybe a better trick would be that someone who loses is someone who has lost, not someone who has "loost". I've never seen anyone write "loost". Well, before my own post right now.

 

What have you done? You've opened the gates of hell. Now people will start spamming "loost" as the newest internet slang.

 

Also I've never really had a problem with lose vs loose. Probably because they are pronounced different (at least I think they are). Though with those words looking so similar, I can tell you I've read one as the other more times than I want to admit. Then I had to go back and re-read the sentence after it didn't make much sense.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Zulk RS said:

Also I've never really had a problem with lose vs loose. Probably because they are pronounced different (at least I think they are). Though with those words looking so similar, I can tell you I've read one as the other more times than I want to admit. Then I had to go back and re-read the sentence after it didn't make much sense.

Lose = "Luz"

Loose = "Loo-s"

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4 hours ago, Doomkid said:

I always thought it was because "I" is a proper noun when someone says it. Strange!

actually, i'm gonna have to correct myself here cuz what i said is only partially true

 

i did some research, and apparently the canterbury tales wasn't really the first to use it. the capital i was in use in manuscripts before it was written, with the reason possibly being that a single lowercase i would probably blend in and be hard to make out from the rest of the words (this was in a time when everything was handwritten, mind you). howEVER, the capital i wasn't the only form of first-person pronoun in use at the time; "ich", "ic", and even a lowercase i were also used. the reason the capitalized i won out, however, is likely due to the canterbury tales

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Amen brother, amen. And let's not even get into the "distinction" between "have" and "of", which has forever divided the Elders of the Internet almost as hard as the "your" vs "you're" dispute.

 

Its the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit, ya know...

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Maes said:

Its the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit, ya know...

And if you're a historian, knowing yore shit.

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Greek can be tricky for foreigners to learn. The phonology is simple enough and quite similar to Spanish actually, but the writing system, even if you get past the (IMHO, not so insurmountable) alphabet's differences with the Latin one, is a whole other ballgame. It's full of exceptions and rules that are "just so" and must be memorized. For example, there are 5 different ways to write the sound "i", two ways to write the sound "e", and two ways to write the sound "o", as well as a letter than can be either a vowel, a consonant, or part of a digraph to form an unrelated sound. The grammar OTOH is not so hard if you come from a language that has both articles and cases...so if we stay in Europe, the ideal Greek foreign language learners would be Germans :-)

 

Interestingly, a report on foreign language learning claimed that, at least among European people (in the broader sense of the word), Russians had among the hardest time learning Greek, which is ironic considering the somewhat similar alphabet. And yet, the grammar and the "just so" writing rules were basically "all wrong" to them, and essentially contrary to anything that Russian stood for.

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43 minutes ago, Maes said:

For example, there are 5 different ways to write the sound "i", two ways to write the sound "e", and two ways to write the sound "o", as well as a letter than can be either a vowel, a consonant, or part of a digraph to form an unrelated sound.

You can find the same kind of issues in English and in many other languages.

 

I wouldn't consider having ten different ways to write the same sound to be a real problem. It's redundant, sure, but it's fine. If you read the text and know the rules, you know how it'll be pronounced. And if you write the text, well, nowadays you got spelling correctors that will helpfully fix it for you.

 

No, the real problem is in the other way around, when there are ten different ways to pronounce the same grapheme. Okay so this, too, can be mitigated if there are consistent rules about which pronunciation to use in which circumstances. Like the way 'i' is pronounced in "unit", "bit", "kit" vs. "unite, bite, kite" okay so we can use the presence of the 'e' after the consonant as a clue, that's fine. "night, might, fight", alright, 'i' followed by 'ght' is like 'i" followed by 'te', it's redundant but we can deal with that; "convict, verdict, indict" wait stop what the fuck

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Posted (edited)

Well, one of the explanations I heard about that is that English, in reality, is a language where whole words are/should be considered "graphemes", for there are too many exceptions to come up with universally applicable rules anymore. It might just as well use individually-crafted pictograms for each word.

 

OK, maybe a bit extreme, but probably close to what's going on in an English speaker's mind when reading. You unconsciously process whole words and know how that whole word is read, you don't really try to look up some virtual table of rules about how each letter is pronounced in that very specific circumstance inside that very specific word. Either you know how to pronounce that specific word, or you don't.

 

Other languages can do that, because text-to-speech is a 1-to-1 process (or at least, m-to-1 process). When you have 1 -> m across the entire language, well, that kinda sucks :-)

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27 minutes ago, Maes said:

OK, maybe a bit extreme, but probably close to what's going on in an English speaker's mind when reading. You unconsciously process whole words and know how that whole word is read,

this is prolly how most human beings read.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, ketmar said:

this is prolly how most human beings read.

 

Yeah, unconsciously, that's what you end up doing in all languages. The difference being that some still maintain a "clean", explicit form of writing ("analytical", as a linguist would say) that allows you to unambiguously pronounce an unfamiliar word; while others use a more terse and codified one, with graphemes corresponding to whole words (no pronunciation aid whatsoever), to syllables (much better, but more symbols to memorize than an alphabetical system), to omitting vowels (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew. You're kinda fucked if you don't know how to fill in the missing vowels). In fact, the invention of the explicit alphabet was a late arrival in the evolution of writing systems, coming after all of the aforementioned systems.

 

Now, languages like English that do use an alphabetical writing are in a kind of hybrid situation: there are some rules but also enough exceptions to make the claim that the basic unit of writing are no longer individual letters, but whole words.

 

Of course, having an explicit alphabet and a clean 1-to-1 writing system is by no means a requirement for a usable/practical language. Otherwise, we'd all be using the IPA by now.

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4 minutes ago, ketmar said:

this is prolly how most human beings read.

Yes and no.

 

This is how experienced readers read texts in languages they have a long practice of. But this is not how beginners read.

 

FUN FACT: when I was a child, I was taught to read by what was called the "b-a ba" method: first you teach how each letter sounds, then how each letter combination sounds, and only then you teach the words that are exceptions to normal pronunciation rules for a reason or another. Later, this was changed to the "global" method where you teach how a whole word is written and then how to pronounce it. No more teaching morphemes separately from words. This, said the theorists  who pushed for the reform, would have better results because it's how (adult) people actually (come to) read (on their own, from experience, without having to be taught it), so it's better to teach this method to children.

 

Guess what was the outcome?

 

If you didn't guess "a sharp, sudden increase in dyslexia, illiteracy, and all around spelling mistakes", you guessed wrong.

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