I hate grammar nazis

  • ThatSwimmerGu...

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    Jan 15, 2013 1:14 AM GMT
    Grahamourly incorrect.
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    Jan 15, 2013 1:19 AM GMT
    Gaydar saidAye think your all being a bit ridiculous write now, Their are so many ways to communicate out they're that its hard to decide on which method you could of used to convey you're point. Besides, if you would of bean more patient with someone's grammar skills you're chances of becoming friends with they would of increased buy ALOT! Theirs so much beauty in the english language and if you just gived people the chance to speak there mines the world wood of be-ed a better place a long time ago.

    Fixed
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    Jan 15, 2013 1:42 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    musclefetish1 said
    Narciso saidThe solution is easy.

    Just use proper grammar.

    Problem solved.

    You can link to as many articles as you wish. They all seem to say that it's acceptable to be lazy and ignorant.



    It's all the same article. And it's an excerpt from a famous book called the Language Instinct, written by Harvard Linguistics Professor Steven Pinker.


    The point if you actually read it is that you're idea of what counts as "lazy and ignorant" is incorrect, not that it's okay to be lazy and ignorant. Unless you're saying you know more about language than a professional linguist (whose opinion is shared by the vast majority of all linguists such as Noam Chomsky.)


    It's the difference between descriptive grammar and proscriptive grammar.


    universal grammar modules and grammar are not the same things. pinker is known for a biological perspective of grammar, which is what chomsky agrees on. you don't actually know what you're talking about here.



    The separation of descriptive grammar rules from proscriptive grammar rules is something that virtually all linguists agree on. Noam Chomsky would not agree with you that saying "Me and Jane went to the store" is a mistake.


    chomsky would certainly agree it's a mistake of the prescriptive kind. just because linguists differentiate the two rules doesn't mean they don't believe in perspective rules.


    That's not true. Proscriptive grammar rules are the bane of linguists. Because when linguists are trying to do research, their data is often muddled by people trying to impress them by speaking "correctly." Many of these proscriptive rules hold no water when examined thoroughly. For example the rule "never split an infinitive" comes from trying to apply a rule of Latin to English. But in Latin it's impossible to split the infinitive because the infinitive is one word. That rule doesn't take into account the unique nature of English. This has been my main point throughout this forum - many of these proscriptive rules we see propagated today are themselves incorrect because they fail to take into account the larger picture of English grammar.

    So if you agree that there is a separation between descriptive and proscriptive rules, then you must agree that "Me and Jane went to the store" does not violate any of the descriptive rules of English grammar, do you?


    you're mixing and matching different forms of perspective rules. splitting infinitives is a convention in which it's completely accessible, as is a comma splice, in the appropriate situation. using "whom" correctly is not a convention. it refers to the object of the sentence. you do realize you're not making any sense in terms of the rules you're comparing?
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    Jan 15, 2013 1:45 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said

    Looked at the article. Started reading; ended up skimming, so if my impression is not correct, I apologize in advance. Writer criticized those who criticize breaking certain rules, such as splitting infinitives. Some rules are becoming more relaxed, but the context is important. Informal writing in an internet forum is one thing. A letter of introduction when seeking a job interview for a professional position is another matter.



    The point is more that the splitting infinitive rule, among others, shouldn't have been imposed on the English language to begin with, not so much that these are valid rules that are okay to break in informal contexts.

    Splitting infinitives is not inherently ungrammatical (neither is saying "me and Jane" or using singular they, etc etc). English syntax allows for the splitting of infinitives so native speakers split the infinitives. The "rule" to not split the infinitive should never have been imposed on English in the first place because it doesn't take into account the unique nature of the English language. There is no logical reason why an infinitive should not be split.



    one, there is a reason why you shouldn't split most infinitives. the placement of the adverbs emphasizes or deemphasizes the sentence according to where it's placed. though this rule originally comes from latin in which you can't split an infinitive, it serves a functional purpose in correctly highlighting the sentence. two, using "me" as subject is problematic because it's not a subject pronoun. despite the arbitrariness you think these rules have, they actually function for particular syntactical purposes.
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    Jan 15, 2013 1:54 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said

    Looked at the article. Started reading; ended up skimming, so if my impression is not correct, I apologize in advance. Writer criticized those who criticize breaking certain rules, such as splitting infinitives. Some rules are becoming more relaxed, but the context is important. Informal writing in an internet forum is one thing. A letter of introduction when seeking a job interview for a professional position is another matter.


    The point is more that the splitting infinitive rule, among others, shouldn't have been imposed on the English language to begin with, not so much that these are valid rules that are okay to break in informal contexts.

    Splitting infinitives is not inherently ungrammatical (neither is saying "me and Jane" or using singular they, etc etc). English syntax allows for the splitting of infinitives so native speakers split the infinitives. The "rule" to not split the infinitive should never have been imposed on English in the first place because it doesn't take into account the unique nature of the English language. There is no logical reason why an infinitive should not be split.


    But language is often not based on logic, be it grammar or spelling. If you were writing that letter of introduction for a job interview for a professional position, would you deliberately break a "rule" because you assert it should never have been a rule? How could you be sure the reader would understand your reason and not just assume it resulted from being sloppy or ignorant?
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:28 AM GMT
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    musclefetish1 said
    Narciso saidThe solution is easy.

    Just use proper grammar.

    Problem solved.

    You can link to as many articles as you wish. They all seem to say that it's acceptable to be lazy and ignorant.



    It's all the same article. And it's an excerpt from a famous book called the Language Instinct, written by Harvard Linguistics Professor Steven Pinker.


    The point if you actually read it is that you're idea of what counts as "lazy and ignorant" is incorrect, not that it's okay to be lazy and ignorant. Unless you're saying you know more about language than a professional linguist (whose opinion is shared by the vast majority of all linguists such as Noam Chomsky.)


    It's the difference between descriptive grammar and proscriptive grammar.


    universal grammar modules and grammar are not the same things. pinker is known for a biological perspective of grammar, which is what chomsky agrees on. you don't actually know what you're talking about here.



    The separation of descriptive grammar rules from proscriptive grammar rules is something that virtually all linguists agree on. Noam Chomsky would not agree with you that saying "Me and Jane went to the store" is a mistake.


    chomsky would certainly agree it's a mistake of the prescriptive kind. just because linguists differentiate the two rules doesn't mean they don't believe in perspective rules.


    That's not true. Proscriptive grammar rules are the bane of linguists. Because when linguists are trying to do research, their data is often muddled by people trying to impress them by speaking "correctly." Many of these proscriptive rules hold no water when examined thoroughly. For example the rule "never split an infinitive" comes from trying to apply a rule of Latin to English. But in Latin it's impossible to split the infinitive because the infinitive is one word. That rule doesn't take into account the unique nature of English. This has been my main point throughout this forum - many of these proscriptive rules we see propagated today are themselves incorrect because they fail to take into account the larger picture of English grammar.

    So if you agree that there is a separation between descriptive and proscriptive rules, then you must agree that "Me and Jane went to the store" does not violate any of the descriptive rules of English grammar, do you?


    you're mixing and matching different forms of perspective rules. splitting infinitives is a convention in which it's completely accessible, as is a comma splice, in the appropriate situation. using "whom" correctly is not a convention. it refers to the object of the sentence. you do realize you're not making any sense in terms of the rules you're comparing?


    I'm not mixing and matching anything. And it's "proscriptive" not "perspective." The rule to not split an infinitive and the rule to always use whom for the accusative case are in fact both proscriptive rules. They are both proscriptive because they are both proscribed - ie English teachers have to consciously instill these rules into students. No modern native speaker of English instinctively never splits an infinitive nor does any modern native speaker instinctively use whom for the accusative case anymore. The former is a rule that should have never been applied to English while the latter *used* to be a descriptive rule that native speakers followed but that died out over time. It is a relic of English's former case system which used to resemble that of German. Either way, there is no reason why "who" cannot be used in both the nominative and accusative cases, just how the word "you" is used in the same form in both the nominative and accusative cases. (Interestingly enough, "you" used to be accusative case, and "ye" was nominative case. A speaker of old English might chastise you for "incorrectly" using the word "you". But you'd probably laugh at him for making such a silly judgement and tell him to get with the times. Why is who/whom any different?)
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:33 AM GMT
    Correct spelling and grammar is so attractive.
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:37 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said

    I'm not mixing and matching anything. And it's "proscriptive" not "perspective." The rule to not split an infinitive and the rule to always use whom for the accusative case are in fact both proscriptive rules. They are both proscriptive because they are both proscribed - ie English teachers have to consciously instill these rules into students. No modern native speaker of English instinctively never splits an infinitive nor does any modern native speaker instinctively use whom for the accusative case anymore. The former is a rule that should have never been applied to English while the latter *used* to be a descriptive rule that native speakers followed but that died out over time. It is a relic of English's former case system which used to resemble that of German. Either way, there is no reason why "who" cannot be used in both the nominative and accusative cases, just how the word "you" is used in the same form in both the nominative and accusative cases. (Interestingly enough, "you" used to be accusative case, and "ye" was nominative case. A speaker of old English might chastise you for "incorrectly" using the word "you". But you'd probably laugh at him for making such a silly judgement and tell him to get with the times. Why is who/whom any different?)


    Didn't you start this whole thread condemning grammar nazis?


    ^ grammar nazi
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    Jan 15, 2013 2:49 AM GMT
    calibro said
    one, there is a reason why you shouldn't split most infinitives. the placement of the adverbs emphasizes or deemphasizes the sentence according to where it's placed. though this rule originally comes from latin in which you can't split an infinitive, it serves a functional purpose in correctly highlighting the sentence. two, using "me" as subject is problematic because it's not a subject pronoun. despite the arbitrariness you think these rules have, they actually function for particular syntactical purposes.

    As I told someone else, reread the section from the link to Pinker's book that I quoted at the bottom of page 3 of this thread. It goes into detail why "Me and Jane went to the store" actually does follow the rules of English.

    You seem to think that I'm saying that there is no such thing as grammar and that English is one big free for all. That is not my point. There *are* rules to English grammar and these are rules that everybody instinctively knows. You don't need to consciously tell a native speaker to put an -s at the end of a third person singular verb, nor do you have to tell a native speaker that basic word order in English is subject-verb-object. These are deeply engrained in us and if someone were to say something like "yesterday apple I ate" we'd all cringe - valley girl and English teacher alike.

    However there *is* a reason why a sentence such as "Me and Jane went to the store" does sound perfectly natural. You then have to ask yourself, what is it that makes "Me and Jane went to the store" sound natural that doesn't apply to "yesterday apple I ate". If they're both "mistakes" then they should both sound wrong. Yet one doesn't - which should prompt you to ask why.

    And the reason why it doesn't sound unnatural is because it actually does follow the rules of English grammar that we all subconsciously know. If you argue that "you can't say me because me is accusative and you're using it in the nominative" - that line of reasoning is very shortsighted and fails to take into account the larger rule of English grammar which is that you can't use 'me' in the nominative case unless it is part of a larger phrase like "Me and Jane."

    Notice how even though you think this is a mistake, there is a very precise way people use it. Notice how "Me and Jane" sounds just a tad bit more natural than "Jane and me". If they're both mistakes then they should both sound equally wrong, but to me at least, "Jane and me" sounds a tad bit awkward compared to "Me and Jane." This should alert you to the fact that there is something special about the "Me and ___" construction.

    I just don't see how anyone could believe in the idea that something in language could at the same time sound natural and yet be grammatically incorrect. If it sounds natural it is precisely because it is correct. It may not be obvious at first why it's correct and it may even violate what you think are the rules of English - but these constructions follow a deeper rule set that English teachers across the English speaking world are unaware of.

    As I said before, Pinker makes a very strong case for why "Me and Jane" is descriptively (albeit if not proscriptively) correct. Go read it before yet again asserting without evidence that it is incorrect.



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    Jan 15, 2013 3:05 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    musclefetish1 said
    Narciso saidThe solution is easy.

    Just use proper grammar.

    Problem solved.

    You can link to as many articles as you wish. They all seem to say that it's acceptable to be lazy and ignorant.



    It's all the same article. And it's an excerpt from a famous book called the Language Instinct, written by Harvard Linguistics Professor Steven Pinker.


    The point if you actually read it is that you're idea of what counts as "lazy and ignorant" is incorrect, not that it's okay to be lazy and ignorant. Unless you're saying you know more about language than a professional linguist (whose opinion is shared by the vast majority of all linguists such as Noam Chomsky.)


    It's the difference between descriptive grammar and proscriptive grammar.


    universal grammar modules and grammar are not the same things. pinker is known for a biological perspective of grammar, which is what chomsky agrees on. you don't actually know what you're talking about here.



    The separation of descriptive grammar rules from proscriptive grammar rules is something that virtually all linguists agree on. Noam Chomsky would not agree with you that saying "Me and Jane went to the store" is a mistake.


    chomsky would certainly agree it's a mistake of the prescriptive kind. just because linguists differentiate the two rules doesn't mean they don't believe in perspective rules.


    That's not true. Proscriptive grammar rules are the bane of linguists. Because when linguists are trying to do research, their data is often muddled by people trying to impress them by speaking "correctly." Many of these proscriptive rules hold no water when examined thoroughly. For example the rule "never split an infinitive" comes from trying to apply a rule of Latin to English. But in Latin it's impossible to split the infinitive because the infinitive is one word. That rule doesn't take into account the unique nature of English. This has been my main point throughout this forum - many of these proscriptive rules we see propagated today are themselves incorrect because they fail to take into account the larger picture of English grammar.

    So if you agree that there is a separation between descriptive and proscriptive rules, then you must agree that "Me and Jane went to the store" does not violate any of the descriptive rules of English grammar, do you?


    you're mixing and matching different forms of perspective rules. splitting infinitives is a convention in which it's completely accessible, as is a comma splice, in the appropriate situation. using "whom" correctly is not a convention. it refers to the object of the sentence. you do realize you're not making any sense in terms of the rules you're comparing?


    I'm not mixing and matching anything. And it's "proscriptive" not "perspective." The rule to not split an infinitive and the rule to always use whom for the accusative case are in fact both proscriptive rules. They are both proscriptive because they are both proscribed - ie English teachers have to consciously instill these rules into students. No modern native speaker of English instinctively never splits an infinitive nor does any modern native speaker instinctively use whom for the accusative case anymore. The former is a rule that should have never been applied to English while the latter *used* to be a descriptive rule that native speakers followed but that died out over time. It is a relic of English's former case system which used to resemble that of German. Either way, there is no reason why "who" cannot be used in both the nominative and accusative cases, just how the word "you" is used in the same form in both the nominative and accusative cases. (Interestingly enough, "you" used to be accusative case, and "ye" was nominative case. A speaker of old English might chastise you for "incorrectly" using the word "you". But you'd probably laugh at him for making such a silly judgement and tell him to get with the times. Why is who/whom any different?)


    the accusative case is but only one facet of the objective case. and your point about "you" is an arbitrary one in that you could rant on why it is both singular and plural. while you're at it, how about you rant on why it lacks gender? you're creating a straw man argument to argue these rules aren't necessary or could so easily be replaced, but you're not actually addressing the utility of these rules. this is the problem when you only approach language from a linguistic perspective. sure, from a syntactical stance splitting an infinitive might change the sentence in terms of function, but it does read differently. this is where english, rhetoric, and composition scholars come in. you're so invested in an argument about utility that you're not considering the language itself. to boldly go where no man has gone before is not the same as to go boldly where no man has gone before or to go where no man has gone before boldly. if you can't recognize that each of those sentences generates a different reading then there's no point in discussing grammar. grammar is more than just a series of rules for language construction; grammar has been formulated to be an aesthetic and directing tool of language. argue all you want with the practicality of that: it doesn't change the fact that splitting an infinitive changes the sentence.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:12 AM GMT
    calibro said

    to boldly go where no man has gone before is not the same as to go boldly where no man has gone before or to go where no man has gone before boldly. if you can't recognize that each of those sentences generates a different reading then there's no point in discussing grammar.



    Dear God that is exactly my point. Have you even been reading my posts? Each of these sentences *IS* different and yet *none* of them are incorrect. That is why proscribing the rule that "you should never split an infinitive" is stupid - because it eliminates the ability to have these various shades of meaning.

    My point this entire time has been that rules like "don't split an infinitive ever", "don't strand your prepositions", "don't say Me and Jane", etc etc miss the larger context of English grammar and reduces one's expressive ability.

    Imagine a world where English teachers never tell their students to not ever split an infinitive. The children would already be able to tell the subtle difference in meaning between "to go boldly" vs "to boldly go" and they would be free to use whichever they prefer without fear of being chastised by grammar nazis for using the "incorrect" syntax.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:30 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said


    My point this entire time has been that rules like "don't split an infinitive ever", "don't strand your prepositions", "don't say Me and Jane", etc etc miss the larger context of English grammar and reduces one's expressive ability.

    Imagine a world where English teachers never tell their students to not ever split an infinitive. The children would already be able to tell the subtle difference in meaning between "to go boldly" vs "to boldly go" and they would be free to use whichever they prefer without fear of being chastised by grammar nazis for using the "incorrect" syntax.



    I have grammar tolerances but I fundamentally believe that grammar is important. I can't stand it when I hear people who work for me say something like. . . ."Where is it at?" . . . "I should have went to the store yesterday." . . . .

    You imply that people who make some of these errors are doing so knowingly and with purpose, I don't believe that for a second.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:33 AM GMT
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said

    to boldly go where no man has gone before is not the same as to go boldly where no man has gone before or to go where no man has gone before boldly. if you can't recognize that each of those sentences generates a different reading then there's no point in discussing grammar.



    Dear God that is exactly my point. Have you even been reading my posts? Each of these sentences *IS* different and yet *none* of them are incorrect. That is why proscribing the rule that "you should never split an infinitive" is stupid - because it eliminates the ability to have these various shades of meaning.

    My point this entire time has been that rules like "don't split an infinitive ever", "don't strand your prepositions", "don't say Me and Jane", etc etc miss the larger context of English grammar and reduces one's expressive ability.

    Imagine a world where English teachers never tell their students to not ever split an infinitive. The children would already be able to tell the subtle difference in meaning between "to go boldly" vs "to boldly go" and they would be free to use whichever they prefer without fear of being chastised by grammar nazis for using the "incorrect" syntax.


    and i told you, split infinitives aren't considered anything but stylistic choices to people in english departments. using a subject pronoun instead of an object pronoun is a whole different ballgame.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:39 AM GMT
    calibro said
    Cardinal724 said
    calibro said

    to boldly go where no man has gone before is not the same as to go boldly where no man has gone before or to go where no man has gone before boldly. if you can't recognize that each of those sentences generates a different reading then there's no point in discussing grammar.



    Dear God that is exactly my point. Have you even been reading my posts? Each of these sentences *IS* different and yet *none* of them are incorrect. That is why proscribing the rule that "you should never split an infinitive" is stupid - because it eliminates the ability to have these various shades of meaning.

    My point this entire time has been that rules like "don't split an infinitive ever", "don't strand your prepositions", "don't say Me and Jane", etc etc miss the larger context of English grammar and reduces one's expressive ability.

    Imagine a world where English teachers never tell their students to not ever split an infinitive. The children would already be able to tell the subtle difference in meaning between "to go boldly" vs "to boldly go" and they would be free to use whichever they prefer without fear of being chastised by grammar nazis for using the "incorrect" syntax.


    and i told you, split infinitives aren't considered anything but stylistic choices to people in english departments. using a subject pronoun instead of an object pronoun is a whole different ballgame.


    So you agree then that "don't split an infinitive ever" rule is stupid. Instead it should be "if you're going to split an infinitive, you should be aware of the difference in nuance." Again, you seem to be avoiding actually reading Pinker's essay. Actually read it first - specifically the sections about using me as a subject and the section on who vs whom.

    Read it first and then if you don't agree with it for whatever reason then feel free to argue the point with me. I'd be happy to debate you further. But until you read it there really is no point in continuing this discussion with you because you keep ignoring the points I've presented concerning "Me and Jane" and using who instead of whom, and why your reasoning is incorrect.

    Pinker addresses every single one of the arguments that you have put forth thus far.
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:42 AM GMT
    Such loud minds! icon_mad.gif
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:44 AM GMT
    Lore_menz0 saidSuch loud minds! icon_mad.gif
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The RJ librarian does not approve. icon_razz.gif
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    Jan 15, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Lore_menz0 saidSuch loud minds! icon_mad.gif
    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The RJ librarian does not approve. icon_razz.gif

    Dammit, and I don't got nudes for him either!
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    Jan 15, 2013 4:33 AM GMT
    They're there now.
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    Jan 15, 2013 4:36 AM GMT
    Good grammar and spelling is sexy.