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Thread: Offical English Grammar and Vocab Rules Need ta be Updated

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    That makes sense. This guy does a good "MidWest" accent. I've heard it in Chicago, but I've also heard accents more similar to a New York accent.
    Can you hear that really flat "A"? That's what we don't have.


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    I dont have much trouble with English grammar though I struggle much to recall the irregular past participles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    I'm creating this thread to post unofficial but often spoken forms of English.

    I've become more councious about language lately because I've started to learn Spanish and read Middle English texts. Now that I'm payin more attention ta the way I and others talk I'm convincest offical English Grammar and Vocab needs to change ta better reflect the way we talk. There's grammar and vocab rules we English speakers follow that aren't written in our grammar books.

    Here's a good example I've already become aware of: Our four 2nd person pronouns: "You', "Chu', "Cha', and "Ya'.

    Some of these 2nd person pronouns replace "to be' verbs in their sentences and so change the whole structure of sentences.

    If you're a native English speaker or have spoken with native speakers for years you'll be able ta understand this.

    "Cha' is used in questions that start with the word "What'.

    "What cha gonna do about it?'
    Instead of: "What are you gonna do about it?'

    "What cha doin?'
    Instead if: "What are you doing?'

    "Ya' can also replace the "to be' in its question sentence. This is the only phrase I could think of where "ya' is used.

    "How ya doin?'
    Instead of: "How are you doing?'

    "Chu' is used in questions, when the "other'(2nd person?) is receiving an action, and in commands starting with "Dont'. Questions where the 2nd person pronoun is preceded by "Did' usually use "chu'.

    "How'd chu do that?'
    Instead if: "How did you do that?

    "Did chu eat my chips?'
    Instead of: "Did you eat my chips?'

    "Don't chu even think about it'
    Or maybe just "Don't even think about it?'

    When the "other'(2nd person) is receiving an action we use "chu' but when the "other'(2nd person) is committing the action we use "you'.

    "I kicked chu'
    "He kicked chu'
    "We kicked chu'
    "They kicked chu'

    "You kicked me'
    "You kicked him'
    "You kicked us'
    "You kicked them'

    Say phrases to yourself where the "other'(2nd person) receives the action and where he comitts the action if you don't believe me this is a legitimate law in the English language. Sometimes we do use "you' instead of "chu', but I'm confident we usually say "chu'.

    Here are other grammar/vocab rules that I think might be more than nonsense slang.

    >The dropping of the "g' sound in (forgot name)verbs and somethin(g). Examples: Doin, runnin, jumpin.

    >"Ta' instead of "To'. "Da' instead of "do'.

    >"-a' added to the end of a word insteada "of'. Examples: Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Mighta.

    >Replacement of "-er' in adjectives with "-a'. Examples: "runna', "puncha'.

    I'll think of more examples later. Different accents of course have different unofficial forms of English. I think "Y'all' for example should be treated as correct grammar.

    The examples I listed are very common in at least the United States. They're important parts of our dpoken English but not our written English.

    I think you confuse grammar and pronounciation here: there is no a thing like 'chu' or 'cha' in place of 'you'; these forms exist only in combination with a preceding word with a final 't' (or 'd'?) consonnant; they are not autonomous at all; the native english speaker saying that knows mentally every correct element he is slaughtering in prononuciation, whatever what is heard; the same for 'ya': combination and loosening; I'm not sure a new orthography based upon loosening in speach could help too much even if some changes could be introduced in english spelling;
    in low level spoken French we ca have: "Je ne suis pas là" >> [shüpâla] - high evel: Qu'est-ce que cela?" "Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?" >> [kèksèksa] - breton (one of the bretonS!): "Ne welomp ket petra zo d' ober gant an dra-se." >> ['velomp ké p'ta zo d' or g' ën dra-z] ... In French too there are changes to do, but could a complete phonetic spelling be of use? Experiences had proven the opposite. The correct language has to be learned before the loosen one and by instinct we know that and pronounce complete words to our children to help them to learn our language(S): grammar/axe logics and the loosen pronounciation without the mental support of long forms is agrammatical, so source of future death for a language - To begin by writing words as we speak them everyday in family or short circles would be wasteful and dangerous. Btw there are regional shortenings, not always the same; then, a centralized correct orthography is still welcome, what does not prevent the pleasure to speak with regional or class marked accents (Ilike phonetic richness!)



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    @Moesan,

    I agree with you. I thought "Chu" might follow grammar rules but it doesn't, it is just how we pronunciatite "you" when a "t or d" precede "you". The word "Ain't"(short for "are not") used by SouthEast Americans might be a legitimate grammar change in English grammar. They use "Ain't" for "Are not, is not, and am not", so for all the "To be verb+not" combinations. Yes, we don't say "I are not. You are not. He are not", but that doesn't mean "Ain't" is any less comprehensible.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    @Angela,

    The "A" is a distinct sound in MidWest accents. Anyways, in Indiana in my experience the vast majority sound "normal"(whatever accent that is) but many especially older people have Southernish accents as far north as just a few hours from Lake Michigan. Indianans have told me this is "the Indiana accent". They don't say "Y'all", but it does sound very southern. I've heard people ranging in age from 40-80 with it. Interesting, it could definitely be linguistically connected to the south. You also have people in Indiana and Michigan with the Chicago or MidWestern accent.

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    There's no such thing as "Official rules" of English grammar.
    Grammar evolves organically, and grammar books tend to reflect what people tend to think of as the "norm". Obviously this can't take account of all the millions of alternative "rules" and expressions found in regional variations of grammar and phonetics. The norm exists as a central point to which people using different varieties of English can refer. It is the canon that serves to unify English as a "language", not a basked of somewhat-related languages. Without the canon, three people from, say, Texas, the North of England, and India, would have great difficulty understanding each other.
    Of course the canon is not static. This There's no such thing as "Official rules" of English grammar.
    Grammar evolves organically, and grammar books tend to reflect what people tend to think of as the "norm". Obviously this can't take account of all the millions of alternative "rules" and expressions found in regional variations of grammar and phonetics. The norm exists as a central point to which people using different varieties of English can refer. It is the canon that serves to unify English as a "language", not a basked of somewhat-related languages. Without the canon, three people from, say, Texas, the North of England, and India, would have great difficulty understanding each other.
    Of course the canon is not static. The English Grammar at linguapress.com/grammar/index.htm is fairly up to date and descriptive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevander View Post
    There's no such thing as "Official rules" of English grammar.
    Yes there are. All languages follow rules. There's hardly any diversity within the English language today. All modern English, with maybe some exceptions in the British Isles, descends from the same form of English which existed in England in the late 1600s/early 1700s. English hasn't diversified enough for there to be a lot of variation in its linguistic rules.

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    Is Shakespearean English our Dead Uncle or Ancestor

    Shakespeare's English differed with modern English mostly because of sentence structure not vocab, pronouns, or verb/adjective/adverb/noun conjugation(despite it's reputation for thees and thous). But the differences are so big that we can't understand Shakespearean English when it is spoken.

    I wonder how Shakespearn English can be ancestral to modern English when we have documents written in modern English from only 100 years after Shakespeare wrote his plays. We have documents writen in Shakespearean English and Modern English from the exact same time periods, as if they were two differnt dialects of English that coexisted. How could have all English speakers in 1610 spoke like Shakespeare and then all speak like modern English speakers by the 1700s. I can't imagine change occurring so quickly.

    1710. Sent to baby Benjamin Franklin,. who wrote in Modern English as an adult.
    Be to thy parents an Obedient son;Each Day let Duty constantly be Done;
    Never give Way to sloth or lust or pride
    If free you’d be from Thousand Ills beside.
    Above all Ills be sure Avoide the shelfe:
    Mans Danger lyes in Satan, sin and selfe.
    In vertue, Learning, Wisdome progress make.
    Nere shrink at suffering for thy saviours sake;
    Fraud and all Falshood in thy Dealings Flee;
    Religious Always in thy station be;
    Adore the Maker of thy Inward part:
    Now’s the Accepted time, Give him thy Heart.
    Keep a Good Conscience, ’tis a constant Frind;
    Like Judge and Witness This Thy Acts Attend.
    In Heart with bended knee Alone Adore
    None but the Three in One Forevermore.
    Rough Translation
    Be an obedient son to your parents.Complete duties constantly every day.
    Never give Way to sloth or lust or pride.
    If you do so you’ll be free from a thousand ills.
    Above all other illes make sure to avoid selfishness.
    Man’s Danger lies in Satan, sin and selfishness.
    Make progress in virtue, learning, and wisdom.
    Never run from suffering which is for your savior
    Stay away from fraud in your dealings.
    Always be religious
    Adore the maker of your soul
    Keep a good conscience. A good conscience is your friend.
    It judges whether your actions like a judge and witnesses.
    Adore none other than the three in your heart and with bended knees.

    1722. "Silence Dogood, No. 2". This is just a small snipit.
    Histories of Lives are seldom entertaining, unless they contain something either admirable or exemplar: And since there is little or nothing of this Nature in my own Adventures, I will not tire your Readers with tedious Particulars of no Consequence, but will briefly, and in as few Words as possible, relate the most material Occurrences of my Life, and according to my Promise, confine all to this Letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    What great finds, Fire-Haired! I listened to each of the links. I love stuff like this.

    I agree with much of what you say, but...

    I could swear the interviewer in the first link isn't southern, but British born.

    I can hear slightly more British Isles-Celtic fringe in the white people from Washington DC and/Virginia in the 1860s, which is really just Virginia, than one can hear in those areas today. That makes sense to me because it was less than 100 years since the split from Britain.

    I disagree that people don't sound like that today. I mean, it's not identical, but I think Virginia and Tennessee/Kentucky people people have retained a lot of that accent, although it's become less "British".

    Al Gore:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWN0fdb0jjE

    Senator Byrd:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZI60DP5Oyo

    Virginia/Tennesse/Kentucky are not South Carolina or Louisiana: the accent is different. Senator Strom Thurmond is the hypocrite, die hard segregationist who fathered a mixed race daughter. As I often say, you couldn't make a lot of this stuff up.

    His speech about not wanting black people using the same pools:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG-c...F6xzd0c7mI94P7

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ecy0...F6xzd0c7mI94P7

    His very dignified daughter:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-hnZVN8lXQ

    I still maintain that although everyone speaks more loosely in informal settings, class plays an important part. Someone who has gone to private schools and Ivy League colleges is always going to speak more distinctly and correctly than someone from the working class, no matter the area of the country or the social setting. Southerners are always going to drop more endings and pronounce fewer consonants. I also think American speech, particularly among young people, is increasingly getting the "sound", the dropped letters and slurring of American black speech, partly because they listen to so much "black" music, and partly because black Americans have become so much more visible on the public stage.

    You have to consider Angela that the prestigue of RP English was at it's heigth back then, even in the U.S. americans speaking in formal settings also would try and immitate British RP english. I dont think in real speech they would have sounded that british, and americans speaking on the street back then would have sounded much like they do today. I find the videos fascinating. I lived in Tennessee for thre years, some people do indeed still speak like the confederate in that audio clip, I always find it interesting and a very nice accent when spoken with a deep voice.

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    I'm confused. This English Bible from 1530 appears to be modern English like that American newspaper from the 1710s. Did everyone speak modern English except Shakespeare? It appears this Bible uses a third person verb conjugation(punchth, runth, etc) we don't use today but besides that it is in written English no differnt from modern written English.

    Did Shakespeare use a non-formal, conversational, unique dialect of English? His English honestly looks intentionally bad and unclear, I doubt it was "just how people talked back then". Does anyone know?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    I'm confused. This English Bible from 1530 appears to be modern English like that American newspaper from the 1710s. Did everyone speak modern English except Shakespeare? It appears this Bible uses a third person verb conjugation(punchth, runth, etc) we don't use today but besides that it is in written English no differnt from modern written English.

    Did Shakespeare use a non-formal, conversational, unique dialect of English? His English honestly looks intentionally bad and unclear, I doubt it was "just how people talked back then". Does anyone know?
    I don't know what version of the Bible your particular Evangelical sect uses, but in most cases from what I've seen Evangelicals use the 1769 version, not the actual 1611 version. Even more people use more recent revised versions. I would guess that the Tyndale Bible has also been revised to make it more intelligible.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern...nd_derivatives

    As to your bolded statements, I have no serious response to someone who would write such a thing. Your hubris is so extreme and unwarranted that it literally leaves me speechless. Where does a sixteen year old get off making such a comment about the greatest English and perhaps greatest writer period of all time? You should really go wash out your mouth with soap.

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    1 members found this post helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I would guess that the Tyndale Bible has also been revised to make it more intelligible.
    The link says its spelling was changed but mentions no other editions. If it was converted into modern English why does it use a verb conjugation(the famously old; jumpth, prayth, doth, etc) we don't use today? It isn't difficult to correct that verb conjugation. Translations of Shakespeare don't simply change spelling. They change word use, phrases,sentence structure.......everything. Shakespeare used many words and phrases we don't use today. If The Tyndale Bible was written in Shakespearen English everything about its English would have to be changed.

    Maybe the version online is translated into modern English but I doubt it. I think it is probably the original.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    As to your bolded statements, I have no serious response to someone who would write such a thing. Your hubris is so extreme and unwarranted that it literally leaves me speechless.
    Shakespeare was a genius but is probably given too much respect. People treat him like a god. Just because he's worshiped doesn't mean you have to be offended when I don't say his English was perfect. Your random offended outbursts against me are annoying. There's no reason for me to feel bad about saying Shakespeare wrote an odd form of English.

    Read his plays again. It's clearly conversational, has plenty of slang, is full of clever word usage and puns, and goes on and on and on with excessive descriptions of nouns(something people in normal conversation don't do). There's something unique about his style. His form of writing wasn't academic, straight to the point, simple English at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Where does a sixteen year old get off making such a comment about the greatest English and perhaps greatest writer period of all time?
    First of all I'm in college and not sixteen. I know you know you're lying. Second there's no official way of measuring what is the greatest English. He was a good play writer, big freakin deal! A playwriter wrote the greatest English?!

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    That's the original orthography, I think.

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bible_(Tyndale)

    That's from 1380
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bible_(Wycliffe)

    And that's Old English.
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bibli...Cecyndb%C5%8Dc

    Old English one is very different but the other two (Middle English ones) are quite similar to modern English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Papadimitriou View Post

    Old English one is very different but the other two (Middle English ones) are quite similar to modern English.
    Yep. I've read around five Middle English(Early Modern) texts online and they all appear to be almost exactly the same as modern English. Going back to the discussion I had with Angela, the only exception are the Shakespeare plays. Other Shakespeare writings though are easy to understand. The reason I think is he used a lot of clever language, puns, slang, intentionally odd, and non-literal language.
    Last edited by Fire Haired14; 16-11-16 at 05:01.

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    An't, Gonna(Going To), Wh-question words

    An't

    I'm pretty sure An't is only used by US Southerners. It was probably originally a combination of Am+Not. English combines all other (to be verbs) with (not) except (am). But (An't) is used in place of (Isn't) and "Aren't). (An't) is used in place of (I've never) to create perfect verb tense. (An't) is used in place of (Noun+is) to negate something.

    Used in place of (Am not), (Are not), and (Is not)
    An't: I/You an't hungry.
    Standard: I'm/You're not hungry.
    An't: He an't hungry.
    Standard: He isn't hungry.

    Used in place of (Haven't ever or I've never) to create perfect verb tense.
    An't: I an't ever eaten this much.
    Standard: I've never eaten this much.

    Used in place of (Noun+is) to negate something. It's a double negative but gets the message across.
    An't: There an't nobody here.
    Standard: There isn't anybody here.

    Gonna(Going To)

    Gonna(Going To) is the primary way we make the future verb tense but the standard way is with (will).

    Gonna: I'm gonna(going to) be hungry tomorrow.
    Will: I will be hungry tomorrow.

    (Going) is preceded by a (to be verb) and followed by an (infinitive verb).

    Wh-question Words
    Who, What, When, Where, Why, Which, How(*)

    The reason I mention them is (Who) shouldn't be spelled with a (W) because it doesn't make a (W) sound. It should be spelled something like (Hu). Also, (How) probably used to be pronounced (Whow) like Hu probably used to be pronounced (Who). (How) IMO is definitely one of the Wh- question words but lost its (W).

    We use most of these words to not ask questions more than we use them to ask questions. Their none question asking form can be translated into (The)+(Name).
    Who=The Person
    What=The Thing
    Which=The Thing
    When=The Time
    Where=The Location, The Place
    Why=The Reason
    How=The Way, The Method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Yep. I've read around five Middle English texts online and they all appear to be almost exactly the same as modern English. Going back to the discussion I had with Angela, the only exception are the Shakespeare plays. Other Shakespeare writings though are easy to understand. The reason I think is he used a lot of clever language, puns, slang, intentionally odd, and non-literal language.
    It's called poetry, basically. The punning and slang is usually, although not exclusively, limited to certain specific sections of the play, and was meant to amuse the "groundlings".

    See the following:
    https://www.rsc.org.uk/shakespeare/language

    Audio file on Shakespeare's language:
    http://s3.amazonaws.com/rscmedia03/m...n-language.mp3

    As to the Middle English texts, I've told you and I've told you that either the texts you're reading are not from the "Middle English" period, or many of them have been translated.

    If you don't believe me, please go read this article:
    http://www.bardweb.net/language.html

    "Although the Elizabethan dialect differs slightly from Modern English, the principles are generally the same. There are some (present day) anomalies with prepositional usage and verb agreement, and certainly a number of Shakespeare's words have shifted meanings or dropped, with age, from the present vocabulary. Word order, as the language shifted from Middle to Early Modern English, was still a bit more flexible, and Shakespeare wrote dramatic poetry, not standard prose, which gave some greater license in expression. However, Elizabethan remains a sibling of our own tongue, and hence, accessible.This facility with language, and the art with which he employed its usage, is why Shakespeare is as relevant today as he was in his own time."

    "

    Era Approximate
    Time Period
    Example: The Lord's Prayer
    Old English 450–1066 Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum; Si þin nama gehalgod to becume þin rice gewurþe ðin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
    Middle English 1066–1450 Oure fadir that art in heuenes, halewid be thi name; thi kyndoom come to; be thi wille don in erthe as in heuene.
    Early Modern English 1450–1690 Our father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdome come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heauen.
    Modern English 1690–Present Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven."

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    Chaucer's Canterbury Tales were written between 1387 and 1400. Hence, it's "Middle English".

    Trust me, this is the original. I had to read the whole darn thing this way.

    Prologue:

    "Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

    And bathed every veyne in swich licóur

    Of which vertú engendred is the flour;

    Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth

    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth

    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne

    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,

    And smale foweles maken melodye,

    That slepen al the nyght with open ye,

    So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages,

    Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, "

    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poe...s/detail/43926

  18. #43
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    Sorry by Middle English I meant Early Modern English. It's terrible they didn't have a modern translation when you were in school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Sorry by Middle English I meant Early Modern English. It's terrible they didn't have a modern translation when you were in school.
    They did have a modern translation Fire-Haired, my professor was just a sadist. :)

    Seriously, he thought people should read all the English classics in the original. We also had to learn how to pronounce it.

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    The grammar nazi does exist for the English language...generally in the form of retired public servants and teachers on radio talk-back or writing letters to newspapers.

    Such complaints will generally go along the following lines: What are they teaching at schools these days??

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