Pedants United

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
John McKenna
Posts: 4204
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by John McKenna » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:55 am

Did you know -
The name "Schenectady" is derived from a Mohawk word, skahnéhtati, meaning "beyond the pines". Schenectady was founded on the south side of the Mohawk River by Dutch colonists in the 17th century, many from the Albany area...

During the Pequot War (1634–1638), the Pequot and other Algonquian Indians of coastal New England sought an alliance with the Mohawk against English colonists of that region. Disrupted by their losses to smallpox, the Mohawk refused the alliance...
The Pequod is the name of the ship commanded by Ahab in Moby Dick.

NB - *Yankee. Originally a nickname for people from New England, now applied to anyone from the United States. Even before the American Revolutionary War, the term Yankee was used by the British to refer, derisively, to the American colonists."
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Paul Habershon
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:57 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:10 am
"Is it really true that 'It is I' is technically correct?"

Yes - but it does look and sound a little odd.

I was joking about everyone knowing the accusative. It helps to have been taught Latin.

I have had telephone conversations which went,

(I answer 'phone)
(Caller) "Who's speaking?"
(Me) "You are"

I was entertained to see,

"The principle reason why that changed..."
Sorry I missed the irony in your accusative comment, Kevin. (By the way, I think 'ironic' is often wrongly used instead of 'paradoxical' or 'coincidental').

Returning to your 'principle(sic) bedroom', I expect you saw that estate agents were being urged not to use 'master bedroom' because of its slavery connotation. I don't know how much notice has been taken.

Simon Rogers
Posts: 765
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:30 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Simon Rogers » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:42 am

Paul Habershon wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:05 am
Simon Rogers wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:22 pm
Well done Paul for starting this Topic.
Lots of interesting posts.
I wasn't very good at English when I attended school.
I am learning a lot.
Thank you, Simon.

There is a Saturday 'Times' column called 'Feedback' which invites readers' comments about the newspaper's content. Someone from Hereford thought that SCHENECTADY was an unnecessarily obscure solution to a recent 'Times' cryptic crossword clue. It's a city in New York State. Rose Wild, the Feedback columnist, justified it by describing various achievements of inhabitants of Schenectady, making the point that it's hardly an insignificant place. She concluded with 'Beat that Hereford!'. Now to me that is an instruction to thrash a cow. I do like my vocative commas: 'Beat that, Hereford' because she is addressing the people of Hereford. I sent an email to the column, but there was no acknowledgement the following week. Vocative commas do clarify meaning. 'Do you understand, Rose?'/'Do you understand Rose?' are very different comments.

This was my gentle way, Simon, of suggesting that your first line above should start ''Well done, Paul, for.... '. Don't worry. You have a 'Times' journalist for company!
I bought The Times on Saturday, however I've not read the column yet.
I was disappointed that half the paper was missing due to the Extinction Rebellion protests.
The TV Guide was missing along with the David Howell Chess Column.

Kevin Thurlow
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:16 pm

"Sorry I missed the irony in your accusative comment, Kevin."

Well - it's not easy in the written word... And I am not going to use emoticons!

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3928
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:46 pm

BBC joins in, although learning to spell with "To be or not to be" is rather an easy start.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53941008

Nick Ivell
Posts: 414
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Nick Ivell » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:07 pm

I actually like elisions such as 'haven't - previously alluded to as a house style. It promotes informality. There is a place for formality, but why should our style not be relaxed most of the time?

Just like we tend to use forenames here, even though most of us don't know each other.

One of the great virtues of English is the universal 'you'. None of the messing around between tu/vous, du/Sie etc. It causes no end of problems.

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Alistair Campbell » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:30 pm

Pronunciation is a different tea-pot of fish, as a German ex-colleague of mine once said, but surely both “d”s in Wednesday are pronounced?! (Note how I avoided the use of an apostrophe to denote a plural).

Mismatch of plural nouns with singular verbs (and vice versa) provides fertile ground. MPs (sic) may say “none of us agree with what the Government are doing” even if there are data which (that?) suggest otherwise; the media are probably complicit.

Collective nouns are problematic. Are they singular, or plural? “A number of schools was” may be correct but sounds wrong, perhaps due to the proximity of “schools” to the verb.

I note Kevin’s complaint about “you and I”. I’ve often heard people taking exaggerated care not to use “you and me” when it would be correct. But, in the spirit of this thread, does “between” take the accusative? Does the accusative still exist? I would have been tempted by a dative, if that were possible. (Is that a subjunctive?)

I also note David Williams’ (Williams’s?) reference to the use of “refute”. There was a celebrated court case in Scotland earlier this year; prior to going to trial, the accused was said to have “refuted” the allegations, when, as far as I could see, he had merely denied them. I did wonder if the use of “refute” was a subtle attempt at conveying innocence to the general public.

Nick Ivell
Posts: 414
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Nick Ivell » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:35 pm

It's between you and me. Between you and I always sounds like an exaggerated desire to be correct, like those northerners who pronounce 'pudding' as 'padding'.

Nick Grey
Posts: 1583
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Pedants United

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:13 pm

It is I is technically correct in ’Allo ’Allo!

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3928
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:31 pm

I saw a good one in the local pharmacist today.

A sign said "Every item in the basket 50p". I suspect that they really meant "Each item ...", but I was tempted to carry the entire contents of the basket to the Covid barricade and offer them 50p.

Paul Habershon
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:25 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:31 pm
I saw a good one in the local pharmacist today.

A sign said "Every item in the basket 50p". I suspect that they really meant "Each item ...", but I was tempted to carry the entire contents of the basket to the Covid barricade and offer them 50p.
Nice one! I wonder if there are commercial laws which entitle you to hold the pharmacy to its offer.

Reminds me of another retail notice: 'Six items or less' (Supermarket express checkout).

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3928
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:32 am

"Reminds me of another retail notice: 'Six items or less' (Supermarket express checkout)."

And then is a 4-pack of beer one item? (Yes.)

I recall being in a pub with a poster on the wall which said (roughly) "£X FOR A 175 ML GLASS OF WINE!" Probably not many people would spot this but 175 mL (or ml) meaning "millilitres" of wine is 0.175 litres, which is both portable and drinkable, if you enjoy wine. However, 175 ML (or Ml) is 175 megalitres, i.e. 175 million litres, which is certainly not portable or drinkable (well, survivable).

I will just add that both l and L are equally acceptable abbreviations for litre, but as l can look like 1, L is usually preferred by experts, to avoid confusion. BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures, who pronounce on SI units etc.) decided it was "too early to decide" which to prefer in 1990. Apparently, it's still too early, but as the litre isn't an SI unit, they could argue that it is not their problem! But try ordering a 175 cubic decimetre glass of wine, which is nearly the same size.

NickFaulks
Posts: 5952
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:56 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:32 am
But try ordering a 175 cubic decimetre glass of wine
Isn't that a lot of wine?
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3928
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:12 am

"Isn't that a lot of wine?"

Yes - about 175 litres... 175 cubic centimetres would be better!

Neil Graham
Posts: 1472
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:36 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Neil Graham » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:05 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:31 pm
I saw a good one in the local pharmacist today.

A sign said "Every item in the basket 50p". I suspect that they really meant "Each item ...", but I was tempted to carry the entire contents of the basket to the Covid barricade and offer them 50p.
Better than one seen at another pharmacy "We dispense with accuracy".

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