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Grammatics: Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie

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  • Talisant
    replied
    Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
    "To bodly go"
    Yep, reckon they were a'meanin' To Bodley, Head! :)

    Leave a comment:


  • A_Non_Ymous
    replied
    By contrast, to me, split infinitives sound sub-literate.

    The solecism embodied in the notorious words from Star-Drek always struck me as risible.

    "To boldly split infinitives where no man has split infinitives before."

    LSN

    Leave a comment:


  • Typhoid_Mary
    replied
    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    Apparently I should have written "M&M's". Not a typo, I'm just dumb.
    According to the "Common Errors in English" website, M&Ms is perfectly acceptable and IMHO preferable. I've never understood the use of the apostrophe with acronyms and try to avoid it.

    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/acronyms.html

    Leave a comment:


  • Mikey_C
    replied
    I'm with LSN. I don't think it's an error. Or if so, it's one that I would have made myself.

    Now, Starbucks... :x

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
    As for grammatical pet peeves, everyone has them I suspect. Split infinitives. They make me crazy.
    Most famous split infinitive ever: "To bodly go where no man has gone before!"

    Personally, split infinitives don't bug me. Sometimes I think they pack more punch, as in the example above.

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    I almost had a meltdown when I tried to order a Subway. "What sort of bread would you like?" Eeep!
    Dee, the proper answer to this question is "The Italian herbs & cheese bread, please." :P Best. Bread. Ever.

    Originally posted by demos99
    Words acquire new 'meanings' all the time in English.
    I've taken many lingusitics courses and what you say is indeed true and unavoidable. I just hate it when new words are born out of ignorance.

    Originally posted by Perdix
    Smarties are a more suitable cookie-addition than M&M's...
    Please tell me you're being your usual comedic self. I will agree that M&M's should not go on a cookie, but oh dear Lord, neither should Smarties! Ew!

    By the way, I make a wicked Oatmeal and Blueberry Cookie. People will hit their writing hand with the back side of a claw-hammer just to get one! Fact.

    Leave a comment:


  • spaced_moorcock
    replied
    Originally posted by mordenkainen
    Fuckin' A.
    Or should this be Fuckin' An?

    Leave a comment:


  • Whiskers
    replied
    A conversation ocurring in tandem:
    http://painintheenglish.com/post.asp?id=118

    Peanut butter cookie with dried cranberries.

    Leave a comment:


  • EverKing
    replied
    Originally posted by I
    ...the writen word...
    Oops! That was a legitimate typo. Sorry. 8O

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    I'd say that Smarties are a more suitable cookie-addition than M&M's, although the inclusion of foci or involucra of more resilient compound foodstuffs within the essentially homogeneous matrix or parenchyma of the cookie dough can provide a pleasant juxtaposition of both flavours and textures. I'd say both the above mooted confections, Maltesers and Minstels could all be utilised with commercial success. Yes.

    Leave a comment:


  • mordenkainen
    replied
    Fuckin' A.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    It is vital, however, to develop as broad and complex a vocabulary and convoluted a grammatical matrix as possible, preferably in more than two languages, one of which should be Latin or Greek. This both enables one to articulate one's most involved ideas* and also to confuse and dominate people around you.

    Physical violence is acceptable when faced with unaesthetic (if not actually incorrect) usage and construction.



    * I'm inclined to think that there is a 'positive feedback' effect of a complex vocabulary; the more extensive and subtle the words with which one communicates or self-represents one's concepts, the more nuances those concepts can contain, hence the more 'advanced' the ideas become...

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Originally posted by EverKing
    I suppose it all boils down to which type of language you wish to stress: the writen word, or the spoken word.
    It all boils down to your ability to communicate what you mean. If you can communicate your intent to your audience despite some of your word usage being technically incorrect then at the end of the day that's all that matters. (The key phase here being 'your audience' - what do your audience understand by your words?)

    If 'infer' and 'imply'* have become interchangeable in the minds of most people (ie we're talking about the majority understanding) then such is the nature of a language that is constantly evolving. Words acquire new 'meanings' all the time in English.

    When people talk of having, say, a 'chronic' cough they as often as not mean they've a nasty cough (incorrect) as they do a cough they've had a long time (correct). Yet that shouldn't change our (hopefully sympathetic) response to their condition. On the other hand, when their audience is a medical professional (ie they've gone to the doctor's seeking aid) the following exchange is likely:

    Patient: Oh doctor *cough* I've got this cough *cough* something chronic *cough*.
    Doctor: Really? How long have you had it?
    Patient: *cough* Since last Tuesday *cough*.

    because it's important that the doctor is able to make a correct diagnosis if an effective treatment is going to be prescribed.

    But when someone tells us they're gay, do we think how nice it is that they're happy? Or do we understand that they're Coming Out to us?

    Of course, sometimes this laxity leads to confusion, which is why I stress the important element in communicating is the audience. If you and I have two different understandings of a particular word then we will have failed to communicate. I think it's appropriate to inform people when they use a word incorrectly - for example, the correct spelling is 'written', not 'writen', but the meaning is still clear nonetheless.

    Perhaps in 200 years the 'double t' will have become obsolete and the accepted spelling will be 'writen'. Compare how Chaucer wrote in the 14th century with how Shakepeare (who could never spell his name consistantly anyway) wrote in the 16th.

    I think there are some apposite issues (considering the author whose website we're frequenting) about the 'orderliness' of a dead language like Latin and the 'chaotic-ness' of a living language like English.



    *For the record, my understanding is that 'infer' is what other people think when you say something, 'imply' is what you do when you speak. But perhaps I'm wrong. Who knows?

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  • DeeCrowSeer
    replied
    I would have pointed out the error of putting M&Ms on a cookie in the first place... surely they're too solid for such a purpose? Cookies should be soft and chewy (and fresh from the over.... yum), or crisp... but scattered with armour plated shells? Never!

    (I have had exactly one Starbucks in my life, at an airport in Dallas. The cinnamon scone was lovely, but in general I find the range of options too confusing and scary in America. I almost had a meltdown when I tried to order a Subway. "What sort of bread would you like?" Eeep! 8O )

    But punctuation and grammar are a mystery to me most of the time. I have a relatively high level of education, but the "an" before a "H" word thing has always confused me. Annoyingly the reference book I use will explain the "correct" form to use, but also suggest the form that is used most often... leaving you with something of a dilemna. Do you smugly opt for the "correct" form, and risk being corrected by popular opinion, or just go with the flow?

    Or just become a hermit and do away with communication altogether?

    Edit: Apparently I should have written "M&M's". Not a typo, I'm just dumb.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    Apostrophe's. Nightmare. :P

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  • A_Non_Ymous
    replied
    It's not an error. I have been over this issue many times, from the manual of style, to speaking with copy editors for books and journals, as well as while working with professional documentation people.

    The general rule is that if the proper name is an acronym, and the first letter of the acronym is pronounced as a LETTER (rather than transformed into what it stands for), then if the sound of the LETTER has a leading vowel, one uses "an" before it, otherwise not.

    Thus, we get "an M," "an S," "a T."

    So I'm glad you didn't make an issue of it.

    As for grammatical pet peeves, everyone has them I suspect. Split infinitives. They make me crazy.

    I never correct the grammar or spelling of signs, no matter how seriously flawed.

    LSN

    Leave a comment:

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