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LarryUK

Grrrrrrrrrr!

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Enmity....

 

Odd you should mention "toilet." <grin>

 

In Korea I tried mightily to learn to pronounce the local word for that facility.

 

In one teahouse I tried to use the word to find the facility and was met with a look reflecting total lack of comprehension. I literally sighed and asked, "Toilet?"

 

The folks who heard the attempted exchange all laughed in a friendly manner and pointed to where one might find the room containing that bit of plumbing.

 

The only other word I've found that seems to be as universal is "beer." <grin>

 

m

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Tman5293

 

I see your point. I guess my only response is that one must care for oneself.

 

m

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Enmity....

 

Odd you should mention "toilet." <grin>

 

In Korea I tried mightily to learn to pronounce the local word for that facility.

 

In one teahouse I tried to use the word to find the facility and was met with a look reflecting total lack of comprehension. I literally sighed and asked, "Toilet?"

 

The folks who heard the attempted exchange all laughed in a friendly manner and pointed to where one might find the room containing that bit of plumbing.

 

The only other word I've found that seems to be as universal is "beer." <grin>

 

m

lol I can sympathize with your frustration.

 

Beer and a few hand signs all seem to be universal. thats for sure.

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dem00n

 

How can "the people" fix a problem so big that the government can't?

 

If they care.

 

Caring is a benign virus that is transmitted through the air as easily as a cold or the flu.

 

Let's put it this way: I need constant learning as much as I need air, food and water and a bit of shelter. My younger brother says I tend to be obsessive when I determine to learn something. He may be correct in that since I have little talent at any arts or science, I must settle for a lot of work to develop a somewhat satisfying degree of skill or knowledge base.

 

Yet I figure if I show joy in learning , that joy might just be a bit contagious.

 

But learning is a tool kit, not a mass of material. The first step is to care. At your age probably the second step is to read everything you can get your hands (or computer) on, from Plato and Aristotle. Then ask yourself "why" just as you did when you were a child. Those two guys form the basis of what we call epistemology and ontology - how we learn and perceive what it is we think that we know, and how we categorize what it is that we think we know into useful divisions.

 

We all learn differently; we all have different skill sets and capacities. The tool kit is the same for this forum's literal rocket scientist as it is for the guy who diagnoses a car's mechanical problem or the guy who builds quality sidewalks.

 

m

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Yeah, allot is a word, but it is a verb meaning to apportion. The meaning is more than dissimilar compared to "a lot" which is used as a modifier that means "much" or "many:" "He has a lot of Gibsons." That latter is more along the lines of an idiomatic usage, however, as opposed to the noun "lot" which has several stand-alone definitions.

 

Seriously, I think a bit of discussion of grammar and definitions is not at all untoward as a guitar forum topic because anyone involved in writing lyrics might benefit from it.

 

m

Yeah, I know what the original poster mean't. It's not what he typed though. If you're going to start a thread on falling standards in education, make sure you can spell.

Good definitions though.

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(sigh) alas another similarity between our respective countries and a worrying one - exams being 'dumbed down'

 

On exam results day, every year in August, the afternoon news comes on and my wife and I always joke before with predictions "this year the results have been even better than the previous year" and more sarcastically "99 percent of pupils scored an A!"

 

But sadly our joke it isn't too far from the truth. I don't believe what we are told by the government, that the kids are getting brighter and brighter every year (well not at this dramatic rate LOL).

 

Music, my own subject area that I am involved with, definitely has. When you look at past papers even from ten years ago, you can see such a difference. If you look at o level questions from say thirty years ago (O levels were taken at sixteen years old), the level is more akin to A Level, which is our pre university advanced qualification.

 

I would love to here Mojorule's thoughts on this as he worked at Oxford Uni and I am sure would be have some interesting thoughts on this.

 

 

Matt

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What is happening to language? 'Allot'? This isn't a word. It's 'A lot'. What is it with this joining letters to words at the moment?

The schools are failing dismally. Lets have 'awalk', 'ahouse' 'acar'. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

 

Yeah...! WTF!

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Matt...

 

Yup... I fear we Anglophones and our European brethren tend to be walking the same path. If schools are not producing equivalent education, just dumb down the tests.

 

I'm also troubled by comments by some younger members here who are themselves frustrated by a lack of challenge in school. That's horribly sad. Professional educators at every level and in teaching all subjects for any age group should be challenging student abilities.

 

<sigh>

 

Or... one hopes "we" all will challenge ourselves even as most of us here challenge ourselves to improvement of our knowledge of music and our quality of technique and performance. That most likely brings a bright spot to the whole sad discussion. There are a bunch of bright young people here.

 

m

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Schools are turning out more and more people who are functionally illiterate.A vast majority of those coming out of school don't know where to use where,wear,were,we're as well as there,their and they're.Also what drives me nuts is when people use the expression "I could care less" which gives the statement an opposite meaning to what was originally intended with the proper statement: "I couldn't care less."Plus where did this I would of,could of and should of come from?The proper way it is written is would've,could've should've.People have become too complacent and lazy to check and see if what they have written or said makes any sense and the schools are sending them out in droves.Both my parents were teachers literally from the old school and proper grammar was absolutely imperative and along with proper etiquette was drilled into us.

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Guest farnsbarns

I agree with most of what has been said here but there is one point to make. There are very few posts in this thread that are error free.

 

Whoever talked about 30,000 Volt shocks was due at least 6 by the end of the post.

 

Would've = would have, I was taught never to use contractions in written words. I do, of course, because it doesn't affect the meaning or expressive quality of language.

 

There's no black and white here, only shades of grey. I think this sentance sums it up well in a sarcastic way...

 

The ending of sentences with prepositions is something up with which I shall not put.

 

Where the worry comes in is that many people will not understand the irony at all.

 

I wonder how many people these days will understand the true meaning of...

 

Love is not times fool, though rosey lips and cheeks within his bending sickle's compass come.

 

None of us speaks "correct" English really. What happened to thee, thy and thou?

 

The point, I suppose, is that language changes and always will but in recent years it seems it is not only changing but becoming simpler and, therefore, less expressive. That is a problem.

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Guest farnsbarns

Farnsbarns, from a completely curious stand point, what are the rules of using thee, thy and thou?

 

Well, the point was that they have all but vanished from English, I am far from perfect but I'll give it a go.

 

Thee is the second person, perfect. Equivalent to "you" (not to be confused with "one").

 

"Where are you from?" Vs "from where does (dust?) thee come?".

 

Thy is the second person, possessive. Equivalent to "your" (not to be confused with "you're" which is a contraction of "you are").

 

"where is your house?" Vs "where is thy house"

 

Thou is the second person, imperfect. Equivalent also to "you" In the modern day but more correctly the equivalent of "one".

 

"One should not" Vs "thou shalt not".

 

Am I close enough?

 

Edit, ok, I've been thinking about this. I am definitely way off regarding thou. More thought required.

 

Bill S wrote "Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou" in this example Romeo is the second person and is a specific individual, making thou the second person prefect. Perhaps I am wrong about thee as well then?

 

Hmm, isn't it odd when you know the meaning and usage of a word but struggle to define it. Might need Milo on this one.

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When I saw Ken Burns' "The Civil War," I was amazed at how well written letters from Union and Confederate soldiers were- almost poetic many of them. Without trying to be political, I remember how well John F. Kennedy spoke and even Arkansas native Bill Clinton was somewhat eloquent, especially when compared to our last Republican president, who IMHO personified the dumbing down of America. Not to poop on all Republican presidents, Abe Lincoln had an eloquence unmatched by any other American president, and Reagan wasn't too slack either.

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When I saw Ken Burns' "The Civil War," I was amazed at how well written letters from Union and Confederate soldiers were- almost poetic many of them.

 

+1.

 

and, Lincoln's "short remarks" came after Everett's two-hour long "Gettysburg Address": which do you remember? (sometimes brevity can be eloquent too.) :)

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Guest farnsbarns

Ok, this is driving me nuts. I have come to the conclusion, by considering well known usage from classical literature, that thou and thee are both first person singular. Thou, I believe, is nominative, in that it is used to specify while thee is accusative.

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Actually my formal instruction in grammar was almost entirely in reference to modern usage.

 

The difficulty with English is that initial attempts to define the grammar ended up being instead something of a prescription for "proper" usage. "Proper" meant, of course, how some believed the language should be used by educated people rather than reflecting how it actually was in use by such people.

 

One might suggest we Anglophones have suffered from that hubris for at least two and a half centuries.

 

Let's take for example the concept that one should not end a sentence with a preposition. That's taken from Latin and Latin-derived languages in which that could not happen. A "pre-position" is exactly that.

 

However, Germanic languages might quite happily and correctly do so. Take for example the command that someone close the door. It may be be literally translated as "make the door to." I can't swear by the spelling in this quick note, but I recall it would be something to the effect of "Mach die Tuer zu."

 

Modern English... (Angle-ish after the Germanic tribe?) is quite interesting in owning bits of grammar that trace to Germanic and bits of grammar that trace to French. I've read that Frisian of the last century, at least, would be quite easily understood by the writers of the several versions of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle. So...

 

The problem with our early prescriptive grammars is that they sought a formal language with such rules as perceived to be the case for classical Latin. Yet such was not necessarily the normal mode of speech even for those Romans who wrote the more poetic prose, let alone what was by intent their type of poetry. One might make a case that reading Virgil is a significantly different experience than reading either Caesar or even Vetruvius in Latin. In full disclosure, it's been a long, long time since I've read those in the original and even as a kid I knew the informal language was yet different and varying through time.

 

When I was taking an advanced English language and grammar class in college (uni) I was already writing at a newspaper part time. The professor not infrequently would ask about current journalistic usage. This was a guy who had his doctorate in the subject, yet even in his middle 80s was constantly seeking to increase his knowledge of the subject. So he was questioning a 20-year-old journalist about current usage. I was rather uncomfortable.

 

That should say something about about the difference between a descriptive and prescriptive approach to grammar.

 

There are to me may ways in which one might speak or write in variations of formal and informal address. But in each case, one who is clearly understood by a careful reader or listener will have done so with a degree of precision.

 

The problem today is that even a writer or speaker who takes care to do so with precision too often has that precision ignored and the listener or reader fails to consider what actually was in the communication. Whether that is due to laziness or lack of competence at the language I shall leave to those who read this.

 

The point is that I fear in ways we're dropping into a period in which allusion is too often only vaguely understood and yet neither the "speaker" nor "listener" particularly cares due to a degree of disassociation and lack of concern at the lack of deeper communication.

 

m

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I'm a teacher. I spend ~55 minutes with any given student each school day (180). In each class I have 32-34 students, so at best (on average) I can spend just under two minutes with each student, or use the class time to teach the class as a whole. Two minutes X 180 school days = 360 minutes/individual student/school year.

 

On the other hand, one of my students recently told me she had sent 18,000 texts just last month! That's 600 texts per day. She said this was average for her, and several of her friends said the same of themselves. Of course, this is in addition to hundreds of Facebook posts, Twitter posts, e-mails, etc. There is no way I can compete with that!

 

Further, I can't tell you how many businesses I have seen that alter spellings: Kuntry Kitchen, Korner Store, Snak-Shak, Sav-Mor, Kampground, that kind of thing. We even have a local school whose mascot is the cougar - but they do it this way: Kempton Kougars. Well, that's nice.

 

Teachers at fault? I think not. Language is changing (it always has) and there's really not much I can do about it.

 

~DB

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Let's take for example the concept that one should not end a sentence with a preposition. That's taken from Latin and Latin-derived languages in which that could not happen. A "pre-position" is exactly that...

 

...The problem today is that even a writer or speaker who takes care to do so with precision too often has that precision ignored and the listener or reader fails to consider what actually was in the communication. Whether that is due to laziness or lack of competence at the language I shall leave to those who read this...

 

m

 

I will never again end a sentence with "with."

 

Often I try to write with precision, and in doing so, tend to complicate the issue. When I read back what I have written, I am often disappointed that my point is unclear or lost. And unfortunately, I don't read as well as I write, tending to scan more so than interpret what was actually written.

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We even have a local school whose mascot is the cougar - but they do it this way: Kempton Kougars. Well, that's nice.

 

 

This is hilarious for me because I live in a small town named Kempton, no Kempton Kougars though.

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Just as an aside, given an earlier reference to the bard, Shakespeare wrote without having the availability of a formal grammar, prescriptive or descriptive, for English.

 

m

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Guest farnsbarns

 

 

On the other hand, one of my students recently told me she had sent 18,000 texts just last month! That's 600 texts per day.

 

 

At 20 seconds per text that's 3 hours 20 minutes texting. That is bloody ludicrous, are her parents not a bit concerned that she spends a fifth of her waking hours texting?

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DB Cooper...

 

For what it's worth, when I was involved in a martial arts school that had children's classes, one of the instructors approached me with a problem: A seven-year-old who had completed second grade could not count to 10.

 

I verified this by telling him his instructors told me he did wonderful pushups, so could he show me by doing 10 of them and counting out loud? The child did do quite decent pushups for which he was duly praised - but just as obviously he could not count to 10 and yet was obviously not lacking in basic intelligence.

 

So... I took responsibility to talk to Mom who didn't believe me until we had the kid demonstrate his pushups again.

 

The school lost a student, but Mom - who wasn't very well trained herself regardless of being a very nice lady and caring mother - instead placed the child into some intensive specialized tutoring. She also felt personally guilty that she had not noticed nor known the child couldn't count and, I'm certain that she questioned whether he could even read.

 

So... Do we blame parents? Schools? Society? What does it say when a 20-year-old martial arts teacher has to "discover" that a perfectly bright little boy can't count to 10?

 

I really dunno.

 

m

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Jocko...

 

You shoulda seen the "facilities" at the Buddhist temple I was at for about a week on several work trips that finally got indoor plumbing near the main buildings. Otherwise it was a matter of a pit with boards on which one walked before ... performing whatever duties may have called.

 

Whew.

 

That was prior to the Olympics. Afterward... it was a rapidly changing world in the ROK. Heck, I'd be willing to live there a couple years just about any time if an interesting opportunity might arise. The problem is that in '87 I'd have driven anywhere, including in Seoul. Afterward? No way.

 

m

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DB Cooper...

 

...A seven-year-old who had completed second grade could not count to 10.

 

- -

 

So... I took responsibility to talk to Mom who didn't believe me...

 

- -

 

So... Do we blame parents? Schools? Society? What does it say when a 20-year-old martial arts teacher has to "discover" that a perfectly bright little boy can't count to 10?

 

I really dunno.

 

m

 

Well, just my opinion, but if your seven year old can't count to ten - and you as a parent don't know it - you shouldn't be breeding...

 

All four of our sons knew the alphabet, could count, knew colors, were starting to read, could identify various animals and other objects, etc etc before they began kindergarten. NOT because they were gifted - but because we talked to them, taught them, read to them, paid attention to them, listened to them, involved them. In other words - we were parents.

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