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A brief English language lesson

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phpbbadmin
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Re: There are guides for those who are interested...

seo wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:
There are more than one country in the continents of america, of which there are two.

I asume two means either one (from Alaska to the South of Argentina) or three (North, Central & South). Or should we start another thread on geography? ;-P

No I meant two continents that are called America, i.e. North and South America. The last time I took a geography class Central America was not yet a continent.

-Darke

doho123
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Re: There are guides for those who are interested...

Darkehorse wrote:

People from the US egotistically assume that the term Americans refers to people from the USA. Kind of like saying all Europeans are from France.

-Darke

I don't think we egotistically assume that, people from the United States somehow "own" the term American. I just think that's how the term "became to be," since noone in the Americas really refer to themselves as North American or South American, it's always based on the country of origin. And since United Statian (or something similar) doesn't really roll off your tongue, American just became the defacto term. And then there's the whole Native American can 'o worms...

I know of noone (however, I wouldn't be surprised that there are some based on the some of the sheeple we have here) who would naturally assume someone calling themselves European to be only French. However, I don't THINK anyone when asked "where are you from," would reply "Oh, I'm European." Well, based on the images from the World Cup, most Europeans paint their country's flag on their faces anyway, so it's not too tough to tell them apart.

But if that was the case, the next logical question would be, if the conversation was leaning that way, would be "from which country", or at the very least, what part.

But now, if we were to figure out what the difference is between Great Britian and the United Kingdom, well, that's a completely different subject!

Epigone
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Re: There are guides for those who are interested...

OrlandoPat wrote:
Epigone, there are rules to the English language - lots and lots of them. Many refer to The Elements of Style as a good guide. If you don't like that, or feel that it is too traditional, check out the AP Style Guide. Those are the rules you'll have to follow if you ever want to write for a newspaper (or a great number of magazines).

My favorite rant about Strunk & White is this one, because you can tell the author is just so exasperated.

Writing for a newspaper or magazine you will be required to adhere to whatever styleguide they use. Of course a requirement to adhere doesn't necessarily imply anything about the supposed "rules" of language. A styleguide's main purpose is in fact to enforce consistency.

English prescriptivism is like castigating cosmic rays for not following Newtonian mechanics. Describe the world fairly accurately, notice that part of the world isn't following your description, make fun of it for being provincial, and watch as it blithely ignores your attempts to identify the model with the modeled.

That was possibly harsher than I intended, but what can you do. I mean the panda shot a guy, at least I didn't shoot anyone.

bluesea
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Re: Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

Quote:
"The Panda eats, shoots and leaves."

OR is it:

Quote:
"The Panda eats, shoots, and leaves."

The latter is what I was taught by the nuns...so I KNOW it's correct. ;)

Anyway, who needs to worry about all this stuff nowadays? With spell check AND now grammar check PLUS dragon speak we can all just mumble a bit. No longer is it garbage in, garbage out. Now we have a culture where we really don't need to memorize anything anymore because we can autocorrect ourselves into a blissful state of brilliance.

My physics teacher in high school said that America (yeah, just America) started going to pot when students were no longer required to memorize logarithms...maybe he was on to something....

OrlandoPat wrote:

Anyone inspired to write an obscure game about misplaced punctuation? It would probably do great in the educational market.

I'm so game!! My mother was an English teacher; this might be a fun project.

Does anyone remember diagramming sentences? Truly a lost art. Hmmmm...A game designed around diagramming sentences...what do we think?

-John

bluesea
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Re: There are guides for those who are interested...

Darkehorse wrote:

But now, if we were to figure out what the difference is between Great Britian and the United Kingdom, well, that's a completely different subject!

There should be an entire website, not just a thread, devoted to this! When I was living in London, some friends came to visit. They are lawyers. And they asked a simple question (mind you, with absolutely no disrespect intended; seriously, they just wanted to know the answer to the following question):

Is England a country? And if it is show me a piece of paper that says it is. The question is still open.
Although anyone in a pub right now watching the world cup may have an answer...(but where's the paper that says so?)

Sorry for being lured off topic...

-John

setarcos
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Americans and the United Kingdom

Quote:
People from the US egotistically assume that the term Americans refers to people from the USA.

That’s because the term “Americans” does refer to people from the USA, Darke.

And if you think it’s just us Americans who “egotistically” assume so, then go ahead, refer to a Canadian as an “American” to his face and see what happens! (Or a Mexican, or a Uruguayan, or a Jamaican...)

Quote:
Is England a country? And if it is show me a piece of paper that says it is.

I was always under the impression that England, Scotland, Whales, and Ireland were the countries that formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Maybe I was mistaken.

Epigone
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Re: Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

bluesea wrote:
Quote:
"The Panda eats, shoots and leaves."

OR is it:

Quote:
"The Panda eats, shoots, and leaves."

The latter is what I was taught by the nuns...so I KNOW it's correct. ;)
Well, the aforementioned AP Styleguide would say that "The Panda eats, shoots and leaves." is correct. But the aforementioned Strunk & White Elements of Style would say that "The Panda eats, shoots, and leaves." is correct. The English language is broken!

Associated Press VS nuns
(read all about it)

bluesea
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A brief English language lesson

Epigone wrote:

Associated Press VS nuns
(read all about it)

Now that's a fight I'd like to see...how would one calculate hit points for a nun? (Sorry, Sr. Helen... I just couldn't resist)

-John

bluesea
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A brief English language lesson

bluesea wrote:
Epigone wrote:

Associated Press VS nuns
(read all about it)

Now that's a fight I'd like to see...how would one calculate hit points for a nun? (Sorry, Sr. Helen... I just couldn't resist)

Is it a coincidence that my power blinked off after I entered that last line?
Me thinks that I'm going with the nuns here...yeah...definitely going with the nuns...

-John

bluesea
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Re: Americans and the United Kingdom

Setarcos wrote:

Quote:
Is England a country? And if it is show me a piece of paper that says it is.

I was always under the impression that England, Scotland, Whales, and Ireland were the countries that formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Maybe I was mistaken.

That's just the thing...a lot of impressions, thoughts, emotions, ( :) ) and opinions on the subject...just no hard facts.

All right...now my internet is acting goofy...seriously. I'm going to go say a penance.

OrlandoPat
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A brief English language lesson

The question of "The Panda eats, shoots and leaves" vs. "The Panda eats, shoots, and leaves" is a well-debated point. The second comma is referred to as the "Oxford Comma" or the "serial comma".

It is generally accepted that it is optional.

There are, of course, people on both sides of the argument who would argue vehemently that it should or shouldn't be there.

Zzzzz
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A brief English language lesson

The worldy people of this thread are all looney!

seo
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Re: Americans and the United Kingdom

Setarcos wrote:
And if you think it’s just us Americans who “egotistically” assume so, then go ahead, refer to a Canadian as an “American” to his face and see what happens! (Or a Mexican, or a Uruguayan, or a Jamaican...)

Well, Uruguay's most important poet was Juana de Iborbourou, usually known as "Juana de América" (Joanne from America). An in most Latin American countries, we joke about USA being a country without a name (Mexico and Brazil are other "United States" of America, but they have a name too).

Seo

setarcos
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A brief English language lesson

bluesea wrote:
Epigone wrote:

Associated Press VS nuns
(read all about it)

Now that's a fight I'd like to see...how would one calculate hit points for a nun?
(LOL) The nuns would win hands down. The AP would fight with words, and the nuns would rap their knuckles with a ruler. (And take my word for it, they know how to do that so it really hurts a lot!)

FastLearner
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A brief English language lesson

Many of my European friends point out that they are still taught to this day that "America" refers to the two continents.

I am a strong proponent of the serial comma: there is no circumstance in which it adds any confusion or difficulty and many situations where its omission does. I can't fathom why anyone wants to write without them: to me it's like insisting that some sentences can survive without final punctuation (like a period) -- why would you even bother to try? The extra character is so little extra work compared to always trying to figure out if it might cause a problem.

-- Matthew

Scurra
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A brief English language lesson

Frankly, I knew it was a mistake to mention "American English" at all in my post, but "US English" looked wrong. I have lots of American friends, some of whom live in Mexico, Canada, Brazil etc., so I usually try not to use the term "American" at all if I can help it :-)

Meanwhile, as to the question of whether England is a country? One generally accepted definition of a country is "a politically organized body of people under a single government", which would be fine except that our single government also adminsters Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to greater or lesser extents.
My passport says that I am a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So that doesn't help.
The best answer I can give is that England is a country because it is recognised as such by other countries, and we recognise them in return. This isn't a useful answer, but it does explain why a place like "Sealand" isn't a country, despite declaring itself to be one.

Hedge-o-Matic
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A brief English language lesson

sedjtroll wrote:

Sadly, you're probably right. I think it's a little unfortunate that we as a people prefer to allow rules to relax so that we're nt breaking them, rather than to actually follow he rules in the first place. Why do we even have rules if that's the case?

Well, if we're going to interject American politics into it... :)

Darkehorse wrote:
Kind of like saying all Europeans are from France.

I always thought Europe was just a town in southern France. Huh. You learn something new every day!

seo wrote:

An in most Latin American countries, we joke about USA being a country without a name (Mexico and Brazil are other "United States" of America, but they have a name too).

Wow, I thought I was the only one who every brought that up! I'd suggest we use "Paraguay", but, unfortunately, it's been taken.

Scurra wrote:

Meanwhile, as to the question of whether England is a country? One generally accepted definition of a country is "a politically organized body of people under a single government", which would be fine except that our single government also adminsters Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to greater or lesser extents.
My passport says that I am a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So that doesn't help.

I've always referred to England as being a part of the "Greater Mega-Dominion of the Islandia" (G.M.D.I for short). I expect this term to become common useage soon.

bluesea
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A brief English language lesson

Well maybe the answer was easier to find than we had thought... According to the CIA, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are Administrative Divisions. It's not a piece of paper, but if I print it out...

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/uk.html

Scurra
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A brief English language lesson

Well I suggest you drop by and tell a pub full of England fans that they live in an administrative division. And I'll come and visit you in intensive care.

gilbertgea
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A brief English language lesson

No need to split the atom. It's all rather simple:

America = The United States
American English = What Americans speak
England = Land of the English

bluesea
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A brief English language lesson

Scurra wrote:
Well I suggest you drop by and tell a pub full of England fans that they live in an administrative division. And I'll come and visit you in intensive care.

I've actually done just such a thing many times, asked the question that is, and it was interesting that not one person could answer and they all went on their way just as curious...but admittedly with their identities intact: There are such strong regional ties that the understandable emotional response of 'I don't care if were not a country, I'm English' or 'I'm Welsh' was overwhelming. We have similar regional associations in the States, but I envy the strong communal ties that you all have. (By the by, 'you all' is America's gift to the English language!)

Again, there was never meant any disrespect with this investigation; it was purely and intellectual inquiry.

-John

seo
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Re: There are guides for those who are interested...

Darkehorse wrote:
seo wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:
There are more than one country in the continents of america, of which there are two.

I asume two means either one (from Alaska to the South of Argentina) or three (North, Central & South). Or should we start another thread on geography? ;-P

No I meant two continents that are called America, i.e. North and South America. The last time I took a geography class Central America was not yet a continent.

-Darke
That's because that geography class wasn't in Latin America (or some places in Europe), where America is just one continent (See Wikipedia here).

Hedge-o-Matic wrote:
seo wrote:

An in most Latin American countries, we joke about USA being a country without a name (Mexico and Brazil are other "United States" of America, but they have a name too).

Wow, I thought I was the only one who every brought that up! I'd suggest we use "Paraguay", but, unfortunately, it's been taken.
And if it weren't, Uruguay should take it. We're often confused with Paraguay, and Uruguay is just as bad in the Country Name department as USA. Your name is a general description, and our name is just an address: República Oriental del Uruguay (the oficial name) means Republic at the East of Uruguay (which is actually a river). So I suggest you change the name into Hedgeland or something similar. ;-)

gilbertgea wrote:
No need to split the atom. It's all rather simple:

America = The United States
American English = What Americans speak
England = Land of the EnglishSo where do I live, then? Is Uruguay part of The United States (since I've been tought that it's in America) or is this another continent? If so, how do you call it? Same Applies to our Canadian friends. Do Yougurt, Josh and Larienna live in The United States, or Canada is outside America? It's not so simple.

Seo

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