edders' campaign for grammatical excellence

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muncrun
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#281
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#281
(Original post by crana)
regarding a/an

I would say "an hour" but "a horse"...is "an hour" right? coming from notts I would tend to pronounce hour as our...to me it sounds very laboured to say "a hour" pronouncing the H...so I'm not sure if it's my pronunciation that is leading me to make a mistake, or if I'm right.

interestingly, in the past several common words we use today started with "n"s and the n's became transferred so that "a napron" became "an apron" and so on... or so I read somewhere anyway
That's correct. Where the first letter is a consonant that is pronounced as a vowel, e.g. 'hour' is effectively pronounced as 'our' (albeit with a soft 'o'), the preceding indefinite article is 'an'.

Similarly, it is correct to say 'a European' since it's pronounced "yuropean" and phonetically begins with a consonant.

Note that these days it is correct to say 'a hotel'. The use of 'an hotel' is a hangover from the days when the word was 'otel'.

I hope this helps.
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muncrun
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#282
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#282
(Original post by musicman)
How long did it take you to come up with that?
About five minutes of reflection and a minute or two of writing. Why?
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eleenia
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#283
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#283
(Original post by crana)
regarding a/an

I would say "an hour" but "a horse"...is "an hour" right? coming from notts I would tend to pronounce hour as our...to me it sounds very laboured to say "a hour" pronouncing the H...so I'm not sure if it's my pronunciation that is leading me to make a mistake, or if I'm right.

interestingly, in the past several common words we use today started with "n"s and the n's became transferred so that "a napron" became "an apron" and so on... or so I read somewhere anyway

EDIT: I answered my own question...

"Usage Note: In writing, the form a is used before a word beginning with a consonant sound, regardless of its spelling (a frog, a university). The form an is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound (an orange, an hour). ·An was once a common variant before words beginning with h in which the first syllable was unstressed; thus 18th-century authors wrote either a historical or an historical but a history, not an history. This usage made sense in that people often did not pronounce the initial h in words such as historical and heroic, but by the late 19th century educated speakers usually pronounced initial h, and the practice of writing an before such words began to die out. Nowadays it survives primarily before the word historical. One may also come across it in the phrases an hysterectomy or an hereditary trait. These usages are acceptable in formal writing."

but now I am wondering which words would normally have a "h" sound but perhaps I drop the H's on as part of a regional accent, so a/an wrongly.....? suggestions?
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crana
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#284
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#284
Another question:

I am reading this guide online called "The Elements of Style" (see, you've got me interested now)

and it says:

"Bid. Takes the infinitive without to."

what does this mean? can someone give me some examples?
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eleenia
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#285
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#285
(Original post by muncrun)
Surely there has to be rules of pronunciation otherwise our language would collapse due to a lack of coherency.
Yes, but they are quite flexible. We can each get away with quite noticable deviations in pronunciation yet still communicate effectively with people within our linguistic community. Are you suggesting we should all pronounce words exactly the same (even though this is physically impossible)? And whose pronunciation would take priority?
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crana
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[QUOTE=eleenia]
(Original post by muncrun)
Surely there has to be rules of pronunciation otherwise our language would collapse due to a lack of coherency. [quote/]

Yes, but they are quite flexible. We can each get away with quite noticable deviations in pronunciation yet still communicate effectively with people within our linguistic community. Are you suggesting we should all pronounce words exactly the same (even though this is physically impossible)? And whose pronunciation would take priority?
also, shouldn't it be "there have to be.."? or am i wrong again?
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eleenia
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#287
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#287
(Original post by crana)
also, shouldn't it be "there have to be.."? or am i wrong again?
Lord only knows.... this thread is making me question how I spell my own name!
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crana
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#288
(Original post by eleenia)
Lord only knows.... this thread is making me question how I spell my own name!
i know the feeling!
it doesn't help that people always want to spell my name "Rosy"

rosie
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crana
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#289
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#289
incidentally here is the Elements of Style man's take:

Form the possessive singular of nouns with 's.
Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. Thus write,


Charles's friend
Burns's poems
the witch's malice

This is the usage of the United States Government Printing Office and of the Oxford University Press.

Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names in -es and -is, the possessive Jesus', and such forms as for conscience' sake, for righteousness' sake. But such forms as Achilles' heel, Moses' laws, Isis' temple are commonly replaced by


the heel of Achilles
the laws of Moses
the temple of Isis

The pronominal possessives hers, its, theirs, yours, and oneself have no apostrophe.
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eleenia
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#290
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#290
(Original post by crana)
But such forms as Achilles' heel, Moses' laws, Isis' temple are commonly replaced by


the heel of Achilles
the laws of Moses
the temple of Isis
Aw, that's just cheating!
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muncrun
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#291
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#291
(Original post by crana)
also, shouldn't it be "there have to be.."? or am i wrong again?
Lol. Yes, you're right.

One thing has done it.
Two or more things have done it.

Well, this thread is certainly a learning experience.
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muncrun
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#292
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#292
I cannot believe it. Even the University of Middlesex's grammar guide on the Internet (remember folks, Internet always has a capital I!) speaks of "Hobbes' irritating habit".
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muncrun
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#293
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#293
[QUOTE=eleenia]
(Original post by muncrun)
Surely there has to be rules of pronunciation otherwise our language would collapse due to a lack of coherency. [quote/]

Yes, but they are quite flexible. We can each get away with quite noticable deviations in pronunciation yet still communicate effectively with people within our linguistic community. Are you suggesting we should all pronounce words exactly the same (even though this is physically impossible)? And whose pronunciation would take priority?
Sorry, that assertion of mine was a little ambiguous. Saying "edders" instead of "edderses" is not a dialectical variation, but involves dropping a whole syllable! I can see that it's tolerable to pronounce sounds differently, but surely dialectical variations in speech should not be allowed to violate grammatical rules?
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eleenia
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(Original post by muncrun)
I cannot believe it. Even the University of Middlesex's grammar guide on the Internet (remember folks, Internet always has a capital I!) speaks of "Hobbes' irritating habit".
Yup, I'm sure I've seen examples of Yeats' here are there, too. Are you sure this is not just a style thing on this one? As long as you're consistent in a peice of writing, it shouldn't really matter.
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eleenia
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#295
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#295
(Original post by muncrun)
Sorry, that assertion of mine was a little ambiguous. Saying "edders" instead of "edderses" is not a dialectical variation, but involves dropping a whole syllable! I can see that it's tolerable to pronounce sounds differently, but surely dialectical variations in speech should not be allowed to violate grammatical rules?
Yes, I agree on that last point. If we're to have these silly rules, they should at least be consistent, regardless of how the word is actually pronounced.
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muncrun
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#296
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#296
(Original post by eleenia)
No! I have a theory that something can be grammatically (or maybe i mean syntactically?) correct without having coherent meaning. I'm sure this is what Joyce explores in Finnagan's Wake? And if this is the case, it's more important to judge content or meaning over grammatical correctness.
I think you are right. It would be pretty difficult to justify that it is more important for a sentence to be grammatically correct than for it to be meaningful. However, this cannot mean that it is tolerable to overlook grammar usage or qualify its use to even a small degree. Grammar aids the interpretation of meaning and so the two cannot be regarded as being mutually exclusive. Full stops tell us where sentences end. Question marks tell us whether something is a statement or a question in circumstances where the words alone may mean either. A capital letter at the beginning of a word can differentiate between two meanings of that word. The word 'summer' has two meanings: one is a season and begins with a capital letter; the other is used in a poetic/literary context and denotes years, particularly with regard to a person's age. It is feasable that, without the aid of such purportedly pedantic rules, the meaning could be confused.

As soon as we deviate from syntactical/grammatical/morphological rules, the meaning of the sentence can become distorted. This is surely a good reason for advocating the precise use of such rules.
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eleenia
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#297
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#297
Oh dear, edders put me on a pedestal by giving me that rep. I've got a negative rep now for being a hypocrite throughout this thread!
I'd just like to justify myself by saying that taking an interest in the debate as to where the apostrophe goes in Jesus' and whatnot does not make me a hypocrite (and I hope this is what the person who repped me meant) because at the end of the day I am a language student. Being interested in what people say are the rules of punctuation and grammar does not mean that I believe they should be used for brow-bashing other people or to be at the disposal of pedants who have nothing better to do with their time.
All the way throughout this thread I have argued that content is more important that accuracy.
I would have been nice if the person who repped me felt that he could bring his feelings out in the open and we could have debated them.
I was also thinking that it's quite an interesting thing to call someone a hypocrite in a forum where ideas are debated, for what is the purpose of a debate if not to try to get someone to come around to your way of thinking?
Should we all be forced to stick to our guns and never budge an inch on our views, for fear of being labelled a hypocrite?
Like many people on this forum, I'm sure, I put ideas forward to test them and to test my own views, which I will never be afraid of changing if I think someone else has got a better point. So less of the hyporcrite, darling.
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muncrun
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#298
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#298
(Original post by eleenia)
Oh dear, edders put me on a pedestal by giving me that rep. I've got a negative rep now for being a hypocrite throughout this thread!
I'd just like to justify myself by saying that taking an interest in the debate as to where the apostrophe goes in Jesus' and whatnot does not make me a hypocrite (and I hope this is what the person who repped me meant) because at the end of the day I am a language student. Being interested in what people say are the rules of punctuation and grammar does not mean that I believe they should be used for brow-bashing other people or to be at the disposal of pendants who have nothing better to do with their time.
All the way throughout this thread I have argued that content is more important that accuracy.
I would have been nice if the person who repped me felt that he could bring his feelings out in the open and we could have debated them.
I was also thinking that it's quite an interesting thing to call someone a hypocrite in a forum where ideas are debated, for what is the purpose of a debate if not to try to get someone to come around to your way of thinking?
Should we all be forced to stick to our guns and never budge an inch on our views, for fear of being labelled a hypocrite?
Like many people on this forum, I'm sure, I put ideas forward to test them and to test my own views, which I will never be afraid of changing if I think someone else has got a better point. So less of the hyporcrite, darling.
Erm. Calm down. That wasn't me. I don't care for such things as 'rep'. I was just enjoying debating the pros and cons of what you were saying. Nothing personal against you!
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eleenia
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#299
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(Original post by muncrun)
Erm. Calm down. That wasn't me. I don't care for such things as 'rep'. I was just enjoying debating the pros and cons of what you were saying. Nothing personal against you!
Sorry about that, I didn't even realise I posted that on a response to one of your threads! I wasn't accusing you of repping me. It was mean to be an open post to the repper in question. I just think it's so sneaky to give someone a bad rep of that kind without having the courage to put it to them, in order to defend it! YOU SNEAKY, SNEAKY, REPPER YOU!!! (NB: Not you, muncrun!) x
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muncrun
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#300
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(Original post by eleenia)
Sorry about that, I didn't even realise I posted that on a response to one of your threads! I wasn't accusing you of repping me. It was mean to be an open post to the repper in question. I just think it's so sneaky to give someone a bad rep of that kind without having the courage to put it to them, in order to defend it! YOU SNEAKY, SNEAKY, REPPER YOU!!! (NB: Not you, muncrun!) x
Hehe. No worries.
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