Math vs Maths - grammer fight

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smedz
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Post by smedz » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:56 am

Edited so as not to duplicate the comments below.
Last edited by smedz on Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Sidhe » Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:13 pm

djdee wrote:djdee is embarrassed by his countrymen's pedantry.

Especially as most English people can't even speak or write their own language correctly.
Smedz is not actually English and can, in fact, speak and write the language with amazing accuracy. I don't see how your nations general inability to master their own language somehow renders anyone who can as overscrupulous. Maths is spelt with an 's' - or so says the mighty OED. Argue with smedz all you like but you are still wrong... or american.


:P

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Post by hoodie » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:09 pm

Ummm, I thought we came to the dictionary conclusion that they're both right, but the vernacular is singular?

Language is a living thing. Let it breathe.

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Post by smedz » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:43 pm

So long as it's breathing clean air Hoodie, I'm all for it.

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Post by Sylocat » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:49 pm

Anyone remember that I Love Lucy episode where they hire an English teacher to help Ricky with his accent?


Pompous English Teacher: "We must rid our speech of slang. There are two words that I must ask you never to use. One is 'swell,' the other is 'lousy.'"

Fred: "Well, give us the lousy one first."

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Post by Scad » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:10 pm

Drifter wrote:Ok, so the plural of Cactus is Cacti, Octapus is Octapi, mouse is mice, and goose is geese. Does that mean if you have more than one Elvis impersonator, the plural is Elvi?
Hate to do it to ya, Drift, but it's octopuses. And it may actually be cactuses too, I'm not sure...

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dustin
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Post by dustin » Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:42 pm

What is it with petty fascists who try and claim that their way of talking is the one and only right way?? Get off your high horse. Just because one thing is proper in your country or culture doesn't mean that it's the "correct" way to do it everywhere in the world. Saying so is insulting, annoying, and frankly uneducated.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descriptive_linguistics

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Blind Willie
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Post by Blind Willie » Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:44 pm

author of the thread title wrote:grammer fight
:smt044

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dustin
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Post by dustin » Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:50 pm

It was me who split this stuff off from the other thread and gave it that title.

:smt077 :smt077 :smt077

Seriously though, anybody who has done even a basic study of linguistics (the science of languages) will understand that it's impossible to proscribe the "correct" way of doing things in a language. A language is defined by how it is actually used in practice. If society uses a made-up word enough it will get added to the dictionary. If a misspelling is common enough it will get added as an alternative spelling.

English teachers may not like it, but that's how languages work.

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Post by risktaker » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:37 pm

ok here's the problem with that. we now have many cultures, all with their own different linguistic styles, and all communicating with each other. should everyone be forced to understand whatever local perversions of the language they happen to encounter? i think not. there is a clear need for a universal set of rules concerning language.

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Post by Sylocat » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:45 pm

risky wrote:ok here's the problem with that. we now have many cultures, all with their own different linguistic styles, and all communicating with each other. should everyone be forced to understand whatever local perversions of the language they happen to encounter? i think not. there is a clear need for a universal set of rules concerning language.
Do we really?
I mean, we all make jokes about "not being able to understand a word they say" because of a thick accent, but honestly, can anyone REALLY not understand what someone with an accent is saying to them?



Dr. House: (walks out into hallway and shouts back into room) "At least we think it's not working on account of the fact that she's getting worse. Can you still hear me?"

Student #1: "No."

Student #2: "A little."

Student #3: "Not really."

Dr. House: "Well, if you can't hear me, how do you know what I asked?"

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Post by nietzsche » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:34 pm

dustin wrote:Seriously though, anybody who has done even a basic study of linguistics (the science of languages) will understand that it's impossible to proscribe the "correct" way of doing things in a language.
that is not entirely true. Many countries have ministries which aim to protect their language and which lay down hard rules about accepted changes.

In France, for example, this discussion would probably be impossible as there is a defacto authority on language and, therefore, a right and wrong way of using French.

English is an open language and herein lies both its strengths and weaknesses. The grammar and spelling are simply one big mess (unlike German, for example, where you know exactly how to read or write a word).

One of the greatest reasons that the US chose to speak English is that, as you rightly say, English was/is not as culturally bound as other languages.

Here in Japan, the situation is very interesting. I have met many people here who, when I say I introduce myself as British, have actually replied, "oh, do they speak English there?".

Insulting at first, but, on reflection, an indictment of the worth of the English language!

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Post by dustin » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:07 pm

A government or organization may try to set out what they think is proper, but it doesn't actually change the language at all.

Do you know how completely French citizens follow the language guidelines set by their government in everyday communication? I don't, but I'm betting it's far from 100%. I know for certain that the French used in Quebec has numerous differences. Likewise for the many other countries and regions that use French.

People have expanded the French language, and there is nothing that government officials or grammer teachers can do to stop it.

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Post by smedz » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:11 pm

The word is Grammar!

sorry but I couldn't let that pass

:D

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Post by Drifter » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:31 pm

Where in the world is pls during this? Anyways...
Scad wrote:
Drifter wrote:Ok, so the plural of Cactus is Cacti, Octapus is Octapi, mouse is mice, and goose is geese. Does that mean if you have more than one Elvis impersonator, the plural is Elvi?
Hate to do it to ya, Drift, but it's octopuses. And it may actually be cactuses too, I'm not sure...
Well, I was merely using the plural form that I was taught in English class many moons ago. But, since you decided to pull out a cross and nails and make me your personal Jesus in this thread, I consulted AskOxford.com, and it seems you are not as smart as you thought my young Scad. Ahem...
OED wrote:English words of Latin or Greek origin have rather unpredictable plurals, and each one usually depends on how well established that particular word is. It may also depend on whether the Latin or Greek form of the plural is either easily recognizable or pleasant to the speaker of English.

Although it is often supposed that octopi is the 'correct' plural of octopus, and it has been in use for longer than the usual Anglicized plural octopuses, it in fact originates as an error. Octopus is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinized form of the Greek word oktopous, and its 'correct' plural would logically be octopodes.

Other words ending in -us show a very varied pattern. Like octopi, the plural hippopotami is now generally taken to be either funny or absurdly pedantic, and the usual plural is hippopotamuses. Common usage appears to indicate a slight preference for termini rather than terminuses, but syllabuses rather than syllabi. Other usual forms include cacti and gladioli, and our files at the dictionary department show scarcely any examples of nucleuses or funguses. (Omnibi is simply a joke, and quite ungrammatical in Latin!)
Suck on that undergrad. I couldn't let that pass either.Image Now get a ladder and a pair of pliers and get me off this cross.



As far as Math vs Maths, I have read both sides of the arguement, and something isn't adding up.

∞ Drifter is now finished helping to muddy up the already murky waters in this thread, for now ∞

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Post by the tide » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:41 pm

nietzsche wrote:In France, for example, this discussion would probably be impossible as there is a defacto authority on language and, therefore, a right and wrong way of using French.
According to this article as an example- this is fallacy. Different strains of French do indeed exist and do not translate very well in.... Quebec (to the chagrin of the poor children).

What did donkey say? :cry:
Image

Like children all over North America, pint-size Quebecers have been flocking to theatres recently to see the animated film Shrek the Third, or Shrek le Troisieme as it is known here. The only problem is they are leaving confused about what exactly that donkey was saying.
"The donkey is the main character we don't understand here in Quebec," explained Tristan Harvey, a Montreal actor who makes his living dubbing movies into French. "When you go out with your child and watch the movie, the children and the adults will say, 'I just don't get it. He speaks another language.' He's using Parisian slang that we just don't get."


http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news ... cf1941cdb1

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Post by Mike » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:45 pm

Sidhe wrote: Maths is spelt with an 's' - or so says the mighty OED.

:P
perhaps - but from what I can find on the net - it is universally accepted that Arithmetic is a component of Mathematics -

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Post by AquaRegia » Fri Jun 15, 2007 12:36 pm

My, how neatly smedz dodged my simple question. It's as if I never said anything! :wink:

"Maths IS (singular) my least favourite school SUBJECT (singular)."

Case closed, in my book.

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Post by sasquatch » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:12 pm

I agree with Smedz! He is always correct and it is a waste of breath to suggest otherwise. The main problem here is that all Americans are obviously ignorant about the United Kingdom and the many ways that it is far superior to the USA. If we all take a little time now to learn about Scotland and its people, we will have far less disagreements in the future. From the encyclopedia...

"...all Scottish people suffer from unwarranted self importance or in Aspie terms histrionic behaviour. (They) believe Scotland is the greatest country ever. This is ten times worse than the average American redneck. Many departments of tourism say it is common knowledge to only approach Scottish people when they are on heroin, as this is their most relaxed state."

» Learn more about Scotland here

:P

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Post by smedz » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:30 pm

Or if you wanted to glean a balanced perspective you could actually visit the country rather than pull your veiws from the internet.

The comment started as a joke and I am quite happy to maintain a discussion on the merits of the point at hand, sad that you absolutely fail to see the argument and its merits.

The Oxford English Dictionary does not list Math as a word other than to acknowledge that it has "evolved" into Math in the USA. This "evolution" is mis-use and whilst I can accept that future generations may be unaware of the change that is occurring, those of us present at the time may feel it a little jarring to witness a word "evolve" from its correct origin.

I accept this happens throughout time, however this seems to be a uniquely american issue. The correct pronunciation of A-L-U-M-I-N-I-U-M is with a "U" Mispronounciation has resulted in the U being dropped from the spelling in some countries, this does not make ALUMINUM correct it simply makes it a common mis-use.


however if you would like Learn More About Scotland you could try looking here, if you could pull yourself away from Fox news long enough.

Aqua - i wasnt dodging the question I simply scrawled through the thread and missed yours. I agree that not all words comply with the apparent rules of the language, The fact is that Mathematics is plural noun and dropping the "s" in abreviation gives the impression of it being a singular noun. I was educated by a Maths Professor at school not a Math Professor, my brother studied applied Maths at university, not applied Math. My father has a Maths degree not a Math degree. These are the accepted rules I grew up with and if you read my comment, I sugested that I simply found it immensely irritating hearing the word Math. It is in my mind incorrect and I base my view on the bible of the English language which agrees with me. I conisder the opinion of OED to be Case Closed. :wink:
Last edited by smedz on Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by smedz » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:51 pm

Another point ...

I accept that words evolve and the definitions are fluid, I have no issue with this, however if people intend to make every aspect of the English Language follow some rule then how long until we start dropping silent letters from words and begin spelling everything F-O-N-E-T-I-K-L-Y.

I love the intracies of the English language and to see it become boring through what can ostensibly described as laziness disturbs me. I do not lose sleep over this but do like to see the correct usage. Maths is not the only example of this, it seems in Canada that they regularly use "Bring" in the place of "Take" this drives me spare and I am forever ranting at the pernu clan for it. This does not make me anti-canadian but it does make me opposed to the language change that is occurring.

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Post by Mike » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:52 pm

Mike wrote:
Sidhe wrote: Maths is spelt with an 's' - or so says the mighty OED.

:P
perhaps - but from what I can find on the net - it is universally accepted that Arithmetic is a component of Mathematics -
Do I have to create my own - 'What is included in Maths/(math for the cromagnons)' Thread, to get my only beef addressed? ;)

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Post by smedz » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:55 pm

Sorry Mike, I wasnt actually suggesting that I did not consider Arithmetic to be an arm of Mathematics, I was simply informing you that within the UK it is taught as a seperate subject.

Remember the good ole Three R's?

Arithmetic is a Mathematic, Arithmetic is an arm of Mathematics!

I don't think I worded that terribly well in the first place .... Oh and I'm due a chess move in around 3 days!

:D

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Post by Mike » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:06 pm

smedz wrote:
I don't think I worded that terribly well in the first place ....
Well this is grounds for burning at the STAKE - HOW DARE YOU!!!!!

8)

Mike points out that this is all part of psychological 'chess' warfare

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Post by Drifter » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:29 pm

smedz wrote:I love the intracies of the English language and to see it become boring through what can ostensibly described as laziness disturbs me.
So, how do you feel about the gaining popularity in SMS abbreviations amongst the youth?

TISNF!

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Post by Sylocat » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:53 pm

Undergod wrote:So, how do you feel about the gaining popularity in SMS abbreviations amongst the youth?

TISNF!
Let's see, someone already did The Elements Song and The Drugs Song, perhaps the next music set to that tune should be the text message song?

∞ Sylocat sings:

"Theeeeeere's lol, lmao, rofl and g2g,
ttyl, afaik, sos and brb..."

Sylocat can't think of anymore off the top of his head ∞

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Post by Drifter » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:19 pm


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Post by Sylocat » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:33 pm

Ah, perfect... thanks Drift.

Now, shall we set about rhyming verses?

"Theeeeeere's lol, lmao, rofl and g2g,
ttyl, afaik, sos and brb..."


Okay, someone do the next verse. No repeats in abbrevs, and the verses have too rhyme in iambic pentameter. :D

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Post by Blind Willie » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:00 pm

I think the word y'all are looking for is spelled P-E-D-A-N-T-I-C.

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Post by dustin » Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:26 pm

smedz wrote:it seems in Canada that they regularly use "Bring" in the place of "Take" this drives me spare and...
This is funny since "drives me spare" would never be used by a Canadian. Of course, it's easy for me to figure out the meaning so it still works fine - just like you with bring/take.

I could try and tell you that you should never use "drives me spare" but that would be silly. Use it all you like, it's your language. Likewise, you shouldn't try to stop people from using their own words or sayings just because you don't use them.

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