The Continuing Insult To The English Language

Ermintruder

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it surprised that her accent got thicker and I really had to concentrate on the conversation
This effect is an ever-diminishing factor, and may ultimately vanish, due to the inexorable advance of both English & American English into Scotland. If I was speaking with someone who was a broad Scots/Lallans speaker, it could be less than 5% comprehensible to an English speaker (and perhaps only a few percent more-understandable to my own children)
https://www.scotslanguage.com/The_Scots_Poems_of_Sheena_Blackhall/The_Spik_o_the_Lan_1986_Rainbow_Publishing/Wirds
Wirds bi Sheena Blackhall
Crusty, compact as a crab
The thorn o' wir hale confab,
We canna lay hauns on't easy
Niver say dab.

Ruggin compliments frae us
Is nae mean feat —
Pairtin a sookin bairn
Frae its mither's teat.

Awkward as new sheen,
Libbit labsters, Teuch tae crack.
We loe in sma letters,
Aathing in thummelfus,
Ay haudin something back
 

hunck

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I was listening to the radio this morning & one man managed to pronounce 'th' in 3 ways in the space of a 10 second snippet.

In consecutive words he said "wiv somefing". He later pronounced 'then' as you might expect. It occurred to me he could've used 'den' to complete the set.

Struck me as a bit odd.
 

Ermintruder

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A fascinating insight as to why English as a language is flawed & deficient (no: this isn't about spelling)
 

Yithian

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A fascinating insight as to why English as a language is flawed & deficient (no: this isn't about spelling)
Almost every example in that video is of something that English speakers do differently, not of things that cannot be effectively achieved through English. The main one is what many languages do with moods, cases and long lists of hyper-specific and culturally embedded pronouns, English tackles through lexical choices, word order and tone. English (forgive the irony) is the Swiss army knife of modern languages, which along with the various accidents of history is why it is so widely used. No doubt other languages achieve specific communicative acts more concisely, but what they gain on the swings they lose on the roundabouts.

The rest of the chap's material seems to be how to simplify and make English more like a random bunch of other languages; if it were to adopt all those features cited, it would be even more difficult for non-natives to learn.

The part on politeness made me cringe. I have some experience in a second language with multiple levels of grammatical politeness and formality; it's complex but managable. In English, however, these things are massively sophisticated and so heavily socially-embedded that they defy reduction to a set of endings or a switch of pronouns. This all destined to follow the dodo, of course, but if you can speak and write formal English, you can baffle, reassure, flatter, insult, condescend to or praise a similarly educated interlocutor with your mode of expression while communicating the same core data.

Edit: reduplication doesn't stick in English because it sounds childish and hence amusing to our ears. Fun to throw a reduplicative phrase in once in a while, but we'll sound like babbling chimps to our own ears it it ever became a grammatical feature.
 

Yithian

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On another topic:

One of these days I will accept that the language has changed and that “regularly” does indeed mean “frequently” or “routinely”. But today is not that day. We used it many times last week, and in most cases I thought it was the wrong word.

In a report about EU rules on labelling Israeli products, we said the EU “regularly notes that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law”. We did not mean that the European Commission issues a press release on the third Wednesday of each month: we meant “repeatedly”.


Full but paywalled article:
https://www.independent.co.uk/indep...egularly-guide-style-frequently-a9204656.html
 

henry

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repeatedly could be over a short period, regularly suggests a longer window of observation, routinely suggests as part of, or according to a ( defined ? ) routine ... so it reads okay to me
 

henry

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ive repeatedly asked you to do the dishes, but you havent done them (sounds like during this morning, or over last day or so but not chronic and generally the same set of dishes)

ive regularly asked you you to do the dishes, but you havent done them (sounds like there have been multiple instances over a longer period, thus a malaise)

ive routinely asked you to do the dishes, but you havent done them (sounds wrong)
 

escargot

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ive repeatedly asked you to do the dishes, but you havent done them (sounds like during this morning, or over last day or so but not chronic and generally the same set of dishes)

ive regularly asked you you to do the dishes, but you havent done them (sounds like there have been multiple instances over a longer period, thus a malaise)

ive routinely asked you to do the dishes, but you havent done them (sounds wrong)
There's also nuance. For example, saying you've routinely asked someone to do the dishes suggests it happens every day without fail and is a. part of everyday life and b. probably by now grounds for divorce.
 

henry

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Regularly suggests regularity of frequency.
exactly, a level of regularity that could only be established over time, and not necessarily continually ... repeatedly may well be simply on three occasions, or as some would have it ... thrice, a word that should be abrogated forthwith
 

Xanatic*

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Is there an english word for a 24-hour period? You seem to be missing one.
 

henry

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exactly why correct choice of word is crucial
 
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