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"Strange " English language..


gumishu 15 | 6,186
7 May 2024 #91
Pompous ass Brits go:

I see - still, their usage is etymological - shall meant in the past what should mostly means now as illustrated by contemporary Danish (don't know about Swedish and Norwegian) "Skal jeg gaa til skolen" (Should I go to school)
jon357 74 | 22,347
7 May 2024 #92
Anyone who says "shall" today sounds like an overeducated pompous ass. The same with "whom

In the factory you used to work at maybe or in the Walmart where you buy your Pop Tarts and aerosol cheese.

In the countryside shall is quite common especially among older people and whom is certainly still correct.

is it not how English native speakers talk now?

As above, older, rural, educated. Most people not so much. Shall remains mostly in the fixed phrase "shall we?" and other formulaic contexts like the Remembrance Sunday text (they shall not grow old as we grow old).
jon357 74 | 22,347
7 May 2024 #93
Here's a fun quiz in today's newspaper. Three of the questions (the football club, the Oxford college and the street in Edinburgh) are trick questions and you re ally need to know them however the other ones are good.

theguardian.com/uk-news/article/2024/may/07/apostrophes-possession-contractions-plurals-quiz
Novichok 4 | 8,144
7 May 2024 #94
whom is certainly still correct.

Kajet is still correct in Polish. So what?

Horses are still used in "America". You can even go to work on one.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
7 May 2024 #95
Mostly across the Atlantic.

No, in England (beginning I think in the 1700s... might be off a bit) there was a cottage industry on how to "improve" your speech aimed at the upwardly mobile (or those with aspirations to be upwardly mobile). It was basically settting up silly etiquette rules that could be used to denigrate others.

The books are almost entirely forgotten but many of the rules of 'traditional' grammars come from those and have never had any real basis in usage.

Mostly across the Atlantic.

Different dynamic.

"Shall I close the widnow?"

In America that means "do you want me to close the window?" (and sounds a bit affected).
gumishu 15 | 6,186
7 May 2024 #96
that means "do you want me to close the window?"

this is as much as I figured - didn't know about it not sounding very natural(?)
jon357 74 | 22,347
7 May 2024 #97
So what?

So it's still correct and used by millions.

No, in England (beginning I think in the 1700s

As far as I know it was a bigger thing on the western side of the ocean and persisted much longer, hence the prescriptive grammar there even today. At school, I didn't have even one lesson about grammar apart from apostrophes.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
7 May 2024 #98
At school, I didn't have even one lesson about grammar apart from apostrophes.

Very effective at maintaining divisions....
jon357 74 | 22,347
7 May 2024 #99
Or breaking them down which was rather the point in 70s and 80s South Yorkshire.

Nevertheless, some things are an integral part of the language and others are jarring. Using "less" where "fewer" should be used is chief among them.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
8 May 2024 #100
Or breaking them down

Hard to break down barriers with ignorance....

A nice thing about America is that there is a common standard that everyone has access to and which never sounds wrong (in terms of race, ethnicity, class or region). AFAIK there's no real equivalent in the UK...

Using "less" where "fewer"

Zombie rule... "less" is a bit like "a lot of" in that it can be used with both count and non-count nouns. "Fewer" is restricted and can only be used with count nouns (like "many"). The usage isn't exactly equivalent but it's headed that way.

A person who says "less people" might be making a mistake but it's a mistake etiquette like using the wrong fork at a formal dinner.

Trying to claim that "less people" is a grammar mistake is wrong.

That's the problem with English, there is English grammar (as determined by the usage of native speakers) and a set of language etiquette rules that have less to do with grammar and more to do with sorting people into sheep and goats....
jon357 74 | 22,347
8 May 2024 #101
Hard to break down barriers with ignorance....

What 'ignorance'?

I'd say that acknowledging that grammar is descriptive rather than prescriptive is the opposite of that.

Trying to claim that "less people" is a grammar mistake is wrong.

It simply sounds coarse, a sort of shibboleth. Countability and headwords are a particular charcteristic of our language.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
8 May 2024 #102
Countability and headwords are a particular charcteristic of our language.

Yes and less has been moving into being a qualifier for both count and non-count nouns... like 'a lot of'...

It simply sounds coarse, a sort of shibbole

What I said. But it doesn't sound wrong the way that "I need some advices." or "I bought a lot of furnitures" do.

acknowledging that grammar is descriptive rather than prescriptive is the opposite of that

But how do you do that without any grammar in school?

I've long said that grammar taught to native speakers in English needs to model itself more after what ESL students get (which is far superior to what they're getting now).
jon357 74 | 22,347
8 May 2024 #103
has been moving

And it sounds so jarring.

"I need some advices

That one too. And "trainings".

But how do you do that without any grammar in school?

Chomsky and Krashen have been discussing that one for decades.

grammar taught to native speakers in English needs to model itself more after what ESL students get

EFL learners? Yes, I agree. It would be a much better approach.
Feniks - | 221
8 May 2024 #104
Shall I close the window?

The use of 'shall' has nothing to do with being pompous. It is a word many people use over here.

For example: Shall I put the kettle on?

Perfectly normal thing to say. I asked a few people at work of varying ages today about the use of 'shall' and nobody seemed to think it was outdated or a strange thing to say.

didn't know about it not sounding very natural

In the UK it sounds completely natural.
Lyzko 45 | 9,497
8 May 2024 #105
As you well know then, jon, the so-called "posh, upper class"
English accent, e.g. of the late Queen Elizabeth, with its broad 'a's'
and dropped final or monosyllable 'r's", isn't really English at all, but
German!

As Britons by the score tried desperately to mimic the speech of
Consort Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, they often turned the
traditional flat "a-sound" into a broader sound as the good Prince
typically was said to pronounce "half" like "hAHHf" etc.

You want to hear a true English accent, best go to Devon or better
still Dartmoor. There the 'a's' couldn't be flatter or more "American" LOL
Feniks - | 221
8 May 2024 #106
You want to hear a true English accent, best go to Devon or better
still Dartmoor.

That's ridiculous. You're talking about a West Country accent, or rather, dialect. England has many dialects depending on the particular area.
Dartmoor is in Devon btw.
Lyzko 45 | 9,497
8 May 2024 #107
Oh, I know. My point was also that it's Southwestern England.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
8 May 2024 #108
In the UK it sounds completely natural.

Definitely sounds affected in the US... either more polite than usual or distanced. Sometimes used when the speaker knows that's what the other person doesn't want. Shall in statements sounds very weird and is mostly limited to a subset of legal language.

dropped final or monosyllable 'r's",...turned the traditional flat "a-sound" into a broader sound as the good Prince typically was said to pronounce "half" like "hAHHf

Sounds like a language legend (like the lisping Spanish king).... dropping word-final and/or pre-consonantal rhotics is a phenomenon found across Europe in different languages, French, German, Danish, Catalan and even some types of very, very informal Spanish...

I know of no real world examples of one person having that kind of influence on pronunciation.

I can believe that people might cultivate features once they're aware of them... I get the idea there are a lot of closed language clubs in British society and local weirdness is maintained to keep outsiders.... out.

The American propensity is more often the opposite which is why GAE has such spread.
jon357 74 | 22,347
9 May 2024 #109
a true English accent

What's a "true English accent"?

Ar there "u true" ones?

isn't really English at all, but
German!

It isn't. Prince Albert etc had no effect on accents. If anything, RP is based on a fusion of speech patterns slightly to the north of London with those to the south of it. It's rather hard to know how people could mimic one individual's foreign accent when few had heard him speak. Early recordings of elderly people speaking g RP and born not long after he was suggest that their speech wasn't remotely "mimicking" a German accent.

best go to Devon or better
still Dartmoor

Hard to know why you selected those places which are right down in one corner of the country. Ezra Pound used to affect a north east England accent something a bit like Teeside. I'd say that perhaps the "purest" is probably what you'd hear in rural parts of the East Midlands. That does not of course imply that any others are impure.

closed language clubs in British society

There are no "closed language clubs". There are however many mutually comprehensible dialects that make up English, and many subtle (and not unchanging) differences in accent. This is entirely normal for a language on its home territory being spoken where it has evolved and continues to evolve.
Lyzko 45 | 9,497
9 May 2024 #110
Nevertheless, you would admit that after Albert became Prince Consort and Victoria Queen of Great Britain along with her dominion,
that the flat "a" fell out of favor among the upper class and was replaced by what most foreigners consider an "English accent", that is,

RP.

Certain actors such as Dirk Boegard, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson or Allen Corduner, reflect an erstwhile diction
peculiar to the English stage.
jon357 74 | 22,347
9 May 2024 #111
Nevertheless, you would admit that after Albert

It's nothing to do with him or his wife.

The concept of RP emerged later and is more to do with speech patterns in the area north of London. There wasn't any sort of German-inspired vowel shift during the nineteenth century.

Dirk Boegard

Sir Dirk Bogarde? Like the others on the list, his accent was consistent with having attended a boys' public school before the war.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
9 May 2024 #112
There are no "closed language clubs".

accent was consistent with having attended a boys' public school

yeah... the idea of accent being tied to type of school...... weird, so weird.... doesn't that seem weird to you?
jon357 74 | 22,347
9 May 2024 #113
accent being tied to type of school...... weird, so weird

Or maybe entirely natural.

Public schools had boarders who could come from any and every part of the country and from abroad, hence the accent having fewer regional traces. If it was just a "town" private school where the kid lived at home, you would expect to hear more of a regional sound among the alumni.
Lyzko 45 | 9,497
10 May 2024 #114
I think you answered my query, jon!
Sorry about the misspelling.
Novichok 4 | 8,144
10 May 2024 #115
hence the accent having fewer regional traces.

The gold standard of English is Midwestern American. All other versions are annoying me-toos.
Miloslaw 21 | 5,122
10 May 2024 #116
The gold standard of English is Midwestern American.

Bollox, American English is full of ignorant misspellings....... some sensible, some not.....American English is just SIMPLIFIED English.
jon357 74 | 22,347
10 May 2024 #117
American English is just SIMPLIFIED English.

And not standard English which is spoken by second language speakers worldwide who often struggle to understand them.

Their non-standard textbooks (the few that exist) don't sell well outside their own country and the few that are available elsewhere are just versions of U.K. ones printed primarily for South Korea and not big sellers. Even Mexico prefers textbooks in Standard English.
Novichok 4 | 8,144
11 May 2024 #118
American English, or simply American, is objectively easier to understand.

Even when English is discussed you guys lose...and I, an immigrant from Poland who never studied English, win because I know everything...

quora.com/Why-does-American-English-sound-clearer-than-British-English

My advice: Don't come to a gunfight with a used condom.
jon357 74 | 22,347
11 May 2024 #119
objectively easier to understand

Millions disagree with you.

Standard English (the clue is in the name) is 5he dominant form of English and is vastly preferred by learners and speakers worldwide.
mafketis 37 | 10,848
11 May 2024 #120
In most European countries UK textbooks (mostly awful for actually learning anything) are preferred by the pronunciation tends toward American (only a small minority of Poles can pull off non-rhotic pronunciation).

Vocabulary is kind of mixed.

5he dominant form of English

GAE has an absolute majority of what I call 24/7 native speakers (who don't blance English with a local language or 3) and is the most widely understood variety due to the market penetration of entertainment from the US.


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