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Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:15 PM

Yes, English can be weird

It can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.

Taken from this product: https://www.etsy.com/no-en/listing/528361964/english-can-be-weird-coffee-mug-grammar?fbclid=IwAR2qyUU5hu0jr-tyjEfs618oFBCtsp26oz0crP4psD4YfwOZBdOA1ADkFlM

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Yes, English can be weird (Original post)
csziggy Dec 2019 OP
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #1
Borchkins Dec 2019 #2
guillaumeb Dec 2019 #3
csziggy Dec 2019 #5
guillaumeb Dec 2019 #6
Newest Reality Dec 2019 #4
CTyankee Dec 2019 #8
Newest Reality Dec 2019 #9
CTyankee Dec 2019 #11
Newest Reality Dec 2019 #12
LakeArenal Dec 2019 #7
Danascot Dec 2019 #13
gratuitous Dec 2019 #14
Sentath Dec 2019 #10

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:19 PM

1. And

How come we park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:20 PM

2. And

Why do we bake cookies instead of cooking them?

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:25 PM

3. And the lack of consistency in pronouncing words is insane. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:37 PM

5. Some time ago I read an article that said that is because of British regional differences

That the people who originally began compiling words with spellings and pronunciation took their examples from different places in England (and probably Scotland and Wales). That meant that "tough" and "cough" came from one area while "through" and "thought" were from another place.

Rather than trying to arrive at a consistent spelling for the different sounds, they "celebrated" the variations in British usage which is now preserved in our widely differing ways to say and spell the same sounds.

I don't have a reference for the article I read this in. It's been decades and I'm not sure it would even be on the internet. Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the variations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences#Different_spellings_for_different_pronunciations

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Response to csziggy (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:40 PM

6. Very interesting.

And French does have its inconsistencies as well, partly due to the 2 main branches of the language.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:29 PM

4. A comedic take on that:

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 01:23 PM

8. How old is that clip? Its humor is so out of date and horribly sexist...I cringed and turned it off.

Ugh

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 01:32 PM

9. It is old...

So, I guess it is very easy to take it out of context and have that severe a reaction.

I understand. It was not meant to offend you.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 01:58 PM

11. sometimes it's a good idea to review the older clips of "humor" because you run across so much

sexist stuff it's unusable. It isn't "out of context" so much as "replete with" sexism. Like old clips attempting humor with white actors in blackface. There was a time when that was considered "not meant to offend" anyone.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 02:05 PM

12. I will note that.

Thanks. Again, I am sorry that it provoked such a reaction for you and I fully respect your viewpoint on that. Your response sets it straight, however.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 12:58 PM

7. And what about "pretty"

When one says, Itís pretty good. Itís pretty hard. Itís pretty close.

Does that make sense?

Sometimes if you keep saying a word over and over it doesnít even sound like a word.

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 05:10 PM

13. Sort of like fairly

Fairly close, fairly cold, fairly certain. Maybe because fair and pretty were once synonyms?

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 11, 2019, 05:29 PM

14. "Pretty" and "little", twin banes of Harold Ross' existence

Harold Ross was the editor of New Yorker magazine for decades. He was a man writers loved to hate, even as they improved their prose under his editing. Ross was the one who hounded Dorothy Parker for a casual while she was on her honeymoon in Paris. She finally wired back, "Too fucking busy, and vice versa" before Ross left her alone.

Ross had a real animus to the words "pretty" and "little" often remarking as he read a draft, "There's that damn 'pretty' again!" For Ross, these words just filled space and didn't add to the reader's understanding of what the writer was trying to convey. James Thurber was a writer and cartoonist for the magazine, close friends with Ross, but not immune from his vinegar.

On one occasion, Thurber wrote an architectural review of a new building in Manhattan, deliberately inserting the sentence, "The building is pretty ugly and a little big for its surroundings." After he turned in his copy, Thurber reported that Ross stomped down the hall and stuck his head into Thurber's office and "made a pretty ugly sound."

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