Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:54 pm UTC

I was definitely taught to use an interpunct as a decimal point although started using a full stop pretty shortly afterwards (I think before secondary school). I think I've only ever been taught an interpunct for multiplcation not a full stop though,

With x, I don't think I've ever specifically written an italic x, but I've never written an x the way you show (that's how I draw a lower case chi); I was taught to write it with two straight lines (both going downwards, rather than the second stroke going upwards); the ɔc shape is pretty much universal in maths to avoid confusion with a multiplication sign but's otherwise pretty unusual (although I and a few other maths-y types have adopted it in our ordinary writing).
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Mega85 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:55 pm UTC

Derek wrote:A discussion on Reddit brought up how Americans pronounce /ɛɡ/, as in "egg". A number of Americans pronounce this as /eɪɡ/, such that "egg" and "plague" rhyme. I've heard this pronunciations not infrequently, but I can't find anything about it on Wikipedia. Does anyone have any more information on it? Such as where it is common, if it's part of a larger vowel change, etc.?


/eIg/ for "egg" is pretty common in American English. Merriam-Webster list "egg" with /eI/ as a second pronunciation https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/egg . I pronounce the word "egg" as /eIg/ myself. I also pronounce "leg" as /leIg/. "mega" however is /mEg@/ for me.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:52 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I was definitely taught to use an interpunct as a decimal point although started using a full stop pretty shortly afterwards (I think before secondary school). I think I've only ever been taught an interpunct for multiplcation not a full stop though,

With x, I don't think I've ever specifically written an italic x, but I've never written an x the way you show (that's how I draw a lower case chi); I was taught to write it with two straight lines (both going downwards, rather than the second stroke going upwards); the ɔc shape is pretty much universal in maths to avoid confusion with a multiplication sign but's otherwise pretty unusual (although I and a few other maths-y types have adopted it in our ordinary writing).

I just never use a cross for multiplication when writing math. When adjacency is not sufficient, I use an interpunct (or an asterisk when typing). That's basically how I see all math at a high school level or beyond written (except for the cross product, I guess).

Mega85 wrote:/eIg/ for "egg" is pretty common in American English. Merriam-Webster list "egg" with /eI/ as a second pronunciation https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/egg . I pronounce the word "egg" as /eIg/ myself. I also pronounce "leg" as /leIg/. "mega" however is /mEg@/ for me.

Yes, but what I'm trying to find is if it's associated with any region or larger sound change.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:01 am UTC

Even if you're multiplying literals? E.g. 3 x 4? That's pretty much the only time I use it. For scalar variables I'll almost always just concatenate and occasionally use an interpunct and, well, for non-scalar variables it's important to be more specific.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:39 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Even if you're multiplying literals? E.g. 3 x 4? That's pretty much the only time I use it. For scalar variables I'll almost always just concatenate and occasionally use an interpunct and, well, for non-scalar variables it's important to be more specific.

From High School onward I basically never saw two literals multiplied. It would just be automatically evaluated without showing the intermediate step. But if I were writing it yes, I would use a dot and not an x.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby freezeblade » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:05 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Even if you're multiplying literals? E.g. 3 x 4? That's pretty much the only time I use it. For scalar variables I'll almost always just concatenate and occasionally use an interpunct and, well, for non-scalar variables it's important to be more specific.


In my math classes, once we hit middle school, there was no more "3 x 4." It would always be written like 3(4) or 3·4, sometimes 3·(4). Depending on your teacher. χ was always used as a variable, written with the tails or serifs to distinguish it from a typical written letter. Other variables were written in a similar style by hand and used the greek lowercase ascii letters when typed (like y and z, the latter I write by hand with a "-" in the middle of it)
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:06 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I was definitely taught to use an interpunct as a decimal point although started using a full stop pretty shortly afterwards (I think before secondary school). I think I've only ever been taught an interpunct for multiplcation not a full stop though,

Interesting. Was there ever a point when the two were used in the same course? It seems like it would be confusing to see 3·5 · 2·1 = 7·35 or something.

With x, I don't think I've ever specifically written an italic x, but I've never written an x the way you show (that's how I draw a lower case chi); I was taught to write it with two straight lines (both going downwards, rather than the second stroke going upwards); the ɔc shape is pretty much universal in maths to avoid confusion with a multiplication sign but's otherwise pretty unusual (although I and a few other maths-y types have adopted it in our ordinary writing).

Yeah I specifically meant for math. When I write an x, unless I am using cursive (which I almost never do), it is just two straight lines. I was also taught to use both strokes going down, but I don't do it that way, regardless (the second stroke is lower left to upper right). But in math, depending on how nice I want it to look, I'll either just do it the same way or I'll write it the way I showed, which is basically a cursive x:

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I had never seen or heard of the ɔc shape until I started watching Numberphile.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:25 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:I was definitely taught to use an interpunct as a decimal point although started using a full stop pretty shortly afterwards (I think before secondary school). I think I've only ever been taught an interpunct for multiplcation not a full stop though,

Interesting. Was there ever a point when the two were used in the same course? It seems like it would be confusing to see 3·5 · 2·1 = 7·35 or something.


I've only ever been taught an interpunct when multiplying literals. I've only ever used a dot (at any height) for multiplying variables or for the decimal point.

So I'd have either seen your equation written "3·5 × 2·1 = 7·35" or "3.5 × 2.1 = 7.35". I was initially taught the former, but now tend to the latter. If I multiply variables, I usually just concatenate them, but if I need a symbol, it'll always be an interpunct rather than lower dot.

Out of interest, how do you distinguish a chi from an x in maths?
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby freezeblade » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:41 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Out of interest, how do you distinguish a chi from an x in maths?

Context! So if I saw "3·5 × 2·1 = 7·35" it reads to me as something that needs simplifying/solving:

30x = 245

So x= (8.166666)
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:20 pm UTC

I mean if you have an equation featuring two variables, x and chi. × is usually distinguishable from either because of context but if x and chi are both of the same type that's unlikely to be the case in an arbitrary expression.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:41 pm UTC

Personally, I would not clearly distinguish the two. It's similar to rho (ρ) and pee (p), but not as bad as nu (ν) and vee (v). If you look at a printed lowercase chi (χ), in many fonts it is indistinguishable from a printed lowercase ex (x).

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby freezeblade » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:55 pm UTC

I don't think I've ever seen an equation with both "x" and "chi" in it. I would think that anyone who would write such an equation would have the sense of logic to re-name variables, or figure out some way to make what the equation is asking clear.

This is getting really close to my rant about all those "only 1/100 people can answer this math question!" posts on social media, followed by a (purposefully) unclear or misleading equation. There is usually no situation where you'd be justified in writing an equation formulated in this manner, and any teaching instructor would demand a clearer re-write of said equation.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Mega85 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:36 am UTC

Anyone pronounce "while" like "wall"? When I say "while we're at it" it sounds like "wall we're at it", however in "for a while" I don't have the "wall" pronunciation.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:06 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:Anyone pronounce "while" like "wall"? When I say "while we're at it" it sounds like "wall we're at it", however in "for a while" I don't have the "wall" pronunciation.

I have pretty much the same thing, though I'm not sure it quite sounds like "wall." It's pretty close, though.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby chridd » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:13 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:Anyone pronounce "while" like "wall"? When I say "while we're at it" it sounds like "wall we're at it", however in "for a while" I don't have the "wall" pronunciation.
Same for me.

In my writing, chi is taller than x, and extends below the baseline. Rho is distinct from p in that p has an extra little bit at the top left, and starts with a downstroke, whereas I write rho without that downstroke. q and 9, however, are difficult to tell apart in my handwriting. And I write x like a normal x in math (two lines; I make no attempt at italicizing variables, except ℓ), and I think my inclination would be not to use × when handwriting if there are variables involved, and use · instead if necessary (or I think sometimes I've used a smaller × for multiplication, as a compromise between × and ·).
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Mega85 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:03 pm UTC

How do you pronounce "kindergarten"? I pronounce it to rhyme with "garden", not with "carton".

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:56 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Personally, I would not clearly distinguish the two. It's similar to rho (ρ) and pee (p), but not as bad as nu (ν) and vee (v). If you look at a printed lowercase chi (χ), in many fonts it is indistinguishable from a printed lowercase ex (x).


yeah, that's the main reason I've consistently been saying "chi" rather than using χ; in the forum font they both look the same to me. Rho and nu are definitely worse for me too (it took me four years of a physics degree before I worked out a way of reliably distinguishing the two that I could write quickly; moreorless varrho ϱ).

I've definitely seen good reasons for any of these pairs of variables to occur in the same equation though. Chi's the least likely (although the susceptibility of non-uniform materials in cartesian co-ordinates seems most plausible) but rho and p co-occur all the time in compressible fluids (because you need both pressure and density and using a different letter for density than every other context would be confusing); nu and v also co-occur quite often in various doppler-related contexts but, well, I've never liked the use of nu for frequency anyway and using either f or switching to angular frequency using omega usually solves the problem.

Eebster the Great wrote:
Mega85 wrote:Anyone pronounce "while" like "wall"? When I say "while we're at it" it sounds like "wall we're at it", however in "for a while" I don't have the "wall" pronunciation.

I have pretty much the same thing, though I'm not sure it quite sounds like "wall." It's pretty close, though.


I'm not far off but definitely with a different vowel. RP (which I speak) has more extensive vowel (and triphthong/diphthong) reduction than many American varieties particularly in rapid speech so I have a bunch of different pronunciations depending on if the word's in isolation or unstressed & in a sentence:

wall = /wɔːl/
while = /waɪ̯.əl/ (isolated/stressed), /waːəl/ (weak stress), /waːl/ (unstressed)

Although I tend to use "whilst" pretty often but I'm aware that's rare on the other side of the pond.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Monika » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:30 pm UTC

Fascinating. I've never seen a rounded x in math ... but then we don't use x for multiplication in German (we use the dot in the middle).

And we were taught that the second x stroke goes up. How are you going to connect it otherwise in cursive writing?

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:26 pm UTC

x connects like this for me (on the rare occasion I write like this):
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:50 pm UTC

I was taught that x was one of the letters which don't connect. The "joined up writing" I was taught, isn't that similar to the cursive that seems standard in the US; as I was taught, capital letters never connect (and have their ordinary roman forms rather than the weird cursive capitals you guys seem to be taught on your side of the pond) and j, q, x, and z only connect to the preceding letter and not the following one (although since I started doing my x as ɔc I join up both sides, but not the two c's, so it is different from flicky's).
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:30 pm UTC

I would be content dropping the cursive capitals. I've forgotten how to write a bunch of them (but have no trouble reading them).
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:41 am UTC

As flicky showed, in American cursive only the top left to bottom right line of x connects. You come back and cross the x later, like you would with a t.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:44 am UTC

Derek wrote:As flicky showed, in American cursive only the top left to bottom right line of x connects. You come back and cross the x later, like you would with a t.
That's not what I did, although I admit it's unclear. I wrote the left "backwards c" first and joined it up to the c on the right - my pen wouldn't leave the paper.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:56 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Derek wrote:As flicky showed, in American cursive only the top left to bottom right line of x connects. You come back and cross the x later, like you would with a t.
That's not what I did, although I admit it's unclear. I wrote the left "backwards c" first and joined it up to the c on the right - my pen wouldn't leave the paper.

But standard instruction in America world be to leave that for the end of the sentence, when you dot your i's and cross your t's.

That said, cursive is rarely used in practice, and not many people follow those rules.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:36 pm UTC

wait you dot i's and cross t's at the end of the sentence? We're taught to do that at the end of each word.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:22 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:wait you dot i's and cross t's at the end of the sentence? We're taught to do that at the end of each word.

Maybe it varies; I was taught each word.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

I was taught the end of the sentence, yeah, but it seemed like most people didn't follow that instruction. A lot of the recommendations made no sense; for instance, one guide for writing letters indicated that all four strokes for a printed M or W should be top down. That may have made sense for a fountain pen, but with a ballpoint it's ridiculous.

The truth is that I haven't used cursive for much since fourth grade, when it was part of the curriculum. I can read it, and I sign my name in cursive, but it just isn't really a thing these days.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:08 am UTC

this a thing that's always confused me. The fact the US seems to make a big deal out of Writing Cursive seems to result in people using it less? Here where we're taught a less rigid system of cursive (which we tend to just refer to as "joined-up writing" making it a lot less of a big deal) more relevant to most modern pens (i.e. not just fountain pens, although schoolkids do still often use those), we seem to have more people casually using some form of cursive and daily life (although there might be some selection bias instead here?). We also seem to have a lot fewer people who "can't read cursive"; like we have people who write illegibly but that's always put on their writing rather than the reader.

I do think being able to write joined up is still a useful skill (someone practised at it is still faster at writing than someone writing with separated letters, albeit potentially less legibly) but it's obviously way less useful than it used to be (back before the ubiquity of digital systems) but retaining Victorian semi-calligraphic systems designed for a type of pen no longer used (modern fountain pens have much stronger nibs and don't blot as easily and represent a small proportion of total pens these days anyway) is utterly pointless
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:20 am UTC

My personal handwriting is partly joined-up when I'm writing quickly for myself. I do wish it was taught less formally.

HA the funniest/most annoying thing is that a lot of standardized tests require you to copy out a lengthy statement saying you won't cheat, assist with cheating, etc in cursive.
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:30 am UTC

From the US, I've never understood the hate on cursive in the US. And my experience from Reddit threads on the subject is that we're the only country that has this issue. Everyone else seems to have no trouble writing in cursive.

I almost always write in cursive myself. It's much faster and I get annoyed if I have to write more than one or two words in print.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:36 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:this a thing that's always confused me. The fact the US seems to make a big deal out of Writing Cursive seems to result in people using it less? Here where we're taught a less rigid system of cursive (which we tend to just refer to as "joined-up writing" making it a lot less of a big deal) more relevant to most modern pens (i.e. not just fountain pens, although schoolkids do still often use those), we seem to have more people casually using some form of cursive and daily life (although there might be some selection bias instead here?). We also seem to have a lot fewer people who "can't read cursive"; like we have people who write illegibly but that's always put on their writing rather than the reader.

I don't think most schools do make a big deal of cursive anymore. Some don't even teach it at all. My school made a very big deal out of it in third and fourth grade, but not at all after that. I think that's sort of common, but I don't know if it's the most common; leaving it out of the curriculum completely might actually be more common now. It's seen as a rather pointless exercise now, and I tend to agree.

Also, do kids really use fountain pens in some UK schools, or are you just one hundred years old? They sound like a pain to use, and they are rather expensive. I've never seen one used in my life, nor have I seen an inkwell with actual ink in it.

Liri wrote:HA the funniest/most annoying thing is that a lot of standardized tests require you to copy out a lengthy statement saying you won't cheat, assist with cheating, etc in cursive.

It says "Write (DO NOT PRINT)," under the assumption that "write" automatically means "write in cursive," and therefore they don't need to explain what they actually mean.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Liri » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:13 am UTC

Liri wrote:
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I can when I'm not drunk. I think the one I did was just NA English, which still might be useful.

Alright, here you are.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby New User » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:11 am UTC

I remember, in school in the 1990s, that cursive script was taught on the 3rd or 4th grade (can't remember which) and required through the end of 8th grade. When I went to high school, the teachers said that they didn't care if we used cursive script or not. It was another school district though, so I'm not sure what was the reason for the change. I ceased using cursive script after that, since I always found it unappealing. I only used it in school because it was required, and since I didn't like feeling like I was in school, I always avoided using it outside school.

I always thought the "write (do not print)" thing was silly. I remember my parents or teachers telling me that if something gave an instruction to "write" then it means to write in cursive script. The other kind of script is called print, and only small children do that. However, I have always considered "printing" to be something that a printing press or other type of mechanical device does. Any script formed by a handheld device manipulated by the fingers to make individual letters and words is "handwriting" regardless of whether it's cursive or not. Also, so-called printed script is much more legible for me, as I believe it is for many people. All official documents, such as government documents, require so-called printed script. Personally, I consider cursive script to appear more informal, to be used in personal correspondence (as if anybody writes letters anymore) or diaries. I know it was very common in older times, for example the Constitution of the United States is written in cursive script, but that was another time, and quill pens were used then. There is a widespread concept in my area that a personal signature must be written in cursive script, or otherwise it is legally invalid. I do not believe this is the case, but I cannot prove it is so, and EVERYBODY believes this, so if I ever sign my name otherwise, I will be asked to do it again in cursive script.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby chridd » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:41 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:this a thing that's always confused me. The fact the US seems to make a big deal out of Writing Cursive seems to result in people using it less? Here where we're taught a less rigid system of cursive (which we tend to just refer to as "joined-up writing" making it a lot less of a big deal) more relevant to most modern pens (i.e. not just fountain pens, although schoolkids do still often use those), we seem to have more people casually using some form of cursive and daily life (although there might be some selection bias instead here?). We also seem to have a lot fewer people who "can't read cursive"; like we have people who write illegibly but that's always put on their writing rather than the reader.
I think that makes sense, actually. If cursive is treated more like a completely separate system of writing (as it is in the US), and you have to learn how to write all over again, then people will be more likely to think it's hard and just give up than if it's more like "oh, also you can connect your letters together". (Also I don't think the thing about fountain pens was about cursive...?)

(My experience (US) is that cursive was taught in elementary school, and they said that we had to learn it because we'll be expected to use it all the time in middle school, and then from middle school on no one cared and I stopped using it. This looks like the form of cursive I was taught.)
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby HES » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:22 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Also, do kids really use fountain pens in some UK schools, or are you just one hundred years old? They sound like a pain to use, and they are rather expensive. I've never seen one used in my life, nor have I seen an inkwell with actual ink in it.

What we refer to as fountain pens, or cartridge pens, have the same nib but the ink is internal. Growing up I had an old school desk with an inkwell in it, but have never used one. (Being left handed I never got on with fountain pens anyway)
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Derek » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:26 am UTC

New User wrote:I always thought the "write (do not print)" thing was silly. I remember my parents or teachers telling me that if something gave an instruction to "write" then it means to write in cursive script. The other kind of script is called print, and only small children do that. However, I have always considered "printing" to be something that a printing press or other type of mechanical device does. Any script formed by a handheld device manipulated by the fingers to make individual letters and words is "handwriting" regardless of whether it's cursive or not. Also, so-called printed script is much more legible for me, as I believe it is for many people. All official documents, such as government documents, require so-called printed script. Personally, I consider cursive script to appear more informal, to be used in personal correspondence (as if anybody writes letters anymore) or diaries. I know it was very common in older times, for example the Constitution of the United States is written in cursive script, but that was another time, and quill pens were used then. There is a widespread concept in my area that a personal signature must be written in cursive script, or otherwise it is legally invalid. I do not believe this is the case, but I cannot prove it is so, and EVERYBODY believes this, so if I ever sign my name otherwise, I will be asked to do it again in cursive script.

The reason for that "write", "print" confusion is because until relatively modern times all handwriting, except that of young children, would have been in cursive. So "handwriting" and "cursive" were essentially synonymous. I don't have a source, but I suspect that "print" for unconnected writing derives from it's resemblance to mechanically printed test (which historically was unconnected because of that makes movable type much easier). It's worth noting that in many languages, such as Russian and Arabic, non-cursive handwriting essentially does not exist. Children are taught from the very beginning to write their letters in a connected manner.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:58 pm UTC

chridd wrote: (Also I don't think the thing about fountain pens was about cursive...?)


The system of cursive taught in US schools was developed for use with fountain pens to try and minimise blotting and the chance of breaking the nib or scratching the paper. Blotting mostly happens when the pen is lifted from the paper or first placed on the paper, so it minimises that as much as possible whilst the nib is most likely to break and the paper most likely to tear when the direction of the stroke changes rapidly hence the looping curves.

If you were designing a modern cursive for use with rollerball pens none of those really matter and the driving factor would just be continuity of strokes (for extra speed) so would probably still be joined up but would probably have a lot more straight lines and angles rather than big looping letters.

Derek wrote:
New User wrote:I always thought the "write (do not print)" thing was silly. I remember my parents or teachers telling me that if something gave an instruction to "write" then it means to write in cursive script. The other kind of script is called print, and only small children do that. However, I have always considered "printing" to be something that a printing press or other type of mechanical device does. Any script formed by a handheld device manipulated by the fingers to make individual letters and words is "handwriting" regardless of whether it's cursive or not. Also, so-called printed script is much more legible for me, as I believe it is for many people. All official documents, such as government documents, require so-called printed script. Personally, I consider cursive script to appear more informal, to be used in personal correspondence (as if anybody writes letters anymore) or diaries. I know it was very common in older times, for example the Constitution of the United States is written in cursive script, but that was another time, and quill pens were used then. There is a widespread concept in my area that a personal signature must be written in cursive script, or otherwise it is legally invalid. I do not believe this is the case, but I cannot prove it is so, and EVERYBODY believes this, so if I ever sign my name otherwise, I will be asked to do it again in cursive script.

The reason for that "write", "print" confusion is because until relatively modern times all handwriting, except that of young children, would have been in cursive. So "handwriting" and "cursive" were essentially synonymous. I don't have a source, but I suspect that "print" for unconnected writing derives from it's resemblance to mechanically printed test (which historically was unconnected because of that makes movable type much easier). It's worth noting that in many languages, such as Russian and Arabic, non-cursive handwriting essentially does not exist. Children are taught from the very beginning to write their letters in a connected manner.


Yeah, cursive was a necessary development for writing with a fountain pen or quill in pretty much any practical situation (other than being a copyist in a scriptorium where you can write slowly and make it super neat). Latin and Cyrillic scripts brought back the non-cursive forms which had become obsolete outside a few situations (like carved and painted signs, plaques, etc.) but Arabic pretty much never had a non-cursive form (at least, not too long after its last common ancestor with Hebrew) so must have been a right pain to print until computers came along and could automatically handle the contextual letter forms (although I suppose you could always use the isolated forms of the letter but I don't think that was ever really much of a thing).
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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby pogrmman » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:12 pm UTC

I, too, learned cursive in elementary school with the teachers saying that everyone else would expect me to use it. Nobody cared, so I stopped. But, I’ve switched back to cursive because it turns out that I can write in cursive legibly much faster than I can print legibly. So, it’s good for notes.

I have eliminated a lot of the loopyness and taken some components (like the shape of my lowercase “k”) from the Cyrillic cursive I had to learn for Russian class. I’ve also stopped doing most of the special cursive capitals because it’s faster and more legible to do a more normal looking one.

Some people still can’t read the notes I take in class, but I can read the cursive ones better than the print ones.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby Mega85 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:42 pm UTC

Do nonrhotic speakers typically distinguish "formerly" and "formally"? I think they can be distinguished as "for muh lee" "formerly" vs. "for ml ee" at least for some nonrhotic speakers.

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Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:43 pm UTC

For me at least, there is no difference in normal speech. If I need to make it clear which one I mean, I separate the "ly" off and leave a gap.
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