Miscellaneous language questions

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

I was actually deliberately, yet inexpertly for all that, mixing codes a bit (hence the 'ting', as well). Inner-city mish-mash.

"Cyattie" (I don't know if that's the accepted rendering) seems to be a female-on-female trash-talking term for a 'certain kind' of woman, which I'm just slightly afraid might have something approaching the "you can't use that word, only we can use that word" as of the N-word, hence the added {{disclaimer/apology}}. But I'm about half sure is "related" to "catty", or cat-like, leading to my then punning in Jamaican/Rasta terms about the dog-hearted (ruthless) babylon (policeman) to better match your forum character...

Obviouly it wasn't as clever a joke as I thought, given I had to explain it. :P

(Like the proverbial frog, it was easily dissectable to show how it was put together, but it's most definitely dead by the end of the process. :? )

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:01 pm UTC

Google suggests that "cyattie" is indeed the spelling, but that it's Jamaican, which as it turns out is not remotely the only form of Caribbean English.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Angua » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:08 pm UTC

To be fair, I filtered 'can' to 'cyan' and 'cat' to 'cyat' before you changed them to k.

As far as I can tell, this is one of the sounds that doesn't seem to get spelt as dialect pronunciation when people write out the sound. They would just write can.

Goarn, dung, de all get transliterated. Very odd.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:01 am UTC

The θ→f definitely isn't rare in AAVE, though I think stereotypes have made it seem somewhat more common than it actually is. But you will hear it at least in the Midwest reasonably often and I assume other regions, too. I can't say for sure where it's most common.

Wikipedia says it is called Th-fronting and says it rarely occurs at the beginning of words, which matches my experience. I might hear [bæf] for "bath" or [ˈbæf.ɹʊm] for "bathroom" but definitely not [fɪŋ] for "thing." It also suggests it is very old, which would explain why it is apparently also widespread in Liberian English.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:27 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:but definitely not [fɪŋ] for "thing."

I'm guessing this varies by region. I'd consider my accent to be Cockney, and that's exactly how I'd pronounce "thing" in casual speech.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:24 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:The θ→f definitely isn't rare in AAVE, though I think stereotypes have made it seem somewhat more common than it actually is. But you will hear it at least in the Midwest reasonably often and I assume other regions, too. I can't say for sure where it's most common.

Wikipedia says it is called Th-fronting and says it rarely occurs at the beginning of words, which matches my experience. I might hear [bæf] for "bath" or [ˈbæf.ɹʊm] for "bathroom" but definitely not [fɪŋ] for "thing." It also suggests it is very old, which would explain why it is apparently also widespread in Liberian English.
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in cockney, th-fronting occurs in all environments including word initially. in AAVE, th-fronting doesn't occur in word-initial position.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:13 pm UTC

how did the words "lose", "to", "two", "do" and "who/whom/whose" get an /u:/ sound when they're spelled with "o"?

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Carlington » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:49 pm UTC

Short answer: The Great Vowel Shift. That link points to a fairly comprehensive explanation, which is a rather interesting but of reading.

Longer answer: Until around 1500AD, those words absolutely had a 'continental' o sound, which the spelling might suggest. Around 1350, English had seven vowels. The high vowels /i:/ and /u:/ became diphthongs /ɪi~ji/ and /ʊu~wu/, in a process known as vowel breaking. This left a gap in the vowel system, triggering a chain shift which "pulled" the next highest vowels in the respective positions (/e:/ and /o:/) up to fill the holes.

NB: This, of course, left new holes where /e:/ and /o:/ once were. The effects of that change are left as an exercise to the reader.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:26 pm UTC

Hi!
Might not be the best place to ask, but I'm trying to order something from the UK, and the "enter your address" part of the process involves a textbox labeled "State". I haven't a clue what that could be, because the "Country" box is right above it in the form of a nice drop-down list. Does that refer to "sub-countries" within the UK (Wales, England etc.) or what? Why can't I just leave it empty (I can't, there's that asterisk) and what do you think should go there?
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Angua » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:50 pm UTC

Is it in English? Because I would expect 'county' in that area for places in the UK.

Eg
123 x street
City (eg Oxford)
County (eg Oxfordshire)
Country (UK)
Post code (aka zip code).
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:51 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:Hi!
Might not be the best place to ask, but I'm trying to order something from the UK, and the "enter your address" part of the process involves a textbox labeled "State". I haven't a clue what that could be, because the "Country" box is right above it in the form of a nice drop-down list. Does that refer to "sub-countries" within the UK (Wales, England etc.) or what? Why can't I just leave it empty (I can't, there's that asterisk) and what do you think should go there?

I'd try your (postal/ceremonial/other-administrative) county.

Thus, maybe:
Name: Barney McGrew, c/o Cpt. Flack
Address: The Fire Station, Fire Station Lane
Town/City: Trumpton
State: Trumptonshire
ZIP: TR1 0MP


In my experience, the putting of a UK postcode into a ZIP field is often the most awkward bit, if "State" is actually accomodating to freehand (not drop-down two-letter state-or-district codes) but someone assumes ZIP formats are universal. But most well-used systems, these days, either adapt well (by choosing a country, it changes the validation limits to be at least compatible) or are just open to full freehand.


Reading your message again properly, though, and taking clues from your profile, this is a UK-based site that you're trying to get to send to you in Hungary, is it? Maybe, then your megye (county-equivalent), if your jaras ('riding', apparently, I wonder if it has the same meaning as Yorkshire's 'thirdings'/ridings?) isn't a more usual element to your (localised) address there. But I'm guessing by using Wiki (and my assumption that I've successfully corrected my idea of your general location), so add salt to taste...

(If a UK-based ecommerce site is trying to get you to give a "State", then either it's a rather simplistic back-end taken from the US-led marketplace scripts, or it has just defaulted to State because it's only been made properly localised for the native UK market. I'm guessing. Yet more guesses. No use, me doing so, but it seems I can't stop myself! And now I'm ninjaed.)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:09 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Is it in English? Because I would expect 'county' in that area for places in the UK.

It is, they're located somewhere near Manchester.
Soupspoon wrote:Reading your message again properly, though, and taking clues from your profile, this is a UK-based site that you're trying to get to send to you in Hungary, is it? Maybe, then your megye (county-equivalent), if your jaras ('riding', apparently, I wonder if it has the same meaning as Yorkshire's 'thirdings'/ridings?) isn't a more usual element to your (localised) address there. But I'm guessing by using Wiki (and my assumption that I've successfully corrected my idea of your general location), so add salt to taste...

Yes, that is precisely the case. I thought about writing the county (megye) in there, but the idea seems absurd because it is never included in addresses. Same goes for járás, which is rarely even mentioned in everyday life. I'm not even sure which one I live in...
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Angua » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:11 pm UTC

There are so many places in England with the same name that they need to specify :P
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:22 pm UTC

Angua wrote:There are so many places in England with the same name that they need to specify :P

I thought that was the US...
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Angua » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:41 pm UTC

They just copied them from England tbh.

Also, they get around a similar problem using states instead of counties.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:44 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:
Angua wrote:There are so many places in England with the same name that they need to specify :P

I thought that was the US...

They just copied the places already much copied in the mothercountry(/ies)... ;)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton (ok, a bit of a cheat, as not all colonial versions weren't actually coined afresh)

Australia - 1 entry
Canada - 3 entries
New Zealand - 1 entry
Singapore - 3 (related?) entries
United States - 16 entries (not including the "county" one)
United Kingdom
* England - 20 'basic' ones, 20 'qualified' ones, an airfield (near one of those?) and a district
* Scotland - 5 basic (plus station), 4 qualified, a station that may match a town and a nobility
* Wales - 3 basic versions

The Newtown variant extends extensively into Ireland, as well.


The US does have a lot more (atop of our many) Mount Pleasants, but that looks to me like settlers trying to convince themselves that their new land they've settled at is better than all the other places they've been, and a bit of back-influence back to the motherland. ;)

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:50 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:.... a rather interesting but of reading.
An interesting but indeed. I've heard of smart-asses, but never literary ones.
Angua wrote:Also, they get around a similar problem using states instead of counties.
Actually, we don't. We use zipcodes to get around it.

There are five Springfield(s) in Wisconsin, three Greenvilles in NY, and 88 Washingtons across fifty states and one federal district.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:21 am UTC

We use both zip codes and states. You can't leave the state name off an address. And for things other than mail, we typically would just use the state, not the zip. Like, I would distinguish Cleveland, OH from Cleveland, TN. I would not distinguish Cleveland, 441xx from Cleveland, 373xx.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Derek » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:07 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:We use both zip codes and states. You can't leave the state name off an address. And for things other than mail, we typically would just use the state, not the zip. Like, I would distinguish Cleveland, OH from Cleveland, TN. I would not distinguish Cleveland, 441xx from Cleveland, 373xx.

I'm pretty sure if you have the zip code, street, and number, they can deliver it. Zip codes are unique nationwide, so the city and state aren't really necessary.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:13 pm UTC

For the UK, overwhelmingly most1 of deliveries could be made with just house number and Postcode. Enough to get down to the lowest level of sorting office/distribution point, certainly, and maybe the postie themself, or the resident cryptoanalyst and crossword solver, could then make a good guess as to whose sack it'd be best to pop it in based on the name(s) or other details one saw fit to prepend to the address. As the national sorting offices often also do with "John & Jan, the red door opposite the pub, Alverstone"2, on many famous occasions.

(They have also grossly erred where the entire address is correct but the postcode miswritten, or just misread by the people and/or machines involved at the first stage of distribution.)

I think it's analagous to the ZIP+4 system in the US, but I can't find consistent figures as to how big a block of properties that ultimately resolves down to. Seems to be its own variable precision, based on local conditions and practices.

And, of course, "Sherlock Holmes, 221b" gets received3, without a postcode, and "Father Christmas, North Pole" (with or without the officially publicised postcode) gets to where it is destined.



1 It groups down to roughly 100 properties per code. Low density areas or housing estates with many short roads might have house numbers (but not the fully disambiguating house(/farm) names or road names) in common.

2 Concocted example. But likely to find its way to the Isle of White, certainly, before puzzling the locals (whether or not it finds an address to match the details).

3 By someone or other...

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:00 pm UTC

The royal mail officially recommended format for addresses includes just house number, street and post code (there are a small number of cases where a house number and post code isn't quite sufficient).

Of course, people often include a county and city (often specifying a town or district within or near the city as well). If people are posting from one country to another within the UK, the country may also be listed.

E.g. Nick Garage' recommend address format may be (alas):

Nick Garage,
52 brexit street,
UK1 0EU

But this address may often be written:

Nick Garage,
52 brexit street,
Little Englandton,
Racistham,
UKIPS
ENGLAND,
UK1 0EU

The abbreviations for counties can be a bit obscure. For []shire counties it's usually []S in block capitals but some are based on the Latin e.g. OXON for Oxfordshire, CANTAB is used alongside CAMBS for Cambridgeshire, and HANTS is used for Hampshire.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby somitomi » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:43 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:For the UK, overwhelmingly most1 of deliveries could be made with just house number and Postcode.

I find this so strange, because Hungarian postcodes mostly correspond to an entire village or smaller town. Larger ones are sudbivided into smaller parts, notably Budapest has postcodes corresponding to post offices1, but Debrecen (the second most populous city) has only six postcodes assigned to it.

1:This is probably due to Hungary being incredibly "top-heavy" with almost 1/5 of all Hungarians living in Budapest.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Derek » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:13 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:I think it's analagous to the ZIP+4 system in the US, but I can't find consistent figures as to how big a block of properties that ultimately resolves down to. Seems to be its own variable precision, based on local conditions and practices.

ZIP+4 is very specific. It can correspond to a single city block or an apartment building. They are rarely used though. Usually only the five digit ZIP code is used.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:02 pm UTC

In specific answer to you both, the UK postcode is alphameric (so more possible data than mere numeric), although non-optimally for various reasons including mnemonic adherance to geographical names at the top level (i.e. gaps-of-possibility in the letter-only starter-bit of the code).

To quote the wiki page1 on the subject, by the time you get to the end of the (five to seven character) code, "Each postcode unit generally represents a street, part of a street, a single address, a group of properties, a single property, a sub-section of the property, an individual organisation or (for instance Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) a subsection of the organisation."


Not sure this is a Language/Linguistics issue at all, now, but I find it fascinating. Can you tell? ;)


1 Interesting reading, for me, having just gone there to check specifics. Can't guarantee you the same experience.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Mega85 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:22 pm UTC

Do you use "there's" for "there are"? I use it interchangeably with "there're".

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby pogrmman » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:08 pm UTC

Mega85 wrote:Do you use "there's" for "there are"? I use it interchangeably with "there're".


I hardly ever use "there're". "There's" is what I use the vast majority of the time.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:21 pm UTC

I'd try to match "there's" to the same usage as "there is" and ditto "there're" to "there are", matching to whatever singular/plural subject it is being referenced.

But there's1 thinkos/typos and bad re-editing. And there's doubtless disagreement about things such as "There is a team who play football" and "There are a team who play football", which feeds into "There's"/"There're" confusion (not to mention disagreements about what "football" is!)...

On the whole, though, in my gut I don't think I abbreviate to "there're" (textually) anywherenear as much as I do to "there's", normalised for frequency of opportunity to do so, because it's practically not an abbreviation at all in my mind. Saying "there're" isn't really much different in the "'re" bit from the almost schwa-like brevity of the full "are", compared with "there is"=/ðɛ(ɹ)ɪz/ and "there's"=/ðɛəz/ (maybe... IPA can be tricky)


1 *cough* Completely unintended! But left in. I was thinking "There is FOO and (there is) BAR", with FOO being given a singularness to match the dominant singularity of the BAR (to which the roll-on repeat of context was to be silently applied), even though the FOO was not only a plural, but two plurals... I could re-write it, but it was just too sweet a coincidential (mis?)application to not comment upon.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Derek » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:08 am UTC

pogrmman wrote:
Mega85 wrote:Do you use "there's" for "there are"? I use it interchangeably with "there're".


I hardly ever use "there're". "There's" is what I use the vast majority of the time.

Yes, I extensively (but not universally) use "there's" for "there're". My guess is that it's because the /ɚ.ɚ/ is awkward. When I do pronounce "there're" I think it often gets blended into /ðɛɚ:/ or even just /ðɛɚ/ (homophonous with "there").

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:52 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:And there's doubtless disagreement about things such as "There is a team who play football" and "There are a team who play football"

I believe the former is the American standard and the latter is the British standard.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:11 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:And there's doubtless disagreement about things such as "There is a team who play football" and "There are a team who play football"

I believe the former is the American standard and the latter is the British standard.

I was thinking the reverse. But I can't rule out that I've been Americanised1 in my usage through the flood of 'Merkin culture I've been subject to over the last five decades... ;)

(See also the answer to "Do you have..?" being either "Yes I have." or "Yes I do." My father used to complain mightily about that one, but I now have to think for quite a while before I think I'm vaguely sure which way I should be falling, in that particular tit-for-tat... Oh, wait, is the question "Have you got..?", and then presumably "Yes I have" not "Yes, I've got.." Aaargh! I need to look this up, now, to make sure I've gotten2 the right answer...)

1 But not yet Americanized... ;)
2 *cough*

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby ThirdParty » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:08 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:And there's doubtless disagreement about things such as "There is a team who play football" and "There are a team who play football"
I believe the former is the American standard and the latter is the British standard.
I was thinking the reverse.

According to OED, you can say "The government are doing a good job" in Britain but not in America.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Lazar » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:35 pm UTC

Yeah, typically, collective nouns are treated as singular in the US and plural in Britain. "The band are playing", "England are winning the match", etc.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:14 am UTC

"There are a team" sounds strange to me. Is it really phases that way in England? I know you could say "the football team play" while the American phrase would generally be "The football team plays."

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:29 am UTC

It sounds more natural when you're clearly talking about the individuals, to me. e.g. "There are a team that all wear blue socks."
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby chridd » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:28 am UTC

"There's" instead of "there are" could also be because the plural noun comes after there's/there are whereas normally it comes before (except in questions).

Question: In this definition of "read" that I've seen occasionally
Wiktionary, definition 8 wrote:(informal, usually ironic) Used after a euphemism to introduce the intended, more blunt meaning of a term.
[...]
Eliminate illogical (read: stupid) answer choices.
how is it supposed to be pronounced (present or past tense)? (It seems like it could make sense either way: an imperative "read this as 'stupid'", or a passive "this is read as 'stupid'".)
~ chri d. d. /tʃɹɪ.di.di/ (Phonotactics, schmphonotactics) · they (for now, at least) · Forum game scores
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flicky1991 wrote:In both cases the quote is "I'm being quoted too much!"

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:40 am UTC

Oh wow, I'd never even thought about that. I've always read it as the present-tense pronunciation in my head.
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Derek » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:00 am UTC

chridd wrote:Question: In this definition of "read" that I've seen occasionally
Wiktionary, definition 8 wrote:(informal, usually ironic) Used after a euphemism to introduce the intended, more blunt meaning of a term.
[...]
Eliminate illogical (read: stupid) answer choices.
how is it supposed to be pronounced (present or past tense)? (It seems like it could make sense either way: an imperative "read this as 'stupid'", or a passive "this is read as 'stupid'".)

I've always read it as an imperative command, so /ri:d/.

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:02 pm UTC

I read "read:" as present tense. Imperativously!

("You are to read that word as FOO... ")

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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:55 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
Yeah, typically, collective nouns are treated as singular in the US and plural in Britain. "The band are playing", "England are winning the match", etc.


That's oversimplifying. The UK has both with a different nuance. The plural is the default, but if you want to emphasise that the action is happening collectively; that the group is doing it rather than all the individuals individually then you might use the singular.

E.g. "The fleet is en route" but "the band are playing"
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Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:05 pm UTC

Probaly reflects my usage.

Direct comparison, ahoy!

The band are playing:
Spoiler:
Image

The band is playing:
Spoiler:
Image


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