Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

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JohnWittle
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby JohnWittle » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:20 am UTC

iceberg wrote:Don't not try and use double negatives


It infuriated me that you used "and" instead of "to". It made me so angry that I posted about it before reading the rest of the thread, and I don't care if anyone else pointed it out.

I don't even know WHY people started doing this. It's so far away from anything that would make sense grammatically, unless you were literally saying "Do not try and do use double negatives."

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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:38 am UTC

JohnWittle wrote:It's so far away from anything that would make sense grammatically

That's not true at all. If the expression can be easily understood by the vast majority of English speakers, and furthermore most of us aren't even especially put off by it, then it definitely makes sense grammatically.

You seem to be talking as though grammar is something independent from the way people use a language.

(Also, the MWDEU says "try and" may actually be the older construction.
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby Bobber » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:58 am UTC

Interestingly, in Danish, the counter-words to "and" and "to" in this context are "og" and "at", which both become the same /ɔ/ phoneme in my local dialect. (I know it seems odd that both words lose their consonant sound, but take into account that the g in og is soft and that the t in at is more of a flap than aspirated and you already then have a recipe for phonemical truncation.)

This means that a lot of people confuse the two words in writing, not because of grammar, but simply because they are spoken the same in quick speech.

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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby JohnWittle » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:01 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
JohnWittle wrote:It's so far away from anything that would make sense grammatically

That's not true at all. If the expression can be easily understood by the vast majority of English speakers, and furthermore most of us aren't even especially put off by it, then it definitely makes sense grammatically.

You seem to be talking as though grammar is something independent from the way people use a language.

(Also, the MWDEU says "try and" may actually be the older construction.


If so, that link did not show it. That link showed that using "to [verb] and [verb]" (not putting the second "to", as it is implied) as a construction is older, 13th century writing. I am talking about "try and [verb]" instead of "try to [verb]", which is just plain incorrect.

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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:11 pm UTC

JohnWittle wrote:I am talking about "try and [verb]" instead of "try to [verb]", which is just plain incorrect.

I know what you're talking about, and you have yet to offer any reason for me to believe you.

And did you miss the part where it said, "Try did not appear as try and until the 17th century, when our familiar sense of the word was first established. Interestingly, the earliest example for the "make an attempt" sense in the OED involves the try and construction, so try and may actually be older than try to."?

The OED example mentioned was the sentence, "They try and express their love to God by their thankfulness to him," from 1686. Which is 11 years earlier than the first "try to" sentence.

JohnWittle wrote:I don't even know WHY people started doing this.

That doesn't surprise me. For one thing, no one seems to know, since people started using "try and [verb]" right around the same time they started using "try to [verb]".

For another, there seems to be quite a great deal that you don't know about language. I suspect people could fill books with the stuff.

If I might offer a suggestion, though: if you want to learn any of the volumes of stuff you don't know, you might want to avoid making broad insulting declarations about what is or isn't correct about other users' grammar. Especially when you're factually wrong on top of it. That sort of shit tends to put people off of helping you, if indeed you are interested in friendly interactions.

If you're not, and instead you came here to stir up shit, then just leave now and everyone will be the happier.

Edit: If, on the third hand, you actually made that post as an example of the sort of thing you could say among this group of linguistic dabblers to make us sit up and pay attention, the way "try and use" might work in a room full of ignorant grammar nazis, then I have to say well-played, sir.
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:14 am UTC

Things are grammatical if they are acceptable to a native speaker, not because it follows some arbitrary rules. The rules are created after the fact to describe what actually happens.
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby quintopia » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:48 am UTC

And another battle falls to the descriptivists, but the proscriptivists regroup and the war rages on. . .

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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby zug » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:54 am UTC

I used to be a grammar national socialist. However, now I'm more prone to be annoyed at my hyper-grammatical compatriots who are compelled to correct every single little error they make in a typed conversation. I feel as though it insults my intelligence. I think I can tell your meaning quite well even though you typed "i'm in trouble" instead of "I'm in trouble."
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby Qaanol » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:50 am UTC

quintopia wrote:And another battle falls to the descriptivists, but the proscriptivists regroup and the war rages on. . .

This is one of the few times that "proscribe" and "prescribe" can in fact be interchanged. I salute you sir.

Also, Google is an uppity grammarian.
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby u38cg » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:02 pm UTC

From the "Note on the Text", Lord of the Rings - Douglas A. Anderson wrote:In the production of his first volume, Tolkien experienced what became for him a continual problem: printer's errors and composer's mistakes, including well-intentioned 'corrections' of his sometimes idiosyncratic usage. These 'corrections' included the altering of dwarves to dwarfs, elvish to elfish, further to farther, nasturtians to nasturtiums, try and say to try to say and ('worst of all' to Tolkien) elven to elfin.


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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby TheChewanater » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:14 pm UTC

"This sentence is not one that a mistake is in."
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:27 pm UTC

Ginormous.
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby Monika » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:48 pm UTC

aurumelectrum13 wrote:In an episode of The Simpsons, a character shouts out "Pi is exactly three!" in order to gain the attention of a room of scientists.

Is there any phrase like this that you could shout at a grammar nazi to get them to pay attention?

You could scream "irregardless" :D .
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby TheMelancholyJaques » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:31 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:"Don't never use double negatives" would make more sense, I guess.


We used to have a poster on the wall of one of our modern languages classrooms that said:

"How come we've not never done nothing like this in English then?"

And moving on in my mind, there's a nice W. Churchill quote I like (among many):

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."
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Nicad
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby Nicad » Thu May 06, 2010 4:23 am UTC

Prepositions are not things to end sentences with.

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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby TheChewanater » Thu May 06, 2010 6:17 pm UTC

This sentence does not contain a self reference.
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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby tastelikecoke » Fri May 07, 2010 6:03 am UTC

ain't got no time for this grammar nazi's.

Irregardless of of the situation.

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Re: Pi Equals 3 (Not a Math Thread)

Postby themonk » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:08 am UTC

JohnWittle wrote:If so, that link did not show it. That link showed that using "to [verb] and [verb]" (not putting the second "to", as it is implied) as a construction is older, 13th century writing. I am talking about "try and [verb]" instead of "try to [verb]", which is just plain incorrect.

I asked this question in another thread, which might be of interest to you.

[verb] and/to [verb]
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