A little rant (math vs. maths)

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Postby 4=5 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:55 pm UTC

Pathway wrote:http://www.google.com/search?q=math
Results 1 - 10 of about 125,000,000 for math


http://www.google.com/search?q=maths
Results 1 - 10 of about 24,700,000 for maths


"Math" is used, then, about 5.06 times as frequently.
computational linguist?

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Postby rhino » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:50 am UTC

Buttons wrote:Figured I'd bump an old-ish thread rather than start a new one. On the topic of varying notation, what do you guys say an ideal "does" that a subring doesn't? That is, for an ideal I in R, what do you call the property that for all i in I, r in R, ir and ri are in R?

I learned that an ideal absorbs.
A friend at Grinnell learned that an ideal sinks.
Apparently at Wellesley they say that ideals swallow, which is by far my favorite term.

Any others?


At my uni the lecturer used just about the niftiest terminology of all: an ideal is closed under multiplication by any element of R. Yeah, our lecturers don't really do good mnemonics.

I think I like "absorbs" best though.

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Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:45 am UTC

I'd much rather remember "closed under multiplication by any element of R". After all, even if I remember that ideals swallow, what does that mean? They make good dates?
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Postby Buttons » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:54 pm UTC

Well, I dunno that I'd call it a mnemonic any more than I'd call the word "associativity" a mnemonic. It's just a name someone ascribes to a property, which is apparently not at all standardized.

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Postby zomgmouse » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:39 pm UTC

Although I say 'maths', the problem with the abbreviation argument lies with a subject we have at school, the full name of which is "Mathematical Methods". It would therefore be incorrect to utter "Maths Methods" as a shortened form. However, this is easily solved by saying "Methods", or in my case, since I study only this one mathematical subject, by saying "maths". And yes, that looks like the only problem with saying 'maths'. Quite insignificant, because I think this subject is only taught in Victoria.

I still don't get why Americans spell with a 'z' (that's 'zed') instead of with an 's' (such as in 'realise', 'analyse' or 'recognise'), and why they so stupidly omit the 'u' in words (such as 'humour', 'neighbour', 'rumour', etc.).
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Postby gmalivuk » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:11 pm UTC

zomgmouse wrote:I still don't get why Americans spell with a 'z' (that's 'zed') instead of with an 's' (such as in 'realise', 'analyse' or 'recognise'), and why they so stupidly omit the 'u' in words (such as 'humour', 'neighbour', 'rumour', etc.).


We use zee in place of s pretty much only in that one suffix -ize or -yze, because that's how those words are pronounced.

We dropped the stupid 'u' because it was part of a nefarious French plot to continue influenceing English spelling centuries after the pronunciation had changed. (After all, you lot intentionally mispronounce most recently-derived French words. So why should we keep the French spellings of those words?)
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Postby Ketzerei » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:13 pm UTC

Actually, we use the "z" in realize and other such words because they're Greek, not French. It's actually less deviant from the original spelling, and snooty Oxonians will still tell you to do it that way, even if the rest of their island and Australasia (does Canada also?) uses the erroneously Frenchified spelling.
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Postby gmalivuk » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:53 pm UTC

Ketzerei wrote:Actually, we use the "z" in realize and other such words because they're Latin, not French. It's actually less deviant from the original spelling, and snooty Oxonians will still tell you to do it that way, even if the rest of their island and Australasia (does Canada also?) uses the erroneously Frenchified spelling.


Awesome. So that means the 's' in those words is part of the same nefarious French plot as the 'u'.
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Postby vlad » Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:26 pm UTC

Ketzerei wrote:Actually, we use the "z" in realize and other such words because they're Latin, not French.


Actually, the -ize suffix is from neither French nor Latin but Greek. Latin did not even use the letter z except in Greek loanwords.

And in the specific case of "realize", the word is neither Greek nor Latin but in fact a French coinage using the Greek suffix. (I'd say when it was coined specifically but the OED site isn't working at the moment.)

Not to mention the fact that even if they were Latin they would also be French. French is derived from Latin, and most Latin words in English came via French.

"Erroneously Frenchified" my ass.

EDIT: I probably should have read the whole discussion before posting. I just noticed that in addition to "realise", zomgmouse gives "analyse" and "recognise". These words actually have three different origins. "Realize" I've already explained above. "Analyse" comes from Greek, but does not involve the same -ize suffix. It was written in Greek with a sigma (=s), not a zeta (=z), so in this case it is the Americans who are erroneously altering their spellings. "Recognise" goes back to Latin recognescere which was irregularly altered to make it look like it involves the Greek -ize suffix even though it doesn't. So in this case neither "recognise" nor "recognize" accurately represents the original.

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Postby gmalivuk » Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:54 pm UTC

vlad wrote:"Erroneously Frenchified" my ass.


How does one correctly Frenchify an ass? I know roughly how one would French fry one, but not Frenchify.

In any case,
This Site wrote:English picked up the Fr. form, but partially reverted to the correct Gk. -z- spelling from late 16c. In Britain, despite the opposition (at least formerly) of OED, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Times of London, and Fowler, -ise remains dominant.


You are right about analyze, because it comes originally from "analysis". In that case, it is sort of an overstandardization in American English, changing it to match the other spellings that do come from Latin -izare or Greek -izein. But, as the person complaining about prescriptivism in your other thread, I'm not entirely sure what point you're trying to make here in this one...
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Postby vlad » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:00 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:But, as the person complaining about prescriptivism in your other thread, I'm not entirely sure what point you're trying to make here in this one...


I'm just giving the correct etymologies. I don't actually give a crap how anyone spells them -- arguing that a certain spelling is "correct" because that's how French/Latin/Greek did it is just silly.

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Postby yeyui » Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:12 pm UTC

I never understood why the colloquial form of mathematics would be maths. If it an abbreviation, it should be math or mathe. The latter is bad since the final e suggests a different pronunciation. It the s is added because mathematics is (perceived) to be plural then I would expect the final s to cause both the th and s phonemes to be voiced as in other nouns with the Cath pattern path -> paths, bath ->baths.

So does anyone say mathz? Or do you say moths and maths the same (apart from the vowel)?

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Postby Rusty » Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:16 am UTC

yeyui wrote:I never understood why the colloquial form of mathematics would be maths. If it an abbreviation, it should be math or mathe. The latter is bad since the final e suggests a different pronunciation. It the s is added because mathematics is (perceived) to be plural then I would expect the final s to cause both the th and s phonemes to be voiced as in other nouns with the Cath pattern path -> paths, bath ->baths.

So does anyone say mathz? Or do you say moths and maths the same (apart from the vowel)?
Of course, some of us do say "paths" and "baths" rather than their voiced equivalents, in which case "maths" slots right in.

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Postby Maseiken » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:36 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
zomgmouse wrote:I still don't get why Americans spell with a 'z' (that's 'zed') instead of with an 's' (such as in 'realise', 'analyse' or 'recognise'), and why they so stupidly omit the 'u' in words (such as 'humour', 'neighbour', 'rumour', etc.).


We use zee in place of s pretty much only in that one suffix -ize or -yze, because that's how those words are pronounced.

We dropped the stupid 'u' because it was part of a nefarious French plot to continue influenceing English spelling centuries after the pronunciation had changed. (After all, you lot intentionally mispronounce most recently-derived French words. So why should we keep the French spellings of those words?)

Ah, but you forget your one fatal flaw...
You're wrong...
It's surprising how often I have to point this out to people I argue with...

Yeah, anyway
*It's "ah", I don't even know how to spell your version, but it sounds ridiculous, to practice, say "Far" but elongate the vowel,
"Faaaaaaaaaahr"
*Also, what the hell is with the french hate? They gave you yanks one of your most popular foods (Actually, "French" fries are generally thought to have originated in Belgium... meh) Anyway, the point is, the french helped de-anglicise you(Something you're very hoity-toity about by the way) AND sent you a whopping great statue, AND a crapload of Pr0n(at some point), AND Asterix and Obelix, and all you can do is BITCH, and talk about how WEAK and SUCKY they are(Side-note, they once conquered most of Europe and a good deal of the rest of the world(Which would be why French is spoken in most african countries) One of these days, France is gonna KICK your ass, and you'll be like "Why? oh why?"
And they'll say, "Because we have an enlightened view on Nuclear power and the most AWESOME police force in the world."
(I just mention that because while in riot gear, a french cop is pretty much the scariest thing you'll ever see, they also have lighter divisions that get around on ROLLER-BLADES. Your donut eating "Sheriffs"(Who don't even have horses) don't stand a chance!)

(NOTE: Yes, a good deal of this post was a joke, I'll trust Xkcdian intuition to figure out which bits (Note on the note:The bit about you being bitchy to france isn't a joke, seriously, you guys are ASSHOLES on that front))
I think I'm done, I was going to have a bunch of points, but I think "Lay off france" was the main one...)
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Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:59 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:*It's "ah", I don't even know how to spell your version, but it sounds ridiculous, to practice, say "Far" but elongate the vowel,


I'm not sure what you're saying here, as what you quoted didn't have anything whatsoever to do with the r.

But since you brought it up: The fact that (most dialects of) British English became non-rhotic *after* the colonization of the Americas is no reason to now insist that your altered pronunciation of words ending in r (as well as any r that comes before a consonant) has somehow become the "right" way to pronounce those words.

Maseiken wrote:*Also, what the hell is with the french hate?


This part of your post may not have been a joke. But that part of mine was. Also, as for hating on the French, Americans have nothing on the British for the sheer amount of time that has persisted. Like I've said before, it's you lot who intentionally mispronounce a whole load of French-derived words (by stressing the first syllable, or hardening the g in words like garage, or any number of other things).
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Postby Maseiken » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:37 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:This part of your post may not have been a joke. But that part of mine was. Also, as for hating on the French, Americans have nothing on the British for the sheer amount of time that has persisted. Like I've said before, it's you lot who intentionally mispronounce a whole load of French-derived words (by stressing the first syllable, or hardening the g in words like garage, or any number of other things).

Ok, you've got me there on some of that post, but you can't act like Britain is all hatin' France more than the U.S.
In the first place, Britain was conquered by the Normans, who were quite french by that point. Then later they had various wars, ranging from 7-100 years in length. Then when the french went all imperialistic the english beat them down.
But it's all cool now, they went and helped out the french in WW1 and 2, because it was the right thing to do and all of that's died down.
(Note that I'm not saying WW1 was a JUST war, it was completly ilogical, but it was already underway when the british joined in and assisted france)

You guys had nothing from the french but huge wads of cash and general support, You helped out in WW2 (A bit late, but whatever) And then all of a sudden you're calling shit "Freedom" fries and bagging them for not wanting to send troops off for no real reason(But I'm not going to get into that).

Just, if you see someone selling "Freedom" fries, or talking about them being effeminate or something, just say,
"Hey man... they gave us a statue...don't be a jerk..."

Um... which "G" in Garage? 'cos I've always said itGarage,
and I was pretty sure that's right.
If you say Garage... That's just weird...
(Also, mispronunciation is not done out of hate)
(None of this is "You" personally, just the U.S in general)
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Postby Belial » Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:53 pm UTC

And then all of a sudden you're calling shit "Freedom" fries


Erm. That was in *one* place, during a brief period of retardation. It's over now, and it didn't really spread.
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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:55 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:Um... which "G" in Garage? 'cos I've always said it Garage,
and I was pretty sure that's right.


The second one. And I'm not talking about changing it from soft g (like j) to hard (like a voiced k). Rather, I'm talking about Brits saying it like dzh instead of the softer zh. Also, which syllable do you stress in that word? Because it ought to be the second one.
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Postby Pesto » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:20 pm UTC

pi is ~3.14 not ~3,14

Also, a historian. Not an historian.

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Postby zenten » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:29 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Maseiken wrote:Um... which "G" in Garage? 'cos I've always said it Garage,
and I was pretty sure that's right.


The second one. And I'm not talking about changing it from soft g (like j) to hard (like a voiced k). Rather, I'm talking about Brits saying it like dzh instead of the softer zh. Also, which syllable do you stress in that word? Because it ought to be the second one.


I actually say both interchangeably, without noticing. In fact, I have a lot of trouble telling the difference when other people say it too.

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Postby Clerria » Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:33 pm UTC

This conversation has inspired me to create art instead of calculate finance junk at work:

Image
eristic wrote:
Clerria wrote:Do you speak Greek? ;)

'maybe'

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Postby Phenriz » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:01 pm UTC

pretty good sword fight you got there

great choreography
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Postby SpitValve » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Maseiken wrote:Um... which "G" in Garage? 'cos I've always said it Garage,
and I was pretty sure that's right.


The second one. And I'm not talking about changing it from soft g (like j) to hard (like a voiced k). Rather, I'm talking about Brits saying it like dzh instead of the softer zh. Also, which syllable do you stress in that word? Because it ought to be the second one.


Depends what you mean by "ought to be". NZers stress the first syllable of garage. And I think we do "dzh" instead of "zh".

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Postby Clerria » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:35 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:pretty good sword fight you got there

great choreography


Thanks. I just made it up as I went along! I like a good sword fight, whilst kicking your opponent in a fetal position.

I think I accidentally insinuated that British English speaking folk all have big mustaches and drink pints of beer, and all American English speaking folks are cowboys.

Not sure how that happened. But surely the details don't matter.
eristic wrote:
Clerria wrote:Do you speak Greek? ;)

'maybe'

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Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:41 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:Depends what you mean by "ought to be". NZers stress the first syllable of garage. And I think we do "dzh" instead of "zh".


By "ought to be", I mean the French way, since that's where the word comes from. (This whole thing started when I pointed out that British English includes the intentional mispronunciation of many French-derived words.)
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Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:59 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:Depends what you mean by "ought to be". NZers stress the first syllable of garage. And I think we do "dzh" instead of "zh".


We do that in Australia, too (at least, I think we do... I pronounce it the French way, but that's because I'm a pretentious bastard (and my French teacher would probably kill me if he heard me say it. He was a very angry man))
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Postby Maseiken » Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:11 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Maseiken wrote:Um... which "G" in Garage? 'cos I've always said it Garage,
and I was pretty sure that's right.


The second one. And I'm not talking about changing it from soft g (like j) to hard (like a voiced k). Rather, I'm talking about Brits saying it like dzh instead of the softer zh. Also, which syllable do you stress in that word? Because it ought to be the second one.

It is,
and I guess I can see where you're coming from there.
Just... be nice to france, 'kay?
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Re: A little rant

Postby its-m3 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:14 am UTC

i don't have time to read the whole thread right now, but...
i'm american, i say math. maths, to me, is talking about all types of mathematics, or, at least, more than one. so, whether you say math or maths could be totally reliant on the context.
i don't claim to be an expert in any mathematics or grammar, this is just opinion. :D
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Re: A little rant

Postby Szwagier » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:27 am UTC

Umm.... using raw frequency counts from Google isn't recommended as a method of linguistic analysis.

'Math' / 'Maths'? Whichever...

Do Americans study "Economic" and "Physic", too? :wink:

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Re: A little rant

Postby JoseB » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:10 am UTC

Perspective from another language...

In Spanish, it is "Las Matemáticas" (feminine plural, always). No abbreviation possible, except in informal settings (like primary and high school students) who might refer to them as "mates". For instance, "ahora tengo clase de mates" ("I have a maths lesson now").

In Spain, a billion is and will always be 10^12. The "short billion" has not made any inroads. There is no specific word for 10^9, so we always say "mil millones" (one thousand million) when we have to refer to that amount. Some newspapers are valiantly fighting to spread the word "miliardo" (as a calque from the French "milliard") for 10^9, but they are failing spectacularly.

In fact, as far as I can see, in continental Europe a "billion" is 10^12.

The difference between the American billion and the continental European billion was at the root of a rather embarrassing event some 25 years ago, in fact. Banco Pastor, a Spanish bank, hired an American company to write accounting software for their computer systems. For some unfathomable reason, they asked the programmers to prepare a special module that would output reports for the really higher-ups giving a summing-up of the profits at the bank expressing the amounts, not as a full numerical output, but as a rough estimate, in words.

You see where this is going.

At the time, the Spanish currency was the peseta, with a value of roughly 110 peseta to the US dollar. It was not at all unusual to have really high figures in pesetas.

The American engineers were thinking of "billions" as 10^9. They wrote their programs and went away. The reports began to flow. The higher-ups read "billions" and thought 10^12. They ended up thinking that their bank had one thousand times more money than it had.

After a short time of happy-go-lucky decisions from above, a very embarrassed Banco Pastor had to backtrack in a rather spectacular way.

It was sort of funny, it has to be said.

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Re:

Postby Ari » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:34 pm UTC

Pathway wrote:We Americans outnumber the British by a factor of 6, and the Aussies by a factor of 15.


Right, because as we all know, the validity of a viewpoint is determined by how many people believe in it.

Pesto wrote:pi is ~3.14 not ~3,14

Also, a historian. Not an historian.


The comma is how many european countries write decimals. Learn to live with it ;)

H is a consonant, an is entirely appropriate and dropping the n only makes you sound pedantic. (that said, I can tolerate pedants if they can tolerate me. :) )


Finally, I don't buy your phonetic arguements for -ize over -ise. If we're gonna go phonetic we should have a plan in place to get all the way to something more like -aiz ;)
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Re: A little rant

Postby ZeroSum » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:13 pm UTC

Szwagier wrote:Umm.... using raw frequency counts from Google isn't recommended as a method of linguistic analysis.

'Math' / 'Maths'? Whichever...

Do Americans study "Economic" and "Physic", too? :wink:

No, but we do study "econ" instead of "economics". Do Europeans study "biologies"?

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Re: A little rant

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:36 pm UTC

Szwagier wrote:Umm.... using raw frequency counts from Google isn't recommended as a method of linguistic analysis.

'Math' / 'Maths'? Whichever...

Do Americans study "Economic" and "Physic", too? :wink:

Raw frequency counts are fine if you take into account overall dialect variation. This isn't helpful for "math" vs. "maths", since that itself is a dialect thing. But I have at times compared, for instance, the difference (in Google results) between "disoriented" and "disorientated" with the (much smaller) differences between counts for "color" and "colour", "math" and "maths", and so on, to argue that it was *not* merely a dialect difference. (Looking at the overall average ratio between American spelling results and British spelling results gives a good approximation for the portion of Google results that are written in one or the other version of English. So finding another pair of spellings that has a very different ratio than that average suggests that there's something else going on.)

No, we don't study economic or physic, just like we don't study mathematic. But we do study math and econ when we want to shorten them. What's your point?

Ari wrote:
Pathway wrote:We Americans outnumber the British by a factor of 6, and the Aussies by a factor of 15.


Right, because as we all know, the validity of a viewpoint is determined by how many people believe in it.
When it comes to language, it pretty much is. The vast majority of people can be wrong about a scientific claim, because there's actually a discoverable truth to the matter. The vast majority, however, cannot be wrong about language usage (supposing they're all using it the same way, of course), because language *is* a consensus-based phenomenon.

Pesto wrote:Also, a historian. Not an historian.


H is a consonant, an is entirely appropriate and dropping the n only makes you sound pedantic.
Right, H is a consonant. Which is why, like every single other consonant in the English language, it should take "a" rather than "an". Using "an" with words that begin with H makes you seem like someone who drops all his H's in speech. (An 'istory of the English language.)

Finally, I don't buy your phonetic arguements for -ize over -ise. If we're gonna go phonetic we should have a plan in place to get all the way to something more like -aiz ;)

That's only one of the arguments. The other, as has been mentioned, is that -ize, for many of those words, is closer to the original Greek than to the derived French. In some -ize words, it's true, American English seems to have overstandardized, changing the spelling despite the fact that the word has a different etymology.
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Re: A little rant

Postby Ari » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:01 pm UTC

When it comes to language, it pretty much is. The vast majority of people can be wrong about a scientific claim, because there's actually a discoverable truth to the matter. The vast majority, however, cannot be wrong about language usage (supposing they're all using it the same way, of course), because language *is* a consensus-based phenomenon.


Right, language is a consensus-based phenomenon, I agree.

But you can't decide between multiple sub-consensuses based on numbers. It simply doesn't work that way, because the point is there is no wider consensus. You're simply ignoring other legitimate uses ;) The whole point of a consensus model is that minorities aren't devalued or considered illegitimate.

That's only one of the arguments. The other, as has been mentioned, is that -ize, for many of those words, is closer to the original Greek than to the derived French. In some -ize words, it's true, American English seems to have overstandardized, changing the spelling despite the fact that the word has a different etymology.


Well, that's a better reason for -ize specifically, but I'd actually support phoneticising words as a more legitimate source of writing standards than reverting them closer to the original etymology. Perhaps I'm a linguistic presentist or something. <.< >.>
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Re: A little rant

Postby MFHodge » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:29 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Pesto wrote:Also, a historian. Not an historian.

H is a consonant, an is entirely appropriate and dropping the n only makes you sound pedantic.
Right, H is a consonant. Which is why, like every single other consonant in the English language, it should take "a" rather than "an". Using "an" with words that begin with H makes you seem like someone who drops all his H's in speech. (An 'istory of the English language.)[/quote]
Not always, G. There are plenty of common words with silent Hs at the beginning that take an "an" - an hour, an hono(u)r, etc.

I would attribute the a/an arguement with "Historian" to a dialectual issue. I would say that some dialects to legitametly drop the H sound in many words and those cases should be given an "an".
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Re: A little rant

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:09 pm UTC

VTHodge wrote:Not always, G. There are plenty of common words with silent Hs at the beginning that take an "an" - an hour, an hono(u)r, etc.

I would attribute the a/an arguement with "Historian" to a dialectual issue. I would say that some dialects to legitametly drop the H sound in many words and those cases should be given an "an".

I know, which is why I talked about the dropping of H's. When I said it was a consonant, I was referring to the sound [h], not the letter itself (and I probably should have been more explicit about that, I admit). Letters are only consonants or vowels based on pronunciation, anyway, which is why we have the "sometimes Y" thing. Y the letter can make a couple different sounds. One of them is a consonant (a [j], to be precise), the other is a vowel (usually [i] or [ɪ] or one of the diphthongs the letter i can make).

Anyway, I think this would be the best thread to ask a related question in:

In America, it's "math", in Australia, "maths". In America, every April, we have to pay our "taxes". Is it true in Australia, and other "maths" places, that you do your "tax"?
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Re: A little rant

Postby GBog » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:01 pm UTC

Concerning billions, the 'long count' system makes much more sense, IMNSHO.

million = 106
billion = 1012 = 106*2
trillion = 1018 = 106*3
quadrillion = 1024 = 106*4

etc.

There's definitely a pattern here.

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Re: A little rant

Postby bbctol » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:13 pm UTC

Szwagier wrote:Umm.... using raw frequency counts from Google isn't recommended as a method of linguistic analysis.

'Math' / 'Maths'? Whichever...

Do Americans study "Economic" and "Physic", too? :wink:


No. We study mathematics, commonly called math. We study economics, abbreviated to econ, although this is not as frequently used. And we study physics, because it's a short word.

When abbreviating words such as these, you normally take the first syllable. The first syllable of "mathematics" is "math". To say "maths" implies that there is such thing as a mathematic, and you are studying many of them.

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Re: A little rant

Postby jinzougen » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:57 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And "th" is no harder a sound than "s". I'd even argue that it's softer, as most commonly spoken.


While "soft" isn't a very well-defined term, you are right. The "s" sound and the "sh" sound are two of the most acoustically powerful sounds a human can articulate. These fricatives belong to a class of sounds called the strident sounds partially for this reason. Stridents are often described as being "hissy" sounding.
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Re:

Postby Nath » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:59 pm UTC

Pathway wrote:We Americans outnumber the British by a factor of 6, and the Aussies by a factor of 15.

I think that means we get to decide arbitrary questions of nomenclature.

I'm Indian. We say 'maths', 'zed' and 'aluminium'. I haven't had much luck with 'maths' or 'aluminium', but I sometimes get Americans to pronounce 'Z' correctly without them noticing.

However, I sometimes say 'math', because I am lazy. '-ths' is uncomfortable; I know a lot of people who say 'macks' instead.


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