1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Lazar » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:42 pm UTC

Or even "literally" itself, depending on the context. In formal writing, for example, people probably aren't going to read it with the vernacular meaning. The issues with "literally" are really no different from those of the words it modifies: if I say, without adverbs, that someone "died" or "killed", people will rely on context to determine what I meant - and they'll usually get it right.

Edit: What JudeMorrigan said, basically.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Yakk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:43 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Yakk wrote:Racism and being a racist isn't a binary thing. You can have a racist attitude in one area without having it in others. Being uncomfortable with how much something being critisized is attached to race and/or class isn't "everyone who makes that critisizm is a member of the KKK", it is "wait a second, 'nice hair' means 'hair that looks like what a member of the upper classes and privledged race often has naturally'..."
Nobody is saying it's a binary thing. We're rejecting the assertion that it's fundamentally race-linked in the first place.
What is "it"? You are saying that there are no, zero, zip links between non-"standard" grammar usage and race/class subgroups? Or that such links are tiny and not important and do not matter? Or that, because your personal actions have no intentional connection to racism or racial oppression or the like, any such links are irrelevant and offensive to mention?

These are all possible interpretations. I probably missed some. I don't understand what you are claiming, despite your attempt to articulate your position and the source of your apparent taking offence at the XKCD comic.

Be clear.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby harmenator » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:43 pm UTC

I think for me the smug part throws me off, not the classicism/racism part. Sure, dicks exist, but people being intentionally dickish about grammar are the same people who would be dickish about something else. And with Randall leaving "grammar police" nearly completely undefined*, he has just insulted a far greater group than those who actually match the terms in that list.

*nearly completely; the only definition is that "their the're there" sign. Well, if someone comments on something of mine and frequently misuses words like those, I'll assume he does not care about the way he presents himself to the readers; the same way I would think of someone in a public place with their laces untied and blouse misbuttoned. Is that smugness? I suppose we need a hero to help us out here.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:43 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
ZeusTKP wrote:
Lazar wrote:I would add, peeving about the use of "literally" is extremely fashionable. It's probably the single most complained-about thing in current English usage.


Still waiting for an approved replacement word.

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/literally

*Like* *Funny* *Helpful*
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:55 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
Yakk wrote:Racism and being a racist isn't a binary thing. You can have a racist attitude in one area without having it in others. Being uncomfortable with how much something being critisized is attached to race and/or class isn't "everyone who makes that critisizm is a member of the KKK", it is "wait a second, 'nice hair' means 'hair that looks like what a member of the upper classes and privledged race often has naturally'..."
Nobody is saying it's a binary thing. We're rejecting the assertion that it's fundamentally race-linked in the first place.
What is "it"? You are saying that there are no, zero, zip links between non-"standard" grammar usage and race/class subgroups? Or that such links are tiny and not important and do not matter? Or that, because your personal actions have no intentional connection to racism or racial oppression or the like, any such links are irrelevant and offensive to mention?

These are all possible interpretations. I probably missed some. I don't understand what you are claiming, despite your attempt to articulate your position and the source of your apparent taking offence at the XKCD comic.

Be clear.

Yes, I should've been clearer. I'm saying that the assertion that good grammar (as an issue) is fundamentally a "transparent [proxy] for race or social class" (as opposed to being a rationalization that racists or classists sometimes use to cloak their prejudice) is malarkey (n. meaningless talk; nonsense.)
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:58 pm UTC

The literally argument may be older than the US Civil War.

For the record and all that.

And with Randall leaving "grammar police" nearly completely undefined*
he likened them to the sort of person who finds wearing a certain color outside a certain range of dates to be a sin.

I figured it was pretty fucking obvious which grammar jack-holes he was talking about.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:58 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Yakk wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
Yakk wrote:Racism and being a racist isn't a binary thing. You can have a racist attitude in one area without having it in others. Being uncomfortable with how much something being critisized is attached to race and/or class isn't "everyone who makes that critisizm is a member of the KKK", it is "wait a second, 'nice hair' means 'hair that looks like what a member of the upper classes and privledged race often has naturally'..."
Nobody is saying it's a binary thing. We're rejecting the assertion that it's fundamentally race-linked in the first place.
What is "it"? You are saying that there are no, zero, zip links between non-"standard" grammar usage and race/class subgroups? Or that such links are tiny and not important and do not matter? Or that, because your personal actions have no intentional connection to racism or racial oppression or the like, any such links are irrelevant and offensive to mention?

These are all possible interpretations. I probably missed some. I don't understand what you are claiming, despite your attempt to articulate your position and the source of your apparent taking offence at the XKCD comic.

Be clear.

Yes, I should've been clearer. I'm saying that the assertion that good grammar (as an issue) is fundamentally a "transparent [proxy] for race or social class" (as opposed to being a rationalization that racists or classists sometimes use to cloak their prejudice) is malarkey (n. meaningless talk; nonsense.)



The problem with that is, every social group uses grammar. The rules might not be formally written down, but they're there. It is generally the ruling class that gets to define the rules that are then enforced on the rest of the population.

It is extremely difficult for humans to talk to each other without developing grammar. There are plenty of studies which show this.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:03 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Yakk wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
Yakk wrote:Racism and being a racist isn't a binary thing. You can have a racist attitude in one area without having it in others. Being uncomfortable with how much something being critisized is attached to race and/or class isn't "everyone who makes that critisizm is a member of the KKK", it is "wait a second, 'nice hair' means 'hair that looks like what a member of the upper classes and privledged race often has naturally'..."
Nobody is saying it's a binary thing. We're rejecting the assertion that it's fundamentally race-linked in the first place.
What is "it"? You are saying that there are no, zero, zip links between non-"standard" grammar usage and race/class subgroups? Or that such links are tiny and not important and do not matter? Or that, because your personal actions have no intentional connection to racism or racial oppression or the like, any such links are irrelevant and offensive to mention?

These are all possible interpretations. I probably missed some. I don't understand what you are claiming, despite your attempt to articulate your position and the source of your apparent taking offence at the XKCD comic.

Be clear.

Yes, I should've been clearer. I'm saying that the assertion that good grammar (as an issue) is fundamentally a "transparent [proxy] for race or social class" (as opposed to being a rationalization that racists or classists sometimes use to cloak their prejudice) is malarkey (n. meaningless talk; nonsense.)
You can be racist and classist without realizing it. A lot of grammar police probably aren't aware that a lot of their peeving is in effect racist and classist, but that doesn't mean it isn't.

(Sure, you can find many individual examples of peeves that don't seem to be race or class linked, just as ps.02 was able to find some neologisms that probably didn't originate among ethnic minorities (though I certainly wouldn't call all of those examples "slang", either). That doesn't change the fact that a large portion of language perceived as "uneducated" or "trashy", along with a large portion of fashion perceived the same way, is consistently associated with the way poor people and/or people of color speak and dress.)
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby ZeusTKP » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:07 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Drat, I was hoping you were just being silly.

So far as it goes, a replacement word isn't really needed. When one uses "literally", it's generally pretty clear from context whether it's meant ... well ... literally or not. For example, I'm pretty sure you don't actually think that anyone is trying to say that grammar police are actual, literal Nazis. Qualifiers are easy enough to add if there's room for confusion. Those may be less efficient, but I'm not sure efficiency is a terribly important priority in English.


OK, it's not important to you, but it is to me. I like having more words available than the bare minimum. :D

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:08 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:For where new language comes from, I swear the dominance of "putting the period inside quotes only if it is part of the quote came from programming languages".
My English (British) education of decades past required that punctuation (exclamation/question mark, full-stop(/period) or surrogate comma where the container sentence does not end with the quote's end-sentence) always go in before the quotes (opening 66, space between, or closing 99, space after).

Thus this format if one person, "A quotable sentence," said, went on to say, "Something exclaimed!" excitedly and then concluded with, "This is a sentence, isn't it?" If I haven't erred in typing that example, which is possible.

And this was before coding came my way.

But I have modified my style. Comma-spaces before (opening) quotes are just spaces unless the commavis needed for other reasons (subclause, non-Oxfordonian list seperator). Commas directly after close-quotes are permissable where (again) there ate reasons, and the punctuation at the end of a quote is usually exactly as it is within quote, context, i.e. full-stop if at a conclusion, comma if at a comma-point, nothing if nothing exists in the quote at that breakpoint.

Above all, I feel that my approach to punctuation is understandable by those reading it (even if vocabulary, grammar orthe concepts attempted to convey are not) and, but I'm not anal about it, so far as the other person isn't delibetately obtuse. Unless they mean to be, and at times that exception may apply to myself too.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:10 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:You can be racist and classist without realizing it. A lot of grammar police probably aren't aware that a lot of their peeving is in effect racist and classist, but that doesn't mean it isn't.

I don't even know what to say to this. It seems to be impossible to proceed past this point with you, since every time someone says "this isn't about race," your response is "well, maybe it is and you just don't know it yet." Whatever.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:13 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:You can be racist and classist without realizing it. A lot of grammar police probably aren't aware that a lot of their peeving is in effect racist and classist, but that doesn't mean it isn't.

I don't even know what to say to this. It seems to be impossible to proceed past this point with you, since every time someone says "this isn't about race," your response is "well, maybe it is and you just don't know it yet." Whatever.

If it makes you uncomfortable to discuss whether you might have unconsciously racist positions and proclivities, you're welcome instead to backtrack and drop your strawman position that Randall is talking about everyone who cares about grammar.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Weeks » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:15 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:I don't even know what to say to this.
You can always stop posting
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Mambrino » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:16 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:The problem is not with the nonspecific suggestion that people speak clearly. The problem is with the notion that "clearly" is synonymous with "this particular educated white upperclass standard".

If two friends are speaking AAVE and you can't understand them, it isn't because they're speaking unclearly, it's because they're speaking a dialect you don't know. In all likelihood they are perfectly able to code-switch into a dialect you understand, but are not doing so because they aren't talking to you.

(Another thing pedants seem unable to comprehend is that they are not always part of the intended audience of every utterance ever. It's the same self-centered attitude that leads racists to yell at people for having personal conversations in not-English.)


Interestingly enough, I live in European country, but in my social circles there are lots of people who have international background. In most social situations I can imagine, opting to speak in the local tongue of the local populace instead of the lingua franca (= English) when there are people present who can't understand the local language is a sort of faux pas. If you insist on doing that, I'd be tended believe to you are being impolite on purpose to make some kind of "fuck the foreigners" point.

Now, this of course does not include e.g. conversing with a friend in a public place, but in your general social situation where it's reasonable to assume that people would like to understand what you are saying (like parties / workplace / etc), it's good manners to try your best so that others understand you.

.

About class signalling. I don't believe we are ever going to have a truly equal, classless society, at least as long as our societies consist of millions of people, not hundreds. It's even difficult to imagine an egalitarian utopian society where the freedom of association remains and there are not subcultures or other similar groups, and such have tendency to create their own lingo. And back here in the real world, an organized society like a modern nation-state is going to have some kind hierarchy between the different social groups. There is always going to be the form of language that the upper class speaks, and there also is a need for a standardized form of a language used for the official written communication and mass media.

It's going to be very difficult have this standardized form to be too different from the language the upper classes, because the persons not part of the upper class who want to advance in the social hierarchy are going to do their best to sound (and dress) like the upper class, anyway.

What you should aim for is as meritocratic society as possible. One way to contribute to that end is to ensure that everybody has a chance to learn the standardized language in school, which hopefully alleviates some of the ways the upper classes can (and probably always will) discriminate against the people aspiring to move upwards in the society. You can talk like the member of the upper classes, add one point to the column "oh, this person can talk like civilized people; maybe we should consider them as a possible member the <the elite in-group> instead of the <underclass out-group>".

You probably should try your best that the standard does not deviate too far from the vernacular or the high society language, and is not too obscure ; for example some kind of national identity (to which both the upper and lower classes ideally subscribe to) built upon (in addition to the other elements) a shared, similar language is going to help with that. But if you want to assume that everybody will start to talk in your favourite vernacular dialect or people will stop caring about different dialects, I'd bet that's not going to work (hint: upper classes will continue to differentiate). If you want to get upward, you can learn the posh language, and ideally the society should help you with that.

This is an improvement from the previous situation where the rulers often would speak French or some other totally different language than the people they ruled over.

Call me pessimistic, the question I want to ask: How does pointing out that the standardized grammar is elitist help with anything? It is, very clever, but what is the alternative, and is getting there an overly optimistic scenario in the light of the historical evidence?
Last edited by Mambrino on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:17 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If it makes you uncomfortable to discuss whether you might have unconsciously racist positions and proclivities, you're welcome instead to backtrack and drop your strawman position that Randall is talking about everyone who cares about grammar.

And now we enter the armchair psychology phase of the discussion. Thrilling.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:19 pm UTC

Sticking with the strawman then. Gotcha.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:21 pm UTC

If by that you mean "still rejecting your assertion that advocating for good grammar is racist," yes.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:And now we enter the armchair psychology phase of the discussion. Thrilling.

Nah.

That'd be me stating "If you think Randall is calling you a racist, then he's calling you a racist"

Then banning people who think Randall is calling them a racist for being racists.

It is pretty thrilling. For me. And we've already established that's all that matters.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:25 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:How does pointing out that the standardized grammar is elitist help with anything? It is, very clever, but what is the alternative, and is getting there an overly optimistic scenario in the light of the historical evidence?
You, like many before you, have apparently missed the point completely.

The comic is not about the existence of a standard grammar, nor is it about people who like the standard grammar and attempt to use it, nor is it about people who help others adhere to the conventions of standard grammar when the situation calls for it.

The comic is about "grammar police", who police people's language use, and "fashion police", who police people's fashion choices. Engaging in and promoting standard grammar no more makes someone a grammar cop than engaging and promoting lawful behavior makes someone a real cop.

It would be pretty neat if people acknowledged that and thereafter engaged with what the comic is actually about.

commodorejohn wrote:If by that you mean "still rejecting your assertion that advocating good grammar is racist," yes.
No, by that I mean "sticking with the strawman that I literally described in the bit you quoted".
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:27 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:When one uses "literally", it's generally pretty clear from context whether it's meant ... well ... literally or not.

I sometimes find myself trying to say that some type of thing commonly used as a figure of speech actually in fact happened, and feeling the need to write "...[it] literally (not figuratively) [happened]..." so that people don't think I'm merely emphasizing the figure of speech. It's mildly annoying.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby niauropsaka » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:34 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:English is some new immigrant dialect on this continent, really. And if you think English at any point was some kind of pure language unaffected by the movements of groups of people, you are simply ignorant of its history (and the history of literally every other language that has ever existed, for that matter).

Now you're just being pedantic.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby ShuRugal » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:39 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:..., grammar is about having a meaningful structure to language for clear communication.

Edit: or what ShuRugal said. Going from "racists can cloak their racism in grammatical objections" to "caring about grammar is racist" is absurd.
So, what you're saying is that everyone should learn and use Lobjan or some equivalent? 'Cause otherwise you're just being lingocentric.


This would certainly be the highest ideal, but it is completely impractical. Humanity is nowhere near sufficiently unified for a globally standard language to work.

Sofie wrote:One can communicate perfectly fine without grammar, it's just a matter of what you're used to. Standardizing to the upper class language makes things easier for them - not for anyone else. You do see how it's elitist?



gmalivuk wrote:The problem is not with the nonspecific suggestion that people speak clearly. The problem is with the notion that "clearly" is synonymous with "this particular educated white upperclass standard".


The upper-class standard is where the power and money reside. As cold and cynical as that sounds, it is an inescapable truth. If something has to be the standard, you can bet it's gonna be set by the people who have the power and money to do so.

commodorejohn wrote:If two friends are speaking AAVE and you can't understand them, it isn't because they're speaking unclearly, it's because they're speaking a dialect you don't know. In all likelihood they are perfectly able to code-switch into a dialect you understand, but are not doing so because they aren't talking to you.

(Another thing pedants seem unable to comprehend is that they are not always part of the intended audience of every utterance ever. It's the same self-centered attitude that leads racists to yell at people for having personal conversations in not-English.)


when AAVE becomes the international language of commerce, I'll learn it. Also:

commodorejohn wrote:Fun fact: I never, ever said that "AAVE" constituted bad grammar. (I can't follow it that well, but it doesn't bother me. My big problem is with people who are trying to communicate in standard English but either never learned how to do so clearly or don't care about it.) You assumed that based on the fact that I took exception to lumping grammar pedants in this "actually just closet racists" category.


What this guy said. Way to be a White(?) Knight, bro.


gmalivuk wrote:Lack of clarity is rarely a matter of the sorts of minor things grammar police go on about. Writing can be perfectly grammatical and totally unclear (or even entirely meaningless), or it can be largely ungrammatical (according to standard grammar) and yet perfectly clear.


"Proper punctuation and capitalization is the difference between 'I had to help my uncle, Jack, off his horse' and 'i had to help my uncle jack off his horse'."
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gmalivuk wrote:
Mambrino wrote:How does pointing out that the standardized grammar is elitist help with anything? It is, very clever, but what is the alternative, and is getting there an overly optimistic scenario in the light of the historical evidence?
You, like many before you, have apparently missed the point completely.

The comic is not about the existence of a standard grammar, nor is it about people who like the standard grammar and attempt to use it, nor is it about people who help others adhere to the conventions of standard grammar when the situation calls for it.

The comic is about "grammar police", who police people's language use, and "fashion police", who police people's fashion choices. Engaging in and promoting standard grammar no more makes someone a grammar cop than engaging and promoting lawful behavior makes someone a real cop.

It would be pretty neat if people acknowledged that and thereafter engaged with what the comic is actually about.


This comparison is nonsensical: "Grammar Cops" and "Fashion Cops" do not exist in the way that "Real Cops". If the comic is about "Grammar/Fashion Police" in the real and literal sense of a sibling agency to "Law police", then this comic is either entirely nonsensical and irrelevant (unusual) or is aimed at a target audience which has large life experience in a country where such things do exist (unlikely).
Last edited by ShuRugal on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:48 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Mambrino » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:40 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Mambrino wrote:How does pointing out that the standardized grammar is elitist help with anything? It is, very clever, but what is the alternative, and is getting there an overly optimistic scenario in the light of the historical evidence?
You, like many before you, have apparently missed the point completely.

The comic is not about the existence of a standard grammar, nor is it about people who like the standard grammar and attempt to use it, nor is it about people who help others adhere to the conventions of standard grammar when the situation calls for it.

The comic is about "grammar police", who police people's language use, and "fashion police", who police people's fashion choices. Engaging in and promoting standard grammar no more makes someone a grammar cop than engaging and promoting lawful behavior makes someone a real cop.

It would be pretty neat if people acknowledged that and thereafter engaged with what the comic is actually about.


I'm not sure if I was even talking about the comic at this point. I think I was responding to the "is insisting on the standardized form of the language racist/classist" discussion?

But anyway, what we even mean by "policing", in particular?

And anyway, if you deviate too far from the standard in the public sphere where the usage of standardized language is assumed, other people will probably ... reactions to that (often negative reactions, even if they don't explicitly state them). Usually you consider your choices regarding language (and dress) while doing your best to guess those reactions. Taking those potential opinions of others into account, i.e. influencing your choices, could regarded as a form of policing.

And then there's complaining on some random internet forums about some broken grammar (e.g. their / they're / there), and then there's actively pointing out all the grammar mistakes the person you're talking with right in the middle of discussion (which is impolite, unless in an educational setting).
Last edited by Mambrino on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:41 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Angua » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:41 pm UTC

Let's just bring back actually for literally and then the language will have gone full circle (this was mentioned in the blurb of the link that I posted).
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:42 pm UTC

niauropsaka wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:English is some new immigrant dialect on this continent, really. And if you think English at any point was some kind of pure language unaffected by the movements of groups of people, you are simply ignorant of its history (and the history of literally every other language that has ever existed, for that matter).

Now you're just being pedantic.
Not really? There are things that have changed the way languages evolve - writing and literacy, promotion of national dialects with sharp-ish lines where there used to be dialect continuums, standardized spelling, authoritative academies. But there's no sharp point at which "historical" changes stopped, or anything special about the changes that happen now. The standard grammar in question here is in many respects a young one.

What's effectively a bit of wordplay on the word "immigrant" (ZeusTKP meant a hypothetical dialect relating to recent immigration, where gmalivuk is referring to an extant dialect relating to recent immigration) is just a reminder of that context.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby somitomi » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:45 pm UTC

Well, this topic won't have any trouble reaching six pages before Wednesday's comic is out. Although having read all of it, I am not sure what all this is about. :oops:
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby SDK » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:49 pm UTC

The forum police are always controversial.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Flumble » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:08 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Do all a you remember when ahby done filter the fora dem to dis?

Too bad the time of reckoning is (supposed to be?) around April. The two latest comics (and the ever-more-upcoming elections in the USA) make for an excellent playground.

e.g. racist -> romantic, classist -> bananas, denialist -> expert, science -> factoids
or racist -> muslim, classist -> christian for extra fun


[pseudoedit]
Wow, literally everyone's aboard the "bash commodorejohn instead of being the better person by explaining why you think he's not right and what he's wrong about".

Note that this:
gmalivuk wrote:You can be racist and classist without realizing it. A lot of grammar police probably aren't aware that a lot of their peeving is in effect racist and classist, but that doesn't mean it isn't.

is merely a tangent to, rather than a refutal of, this:
commodorejohn wrote:Yes, I should've been clearer. I'm saying that the assertion that good grammar (as an issue) is fundamentally a "transparent [proxy] for race or social class" (as opposed to being a rationalization that racists or classists sometimes use to cloak their prejudice) is malarkey (n. meaningless talk; nonsense.)


By the way, "most discrimination boils down to racism" is very much an american thing (and I think a lot of people are mistaken about that and just scream racism because the word is trendy and they can't be bothered to differentiate between sources of discrimination, but I'll refrain from "let me tell you about your country...").

[pseudoedit2]
The tides have turned, now also literally everyone's backing commodorejohn. Including me.


somitomi wrote:Well, this topic won't have any trouble reaching six pages before Wednesday's comic is out. Although having read all of it, I am not sure what all this is about. :oops:

There's at least the "Randall's calling me a nazi!", "That's racist!" and "Let's talk artificial languages!" discussions among others. I'm in favour of continuing the artificial languages side.

[edit]literally everyone, not everyone literally (see below)
Last edited by Flumble on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:14 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:12 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:The tides have turned, now also everyone's literally backing commodorejohn. Including me.

Is that literally, or "literally?"
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Cabooceratops » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:20 pm UTC

Guys, gals, nonbinary pals, in these times of strife, can we not show kinship in our shared hatred of jorts? :P
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:33 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:By the way, "most discrimination boils down to racism" is very much an american thing (and I think a lot of people are mistaken about that and just scream racism because the word is trendy and they can't be bothered to differentiate between sources of discrimination, but I'll refrain from "let me tell you about your country...").
Who said or implied that most discrimination boils down to racism?

The comic itself as well as a lot of the comments about it also mention classism (and I mentioned sexism, and would add ableism, as additional parallels between fashion police and grammar police). It just seems that people take less issue with being called classist than with being called racist, so there hasn't been as much pushback on that front.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby qvxb » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:40 pm UTC

Please peepul, they're is no reason to get excited. Wanting gud grammer used, like A. Yankovic does, is not elitist or racist. I'm gonna get a cup of espresso.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:52 pm UTC

Cabooceratops wrote:Guys, gals, nonbinary pals, in these times of strife, can we not show kinship in our shared hatred of jorts? :P

I honestly didn't realize that was a thing and assumed that the reference was a fresh coinage playing off the war crime known as the "skort", as opposed to a term established in circulation already doing the same. It's strange, because there are quite a lot of variations on denim shorts or jean shorts or cutoffs, and I'd never really considered any of them particularly notable, but jorts appear to be a particular, rather basic men's style?
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby morriswalters » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:54 pm UTC

Well I'll just bet that Randall is just sitting at the house periodically giggling thinking about the response to the panel. Do you think that Randall is the guy in the hat?

The thing about everybody being racist is that it dilutes the term and makes it more or less useless for conveying a point. I've learned two new words, jorts(love em) and AAVE, although I suppose AAVE is an acronym.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:08 pm UTC

qvxb wrote:Please peepul, they're is no reason to get excited. Wanting gud grammer used, like A. Yankovic does, is not elitist or racist. I'm gonna get a cup of espresso.

Surely you mean "expresso", no?
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby niauropsaka » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:14 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Well I'll just bet that Randall is just sitting at the house periodically giggling thinking about the response to the panel. Do you think that Randall is the guy in the hat?

The thing about everybody being racist is that it dilutes the term and makes it more or less useless for conveying a point. I've learned two new words, jorts(love em) and AAVE, although I suppose AAVE is an acronym.

Sorry, I think I forgot to spell it out. African-American Vernacular English. It's sort of a flashpoint for grammarians and linguists, because it is clearly a form of North American English, but one which sounds "wrong" to many Anglo-Americans. For example, the perfect tenses are formed a little differently from those in "General American."

Linguists and philologists maintain that it has an actual grammar, and is the language of some amount of folklore and literature to be learned, studied, and preserved. People who aren't linguists or philologists often think that it's just ignorant folk using words the wrong way.
Last edited by niauropsaka on Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:16 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:16 pm UTC

I think if anything, this thread has demonstrated how the biggest hindrance to communication has nothing to do with legitimately bad grammar or differences in dialect; it's the many, many terms that even the well-educated among us can't agree on the meaning of. Like "racist". Having different ways to say the same thing is cool and fosters diversity. Having different definitions for the same word results in people talking past each other and getting objectively incorrect impressions of what the other is saying.

Personally, I've never encountered the kind of "grammar police" who come down on people for using a legitimate dialect, but then I can't recall being anywhere other than Tumblr where I've seen people using legitimate dialects, so maybe my online social circles are just too damn white in general. There's a scary thought — that minorities are discouraged from even joining the conversation simply because people are speaking too formally.

Copper Bezel wrote:I honestly didn't realize that was a thing and assumed that the reference was a fresh coinage playing off the war crime known as the "skort", as opposed to a term established in circulation already doing the same. It's strange, because there are quite a lot of variations on denim shorts or jean shorts or cutoffs, and I'd never really considered any of them particularly notable, but jorts appear to be a particular, rather basic men's style?

I think it literally means all jean shorts except hot pants. I don't understand it either, because they've been around for ages and it's only in the last few years that I've heard of them being treated as some kind of faux pas on par with socks-and-sandals or accessorizing casual wear with a fancy hat.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby niauropsaka » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:26 pm UTC

A hypothesis:
One section of the fashion police hate jean shorts because they don't want to wear them & thus show their scabby, lumpy knees; and don't want you to do so either, lest their fashion victim personality force them to follow the trend and show their knees. So they call them 'jorts' by analogy to 'jeggings' to make them seem trashy and crude.
One section of the grammar police hate the word 'jorts.' 'Denim shorts,' or—especially in subcultures where denim is the most common trouser material—simply 'shorts,' is perfectly serviceable as a descriptor. And they hate neologisms!

But then they aren't literally the same people?

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:30 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:I honestly didn't realize that was a thing and assumed that the reference was a fresh coinage playing off the war crime known as the "skort", as opposed to a term established in circulation already doing the same. It's strange, because there are quite a lot of variations on denim shorts or jean shorts or cutoffs, and I'd never really considered any of them particularly notable, but jorts appear to be a particular, rather basic men's style?

I think it literally means all jean shorts except hot pants. I don't understand it either, because they've been around for ages and it's only in the last few years that I've heard of them being treated as some kind of faux pas on par with socks-and-sandals or accessorizing casual wear with a fancy hat.
Socks with sandals even seems to be roughly the same group of people.

How strange. I thought most things had a period of being simply tacky and out of mode when they stopped being popular. Getting slapped with a pejorative portmanteau and ostracized as if as a new phenomenon seems like mass denial that they'd ever existed. I'm not sure what to think about the exclusion of denim hot pants, which I guess I already associate only with those contexts in which they would be referred to as Daisy Dukes instead anyway.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Netreker0 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:31 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:Call me pessimistic, the question I want to ask: How does pointing out that the standardized grammar is elitist help with anything? It is, very clever, but what is the alternative, and is getting there an overly optimistic scenario in the light of the historical evidence?


By your post count, you're not some random guy who wandered in off the street, which was my first impression. This is XKCD. I thought the one thing most fans had in common idea that examining things, picking them apart, and finding new knowledge was a fun and worthwhile pursuit even absent any practical benefit.

Also, to answer your question, being aware of how the world actually works--rather than blindly subscribing to a comfortable fiction--is a good way to avoid the messy cognitive dissonance that happens when something new doesn't conform to that fiction.

Standardized testing was originally touted for its theoretical fairness, and it was pretty fair in theory. Scoring on the SATs for example is done without any knowledge of the test-taker's race. Blacks under-performed, even compared to white students in the same school (largely removing the unequal education factor.) Many reasonable people took this as strong evidence that differences in performance were due to innate differences between races (many still do); some took this "observation" to its logical conclusion, that it is a waste of time and resources to try to redress disparities in education because some groups simply aren't capable of closing the achievement gap anyway.

A major reason for the difference in verbal scores? Many blacks grew up learning another dialect, one with very different rules from standard American English. Acknowledging the link between dialect and group status doesn't mean we have to make some sweeping changes to "fix" things--as you point out, is a fix even possible? But it does--hopefully--keep us from being so quick to dismiss certain people out of hand. Much like upper-class British accents sound "refined" to a lot of Americans, many of us tend to read black English, or dialects from Appalachia, or the deep South, or Cajun country as being less educated and less intelligent.

I think that's a worthwhile goal in itself, but if you want more, consider this. We're better at education when we understand how and what we're learning. The term "ebonics" basically became popular when a group of educators and linguists noticed that foreign language and ESOL classes were essentially trying to teach kids to code-shift--to learn an entirely new lexicon and grammar that had nothing to do with what they already knew, but black students having trouble with SAE were basically being treated as somehow being too dumb or too lazy to have picked up English grammar over the last few years. They thought that instead of telling struggling black students that everything they thought they knew about grammar was wrong, they might have more success teaching in terms of learning a new language. I have no idea if they were right. Certain folks took issue, some because they found the idea of ebonics being a distinct language with a valid grammar to be ridiculous and didn't want to give it legitimacy by recognizing it, while others were worried about the long term social and political implications of acknowledging that what we see as "good grammar" may be tied to race and class issues.

I don't think there's anything wrong with benefiting from things with an awkward history of race and class prejudice. If you're born well off because your great grandfather built his wealth on slavery and your legacy status got you into a great school that was built on slavery, I wouldn't judge you to be anything but lucky, since you never made a choice to exploit another human being. However, I would condemn you for trying erase history, to deny that anything wrong happened or that you may have benefited from it.


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