English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

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Aiwendil
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Aiwendil » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:32 pm UTC

The "-wise" suffix does sound a little corporate-speakish to me, but not annoyingly so.

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Monika
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:04 pm UTC

That's fine, I was going to use it in a work e-mail and suddenly I thought: Wait, is this even correct English? Does it mean what I think it means?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Monika » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:05 am UTC

Are blackbird and Blackbeard pronounced the same?
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby HES » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:10 pm UTC

Not for me, no.

I discovered last week talking to a Spanish friend that bird/bear/beard/beer is a common difficulty. There are a lot of pronunciation videos if you google those four words. (We decided that hand actions were more fun, though)
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby svenman » Sun May 13, 2018 8:58 pm UTC

I could use a bit of help from people who are more familiar with varying styles of English than I am. A bit of background for context: I am technically a native speaker of English (together with German) but have been living practically all of my life in Germany, growing up in a bilingual family. Usually I am pretty confident in my English language skills, but I just don't get the same amount of exposure to the English language, especially in its less formal style registers, as I would living in an English-speaking country. Currently I am working on a filk, i.e. a new set of lyrics to an existing song in English (any fellow OTTers who read this, please follow the first commandment, it won't be for long) and am having trouble to decide between two versions of a particular line.

Don't open the following spoiler if you are an OTTer and prefer to go without hints at an upcoming song ottification. No kitties inside.
Spoiler:
Even within the spoiler I don't want to give too much of the content away, so I'll have to paraphrase a bit. The lyrics are "sung" from the viewpoint of a figure in a particular story and logically directed at an implied listener who is also present in the same location. The "singer" has seen what looks like a set of symbols in a particular spot, he is unfamiliar with them but guesses that they have a meaning, possibily as some kind of writing. He asks the "listener" if they recognize the supposed symbols and can interpret them in any way:
[Hey, there are these weird shapes.]
Can you read them, and if you do
[please tell me about their meaning.]

The line in italics is the one I'm unsure about. It needs to rhyme with "you". With proper English grammar, it should be rephrased as "Can you read them, and if you can" for the intended meaning but then the rhyme wouldn't work. Does the sentence make sense and seem natural anyway? Whether the "if you do" bit gets parsed as "if you can read them" or as "if you read them" doesn't matter, both would be fine.

As a fallback option, I came up with the alternative
Can you read them, and if that's true

which has less questionable grammar but IMO doesn't "flow" as well. If I can get some assurance that my first version makes for an at least somewhat reasonable sentence in however informal English, I'd prefer to use that one.

Thank you for any assistance!
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby poxic » Sun May 13, 2018 9:40 pm UTC

I didn't even notice the bad grammar in the first example so I'd go with that. Less awkward than the alternative.
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Eebster the Great
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon May 14, 2018 2:11 am UTC

The word "and" seems wrong. "Can you read them? Well, if you do" might work. As it is now, you are not only mixing can and do (which you say gives it the strictly wrong meaning, which is not great), you also are mixing a question and a request.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby svenman » Mon May 14, 2018 7:59 pm UTC

Thank you both. I've had some further ideas in the meantime, and currently I'm favouring the line
Spoiler:
Can you read and explain them, too?
in place of the questionable one. (The following line then begins a new sentence which, thanks to a resulting slight shift in meaning, makes the inner logic of the lyrics still work out just as well - in case anyone wonders because that wouldn't entirely be the case for my paraphrased version above.)
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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue May 15, 2018 10:19 am UTC

That does sound like an improvement.

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Re: English as She Is Spoke [English practice]

Postby svenman » Tue May 22, 2018 6:39 pm UTC

Here is the finished product. Thanks again for all assistance.
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