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  #81  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:23
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Ooo, here's another one for the list...

"He asked me a question and I was literally stumped."

"I was literally over the moonl"

Arg! Please don't use the word literally when you mean figuratively. If you can't be arsed to put figuratively into a sentence, don't use it at all.
Interesting point, but can't one be literally flummoxed? Admittedly one can very seldom be literally over the moon unless, of course,...
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:24
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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I heard Josh, in the West Wing, say "I did good" (Season 2 somewhere). Maybe this was ironic? Intentionally folksy?
I'm guessing a mix of both. I suppose it's also a difference between slang/vernacular and proper speech and depends on the context. "You did good, kid" used during a baseball game is a bit different than "I did good!" to your English professor.
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  #83  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:24
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Ooo, here's another one for the list...

"He asked me a question and I was literally stumped."

"I was literally over the moonl"

Arg! Please don't use the word literally when you mean figuratively. If you can't be arsed to put figuratively into a sentence, don't use it at all.
I think your over the moon one was correct usage.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/literally
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  #84  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:27
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Interesting point, but can't one be literally flummoxed? Admittedly one can very seldom be literally over the moon unless, of course,...
There are some instances when literally can be used (such as flummoxed: meaning baffled) but since "stumped" is metaphor, it doesn't really work.
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  #85  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:29
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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I'm guessing a mix of both. I suppose it's also a difference between slang/vernacular and proper speech and depends on the context. "You did good, kid" used during a baseball game is a bit different than "I did good!" to your English professor.
The matter of correct register is a very important one here, and the difference between written and spoken language is enormous.

Anyone who has met me offline will know that I'm an inarticulate burbler with a strong regional accent, who is barely able to construct a sentence without reverting to the debased usages of the West Midlands, except when I'm at work, when I try a bit harder and speak a vaguely coherent Midlands-tinged version of Received Pronunciation.

Yow'd neva tell where oi cumm from from the way oi wroit, wudja?

And for that I make no apology.
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:29
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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I think your over the moon one was correct usage.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/literally
Literally means actually. If you're not *actually* over the moon, then you're figuratively over the moon and therefore shouldn't use the word literally.

Right, I'm getting confused now.
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:34
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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The matter of correct register is a very important one here, and the difference between written and spoken language is enormous.

Anyone who has met me offline will know that I'm an inarticulate burbler with a strong regional accent, who is barely able to construct a sentence without reverting to the debased usages of the West Midlands, except when I'm at work, when I try a bit harder and speak a vaguely coherent Midlands-tinged version of Received Pronunciation.

Yow'd neva tell where oi cumm from from the way oi wroit, wudja?

And for that I make no apology.
Good grief, are you a Brummy?? Ahh, pronunciation, so often misspelt and mispronounced as pronounciation. Funny, misspelt doesn't look right but apparently is!
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  #88  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:36
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

I was told today at work it's easier for the French speakers to understand other non-English speakers because my English is too good

I was always told shouting and missing out words for foreigners never helped them to understand.
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  #89  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:36
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Good grief, are you a Brummy??


No.
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  #90  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:37
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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The matter of correct register is a very important one here, and the difference between written and spoken language is enormous.

Anyone who has met me offline will know that I'm an inarticulate burbler with a strong regional accent, who is barely able to construct a sentence without reverting to the debased usages of the West Midlands, except when I'm at work, when I try a bit harder and speak a vaguely coherent Midlands-tinged version of Received Pronunciation.

Yow'd neva tell where oi cumm from from the way oi wroit, wudja?

And for that I make no apology.

My husband has two different accents: "BBC Steve" and "Cockney Steve". When we lived in Chicago, he was "BBC Steve" and spoke like John Humphreys giving a news report. As soon as we landed at Heathrow, I SWEAR that he immediately changed and screamed out, "Awwwwrigh' geeza! Less gow dawn to da cruisa and git sum britnays!"

He's now somewhere in the middle, working with lots of Estuarial Brits that he knew in London.
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  #91  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:38
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Re: English Proof Reader/Author Available

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Hi guys,

Take a look at a book called 'Eats Shoots & Leaves' by Lynne Truss - this gives a great insight into the English language and how to use punctuation etc. I have to say, as a native English speaker I do not envy anyone trying to learn the language. There are so many rules and so many of these rules have been altered over the years that even us native English speakers find it difficult to keep up. Have a great day. Shirls.
Did you actually read the book you are promoting?

I do not find that you are representing "us native English" in this statement. Personally, I find that a good education and attention to detail mean that one can quite easily keep up to speed with standard English language (as a native). Typos are one thing. This is another.

I am guessing that one would find that there were two kinds of folk who read Lynn Truss's (excellent, I might add) book - those for whom it was a vindication and those for whom it was a revelation.

If you are unsure, you also have the option of changing the sentence construction to avoid such pitfalls.

My main peeves (for those who care):
  • as with DB, the greengrocer's apostrophe - c'mon it's really not that complicated, as well as a basic and important element of the language used daily
  • there instead of their (& vice versa)
  • using that instead of who (patients are people not objects)
  • less/more instead of fewer/greater (& vice versa)
  • multiple dots instead of an ellipsis (...)
... ah, I could go on, but really I must get on.
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Last edited by Carlos R; 25.03.2010 at 17:59. Reason: odd spacing...
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:39
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Right, I'm getting confused now.
Are you getting literally confused, literarily confused, metaphorically confused or virtually confused?
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  #93  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:41
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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No.

I believe DB is a from the Black Country, correct?
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:41
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

... is one of my favourite Simpsons lines. Go Ralph!
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:42
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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I believe DB is a from the Black Country, correct?
Yow'm spot on, ar kid.

Actually, to be honest, my affiliation with the Black Country is linguistic rather than geographical, as the Cannock Chase coalfield lies outside the borders of the Black Country proper.

But it's close enough, ay it?
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:43
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Are you getting literally confused, literarily confused, metaphorically confused or virtually confused?
All of the above?
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  #97  
Old 25.03.2010, 17:44
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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I believe DB is a from the Black Country, correct?
Yikes, I don't even know where that is
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:45
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Yikes, I don't even know where that is
Google?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Country

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Old 25.03.2010, 17:45
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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Yikes, I don't even know where that is
Between Wolverhampton and Birmingham.
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Old 25.03.2010, 17:46
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Re: Use of the apostrophe and other linguistic pitfalls

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I believe DB is a from the Black Country, correct?
From the Kingdom of Mercia, I believe. Don't mention coconuts. Or swallows.
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