Author Topic: Language oddities and funnies  (Read 1078 times)

Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2017, 07:14:26 AM »
@ xSP

My poem is very similar but predates the Internet. It was given to me by an Irishman who , like fellow Irishmen G. B. Shaw and Frank Delaney, was fascinated with and/or frustrated by the vagaries and idiosyncracies of English. I love 'em!

I am sure you know of Shaw's "ghoti"? Though, pedantically, I think it should be spelt "ughoti" - but who am I to question Shaw?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 07:29:54 AM by Gloucester »
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Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2017, 07:49:22 AM »
PS. to my last:
I often wonder if it is because the tradition of oral story telling, that survived into modern times so well in Ireland, is an art that relies on an exquisite command and control of language to be done well, that the Irish often have this language fixation?

I often dreamt of opening, The Story Teller - a pub that featured all varieties of story telling, from legend to adventure to science to the vagaries of personal life. Even starting a local "Story Tellers' Guild".
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 08:52:01 AM by Gloucester »
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Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2017, 01:05:54 PM »
If you want English homophone examples (I may have posted this before) thisbis not an exhsustive list!

SO YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE TOUGH ENOUGH TO TRY TO LEARN ENGLISH?

This little treatise on the lovely language we share is only for the brave. It was passed on by a linguist, original author unknown. Peruse at your leisure, English lovers.
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought t was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
22)The bull is mean - do you know what I mean?
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Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2017, 01:07:30 PM »
One of the poems I have:

 WORD POEM

I take it you already know
of tough and bough and cough and dough
others may stumble but not you
on hiccough, thorough, laugh and through
well done, and now you wish perhaps
to learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
that looks like beard and sounds like bird,
and dead, it's said like bed, not bead
for goodness sake don't call it deed.
watch out for meat and great and threat
they rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

A moth is not a moth in mother
nor both in bother, broth in brother,
and here is not a match for there
nor dear and fear for bear and pear.

And then there's dose and rose and lose!
Just look them up, and goose and choose
and cork and work and card and ward
and font and front and word and sword
and do and go and thwart and cart
come, come, I've hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Man alive
I'd mastered it when I was five.
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2017, 01:46:04 PM »
It's a wonder any of us can speak it.

Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2017, 02:03:18 PM »
It's a wonder any of us can speak it.

When Mahatma Gandhi was complimented by an English reporter on the quality and precision of his English and that it was better than his own Gandhi said something like, "I had  to learn English, you merely picked it up as you grew."

It is not those oddities, that we learn by rote, that I find the more interesting but the structure of grammar. I only had the very badics of English grammar drummed jnto me during English lessons, nothing formal. Yet is, somehow, knew that split infinitives, "To boldly go..." rather than, "To go boldly..." had a "rhythm" that grsted dkightly - despite that since we have largely dropped Latin constructions split infs are mostly accepted.

Our brain picks up patterns, "sound shapes", very well and familiarity + repetition reinforces them of course. Sound is very important to memory I understand, second only to smell. In her "Dragon planet" series Anne McCaffrey has children learning routine stuff through "teaching songs".  Even I, a noted non-music fan, find it easier to learn the words of songs (to music) than any written text like a poem.

I put any new telephone numbers to learn to a little tune or jingle, best if part of a tune or an advert I know well.

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Claireliontamer

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2017, 04:32:45 PM »
Do other languages have these oddities?  I don't know any other language well enough to know.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2017, 05:21:11 PM »
Do other languages have these oddities?  I don't know any other language well enough to know.

I'd imagine every language and perhaps even different dialects have their sets of idiosyncrasies and quirks, which could vary.

Double negatives and even multiple negatives aren't such a linguistic no-no in Portuguese. Saying "I don't want nothing" (Eu não quero nada) doesn't sound as nonstandard as it does in English.

A couple of interesting words in Portuguese I think are seu (masc.) and sua (fem.), which can mean "your", "yours", and "his/her/its" depending on the context. It can get a little confusing at times.

Brazilians love to truncate words, especially in the South where I'm living, something I don't see happening nearly as often in the English language.
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Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2017, 05:38:41 PM »
[...]
Brazilians love to truncate words . . .

Examples?

Something niggling in my mind thinks that habit is possibly creeping into Ametican as well. But that would not be surprising.

There are words in English that became abbreviated a long time ago: "bus" comes from "omnibus" = "for all". "Perambulator" became "pram" and "refridgerator" "fridge", "telephone" "phone"  of course. Probably lots more and caused by laziness, fahion or technical jargon.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2017, 05:59:19 PM »
[...]
Brazilians love to truncate words . . .

Examples?

Something niggling in my mind thinks that habit is possibly creeping into Ametican as well. But that would not be surprising.

There are words in English that became abbreviated a long time ago: "bus" comes from "omnibus" = "for all". "Perambulator" became "pram" and "refridgerator" "fridge", "telephone" "phone"  of course. Probably lots more and caused by laziness, fahion or technical jargon.

My favourite case, going way back, is the evolution of the honorific Vossa Mercedes, which became Vossa Mercê, vossemecê, vosmecê, vancê  and finally, você, meaning "you", to address people who weren't addressed with tu (less formal in some circles). I go one step further, and like other central-westerners , say . Inutilia truncat! :grin:

As for other examples, ônibus is commonly referred to as bus, telefone as  fone, churrasco (BBQ) as churras, refrigerante (soft drink or soda) as refri, anniversário (birthday) as anniver, and so on. There are countless others. 
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Dave

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2017, 06:15:15 PM »
I tried putting "Vossa Mercedes" into Wiki and got the Portugese entry for "Vocé". One needs to know the origins and vagaries of English to further tranlate Google's English translation into quotidian terms! I love it!

Quote
You are a personal pronoun of treatment. It refers to the second person in the speech, but because it is a pronoun of treatment, it is used in the third person (like "he" or "she"). Its origin etymological is in deference treatment of expression your mercy , which is successively transformed into Your Grace , your worship , Vance and you. Your mercy ( mercy means grace, grant ) was a treatment given to persons to whom it was not possible to address the pronoun you.

I had forgotten the Mercedes/Mercy link, both quality and name - not a term used for an address in English, even historically, I think.
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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2017, 02:40:34 AM »
Quote
You are a personal pronoun of treatment...

I am? :grin: Oh I love Google translator and all the funny gems it provides! :lol:
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Arturo

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2017, 10:21:07 PM »
What is the word when you are kicked out of a society or group of people? (Not excommunicated)
But, uh...well there it is.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2017, 11:19:25 PM »
What is the word when you are kicked out of a society or group of people? (Not excommunicated)

Ostracised?
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Icarus

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Re: Language oddities and funnies
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2017, 11:27:46 PM »
Try ostracize, exclude, expel.