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Re: OT: The vagaries of English [Was: Re: calibre ebook project?




Erik Christiansen wrote:
> On 25.09.18 20:19, Brian wrote:
>> On Tue 25 Sep 2018 at 14:08:23 -0500, Nicholas Geovanis wrote:
>> 
>> > Brian wrote:  Note to non-English speakers....natural English politeness
>> > will get you a nod of the head but there will be incomprehension
>> > in the mind
>> > 
>> > That also works with Americans who are native English speakers, that same
>> > mute incomprehension. I think that works with Australians too...... :-)
>> 
>> Americans? Are you referring to the ones who live in Patagonia?
>> 
>> Are Australians native English speakers?
>
> That depends. Youth less so¹, I find, but those of us who had the benefit
> of schoolteachers who were educated prior to WWII retain a certain
> mastery of English - even realising that it once had a grammar.

Hey now, we were still taught grammar (and cursive[1]!) in the 1990s.

Granted, since life in general has gotten considerably less "formal"
(for lack of a better word) since the 1940s; I wouldn't even begin to
argue that in general, that increased informality hasn't also slipped
into our use of language.  Or, perhaps it's always been this bad, and
the comparative ease of global communications today simply sheds light
onto how impaired the general population's grammatical skills are.

NOTE - I'm spefically talking about the typical errors in short, yet
"proper(tm)" methods of communication (mainly email); rather than the
evolution of "txt-spk", which was originally a workaround for clumsy
interfaces (i.e. 0-9 keypads).


[1] I am quite thrilled that I now have a secret method of communication
that my children will likely never be able to decipher. Not that they're
likely to ever be able to read my chicken-scratch handwriting anyway.


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