General chatter - Don't shoot me for this, please! Hihi




philana
01-23-2012, 02:40 PM
Hi All!

I'm from the Netherlands, so English is not my native language. However, I've been around plenty of English chats and I studied English for a bit so I try and do well. One of the things we got drilled at REALLY hard when I was in highschool is something I see so many Americans/Native English people do wrong.

I get annoyed when people are being know-it-alls but this is just so surprising to me I don't get it. Maybe you folks can shed some light on it for me and explain why so many people seem to not pay attention to it.

It's about the use of THEN and THAN. The simple rule I was taught: when you are comparing something it's than, and when you are speaking of a moment in time it's then. Quite simple I'd think?

Why I am so amazed is this:
- At University I take classes in English and our professor made a test full of then/than mistakes.
- I read a Reuters press release today and they made a then/than mistake too.
- On these boards I see many people use "then" way more often than "than".

Please - can some one tell me if this is just because nobody in school ever stresses the difference? I just don't get it! Hihi.

Oh, and really.. I am not a know-it-all. I make plenty of mistakes. But this one seems so obvious to me! I've been wondering about it for months now.


midwife
01-23-2012, 02:49 PM
Well, you're right, of course.

It annoys me more when I see journalists or professional writers make these types of mistakes. It annoys me less when it's just regular people writing casually and making mistakes.

At the end of the day, life's too short to stress about it.

dragonwoman64
01-23-2012, 03:18 PM
to an English speaking mind, I'd guess, the two are very similar. I still struggle with affect/effect.


bargoo
01-23-2012, 03:19 PM
Then there is lie and lay, or their or there, the list can go on and on.
I'm with midwife , don't waste ( or is it waist ) time worrying about it.

Candeka
01-23-2012, 03:24 PM
This is kind of funny. English is my native language and I am also in University (I've spent my entire life in an English country). Not even 2 months ago I learned the difference between than/then. Also, I got A's in all of my high school English classes. I think that people just tend to not pay attention to small details like that. I do get annoyed when adults do not know the difference between "there" and "their" though which I guess makes me slightly hypocritical.

mandalinn82
01-23-2012, 03:30 PM
The simple rule I was taught: when you are comparing something it's than, and when you are speaking of a moment in time it's then. Quite simple I'd think?

Well, except there are other usages. If/Then statements, for example, don't fall neatly into being about a comparison or a moment in time. But I digress.

People, I think, are less careful with words/spelling when the meaning of what is being said will be clear regardless of the spelling. I cannot think of a single time that a then/than error has prevented me from comprehending what was said. And as long as I don't have problems comprehending what was said, I don't know why I'd care about someone's correctness or incorrectness.

Edited to add: I think a professor of English should be writing correctly, and Reuters has plenty of people who should be proofreading. It's more in casual/forum conversation that I don't think it matters much.

kuchick
01-23-2012, 03:32 PM
Things that drive me crazy are then/than, their/they're/there, and misspelling "separate" (but only when habitually wrong because mistakes happen) because these are things that were drilled into me in elementary school, but I don't believe that they're taught the same way now and often my "finger memory" when typing will use the wrong word and I won't catch it. Kind of like my fingers are typing on their own disconnected from my mind. My mind is often a bit disconnected :dizzy:

But it only bothers my OCD tendencies, I wouldn't insult anyone for using the wrong word because I make plenty of mistakes (DH points out that I mispronounce "quaint", but he mispronounces "chaos" so we're even)

ICUwishing
01-23-2012, 04:44 PM
My least-favorite, to the point where DS12 will even deliberately push my buttons, is "taut" and "taunt". It's like nails on a blackboard!!!

TheBunneh
01-23-2012, 04:50 PM
I find I use "then" and "than" incorrectly many times on accident because I'm not thinking enough as I type. I try to catch it when I can but sometimes I'm too lazy to proof read something informal such as a forum post or friendly email.

and often my "finger memory" when typing will use the wrong word and I won't catch it. Kind of like my fingers are typing on their own disconnected from my mind. My mind is often a bit disconnected :dizzy:

Happens to me ALL THE TIME! Sometimes it's barely even close to the word I meant, like "though" instead of "that." I say my fingers have autocomplete. :D

JudgeDread
01-23-2012, 05:09 PM
Hi All!

I'm from the Netherlands, so English is not my native language. However, I've been around plenty of English chats and I studied English for a bit so I try and do well. One of the things we got drilled at REALLY hard when I was in highschool is something I see so many Americans/Native English people do wrong.

I get annoyed when people are being know-it-alls but this is just so surprising to me I don't get it. Maybe you folks can shed some light on it for me and explain why so many people seem to not pay attention to it.

It's about the use of THEN and THAN. The simple rule I was taught: when you are comparing something it's than, and when you are speaking of a moment in time it's then. Quite simple I'd think?

Why I am so amazed is this:
- At University I take classes in English and our professor made a test full of then/than mistakes.
- I read a Reuters press release today and they made a then/than mistake too.
- On these boards I see many people use "then" way more often than "than".

Please - can some one tell me if this is just because nobody in school ever stresses the difference? I just don't get it! Hihi.

Oh, and really.. I am not a know-it-all. I make plenty of mistakes. But this one seems so obvious to me! I've been wondering about it for months now.

Well they DO teach you the difference.

Question is...do you remember it...or do you pay attention in class. LOL

midwife
01-23-2012, 05:11 PM
My least-favorite, to the point where DS12 will even deliberately push my buttons, is "taut" and "taunt". It's like nails on a blackboard!!!
:lol:

ETA: I think I drive my kids crazy, too. I tell them all that if nothing else, they will know that "a lot" is TWO words! Or else!!!

aggietrish10
01-23-2012, 05:27 PM
These things are some of what truly bothers me about the American school system. The truth of the matter is, American children are never taught the importance of proper grammar and sentence structure. I had one or two spectacular English teachers...but most only expect their students to scrape by. Americans are raised with the mindset that it is socially acceptable to have sloppy language and writing skills, and the school systems allow for it. So unfortunately, unless they are going into a profession which requires them to train these skills at a University level, most people will never learn them. And the basic mindset of many people is that it doesn't matter. I find that very disheartening.

Gogirl008
01-23-2012, 05:29 PM
One of the things we got drilled at REALLY hard when I was in highschool is something I see so many Americans/Native English people do wrong.

It's about the use of THEN and THAN. The simple rule I was taught: when you are comparing something it's than, and when you are speaking of a moment in time it's then. Quite simple I'd think?

Maybe you did learn it because you were drilled, lol. Probably not something that gets as much attention in some US schools as it might in a second langauge class. I think the english language is full of these kind of things, as the others posters pointed out. I know I make my share of mistakes, lol. I think often we get lazy and just use whatever gets the point across. (I always think of it as THEN=next and THAN=more than)

KatTheAmazon
01-23-2012, 05:47 PM
Don't expect it to get any better. I'm 28 and I cringe at those younger than I am. The texting generation is out in full force and they think it is perfectly acceptable to write in "text speak". Words like wut, ur, etc. I hate it. I'm not someone who is obsessed with proper grammar and spelling , but it really irritates me.

forloveofself
01-23-2012, 09:30 PM
There are many words I've seen here, and on other boards that are misspelled/misused. I was born in an English speaking country (not America) and I have a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, though this is not my primary profession.
So misspellings do make me cringe, but it is momentary. Here, on this board, the two words I've noticed used incorrectly are "loose" and "lose."
However, I do agree that as long as the meaning is clear, that it is unimportant to this forum.

Heather
01-23-2012, 09:45 PM
As a college professor, I do understand when my students make occasional errors in their papers. It's not a big deal. But when it becomes a pattern, it does take away from the elegance of the paper, even when it doesn't impede my understanding. I don't think I've read a really well argued paper that was riddled with grammatical errors. So while an error here or there isn't a problem, I think it pays off when people (at least my students) put care into their grammar.

But when I correct a point and they continue to make the mistake, that bothers me.

As for affect/effect... when you're considering the issue of cause and effect, effect is a noun and affect is a verb. For example: "Exercise has a positive effect on depression." vs "Exercise affects depression."

However, affect as a noun can also refer to "mood" or "emotion" as in "She has a very flat affect and I never know what she's feeling."

duckyyellowfeet
01-23-2012, 11:51 PM
I teach high school English. We do cover it, promise. Along with too/two/to and their/there/they're--the three that always seem to bother people the most. But unless you're willing to spend time on drill-and-kill type methods, getting grammar concepts to really stick are difficult. I know I have about 100 standards I'm supposed to "teach" in a single school year: correct grammar is ONE of those.

I will say I think it is unfair to measure someone's grammatical ability by their posting on casual conversations. Formal writing, by all means, judge away. But message boards and general Internet forums have more laid back approach to grammar.

kaplods
01-24-2012, 12:56 AM
When I was studying German in high school and college, I had the good fortune of having two (of five) teachers who pointed out which mistakes we made - were also common to native German speakers.

It really gave me an understanding that some mistakes were just easier to make than others (and in fact, if it's a "common" enough mistake, it also becomes a legitimate, but alternative usage - as in the difference between formal and colloquial speech).

I also used to be a huge spelling and grammar snob - until I was diagnosed with, and came to understand fibromyalgia.

As a result of my illness, I often have written and spoken communication difficulties. For example, I periodically lose the ability to use grammar and spelling correctly. I thought my spelling and grammar were "inate" or at least ingrained, because I didn't "think" about correct spelling and grammar, I just used them mostly with very few errors. I rarely had to think about homonyms like they're/their/there, or too/two/to, I just used them correctly without thinking. When I did find errors during proofreading, they were usually typos rather than mistakes.

Now, especially when I'm flaring (pain, fatigue, and cognitive issues called "brain fog" by fibro sufferers), I find myself spelling phonetically - even words that I never, even as a child mispelled once learning. I once caught myself spelling the word "was" as W-U-Z.

My best guess (because fibromyalgia is believed to be a neurotransmitter problem) is that I'm resorting to phonetic spelling when my brain can't access the normal pathways.

I can still find most of the errors when I carefully and repetitively proofread (though instead of proofreading in one pass, I now have to make several, and instead of proofreading by sight alone, I now also read out loud to myself as I do, because it helps me find the errors).

Eight years ago, I would have NEVER have proofread my posts on an informal forum like this one. Now, I have to proofread for both grammar and spelling - and I still will find mistakes - sometimes after five or six passes.

One of the reasons I've had to curtail my time here, is because I was spending too much time and effort communicating here, and avoiding real-time communications, even with my husband.

I like coming here, especially when I'm flaring, because it's a lot easier to communicate here, than in the real world - because I have the opportunity to review, and edit. However the comfort level has also helped me avoid rather than practice and deal with "real life" communications. I found myself disliking, fearing, and even avoiding in-person and real-time forms of communication. Even when I saw it (my husband actually brought it to my attention - many times), I had a hard time doing something about it, because it's "safe" here and my communication problems aren't as noticeable to anyone but me - I don't have to "explain" why I'm speaking like I'm intoxicated or "suddenly stupid," when I might have been fine a week, or even an hour ago.


In spoken communication, my fibromyalgia flares cause much more disruption (I originally wrote disruptive - and didn't notice it during the several edits. This is also a mistake, I never would have made before). It's incredibly frustrating, and deeply embarassing, because during a severe flare, I not only often will find difficulty finding the right words, I will use completely wrong words, invent words when I can't think of the "right" one, and repeat myself constantly (because my short-term memory doesn't work right - I can tell the same story three times in an hour long conversation with someone, and not realize it). I also often stutter (though I never did before the diagnosis - not even as a child) and slur words (so I can sound intoxicated). Sometimes I don't notice the problem (until my husband points them out, or I notice perplexed stares from those with whom I'm trying to communicate). Other times I notice these problems but can do nothing to prevent them (and it's really frightening when I KNOW I'm slurring my words, but can't stop it, not even by speaking very slowly and carefully).


As a result of my "new" language problems, I'm much more tolerant of language and communication mistakes and problems than I've ever been before, though I still get a little crazy when I see "loose" being used where "lose" is correct, as in "I want to loose weight". I see we now have a grammar corrector - because I typed "loose" but it is showing up correctly as "lose." Here, I'll try it again, and see if I can get it to print "wrong" as in "loose" weight.

I see it so often, even in formal writing such as magazine articles, that I have to ask, "Have the rules changed?"

Is "loosing" now considered a correct variant of "losing"?


I don't mind it here as much as in newspapers and magazines, but I've seen it so often in formal settings that I wouldn't be suprised if it eventually becomes a legitimate alternative (all "living" languages are constantly changing and today's errors or slang may be standard or correct in a few years).

konfyoozed
01-24-2012, 01:03 AM
the one that bothers me the most is a spoken mistake, though occasionally i see it written... the supposedly vs supposably mistake. DRIVES ME NUTS. though i do get the whole then/than, to/too/two, there/their/they're and alot/a lot irritation. it makes me cringe when it's a professional writer or teacher that makes those kind of mistakes.

philana
01-24-2012, 02:35 AM
Thank you all so much for the replies and for not shooting me! Haha. I used to get into trouble a lot on American boards when I was in my teens because us Dutchies are more 'direct' and it seemed to offend people.

I see now that it is not the single case of then/than but that generally people seem to have issues with words that sound the same but are written differently. I see how that can happen when it is not stressed so much in school. I guess that because it's my second language the importance of how things are written over how they sound makes me notice more. Knowing that then/than are written differently but spoken the same is kinda the only way to make sure I don't pronounce it incorrect.

Here we have one grammar rule that everybody always messes up (including me) but it is such a difficult one to remember and in the end the words sound the same and the meaning is clear that I often do it wrong myself. For those interested: It's where you put verbs into past tense or when you conjugate them they sometimes end in a d, t or dt. While the basic verb does not even have a d, t or dt. Annoying little grammar thing that is!

I get that on these boards it should not matter, and I don't think it matters. The reason I asked though is because it's something I see so often in other places too. And everytime it makes me stop and wonder why it is done so. But I now have my answer! Where I am at, and people I know are sticklers for language, but I hang out with a lot of journalist friends and politicians. So I guess it is of more importance then anyhow.

Thanks again for not shooting me! Hihi.

Lovely
01-24-2012, 08:37 AM
"The wrong versions of the right words" is a pet peeve of mine. That being said...

I'm by no means perfect. Often, I'll catch a spelling/grammatical error only after I've hit "post", and then need to go back and fix it. I'm a post proofreader :lol:

Then/than tends to be a "light" one. I see your/you're more often.

I agree that when you're typing along with a thought that sometimes the wrong word gets typed. It happens. Especially on "casual" internet places.

There are a few reasons why you might be noticing it in certain places:

1) Some people care more. It's true. Some people want the details to be correct, and seeing them wrong is like a 2x4 to the face.

2) Someone wasn't doing their job very well that day when the error got through. We're human. It happens.

3) English isn't your first language. When we learn the rules for something new, we have a tendency to question things that look wrong. We are trying to follow these rules, and it sticks out to us when others (even others who have been doing it longer) are doing it incorrectly.

As an example to that... just last week I was learning to play a few new board games with my brother. He'd played them before. I asked a lot of (annoying) questions, and pointed out a move that he'd mistakenly made.

It wasn't a "you're doing it wrong" thing. It was a "I'm newer to this. You said we can't do that. Why are you doing that?" thing.

It is only rarely that a person doesn't understand the rules behind things like you're/your, then/than, their/they're/there. In many cases either they made an error, or they don't care that they made an error.

bargoo
01-24-2012, 08:55 AM
My brother is a math teacher and basketball coach. His spelling is terrible, when he would write a letter to our Mother I had to translate it for her. I would say to him ,"But you are a teacher" , his standard answer, "Yes, but I don't teach English."

sontaikle
01-24-2012, 09:18 AM
Than/Then bugs me, but not to the extent that your/you're, there/their/they're, to/two/too and its/it's do.

I don't harp on my younger students if they do this. But my seventh and eighth graders know I will not be a happy camper if they make this mistake :joker:

I also tutor my high school age brother and I DO NOT let him get away with that. Granted I can be a bit more...ah...militant with him since he's my brother, but I do yell at him for making those mistakes since he should know better ;)

Back in graduate school I actually went crazy on my group in one class because they made so many grammar mistakes that I had to correct. I remember saying to them "We're going to be teachers! We need to know this stuff!" and they probably called me every name under the sun... but come on! elementary school teachers need to know that stuff!

mandalinn82
01-24-2012, 11:25 AM
When you're learning a second language, you tend to be reading it and hearing it at the same time (so you'll listen to your teacher speak, and read the words in a book). It seems to me like it would be easier to get very firm on how the different spellings are used if you were doing both at once, but when you're learning your FIRST language, you listen first, THEN learn to write/spell, meaning that sort of confusion is probably more common (just like you make a grammar mistake in your native language where the two spellings sound the same, but are used differently).

TheBunneh
01-24-2012, 11:38 AM
Thank you all so much for the replies and for not shooting me! Haha. I used to get into trouble a lot on American boards when I was in my teens because us Dutchies are more 'direct' and it seemed to offend people.

My best friend is Dutch. I love his directness. :D

jeminijad
01-24-2012, 11:47 AM
I tend to think that we are moving too far in the 'it's not a big deal' direction.

Then/than requires a bit of reflection, like effect/affect. But 'alot,' and lose/loose, etc, to me just scream that the poster doesn't read often. They are making a mistake that is based on intimate familiarity with the spoken word only.

I myself struggle with proper sentence construction, however- I wish sentence diagramming would be brought back into the public school curriculum everywhere. I don't have a concrete rule hiding out in the back of my brain for subjects/objects/predicates, but base my construction solely on doing a great deal of reading.

Beach Patrol
01-24-2012, 12:44 PM
As for affect/effect... when you're considering the issue of cause and effect, effect is a noun and affect is a verb. For example: "Exercise has a positive effect on depression." vs "Exercise affects depression."

However, affect as a noun can also refer to "mood" or "emotion" as in "She has a very flat affect and I never know what she's feeling."

As good as I am with words like there/their/they're and lose/loose and then/than, etc... affect/effect STILL causes me problems. Does something effect me... or affect me? Can't it be both? :dizzy: ARGH!

To the original post: I don't think it's that US schools don't "teach it" or "drill it" enough. I think that some kids are just better at grammar/spelling and some are better at math/science. I've noticed that those people I know who are really good at math are often not quite so good at grammar/spelling. Case in point: when I was in college, my boyfriend was really good at math. He TRIED (bless his heart) to help me with "simple algebra" but I just couldn't grasp it. Or maybe he just wasn't a good "teacher" of it... his roommate, a math whiz, was able to tutor me easily & I had a B average in math after that. :D However, my boyfriend, a very smart & capable person (artist!!) couldn't spell worth a ****. He was flunking English 101 because they had spelling tests every week & he was averaging a 35 grade!! - But ONE session with me tutoring him and he increased his weekly spelling test grade to an 85 average. :D

So see, some people are what I refer to as "number or fact minded" (math, science) and others are "word/memory" minded (English, history). And of course some are good at all of it. I'm just say'n. ;)

evilwomaniamshe
01-24-2012, 05:34 PM
This is the one that gets me!

BEFORE
B-E-F-O-R-E not B4 :dizzy:
Geeze, speak ENGLISH peeps, not fricken BINGO! :)
'nuff said! :D

and don't be knocking my geeze & 'nuff & fricken- because yanno I'm just sayin.... ;)

mizzie
01-24-2012, 07:38 PM
The one that irritates me the most, especially on forums like this one, is lose/loose/loss. Those aren't even like to/too, they are completely different words! If I read about one more person wanting to loose XX pounds, I think I'll scream.

Your/you're does bother me as well. But I will admit that I get affect and effect mixed up sometimes. I tend to just avoid those words. lol

Nadya
01-24-2012, 08:19 PM
I don't really recall this being beat into me in school. Maybe it was touched on but a lot of people I know still mix it up. I, myself, learned after I began posting on forums and it was pointed out to me. Otherwise, I'd still be mixing them up myself.

I do, however, remember spending what felt like a month+ studying how to diagram a sentence...which I doubt anyone remembers or uses...

theox
01-24-2012, 11:50 PM
I learned the difference between then and than in elementary school. I try to insure that my "important" writings - research papers, work products, resumes, etc. have standard grammar and spelling. Posts on Internet forums do not usually fall into the category of "important" writings. Frankly, I don't care if I make some grammar and spelling errors on here, as long as I can get my point across.

indiblue
01-25-2012, 05:45 AM
Spelling errors bug the heck out of me (especially the loose/lose, oh my goodness) but grammar errors even more so. Dangling modifiers, subject-verb agreement, and just poor sentence structure drive me crazy.

I went to very good private schools and I still emerged with some major grammar problems. Writing well is not something our schools generally teach. It is only through reading a LOT of quality writing (The Economist), frequenting grammar and spelling sites (the New York Times' After-Deadline blog (http://topics.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/after-deadline/)), and referring to useful resources (Grammar Girl (http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/) is a great site) that my writing, grammar, and spelling improved.

Edited to add: The most frustrating spelling error for me is it's versus its. It's is a contraction: It is cold outside/It's cold outside. Its is possessive: The campaign was so poorly run that its own manager quit.

LondonGirl88
01-25-2012, 07:37 AM
I don't really pay attention to any grammar, as long as I know what the person is trying to say! ALTHOUGH...I do get 'irritated' by people mixing up 'there', 'their' and 'they're'

shcirerf
01-25-2012, 09:10 AM
The one that irritates me the most, especially on forums like this one, is lose/loose/loss. Those aren't even like to/too, they are completely different words! If I read about one more person wanting to loose XX pounds, I think I'll scream.

^THAT^

Drives me crazy. Along with giving me strange images in my head of little fat cells flying around like a balloon turned loose! Duck! Here comes another one!
LOL

MissGuided
01-25-2012, 09:32 AM
Agh, you're/your drives me crazy!

4star
01-25-2012, 09:34 AM
I was raised and educated in the U.S. and I know the difference. I did have great teachers in school who wouldn't accept anything less that proper grammar so I am sure that factors into the equation. It honestly bugs me when professional writers make those mistakes. When it's your average person posting on the net, I assume it's an oversight or typo. I don't really think it reflects so much on the U.S. education system, just the casualness of the internet. In this day and age, with internet posting and texting people tend to be informal. I know I tend to abbreviate because to b/c... I do worry about the world in general sometimes though, we've gone from written languages back to using symbols in texts. I am sure our ancestors who spent all of that time creating written languages are so proud! :lol:

sacha
01-26-2012, 07:57 AM
You know what... I teach ESL and sometimes make similar errors. I bet lots of native Dutch speakers do the same thing in their language too. As long as something is comprehensible, I don't see a big deal. Yes, I do point out and correct common errors to students (when they are at the level where such correction is necessary) but it doesn't "grind my gears" when native speakers do it. I just don't think it's a big deal in the long-run.

I see threads like this occasionally - you know what? Sometimes people who get annoyed about these errors make other errors themselves. They don't notice it or realize it. Nobody's perfect.

Funny enough, there is actually no such thing as "correct" English. In French, you have L'academie francaise (a governing body on the "correct" French language) but an equivalent does not exist in English. So, while people will argue what is correct English and what is not, there is no official standard and there are a variety of "correct" English language forms in this world :D For example, if someone complains about young black people slanging their words, ie. "ebonics", I could kindly point out that African-American Vernacular is now a recognized dialect with precise structure ;)

Beach Patrol
01-26-2012, 11:24 AM
Agh, you're/your drives me crazy!

Heh... that always makes me think of Ross and Rachel on "Friends" when they broke up the 2nd time - after he read her 19 page (front & back!) letter... and he chastised her with "By the way? Y-o-u-apostrophe-r-e means YOU ARE... y-o-u-r means YOUR!" Heh. :D

joyc21
01-26-2012, 04:59 PM
:lol:

ETA: I think I drive my kids crazy, too. I tell them all that if nothing else, they will know that "a lot" is TWO words! Or else!!!

I had a substitute teacher in elementary school and at the end of EVERY class she made sure to reinforce this point.

CherryQuinn
01-26-2012, 06:52 PM
i know i do that a lot and im aware of the difference but really if im writing in one language youre quite lucky. i learned french right after english and then learned to sing in german not long after and then took russian in high school and german in university, not to mention i picked up some of the scandinavian languages from my scandinavian (swedish mostly) friends, and my parents dialect isn't normal english, its newfoundland english. just speaking american english is a trial so i often times prefer german. with all that swimming around in my brain and constantly switching between them all, its a miracle if then/than is my only mistake. im sure you can relate being multilingual youself. as for why americans who often times speak one language do it, im clueless to that. i guess it doesn't matter so much online maybe? but in saying that when im watching youtube music videos and somebody whose not a speaker of german has written the lyrics completly wrong, i feel like i need to correct them, maybe thats why you feel the need to correct english? because its not your native tongue and you had to learn all these rules it hurts you to see someone breaking them? just an idea from a fellow multilinguist.

theox
01-26-2012, 08:22 PM
As long as something is comprehensible, I don't see a big deal. Yes, I do point out and correct common errors to students (when they are at the level where such correction is necessary) but it doesn't "grind my gears" when native speakers do it. I just don't think it's a big deal in the long-run.

I see threads like this occasionally - you know what? Sometimes people who get annoyed about these errors make other errors themselves. They don't notice it or realize it. Nobody's perfect.

Funny enough, there is actually no such thing as "correct" English. In French, you have L'academie francaise (a governing body on the "correct" French language) but an equivalent does not exist in English. So, while people will argue what is correct English and what is not, there is no official standard and there are a variety of "correct" English language forms in this world :D For example, if someone complains about young black people slanging their words, ie. "ebonics", I could kindly point out that African-American Vernacular is now a recognized dialect with precise structure ;)

Well put, sacha.

Also, language isn't static. It changes over time (apparently at a predictable rate) and is influenced by history and culture. Yesterday's misused words are today's standards and tomorrow's archaisms.

Naama
01-27-2012, 02:55 AM
"Would of been" <shudder>

konfyoozed
01-27-2012, 04:09 AM
this whole thread reminds me of this blog post:

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html