So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Poor Alan, yes. A forgotten war hero, and for all too long a forgotten victim as well.

    But for TBL the web wouldn't be what it is for two reasons: 1] it might not have existed, and 2] if it did, somebody else might have patented and charged, and it simply wouldn't exist in the way it does now.

    (In fact, back in 2000, BT tried to claim an old patent of theirs meant they 'owned' hyperlinking, but fortunately sanity prevaled.)
     
  2. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    See, THIS is exactly, why our ALDI and LIDL are awful!

    Pumpkin-spiced Bratwursts


    Baaah... :p
     
  3. KILO NOVEMBER

    KILO NOVEMBER Practically Family

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    I read a news story with yesterday's breakfast concerning the Superintendent of the Chicago police being found asleep at the wheel of his car, parked near a stop sign. He has called for an investigation of himself. Now, the thing that bugs me about this story is the following sentence made by someone who writes English for a living, someone whose professional product ought to be held to a high standard. Here goes,
    "But on Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times that Johnson confessed to her he had drank alcohol with his most recent meal."

    I won't mention the reporter's name, but based on the picture alongside her by-line, she would appear to be of an age cohort that was schooled during a period when basic ideas of grammar had been abandoned as part of secondary school curriculum here in the U.S.

    I've got a dollar that says she couldn't define "pluperfect" or "past perfect".

    Most words in modern English have regular forms of number and tense, but common words of very old origin still retain the forms of their Germanic roots. These include "drink, drank, drunk" where instead of changing the ends of the words to mark changes in tense, the change comes in the middle.

    I wonder if some training in remedial English grammar is available?
     
  4. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Pluperfect is simply denoting an action completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied, formed in English by had and the past participle, as in, 'he had gone by then.' Past perfect is much the same thing.

    Looking at the sentence in question:
    "But on Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times that Johnson confessed to her he had drank alcohol with his most recent meal."
    My English teacher would have put a big red circle around the word 'But.' He would follow that with the word: 'Conjunction.' Starting a sentence with a conjunction was not in his book. That's probably why the habit of so many that start a sentence with: 'So,' really bugs me.

    Moving on: "confessed to her he had drank alcohol." Between her and he would be yet another big red circle for omitting the word 'that.' As for drank alcohol, my English teacher was a facetious so and so, his response to drank would have been something akin to a remark, in red ink of course: "Drank as a Lord, was he?" Leaving me to figure out that I should have written drunk.

    Conjugating verbs was something I learned in primary school, to learn a foreign language it's imperative to understand terms like pluperfect.
     
  5. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I've been a professional writer for thirty-seven years, and I can't remember any of the grammar rules I learned by rote in Junior High -- I wouldn't be able to tell you the difference between a pluperfect and a plum pudding. But I make out all right just the same.

    I haven't diagrammed a sentence since 1975, but I've written millions of them.

    Journalists are often expected and required to write in a semi-colloquial style to create a sense of punch and energy in their prose, an approach that goes back to the 1920s and the rise of Walter Winchell. Beginning a sentence with "But..." is a very, very common way of doing this -- it creates a sense of sharp transition from the statement that precedes it. It may not be classical, formal Warriner's Third English, but it's good, snappy writing in a newspaper or magazine piece. A sharp journalistic editor would be more critical of her use of the passive voice -- "had (drunk) alcohol" instead of the active "(drunk) alcohol" or "consumed alcohol." Or better, find out exactly what kind of alcohol. Beer? Wine? Whiskey? Gin? Rubbing alcohol?

    Winchell, no millennial he, would have written something like "The mayor says Johnson made with the giggle-water."

    The other thing to remember about newswriting is that there are no second drafts, and there is no careful polishing of elegant prose. The reporter bangs out their copy on a deadline, in a hurry, and it's the copy editor's job to clean it up. Nothing goes into print that hasn't passed an editor's inspection, which is usually just as rushed. It's very easy, especially with a word processor, to make cut-and-paste editing errors that you don't notice until the article is in print. "Had drank" looks to me more like one of these errors than a case of One Of Those Millennials Who Ought To Go Back To School.
     
  6. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Eddie Johnson's a great guy; hopefully, this incident can be checked out by the rat squad and dismissed.:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  7. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It was common when I was growing up to hear double negatives employed in my neighbourhood on a regular basis. "I didn't do nothin'!" was a common defence heard at school or in the street, along with other examples such as, "He doesn't know nothing." It didn't bother me but it did mark the speaker, in my opinion, as one of the kids who weren't particularly bright or who came from one of the rougher families from the 'wrong side of the tracks.'

    Since I started studying Old English, though, I've been surprised at what elements of English have stubbornly survived 800 years of inroads by Latin, French, Greek and other tongues into the language. Looking at negative OE phrases such as, "No, I won't have any more," it would seem the double negative, quite normal in Old English, may well be one. In the original language, it's "Na, ic nille na ma habban," literally, "no, I will not no more have." The modern phrase "not ever" was rendered "ne næfre,", "not never," and so on. As a result I now find it interesting if I hear a double negative used by someone speaking around me and I'm not as critical of the person using it.
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    In some American English dialects, the double or triple negative is an intentional way of showing emphasis: "I don't know nothin' nohow!" is stronger than "I don't know nothin'," which is stronger than "I don't know anything" or "I know nothing." (Unless you add "Nottttttthing! Notttttthing!, in which case you are Sgt. Schultz and you just saw the trap door open to the tunnel.)
     
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  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Meanwhile, here's my beef of the moment -- what kind of boob, dope, dummox, halfwit, etc. etc. thinks it's a good idea to go out at night, on a poorly-lit side street dressed entirely in black? Black hat, black jacket, black pants, black shoes, ambling down the street in the path of traffic big as Billy B. Damned and almost completely invisble until you're right on top of him. I drive carefully and didn't hit this chucklehead -- who appeared to be, not some kid, but someone mature
    and full of years -- but one of these nights his luck is going to run out.
     
  10. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    I go to work in the dark. The ninja walkers/joggers are seen fairly often here. I don't get it either, but I'm sure if either of us hit one they will claim it's not their fault.
     
  11. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    They want to win the next edition of the Darwin awards.
     
    Trenchfriend likes this.
  12. EngProf

    EngProf A-List Customer

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    They are everywhere - I saw two of them just last night. One was crossing the road, the other was walking along the side. Could *barely* see either one...
     
  13. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    I don't know about. Doesn't happen, in old Germany.

    What ticks me, are the girls with the ripped 80s-style jeans. I always want to say: "Girl, dress warm!" ;-)
     
    Edward and Benny Holiday like this.
  14. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Sounds like the fella's gonna be crab bait pretty soon. :D
     
  15. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Are paravents still popular in the US?
     
  16. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Astros:(
    Verlander's pitching tonite.:)
     
  17. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    Made that very observation myself last night. I doubt the black-clad fellow has any appreciation for just how fortunate he is that I was more mindful of his presence (in the middle of that dark road, nowhere near a crosswalk or intersection) than he was of mine, in that 4,000 pounds of automobile.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  18. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

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    That's exactly how my father in law was killed several months ago. He had Alzheimer's and in a belligerent mood stormed out of the house at dusk wearing dark sweatpants and sweatshirt. Mother in law went after him in the car but couldn't get him in. He was walking down the middle of the road (rural Pennsylvania) when a car came around the corner and hit him. While the driver was deemed not at fault, I don't quite buy it given the distances involved. I suspect the driver was texting or otherwise distracted not to have seen him in time. The trooper would have us believe there's a blind spot where headlight beams converge.
     
  19. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    What a tragic story, we had a case of a young man walking home, so drunk that he fell, dressed in dark clothes he was struck by a car and sadly died at the scene. Later, in the press, I learned that the driver, a 31 year old, young mother, was so distressed she had to taken to the hospital. Now two families are bereaved. Young adults seem to stop drinking when their money runs out, it never occurs to them to save a few pounds and get a taxi home, just not an option.
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  20. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    Astros :(
     

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