delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:42 am

I realize that to many of you posters English is not your mother tongue, and I commend you for your ability to carry on meaningful dialog in this forum. However, to you young people, for whom English is your only language, shame on you for your incorrect use of common homonyms. Many times it takes 3 or 4 readings of a post to unravel its meaning because of misusing the following common words:

its, it's
its: belonging to it (its color is blue)
it's: contraction for it is (it's a bird, it's a plane...)

there, their, they're
there: a location, not here (over there is a nice plane)
their: belonging to them (I like their logo)
they're: contracton for they are (they're ugly)

were, we're, where
were: past tense of "are" (we were tired yesterday)
we're: contraction for we are (we're tired)
where: a location (where is the plane?)

There are lots of others - please add to this list.

Cheers,
Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
KROC
Posts: 18919
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:19 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:44 am

Your / You're (you are)

Your dinner is ready.

KROC, you're one of the most intelligent posters on airliners.net.
 
Mr. Squirrel
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 1:52 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:49 am

DISS - This
DAT - That
DEM - Them
DEEZE - These
DOZE - Those

 
b757300
Posts: 3914
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 10:27 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:51 am

Hoked on fonics workd four mi. Nuts
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 5:51 am

KROC, you're one of the most intelligent posters on airliners.net.

Excellent!! Your grade in Spelling 001 is A+
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
Turbolet
Posts: 1867
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:29 am

HEY DERE, CAN'T UNDRSTND Y U POSTED DIZ TOPIC Delta-Flyer. NEWAY, WE CAN UNDRSTND MOST OF D PPL HERE SO WOT!
That's SMS format  Big thumbs up.
-turbolet
 
Guest

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:34 am

Yea, Nightcruiser can spel prity wel two! He desurves a A!
 
America West
Posts: 1151
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 6:45 am

or maybee a A pus!
 
David_itl
Posts: 5961
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:15 am

Pete, in his noble effort in trying to get people to spell correctly, wrote:

color is blue

Pardon me for saying this but one of those three words is misspelt assuming this is a "correct English" thread. Shouldn't it be colour?

Whatever language is spoken in the US, it isn't English! American perhaps, but definitely not English.

David/MAN
 
I Like To Fly
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 1:17 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 7:29 am

Oh big deal!

Many times it takes 3 or 4 readings of a post to unravel its meaning because of misusing the following common words...

No offense, but maybe you are the one that needs the work. I have never had to reread a post because of the mistakes you pointed out. See, for those of us with a registering IQ, when someone says "there" instead of "their" we know what they mean. The same goes for your other examples. Maybe you have some reading comprehension problems, but I am not going to triple check my posts to make sure I use the correct form of "it's" because if I leave out the apostrophe your too slow to figure out I meant it to be a contraction. I always check for major grammatical errors, but you're being awfully damn picky. I really think it's funny you are reading posts 3 or 4 times, and in my book you just labeled yourself dumb. Smile
 
seven_fifty7
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 2:54 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:18 am

I agree with KROC. My ULTIMATE PET PEEVE is the use of "your" versus the use of "you're." And it seems something like 7 out of every 10 posts use it the WRONG way.

How it's usually written here on the forums:

...I didn't know your a Boeing fan, so let me know when your going spotting again.  Angry


And here it is how it is correctly written:

...I didn't know you're a Boeing fan, so let me know when you're going spotting again.  Wink/being sarcastic



SO GET IT RIGHT, BOYS!!!

 
KROC
Posts: 18919
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:23 am

I'm with my man SEVEN_FIFTY7 on this one!
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:43 am

To I Like To Fly:

... maybe you are the one that needs the work ... for those of us with a registering IQ ...
I don't think so, young man. I have a pretty high IQ, and my reading comprehension has never (yet) let me down. However, I expect a higher level of perfection in my reading material and the glaring errors I continually encounter in these posts seem to distract my attention from their content.

but I am not going to triple check my posts
Perhaps you should. I do. I consider every message I post a reflection of my personality, and I try to make it as correct and readable as possible. I consider that important. You obviously do not. In any event, this forum requires correct English, as stated in the Terms and Conditions.

Let me give you some unsolicited advice. You will be judged negatively when you submit a resume or a report to your employer or a customer that is full of grammatical errors. The bad habits you are acquiring here will be very hard to kick later on. We are, in fact, sending one of our engineers to a writing class because his grammar is embarrasing.

you just labeled yourself dumb
I don't think so. You just labeled yourself an arrogant adolescent. Instead of insulting me, why don't you better yourself?

Cheers,
Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
IHadAPheo
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:55 am

The award "best speller" LOL goes to Arichie Bunker, no not the a.net user.

My favorite Archie line is.........

When told that his comment was not germane to the conversation Archie replied "The god-damm Germans have got nothin' to do with it"
Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
 
I Like To Fly
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 11:19 am

Delta-flyer, I might have come off a little rougher than I meant, I apologize. This is a casual place, I am not submitting a resume to NASA when I post here and there is no point in making sure every post is perfect. I am a fun/casual guy, hopefully I come off that way in these forums most of the time. I don't judge a person on how grammatically correct their Airliners.net postings are. The fact you must reread posts 3 or 4 times does mean you have reading problems. You probably aren't dumb and really do have a high IQ, but if it is taking you 3 or 4 times to read a post because of grammatical errors then you do have a problem. I am not a super intelligent person, my senior year GPA was only a 3.58, but I can read a post with grammatical errors and not be confused. I bet you have a lot of book smarts, you must to be this picky about peoples grammar, but you need more than that to be considered "intelligent." When I read a post, I sometimes do notice a mistake, but I find it very humorous that someone with your "intelligence" must go back and read it again to understand it. As for being an arrogant adolescent... I will let that go because I deserved it as my post was on the harsh side. The rules don't say to have perfect English, they say you shouldn't have major errors and I rarely do. I once over my posts and hit send. You shouldn't have to do more than that. You need to understand most people aren't as picky as you and aren't judging you on a casual post on Airliners.net.
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 11:26 am


Delta-flyer, I might have come off a little rougher than I meant, I apologize.

Accepted.

You probably aren't dumb and really do have a high IQ, but if it is taking you 3 or 4 times to read a post because of grammatical errors then you do have a problem.
You apologized, I accepted, now why do you keep stirring the pot?
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
I Like To Fly
Posts: 1070
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:21 pm

Delta-flyer, I apologized for being a little harsh. I in no way agree with you and you obviously have reading comprehension problems. I was wrong when I said that made you dumb, it just means you have a problem when it comes to comprehending something that has little meaningless mistakes most people can ignore. I understand that may annoy some people, but you flat out can't understand it which is a problem for you and not us. We are not responsible for making your life easier because you can't do something 95% of us can. Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
LH423
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:25 pm

Whatever language is spoken in the US, it isn't English! American perhaps, but definitely not English.

Wait a sec...so, you're saying we speak "American" right? Well, then how come we get criticized when we say we speak American? (Something I never do, and it's a pet peeve to me when people do say they speak American) To keep it short and sweet, although we may never know why the designers of America thought that the spelling needed to be "tweaked", the fact is they did, and in the end came up with a more phonetically correct spelling of certain words in the language. By the way, a few years ago the UK was thinking of teaching American English in the British school system, because of it's phonetic spelling. In the end, I guess, tradition won, and that was never enacted.

However, I do take it as a great offence for someone to say that I don't speak English, just because there are some spelling differences. Also, if that's the case, as most nations have slight variances there it could also be said that there are languages named Canadian and Australian, because, they too, have slight differences from the English spoken (and spellt) in those countries.

LH423 (speaker of ENGLISH)
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
User avatar
LAX
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:31 pm

Hey IHADAPHEO........ LOL!!  Smile Smile Smile

Yeah...I love Archie too.

Favorite Bunkerism (after learning The Jeffersons are soon-to-be neighbors) ...... "Well we'll just see how wonderful it is when the watermelon rinds come flyin' out the windows!!!!"

Or perhaps Archie's solution to all those 1971 hijackings .... "Solution is simple", says Arch, "You just pass out the pistols at the beginning of each flight. And collect 'em all when you land!"  Smile Smile
 
IHadAPheo
Posts: 5499
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 3:26 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 12:33 pm

"dats right you arm da passengers"
Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 10:28 pm

The story of American spelling versus English spelling is quite an interesting one. I can't remember who was behind it (I'll do some research and come back to you) but as originally proposed it would have gone much, much further than was eventually the case, offering "a troo exampel of fonetick speling". It wasn't taken to its logical conclusion but a few examples remained; e.g. color, favor etc. Equally, the issue of spelling words with a "z" rather than an "s", e.g specialize, socialize etc is deemed by the OED to be correct, as opposed to the way the British usually do so. Despite this, it hasn't caught on in the UK, and there is certainly no movement to widely introduce American spelling as LH423 says. As an aside, I've always wanted to know why we pronounce Lieutenant as LEFtenant rather than the American way which seems more logical...

Even so, it strikes me as a rather silly argument to have, since the whole strength of the English language is the flexibility that it possesses (all English speaking nations can actually understand each other!), particularly compared to virtually any other widely spoken tongue. Verbs and nouns can be interchanged or used as adjectives or adverbs depending on the need that arises, and rather than being frowned upon it should be celebrated.

The most famous split infinitive in history is "to boldly go", but this supposed example of bad English is based on rules that were put in place in the 19th century by a group of scholars who thought it would be rather a good idea to actually have some. The problem was that they used Latin principles and applied them to English, which was a terrible idea as English isn't a Latin based language in terms of construction.

Poor spelling is very common in English but it often comes about from typographical errors rather than true misspelling. The same confusion over grammatical rules is due to incorrect teaching based on these same antiquated rules.

I do think poor use of language can be jarring sometimes, but ultimately language is about communication, if that is achieved then it has served the purpose for which it was created. There's a real danger that people can become a little too precious about it. An example of this is the high number of Americanisms within the language. But it cuts both ways anyway, many words in American culture have been imported from British, Australian, Canadian, Indian (shampoo etc) and even South African (trek - Afrikaans) environments.

Don't get upset with it, embrace it. The language that stops developing dies. The French are making this mistake, don't let us do the same.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
David_itl
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RE: English Spelling 001

Sun Nov 11, 2001 11:15 pm


Can anyone give me a reason why, in my job working in a translation agency, I get requests from US companies to translate American into English?

Hence if they consider what they have written NOT to be English, then why should I?

David/MAN
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

What Is MY First Language?

Sun Nov 11, 2001 11:28 pm

I'm part Indian part Chinese living in Singapore. I speak English at home, as well as to all my friends. The medium of instruction in all the schools I attended was English(as are all the schools in this country). I sat for the Cambridge 'O' level exams when I was 16 and Cambridge 'A' Level exams when I was 18(again, as do all students in this country). I learnt Chinese as a second language, though I'm not terribly good at it. I can't speak a word of any Indian language and I'm most comfortable speaking English.

When the British were here, they never imposed compulsory English education. When they left, the govt made it compulsory for the medium of instruction in all schools to be in English. All 16 and 18 year olds now have to take the Cambridge O and A levels respectively. They closed down the sole Chinese university and gradually turned all Chinese-medium schools into English-medium ones. As a result, we've had a significant number of Chinese/Indian kids grow up absolutely hating their own language.

I quite like some Chinese songs and movies and I'm kind of open to Chinese culture. However, I haven't read a single Chinese newspaper for 2 years, after I fulfilled the second language requirement. Since Indian culture is so intertwined with Hinduism and I'm not Hindu, I know nothing about Indian culture.

SO is English my mother tongue??
 
carmy
Posts: 590
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RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 12:37 am

Besides the word color, which David_itl has already corrected to be colour, Delta_flyer has made the following spelling errors in his commendable effort to encourage the proper use of the English language.

American:
dialog

English:
dialogue

American:
realize

English:
realise

And no, I'm not British, but since the first day of school I've been taught by my teachers that in Singapore, we use English and not American.
 
LH423
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RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:20 am

David_itl: That's what I'm saying. There are some arrogant/ignorant people who feel that they speak American, however that number is few and widely spread out. Please don't generalize on such, because in my experience, certain English people are the only people that sometimes require subtitles when being interviewed in American tv, ie the Gallagher bros of Oasis required subtitles because you can't understand a word they say! Yet, they speak English? One highly suspects NOT!  Smile

Banco: Actually, I do remember seeing a web site that mentioned at one point a few years ago there was something put forward to the British government favouring a switch to American spelling, however, as it is really such an insignificant matter it probably got over-shadowed by more important issues at the time.
Also, the person responsible for the SOME of the spelling changes we see today was Webster. However, some fail to realize that many of the differences in the language today are a result of the physical and cultural separation between the United States and Britain. Over the course of 224 years since the US became independent from Britain, we have not adapted to some of the changes that were made to the language in the UK. As such, we spell certain words the same way the British did over 200 years ago. For example, "tranquility" (with one 'l') was the spelling back then, however over time "tranquillity" (two 'l's) was introduced, but the separation of the two nations prevented that new spelling from really catching on in the US, until recently, where "tranquillity" has become more common.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:24 am


Concerning that AE/BE stuff - my prediction is that through the next decades British English will become more similar to American English. Language simply isn´t static.
One example: basically no one, not even Brits, spell "jail" "gaol" or "connection" "connexion".

Daniel Smile
 
carmy
Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:00 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:58 am

I'm personally of the opinion that the countries currently using English and those using American will simply continue using the respective styles of spelling. Most, if not all the countries in Britain and the British Commonwealth continue to use English. And English has become the mother tongue of many people living in these countries. It's not going to be easy to switch. It's only in countries where people are only just starting to learn English, for example China and Korea, where they're using American.
 
IHadAPheo
Posts: 5499
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 3:26 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:09 am

ok I have one word for this, Esperanto,........ and what was the name of the only film made in this language??????? ...... hint beam me up
Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
 
AerLingus
Posts: 2280
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RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:29 am

You fergin bastages!
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
IHadAPheo
Posts: 5499
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 3:26 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:33 am

yaowza someone got the Esperanto post. But can ya name the movie, I'll give another hint Kirk. Kirk, Kirk
Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
 
Thom@s
Posts: 11674
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2000 2:03 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:35 am

Me fail english? That's unpossible!

Thom@s Big grin
"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 3:54 am

Carmy, Besides the word color, which David_itl has already corrected to be colour, Delta_flyer has made the following spelling errors in his commendable effort to encourage the proper use of the English language.

If you would kindly check my profile, you will notice that I am an American, so I use the American spelling conventions. I am equally adept at switching between British and American, since I write many documents for British audiences. I even use both dictionaries in MS Word, as appropriate. (Just as an aside, English is my second language which I learned at the age of nine.)

The point of my post was not to debate the merits of British versus American spelling, but to highlight errors that are basic to the language regardless of local spelling convention. Misusing its/it's, your/you're, were/we're is not a result of local spelling custom, typographical error, or a desire to use shortcuts, but a reflection of poor education. It takes no more effort to type it correctly than incorrectly.

Banco, your mention of the split infinitive reminds me of the other big no-no in traditional grammar, that is not ending a sentence with a preposition. Here is (I believe) Churchill's famous quote on that subject:

"Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I cannot put."

Well, I guess what I learned from this thread is that the young generation doesn't care about traditional language and is quite content to communicate in whatever way is understandable. Is it because good language requires some effort to learn, or because it is truly unimportant? Whatever the reason, it's a shame, because there is a certain beauty in language, just as in the lines of an airplane.

Cheers,
Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 4:58 am

Delta-flyer, excellent question. One not mentioned, is the use of 'two/too/to'. That is my biggest pet peeve. Here is a sample of that:

I realize that to many of you posters English is not your mother tongue,...  Big grin
"Shaddap you!"
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 6:00 am

Delta-Flyer: Don't you mean "aeroplane"? Big grin

LH423: Your analysis of the divergence of English/English and American/English is spot on. Another example is the word "gotten", which was common in England up until the mid-nineteenth century, has died out here, but not in the States. It's strange really, because we've never come up with a suitable substitute for it, "have got" sounds ugly to say the least. Also, you're right about Webster, I'd forgotten (see, we have "forgotten", but not "gotten"!) his name and now you've saved me having to look it up.

As far as someone putting forward the option of American spelling to the UK government, I accept your word that someone did, but there is no way it would have been accepted, British pride would never allow it.

I don't agree that American and British English are distinct though, they are merely different usages of the same language. As I said, the whole beauty of the damn thing is that it IS flexible. Likewise, it will develop over the coming years, the increase of e-mail and the internet has already changed the language (particularly written) in many ways. I have no intention of being a Luddite on this (now there's a historical allusion for our cousins across the pond!) as changed needs to be embraced. It's by no means all one way.

Going back a few hundred years the dialects across England varied wildly simply because people across the country didn't interact much. This has changed dramatically in terms of accent already - the Kent accents have been almost eradicated to leave behind a modified version of East End London for a variety of reasons I won't go into. Another grammatical "failure" for you there. Even so, some elements remain; "yeah" came from Kent, whilst much of the rest of the country were saying "Ar" or "Aye". But it will no doubt continue, and regional accents, in which England is abnormally rich, will sadly decline.

I'm not at all bothered about English/American spelling, it's nice for us to have some differences! Although, it would be even nicer if Microsoft programs ("programme" for TV etc "program" for computers, in the UK) recognised this and switched "favorites" to "favourites" when the settings are changed to UK!

And no-one's answered my question about "lieutenant"!

She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
LH423
Posts: 5868
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 7:15 am

Banco: Totally agree with you on the disappearance of regional dialects. It's a common misconception among foreigners that all American's talk the same (and even frightening when they can't distinguish between an American accent and a Canadian one  Smile). The only one that may get any notoriety elsewhere is the famous "Noo Yawk" (New York) accent, however, some other notables are the upper-Midwest (Minnesota/Wisconsin) ones best displayed in the movie Fargo, the "Suthen" drawl, and the accent of "Bahstin" (Boston). However, with a few exceptions, these accents are becoming less and less prevalent. I can speak from personal observations that the Boston accent is rapidly losing speakers from generation-to-generation. Then again, the Boston accent is quite annoying, and it's extinction might not be that bad  Smile

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 7:47 am

Don't you mean "aeroplane"?

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean. And I go to the local aerodrome whenever I want to fly in an aeroplane.

On the subject of dialects, if you listen to the news on radio or TV, you will be surprised to hear a universal sort of neutral accent. I have heard this referred to as "Standard English". Even down here, in the land of Dixie, the news announcers speak the same as in NY, Seattle, or Toronto. I think that with people traveling as much as they do, eventually all English dialects will converge.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
watewate
Posts: 2216
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 6:00 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 8:26 am

How about Canadian spelling?

Center = Centre
Check = Cheque

That's the correct way to spell...at least in Canada.  Big grin
 
9V-SVA
Posts: 1747
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:54 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:48 am

I have English as a first language, with Chinese as a second language.

9V-SVA  Big thumbs up
9V-SVA | B772ER
 
carmy
Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:00 am

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 2:51 pm

Watewate, That's how the we spell it in Singapore as well. Shows that British tradition stretches far and wide! Can't resist just one more.

English - Theatre
American - Theater

And that's the correct way to spell, at least in Britain and the Commonwealth!  Big thumbs up
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:32 pm

Delta-Flyer: Not sure if you misunderstood me, but "aeroplane" is very much in use these days in the UK, in exactly the same way as "airplane" stateside. It's not an extinct saying. Besides, an "aerodrome" is usually military, whilst an "airport" is civilian. Just another example of different usage, I suppose!

LH423, I was amused about you saying that people can't spot the difference between Canadians and Americans, as a number of the Americans and Canadians I know can't either! I think there is a difference, the vowels in Canada are usually more rounded and there is a difference on emphasis within both words and sentences, but I would suggest that they are similar enough to be confused.

On that subject I am always amazed by the number of Americans who think that Southern English people are Australians! This is particularly so amongst those from London. I suppose it shouldn't be that surprising since the original white settlers in Australia (the convicts) were largely from London and that is from whence the accent derives. I would say that if many Americans can't spot the difference between a Londoner and an Aussie, we shouldn't be so surprised if they can't tell apart an American and a Canadian!

Equally, I understand that the basic elements of the North American accents were from the English accents at the time, particularly in the west country, with later variations arriving with the diffferent waves of immigration. As a result, it is at least possible that if you were to transplant an Englishman of 400 years ago into the modern age he might sound much more like an American than an Englishman. There is, of course, no way to prove this but much of the verse of the time supports what we now believe to be North American intonation, the separation across the centuries isolated the US from the changes in the UK in the manner of speaking. I always find this wonderfully ironic as you hear so many people complaining about the general pervasiveness of American accents!!

The long "a" in southern England spoken English (i.e. baath, caastle, graass etc) didn't develop until relatively late (18th/19th century I believe) and was an affectation by the aristocracy of the time. As is so often the case it was taken up by much of the rest of the population. Indeed, in certain parts of the US (I've heard it in Vermont and Maine for a start) many people did likewise once the two countries began increasing commercial links, essentially because it raised their social status in their eyes, and of course their offspring continued with it as they knew no other way of speaking.

Contrary to popular perception, the long "a" is not used by all Brits, nor even by all the English. It is essentially confined to the South Eastern corner of England, although the rise of the media, particularly the BBC, has created a certain commonality of pronunciation. By the way, NO-ONE spoke with that plum-in-the-mouth accent of the 1930's BBC and newsreels!

I would strongly recommend a book about all of this by Bill Bryson, called Mother Tongue, where he goes into the language in considerable depth. The outcome is boh amusing and informative.

I guess this has gone a bit off topic, but I for one find it interesting! I hope I haven't bored you... Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
LH423
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RE: English Spelling 001

Mon Nov 12, 2001 11:31 pm

Banco: I have heard that many Americans cannot tell the difference certain English accents and that of Australia, oddly though, I have never met anyone who can't. However, on my travels I met an Australian who looked at me incredulously after I said I couldn't tell the difference between a NZ and the Aussie accents. This was, of course, only after I gave him the same look when he couldn't distinguish my accent from that of a heavy Canadian womans.  Smile

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
David_itl
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RE: English Spelling 001

Tue Nov 13, 2001 12:48 am


...the Gallagher bros of Oasis required subtitles because you can't understand a word they say! Yet, they speak English? One highly suspects NOT!

Please try not to remind me of them - they come from 2 miles away from me!

As for regional accents disappearing, I did read a report that said the Scouse accent was dying - I hope that it won't be replaced Estuary English.


David/MAN: the posh(ish) part of it!
 
delta-flyer
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RE: English Spelling 001

Tue Nov 13, 2001 11:42 am

On the subject of Canadian/American dialects, I have seen it from both sides. In fact, I have lived in Canada and the US for exactly 22 years each!

When I lived in Canada (1957-1979) I traveled a lot in the US and the accent there was quite distinct.

Now, living in the US, I find the Canadian accent strange, whenever I return for a visit.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
airways1
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RE: English Spelling 001

Tue Nov 13, 2001 10:25 pm

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