Buying through this banner helps support the forum!

View Poll Results: Do you think that one's correct use of vocabulary is important?

Voters
8. You may not vote on this poll
  • It should be a HIGH priority!!!

    4 50.00%
  • It should be important to the speaker and the audience.

    3 37.50%
  • It has some importance, but it's not that high on my list.

    1 12.50%
  • Just as long as you get what I'm saying it doesn't matter.

    0 0%
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Did I say that?

  1. #1
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mid-Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    13,843
    Blog Entries
    10

    Did I say that?

    From the thread...Ask the person below there was this question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer86 View Post
    What's your most embarrassing incident of using either an incorrect word or incorrect grammar
    My reply was concerning the misspoken words of a college professor...

    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    I can't think of any for me...but I heard one in preaching school...
    A very serious minded Bible professor was teaching about Abraham and Lot (Abraham's nephew). Lot and Abraham were parting ways due to an overcrowding issue, so Lot decided to move his flocks toward the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (the cities that were known for being destroyed for their profound homosexuality...this fact is important for the story...bear with me). The Scripture says that Lot "pitched his tent toward Sodom", however when this professor quoted the passage, he actually said, Lot "pinched his teat toward Sodom". yeah...the class lost it...
    Stargazer replied again with another example:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer86 View Post
    That's pretty good! I was thinking randomly of when I took psychology in college and the mouthy pseudo intellectual in the class kept saying "symbology" when he actually meant "symbolism"...I was amused on one hand and highly irritated on the other hand. And another time for Interpersonal Communications when I had a teacher who was mentioning something about linguistics but actually said "linguism". At least she caught the mistake though...

    Since I thought of another example that happened recently. I work as a Project Coordinator for a steel fabrication sub-contractor. We are working with a General Contractor who is erecting a building for a university. However, the architect had done a very poor job conveying the information, thus the discussion of interpretation of the drawings came about in a meeting. The Project Manager for the General Contractor proceeded to comment continually about the need for the sub-contractors to "interpretate" the drawings. This man of high position (not necessarily of high education) has the habit of creating words.

    Sometimes it is not the misused word that is as funny as WHO is misusing it.

    There is a mason (a brick/block layer) who uses the words of his trade everyday. However, his pronunciation of one particular word is rather funny...for the word concrete he says {konk-krete} with an emphasis on the second 'k' in {konk}.

    We need to respectful to people as they speak, even when they use the wrong words. We can easily miss out on an important message by being overcritical of one's speech. However, it is rather amusing to share these things aside from that. So....here's your chance...
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

  2. #2
    account closed at request of member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    919
    Blog Entries
    33

    none of the answers above

    (Because ...)

    It depends on the person's profession and (supposed) education level.

    For instance,
    as priority

    ~ to writers yes, and beyond
    ~ to graduated and postgrad people, including Engeneers and Doctors (supposing that, usually, Lawyers manage writing well (...)), a priority
    ~ to non academically graduated public service workers, not a priority, but professionally important
    ~ to teachers, even maths or biology (&c), professionally important
    ~ to firebrigade soldiers, waiters, public transportation drivers (to mention only a few), maybe not thaaaaat important

    There may be other categories in between, that I didn't mention. It's enough to me. Think about it.

    TO ME

    I write in Portuguese. Not only using precisely, not only syntax, but morphology and orthography, not according to usual rules, but according to what you wish the language to be. There are a few things that I am changing (for personal reasons) in the Portuguese I write. In Literature; because in bureaucratic texts, official rules and laws MUST BE KNOWN & RESPECTED (even by a writer).

    In English I don't have such ability, but I make my best. It isn't my mother language, but I work on what I can to learn, and be corrected. Something I respect, and I see people not caring about (or trying to change, I don't precisely understand reasons for) is the use of capitular letters. I use them for the usual rules of English, such as names of people, places, languages and the pronoun "I". / The only thing I do sometimes, of irregular, is beginning a sentence without capitular, which is a choice, and I always do it, & only, in informal occasions and conversations, even as a mark of informallity. Even so, in these cases, I maintain capitular letters for proper nouns and "I". It isn't up to me to change this, and I won't use it any different unless it's made official.

    The only thing (or among the very few, but the only thing that I can remember) that I change in orthography of the English language is the name of my country. No matter some people might, in the future, come to pronounce it differently, I write it with an "s", when, in official English, it's with a "z". It's me being a writer _even_ when I write in English which, however isn't my mother language, is a ver dear aunt ...--

    That's me!, & what I think.

    lq~

  3. #3
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mid-Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    13,843
    Blog Entries
    10
    I agree with what you say...mostly. I do think that even the blue collar working class needs to be able to communicate properly. It may not be the highest priority, but if one wants to get their point across, the proper words need to be used to convey their thoughts. However, the intention of this thread is to share amusing misuses of words. And as you indicated, it is of a higher priority that the educated individuals use the proper words. I think that it is funnier when a person of high status/position/education uses a word blatantly incorrect.

    Please share any stories.
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

  4. #4
    Dreaming away Sapphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    below the sea surface
    Posts
    1,179
    I have too many stories to post here I can be very clumsy when it comes to grammar and language. Some of my friends even say I have created my own language by now, using words in ways they have never heard of I like that - though I often do it by mistake. I should pay more attention though, as it happens more and more that I do not know what the correct word would be.

    I am afraid I can not give you any examples, as all the mistakes I can think of right now are in my native language instead of English. In English I just have this thick dialect which makes people not notice what I say My aunt (from America) has tried to learn me to correctly say "th" as in "though", but I just feel so stupid when I try to pronounce it properly - like my tongue has to be loose in my mouth or something.

    I do have an example from a teacher of mine. He is very old school and not too accustomed to talking in English. He understands it perfectly, and he speaks it in a way that is understandable to us but probably not to English speakers For example, he prounounces "come" like "cum"...
    It is not too late, to be wild for roundabouts - to be wild for life
    Wolfsheim - It is not too late

  5. #5
    account closed at request of member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    919
    Blog Entries
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    I agree with what you say...mostly. I do think that even the blue collar working class needs to be able to communicate properly. It may not be the highest priority, but if one wants to get their point across, the proper words need to be used to convey their thoughts. 1 However, the intention of this thread is to share amusing misuses of words. And as you indicated, 2 it is of a higher priority that the educated individuals use the proper words. I think that it is funnier when a person of high status/position/education uses a word blatantly incorrect.

    Please share any stories.
    1. Having passed that first commentary, I agree with you. Specially because this is a forum on Literature. &, Beyond that, because firebrigade guys are supposed to enjoy literature (and, therefore, be here) as well!

    2. Most people here are students and teachers, I dare ... (I know I'm strongly inclined to be wrong about it ... I'm teasing everyone )


    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire View Post
    [color="blue"] ...
    I am afraid I can not give you any examples, as all the mistakes I can think of right now are in my native language instead of English. In English I just have this thick dialect which makes people not notice what I say My aunt (from America) has tried to learn me to correctly say "th" as in "though", but I just feel so stupid when I try to pronounce it properly - like my tongue has to be loose in my mouth or something.

    ...
    Funny, it's almost natural to believe that everyone in this forum is of English language, and that they speak with a Briti'ish accent, because that's how I read everything you write ... / However I know many of you to be "Ustaters", quite a few, Canadian, and many from other places. (A few Greeks. Fewer Brasilian, I think ... One Catalan, I recently found out )

    I've taken a look at your profile, Sapphire, and haven't found out where you're from ... Don't feel obliged to tell, it's only that I got curious, but it doesn't kill me.

    Funny. I told one girl from the US that I read her with my Britishish, and she said that she was awkward that she couldn't express herself all right. (She thought I couldn't understand her ...) That wasn't what I meant. It's only funny to me that I read her different from what the truth is. (Because, when she writes, she "writes" in US English ...)

    Everyone should be proud of their origins, primarily, I believe, no matter what.

    *One thing that happens in my writing in English is that I have a problem in calling people from the US as they call themselves, because I'm from the same continent ... So, the same adjective I use to describe myself. To present myself. Before being from a certain country, I'm from a continent. So, before being Brasilian, I'm American. (And Portuguese speaking with pride! I wouldn't ever be the same man if I spoke Spanish, eek!)

    I write to change the world, and to change the future. I think a lot about the fact that my writing will remain muuuuch longer than I, unless this rock is hit by another rock along the way, before I die. Or the sun explodes ...

    This is a little more from me ...

    [I changed the "location" of my profile. I felt I needed to put that I'm somehow connected with Vindolanda. I'd simply put Vindolanda as location, only, I'm not in England/Scotland, so, it'd be an unbearable lie to me. -- Before anyone thinks I bear lies, it isn't so: only, I'm according to pseudonims, and so is my god. -- But I deeply miss my true location in the location info, and, someday, I'll manage either to move effectively to Vindolanda, or to Conimbriga , or will I change the info back to Rio de Janeiro ... Lets see how it goes. I miss people being able to know where I'm from. / I have an album for Rio in my profile, but unfortunately people don't care much about visiting your profile ever. So, as much precise I can be in the main info data at the left, the better ...]

    lq~
    Tim, to the friends
    Last edited by librarius_qui; 05-16-2009 at 12:27 PM. Reason: changes and continuing from * | & correction | + [adding]

  6. #6
    ignoramus et ignorabimus Mr Endon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    305
    For me, language exists so that we understand each other. So, I'm prejudiced against people who write in such a cryptic manner that though they're saving time they're making the reader lose a lot of time trying to decipher the message (e.g. i wz goin 2 sei dat) Hypocrisy also makes my blood boil, so that 'symbolism/symbology' example strikes me as something which would make me react in a similar way to yours.

    That being said, however, hypercorrection is something that does no good to anybody. When we encounter a typo, we usually stop paying attention to the actual content of the message. Also, more than once have I seen intelligent arguments being replied with a "I can't believe you spell [word] like that, I'm not even going deign your mistake-laden mambo jambo with a reply".

    A great friend of mine, when speaking in English, makes like three mistakes per sentence, though she's doing an MA in English Linguistics. But though it severely deviates from the grammatical rules her way of speaking is quirky, idiosyncratic and very funny (she's a stand up comedian). Her mistakes in no way hinder our understanding of what she's saying, and if fact she would lose half of her charm if she spoke "correctly".

    Plus, there's a difference, which I believe has not been made, between mistakes and deliberately deviant expressions. I say, usually for humourous effect, 'I breakfasted cereals yesterday' without a qualm, and people understand me. I think that you can only meaninfully use language as soon as you start adapting it to your reality, bending it so that if fits your mold and not the other way around.


    EDIT: I must mention that I fully agree that the "correct" use of vocabulary and grammatical rules is of utmost importance in formal circumstances (e.g. academic essays, speeches, etc).
    Last edited by Mr Endon; 05-16-2009 at 01:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mid-Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    13,843
    Blog Entries
    10
    OH...I am so glad that you said that Mr Endon. I wish that 'texting' never came about. Our new generation will grow up not learning how to speak properly. I troubles me greatly to hear people speaking in their abbreviated 'texting' language.
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

  8. #8
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,284
    While I feel it is generally important, I suppose the level of importance depends on the environment. For example, I would expect a teacher to have fantastic grammar and a command of the language. This is also applicable in most job situations. Regardless of whether or not the person is highly educated. If you have been speaking a language your whole life, you may as well speak it correctly. If I were at a party or chit chatting online or via text message, it doesn't bother me much at all. Although, if something were blatently bad, it would be difficult to ignore. For example: one of my huge pet peeves: "Irregardless" :
    My 6 year old step son's grammar has become awful ever since he started attending kindergarten at a school where English is the second (or not even..) for most of the children. His pronoun and preposition use is almost painful sometimes. His father and I don't talk like that. Kids seem to be much more influenced by other kids at that point in thier lives. He uses the word "what" for nearly ever pronoun and it's really getting under my skin after several months of trying to correct this. "Do you see that picture what's on the wall". I have to interrupt him and say the word "THAT" several times a day. I don't even think he realizes it most of the time. I'll stop him right after he incorrectly uses the word "what" and tell him to say his sentance again correctly and he still doesn't realize what he's said wrong. *sigh*

  9. #9
    Serious business Taliesin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The West Pole
    Posts
    2,228
    Blog Entries
    3
    Bah.
    I don't think that the (insert preferred language here) language will be destroyed or whatnot because of texting or msn-speak or lolspeak. They are used in different contexts, mostly, you don't get the bonuses of texting such as shortness in spoken text (it is just uncomfortable to speak using consonants), people will never speak the 'written language' anyhow - 'written language' and 'spoken language' are two different things. That also means that people generally don't speak 'properly'. (in Estonian, for example, most people mix up some words that are a bit similar in both meaning and sound - I think the majority of people that know the difference are the last year students who have to write their final essays.)
    I haven't really seen people using texting language while speaking, except sometimes using words like 'lol' and other similar words - and introducing new words to language doesn't destroy the language.
    The only reason to be annoyed when people don't speak properly is purely aesthetic.
    If you believe even a half of this post, you are severely mistaken.

  10. #10
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,284
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire View Post
    I am afraid I can not give you any examples, as all the mistakes I can think of right now are in my native language instead of English. In English I just have this thick dialect which makes people not notice what I say My aunt (from America) has tried to learn me to correctly say "th" as in "though", but I just feel so stupid when I try to pronounce it properly - like my tongue has to be loose in my mouth or something.
    It's funny you should bring that up. I dated a guy for a few years (ages 16-19) whose family was from Brazil. Both parents are very well educated and can each speak 5 languages very proficiently, if not fluently. While he grew up speaking both English and Portuguese and has almost no accent at all when speaking English, the "th" thing was the most prominent. And his father, whose English is PERFECT with a tremendous vocabulary and excellent grammar (though he does have a noticable accent) could never get past the "th" thing either. They described it to me as being an absurd sound in Latin languages. As if someone were lisping. I've also noticed this in my workplace and community which is predominantly hispanic. I think (English speakers in particular) are much too ethno centric in expecting others to speak English.

    Incorrect grammar does not bother me in the least with someone who speaks English as a second language. I have a lot of respect for someone who can speak and understand a second language proficiently enough to get thier point across. It's better than I can do. It's better than your average native English speaker can do (at least where I live). I would never correct a foreigner's English unless I was asked to. When I was going to college, I tended to gravitate towards a lot of the exchange students. Some of them did ask me for help with editing papers etc and I was happy to oblige. It's amazing to see how hard some people work to educate and better themselves and not take the opportunity for granted.

    Some people could be total jerks when it came to the foreign students. I never understood that. Why make fun of someone's English when they only started learning it at the age of 18? Especially considering how idiotic many native English speakers are. It's painful to listen to some people talk out here in Southern California. I mean...really painful. But, I digress. I recall in my English 1B class (I think that's what it was) at the college when we got into groups and were proof reading each other's papers. One of the ones my group got was from a Japanese girl who only started learning English less than a year before, but whose comprehension of it was so high that she tested into this class at the appropriate age and time with a bunch of native English speakers. Her paper started off something like this, with a disclaimer: "I don't speak Engrish very good, but I will try my very best". Well this just got some jerks in my group cracking up and joking loudly about it. The girl was not dumb by any means and, as I stated before, had a high comprehension of English, as most people learning a language learn the receptive skills prior to the communicative skills. It's natural. She, of course, heard and looked mortified. She blushed and put her head down. I was furious. The content of the paper was excellent. These guys tried to give her a crappy grade (we were grading each other's papers) but I interceded with the teacher who made allowances for foreign students. These guys who were acting like that ended up being crappy writers anyway.

    Sorry...got off on a tangent there :P

    I suppose that could be a topic in and of itself; the setbacks in learning a new language (expressions, nuances etc). It's quite relevent to reading translated texts, or a book in a language other than your native one.

  11. #11
    ignoramus et ignorabimus Mr Endon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    305
    Stargazer86, spot on. Some people don't seem to realise how hard it is to learn a language to the point of proficiency. Thanks for that post.

    Sapphire, I see what you mean. When we reach a certain age our phonetic apparatus, hitherto maleable, consolidades, and some sounds become impossible to articulate. I know a man, for example, who can only whistle when he tries to pronounce the German "ich". So it does sound ridiculous when you try and articulate a sound that you're not used to (believe me, I had corrective phonetics class and having to repeat an impossible sound for over two minutes in front of the class was hilarious/embarrassing), but with enough perserverance and proper guidance you'll be able to get it out alright.

  12. #12
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,284
    Oh, and I once when I was at the bookstore with a friend of mine, he mentioned to me that he's a "proliferous reader" ahh man. At least he was able to laugh and make fun of himself for it when I pointed out that the correct word is "prolific". Very smart person. I guess he just had a blonde moment.

  13. #13
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248
    I voted and I didn't pick the very top because I think one can at times and the proper place swerve words to expand their meanings. Shakespeare does it all the time.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    account closed at request of member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    919
    Blog Entries
    33
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer86 View Post
    ...

    My 6 year old step son's grammar has become awful ever since he started attending kindergarten at a school where English is the second (or not even..) for most of the children. His pronoun and preposition use is almost painful sometimes. His father and I don't talk like that. Kids seem to be much more influenced by other kids at that point in thier lives. He uses the word "what" for nearly ever pronoun and it's really getting under my skin after several months of trying to correct this. "Do you see that picture what's on the wall". I have to interrupt him and say the word "THAT" several times a day. I don't even think he realizes it most of the time. I'll stop him right after he incorrectly uses the word "what" and tell him to say his sentance again correctly and he still doesn't realize what he's said wrong. *sigh*
    Something like it happens in Portuguese: few people use properly certain pronouns, and they use one in particular for unappropriate cases; or don't use proper prepositions with pronouns, but only that same pronoun. So, instead of "cujo" (whose/which), "de que" (which), "onde" (where), they use only "que" (that/what). There's a lot of change of where ("onde") to when ("quando") ...

    It doesn't bother me much in speech, but it does make a difference, in a way. (You know that those who can use it properly are really educated ...) In writing, it's almost worth crucifiction. Even so, I think it's something that may come to change in Portuguese grammar, within a century, perhaps ... (I say so as an apprentice in Philology.)

    Many things might be solved if we still had Latin in school programs. (Since the '60s we don't, in Brasil; it's a shame!)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •