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This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.

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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 3:51 am

griffey's got the answer, when do we switch to vulcan?
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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 4:05 am

Hey, when we switch to Vulcan, we don't even NEED an answer to "how are you?" We'll just use a Vulcan Mind Meld, and the questioner will know EXACTLY how we are!!! *G*
Reply from K Allen Griffy (Springfield, IL - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 4:20 am

Further to my remarks about the possible influence of a German word on American English usage, I have just come across a wonderful description by Mark Twain of his experience of the German language which cannot help being immensely useful to any present or future student of that tongue. You can find it at:
http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html
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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 4:34 am

Thanks Erik, that Twain piece was so good. There are just so many gems out there - would that we could discover each one and have enough lifetimes to relish them all.

Here's a short orthographical piece(continuing on the theme of the humorous side of rules, regulations, and usage). I stumbled across it a while back, and I don't seem to have a record of the source.

THE NEW ENGLISH

The European Commission has just announced an agreement
whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather
than German which was the other possibility. As part of the
negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English
spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5
year phase-in plan that would be known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly,
this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c"
will be dropped in favour of the"k". This should klear up
konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year,
when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will
make words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be
ekspekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes
are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double
letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e"s in
the language is disgraseful, and they should go away. By the
fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing
"th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz year, ze
unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and
similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of
leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer
vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi
to understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru!



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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 4:49 am

The prevous anonymous posting was from me. I must have expired again because I am absolutely certain that I logged in. Sorry about the messy looking formatting above, but my original looked normal, but when I did the paste, it got kind of choppy, I was hoping that it might striaghten The previous anonymous posting was from me. I must have expired again because I am absolutely certain that I logged in. Sorry about the messy looking formatting above, but my original looked normal, but when I did the paste, it got kind of chopped up. I was hoping that it might straighten itself out – as mysteriously as it appeared - when it was sent (and didn't know how to fix it other than retyping i) - but it didn't. I never did understand the crazy things that sometimes happen when you copy a file and how you lose control of spacing, ...

Ken G - March 12, 2002
Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 5:03 am

Yes, Ken, the submission window does impose its own peculiar restrictions, as I too have found. One of the ones I've noticed is that however many successive spaces there are in what you post, only one space will be present in what comes out at the other side. It also refuses to accept characters beyond those in the extended ASCII set.

However, if you use Word (or some other WP program with a search-and-replace facility), you can replace line breaks and paragraph breaks in a text with spaces, then copy and paste into the WW submission window. In Word, searching for ^l will find line breaks; you will find paragraph breaks with ^p.

Plus, of course, if you are posting more than just a few lines it's a whole lot easier to check over what you've written if you can see the whole thing in your WP editing window rather than if you have to squint through the tiny letter flap provided by Word Wizard!
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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 5:17 am

hi there
I'm very glad to see your efforts made in the field of English language and I wanna congratulate you for that. I'm a student of class 8 here in India and I'm very fond of learning and becoming an expert in English in my future. I would like you to suggest me some good ways of improving my English as a gramarian.
thanking you
Abid Khan
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Post by Archived Reply » Fri May 28, 2004 5:46 am

I don't really see the ambiguity in this -- though I am enjoying the banter.... My grammar school nuns taught me that "feel", "smell" and "touch" are linking verbs. You don't use adverbs to describe linking verbs. Thus, you feel BAD or GOOD. This does not apply to the physical act of "feeling" (as in your fingertip example). If feel is an action verb, then an adverb is used. Was Sr. Lucy wrong?

from a recovering catholic
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