Author Topic: English Language Bug Tracker  (Read 2106 times)

touchingcloth

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2021, 05:48:39 PM »
The mistake I often hear European speakers make is, eg, saying "I don't know what is this" instead of "I don't know what this is". That's another fucking hard English thing - to formulate questions you have to re-order the sentence ("This / is / a cat" vs "Is / this / a cat?"), which isn't true of lots of other languages - eg in Japanese you just say "This is cat" and then put "ka" on the end to make it a question.

This part of learning a Romance language is a joy. Also the fact that it’s only really the English who tart up their language to sound polite but without adding useful semantic information - it’s a tough habit to break when you’re brought up with your elders shouting “I want never gets” at you, but it’s so much more efficient the way the Portuguese and others do it. Likewise they don’t really use circuitous sentence constructions: “I am going to the shop”, “I will be going to the shop” - they’re both just phrased as “I go to the shop”.

A language course I did recently likened Romance sentence construction as being similar to how late Middle/early Modern English - The King James Bible has “forgive them father for they know not what they do”, but if Jesus were a contemporary ridiculous Brit he’d might’ve said “forgive them father because they do not know what it is that they are doing”.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2021, 06:44:18 PM »
Unfortunately Japanese compensates for its elegant lack of plurals with its own needlessly complicated counting system. The word for one is "ichi", but if you're counting small animals like cats then it's ippiki, or if it's people then it's hitori, or for flat things it's ichimai. So you don't say "ichi neko" (one cat), you say "ippiki neko" (one cat). But that's dumb because you're not adding information, right? If you say "ippiki neko" then we know it's a small animal because you said neko, which is a kind of small animal, so can't you just say "ichi neko"? You dummies!

That's totally insane sounding to someone like me who has never encountered any grammatical info based on size. German does distinguish speed, however: "gehen" means "go" but excluding the sense of "go by car", which is in German, famously, "Auto fahren" (never "Auto gehen"). Curiously, Jesus's ascension is deemed a "Fahrt" (pronounced like an elongated "fart") and not a "Gang". i.e., Logically, it must have taken place somewhere between the speed of walking and the speed of a car: therefore the upcoming Christian holiday is termed "Christi Himmelfahrt" in German - "Christ's road to heaven", "the ascension".

Is "ichi"/"ippiki" something like the diminuitive forms of European languages like "señora","señorita"? i.e., Is it to "cutify" the word following, or is it strictly to indicate relative size, like how "this" and "these" indicate relative numerousity?

Quote
The mistake I often hear European speakers make is, eg, saying "I don't know what is this" instead of "I don't know what this is". That's another fucking hard English thing - to formulate questions you have to re-order the sentence ("This / is / a cat" vs "Is / this / a cat?"), which isn't true of lots of other languages - eg in Japanese you just say "This is cat" and then put "ka" on the end to make it a question.

In Arabic there is no word for "is"[1], so Arabic speakers have particular issues with word order involving "is". Then you have the Arabic-influenced Spaniards who say "¿Qué es?", "What is it?", and tend to mistranslate the sentence into English because "es" means not only the word "is" but also the word "it". Naturally it is confusing to have to divide one word into two and then learn rules about which way around you say them.
 1. there actually is, technically: the word يكون ,  but Arabic speakers lack the copula form of "to be"

Zetetic

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2021, 07:00:12 PM »
Regarding plurals, my German students, despite my best efforts, always say "I have 30 euro for you" instead of "I have 30 euros for you".
Isn't "euro" a perfectly good plural in English?

(Setting aside that it's the official English plural for both EU and Irish institutions, as far as I can remember, because who cares.)

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2021, 07:05:15 PM »
Is "ichi"/"ippiki" something like the diminuitive forms of European languages like "señora","señorita"? i.e., Is it to "cutify" the word following, or is it strictly to indicate relative size, like how "this" and "these" indicate relative numerousity?

It's strictly to categorise the nature (not just the shape) of the thing you're counting. Floors in buildings, books, periods of time, machines, spoonfuls, letters... the actual word for the number changes for each of these things. It's batshit.

We do it in English too, a bit - for uncountable things you have to count them using separate nouns, such as bales of hay, sheets of paper, blades of grass - but in Japanese it's on an enormous scale.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 07:15:49 PM by popcorn »

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2021, 07:06:54 PM »
I used to work with a French guy who was absolutely insistent that "We recommend you..." was incorrect and that it should be "We recommend you to..." He asked on Reddit about it and downvoted all the replies.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2021, 07:13:50 PM »
Isn't "euro" a perfectly good plural in English?

I would never say it. Just as I would never say "It costs 50 pound" or "50 dollar". I would, however, say "50 yen", but I don't know why the difference.

I used to work with a French guy who was absolutely insistent that "We recommend you..." was incorrect and that it should be "We recommend you to..." He asked on Reddit about it and downvoted all the replies.

This is also a problem with German speakers.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #36 on: May 04, 2021, 07:15:00 PM »
I wouldn't say "euro" (plural) either, I think it's non-standard.

touchingcloth

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2021, 07:26:14 PM »
I wouldn't say "euro" (plural) either, I think it's non-standard.

Tandards for nonces.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2021, 07:44:02 PM »
I wouldn't say "euro" (plural) either, I think it's non-standard.

Wikipedia reckons:
Quote
Official practice for English-language EU legislation is to use the words euro and cent as both singular and plural, although the European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation states that the plural forms euros and cents should be used in English.

I thought the idea was to ensure that the word remains the same, regardless of different languages' normal rules for forming plurals.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2021, 07:57:10 PM »
That Wikipedia claim is out-of-date, the current DGT English style guide says:
   The plural of ‘euro’ is ‘euro’ (without ‘s’): This book costs ten euro and fifty cents

But I'm more interested in what people in Ireland actually say.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2021, 08:09:05 PM »
That's a grammatical exception. By analogy, "ten pound fifty" is something I would say. I was specifically referring to the phrase "I have 30 euros for you". You would accept the sentence "I have 30 euro for you" as grammatical?

Zetetic

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2021, 08:19:51 PM »
I would, yes. And there's a decent chance I'd produce that form as well. (Trying to remember I've caught this from relatives in Donegal.)

(I take the point about the style guide's example not being instructive. But the instruction is fairly clear.)

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2021, 08:21:13 PM »
edit: nevermind... I don't want to get into which is correct if it's standard Irish usage. English is not just the language of the English.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2021, 08:24:16 PM »
My English-speaking relatives in Donegal.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2021, 08:31:27 PM »
Wasn't trying to wind you up, Retinend, I promise.

I'm not at all clear if this really is standard Irish usage.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2021, 08:37:29 PM »
I end up watching a lot of football streams from Irish TV and “35 Euro” is something I hear used in adverts.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2021, 09:16:43 PM »
FWIW, Guardian style guide, BBC style guide, Chicago Manual of Style and AP style all say "euros". Couldn't find it as "euro" plural in any style guide I have access to.

sprocket

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #47 on: May 04, 2021, 09:19:57 PM »
But I'm more interested in what people in Ireland actually say.

Tend to hear both, but I think generally Euro in "official" sources like ads or on the news.

NoSleep

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #48 on: May 04, 2021, 09:22:32 PM »
#54134 Issue: 'Raze'
How is that right? You 'raise' something up, but you 'raze' something to the ground. That can't be right!

Tell your razor.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #49 on: May 04, 2021, 09:37:15 PM »
It's strictly to categorise the nature (not just the shape) of the thing you're counting. Floors in buildings, books, periods of time, machines, spoonfuls, letters... the actual word for the number changes for each of these things. It's batshit.

We do it in English too, a bit - for uncountable things you have to count them using separate nouns, such as bales of hay, sheets of paper, blades of grass - but in Japanese it's on an enormous scale.

I think you're getting close to my own utterly unfounded theory of Japaneses nouns - they're all uncountable. So, 'neko' doesn't mean 'cat'. or 'cats', but 'catness'. So "ichi neko" would be "one catness", which is meaningless; whereas "ippiki (no) neko" is "one small-animal-unit (of) catness", which is meaningful.

I used to work with a French guy who was absolutely insistent that "We recommend you..." was incorrect and that it should be "We recommend you to..." He asked on Reddit about it and downvoted all the replies.

I would've thought the underlying phrase is "We recommend that ...", which would originally have been followed by a subjunctive phrase e.g. "We recommend that he leave."
This can then be changed in two ways:
  • The subjunctive mood becomes indicative e.g. "We recommend that he leaves."
  • The "that" is lost e.g. "We recommend he leave."
These changes can be, and usually are, combined e.g. "We recommend he leaves."

In the case of "We recommend you ...", change (1) is 'invisible', as the difference between indicative and subjunctive moods is not marked in the second person e.g. indicative "you leave" is the same as subjunctive "you leave" (except for the verb "to be" e.g. "you are" contrasts with "you be").

"We recommend you to ... " is not strictly correct, as far as I'm aware, except in the case where you are being recommended to someone (rather than to do something) e.g. "We recommend you to the agency."

This is even clearer in the case of "he/him" rather than "you".
"We recommend him to leave." feels very wrong, and "We recommend he to leave." is even worse.
"We recommend him to the agency." is OK.

I would use "We advise you to ... ", "We advise him to ..."

So, all in all, the French guy was wrong,

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #50 on: May 04, 2021, 09:40:07 PM »
FWIW, Guardian style guide, BBC style guide, Chicago Manual of Style and AP style all say "euros". Couldn't find it as "euro" plural in any style guide I have access to.

the current DGT English style guide says:
   The plural of ‘euro’ is ‘euro’ (without ‘s’)

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2021, 09:43:07 PM »
I think you're getting close to my own utterly unfounded theory of Japaneses nouns - they're all uncountable. So, 'neko' doesn't mean 'cat'. or 'cats', but 'catness'. So "ichi neko" would be "one catness", which is meaningless; whereas "ippilki neko" is "one small-animal-unit-of catness", which is meaningful.

I know what you mean, and it's possible native speakers "feel" it this way. (My SO is Japanese and I often try to get her to explain how she "feels" the language, but I can barely explain what I mean by that in English, let alone Japanese.)

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I would've thought the underlying phrase is "We recommend that ...", which would originally have been followed by a subjunctive phrase e.g. "We recommend that he leave."

"We recommend you fuck off" and "We recommend that you fuck off" are both correct and natural, surely.

I think the "that" can be optionally removed in the same way you can from lots of English constructions - "He said that he was hungry", "I didn't know that you were there", etc.

Quote
So, all in all, the French guy was wrong,

He sure was, and as the argument progressed he went on to reject the subjunctive mood entirely in all forms, so "He suggested you to fuck off" it is.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #52 on: May 04, 2021, 09:47:11 PM »
Another slightly silly, but uncommon, letter combination is Pt at the beginning of words, which I think is influenced by Greek names like Ptolemy. Should probably just ditch the silent P.  Still, unless you deal with pterodactyls or ptarmigan on a daily basis, it’s effects are negligible. Ptarmigan started out as ‘tarmachan’, a Scottish Gaelic name, but some classical scholar probably coined the current daft name. Not sure what ‘pterodactyl’ was in the native dinosaur language.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #53 on: May 04, 2021, 09:49:34 PM »


my point - for what it was worth - is about what's in common use among major publications in English. could my point have been anything else?

unless you're actually trying to say "you also technically have access to this other style guide, the European Commission Style Guide, which I linked to earlier in the thread", in which case pretend I wrote " any major style guide people use as a reference for general writing" instead.

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #54 on: May 04, 2021, 09:51:51 PM »
He sure was, and as the argument progressed he went on to reject the subjunctive mood entirely in all forms, so "He suggested you to fuck off" it is.

Haha, isn't the subjunctive even more clear in French? What a bizarre stubborn attitude he had.

Zetetic

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #55 on: May 04, 2021, 09:55:14 PM »
my point - for what it was worth - is about what's in common use among major publications in English. could my point have been anything else?
I just wasn't sure if you'd missed it.

I think your post supports the view that "euros" is common in British and American English, and I wouldn't have disagreed with that.

I'm mostly interested in Irish English, because that's where I believed that I'd come across "euro" (and for the obvious reason that Ireland's currency is the euro) and other posters have corroborated this.

I've generally stayed away from the weirdness of European/EU English, DGT style guide aside, because that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #56 on: May 04, 2021, 09:56:33 PM »
I miss nothing.

I generally associate "euro" with Irish English too, but those guys can't be trusted, my mate's dad still calls cars "carriages".

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #57 on: May 04, 2021, 09:59:01 PM »
The OUP sits on the fence in its style manual, with both euro and euros listed as plurals of euro.

Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2021, 10:01:35 PM »
Haha, isn't the subjunctive even more clear in French? What a bizarre stubborn attitude he had.

Not as much so as it is in Spanish, but still much more a thing than in English.  But I can imagine it as I've often heard this kind of construction "He suggested you to..." from French people speaking English.

I've noticed in the States that they're particularly hot on their use of the present subjunctive in everyday writing, while in British English it feels rather more weird and old fashioned.  Over there, a lot of people use it very naturally, and I love it.

Zetetic

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Re: English Language Bug Tracker
« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2021, 10:01:40 PM »
Forgotten how much I love this shit:
https://www.eca.europa.eu/Other%20publications/EN_TERMINOLOGY_PUBLICATION/EN_TERMINOLOGY_PUBLICATION.pdf
which touches on how Euro English has countable "informations" at this point.

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