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Grammar Discussions

JohnK

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I do get concerned when sales staff cannot spell one of the brands they are selling or where they botch the spelling of a competitor. That would make it hard to look up their website.
And it will get worse with the requirements for functional English to be removed from the 457 visas.

If you are working in an office in Australia and you need someone to explain to you what to do day to day in a foreign language that is extremely sad. This is not a production line or a cleaning job. Even worse is when you are working in IT and you are not able to understand the functional specification but make sure you speak you native tongue as much as possible as that will guarantee your English is going to get better.

Sad indeed.
 

NM

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Found on another board... anyone indulged in chocolate moose lately?

I heard that could be really tough. Plus, not suitable at all for vegetarians. :)
back in my high school days, I had a friend who liked to have fun with the staff at restaurants or cafes. It would go something like this:

Staff: Would you like to order dessert?
Friend: Yes please, I'll have the chocolate mouse.
Staff: You mean the chocolate mousse?
Friend: Oh, no no no, I'm not THAT hungry!
 

Warks

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My favourite can of worms has been opened! I will have plenty to add now I've read all 13 pages (or is it 26 pages?).

But on "had had" I immediately recalled this passage from Jasper Fforde's The Well of Lost Plots. Too much to explain if you haven't read it but this is brilliant by itself.

'Good. Item seven. The had had and that that problem. Lady Cavendish, weren't you working on this?'
Lady Cavendish stood up and gathered her thoughts. . . . 'It's mostly an unlicensed usage problem. At the last count David Copperfield alone had had had had sixty-three times, all but ten unapproved. Pilgrim's Progress may also be a problem owing to its had had / that that ratio.'

'So what's the problem in Progress?'

'That that had that that ten times but had had had had only thrice. Increased had had usage had had to be overlooked but not if the number exceeds that that that usage.'

'Hmm,' said the Bellman. 'I thought had had had had TGC's approval for use in Dickens? What's the problem?'

'Take the first had had and that that in the book by way of example,' explained Lady Cavendish. 'You would have thought that that first had had had had good occasion to be seen as had, had you not? Had had had approval but had had had not; equally it is true to say that that that that had had approval but that that other that that had not.'

'So the problem with that other that that was that--?

'That that other--other that that had had approval.'

'Okay,' said the Bellman, whose head was in danger of falling apart like a chocolate orange, 'let me get this straight: David Copperfield, unlike Pilgrim's Progress, which had had had, had had had had. Had had had had TGC's approval?'

There was a very long pause.

'Right,' said the Bellman with a sigh.
 

Danger

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Slightly broader than this thread but I noticed two errors on the Qantas mock aircraft fuselage that goes over the travellator in SYD T3.

On the outside is the apparently new slogan "Spirit of Australians" and inside there's an advertisement for where your FF points can take you, including on Alaskan Airlines.
 

kevrosmith

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Re: The totally off-topic thread

At a previous company I worked at, a punctilious employee put a sign on the Stationery Cupboard;

"This is a stationary cupboard used for the storage of stationery. Recognise the difference!"
A very simple way taught to me to remember this difference was:

The car remained stationary, while a pen is an item of stationery.
 

cove

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Re: The totally off-topic thread

Now that looks familiar but more than 50 years of sleeps have not helped with the brain recall system.
 

SeatBackForward

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Check and cheque

And not a grammatical issue as such but when I get asked for an autograph instead of a signature.
 

anat0l

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Check and cheque
Now that's a funny one, as in the USA "check" is the word used for all of three (at least) contexts, i.e. (1) to verify, (2) a restaurant bill, and (3) a written authority instrument issued by a bank for money to a recipient or bearer.

In the British parlance, "cheque" only refers to #3. You wouldn't go to a British (or Australian) doctor for a cheque up... well, I guess you might, but I don't know many doctors these days that'll accept one of those :)

And not a grammatical issue as such but when I get asked for an autograph instead of a signature.
I think that was borne somewhat out of boredom, i.e. everyone is sick of saying, "Could I please get your signature here," so saying 'autograph' is just different, and it tactically achieves the same thing, except you probably shouldn't autograph something like, "Dear Tax Man, You were fantastic last year. Shall we do it again? <Name here>"

In the USA again, another slang way to get your signature is to ask for your "John Hancock".
 

kevrosmith

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who and whom.

My pet hate (and often seen on AFF): definately -- said with such an ocker Aussie accent: defin-ate-ly
 

anat0l

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Not too sure of the accuracy, but here's some interesting food for thought between our imperialist (OK, which? ;)) linguists and our American fellows:

20 BRITISH WORDS THAT MEAN SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT IN THE U.S.



Wikivoyage (and its original incarnation, Wikitravel), being predisposed for an American audience (or American-English educated audience), highlights the specific differences between some US and UK English words if you bring up the article for the United Kingdom (under the "Talk" section). It even reserves a separate page to discuss the differences, just in case you get mixed up on the road :): English language varieties
 

anat0l

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Do you get a program or programme when you're at the theatre? ;)
I remember our Grade 9 English teacher giving us a spelling test for shiggles one day and program and programme came up. Of course, I fouled up the difference.

This page seems to explain it right up - The difference between program and programme(grammar lesson) - and it basically says for the UK English, use programme everywhere except for when the word is a verb or is referring to something related to computers. So, a frequent flyer programme, a television programme, programme of events for a function...

I'm not sure if anyone else can comment further or otherwise.

who and whom
This one sends me around the bend all the time. :-|

Here's a cute way to try and remember the difference: Grammar Girl : Who Versus Whom :: Quick and Dirty Tips
 

anat0l

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I love being centre stage. Or is that center?
When I was doing undergraduate IT, differences like that used to really drive you around the bend when writing up software documentation (SRSes - is that pluralised correctly? - design documents, coding guidelines, etc.)

For example, it wouldn't be unusual to write something like:

The colour of the shapes can be changed by using the changeColour method, which takes an argument of type Java class Color, e.g. Color.Red, Color.Green, etc.

Being a programmer then shifting back to documentation, you would consciously have to keep switching minds, otherwise one set of errors gives a poorly written document and the other results in a program that won't compile.

For the programmers on the forum, yes I'm aware I could have just re-wrapped or aliased the classes so I could use the British spelling in programming, but that's not very portable and mostly a waste of time.
 

Pushka

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All of a sudden. Instead of suddenly. (I know. No verb nor noun. :p)
 

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