Your choice of language

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

What sort of language do you prefer

I will happily use foreign language phrases to pepper my everyday language.
8
29%
Flowery
5
18%
Efficient
10
36%
Don't really care
1
4%
I very rarely write anything of consequence to bother
3
11%
TXT SPK
1
4%
 
Total votes: 28

User avatar
Toby
Arsehole all Erect
Posts: 23414
Joined: 28 Jul 2003, 23:13
Contact:

Your choice of language

Postby Toby » 13 Aug 2012, 19:02

George Orwell wrote - "Never use a long word where a short one will do."

Hemingway, in reply to a criticism by Faulkner said "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use."

Will Self writes - "We chase "fast culture" at our peril - unusual words and difficult art are good for us".

What sort do you prefer - is it all about quick, effective writing that delivers a message or do you like to saunter through the labyrinth of language, happy to find yourself lost and eager to learn new words with which to colour your language in a more varied way?

User avatar
brotherlouie
AKA Number 16 Bus Shelter
Posts: 23132
Joined: 03 Oct 2004, 18:24
Location: In a library, probly.
Contact:

Re: Your choice of language

Postby brotherlouie » 13 Aug 2012, 19:19

I have a tendency to use grammatically accurate sentence construction, which can sound over-fussy. Phrases like 'brought forth' have to be excised. Excised, see what I mean.

In reading I lean towards the straight forward. Elmore Leonard over Will Self. I read Self's Book of Dave and struggled with it because he'd invented a language. Funnily enough, I never struggled with A Clockwork Orange. I've read Ulysses, but normal rules don't apply.

In short, I tend towards the fastidious, but wish I was more efficient. Sometimes, though, complexity is useful. Simple structure can't explain complexity and demonstrate it at the same time. One should never apologise for a large and varied vocabulary. Also, words I understand aren't obscure.

Bungo the Mungo

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 13 Aug 2012, 19:25

Orwell was right and a lot of people here would be well served to heed his advice.

User avatar
Insouciant Western People
Posts: 24653
Joined: 23 Jul 2003, 13:31
Location: The pit of propaganda

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Insouciant Western People » 13 Aug 2012, 19:26

Sir John Coan wrote:Orwell was right and a lot of people here would be well served to heed his advice.


"well-served to heed his advice"

Did you swallow a fucking dictionary? ;)
Jeff K wrote:Nick's still the man! No one has been as consistent as he has been over such a long period of time.

User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34959
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

Re: Your choice of language

Postby PENK » 13 Aug 2012, 19:27

I have nothing against long words when used well. The English language has a remarkable variety and diversity, and allows its users to play fast and loose with grammar and vocabulary, so knock yourself out.
I myself tend to aim for a kind of offhand, conversational eloquence. I'm rather fond of the long sentence and the occasional fruity turn of phrase. Rather that than the personality-free functionality of the average work e-mail, you know?
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

Bungo the Mungo

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 13 Aug 2012, 19:28

Nick wrote:
Sir John Coan wrote:Orwell was right and a lot of people here would be well served to heed his advice.


"well-served to heed his advice"

Did you swallow a fucking dictionary? ;)


Hyphenate your two-part adjectives only when followed by a noun, Nick.

As I have also demonstrated in that sentence.

User avatar
Zeke
Posts: 2969
Joined: 17 Mar 2006, 00:37
Location: A dead in the eyes, soulless robot

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Zeke » 13 Aug 2012, 19:29

In literature? I like both. It really depends on what the author is trying to convey. Mood and tone are established by careful word choice and limiting yourself to short and simple words would be foolishly arbitrary. Of course doing so may be just the thing for a given work but trying to declare that it's universally ideal (the "short and sweet" approach) is absurd. It would be like declaring that painters ought to limit themselves to primary colors and nothing else. It may work for certain approaches but it would be disastrously dull if all painters followed such advice.

For my own writing? Much the same; whatever best suits both the intended audience and what I hope to put across. Oh, and whim. Let's not forget a personal sense of whimsy.

User avatar
Leg of lamb
Jane Austen enthusiast
Posts: 9466
Joined: 19 Oct 2003, 11:33
Location: Crying in the chapel
Contact:

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Leg of lamb » 13 Aug 2012, 19:50

I hate all that butch pro-simplicity dogma. I started an essay once where I tried to pin down how Orwell breaks all the rules he sets out in 'Politics and the English Language'. Now, I love Orwell, but he's much better when he just leads by example, rather than hussying up all these rules and obligations.

Also, some people hijack Orwell to stick up for a type of terse minimalism as a stylistic preference - in the way that Hemingway choses it. But the serious point Orwell made in that essay is that totalitarianism uses opaque language as a type of quicksand that swallows scrutiny and meaning; it's a moral imperative not to write about 'forced removals' when really you mean 'brutal murder and torture'. It's got nothing to do with Faulkner, Miller or Joyce choosing to write long, weird sentences.
Brother Spoon wrote:I would probably enjoy this record more if it came to me in a brown paper bag filled with manure, instead of this richly illustrated disgrace to my eyes.

User avatar
der nister
Posts: 15564
Joined: 30 Sep 2008, 18:42

Re: Your choice of language

Postby der nister » 13 Aug 2012, 20:31

effusive
flowery
fussy
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

User avatar
Deebank
Resonator
Posts: 23197
Joined: 10 Oct 2003, 13:47
Location: In a beautiful place out in the country

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Deebank » 13 Aug 2012, 20:50

Welsh
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 63507
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12

Re: Your choice of language

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Aug 2012, 21:39

Between Efficient and Don't Really Care.

It shouldn't, but it absolutely drives me nuts when my American brethren and sistren start dropping "daft" and other English expressions.

It's like when white guys try talking black to be cool.

WE. AREN'T. ENGLISH!
Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk!

User avatar
der nister
Posts: 15564
Joined: 30 Sep 2008, 18:42

Re: Your choice of language

Postby der nister » 13 Aug 2012, 22:37

sloopjohnc wrote:brethren and sistren start dropping "daft" and other English expressions.

It's like when white guys try talking black to be cool.

WE. AREN'T. ENGLISH!


but we speak English

and you may have developed a patois :lol:
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

Jumper k

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Jumper k » 13 Aug 2012, 22:40

Fuck off.

User avatar
Clippernolan
Maya's Prop
Posts: 12289
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 18:55
Location: The mangy BC hills
Contact:

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Clippernolan » 13 Aug 2012, 23:00

sloopjohnc wrote:Between Efficient and Don't Really Care.

It shouldn't, but it absolutely drives me nuts when my American brethren and sistren start dropping "daft" and other English expressions.

It's like when white guys try talking black to be cool.

WE. AREN'T. ENGLISH!


Fo' shizzle.
Read my blog - The Delete Bin

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 63507
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12

Re: Your choice of language

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Aug 2012, 23:22

Clippernolan wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:Between Efficient and Don't Really Care.

It shouldn't, but it absolutely drives me nuts when my American brethren and sistren start dropping "daft" and other English expressions.

It's like when white guys try talking black to be cool.

WE. AREN'T. ENGLISH!


Fo' shizzle.


Word!
Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk!

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 63507
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12

Re: Your choice of language

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Aug 2012, 23:40

Jumper k wrote:Fuck off.


Now that I understand.

Did you buy it at the Ye Olde Fuck Off Shoppe.
Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk!

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 63507
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12

Re: Your choice of language

Postby sloopjohnc » 13 Aug 2012, 23:41

martha wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:Between Efficient and Don't Really Care.

It shouldn't, but it absolutely drives me nuts when my American brethren and sistren start dropping "daft" and other English expressions.

It's like when white guys try talking black to be cool.

WE. AREN'T. ENGLISH!


We share a common language. And language is fluid. But interestingly where language has historically speaking been tied to geography -- with the growth of the internet it's evolving -- it's become less regional and more global. The net allows us to cross barriers of geography, and as we do -- regional language fluctuations will become less marked.

Anyway, daft isn't really a britishism at all. It's just a word in the english language that fell out of fashion in America. It was a common term in regular use in both locales in the 1800's to 1900's -- but in the past century it just saw more use over there than over here. Crikey is another good example of an english language word that was initially equally or more popular in the US, but then the word just held more appeal in the UK to the point where it now seems entirely British to us.

Actually there's a pretty neat tool online -- if you look at Google Ngram -- you can chart the usage of words in both British English and American English and you'd be surprised by the commonalities.


I'll look up pretentious while I'm at it.
Last edited by sloopjohnc on 14 Aug 2012, 00:21, edited 1 time in total.
Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk!

User avatar
martha
rambling rose
Posts: 5369
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 17:41
Location: Self-imposed exile.

Re: Your choice of language

Postby martha » 13 Aug 2012, 23:53

It's only pretense if it implies more of something than is actually possessed and the intent is to impress.
My intent is NEVER to impress. Just to inform and discuss and engage. I'm possibly the least snooty or pretense laden person I know. You have never met me, so perhaps you're reading my intent and tone incorrectly.
--m.

User avatar
Copehead
BCB Cup Stalinist
Posts: 24115
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 18:51
Location: at sea

Re: Your choice of language

Postby Copehead » 14 Aug 2012, 00:16

Never use a single word when you have an apposite apercu ready to beguile your readership
Nazi Punks, Nazi Punks, Nazi Punks, Fuck Off

Image

Bear baiting & dog fights a speciality.

User avatar
sloopjohnc
Posts: 63507
Joined: 03 Jun 2004, 20:12

Re: Your choice of language

Postby sloopjohnc » 14 Aug 2012, 00:28

martha wrote:It's only pretense if it implies more of something than is actually possessed and the intent is to impress.
My intent is NEVER to impress. Just to inform and discuss and engage. I'm possibly the least snooty or pretense laden person I know. You have never met me, so perhaps you're reading my intent and tone incorrectly.


No, Martha I've never met you, and it's not just you.

There's lot of other Americans on here who use English or British expressions to color their language on here. Some of them my friends. People I have met and whose wrath I'll surely suffer.

But please don't get into etymology with me. As George Bernard Shaw said about Brits and Americans, and I paraphrase, we are "two people separated by a common language." At least, I think it was Shaw.

I am definitely being anti-elitist, which can be just as pretentious, but I think Americans using words like "bollocks" and such is just too cute (and between you and me, those Brits are insufferably superior as it is without you and me sucking up to 'em).
Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk!