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

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Ranking Ted
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Ranking Ted » 04 Feb 2018, 14:21

Years of corporate life and composing memos, papers, emails, instructions, etc have pruned down my natural inclination to the flowery, flights of fancy prose into something far less interesting, far more direct/boring. One of many small examples of the rough edges of individualism that get smoothed away over time by The Grind.

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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Super-Jank » 04 Feb 2018, 14:25

But you’re at least receptive to the idea that even with language, there’s a beauty in simplicity?
Diamond Dog wrote:and then we can have an adult debate about why you think there are 'over reaching' chord changes


Copehead wrote:I am a native speaker who got an A in O level English


K wrote:I think we all know that I would batter the fuck out of Coan.

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Ranking Ted
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Ranking Ted » 04 Feb 2018, 14:37

OCT wrote:But you’re at least receptive to the idea that even with language, there’s a beauty in simplicity?

Absolutely. Give me a novel with spare, clean prose that keeps the story moving over a laboured, literary style any day. Corporate Speak is the problem.

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Deebank
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Deebank » 04 Feb 2018, 14:52

sloopjohnc wrote:
Poppypoobah 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!
To be fair, most of us chat here every day and the brits use our terms we use theirs, what used to get me was when people did bad accents to my exhusband and I. It was painful and yet we both felt we had to smile thru the ordeal, It's just as bad hearing a brit do a bad US accent. I still say shopping cart rather than trolley and if I am speaking to an english person they have no clue what I am talking about. There are other ones, trunk rather than boot, ass rather than arse, but I do swap back and forth since in the years I've been here I've only run into maybe 5 Americans and hundreds of people from the UK.

I picked peppered with another language, because I live in a country that doesn't speak english. I was told yesterday that I spoke spanish very well by 3 guys who were trying to pick me up while my car was being worked on, I would hope so after this many years but it's still not as good as it should be by a long shot. I can curse like a native sailor though. That's one of the things that Duncan who teaches usually teaches first. Last year he was giving classes to a guardia civil student (our national police) and I was rolling with laughter as he told me how his class on what common curses this guy would hear in a routine traffic stop might be.


When I was staying with Django last summer, he would occasionally say, "Hey, buddy."

Buddy?

I told him he could call me "buddy" when I started using "mate," which would be never.


Buddy and Bud are common in South Wales and the West Country.
Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro

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Super-Jank
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Super-Jank » 04 Feb 2018, 16:08

Ranking Ted wrote:
OCT wrote:But you’re at least receptive to the idea that even with language, there’s a beauty in simplicity?

Absolutely. Give me a novel with spare, clean prose that keeps the story moving over a laboured, literary style any day. Corporate Speak is the problem.


The register we use - the degree of formality - is what interests me. Especially when we're speaking.

When we're with people we're familiar with (good friends, family), the words just spew out, there isn't any great process to speak of (of course a linguist would dispute this, but for reasons of argument let's leave that aside for now). And we tend to speak in an informal register, peppering our language with phrasal verbs, contractions, idioms and even local variants. Even a proficient student of the English language would have serious difficulties following the conversation.

But when we put ourselves in unfamiliar situations, the words we use are different. Whenever my Mam watches Judge Judy, she invariably points out that Americans are 'so articulate'. That's because the people you see use 'purchase' instead of 'buy', 'obtain' instead of 'get', and 'notify' instead of 'tell' - to name just three examples. Why do they do this? It's because they want respect, I suppose. And a judge might appreciate that. But to my ears it sounds odd and sometimes a little ridiculous.

But you see a similar kind of thing here! We're all judged by the language we use. And here, it's all we have. And if you want to be seen as intelligent, use the longest words you can. Otherwise how will people know you've read Jane Austen? :)
Diamond Dog wrote:and then we can have an adult debate about why you think there are 'over reaching' chord changes


Copehead wrote:I am a native speaker who got an A in O level English


K wrote:I think we all know that I would batter the fuck out of Coan.

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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 16:48

I get told that I use “big words” all the time. Even when I think I’m speaking simply.

I seem to have some confusion around this. I’m not always sure what words people find off-putting.
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Super-Jank » 04 Feb 2018, 16:49

What would be wrong with following 'always use the simplest words you can' as a piece of advice?
Diamond Dog wrote:and then we can have an adult debate about why you think there are 'over reaching' chord changes


Copehead wrote:I am a native speaker who got an A in O level English


K wrote:I think we all know that I would batter the fuck out of Coan.

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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 04 Feb 2018, 17:06

Nothing.

But I seem to be a bad judge of what is simple.
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take5_d_shorterer
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 05 Feb 2018, 02:33

Toby wrote: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."


Orwell and Faulkner had very different goals so it makes sense that their use of language would be different as well.

Orwell is about hunting down and trying to expose the irrational and asking what to do with this. (On the subject of his writing, you probably think you've read Animal Farm, right? Probably not. Probably not as he intended it. Here's the original preface which was suppressed.)

Faulkner's goals are even more basic. He's not trying to solve the irrational. He's just trying to describe it. Some of this is universal, but a lot of it relates to America and specifically the South. He comes up with crazy language because we're crazy in America.

Orwell is trying to discuss how we self-censor ourselves, which assumes some level of control, in other words that we can edit what we say and do. Faulkner isn't about control.


You should pick the language that is appropriate to your goals.

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Jimbo
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Jimbo » 05 Feb 2018, 03:51

take5_d_shorterer wrote:

Orwell is about hunting down and trying to expose the irrational and asking what to do with this. (On the subject of his writing, you probably think you've read Animal Farm, right? Probably not. Probably not as he intended it. Here's the original preface which was suppressed.)


It is important to realise that the current Russomania is only a symptom of the general weakening of the western liberal tradition.


Talk about a topsy-turvy, ping pong, Bizzarro situation. When the mainstream back then was maniacally defending Russia shows me how crazy we can get, how manic our society is, and if you buy into the current Russo-phobia you are as bad as the Long Live Stalin! crowd of post-war England.

Thank you Mr. Orwell.
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take5_d_shorterer
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 05 Feb 2018, 06:02

No, not bizarro.

There is a rationale behind the pro-Soviet bias that should be easy to see, but it case it isn't, note Britain's position in 1943: in the middle of an existential war with Hitler, who was also fighting the Soviets on the other side.

It shouldn't be too surprising that the official view in Britain was that the Soviets were to be portrayed as good in this context.

What Orwell is pointing out is how much this viewpoint was voluntarily carried out and to what extent the the intellectual class in Britain overlooked inconvenient facts. The Tito/Mihailovic story is a particularly interesting example.

Both Tito and Mihailovic, as Orwell points out, were fighting against the Nazis, who considered both to be dangerous and who placed a bounty on each. Britain decided to favor Tito and to put its propaganda apparatus in motion to spread outright lies about Mihailovic.

There are legitimate reasons why Orwell was warning people not to trust the intellectual class, and in this specific case, the British intellectual class.

You should not necessarily expect its actions to be motivated by the facts or by any consistency, other than, let's say, one of expediency, which is hardly any standard at all.

In case this all seems like something way in the past, it's worth keeping in mind that the hagiography of Winston Churchill continues, not unlike that that surrounds, let's say, JFK. Mihailovic is almost totally forgotten. It's clear who won that war of opinion. The issue crops up only every now and then in things like the suppressed preface which hardly anyone knows.
Last edited by take5_d_shorterer on 05 Feb 2018, 06:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Jimbo
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Jimbo » 05 Feb 2018, 06:21

take5_d_shorterer wrote:No, not bizarro.

There is a rationale behind the pro-Soviet bias that should be easy to see, but it case it isn't, note Britain's position in 1943: in the middle of an existential war with Hitler, who was also fighting the Soviets on the other side.



And, according to the essay, the Brits went crazy, overboard with Russo-phiia. But Putin eradicates ISIS and where are the thanks?
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 05 Feb 2018, 06:31

Since you'd like a direct comparison between the events, I will point out that the Nazis represented what I called an existential threat to Britain the 1940s. That means, in case it isn't clear, that the Nazis posed a threat that could have wiped out Britain as a sovereign nation.

ISIS is not an existential threat.

Therefore, the threat posed by the Nazis in 1940 is several orders of magnitude greater than that posed by ISIS currently to Britain.

This affected the way Britain responded to these threats, and that includes the way it voiced its opinion.

This is not, by the way, any justification on my part of any attempts at propaganda. It merely points out the obvious fact that the Nazis were much more dangerous than ISIS is.

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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Jimbo » 05 Feb 2018, 06:36

take5_d_shorterer wrote:Since you'd like a direct comparison between the events, I will point out that the Nazis represented what I called an existential threat to Britain the 1940s. That means, in case it isn't clear, that the Nazis posed a threat that could have wiped out Britain as a sovereign nation.

ISIS is not an existential threat.

Therefore, the threat posed by the Nazis in 1940 is several orders of magnitude greater than that posed by ISIS currently to Britain.

This affected the way Britain responded to these threats, and that includes the way it voiced its opinion.

This is not, by the way, any justification on my part of any attempts at propaganda. It merely points out the obvious fact that the Nazis were much more dangerous than ISIS is.


Oh boy are you opening up a can of worms but I gotta go to work so I'll have to excoriate you later dude. ;)
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Robert
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Robert » 05 Feb 2018, 14:13

Toby wrote: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?


I don´t think there´s really a formula. I like prose to be exact and precise in its descriptions. That is sometimes better served by longer sentences and words than the brief and short.

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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Super-Jank » 05 Feb 2018, 15:24

OCT wrote:We're all judged by the language we use. And here, it's all we have. And if you want to be seen as intelligent, use the longest words you can. Otherwise how will people know you've read Jane Austen? :)
Diamond Dog wrote:and then we can have an adult debate about why you think there are 'over reaching' chord changes


Copehead wrote:I am a native speaker who got an A in O level English


K wrote:I think we all know that I would batter the fuck out of Coan.

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Re: Your choice of language

Postby sloopjohnc » 05 Feb 2018, 22:47

All I can say is I must've been drinking and in a bad mood when I wrote what I wrote years ago. I'm still not a fan of affectation. I could've been nicer.

I did see that I voted, "Efficient," which I still stand by.

In a higher level journalism class, we had to write a review on one of two books, one being SHOUT, by Philip Norman. I wrote a short paper, about two or three pages, and got an A. A few other journalism students wrote much longer reviews and got Bs and Cs and they couldn't figure out why I had received a higher grade when I wrote less. One student even asked the teacher, but didn't use my name.

The professor, a former executive editor at some pretty big magazines, simply told the guy, "Only the best writers get the luxury of 20-22 column inches." In my grade, the professor made a nice note that he thought I could have a career in journalism, but I had already transferred my degree to Advertising. But it was nice to hear.

Nowadays, I write lots of copy for computer hardware and supply chain stuff that I know very little about and I know the people reading it know way more than me. I know I can't BS them with fluff.

I did this week though when I was writing about a vacuum sealer for programming modules and I needed another bullet. I wrote: Stainless steel construction inhibits contamination into chamber - I don't know if it's true, but why else would they make the thing out of stainless steel?

And my space is limited. The trick with writing technical copy is a lot of people want to fit a lot of words into one sentence and a good part of my job is shortening sentences and clarifying ideas so the reader doesn't forget what someone was trying to get at by the time they get to the end of the sentence.

There are lots of good writers on here that get to the point and do it clearly. Better than me.

Harold Evans is my guru of efficient writing: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-tu ... h-language
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Snarfyguy » 05 Feb 2018, 22:55

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

There, that's better.
Jimbo wrote:Look, all I know is pretty much what I get from Robert Parry over at Consortium News.

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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 05 Feb 2018, 23:41

sloopjohnc wrote:I voted, "Efficient"


:roll:

You couldn’t have voted “apt.”?
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Re: Your choice of language

Postby Jimbo » 06 Feb 2018, 00:08

I think it was Elmore Leonard who said to simply write "he said" anytime a character says something and the situation should define how he said it. Goosebumps author R.L. Stine must have never heard Elmore Leonard's advice. I have a bunch of used Goosebumps books leftover from when i had read them to my kid nearly 30 years ago and lately I have been useing them to teach English. Despite the young teen theme level they're actually engaging and fun stories. A problem for my students are the many ways Stine writes, "he said." My students have to deal with how he yelled, sputtered, howled, screamed, moaned, shouted, whispered, croaked, squeaked, squealed, grumbled, mumbled, grunted, and many more other words which mean "said."
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