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Text 124, 97 rader
Skriven 2005-06-06 12:40:34 av Ardith Hinton (1:153/716.0)
    Kommentar till text 116 av James Bradley (1:134/77.0)
Ärende: Spelling & Grammar
==========================
Hi, James!  Recently you wrote in a message to Ardith Hinton:

AH>  I think you can relate because you seem to be interested
AH>  in music which gives the performer(s) an opportunity to
AH>  experiment with various interpretations....  ;-)

JB>  Hey... I wasn't complainin'. <G>


          Thankyou.  I didn't think you were....  :-)



JB>  But doesn't your learning style dissuade you from
JB>  language studies?


          Not at all!  Many linguists have a similar learning style....  :-)



JB>  I've heard that if a person has a reasoning style of
JB>  comprehension, they tend to boggle over the (seemingly)
JB>  irrational rules of English.


          It seems to me they'd probably be very uncomfortable with rules which
don't necessarily work in practice, as I am.  Sometimes I don't know whether to
laugh or cry when adults recite "i before e except after c", then shrug & spell
a word such as "either" correctly because that is what looks correct to them...
or say "between you and I" because their use of "me" was criticized before they
were ready to learn much about prepositions & conjunctions.  Some folks like to
have rules... typically, eight-year-olds & primary teachers do... but the rules
we learned when we were eight years old may be inadequate later on.  And what I
find interesting is how people actually use language, how they intuitively know
the structure of their native language even when they can't explain it....  :-)



JB>  I know - at least I've heard - once you dig into
JB>  the peculiarities, you can find some rational behind
JB>  the idiosyncrasies


          Uh-huh.  I've invented a corollary to the "i/e" rule which takes into
account the vast majority of exceptions.  If you'd like to know, just ask.  ;-)



JB>  but I had little patience to for it when I could easily
JB>  learn the rational behind Pythagoras' Theorem, and
JB>  differentiation.


          Whatever the reason(s), I seem to have a gift for spelling & grammar.
As a student I often found the prescribed exercises repetitive, simple-minded &
boring... i.e. until my grade ten English teacher, "Miss Langwidge", aroused my
interest in the peculiarities & idiosyncrasies.  But in advanced mathematics, I
got the correct answer only because I wouldn't give up until I got it....  :-))



AH>  If you can express such doubts I can see you're human
AH>  & you're not afraid to admit it.  That gives me the
AH>  freedom to be human as well....  :-)

JB>  Have at it, girl! If you reach a point where I can't
JB>  understand you, I'll let you know. <-;


          Please do!  I wish more people would do that... [wry grin].



JB>  Say, could I bother you for an explanation for possessive
JB>  nouns, and whatever else deserves a trailing "'s" versus
JB>  a "s'"? My dictionary doesn't avail the topic in the
JB>  punctuation guide. Feel free to say no.


          Heh.  That's exactly the sort of question I like to get my teeth into
because it's out of the ordinary... and now you've aroused my curiosity!  I see
your first name as an interesting challenge because it ends with "s".  The only
examples I could think of were "St. James's Palace" & "St. James' Infirmary"...
and in both cases I was able to verify the spelling.  I did a bit more research
& concluded that the British add "s" after the apostrophe to one-syllable names
such as "James" & "Charles" where the Americans don't.  As a Canadian you're at
liberty to use the version you prefer, but IMHO your spelling should agree with
your pronunciation.  Further details/examples with other names, such as "Jesus"
& "Xerxes", available on request.  Or you can check out Fowler's MODERN ENGLISH
USAGE, which I've found quite helpful as a guide with various oddities....  :-)




--- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
 * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver BC, CANADA [604-266-5271] (1:153/716)