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Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Thornir » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:59 am

Tenaka wrote:
Epimer wrote:"I could care less but..." still doesn't convey the meaning of "I do not care about...". It's a nonsense phrase. Actually, no, it's worse than a nonsense phrase, because it has the opposite meaning to the intended message.


I could respond to this by simply repeating my earlier post but I feel that if you really are as pedantic as you say then I will force an infinite iteration upon the forum that will only be dispelled with a divide by zero.

And we all know how they turn out.


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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Flex » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:07 am

Epimer wrote:"I could care less but..." still doesn't convey the meaning of "I do not care about...". It's a nonsense phrase. Actually, no, it's worse than a nonsense phrase, because it has the opposite meaning to the intended message.


One of the great things about English is you can make stuff up and say what it means and be completely right. Also language in general evolves in such a manner that an incorrect common belief actually becomes the correct meaning.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Passionario » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:09 am

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Epimer » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:29 am

...but I don't care about the purity of the English language at all. The hint was me...well...explicitly saying so on the previous page. It's a bonkers language, and that's what's lovable about it. It's just this one phrase/expression that drives me batty because it's so utterly contradictory. I really don't know what to say to anyone who honestly thinks that saying the opposite of what they actually mean is a clearer form of expression than...saying what they actually mean.

(editing in a clarification: we in Engerland and related nations actually do say "I couldn't care less" when we mean "I couldn't care less"; I don't know if that was clear from previous ranting)

I shall soothe my addled brain by watching the David Mitchell video I linked again. On repeat. He knows my pain.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Korola » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:53 am

People are entitled to pet peeves. I would like to submit the following reading that I'm sure many have seen, but I feel carries relevance to this topic.

Arncdiocg to a rscareeehr (ics) at Cimbrdgae Utyrvsiein, it dsoe'nt matetr in waht oerdr the ltetres in aa wrod aer, the only irnptaomt tinhg is that the frist and last letetr be at the rhgit pleac. The rest can be aa tatol mses and you can sitll read it wiotuht pbolemr. This is buscaee the hmaun mind does not raed eervy letter by istlef but the word as aa woelh."

As for values our mind works the same way. When someone says they're and they meant their, we still know what they meant. The point of language is to convey messages, and even if we convey the message incorrectly (read - could care less) people still know what we mean. I use Word and spell check to correct my incorrect spelling and grammar. I tend to worry about it when I am sending important transmissions to people that involve a large amount of invested time and money. I tend to not care on a forum discussing farting, pixellated game play in an online mmo, and cooking recipes. I don't really care what people think about me in those environments. If people read the words that I write and the only value they can retrieve from my message is "that retard put the semi-colon in the wrong place" - then no amount of grammar, punctuation, or spelling is going to help me out. People are bound to make mistakes, and if flaws are all you are looking for, then that is what you shall find.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Arcand » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:56 am

Flex wrote:
Epimer wrote:"I could care less but..." still doesn't convey the meaning of "I do not care about...". It's a nonsense phrase. Actually, no, it's worse than a nonsense phrase, because it has the opposite meaning to the intended message.


One of the great things about English is you can make stuff up and say what it means and be completely right. Also language in general evolves in such a manner that an incorrect common belief actually becomes the correct meaning.


That argument, however, is routinely hauled out to defend pure, simple brain farts. When a meaningful expression or idiom already exists, and Joe misstates it, is he really celebrating the evolution of language? Or did he just screw up?

99% of the time I'd call it the latter. Calling it linguistic evolution is like declaring your baby an artistic genius every time he smears his food all over the high chair tray.
Last edited by Arcand on Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:57 am

Epimer wrote:I was referring to the (usually) Americanism of saying "I could care less" where the (usually) British phrase of "I couldn't care less" would be used.


I didn't know "could care less" was the accepted American usage -- I thought people were just being wrong.

It's like people saying, "Walla!" on a reveal.

Or actually not, now that I think about it. "Walla" and "intensive purpose" are mondegreens, and not dropping an entire frickin' adverb.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Flex » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:08 am

Arcand wrote: When a meaningful expression or idiom already exists, and Joe misstates it, is he really celebrating the evolution of language? Or did he just screw up?


Both.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Epimer » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:55 am

Korola wrote:The point of language is to convey messages, and even if we convey the message incorrectly (read - could care less) people still know what we mean.


In this particular case, though, (I know I'm flogging a dead horse at this point) the error/difference corrupts the original meaning. If you had someone who understood English to the extent of having a reasonable vocabulary and a grasp of grammar, but not an exhaustive knowledge of idioms, they would correctly ascertain the meaning of: "I couldn't care less about x". They would understand that I do not particularly care for x. If, on the other hand, someone was to say to them: "I could care less about x" then they wouldn't be any closer to understanding how that person felt about x.

Or replace our hypothetical person who's learning English with an actual English person; the "English" phrase ("couldn't care less") imparts the desired meaning to the English person and the American person (sorry for the stereotyping. I'm not being deliberately antagonistic, just going with the general usage pattern), whereas the "American" phrase ("could care less") only means what you want it to mean to the American person, and means the opposite to the English person. It's just very, very poor clarity of expression which presumably wouldn't exist if people were to think a little bit about what they're saying.

It's less of a regional variation (I don't care if you drink "soda" or "pop", I know what you're talking about) and more an obfuscation of meaning. Which, as I'm sure you'll agree, is the opposite of what we generally use language for in the first place :)
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Argali » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:37 am

There's so much more on the youtube channel!!!!!
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Amirya » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:21 am

Fivelives wrote:
Amirya wrote:So far, I have that Nika is a furry hermit crab who likes boxes and has issues with spelling and grammar?


Shame on you Amirya, calling Nika a furry!

shes obv a pokeman. NIKACHU


So she's a furry Nikachu that looks like a velociraptor-like hermit crab who likes boxes and has issues with spelling and grammar.

I think someone should just draw a picture. *looks at Invis*
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Korola » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:30 am

Epimer wrote:
Korola wrote:The point of language is to convey messages, and even if we convey the message incorrectly (read - could care less) people still know what we mean.


In this particular case, though, (I know I'm flogging a dead horse at this point) the error/difference corrupts the original meaning. If you had someone who understood English to the extent of having a reasonable vocabulary and a grasp of grammar, but not an exhaustive knowledge of idioms, they would correctly ascertain the meaning of: "I couldn't care less about x". They would understand that I do not particularly care for x. If, on the other hand, someone was to say to them: "I could care less about x" then they wouldn't be any closer to understanding how that person felt about x.

Or replace our hypothetical person who's learning English with an actual English person; the "English" phrase ("couldn't care less") imparts the desired meaning to the English person and the American person (sorry for the stereotyping. I'm not being deliberately antagonistic, just going with the general usage pattern), whereas the "American" phrase ("could care less") only means what you want it to mean to the American person, and means the opposite to the English person. It's just very, very poor clarity of expression which presumably wouldn't exist if people were to think a little bit about what they're saying.

It's less of a regional variation (I don't care if you drink "soda" or "pop", I know what you're talking about) and more an obfuscation of meaning. Which, as I'm sure you'll agree, is the opposite of what we generally use language for in the first place :)


While I agree with the logic behind the misuse. I contend that most would choose words with more meaning on decisions that actually matter. Most of the time in casual conversation we choose words that have little impact on the conversation as a whole. Only when brought to a point of excitement or emotion do we inflect a tone through our words. I imagine the answer to the following questions would not be "I could care less" -

1. Would you like me to shoot you in the head?
2. Can I kidnap your child?
3. Would you mind if I drove your car after downing an entire bottle of scotch?

These questions would derive a specific answer that no question behind the meaning could possibly be implied. While I understand the frustration that is misuse of words and improper spelling, the majority rules. PST or Please Send Tell is a classic example. LFG for Naxx25 please PST me please. No matter how much you fight it, no one will stop misusing this acronym because they simply do not care. You might educate a few, but with the internet spreading culture by the second, definitions have been formed for the acronym, and exceptions have already been made. The use makes no logical sense, but the message is still there. You would know that this person was requesting a Naxx25 group and expecting a whisper.

As bothersome as it might be to someone who doesn't speak the language, it becomes culture and then logic takes a backseat. Ever heard the following phrases?

- That's gay as shit. (I wasn't aware that shit had a sexual preference, but ok.)
- That guy is queer as fuck. (So fuck is queer?)
- This coffee taste like dogshit. (So you've tried it?)
- I have to piss like a racehorse. (Wait, what?)
- It's raining cats and dogs. (Sure it is.)
- He disappeared into thin air. (Since when did air go on a diet?)
- Toothbrush (Who goes to the effort of brushing ONE tooth?)
- A pair of pants. (So there are two pants?)
- Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? (<3 you George Carlin)

While I agree that everything should make logical sense, it doesn't always work that way. When culture determines language, you take the accepted meaning and throw logic away. As sad as it this may be to logic fans, it becomes the reality once the majority have taken hold. What boggles me is that the majority of people are rational, logical creatures. So where do all these phrases come from? :lol:
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Arcand » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:42 am

Flex wrote:
Arcand wrote: When a meaningful expression or idiom already exists, and Joe misstates it, is he really celebrating the evolution of language? Or did he just screw up?


Both.


H xlwf feembytq. :P (That's Florxian for 'I think you're confusing mutation with evolution'.)
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Epimer » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:51 am

Korola wrote:- I have to piss like a racehorse. (Wait, what?)


I'm not arguing that aphorisms and metaphors and idioms shouldn't exist. That's ludicrous. I am saying that, in this particular case, saying "I could care less" and assuming you will be understood to mean "I could not care less" is exactly like saying "I do not have to piss at all" and expecting to listener to take from that that you mean "I have to piss like a racehorse".

That's why it's a ridiculous use of language that I dislike intensely.
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Re: Nika's Guide to Spelling - Volume 1

Postby Arcand » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:00 pm

Korola wrote:- That's gay as shit. (I wasn't aware that shit had a sexual preference, but ok.)
- That guy is queer as fuck. (So fuck is queer?)

Profanity is about shock value and taboo-busting at the expense of literal meaning. This is old news.

- This coffee taste like dogshit. (So you've tried it?)

If you know anything about the appearance, origin and smell of dog shit, do you really have to try
some to determine if it's something you want in your mouth?

- I have to piss like a racehorse. (Wait, what?)

Non-sequitur choice of species for humorous effect. What does it mean if a human pisses like a
three-quarter-ton animal?

- It's raining cats and dogs. (Sure it is.)

The precipitation is totally outside of ordinary experience.

- He disappeared into thin air. (Since when did air go on a diet?)

Atmospheric air is thin, as synonymous with 'diffuse', compared to
everything else one encounters on a regular basis. The worst you
could say is that the word is superfluous.

- Toothbrush (Who goes to the effort of brushing ONE tooth?)

And car washes wash more than one car, shoe stores have more than one
shoe and my keyboard has more than one key. It's almost as if there's
a linguistic convention there, or something.

- A pair of pants. (So there are two pants?)

Yes. A pant is a covering for one leg. The Levis I'm wearing right
now could be said to consist of a left pant, right pant, zippered codpiece
and I'm not sure what the part over the hips and butt is called.

- Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway? (<3 you George Carlin)

A parkway is a road adjoining a park. And you drive onto a driveway before you
get to the parking part.

While I agree that everything should make logical sense, it doesn't always work that way. When culture determines language, you take the accepted meaning and throw logic away.

Or, as I've pedantically illustrated at the cost of twenty minutes of my life, you
try a little harder and stretch your imagination a tiny bit rather than abandoning
the logic ship at the first sign of adversity.
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