Sep 9 - anon - nuEnglish/Grammar/comma.jpg
Concerning the Oxford recommendation on nt using comma before "and".
We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin
We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin
Sep 11. - Peter - The death of inflexion will be ELF. [English Language for Foreigners?]
Why do we need "the minimal amount of inflection that modern correct English still has"?
I have long marveled at our carefully preserving the tiny pronominal remnants of subjective vs. objective cases. None of our nouns exhibit it. "you, you", "it, it", "which. which" do not show it. Why then keep "I, me", "we, us", "he, him", "she, her", "they, them", and "who, whom"?
And our only remnant of verbal conjugation _within_ any tense is that "s" appended to the third person singular present indicative. What's the objection to "I think, you think, he think"? In fact, we have already a number of helper verbs that do not exhibit that appended "s", like "can", "will", "must". I have a grammar book from the 1840s that still shows the second person singular "thou" and "thee", and the appended "st" for the present tense of the verbs to go with "thou". We got rid of that.
And why the "s" to denote a plural noun, especially if a number or a quantitative word such as "few", "many", "some" is present?
Let's strip away such residual complications.
Sept - David - I think several major oriental languages including Mandarin and Cantonese are completely without the phenomenon that is inflexion and they probably lead the ELF trend to discard all endings when they can't be bothered to make the effort to maintain the native standard. There are more people learning English in China than the entire population of the USA and Canada, so probably more even than all of Anglophonia combined. They have us outnumbered. Once they start to be allowed to travel, ...
Sep 11 - IHS -
"s" appended to the third person singular present indicative.
Inflection the change of form that words undergo to mark such distinctions as those of case, gender, number, tense, person, mood, or voice.
Examples of INFLECTION
She read the lines with an upward inflection. Most English adjectives do not require inflection. “Gone” and “went” are inflections of the verb “go.” English has fewer inflections than many other languages.
Sep 23 - Jim - Of course regional, national, generational dialects further complicate that issue. Ogden did not want Basic English to appear "different" and even illiterate to those who had been laboriously schooled in the idiosyncrasies and norms of "good" English. Class and educational levels are indicated by how well one had mastered those complications.
Grammar is another interesting subject and mastering inflection (gender, mood, number, person, tense) is complex and almost silly.
Sep 24 - Robin - I haven't thought much about grammar rules and all that since I thought Ogden was addressing simple grammar.
Sept 25. - Robin - I think I would like to replace Pidgeon English.
When changing spelling and grammar rules, it's a new language. We could look
a computer languages C, Java, C# for clues.
I will leave the politics aside unless there is a mutually exclusive problem
to deal with.
I am fluent in German and spent almost a year with the Stanford in Germany Program and worked in Austria as a waiter. At one time I thought of getting a minor in German studies. One thing a foreign language does is teach you about grammar, so now I know English.
Oct 17 - Jim -
Follow standard English rules of grammar, capitalization, punctuation. Tho I tend to want to see: Reduce requirements for agreement of number. (swapping 's'). S or es is the plural to nouns. 'z is the possessive. Encourage but not require hyphens where compounds and affixes are added. Future tense is "will Verb". Past tense is either -ed or "did Verb". Regularize some verbs. do, doed (did); can, canned (could); know, knowed (knew); make, maked (made); say (is regular, y=>i+d; see, seed (saw); ... There is some regularity in Ebonics, but the future tense of "gonna V" is unacceptable. Allow "?" internal to a sentence. The above are pet peeves, not necessarily serious recommendations.
Oct 17 - Robin - I agree, I want to tackle grammar too, but I think we have a real chance at the spelling. Maybe we can think how a spelling change will make it easier to change grammar in the future? One step at a time is good wisdom I think.
Reduce requirements for agreement of number. (swapping 's'). S or es is the plural to nouns. 'z is the possessive. Yes! I like the 'z but not "zess" Encourage but not require hyphens where compounds and affixes are added. OK (grammar) Future tense is "will V". Past tense is either -ed or "did Verb".
Oct 21 - Jim - I am more comfortable with [a:] than with [:a]. That is, to display the most significant part, the vowel name first (family), and then give a secondary qualifier. Consider normal English grammar where the adjective comes before the noun. Opps, that is something else we have to change about Std20 English. As an example: We are told that there is one of something that is small, then that it is red, then that it is associated with heat, and finally the noun in -- "the little red fire truck". Now think about it -- isn't that silly?! Or as I learned the phrase, ass backwards?
Dec 22 - Jim - Robin - Would there be a chance to work on grammar simplification?
- Jim - You just answered your own question above. That is certainly part of NuEnglish. I was picturing it as included, but that may be so big that it needs to be accomplished in parts. Novelists often print chapters as magazine stories and when all had been written, jointed them into a typical book.
Jan 15 - David - Language isn't logical. When enough people persist in saying something incorrectly for long enough, it's finally declared correct.
Feb 13 - Jim - I was taught that a double space follows a period and colon. But my step-son's dissertation guidelines say to not do that. I like the old way, specially for use on monitors which do not have the resolution to show up the marks that one can see serif fonts in a good book while relaxed in an easy chair. In fact, my web pages give extra spaces to colon, sometimes semi-colon, question mark, and explanation marks. Because HTML compresses out all multiple spaces to only one, I separate these punctuations with a space between last letter and the mark to make them more visible : ". . . sentence end Mark Next sentence . . . " Web may not be of interest to you, but what about e-books ? a) I have never used one so don't know about resolution, b) unlikely to put a dictionary on e-book form -- is that true or not? My Fletcher book has too many tables to fit on a small screen, but dictionary will want to get trendy e-book audience. Humm?
Grammar teaches that either "space short-hyphen space" or "word long-hyphen word" without spaces. Using the same logic about monitor legibility above, I use "space double-hyphen space". The rule is not so important as the consistency of usage.
Feb 224 - Jim - As I mentioned before, Ogden did not address spelling. His concern was with selecting an minimum vocabulary that is adequate for learners to participate in English-speaking life. He also selected the minimum rules of grammar. Basic English is a subset of Standard English, perfectly transparent in its usage. He did not address spelling or grammar changes so as to assure acceptance of usage of Basic English as proper English in every way, warts and all.
Mar 24 - Jim - If all the rules of Standard English apply, then you do not have a new language, but a re-spelling. Be careful what you are promising with your wording. I am for an updated grammar, but that will take longer and you seem to want to establish your bonifides for Nu [now Kleer] before proceeding to grammar. Will Project A ever progress to Project two if step one is incomplete?
May 17 - Jim - http://www.startlocal.com.au/articles/educational_grammar.html contains links
May 27 - Robin - I really don't think I should stray from "English", since Nu still sounds like English and I have not really changed any of the grammar rules. What I am saying is that it could stand on its own as a language if it had to. I will add a paragraph mentioning that for the time being, English grammar remains. Depending on how Nu is accepted, I would love to write a second book. But that will take much more research and again, I would need a mentor like yourself as a guide. Maybe you could write it and I could be technical backup?
May 27 - Jim - There is some concern with calling it English ; a language implies a grammar. RobinSpel only addresses the admirable regularization of and the codification of spelling to mid-Atlantic, late 20th Century pronunciation. The structure of English is in need of improvement, too. Book 2?
Jun 03 - Robin - Not sure how much grammar of tense, person, plurality, etc. will play into translation [of English to Kleer]
June 03 - Jim - They [many prior software projects] all run together in my mind now, along with other projects. I would have to get up-to-speed on each. I just remember that LibreOffice,[ OpenOffice, and AbiWord] contains spell check, thesaurus, and grammar checking already developed, open, and, once upon a time, used flat-files to achieve this.
Sep 21 - Robin - If spelling is ever resolved, what do you think is the next big English Problem? Would you ever simplify to:
I are (am) I work you are you work he, she, it are (is) he, she, it work (works) they are they work we are we workAnd would you have all participles become regular with "-ed" or "-en"? I need to research this much more to see what is truly "bad" about our current grammar.
Sep 21. - Jim - Me too. Some things irritate from time to time, but I have never formed a list. Will have to take some grammar texts and find all the inconsistencies and possible new standards. These do change with time. I was taught that the a colon is followed by a double blank. The grammar guide for my ex-step-son's doctoral dissertation says this is no more. This required a "change all" command (ain't computers grand?). In this day of reading from monitors and the rules of HTML, I have a standard to separate colon, semi-colon, exclamation and interrogation to blank symbol blank, so as to be visible. Hyphens are said to be either word blank hyphen blank word or word doublehyphen word. I use blank doublehyphen blank to open up the text. I will put quotes inside the sentence ending punctuation if the quote is at the end of a longer sentence. I would like to see the King James era use of question/exclamation marks embedded where a sentence starts with a question then changes to other things where the sentence ending in other than a period seems weird. Computer level nesting seems to exist only for single and double quotes. Make everything unambiguous. Agreement of tenses gets obnoxious, plural subjects do not take a verb ending in S, whereas single nouns require an s-ending verb, "They say , he says." Gender is quaint and even the Navy has done away with a ship as a she. Something poetic may be lost in this, but it does make sense that a floating mass of metal is an "it". A/AN is for fluidity in pronunciation ; would it be possible to have only A and let pronunciation/accent add the N sound? Or does this violate logic, too ? These are just off the top of my head.
Sep 21 - Robin - To tell you the truth, I would be ecstatic if a major spelling reform occurred. But I think the U.S. and U.K. could only handle a few new rules per year. Of course, I hope they would deprecate twice as many old rules.
Sep 23 - Jim -
I happen to be a gradualist, but people tire of continual uncertainty. Consider trying to change the Brits to driving on the correct side of the road. Have all the A names do it first week and all the B names the next. It may be better to have a classic coke and a
new English taught in elementary school. A generation will be bilingual, old folks don't have to change until the media makes the switch when enough youngsters create a market and the old way exists only in paper libraries. I am fairly sure this is the approach for spelling.
For grammar, I see more leeway for gradualism, but it still might be best to have both old and new, separate but equal for a generation. Recall that if Basic were taught in first grade starting after the war (the big one, WW2), the whole world would be able to speak together about the time of the Ford administration.
Other countries, those with a language police, have made change. The democratic USofA tried, the Chicago Tribune finally gave up in 1975 after 40 years with only a few words fixed -- tho, thru, and a few more and some suffixes simplified.
http:///www.basic-english.org/21/reform.html http:///www.basic-english.org/21/spelling.html http:///www.basic-english.org/forum/letr2008.html http://www.spellingsociety.org/journals/j24/shipley1.php