Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-07 Thread Alex Page

On Thu, Apr 05, 2001 at 11:28:16AM +0200, Philip Newton wrote:
 Alex Page wrote:

  When I was at prep school, my English teacher had lots of 
  little signs over the classroom walls saying things like 
  "It's not all right to say 'alright'", to drum little things 
  like that in.

 I hope it had s/say/write/ , since I don't hear any difference when someone
 *says* "all right" or "alright".

I dunno. Probably as a result of that sign, I always try to
enunciate the gap between the words...

Alex
-- 
"I ask for so little. Just let me rule you, and you
 can have everything that you want." - Jareth, Labyrinth



RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-06 Thread pmh

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001 12:16:18 +0100, Matthew Jones wrote:
  I was at school from up to 1995 and grammer, hand writing and 
  similar were only lightly touched upon. IT was another subject that we 
  never actually did (other than read about spreadsheets leading to my
  adult hatred of Excel) and as far as I'm aware none of my friends of
  the same age did any real grammer in school so you can expect a fair
  size chunk of  20-22 year olds to have no real grasp of what constitutes
  good grammar.
 
 Right, well there's the difference then. I'm 29 this year and I was schooled
 during the seventies. Was anyone else of a similar age *not* taught proper
 punctuation and grammar at school?

I'm 30, and I don't *remember* being taught grammar at all. It confused the hell out 
of me when we were all expected to know what prepositions, adverbs and the perfect 
present were when I started learning French. Although I vaguely remember apostrophes, 
I'm pretty sure I was never taught the proper uses of (semi)colons and dashes.

 Anyway, back to the point. Many of my peers and friends who were taught
 exactly the same punctuation stuff as me just ignored it and used things
 like "could'nt" and "samwich's" and so on. I reckon it's less to do with it
 being taight in schools and more to do with how much someone reads. If you
 read a lot, you see the correct forms a lot and it sinks in. Similarly with
 grammar, I reckon, although I have absolutely zero evidence to back that up.

Maybe I don't remember the grammar lessons because they were boring, or maybe they 
were taught after I left at the place I move away from, and before I arrived at the 
place I moved to.

-- 
Peter Haworth   [EMAIL PROTECTED]
"I used to recognise C64 kernel and interpreter entry
 points in car registration numbers as a game."
-- Paul Makepeace



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-06 Thread Barbie

From: "Dave Hodgkinson" [EMAIL PROTECTED]

 "Barbie" [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

  Quite. I'm 35 and was given a good basic education at Primary school of
the
  english language, together most of it's idyosyncrasies. I was lucky
enough
  to go to a Grammar (when there were still such things) so probably
faired
  better than most.

 Fared?

 *ducks*

Senility is setting in early.

I thought it was bit strange my message not appear after posting Wed, 4 Apr
2001 13:01:32. Looking at the header it's certainly dome the rounds!

Barbie.






Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Philip Newton

Alex Page wrote:
 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:17:24AM -0700, Paul Makepeace wrote:
 
  Me too, ('74 vintage) but I got learnt grammar. I think mostly by my
  mother if truth be told. The rest I picked up from Latin :-/
 
 AOL. A strongly grammatical language like Latin really makes 
 you think about your grammar in English. I did Latin to 
 A-level, and remembering which form of qui to use in a given 
 situation really helps you work out that whole who / whom issue.

In my case, German helps there, with wer/wessen/wem/wen distinctions. German
speakers also tend not to make mistakes of the "give it to either Paul or I"
type, probably because case is still pretty visible in German. (That being
said, my wife does tend to mix up accusative [often -n] and dative [often
-m] endings, so not every native speaker has an innate grasp of grammar.)

 Similarly, I'm pretty good at using the subjunctive properly 
 and stuff like that. German helped a lot too...

I can imagine. Greek would also help you, at least with the
nominative/accusative distinction (dative died hundreds of years ago and was
replaced by preposition + accusative, or sometimes by genitive). I remember
my German grammar helped me when learning Greek, since of the four surviving
cases, three also existed in German, and vocative is pretty simple to use
:). The English speakers in my class had a harder time of it, and when I was
in Greece, I met one American who told me he got a text on English grammar
because he said he felt he needed to understand his own grammar before he
could understand another language's.

 When I was at prep school, my English teacher had lots of 
 little signs over the classroom walls saying things like 
 "It's not all right to say 'alright'", to drum little things 
 like that in.

I hope it had s/say/write/ , since I don't hear any difference when someone
*says* "all right" or "alright".

A German example is "gar nicht wird gar nicht zusammengeschrieben" (new
spelling, I believe, would use "zusammen geschrieben").

Cheers,
Philip
-- 
Philip Newton [EMAIL PROTECTED]
All opinions are my own, not my employer's.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Steve Mynott

dcross - David Cross [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 When I was at secondary school (75 - 79) ITA was used to teach reading to a
 remedial class. As (supposedly) one of the brighter pupils in my year, I got
 to spend a couple of hours a week helping out in this class, which is where
 I picked up ITA.

I was taught ITA in the early 1970s and remember hating it.  There
were actually more letters than in the normal alphabet.

My spelling is pretty poor as well!

-- 
1024/D9C69DF9 steve mynott [EMAIL PROTECTED]

it is better to be hated for what one is than be loved for what  one is not.
-andre gide



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Steve Mynott

Matthew Jones [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Right, well there's the difference then. I'm 29 this year and I was schooled
 during the seventies. Was anyone else of a similar age *not* taught proper
 punctuation and grammar at school? Back in those days, teachers actually
 taught you, as opposed to writing long essays to justify performance-related
 bonuses, or running around like headless chickens to prepare for OFSTED
 visits.

Me!

I am 35 this year and was never taught grammer at all, although I was
probably taught in quite a "progressive" manner for the time.  In
hindsight it was probably quite bad as well.

I remember arguing with a teacher who told us gravity was caused by
the Earth spinning round who refused to accept that the child she was
teaching actually knew more about it than her.

The only grammer I was taught at school was when I did foreign
languages much later.

-- 
1024/D9C69DF9 steve mynott [EMAIL PROTECTED]

i believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. i believe
it is better to be free than to be a slave. and i believe it is better
to know than to be ignorant.  -- h. l. mencken



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Merijn Broeren

Quoting Steve Mynott ([EMAIL PROTECTED]):
 I remember arguing with a teacher who told us gravity was caused by
 the Earth spinning round who refused to accept that the child she was
 teaching actually knew more about it than her.
 
Hey! I resemble that remark. I got send from school for a day after
being 'impolite to the teacher' when I refused (loudly) to accept his
version of the first moonlanding where Aldrin got out first. 

Cheers,
-- 
Merijn Broeren| My hat to keep the Martian brain rays out works just fine.
Software Geek | It's really *good* tin foil.
  | And stop staring at me like that.



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Greg McCarroll

* Simon Wistow ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
  Hey! I resemble that remark. I got send from school for a day after
  being 'impolite to the teacher' when I refused (loudly) to accept his
  version of the first moonlanding where Aldrin got out first.
 
 Had large arguments with English teacher about Shylock in Merchant of
 Venice. I was extremley critical of the way he was treated by the
 Christians and refused to write essays them in a positive light.
 (Un)Fortunatley I was a boarder whose parents lived in Germany so they
 couldn't really send me home.

I was a cheeky brat as a child,

  I remember having an argument once with a teacher, whose comeback
  was - well if you don't study harder what sort of job to you hope
  to get? my reply was - well if the worst comes to the worst i 
  might end up teacher.

  Another teacher caught me talking in class, when she asked who 
  I was talking to, i told her my imaginary friend, she then attempted
  to take me on in a battle of wits - whats is your imaginary friends 
  name? Little Jimmy Sham, don't you think your a bit old to have
  an imaginary friend? Litte Jimmy Sham says your never too old, etc.

  Then there was the time I grabbed a role of magnesium ribbon in
  a dish clothe and lit it - subtly or so i hoped, its amazing
  how hard it is to disguise the fact you just set fire to a 
  roll of magnesium ribbon.

-- 
Greg McCarroll  http://www.mccarroll.uklinux.net



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread AEF


 An somewhat sceptical essay I wrote on whether psychology was a science
for my A' level psychology course came back with "You can argue that
psychology is a science, you can't argue that it isn't" written on it.

 I thought that rather nicely proved my point.

 Tony




Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread David H. Adler

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 12:05:10PM +0100, Leon Brocard wrote:
 
 ObTopic:

[snip lots of stuff about perl]

Excuse me, where was the topical stuff there?

dha

-- 
David H. Adler - [EMAIL PROTECTED] - http://www.panix.com/~dha/
Your Aunt Linda should maybe stay away from the Manischewitz. Or
stop using it to wash down prescription tranquilizers, whichever.
 - Mary Roth



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread David H. Adler

On Thu, Apr 05, 2001 at 02:29:09PM +0100, Greg McCarroll wrote:
   its amazing how hard it is to disguise the fact you just set fire to
   a roll of magnesium ribbon.

...but hardly surprising. :_)

One of the administrators of my school found me sitting out in the
hallway reading a book and asked why I wasn't in class.  I looked at her
and informed her that my teacher and I had mutually agreed that it would
be better for all concerned if I was not, in fact, in his classroom.

Just to give you an idea of the kinds of arguments I used to get into
with teachers, she said "Oh.  All right, then" and walked away...

dha

-- 
David H. Adler - [EMAIL PROTECTED] - http://www.panix.com/~dha/
"It must be difficult being such a visionary."
"Not really.  You just have to drink a whole lot."
- http://www.goats.com/archive/index.html?990420



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Barbie

 Right, well there's the difference then. I'm 29 this year and I was
schooled
 during the seventies. Was anyone else of a similar age *not* taught proper
 punctuation and grammar at school? Back in those days, teachers actually
 taught you, as opposed to writing long essays to justify
performance-related
 bonuses, or running around like headless chickens to prepare for OFSTED
 visits.

Quite. I'm 35 and was given a good basic education at Primary school of the
english language, together most of it's idyosyncrasies. I was lucky enough
to go to a Grammar (when there were still such things) so probably faired
better than most.

 They went on strike quite a lot back then, too.

Living in the wilds of Cheshire we had regular blackouts. The local candle
factory did a roaring trade back then.

 Anyway, back to the point. Many of my peers and friends who were taught
 exactly the same punctuation stuff as me just ignored it and used things
 like "could'nt" and "samwich's" and so on. I reckon it's less to do with
it
 being taight in schools and more to do with how much someone reads. If you
 read a lot, you see the correct forms a lot and it sinks in. Similarly
with
 grammar, I reckon, although I have absolutely zero evidence to back that
up.

Personally I think it stems from laziness. There are too many hip and trendy
words slipping into our regular vocabulary these days, that even TV
presenters are falling foul of correct english. Not a good example to the
kids me thinks (says he now a responsible father of 5 months. okay
forget the responsible part).

RANT
My other half was a Reception teacher and the farce they went through with
OFSTED was beyond belief. Then the actual report was even worse, all wrapped
up in management BS that can destroy a career after only ever having seen
one 30 minute lesson.
/RANT

Barbie.

--
[EMAIL PROTECTED] [my new homefor now]






Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

"Barbie" [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 Quite. I'm 35 and was given a good basic education at Primary school of the
 english language, together most of it's idyosyncrasies. I was lucky enough
 to go to a Grammar (when there were still such things) so probably faired
 better than most.

Fared?

*ducks*


-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Interim CTO, web server farms, technical strategy
   



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-05 Thread Paul Makepeace

Greg McCarroll IS Tommy Cooper!

Stand-up comedy slots at TPC would get my vote.

P

On Thu, Apr 05, 2001 at 02:29:09PM +0100, Greg McCarroll wrote:
 I was a cheeky brat as a child,
 
   I remember having an argument once with a teacher, whose comeback
   was - well if you don't study harder what sort of job to you hope
   to get? my reply was - well if the worst comes to the worst i 
   might end up teacher.
 
   Another teacher caught me talking in class, when she asked who 
   I was talking to, i told her my imaginary friend, she then attempted
   to take me on in a battle of wits - whats is your imaginary friends 
   name? Little Jimmy Sham, don't you think your a bit old to have
   an imaginary friend? Litte Jimmy Sham says your never too old, etc.
 
   Then there was the time I grabbed a role of magnesium ribbon in
   a dish clothe and lit it - subtly or so i hoped, its amazing
   how hard it is to disguise the fact you just set fire to a 
   roll of magnesium ribbon.



Linux.com Online Chat

2001-04-04 Thread dcross - David Cross

Well, it's on their website, so it must be official.

http://www.linux.com/live/calendar.phtml?item_id=30

Event: "Author Talks" Series - Data Munging with Perl
Tue Apr 17th, 2001 (12:00 pm US/Pacific)

  Location: #live on irc.openprojects.net

We will have Dave Cross, the author of Data Munging with Perl talking about
his recent book and answering any questions about the book itself or some of
the subject matter. 


Tell all your friends. No heckling.

Dave...



The information contained in this communication is
confidential, is intended only for the use of the recipient
named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader 
of this message is not the intended recipient, you are
hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or
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If you have received this communication in error, please 
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Re: Linux.com Online Chat

2001-04-04 Thread Dominic Mitchell

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 09:20:25AM +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
 Tell all your friends. No heckling.

Does that mean we can heckle but they can't?   :-)

-Dom



RE: Linux.com Online Chat

2001-04-04 Thread dcross - David Cross

From: Dominic Mitchell [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: 04 April 2001 09:32

 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 09:20:25AM +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
  Tell all your friends. No heckling.
 
 Does that mean we can heckle but they can't?   :-)

That would be "Tell all your friends, no heckling."

Doesn't anyone learn grammar any more :)

Dave...

-- 


The information contained in this communication is
confidential, is intended only for the use of the recipient
named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader 
of this message is not the intended recipient, you are
hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or
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If you have received this communication in error, please 
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Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dominic Mitchell

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 09:37:07AM +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
 From: Dominic Mitchell [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Sent: 04 April 2001 09:32
 
  On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 09:20:25AM +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
   Tell all your friends. No heckling.
  
  Does that mean we can heckle but they can't?   :-)
 
 That would be "Tell all your friends, no heckling."
 
 Doesn't anyone learn grammar any more :)

Funnily, enough, no.  I was born in 1974, I've never been taught english
grammar and I know of nobody who has.  It's actually quite annoying as
it leads to all sorts of infuriating "I know that looks right, but I
don't know why..." thoughts.  If anybody could reccomend a small grammar
reference, that would be incredibly useful.

OTOH, every foreign language I've ever learned has started with the
grammar lesson within a month.  And when I want to learn a language one
of the first things I do is reach for the BNF.

ObPerl: So which is harder to parse?  Perl or English?

-Dom



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Paul Makepeace

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:04:45AM +0100, Dominic Mitchell wrote:
 Funnily, enough, no.  I was born in 1974, I've never been taught english
 grammar and I know of nobody who has.  It's actually quite annoying as

Me too, ('74 vintage) but I got learnt grammar. I think mostly by my
mother if truth be told. The rest I picked up from Latin :-/

If you know the difference between it's and its, you're and your,
and don't write 'alot', you're probably in the top 1%-ile :)

 it leads to all sorts of infuriating "I know that looks right, but I
 don't know why..." thoughts.  If anybody could reccomend a small grammar
 reference, that would be incredibly useful.

http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs5014/fall.95/courseNotes/WebPages/5.TechnicalCommunication/tc_2_Usage.html

Zillions on google.

 OTOH, every foreign language I've ever learned has started with the
 grammar lesson within a month.

http://www.engrish.com/

Paul



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Dominic Mitchell [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 ObPerl: So which is harder to parse?  Perl or English?

Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana

Parse that and stay fashionable...

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Interim CTO, web server farms, technical strategy
   



Re: Linux.com Online Chat

2001-04-04 Thread Greg McCarroll

* dcross - David Cross ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
 From: Dominic Mitchell [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Sent: 04 April 2001 09:32
 
  On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 09:20:25AM +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
   Tell all your friends. No heckling.
  
  Does that mean we can heckle but they can't?   :-)
 
 That would be "Tell all your friends, no heckling."
 
 Doesn't anyone learn grammar any more :)
 

learning grammar, not be needing to

-- 
Greg McCarroll  http://www.mccarroll.uklinux.net



RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread dcross - David Cross

From: Paul Makepeace [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: 04 April 2001 10:17

 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:04:45AM +0100, Dominic Mitchell wrote:
  Funnily, enough, no.  I was born in 1974, I've never been taught english
  grammar and I know of nobody who has.  It's actually quite annoying as
 
 Me too, ('74 vintage) but I got learnt grammar. I think mostly by my
 mother if truth be told. The rest I picked up from Latin :-/

Don't know if it's my slightly older vintage ('62) or the fact that I went
to a Comprehensive that still thought it was a Grammar, but I was being
taught parts of speech and verb declensions between '74 and '79.

 If you know the difference between it's and its, you're and your,
 and don't write 'alot', you're probably in the top 1%-ile :)

Agreed! And my least favourite - "I would of done it" instead of "I would
have done it".

Oh, and people who use an apostrophe to form plural's.

Dave...
[who makes lots of typos - but _knows_ they are typos]

-- 


The information contained in this communication is
confidential, is intended only for the use of the recipient
named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader 
of this message is not the intended recipient, you are
hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or
copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.  
If you have received this communication in error, please 
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Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Mark Fowler

On 4 Apr 2001, Dave Hodgkinson wrote:

 Dominic Mitchell [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
  ObPerl: So which is harder to parse?  Perl or English?
 
 Time flies like an arrow
 Fruit flies like a banana
 
 Parse that and stay fashionable...
 

They're both Type 0, though one *could* argue that Perl was really type 1
and the grammar is defined by a really really big C program

Perl is easier to parse simply because all the irregularities are known
and documented.  They're not in English.  In addition to the above
example, consider

"The British Left Waffles on Argentina"

Which requires you to know about the concepts of political persuasion,
waffling as talking at length, usage of 'on' as 'about' etc, or you end
up with some careless people leaving behind breakfast items in a far off
land...

Later.

Mark.
   
-- 
print "\n",map{my$a="\n"if(length$_6);' 'x(36-length($_)/2)."$_\n$a"} (
   Name  = 'Mark Fowler',Title = 'Technology Developer'  ,
   Firm  = 'Profero Ltd',Web   = 'http://www.profero.com/'   ,
   Email = '[EMAIL PROTECTED]',   Phone = '+44 (0) 20 7700 9960'  )









Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dominic Mitchell

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:17:24AM -0700, Paul Makepeace wrote:
 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:04:45AM +0100, Dominic Mitchell wrote:
  Funnily, enough, no.  I was born in 1974, I've never been taught english
  grammar and I know of nobody who has.  It's actually quite annoying as
 
 Me too, ('74 vintage) but I got learnt grammar. I think mostly by my
 mother if truth be told. The rest I picked up from Latin :-/

Latin!  Another thing I missed out on.  No, they forced me to do bloody
woodwork.  How useful is that?  Not at all, I can tell you.  I have a
girlfriend to put up shelves for me!

 If you know the difference between it's and its, you're and your,
 and don't write 'alot', you're probably in the top 1%-ile :)

Somewhere close.  Thankfully, it's not something I have to think about
a lot^Wgreat deal.

  it leads to all sorts of infuriating "I know that looks right, but I
  don't know why..." thoughts.  If anybody could reccomend a small grammar
  reference, that would be incredibly useful.
 
 
http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~cs5014/fall.95/courseNotes/WebPages/5.TechnicalCommunication/tc_2_Usage.html

Ta.

-Dom



Re: Linux.com Online Chat

2001-04-04 Thread Mark Fowler

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, dcross - David Cross wrote:

 Tue Apr 17th, 2001 (12:00 pm US/Pacific)

In english?

-- 
print "\n",map{my$a="\n"if(length$_6);' 'x(36-length($_)/2)."$_\n$a"} (
   Name  = 'Mark Fowler',Title = 'Technology Developer'  ,
   Firm  = 'Profero Ltd',Web   = 'http://www.profero.com/'   ,
   Email = '[EMAIL PROTECTED]',   Phone = '+44 (0) 20 7700 9960'  )








Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dominic Mitchell

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:32:22AM +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
 Dave...
 [who makes lots of typos - but _knows_ they are typos]

There's nothing wrong with typos.  It's obvious that they are tyops from
the error.  It just means that the person was thinking faster than
typing and forgot the ^T key.

-Dom



RE: Linux.com Online Chat

2001-04-04 Thread dcross - David Cross

From: Mark Fowler [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: 04 April 2001 10:46

 On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, dcross - David Cross wrote:
 
  Tue Apr 17th, 2001 (12:00 pm US/Pacific)
 
 In english?

8pm

Dave...

-- 


The information contained in this communication is
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named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader 
of this message is not the intended recipient, you are
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RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Andrew Bowman

 From: dcross - David Cross [SMTP:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
 If you know the difference between it's and its, you're and your,
 and don't write 'alot', you're probably in the top 1%-ile :)

True. Shouldn't we also need to include "should'nt" (etc.) here as well? .
These are trivially simple rules to teach/learn - so why they aren't taught
(or possibly aren't learnt) says something about the education system and
the attitude of the pupils therein.

Agreed! And my least favourite - "I would of done it" instead of "I would
have done it".

Also, the more subtle, but equally invidious, "When did you want to go out?"
meaning "When do you want to go out?". "How many did you want?" he said.
"Oh, I still want seven" the customer replied.

Oh, and people who use an apostrophe to form plural's.

The proverbial Grocer's Apostrophe - Tomatoe's  Potato's (or, for the full
experience, Tomato's  Potatoe's).

And anuvver fing, wot abaht thowse peehpul 'oo prefix everyfink wiv
'actual'? The actual this, the actual that.

And many, many more...




RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Matthew Jones

 True. Shouldn't we also need to include "should'nt" (etc.) 
 here as well? . These are trivially simple rules to teach/learn
 - so why they aren't taught (or possibly aren't learnt) says something
 about the education system and the attitude of the pupils therein.

I don't know which education system you went through, but I was taught all
this stuff at primary school. I think it's just because the pupils couln't
be beggared to learn it properly (as you suggest), preferring to subscribe
to the "well, you know what I mean" school of thought. 

I think this could be related to the (deja) suggestion that coders have to
pay a lot of attention to syntax and format in their work, and tend to bring
the same approach to writing english. Designers, however ...

I remember last year I helped a designer chum of mine subscribe to (void),
because I thought he might bring an interesting perspective to some of the
discussions. I then promptly unsubbed because of "stuff". When I came back,
I found out that he'd only wanted to witter, not argue and



formatted his emails


a
bit  like this.

and generally pissed people off. He still writes mails like that, all dreamy
and rightbrain.

-- 
matt
"'scuse me trooper, will you be needing any packets today?
hey, baby, don't be pulling on my socket, okay?"



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dean

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 11:39:55AM +0100, Matthew Jones wrote:
 I don't know which education system you went through, but I was taught all
 this stuff at primary school. I think it's just because the pupils couln't
 be beggared to learn it properly (as you suggest), preferring to subscribe
 to the "well, you know what I mean" school of thought. 

I was at school from up to 1995 and grammer, hand writing and similar were
only lightly touched upon. IT was another subject that we never actually
did (other than read about spreadsheets leading to my adult hatred of
Excel) and as far as I'm aware none of my friends of the same age did any
real grammer in school so you can expect a fair size chunk of 20-22 year
olds to have no real grasp of what constitutes good grammar.

Although i have to say that I'm one of the worse for this, i drop into
slang and similar almost all the time outside of work, not to mention that
my emails to friends are written as I'd say them. Is it just me or do we
seem to thread drift a lot recently...
 
 I remember last year I helped a designer chum of mine subscribe to (void),

Did he have lots of wasted disk space you felt the need to use? ;)

Dean
-- 
Profanity is the one language all programmers understand
   --- Anon



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Leon Brocard

Dean sent the following bits through the ether:

 Is it just me or do we seem to thread drift a lot recently...

Yes - I've noticed this recently ;-)

ObTopic: Yup, did Perl grammar, and French and German and seven years
of Latin and I think I'm really good at it too and don't talk to me
about Greek I failed that exam and I think that knowing all these
grammars helps me understand the parser for Perl and the parser for
Ruby and I think the lexer is know the nastiest bit and in human
languages that must be quite hard too surely and Angel was really good
last night ("She") and I forgot to mention thespians in the summary
(it acts out plays on irc: http://www.funkplanet.com/thespians/) and
yesterday I presented both The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar
Wilde) and that was amazing and the scottish play and...

Leon

ps I say old chap, one does not converse like the above normally,
   you must understand. I am attempting to inject some humour
   into the situation.
-- 
Leon Brocard.http://www.astray.com/
yapc::Europehttp://yapc.org/Europe/

... That must be wonderful! I don't understand it at all



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Matthew Jones [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

  True. Shouldn't we also need to include "should'nt" (etc.) 
  here as well? . These are trivially simple rules to teach/learn
  - so why they aren't taught (or possibly aren't learnt) says something
  about the education system and the attitude of the pupils therein.
 
 I don't know which education system you went through, but I was taught all
 this stuff at primary school. I think it's just because the pupils couln't
 be beggared to learn it properly (as you suggest), preferring to subscribe
 to the "well, you know what I mean" school of thought. 

soapboax

Wrong. There was a concerted effort by the loony left to destroy
decent education in favour of whatever trendy piffle that was the
order of the day.

I had to unlearn the reading I knew before I went to school in favour
of some stupid phonetic system (anyone remember ITA?) in 1970, finally
culminating in a personal battle with Shirley Williams in 1975 to get
me into one of the last remaining decent schools in Hemel. Eventually
I was packed off to a prep school instead of a hellhole comprehensive
and actually being stretched (I had to catch up two years _in_ two
years).

Grrr.

I'm as liberal as anyone here as far as creativity, expression,
society and the rest go, but there are certain fundamentals that you
need before you can go out and break the rules. Like having the
musical basics before you go out and become a punk or a heavy metal
god.

Number one daughter is getting educated privately because it suits her
and number one son isn't, because that suits him. But they will both
be fundamentally literate and numerate.

Isn't it esr who says that good Unix folks are surprisingly literate,
well read, artisitcally inclined folks?

/soapbox

Sorry, I'll stop now. It's a nerve.

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Interim CTO, web server farms, technical strategy
   



RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Matthew Jones

 I was at school from up to 1995 and grammer, hand writing and 
 similar were only lightly touched upon. IT was another subject that we 
 never actually did (other than read about spreadsheets leading to my
 adult hatred of Excel) and as far as I'm aware none of my friends of
 the same age did any real grammer in school so you can expect a fair
 size chunk of  20-22 year olds to have no real grasp of what constitutes
 good grammar.

Right, well there's the difference then. I'm 29 this year and I was schooled
during the seventies. Was anyone else of a similar age *not* taught proper
punctuation and grammar at school? Back in those days, teachers actually
taught you, as opposed to writing long essays to justify performance-related
bonuses, or running around like headless chickens to prepare for OFSTED
visits.

They went on strike quite a lot back then, too.

Anyway, back to the point. Many of my peers and friends who were taught
exactly the same punctuation stuff as me just ignored it and used things
like "could'nt" and "samwich's" and so on. I reckon it's less to do with it
being taight in schools and more to do with how much someone reads. If you
read a lot, you see the correct forms a lot and it sinks in. Similarly with
grammar, I reckon, although I have absolutely zero evidence to back that up.

-- 
matt
"'scuse me trooper, will you be needing any packets today?
hey, baby, don't be pulling on my socket, okay?"



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Cozens

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:31:41AM +0100, Mark Fowler wrote:
 Perl is easier to parse simply because all the irregularities are known
 
 and documented.  They're not in English.  In addition to the above
  ^^
Uhm, where?

 "The British Left Waffles on Argentina"

Perl beginners look away now. You're not going to enjoy this. :)

sub four { $_[0]x4 };   print four things;
open four, "/dev/null"; print four things;
package four; use subs qw(print); sub print{die@_}; print four things;
# (Why doesn't that one work properly?)

(And that's even without playing with sub things{})

Perl requires a similar amount of knowledge to parse, although the
knowledge is rather more domain specific - what subs are defined, what globs
are available, what packages are defined, what filehandles are open, and so
on.

-- 
Sauvin Remember: amateurs built the Ark; _professionals_ built the
Titantic.



RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Matthew Jones

 soapboax
 
 Wrong. There was a concerted effort by the loony left to destroy
 decent education in favour of whatever trendy piffle that was the
 order of the day.
 
Oy! That's my family (lefty teachers) you're talking about! I went through
the state comprehensive system and was never touched by these so-called
"trendy teaching methods". And my Dad was one of these apparently "loony
left teachers".

 I had to unlearn the reading I knew before I went to school in favour
 of some stupid phonetic system (anyone remember ITA?)

Nope, never heard of it. I learned to read proper english, as did everyone
else I know who was schooled at that time. I have never exerienced these
bizarre approaches you mention.
 
 I'm as liberal as anyone here as far as creativity, expression,
 society and the rest go, but there are certain fundamentals that you
 need before you can go out and break the rules. 

And that's exactly the education I got, from the state system, during the
seventies, with loony teachers. It appears we had *radically* different
experiences of the education system, Dave. I guess YMV.

-- 
matt



RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread dcross - David Cross

From: Matthew Jones [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: 04 April 2001 12:24

  I had to unlearn the reading I knew before I went to school in favour
  of some stupid phonetic system (anyone remember ITA?)
 
 Nope, never heard of it. I learned to read proper english, as did everyone
 else I know who was schooled at that time. I have never exerienced these
 bizarre approaches you mention.

I've heard of it. I've seen it and I can even read it[1].

When I was at secondary school (75 - 79) ITA was used to teach reading to a
remedial class. As (supposedly) one of the brighter pupils in my year, I got
to spend a couple of hours a week helping out in this class, which is where
I picked up ITA.

Dave...
[1] Or could. Might be a bit rusty now.

-- 


The information contained in this communication is
confidential, is intended only for the use of the recipient
named above, and may be legally privileged. If the reader 
of this message is not the intended recipient, you are
hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or
copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.  
If you have received this communication in error, please 
re-send this communication to the sender and delete the 
original message or any copy of it from your computer
system.



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Robin Houston

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:00:08AM +0100, Dave Hodgkinson wrote:
 
 I'm as liberal as anyone here as far as creativity, expression,
 society and the rest go, but there are certain fundamentals that you
 need before you can go out and break the rules. Like having the
 musical basics before you go out and become a punk or a heavy metal
 god.

I agree with you about education, but all the best punk bands
started off without the first idea how to play any of their
instruments :-)

 .robin.

-- 
Beware. The paranoids are watching you.



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Philip Newton

Simon Cozens wrpte_
 package four; use subs qw(print); sub print{die@_}; print four things;
 # (Why doesn't that one work properly?)

Answer one: see toke.c (I guess)
Answer two: because print is special. Even without a package, you can't call
a subroutine of yours that you've named print just with "print" ("print"
works, however; see one of Abigail's sigs, which also plays with
__PACKAGE__).

I think.

Cheers,
Philip
-- 
Philip Newton [EMAIL PROTECTED]
All opinions are my own, not my employer's.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Janet Reid

- Original Message -
From: "Matthew Jones" [EMAIL PROTECTED]

 Oy! That's my family (lefty teachers) you're talking about! I went through
 the state comprehensive system and was never touched by these so-called
 "trendy teaching methods". And my Dad was one of these apparently "loony
 left teachers".

I learnt to read using ITA and still have the book 'three littl funny wunz'.
It was intended to give you a kick start into reading by making it possible
to
read phonetically so that you could read more interesting stories
before you got the hang of all the english exceptions. I loved it, and
enjoyed reading.
I do not know if it worked better than the regular method because I didn't
have a 'control me' doing the other method. =)

I guess it was sort of wysiwyg english =)).






RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Clarke, Darren
Title: RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)





Dave said:


soapboax


Wrong. There was a concerted effort by the loony left to destroy
decent education in favour of whatever trendy piffle that was the
order of the day.


I had to unlearn the reading I knew before I went to school in favour
of some stupid phonetic system (anyone remember ITA?) in 1970, finally
culminating in a personal battle with Shirley Williams in 1975 to get
me into one of the last remaining decent schools in Hemel. Eventually
I was packed off to a prep school instead of a hellhole comprehensive
and actually being stretched (I had to catch up two years _in_ two
years).


As a child of '72 I too suffered from the phonetic system. Sadly I moved schools in that time and could already read just fine. I still think about the 'ae' joined thingy and shudder.

On the other hand not using decent grammar because it wasn't taught seems a bit lazy. Admittedly I'm not the best at written words in emails but I figure most intelligent people will rise above their background as the situation dictates.

An example (although slightly irrelevant to most of you it is still appropriate) I come from Luton. Most people who live there say Lu'on (or something). Many people have asked me over the years where I come from and don't believe me when I answer. This is a case of using 'Standard English' instead of the quasi-cockney patois the Lutonians espouse!

Of course - I don't talk like some toff!


Regards,


Darren Clarke
Perl Padawan
[EMAIL PROTECTED]


I use Perl for knowledge and defence





Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Mark Fowler

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Simon Cozens wrote:

 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:31:41AM +0100, Mark Fowler wrote:
  Perl is easier to parse simply because all the irregularities are known
  
  and documented.  They're not in English.  In addition to the above
   ^^
 Uhm, where?

The perl source code *is* the documentation.  There is no direct equivalent
for the English language, as it is really whatever we think is the case at
the time - or, more accurately, what the largest number of the intended
audience would understand it to mean.

 Perl requires a similar amount of knowledge to parse, although the
 knowledge is rather more domain specific - what subs are defined, what globs
 are available, what packages are defined, what filehandles are open, and so
 on.

Ah, but with perl code there is a definite 'correct' parsing (whatever
/usr/bin/perl does[1]) but with the English language that isn't true.

Later.

Mark.

(Waving hands around in the air as he speaks)

[1] This is that there is only one 'correct' parsing.  This may not be
what you thought you meant, or the coders who coded perl itself thought
you would have meant...but it is what you said.

-- 
print "\n",map{my$a="\n"if(length$_6);' 'x(36-length($_)/2)."$_\n$a"} (
   Name  = 'Mark Fowler',Title = 'Technology Developer'  ,
   Firm  = 'Profero Ltd',Web   = 'http://www.profero.com/'   ,
   Email = '[EMAIL PROTECTED]',   Phone = '+44 (0) 20 7700 9960'  )








Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Jon Eyre


   Perl is easier to parse simply because all the irregularities are known
   and documented.  They're not in English.  In addition to the above
  Uhm, where?
 The perl source code *is* the documentation.  There is no direct equivalent
 for the English language, as it is really whatever we think is the case at
 the time - or, more accurately, what the largest number of the intended
 audience would understand it to mean.

English has a descriptive grammar - usage determines form, as opposed to 
proscriptive grammars, where form dictates usage. Fr'example, there's no 
English equivalent to the Acadamie Francais (sp?), which oversees the
purity of the French vocabulary... I doubt you could put English into BNF, 
and even if you could, by the time you'd finished, the translation would 
be out of date.

Proscriptive grammars are necessary for programming languages, since 
the interpreter/compiler ain't gonna be able to DWYM if it can't pull 
a meaning out of your code. But for *living*, human languages, descriptive 
grammars are A Good Thing. 

And, FWIW, I (born '74) wasn't taught English grammar. French and German,
yes; English, no. We were taught handwriting too, but I got to skip that
and play with the zx81s on account of being 'gifted'...

j

---
jon eyre ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) (http://simpson.dyndns.org/~jon/)
sex is like pizza. some freak will always want to ruin it with a pineapple





Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dean

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:10:40PM +0100, Clarke, Darren wrote:
 On the other hand not using decent grammar because it wasn't taught seems a
 bit lazy.  Admittedly I'm not the best at written words in emails but I
 figure most intelligent people will rise above their background as the
 situation dictates.

I'm lucky that i get to spend so much time in environments where a strict
adherence to grammar is not the norm, my own short comings with it don't
show quiet so clearly :)

 don't believe me when I answer.  This is a case of using 'Standard English'
 instead of the quasi-cockney patois the Lutonians espouse!

Nothing wrong with using a bit of native tongue in a conversation. When I'm
talking with people who know me and I'm comfortable with i often end up
using a lot of slang and similar (Also my accent strengthens). I probably 
shouldn't but my accent and vocabulary are part of what makes me who i am
so i see no reason to worry about them. With people who don't know me
however i do keep a conscious check on my accent and wording so as to not
offend or be incomprehensible. (I often fail at both ;))

Although i try to stay accentless in work :)

Dean
-- 
Profanity is the one language all programmers understand
   --- Anon



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

Robin Houston [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 10:00:08AM +0100, Dave Hodgkinson wrote:
  
  I'm as liberal as anyone here as far as creativity, expression,
  society and the rest go, but there are certain fundamentals that you
  need before you can go out and break the rules. Like having the
  musical basics before you go out and become a punk or a heavy metal
  god.
 
 I agree with you about education, but all the best punk bands
 started off without the first idea how to play any of their
 instruments :-)

Stranglers? The Pistols?

All had their fair share of musicians...and boy, didn't the rest learn
fast or die...

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Interim CTO, web server farms, technical strategy
   



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Dave Hodgkinson

"Clarke, Darren" [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

 An example (although slightly irrelevant to most of you it is still
 appropriate) I come from Luton.  Most people who live there say "Lu'on"  (or
 something).  Many people have asked me over the years where I come from and
 don't believe me when I answer.  This is a case of using 'Standard English'
 instead of the quasi-cockney patois the Lutonians espouse!

Innit!

That good old Estuary English.

Fu'n 'ell.

And of course, the best English speakers are probably the Scots and
the Welsh. Discuss!

-- 
Dave Hodgkinson, http://www.hodgkinson.org
Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star   http://www.deep-purple.com
  Interim CTO, web server farms, technical strategy
   



RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Andrew Bowman

 From: Dave Hodgkinson [SMTP:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
And of course, the best English speakers are probably the Scots and
 the Welsh. Discuss!
 
I'm not so sure about the Welsh you know ;-)

Re. the Scots, me apart, it depends on which part of Scotland. Some of the
clearest and most pleasant English speaking to be heard is among the
highlanders, many of whom ordinarily use Gaelic where possible. In other
areas, e.g. some parts of Glasgow, the language might as well be Gaelic as
far as southerners are concerned(viz. Rab C. Nesbitt - I'm sure a lot of his
witticisms are lost on those unfamiliar with Glaswegian vernacular). Even
so, there are plenty of call centres in and around Scottish towns and cities
- in part because of the perceived benefits of Scots accents.

On the subject of Glasgow, did any of you see the episode of Chewin' the Fat
(a sketch show akin to Naked Video) with the sketch of a couple of
Dixons-a-like shop assistants insisting to a customer that she needs an
extended warranty on the batteries she's buying? Hilarious stuff - ending,
of course, with the offer of an extended warranty on a carrier bag :-)

Andrew.




Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Chris Devers

At 03:18 PM 4.4.2001 +0100, you wrote:
The Ramones are *still* using the same three chords they 
were in the '70s. 

You mean the Ramones got back together? Cool!

;)

(Well, they used the same three chords to the bitter end, but that's not quite what 
you said. My brother has a live album that is *exactly* what they played the three 
times I saw them -- same set list and all. It seems they just tacked any new songs 
onto the end as their career went on. And yes, it was a constant, 90 minute barrage of 
2 or 3 chords, but played much, much faster than on the albums. And talent be damned, 
but it was a *fun* show to see... :)




--
Chris Devers [EMAIL PROTECTED]




RE: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread jo walsh


 Wrong. There was a concerted effort by the loony left to destroy
 decent education in favour of whatever trendy piffle that was the
 order of the day.

 I had to unlearn the reading I knew before I went to school in favour
 of some stupid phonetic system (anyone remember ITA?) in 1970, finally

 As a child of '72 I too suffered from the phonetic system.

well, it seems none of us from '74 were taught formal english grammar at
school. i picked grammatical terms up from spanish, treat grammar mostly
as instinctive.

the political changes are interesting though. remember that the years
during which we perhaps should have been taught formal grammar coincide
with the first years of the conservative government. though i suppose
before the national curriculum, policy was implemented on a council level;
i was schooled in fairly left-voting areas in, near, london.

political left vs theoretical left, or extreme liberalism. i don't
remember being subjected to this phonetic system, think it was rejected in
favour of something called 'emergent reading' which is as useless if not
backed up by non-school reading experiences. (piaget[0] was influential i
think). so we align two kinds of left as the discarding of old structures
and the development of new ones.

later in this thread someone mentions the lack of english equivalent of
the Academie Francaise. the history and the politics of a language are
reflected in it; england has no constitution, but a convenient
counterbalance. "it is better for the law to be known" says dr johnson's
dictionary, "than to be right." is that quite a perlish statement? is our
code determined by any kind of politics?

someone else mentioned the pr(eo?)scrptive/descriptive grammar thing in
terms of natural and machine languages, and where perl fits in, in being
so context-dependent. i'm very into the idea of writing or generating
grammars and lexers for experimental, artificial languages that would be
free of the wrong kinds of context. don't find lack of formal grammar
schooling a problem, everything can be learned. circularly, perhaps it is
good not to impose too many high-level structures on the minds of
children.

must...switch...off...rant...mode...

zool

[0] http://www.piaget.org
 this is nice, programmatic:

His researches in developmental psychology and genetic epistemology had
one unique goal: how does knowledge grow? His answer
is that the growth of knowledge is a progressive construction of logically
embedded structures superseding one another by a process of inclusion of
lower less powerful logical means into higher and more powerful
ones up to adulthood. Therefore, children's logic and modes of thinking
are initially entirely different from those of adults.

--
[EMAIL PROTECTED] | http://www.zooleika.org.uk
is love a sine wave?






Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Cozens

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:10:11PM +0100, Mark Fowler wrote:
 Ah, but with perl code there is a definite 'correct' parsing (whatever
 /usr/bin/perl does[1]) but with the English language that isn't true.

I'm afraid that's as silly as me declaring that there's only one correct
parsing of English, and that's how *I* parse it.

-- 
For true believers, LORD would be K\textsc{nuth} in TeX, and
L\textsc{amport} in LaTeX. Atheists prefer \phantom{LORD}. Agnostics
may need to use the ifthen package.
 - Chris Boyd, comp.text.tex



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Greg McCarroll

* Simon Cozens ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:10:11PM +0100, Mark Fowler wrote:
  Ah, but with perl code there is a definite 'correct' parsing (whatever
  /usr/bin/perl does[1]) but with the English language that isn't true.
 
 I'm afraid that's as silly as me declaring that there's only one correct
 parsing of English, and that's how *I* parse it.
 

So purl gurl was really the equivalent of a scholar of olde english?

-- 
Greg McCarroll  http://www.mccarroll.uklinux.net



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Mark Fowler

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Simon Cozens wrote:

 On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:10:11PM +0100, Mark Fowler wrote:
  Ah, but with perl code there is a definite 'correct' parsing (whatever
  /usr/bin/perl does[1]) but with the English language that isn't true.
 
 I'm afraid that's as silly as me declaring that there's only one correct
 parsing of English, and that's how *I* parse it.

No it's not that silly ;-)  Maybe it's on the same level of silliness as
the concept of 'the Queen's English' (the idea being that the Queen 'owns'
the language and anyone else has to speak/parse as the queen does) as
you could consider that /usr/bin/perl 'owns' the language and that all
other perl processors better do the same thing as /usr/bin/perl or get
scoffed at down the local for talking funny...

Anyway, we're getting off topic.  I was just saying that the reason we
can parse perl and not English is that though they are both type 0
grammars is that perl is defined by 'what /usr/bin/perl currently 
parses' and we have *all* of that written down as the source code (though
not all of it produces expected results) where we don't have a definitive
list of the entire of English because that requires a *huge* degree of
cultural background information.

I'm sure there's a point here in replacing all Human - computer speech
interfaces that use English as a command language to making everyone talk
perl, but this topic is getting silly enough.

Beer, Buffy, Beer, Buffy.

Later.

Mark.

(going back to writing HTML for NMS now)

-- 
print "\n",map{my$a="\n"if(length$_6);' 'x(36-length($_)/2)."$_\n$a"} (
   Name  = 'Mark Fowler',Title = 'Technology Developer'  ,
   Firm  = 'Profero Ltd',Web   = 'http://www.profero.com/'   ,
   Email = '[EMAIL PROTECTED]',   Phone = '+44 (0) 20 7700 9960'  )









Language (was Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat))

2001-04-04 Thread Jonathan Stowe

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Mark Fowler wrote:

 On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Simon Cozens wrote:

  On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:10:11PM +0100, Mark Fowler wrote:
   Ah, but with perl code there is a definite 'correct' parsing (whatever
   /usr/bin/perl does[1]) but with the English language that isn't true.
 
  I'm afraid that's as silly as me declaring that there's only one correct
  parsing of English, and that's how *I* parse it.

 No it's not that silly ;-)  Maybe it's on the same level of silliness as
 the concept of 'the Queen's English' (the idea being that the Queen 'owns'

WHEN that Aprilis, with his showers swoot,
The drought of March hath pierced to the root,
And bathed every vein in such licour,
Of which virtue engender'd is the flower;
When Zephyrus eke with his swoote breath
Inspired hath in every holt and heath
The tender croppes and the younge sun
Hath in the Ram  his halfe course y-run,
And smalle fowles make melody,
That sleepen all the night with open eye,
(So pricketh them nature in their corages);
Then longe folk to go on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seeke strange strands,
To ferne hallows couth  in sundry lands;
And specially, from every shire's end
Of Engleland, to Canterbury they wend,
The holy blissful Martyr for to seek,
That them hath holpen, when that they were sick.


/J\




Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Alex Page

On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:17:24AM -0700, Paul Makepeace wrote:

 Me too, ('74 vintage) but I got learnt grammar. I think mostly by my
 mother if truth be told. The rest I picked up from Latin :-/

AOL. A strongly grammatical language like Latin really makes you think about your 
grammar in English. I did Latin to A-level, and remembering which form of qui to use 
in a given situation really helps you work out that whole who / whom issue.

Similarly, I'm pretty good at using the subjunctive properly and stuff like that. 
German helped a lot too...

 If you know the difference between it's and its, you're and your,
 and don't write 'alot', you're probably in the top 1%-ile :)

When I was at prep school, my English teacher had lots of little signs over the 
classroom walls saying things like "It's not all right to say 'alright'", to drum 
little things like that in.

Alex
-- 
"I ask for so little. Just let me rule you, and you
 can have everything that you want." - Jareth, Labyrinth



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Paul Makepeace

On Thu, Apr 05, 2001 at 12:51:31AM -0400, Alex Page wrote:
 AOL. A strongly grammatical language like Latin really makes you think about your 
grammar in English. I did Latin to A-level, and remembering which form of qui to use 
in a given situation really helps you work out that whole who / whom issue.


In all seriousness, a really fantastic introduction to grammar is
learning Esperanto. If you're a geek you'll absolutely dig how it
deals with some of the nastier aspects of who/how/why/when/whom/etc
(correlatives[1]).  These apparently disparate words are formed by
combining a suffix and a prefix in a 5x9 grid. It is really elegant
and helps see through natural's languages pointless fluff.

An Esperanto/Natural dictionary looks odd -- it's hugely biased toward
the natural side because with Esperanto's affixes (goes between words)
you can generate additional words -- makes for a rich language. There's
some really good humour based on this too.

Not to mention you'll be able to speak to about another 2million
people with little more than two or three month's effort. And stay in
places around the world for free (Pasporta Servo[2]).

[1] http://www.webcom.com/~donh/Esperanto/correlatives.html
[2] http://home.planet.nl/~lide/ps_lingv/ps_en.htm

Paul, has a GCSE in Esperanto :)



Re: Grammar (was: Re: Linux.com Online Chat)

2001-04-04 Thread Jon Eyre


On 4 Apr 2001, Dave Hodgkinson wrote:
 Robin Houston [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
  I agree with you about education, but all the best punk bands
  started off without the first idea how to play any of their
  instruments :-)
 
 Stranglers? The Pistols?
 
 All had their fair share of musicians...and boy, didn't the rest learn
 fast or die...

The Ramones are *still* using the same three chords they 
were in the '70s. Pistols - the only non-musician was Sid
(drummers don't count, since they're not musicians...), and often 
when they played live Sid's bass wasn't plugged into an amp because 
he was so bad. As for the Stranglers, they were pub rock, not really punk.

j

---
jon eyre ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) (http://simpson.dyndns.org/~jon/)
the slack which can be described is not the true slack