English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Separate forum to permit easy exclusion when searching for serious information !
User avatar
Audax67
Posts: 4742
Joined: 25 Aug 2011, 9:02am
Location: Alsace, France
Contact:

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby Audax67 » 24 May 2020, 2:27pm

;)
Have we got time for another cuppa?

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13507
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 May 2020, 2:33pm

Heard 'gel' incessantly recently on the phone to Kelsterbach (Mainhattan), not sure how far it has reached beyond the Weisswurstequator :wink:
'Na' is an alternative
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15669
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby mjr » 24 May 2020, 5:04pm

Congratulations to Cyril on disrupting yet another topic (!). I think you're wrecking this forum and the mods are allowing it.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13507
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 May 2020, 5:06pm

mjr wrote:Congratulations to Cyril on disrupting yet another topic (!). I think you're wrecking this forum and the mods are allowing it.

Thread drift is allowed, happens a lot in real life
Maybe the discussion about can and may could be made into a new thread

One imagines that right-thinking people are generally against swearing, that is a no-brainer, right?
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13507
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 May 2020, 5:26pm

pwa wrote:It would be interesting if we could look at how this develops on this Forum over the years. In some ways it is already behind general society in that language and jokes that would go unremarked on a light hearted TV programme such as Taskmaster would be censored here.

Nearly two years have gone by, anything changed?

I think, the language is so rich, there is no need to use bad language
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

pwa
Posts: 12384
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby pwa » 24 May 2020, 5:41pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:
pwa wrote:It would be interesting if we could look at how this develops on this Forum over the years. In some ways it is already behind general society in that language and jokes that would go unremarked on a light hearted TV programme such as Taskmaster would be censored here.

Nearly two years have gone by, anything changed?

I think, the language is so rich, there is no need to use bad language

The world outside this Forum is moving, but the Forum is not moving with it. Does that matter? Perhaps not, but it is amusing. Is there such a thing as "bad language", and if so, what makes it bad? Who decides, and using which criteria? Can I say "bum", because I am pretty sure I can't say another word that begins with an "a", ends in an "e" and sounds a bit like an equine animal? And if I can't say "bum", what word can I use for the portion of my body that I sit on, and why is that word any better? It can be really arbitrary and funny.

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13507
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 May 2020, 6:10pm

One may refer to one's tender behind, or 'bottom', there are countless possibilities that do not offend, but please, what is society? Chums at the pub, all male?
BBC and other depictions?
The sort of language one might speak to one's grandchildren?
Old-fashioned is often good IMHO :wink:
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 13976
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, car park of England

Re: Cyril's linguistic walkabout

Postby gaz » 24 May 2020, 7:09pm

pwa wrote:...what word can I use for the portion of my body that I sit on...

Saddle interface, at least when posting an enquiry on the technical board :wink: .
2020 : To redundancy ... and beyond!

pwa
Posts: 12384
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby pwa » 26 May 2020, 7:50am

Cyril Haearn wrote:
rfryer wrote:Bryn, can you explain how you think "may" and "can" should be used? Without checking official definitions, I think that both words are ambiguous, so find it hard to get upset about usage.
..

I think 'can' includes many things that are possible but senseless, illegal, not permitted
I think 'may' means allowed, permitted, legal

There are many things one can do but one may not do many of them

One would hope that the expensively educated civil servants who issue quarantine regulations would use the words correctly, likewise the police, whose job involves frequently trying to explain the difference between 'can' and 'may'

Over time, word use changes. Words and their meanings are not frozen. The word "can" is now often used in the manner you reserve for "may", so whether you like it or not its meaning has shifted. Your rules for these words are dead and gone.

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 13507
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Between the woods and the water

Re: Cyril's linguistic walkabout: 'can' & 'may'

Postby Cyril Haearn » 26 May 2020, 7:54am

Plenty of people still use them correctly

How do you distinguish between actions that are possible but not allowed, and actions that are allowed and possible?
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

rfryer
Posts: 740
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

Re: Cyril's linguistic walkabout: 'can' & 'may'

Postby rfryer » 26 May 2020, 8:24am

Cyril Haearn wrote:How do you distinguish between actions that are possible but not allowed, and actions that are allowed and possible?

By employing the richness of the language to ensure that my text is not ambiguous. And not just ambiguous to myself, but to any reader that might stumble across it.

I don't like pushing for simple, single definitions of words like "can", "may", "moton", etc. Even if myself and some chums could reach agreement, it still doesn't mean that I could rely on these definitions being understood by all readers, so the exercise is ultimately futile.

It's better, IMO, to assume the widest interpretation of words, and add clarification where there might be ambiguity.

Your question, above, rather answers itself. You were able to clearly distinguish between permissible and capable in the question (though you needed, really, to be more explicit about who is doing the allowing), so why not use similar approaches in normal use? I realize you're on a mission to use less characters (hence the lack of full stops), but I'm sure that Cugel would lend you a few from his, seemingly bottomless supply. :D

User avatar
Paulatic
Posts: 5097
Joined: 2 Feb 2014, 1:03pm
Location: 24 Hours from Lands End

Re: Cyril's linguistic walkabout: 'can' & 'may'

Postby Paulatic » 26 May 2020, 8:29am

There’s a topic title been showing up for a few days. Every day I’ve to stop myself from posting my reply which would be," No I haven’t got a passport" :D
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 11774
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Cyril's linguistic walkabout: 'can' & 'may'

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 26 May 2020, 8:59am

Hi,
Cyril Haearn wrote:I do wish the moderators would correct wrong use of 'can' and 'may'

I simply can not understand you Cyril, but I may wish to blight you for wasting my time reading this $#|¥ :mrgreen:
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 2902
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: Live & work in Briz'l

Re: Clarification on swearing

Postby simonineaston » 26 May 2020, 9:32am

Vorpal wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:I do wish the moderators would correct wrong use of 'can' and 'may'

Fixing grammar would be a full time job. :lol: :lol:

If it was part of their job, which it isn't. Fortunately for them. A parable: the other day, I met with friends in the local park. We sat at 2 metres distance, and enjoyed "carry-out" coffee and fabulous goey, American-style, chocolate-chip cookies. I had eaten half mine when, unnoticed by me, an elderly Retriever had advanced near enough to make a discrete dash for the remaining biscuit, in which endevour it succeeded. In a trice, the biscuit was gone.
Dogs do what dogs do - evolution has made them good scavengers. My friends were surprised when I was not angry with the dog. Thus it is unfair to get cross with people who can't spell, don't know how to use apostrophes and can't employ the complex arrangements that form the spider's * web that is English grammar. It's not their fault that they are ignorant, but rather that of their teachers and parents. Better to get cross with them, if they can be found!
* You might at first assume that the spiders that could weave a web big enough to represent the English language would be many in number, and so require the apostrophe to be placed after the s of the plural noun, however I would argue that only one spider ever weaves one web - a web is never a communal effort - so I'm going to stick to spider's...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15669
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Cyril's linguistic walkabout: 'can' & 'may'

Postby mjr » 26 May 2020, 9:40am

Why do people use "tin" when they mean "can"?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.