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#411612 - 02/08/10 04:36 AM Unwords
Machismo Offline
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Will to power and natural selection applied to language...

This morning I googled and one page that came up was The grammer police strike again. (sic)

Obviously "nickerbocker" is an ass. Spelling errors in the post are just the tip of the iceberg. But I ended up googling electronical out of curiosity and found Unwords.

Language evolves like animals. Mutations occur and some survive, some don't. I also found electronical at Urban Dictionary so I'd say we're looking at a mutation that might eke out a niche. But I wrote this post because I got a kick out of the Unwords site. Posting a word there is will to power in action. You're taking the role of radiation against DNA. You're barking a command at language itself: "I say thee mutate!" Hell, I just like it! A little thing, sure, but it's the little things that perk me up in the morning. tiki
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#411613 - 02/08/10 04:49 AM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
NapalmNick Offline
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Posts: 2151
Quote:
"I say thee mutate!"

Actually, it should be, "I say thou mutate!". "Thee" means the same thing (you) but is reserved for the end of a sentence, i.e. "I invite thee; come and watch me unsheath my sword!" grin

(Note that is technically the end of the sentence, as a semicolon is really nothing more but an aesthetic way of connecting two complete sentences without using a conjunction.)

All joking aside, language is one of those things that has my fascination at all times. I love watching it mutate and grow into different (and oftentimes horrid) dialects and memes.

Also, it's interesting to note what words are considered "unwords" by different software. For example, OpenOffice does not recognize "intellectualization" as a word. I tried using an "s" instead of a "z" to see if it is merely Amero-phobic, but alas it still didn't work. grin

Also interesting to note that Google Chrome doesn't recognize "meme" as a word.
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"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#411617 - 02/08/10 06:50 AM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
Shade Offline
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Registered: 07/08/06
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Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
Actually, it should be, "I say thou mutate!".


But Nick-eeeeee, that just sounds lame. "Thee" sounds so much better; more commanding, declarative and slightly (appropriately) absurd. What say thee? grin

"Un"s are always fun. I keep a personal dictionary, a journal where I can make note of strange, delightful or made-up words. Like "sandwichcraft" and "spaghettify" but also things like "sirocco". I sometimes make up my own definitions too. Most recent addition was "japan", adjective, used to describe all manner of bizarrity.

One of my favorite word sites is Sklonklish: An Illustrated Word of the Day. Mostly because I think it's a neat project but also because it's packed with deliciously weird words. Like snickersnee...

I'm a big snob about mutant words though. I think if you're going to morph something it should have some style and panache. It's not necessary to know the rules in order to break them but knowing the rules makes breaking them a lot more fun and clever. Being creative and quirky need not come at the expense of being educated about and precise with the language.

Netspeak, for example, does not a good mutant make. It's communication devolved into lingo à la Idiocracy or Blade Runner (“That gibberish he talked was city-speak, guttertalk, a mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German, what have you.”). I think what maybe started out as useful shorthand has become an excuse for sheer laziness. I know it's hip and all that but I cringe every time I see a sliced n' diced word with numbers and z's tacked on. It looks/sounds like a speech impediment to me. And it's a right pain in the ass to translate.
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#411618 - 02/08/10 06:52 AM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
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Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
Quote:
"I say thee mutate!"

Actually, it should be, "I say thou mutate!". "Thee" means the same thing (you) but is reserved for the end of a sentence, i.e. "I invite thee; come and watch me unsheath my sword!" grin

(Note that is technically the end of the sentence, as a semicolon is really nothing more but an aesthetic way of connecting two complete sentences without using a conjunction.)


You mean Stan Lee steered me wrong all those years in the Thor comic? zombie

Yeesh. If you can't trust Stan Lee, who can you trust? skull

coopdevil

Quote:
Also, it's interesting to note what words are considered "unwords" by different software. For example, OpenOffice does not recognize "intellectualization" as a word. I tried using an "s" instead of a "z" to see if it is merely Amero-phobic, but alas it still didn't work. grin


Word 2007 doesn't recognize anaerobicly. But it recognizes intellectualization.

Quote:

Also interesting to note that Google Chrome doesn't recognize "meme" as a word.


Word 2007 does. But it doesn't recognize memetics.
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#411623 - 02/08/10 07:37 AM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
Inventing a new word and letting it out to see it if catches up sounds like an awesomenal idea!
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#411628 - 02/08/10 08:49 AM So do you have a favourite unword? [Re: Machismo]
TECHNO Offline



Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 112
Loc: -31.955658,115.859928
I love telling people to chillax.

Inexplicably it seems to be able to diffuse many an argument.

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#411633 - 02/08/10 09:34 AM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Actually, it should be, "I say thou mutate!". "Thee" means the same thing (you) but is reserved for the end of a sentence, i.e. "I invite thee; come and watch me unsheath my sword!"

ACTUALLY grin

"Thou" is used for the grammatical subject, "thee" for the grammatical object. The difference between "thou" and "thee" is the same as the difference between "I" and "me".

In this case, "I say thee" is ungrammatical, because one doesn't "say" a person. It's wrong in the same way "He said me" would be wrong. "I say to thee, mutate" would be fine. ("Thee" is the indirect object in this case.)

Screwed-up Jacobian English is a pet peeve of mine! And my pedantry just happens to be on topic for once. crazy


Edited by reprobate (02/08/10 09:36 AM)
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#411634 - 02/08/10 09:39 AM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
reprobate Offline

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Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Word 2007 doesn't recognize anaerobicly.

Try "anaerobically".

There is an art to spell check.


Edited by reprobate (02/08/10 09:40 AM)
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#411698 - 02/08/10 02:38 PM Re: Unwords [Re: Shade]
verszou Offline



Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 1812
Loc: Denmark
Originally Posted By: Shade

"Un"s are always fun. I keep a personal dictionary, a journal where I can make note of strange, delightful or made-up words. Like "sandwichcraft" and "spaghettify" but also things like "sirocco". I sometimes make up my own definitions too. Most recent addition was "japan", adjective, used to describe all manner of bizarrity.


I think creative people like to play around with language just to see what happens. If you change one word in a phrase you get another sentence which may or may not make sense. One I've used is "sentenced in absinthe".

I have a co-worker that writes comics in his spare time and I've noticed that whenever I do something like that he jumps onto the derailed train of thought and goes on in a new direction with something like "Yes, Absinthe is a country well know for it's harsh legal system" and then of course I have to counter with some draconian form of punishment that they are known for. So conversations become sort of an improvisation like jazz music.

People tend to shake their heads a lot when they eavesdrop on our conversations smile
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#411704 - 02/08/10 03:25 PM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
Bill_M Offline
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Registered: 07/28/01
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Originally Posted By: RealityPrinciple
But I ended up googling electronical out of curiosity and found Unwords..


These seem a lot like Sniglets, the 1980s invention from comedian Rich Hall.
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#411717 - 02/08/10 05:09 PM Re: Unwords [Re: reprobate]
NapalmNick Offline
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Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
OK, I was 98% sure that was the case, but didn't want to sound like a complete idiot in case the SVO word order hadn't evolved yet.

Seeing as how it apparently did, with the object coming at the end of a sentence, I was technically right at one point in time.

Of course, the whole thou/thee difference that is no longer present is clear indication of English's Germanic roots, ala Du/Dich.
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"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

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#411719 - 02/08/10 05:11 PM Re: So do you have a favourite unword? [Re: TECHNO]
NapalmNick Offline
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Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Quote:
I love telling people to chillax.

A personal favorite of mine as well. I once told my father to chillax and he said something about me being "stuck in the '90s". crazy

Whatever. cool
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#411791 - 02/09/10 04:28 AM Re: So do you have a favourite unword? [Re: TECHNO]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: TECHNO
I love telling people to chillax.


Makes me think of a super-villain who attacks you with a battle axe as cold as outer space! rip
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#411803 - 02/09/10 05:33 AM Re: Unwords [Re: Old_Pig]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Old_Pig
Inventing a new word and letting it out to see it if catches up sounds like an awesomenal idea!


So how do you pronounce awesomenal? I'm thinking - aw SAHM in ul. smile
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#411900 - 02/09/10 07:24 PM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
definition-an arsenal of awesome.
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#411924 - 02/09/10 11:11 PM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
reprobate Offline

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English was a V2 language (like German and Dutch) in its earliest phase, and morphed into an SVO syntax by the 14th century at the latest.

I could go on at great length about this.

And don't even get me started on "-est, -eth" verb endings.
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#411926 - 02/09/10 11:25 PM Re: Unwords [Re: reprobate]
NapalmNick Offline
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Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Hm. I'd definitely like to hear more from you concerning language. While it is an interest of mine, it is clear you actually know more than I.

But I'm not so sure this is the thread for that. grin
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#411943 - 02/10/10 08:06 AM Re: Unwords [Re: reprobate]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
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Originally Posted By: reprobate
English was a V2 language (like German and Dutch) in its earliest phase, and morphed into an SVO syntax by the 14th century at the latest.

I could go on at great length about this.

And don't even get me started on "-est, -eth" verb endings.


I'd like to hear you on this, at length. Easy for me to say, of course. You're the one who'll be doing the work!
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#411962 - 02/10/10 10:54 AM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
reprobate Offline

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#411963 - 02/10/10 11:06 AM Re: Unwords [Re: Machismo]
reprobate Offline

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What part of it do you want to hear about?
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#411972 - 02/10/10 12:29 PM Re: Unwords [Re: reprobate]
Machismo Offline
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Originally Posted By: reprobate
What part of it do you want to hear about?


V2 to SVO, and -est, -eth.

Or anything that interests you about what I as a layman would call Elizabethan English, where it came from, where it went, how it worked.

It interests me for the silliest of reasons. I used to read the Thor comic and I loved how Thor talked.

Plus I have a layman's interest in the basic principles of linguistics, in particular the evolution of syntax, its mutations and selection pressures.
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#411976 - 02/10/10 01:17 PM Re: Unwords [Re: reprobate]
NapalmNick Offline
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So is your specialty in Germanic languages or do you also knows stuff about Latin, Slavic, Celtic, etc?

A few things that have been bugging me: is Romanian still considered a Romance language? Because to my ears it sounds very Slavic. Also, what the hell is Finnish? I've heard from some people that it is a dense mix of Germanic and Slavic roots, namely Swedish and Russian, but something tells me that might be bullshit.
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#411980 - 02/10/10 01:42 PM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
reprobate Offline

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I have a degree in English lit and took courses on the history of the English language, but I also have a personal interest in language change.

Romanian is definitely counted as a Romance language. The basic vocabulary and grammar are Romance. But because it's had close contact with Slavic languages for hundreds of years (closer than the contact it's had with any other Romance language), some of the Slavic features have "rubbed off". Mostly this has affected how sounds are pronounced, but also some words were borrowed, and little details of grammar. For example, the definite article goes at the end of the word, like in its Slavic neighbors, rather than at the beginning as in the other Romance tongues; but the sound that's used as the definite article is evolved from Latin "ille", not from any Slavic word.

Finnish is actually something of an anomaly. All languages differ from one another, but Finnish differs from the other European languages in ways that they don't differ from one another. Most of the languages of Europe are in a set of related families (Germanic, Romance, Celtic, Slavic, Baltic, as well as a few sui generis languages like Greek and Albanian). These families make up a kind of superfamily called the Indo-European languages, which also includes Persian and the languages of northern India. These languages are demonstrably related in their basic vocabulary (eg. "mother"/"mater"/"matar", "father"/"pater"/"patar", etc.) and grammatical structure, but have been in the process of diverging for something like six thousand years.

Finnish is not in that family. It's part of a different family, called Uralic. Most of the languages of this family are tribal languages spoken in the Russian interior, near the Urals, but during the Middle Ages some of these tribes settled in Europe, and today there are three countries in Europe that have Uralic tongues as their national language: Finnish is related to Estonian and to Magyar (what they speak in Hungary). There are also some speakers of related languages in other parts of Russia, and also the Saami in Norway.
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#411983 - 02/10/10 02:26 PM Re: Unwords [Re: reprobate]
NapalmNick Offline
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So is Magyar what people are referring to when they say "Hungarian" or is it a minority language?

Knew about the Indo-European group, had no clue the Ural languages weren't included in it. Another thing that interests me is how languages geographically migrate. Turkish is the most widely spoken Turkic language, in Turkey of all places, and yet from what I understand they started in Mongolia. I just looked it up and apparently Turkic languages are part of the "Altaic" family, which most linguists completely reject. Interesting.

Sorry for all the inane questions, this stuff is interesting to me.
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#411989 - 02/10/10 03:11 PM A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: Machismo]
reprobate Offline

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Well, without getting too deep into the history behind all of this (you can research that yourself, starting with wikipedia, or even take courses on it at your nearest university if you like, "History of the English Language" or what have you)....

From around 500 AD to 1066 AD, the people in England spoke a language they called English. Well, they would have written it "englisc", but it's pronounced the same. However, other than a few words, this language is completely incomprehensible to anyone without special training. Try reading Beowulf in the original language.

In 1066, England is invaded by the Normans, and the English language starts to take on some influence from their language (actually various dialects of what was called "la langue d'Oïl", ancestor of the modern French language). This is when we begin to see traces of English as we know it; it's the phase scholars call "Middle English".

The process was slow. Take a look at Gawain and the Green Knight, an Arthurian legend told in poetry some time in the 1200s. If you were to hear this sung by a native speaker of Middle English, it would sound very strange, but you'd be able to pick out much of it; it would sound like someone speaking in a very strange, very very thick foreign accent, and making strange mistakes. "If 3e wyl lysten þis laye bot on littel quile" = "If ye will listen (to) this lay but a(n) little while", etc.

This is also the language in which Chaucer wrote. These authors are trying to write their language phonetically, but they have no standardized methods, no "correct" spellings, no dictionaries, none of that. So they kind of have to eyeball it, and expect their reader will understand what they're writing. At the very worst, you could read the letters out loud and hear the words for yourself. If you understand the phonetic conventions of the time, you can actually still do that. But it sounds very weird.

The important thing to realize is that this isn't just a jumble. This is a language with its own grammar; but its grammar happens to be different from ours. Not VERY different. But when it comes to grammar, even a little different is enough to make things sound like a jumble.

Over time, the grammar was streamlined a bit, and also differences in dialect were smoothed over. By the year 1600, people are speaking something recognizable as "Modern English", even if it's old-fashioned. When King James commissioned a modern English translation of the Bible, his commissioners used some features of English that were already considered "old-fashioned" by that time. People didn't tend to refer to one another as "thou" anymore, for example. But they still recognized it as part of their language, and understood how you should speak if that's how you wanted to speak.

Which brings me to my main topic. How to speak fake Elizabethan. Already, if you are calling it by that name, you're doing it wrong. People didn't really talk this way during Elizabeth's reign. Nor during that of James (I tend to call it "fake Jacobian" because at least it's the way they wrote the King James Version of the Bible). Maybe something like "Fake Middle English"?

"-eth" and "-est" are verb endings that depend on the subject. In this language, you have eight personal pronouns:
I
Thou
He/She/It
We
Ye
They

All of them except "thou", "ye", and "he/she/it" work the same as they do in contemporary English. You never say "I hath" or "I goest", you say "I have" or "I go".

"Thou" is second person singular. You only use it when you are talking about one person. It's also an intimate term, so you never use it when addressing someone of higher station, or a stranger; you only use it for friends and family, and God. When it's the object, you say "thee" ("I love thee"). The possessive form is "thy" or "thine" (corresponding roughly with "my" and "mine", though it was typical to use the form that ends in -ine before a word that started with a vowel; eg. "my love", "thy coat", but "mine enemy", "thine orbital weapons platform.")

"-est" is the ending for present tense indicative verbs that have "thou" as their subject. If the verb is "to X", then you say, "thou X-est". Thou knowest, thou lovest, thou laughest, etc. (This is closely related to the German conjugation for "du"; eg. "gehen" becomes "du gehst", just as "go" becomes "thou goest".)

Two exceptions. If the verb is "to be", you say "thou art". (You never say "I art" or "he art" or "they art". ONLY "thou art".) If the verb is "to have", you say "thou hast". (You never say "I hast" or "he hast".)

You can use this for questions, too. "Goest thou?" But never for the imperative. The imperative is the bare verbal root, which comes first in the clause. Sometimes the pronoun is included: "Go thou to the store". Never "Goest thou to the store". (That would be valid if you were asking a question: "Goest thou to the store?") Also, never for the infinitive, nor the subjunctive. Only when you are saying something that is true, or asking whether it's true, in the present.

"-eth" is the verbal ending for present tense indicative verbs that have third person singular ("he/she/it") as their subject. He knoweth, she loveth, God laugheth, etc. (You never say "I hath" or "thou goeth". Again, this is related to the German form; "es geht" = "it goeth".) Exceptions: if the verb is "to be", you say "is", just like you would nowadays. If the verb is "have", you say "hath". (Much as you would in German; you don't say "er habt", you say "er hat".)

"Ye" is the second person plural. You also use it for politeness, to speak to a single person who is entitled to some respect, a stranger or a lord or what have you. "Ye" is when it is the subject. "Ye know", "ye go", etc. (You never say "ye goeth", "ye hast", etc.) "You" is the object form, so you could say "I know you", not "I know ye". The possessive form is "your" or "yours" (you use "your" before a vowel just as you normally would in today's English).

Whew! I think that covereth all the bases. Have thou any questions, feel free to ask them!


Edited by reprobate (02/10/10 03:20 PM)
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#411991 - 02/10/10 03:15 PM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
Spelled Moon Offline
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Registered: 12/25/08
Posts: 1691
Originally Posted By: NapalmNick
So is Magyar what people are referring to when they say "Hungarian" or is it a minority language?


Magyar is Hungarian. smile The term "Magyar" is how Hungarian people refer to it.

And yes, it is very different from rest of languages, often compared to Finnish.

I also find their way of speaking funny. smile Their intonation is very strange.

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#411992 - 02/10/10 03:18 PM Re: Unwords [Re: NapalmNick]
reprobate Offline

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Loc: Canada
Quote:
So is Magyar what people are referring to when they say "Hungarian" or is it a minority language?

Spelled Moon is right, it's the main event, the national language.

It's also spoken by an ethnic group in Romania called the szekely. In Dracula, the man himself claims to be a szekely, which means he or his ancestors would have spoken Hungarian. (The real Vlad Tepeş was a Wlach, meaning a Romanian speaker and a descendent of Roman settlers, predating the Hungarian invasion.)


Edited by reprobate (02/10/10 03:33 PM)
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#411993 - 02/10/10 03:36 PM Re: Unwords [Re: Spelled Moon]
NapalmNick Offline
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Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Ah OK! Usually my ears can at the very least spot the family of any given language. It seems quite natural. I'm actually perplexed by people who don't notice the obvious similarities between say, Spanish and Italian.

But, there is this one kid who speaks nothing but Hungarian when he wants to annoy me, and it sounds like he's an alien. Like, a space alien. Now I know why. smile
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#412062 - 02/11/10 07:31 AM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: reprobate]
Machismo Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: reprobate
In 1066, England is invaded by the Normans...


First, thank you for the lengthy bit of teaching.

As for 1066, I just want to say, yes, I'm hokey enough to get a kick out of anything big happening on a -66 year. jack

Quote:
...and the English language starts to take on some influence from their language (actually various dialects of what was called "la langue d'Oïl", ancestor of the modern French language). This is when we begin to see traces of English as we know it; it's the phase scholars call "Middle English".


Cool. Middle English got its push from the Normans. Learned something already.

Quote:
Over time, the grammar was streamlined a bit, and also differences in dialect were smoothed over. By the year 1600, people are speaking something recognizable as "Modern English", even if it's old-fashioned. When King James commissioned a modern English translation of the Bible, his commissioners used some features of English that were already considered "old-fashioned" by that time. People didn't tend to refer to one another as "thou" anymore, for example. But they still recognized it as part of their language, and understood how you should speak if that's how you wanted to speak.


I've heard that Luther's New Testament was a very big influence on the German language. Was the King James Bible as big an influence on English?

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Which brings me to my main topic. How to speak fake Elizabethan.


Hurray! Thor! jack

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All of them except "thou", "ye", and "he/she/it" work the same as they do in contemporary English. You never say "I hath" or "I goest", you say "I have" or "I go".


Whither goest thou? Whither goeth yon prattling oaf? Whither go I now on this mournful morn?

Too bad Thor doesn't talk like that any more. I could apply for a writing job! smile


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"Thou" is second person singular. You only use it when you are talking about one person. It's also an intimate term, so you never use it when addressing someone of higher station, or a stranger; you only use it for friends and family, and God.


Intimacy with God. What a concept!

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When it's the object, you say "thee" ("I love thee"). The possessive form is "thy" or "thine" (corresponding roughly with "my" and "mine", though it was typical to use the form that ends in -ine before a word that started with a vowel; eg. "my love", "thy coat", but "mine enemy", "thine orbital weapons platform.")


You know, Stan Lee got most of this right!

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You can use this for questions, too. "Goest thou?" But never for the imperative. The imperative is the bare verbal root, which comes first in the clause. Sometimes the pronoun is included: "Go thou to the store". Never "Goest thou to the store". (That would be valid if you were asking a question: "Goest thou to the store?") Also, never for the infinitive, nor the subjunctive. Only when you are saying something that is true, or asking whether it's true, in the present.


Stan Lee even did imperatives right!

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"Ye" is the second person plural. You also use it for politeness, to speak to a single person who is entitled to some respect, a stranger or a lord or what have you. "Ye" is when it is the subject. "Ye know", "ye go", etc. (You never say "ye goeth", "ye hast", etc.) "You" is the object form, so you could say "I know you", not "I know ye". The possessive form is "your" or "yours" (you use "your" before a vowel just as you normally would in today's English).


Here is where Stan Lee fell down, I think. I don't remember Thor saying "ye" or "you" much at all.

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Whew! I think that covereth all the bases. Have thou any questions, feel free to ask them!


Thanks again!
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#412071 - 02/11/10 08:55 AM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: Machismo]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:
I've heard that Luther's New Testament was a very big influence on the German language. Was the King James Bible as big an influence on English?

Yes, though not as dramatically. It standardized a lot of grammatical uses, introduced new vocabulary, and fixed a common point of reference for many figures of speech and poetic allusions.

It also played a role in standardizing divergent dialects across political boundaries. The German language was spread throughout the Holy Roman Empire, in dozens of countries, with thick dialects that were often not mutually comprehensible. English was much less spread out, and in England it was already being standardized as the language of the King's court. In the time period we're talking about, the lowland Scots, then comprising an independent kingdom of their own, spoke what is variously described as a divergent dialect of English, or a separate language closely related to English. This was the last major community of English-speakers to be unified with the rest. Politically, this was effected by James I himself; his Bible became the focal point of the Protestant revolution in Scotland that ensued.

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Whither goest thou? Whither goeth yon prattling oaf? Whither go I now on this mournful morn?

i herd u liek demonstrative, relative, and interrogative pronouns.

Here's another factoid about Middle English that's fun because it's actually way more expressive than modern English, and because there's a pattern.

Today, we have two "demonstrative" pronouns: THIS and THAT. These are words we can use to refer to something directly in the world; with the words "this" and "that", I can hold up or point to a thing and show it to you. We have a similar pair that refer to places: HERE and THERE. HERE/THIS are for anything near me; THERE/THAT are for anything that isn't near me.

The Middle English system was richer. Instead of a near/far contrast, it had a three-way contrast: near me, not near me but within sight, and not near me and not in sight. The words were THIS, YON, and THAT. The corresponding words for places were HERE, YONDER, and THERE.

"Yon oaf" is that oaf over there, that we can see. If we couldn't see him, he would be "that oaf".

These words, along with the interrogative pronoun (WHICH/WHERE), formed a regular system. There was a form of all of them that meant "from x" (origin) and one that meant "to x" (destination).

The origin words end in -ence: WHENCE ("from where"), HENCE ("from here"), THENCE ("from there"). (There was no corresponding form for "yon.")

In Middle English, for example, you wouldn't say, "Where are you coming from?", or "I came from there." You would say, "Whence are you coming?" (or "Whence come you?"), and "I came thence." When you draw a conclusion in an argument, you say "Hence", as in, "From these premises [we get to the conclusion]".

The destination words end in -ither: WHITHER ("to where"), HITHER ("to here"), THITHER ("to there"). You can also use YONDER in this way.

A "come-hither look" is a look that tells you "come to here". Someone moving "hither and thither" is going here, then there. In the Song of Solomon, the poet asks, "Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women?" as in, where did she go to?


Edited by reprobate (02/11/10 09:26 AM)
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#412076 - 02/11/10 09:19 AM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: reprobate]
Maupassant's Offline


Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: reprobate
The Middle English system was richer. Instead of a near/far contrast, it had a three-way contrast: near me, not near me but within sight, and not near me and not in sight.


As far as I know ancient Greek also had a curious three-way system: near the narrator, far from the narrator, and far from the narrator but near the person the narrator is talking to.

And yes, Finland and Hungary languages come from the same family, just as the name implies: "Finno-Ugric languages".

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#412113 - 02/11/10 03:52 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: reprobate]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Quote:
The Middle English system was richer. Instead of a near/far contrast, it had a three-way contrast: near me, not near me but within sight, and not near me and not in sight. The words were THIS, YON, and THAT. The corresponding words for places were HERE, YONDER, and THERE.

Awesome! Now I can destroy all my family's dreams! crossbones grin

Allow me to explain my outburst: My mother is an English teacher, on of the types who maintains that "ain't is not a word" (even though it fucking is!) and will often make fun of "redneck talk" by using words like "ain't" and "YONDER".

Truth be told, rednecks do use "Yonder" a lot. According to the above quoted statement, they actually use it properly for the most part.

I once read the word used in a full sentence in The Lord of the Rings. After that I immediately assumed that since it was used by someone other than a redneck it must have a real meaning. And it does!

Muahahahaha!!!
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#412115 - 02/11/10 03:58 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: NapalmNick]
Quaark Offline

CoS Reverend

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 8840
That is actually interesting Nick, and connects two disconnected dots.

I knew in the back of my head that American rednecks still used "yonder", and in another part of my head knew that "yonder" was valid archaic English.

Now I wonder if "yonder" has somehow survived in unbroken usage from ancient times... amongst the snaggle toothed inbred set!
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#412117 - 02/11/10 04:14 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: Quaark]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Well, the genetic makeup of most European Americans in the Appalachian and "Bible Belt" regions is invariably a dense mix of English, Irish, Scottish, and French. Seeing as how all of those nations are somewhat famous for the "royal" touch, I wouldn't be surprised if that was a genuine connection between the two uses.

Because I'm strange and find an accent attractive that most people want to throw knives at, I've also found out that "Southern American English" (SAE for short) owes the vast majority of its vowel shapes to English and Irish dialects, and most of its syntax to Scottish dialects. Granted, in places like Louisiana it is obvious that French has had a major effect there, but that's EXTREMELY regional.
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#412121 - 02/11/10 04:20 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: Quaark]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Now I wonder if "yonder" has somehow survived in unbroken usage from ancient times... amongst the snaggle toothed inbred set!

It certainly has.

The same with adding "a-" to the beginning of a present participle, to signify that the action is in progress over time. If someone's "gone afishin'" or says, "I'm acomin', pa", they're using one of the most ancient grammatical constructions. It's related to the German prefix "ge-", which they attach to perfect participles to signify an action that is completed.

Look at these lines from Chaucer:

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"Now," quod he tho, "cast up thyn ye;
See yonder, lo, the Galaxye,
Which men clepeth the Milky Wey,
For hit is whyt: and somme, parfey,
Callen hit Watlinge Strete:
That ones was y-brent with hete...."

Erm, I mean:
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"Now", quoth he though, "cast up thine eye;
See yonder, lo, the Galaxy,
Which men call the Milky Way,
For it is white: and some, perfaith,
Call it Watling Street:
That once was a-burnt with heat...."


Nick, next time your mom gives you a hard time about "redneck" talk, tell her to read The House of Fame!

Also, replacing "th" with "d" is attested in Middle English as well as many dialects throughout the history of modern English.

This is not to mention replacing "-ing" with "-in". This is a case of overzealous ignorance becoming standard. Originally, "-ing" was used for gerunds, "-and" for participles. (Imagine a sign that said, "Gone fishand"!) But over time, BOTH started to be pronounced "-in" (the g and the d were both dropped). Now, people got used to having to correct themselves, and knew that "-in" was "supposed" to be "-ing" in some cases, but were confused about which cases, since they pronounced both the same anyway. So they just overextended it to the cases that used to be "-and", thinking that was the "correct" way. The older form "-in" and even "-and" is used in some dialects of broad Scots.


Edited by reprobate (02/11/10 04:21 PM)
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#412123 - 02/11/10 04:23 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: reprobate]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Warlock Reprobate, Methinks thine ammo will do me well. grin
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#412176 - 02/11/10 10:30 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: Quaark]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Daark

Now I wonder if "yonder" has somehow survived in unbroken usage from ancient times... amongst the snaggle toothed inbred set!


I live around a countless multitude of posterchildren for bad dentistry and incest,and let me say they do still use it,and by mere coincidence only, use it properly in most contexts.

However,they also say "Warsher" (washing-machine) "Winder" (window) "Mater" (tomato) and many other words that would make a Confederate flag burn itself.
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#412178 - 02/11/10 10:49 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: ArtAche86]
NapalmNick Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 2151
Quote:
However,they also say "Warsher" (washing-machine) "Winder" (window) "Mater" (tomato) and many other words that would make a Confederate flag burn itself.

Well, I wouldn't say those are different words so much as different pronunciations.

I say "washer" to refer to both a washing machine and a dish-washer. Because in my book, a dish-washer is another human being. grin

I guess the addition of "er" is a Kentucky thing. Mainly because I say "Winda" and "Tamata". If I say them very SLOOOW I make the "o" sound, but that's only if I'm speaking to someone who pronounces McDonald's as "Madonna's". grin
_________________________
"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris; not the end." --Leonard Nimoy as Captain Spock in The Undiscovered Country

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." --George Carlin, Playin' With Your Head

"[There is] no contradiction between saying 'evolution has no purpose' and 'organisms have purposes'; just different vocabularies for different levels of description." --Sean Carroll

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#412186 - 02/11/10 11:24 PM Re: A primer of fake Elizabethan [Re: ArtAche86]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Chaucer would have thought Shakespeare sounded like an illiterate with his tongue curled up like a rug. William Blake, with his Estuary rhymes, might as well have been speaking ebonics for all John Donne would have been able to make of it.

Many accents with a bad reputation have their earthy charms, from braid Doric to Southern drawl, from Newfie to kiwi, to, yes, even ebonics. wink

Everyone has an accent. What matters is what they have to say in it.


Edited by reprobate (02/11/10 11:32 PM)
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#412346 - 02/13/10 06:56 AM Re: Amn't I? [Re: reprobate]
Machismo Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1132
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: reprobate
Two exceptions. If the verb is "to be", you say "thou art". (You never say "I art" or "he art" or "they art". ONLY "thou art".) If the verb is "to have", you say "thou hast". (You never say "I hast" or "he hast".)


Was there ever a time when English-speaking people said, without sounding stupid, amn't I? Or was the accepted form pretty much always, aren't I?
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#412359 - 02/13/10 08:34 AM Re: Amn't I? [Re: Machismo]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Was there ever a time when English-speaking people said, without sounding stupid, amn't I? Or was the accepted form pretty much always, aren't I?


Good question.

"am" + "not" = "ain't". That's where it comes from.

In Ireland, they do say "amn't".


Edited by reprobate (02/13/10 08:42 AM)
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#412362 - 02/13/10 09:01 AM Re: Amn't I? [Re: reprobate]
MagdaGraham Offline
CoS Priestess

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 13369
Loc: Scotland
"am I not?"
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