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Pity the poor subjunctive   You are logged in as Guest
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Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1762
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

Pity the poor subjunctive 

It seems to be in its death throes.

I had thought that sentences of the form "If A would have done B then…" were confined to tennis commentators; but now I’m seeing them everywhere, including twice here in the space of three posts.

Would that grammar were still taught…

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 17:05:03
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

If you prefer, some of us could write in our own languages and not in our poor horrible english.
I can also do very poor subjunctive in spanish

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 17:29:19
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

quote:

"If A would have done B then…"


Where A and B were foro members..

...then I would be mildly upset.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 18:03:34
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1762
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Anders Eliasson

If English isn’t your native language, you get a free pass.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 18:19:32
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

Same trend with German; or maybe worse even.
Meanwhile you can´t expect from journalists, official speakers and anchormen what you would had from upper school grades of the past.

But maybe finer use of language isn´t really required for who could be future´s Soilent green. I recall a motto from past century that went like "Let´s live in style!"
These days it could be "Let´s vegetate!"

It shouldn´t surprise if general tendency was bovine.

Cheers,

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 19:37:21
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

quote:

ORIGINAL: Paul Magnussen

If English isn’t your native language, you get a free pass.



If only this were true.

My girlfriend is always giving me a hard time over my punctuation, and she is french.

D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 20:42:15
 
aeolus

Posts: 765
Joined: Oct. 30 2009
From: Mier

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

If it's that big a deal and you have forgotten sentence diagramming maybe this would help:
http://www.grammarly.com/

i took a test drive and submitted one of my film reviews/impressions that I was really proud of having written it in one sentence just for fun. They shot it down with a score of 20 out of 100. Obviously their software can't discriminate between inspired writing and hack prose :-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 21:11:32
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3308
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

I could not agree more, Paul. Unfortunately, in the United States at least, English grammar and punctuation have been deteriorating (and in many cases deliberately dumbed down) for some time. When I hear someone proclaim that punctuation doesn't matter as long as one gets one's idea across, I like to use the following example to demonstrate just how much punctuation does matter.

The following sentence seems straightforward and unambiguous, doesn't it?

"Woman without her man is nothing."

But let's add a couple of punctuation marks.

"Woman: without her, man is nothing."

E-mail only makes it worse, as no one seems to worry about correct English. Twitter no doubt will drive a stake through the heart of well-written English. I wonder if other languages are experiencing the same dumbing-down in the countries where they are spoken and written?

Cheers,

Bill

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With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 21:20:12
 
aeolus

Posts: 765
Joined: Oct. 30 2009
From: Mier

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/6132901/French-education-minister-calls-for-improving-poor-spelling-in-memo-filled-with-mistakes.html

Apparently some here expect a level of grammatical competence beyond the reach of none but themselves.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2013 21:36:29
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

"Woman: without her, man is nothing."



Only too true Bill !

Although I prefer the more expressive

"Woman ! Without her..... man is nothing."

I am happy to embrace the ambiguity introduced by the exclamation mark. And the non standard use of the ellipsis for pacing is a personal weakness. So although I prefer the above alternative offered I do not recommend it.



Paul I have to admit that I never make much of an effort with my prose. Even as a consumer I find myself far more concerned with intent and idiom than I am with grammar. For example I find that anthropomorphism, when used to induce moral authority, troubles me more than online laziness.

I wonder Paul.... was the title of this thread culled from the following limerick ?

Pity the poor subjunctive if you thinkofit
if used poorly I cant stand the stinkofit
when meaning is clear
tis no cause for fear
but when not the reader doth winkatit


(apologies to all)
D.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 8:45:19
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to BarkellWH

be that as it may

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 11:21:27
 
aloysius

Posts: 233
Joined: Apr. 7 2005
From: Adelaide, Australia

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

Misuse of apostrophes is a pet hate of mine.
A clever quote on that subject:
"An apostrophe is the difference between a business that knows its sh*t and a business that knows it's sh*t".

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 11:39:03
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

to demonstrate just how much punctuation does matter.


I seem to recall an example from my (U.K.) schooldays that the English teacher liked to emphasize.

He claimed that the illustrious 'Charge of the Light Brigade' only happened because a comma was misplaced in a written order.

Never really found out if it was true of not, and don't really care either. . .

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 15:36:52
 
edguerin

Posts: 1562
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

I believe this decline is noticeable in all living - and thus evolving and changing - languages (and, presumably, past generations complained, just as we do now).
Years ago, when still speaking my mother-tongue (English) on a day to day basis, I loved "Fowler's Modern English Usage". Alas, in the 2nd edition from 1968 the subjunctive is already considered "no longer alive".

Another deplorable development can be seen in the German language, that not only has "adopted" numerous (pseudo-)English expressions, using them in a sense difficult or nigh impossible for English native speakers to understand (e.g. "Handy" for "mobile phone", "Aircondition" for "air conditioning", "Life-Performance" for "Live performance" ...).

I think the present paucity of expression isn't just due to the internet; dubbing from English has definitely changed colloquial German, as in the phrase
"lass uns treffen" which is a word for word translation of "let's meet".

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Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 16:05:27
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to edguerin

Echt cool Ed.
German language is really getting very "poluted" with english words.

This is fortunately still going very slow here in Spain. I think mainly because they cant pronounce english.
Some pretty recent words I remember now and that sound so stupid in my ears: Mister instead of entrenador. (Todos apoyamos al mister.)
Filme instead of pelicula. (En el nuevo filme de furlanito...)

Subjunctive is still used a lot and its very complicated and very refined and its where spanish becomes really hard for those of us not used to subjunctive in our mother language.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 16:45:00
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Subjunctive is still used a lot


"Se puede" - is subjunctive?

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 17:07:12
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Subjunctive is still used a lot and its very complicated and very refined and its where spanish becomes really hard for those of us not used to subjunctive in our mother language.

alot of letras if not tonneladas use subjonctivitis, so one could study.

como el agua:
"Si tus ojillos fueran aceitunitas verdes,
toa la noche estaria muele que muele..."


might adds a dificultad mas at the flamenco learning curva

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"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 17:12:31
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to mezzo

another one

"arena lleva la playa
tu querer no lo olvido
por donde quiera que vaya"

try to found it out! busquenlo!

sorry, might add some flamenco flavour to this kind of boring threads, y ademas que se andan metiendo en the general seczion!

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"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 17:21:14
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1904
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to mezzo

I remember when I met my wife she used to tell me off for using too many subjunctives.

She put it down to spending too much time with los gitanos so here is a great letra which overuses it "Si no fuera por mi hermano, hubiera muerto de hambre". (Pies de Plomo, por soleá)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 18:46:54
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Morante

gypsies are guilties...cursed mindset.

I was listenning to Antonio Reyes and his peculiar way of phrasing tangos.
Like this curse :
"A la revolver
el cigarrito a ti se te apague
y no se vuelva a enceder".

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"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 19:08:09
 
pink

Posts: 570
Joined: Jan. 8 2013
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

''Pity the poor subjunctive.......fool''

The famous B. A. Baracus quote from the A Team!
Oh its taking me back

Best

pink
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 20:58:58
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3218
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

I just finished Meacham's one-volume biography of Thomas Jefferson. I reveled in the elegance and precision of the quotations in 18th century English. Perhaps only the better ones have survived?

I know if I spoke that way here in central Texas I would likely not be understood, and if I were, my mental stability would be questioned.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 29 2013 21:16:44
 
Arash

Posts: 4463
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to edguerin

quote:

ORIGINAL: edguerin


Another deplorable development can be seen in the German language, that not only has "adopted" numerous (pseudo-)English expressions, using them in a sense difficult or nigh impossible for English native speakers to understand (e.g. "Handy" for "mobile phone", "Aircondition" for "air conditioning", "Life-Performance" for "Live performance" ...).



"Public Viewing" is the worst.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2013 6:43:15
 
Brendan

Posts: 261
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2013 13:24:02
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to edguerin

quote:

ORIGINAL: edguerin

e.g. "Handy" for "mobile phone" ...


"Handy" is Swabian dialect, stemming from: "Han die ka Kabel!?"
-

On a more serious note, the French enacted publicly against the culture invasion, by restricting fast food chains on benefit of traditional snack and by limiting on Anglo-titles.
Some thought it to be sort of protectionism, but many I think welcomned the policy.

I liked it better when destinations differed with specific kinds of architecture, cuisine and customs.
These day any city center appears to be a same kind of shopping mall.

And while Mc D. and P. Hut are invading the world, their homeland itself seems to be losing the specifics it had.

In Germany restaurants with local cuisine appear to be seeing a revival, and I hope such to become internationally trendy, before global urbanity be turning into just some mega Hong Kong.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2013 17:28:03
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Richard Jernigan

God Save the Subjunctive !!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2013 18:32:15
 
aeolus

Posts: 765
Joined: Oct. 30 2009
From: Mier

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

And while Mc D. and P. Hut are invading the world, their homeland itself seems to be losing the specifics it had.


True. Though there are many excellent choices to dine better than the fast food joints. A recent testing lab tested 8 burgers from the joints and found the meat content ranged from 2 to 12 %. In other words garbage. I eat nothing but wild caught salmon flash frozen in Alaska and shipped FedEx.

And yes regional differences are disappearing and it is said even the Southern accent is on the way to extinction. Here is a clip I rescued from utube as a reminder of what was but sadly his accent is not that pronounced.
http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/edward441/media/accentchallenge.mp4.html
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2013 21:06:00
 
edguerin

Posts: 1562
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

"Han die ka Kabel!?"

Du moinscht bschdimmt "Han die koi Kabel", gell?

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Ed

El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2013 8:41:16
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to Paul Magnussen

Hehe
Du kennst Dich in der Tat viel besser aus. "Koi", genau! :O)

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2013 9:11:08
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Pity the poor subjunctive (in reply to aeolus

quote:

ORIGINAL: aeolus
I eat nothing but wild caught salmon flash frozen in Alaska and shipped FedEx.


Boy, last time that I came accross such delicacy I made a complete fool of myself, so against my dining habits.
It was dinner at friends who had someone in Alaska sent them natural salmon.
It was so incredibly delicious that I just could not control myself. Though cutting slices as thin as possible I reduced quite a chunk of what was left over at that point in time.

... To think of how once all salmon tasted like that ... Back then in the seventies. >sigh<


quote:

ORIGINAL: aeolus
And yes regional differences are disappearing and it is said even the Southern accent is on the way to extinction. Here is a clip I rescued from utube as a reminder of what was but sadly his accent is not that pronounced.
http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/edward441/media/accentchallenge.mp4.html


A bit large-scaled for me to visit YT, but I did love the round, heavy accent that surrounded me in California decades ago.
I didn´t know that such was fading away, and find it a pity to hear so. :O(

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2013 9:34:44
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