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"LITERALLY!" and Other Offenders on the Grammar Police Docket

Shots and explosions in Manila. Police are corning off the airport.

I didn't realize it was such a popular crop in the Philippines.

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It's also a cooking technique.  Maybe they are preparing food for the travelers.

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On Thursday, June 01, 2017 at 2:23 PM, ABay said:

Shots and explosions in Manila. Police are corning off the airport.

I love the taste of corned airport.

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20 hours ago, meep.meep said:

It's also a cooking technique.  Maybe they are preparing food for the travelers.

 "To Serve Man"

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7 hours ago, praeceptrix said:

 "To Serve Man"

"The fares are cheap, but I don't care for the in-flight meals at all."

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Tonight one of the local newsthings informed me that a witness in the Cosby case could no longer file civil charges because "the statue of limitations ran out years ago." I hope someone used their cell phone to get video of that, because I've never seen a running statue.

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On 6/3/2017 at 7:16 PM, Sandman87 said:

"The fares are cheap, but I don't care for the in-flight meals at all."

"We'd like to thank you for flying Soylent Green Airlines..."

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Apparently "text" is a verb that requires no conjugation. Just this week, Catelynn on Teen Mom and Danielle on 90 Day Fiancé both said "I text her/him" as though the "t" sound at the end was enough to imply past tense. Look, I know English is tricky, but this one really seems within the grasp of even the dullest of basic cable reality TV dolts. 

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4 hours ago, JocelynCavanaugh said:

Apparently "text" is a verb that requires no conjugation. Just this week, Catelynn on Teen Mom and Danielle on 90 Day Fiancé both said "I text her/him" as though the "t" sound at the end was enough to imply past tense. Look, I know English is tricky, but this one really seems within the grasp of even the dullest of basic cable reality TV dolts. 

Were they relating entire past experiences in the present tense? That might be a difficult question to answer if their only activity was texting. Of course, using the present tense when relaying a narrative is only correct for fictional accounts, but I would find the use of present tense to describe real experiences more palatable if there was at least consistency in its use.

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4 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Were they relating entire past experiences in the present tense? That might be a difficult question to answer if their only activity was texting. Of course, using the present tense when relaying a narrative is only correct for fictional accounts, but I would find the use of present tense to describe real experiences more palatable if there was at least consistency in its use.

Past tense, as in "I text her and said X but she didn't respond." But I know what you mean about people floating in and out of the historical present. Very confusing. They're also the ones who will be telling a story in first person and then randomly shift to second person to describe their own feelings or reactions to the incident (not the audience's). It's not effective storytelling!

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This morning I heard on National Public Radio: 

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Two states are suing the….
Washington DC and Maryland are…

I used ellipses so we would focus on the grammar and not the political content.
Later in the morning they were no longer introducing the topic with "two states."

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Not to turn this into a political chat (since you dodged the actual politics part of the story) but maybe the copy was written by a DC statehood fan and wanted to subtly plant the idea in the minds of their listeners.

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On 6/11/2017 at 8:47 PM, JocelynCavanaugh said:

Apparently "text" is a verb that requires no conjugation. Just this week, Catelynn on Teen Mom and Danielle on 90 Day Fiancé both said "I text her/him" as though the "t" sound at the end was enough to imply past tense. Look, I know English is tricky, but this one really seems within the grasp of even the dullest of basic cable reality TV dolts. 

People on the court shows do this as well, except they always end up saying 'texes' or something similar. I don't know either.

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23 hours ago, JocelynCavanaugh said:

Apparently "text" is a verb that requires no conjugation. Just this week, Catelynn on Teen Mom and Danielle on 90 Day Fiancé both said "I text her/him" as though the "t" sound at the end was enough to imply past tense. Look, I know English is tricky, but this one really seems within the grasp of even the dullest of basic cable reality TV dolts. 

I have a little bit of a lisp that really shows up when I try to pluralize "text(s)". My tongue can't make it a word. "Texted" is almost as tricky, and I appreciate that we aren't conjugating it yet. 

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8 minutes ago, BoogieBurns said:

I have a little bit of a lisp that really shows up when I try to pluralize "text(s)". My tongue can't make it a word. "Texted" is almost as tricky, and I appreciate that we aren't conjugating it yet. 

No, we definitely should be conjugating it! It's one thing to have trouble with pronunciation but still spell it right, but we must conjugate our verbs! We are not Neanderthals!

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6 minutes ago, JocelynCavanaugh said:

No, we definitely should be conjugating it! It's one thing to have trouble with pronunciation but still spell it right, but we must conjugate our verbs! We are not Neanderthals!

Hee.

Given the choice, I think I'd opt for alternative conjugation of verbs before I'd accept alternative facts. Clarity is all I require; correct grammar is only a means to that end.

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12 hours ago, JocelynCavanaugh said:

No, we definitely should be conjugating it! It's one thing to have trouble with pronunciation but still spell it right, but we must conjugate our verbs! We are not Neanderthals!

I conjugate when I write it, but I don't when I say it. I'm only half-Neanderthal.

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I'm guilty of that with some words. I know the correct spelling and pronunciation, but fall into the sloppy pronunciation that a lot of people use in this neck of the woods.

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On 6/12/2017 at 10:17 PM, BoogieBurns said:

I have a little bit of a lisp that really shows up when I try to pluralize "text(s)". My tongue can't make it a word. "Texted" is almost as tricky, and I appreciate that we aren't conjugating it yet. 

I think the appropriate way to show past tense would be to say "I sent him a text".

Edited by partofme.
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16 hours ago, partofme said:

I think the appropriate way to show past tense would be to say "I sent him a text".

That's exactly my work around. 

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A local newscast "lawmakers are efforting greater civility in Congress".

In the name of all that is holy.....

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1 hour ago, Quof said:

A local newscast "lawmakers are efforting greater civility in Congress".

In the name of all that is holy.....

Was the accent on the first or send syllable?
Is there any chance that the word was "affording" rather than "efforting?"

This 2014 article (http://www.newsminer.com/features/our_town/at_the_library_column/efforting-is-an-awkward-new-word-that-tries-too-hard/article_01a2bcd2-d9a9-11e3-bf75-0017a43b2370.html) is about the term "efforting," which states that it is included in The Urban Dictionary, which it is, here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Efforting —with a fitting definition.

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I see that there's a local car dealership commercial running for a Father's Day event which they're sponsoring. The text on my TV screen says that they're selling "$9 tickets for dad's."

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It could be worse.
If the ad was from Chicago, it would be "9$ tickets so dad's can go with."
Then we'd be wondering: Dad's what is going with what?

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Local reporter on the security for Sail Boston: "You'll see a lot of police, many of them undercover."

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Well, that's not a grammar issue.  Or even a language issue.  You will see them, you just won't recognize them as police officers.  

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In this week's copy of my local free newspaper:

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[Jane Doe], 42, of Chicago, was charged with driving with a suspended license and failure to appear in the intersection of Deerpath Square and Kennington Terrace.

I guess "failure to appear" would also be used to charge Captain Invisible in a science fiction comedy.

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Inquiring minds want to know why it was so important for her to stand in that particular intersection. :P

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9 hours ago, riley702 said:

Inquiring minds want to know why it was so important for her to stand in that particular intersection. :P

Hah, yes, and I also wondered if the use "in" instead of "at" is an indication of the writer's primary language being one that does not have such a plethora of prepositions as does English, or. . .?

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that does not have such a plethora of prepositions as does English, or. . .?

As a second language speaker myself, I have to protest this one. It's not the number of prepositions, it's that they make no sense. Unless someone can explain to me why it's ON the 4th of July but AT 3 o'clock. It's AT the intersection but I'm standing ON the street while walking IN the street or driving IN the middle of the road or I even might be walking ON the sidewalk.

I should be ON time but driving IN reverse?

There is really no rhyme nor reason TO them. And I might have made a mistake WITH some of them.

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49 minutes ago, supposebly said:

As a second language speaker myself, I have to protest this one. It's not the number of prepositions, it's that they make no sense. Unless someone can explain to me why it's ON the 4th of July but AT 3 o'clock. It's AT the intersection but I'm standing ON the street while walking IN the street or driving IN the middle of the road or I even might be walking ON the sidewalk.

I should be ON time but driving IN reverse?

There is really no rhyme nor reason TO them. And I might have made a mistake WITH some of them.

No kidding! Especially when we can't even agree amongst ourselves... apparently some New Yorkers believe we stand "ON line" rather than "IN line," while the Brits call it it "queueing UP." 

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Ah, variation is fine, there is of course no ONE English in the world. But if anyone wants to think that these things have predictable meaning, they are kidding themselves.

By the way, UP in "queueing up" is a particle, not a preposition. Prepositions need noun phrases to form a unit (normally). If they don't, they are usually either adverbs or particles.

I turned up. --> particle (particles combine with verbs to create phrasal verbs that have very little if anything to do with the components' original meaning. turn up = appear

I looked up. --> adverb. (adverbs modify the meaning of the verb.; here the direction of looking)

I looked up the mountain.  --> preposition. (form prepositional phrases with noun phrases; PPs here modify the meaning of the verb: direction and location of looking)

And thus ends today's grammar lesson. :-)

Edited by supposebly. Reason: Because spelling and punctuation are important too.
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4 hours ago, JocelynCavanaugh said:

apparently some New Yorkers believe we stand "ON line"

Yes, we certainly do!

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7 hours ago, supposebly said:

As a second language speaker myself, I have to protest this one. It's not the number of prepositions, it's that they make no sense. Unless someone can explain to me why it's ON the 4th of July but AT 3 o'clock. It's AT the intersection but I'm standing ON the street while walking IN the street or driving IN the middle of the road or I even might be walking ON the sidewalk.

I should be ON time but driving IN reverse?

There is really no rhyme nor reason TO them. And I might have made a mistake WITH some of them.

Having learned correct English grammar by ear from a mother who was a stickler for proper English and a father whose immigrant mother forbade the speaking of any language but English in their home, everything above looks flawless to me.

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Even that is changing. One of the things that I noticed was that I had learned that you wait FOR someone until they arrive.

These days, everyone seems to wait ON someone. Which, originally meant that I am a waiter or butler doing chores or serving someone.

Correct is relative to geography and time, I'd say. Prepositions have been bleached of a lot of meaning in many cases, which makes them susceptible to variation. 

I'm fairly certain I can also stand IN the street and since we also could be dancing IN the street. At least in some English variants. 

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On 6/23/2017 at 7:36 PM, supposebly said:

These days, everyone seems to wait ON someone. Which, originally meant that I am a waiter or butler doing chores or serving someone.

Or buttling, as per Clue, which sounds dirty. Because I am twelve.

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There is a local news anchor who is driving me crazy by adding "and even" to every story.  I assume she writes her own copy since none of the other newsreaders do this.  "The police spoke to the children and even their parents."  "The victim had critical injuries and even broken bones."  It's really distracting.  I'm tempted to email her to tell her to quit adding unnecessary words to her stories.

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Again with the local news, this time from the weather guy: "One of the things that could change it are the winds."

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15 hours ago, Sandman87 said:

Again with the local news, this time from the weather guy: "One of the things that could change it are the winds."

Maybe I'm just not getting it, but I said that out loud a few times and it doesn't sound wrong.

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2 hours ago, Cobalt Stargazer said:

Maybe I'm just not getting it, but I said that out loud a few times and it doesn't sound wrong.

"The things that could change it" is not the subject of the sentence.  The full phrase "One of the things that could change it" is, so the verb should be singular, not plural. The object of a preposition can never be the subject of a sentence.  "The things that could change it" is the object of the preposition "of."

Edited by legaleagle53.
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I've been a PT forum poster for years and today I fell down THIS rabbit hole (or is it rabbithole?) and I'm enjoying every second! Lol.

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Today it was the dreaded "should have went" on the local news.  Help me.

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Headline for the crime section of the weekly, local, free advertiser/news paper:
     "Four Stolen Vehicles Fled From Officers"
It seems grammatically unassailable, but I keep picturing animated cartoon cars, and I don't think that was the author's obective, but maybe so.

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I saw an interview with the Bush twins on Book TV and Jenna said her father is on a crusade about the proper use of "literally." 

My first reaction was, "Hmm...grammar makes strange bedfellows."  But then I thought, "Nope--I'm changing my position."  I know I have a dark heart but I'm kind of surprised by the depth of my bitterness. 

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2 hours ago, StatisticalOutlier said:

I saw an interview with the Bush twins on Book TV and Jenna said her father is on a crusade about the proper use of "literally."

That's surprising, but I'm glad to know the misuse of "literally" drives so many people nuts. Good for him.

Edited by CoderLady.
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