Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > Miscellaneous > Lounge

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-23-2011, 01:35 AM   #1
Sweetpea
Grand Sorcerer
Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Sweetpea's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,914
Karma: 22621808
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Krewerd
Device: HTC Flyer; BBMini; Sony PRS650
English (or US) grammar

I noticed something this morning.

I opened my google talk application and saw this message:

"person x is offline. You can still send this person messages and they will receive them the next time they are online."

I noticed this before. You know you're talking about 1 person (the sentence starts with that even) and yet, the sentence ends with a plural. Why is that?

I find it looks very weird...
Sweetpea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 01:38 AM   #2
Filark
Armed with a smile :)
Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Filark ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Filark's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,408
Karma: 2463560
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: California, USA
Device: enTourage eDGe & Pocket eDGe, Samsung Galaxy Note II
Is "they" better or worse than "he/she", or just "he", or just "she"?

All the unknown-gender options bug me.

Last edited by Filark; 09-23-2011 at 01:40 AM.
Filark is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 09-23-2011, 01:39 AM   #3
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 61,021
Karma: 38262005
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: Kindle PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro
I don't like it either, but it's common. "They" has come to be used as a "gender neutral" singular pronoun, because "he" is regarded as sexist, and "he or she" looks awkward.
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 03:32 AM   #4
TGS
Country Member
TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TGS's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,027
Karma: 7355679
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denmark
Device: Liseuse: Irex DR800. PRS 505 in the house, and the missus has an iPad.
It's not a plural - it's just gender indeterminate. If I was to say something like, "If the person who stole my pencil returns it by midday they will not be punished", there would appear to be nothing wrong with it. If I have no reason to believe that the culprit is one gender rather than another it would seem to be the best thing to say. As for Google, I would have thought they did know the gender of "person x", so it just seems like laziness.

Last edited by TGS; 09-23-2011 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Typo
TGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 06:42 AM   #5
afa
The Forgotten
afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.afa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
afa's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,136
Karma: 4689999
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Dubai
Device: NOOK Touch; NOOK Classic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
"person x is offline. You can still send this person messages and they will receive them the next time they are online."
I think it's easier. Rather than having customised messages, they just have one standard, and the only thing that changes is the "person x".

So even if you were writing to multiple people, the message would still hold.
afa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 11:24 AM   #6
Sweetpea
Grand Sorcerer
Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sweetpea ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Sweetpea's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,914
Karma: 22621808
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Krewerd
Device: HTC Flyer; BBMini; Sony PRS650
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS View Post
It's not a plural - it's just gender indeterminate. If I was to say something like, "If the person who stole my pencil returns it by midday they will not be punished", there would appear to be nothing wrong with it. If I have no reason to believe that the culprit is one gender rather than another it would seem to be the best thing to say.
Thanks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I don't like it either, but it's common. "They" has come to be used as a "gender neutral" singular pronoun, because "he" is regarded as sexist, and "he or she" looks awkward.
I find this looking weird! And I doubt it's something I could get used to... I'll stick to my (s)he
Sweetpea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 06:40 PM   #7
Falcao
Banned
Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,344
Karma: 1028477047
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nueva Andalucía
Device: Sony PRS 650
The following is (more or less)

Most Spanish nouns have gender. Thus, you can translate "friend" as "amigo" if it is a male friend or as "amiga" if it is a female friend. Plural nouns are the same, so you can talk about "amigos" or "amigas". But there is a catch. If among the group of female friends one has a male friend, then the plural is "amigos" like if all the friends were males.

Moreover, in Spanish there is a hint of machismo. We don't have a neuter term like "siblings", we talk about "brothers", even if there is one brother and five sisters. We don't have a term like "children", we say "sons". We don't have a term like "parents", we say "fathers". And so on.

We Mexicans like to copy trends from Americans, and political-correctness is not an exception. Now, some people talk about "amigos y amigas" instead of just "amigos". Since this is more cumbersome than the English "he/she", using the "@", like in "amig@s", is becoming more common.

In conclusion, I can understand the use of "they" instead of "he/she". Although I prefer some less confusing term like "s/he" or something similar.



I step down from the soda box.
Falcao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 06:49 PM   #8
Nyssa
Series Addict
Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Nyssa's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,429
Karma: 51911289
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Florida, USA
Device: Kindle 3 (Wifi Only), Kindle Paperwhite
I also prefer "(s)he", but find myself using either "they" or "he/she". I also use "him/her" or "them".
Nyssa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
SameOldStory
My True Self
SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.SameOldStory ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
SameOldStory's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,126
Karma: 66231034
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Trantor, Galactic Center
Device: Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
I'm more likely to use s/he (she or he), but I think that "they" is acceptable nowadays.

"English" is a boiling caldron of many languages. I recall reading, somewhere, that Spanish readers can still read El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (15th century) or El Cantar de Mío Cid (12th century).

Anyone want to try 14th Century English? In modern type it's do-able, but in the script of the time I think very few would be able to read it.

"& he openynge his mowthe techinge hem, seyenge, Blessyd be pore in speryte, for here is the rewme of heuenes. Blessyd be the mylde, for thei schal haue the lond of lyf. Blessyd be thei that waylen, for thei schal be comfortyd. Blessyd be thei that hungren and thrusten ryghtwysnys, for thei schal be fulfyllyd. Blessyd be mercyful men, for thei schal swe mercy. Blessyd be men of clene herte, for thei schal se God. Blessyd be pesyble men, for thei schal be cleped Godes chyldren...."

Those who have learned to spell relief - Rolaids might have a small problem reading it.

txt msg ma b the end of enlsh u thnk 2?
SameOldStory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 01:22 PM   #10
The Terminator
Retired
The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.The Terminator ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 2,552
Karma: 37638420
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vancouver Island Canada
Device: Kobo Touch, Optimus One (2.3), Nexus 7 (4.2)
"person x is offline. You can still send Her/Him a messages and He/She will receive them the next time He/She is online."

Does that look any better?

I personally like "They" better than "Him/Her" "He/She"
The Terminator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
Falcao
Banned
Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Falcao ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,344
Karma: 1028477047
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nueva Andalucía
Device: Sony PRS 650
Quote:
Originally Posted by SameOldStory View Post
"English" is a boiling caldron of many languages. I recall reading, somewhere, that Spanish readers can still read El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (15th century) or El Cantar de Mío Cid (12th century).
Your are right about the Quijote (17th century). It can be read in its original language although it can be somewhat dense. Thus, some editions offer a "modernized" version. This is because the Spanish language passed by an extensive spelling reform in the 18th century.

The Mio Cid is a different beast. It is written in a language much closer to Latin than modern Spanish. I can read some stanzas, always with a glossary at hand. Most editions I have seen of the Cid are either in modern Spanish or has extensive use of notes.

There is a nice article on the Spanish wikipedia about Spanish orthography.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SameOldStory View Post
txt msg ma b the end of enlsh u thnk 2?
The problem I see with English language is the lack of a regulatory body like the Royal Spanish Academy is for Spanish.
Falcao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 05:11 PM   #12
TGS
Country Member
TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TGS's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,027
Karma: 7355679
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denmark
Device: Liseuse: Irex DR800. PRS 505 in the house, and the missus has an iPad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcao View Post
The problem I see with English language is the lack of a regulatory body like the Royal Spanish Academy is for Spanish.
Why should it be a problem that there is no officially sanctioned language police? (Although there are plenty of self-appointed ones).
TGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 05:57 PM   #13
Nyssa
Series Addict
Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Nyssa ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Nyssa's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,429
Karma: 51911289
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Florida, USA
Device: Kindle 3 (Wifi Only), Kindle Paperwhite
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGS View Post
Why should it be a problem that there is no officially sanctioned language police? (Although there are plenty of self-appointed ones).
Knowledge can save the world! We've had enough stupid people mess it up. Communication is a key, and how can one communicate properly without a proper command of language, especially their own?
Nyssa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 03:39 AM   #14
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 61,021
Karma: 38262005
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: Kindle PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro
Quote:
Originally Posted by SameOldStory View Post
I'm more likely to use s/he (she or he), but I think that "they" is acceptable nowadays.

"English" is a boiling caldron of many languages. I recall reading, somewhere, that Spanish readers can still read El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (15th century) or El Cantar de Mío Cid (12th century).

Anyone want to try 14th Century English? In modern type it's do-able, but in the script of the time I think very few would be able to read it.

"& he openynge his mowthe techinge hem, seyenge, Blessyd be pore in speryte, for here is the rewme of heuenes. Blessyd be the mylde, for thei schal haue the lond of lyf. Blessyd be thei that waylen, for thei schal be comfortyd. Blessyd be thei that hungren and thrusten ryghtwysnys, for thei schal be fulfyllyd. Blessyd be mercyful men, for thei schal swe mercy. Blessyd be men of clene herte, for thei schal se God. Blessyd be pesyble men, for thei schal be cleped Godes chyldren...."
English has, however, gone through very few grammar changes since the 14th century (although there have been a few - eg Shakespeare wouldn't have known what the continuous present was). The above is hard for us to read primarily because it dates from before the introduction of Chancery Standard English in the mid 15th century, which set a standard for English usage and spelling.
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 04:20 AM   #15
TGS
Country Member
TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.TGS ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
TGS's Avatar
 
Posts: 9,027
Karma: 7355679
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Denmark
Device: Liseuse: Irex DR800. PRS 505 in the house, and the missus has an iPad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyssa View Post
Knowledge can save the world! We've had enough stupid people mess it up. Communication is a key, and how can one communicate properly without a proper command of language, especially their own?
For most of the history of human languages there were no national academies and language seems to have developed quite well. The purpose of the institutions of the type you mention seems to be to ossify language at a particular stage of development - usually one that reflects the interests of the powerful in society at a particular stage in history. None of which has got anything to do with knowledge acquisition, development and dissemination.
TGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kid's books and grammar ApK Reading Recommendations 21 06-21-2011 05:40 PM
Any good free eBook for English grammar please? erictoma Reading Recommendations 1 12-04-2010 10:54 PM
What is the best free eBook for learning grammar please? erictoma Writers' Corner 2 12-03-2010 05:44 AM
Layout for grammar examples Man Eating Duck ePub 8 11-28-2010 05:28 AM
English Grammar books astrodad Reading Recommendations 16 08-17-2008 04:45 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:09 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.