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Maty

Please excuse my native land

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Romanian academy made some stupid changes distancing the language from being truly phonetic while I was in high school and believe me I had to comply otherwise I would get poor grades. The same pressure was in university and later at my workplace.

And of course for somebody working in media not writing or speaking correctly would be seen as a serious professional error.

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Whether this will ever change is doubtful: contrary to the view on this forum, the use of these abbreviations and phrases has never been common amongst the majority of the population.

 

You are telling us that the use of abbreviations such as 'e.g.' and 'etc.' are not standard abbreviations understood by the majority of the population? I'm sorry, Sonic, but I heartily disagree. I come from an average working class background and I cannot think of one person in my immediate circle who would not understand either of these abbreviations. I learned them in primary school! This is to do with basic education, and has nothing to do with any sort of 'elitist' mentality among members of this Forum, as you implied in your post above.

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You are telling us that the use of abbreviations such as 'e.g.' and 'etc.' are not standard abbreviations understood by the majority of the population? I'm sorry, Sonic, but I heartily disagree. I come from an average working class background and I cannot think of one person in my immediate circle who would not understand either of these abbreviations. I learned them in primary school! This is to do with basic education, and has nothing to do with any sort of 'elitist' mentality among members of this Forum, as you implied in your post above.

 

I didn't say that. These, and a few others, are understood by the majority of the population, but as soon as you pass the handful including 'etc.', 'e.g.' and a few others then you are asking for trouble. Then people will not use or understand them.

 

PS. Augusta: I've just had a quick look and I see that we are only separated by a few years in age. Having but recently left education as a teacher I'd suggest that, in many ways, the education we had as children is very different to that taught today. There is a nine year gap between myself and my other half and she wasn't taught in the same way as we were, never mind the difference between the 1960's and the 2000's. :o She's just read this thread and commented that the kids in her classes (mainly 11-13 year olds) don't like using e.g. etc. as they don't really know why they are used and are uncertain about where to put the full stops!! :P

Edited by sonic

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:o She's just read this thread and commented that the kids in her classes (mainly 11-13 year olds) don't like using e.g. etc. as they don't really know why they are used and are uncertain about where to put the full stops!! :P

Paraphrasing Maty, grammar and vocabulary have always been advanced torture 101 for any regular kid at any era and any place. irrespectively of the language; believe me.

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:o She's just read this thread and commented that the kids in her classes (mainly 11-13 year olds) don't like using e.g. etc. as they don't really know why they are used and are uncertain about where to put the full stops!! :P

Paraphrasing Maty, grammar and vocabulary have always been advanced torture 101 for any regular kid at any era and any place. irrespectively of the language; believe me.

 

 

Strongly agree on this :D

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PS. Augusta: I've just had a quick look and I see that we are only separated by a few years in age. Having but recently left education as a teacher I'd suggest that, in many ways, the education we had as children is very different to that taught today. There is a nine year gap between myself and my other half and she wasn't taught in the same way as we were, never mind the difference between the 1960's and the 2000's. :o She's just read this thread and commented that the kids in her classes (mainly 11-13 year olds) don't like using e.g. etc. as they don't really know why they are used and are uncertain about where to put the full stops!! :wacko:

 

Hehe - good point there, Sonic. However, as I respect your views as a member of this forum - and you are a recent teacher to boot - I wondered about your post last night and thought I'd put it to the test, just in case I was talking through my.... So, I called up to my son (he's doing his A levels) and asked him what 'e.g.' meant and what 'etc.' meant. He answered me with such a look of contempt - of course he knew what they meant.

 

But I do take your point, Sonic. Our education system was very different and I would concede that I am perhaps out of touch with the more modern methods from the teaching side - I have only experienced these as a parent. I know which I prefer, but that's a whole different matter... :D

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So, I called up to my son (he's doing his A levels) and asked him what 'e.g.' meant and what 'etc.' meant. He answered me with such a look of contempt - of course he knew what they meant.

 

But I do take your point, Sonic. Our education system was very different and I would concede that I am perhaps out of touch with the more modern methods from the teaching side - I have only experienced these as a parent. I know which I prefer, but that's a whole different matter... :D

 

Foul, foul!! Offside!! Your test wasn't fair!! You rang up your own son!! :wacko::o

 

In a slightly more serious vein .... Your son should know what they mean. After all, you brought him up and you know!!! The children of people 'in the know' stand far more chance of learning something themselves!! It is too often forgotten - and I include myself in this - that when people talk about education and standards etc. the role of the parent is vital. If a parent questions the relevance of a subject, the child will almost certainly lose interest.

 

The reason I knew these things at an early age was because of my mother explaining them and implying that they were useful. However, the rest of the people on the estate thought we were odd!! (Mind you, I don't think that was necessarily because of my use of Latin abbreviations!!)

Edited by sonic

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Hmm.. Until recently I lived in a town populated almost entirely by chavs (for our American friends, a 'chav' is the latest manifestation of widespread working class fasion. They dress in sportswear, hooded tops and baseball caps and take delight in being coarse and vulgar). Even in a place such as this, where one is subjected to the constant presence of unruly, uneducated teenagers and their children, I hear phrases such as 'et cetera' (usually pronounced 'Exsettrer'), vise versa and 'ergo', which actually seems to have become a bit of a teen - speak word locally. Evidence of elitism?

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Hmm.. Until recently I lived in a town populated almost entirely by chavs (for our American friends, a 'chav' is the latest manifestation of widespread working class fasion. They dress in sportswear, hooded tops and baseball caps and take delight in being coarse and vulgar). Even in a place such as this, where one is subjected to the constant presence of unruly, uneducated teenagers and their children, I hear phrases such as 'et cetera' (usually pronounced 'Exsettrer'), vise versa and 'ergo', which actually seems to have become a bit of a teen - speak word locally. Evidence of elitism?

 

And so new languages are born!! As I said, some of it permeates, most of it doesn't!! :o

 

Incidentally, for those who have never been taught the 'correct'* pronunciation of Latin, if you are laughing at the Chavs' pronunciation you probably shouldn't be : it 'should' be pronounced 'Et Kettera', not 'Et Settera'!!

 

* For a given value of 'Correct'!! :wacko:

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The reason I knew these things at an early age was because of my mother explaining them and implying that they were useful. However, the rest of the people on the estate thought we were odd!! (Mind you, I don't think that was necessarily because of my use of Latin abbreviations!!)

 

That doesn't mean much. If that was the case, my brothers and I would have the same linguistic output. Our mother is the grammar queen, while my dad is quite the wordsmith. While all three of us are college educated, my youngest brother and I are more of the writer-types, and are more aware of grammatical constructions; my middle brother does fine, but could care less about it. All three of us are wordsmiths, but I would say my brothers are quite a bit better at it than I am. More importantly, in comparison to people with the same level of education, none of the three of us are stellar; we're about average.

 

Like many other things, if a person has a curiosity about a subject (including a manner of doing something, like speaking a language) and has the motivation to learn and expand their knowledge, they will. If they wish to be ignorant and closed-minded, they will. If they care about something, they'll show interest. The question comes back to: can someone (or a group) always know what's best for their constituency? I'm not questioning whether these ministers are intentionally being anti-elitists (I think that's what you'd call them?)...rather, whether their best intentions are truly the best for their community.

 

By the way, this has happened continuously in human history as long as there have been prescriptive grammarians. I love going through the Appendix Probi...yes, of course, for the linguistic revelations of Vulgar Latin. But also, I love the tone of voice that comes through; Probus is desperate to hang onto Classical Latin, because he clearly feels that it's what's best for his community. It's as if he's saying, "Classical Latin is the correct manner of communication, the best way for us to communicate and continue with tradition." Well, he was on the losing end of that battle...few things are 100% certain in linguistic change, but one thing I think most would agree upon is that the linguistic community as a whole will always win, whether it means they continue with a linguistic convention or not!

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By the way, this has happened continuously in human history as long as there have been prescriptive grammarians. I love going through the Appendix Probi...yes, of course, for the linguistic revelations of Vulgar Latin. But also, I love the tone of voice that comes through; Probus is desperate to hang onto Classical Latin, because he clearly feels that it's what's best for his community. It's as if he's saying, "Classical Latin is the correct manner of communication, the best way for us to communicate and continue with tradition." Well, he was on the losing end of that battle...few things are 100% certain in linguistic change, but one thing I think most would agree upon is that the linguistic community as a whole will always win, whether it means they continue with a linguistic convention or not!

Indeed.

Edited by ASCLEPIADES

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