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  1. #81
    ṀŧěřĐ Ŧĥĕ Řvřĕ Ḃĺđ Battousai's Avatar
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  2. #82
    Nintendo Connoisseur anax4aero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Napalmbrain View Post
    In some senses English is a simplified language: unlike most European languages it doesn't bother with gender inflection and grammatical cases. On the other hand, it's also quite complicated: it's highly inconsistent, every vowel letter has several different pronounciations with no way of knowing which one it should be, and it's restricted by a rigid word order.
    Inconsistencies of English are due to the fact that through time there's rarely one authority on what the correct way to say things are. Even when Britain was ruling the world it didn't have authority over the language since Americans and Canadians were doing their own thing. It's not complex with purpose, it just happened.
    I don't know what you mean by rigid word order. If you mean syntax, I am sure that a large percentage of other languages have much more rigid ones. In English there are things you can say in a variety of ways (it's how we have passive and active voices, etc.), while other languages are so strict (like you say, due to gender rules and other rules) that it is difficult to be ambiguous in any way.
    I consider Spanish to be probably a polar opposite, as it consists of several rules, truly rigid grammar, and that there's actually a group of people dedicated to deciding what is proper and what isn't (La Academia Real de la Lengua, I believe.) If I'm not mistaken this is the case with most romantic languages.

  3. #83
    WiiChat Member Ouenben's Avatar
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    Although I tend to prefer British English to American English I do feel Center and Meter etc make more sense than centre/metre etc

  4. #84
    Kryptonightingale Sixty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anax4aero View Post
    Inconsistencies of English are due to the fact that through time there's rarely one authority on what the correct way to say things are. Even when Britain was ruling the world it didn't have authority over the language since Americans and Canadians were doing their own thing. It's not complex with purpose, it just happened.
    I don't know what you mean by rigid word order. If you mean syntax, I am sure that a large percentage of other languages have much more rigid ones. In English there are things you can say in a variety of ways (it's how we have passive and active voices, etc.), while other languages are so strict (like you say, due to gender rules and other rules) that it is difficult to be ambiguous in any way.
    I consider Spanish to be probably a polar opposite, as it consists of several rules, truly rigid grammar, and that there's actually a group of people dedicated to deciding what is proper and what isn't (La Academia Real de la Lengua, I believe.) If I'm not mistaken this is the case with most romantic languages.
    Actually, a lot of spellings were changed to be consistent, like mentioned before, some random -ite words were spelled like -ight just to fit in. A lot of other words were the same case. There was a random period where the English would change words starting with the letter j to i because that was inconsistent. That, of course, was from Danish routes, from the veryyy brief Danish rule over England.

    The first dictionary that was produced was just by a man who just, literally sat down and decided that dictionaries should exist. He spelled the words however the hell he wanted, and a lot reflected on his accent. The only places that had language committees (or whatever the hell they were called) were French and Italian. The English didn't want this because they thought that English would just standardize itself over the years, and they were... right. The committees in France and Italy still stand. The French one recently wanted to get rid of -x endings because they were silent, this didn't happen because of a vote. Personally, words that end in -eux and -aux are my favorite in the French language. So yeah, they COULD change their language by force if they wanted to. We pretty much can't.

    Also, we didn't really have words that had i/y u/v next to one another, because they were both interchangeable, so they were pretty much just the same letter. That caused a lot of inconsistencies to be changed. It was a lot worse a couple of centuries ago. Medieval literature is an awful thing to read. ._.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Napalmbrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anax4aero View Post
    Inconsistencies of English are due to the fact that through time there's rarely one authority on what the correct way to say things are. Even when Britain was ruling the world it didn't have authority over the language since Americans and Canadians were doing their own thing. It's not complex with purpose, it just happened.
    I don't mean it's incosistent in terns of dialect- Englsih is pretty unified compared to say, Portuguese or Chinese. What I mean is, English has very few rules that it sticks to. For example:

    -Plurals are usually formed by adding the letter 's' on the end of a word, but there are plenty of exceptions ('children', 'oxen', 'sheep'. 'formulae', etc.).
    -Vowels can take on any one of several different pronounciations with no way to tell which one it should be.
    -Words which sound the same have different spellings (e.g. 'I', 'eye', their', 'there').
    -And the old 'i before e except after c' rule has so many exceptions it's a wonder why anyone calls it a rule at all ('veil', 'either', 'policies', 'deity', 'their'. etc.).

    I don't know what you mean by rigid word order. If you mean syntax, I am sure that a large percentage of other languages have much more rigid ones. In English there are things you can say in a variety of ways (it's how we have passive and active voices, etc.), while other languages are so strict (like you say, due to gender rules and other rules) that it is difficult to be ambiguous in any way.
    "Word order" is the way a general sentence is structured in a language. In English, it's "Subject noun - verb - object noun". Quite a few languages allow flexible word ordering (Latin, Russian, and German are examples), but because English has no grammatical cases, the speaker has to stick to its word order since there's no other way to determine which noun is the subject and which is the object.



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  6. #86
    Psychedelic Snail Monsteroids's Avatar
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    Brian Regan's "Stupid in School" pretty much sums up the English language's inconsistencies.

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