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Which of the following do you prefer/is correct?
is not
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
isn't
83%
 83%  [ 5 ]
is'n't
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
aint
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 6

samivel
719690.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:53 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
aint is an abbreviation/alternative for "am not" not "is not"


What about in the third person?

He ain't coming to the pub tonight.

 
bemahan
719704.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:38 am Reply with quote

"He int" is something I hear a lot round here, which is presumably the third person version of "ain't".

 
Zaphod Beeblebrox
742569.  Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:48 pm Reply with quote

Just to add another, musical, definition of "is" - this is used in German musical terminology to mean "sharp". So "Fis-Dur", for example, means "F-sharp major".


if you don't believe me

 
suze
742577.  Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:04 pm Reply with quote

German musical notation is a bit odd actually.

Using is for sharp and es for flat is simple enough. But for no reason that I can at once fathom, they don't call B♭ Bes - in fact, they call it B. B (natural), you see, is called H. The same system is, I believe, usual in Slavic Europe.

 
Zaphod Beeblebrox
742591.  Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:01 pm Reply with quote

According to my Oxford Companion to Music, there is some reason to this apparent madness...

(I'm [probably clumsily] paraphrasing here...)

Early music (Plainsong dating from around A.D. 400, etc) was based on modes rather than the more modern "keys" (C major, D minor, etc).
The interval of the augmented fourth (ie F natural - B natural) was considered offensive to the ear, and therefore to avoid this interval, the B was often flattened. It was not always written in the music that the B should be flattened but singers were trained to do so on suitable occasions, for example if a tune was in the Lydian mode (F-F on a keyboard, playing all the white keys inbetween) and ranged from the first note to the fourth.

So the note B existed in two forms (B-natural and B-flat), and of course this meant that two signs were required. B-flat was re-labelled to "Bb" and B-natural was assigned the "square or Gothic B" (I can't work out how to show that on here...maybe a more techy-minded forumer can help with that!).
The "b" remains today as the flat sign and the other remains, slightly modified, as the natural sign (♮).

For a long time, B was the only note that had more than one form. (Later, F# was added, then C#, Eb, G#.....then, naturally (if you'll excuse the word choice), the modal system began to break up and make way for the tonal system.)

The Germans, ever efficient, found a way of expressing the difference between B flat and B natural without having to increase ink-consumption: they kept the B to mean B-flat; and the convention of using "H" to mean B-natural stems from the natural sign being written in such a way that it resembled an "H".


So there we go! Thanks for bringing this up, suze, that was really interesting to research! If my explanation has left anything unclear (and it undoubtedly has), I recommend Scholes' Oxford Companion to Music :)


For extra interest - the sharp sign (#) originally comes from a b (the flat sign) with a stroke through it to signify a "cancelled b".

 
suze
742614.  Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:51 pm Reply with quote

Good work Z! Nothing if not efficient, those Germans!

When I was in elementary school, we didn't use anything so simple as letters to define the musical notes - instead, we were taught sol-fa.

Ccomplete with the hand signals, and I can still remember some of them! (We used ti - we were happy to leave the unsingable ut to the Frenchies.)

 
Zaphod Beeblebrox
742661.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:24 am Reply with quote

Ah sol-fa! Many moons ago they taught that in UK schools too but sadly they no longer do so - I was lucky to be taught it at a choir I attended for a few years. I wish it was still in the school curriculum actually...it's a very effective way of teaching musicianship, and can then be applied to the stave.

 
tchrist
742682.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:29 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
German musical notation is a bit odd actually.

Using is for sharp and es for flat is simple enough. But for no reason that I can at once fathom, they don't call B♭ Bes - in fact, they call it B. B (natural), you see, is called H.

That's so that J.S. Bach could use musical notation for autographing his music. Otherwise, they'd've had to've named him Bacb, which is rather messy. See Contrapunctus XIV from The Art of Fugue.

--tom

 
tchrist
742686.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:45 am Reply with quote

Zaphod Beeblebrox wrote:
So the note B existed in two forms (B-natural and B-flat), and of course this meant that two signs were required. B-flat was re-labelled to "Bb" and B-natural was assigned the "square or Gothic B" (I can't work out how to show that on here...maybe a more techy-minded forumer can help with that!).


Unicode only gives us ♭, ♮, and ♯, which are at code points 9837–9839. I can't see anything else which will do. It's possible that code point 120095, MATHEMATICAL FRAKTUR SMALL B, might work; see here.

The square B is pretty much a natural sign without its tail, just as the flat symbol is a B with a more rounded loop. Images of these can be found here.

--tom

 
RLDavies
742703.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:08 am Reply with quote

"Is not" and "isn't" are both completely correct. What little there is to choose between them is only stylistic -- "is not" is more formal, "isn't" less formal.

The spelling "is'n't" with the inexplicable central apostrophe can be found in some Victorian-era novels. It seems to be an example of typical Victorian fussy overcorrection.

"Ain't" has already been discussed.

 
suze
742818.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:43 am Reply with quote

tchrist wrote:
Unicode only gives us ♭, ♮, and ♯, which are at code points 98379839. I can't see anything else which will do. It's possible that code point 120095, MATHEMATICAL FRAKTUR SMALL B, might work.


I got it to work: 𝔟

But it's in Plane 1, which will cause display issues for many people. (I expect a fair number of readers are seeing two square boxes instead of the character MATHEMATICAL FRAKTUR SMALL B.)

 
tchrist
742831.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:16 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I got it to work: 𝔟

But it's in Plane 1, which will cause display issues for many people. (I expect a fair number of readers are seeing two square boxes instead of the character MATHEMATICAL FRAKTUR SMALL B.)

Yup, I can't get either Opera or Safari to like it here on the Mac.

Regarding Planes 1 and higher, Tim Bray rather amusingly refers to these as the astral planes. Kinda reminds me of imaginary numbers (meaning those numbers in ℂ with a √−1 part).

--tom

 
Posital
742890.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:46 pm Reply with quote

Is you is or is you ain't my bebe...

 
soup
742981.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:54 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
we were taught sol-fa.

Ccomplete with the hand signals, and I can still remember some of them!


Shades of Close encounters.

 
Hans Mof
743703.  Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:34 am Reply with quote

Quote:
... they don't call B♭ Bes - in fact, they call it B.


... and to confuse you even more we call B♭♭ Heses.
Belgium and the Netherlands use the same suffixes, but applied throughout to the notes A to G, so that B♭ is Bes. Denmark also uses H, but uses bes instead of heses for B♭♭.

 

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