View previous topic | View next topic

Rhinoceros

Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2

bobwilson
425171.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:45 pm Reply with quote

That's a very US attitude suze, if I may say so:

Gotten - grates on UK sensibilities but there's a plausible (and possibly correct) explanation - so wheel it out
Aluminum/Aluminium - there's a plausible explanation (undoubtedly correct showing that actually the Brits version has no greater validity than the US version) - so let's wheel it out
Alternate/Alternative - the US is wrong on this one, so let's just roll out the argument that we're doing it this way and what you gonna do about it then?

Sorry - but I'm keeping the gates firmly closed on that one. :)

 
suze
425195.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:34 pm Reply with quote

As is your prerogative! To be honest, I get rather bored of the "We were here first" vs "There are more of us, and anyways we run the world" debates - and if you look at the talk page attached to just about any Wiki article whose headword is spelled differently in the two countries, you'll see one. And since I'm Canadian, I'm absolutely allowed to duck them.

For every American usage which a British person has some reasonable grounds to call as "wrong", there is a British usage which an American has reasonable grounds so to call. As an example (the specifics of these two have been done before on these forums), the American spellings "fetus" and "favor" make better etymological sense than their British forms.

We Canadians are an indecisive lot - we tend to allow both (there are regional differences; you'll not see many American forms in Newfoundland, and you'll see rather more of them the further west you go). When I was in school, neither "colour" nor "color" would have been marked as wrong. "Tire" (a rubber thing that goes around a wheel) is one of very few words that Canadians always spell the American way, while "defence" is one of the few that we always spell the British way.

I assert the right to remain utterly Canadian in my use of the English language, and never on these forums will I call someone on a Transatlantic language difference either way.

 
Flash
425201.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:48 pm Reply with quote

'Prescriptive' is to 'descriptive' is as 'fatuous' is to 'sensible'. If I use an invented word on these boards (eg, recently, 'couplefew', meaning 'two or three or four') everyone knows what I mean and nobody cares that it's a neologism. If the same word was in regular use in Canada, I'd get dumped on from a great height. What's the sense in that?

Panglish, that's the future.

 
bobwilson
425204.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:02 pm Reply with quote

Ah no - as a Canadian you are the fringe constituency and one which is to be chased for votes.

I don't go with the "we were here first" nor the "we're bigger and in control" arguments.

I go with the "this annoys a substantial proportion so let's figure out a compromise" argument.

I'd agree with both the fetus and favor arguments - much as it galls me. I can't think of a suitable counter-argument (although I'll still use the English spellings pro-tem). My point was that - as a Brit I'd concede such items but personally stick to my own viewpoint until I dinosaured (is that the first use of this term as a verb) my self out of existence - when the point is conceded in the opposite direction, the result is invariably "well, we've got more votes than you".

But alternate/alternative is a substantial difference. These two words mean different things and the misuse of them could lead to serious misunderstandings. I think the canadians should stick with us Brits on this one - unless you can think of a good reason otherwise.

 
bobwilson
425205.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:05 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
'Prescriptive' is to 'descriptive' is as 'fatuous' is to 'sensible'. If I use an invented word on these boards (eg, recently, 'couplefew', meaning 'two or three or four') everyone knows what I mean and nobody cares that it's a neologism. If the same word was in regular use in Canada, I'd get dumped on from a great height. What's the sense in that?

Panglish, that's the future.


Absolutely - if the meaning's clear then invent a word, or spell an existing word how you like, or misuse a word - if the meaning's clear.

But alternate and alternative are close enough in meaning to require a distinction.

 

Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group