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suze
180665.  Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:12 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Are you a regular subscriber?


But of course, much as this newfangled Google shows signs of being quite a useful tool ...


Since I'm sure we wouldn't would to allege any strange pronunciations along the lines of "kroo-ith-nee", I think that wijd or wyd should be comparable to the English "wade", though shorter (cut if off at the point where it starts turning from "eh" into "ee"). Breed has a long vowel, so is rather like "brayed" (i.e. what a donkey did).

 
Alfred E Neuman
425026.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:04 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Since I'm sure we wouldn't would to allege any strange pronunciations along the lines of "kroo-ith-nee", I think that wijd or wyd should be comparable to the English "wade", though shorter (cut if off at the point where it starts turning from "eh" into "ee"). Breed has a long vowel, so is rather like "brayed" (i.e. what a donkey did).


In Afrikaans, 'w' is pronounced as 'v', snd the 'd' in wyd is closer to 't', so I'd say it's more like 'vate' (rhyming with 'gate'). In fact 'wide' is a lot closer to 'white' than 'wyd' is to either 'white' or 'wit' (the Afrikaans word for white), so the Afrikaans pronunciation causing the supposed drift in name is less likely than English.

 
suze
425031.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:14 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Alfred!

You are hereby appointed as QI Consultant (Afrikaans Pronunciation); should the need arise again we'll know who to ask!

As you see in this discussion, none of the proposed explanations as to why the white rhino is so called is entirely satisfactory, and we have to conclude that the origin of the name is unknown.

 
Alfred E Neuman
425045.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:40 pm Reply with quote

I'm trying to find a book I have which was written by Ian Player who was instrumental in saving the white rhino from extinction. He worked in the Umfolozi Game Reserve and was part of the team that first managed to relocate rhino to other game reserves where their numbers had declined to a point where they were no longer viable. I haven't read the book in years, but I suspect that it's not going to provide any more insight than we have here. I've moved house too many times for it to be easy to find anything though, and for all I know it'll be a book shelf at the ex's.

Ian Player is quite a remarkable man, and among other things started the Dusi canoe marathon, which is a three day paddle from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. He is also Gary Player's older brother, so achievement is obviously not unknown in their family...

 
bobwilson
425110.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:10 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
The alternate name for a white rhino .


OK suze - I concede that my dislike of "gotten" may be irrational - but alternate is definitely not the same as alternative.

 
suze
425124.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:33 pm Reply with quote

In British usage, no it isn't, but in North American usage "alternate" is often used as an adjective in this way when British usage frowns upon it. So yes, I plead guilty to North American usage there.

And remember that all these forums "below the line" - The Green Room being the sole exception - were originally caused into existence for research purposes, rather than for public viewing. When I wrote the original post, it was for a limited rather than a general audience, so the usual standards of attention to grammatical and syntactical detail may not necessarily have applied.

 
bobwilson
425137.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:45 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
And remember that all these forums "below the line" - The Green Room being the sole exception - were originally caused into existence for research purposes, rather than for public viewing. When I wrote the original post, it was for a limited rather than a general audience, so the usual standards of attention to grammatical and syntactical detail may not necessarily have applied.


You've lost me there - below what line? (And I feel murderous about the construct "originally caused into existence"). Put down that axe Eugene. What is this limited audience of which you speak?

 
96aelw
425145.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:58 pm Reply with quote

The line on which the legend "QI: the BBC TV series" is emblazoned, between What Fresh Hell and The Green Room. The forums beneath the Green Room all began life as research forums used, and only viewable by, by the elves (and latterly half elves) researching the programme. Some time after having fulfilled their destiny, they are made visible to all (and indeed sundry).

 
bobwilson
425151.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:08 pm Reply with quote

Ah - now I think I understand - so when suze wrote her original post in 2007 it was only visible to the elves?

Still, getting back to the original point - this "North American usage" is just a euphemism for "American English" which is Microsoft's excuse for "we can't spell". Just because 200 million people are wrong doesn't make it right. There is a difference between alternate and alternative and that's one distinction on which I won't yield (despite my capitulation on the subject of "gotten").

 
suze
425169.  Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:36 pm Reply with quote

That's correct bob - when I originally wrote that, only those involved in research for the show were able to read it.

I think we shall have to agree to differ on the matter of North American usage. As far as I am concerned, it is a thing which is slightly different than but of equal validity to British usage.

I'm well aware that many British people don't see it that way; many USians don't either. But I'm Canadian, and it is our nation's USP that we are at all times permitted to pick and choose as between the British way, the American way, both, or neither.

 
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.

 

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