1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby sje46 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:24 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
sje46 wrote:I blame reddit for these repetitive memes.

Guess Lucy and Desi had a time machine...

I said I blame reddit for the *memes*. And jokingly at that. Not for the thought in general.

I was made aware of the flammable/inflammable thing from an early Simpsons episode which predates reddit by quite a bit. I'm referring to specifically flammable/inflammable being one of the first examples given of English being illogical, when you ask internet people. And again, not really blaming reddit, just using it as a scapegoat for general repeat-what-everyone-else-says-ness.

flammable/inflammable gets a disproportionate amount of attention, and is merely a relic of the prefix in- meaning multiple things in the source language of both words, so even if it's newer than I expected, it's still not really "English's fault". Other languages have these contradictions too.

There are many more valid things that make English weird or illogical, but it' always the easy, obvious, *heavily repeated by internet numskulls* things that people point out. Not anything about morphology or syntax or more in-depth grammar.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby xtifr » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:40 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:Why is this thread all about grammar? Where are the fashion police? Where are all the people who are outraged because they think they're being labeled as fashion police when in fact they just care about fashion? Where's the outrage from the fashion police that Randall literally thinks they are also literally grammar police?


Hmm, ok, I'll take a stab at it. The fashion police generally seem more aware that fashion changes, and aren't horrified to discover that it's changing in their lifetimes. They actually look forward to seeing what new changes are going to be coming out, instead of seeing the downfall of civilization in every change. They know that things have changed before and will change again, and aren't utterly convinced that this time the change will magically ruin things forever, unlike all the other changes which we've coped with just fine over the centuries. And they almost never cite some pompous and misguided fool from the 19th century as proof of how we should be doing things now!

Yeah, if I were into being fashion police, I think I'd be mildly insulted by being compared to the grammar police! :mrgreen:
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby YTPrenewed » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:20 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I am arguing against the idea of privileging any variety of a language as the single universal standard, against which all utterances in that language will be judged for "correctness".

By that standard we may as well stop trying to convince Americans to use the metric system.

The same applies; the cultural variety may be sort of interesting, but there's a tradeoff between that and the constant need to translate between different systems.


gmalivuk wrote:This position is the obvious one with fashion. Almost no one argues for a single standard of dress across the board for all contexts and situations. Yet people do so argue in language.

"All contexts and situations?" Weather alone seems like an immediately obvious reason why even the same individuals should dress differently in different contexts and situations.

And yes, there is definitely some value to speaking a little differently to different audiences, like speaking to MLP fans in MLP quotes, or speaking to Simpsons fans in Simpsons quotes. However, at the very least, the rules of grammar at the foundation of this shouldn't be disregarded.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:09 am UTC

YTPrenewed wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I am arguing against the idea of privileging any variety of a language as the single universal standard, against which all utterances in that language will be judged for "correctness".

By that standard we may as well stop trying to convince Americans to use the metric system.

The same applies; the cultural variety may be sort of interesting, but there's a tradeoff between that and the constant need to translate between different systems.
No, because not all utterances need to be translated, because they weren't made for the audience that would need the translation. (And any argument against having different grammars to "translate" between applies equally, or realistically applies quite a lot more, to having different languages.)

However, at the very least, the rules of grammar at the foundation of this shouldn't be disregarded.

Why? Which rules at the foundation of what? You're begging the question by supposing there is such a thing as "the rules of grammar at the foundation of this", and then you're stating with no justification (apart from the shoddy attempts I've already addressed) that they are important enough to always deserve regard.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Carlington » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:54 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:Why is this thread all about grammar? Where are the fashion police? Where are all the people who are outraged because they think they're being labeled as fashion police when in fact they just care about fashion? Where's the outrage from the fashion police that Randall literally thinks they are also literally grammar police?

Oh, ok. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select, I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.

---------------

As for the grammar side of things, I don't really understand how prescriptivism doesn't ultimately boil down to the idea that the entire world should speak English. I mean, as long as we're privileging varieties of language, I don't see why we need to have more than one language. All that does is hinder communication. I mean, the English grammar of all those Tagalog speakers is just abysmal - it's like all they do is specify the topic focus of the sentence, and they don't distinguish between other nouns in a sentence, no way to tell what's subject or object or anything!
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gd1 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:54 am UTC

I'm sorry. I make grammar mistakes just like everyone else. I just can't abide this one.

5th point:
", and attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

Did you mean:

", and attempts to do so by sending strong messages of their own"
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby chridd » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:06 am UTC

gd1 wrote:I'm sorry. I make grammar mistakes just like everyone else. I just can't abide this one.

5th point:
", and attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

Did you mean:

", and attempts to do so by sending strong messages of their own"
No, "attempts" is a noun, the subject of the clause. He's talking about attempts to opt out, and saying that they send messages.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gd1 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:02 am UTC

chridd wrote:
gd1 wrote:I'm sorry. I make grammar mistakes just like everyone else. I just can't abide this one.

5th point:
", and attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

Did you mean:

", and attempts to do so by sending strong messages of their own"


No, "attempts" is a noun, the subject of the clause. He's talking about attempts to opt out, and saying that they send messages.


Then could he have said...

", and that attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

...instead?
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby chridd » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:29 am UTC

gd1 wrote:Then could he have said...

", and that attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

...instead?
Yeah, and that would be clearer (I probably would have added the "that" if I were writing it), but I think both are correct.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:28 am UTC

gd1 wrote:
chridd wrote:
gd1 wrote:I'm sorry. I make grammar mistakes just like everyone else. I just can't abide this one.

5th point:
", and attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

Did you mean:

", and attempts to do so by sending strong messages of their own"


No, "attempts" is a noun, the subject of the clause. He's talking about attempts to opt out, and saying that they send messages.


Then could he have said...

", and that attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

...instead?

Sure, he *could* have said any number of things instead.

The point remains that you misunderstood what he did in fact say, even though the grammar was totally fine, which again demonstrates that proper grammar isn't proof against misunderstanding. (As it happens, your original suggestion would have been ungrammatical, as the verb "attempt" would have to agree with the plural subject "police".)
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gd1 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:18 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
gd1 wrote:
chridd wrote:
gd1 wrote:I'm sorry. I make grammar mistakes just like everyone else. I just can't abide this one.

5th point:
", and attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

Did you mean:

", and attempts to do so by sending strong messages of their own"


No, "attempts" is a noun, the subject of the clause. He's talking about attempts to opt out, and saying that they send messages.


Then could he have said...

", and that attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

...instead?

Sure, he *could* have said any number of things instead.

The point remains that you misunderstood what he did in fact say, even though the grammar was totally fine, which again demonstrates that proper grammar isn't proof against misunderstanding. (As it happens, your original suggestion would have been ungrammatical, as the verb "attempt" would have to agree with the plural subject "police".)


Imo, it demonstrates that a certain amount of grammatical accuracy is needed to make conversation less ambiguous. There's a lot of leeway, but some things just need clarification.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:32 pm UTC

gd1 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
gd1 wrote:
chridd wrote:
gd1 wrote:I'm sorry. I make grammar mistakes just like everyone else. I just can't abide this one.

5th point:
", and attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

Did you mean:

", and attempts to do so by sending strong messages of their own"


No, "attempts" is a noun, the subject of the clause. He's talking about attempts to opt out, and saying that they send messages.


Then could he have said...

", and that attempts to do so send strong messages of their own"

...instead?

Sure, he *could* have said any number of things instead.

The point remains that you misunderstood what he did in fact say, even though the grammar was totally fine, which again demonstrates that proper grammar isn't proof against misunderstanding. (As it happens, your original suggestion would have been ungrammatical, as the verb "attempt" would have to agree with the plural subject "police".)


Imo, it demonstrates that a certain amount of grammatical accuracy is needed to make conversation less ambiguous. There's a lot of leeway, but some things just need clarification.

Could you elucidate on how it demonstrates that? The statement you took issue with is completely, 100% grammatical.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Lazar » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:36 pm UTC

"Accuracy" isn't a property of grammar one way or the other. (Maybe "precision", though not in a way that correlates with prescriptive correctness.) But what Randall wrote there is unambiguous according to either prescriptive grammar or even a typical vernacular grammar. I think the only way to arrive at the "wrong" reading that you suggest is to assume a disfluency (spontaneous error) in preference to a perfectly workable and fluent alternative, which seems like a nonsensical standard to apply.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:44 pm UTC

Saw this, thought of here. (Points four and five, if not six...)

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby chridd » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:00 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Saw this, thought of here. (Points four and five, if not six...)
...so if you're wearing a uniform, then you might look like you have some particular type of job? Is that the message? Was there something I was supposed to notice about the non-uniformed pictures, aside from that they look like ordinary people not in uniform (who I don't know much about)?

Lazar wrote:But what Randall wrote there is unambiguous according to either prescriptive grammar or even a typical vernacular grammar. I think the only way to arrive at the "wrong" reading that you suggest is to assume a disfluency (spontaneous error) in preference to a perfectly workable and fluent alternative, which seems like a nonsensical standard to apply.
...but someone did assume disfluency. People do sometimes make mistakes, and people listening/reading know that, so it's helpful to structure sentences in a way that doesn't sound similar to a mistake.

gmalivuk wrote:The point remains that you misunderstood what he did in fact say, even though the grammar was totally fine, which again demonstrates that proper grammar isn't proof against misunderstanding.
gd1 wrote:Imo, it demonstrates that a certain amount of grammatical accuracy is needed to make conversation less ambiguous.
There's a difference between "having/enforcing some grammatical rules (aside from the ones native speakers apply automatically) is a good thing" and "having/enforcing these particular grammatical rules is a good thing". Arguments that good grammar is necessary for clarity or whatever don't necessarily imply that, say, not splitting infinitives and not stranding prepositions is at all important for clarity; and, likewise, the fact that some people try to enforce non-worthwhile grammatical rules doesn't necessarily imply that all grammatical rules that people explicitly decide on or learn are useless.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Sableagle » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:39 pm UTC

Justin Lardinois wrote:Quite a few places have banned saggy pants. I think we all know who those laws are targeted at.


Image
Image

Yeah.

So, how about those Beauty Police, eh? Are they open to bribery, or what?

Members club for 'beautiful people only' set to open in LA... and now one could be coming to London

The website’s managing director Greg Hodge said: “We listen to our members and they are fed up of going out to expensive bars, hoping to meet similarly beautiful people, only to spend the night wishing that the lighting was lower.

“We are very excited about opening our flagship bar.”

He said his team would put the same ethos into the bar project as they did when they launched the dating site, which is “taking the BeautifulPeople concept into the real world.”

Non-members and guests will be allowed into the bar if they pass a “stringent assessment” by a judging panel described as the club’s “beauty police”.

Mr Hodge said exceptions would sometimes be made for people “who many not be attractive” but were very rich.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:18 pm UTC

chridd wrote:... all grammatical rules that people explicitly decide on or learn are useless.

Absolutely no one has suggested that that's the case. If that's your takeaway from the descriptivists' arguments, you're misunderstanding them badly.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby david.windsor » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:27 pm UTC

Hold on a moment! Fashion police? I thought it was established that; unless clothes were explicitly drawn, all xkcd people were nude.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:26 pm UTC

chridd wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:Saw this, thought of here. (Points four and five, if not six...)
...so if you're wearing a uniform, then you might look like you have some particular type of job? Is that the message? Was there something I was supposed to notice about the non-uniformed pictures, aside from that they look like ordinary people not in uniform (who I don't know much about)?

Not entirely sure you saw the takeaway message that I did, but maybe that's just me.

david.windsor wrote:Hold on a moment! Fashion police? I thought it was established that; unless clothes were explicitly drawn, all xkcd people were nude.
That's a statement of its own, surely... :oops:

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Brett Dunbar » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:01 am UTC

DanD wrote:
ShuRugal wrote: My point with MFL is that it is set in a place and time where "racial culture" was practically unheard of: the poor underclass and the wealthy ruling class were both white Brits. Racial discrimination in such a setting is impossible.


I would suggest you double check the status of Indian immigrants and especially Anglo-Indians in the country. Racial culture was absolutely a thing in Edwardian England.


Perhaps the most prominent, almost certainly the most politically successful Anglo-Indian was Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool who was Prime Minister for just under fifteen years 8 June 1812 – 9 April 1827.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:47 pm UTC

Kind of like how racism disappeared in the US after Obama was elected?
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Lazar » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:25 pm UTC

Liverpool had one great-grandmother who was, as far as the sparse evidence attests, a Portuguese Creole (i.e. an ethnic Portuguese living in India). I've seen no indication that he was considered anything other than a white Englishman.

The first (Anglo-)Indian MP in Britain is generally reckoned to be either David Ochterlony (a man of confirmed partial Indian ancestry who served from 1840 to 41), or Dadabhai Naoroji (a Parsi from Bombay who represented part of London from 1892 to 95).
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby DanD » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:48 pm UTC

Brett Dunbar wrote:
DanD wrote:
ShuRugal wrote: My point with MFL is that it is set in a place and time where "racial culture" was practically unheard of: the poor underclass and the wealthy ruling class were both white Brits. Racial discrimination in such a setting is impossible.


I would suggest you double check the status of Indian immigrants and especially Anglo-Indians in the country. Racial culture was absolutely a thing in Edwardian England.


Perhaps the most prominent, almost certainly the most politically successful Anglo-Indian was Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool who was Prime Minister for just under fifteen years 8 June 1812 – 9 April 1827.


To clarify, Anglo-Indian has two different meanings. One, current during the control of the British East India company, was an English person who lived in India. The Earl was of that definition. (Well, he was descended from those who had. I can't find any actual evidence he did.)

The other, more current, definition, which should have been made clear by the reference to racial discrimination, was a person of mixed European and Indian descent. Also referred to as Eurasian, these individuals found themselves heavily discriminated against, both in England and India.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:49 pm UTC

I'll never understand this British trend of referring to the lord of some place by the name of that place (as in "Liverpool" above).

It's like if Gray David and Andy Cuomo met one morning and someone reported "New York and California had coffee this morning to discuss..."
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:01 pm UTC

I mean, sometimes people refer to countries' representatives like that. 'India and China in talks over x'.

As far as I can tell, not many people refer to Lords as such any more. Probably because they no longer have that much power on a geographical level.
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:24 pm UTC

Yet they did have geographic power, at one time.

"Peterborough! How many archers wilst thou bringst to battle from yon environs?" (.. 10-4, good buddy.)

You represented the area to the monarch (or anyone betwixt your level and his) and in return acted for your lord(s) upon your territory in their name.

Now more a tradition than such an absolute reality, but not a particular troublesome one to maintain against accusations of anachronism. And there's still only ever one person named after a place name at a time, in traditional use, whilst class-interbreeding, inhertance splittings and marriages of merging makes for an ambiguous pool of surnames, and traditional (or monarch-flattering, or otherwise style-following) given names likewise.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:00 pm UTC

That's why I said that it isn't common any more, not that it never happened?
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:06 pm UTC

For some reason I read it as "should not refer to Lords in that way", or something of a similar sense. Apologies.

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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby david.windsor » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:27 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:For some reason I read it as "should not refer to Lords in that way", or something of a similar sense. Apologies.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forms_of_address_in_the_United_Kingdom all those titles and forms of address are still in use and actively encouraged.

But I'm from the colonies so what do I know :P
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Re: 1735: "Fashion Police and Grammar Police"

Postby Sableagle » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:12 pm UTC

chridd wrote:Arguments that good grammar is necessary for clarity or whatever don't necessarily imply that, say, not splitting infinitives and not stranding prepositions is at all important for clarity.
I think those rules were there to make it easier for people to translate it into Latin by "going from word to word like a bumblebee going from flower to flower," as I grew sick of my father complaining about his Latin teacher telling him not to adopt as a method of translation from Latin to English.


Justin Lardinois wrote:... it's generally consistent with itself in terms of conjugation and word formation, sometimes even more so than "correct" English. For example, the reflexive form of her is herself in both. But in regular English his somehow becomes himself, while in AAVE it's generally hisself, which arguably makes a lot more sense.
As "her" is the genitive and accusative, "herself" is far from an ideal example. You'd do better to compare "himself" to "myself" and "yourself," both using genitive pronouns. That does make sense, because the reflexive pronoun refers to "the self of someone." If you're happy to treat the ~self suffix as a grammatical ending, though, the "myself, yourself, hisself, herself, ourselves, yourselves, theirselves" set is no more valid than the NE English "meself, youself, himself, herself, usselfs, youselfs,* themselfs." Either way, I doubt you should ever use "Jimself" or "Jim'sself."

* If you let the Scots get into it, the plural of "you" is "yous," like the plural of "yew" is "yews" and the plural of "ewe" is "ewes."

"Yous people, right, are fuckin' STUPID." - Scottish corporal trying to explain something to soldiers.
Zohar wrote:You don't know what you're talking about. Please spare me your quote sniping and general obliviousness.

CorruptUser wrote:Just admit that you were wrong ... and your entire life, cyberspace and meatspace both, would be orders of magnitude more enjoyable for you and others around you.


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