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Old 04-07-2009, 09:19   #61
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Jedi there are several more words even with Dutch influence. For instance most of the ough words like though and through and even caught and such were altered by early Dutch printers. In the early days of commercial printing England was very slow to invest in the technologies so instead Dutch printers actually set up shop in England to handle printing. At the time there was no set spelling in the English language. Because these printshops charged by the letter, the printers would add letters here or there to increase their profit margins. Over the course of a page or two, a few extra u's actually add up to some good money. So it's rather funny that much of the spelling in Modern English which confuses the crap out of Dutch students of the language was actually a Dutch invention in the first place. The Dutch are also responsible for English having both a singular and plural 'you' instead of two distinct ones.

English had a letter called 'thorn' which symbolized the th sound. You at the time was divided into thee, thou, thoust, thy, and thyne for the singular and ye, you, your and yourne for the plural. Because the print shops were Dutch and Dutch didn't have the 'thorn' letter, Dutch printers simply replaces thorn with y and thus ended up merging our thou and you together.

One thing from a Linguistic point, although American English came originally from English English, the American variety is actually the older of the two. Due to the standardization of the American educational system its varieties of English have been somewhat frozen in an older style. In the UK education has generally been much more locallized and standardization (especially in teaching English) very relaxed. So the English of England has (evolved or devolved - whichever your opinion is) much faster than American English. This process has been increased greatly over the past 50 years because there was a move starting back in the 60's to not teach English to the English. It was based on the theory that pupils would pick up the grammar and vocabulary of the language naturally through exposure. It's why you find so much more slang in British English today than in almost all other regions.

It's also why you find forms like gotten, risen, given, etc in the US and not as much in the UK.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:53   #62
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English is a living language. and much of it lived in other languages before becoming "English"

Unlike Le French who have a nationalistic notion of their own language. Ironic given that it was only around 100 years ago that most of the French people within France could not speak "proper" French! - just their regional lingo.

On the reasons for changes in languages I particularly like the rationale for the Thai language losing TWO of it's 44 Consonants* . The Alphabet didn't fit onto a typewriter (By a Brit ) - Fortunately both of these letters were "K" . and no great loss because they still have 4 other letters called "K" (well, they are when written in English. and also when pronounced by me ).


*I used to know them all and in Thai Script Used to but never managed the vowels That made reading kinda difficult
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:51   #63
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Honking car horns. Here in Hawaii it is extremely rude to honk your horn except in extreme dangerous situations. We can always tell if you are from another part of the world if you honk your horn. It is also a dead giveaway that you're a tourist if you wear matching muumuu and aloha shirts. Locals don't do that.

Folks from the mainland (of the U. S.) who use the term back in the U. S. while here in Hawaii sometimes have to be reminded that Hawaii is part of the U. S. too.

It's too hard to describe the pidgin that is commonly spoken here. Its a smattering of different languages and very sloppy English all rolled into one. "Howzit bra?" and "Bumbye" are good examples. Of course how is it brother? is recognizable but by and by becomes "Bumbye."

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:47   #64
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The Dutch are also responsible for English having both a singular and plural 'you' instead of two distinct ones.
Whatever do you mean? It seems you are referring to American, not actually English. But PROPER American -- as spoken in the southern and southwestern portions of the country -- has THREE versions of "you."

There's the simple you -- rarely used. (On a par with what the ill-informed think of ain't, also a proper American word.)

There's y'all -- the correct singular form of the vulgar you.

And there's all y'all -- the plural.

Unlike the vast majority of words in the American language, these two are not borrowed at all, but are truly unique to the purple mountains' majesty and the fruited plain.

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Old 04-07-2009, 13:06   #65
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. . . PROPER American -- as spoken in the southern and southwestern portions of the country -- has THREE versions of "you."
I'm not sure what area you mean by "southwestern portions of the country," Mike, but a person can't travel any further southwest than Southern California, and I assure you that only southern transplants here (lots of military personnel are located here, and many of them are from the south) would say "y'all" or "all y'all."

In my experience, the areas where use of the vulgate "y'all" and "all y'all" is common stops around west Texas / southeastern New Mexico. I'm not suggesting one won't hear it elsewhere, but it certainly isn't common (thank God).

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Old 04-07-2009, 14:25   #66
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Oddly enough, I understand that “y’all” is also used outside the southern United States, in Sri Lankan English.

But what about abortions* of the pronouns, such as: "his'n", "her'n", "Yor'n”, & “yernses” ? (yernses???)
* TaoJones took the good characterization.

Here’s A Glossary of “Quaint” Southernisms:
A Glossary of Southern Accents - alphaDictionary * Free English Online Dictionary
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Old 04-07-2009, 14:37   #67
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Green "oranges"

Years ago when I was running a charter yacht in New Orleans my bartender made a quick run to the supermarket to stock up on limes. When he returned he had a half dozen HUGE "limes." They were bright green like limes but round like oranges rather than football shaped like limes. Our hostess, a native New Orleanian, laughed at him.

"Those aren't limes," she said. "They're satsumas."

When you cut into them they were bright orange and sooooo sweet. Wonderful things.
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Old 04-07-2009, 15:11   #68
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Satsumas are what oranges become when they go to heaven!!

I have to say now that I am living in Florida that I am amazed how much better the selection of citrus was in Louisiana. You had native satsumas and native navel oranges, those great Texas grapefruits, kumquats, and tangerines all the time. And they were cheap. Back home I could buy a 5 lb bag of grapefruit for what 2 of them cost here in sunny Florida!

Oh yeah, MikeZ, the ya'll thing is surprisingly much more pronounced in the rest of the south than it is in Louisiana. You still find it there, but nowhere near to the amount in the nascar and 'rasslin part of the south.
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Old 04-07-2009, 17:19   #69
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Sydney car horns...

In Sydney blowing your horn at a tardy pedestrian means "Please take more care when crossing the road."
A fist shaken in the air in reply means "Thank you for your kind reminder. I will be more careful in future."
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Old 04-07-2009, 18:17   #70
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Boracay--LOL

Drew.ward - Try anything that has been grown in the Texas valley, something in the soil - heaven!

Anyone know what a sleeping policeman is?
Cheers,
Erika
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Old 04-07-2009, 18:53   #71
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Anyone know what a sleeping policeman is?
It's a speed bump.

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Old 04-07-2009, 20:00   #72
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You got it TaoJones was that too easy?

I was an Air Force brat . Before I reached 15 years of age, I moved at least a dozen times and lived in over 10 different US states. Hawaii, the Southern US, and the Northern US slang - I don't find it vulgar at all, I think it is kinda sweet. I have been know to say "y'all want to come with?" but I'm a rebel at heart.
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Old 04-07-2009, 20:48   #73
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I'm not sure what area you mean by "southwestern portions of the country," Mike, but a person can't travel any further southwest than Southern California
True. But then one can't get any further SOUTH in the US than Southern California either. Doesn't matter. California is a world unto itself and doesn't figure into this at all.

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the vulgate "y'all" and "all y'all"
Hmm. Must be some Latin versions, perhaps used only by Catholics in the South and Southwest.

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Old 04-07-2009, 20:53   #74
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Silent cop endangered by diamond turn...

We used to have silent cops here in Oz. They were the small (about 30cm dia.), yellow disks in the middle of intersections. You kept them on the right as you made a right hand turn.

Then some boffin realised that this put you right into the path of traffic coming from the opposite direction and also turning right.

So we got the "diamond turn". Seems to have now vanished from the collective consciousness.

Of course anyone planning on driving Oz should be fully up to speed on what is necessary. Much information can be found on various State Government websites.
List of State websites.

They still have hook turns in Melbourne. Very strange.
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Old 04-07-2009, 21:17   #75
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Hmm. Must be some Latin versions, perhaps used only by Catholics in the South and Southwest.
Ahhh, Mike, my friend, don't just read the first definition you come to and think that's the end of the story:

* * *

vul·gate (vŭl'gāt', -gĭt)
n.
  1. The common speech of a people; the vernacular.
  2. A widely accepted text or version of a work.
  3. Vulgate The Latin edition or translation of the Bible made by Saint Jerome at the end of the fourth century A.D., now used in a revised form as the Roman Catholic authorized version.

[Medieval Latin Vulgāta, from Late Latin vulgāta (editiō), popular (edition), from Latin, feminine past participle of vulgāre, to make known to all, from vulgus, the common people.] The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

* * *

It really means the language of the common people, the hoi polloi, the riff-raff.
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True. But then one can't get any further SOUTH in the US than Southern California either. Doesn't matter. California is a world unto itself and doesn't figure into this at all.
Oh, but you can get further south than the California border with Mexico. In fact, every state along the southern tier is further south than California, with the Florida Keys being further south than any other point in the contiguous 48 states. But the state that is further south than any other is, of course, Hawai'i.

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