Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hypercorrect English

English which is so right it’s wrong
  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
  [vote for,

I feel sad at the gradual disappearance of our strong verbs, plurals which don’t end in -s and so on, and envious of some other languages’ twiddly bits. At the same time, English tends to adopt words without changing the spelling, so we have a strong precedent for taking on bits of other languages.

So i have several proposals: retain all the twiddly bits of grammar which English has lost to the point where it is comprehensible to a contemporary speaker and respect the inflections of foreign words adopted into English. Then, extend the same stipulations to all words which either contain those words or rhyme with them.

An illustration:

First point: Verbs such as “burst”, “climb” and “shave” are strong and verbs such as “owe” and “stretch” are irregular. Nouns like “eye” and “calf” still have plurals like “een” and “calveren”.

Second point: The plural of “thermos” is “thermoi”, and the accusative of “thermos” is “thermon”. The plural of “vagina” is “vaginae” in the nominative but the possessive plural of “vagina” is “vaginarum”. If you are talking to a thermo flask, you have to call it “therme”. If you address your apparatus, you say “apparate”.

Third point: the plural of “boot” is “beet”, of “truth” is “treeth”, the preterite tense of “leak” is “loke” and its past participle is "loken". Taking it further, the possessive plural of “MS-DOS” is “MS-DORUM” and the plural of “mother” is “methren”. Similarly, every chemical name ending in “-ol” as well as just the word “alcohol” has to be given a plural and inflected for other cases just as it is in Arabic, whatever that is.

Moreover, the genders of foreign loanwords are brought with them, even if English has no way of expressing that gender. If it lacks the pronouns, the pronoun from the appropriate language, appropriately inflected, must be used.

Where there is conflict, the more complicated and obscure rule trumps the simpler and more intuitive, to entertain the pedants amongst us.

nineteenthly, Mar 10 2011

Quote marks and periods http://grammartips....ead.com/inside.html
Another English / American squabble. [csea, Mar 11 2011]

Basic English http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Basic_English
[DrWorm, Mar 12 2011]


       Voting (+) in favor of entertainment, but annoing to the effect that given the speed of language shift, this concept will be but a slim sedimentary layer in the sandstone of languages passed.
normzone, Mar 10 2011

       That's probably true, [normzone] but then again, many language users are quite conservative and it could not only keep going for a couple of centuries but maybe even get more complicated as the pronunciation of "thermoi" and "kudoi" shift in different directions.
nineteenthly, Mar 10 2011

       I like your plurai but otherwise I didn't understand a word.
The_Saint, Mar 10 2011

       This is how the French got started, I think. Languages evolve or die, IMHO.
RayfordSteele, Mar 10 2011

       I live in East Anglia. Welcome to my world.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2011

       In what context would you use the possessive plural of "vagina?"
nomocrow, Mar 10 2011

       [+] I once wrote a paper that used the plural of "thalamus" about a dozen times, and I longed to use "thalamoi." But I didn't have the cojones.
mouseposture, Mar 11 2011

       [nomocrow], in cases of Mullerian tube abnormalities, marsupial zoology and discussions of Turner's Syndrome, and in less scientifically high-flown contexts too. For instance, "Where the uterine condition is uterus didelphys bicollis, the mediale septum vaginarum is shorne between both vaginis."   

       [MB], i thought you all spoke Greek and Latin all the time. Didn't realise you occasionally lapsed into English.
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       I'll come clean and say that I didn't read this idea all that closely and, having now had "vaginarium" jump out at me, I don't think it necessary for me to do so in order to properly justify my croissant. Excellent.
calum, Mar 11 2011

       On this theme, we should be creating new correct English for new technology.   

       It occurs to me that if one can 'tweet' on the twitter website, the past tense should be 'twat'.   

Twizz, Mar 11 2011

       so he twizzed.
neelandan, Mar 11 2011

       Twozze. True though, and another point in favour of this idea.
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       [+] for the fun elements of this idea, but [-] for making an attempt to constrain the evolution of language - we're not French, you know!
hippo, Mar 11 2011

       //If you are talking to a thermo flask, you have to call it “therme”//

I hate to break ranks on this but I would suggest that, if you are talking to a thermo flask, you have to call an ambulance to take you back to the happy farm.
DrBob, Mar 11 2011

       I am fully in support of this as an attempt to constrain the evolution of the language.   

       To draw an analogy with the motor industry: While most manufacturers try to make cars more effeciently and appeal to the lowest common denominator, there are a few, like the high-end sports car manufacturers, who just do things the way they want to. Without the influences of the super-refined sports cars, we'd all be driving dullboxes.   

       Someone needs to stand up for a super-refined language to provide a benchmark against which duller languages may be measured.   

       Dull languages have their place. Simple tools for simple jobs.
Twizz, Mar 11 2011

       // if you are talking to a thermo flask, you have to call an ambulance to take you back to the happy farm //   

       Only if the flask replies.   

       // Simple tools for simple jobs. //   

       Hence 'American English', presumably.
8th of 7, Mar 11 2011

       //Hence 'American English', presumably.//   

       I was going to post a poignant and biting reply to this comment, both invalidating the premise and implying the questionable parentage of the poster... but as the comment is probably true, I will scuttle off to a different idea, where I ccan speak more authoratatively.
MikeD, Mar 11 2011

       Word to yo methren.   

       In some ways, American English has nicer grammar than British, for instance it's still gotten "gotten" and we've just got "got".   

       In the thermou case, i was merely supposing someone was writing an ode to a thermo. I mean, who hasn't at some point in their lives?
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       "American english" (I despise that term - it's either English or not) HAS 'gotten' while English NO LONGER HAS 'gotten' - thankfully.   

       The verb 'to get' is a slang means to replace a number of other verbs. I would not consider it as part of Hypercorrect English.
Twizz, Mar 11 2011

       My issue there is not so much with "get" as such as the inconsistency between wishing to minimise "get" while at the same time throwing "do" in willy-nilly all over the place. So yes, fine, minimise "get", but in the meantime, eschew "do" wherever possible and unleash your creativity.   

       The word "get" could be rigidly confined to "obtain" and nothing else, and in fact could replace "become" with a slightly different form such as a Y on the end.
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       <pedant> I was about to draw attention to your misplaced periods with respect to quotation marks, but now realize this is an English / American difference [link.] </pedant>
csea, Mar 11 2011

       Fun- [+] but I'd call it Pig-English.
xandram, Mar 11 2011

       Ah no, but i may have lorn myself.
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       Also as in love-lorn.
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       I love this idea. I will refrain from detracting from it by pointing out that the plural of "Thermos" would rightly be "vacuum flasks", and that the singular of "vacuum flasks" would be "vacuum flask".
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2011

       Sadly, i'm forced to concede that that is technically true but there are other technical treeth which would trump that, notably the grammatical, except that in this case it's not true but hypertrue.
nineteenthly, Mar 11 2011

       Fear'thoen breannan clanty throen,
Thae brethorn mekken brafe si'nae
Yit fear'thren bost in manny bo'ern
Shell frae thae eyen en all'oer baern!
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2011

       You lost me at the first (uncapitalized) "i"
Dub, Mar 12 2011

       The point of the uncapitalised "i"'s is that English alone capitalises the first person singular pronoun and even it doesn't do so consistently, i.e. "me", "my" and "mine" are not capitalised. No other language in the world capitalises any equivalent of "i", and in days of yore, English had yet to develop such a practice. Therefore, i won't capitalise my "i"'s, though i sometimes capitalise "You" and "Thou" as found in other Germanic languages. Similarly, i always say "amn't i?" rather than "aren't i?". Consistency.   

       Having said that, i capitalise it in formal contexts.   

       Everyone else is wrong. I'm doing it properly.   

       [MB], since the definition of a language includes mutual intelligibility, i think you've just demonstrated that Scots is more than a dialect of English.
nineteenthly, Mar 12 2011

       Whereas welsh is just a dialect of Gibberish ....
8th of 7, Mar 12 2011

       //Scots is more than a dialect of English//   

       It was Scots? Who knew?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       The Scots maybe?
nineteenthly, Mar 12 2011

       sp. gigabit
mouseposture, Mar 12 2011

       That chap Tindale - not bloody French, is he?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       So what you're saying, [Ian], is that you're a fan of 'Back To The Future'?   

       [MB]: jigueabitte.
nineteenthly, Mar 12 2011

       [ninteenthly]: gezundeheit.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       Hmm, wonder if i'm supposed to notice the missing E.
nineteenthly, Mar 12 2011

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       Sms you hav an id fix.
nineteenthly, Mar 12 2011

       Bloody frnch.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       longa, vita brvis.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       No, vita longa, vta brevis.
mouseposture, Mar 12 2011

       Now you're just being silly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 12 2011

       If you say "VITA BREVIS ARS LONGA", then you can pretend it means "Hurry along, short-arse".
pertinax, Mar 13 2011

       I lack gluteal capability hereabout.
nineteenthly, Mar 13 2011


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