Author Topic: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?  (Read 3948 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kavik

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 791
Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 12:04:31 »
Preface:
Language changes, yada yada. Native speakers determine the language not books, yada yada. These ideas don't preclude discussion of deviation from the standard form of the language. I always hesitate to discuss grammar because people seem to take offense to even the mention of something as "incorrect". I find language very interesting, and, while, yes, these things do annoy me, I also enjoy actually discussing them.

Also, please excuse any mistakes I make in this post instead of pointing out the irony. They are probably the result of writing something and then editing it later, or a simple typo.

----------------------------------
Issue/Observations:
Daily I hear and/or read the phrase, "I should've went" or some derivation thereof.

Other examples are also typically the present perfect tense with a conditional modal verb: "That could've took a long time", "It might have fell".

Other examples are the passive voice: "I was/got bit by a mosquito."

But I've also heard fairly normal present perfect constructions messed up: "I haven't showed you this yet", "I had spoke with him", "I haven't ate yet" (Side note: I've noticed a lot of people now use the simple past tense with "yet", which doesn't even make temporal sense because the past tense is already completed, so how can it continue into the present? E.g. "I didn't eat yet").

Most people seem to have a hard time with verbs whose stem changes vowels, like "sing, sang, have sung", "swim, swam, have swum", "drink, drank, have drunk", and "run, ran, have run"

-------------------------------------
Thoughts:
At first, I thought this was a regional thing, but I hear this sort of mistake (especially the "should/could/would/might have + simple past tense" version) probably 90% of the time, on the Internet either in writing or in text, in addition to personal conversation - far, far more often than the standard version with past participle.

I get the feeling that people think they sound stilted or posh if they say "taken", "gone", "bitten", or "swum", or do they actually perceive the perfect tenses used with simple past forms of verbs as sounding correct? To me, it is something akin to listening to a song when suddenly the wrong note is played or is played out of tune. But the more I hear these incorrect (or "non-standard") constructions, the more likely I am to say them myself, especially when I'm not thinking carefully.

Is this just a US trend, or are other English speaking nations trending this way as well? Is this an age related thing? I've noticed that some trends of incorrect usage seem to have an age separation, like 40 and below. Of course, everything I've said is personal observation only and not data driven in any way.

I admit that this error really makes no difference in meaning, so it shouldn't matter (unlike the recent trend of not using the subjunctive mood, but that's a separate discussion). Ideally, language would have no irregular verbs in the first place (although, German, for example, does sometimes make use of them by assigning different meanings to the regular and irregular past and past participle, e.g., schaffte, geschafft vs schuf, geschaffen).

Is this a result of reading fewer books (even though books are not infallible, they are usually proof read by editors, and they do preserve the language by setting it in proverbial stone)?
--------------------------------------
Follow-up discussion item:
How are things like this handled in other languages? I remember hearing Danish changed a lot over just the 20th century, so even WWII-era documents and speech are quite different. I imagine smaller languages (<= 5 million speakers) change more rapidly.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline captain

  • Posts: 703
Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 12:24:39 »
These rampant abuses of grammar are indicative of a failure endemic to our Millennial “education“ systems, where everyone gets a trophy and correcting a child is anathema, and the spreading of poor grammar by those poorly-educated is exacerbated by the fact that the Internet allows ANYONE to be a publisher.
Stop reading **** on the Internet, and read “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”!  Joyce will delight, and probably educate, you! 

PS: I used to think that France’s language police were a bane to creative expression. Now I’m thinking we need them for English.

PPS: see attached from the American Heritage Dictionary:


PPPS: just because the unwashed masses abuse the language does not change it. The well-educated must agree to condone the uneducated’s abuses; then it can be considered a change, and not merely the patois of the poor fools.

Tapatalk steals money then adds ads back in and demands more money! 
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 July 2020, 12:36:09 by captain »
Welcome to geekhack -- where we like to type -- but don't care so much about reading.

Offline AJM

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: Germany
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 14:06:19 »
I'm not a native English speaker (who is - for example - totally oblivious to English comma rules), so I probably should keep quiet, but I'd like to agree, that I find the examples, you mentioned, quite disruptive. But I don't think a language police would be a lasting solution.
There is another already extinct word combination, that worries me. Especially, because even in print it seems to be universally accepted:
I'm talking of ".... and me ......"
It seems these days only "I" is allowed to come after "and", resulting in sentences like "I bought it for my wife and I". Such phrases let my ears stumble. Thankfully I haven't heard/read "I bought it for I", yet.

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 13178
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 15:01:34 »
Language is flowing.

The many rules for language which are either impractical or unnecessary will naturally be overwritten..

A person has many more things to learn today to stay relevant. It's going to be a give and take between subjects, and the emphasis will shift..

For example, there are many working in tech, they don't speak english very well at all. Yet, these people form the backbone of our IT infrastructure. They program, the code works, everyone gets their packages.

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 16:03:29 »

To me, it is something akin to listening to a song when suddenly the wrong note is played or is played out of tune.

I've noticed that some trends of incorrect usage seem to have an age separation, like 40 and below.


I feel the same way.

Education in the US has been deliberately and systematically crippled in a decades-long effort launched in the 1960s in the wake of Brown vs Board of Education, which not only fails to teach critical thinking and intellectual integrity, but also, tangentially, seems to fail to even create a feeling of self-respect that comes from speaking properly.

This decline has been going on for decades, but this new-fangled computer communication has dramatically accelerated it.





I'm talking of " ....  and me .... "

resulting in sentences like "I bought it for my wife and I". Such phrases let my ears stumble.


I agree with this too, it is heinous and makes me cringe. The easy fix, if they just don't want to say "me" is to just use the word "myself" which should sound better if they sound it out.

For people without a strong intuitive understanding of grammar, the fact that "My wife and I bought it" is actually correct might be confusing.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline Kavik

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 791
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 16:28:33 »
I'm talking of ".... and me ......"
It seems these days only "I" is allowed to come after "and", resulting in sentences like "I bought it for my wife and I". Such phrases let my ears stumble. Thankfully I haven't heard/read "I bought it for I", yet.

I was trying not to veer into other grammatical topics, but, what the hey. Yes, I hear this every day also. This is supposedly caused by "hyper-correction". When English speakers are children, they say stuff like "Me and my dad are going fishing", so they are corrected with "You mean, 'My dad and I'". Most people take this to mean that any compound noun + pronoun must be in the nominative case. What's really weird is that it hasn't fixed the original problem. People now say "Me and so-and-so" as the subject and "So-and-so and I" as the object. Weirder yet is that people do this with the possessive case also: "This is my wife and I's car" instead of "This is my wife's and my car."

To your note about commas, I may use them excessively; however, I mainly try to separate subordinate clauses by commas when they are at the beginning of the sentence, and I put commas before a coordinating conjunction if it is followed by both a subject and a verb (i.e. not just a new verb).


I'm talking of " ....  and me .... "

resulting in sentences like "I bought it for my wife and I". Such phrases let my ears stumble.


I agree with this too, it is heinous and makes me cringe. The easy fix, if they just don't want to say "me" is to just use the word "myself" which should sound better if they sound it out.

For people without a strong intuitive understanding of grammar, the fact that "My wife and I bought it" is actually correct might be confusing.

In that example, I agree, but it seems to be popular business-speak to use myself as a wholesale replacement for I and me, regardless of case or the subject of the sentence. It should only be used if the subject is the same person as the object (as in your example) or for emphasis ("I, myself, have never done that"). I get emails at work all the time like, "Please feel free to reach out to so-and-so or myself." People also write whom in business-speak and then proceed to use it as the subject exclusively.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline captain

  • Posts: 703
Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 16:35:00 »
Just remove the other person. Would you say, “I am going to the store,“ or, “Me am going to the store?“
“You and I are going to the store.”


Tapatalk steals money then adds ads back in and demands more money! 
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 July 2020, 17:31:55 by captain »
Welcome to geekhack -- where we like to type -- but don't care so much about reading.

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 17:25:48 »

To your note about commas, I may use them excessively


I use tons of commas (and other marks) even knowing that it may be "wrong" by conventional (American) usage. (disclaimer - my pre-Revolutionary ancestors came from Oxfordshire so the Oxford comma is a natural imperative for me)

My epiphany came when my kids were young and I read many good big real grown-up books to them (between about ages 5-12) (eg the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, LeGuins' Earthsea cycle, (including ancillary stories, etc) those sets took about a year each) and I realized the power and clarity of the spoken word, especially to people who are intelligent but perhaps not (perhaps yet) literate.

Even though I read and loved "Eats Shoots & Leaves" and appreciate the traditional system from Olde Mum Angleterre, my personal writing style has evolved to replicate my oral reading style in my own personal speech patterns and using punctuation to re-create the cadence and rhythms that I, myself, naturally employ when speaking.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline macclack

  • Posts: 435
  • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Macclack
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 16 July 2020, 17:30:52 »
Preface:
Language changes, yada yada. Native speakers determine the language not books, yada yada. These ideas don't preclude discussion of deviation from the standard form of the language. I always hesitate to discuss grammar because people seem to take offense to even the mention of something as "incorrect". I find language very interesting, and, while, yes, these things do annoy me, I also enjoy actually discussing them.

Also, please excuse any mistakes I make in this post instead of pointing out the irony. They are probably the result of writing something and then editing it later, or a simple typo.

----------------------------------
Issue/Observations:
Daily I hear and/or read the phrase, "I should've went" or some derivation thereof.

Other examples are also typically the present perfect tense with a conditional modal verb: "That could've took a long time", "It might have fell".

Other examples are the passive voice: "I was/got bit by a mosquito."

But I've also heard fairly normal present perfect constructions messed up: "I haven't showed you this yet", "I had spoke with him", "I haven't ate yet" (Side note: I've noticed a lot of people now use the simple past tense with "yet", which doesn't even make temporal sense because the past tense is already completed, so how can it continue into the present? E.g. "I didn't eat yet").

Most people seem to have a hard time with verbs whose stem changes vowels, like "sing, sang, have sung", "swim, swam, have swum", "drink, drank, have drunk", and "run, ran, have run"

-------------------------------------
Thoughts:
At first, I thought this was a regional thing, but I hear this sort of mistake (especially the "should/could/would/might have + simple past tense" version) probably 90% of the time, on the Internet either in writing or in text, in addition to personal conversation - far, far more often than the standard version with past participle.

I get the feeling that people think they sound stilted or posh if they say "taken", "gone", "bitten", or "swum", or do they actually perceive the perfect tenses used with simple past forms of verbs as sounding correct? To me, it is something akin to listening to a song when suddenly the wrong note is played or is played out of tune. But the more I hear these incorrect (or "non-standard") constructions, the more likely I am to say them myself, especially when I'm not thinking carefully.

Is this just a US trend, or are other English speaking nations trending this way as well? Is this an age related thing? I've noticed that some trends of incorrect usage seem to have an age separation, like 40 and below. Of course, everything I've said is personal observation only and not data driven in any way.

I admit that this error really makes no difference in meaning, so it shouldn't matter (unlike the recent trend of not using the subjunctive mood, but that's a separate discussion). Ideally, language would have no irregular verbs in the first place (although, German, for example, does sometimes make use of them by assigning different meanings to the regular and irregular past and past participle, e.g., schaffte, geschafft vs schuf, geschaffen).

Is this a result of reading fewer books (even though books are not infallible, they are usually proof read by editors, and they do preserve the language by setting it in proverbial stone)?
--------------------------------------
Follow-up discussion item:
How are things like this handled in other languages? I remember hearing Danish changed a lot over just the 20th century, so even WWII-era documents and speech are quite different. I imagine smaller languages (<= 5 million speakers) change more rapidly.

Interesting topic Kavik. I love this stuff. While my English isn't perfect, I do find myself reacting with annoyance when I hear improper use of the language (including my own). As you say, it can sound like a note that's out of tune.

A side benefit of understanding the rules of English, using proper grammar, and expanding my vocabulary is that I'm better able to organize my thoughts in a nuanced way. After all, my thoughts are in English!

One thing I've noticed is that some people are naturally more language-minded and are more clinical or exacting when it comes to how they communicate whereas other people are more math or numbers-oriented. I have children, and I can see it very clearly as they grow and mature. I'm not saying that a numbers person can't and won't master English, I just think it's more effortless for some than others. Also, I find that a person's parents have a huge influence on their English.

Reading is helpful, although I find it's much more helpful to analyze or reverse-engineer an author's writing, rather than just passively consuming it. You learn a lot more that way. Also, attempting to mimic a good writer's style is a good way to learn.
« Last Edit: Thu, 16 July 2020, 20:45:07 by macclack »

Offline iri

  • Posts: 940
  • Location: 'Great' Britain
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 06:19:21 »
Language changes, yada yada. Native speakers determine the language not books, yada yada.
Thanks for writing this right at the start. Avoids the usual passive aggressive replies.

Is this just a US trend, or are other English speaking nations trending this way as well?
I don't hear that in the UK.

However, turning adverbs into adjectives has crept here.
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline AJM

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: Germany
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 06:43:00 »
It's a relief to hear, that native English speakers use comma rules "creatively", as well.
I place them mainly the way I'm used to in German (although I certainly don't know all the German rules either) or simply the way they make my sentences easier to understand - I hope.
One of the few German comma rules, I know well, is that there is never a comma in front of "and" or "or", so the Oxford-comma is a serious problem for me.  :'(
Another thing I find hard to fathom is a rule (I don't know, if it's British or American), that a following punctation mark has to be included in preceding quotes. Meaning ....
   After saying "Get lost!", he kicked me in the ......
should apparently (?) be ....
   After saying "Get lost!," he kicked me in the ......

Especially for a programmer, that's hard to understand. Like ...
   printf ("Hello World);"

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 07:23:23 »

a rule (I don't know, if it's British or American), that a following punctuation mark has to be included in preceding quotes.


English say not included, Americans say included.

Years ago, I realized that the English "not included" scheme is much better and started using it. My ex-wife, a magazine editor, always chides me for it.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline AJM

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: Germany
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 08:36:47 »
Thanks for the clarification.
.... and ... Well done!  :thumb:  ;D

Offline captain

  • Posts: 703
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 08:43:07 »
As an ersatz programmer, I do occasionally get creative with commas and quotation marks in my writing, but I do my best to follow Strunk and White unless specifically violating a rule for effect.


Tapatalk steals money then adds ads back in and demands more money! 
Welcome to geekhack -- where we like to type -- but don't care so much about reading.

Offline Photekq

  • wheat flour zone
  • Posts: 4731
  • Location: North Wales, UK
  • sorry if i was ever an ******* to you
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 09:02:25 »
These rampant abuses of grammar are indicative of a failure endemic to our Millennial “education“ systems, where everyone gets a trophy and correcting a child is anathema, and the spreading of poor grammar by those poorly-educated is exacerbated by the fact that the Internet allows ANYONE to be a publisher.
Stop reading **** on the Internet, and read “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”!  Joyce will delight, and probably educate, you! 
Heavy disagree. My education weren't bad at all; back in school, I used "correct" grammar at all times and my English Language results reflected that. I never stuck to them rules outside of school though, not for rebellious purposes but because I'd rather speak in a relaxed manner. I ain't ever had any issues conveying a point, so I fail to see the issue. Language isn't rigid, conveying your meaning is the important part.

Sure, in some cases it could be due to lack of formal education, but even if that's the case I don't think you should hold it against someone; should someone learn their native language from their school or from the people they grow up around? I lean towards the latter.

In my mind, it's a form of slang; some "incorrect" words flow better in certain sentences when they're used by someone with a certain accent. Just the same as a lot of slang, I see criticism of this as another tentacle of classism (and racism in a lot of cases); I've never heard a working-class person complain about any of this, no matter how well educated they are. It's always toffs. Quit yer moidering lad.

And yes, I purposefully wrote some of this "incorrect".
« Last Edit: Fri, 17 July 2020, 09:05:57 by Photekq »

Offline nathanchere

  • Posts: 574
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 09:16:27 »
At first, I thought this was a regional thing, but I hear this sort of mistake (especially the "should/could/would/might have + simple past tense" version) probably 90% of the time, on the Internet either in writing or in text, in addition to personal conversation - far, far more often than the standard version with past participle.

...

Is this just a US trend, or are other English speaking nations trending this way as well? Is this an age related thing?


These are presented as observations based on my own experience, not as hard facts.  My observations:

  • people who come from non-English speaking backgrounds who move to an English-speaking country tend to have very broken English even after living there for many years.
  • people who live in non "English speaking" countries but with a strong emphasis on English as a second language (e.g. Sweden, Netherlands) tend to have *better* English on average than so-called 'native' speakers.
  • older native English speakers tend to show a correlation between 'correct' language usage and class-based factors such as wealth and education
  • younger native English speakers demonstrate some degree of correlation between language usage and class-based factors but are much more likely to be doing their best to lower the bar for linguistics in general
 

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 09:35:58 »
Tangentially off-topic, but this might be a place to add something else that must drive non-native English speakers absolutely bonkers: order of adjectives.

For those of us native speakers, it flows off the tongue effortlessly, and grinds in the ears horrifically when misused:

- Order
- Relating to
- examples

1
opinion
unusual, lovely, beautiful

2
size
big, small, tall

3
physical quality
thin, rough, untidy

4
shape
round, square, rectangular

5
age
young, old, youthful

6
color
blue, red, pink

7
origin
Dutch, Japanese, Turkish

8
material
metal, wood, plastic

9
type
general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped

10
purpose
cleaning, hammering, cooking
 
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline AJM

  • Posts: 71
  • Location: Germany
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 09:53:33 »
It took me some time to understand and process this.
It sounds indeed rough, if I create examples with a different order - in English and in German.
But I've spent now nearly half a century without being aware, that there is an actual rule for this.  :eek:

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 17 July 2020, 10:20:42 »
It can be very surprising. Say these out loud:

a dirty old red 4-door Mercedes

a red 4-door dirty old Mercedes

a 4-door old red dirty Mercedes

a dirty 4-door red old Mercedes

And there are many more variations that might seem equally odd.

Reading books aloud to my kids made me acutely aware of how grammar and structure actually sound rather than just looking at them on the page.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline TacticalCoder

  • Posts: 506
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 21 July 2020, 07:58:31 »
Quote
a dirty old red 4-door Mercedes
what's the correct one btw?  "an old dirty 4-door red Mercedes"?  or "an old dirty red 4-door Mercedes"?
I'm not a native english speaker btw (native french speaker and I can understand spanish).
"dirty old" somehow doesn't sound right: it's as if it's dirty because it is old (but a car can old and in pristine condition).

But yup, to us non native it ain't easy.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 July 2020, 08:02:39 by TacticalCoder »
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 21 July 2020, 08:11:56 »

what's the correct one?


Even that can be a matter of opinion. To my ears,

"dirty" is 3, a physical quality

"old" is clearly 5, age

"red" is clearly 6, color

"4-door" is 9, type


But in other cases, attributes like "opinion" and "purpose" might be more amorphous. Consider the overlap between "physical quality" and "opinion" for example.

And to your point, it is probably not a coincidence that "dirty old" is a combination that is heard fairly often.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 July 2020, 08:15:20 by fohat.digs »
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline TacticalCoder

  • Posts: 506
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 21 July 2020, 08:22:55 »
As an ersatz programmer, I do occasionally get creative with commas and quotation marks in my writing, but I do my best to follow Strunk and White unless specifically violating a rule for effect.
Strunk and White: legendary!
I've actually written several books and I did the typesetting of these books myself but...  In french!  What is maddening is that the typesetting rules are actually different between french and english (an obvious difference would be the mandatory tiny space before a colon in french).  And then on top of that you have the fact that for quite a while the big bad internet and early web weren't using Unicode yet and so a lot of the proper rules got "lost" (for example all the various spacing characters didn't exist: it was either "space" or "no space").  The correct rules tend to make a comeback even on the web now that said.

Also sometimes, arguably, the correct rule simply looks bad: say a numbered reference in superscript just before a dot (you're supposed to put the reference before the dot, but then there's a big empty space before the dot due to the superscript number being "high" and the dot being "low" and it creates a "lost dot" in the middle of the paragraph).  I had to fight with my editor a bit and "cheat" during the proofreading to impose my way for that one detail.

I also never like the default reference number in a note at the bottom of a page being "glued" to the first letter of the note (sometimes creating a weird looking character): I'd always add a tiny space (not a full width one, not even a semi-width one) so that the first letter of the note was readable and not "stuck" to the reference number. If I remember correctly for whatever reason QuarkXPress (typesetting software) got that one correctly while the default LaTeX templates didn't.

But yeah: I'd usually follow the rules and only very rarely deviate from the rules.
« Last Edit: Tue, 21 July 2020, 08:25:48 by TacticalCoder »
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline iri

  • Posts: 940
  • Location: 'Great' Britain
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 21 July 2020, 08:47:19 »
It can be very surprising. Say these out loud:

a dirty old red 4-door Mercedes

a red 4-door dirty old Mercedes

a 4-door old red dirty Mercedes

a dirty 4-door red old Mercedes

And there are many more variations that might seem equally odd.
My brain has become Anglicised :( I now have to accept that "lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife" is the only way to put these words in order.

(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 399
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 04:19:13 »
A side benefit of understanding the rules of English, using proper grammar, and expanding my vocabulary is that I'm better able to organize my thoughts in a nuanced way.

Quote
Also, I find that a person's parents have a huge influence on their English.

Well keep working on it. :P.

This actually shows something that you guys don't seem to get, not even you, kavik. Macclack just wrote something that, by all definitions of "correct" English, is wildly incorrect. I mean, blatantly so. Literally 101, second week of English class wrong, and nobody cares, nor has anybody truly cared for over 500 years, but the truly pedantic among us find it irritating. That's right, he used the wrong pronoun.

That's, grammatically, as bad as calling your father a she. He used "they" to refer to a singular person. How dare he do such a thing.

Of course, Chaucer also does it in the Canterbury Tales, and so does Shakespeare, but that's not important right now.

Thanks for writing this right at the start. Avoids the usual passive aggressive replies.

Time for the passive aggressive comment.

What is important is that while we all admit that language changes, as we know we, in standard English, no longer distinguish the technical differences between thou and you, we somehow seem to think that all the language that is changing in our lifetime is somehow bad, or incorrect. Who decides? The majority of speakers? Well then the old people are all speaking nonstandard English. When your grandmother refers to Christmastide, she's speaking nonstandard. Every ruffian, brigand, snollygoster, or cad thou floutest now has the grammatical upper hand as your superannuated dialectal obloquys are now rendered grammatically incorrect.

Typically people counter that with a deference to older forms. Well, by that metric, RP is famously new. Virtually every non rhotic English speaker needs to develop some Rs. And not retroflex, either. Trilled. Indeed, we need to basically revert to Frisian or extreme dialectal forms of English that retain our old pronouns. Obviously that's ridiculous, but let's look at a real life example.

So what do we say to the man speaking Black Country English, who's retained older be forms and use thou, but use "her" to mean she? They have resisted the addition of the engma, but also are non-rhotic, in line with RP? Is he speaking incorrectly when he asks you how thou beest? I would bet that most of you don't like it when someone says "oh I be at work" but in Black Country English, that's how people say it, and the young people are speaking much more closely to the standard.

So we can't err on the side of things being old and we can't really err on the side of things being spoken by the majority, either, since that means that old people are now speaking incorrectly.

That's because what you guys call standard English and what linguists call standard English are very different things.

To you guys, standard, or "correct" English isn't what's most widely accepted or understood, but what's the prestige dialect.

As long as the most educated and fanciest people to whom we look up the most speak in a certain way, that's what we're going to consider correct. Before you go back and fall back on "no it's about subtleties and understanding the language!" It isn't.

Consider the following from kavik's post.

"I didn't eat yet"

"I haven't eaten yet."

These sentences give you the exact same information. You know that the speaker hasn't eaten yet, and there's no confusion here. Let's take another present perfect example, still widely regarded as correct.

"I am come."

Now that **** is confusing as ****. If we cared about understanding the language, we might celebrate such clarity as doubling down on past things and the elimination of relatively minor forms of the perfect aspect, but we don't. We enjoy that obscure but still correct usage and praise it as command of the language, though it's creating confusion.

So perhaps we don't value clarity, but the added ability to express oneself. No. We don't. See the fact that people consider the copula "be" as is often used in African American Vernacular English to be deleterious to the use of the language, even though it's an incredibly useful thing to have that causes no confusion among those who understand it.

For example, I used to run the observatory at my university with my astronomy club, and a student asked a Professor "how late does the telescope be open" and the Professor answered "all night." Well that night, it was open all night since we were going to see a triple shadow transit on Jupiter. But the student was asking "how late does the observatory typically stay open, on the regular, so to speak?" and the professor didn't understand it. I told him "usually we're here until midnight," and he got it. Sometimes it do be like that.

The idea is, when a strong AAVE speaker says "be" in a traditionally grammatically incorrect manner, he's talking about the routine. I be working means I have a job and I habitually and regularly do it. I be writing about English on forums means that you can regularly find me talking about this stuff online, not that I happen to be online right now talking about it.

How many of us would decry that usage as ungrammatical simply because we don't understand it or because it's not traditionally associated with education or being rich? Most of us, probably.

So anyway, to reiterate something kavik wanted to get rid of in his initial post but I'm going to type here anyway,

There is no incorrect grammar in English. What we perceive to be correct is based on social prestige, and varies with time. No objective measure of antiquity, robustness, popularity, nor clarity can return anything resembling correct English.

I apologize kavik for going largely off topic on your thread about a specific, real phenomenon, which is increasing in frequency in the United States, but the rest of the thread has veered off topic so we're going that.
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 July 2020, 04:36:46 by funkmon »

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 399
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 04:31:08 »
Tangentially off-topic, but this might be a place to add something else that must drive non-native English speakers absolutely bonkers: order of adjectives.

For those of us native speakers, it flows off the tongue effortlessly, and grinds in the ears horrifically when misused:

- Order
- Relating to
- examples

1
opinion
unusual, lovely, beautiful

2
size
big, small, tall

3
physical quality
thin, rough, untidy

4
shape
round, square, rectangular

5
age
young, old, youthful

6
color
blue, red, pink

7
origin
Dutch, Japanese, Turkish

8
material
metal, wood, plastic

9
type
general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped

10
purpose
cleaning, hammering, cooking

fohat, you might be aware this is still being researched and it's unclear, but that it also doesn't strictly follow what we do in English, as it's genuinely not cut and dry.

e.g. Big Bad Wolf versus Bad Big Wolf, old square box versus square old box, Old Dirty Bastard versus Dirty Old Bastard, et cetera

I would also wager that, as a result, new speakers aren't aware of this rule. Since it's completely understandable, although cringe-inducing, there's not a huge pressure for them to comply, and do so in their own time.

On the other hand, adjective order is actually an English rule, although it's a bit wibbly wobbly (this ablaut reduplication in wibbly wobbly may actually explain big bad wolf, but I digress), unlike everything else mentioned in the threads, being either a guidance for a specific style, or indeed being personal preference.
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 July 2020, 04:37:46 by funkmon »

Offline iri

  • Posts: 940
  • Location: 'Great' Britain
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 10:25:22 »
So is that a rule or not? I am confused
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 10:50:36 »
Like most rules, they are often ignored or broken.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline Shapey Fiend

  • Posts: 136
  • Location: Ireland
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 11:23:55 »
You hear all sorts of weird constructions and regional variations in Hiberno English. If you're from Dublin you might hear "I do be going to the shop" to say "yes I went to the shop". More generally you might hear "Yes it's the shop I was going to" because in Irish the noun came before the verb so we had a tendancy to switch them around.

I would guess that there's a perception that past participles sound formal and many people are terrified of anything formal in case you seem like a snob. It's twenty years since I studied French but I think they've got a past tense that's really only used in formal writing.

Being informal is a power move now which is why millionaires wear tracksuits. If you don't have to impress anybody why present yourself well?

I think of language as an oral thing so I can appreciate someone with colloquial constructions, incorrect grammar and a thick accent that delivers a good speech. I love listening to regional rap with all it's different accents and strange turns of phrase and grammatical variances. That's getting driven out of the genre as people zero in on a sound that's broad with universal themes and vocabulary that connects with the most people possible.

I try to expose my 5 year old to as much language as humanly possible. He listens to audiobooks every time he's in the car (I've stacks and stacks of CD's here). Unabridged Gullivers Travels, The Jungle Book or Oscar Wilde aren't a problem to him because I've built up his tolerance over a period of years. We've gotten through simplified versions of Shakespeare and Greek myths and he was really into it. Mind you I did try and read him Treasure Island the other night and we had to give up because I was finding it hard going to read the damn thing myself after a long day at work. This combined with the fact we live with my parents who are over 70 means he now talks in a much more florid manner than most people I know.

« Last Edit: Wed, 22 July 2020, 11:30:04 by Shapey Fiend »

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 399
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 11:58:50 »
So is that a rule or not? I am confused

It is a linguistic rule, yes. But it's not a prescribed one, like to not end a sentence with a preposition. It's also not cut and dry.

Basically, in any language, we do what sounds good, and that list basically sounds good. That's what makes it a rule.

So in your example about the car, I agree with you. I think it sounds better how you like it and it's not incorrect.

Generally speaking, the adjective order follows as fohat laid out, but not always, and it isn't something you learn, per se. You vibe it out, like most aspects of language.

Quote
Like most rules, they are often ignored or broken.

It's not that kind of rule. Linguistic rules are discovered in an almost scientific fashion. The adjective order rule was discovered a few decades ago and then has been refined over time as we have listened to more people talk. All it does is describe tendencies in English, and the tendencies of what native speakers consider to be wrong, or ungrammatical, or awkward. It can't really be ignored, it's in us all the time, and it can't really be broken, because that just means the rule as described is incomplete.

"Big Bad Wolf" predates the discovery of the rule and can't break it, of course. The hypothesis behind this is something called ablautive reduplication. This is another linguistic rule where we like words that are repeated, with only a change in the vowel, from i to a or to o. Ablaut refers to the tendency of Indo-European languages to change the vowel in a root word depending on how it's being used, like the examples given of sing, sang, and sung as infinitive, preterite, and participle. Well, when we say tick-tock or wibbly-wobbly, or chit-chat, that's us changing the vowel in a root and repeating it. The vowel change is ablaut, and the repeating of a word is reduplication. Reduplication without ablaut would be something like "mama" or "bye bye." So, if we say something like tock-tick, that's jarring. If we say Bad Big Wolf, that's also jarring. We don't like how that sounds, so we do what sounds good.

Hence, the adjective rule is simply superseded by another rule, the much much more ingrained tendency to prefer ablautive reduplication, hence the Big Bad Wolf.

Both of those rules break down to "what sounds good?" and we prefer the sound of Big Bad Wolf, as a rule.

Quote
You hear all sorts of weird constructions and regional variations in Hiberno English. If you're from Dublin you might hear "I do be going to the shop"

Oh man that kills me. I've got to look into that more! That's terrible. Haha. I love it!
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 July 2020, 20:33:50 by funkmon »

Offline Shapey Fiend

  • Posts: 136
  • Location: Ireland
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 16:59:50 »
The wiki has a good breakdown in the grammar section. I got my wires crossed a little there "do be" isn't used on my side of the country but the 'recent past tense' is definitely still used by tons of people. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-English

Offline Kavik

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 791
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 18:51:36 »
A side benefit of understanding the rules of English, using proper grammar, and expanding my vocabulary is that I'm better able to organize my thoughts in a nuanced way.

Quote
Also, I find that a person's parents have a huge influence on their English.

Well keep working on it. :P.

This actually shows something that you guys don't seem to get, not even you, kavik. Macclack just wrote something that, by all definitions of "correct" English, is wildly incorrect. I mean, blatantly so. Literally 101, second week of English class wrong, and nobody cares, nor has anybody truly cared for over 500 years, but the truly pedantic among us find it irritating. That's right, he used the wrong pronoun.

That's, grammatically, as bad as calling your father a she. He used "they" to refer to a singular person. How dare he do such a thing.

Of course, Chaucer also does it in the Canterbury Tales, and so does Shakespeare, but that's not important right now.


I think you underestimate me  ;D, but the goal of this wasn't to correct responses to the post. The "singular they" bothers me immensely because it makes no sense and also actually does interfere with clarity. For example, I once edited the entire article on Wikipedia on "Going Dutch" because it used they and their to refer to each person paying for his own food. In this context, it actually muddied the meaning of the article because the whole point was to contrast the individual with the group. Of course, a few minutes after submitting my changes, I saw that someone had reverted them all back. In my own speech, I always use the "generic he" unless I am obviously talking about women or a true 50/50 split, such as spouses, in which case I say, "he or she" because it would just be awkward to refer to everyone's spouse as "he" or "him".

The main issue I have with it is that people use it even when referring to a masculine or feminine noun, like a meme that says something like, "When your boyfriend doesn't know what they did wrong." Or when someone is talking about a specific person that he himself (see what I did there?) interacted with in the story but feels the unnecessary compulsion to anonymize the person's sex. I can see its utility when keeping someone's identity a secret as when a government official talks about a spy or something.

But it's not even worth bringing up most of the time nowadays because a lot of people aren't familiar with this grammatical concept and think that one is being transphobic when discussing it, even though that's a different use of singular they entirely.

It would be better since it's neuter and singular, but, for some reason, we can only use that to refer to inanimate objects or sometimes animals.

Thanks for writing this right at the start. Avoids the usual passive aggressive replies.

Consider the following from kavik's post.

"I didn't eat yet"

"I haven't eaten yet."

These sentences give you the exact same information. You know that the speaker hasn't eaten yet, and there's no confusion here. Let's take another present perfect example, still widely regarded as correct.

"I am come."

Now that **** is confusing as ****. If we cared about understanding the language, we might celebrate such clarity as doubling down on past things and the elimination of relatively minor forms of the perfect aspect, but we don't. We enjoy that obscure but still correct usage and praise it as command of the language, though it's creating confusion.


"I didn't eat yet" - Yes, I understand what it means; it's just a funny observation because it doesn't make any logical sense (in English). My theory is that speakers started this trend by saying something completely in the past and then tacking on ".... yet" when realizing that the action may still be expected of them. I often compare things to German since it's the other language I'm most familiar with; German has basically completely converted to using the present perfect for all past action in speech (the opposite of what English seems to be doing) without losing too much in meaning; although, German probably has to throw in more adverbs to convey a meaning that English can just modify the tense to convey (adverbs are the hardest part of German for me because they don't translate very well).

Another observation relating to these tenses is their use with before and after. I've only seen this mentioned on websites for teaching English as a foreign language, and only after I specifically searched for it. The before clause uses the past tense while the accompanying independent clause uses the past perfect. The after clause uses the past perfect tense while the accompanying independent clause uses the past tense. I don't know of many people who actually do this because even I have to think about it sometimes. Most just use the past for both since the conjunctions already denote which thing happened first. Examples: Before I arrived, my grandmother had prepared dinner. After I had left, she cleaned the table.

To your point about "I am come": I think this and "He is risen" are still around only in the context of The Bible. This is another thing German still keeps around. I agree that switching between to be and to have for the auxiliary verb of a perfect tense doesn't do much to convey meaning. That said, when I was a young geek, I did begin writing a book that advocated for the return of archaic Modern English to include this construction as well as ye as the nominative plural second person and thou as the nominative singular second person and also mine and thine before words beginning with vowel sounds. It really is annoying that, even though you is both singular and plural, no one actually understands the difference in any context, which is why "you all" is necessary. English could also use a different pronoun for inclusive and exclusive first person plural.

I didn't quote it, but I have also considered your point of "how far do we go back if age is the determining factor of 'correctness'?" Following that trail, we'd have to go back at least to proto-indo-european; although some consider Latin or Greek perfect. Every language, especially English, is a modern corruption of one or multiple languages before it. Even modern English has changed a lot since its inception circa 1500; even early American documents have odd spellings from before things were standardized. I don't think that means we can't have some sort of standardization, some point in time that we can refer back to. What's different now is that in addition to the printing press, we now have the Internet. More things are published, and more people are literate now than ever, so I think the preservation of language or the need thereof may be different now in order to preserve information, but maybe not. I listen to a podcast called Apocrypals in which the hosts often discuss translations of certain words or phrases in The Bible and that some things are ambiguous or some words' meanings are completely lost to history which explains some of the differences in interpretations.

I can't really know this since I don't live in a non-English speaking country, but English (at least in America) does seem to have less tolerance of dialects than other languages, which I don't think is fair. I'm not sure what the balance between "standard" and "dialect" is to preserve clear communication though. From what I have read regarding European languages, many younger people are speaking more standard versions of their languages, and many dialects are near extinction, especially in already small languages, supposedly because of exposure to the Internet, which necessitates a broader understanding. Europeans seem to understand better the line between their dialect and the standard language and can "code switch" as needed. American English speakers don't seem to possess this, which may explain the educated vs. uneducated line of thinking. This is completely my own thought and based only on comments I've read online, so take it for what it's worth.


If I really had a hill to die on, it would be the subjunctive mood in English (Hey, I just used it!), and I'm not just talking about was vs. were. It's almost dead, but that would be several more paragraphs that I don't feel like writing because it's so nuanced and because no one but me cares.
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 22 July 2020, 19:36:28 »
The singular "they" has become entirely acceptable as a non-specific sexual pronoun in preference to the decidedly neuter "it" ....

And, as far as animals go, it is so often the case that you don't know the gender from a distance (or even up close) so that "it" makes sense in that case.

Otherwise, the general "he" is the way I learned to properly refer to the non-specific member of the population. Or, as I always joked when my kids were small, "Do you think that a man-eating shark would eat a woman?"


And, last, I don't see that a preposition is such a bad thing to end a sentence with. 
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline iri

  • Posts: 940
  • Location: 'Great' Britain
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 04:47:01 »
Kavik, gotta thank you for an actually interesting topic on GH.
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 08:53:38 »

The "singular they" bothers me immensely because it makes no sense and also actually does interfere with clarity.

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

If I really had a hill to die on, it would be the subjunctive mood in English.
It's almost dead


The singular they is quite problematic to the ear but it has really taken root in today's usage. Both of my (college-age) kids have various friends who are "sexually non-binary" and resent either/both words "he" or "she" and also it seems that there are no realistic alternatives to the singular "they" - definitely "it" will not fully suffice. There is really no way out short of coining (or adapting (or adopting?)) some other word.

I have never studied how this manifests in Romance languages and others that assign arbitrary gender to things like furniture or rocks, but it must be doubly convoluted there.

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

That would/will be a sad loss, because it is a subtle means of communicating richness and nuance that can't really be created any other way.
« Last Edit: Thu, 23 July 2020, 09:52:03 by fohat.digs »
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline macclack

  • Posts: 435
  • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Macclack
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 09:58:02 »
The singular they is quite problematic to the ear but it has really taken root in today's usage.

Yes, the singular they is much more accepted nowadays and is completely fine IMO. I switched to the singular they after listening to a linguist on NPR talk about it a few years ago. It was becoming the preferred gender-neutral pronoun for people who don’t identify as male or female, and was becoming more accepted by linguists. When I hear the generic he it sounds very strange and old fashioned to my ears.

Offline macclack

  • Posts: 435
  • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Macclack
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 09:59:46 »
Kavik, gotta thank you for an actually interesting topic on GH.

ˆI agree!

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 10:32:33 »

When I hear the generic he it sounds very strange and old fashioned to my ears.


Obviously you are much younger than I am. To my ears, the generic "he" sounds proper and other constructs don't.

But that is just me. It makes me almost jump out of my skin when I hear an actress referred to as an actor. And the word "golf" is absolutely not a verb.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline suicidal_orange

  • * Global Moderator
  • Posts: 4135
  • Location: England
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 15:28:22 »
When I hear the generic he it sounds very strange and old fashioned to my ears.
Obviously you are much younger than I am. To my ears, the generic "he" sounds proper and other constructs don't.

I'm with fohat even though he has many years on me too - "he" is the shortest option so if unknown that's the one to go for.

In my simple world if you know someone who's non binary then you don't need a generic term you can just (re-)use their name, it can be clunky but is far clearer than a random "they" in the middle of a sentence.  If you don't know the person you probably shouldn't be talking about them in the first place...


It makes me almost jump out of my skin when I hear an actress referred to as an actor.

Was this done to save money come awards night - no need for best actor and actress awards when one will do?


Perhaps an even worse example is chairman/woman - the most important person in the meeting is now an inanimate object :confused:
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 15:49:32 »

you can just (re-)use their name, it can be clunky but is far clearer

the most important person in the meeting is now an inanimate object


Apparently, until a few hundred years ago the pronouns were seldom used, you did refer to proper names most of the time, and that was also in the "thou" and "ye" days.

The "chair" does make some sense since you (you Brits, that is) sometimes refer to "the crown" presumably as the thing rather than the person.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline macclack

  • Posts: 435
  • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Macclack
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 23 July 2020, 15:53:41 »

When I hear the generic he it sounds very strange and old fashioned to my ears.


Obviously you are much younger than I am. To my ears, the generic "he" sounds proper and other constructs don't.

But that is just me. It makes me almost jump out of my skin when I hear an actress referred to as an actor. And the word "golf" is absolutely not a verb.

Probably not *much* younger. I’m not very young 

Offline suicidal_orange

  • * Global Moderator
  • Posts: 4135
  • Location: England
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 24 July 2020, 10:31:57 »
The "chair" does make some sense since you (you Brits, that is) sometimes refer to "the crown" presumably as the thing rather than the person.

"The Crown" can be a general term for the Royal Family or an institution that represents them (e.g. the Crown Court where serious crimes are tried), a crown is a jewel encrusted golden thing rarely worn on a Royal's head.  If one member of the Royal Family is attending an event it would be advertised and spoken of as "Prince/Princess [name]" or "The King/Queen", "the Crown" has never been used for an individual to the best of my knowledge.
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod

Offline iri

  • Posts: 940
  • Location: 'Great' Britain
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #41 on: Fri, 24 July 2020, 12:25:56 »
British immigration laws use "he" as the default pronoun by the way.
(...)Whereas back then I wrote about the tyranny of the majority, today I'd combine that with the tyranny of the minorities. These days, you have to be careful of both. They both want to control you. The first group, by making you do the same thing over and over again. The second group is indicated by the letters I get from the Vassar girls who want me to put more women's lib in The Martian Chronicles, or from blacks who want more black people in Dandelion Wine.
I say to both bunches, Whether you're a majority or minority, bug off! To hell with anybody who wants to tell me what to write. Their society breaks down into subsections of minorities who then, in effect, burn books by banning them. All this political correctness that's rampant on campuses is b.s.

-Ray Bradbury

Offline funkmon

  • Posts: 399
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #42 on: Fri, 24 July 2020, 19:06:19 »
The "chair" does make some sense since you (you Brits, that is) sometimes refer to "the crown" presumably as the thing rather than the person.

"The Crown" can be a general term for the Royal Family or an institution that represents them (e.g. the Crown Court where serious crimes are tried), a crown is a jewel encrusted golden thing rarely worn on a Royal's head.  If one member of the Royal Family is attending an event it would be advertised and spoken of as "Prince/Princess [name]" or "The King/Queen", "the Crown" has never been used for an individual to the best of my knowledge.

The singular they is quite problematic to the ear but it has really taken root in today's usage.

Yes, the singular they is much more accepted nowadays and is completely fine IMO. I switched to the singular they after listening to a linguist on NPR talk about it a few years ago. It was becoming the preferred gender-neutral pronoun for people who don’t identify as male or female, and was becoming more accepted by linguists. When I hear the generic he it sounds very strange and old fashioned to my ears.

Guys. The singular they has been in common use for literally 700 years. There's nothing new about it, and there's no great trend of acceptability, except for a blip in the past hundred years where it slightly declined in formal writing.

Offline Kavik

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 791
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 29 July 2020, 21:23:05 »
Kavik, gotta thank you for an actually interesting topic on GH.

ˆI agree!

Thanks, guys. I am actually surprised I got more than one or two responses.

The "chair" does make some sense since you (you Brits, that is) sometimes refer to "the crown" presumably as the thing rather than the person.

"The Crown" can be a general term for the Royal Family or an institution that represents them (e.g. the Crown Court where serious crimes are tried), a crown is a jewel encrusted golden thing rarely worn on a Royal's head.  If one member of the Royal Family is attending an event it would be advertised and spoken of as "Prince/Princess [name]" or "The King/Queen", "the Crown" has never been used for an individual to the best of my knowledge.

The singular they is quite problematic to the ear but it has really taken root in today's usage.

Yes, the singular they is much more accepted nowadays and is completely fine IMO. I switched to the singular they after listening to a linguist on NPR talk about it a few years ago. It was becoming the preferred gender-neutral pronoun for people who don’t identify as male or female, and was becoming more accepted by linguists. When I hear the generic he it sounds very strange and old fashioned to my ears.

Guys. The singular they has been in common use for literally 700 years. There's nothing new about it, and there's no great trend of acceptability, except for a blip in the past hundred years where it slightly declined in formal writing.

You are correct. Also, fortuitously, Dr. Crawford posted a video about this just today. Not a ton of info, but some insight into it:
Maybe they're waiting for gasmasks and latex to get sexy again.

The world has become a weird place.

Offline fohat.digs

  • * Elevated Elder
  • Posts: 5998
  • Location: 35°55'N, 83°53'W
  • weird funny old guy
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #44 on: Thu, 30 July 2020, 07:56:12 »

I am actually surprised I got more than one or two responses.


If you had restricted the conversation to the specific topic, you would not have gotten all these tangential responses.
The problem is deeper than reporters asking tough questions of both sides, but the view of politics these questions reflect. Simply put, this view is the one that Trump rode to victory on and built his cult with.
Democrats and progressives want politics to be about policies that will help Americans and solve problems; Trumpists want to make politics about lies, insults, personalities and tribal warfare, so that the American people continue to believe that politics is just a sideshow that has nothing to do with their lives.
Journalists should hold politicians accountable on both sides of the aisle, but they should do so in substantive ways, not by asking irrelevant questions that look more like gotcha oppo research than substantive questions about policy. At a deeper level, the choices that journalists and media companies make right now will have an important impact on whether we as a nation are able to rise from the destruction of January 6th to revitalize our democracy, or to slide helplessly into fascism.
– “Arizona Blues” 2021

Offline suicidal_orange

  • * Global Moderator
  • Posts: 4135
  • Location: England
Re: Are Irregular Verbs' Past Participles Dying Out In English?
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 11 August 2020, 11:55:58 »

I am actually surprised I got more than one or two responses.


If you had restricted the conversation to the specific topic, you would not have gotten all these tangential responses.

I have to be honest - even as a native English speaker who bemoans the poor standard of the writing of 'the youth of today' I have no idea what half the terms in the OP mean so I couldn't respond until there was a tangent :-[
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
GMK Hyperfuse
'Split everything' perfection  
MX Clear
SA Hack'd by Geeks     
EasyAVR mod