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Old 2013-03-10, 10:44   #1
jasong
 
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Default Grammar rule-breaking ftw

In the "Things that make you go hmmmm" thread, there was an off-topic started where someone pointed out that sometimes breaking grammar rules can aid in understanding.

So my question is,"Who's your favorite grammar rule-breaker, and where can we find their stuff?"

My favorite rule-breaker is Stephen King. He's a famous grammar rule-breaker, so simply look for him at your favorite book store or library. He likes to express things like losing your sanity, or the thoughts of someone who has been just hit in the head with broken sentences and lots of tiny paragraphs, among other things.
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Old 2013-03-10, 17:09   #2
ET_
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Richard Feynmann, Kary Mullins, Steve Jobs, Silvio Berlusconi...

Luigi
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Old 2013-03-11, 03:59   #3
LaurV
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Hehe, right, I can give you a long list of my politicians too, but their name would not mean anything for you. I think the phenomenon is quite common in all parliaments.

Some of those idiots I am talking about wanted in the past to pass a law to change the grammar to match their speaking (no joke!).

After the communism went down, it was common to try to get rid of all the things introduced by the communists, or by the Russian/Slavic influence, and to come back to the language spoken before 1940, or to show the "Latin roots" of our language. Some of the "new politicians" (most of them former communists, which were now starting to spit on the communist doctrine, but ready to embrace it again if one could turn the time!) went close to ridicule and behind, in this quest.

One of the most known examples is "writing with â" instead of "î". The wiki article is a bit misleading, of course it was written after '93. Historically, "â" glyph was kept into the language just to write "România" and all the words derived from the same root, otherwise it made no sense to have two letters for the same sound. (in Romanian, one letter produce always the same sound, and there should not be two letter producing identical sounds, theoretically). The right sound produced by î/â is non-existent in English, something like the Americans pronounce the "oo" in "good", but try to keep your mouth open (the same sound like Russian ы). The idea was that when spelled as "Romînia", the people would pronounce "rou mee nee ya", which was contrary of the official intention. Not only foreigners, but also locals, because "a" without hat is always pronounced as in english "car" and "i" without hat as in English "bit". The official (good) intention was to make a connection between the name of the country and the Romans. Now, some idiots perceived this "î" as a "communist" thing (indeed it comes from Russian), and they voted a law to write (almost) everything else with "â", to show "Latin roots" of the language. This gave birth to a lot of funny and ridiculous situations. Personally, I understand that I should write "cântec" instead of "cîntec" as the word come from Latin "canta" (song, to sing, from which English has "enchanted" and other). But to write "râu" instead of "rîu" is totally absurd, because the word comes from Latin "rivus" (river).

This was just an "academic" example which I could produce now, but some of those idiots really tried to re-invent the grammar to fit their way of speaking (I could give examples, but they would mean nothing for you).

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2013-03-11 at 04:04
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Old 2013-03-11, 04:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (attributed to M.Twain)
For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet.

The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later.

Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.

Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants.

Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.

Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
See also.
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Old 2013-03-11, 04:38   #5
Batalov
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
So my question is,"Who's your favorite grammar rule-breaker, and where can we find their stuff?"
Why, I.Welsh with his "Trainspotting" (not to be confused with the movie).
"Clockwork Orange" (the novel, of course) is good, but not that Welsh-good!
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.Welsh
Once ye accept that they huv that right, ye’ll join them in the search fir this holy grail, this thing that makes ye tick. Ye’ll then defer tae them, allowin yersel tae be conned intae believin any biscuit-ersed theory ay behaviour they choose tae attach tae ye. Then yir theirs, no yir ain; the dependency shifts from the drug to them.

Society invents a spurious convoluted logic tae absorb and change people whae’s behaviour is outside its mainstream. Suppose that ah ken aw the pros and cons, know that ah’m gaunnae huv a short life, am ay sound mind etcetera, etcetera, but still want tae use smack? They won’t let ye dae it. They won’t let ye dae it, because it’s seen as a failure ay thir am failure. The fact that ye jist simply choose tae reject whit they huv tae offer. Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f--kin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total f--kin embarassment tae the selfish, f--ked-up brats ye’ve produced. Choose life.

Well, ah choose no tae choose life.
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Old 2013-03-16, 22:25   #6
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Absolutely, the best examples are those where an author is a consummate performer with language and bends the rules deliberately to create an enhanced effect, just as some artists distort perspective to direct attention, and some composers break the rules of music to create their own sound.

Emil Artin said that mathematics is an art, so we should be able to do the same thing there, too!
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Old 2013-03-17, 18:51   #7
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batalov View Post
Why, I.Welsh with his "Trainspotting" (not to be confused with the movie).
Thanks for the book recommendation, Serge - I'd put Trainspotting on my mental book wish list years ago, but forgotten it - ordered that and the sequel yesterday (both hardcover, as it was only a few $ more expensive than ppk and e-book.)
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Old 2013-03-17, 19:49   #8
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My head only hurt for the first dozen pages (the first chapter is written from Renton's POV and he speaks with Scottish accent*), then amazingly you just stop noticing it! It is interesting that all multisyllable words are not stylized, only short ones. Also, in the movie, Ewan McG softened this accent significantly (maybe the director or the studio requested that. After all, he is talking most of the time and the moviegoing crowds could have just walked out after 10 minutes), but Begbie's and Spud's accent sort of stands in for that.

______________
*as far as my ear serves me, totally real one. I've once been to Glasgow+Edinborough for a week.
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Old 2013-03-17, 20:10   #9
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The book is more extreme than the film, but some short chapters are gems ("Eating out", for example, is perfectly executed).

I found the sequel somewhat less convincing, but it still had its moments.
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Old 2013-03-18, 00:48   #10
chalsall
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Have any of you read any of William S. Burroughs?

Now there's a man who could paint pictures with words!

Dark pictures, admittedly.

“There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing... I am a recording instrument... I do not presume to impose “story” “plot” “continuity”... Insofar as I succeed in Direct recording of certain areas of psychic process I may have limited function... I am not an entertainer...” - W.S.B.
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Old 2013-03-18, 02:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
Have any of you read any of William S. Burroughs?
No.
But if it's relevant:
A Clockwork Orange

D
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