CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2005-07 > 1121808259
Subject: Re: [CHS] spelling!
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 17:24:19 -0400
References: <200507191858.j6JIwqf19258@proteus.obantec.net> <006801c58ca7$44af1880$974d4354@OWNERRCT1IQJLW>
I'm an American, but I don't speak English. I speak Texan. Nothing
like it in the world.
Katy, Texas USA
From: Sue Wallworth <>
Sent: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 22:17:28 +0100
Subject: Re: [CHS] spelling!
Didn't we the English invent the language it Bob,?
what the Americans did with it was their affair.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Rodney Hall" <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 7:58 PM
Subject: RE: [CHS] spelling!
> Perhaps we should stop saying "British English" and "American
> say "English" and "American English".
> Where did the language originate? Apart from the roots in Latin and >
> the language IS English, after all, and the others are variants.
> Rodney HALL
> Heywood, Lancashire
> Suaviter sed fortiter
> Agreeably but powerfully
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Graham Pointon [mailto:]
>> Sent: 19 July 2005 12:24
>> To: J Olsen
>> Subject: RE: [CHS] spelling!
>> Judy -
>> I take it that you, like me, are a linguist. I have to take
>> issue with you about "correct" spelling: the social conditions of
>> present day demand that for someone to be considered literate
>> and well educated, he or she must spell in the conventional way.
>> Unconventional spelling is stigmatized. That is the
>> justification for plugging away at it.
>> I also take issue with your example sentences. The Oxford
>> Advanced Learner's Dictionary, latest edition (the seventh),
>> between "a number of ..." and "the number of ..." When the
>> article is the indefinite one, the verb should be plural, but when
>> article is definite, the verb is singular. The same point is
>> made in my book "Word for Word", published by OUP in 2003 (page
>> and presumably in other teaching manuals. Your example
>> sentence is therefore grammatically incorrect, and examiners
>> or others who
>> treat it as such would be right in doing so. The OALD also
>> points out that "staff" in the sense in which you are using it in
>> other example sentence takes a plural verb in British
>> English, and a singular one in American English. In British
>> English, the
>> safest rule with collective nouns is simply to say that
>> either singular or plural is acceptable, BUT that once the
>> number has been
>> chosen, it should be maintained for the rest of the statement
>> (i.e. to say "the Government are ..." is alright - or all right -
>> to follow in the next clause or sentence with "it ..." would
>> be inadvisable). Perhaps at some date in the future the dictionaries
>> will record otherwise, but in teaching foreigners, and in
>> advising native speakers, some rules must be formulated, and for the
>> present this is the position.
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