Oddities of the English language?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Howardh, 8 Jan 2020.

  1. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    A colleague was on the way to a conference at Leeds University, and asked the bus driver at the station "do you go to the University"? "No, I drive a bus".
     
  2. Marton

    Marton Member

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  3. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    One of the things I dislike is the superfluous, incorrect or strange usage of words like "to", "up", "off", etc.
    e.g.
    "The train now arriving to Platform 14". (It may be going to somewhere, but it is arriving at that platform.)

    "Moneybags United suffered a defeat to Crewe Alexandra" (Should be by Crewe Alexandra)

    "The organisation is headed up by Mr. X" ("up" is superfluous / unnecessary)

    (Traffic news on radio) "Starting off/on the motorways" (off/on are contradictory; starting with the motorways is more correct.)
     
  4. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    That's nearly as bad as an unnecessary space between a word and a forward slash.
     
  5. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    That’s brilliant.
     
  6. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    I always find a backward slash gets your feet unnecessarily wet. :lol:
     
  7. Strat-tastic

    Strat-tastic Member

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    It's called the BBC :p
     
  8. scotrail158713

    scotrail158713 Member

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    Do you think this may just be a shortening of “into”?
     
  9. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Agree, superfluous/unnecessary is correct, but on my monitor it can be difficult to identify the separate words if they appear too small on screen, so I often add unnecessary extra spaces.

    (And yes, I know I can make things appear larger on screen by using Windows "accessibility features", but that sometimes has adverse consequences with other software, for reasons I do not understand.)
     
  10. Abpj17

    Abpj17 Member

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    English isn't a regulated language - it evolves even around the constraints of some rules and conventions. So that one is questionable and down to personal preference - it's not an absolute right or wrong.

    And English is so capable of evolving in some cases stuff that is "correct" at the present time would have been wrong in the past, or may be wrong in the future. (Or where "right" and "wrong" varies by region, by country, by class/register etc.)
     
  11. alxndr

    alxndr Member

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    This has reminded me of the bizarre habit some people have of typing solely in capitals or adding two or three spaces between each word. Apparently it makes it easier for them to read. Yet they are the people who need to read the message the least—they wrote it! They also don't appear to give any consideration to the people who will be reading it either.
     
  12. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Doesn't CTRL+ enlarge the page on Windows? It does on Ubuntu.
     
  13. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Sometimes necessary in a context such as a forum because the software won't line-break at anything except a space, so if you want to put one/two/three/four/five/six/seven/eight/nine/ten words together* it would move the whole lot onto the next line and look a bit odd. Worse still in something like Excel where the columns are often narrower and it just breaks the word anywhere if it doesn't fit in a cell and there is no space it can use to break. Word, and presumably other word processors, allows a special character that will create a break if necessary, but most people don't bother with it.

    *that may or may not trigger a line break on your screen depending on screen resolution and text size settings.
     
  14. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Regional variations can be confusing... when I moved to Taunton, new colleagues would say "oh, you just moved here... where's yours to?" which I couldn't even begin to comprehend... the clarification ("Your 'ouse, where's it TO?") didn't help either... My house doesn't go to anywhere! It took a few days for me to work out that Somerset folk, when asking for the location of anything, will stick a confusing and unnecessary preposition on the end!
     
  15. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    “Where’s n too”? Oh yes that’s a good local one.
    He doos it (instead of “he does it”) is another.
     
  16. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Do you go 'up country' from Devon? Everywhere from Cornwall is 'up country' to the old Cornish, be it Plymouth, London or Moscow!
     
  17. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Yes everywhere is ‘up’, unless you’re going in the opposite direction - so to me Exmouth, Torquay, Plymouth, Cornwall etc are ‘down’.
    Dartmoor (slightly confusingly), Barnstaple, Tiverton etc are ‘up’.
    Locals that are confused with geography will simply say ‘going’, as in “I’m going Okehampton tomorrow to buy a dug”...
     
  18. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    As I understand it "dug" is synonymous with "udder" or "teat", are they sold separately in Okehampton?
     
  19. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    You’re right too (although I had to look it up).
    Down yere a dug what you uses to round up sheep.
     
  20. 317 forever

    317 forever Member

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    The announcement at stations This is a platform alteration.

    No it isn't. It's just an announcement. No platform has altered in any way.

    Then once a train comes we say we take the train. No we don't. The train takes us.
     
  21. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    “Fuze” for the explosive device though...
     
  22. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Both are correct (this forum's spell checker indicates "fuze" to be incorrect) although fuse is the usual spelling in the UK.
     
  23. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    This forum, or your web browser? :)
     
  24. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    It is Firefox that does it. I didn't even realise it had a spell checker. You learn something every day, thank you.
     
  25. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Drivers of two forklift trucks at my workplace drove them in such a way as to almost collide with each other. Of course, it had to be reported and investigated as a ‘near miss’. What an odd phrase... a miss is a miss. Shouldn’t it be termed a ‘near hit’ ? :D
     
  26. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Ah, this old one again. Did they hit? No, they missed. Did they miss by a lot? No, they were quite near. Hence - a near miss.
     
  27. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Or a 'Close Call'

    Or something so close you missed my a 'country mile' or was it a gap so small that you could 'fit a bus/tank through it'
     
  28. 317 forever

    317 forever Member

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    "Once you've seen 1 or 2 you've seen them all". No, unless there are genuinely no others you have only seen 1 or 2. :rolleyes:
     
  29. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    On a similar theme, Andy Roddick, on his way to winning a tennis tournament in Eastbourne, queried a line call when serving what would have been a winning ace, on the first of three match points. Approaching the umpire’s chair, the audience heard the following exchange, via the tv microphones and speaker system
    ‘Was it really out?’
    ‘Just out, Andy’
    ‘Out is out, dude!’
    much to the amusement of the crowd.
     
  30. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Went out with a near miss once :lol:
     

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