Slavish assimilation of foreign linguistic errors.

O

Oscurito

I wouldn't begrudge Bob Dylan his Nobel Prize but I do hold him to a large degree responsible for one of the most common grammatical errors in English today. In his song "Lay, lady, lay", he never specifies precisely what the woman in question is supposed to "lay across" his "big brass bed".

Of course, Dylan was under the common American misapprehension that the verb "to lay" means the same as "to lie" (as in lie down). It doesn't: it means "to put something down". Lay is a transitive verb; it requires a direct object. Like bring, buy and give, you have to say what you're putting down. However, the more you hear something, the more it sounds right so - thanks to Mr Zimmerman - I hear more and more Irish people saying things like, "I'm going to lay down for a while" when they mean, "I'm going to lie down for a while".

Annoying though that might be, it's not near as teeth-gratingly awful as the "I was sat/stood" pestilence that I'm hearing more and more of these days. It seems to have originated in the north of England so I'm wondering if Coronation Street is a major source of infection.

If you were occupying a seat on a bus last night then you "were sitting on the bus". You were not "sat" on the bus - unless, of course, you're a toddler or someone with a disability who requires someone else to physically sit/place them on the seat.

Likewise, if you were on a street keeping yourself in an upright position then you were "standing on a street": you were not "stood" - unless someone or something physically placed you there.

Where to next? Will we be using the intervocalic 'r' beloved of southern English speakers leaving us bemoaning the "lawr and order" situation while we recall the days of the "Obamar administration"? Will we cease pronounce the first letter in hat, have and here?

With the latter point, perhaps not. Pronouncing the 8th letter of the letter is - allegedly - a marker of sectarian origins in these islands. If you pronounce it as "haitch", you're more likely to be of an Irish-Catholic background while all others pronounce it as "aitch".

If true, then it's one linguistic variant that we're exporting rather than importing. The "haitch" is on the rise in both the UK and Australia - perhaps driven by teachers, quite correctly, insisting that their students don't pronounce words like "happen" and "hell" as "appen" and "ell".

Personally, I'm a confirmed haitcher - mainly because I think it's proper that how we pronounce the name of a letter should logically give some nod towards how the letter is actually used in words. Also, I do think that pronouncing it as "aitch" is to a large degree responsible for many British and Australians leaving out the initial "H" in words. On this particar issue 'owever, I'm not an 'ardliner.

'Haitch' or 'aitch'? How do you pronounce 'H'? - BBC News

The H wars: Aitch or haitch? - Books and Arts - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
 


NYCKY

Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
13,436
I never, like thought that the word like, would become like, the most popular word in like the English language.
 

stopdoingstuff

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
22,400
Another thing is the "Stay with your man a while" line. Everyone knows that this means "stay until Match of the Day is on, but then roll me a massive joint and don't speak too much". Dylan's elision is sloppy.
 

Truth.ie

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
27,354
Many's a sleepless night I spent toiling over Carly Simon's hit, "You're so vain. You probably think this song is about you...."
Even a cursory glance at the lyrics clearly shows that the song is indeed about the said person in question.
The b#tch!
 
O

Oscurito

I never, like thought that the word like, would become like, the most popular word in like the English language.
Circa 1998 - Dublin City Centre:

Tourist to moi: Is this like...O'Connell Street?

Moi to tourist: Yes, it is! Actually, it is O'Connell Street - hence the resemblance.
 

The Field Marshal

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
43,645
Obscurito=another idiotic corruption of a common verb.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
39,552
One of the things which doesn't help is the manner in which some UK newspapers Americanise much of their output in order to garner traffic in the US.

Here's an example from the Mail:

United Airlines flight 1892 had just arrived around 1.15pm in Houston, Texas, from New Orleans when a woman is said to have gotten out of her seat, walked to the exit and pulled the hatch on the door open.
emphasis mine.
 

Cellachán Chaisil

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
9,841
Oh no, linguistic change.

That, like, never happens.
 

Kevin Parlon

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
11,742
Twitter
Deiscirt
In Australia, it is not uncommon to hear people pronounce pronunciation pronounce-ee-ayshen. Which a certain Ms. Morrisette probably wouldn't have called ironic as she clearly doesn't understand the word's meaning.

Also, Police have their own special way of speaking to the press. Instead of saying "The suspect broke into an adjoining property and assaulted the owner" they'll say "The suspect has broken into an adjoining property and has assaulted the owner." Does anyone know the correct term for this abomination?
 

Hunter-Gatherer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
1,494
if i order a Salmon panini and an almond croissant in my local coffee shop....i must pronounce the silent L or be stared at blankly
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top