Words you think English should have or bring back.

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:17 am UTC

Lazar wrote:
Mega85 wrote:Do you mean "boughten"? I've occasionally heard people say "boughten" for the past participle of "buy". I've never heard "broughten" before.

Both. He was this guy I knew from a language forum – he was from Wisconsin, and had a lot of interesting features in his dialect.

Such forms, especially ones other than "boughten", generally primarily show up when a past participle is being used with another particle such as "out" or "up"; for instance, in informal speech I would most likely say "I have caught it" and "I have brought it" (while also sporadically using "I have caughten it" or "I have broughten it") but would normally say "I have caughten up with it" or "I have broughten it in?". I really do not know how widespread this feature is myself, even though it is definitely a natural dialect usage for at least myself (like the use of "by" to mean "at").


Oh. Interesting. I've heard "boughten" used occasionally. Never heard "caughten" or "broughten". But apparently, "boughten" is actually an historical word that's preserved, not an innovation.

I was thinking you were a referring to a guy you've met in real life. Didn't know he was from a forum.

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:36 am UTC

Another verb I've seen becoming irregular for some is "drag". I've heard people say "drug" for the past tense of "drag".

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:38 am UTC

Here's a written form that I think should have more currency: "tryna". It's become pretty common to represent the reduced forms of "want to" and "going to" as "wanna" and "gonna" when writing down speech, but the reduced form of "trying to" – which I suspect may be just as common as the other two – doesn't seem to be recognized in the same way, except in rare cases where a writer is making a very deliberate use of eye dialect. Mark Liberman from Language Log agrees:

However, I do use a contracted form of trying to that might be put into IPA as [ˈtɹɐj.nə], and seems to be represented in conventional English orthography as "tryna". This one comes up in recent song lyrics too: […] but I can testify that it's been a normal part of American English pronunciation for a long time, even though I don't recall ever having seen it written before I (just now) looked for it on line. I wonder why "gonna" and "wanna" have been standard non-standard orthography for so long, while "tryna" has lagged? Is it because the contraction is newer -- you couldn't prove that by me, I've used all of them from the cradle -- or because "tryna" is just orthographically weirder?
Exit the vampires' castle.

Aiwendil
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:53 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Aiwendil » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

I suspect it's the unusual orthography of having "y" represent a vowel in a non-final position that holds back "tryna". With its vocalic "y", "tryna" looks foreign. And the alternative, spelling it "trina", obscures the meaning too much. I agree, though, that in speech this is just about as common as "gonna" and "wanna".

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:36 am UTC

I commonly see "wanna" used for "want a". I've seen a sign at a restaurant in a food court that said "wanna side?" Just why does "want a" get written as "wanna"? It would be pronounced the same spelled "want a", unlike with "want to" which sounds different from "wanna".

I have the pin-pen merger where [ɛ] is raised to [ɪ] before nasals, however "lemme" is [lɛmi] for me. There's a discussion about it in the forum linked below

http://dev.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?f= ... 2&start=20
http://forum.unilang.org/viewtopic.php? ... start=3340

linguoboy wrote:
Levike wrote:Maybe because the /i/ interferes with /ɪ/?

Not, it's a simple case of rule ordering. The assimilation/deletion of /t/ happens after the rule which shifts /ɛ/ → [ɪ] before nasals applies.

This is similar to t/d flapping. I have a phonological rule in my speech where low vowels are centralised in diphthongs before unvoiced segments (i.e. Canadian raising in the broader sense of the term) and another that replaces /t/ and /d/ with [ɾ] in intervocalic position (intervocalic alveolar flapping). Since raising happens first, I still have different vowels in writer and rider. If the ordering were reversed, these two words would sound identical because /ai/ would come before [ɾ] in both words.

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:13 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:I commonly see "wanna" used for "want a". I've seen a sign at a restaurant in a food court that said "wanna side?" Just why does "want a" get written as "wanna"? It would be pronounced the same spelled "want a", unlike with "want to" which sounds different from "wanna".

Well, AmEng has (variable) reduction of /nt/ to [n], so for a lot of people "want a" can be homophonous with "wanna" in rapid speech. That said, I prefer not spell it as "wanna", because it's just a general process being applied: no one writes "I spenna lot of money" or "I senner a message" when the same thing happens elsewhere. On the other hand, the reduction of /ntt/ to [n] in "wanna" (="want to") is more irregular, so I think it does deserve to be shown in writing.

(I'll admit, I always do a slight double take when I see "wanna" used like in your example. "Do I wanna side? Like, a house?")
Exit the vampires' castle.

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:44 pm UTC

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/wanna?s=t

Dictionary.com actually includes "want a" as a definition for "wanna".

Derek
Posts: 2155
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Derek » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:03 pm UTC

"Want a" pronounced as "wanna" is definitely common.

I don't think I would say "tryna", though I've definitely heard it. For me it would be more like "trynta", or just "tryin' ta".

I have the pin-pen merger where [ɛ] is raised to [ɪ] before nasals, however "lemme" is [lɛmi] for me. There's a discussion about it in the forum linked below

Likewise. "Lemme" is probably not affected by the pin-pen merger due to the underlying "t", even though it's often not pronounced.

gmalivuk wrote:The oddest thing in that example headline is the intransitive use of "reduces" rather than anything about "Florida government debt".

Just saw this in the other thread. First of all, just to note, the usage of "reduces" here is not simply intransitive, but also ergative. I agree this is strange usage, but it makes me think that English should have an ergative form, or separate word, for "reduces". I can't think of any good way to say that something was reduced when there is no causative agent. In this particular example it's not a problem, you can just say "reduced" and the agent is implied to be the government. But when there's no agent? "Declines"? "Drops"? None of them seem quite right.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:02 am UTC

The ergative isn't too strange in English. Consider for instance "I started the engine and the engine started," or "I broke the window and the window broke." It's definitely not standard though.

Derek
Posts: 2155
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Derek » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:08 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:The ergative isn't too strange in English. Consider for instance "I started the engine and the engine started," or "I broke the window and the window broke." It's definitely not standard though.

I was saying that this particular use of "reduces" is strange, not ergative verbs in general. And I was elaborating on Gmalivuk's post that the usage was not simply intransitive, but ergative.

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:50 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:It's definitely not standard though.

Doesn't that depend on the verb? I don't think there's anything non-standard about saying "The water is boiling". (Or "boiling water", for that matter.) "These mushrooms eat well", yes.
Exit the vampires' castle.

User avatar
Xanthir
My HERO!!!
Posts: 5228
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:49 am UTC
Location: The Googleplex
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Xanthir » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:05 pm UTC

On the other hand, "these mushrooms cook well" is standard. I think there's just a set of verb usages that are okay in this context.
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:42 am UTC

Why do people call their motorcycle a bike? Shouldn't they call it a moke?

User avatar
PM 2Ring
Posts: 3620
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC
Location: Mid north coast, NSW, Australia

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby PM 2Ring » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:50 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:Why do people call their motorcycle a bike? Shouldn't they call it a moke?


No, because this is a Moke.

Image

Wikipedia wrote:The name comes from "Mini"—the car with which the Moke shares many parts—and "Moke", which is an archaic dialect term for donkey.[9][10][11] The Moke has been marketed under various names including Austin Mini Moke, Morris Mini Moke and Leyland Moke.

User avatar
Eugo
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 5:38 am UTC
Location: here
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Eugo » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:49 am UTC

Mega85 wrote:Another verb I've seen becoming irregular for some is "drag". I've heard people say "drug" for the past tense of "drag".


Actually, there should be no exceptions. We just need more rules.
United we stand politically corrected, divided we fall in love

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:33 am UTC

Watch out for irregular verbs which have crope into English.


http://alt-usage-english.org/humorousrules.html

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2416
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Aug 28, 2016 2:28 am UTC

But that doesn't make any sense. The correct form is irregular. They should have used "snuck".
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
ThirdParty
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:53 pm UTC
Location: USA

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby ThirdParty » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:28 am UTC

I'd like to propose that we bring back "flet".

A flet is a part of a room that is distinguished from other parts. Unlike an alcove or a nook, it is not delimited from other parts by barriers such as walls or curtains; it may be delimited by a distinct floor covering, such as carpet vs. tile, or it may be distinguished solely by its designated use. Unlike a station or a spot, it can be large enough to accommodate multiple people using it at once.

Example of how I want to use it: "I live in a three-room apartment: it has a bedroom, a bathroom, and a big room. In the big room is a kitchen nook, separated from the rest of the big room by a partial wall, a counter, a pillar, and an archway. I've further subdivided the big room into three flets: a dining flet, with a table and chairs; an office flet, with a computer desk, office chair, and bookshelf; and a sitting flet, with a recliner, end table, and lamp."

Examples of its use in a respectable source, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (from the fourteenth century): the Green Knight, promising not to leave the bounds of the space where he's standing while Gawain strikes him, says, "And I schal stonde hym a strok, stif on þis flet"; later, when Gawain's host returns from hunting, he "Fyndez fire vpon flet, þe freke þer-byside" (i.e. there's a fire burning in the designated space in the center of the room, and Gawain is sitting beside it).

Idioms: the phrase "fire and flet" refers to warmth and shelter, and appears e.g. in the poem "Lyke-Wake Dirge" (collected in the seventeenth century). "Fire and flet" is comparable to "hearth and home", but note that you can receive fire and flet without being at home, e.g. if you're staying at a hotel. It has also been attested in the negative: a homeless person may be described as possessing "neither fire nor flet".

Original fate: by 1800 or so, it had evolved into the word "flat", in the sense of "an apartment". I think that's sad. The word "apartment" works perfectly well and doesn't need a synonym, especially not a synonym that's homonymic to a much more common word. And meanwhile we don't really have a word for a part of a room that isn't physically separated from other parts.

User avatar
Eugo
Posts: 272
Joined: Sat May 31, 2008 5:38 am UTC
Location: here
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Eugo » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:29 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:But that doesn't make any sense. The correct form is irregular. They should have used "snuck".


It is irregular only because it is not regulated. Which is why I propose more rules, to cover the cases previously classified as exceptions. Once they are all included, there will be no exceptions.
United we stand politically corrected, divided we fall in love

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25825
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:32 pm UTC

Yes, we all saw your post.

No one is denying that English verbs *could* be made regular (either by simply regularizing all of them, or by adding new "regular" rules that cover most of them and then shoehorning the rest in to fit).

What I deny is that there is any benefit in doing so.

(In any case I think you missed Copper Bezel's point, which was that "crept" is already an irregular past form, so "crope" wouldn't be a newly irregular verb, just a new irregular form for one. Which is why "snuck" might work, though many people don't realize that's newly irregular.)
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Zohar
COMMANDER PORN
Posts: 7562
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:45 pm UTC
Location: Denver

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Zohar » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:45 pm UTC

This isn't so much "should bring back" and more "should stick to". The past form of dream should be "dreamt", not "dreamed". The plural of dwarf should be "dwarves", not "dwarfs". Interestingly, the only country where they're equally popular is Poland, everywhere else "dwarfs" is more popular. Dreamt is only popular in India and a few countries in Africa. I wonder if Google Trends takes languages into account?
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:09 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:This isn't so much "should bring back" and more "should stick to". The past form of dream should be "dreamt", not "dreamed". The plural of dwarf should be "dwarves", not "dwarfs". Interestingly, the only country where they're equally popular is Poland, everywhere else "dwarfs" is more popular. Dreamt is only popular in India and a few countries in Africa. I wonder if Google Trends takes languages into account?


"dreamt" is typical in all English-speaking countries outside of North America, and is used interchangeably with "dreamed" in North America, although "dreamed" is more common.

Aiwendil
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:53 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Aiwendil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:03 pm UTC

Interestingly, I find that in writing, I am about equally likely to use "dreamt" or "dreamed", but in speech, I always naturally say "dreamt".

I'm curious as to how people conjugate "blend". I tend to use "blent" as the past and the past participle, and "blended" sounds quite odd, but everyone else I've consulted tells me they always say "blended" and have never even heard "blent" before. (This may be an archaism I accidentally picked up from Tolkien.)

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25825
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:32 pm UTC

Speaking of Tolkien, that's the reason "dwarves" is at all familiar, I think.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:42 pm UTC

Aiwendil wrote:Interestingly, I find that in writing, I am about equally likely to use "dreamt" or "dreamed", but in speech, I always naturally say "dreamt".

That doesn't surprise me – some forms that are preferred in Britain, like the "-t" forms of verbs, strike us Americans as more old-fashioned and thus more literary.

I'm curious as to how people conjugate "blend". I tend to use "blent" as the past and the past participle, and "blended" sounds quite odd, but everyone else I've consulted tells me they always say "blended" and have never even heard "blent" before.

I cluster with everyone else.

gmalivuk wrote:Speaking of Tolkien, that's the reason "dwarves" is at all familiar, I think.

Yeah – he may not have coined it, but I think he did raise it from the status of an obscure alternate form.
Exit the vampires' castle.

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:04 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
Aiwendil wrote:Interestingly, I find that in writing, I am about equally likely to use "dreamt" or "dreamed", but in speech, I always naturally say "dreamt".

That doesn't surprise me – some forms that are preferred in Britain, like the "-t" forms of verbs, strike us Americans as more old-fashioned and thus more literary.


They're are certain "-t" forms of verbs, like "felt", "meant", "dealt", "slept", "kept" etc. however that are always used and have no "-ed" form. Also in America, while we use "burned" more often than "burnt" for past tense like "the house burned down", as an adjective like "burnt toast" we tend to use "burnt".

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25825
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:49 pm UTC

American English seems to have no problem with the -t forms of verbs that also change their vowel pronunciation in the past, but is less willing to use it for verbs that don't (like "spell" and "learn").

The only exception to this pattern that I can think of off the top of my head is "burnt", which as you say is chiefly used for the participial adjective. (I suppose "dreamt", which is less common but doesn't sound ungrammatical, is an exception in the other direction, where the vowel does change but the -ed form is still preferred.)
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:43 pm UTC

Personally I usually use "dreamt" rather than "dreamed" for the past participle but also sometimes for the simple past, which is probably not standard.

Google's "English (United States)" dictionary does not include "dreamt" at all, which surprises me.

Aiwendil
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:53 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Aiwendil » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:52 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:That doesn't surprise me – some forms that are preferred in Britain, like the "-t" forms of verbs, strike us Americans as more old-fashioned and thus more literary.


That ought to result in the opposite behavior, though, from that which I exhibit - I say "dreamt" but often write "dreamed".

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:30 pm UTC

Oh, I misread your comment. Sorry.
Exit the vampires' castle.

Derek
Posts: 2155
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Derek » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:09 am UTC

Aiwendil wrote:I'm curious as to how people conjugate "blend". I tend to use "blent" as the past and the past participle, and "blended" sounds quite odd, but everyone else I've consulted tells me they always say "blended" and have never even heard "blent" before. (This may be an archaism I accidentally picked up from Tolkien.)

Nope, never heard "blent" before.

On the topic of irregular verbs, the past tense of "mind" is "minded", but sometimes I feel like it should be "mound", I guess by analogy with "bind".

User avatar
Xanthir
My HERO!!!
Posts: 5228
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:49 am UTC
Location: The Googleplex
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Xanthir » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:46 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:(I suppose "dreamt", which is less common but doesn't sound ungrammatical, is an exception in the other direction, where the vowel does change but the -ed form is still preferred.)

Nah, it's perfectly regular per your previous rule, just exploiting both branches at once, unless you pronounce dreamed/dreamt quite differently than I do. For me, "dreamed" uses the same vowel as "dream" (thus "matching vowels use -ed"), while "dreamt" uses the same vowel as "meant" (thus "changing vowels use -t").

ThirdParty wrote:I'd like to propose that we bring back "flet".

A flet is a part of a room that is distinguished from other parts. Unlike an alcove or a nook, it is not delimited from other parts by barriers such as walls or curtains; it may be delimited by a distinct floor covering, such as carpet vs. tile, or it may be distinguished solely by its designated use. Unlike a station or a spot, it can be large enough to accommodate multiple people using it at once.

Example of how I want to use it: "I live in a three-room apartment: it has a bedroom, a bathroom, and a big room. In the big room is a kitchen nook, separated from the rest of the big room by a partial wall, a counter, a pillar, and an archway. I've further subdivided the big room into three flets: a dining flet, with a table and chairs; an office flet, with a computer desk, office chair, and bookshelf; and a sitting flet, with a recliner, end table, and lamp."

We already have a word for that: "area". Every use of "flet" in the above can be replaced with "area" perfectly well.
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

User avatar
ThirdParty
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:53 pm UTC
Location: USA

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby ThirdParty » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:50 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:The plural of dwarf should be "dwarves", not "dwarfs". Interestingly, the only country where they're equally popular is Poland, everywhere else "dwarfs" is more popular.

I'm inclined to use "dwarves" as the plural of the noun, but "dwarfs" as the present tense of the verb. (On the same pattern as "wolf", "scarf", "hoof", "sheaf", "leaf", and "knife".)

Xanthir wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:I'd like to propose that we bring back "flet". A flet is a part of a room that is distinguished from other parts. Unlike an alcove or a nook, it is not delimited from other parts by barriers such as walls or curtains; it may be delimited by a distinct floor covering, such as carpet vs. tile, or it may be distinguished solely by its designated use.

We already have a word for that: "area". Every use of "flet" in the above can be replaced with "area" perfectly well.

That's true, but I feel like "area" is a broader concept (e.g. one that could be applied to nooks as well) and also has a lot of other meanings.

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Lazar » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:34 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:I'm inclined to use "dwarves" as the plural of the noun, but "dwarfs" as the present tense of the verb. (On the same pattern as "wolf", "scarf", "hoof", "sheaf", "leaf", and "knife".)

That's inadvisable outside of a fantasy context, though. From what I've read, many little people are okay with "dwarf", but generally not with "dwarves".
Exit the vampires' castle.

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:59 pm UTC

What about the plural of "roof"? It's typically spelled "roofs", even when it's pronounced with /vz/. "rooves" is uncommon.

Aiwendil
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:53 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Aiwendil » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:56 am UTC

I write "rooves". Also, "hooves", "dwarves", and "elves", and "oaves" (regardless of the context). (All right, I don't have much occasion to pluralize "oaf", but still). But again, this may be the result of being thoroughly steeped in Tolkien from a young age.

Mega85
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:48 am UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Mega85 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:04 am UTC

"dig" is a verb that became irregular. "digged" was the original past tense. Then later people started using "dug" which eventually became standard and the original "digged" is now obsolete.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2416
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:24 am UTC

Lazar wrote:That's inadvisable outside of a fantasy context, though. From what I've read, many little people are okay with "dwarf", but generally not with "dwarves".

Astronomers likewise.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
tms
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:53 am UTC
Location: The Way of the Hedgehog

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby tms » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:16 pm UTC

'computee'

What is it made of?
:shock:
- No, son. I said 'duck'.
- Duck duck duck duck! Duck duck duck duck!

buttered_cat_paradox
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:40 pm UTC

Re: Words you think English should have or bring back.

Postby buttered_cat_paradox » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:57 pm UTC

"The Meaning Of Tingo" book is full of words I'd like English to have. :)
(I ran a quick search and it seems like nobody mentioned it. Check it out, it's full of great words from around the world)

The word I personally miss the most when speaking English is an equivalent of the Hebrew word תתחדש. It's a super-common word you say to someone whenever they got something new (a haircut, a shirt, a gift, anything at all). It combines "I noticed you got something new", "I like your new thing" and "I hope you enjoy your new thing" in a very concise way.


Return to “Language/Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests