Nonsensical English...

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Micheal
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Micheal » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:29 am UTC

"Who's on first?" "Yes."

Gets me every time.

I've heard from ESL speakers that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn for the reason of these idioms. But I think that is what makes the language so much fun.

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gmalivuk
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

Micheal wrote:"Who's on first?" "Yes."

Gets me every time.
That one is funny in writing, but I don't think it would be in speaking, because the intonation of the information and yes/no questions would be different.
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby firechicago » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:39 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:That one is funny in writing, but I don't think it would be in speaking, because the intonation of the information and yes/no questions would be different.

Is it your contention that one of the most famous comedy routines of all time isn't funny as performed, only in writing?

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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:35 pm UTC

No, but I can contend that just that one sentence, without the context of the whole rest of the routine, wouldn't be.
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Quizatzhaderac
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:39 pm UTC

The whole routine also involves the audience figuring out that Hu, Watt, and Idano are player names, in order to laugh at the foolish misunderstanding. Kids in the Hall's Bad Straight Man sketch shows what would realistically happen in that contrived situation.
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Daimon » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:34 am UTC

I'd really hate to come to this forum/section for random English "WHAT THIS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN!?", but here it goes.

In, "Tommorow is the day where we view the moon." and "Tommorow is the day when we view the moon." what is the difference between when and where?

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ElWanderer
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby ElWanderer » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

Daimon wrote:In, "Tommorow is the day where we view the moon." and "Tommorow is the day when we view the moon." what is the difference between when and where?

I'd be tempted to rephrase along the lines of "We will view the moon tomorrow", but generally for the form you've got there, I'd expect the word choice to match whether you're talking about a place or a time:

This mountain is where we will view the moon from. [specifying a viewing location on the ground]
To the East, just above the trees is where we will view the moon. [specifying a viewing direction/location in the sky]

Tomorrow after sunset is when we will view the moon. [specifying a time]

Mixing the two sounds wrong to my ears, especially putting in a "when" if talking about a location. You can probably get away with "where" much of the time.
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Iulus Cofield
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:57 pm UTC

Sounds like a dialectic variation to me.

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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Derek » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:28 pm UTC

"Where" in that situation is definitely possible, though not standard. The meaning remains the same as "when" as far as I'm aware. "That" is also possible, with the same meaning: "Tomorrow is the day that we will view the moon".

I think "where" can stand in for "that" in certain places, and I think that's what's going on here. I'm not sure what the right way to describe when this is possible is, though.

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Eugo
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Eugo » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:14 am UTC

Here's one I still don't understand, and I hear it quite often: "noone seems to care". Does this mean "it seems that nobody cares", or "seem to care" does have some meaning I haven't caught? Or is it just a group of words that became popular as a phrase, a kind of decorated version of "nobody cares", just because it has a proper number of syllables for a pop song?

A subquestion: what's the difference between "nobody cares" and "noone seems to care", in meaning and usage?
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gmalivuk
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:51 am UTC

Firstly, "no one" is two words.

And yeah, I'm pretty sure it means the same as "it seems that nobody cares", and the difference between that and "nobody cares" is the "seems" part.
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Derek
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Re: Nonsensical English...

Postby Derek » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:48 am UTC

Eugo wrote:A subquestion: what's the difference between "nobody cares" and "noone seems to care", in meaning and usage?

They're nearly the same. The only difference is that "no one cares" is a statement of fact, while "no one seems to care" is a statement of what appears to be fact.


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