0771: "Period Speech"

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0771: "Period Speech"

Postby LucasBrown » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:40 am UTC

Image
Alt text: "The same people who spend their weekends at the Blogger Reenactment Festivals will whine about the anachronisms in historical movies, but no one else will care."

So I'm not the only one who winces at that stuff?

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Bobsama » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:43 am UTC

First.

I wonder what will happen with slang.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby thunderkatz » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:44 am UTC

Ahhh, so funny, and it actually makes me think. Also, love the CO reference. And it's particularly timely for me, since we just got walkie-talkies where I work, and they require us to use ten-four and other radio lingo.

On the other hand, no lolspeak?

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Me321 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:45 am UTC

I really hope this doesn't happen, I mean we have computers and TV to record our actual speech, but I guess unless you major is early 21st century slang then you may not care.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby GoldenGryffin » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:47 am UTC

Holy shit a theatre comic.

(How many of you knew theatre performers read xkcd?) ;)

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Bobsama » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:51 am UTC

The keyboard is mightier than the sword! Except for in a sword fight, in which case an IBM Model M is mightier than a sword!

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby myrmaid » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:00 am UTC

I really want to attend a Blogger Reenactment Festival now. I feel like it would be a lot more fun then actually blogging.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby eudaimonia » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:23 am UTC

Hm. Do all of these (all of them english) sound the same to the modern ear?

~900AD: "HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum, þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon"
~1300AD: "whan that april with his shoures sote, the droghte of marche hath perced to the rote"
~1597AD: "But how I caught it, found it, or came by it / What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born / I am to learn;"
1833AD: "And see the great Achilles, whom we knew"
1956AD: "i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical"

Seems to me that we've got several centuries of english to work with as it is, and I think many could tell the difference. (If not name the time period correctly.)
Last edited by eudaimonia on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby novax6 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:26 am UTC

Reminds me of this.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby there is no zero » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:54 am UTC

I'm surprised it wasn't "Forsooth, dost thou grokketh my jive, me hearties?"

I was just thinking earlier about how when people try to use -est and -eth they tend to do so wrongly, and wondering if something similar might not happen in the future with -s, if English eventually loses its inflections for person and number entirely.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Icalasari » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:55 am UTC

eudaimonia wrote:Hm. Do all of these (all of them english) sound the same to the modern ear?

~900AD: "HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum, þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon"
~1300AD: "whan that april with his shoures sote, the droghte of marche hath perced to the rote"
~1597AD: "But how I caught it, found it, or came by it / What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born / I am to learn;"
1833AD: "And see the great Achilles, whom we knew"
1956AD: "i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical"

Seems to me that we've got several centuries of english to work with as it is, and I think many could tell the difference. (If not name the time period correctly.)


Doesn't stop people from thinking, "Ye Olde Englishe Iseth Wickedeth," is correct

By the way, if anybody ever says that to you and is serious about it, please, do me a favour and stab them

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby TripleAgent » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:14 am UTC

Quickly! We must assemble a theatre performance that makes use of this dialect!

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:21 am UTC

I just read an article about editing some of the dated language in Enid Blyton's Famous Five books. Which is a really bad idea. And relevant. Which is why I mention it.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby zaf » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:33 am UTC

GAH! In New Zealand, we use a different police 10 code, and 10-4 means "please repeat your last message", so this comic doesn't work for me.. We need internationalisation for comics :P~~~~~

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby hotaru » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:54 am UTC

does anyone else think "you" is the most jarring word in this comic?

Code: Select all

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby JustDoug » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:20 am UTC

eudaimonia wrote:Hm. Do all of these (all of them english) sound the same to the modern ear?

~900AD: "HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum, þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon"
~1300AD: "whan that april with his shoures sote, the droghte of marche hath perced to the rote"
~1597AD: "But how I caught it, found it, or came by it / What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born / I am to learn;"
1833AD: "And see the great Achilles, whom we knew"
1956AD: "i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical"

Seems to me that we've got several centuries of english to work with as it is, and I think many could tell the difference. (If not name the time period correctly.)


I call fraud. Like, that first sentence is obviously German. Did you expect no one to notice?

Everyone knows that true ancient English requires the addition of 'e' as a suffix, as in 'Ye Olde Englishe", '-eth' to indicate a verb as in 'Seeketh,' and calling everyone 'thee.' Optional replacement of 'the' with 'ye' also allowed, along with the occasional 'Yar!' and 'Scurvy Dogge!' during Talk Like A Pirate Day ("Speaketh Like Unto Ye Pirate Daye" if you want historical accuracy.

Of course, in 400 years time, English will have moved on to something resembling AOLspeak mixed with LOLCat with a grammar resembling that found on /b/ over on 4chan. In fact, teh GR8 chng izbugin, amirite?

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Malph » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:22 am UTC

Bobsama wrote:First.

I wonder what will happen with slang.


It'll become part of standard speech.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:46 am UTC

hotaru wrote:does anyone else think "you" is the most jarring word in this comic?

Yeah, with the way things are going in society, nobody will be that formal by the 21st century. In fact, I predict that within the next 500 years "you" will disappear from the dialect entirely, leaving only "thou", even for addressing the King! Kids these days...
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby StClair » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:51 am UTC

I recall reading, several years back, an account of a future Society for Creative Anachronism event held aboard an O'Neill cylinder colony. Note was made that by then, "period" had been steadily extended until it was synonymous with "pre-Society" (i.e., anything up to 1966 is okay).

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Faranya » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:06 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
hotaru wrote:does anyone else think "you" is the most jarring word in this comic?

Yeah, with the way things are going in society, nobody will be that formal by the 21st century. In fact, I predict that within the next 500 years "you" will disappear from the dialect entirely, leaving only "thou", even for addressing the King! Kids these days...

Yeah, I have a friend who gets mildly irritated about people trying to use "thou" to sound formal, when it is the familiar term, and "you" is the formal.

He asserts that all his letters to his girlfriend make proper use of thou, and I have no reason to disbelieve him.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby neoliminal » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:12 am UTC

I was just telling someone that if Shakespeare were alive today, he's re-write all his f*cking plays in modern English and film them in f*cking 3-D.

Oh, and he'd HATE West Side Story.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Ruger » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:13 am UTC

Even ants grok slang.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby applejuicefool » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:57 am UTC

hotaru wrote:does anyone else think "you" is the most jarring word in this comic?

Why, you're right! "Ya'll" would definitely have been better.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Mo6eB » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:57 am UTC

As a non-native English speaker, I assert that all the English from the last 400 years sounds equally foreign and silly to me. I do wish I could know what it would look like in another century - I'm sure it would be hilarious.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby TwoLines » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:12 am UTC

JustDoug wrote:
eudaimonia wrote:Hm. Do all of these (all of them english) sound the same to the modern ear?

~900AD: "HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum, þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon"
~1300AD: "whan that april with his shoures sote, the droghte of marche hath perced to the rote"
~1597AD: "But how I caught it, found it, or came by it / What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born / I am to learn;"
1833AD: "And see the great Achilles, whom we knew"
1956AD: "i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical"

Seems to me that we've got several centuries of english to work with as it is, and I think many could tell the difference. (If not name the time period correctly.)


I call fraud. Like, that first sentence is obviously German. Did you expect no one to notice?


Old English does sound like German. It's a Germanic language, it sounded pretty much like this.
Actualy, this is part of Beowulf that he posted, quite clever, those are the first written words of English.
Ohhh, sarcasm, you know that doesn't play well over the interet.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby ysth » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:32 am UTC

TwoLines wrote:
JustDoug wrote:
eudaimonia wrote:Hm. Do all of these (all of them english) sound the same to the modern ear?

~900AD: "HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum, þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon"
~1300AD: "whan that april with his shoures sote, the droghte of marche hath perced to the rote"
~1597AD: "But how I caught it, found it, or came by it / What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born / I am to learn;"
1833AD: "And see the great Achilles, whom we knew"
1956AD: "i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness starving hysterical"

Seems to me that we've got several centuries of english to work with as it is, and I think many could tell the difference. (If not name the time period correctly.)


I call fraud. Like, that first sentence is obviously German. Did you expect no one to notice?


Old English does sound like German. It's a Germanic language, it sounded pretty much like this.
Actualy, this is part of Beowulf that he posted, quite clever, those are the first written words of English.
Ohhh, sarcasm, you know that doesn't play well over the interet.


You can hear a few very Germanic seconds of preview of Benjamin Bagby's reading here.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby SW15243 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:02 am UTC

Not gonna lie, saw the "Period Speech" title and expected a prepubescent girl at a podium.
Not sure if I'm disappointed or not.
Makes me sound like a pedophile...

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Plasma Man » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:11 am UTC

Faranya wrote:Yeah, I have a friend who gets mildly irritated about people trying to use "thou" to sound formal, when it is the familiar term, and "you" is the formal.

He asserts that all his letters to his girlfriend make proper use of thou, and I have no reason to disbelieve him.

I've been able to keep that straight since I read James Clavell's Shogun, where "thou" is consistently used as a sign of intimacy.

Good comic today, I especially liked the Stranger In A Strange Land reference. I think that the characters depicted must be heading for battle as we have a sword, spear, knife, gun... and laptop? Maybe the one with the laptop is a hacker and they're all going to storm the Troy company once he's disabled the security with a Trojan horse.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby sellyme » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:25 am UTC

I guarantee that in 500 years, instead of thinking "Gah, those people made no sense" we'll (They'll* I guess) be thinking "What the shit were they on? What dumb-ass word is 'jizz'?"
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby jacog » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:43 am UTC

Mellow greetings. What seems to be your boggle?

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Karilyn » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:00 am UTC

Malph wrote:
Bobsama wrote:I wonder what will happen with slang.
It'll become part of standard speech.
In other words, exactly the same thing that's happened with slang, since the days before cavemen were even grunting at each other yet.

applejuicefool wrote:
hotaru wrote:does anyone else think "you" is the most jarring word in this comic?
Why, you're right! "Ya'll" would definitely have been better.
Ya'll is the best made-up word to come up in the English language for quite some time.

The lack of a plural second-person pronoun in the English language is quite shameful. All the other languages are laughing at our inadequacy.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby JustDoug » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:09 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:The lack of a plural second-person pronoun in the English language is quite shameful. All the other languages are laughing at our inadequacy.


Except in the southern portions of the borough of Brooklyn and a few other locations, where 'youse' has been performing that role for many years.

Let see them laugh at Brooklynese after it gets all, " I amuse you? I make you laugh?"

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby chrth » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:28 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:The lack of a plural second-person pronoun in the English language is quite shameful. All the other languages are laughing at our inadequacy.


This. I argue all the time for the widespread adoption of "y'all" to address this grievous reality. ("All y'all", however, I disagree with since "all of you" fulfills the same requirement).

PS: The loss of Thou can be blamed on the French.

PPS: BTW, I whine about anachronisms (especially involving computers) in modern movies, forget historical ones.

PPPS: Previous comic reference! http://xkcd.com/239/

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby neoliminal » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:25 pm UTC

chrth wrote:PPPS: Previous comic reference! http://xkcd.com/239/


Nicely done, sir. You have found the rumpus of which I have been buzzing.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby oddtail » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:28 pm UTC

Despite being an English major (or perhaps because of it), I consider English to be a weird-ass language. In what universe dropping most of your language's (*) cases within a few centuries makes sense? Granted, English is an extremely easy-to-learn language as a result. As soon as you have a decent grasp on prepositional phrases and the like.

As for the comic - awesome. Reminds me of Romantics from Paranoia RPG, only applied to language rather than history. Also, if anyone thinks the comic is exaggerating (both the comic and the alt-text) - it really works like that, people really do mix things up that drastically and really do *not* care. We're talking about a world where Julius Ceasar and Alexander the Great can appear in the same TV show, and many viewers will not only not care, but will not notice. It's only a matter of time before they make a movie where Louis XIV teams up with Winston Churchill to defeat Hitler (the time difference is roughly the same, so...).

...not that it wouldn't make an awesome story.


(*) overt.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby cparker15 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:59 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:
Faranya wrote:Yeah, I have a friend who gets mildly irritated about people trying to use "thou" to sound formal, when it is the familiar term, and "you" is the formal.

He asserts that all his letters to his girlfriend make proper use of thou, and I have no reason to disbelieve him.

I've been able to keep that straight since I read James Clavell's Shogun, where "thou" is consistently used as a sign of intimacy.

With all the talk about the difference between "thou" and "you", I can't be the only person reminded of Cyan and Gau.
Last edited by cparker15 on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:25 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby mturyn » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:59 pm UTC

I've read the claim that the artist who first drew the Pilgrims as wearing buckled hats and shoes was a Nineteenth Century person who drew them in Eighteenth Century clothing for that Olde Tyme effect...reminds me of the claim that the ancient Greeks and Romans encountered seedy tour guides ready to make up whatever they wanted to hear about those ancient pyramids over there...

I, too, am disturbed to find people thinking that adding "thou"'s makes speech sound more formal...was there ever an English equivalent to «tutoyer»?

And there's "Futurama"'s Past-O-Rama, where they never seem to Get it Right even by accident...Hammurabi disco-dancing with Albert Einstein (the physicist, not the comedian) in an hot-air balloon, crudely humanoid robots in animal skins 'making cars' by beating them with clubs, statues of men riding dinosau---wait....

Slang? It will be incomprehensible to us, just as surely as some of what we call 'slang' will be part of normal speech, defanged in the process...note that someone but ten years older than I was shocked when she heard someone my age use 'that sucks' as if it weren't offensive speech.

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Moose Hole » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

I hate comics like this because there's nothing to complain about!

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby chrth » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:14 pm UTC

mturyn wrote:I've read the claim that the artist who first drew the Pilgrims as wearing buckled hats and shoes was a Nineteenth Century person who drew them in Eighteenth Century clothing for that Olde Tyme effect


Probably from the same generation that decided the modern world would look a lot better if they portrayed older generations as incomprehensively stupid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_flat_earth

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Re: "Period Speech" discussion (#771)

Postby Cartofel » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:43 pm UTC

mturyn wrote:I, too, am disturbed to find people thinking that adding "thou"'s makes speech sound more formal...was there ever an English equivalent to «tutoyer»?

To thou. Like, at the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh - "I thou thee, thou traiter!" As in, I'm calling you "thou", to show my lack of respect for you. I've never had a problem with "thou" being formal, because in Yorkshire older people still say thee and tha (the verb form is usually "to say thee and tha", sadly, but apparently it used to be to thee and to tha, like "Though I thou thee and thee thee, I am no Quaker" (referring to the Quaker Plain Speech thing) and telling kids to be polite, "Don't thee tha them as thas thee"), using the -s ending ("Tha thinks tha can talk like us lot, does tha?"). (The form of be used is "art", after a fashion - my family would say "Tha't daft", but nearby places say "Tha'rt". Dialects aren't usually very uniform ;) ) So there isn't a problem with the no plural, it's just "you". As for using "you" as a respectful thing, it's only in that broad people wouldn't use dialect in front of someone important.


JustDoug wrote:Except in the southern portions of the borough of Brooklyn and a few other locations, where 'youse' has been performing that role for many years.

Actually, "youse" has a long history as a Celtic calque of the second person plural in Gaelic, like in Ireland and Scotland ("I'll murder the both o' youse!" - Irish guy in Withnail and I, "Fit youse daein' there?" - Scottish guy I met), and also in places influenced by them, like Liverpool and areas of America (New York with the Irish population, there are other places with "yiz", apparently)

Yeah, far too much time spent on dialects :|
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