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May 24, 2020 8:35 AM
Comments · 12
"Sometimes there can be too much education and debate."

I'd argue it's more often a case of bad or incomplete education, rather than too much.

A good education goes deep but it also includes breadth, i.e. it acknowledges a range of differences and keeps an open mind to other, unanticipated possibilities.

A bad education prescribes a specific set of rules and asks the learner to stick to them rigidly for the rest of their lives.

An incomplete education teaches a specific set of rules, as is often required to keep things manageable for beginners, but it fails to go further - it doesn't get around to showing that the rules are not really rules, or that they are only used by these people or in this circumstances, or that it is okay sometimes to break the rules, etc.

And yes, I'm aware of the irony of my pedantic contradiction in the context of this discussion! Needless to say, I agree with the overall sentiment.
May 24, 2020
I've always admired how vocal John is regarding how English should be a fluid language. I don't know if native speakers realize how forgiving it is for non-natives to hear from them how they shouldn't treat English as a rigid solid piece of rock. Don't get me wrong. I give importance on grammar and structure (and all the other components of English) since without them it's almost impossible for a person to coherently express what they really want to convey. However, I cannot deny the fact that it can be so daunting and disheartening for learners to see native speakers and linguists argue over what is correct and proper English when it's just an issue of preference.

I hope you don't get tired putting this out there, John. I think you are one of the most unappreciated and underrated members of this community. I frequently see lengthy posts and thorough explanations from you. Time and effort, the end.

May 24, 2020
@Volt age that is the fault of the English language it so often an aggressive war like language. The many different semantic meanings often make it difficult to achieve peace.
That is why we get so many misunderstandings when speaking or writing English.

a) You said ???****
b) no I didn't you started it! you said your husband was sick and a very good craftsman.
a) no he's not sick he's just a little ill and a bit off colour and my husband is more of a skilled craftsman than yours
b) I never said your husband was unskilled I just said my husband was a craftsman.
a) so is mine you ** please retract your words.
b) but my husband is a craftsman that takes skill.
a) well my husband is a skilled trades person so he must have a craft.
b) we have all got skills and we all have our own crafts and my husband is not sick he is just ill
a) but if he is ill he has to be sick doesn't he.
b) no we never say ill in bed.
a) I do or at least where I come from. Sick or ill he still needs a doctor.
b) Yes but is the doctor skilled or does he have a craft.
a) what the heck are you talking about why would a doctor need a craft.
b) well he might be a marine doctor and he needs a sea craft to go from ship to ship island to island
a) you fool not that craft I'm talking about real crafts.
b) well he can't go from ship to ship island to island on a fake craft that would require skill.
a) what makes you think his doctor is a man.

and now we are fast approaching the point of no return.
May 24, 2020
" Sometimes there can be too much education ... "

That's what I also think and that's where "grammar nazi " term came from. I wrote somewhere sometime ago that these heated debates over grammar I have never seen in some other than English sections, nor have I experienced them in real life in different countries where I happened to have lived.
May 24, 2020
There is English and Scottish English, two slightly different Englishes or dialects, it depends on your viewpoint.
There is also Welsh and Irish dialects, accents and slightly different forms of English.
There is southern English accents and dialects and northern England accents and dialects.
Eastern England accents and dialects and western and south western accents and dialects.
There are different accents and dialects in major cities and there is a difference between North of the river Thames in London and South of the river Thames in London, these are noticeable mostly only by north and south London speakers. There is also a difference between west and East London.
But it is all English. The one that is most talked about is the Glasgow accent it can sound like another language.

But as Brits travel around the country they can understand all of the dialects and accents, occasionally from time to time if you have not been anywhere before or for a long time one or two words might cause you to have to think for a moment and then you carry on as usual.

May 24, 2020
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