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Thread: My latest language pet peeve

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    Default My latest language pet peeve

    As most of you know, I'm a language fascist. I work as a language teacher and that's a lot of fun, to help develop the way kids speak, listen, read and write.

    Then I come home and get on the internet. I do quite a lot of reading on a wide variety of sites and topics. Here is something that I've noticed among hockey writers lately. I have no idea if it's been going on for a while and that I'm just noticing it now, or if it's a new trend. Anyway, these days, whenever age or a number is involved, the writers start throwing in hyphens aaaaaall the goddamn time.

    "Player X is 29-years-old." wrong

    or

    "In a buy-out the team pays out two-thirds of the remaining contract." wrong

    (By the way, don't get me started on buyout vs buy out. You don't buyout someone, you buy out someone. That is a buyout. Buyout = noun. Buy out = compound verb.)

    Basically, they put in hyphens all the time because they are unsure when they should use them. I see it in Dobberhockey articles too.

    Here are two links that take a few seconds each to read:

    http://englishplus.com/grammar/00000125.htm

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com...correctly.aspx
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    I think for the first one, people get confused with the difference between "Player X is a 29-year-old" and "Player X is 29-years-old."

    I know I appreciate the tips and advice. Always something to learn w/ regards to writing, and it is unfortunate when a great/passionate writer has his (or her) message lost behind common errors.
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    True.... on our mis-use of hy-phens.

    But the purpose of language (spoken & written) is for communication.
    Slowly, over time, the masses have trended towards a simplification/reduction in their vocabularies & grammatical knowledge base. (good vs. well, don't get you/me started on that one)

    If hyphens make a point easier to read, then they should be used.
    Heck, I'd have no problem if elephant was changed to be "elefant".

    There is the way the rulebooks are set... and the way that society is trending.

    We're a democratic society and we roll with the masses, whether it be right or wrong by the "old standards".

    Change is good.
    Let's be clearly understood and fair and say "fugg it" to the ol' rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengwin7 View Post
    True.... on our mis-use of hy-phens.

    But the purpose of language (spoken & written) is for communication.
    Slowly, over time, the masses have trended towards a simplification/reduction in their vocabularies & grammatical knowledge base. (good vs. well, don't get you/me started on that one)

    If hyphens make a point easier to read, then they should be used.
    Heck, I'd have no problem if elephant was changed to be "elefant".

    There is the way the rulebooks are set... and the way that society is trending.

    We're a democratic society and we roll with the masses, whether it be right or wrong by the "old standards".

    Change is good.
    Let's be clearly understood and fair and say "fugg it" to the ol' rules.

    Change is not necessarily good, especially when that change is driven by the ignorance and sloppiness of the masses.

    Call me old fashioned but I see absolutely no merit in changing the rules of a language just because people can't be bothered to adhere to them. I understand that mistakes and errors will creep in, but I'd much rather have people accept that they have erred than argue that it is the rules that are incorrect.

    Don't mind me, I'm just happen to prefer that things to stay 'old-school'.
    Heck, I'm still bitter about 'pro-active' becoming a word.



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    I'm an ELA teacher myself, and I'm with you on many accounts Dakkster!

    The one distinction that should be made is when your example is used as an adjective:
    Ex. Player X is a 29-year-old forward.
    That's acceptable.

    Although, I have to say, I'm also with Pengwin a bit too. Languages evolve. Things change. If the general public does something wrong long enough, it becomes right.

    I recently read an article about how # could potentially become an official punctuation mark. The word "slash" is gaining momentum for a new meaning as a conjunction (filling in for "and/or"). Ex. I like to eat at McDonald's slash Burger King.
    Things change, and we've got to be willing to change with them!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loch View Post
    Change is not necessarily good, especially when that change is driven by the ignorance and sloppiness of the masses.
    {insert Obama administration joke here}

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    Loch- "Change is not necessarily good, especially when that change is driven by the ignorance and sloppiness of the masses.

    Call me old fashioned but I see absolutely no merit in changing the rules of a language just because people can't be bothered to adhere to them. I understand that mistakes and errors will creep in, but I'd much rather have people accept that they have erred than argue that it is the rules that are incorrect.

    Don't mind me, I'm just happen to prefer that things to stay 'old-school'.
    Heck, I'm still bitter about 'pro-active' becoming a word.



    I've said it before and I'll say it again; the English language is the lightweight highschool girl in the frat party that is the internet."

    Agreed.

    Dakkster, I would be greatful if you could teach people the proper use of "THEN" versus "THAN". I think it is the most common error I see in writing these days, from the forums, the Dobberhockey writers and just about everywhere on the internet and in society. It's a big pet peeve of mine.
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    i think this is good advice for the writers on the site, but for forum members, honestly who cares? i'm not sure who your post was directed to, but like half the time i post on here i am either tired as hell from work or drunk off my face. spelling/grammar is the last thing on my mind when it comes to forums
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excelsior View Post
    Dakkster, I would be greatful if you could teach people the proper use of "THEN" versus "THAN". I think it is the most common error I see in writing these days, from the forums, the Dobberhockey writers and just about everywhere on the internet and in society. It's a big pet peeve of mine.
    Would you rather he do than than then or then then than?

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    I would love to watch you interact with a bunch of Newfies (Newfoundland), Capers (Cape Breton), Islanders (Prince Edward Island), and Acadians (frenglish/franglais in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick). Your head would explode

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    Quote Originally Posted by praba View Post
    i think this is good advice for the writers on the site, but for forum members, honestly who cares? i'm not sure who your post was directed to, but like half the time i post on here i am either tired as hell from work or drunk off my face. spelling/grammar is the last thing on my mind when it comes to forums
    That describes 90% of us but I hink it's just a matter as with most things. The more you do something ( in this case use proper grammar ) the more second nature it becomes and you don't have to think twice about it or make an effort. It just becomes ingrained in your writing ( typing ).
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    Quote Originally Posted by praba View Post
    i think this is good advice for the writers on the site, but for forum members, honestly who cares? i'm not sure who your post was directed to, but like half the time i post on here i am either tired as hell from work or drunk off my face. spelling/grammar is the last thing on my mind when it comes to forums
    It wasn't directed at anyone. Well, if anyone, it's directed at professional hockey writers. I just wanted to whine about an issue in general. It just happens that I see it now and again on this site as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by STONE. View Post
    I'm an ELA teacher myself, and I'm with you on many accounts Dakkster!

    The one distinction that should be made is when your example is used as an adjective:
    Ex. Player X is a 29-year-old forward.
    That's acceptable.

    Although, I have to say, I'm also with Pengwin a bit too. Languages evolve. Things change. If the general public does something wrong long enough, it becomes right.

    I recently read an article about how # could potentially become an official punctuation mark. The word "slash" is gaining momentum for a new meaning as a conjunction (filling in for "and/or"). Ex. I like to eat at McDonald's slash Burger King.
    Things change, and we've got to be willing to change with them!
    Yeah... I guess you've taken some linguistic theory courses. Know about prescriptive versus descriptive language philosophy? Oxford is prescriptive as hell. They dictate the rules and if they got their wish, the English language would never change. Then you have the people who embrace all change. They're descriptive, because they analyze language from how it's actually used instead of telling people how it should be used.

    I'm 50/50 on the matter. I like some language changes. If it's a language changes that makes understanding easier, I'm all for it. If it can somehow confuse things, I don't like it.

    I'll give you an example. Here in Sweden we write compound nouns as one word. You guys would write hockey rink. We write hockeyrink. Even if we put together four different nouns, it ends up as one word. However, ever since the 1800s, there has been a tendency to write some compound words separated. Not just nouns, but mainly them. It started out really slowly and in the last 30 or 40 years it has become REALLY common. The problem is that it makes things confusing and can radically change the meaning of a message. A sign in Sweden that says this is a place where you don't smoke has the word "rökfritt" (smokefree) on it, but if you write that as "rök fritt" instead it becomes (smoke freely), the exact opposite of what it's trying to say. That's an example of bad or destructive language change. Some people will say "but people will understand anyway because of context" and that's simply not true. I see it every day when A LOT of people misunderstand stuff.

    People will speak and write however they write and in many cases it gives birth to new slang or even pidgin languages. However, it's kind of like a social contract to try and communicate as clearly as possible.

    The last year I've been on a crusade to make my students read more books. Reading has gone down drastically over here and there's a clear correlation between lower language skill and lack of reading. The more you read proper books (mainly fiction), the better you get at spelling, at picking up information, at understanding people, etc.
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    I pretty much just write as quickly as I can on here. So I'm probably more at fault than most. But it is interesting that you mention hyphens.

    I know in many Word programs, it switches words to the hyphened form. Even some grammatical errors, which I know are correct; I will generally change instead of seeing the red little squiggly dots under it!

    And I'm on board with Pengwin. Don't fight it, go with the flow! Ha. Every 100 odd years language changes dramatically. I can only imagine what the written language looks like in another 100 years, with the internet, social media, and texting. Good or not, that's another question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakkster View Post
    It wasn't directed at anyone. Well, if anyone, it's directed at professional hockey writers. I just wanted to whine about an issue in general. It just happens that I see it now and again on this site as well.
    are you the same person as sentium?
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