I think I may be a big freaking freak

fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)March 23, 2006

I love grammar.

I do! In fact, last week, I found this grammar forum, where the members were debating these minute grammatical errors, and I was fascinated. Which is weird, because I don't have great grammar. I mean, my grammar's okay. I know how to use a period and a comma, and (perhaps most importantly) the difference between "that" and "which" (although don't you dare ask me to explain it!)

But even though I'm not a grammatical genius, I love grammar. It's MAGIC! Seriously. Grammatical constructions can make words do some funky, funky stuff. I think that's why I've fallen for Ancient Greek. There's a whole lot o' funk going on with the Ancient Greek.

Is anyone else here a big fat nerd?

Come on, own up. Leave the Dungeons and Dragons aside and stand proudly with me! :)

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ME!ME!ME! I don't study Greek or anything, but I love grammar. In my conversational writing, I use some sentence fragments and end some sentences in prepositions, but it always bothers me just a little.
There, I admitted it!
I love words, too-- lots & lots of 'em!
Now if only I were a computer nerd, I'd have figured out how to hook up our new monitor by now and not be using the old one, which is sitting on the floor under the desk.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 9:58PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

The old monitor is sitting under the desk? Doesn't that make working on the computer a bit difficult?

I'm just teasing... :) Your grammar made me do it!

Here is a link that might be useful: grammar forum... fun fun fun!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:06PM
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It does! I can't type and see the monitor at the same time. I sit on the floor and read, then I stand up to type,
I figured out why I can't hook up the new monitor, though. There's no DVI portal on the computer. Rats!
The new monitor is all pretty, and skinny, and 18+" of flat-screen and has built-in speakers and "magic roation" and it was FREE (via DH's sales work) and now we can't use it :(
I better leave the forum for tomorrow!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:41PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Can you get an adapter for your monitor?
I hate grammar, I loved sentence structuring, but grammar? ewww.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 11:28PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

One of my best teachers in high school taught me to parse a sentence. Perhaps the Muse for grammar, syntax and word choice tantalized me before then, but certainly by then.

Yes, by your definition, I am and will always be a big freaking phreak.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:33AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

So glad to know I'm not alone in this kingdom of nerdiness :)

Jen, you mean that the monitor you've been using is actually under the desk?!? LOL - and here I thought that it was a syntactical error! See how magical grammar & syntax can be? They can trick us into reading what we *think* should be the case, only to throw us for a loop. Tricky, tricky words :) Good luck with your new monitor.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 10:08AM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Shelly,

Still, with all the hoopla that surrounded 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves', I was more than a little unimpressed. And I like the British wit!

I've had more fun going through a Scrabble dictionary, looking for that perfect two-letter word....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 12:08PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Grammar's good. Well, not my grammar, but other's. Ending sentences is hard--I always want to add another thought, and then modify that; so that the sentence never ends, going on and on, until finally the realization occurs, and then I end it. Better than an incomplete sentence, though.

More than grammar, I like unusual words. With English, we have the greatest language for number of words. The subtleties of meanings between words is endless. My favorites are those that I've never heard of, yet have fairly mainstream meanings, as opposed to obscure scientific meanings. I also love derogatory names. There are thousands of these. Go through any page in a dictionary and you will probably find at least one. Really old ones, dating back hundreds of years, give a fascinating picture of life back then.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 4:07PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Taking Jon's eminent advice, I've found a few:

burgoo - (1) thick oatmeal gruel (2) a thick, spicy soup or stew of meat and vegetables (3) a picnic or gathering where burgoo is served

crapehanger - a morose, gloomy, or pessimistic person

encomium - (1) warm or glowing praise (2) a formal expression of praise or tribute

pyknic - characterized by short, stocky, and powerful nature; endomorphic.

sciolism - a pretentious attitude of scholarship; superficial knowledgeability

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 5:11PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

Another word nerd here. I used to pride myself on writing well. But these days, my sentences seem to get more and more tortuous. Sometimes, I'm embarrassed by them.

Bad spelling really gets to me, as well, but I'm trying to be more tolerant. I've come to believe that while spelling is a skill that can be learned with enough practice, it is also possible to have a talent for it. I'm lucky enough to have a visual sense for words--if I am familiar with a word, I can see it fully formed and correctly spelled in my mind's eye. It took me a long time to realize that other people do not necessarily function that way.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 5:49PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

I think I'm going to adopt "crapehanger" into my lexicon. It's a good one, and makes me think of a vampire. Which, I guess, fits pretty well with the definition. Aren't vampires generally rather morose?

Jon, yer funny. That was made laugh out loud. I think I scared the kitty.

Karen, bad spelling (or rather, we should probably say, poor spelling :)) doesn't bother me so much as improper word use. From what I'm told, it's usually initially caused by mispronunciation or differences in dialect. Then the improper pronunciation enters common usage and kerplumpt! people start doing horrible things to the language (like using the word kerplumpt with an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence, for instance; or having an insanely long parenthetical insertion).

Some of my biggest pet peeves?

- a quotation mark put at the end of the title of a list :)

- using a plural pronoun as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, ie: "If a doctor needs to know a patient's history, they could just ask them."

- replacing "have" with "of", ie: "I could of gone to the store, but I didn't wanna."

- the lack of capitalization on the part of so many on the internet!!! What is WITH that? How much effort does it take to hit the Shift key? Honestly!

- "as per usual"

- "probly" instead of "probably"... and yes, I have actually seen the word written out that way.

- "like" or "go" instead of a speech verb, ie: "I was like, 'hey you!' and then she goes, 'ohmygoooood! I haven't seen you in forever!'"

- "supposably" instead of "supposedly". That one just drives me batty.

- "preportedly" instead of "purportedly"

- overuse of the word "basically"

- and quite possibly the funniest of the bunch: "anticlimatic" instead of "anticlimactic." Anticlimatic would essentially mean that you're against the weather. And that's just funny.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 7:04PM
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I used to be able to write well, too, before Internet forums entered my life. Formal, proper writing sounds stuffy and very unlike me. I wind up inserting loads of dashes and parenthesis, semi-colons and commas, and my sentences ramble in the same way my mind does. (Better than an incomplete sentence, indeed. lol!)
Spelling- ugh! My Dad (who was a very good speller) used to say that since I read a fair amount, spelling should come easily, as if I looked at each letter as I read. I don't think so. I suppose he had the same sort of ability to visualize the words after as you do, Karen. I have a knack for visualizing other things, but not written words. I could easily picture my living room painted green, with the front wall pushed out 10 feet and the ceiling vaulted. (It's not that I'm hankering for a green living room; I just wouldn't have any trouble visualizing it.) I never have to bring samples home to see whether they match what I've got. I can remember and visualize the colors. It's not so with words. For me, learning to spell requires a lot of boring repetition.
Is crepehanger an unusual word? It's one my parents used (not a lot, but when appropriate) from the time I was little. The rest were new to me. I can only hope my family will offer me encomium on my burgoo someday. The word sciolism offers some delightful possibilities. It seems one would exhibit it merely by using it. That could leave others wondering whether the speaker/writer was indeed being sciolistic or merely offering up some mildly self-depreciating humor.
I've said it before-- my pet misusage peeve is snuck. There's a perfectly good regular past tense- sneaked. Why make things more difficult? I suppose it's useful for writers of dirty limericks, but it grates on me. (My dirty limericks are much less obvious! They use words like "sciolism".)
Using "impacted" as a verb bothers me too. I think it brings up negative associations with wisdom tooth surgeries. The word "affected" works just fine, so why "impacted"? (I have been guilty of using "access" as a verb on occasion, but only in computer terms.)
Some of the conglomerate words for "big" sound downright goofy. Humongous was bad enough; ginormous is just dumb.

How about irregardless and disorientated? (ooo, fragment alert!)
Anticlimatic is funny! I love that! I get a kick out of it when people describe themselves as nauseous, too.
Words are fun!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 11:38PM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Oh, irregardless! Yes, another peever.

My favourite "big" word is gargantuan. It makes me think of big monkey critters.

It has never occurred to me that people might not visualize words! I always visualize a word when I say it. In fact, I can't remember a person's name unless I know how it's spelled. And I differentiate in my mind friends with the same names by the way I spell them in my head. For instance, Matthew #1 is "Matth", but Matthew #2 is "Matt," and Mathieu is "Math." I always sympathized with Anne of Green Gables - "Anne-with-an-e" :)

But you visualize colour? Now that's interesting. Are you also good at visualizing spacial dimensions?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 11:43PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

You guys are freaking me out. I hate grammar. I hate spelling more. Give me a curve to figure out, or set me to finding how to make blue die from chemicals, and I'll be happy, but do not make me give up, 'irregardless.' Even though I know it's wrong in context, I find I've typed it anyways ,and I have to think before I remove it. Let me cut up a worm or find floaties in a pond and I'll be estatic, but do not expect me to know the meaning of superlative or what an intransitive verb is. I'll stay with my misspelled, miscontexted words, thank you. Spelling and grammar give me a headache.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 1:16AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

LOL - I think most people feel the same way you do. That's why to enjoy grammar is freakish.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:07AM
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I'm all for the floaties in a pond or the critters under a rock, too, but I still love words, in spite of my inability to visualize them. Grammar comes later. I find it interesting, but I'm not compelled to be precise in my conversational communication. (Ooo- on re-read, them words sound stuffy! lol!)
If I try, I can visualize a word I already know how to spell. If I mentally call up the word "spell" for instance, I can see the letters, but it never happens spontaneously.
Do you guys remember the post here with scrambled letters a while back? I think Cena posted it. It referred to some study showing that most people read without looking at individual letter order. If the letters of each word are scrambled, but they're grouped correctly, most of us process them without a problem. The letters were scrambled in the article itself, but I was most of the way through reading it before I even noticed anything amiss.

I think of visual images to help remember people's names, too, but it's never an image of the name itself. If I meet a Kevin, I might visualize him standing in a group with other guys I know by that name. If I meet a Mary, I might "see" her dressed in a silly old fashioned dress and bonnet watering her silver bells and cockel shells.

Yeah, Shelly, spatial relations is one of my stronger suits. That has been helpful in doing the remodeling design.
Gargantuan is a good word, and it makes me think of big orangutans, too. It has a lot of the same letters, even though the sound is different. It's that scrambled letter thing again!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:33AM
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Oh god I love wordreference.com. I'm going to add that site to my forum bookmark list. *drool*

I don't know if I can humanly convey my lust for grammar minutiae. *drool*

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 2:46PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

My husband writes poetry, and his friends laugh and laugh when he reads some of his poems, or they cry, or whatever the response is expected of poetry reading people to do. I just look at him with a bored expression because the nuances have left me in a coma. I found that each person pretty much had the same thing to say, but they reworded it each week with a different outlook.
One guy had a poem he wrote about bubbles. Why would someone write a fifteen minute poem about a girl blowing bubbles?
I do find that some words give me pictures, I agree gargantuan reminds me of orangutan also, only mine is orange and in a Tang commercial.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 3:24PM
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