Archive for ‘Language learning’

May 2, 2016

Origins of the term ‘Easter’ are ANGLO-SAXON!!!

by eirenehogan

AAAGGGHHH!!!!  There are all these memes circulating the internet claiming the Ancient Near Eastern Goddess Ishtar is the origin of the name of Easter.

The theory seems to be based on the fact that the name sounds similar.  WHAT???  You can’t base etymology on that.  That is like saying, ‘the sun comes up every day, so, um, how does it get there?, well, it looks like someone must put it there, so, um, a god must put it there.’

Easter is NOT named after the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Ishtar, as the great Goddess of Babylon, is an Akkadian name, and as such is SEMITIC.  The term ‘Easter’ is of Germanic origin.  It is an old Anglo-Saxon name.  And – despite some politicians foolishly believing English is derived from Latin (ie, Christopher Pain — oops I mean, Payne), Anglo-Saxon is a proud member of the Germanic language family.

Bede

The name is Easter is the English term for the Christian festival.  The Romans called it Pascha.  The Anglo-Saxons had a goddess named Eostre.  She was the goddess of spring and the month of the spring, most probably at the time of the spring equinox, was named after her, as was explained by Bede in his book ‘On the Reckoning of Time’.

That name, Eostre, has come down through Middle English and into Modern English, as ‘Easter’.

I would doubt very much that any Anglo-Saxons knew anything of Ishtar.

Jeez, do a bit of research!  In face, all you need to do is check Wikipedia. See the entry Names of Easter.


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April 26, 2016

Politically Incorrect language

by eirenehogan

On the theme of ‘political correctness’.  I think from now on we should not say to people, ‘please use politically correct language’, we should go back to the meaning of what PC language is and say, ‘please do not use sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, language.’  Those who are in control of society, who have never been on the receiving end of prejudicial language, have taken control of the term and trashed it.  By getting control of it themselves, they have managed to demean it and make it seem a negative, instead of a positive.  Those who are victims of prejudicial language can no longer request that people use politically correct language, because they will be immediately vilified.

 

So – I intend to use politically incorrect language to describe those very types who vilify the term.  According to them, I have every right to do so.  Here is an example:

 

I was reading an article from someone the other day, the writer was male, professional, white, heterosexual.  He was a stuck up, selfish, white trash prick, whose brains is in his dick and who sees women as sex toys and nothing else.  Oh, please don’t tell me he was offended by my statements, no offence was intended, it was just humour, and it is the language I am used to using, so I believe I should be allowed to use it.   Poncey git.

April 17, 2016

Why political correctness is CORRECT

by eirenehogan

This is a comment to an article about Stephen Fry, on International Business Times, ‘Stephen Fry is right about our infantilised outrage culture’, By , April 13, 2016.

You can find it here, that is if you can wait long enough for it to download.  I tired to add the comment on the page but it just wouldn’t download enough for me to do so.  Conspiracy?


 

This is yet again an older generation complaining about political correctness.  What is a person saying when they say they do not want to use politically correct language?  They are saying, ‘I want to offend people.’

 

He is now a member of the ‘older generation’ who is not adapting to the changes in society, and see those changes as a negative and destroying of society.  Yes, it is destroying the society that Stephen Fry grew up in, but it isn’t destroying society as a whole, it is merely evolving.  He is complaining that he cannot use the same language he used to use, and is blaming ‘the others’ for the change in language.  He wants to still use that language and refuses to open his mind to the ways in which that language is – and most likely always has been – offensive to others.  He talks about how he should be allowed freedom of speech, meaning he should be allowed to offend someone and it is their fault if they are offended, not his.

 

He claims, due to ‘freedom of speech’ he should be allowed to express these opinions that perhaps offend people.  Certainly Mr Fry, you are allowed to express those opinions, but the reverse of that is that people are allowed to be offended by them and are allowed to complain about you saying them.  You cannot claim a right to say them under ‘freedom of speech’ then deny the right of others to complain about them.

 

This is such a common complaint by people who are not among the class of people who have had to deal with the negative abusive language, or behaviour; who cannot see how it is offensive, and therefore claim their right – as a member of society that has not experienced the offence – to use it.  It has occurred throughout history, as society changes.  We no longer live in a society controlled politically by a small group of the privileged class.  We are a democracy and that means society is finally allowed to speak up and say that there are groups in society who have always found such language and behaviours offensive and no longer want to put up with those groups in the society who think they are allowed to say what is allowed and what is offensive and what is freedom of speech.  It is not up to the ‘others’ to say ‘you should not be offended by this language’, it is up to those who are the ones who feel offended to say if it is offensive or not.

 

This is ironic coming from someone who is gay and has defended gay rights.  Let us go back to the pre-70s when it was fine to call someone a poof or faggott.  ‘Hey, I didn’t mean to be offensive, it’s just a common phrase, I wasn’t accusing you directly.  Wow, man, that’s your problem if you find that language offensive, not mine.’

 

Would Mr Fry agree to that?

 


 

April 3, 2016

WHAT IS IT WITH GRAMMAR NAZIS?

by eirenehogan

Are Grammar Nazis insecure lonely people who feel unloved, so are using their antiquated knowledge of primary school grammar to make themselves feel more important?

 

Where does language come from?  Does it come from grammar books and dictionaries?  Did God send down an English grammar and English dictionary?

 

Has English always been spelt the same way, and have English sentences always been constructed the same way?

 

No.

 

Language is a tool used by humans to communicate to each other.  Successful communication occurs when two people can understand each other.  What words are used, how ‘grammatically correct’ they are or whether they are to be found in dictionaries do no matter, if the two people understand each other, that is communication and that is language.

 

The basis of language is verbal communication and that is the most current and up-to-date.  Written language is a description of verbal language and is often a more out-dated version of spoken language.  Changes in language tend to occur in the spoken language first, and then filter down to written language.  In this modern era of internet and mobile phones and texting that is changing, as now there are many written innovations that occur in the online world before being copied by spoken.

 

Grammars and dictionaries are merely descriptions of the language.  They are always out of date as the language practises needs to be established and studied before they can be recorded.

 

Grammars and dictionaries do not prescribe how a language is written, let alone spoken, they merely describe it.  The language does not belong to the grammar books or dictionaries, and does not belong to the grammar teachers – or websites.  The language belongs to the people who use it.

 

Language changes and evolves over time, and it is through that verbal communication that it does.  Over time dialects will develop and ultimately new languages, and the grammars and dictionaries will reflect that.

 

The formal rules of written language describe a certain type of usage which is in effect its own dialect.  People learn the spoken dialect of their region and their generation, but then also need to learn the written dialect of their language.

 

It is certainly useful for people to write and spell in a similar way, but to criticise people for not getting their written grammar correct (the written dialect) is ignoring the content of what the person is trying to say.  Which is more important?  And English spelling is so mixed up and messed up, so full of antiquated spellings that no longer reflect the pronunciation of the word, that it is more the fault of the language than the speller, if someone cannot spell it.

 

 

April 22, 2015

English a Scandinavian Language?

by eirenehogan

Linguist makes sensational claim: English is a Scandinavian language

March 26, 2014

Learning a new language

by eirenehogan

BASICS OF GRAMMAR FOR LEARNING A LANGUAGE     Many language courses begin teaching the language by using the basic grammatical structure of:   Noun + verb + noun.   That is, a person does something to someone or something else.   Eg:   I see the man.   That teaches you the basic indicative structure of the sentence; a sentence in the narrative form, ie, the type you might read in a book.  But how often, when travelling to a new country, do you, on first alighting from the plane, hear the customs officer say;  I see your passport.   No, you hear, ‘Can I see your passport?’, or ‘Show me your passport,’ or ‘Do you have your passport?’   Or do you, once getting through customs, then go to an information desk and say, ‘I see the hotel.’   No, you say, ‘Can you tell me where there is a hotel?’   So to begin learning a language you need to learn specific parts of grammar which are not based on the basic indicative sentence of narration, noun + verb + noun, ie, ‘I see a hotel.’   Below I have listed what I consider, for my language learning, the basic elements of grammar I need to know to learn a language.   BASIC GRAMMAR NEEDS

  1. Pronouns
  2. tense
  3. questions – and answers of ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
  4. requests – use of modals (I want … )
  5. prepositions
  6. interrogatives (wh-words, questions)
  7. conjunctions. (joining phrases)
  8. plural
  9. Nouns and declensions
  10. Verbs and conjugations

The use of nouns and verbs will just come in as part of all of this.  Nouns and verbs, the most basic parts of speech are a given and are words we need to learn all the time, but we learn them as we use the above grammatical structures.   If ALL we learn is nouns and verbs we will NOT learn the language.  We cannot learn the language without the above grammatical structures. Eg;   Dog bite man.   What does that actually mean?   Let’s add the grammatical structure.   The quaddon bit the opikkier.   Even though we don’t know what a quaddon or  an opikkier is, we do know that the opikkier is in pain because it was attacked by the quaddon. We could also have,   The quaddon was bitten by the opikkier.   Which reverses the attacker and the victim.   So, if we use the words: Dog bite man,   We could have either:   The dog bit the man,   Or,   The dog was bitten by the man.   We need to know all those in between grammatical structures in order to make sense of the language.

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