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Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


1.  A distinctive form for the second person plural pronoun.  In standard English, the form is "you."  I.e., it's the same as the second person singular, "you."  English-speakers have come up with some helpful ideas, in dialects.  E.g., Southerners sometimes say "you all," or they abbreviate that to "y'all."  In Brooklynese, there is "youse."  But standard English has nothing.

I suggest "youm."  E.g., "Where are youm going?"  smile

2.  We need to expand the first person plural pronoun in the subjective ("we") and objective ("us") cases.  Some languages have distinctive forms for (a) inclusive "we," meaning the speaker and the person being spoken to, and other people as well, and (b) exclusive "we," meaning just the speaker and the person being spoken to, i.e., "you and I."  But in English, we say "we" for both situations.

This results in confusion.  Suppose you're on a committee and you're speaking to another committee member, and you ask him, "When are we meeting next?"  Do you mean just you and him?  Or you, him, and the committee?

I suggest for the inclusive case - you, me, and the committee - a new subjective pronoun, "we'uns."  For the exclusive case - just you and me - I suggest "we2" (pronounced weetoo).  And in the objective case, I suggest "us2" (pronounced "ustoo") (exclusive), and "us'ns" (inclusive).

3.  We need third person singular pronouns that don't distinguish gender.  Currently, we have to indicate gender, as in, "If somebody comes in, give him or her an application, if he or she wants one."  Awkward, and a waste of words or keystrokes.  We need a pronoun that means just "a human being."  In the subjective case, I suggest "heesh."  In the objective case, I suggest "herm."  Then we could say, "If someone comes in, give herm and application, if heesh wants one."  That would apply to everyone, regardless of gender.

Now that I have improved the language, my work is done here.  Mount up, Tonto, we2 must ride!
Apr 01 13 05:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andy G 323
Posts: 1,218
Bradford, England, United Kingdom


I think you need to set up an English language equivalent of the Academie francaise.
Apr 01 13 06:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticPhotography
Posts: 7,699
Buffalo, New York, US


Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
3.  We need third person singular pronouns that don't distinguish gender.  Currently, we have to indicate gender, as in, "If somebody comes in, give him or her an application, if he or she wants one."  Awkward, and a waste of words or keystrokes.  We need a pronoun that means just "a human being."  In the subjective case, I suggest "heesh."  In the objective case, I suggest "herm."  Then we could say, "If someone comes in, give herm and application, if heesh wants one."  That would apply to everyone, regardless of gender.

I think what "we" need is to have a much free time on our hands as you do.  smile

I believe that "they/them" is not pretty-well established as a gender-neutral singular.

"If somebody comes in, give them an application, if they want one."

Apr 01 13 07:46 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Cassidy N H
Posts: 29
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


Isn't it funny how a language evolves that way?  You'd think that it would need more of a precise structure of vocabulary and grammar in order to be understood.  It's pretty fascinating.

I couldn't imagine learning English as a second language.  Just think of all the homophones and homonyms.  yikes   

In German "sie" means she and they while "Sie" (with a capital S) is the formal way of saying you.

... And that's not even the confusing part of German.
Apr 01 13 07:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
lynden
Posts: 8,562
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Andy G 323 wrote:
I think you need to set up an English language equivalent of the Academie francaise.

Agreed, except even french has only conclusively resolved 1 of these 3 issues.

Apr 01 13 09:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


And many languages have different words for "my mother's brother" and "my mother's sister's husband."  For both, English has only "uncle," even though my mother's brother is a close, blood relative, and my mother's sister's husband is just the guy who married my aunt.  And likewise, English lacks separate words for "my father's sister,"" and "my mother's brother's wife."  For both, we say, "aunt."

Considering how short marriages are these days, and how many different husbands one's aunt might serially have, we surely need words that distinguish beween "my mother's brother" - who, if we were orphaned might take us in as family - and "my mother's sister's husband" - who might be a different guy every couple of years.

Any suggestions for the new words?  At least four are needed:

mother's brother

mother's sister's husband

father's sister

father's brother's wife

Of course, logically, we also need words for "father's brother," etc.  But one step at a time.  smile
Apr 01 13 08:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,438
Upland, California, US


Things the English language needs

It needs to be the official language of every country on Planet Earth... including the USA... borat
Apr 01 13 08:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


Select Models wrote:
Things the English language needs

How about to be the official language of every country on Planet Earth... including the USA... borat

English is already the most widely spoken language, and the most useful second language for citizens of Earth to learn...thanks to the British Empire and American economic imperialism.  Even in Russia, the Russian language is declining in number of native speakers, and English is on the rise.

I think that making it official would be just rubbing the noses of other countries in it.  Let's not have any more language wars.  smile

Apr 01 13 08:13 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Justin
Posts: 21,651
Fort Collins, Colorado, US


Well, English is already complicated as it is, particularly with the exceptions that seem to outnumber the rules. I'm not sure we need to add more layers of complication. Sure, there are languages that are more complicated. But assured, there are languages less complicated. Major English dictionaries contain over 400,000 words, and that is no partly doubt due to the assimilation of other languages' vocabulary into English. But that in itself can make it complex.

Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
1.  A distinctive form for the second person plural pronoun.

I agree that it's needed. You correctly note that the South (and more places all the time) have solved this with "y'all." I see no reason to retrain at least a third of the country when there is already a serviceable term in place, and it sounds rather charming. Let's make "y'all" more popular.

2.  We need to expand the first person plural pronoun in the subjective ("we") and objective ("us") cases.

I understand the vacuum, but I don't share in the abhorrence of it. When speaking with someone conversationally, the tone will carry the import of "we" as being general or inclusive. In written communication, it ought to be made specific. In that sense, "you and I" work fine.

3.  We need third person singular pronouns that don't distinguish gender.

I do agree with this. The imperfect solution we have now, as noted above, is to place the third-person pronoun as a gender-neutral substitute. I guess it works for some, but it sure grates on my ear and tender sensibilities. It grates less then the despicable "he/she" and "him/her," but it still grates.

In the subjective case, I suggest "heesh."  In the objective case, I suggest "herm."

I guess. Sounds awkward. In the spirit of feminism, I suggest for the subject a nod to the ladies for their pronoun, and then adding the neutral pronoun. It results in "she-it." For the objective form... "herm" doesn't sound all that bad, really.

Apr 01 13 08:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


Justin wrote:
Well, English is already complicated as it is, particularly with the exceptions that seem to outnumber the rules. I'm not sure we need to add more layers of complication. Sure, there are languages that are more complicated. But assured, there are languages less complicated. Major English dictionaries contain over 400,000 words, and that is no partly doubt due to the assimilation of other languages' vocabulary into English. But that in itself can make it complex.

Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
1.  A distinctive form for the second person plural pronoun.

I agree that it's needed. You correctly note that the South (and more places all the time) have solved this with "y'all." I see no reason to retrain at least a third of the country when there is already a serviceable term in place, and it sounds rather charming. Let's make "y'all" more popular.

2.  We need to expand the first person plural pronoun in the subjective ("we") and objective ("us") cases.

I understand the vacuum, but I don't share in the abhorrence of it. When speaking with someone conversationally, the tone will carry the import of "we" as being general or inclusive. In written communication, it ought to be made specific. In that sense, "you and I" work fine.

3.  We need third person singular pronouns that don't distinguish gender.

I do agree with this. The imperfect solution we have now, as noted above, is to place the third-person pronoun as a gender-neutral substitute. I guess it works for some, but it sure grates on my ear and tender sensibilities. It grates less then the despicable "he/she" and "him/her," but it still grates.


I guess. Sounds awkward. In the spirit of feminism, I suggest for the subject a nod to the ladies for their pronoun, and then adding the neutral pronoun. It results in "she-it." For the objective form... "herm" doesn't sound all that bad, really.

Thanks for Twain's essay on German.  I read it in my teens, but had not seen it since.  It was a delight to see it again.  Having studied German for 4 years, it is particularly meaningful to me, notwithstanding that Ich habe bald alles vergessen.

I agree to adopting "y'all" for the second person singular pronoun.  Actually, another option would be re-vivify early modern English "ye."  But as you say, "y'all" has the advantage of numbers.  (Can't wait to hear Brooklynites saying "y'all."  "I'll meet y'all at toity-toid and toid.")

They/them grates on my ear also, as they are so clearly plural forms.  But they'll probably win out in the end.

Your suggestion of the compound pronoun "she-it" is brilliant.  I'm sure that many, having read this thread, have already both adopted it and expressed it as a commentary that sums up their opinion on the thread as a whole.

Apr 01 13 09:12 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Justin
Posts: 21,651
Fort Collins, Colorado, US


Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
Thanks for Twain's essay on German.  I read it in my teens, but had not seen it since.  It was a delight to see it again.  Having studied German for 4 years, it is particularly meaningful to me, notwithstanding that Ich habe bald alles vergessen.

My pleasure. I believe Twain is an under-appreciated writing genius, an original American writer who ranks up there with the literary composers of any other language.

And I can't believe I wrote "no partly doubt." I am obviously very tired and incoherent. I would blame alcohol if I'd been drinking.

Apr 01 13 09:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Top Level Studio
Posts: 3,232
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
English is already the most widely spoken language, and the most useful second language for citizens of Earth to learn...thanks to the British Empire and American economic imperialism.  Even in Russia, the Russian language is declining in number of native speakers, and English is on the rise.

I think that making it official would be just rubbing the noses of other countries in it.  Let's not have any more language wars.  smile

Not to rub your nose in it, but English comes in second or third place in most listings that count the number of native speakers of a language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la … e_speakers

http://www.krysstal.com/spoken.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la … f_speakers


I do agree that English really needs a second person plural.  Most other languages have it.

Apr 01 13 09:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


Top Level Studio wrote:

Not to rub your nose in it, but English comes in second or third place in most listings that count the number of native speakers of a language.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la … e_speakers

http://www.krysstal.com/spoken.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la … f_speakers


I do agree that English really needs a second person plural.  Most other languages have it.

My nose is unrubbed.  What I said was that English is the most widely spoken language.  I believe that is correct.

Apr 01 13 10:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


Andy G 323 wrote:
I think you need to set up an English language equivalent of the Academie francaise.

Well, sort of.  The Academie Francais is a government agency, and it is the official arbiter on matters pertaining to the French language.  I don't want any US government agency telling Americans what is proper English and what is not.  But an influential private academy, respected for its expertise, would be good.

Apr 01 13 11:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
alessandro2009
Posts: 7,360
Florence, Toscana, Italy


Things the English language needs

...

Please no more term is already difficult for me keep up with the normal one ... lol

Note:
Half serious ... hmm

Apr 02 13 04:37 am  Link  Quote 
Model
M A U I
Posts: 1,587
Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe


The English language needs to give other languages a chance to take over the world. Por favor.
Apr 02 13 04:42 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


Select Models wrote:
Things the English language needs

It needs to be the official language of every country on Planet Earth... including the USA... borat

Amen to that.
Waves my big USA flag

Apr 02 13 05:01 am  Link  Quote 
Model
M A U I
Posts: 1,587
Harare, Harare, Zimbabwe


Dale una oportunidad al resto lenguas!
(El traductor de Google, lo sé)
Apr 02 13 05:08 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


I know French.
That's all I need to know.

If I can't order a taco, I'm cool with that.
Apr 02 13 05:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,246
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
1.  A distinctive form for the second person plural pronoun.  In standard English, the form is "you."  I.e., it's the same as the second person singular, "you."  English-speakers have come up with some helpful ideas, in dialects.  E.g., Southerners sometimes say "you all," or they abbreviate that to "y'all."  In Brooklynese, there is "youse."  But standard English has nothing.

Well in English "you" was originally plural. The singular was (and still is in some English dialects) and the singular was "thou." However just as in French the plural started to be used as a polite version, and gradually "thou" almost disappeared.

Apr 02 13 05:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
salvatori.
Posts: 3,726
State College, Pennsylvania, US


From what I can tell, most people have difficulty with the English language in its present form.

Adding more words will just make it worse-er... lol

smile
Apr 02 13 05:26 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


I probably used this glorious word in displeasure many times last night.

Inclusive of:
Mother Fucker
Fuck Me
Fuckin' A
& my personal favorite,
Jesus Fucking Christ

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=FvPbxZmZ … vPbxZmZxZ8
Apr 02 13 06:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kent Art Photography
Posts: 2,658
Ashford, England, United Kingdom


How about banning Americans from thinking that they speak it?
Apr 02 13 06:11 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Justin
Posts: 21,651
Fort Collins, Colorado, US


Kent Art Photography wrote:
How about banning Americans from thinking that they speak it?

Twain helps us out here, too: "There is no such thing as the Queen's English. The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares."


English is the contemporary lingua franca.

Apr 02 13 06:21 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


My brother married a woman from the South. Every time I hear 'Ya'll', I cringe and somewhere a butterfly dies.
Apr 02 13 06:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticPhotography
Posts: 7,699
Buffalo, New York, US


Jules NYC wrote:
My brother married a woman from the South. Every time I hear 'Ya'll', I cringe and somewhere a butterfly dies.

Listen Honey, you'll need to put your face on and glass of sweet tea so you can face the day.




**runs like heck**

Apr 02 13 07:09 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


ArtisticPhotography wrote:
Listen Honey, you'll need to put your face on and glass of sweet tea so you can face the day.




**runs like heck**

That was a weird thing to say.
I don't have to put in warpaint to face the day, lest have tea.

I drink coffee, black, straight up.

As for sweetness, I have plenty but I just say what I think and 'Ya'll' is not within my vocabulary.

Very few people truly 'get' me.
I guess I see why I make everyone run.

Cheers,
Julie

Apr 02 13 07:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
OwenImages
Posts: 3,804
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, US


Much of this would matter little to the youth of today.  They can't get to, too and two right.  That's just the beginning!  It's really sad.
Apr 02 13 07:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andialu
Posts: 14,029
San Pedro, California, US


Jules NYC wrote:
My brother married a woman from the South. Every time I hear 'Ya'll', I cringe and somewhere a butterfly dies.

http://cliosparade.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/paula-deen-butter-1.jpg?w=812

http://lh3.ggpht.com/-wVqVGpSllGc/StrLZ6pdYAI/AAAAAAAAASA/2ifweN0-km8/1129.JPG

Apr 02 13 07:37 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


Andialu wrote:

http://cliosparade.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/paula-deen-butter-1.jpg?w=812

http://lh3.ggpht.com/-wVqVGpSllGc/StrLZ6pdYAI/AAAAAAAAASA/2ifweN0-km8/1129.JPG

I love you.

lol

*can't stand Paula Dean*

Apr 02 13 07:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,246
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


But even on the "new improved" version, "April Fool" would still be the same!
Apr 02 13 07:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


WMcK wrote:
But even on the "new improved" version, "April Fool" would still be the same!

Speaking of illogic in the language, how on earth did you guys get Glaswegian out of Glasgow?  Well, come to think of it, Glasgowian doesn't fall trippingly off the tongue.  Never mind.  smile

Apr 02 13 11:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Top Level Studio
Posts: 3,232
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Vivus Hussein Denuo wrote:
Well, sort of.  The Academie Francais is a government agency, and it is the official arbiter on matters pertaining to the French language.  I don't want any US government agency telling Americans what is proper English and what is not.  But an influential private academy, respected for its expertise, would be good.

I'm not too impressed with the Academie francaise.  In Quebec, Saturday and Sunday are "le fin de semaine", while in France those two days are "le weekend". 

That's just one example.  "Official" French as recommended in France has a lot of odd words.  In a French photo magazine, you often see "j'ai shooté", meaning "I took the shot".  I don't see that as being good French.

Apr 02 13 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vivus Hussein Denuo
Posts: 63,912
New York, New York, US


Top Level Studio wrote:

I'm not too impressed with the Academie francaise.  In Quebec, Saturday and Sunday are "le fin de semaine", while in France those two days are "le weekend". 

That's just one example.  "Official" French as recommended in France has a lot of odd words.  In a French photo magazine, you often see "j'ai shooté", meaning "I took the shot".  I don't see that as being good French.

Interesting.  I had thought the Acadamie Francaise "protected" the French language from pollution by neologisms and foreign contamination, especially from modern Americanisms like "le pullover" and "le Big Mac."  Maybe they're not as xenophobic as I'd thought.

Apr 02 13 03:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Cassidy N H
Posts: 29
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


M A U I wrote:
The English language needs to give other languages a chance to take over the world. Por favor.

Agreed!! 

Apr 02 13 03:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Admin
CleeIB
Posts: 3,948
Los Angeles, California, US


Umlauts. We need more umlauts.
Apr 02 13 03:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Top Level Studio
Posts: 3,232
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


CleeIB wrote:
Umlauts. We need more umlauts.

Sure you don't mean more cowbell?

Apr 02 13 03:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jules NYC
Posts: 15,662
New York, New York, US


If I spoke Spanish, I'd be this guy

lol

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=vd2RR4bO … d2RR4bO_9g
Apr 03 13 08:27 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Selene Viktoria
Posts: 42
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


I just hope they spelled it closer to how they were pronounced.

Iron -> Iorn
All -> Oll
Door -> Dor
Apr 03 13 08:42 am  Link  Quote 
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