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In Scarlett's defense....I absolutely think there are a whole lot of people who might be saying "pot plant" because they misheard "potted" or even perhaps might have been saying it too fast.

 

I mean, look at how many people are running around saying things like "I could care less" when what they actually mean is "I couldn't care less."   Or "for all intensive purposes" when they mean "for all intents and purposes" etc etc etc.  

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Totally   

I've recently read and heard several people use the expression "pot plant" to mean "a plant in a pot."  It's startling and very confusing to me, because where I grew up "pot plant" always meant a mari

I've never heard of a pot plant being anything other than marijuana (which is sometimes in a pot, but that's not what makes it a pot plant). A plant in a pot is always a potted plant. 

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Did a little poll of friends with this-- all TX, LA, and some OK friends use the term "pot plant" and never potted plant. They all never consider pot as being a marijuana plant.  Other states all used potted plant.  Definitely regional. I love learning about regional sayings.

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2 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

My brother had a grow operation in our basement when we were growing up. They were each in their own pots/planters/containers.

My parents used potted pot plants in a big cupboard in the laundry 😄

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

In Scarlett's defense....I absolutely think there are a whole lot of people who might be saying "pot plant" because they misheard "potted" or even perhaps might have been saying it too fast.

 

I mean, look at how many people are running around saying things like "I could care less" when what they actually mean is "I couldn't care less."   Or "for all intensive purposes" when they mean "for all intents and purposes" etc etc etc.  

So is a plant that is in a garden a "gardened plant" or a "garden plant"?

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29 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I totally call my plants in the garden "garden plants"  Plants in pots in a garden would be called "container gardens"

is that weird?

I wouldn't call plants in pots a "container garden" unless there were a variety of plants in the container; and then I would refer to the entire entity as a "container garden"  I would not refer to one of the plants in the container as a container garden.  

It just doesn't seem any more weird to call a plant that is in a pot a "pot plant" than it does to call a plant in the garden a "garden plant" 

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7 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

That's not how language works, and you know it.

Well, no I don’t know it.  I get regional differences exist but so do people using the wrong word.  Probably sometimes those misspoken words turn into new phrases but other times like HSL’s examples below people just say it wrong a lot.  
 

i didn’t know about pot vs potted....I would have guessed people just didn’t know the right word....but clearly some areas of this country say it differently. 

2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

In Scarlett's defense....I absolutely think there are a whole lot of people who might be saying "pot plant" because they misheard "potted" or even perhaps might have been saying it too fast.

 

I mean, look at how many people are running around saying things like "I could care less" when what they actually mean is "I couldn't care less."   Or "for all intensive purposes" when they mean "for all intents and purposes" etc etc etc.  

 

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4 hours ago, MEmama said:

This seems to be the more modern word, at least in our area. I’m having a hard time adjusting. 😂

I know "weed" was used in the 60s, as the term was used in 60s TV shows when referring to mj.

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Well, no I don’t know it.  I get regional differences exist but so do people using the wrong word.  Probably sometimes those misspoken words turn into new phrases but other times like HSL’s examples below people just say it wrong a lot.  

Incorrect. Barring momentary disfluencies or severe language-related disabilities, it is axiomatic that native speakers do not make errors in their own native speech. This is the core principle of linguistics, the foundation on which we build everything else.

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I mean, look at how many people are running around saying things like "I could care less" when what they actually mean is "I couldn't care less."   Or "for all intensive purposes" when they mean "for all intents and purposes" etc etc etc.  

If they actually meant the latter, then they would say the latter. They mean the former. That's why they say the former. That's what's correct in their speech variety.

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3 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Incorrect. Barring momentary disfluencies or severe language-related disabilities, it is axiomatic that native speakers do not make errors in their own native speech. This is the core principle of linguistics, the foundation on which we build everything else.

Lol you are cracking me up.  You are saying if people say a word or phrase that automatically makes it correct?  Because since they said it that is what they meant?  
 

You seem very serious about this subject and I am just not.  Sorry.  

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20 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Incorrect. Barring momentary disfluencies or severe language-related disabilities, it is axiomatic that native speakers do not make errors in their own native speech. This is the core principle of linguistics, the foundation on which we build everything else.

 

20 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

If they actually meant the latter, then they would say the latter. They mean the former. That's why they say the former. That's what's correct in their speech variety.

 

14 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Lol you are cracking me up.  You are saying if people say a word or phrase that automatically makes it correct?  Because since they said it that is what they meant?  
 

You seem very serious about this subject and I am just not.  Sorry.  

I had to read John McWhorter’s book “The Power of Babel:A Natural History of Language” for a class I took recently. Unfortunately, I didn’t read it as closely as I would have liked,  but it was a pretty fascinating book on the morphology of language. 

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56 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Lol you are cracking me up.  You are saying if people say a word or phrase that automatically makes it correct?  Because since they said it that is what they meant?  
 

You seem very serious about this subject and I am just not.  Sorry.  

If a bunch of people within a community use a word or phrase in a particular way, that word or phrase is a natural and therefore correct part of the dialect of that community.

Since scads of native English speakers use the phrase "I could care less" that phrase is clearly correct English usage among those who use it.

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2 hours ago, maize said:

If a bunch of people within a community use a word or phrase in a particular way, that word or phrase is a natural and therefore correct part of the dialect of that community.

Since scads of native English speakers use the phrase "I could care less" that phrase is clearly correct English usage among those who use it.

This is the key. If a single Bristolian said, 'I was sat watching the match....' that could be an error. But as most Bristolians say 'sat' rather than 'seated',  or 'sitting', which is more usual speech in the UK, that usage is not  incorrect. 

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3 hours ago, maize said:

If a bunch of people within a community use a word or phrase in a particular way, that word or phrase is a natural and therefore correct part of the dialect of that community.

Since scads of native English speakers use the phrase "I could care less" that phrase is clearly correct English usage among those who use it.

 

28 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

This is the key. If a single Bristolian said, 'I was sat watching the match....' that could be an error. But as most Bristolians say 'sat' rather than 'seated',  or 'sitting', which is more usual speech in the UK, that usage is not  incorrect. 

Oh dear. A couple "descriptivists."

And heretofore I'd always been rather fond of you two :tongue:

Bill (a "prescriptivist")

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5 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

 

 

Oh dear. A couple "descriptivists."

And heretofore I'd always been rather fond of you two :tongue:

Bill (a "prescriptivist")

I think it was China on top of the UK that made me so. The amount of nasty power that can be wielded by those who speak the 'right' way has moved my support to dialects.  My idiom is more or less standard southern English and my accent used to be RP before my marriage to a Texan, by the way.

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4 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

If they actually meant the latter, then they would say the latter. They mean the former. That's why they say the former. That's what's correct in their speech variety.

If that were the case, there wouldn't be so many books published CORRECTING those types of mistakes.  

Based upon people not hearing the correct phrase - either because they misheard or the person saying it said it wrong, etc.  then it get's repeated.

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My guess would be that pot plant was standard usage then became associated with pot so people started saying potted to distinguish to two.  Maybe?  I reckon I’ve seen pot plants mentioned in some old world war 11 era books from England ... now I’m going to look and see what the phrase was 

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This quotation from Busman's Honeymoon, published 1937, manages to combine both the use of the phrase 'pot-plant' and the character's reaction to the correction of his dialect by an over-invested neighbour:

image.thumb.png.0224adbeea272f8e5aff1ebd2b573275.png

Edited by Laura Corin
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5 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

This is the key. If a single Bristolian said, 'I was sat watching the match....' that could be an error. But as most Bristolians say 'sat' rather than 'seated',  or 'sitting', which is more usual speech in the UK, that usage is not  incorrect. 

Interesting.

A song I like by a British singer has a line “...I am stood here today”. Originally I thought maybe “stood” just fit better than “standing” but perhaps it’s a common phrase. Regardless, I like the sound of it.

I admit it’s taken me a long time to embrace words and phrases that sound “wrong” to my ears. Just as I used to be hyper concerned about proper grammar, thankfully I am growing in my appreciation for regional and cultural differences (and in the case of punctuation, my iPad cured me of judgement).

Edited by MEmama
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It is cracking me up that on a classical homeschool board so many people are righteously indignant that anyone dares to say a word or phrase is wrong
 

Hopefully my  ears will eventually adjust to the ‘I seen’ that I hear so much all around me.  

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17 hours ago, Zebra said:

Me either.   I'm in the Northeast too.

Also, I am grateful to Bill for posting the picture.   We think our neighbor is growing pot in his backyard, but were too scared to google it.🤣

(Totally legal to grow your own pot here, BTW.   I don't care if they grow it, we were just curious because we are nosy!)

We were shocked when it was published that a neighbor was growing a *lot* of pot in his basement.  In pots.  Potted pot plants.

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

It is cracking me up that on a classical homeschool board so many people are righteously indignant that anyone dares to say a word or phrase is wrong
 

Hopefully my  ears will eventually adjust to the ‘I seen’ that I hear so much all around me.  

Yes, how dare we care that you're saying that your ignorant opinion is equal to the actual science of linguistics.

That little opinion is the equivalent of saying "cell theory is just a theory! and so is gravity and the heliocentric model of the solar system!!!"

That's how ignorant it is. Whoever told you otherwise lied to you.

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Lol you are cracking me up.  You are saying if people say a word or phrase that automatically makes it correct?  Because since they said it that is what they meant?  

Yes, that is the foundational principle of linguistic science.

A principle of sociolinguistics, incidentally, is that criticism of other people's speech is a proxy for bigotry - in this case, I'm going to go with "classism". Everybody knows these things, they just like to pretend they don't. (At least, everybody over the age of five, which is when they start to realize that Spanish speakers don't really think in English, knows these things.)

Edited by Tanaqui
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6 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

If that were the case, there wouldn't be so many books published CORRECTING those types of mistakes.  

Based upon people not hearing the correct phrase - either because they misheard or the person saying it said it wrong, etc.  then it gets repeated.

 

Those books are ignorant. People who believe them are even more ignorant. You'd be better served investing in a good linguistics textbook rather than continuing to wallow in your own ignorance. Language doesn't exist independent of its speakers. Ergo, whatever a speech community understands and says is correct. Language is consensus reality.

Edit: Ignorant is a bit of a strong word. Accurate, but strong. It's more correct to say that these books attempt - often badly and counterproductively - to emphasize prestigious speech norms. Their claims about what is and isn't "correct" are really about what is and isn't prestigious - the speech of the upper class. (They often manage to badly flub even that small goal, but what do you expect from people so infested with Dunning-Kreuger that they don't even understand that they are conflating prestige and correctness?)

Edited by Tanaqui
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I find the idea that a person's language cannot be mistaken to be......a bizzare idea.

My great grandmother consistantly used the word "massacre" to mean "mascara."  She actually meant mascara....she certainly wasn't intending to say that she was putting a massacre on her eyelashes each morning.

My DH couldn't say the word umbilical cord correctly for years.  He would always say "biblical' cord.  No, he never meant that the cord was biblical.  He also still says "PCP pipe" instead of PVC pipe.  No, my DH does not do PCP.

My son is struggling to say the difference between 60 and 16.  He knows the difference between the numbers, but he can't always get his pronounciation correct.  And that pronounciation DOES make a difference.  5 X 12 always equals 60, and not 16.  If he says 16, he has made a mistake.  

 

Saying a person has made a mistake in their speech is really not an insult.  We all make mistakes.  It happens.  It's not really any different than making a typo on the board here.  

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I’m all for regional, cultural, and generational differences. It can be hard to tell whether something is a difference or an error, but that doesn’t mean error’s don’t exist.

ETA: Otherwise, why am I spending so much time homeschooling grammar and vocabulary???

Edited by Carrie12345
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1 minute ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m all for regional, cultural, and generational differences. It can be hard to tell whether something is a difference or an error, but that doesn’t mean error’s don’t exist.

ETA: Otherwise, why am I spending so much time homeschooling grammar and vocabulary???

I know,  right?  

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6 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I find the idea that a person's language cannot be mistaken to be......a bizzare idea.

My great grandmother consistantly used the word "massacre" to mean "mascara."  She actually meant mascara....she certainly wasn't intending to say that she was putting a massacre on her eyelashes each morning.

My DH couldn't say the word umbilical cord correctly for years.  He would always say "biblical' cord.  No, he never meant that the cord was biblical.  He also still says "PCP pipe" instead of PVC pipe.  No, my DH does not do PCP.

My son is struggling to say the difference between 60 and 16.  He knows the difference between the numbers, but he can't always get his pronounciation correct.  And that pronounciation DOES make a difference.  5 X 12 always equals 60, and not 16.  If he says 16, he has made a mistake.  

 

Saying a person has made a mistake in their speech is really not an insult.  We all make mistakes.  It happens.  It's not really any different than making a typo on the board here.  

An individual can certainly be mistaken. It’s just at a certain point when enough people all make the same mistake for long enough it’s no longer a mistake and becomes an acceptable part of the language.  Having very useful debates about when that should be keeps dictionary makers busy I guess 😆

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3 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

This quotation from Busman's Honeymoon, published 1937, manages to combine both the use of the phrase 'pot-plant' and the character's reaction to the correction of his dialect by an over-invested neighbour:

image.thumb.png.0224adbeea272f8e5aff1ebd2b573275.png

This makes me so happy 😀... Dorothy Sayers and language usage discussion all in one post 

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4 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

An individual can certainly be mistaken. It’s just at a certain point when enough people all make the same mistake for long enough it’s no longer a mistake and becomes an acceptable part of the language.  Having very useful debates about when that should be keeps dictionary makers busy I guess 😆

Oh totally!  That's completely true.  I won't disagree with that at all.

I just think it's also possible that a lot of folks, particularly in situations where there isn't really a regional/cultural difference going on, can still make mistakes, and even make the same mistakes.  

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5 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

An individual can certainly be mistaken. It’s just at a certain point when enough people all make the same mistake for long enough it’s no longer a mistake and becomes an acceptable part of the language.  Having very useful debates about when that should be keeps dictionary makers busy I guess 😆

Yes.  If I said 'gotten' it would be a mistake.  However, it is perfectly correct in many dialects.  At some point in the future, it may become so commonly heard in the UK (via mass media) that it will be part of UK dialect too.

Moving into accent very briefly: my son had speech therapy when we moved to Scotland.  The speech therapist noted that he has a very soft 'r'.  If he had been a Scot, then correcting the 'r' would have been part of his therapy.  As he is not a Scot, and I also have a soft southern-English 'r', it was not incorrect for him.

Edited by Laura Corin
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And to circle back around, if I heard someone say "pot plant" I would totally do a double take and likely be confused.  I would however not *correct* them, other than perhaps as a clarification to be sure I understood what they meant.  I am not some language perfectionist that runs around correcting people to the way I think they should speak.....I just wanna understand what the person is saying lol.  

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Just now, happysmileylady said:

And to circle back around, if I heard someone say "pot plant" I would totally do a double take and likely be confused.  I would however not *correct* them, other than perhaps as a clarification to be sure I understood what they meant.  I am not some language perfectionist that runs around correcting people to the way I think they should speak.....I just wanna understand what the person is saying lol.  

Lol yes.  A bit like for the brits when the US people talk about getting off their fanny or everyone where Aussies talk about our usual beach foot wear!  However I think in this case pot plant is not a mistake just a regional difference and in fact pot plant might pre date potted plant

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1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

And to circle back around, if I heard someone say "pot plant" I would totally do a double take and likely be confused.  I would however not *correct* them, other than perhaps as a clarification to be sure I understood what they meant.  I am not some language perfectionist that runs around correcting people to the way I think they should speak.....I just wanna understand what the person is saying lol.  

Same.  Some things like 'I seen' do jolt my nerves.  But I don't go around correcting anyone anymore since my son is now an adult.  If I heard someone say 'pot plant' knowing they meant a plant in a pot, I would have (before this thread) totally believed they intended to say potted.  This thread has shown me there are places where 'pot plant' is normal usage.  I don't think that makes me a classist.  

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3 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Lol yes.  A bit like for the brits when the US people talk about getting off their fanny or everyone where Aussies talk about our usual beach foot wear!  However I think in this case pot plant is not a mistake just a regional difference and in fact pot plant might pre date potted plant

I think it can actually be both.  In my area, it would be incredibly unusual for a person to refer to a plant in a pot as a "pot plant."  Most people around here would absolutely understand that to mean growing MJ at home.  So for this area, I would think it would be more likely that a person who said "pot plant" to actually mean to say "potted plant" and was just speaking too fast or similar.  

However, if I was speaking to an Aussie and they said pot plant, I would probably assume it's a dialect thing and ask for clarification.

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6 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I find the idea that a person's language cannot be mistaken to be......a bizzare idea.

My great grandmother consistantly used the word "massacre" to mean "mascara."  She actually meant mascara....she certainly wasn't intending to say that she was putting a massacre on her eyelashes each morning.

My DH couldn't say the word umbilical cord correctly for years.  He would always say "biblical' cord.  No, he never meant that the cord was biblical.  He also still says "PCP pipe" instead of PVC pipe.  No, my DH does not do PCP.

My son is struggling to say the difference between 60 and 16.  He knows the difference between the numbers, but he can't always get his pronounciation correct.  And that pronounciation DOES make a difference.  5 X 12 always equals 60, and not 16.  If he says 16, he has made a mistake.  

 

Saying a person has made a mistake in their speech is really not an insult.  We all make mistakes.  It happens.  It's not really any different than making a typo on the board here.  

Individuals can misspeak, certainly.

When a construction--word or phrase or grammatical form or what have you--becomes common within a community of speakers it cannot a mistake--it has become part of and proper to the dialect of that community.

Would you consider "goodbye" to be a mistaken form of "God be with you" or is it a proper and correct word in your dialect? 

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18 minutes ago, maize said:

Individuals can misspeak, certainly.

When a construction--word or phrase or grammatical form or what have you--becomes common within a community of speakers it cannot a mistake--it has become part of and proper to the dialect of that community.

Would you consider "goodbye" to be a mistaken form of "God be with you" or is it a proper and correct word in your dialect? 

As indicated by my response to this question

38 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

An individual can certainly be mistaken. It’s just at a certain point when enough people all make the same mistake for long enough it’s no longer a mistake and becomes an acceptable part of the language.  Having very useful debates about when that should be keeps dictionary makers busy I guess 😆

 

35 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Oh totally!  That's completely true.  I won't disagree with that at all.

 

I have already agreed that obviously regional dialects and differences do occur that way.

 

Edited by happysmileylady
Edited because...doh! I made a mistake and had to fix a typo lol
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9 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Same.  Some things like 'I seen' do jolt my nerves.  But I don't go around correcting anyone anymore since my son is now an adult.  If I heard someone say 'pot plant' knowing they meant a plant in a pot, I would have (before this thread) totally believed they intended to say potted.  This thread has shown me there are places where 'pot plant' is normal usage.  I don't think that makes me a classist.  

I can understand "correcting" your son because you were clearly trying to teach him to use a prestige dialect.

Which is fine; my children are also learning a prestige dialect.

I also teach my children that dialects are all inherently equal, I would not want them to mistakenly believe that a dialect in which "I seen" is an ordinary construction is somehow not real and proper and correct language. And if we were surrounded by people using that construction I wouldn't discourage them from using it; at most I would point out the benefits of code-switching as appropriate.

Conjugations in the standard American prestige dialect are only "correct" because that's the way people talk, not because there is some ideal standard rule that they follow.

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at most I would point out the benefits of code-switching as appropriate.

Take it from me, always using an inappropriately formal register is just as bad as always using an inappropriately informal or colloquial register. Nobody seems to take it seriously, but I'm convinced that a difficulty in gauging the correct register and using it properly is a language disability.

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17 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Take it from me, always using an inappropriately formal register is just as bad as always using an inappropriately informal or colloquial register. Nobody seems to take it seriously, but I'm convinced that a difficulty in gauging the correct register and using it properly is a language disability.

I had an interesting discussion just recently with my siblings in which we discovered that each of us had a similar experience when moving back to the US after years overseas (most often this transition happened when we enrolled in college).

People would tell us that we spoke strangely and ask us where we were from. Some of it may have been accent, but I think a lot was over-formality and lack of colloquial structure and cadence. Our primary English language models during our years overseas were a) books, b) non-native speakers, who tend to use very textbook-ish English, and c) each other. 

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

I find the idea that a person's language cannot be mistaken to be......a bizzare idea.

My great grandmother consistantly used the word "massacre" to mean "mascara."  She actually meant mascara....she certainly wasn't intending to say that she was putting a massacre on her eyelashes each morning.

My DH couldn't say the word umbilical cord correctly for years.  He would always say "biblical' cord.  No, he never meant that the cord was biblical.  He also still says "PCP pipe" instead of PVC pipe.  No, my DH does not do PCP.

My son is struggling to say the difference between 60 and 16.  He knows the difference between the numbers, but he can't always get his pronounciation correct.  And that pronounciation DOES make a difference.  5 X 12 always equals 60, and not 16.  If he says 16, he has made a mistake.  

 

Saying a person has made a mistake in their speech is really not an insult.  We all make mistakes.  It happens.  It's not really any different than making a typo on the board here.  

might want to help him on that one.

I was with a group of women in a park, and we were chatting.  we were talking about how "drugs are good" (in reference to childbirth and depression.) . . . The COP sitting behind us just smiled.  (no one had previously noticed he was there. - it was a section with picnic tables so people could sit down and eat.) - but it could have so easily been misunderstood.

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54 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Same.  Some things like 'I seen' do jolt my nerves.  But I don't go around correcting anyone anymore since my son is now an adult.  If I heard someone say 'pot plant' knowing they meant a plant in a pot, I would have (before this thread) totally believed they intended to say potted.  This thread has shown me there are places where 'pot plant' is normal usage.  I don't think that makes me a classist.  

I guess one thing this shows is to be careful about believing that someone intended to say something else because I think they are incorrect--unless I am really sure that they are incorrect.  In this case, there does not seem to be any argument that "pot plant" is incorrect or simply normal usage like "ain't" or "y'all".  In fact, looking at the origins it is likely that "pot plant" was in British usage before "pot" was used in informal American English.  

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13 minutes ago, maize said:

I had an interesting discussion just recently with my siblings in which we discovered that each of us had a similar experience when moving back to the US after years overseas (most often this transition happened when we enrolled in college).

People would tell us that we spoke strangely and ask us where we were from. Some of it may have been accent, but I think a lot was over-formality and lack of colloquial structure and cadence. Our primary English language models during our years overseas were a) books, b) non-native speakers, who tend to use very textbook-ish English, and c) each other. 

oh my yes.  when 2dd came back from 18 months in Chile - where she primarily was speaking Spanish, her cadence in English was very different.

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9 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Fighting words! :tongue:

LOL.

Bill (who feels like he's going down with the ship)

Go read some books written by linguists, you can emerge from your shipwreck as a re-born descriptivist😉

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15 minutes ago, maize said:

Go read some books written by linguists, you can emerge from your shipwreck as a re-born descriptivist😉

Noooooo. Read Fowler, or sumpin' :tongue:

Sound the alarms! Vandals are at the gates.

Fight to the last man (or woman, as the case may be) <--or non-binary.

Bill (who's afraid he's picked the losing side)

 

 

  • Haha 5
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