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    Capital I.....or not?

    When is it right to use a capital I, or not?

    If i'm writing something I tend to use the capital I, as I am now when I am denoting something singular, but if i'm writing like this, i'll use the small i, when i'm writing is, in, isn't etc; is this correct, or not?
    Can you give me some examples?

    Joalaneil

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    It has nothing to do with correct versus incorrect, Joalaneil. If you're writing in chat or if you want to use a casual style in your email to your friends, then small i's are fine.

    Much of language is informal and there's no reason that somwe writing can't be informal. For more formal writing situations, we wouldn't use things reserved for casual writing.

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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    It has nothing to do with correct versus incorrect, Joalaneil. If you're writing in chat or if you want to use a casual style in your email to your friends, then small i's are fine.
    Much of language is informal and there's no reason that somwe writing can't be informal. For more formal writing situations, we wouldn't use things reserved for casual writing.
    Now this thread could become very interesting.

    Of course writing can be informal, and even break all the rules, but there is no way I can agree that using a small i when you are writing about yourself has nothing to do with correct versus incorrect. The only correct way is to always use the capital I. Using a mobile phone can make this nearly impossible (for me anyway) and in chat rooms any and all rules can be suspended. But are these two instances a good reason for saying that it really is just a case of formal and informal?

    If so, the question must be asked "why have any rules"? Write/right become rite; wrong becomes rong; Davy becomes davy; etc, etc.

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    It's not that there aren't any rules, davy, it's that you have to know and understand that there are different registers of language and that rules that apply to one do not apply to the others.

    Roughly speaking, probably to help set some parameters for effectively studying language, we have speech, newspapers, fiction and academic writing.

    You know that you often use things in speech that you'd never use in an academic/term/high school paper.

    By your own admission, you stated;

    "and in chat rooms any and all rules can be suspended".

    Then you went on to say;

    "But are these two instances a good reason for saying that it really is just a case of formal and informal?"

    In this I at least partially agree, Davy. I wasn't careful enough in my response. I can't state categorically where this division either exists now or will exist in the future but we know it does exist and there's nothing that can be done to stop it.



    ++++++++++++++++

    ee cummings

    i like my body when it is with your
    body. It is so quite new a thing.
    Muscles better and nerves more.
    i like your body. i like what it does,
    i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
    of your body and its bones, and the trembling
    -firm-smooth ness and which i will
    again and again and again
    kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
    i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
    of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
    over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

    and possibly i like the thrill

    of under me you so quite new

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    One way to stop it is to emphasise the "accepted" rules. I normally ask myself what I would do when explaining the usage of something to my students. In this case I would be clear that I hated it!

    Lovely poem, if badly typed. Made me feel all tingly.

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    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    One way to stop it is to emphasise the "accepted" rules. I normally ask myself what I would do when explaining the usage of something to my students. In this case I would be clear that I hated it!

    First, you have to know what the accepted rules are, Davy. Merely hating something is the first and often, only measure of proof offered by prescriptivists. As a teacher, I'm sure that you do want more, and would love to offer more than that.

    Lovely poem, if badly typed. Made me feel all tingly.

    If the renowned poet, ee cummings can do it, then we truly have to ask ourselves, "What is the rule?"; "Does it apply to all language situations?"; "Are there new areas of language use that are not covered by the current rules on writing?"
    mmmmmmmmmmm

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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    mmmmmmmmmmm
    This could get serious. Prescriptivist? An awful word, as are many which seem to say something but which are just labels. No teacher operates in a vacuum, cultural or otherwise, and to deny that a teacher can give opinions on the general "acceptability" of something would be sad. I define acceptability as something that most people, especially those who give some thought to a subject, think is "a bad idea". To teach anyone learning English that the small i is a good idea is just ridiculous. I will always refuse to agree that a language can be determined by the technical operation of a mobile phone or the rush to say something in a chatroom. This has nothing to do with formal/informal usage. It is sheer laziness and disrespect for good communication. And yes, I know that any adjective such as good can be analysed to death. Sometimes things just are good or bad.

    I also feel that to quote any one person, whether they be a poet or a politician, as any sort of validation for a point is no proof. They make their choices as do we all.

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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    This could get serious. Prescriptivist? An awful word, as are many which seem to say something but which are just labels. No teacher operates in a vacuum, cultural or otherwise, and to deny that a teacher can give opinions on the general "acceptability" of something would be sad.

    To paraphrase; every teacher is entitled to their own opinion, but they aren't entitled to their own set of facts.

    I define acceptability as something that most people, especially those who give some thought to a subject, think is "a bad idea". To teach anyone learning English that the small i is a good idea is just ridiculous.

    I'd say that, by and large, we're on the same page, Davy. It is certainly not appropriate for certain registers. But it's a done deal for some areas of language use.

    I will always refuse to agree that a language can be determined by the technical operation of a mobile phone or the rush to say something in a chatroom. This has nothing to do with formal/informal usage. It is sheer laziness and disrespect for good communication. And yes, I know that any adjective such as good can be analysed to death. Sometimes things just are good or bad.

    Language change is neither good nor bad. It is completely neutral, indifferent. The only thing that determines language change is usage.

    I also feel that to quote any one person, whether they be a poet or a politician, as any sort of validation for a point is no proof. They make their choices as do we all.

    Precisely and the choices being made in chat rooms, PMs, emails and the like is towards a simplified English. If it didn't work for what language is all about, communication, then something else would be found. But hey, it works.

    Is it going to take over in the newspapers, academia, no, of course not.

    timmsklsjjfjd

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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    Language change is neither good nor bad. It is completely neutral, indifferent. The only thing that determines language change is usage.


    I think we will agree on some things and agree to disagree on others. I am off to look at the other threads on this subject - which I am sure will be supportive of my points of course.

    Before I go. If usage is the only thing that determines language change then if people start replacing the word "English" with "slooky", "constitution" with "oblydoby" and the sentence "I have had my breakfast" with "Fast I break had have", then I should include these changes as part of my English teaching?

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    Re: Capital I.....or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    Language change is neither good nor bad. It is completely neutral, indifferent. The only thing that determines language change is usage.
    I think we will agree on some things and agree to disagree on others. I am off to look at the other threads on this subject - which I am sure will be supportive of my points of course.

    I'm confident that will be so. Then we can continue our discussion.

    Before I go. If usage is the only thing that determines language change then if people start replacing the word "English" with "slooky", "constitution" with "oblydoby" and the sentence "I have had my breakfast" with "Fast I break had have", then I should include these changes as part of my English teaching?
    There's no need to extend this to the ridiculous, Davy. While some languages have very loose word order requirement, English is quite strict regarding word order.

    When I mentioned usage, I meant it in a wider sense, not in the narrow sense that you've suggested. There are new collocations that quickly fall by the wayside and there are some old ones too that fall out of favor.

    Both the new and the old serve their purpose for their time in the language. What replaces them is not good or bad. It is simply what replaces them. It [language that is]works, has been working and will continue to work just fine.

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