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  1. #21
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I mean are the students reading our posts really supposed to remember that it would be quite okay to say "don't say nothing" when speaking to people in/from East London and East Anglia, even though it would be best to say "don't say anything" in most other places?
    That's for the learner to decide. As a teacher the best I can do is offer students variants that they may come across. Whether they feel on a personal level the variant is appropriate or not is a choice/judgement they will have to make. After all, they are adults, and learning to be open-minded comes with the territory.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006
    And are they really going to understand/remember that "if there is very heavy stress on "don't" or a specific plaintive stress on "nothing," then it would be a grammatically correct way..."? Or will you just confuse/overwhelm them, especially middle and lower-level learners?
    Again, I don't presume to know what is best for them; I teach English. They decide what is or isn't useful, relevant or important to them.

  2. #22
    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is online now Key Member
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I mean are the students reading our posts really supposed to remember that it would be quite okay to say "don't say nothing" when speaking to people in/from East London and East Anglia, even though it would be best to say "don't say anything" in most other places?

    And are they really going to understand/remember that "if there is very heavy stress on "don't" or a specific plaintive stress on "nothing," then it would be a grammatically correct way..."? Or will you just confuse/overwhelm them, especially middle and lower-level learners?

    Well...

    First of all, I think it is OK to learn(know) nonstandard English. I mean...to better understand what native speakers say in their natural conversation, it's necessary for us(non-native speakers) to know about the nonstandard version of English. To know(learn) is one thing, and to use it is another.

    Soup has provided us so much information, which I've found really useful.
    As for 'double negation', it's easy to grasp the intended meaning in the context given, isn't it?

    I hope you can see what I mean.

  3. #23
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    First of all, I think it is OK to learn (know) non-standard English. I mean... to better understand what native speakers say in their natural conversation, it's necessary for us (non-native speakers) to know about the non-standard version of English. To know (learn) is one thing, and to use it is another.
    However, 2006 also makes a valid and useful point. Knowing which is which is also important.

    On an aside, in the past the only thing my students wanted to learn was non-standard English--the assumption being it's the "cool" language of the people, as opposed to the "stuffy" textbook English--which is OK for exams, but not for fitting in (their assumptions, not mine). These days, things have changed. My students now work in international companies where non-standard English is rarely used because almost everyone speaks English as a second or other language, and they are trained in using Business English. So, the only thing they want to learn now is how to understand X-English dialect, or the new non-standard Englishes; e.g., Russian-English, Indian-English. How times have changed.

  4. #24
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default re: Is this right?

    In the well known Bosnian English

    don't say nothing
    means say something.

    say nothing means keep you mouth shut.

    say something means I need your opinion

    That's with the Bosnian English.
    But if you are from abroad you may talk the way you've been accustomed to.

  5. #25
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    In the well known Bosnian English

    don't say nothing means say something.

    say nothing means keep you mouth shut.

    say something means I need your opinion

    That's with the Bosnian English.
    But if you are from abroad you may talk the way you've been accustomed to.
    Good to know next time I am in Bosnia.

  6. #26
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Under Nonstandard English in riverkid's last post, there is the patently false statement that "These nonstandard varieties of English are no less logical (my underlining) or systematic than Standard English.

    Logically "don't say nothing" means 'say something', just as "I don't have no money" logically means 'I have some money.'

    "I have no money." means I am without money. So how does "I don't have no money." logically mean the same thing?
    You stole my color 'blue', 2006. Now I have to use red.

    I'm afraid that your logic is off. There isn't an English speaker on the planet who would gloss "don't say nothing" as 'say something', unless, as Soup noted, the intonation were such that it held that meaning.

    That's the magic of language. And this illustrates the paucity of thinking that has gone into prescriptivism. Imagine, looking to Robert Lowth for advice on English. An absolutely preposterous idea!




    Grammar Puss - S Pinker

    At this point, defenders of the standard are likely to pull out the notorious double negative, as in [I can't get no satisfaction.] Logically speaking, the two negatives cancel each other out, they teach; Mr. Jagger is actually saying that he is satisfied. The song should be entitled "I Can't Get [Any] Satisfaction."

    But this reasoning is not satisfactory. Hundreds of languages require their speakers to use a negative element in the context of a negated verb. The so-called "double negative," far from being a corruption, was the norm in Chaucer's Middle English, and negation in standard French, as in [Je ne sais pas] where [ne] and [pas] are both negative, is a familiar contemporary example.

    Come to think of it, standard English is really no different. What do [any], [even], and [at all] mean in the following sentences?

    I didn't buy any lottery tickets.
    I didn't eat even a single french fry.
    I didn't eat fried food at all today.

    Clearly, not much: you can't use them alone, as the following strange sentences show:

    I bought any lottery tickets.
    I ate even a single french fry.
    I ate fried food at all today.

    What these words are doing is exactly what [no] is doing in nonstandard American English, such as in the equivalent [I didn't buy no lottery tickets] -- agreeing with the negated verb. The slim difference is that nonstandard English co-opted the word [no] as the agreement element, whereas Standard English co-opted the word [any].

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I don't understand the motive of those who constantly rail against the concept of correct and incorrect English on an ESL site.
    The motive is perfectly clear, 2006. It's imperative that we describe language as it's actually used. That's the only way that ESLs can ever hope to become truly fluent in language. We've seen, time and again, prescriptions put forward here at this site that can't be defended.

    Calling something "correct/incorrect", as I've noted many times with substantial backing from language science, is simply inaccurate.

    The better question is, why do some studiously ignore the science, favoring instead canards, old wives tales, pure fabrications.
    Last edited by riverkid; 05-Jul-2008 at 16:05.

  7. #27
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post

    This contrasts with Standard English, where a double negative is considered a positive
    ... see double negative).

    Source[/INDENT]

    The underlined, above, is patently false. Double negatives have been errantly described as positives by prescriptivists, but they are not understood in language as positives, save for those specially intonated examples].

  8. #28
    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default re: Is this right?


    Soup, don't tell me you've been here.
    Anyway you're very welcome.

    Despite the fact that this poor country has in the recent years been put upside completely down, once, as a stranger, you've got in here and, as we used to say, either drunk this water or heard nightingale's songs or been listening to people's short but great stories most of which are complete lies that sound truer than any truth, as the famous one of our writers had said in a one of his great and always alive novels, you could imagine you even though saw a trout in one of the streams of many mountain creeks with the drinking water in it and you wouldn't want to leave this place by your will, feeling as great as it possible to feel by being in such paradise, but on the other hand, in such paradise from which many Bosnians, younger than 50, would like to leave as soon as possible and get anywhere in the, so called, developed world, the world which they have for years been hearing about and living blind to all such beauty all around them.





    Last edited by e2e4; 05-Jul-2008 at 18:29.

  9. #29
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default re: Is this right?

    It is, in mh humble opinion, best to avoid using terms like corect and incorrect.


  10. #30
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    It is very right and proper to indicate to a learner that there is a correct and an incorrect form.

    It is hardly right or proper if one doesn't understand what correct and incorrect mean, Anglika.

    Soapboxes are slippery things to stand on.
    Prescriptivists have certainly found that to be the case, haven't they? Their pratfalls are legion.

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