[Grammar] don't sign nothing

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Soup

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re: Is this right?

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.

2006 said:
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.
 

tzfujimino

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re: Is this right?

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...:-D

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.:oops:
 

Soup

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re: Is this right?

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. :lol::cool:
 

e2e4

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re: Is this right?

In the well known Bosnian English:mrgreen:

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.
 

Soup

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re: Is this right?

In the well known Bosnian English:mrgreen:

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. :cool::up:
 

riverkid

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re: Is this right?

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].


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.
 
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riverkid

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re: Is this right?


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].
 

e2e4

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re: Is this right?

:up:
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.





:hi:
 
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RonBee

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re: Is this right?

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

:)
 

riverkid

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re: Is this right?

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.
 

2006

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re: Is this right?

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',
You are taking things out of context. I was talking about the claim that nonstandard English is as logical as standard English is. It's not!
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!







The motive is perfectly clear, 2006. It's imperative that we describe language as it's actually used. Of course you can do that if all you want be is a descriptivist. But you can't be sure that you are aware of all the usages in the world; so you will only be describing the uses that you know of. And if you are aware of all the uses, you will offer the student a mass of information with no guidance. After all, there is no incorrect English as far as you are concerned.
That's the only way that ESLs can ever hope to become truly fluent in language. Your ambition is winning out over reality. You're not going to make many ESLs as fluent as you are, but there is a good chance many of them will be very confused! We've seen, time and again, prescriptions put forward here at this site that can't be defended. That is strictly your own biased opinion.

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

The better question is, why do some studiously ignore the science, favoring instead canards, old wives tales, pure fabrications.
By "language science" you mean descriptivism.
I hope this will be my last post on this thread. You can have your blue back. :)
 
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riverkid

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re: Is this right?

I hope this will be my last post on this thread. You can have your blue back. :)

riverkid wrote:
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',


2006 wrote: You are taking things out of context. I was talking about the claim that substandard English is as logical as standard English is. It's not!

[present replies are in purple]

We'd have to get our terms straight before we can discuss this. Not "substandard", 2006, "nonstandard".




riverkid wrote:
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!
The motive is perfectly clear, 2006. It's imperative that we describe language as it's actually used.


2006 wrote:
Of course you can do that if all you want be is a descriptivist. But you can't be sure that you are aware of all the usages in the world; so you will only be describing the uses that you know of. And if you are aware of all the uses, you will offer the student a mass of information with no guidance. After all, there is no incorrect English as far as you are concerned.


First things first. I've never said that "there is no incorrect English".

Your logic, again, is a bit off. I don't have to be aware of all the usages for all the dialects of English. I only have to give accurate information as to what is standard and nonstandard English for my dialect. I can offer advice, subject to correction, for what works for other dialects.

But for the issue at hand; telling ESLs that a double negative equals a positive is highly misleading because it doesn't, in either standard or nonstandard English in any dialect of English.


riverkid wrote:
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.


2006 wrote:
Your ambition is winning out over reality. You're not going to make many ESLs as fluent as you are, but there is a good chance many of them will be very confused! That is strictly your own biased opinion. Again, this is only your opinion.


It's hardly only my opinion, 2006. One good example, you haven't been able to defend the prescriptive notion that a double negative equals a positive.

riverkid wrote:
The better question is, why do some studiously ignore the science, favoring instead canards, old wives tales, pure fabrications.


2006 wrote:
By "language science" you mean descriptivism.


Indubitably, that's what I mean. It would be a stretch of monstrous proportions to even suggest that prescriptivism had any connections to science.

You might as well keep blue for a while longer. :)
 

2006

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re: Is this right?

riverkid wrote:
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',

2006 wrote: You are taking things out of context. I was talking about the claim that substandard English is as logical as standard English is. It's not!

[present replies are in purple]

We'd have to get our terms straight before we can discuss this. Not "substandard", 2006, "nonstandard".



riverkid wrote:
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!
The motive is perfectly clear, 2006. It's imperative that we describe language as it's actually used.

2006 wrote:
Of course you can do that if all you want be is a descriptivist. But you can't be sure that you are aware of all the usages in the world; so you will only be describing the uses that you know of. And if you are aware of all the uses, you will offer the student a mass of information with no guidance. After all, there is no incorrect English as far as you are concerned.

First things first. I've never said that "there is no incorrect English".

Your logic, again, is a bit off. I don't have to be aware of all the usages for all the dialects of English. I only have to give accurate information as to what is standard and nonstandard English for my dialect. I can offer advice, subject to correction, for what works for other dialects.

But for the issue at hand; telling ESLs that a double negative equals a positive is highly misleading because it doesn't, in either standard or nonstandard English in any dialect of English.

riverkid wrote:
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.

2006 wrote:
Your ambition is winning out over reality. You're not going to make many ESLs as fluent as you are, but there is a good chance many of them will be very confused! That is strictly your own biased opinion. Again, this is only your opinion.

It's hardly only my opinion, 2006. One good example, you haven't been able to defend the prescriptive notion that a double negative equals a positive.

riverkid wrote:
The better question is, why do some studiously ignore the science, favoring instead canards, old wives tales, pure fabrications.

2006 wrote:
By "language science" you mean descriptivism.

Indubitably, that's what I mean. It would be a stretch of monstrous proportions to even suggest that prescriptivism had any connections to science.

You might as well keep blue for a while longer. :)
definitely my last post here...
1...I corrected the "substandard" mental typo.
2...Logically a double negative is a positive. That's very clear, and language should be as logical as possible.
3...Discussing this further would be a total waste of my time.
 

riverkid

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re: Is this right?

definitely my last post here...

1...I corrected the "substandard" mental typo.

Are you a native speaker, 2006. Of course you are and a knowledgeable one to boot. So even we natives make typos. [this relates to Banderas's thread]

2...Logically a double negative is a positive. That's very clear, and language should be as logical as possible.

You keep resorting to the word 'logic' and its different forms when they support your position not at all. What logic is it that says a double negative is a positive when it so clearly is NOT.

Nothing could be more apparent. It's apparent to ESLs, to little children, to, well, to absolutely everyone except prescriptivists. Why do prescriptivists, a group that constantly screams about the importance of clarity in language, cleave to rules that do nothing but confuse?

In this case, the only actual confusion for ENLs is on a conscious level; as I've mentioned a number of times, at the processing level of language there is zero confusion. Of course we mustn't forget the confusion these prescriptions cause second language learners.



3...Discussing this further would be a total waste of my time.

Perhaps less discussion and more proof would now be in order, 2006.
 

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re: Is this right?

Calm down guys! (as to I've heard this phrase is in use in Australia and at New Zealand )

Maybe, as a learner, I should keep my mouth shut but

Perhaps less discussion and more proof would now be in order, 2006.

Don't talk.
Stop talking.
Say nothing.
Stop saying.

Could someone say it shorter? Probably not. From that point of view

Don't say nothing or
Don't say anything

and in accordance to the rules of the well known Bosnian English grammar:mrgreen: those are both wrong.

Don't say a word! could be in use even though not a shortest but the right solution (choice), sometimes.
 

Soup

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... in accordance to the rules of the well known Bosnian English grammar:mrgreen: ...
:lol::up: You've made my day.
 

e2e4

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re: Is this right?

:up:
:cheers:
 

stuartnz

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re: Is this right?

Calm down guys! (as to I've heard this phrase is in use in Australia and at New Zealand )

"in" Australia but "at" NZ? Who's telling us to calm down, and why? :-D

We say calm down "in" NZ, too, and we have also for the most part left behind the silliness of trying to insist that rules of mathematical logic must or should be applied to language.

Certainly, the arguments against the double negative in English look more than a little shaky when the history of the language is considered, as in this excellent summary. Of course, Chaucer was just a thoroughly evil abuser of English, going way beyond mere double negatives and even daring to use "they" as an epicene singular pronoun. :-D
 

e2e4

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re: Is this right?

I thought the New Zealand would be recognised as an island if I used the preposition at instead of the preposition in. :)

Australia as a continent or country ~in
New Zealand as a country ~ in
New Zealand as a island ~ at :?:


 

stuartnz

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I thought the New Zealand would be recognised as an island if I used the preposition at instead of the preposition in. :)

Australia as a continent or country ~in
New Zealand as a country ~ in
New Zealand as a island ~ at
:?:



Aotearoa/New Zealand is a country, not an island. There are 3 main islands, Te Ika a Maui, Te Wai Pounamu, and Rakiura, plus scores of little islands. So if you want to speak of NZ as a singular enity, it has to be as a geopolitical unit, one country, not a geographical unit, one island. Noho ora mai!:-D
 
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