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'[OT] You say "Math", I say "Maths"'
2011\03\24@164713 by Oli Glaser

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On 24/03/2011 17:28, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> RussellMc wrote:
>> We antipodeans also use 'maths' and not 'math'. The latter has never
>> been used here afaik, and would instantly identify you as a furriner.
> So you would actually say "I have to do my maths homework now."?  That would
> definitely be wrong here.
>

Yes, in every circumstance you would say "math" we would say "maths", e.g. "I'm pretty good at maths", "Who is your maths teacher?" and so on. As Michael says, it's one of the few Americanisms that has not caught on much over here.
As an aside, I was wondering about how e.g. Windows being set up for US spelling affects literacy over here - I may be wrong in general, but in my experience most PCs I have seen have it that way as standard even though they are sold in the UK. I know it's no big deal to set it to UK, just that probably few people actually bother to do this. In fact, that brings me on to wondering about how the internet will affect language (local dialects etc) globally over time - maybe we will head gradually towards some sort of "universal" language (though you could argue we already have one - English)
Enough random conjecture, back to doing something I actually know something about... :-)

2011\03\24@170008 by Carl Denk

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To be proper in the "Queen's" really mean American English :
I was going to say
"math's teacher",
but I think "math" is an adjective and therefore can't be possessive. But as a techie, I understand what it says, no matter what, and not a concern at all. :) :) :)

On 3/24/2011 4:46 PM, Oli Glaser wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\03\24@170447 by Olin Lathrop

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Oli Glaser wrote:
> maybe we will head gradually towards some sort of "universal"
> language (though you could argue we
> already have one - English)

And over the next couple decades the world's official language will become
Chinglish.  Rots of raughs.


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2011\03\24@170951 by Olin Lathrop

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Carl Denk wrote:
> but I think "math" is an adjective

No, "math" is a noun, short for "mathematics".

"My son is a math major in college."  (He actually is, by the way)

"Let me do the math now to figure the tip."

"The processor spends 2% of it's time doing math in the control loop."


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2011\03\24@174412 by Oli Glaser

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On 24/03/2011 21:05, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Oli Glaser wrote:
>> maybe we will head gradually towards some sort of "universal"
>> language (though you could argue we
>> already have one - English)
> And over the next couple decades the world's official language will become
> Chinglish.  Rots of raughs.
>
>

:-)
I was thinking more of 100+ years. Sounds far fetched maybe, but I wouldn't like to try and predict such things. Take for example the recent thread about modern versus ye olde Chaucerian or even older Beowulf era English, which is all but unreadable today. The world was very different (and far "larger") back then, so I was wondering what role the internet may play in the ongoing development and evolution of language.

2011\03\24@175251 by Carl Denk

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"10/4", and I think "math" can be a noun or adjective, and maybe something else, but my thinking doesn't go that far at the moment after a nice dinner by the better half (wife of 43 years) and a couple of glasses of Ohio wine. :) :) :)

On 3/24/2011 5:05 PM, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Oli Glaser wrote:
>    
>> maybe we will head gradually towards some sort of "universal"
>> language (though you could argue we
>> already have one - English)
>>      
> And over the next couple decades the world's official language will become
> Chinglish.  Rots of raughs.
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.
>

2011\03\24@181543 by Olin Lathrop

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Carl Denk wrote:
> and a couple of glasses of Ohio wine. :) :) :)

What, you distilled Lake Erie water?  Actually that would be moonshine, not
wine.  I guess you must have fermented it, unless of course is already comes
that way.


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2011\03\24@183249 by Carl Denk

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Wine is not distilled, but femented! We quit making our own wine from our grapes 4 years ago. The deer were getting into the grapes, even with an electric fence wire around them. The current wine is from Klingshirn Winery. There are numerous wineries along Lake Erie, and the islands off Sandusky. Actually Lake erie waters became much clearer after the Zebra Mussels moved in. But they are a real problem for the city water intakes. They grow on the screens, blocking the screen. :(

Ohio wineries have many award winning wines. The moderation of Lake Erie weather is a big part.
http://ohiowines.org/winetrails.shtml

On 3/24/2011 6:16 PM, Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\03\24@191346 by Michael Watterson

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On 24/03/2011 21:52, Carl Denk wrote:
> "10/4", and I think "math" can be a noun or adjective, and maybe
> something else, but my thinking doesn't go that far at the moment after
> a nice dinner by the better half (wife of 43 years) and a couple of

Definitely Maths Teacher. without the '
My Dad Graduated in Mathematics and Geography and taught Maths for a few years. Then he taught English for over 20 years.
My wife had worked as Maths Teacher, Physics Teacher and Programmer before we married and still occasionally gives Grinds in Maths.
I only heard the expression "Math" first via US TV programs.

English has only been spoken quite recently in most of USA(19th Century?) compared with Ireland (since 12th Century) and may be losing ground to Spanish.

2011\03\24@201039 by Jim Franklin

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I bought a Chinese sat-nav once,  it was all ok until it said to turn "reft at the rights"


{Original Message removed}

2011\03\24@225621 by Bob Blick

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Enough making fun of Chinese pronunciation of English.

Thank you.

Bob

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - One of many happy users:
 http://www.fastmail.fm/docs/quotes.html

2011\03\24@234422 by Veronica Merryfield

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Dressed in my flame proof gear and running for cover...

Being a recent immigrant to Canada from the UK, various parts of the language differences have provided some amusement, including the math thing :)

I had always assumed that maths was plural and derived from mathematics, also plural. Therefore, the English are able to handle more than one sum at a time where as the north americans with their math have to do one sum at a time :)

The other one that always tickles me is the north american 'erb', as in herb. In English, the term erb is short for erbert or herbert, being a term to mean a youth up to no good, as in "he's a right erb". I'm not sure of the origin.

.... running

On 2011-03-24, at 1:46 PM, Oli Glaser wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2011\03\25@001915 by IVP

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> Enough making fun of Chinese pronunciation of English.

Aw. Not even John Pinette's routine about the ######## tourists
trying to buy Free Willy tickets ?

Fair enoug

2011\03\25@004648 by RussellMc

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> Enough making fun of Chinese pronunciation of English.

You should hear how the English mispronounce Chinese !!! :-).

I've been increasingly finding that there are reasons for various
pronunciations or "errors" that go beyond the normal explanations.

One of may many differences:  It is common to hear a native Chinese
speaker swap he/she ir use them randomly or use only eg "he"
regardless.
Chinese (if I can use so generic a term) has (I'm told) different
written forms for he/she BUT a single pronunciation. A significant
degree of brain programming is required to overcome such fundamental
differences.

English words tend to be assigned tones when adopted for chinese usage.
You are thus unable to pronounce them as you wish and have them understood.
There is a "Bell Tower" at the centre of the old Xian walled city and
it is named, not surprisingly,  "The Bell Tower" at least for tourist
purposes. Trying to locate it by using that name is another matter.
When they work out what you want passers by will often render "Bell
Tower" in passingly good English - but will still not understand you
(me anyway) if you repeat what you hear them say.

Sun Yat Sen is 'the man' in both China's - but not known to anyone if
you call him that. His "real" name I forget, but if I look it up and
say it it will not be recognised.

Cantonese/Mandarin is a nice trap for beginners.

Names on maps are transliterated phonetically into English at the whim
of the map maker. As are names on street signs. The map maker's whim
and the sign maker's whim usually don't match.

I'm sure much fun is made of how we furriners massacre their language ;-).


      Russel

2011\03\25@010342 by Bob Blick

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On Fri, 25 Mar 2011 17:46 +1300, "RussellMc" wrote:
> > Enough making fun of Chinese pronunciation of English.

> I'm sure much fun is made of how we furriners massacre their language

And that makes it OK?

This is an international forum and it's also the 21st century.
Let's give those old slurs a rest until the 22nd.

Best,

Bob



-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Access your email from home and the web

2011\03\25@013809 by RussellMc

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> > I'm sure much fun is made of how we furriners massacre their language
>
> And that makes it OK?

Not at all.
I'm surprised that you, knowing me ~ well enough by now [tm] might
think I thought so.
But, I may  well be losing something in the US/English translation :-).

> This is an international forum and it's also the 21st century.
> Let's give those old slurs a rest until the 22nd.

I try to avoid slurs of any century - although, the olde enough one
become just funny to all takers.

I wasn't intending to make fun - just

1. Attempting to note some sources.
2. Noting that  "we" westerners probably look and sound just as funny
to them. I, at least, do [sound funny that is].

Jokes turned in reverse can often make for biting social commentary.
When it was oft held funny here to tell Irish Jokes my brother used to
tell one that started off sounding typical but ended up effectively
lauding an IRA splinter group highly intentional
unquestioned-attrocity*. (He'd probably be ashamed of it now). Not
very nice I thought then and now, but it did rather sober up those who
poked racial "fun" carelessly.

All that said, I'd consider  any cross-race and cross-culture joke on
it's merits. Some may well pass the test of reasonableness (mine
anyway) regardless of their PC rating.




  Russell

* Mountbatten murder

2011\03\25@020705 by Bob Blick

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On Fri, 25 Mar 2011 18:37 +1300, "RussellMc" wrote:

> I try to avoid slurs of any century - although, the olde enough one
> become just funny to all takers.

As I suggested, let it rest for another 89 years. Then maybe it will be
olde.

> All that said, I'd consider  any cross-race and cross-culture joke on
> it's merits. Some may well pass the test of reasonableness (mine
> anyway) regardless of their PC rating.

So it's a slur if you don't think it's funny, otherwise it's a joke?
How about if half the audience thought it was funny and half thought it
was a slur?

Maybe you thought it was a funny enough to be OK, making fun of Chinese.
Ha ha. Let's ask if he minded the joke we made of him. See, he doesn't
mind, right?

At what ratio does it become a joke that isn't a slur?
Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - The way an email service should be

2011\03\25@092056 by RussellMc

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>> All that said, I'd consider  any cross-race and cross-culture joke on
>> it's merits. Some may well pass the test of reasonableness (mine
>> anyway) regardless of their PC rating.

> So it's a slur if you don't think it's funny, otherwise it's a joke?
> How about if half the audience thought it was funny and half thought it
> was a slur?
>
> Maybe you thought it was a funny enough to be OK, making fun of Chinese.
> Ha ha. Let's ask if he minded the joke we made of him. See, he doesn't
> mind, right?

One of use may need some more sleep - may be me :-).
I didn't  comment on any joke made here.
AFAIR none were funny enough to be noticed, whether slurs or not.

I'm not a consumate joke teller or requrgitator. I save and savour a
few and seldom tell jokes.
I think I think that if I ran into a joke that I thought was extremely
funny and may be worth retelling AND it contained racial references
that I'd then look at those to see if they, as a first measure, passed
a good cross section of the criteria in my basic hurdle test. [[ Hear
O' Israel, the L... and thy neighbour as thyself. // "A certain man
.... Jericho ... which of these was neighbour to that man ? // Do not
place a stumbling block ... blind ...  // ]]. If it seemed OK in those
terms I'd probably have a quick glance at the special circumstances //
overly sensitive / ... issues and make a decision. NONE of the
foregoing may necessarily  be a formal test - may just be a "does it
fit what I consider is apposite in these terms ?" measure BUT a formal
test may apply.

Some of the few jokes that I know that I consider clever and worth
retelling are on permanent embargo because I also consider them too
offensive for whatever reason in a world of too sensitive people.

I now can't think of a single worthwhile joke as an example :-). Some will come.
A racist joke heard in childhood just surfaced. Useful only when
inverted to present to racists :-).

OK - childhoodish' joke' from another era. Not funny. Hardly worth
telling. But perhaps an example of one that I don't have too much
trouble with.
Insert race of choice - this is how it came.
Q: "What do you call a 6 foot 6 inch Biafran with a machine gun?"
A: (of course) "Sir !!!"
Apart from not being funny and representing children's  humor probably
thousands of years old, I don't see too much wrong with it.
At the time there were a lot of machine gun toting Biafrans in the news.

I prefer eg "There are 10 sorts of people. Those who understand binary
and those who don't".
But I can't seem to work any racial content into that.

FWIW - I have made a successful Chinese joke in Chinese ;-).
I know because some Chinese friends used my 'joke' as an example when
explaining another one.
It's trivially simple and silly. But for some reason seems to not
occur to people in China to the extent that they consider it quite
humorous.
In a group you'll often have a Mr Yuan.
Simply refer to him as Mr RMB (ar em bee) and you'll find the name is
liable to still be being used months later and adopted by the target
as well.
FWIW.


      R








>
> At what ratio does it become a joke that isn't a slur?
>
> Bob
>
>
> --
> http://www.fastmail.fm - The way an email service should be
>
>

2011\03\25@135858 by Chris Pearson

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Now that's funny right thurr.

- cp


On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 6:20 AM, RussellMc <spam_OUTapptechnzTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:

>
> In a group you'll often have a Mr Yuan.
> Simply refer to him as Mr RMB (ar em bee) and you'll find the name is
> liable to still be being used months later and adopted by the target
> as well.
> FWIW.
>
>
>       R
>

2011\03\25@192250 by RussellMc

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> > In a group you'll often have a Mr Yuan.
> > Simply refer to him as Mr RMB (ar em bee) and you'll find the name is
> > liable to still be being used months later and adopted by the target
> > as well.
> > FWIW.

> Now that's funny right thurr.

Ah. I seem to have achieved a genuine (albeit rather obvious) cross
cultural joke (with no slurs :-) ).
Assuming, that is, that 'Christopher Patrick Pearson' is not mainland
Chinese :-)*.

Another "joke" of mine.
Many mainland Chinese who interact with furriners have adopted English
names. I've been honored to have been asked to bestow names on a few
people. Some people quite pointedly do NOT have English names. In my
experience, being named Mr Zhao (comes out as My Joe near enough to
most western tongues) seems to instill greater pride in being
mono-nameal (?) than most for some reason (probably coincidence).

When discussions of English names of and with mainland Chinese arise I
sometimes tell people that I have a Chinese name. Interest and
curiosity is usually expressed.
I say

           'Yes, my Chinese name is " Ni Hao"'

Short pause to allow blank looks. Then -

         ' That way, when people say "Ni Hao" I can reply "Yes?"
           [[add suitable inflection indicating deep query]].'

This usually is very well received :-).


           Russell


* Does that qualify as an ethnic joke?
 If so, as I don't see any potential for slur there except for the
terminally thin skinned, then it may be an example of the sort I was
talking about previously (albeit a very weak one)

* Again. Acquired English names end to have one or two parts. Never 3
that I've noticed. May be very ornate. May be unusual variants on
names which are not used or much used "in the West".
eg I know a young woman whose English name is "Joulion". A name not
wholly unknown to gargoyle but exceeding rare

2011\03\25@200707 by Oli Glaser

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On 25/03/2011 04:46, RussellMc wrote:
> One of may many differences:  It is common to hear a native Chinese
> speaker swap he/she ir use them randomly or use only eg "he"
> regardless.
>

Ah, that makes sense - I have been watching (literally) nothing but Chinese films for the last year, having a growing fascination with the culture. Interestingly, I now prefer to watch in Cantonese (for some unknown reason, apart from the older ones which I like Mandarin for) and have picked up quite a few words. Would love to learn to write/speak at some point (be especially useful for business visits over there)
Anyway, to get to the point, I noticed with many subtitles a recurring error is that when someone refers to a "he", it may say "she" and vice versa. The above could explain this nicely.

> Cantonese/Mandarin is a nice trap for beginners.

I'm sure it is - I read somewhere that Chinese is a tonal language (which would explain the tones they seem to assign to English words. I have noticed this in the films, any Caucasian actors sound very affected - possibly for the benefit of the Chinese viewers) so different tones for the same word mean different things?

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