Complaint-Teachers who use incorrect grammar

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by GardenDove, May 16, 2007.

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  1. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    May 17, 2007

    Read the book "Eats Shoots and Leaves" for discussions on apostrophes, as well as punctuation in general. It's a funny book!
    Diglossia is switching from one language (formal) to another (vernacular). Code switching can be used between dialects. BTW, the Queen's English is called Received Pronunciation.
     
  2. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    Something else interesting...

    logorrhea log-uh-RI-uh, n an excessive flow of words, prolixity [Gr logos word + roia flow, stream] (like diarrhea of the mouth, yuck!)

    Great site to look at!

    Welcome to the International House of Logorrhea, a free online dictionary of weird and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. The IHL is a component of The Phrontistery, which has many other free word lists and unusual word related resources.

    http://phrontistery.info/ihlstart.html

    I use it to learn words for Scrabble, which ironically enough, my students still call Scramble. LOL
     
  3. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    My favorite word is sesquipedalian. Words are so much fun!
     
  4. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    most of the scrabble words I come up with are two or three letter words.
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I say Sundee Mondee Tuesdee.....


    Mine is when people ask, "Are you Death?" Last time I looked I wasn't the grim reaper.
     
  6. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    May 17, 2007

    history grammar

    I've got one that some people don't realize. If a person is killed by hanging...s/he was "hanged." For example:

    John Brown was hanged for treason.
    or
    Saddam Hussein was hanged in a secret location.

    How do you like that one? Kids always try to tell me that I am wrong about that one & I love to correct them. That is an example of a "fun" grammar fact for me.
     
  7. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    What does "are you death" mean?
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    My entire class had a new name for colored pencils. They called them color stencils. I've brainwashed most of the kids, but I still have two who insist they are using their stencils.

    I have had a war on ain't the past two years. I was hearing that word at least twenty times a day before I declared war! If my kids use that word and don't self-correct immediately, they have to write the sentence correctly twenty times. It has eliminated the word from our classroom. I don't enforce the rule at lunch or recess.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I think the people who said that were asking if the poster is deaf.

    CutNGlue, is that correct?
     
  10. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    My student over uses the "Barely"
    "I barely got here" a late student
    "I barely heard you say that"
    "I barely finished my home work"
    "I barely got out of the way"
    "I barely scored"
    "I barely....", "I barely....", "I barely....", "I barely....",
    I could just scream but I barely remembered the class next door is taking a test. :D
     
  11. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    May 17, 2007

    I thought it was hung?
    John Brown was hung for treason

    hung
    adjective
    also hanged

    Like a Double Hung window?

    or William Hung oops wrong Hung



    I am just a shop teacher turned Math teacher
    No grammar was hung in this post
     
  12. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    May 17, 2007

    As far as I know, that's the way the British pronounce the days of the week. So I guess in some parts of the US 'proper' pronunciation of some words still remains.
     
  13. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    Nope! I thought so too- but it is proper to say "hanged."
     
  14. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Usage For both transitive and intransitive senses * the past and past participle hung, as well as hanged, is standard.

    Hanged is most appropriate for official executions <he was to be hanged, cut down whilst still alive...and his bowels torn out -- Louis Allen>
    but hung is also used <gave orders that she should be hung -- Peter Quennell>.
    Hung is more appropriate for less formal hangings <by morning I'll be hung in effigy -- Ronald Reagan>.

    *: to suspend by the neck until dead -- often hanged in the past; often used as a mild oath <I'll be hanged>

    http://www.m-w.com/

    Is a formal hanging White tie or Black tie?
     
  15. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    Fascinating thread.

    Let's not allow ourselves to be tricked into thinking that grammar is a science. Like the English language, "proper" or, more appropriately, "formal" English grammar is in constant flux.

    Don't waste your time on the "who" and "whom" confusion. In fifty years, no one will ever use "whom." IrishDave, your assumption that "hung" is the proper word WILL be correct in time; "hanged" is on its way out. In fact, many of the things that are correctly identified as grammatical errors (not dialect issues) are simply evidence of the evolution of the language.

    If you think language is fixed, review your English textbooks. If generations of speakers and writers had not broken with conventional language, we'd all understand Beowulf in the original Old English. (Or is that Olde?)

    As an English teacher, I only insist that my students understand that the way they speak is NOT formal English. My students know that, like the clothes one wears, one's language needs to be appropriate for the situation in which one finds oneself. (Yes, this is formal English.) Furthermore, grammarians, at least grammarians who make their work relevant, no longer waste time with prescriptive grammar structures. These include, but are not limited to, not using "ain't," "y'all," or "ya'll" ("you all" and "you (pl) will/shall," respectively) in even spoken language, or the idea that we should not splice infinitive verb forms ("to boldly go where no man has gone before" should be written and spoken "to go boldly go..."), etc.

    The fact of the matter is that prescriptive language rules are dying. Those who cling to them are fighting a losing battle. Instead, grammarians and grammar-conscious teachers should be using grammar as a tool through which language can be observed and appreciated.

    [tangent] Oh, and don't waste your time trying to "fix" dialect "mistakes." Often times, students are using ethnic dialects that carry within them grammar structures that, in fact, simplify English. Consider this: mainstream English does not have a habitual verb tense. So what? Well, if you want to explain that an action or condition is regularly repeated/constant, you have to explain it that way. "Sally is running on a regular basis." In AAE (African American English, often derogatorily refered to as "ebonics"), one only need say "Sally be runnin'," since AAE has a habitual verb "be." Students KNOW how their dialects work. When someone who is ignorant to the rules of their speech tells them they are wrong, they rightfully reject the assessment. Now, if we correctly explain that, unfortunately, there is a social stigma against using AAE, Chicano, or creole forms, and that if students wish to influence change in their world, they will have to accommodate mainstream English, then we're on their sides again.[/tangent]
     
  16. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Yeah, DarkLikePoe!!! I love your post. I learned much of what you said in a linguistics course a few years ago. It changed my mind so completely about judging people and how they speak. Not that I don't appreciate standard English, but at times, it is certainly overrated. I think the English conventions of "old" are stuck more in the act of writing...it seems that only news broadcasters and speechmakers speak a "pure" standard language anymore! (Well, not really, but sometimes it seems so!)

    Anyway, I hope people read your post thoroughly! It is right on the money and NOT an excuse or cop-out. It's just the way it is.
     
  17. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    Thanks, srh. I appreciate that! :D

    EDIT: Oh no! We're on page four and my post is on page three! :( Oh well, seek and you shall find, grammarian wayfarers!
     
  18. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Interesting contribution to the discussion, Poe.
     
  19. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    Good Point! Many times I don't correct certain grammar mistakes because I'm not positive that they are mistakes. Sometimes I am just being extra picky!
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Wait are you saying that we be talk'n AAE ("ebonics") soon?
    All Kidding aside you say a social stigma? Does the work world have any thing to say about AAE?

    Would a good example of this langauge change be the dialog in the movie "Demolition Man" with Sandra Bullock set in a nonviolent future society?
     
  21. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    The who and whom thing is easy, by the way, once you've learned Polish...

    Polish has 7 cases for singular and 7 cases for plural, plus the modifiers also need to change to match the cases (and gender) of the noun in question.
     
  22. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    Whoa this post is rockin'
     
  23. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    And in Polish, one's social class and education level is also detectable, and subject to scrutiny, by one's useage of the language. One way to discern a person's background and social status is to note his/her proper use of cases.Therefore, certain nuances and ways of using language serve a social function in class stratification.
     
  24. jd123

    jd123 Cohort

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    Language evolves. Who knows what will be considered to be grammatically incorrect in 75 years. However, students should be made aware that there is Standard English, and one must use it when necessary. But we can still appreciate different dialects. So, yah. ;)
     
  25. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    This is a very interesting thread. I don't mind when students speak improper grammar- dealing with a majority of spanish and african speakers it is to be expected as they are learning the rules of English Language. However, I do have a problem with teachers using "street language." I listen to rap and hip hop and do not talk that way during the school day. ( actuallu, not at all but i undrerstand how different dialets do) School is not the place for the modeling of improper "street" grammar.
     
  26. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Ha ha, you came back to my original point. For me, I would like the schools to reinforce the good grammar I (generally) use at home. For others, it's a chance to have proper grammar modeled to them by another adult.

    I understand it's tricky to correct a child whose family uses incorrect grammar. Maybe it's embarrassing for them. I live in a predominantly White area, but there are plenty of people here who would drive Henry Higgins to tears.

    That was a great movie, by the way. Have you all seen "My Fair Lady"? It thoroughly explores the class/grammar link, and is very entertaining.
     
  27. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    GardenDove, just because knowing Polish makes the difference between "who" and "whom" easier to understand doesn't mean it's not going away. Also, you speak of linguistically-bound social stratification as if Polish is the only language in which this exists.

    Irishdave, I have never seen Demolition Man, which should be either italicized or underlined, given that it is a larger body of work. Scenes within, like poems within a larger, and therefore underlined or italicized, anthology, would be put in quotes. :D (Trust me, the media - newspapers included - isn't the best source for modeling what so many people think is "correct" English.)

    All kidding aside, I'm not sure if you're disputing or reinforcing my point. Of course the work world "has something to say about this." It is the work world, the real world, that determines how you are judged in all things. It is not limited to language. What I am suggesting is that, by blindly insisting that students blindly follow a blindly predescriptive set of rules that do not apply even to mainstream English, we are not helping them. However, by understanding that language in inherently constructed, and by understanding the language constructs our students are coming from, we can build bridges between what they already know, linguistically speaking, and what they NEED to know to manifest positive change in their lives.

    Isn't that what teaching is about?

    Getting hung up on rules that won't matter in twenty years won't help the students. You can't fight the proverbial tide. You can, however, learn to ride it, and teach THAT.
     
  28. GardenDove

    GardenDove Habitué

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    Poe, I was bringing up Polish to say that in all languages, it's usage is a way one's social caste can be identified by others. Not much different than dogs urinating on a tree. Like Henry Higgins said in his movie. Eliza Doolittle was socially branded by the way she spoke. She advertised to the world that she was from a lower class background when she opened her mouth. This limited her options in life.

    Do you understand me now?
     
  29. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I'll have to go back and look up what punctuation is used for a title since I have been out of High school for 38 years I really thought my English teacher told me that a title was in quotes.

    Edit:
    Underline titles of long works such as books, magazines, albums, movies, etc. (Do not underline end punctuation.)
    Example: We use The Language Handbook to study grammar.
    Example: We use The Language Handbook to study
    Put quotation marks around the titles of short works, such as articles, songs, short stories, or poems.
    Example: Have you heard the song "Love Me Tender," by Elvis Presley?
    http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.c...nventions/punctuation.html#UNDERLININGgrammar.
    I wonder where in my past I got the Idea to put a title in Quotation Marks
     
  30. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    I understood you before, but you made an illogical argument. You are saying that, embedded in Polish are grammatical structures that identify one's place in society. This is not unlike, for instance, Spanish, with a formal and informal form of the second person pronoun: "usted" and "tu," respectively. Korean and Vietnamese have similar structures, though they are multi-tiered, like Polish, from the sound of it. One form for speaking as a child to an adult, one for speaking as a subordinate to a superior, one for an adult speaking to a child, etc.

    However, my understanding was that we were discussing the incorrect use of grammar, not established linguistic structures. In My Fair Lady, you are right in saying that Doolittle was limited in life when she opened her mouth, but it was because of her dialect, the combination of her accent, lexicon, and syntax, not the way she misused otherwise proper language.

    I'm arguing that "incorrect grammar," as it is commonly identified, is nothing more than a subset, or dialect, of English, and that by realizing that these "mistakes" are NOT mistakes in the students' home dialects, we can make a connection between what the student knows and what the world would like them to know.

    Oh, and regarding the territorialization of language: what does a dog do when it can tell that its mark has been masked? It makes another one.
     
  31. GardenDove

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    Dear Poe,
    It appears that you have brought an edgy, argumentative tone to this thread, if you don't mind me sharing that observation with you. It's really the first I've seen of that here at this site, and it really disheartens me. Your aggressive posting style leaves me cold, so I'm going to sign off.
     
  32. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Well, I still await the jury.

    How about you DarkLikePoe...do you make judgements based upon written and spoken languages?

    My guess is that if we are to make judgements, especially damning judgements, based upon each other's language usage, then we will indeed find these judgements to be proven incorrect. But, if anyone feels differently, please comment.

    La Professora, you gave examples of judgements, but in those judgements you narrowed down your field. Posters writing that they do judge based on language, even language used on this website, do not have the luxury of seeing the person whom they are judging. Moreover, they do not even know fully what region in which they live.

    So, if anyone does indeed make such judgements I not take any offense to anything negative. But, would like to try to take this teachable moment to illustrate how our own biases can interfere with our teaching.

    Yes, we are all human and judgements are natural; however, I believe once we are aware of the judgements we make, we need to open ourselves to the fallibility of said judgement.

    As far as separate dialects are concerned, I think that teachers should verse themselves well in all of these dialects. For doing such allows the teacher to better understand about what the students are talking. This understanding can translate into better relationships, which in turn can translate into making more of a difference in our students lives.
     
  33. DarkLikePoe

    DarkLikePoe Rookie

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    Newspapers do it, even though "proper" English demands that they be underlined or, with the advent of word-processors, italicized.

    I think my point is proven here... even everyday users of English don't know all the "rules." These "rules" are arbitrary. I understood you just fine, but I chose to be a language snob, drag out a rhetorically unimportant rule, and force you to reconcile your "incorrect," albeit PERFECTLY UNDERSTANDABLE, language with MINE by making look like it was important.

    Grammar is only important when you want to make language art. As a tool for communication, we cud bucher it up liek c8zy n stil no wat every1 wuz tryin 2 say. It's only important when people choose to MAKE it important, and unfortunately for students without a ready mastery of these skills, people MAKE it important an awful lot when frankly, they themselves don't know what they're actually asking.
     
  34. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Oops looks like I am alone in the sand box now.

    I will let you use my shovel Poe,
    want to build sand castles?
    Oh wait Tigers is here.

    BTW I assume you are an Edgar Allan Poe fan
    I love to hear readings of Poe's works.
    I am really a Robert Frost Fan.
     
  35. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    May 18, 2007

    I think its neat to point out that someone just gave us an example of how language changes. It used to be "" that you put around a title- but now with computers used widely it is italics. Very interesting...
     
  36. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Yeah I am still here...But no one ever wants to play with me because of my nasty biting habit.
     
  37. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    May 18, 2007

    Back when typerwriters were more prolific, underlining titles of large works was the correct way, but now with computers italicizing is preferred. However, I think that underlining is still acceptable. You do quote the smaller titles though.
     
  38. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I'll make a judgement I think you are "kinda" like me "to the point." You have made some good points and still no one has judged you! LOL
     
  39. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    May 18, 2007

    well- anyway you see what I mean with the changes...
     
  40. Anyalee

    Anyalee Companion

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    May 18, 2007

    don't you guys have class tomorrow?
     
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