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28 August 2006 @ 11:52 pm
Quick English survey  
Just out of curiosity, which of these sentences do people feel are ill-formed or "ungrammatical", and which are acceptable?
  1. Is it yourself?
  2. You need your hair cutting.
  3. The beer here is lousy any more.
  4. I ain't seen him.
  5. I ran into Janet while enjoying herself.
  6. I like to read fantasy novels in the bathtub and experimenting in the kitchen.
  7. Lisa said she wants a BMW.
  8. Flounder flounder badger badger flounder.
  9. Paul is a British trumpeter but a French cellist.
There are no "right answers". I just want to know what people think.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Jstarkruzr on August 29th, 2006 07:04 am (UTC)
#7 is the only one that "feels" right to me.
#1, I'm pretty sure, is the only other one that is both grammatically correct and communicates the intent correctly, even if it is a bit awkward.
wanderingbhikkhwanderingbhikkh on August 29th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC)
1. No
2. No
3. Acceptable, but only if you're drunk.
4. Acceptable
5. I'd love to, but no.
6. No
7. Acceptable.
8. Clearly nonsensical, so acceptable.
9. No.
Ninja Nicknick_101 on August 29th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)
1. Not acceptable.
2. N.A. (abbr. Not acceptable.)
3. N.A.
4. Definitely not.
5. N.A
6. Seems acceptable.
7. Acceptable.
8. Not really acceptable.
9. N.A.
Major Geek, FCDjokermage on August 29th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
4. Definitely not.

You've had too much book-learnin', you pretensious snob.
cholma: blankcholma on August 29th, 2006 10:47 am (UTC)
1-5. These are all kind of awkward, especially when read.

6. Acceptable spoken, but you stumble a bit reading it.

7. Buy American Beotch! ;p (but acceptable)

8. Oooookay

9. Acceptable, although "and" would seem better from a single sentence. (depends on the context of the conversation)
Major Geek, FCDjokermage on August 29th, 2006 12:50 pm (UTC)
1. Acceptible based on context.
2. Acceptible if a "hair cutting" is like a "tree cutting".
3. Awkward
4. Anyone who thinks this is wrong is a thickie.
5. No. Janet is the object, not the subject, of the sentence.
6. Awkward because of verb tense changes, unless you can read an "experimenting".
7. Acceptable, but Janet should get a Toyota or Honda.
8. Might make sense if there were commas.
9. I would use "and" instead of "but".
Twisted, but strangely fluffymoltare on August 29th, 2006 01:03 pm (UTC)
1. Scots slang
2. Northernerspeak
3. Just plain wrong
4. Sloppy speech
5. Subject/object mismatch
6. Verb form mismatch
7. Meh. Dubious, but probably more of a matter of choice than the others.
8. Just plain nonsensical ¬¬
9. I'm alright with that under certain contexts.

russgoulo on August 29th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
Why does 7 sound dubious to you? It seems the most clearly valid of the bunch to me.
gwalla: king crimson fingergwalla on August 30th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
Apparently, sequence of tenses is alive and well in British English, but is not obligatory in some American dialects.
cholma: blankcholma on August 30th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
I guess I understand that.

Lisa says she wants a BMW. This is Lisa's current desire.

Lisa said she wants a BMW. This is also Lisa's current desire, as of the last time I spoke with her.

Lisa said she wanted a BMW. This one (to me) depends on context of the conversation. Is this her current desire, or is it something she professed in the past, but just arrived home with a new Maibatsu Monstrosity?
gwalla: osaka huh?gwalla on August 30th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
Icon theft what? I told you I was going to use it when you first posted it!
Twisted, but strangely fluffymoltare on August 31st, 2006 08:07 am (UTC)
Oh, I don't have a problem with it, hence the whole permission to gank thing. Just, y'know, self-plug.
Derakonderakon on August 29th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
6 and 7 are fine. 9 might make sense if British and French are styles or something like that. The rest are ungrammatical.
Amber "glych" Greenleeglych on August 29th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)



-a screaming glych
(Anonymous) on August 29th, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
All seem unacceptable, except #1, #7 and #8, which is nonsense, so doesn't really count.
Daniel Of The Boustrophedonical Perspectivemaboo on August 31st, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
1 is acceptable in context - it's a little unusual, but it makes sense.

2 is acceptable too.

3 - OMGWTF. Oh, NO way is that ever acceptable. *shudders*. That is atrocious.

4 - hmmm. If you're writing "in dialect" it's perfectly fine. It's acceptable.

5 - It's not QUITE right - there should be a "she was" in there, between "while" and "enjoying". It's ill-formed.

6 - No punctuation. Slightly ill-formed - a comma would be useful here.

7 - Absolutely fine - no problems whatsoever with this. A "that" after first 2 words would be better, but non-essential.

8 - Depends on the context.

9 - See 6, there's a comma missing, but otherwise, it's absolutely fine for me.
Alun Clewealun_clewe on September 1st, 2006 12:50 am (UTC)
Replying really late 'cause I've been too busy to check my LJ Friends page much lately, but just in case you're still interested in more feedback...

The only ones that don't strike me as completely grammatically wrong are #7 and #9. #1 is probably the one that bothers me by far the least of the other seven, but it still bothers me enough for me to call it wrong.

As for #9, it doesn't strike me as grammatically wrong, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. A British trumpeter but a French cellist? What? So he changes nationality when he changes instruments? Or does he play British trumpets and French cellos? Yeah...so no grammatical problems there, but a semantic problem, unless I'm missing something...
Alun Clewealun_clewe on September 1st, 2006 12:51 am (UTC)
Actually, on further examination, I don't think #6 is necessarily grammatically wrong, just awkward and not readily parsed at first glance.
Alun Clewealun_clewe on September 1st, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
And I should qualify that #4, while not technically proper English, is certainly acceptable as dialect, and arguably isn't grammatically wrong, per se. (Heck, I use "ain't" myself sometimes, for humorous purposes. It's just not a word I'm going to be using in my doctoral thesis, f'rinstance, is all...)

Actually, maybe I should not qualify that, but rather shut up and stop making replies to a several-days-old post...
Ameliapadparadscha on September 2nd, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Am I too late? I would say 7. The rest are not correct in my idiolect, although I did spend some minutes trying to figure out how 8 would work. ;)