Does anyone like the English Language?

Gerhard   Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:48 am GMT
<<
If "dogs" did not have its 's' I'm sure even you would still be bright enough to understand what is really meant. No to mention it would be pretty easy to make the phrase unambiguous anyway if for some odd reason you wanted it to be. >>



That's beside the point, I was just illustrating that the 's' does serve a purpose and changes the meaning in that sentence "I like dogs".

Of course someone with half a brain would understand what was meant, I mean, people would also understand what you meant even if you said "me are liker of the dogs", but does that mean it is a good idea to change that into the standard?
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:46 am GMT
Matthew said: “"Eight peach pie" means that a pie is made using eight peaches. "Eight peach pies" means there are eight individual peach pies. Quite a difference.”

Can you express the two sentences as “The pie made by eight peach.” and “eight peach pie.” Can I ask you, do you think the word ‘eight’ modify ‘peach’ or ‘pie’?

Matthew said: “In any case, the fact that "10 apples" means something different without the 's' is proof that the plural form is NOT redundant because it is a necessary component that gives specific meaning, in this case, to the number 10. Arguing against this fact is futile.”

Can you tell me if someone says: “1/10 apple” what is the different with “apples”. I have really met someone he tell me that either 1/10 or 10, if only it is not one, then we have put ‘s’ at the end.
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:56 am GMT
Gerhard said: “Even if it were redundant for phrases like "10 apple" it is not redundant in phrases like "I like dogs", which is quite different to "I like dog". So if you removed plurals in some cases but not in others it would make the language more complicated rather than less complicated. You would have to learn a huge number of rules for when it should be removed and when not.”

I think we would be better to stop the discussion about plural. The reason is that you have never felt the brevity of a tone language. The meaning of ‘s’ can be put in every where in a sentence. I don’t know if you agree that any meaning could be expressed in any language the only different is that the expression in some language longer, while others shorter?
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:01 am GMT
Paul said: “Anyway, if you're of the opinion that languages should be more "economical", then convince the Chinese to get rid of their ridiculously complex and impractical writing system, and adopt an alphabet.

Does it make sense for every single word to have its own unique character?”


You are right, the Chinese both government and people are going to change this complex characters. So many scholars have been studying this issue already.
Gerhard   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:01 am GMT
Can you tell me one advantage of actually having something be expressed in a shorter fashion? What actually is the advantage? Do you really think saving .5 seconds will make your life better? Instead of changing English to be more like Chinese, I suggest we change Chinese to make it be more like English, and remove tones all together and replace them with a new plural system. Also, we should remove the characters and replace them with the Latin alphabet.
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:05 am GMT
Gerhard said: “I can see how 'less is more' might be true for native speakers, but for a learner I think it would make it harder. A lot of subtle details are expressed in English through sentences which are grammatically more or less the same, so to understand the subtleties you have to 'read between the lines'. On the other hand, highly synthetic languages often express the same details in an explicit fashion by pegging on another ending or something.”

Can you tell me how a synthetic word was invented?
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:41 am GMT
Adam said: “I don't see what's wrong with English.

It isn't a harsh sounding language and the words don't look "ugly" either.

English sounds much better to the ear than German, Dutch and even French.”

No one said that English words beautiful or ugly. What I am talking about is how to send and receive information faster by our language. Scientist believes the disappearing of Neanderthalensis due to lacking proper vocal organs. From the first day that a language was born, it was looking for more sounds for carrier. But now the English speaker pronounce that English is the best language and don’t need further development. I don’t know how you explain that when two Chinese people speak this language they can send secret codes in front of you. Are you happy with this?
It is the difference of the quantity of information and nothing to do with ugly and beauty.
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:41 am GMT
Adam said: “I don't see what's wrong with English.

It isn't a harsh sounding language and the words don't look "ugly" either.

English sounds much better to the ear than German, Dutch and even French.”

No one said that English words beautiful or ugly. What I am talking about is how to send and receive information faster by our language. Scientist believes the disappearing of Neanderthalensis due to lacking proper vocal organs. From the first day that a language was born, it was looking for more sounds for carrier. But now the English speaker pronounce that English is the best language and don’t need further development. I don’t know how you explain that when two Chinese people speak this language they can send secret codes in front of you. Are you happy with this?
It is the difference of the quantity of information and nothing to do with ugly and beauty.
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:41 am GMT
Adam said: “I don't see what's wrong with English.

It isn't a harsh sounding language and the words don't look "ugly" either.

English sounds much better to the ear than German, Dutch and even French.”

No one said that English words beautiful or ugly. What I am talking about is how to send and receive information faster by our language. Scientist believes the disappearing of Neanderthalensis due to lacking proper vocal organs. From the first day that a language was born, it was looking for more sounds for carrier. But now the English speaker pronounce that English is the best language and don’t need further development. I don’t know how you explain that when two Chinese people speak this language they can send secret codes in front of you. Are you happy with this?
It is the difference of the quantity of information and nothing to do with ugly and beauty.
Cheng-Zhong Su   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:51 am GMT
Gerhard said: “Can you tell me one advantage of actually having something be expressed in a shorter fashion? What actually is the advantage? Do you really think saving .5 seconds will make your life better? Instead of changing English to be more like Chinese, I suggest we change Chinese to make it be more like English, and remove tones all together and replace them with a new plural system. Also, we should remove the characters and replace them with the Latin alphabet.”

I have said that brevity expressing can help us grasp millions words during short time. The tones help Chinese people play game in front of you. If you like this, I have no objection.
Matthew   Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:26 am GMT
<<I donít know how you explain that when two Chinese people speak this language they can send secret codes in front of you. Are you happy with this?>>

I can't tell whether you're actually serious or just trolling. Your reasoning is ridiculous.

Firstly, as I said before, you are talking about code; even a child could create a code to say one thing but mean another. Secondly, you obviously fail to realize how drastically a simple change of intonation can change an English sentence.

Besides the straightforward meaning, the sentence "This movie was better than the first" could mean:

"The first movie was bad, so that's in no way a compliment."

"The first movie was awesome, but this one was even better! I didn't think topping the first one would be possible!"

"You actually think this movie was better than first? You're an idiot."

"Is that even possible? I'm having a hard time believing you. There's no way it's better."

There are other possibilities as well, but just in this example alone five different, distinct meanings were expressed without changing so much as a single letter of the original sentence.

Again, my suggestion to you is that you don't try to change things you know little, if anything, about. I would, however, like to thank you for trying to make our inferior little language better, but as you know we're just a primitive people speaking a primitive tongue, there's not much you can do about it. Perhaps one day we'll all evolve and learn how to speak Chinese, but by that time you'll have already created an even better speaking system

Life is cruel sometimes.
Gerhard   Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:29 am GMT
<<The tones help Chinese people play game in front of you.>>

Except it wouldn't be understood by all Chinese, it would have to be agreed on before hand, which could just as well be done by native English speakers by prearranging some system of their own.

In fact, we do have something kind of similar in English used to trick children, it's called Pig Latin.
boz   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:44 pm GMT
<< That's beside the point, I was just illustrating that the 's' does serve a purpose and changes the meaning in that sentence "I like dogs". Of course someone with half a brain would understand what was meant, >>

The mere fact it changes the meaning does not make it "necessary", if only because there are other ways to make the phrase unambiguous. Look at grammatical gender: it can change the meaning as well, yet English does not have it and is not any worse off for it. Or is it ? Well the same goes for the plural. English is fine as it is but you can't tell me you could not get rid of the plural if you really wanted to.

<<I mean, people would also understand what you meant even if you said "me are liker of the dogs", but does that mean it is a good idea to change that into the standard?>>

That's neither a good nor a bad idea.
Matthew   Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:05 am GMT
<<The mere fact it changes the meaning does not make it "necessary", if only because there are other ways to make the phrase unambiguous.>>

Plurals may not be necessary to a blank slate like a toddler, but to those of us who were raised with a speaking system that uses them they are quite necessary.

<<Look at grammatical gender: it can change the meaning as well, yet English does not have it and is not any worse off for it. Or is it ?>>

English used grammatical gender more than you'd think. See JJM's post here: http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t274-90.htm

I may not see the usefulness of making a speck of dirt male or female as it seems like a pointless distinction to me, but a language isn't better or worse for it. Why change what doesn't need fixing?
Cheng-Zhong Su   Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:06 am GMT
Matthew said: “I can't tell whether you're actually serious or just trolling. Your reasoning is ridiculous.

Firstly, as I said before, you are talking about code; even a child could create a code to say one thing but mean another. Secondly, you obviously fail to realize how drastically a simple change of intonation can change an English sentence.

Besides the straightforward meaning, the sentence "This movie was better than the first" could mean:

"The first movie was bad, so that's in no way a compliment."

"The first movie was awesome, but this one was even better! I didn't think topping the first one would be possible!"

"You actually think this movie was better than first? You're an idiot."

"Is that even possible? I'm having a hard time believing you. There's no way it's better."

There are other possibilities as well, but just in this example alone five different, distinct meanings were expressed without changing so much as a single letter of the original sentence.”



I am not sure what you really mean? I thought you may have read the former posts of this thread, so I remind that I have said with a simple sentence as short as “What is this?” you may get 64 different symbols, as the playing card has only 54 cards, so you may use them for each one.
Secondly, in certain environment, change intonation can be different voice, manner or attitude but not the meaning. In a magic show, you have to tell your object the solid meaning not manner.



Matthew said: “Again, my suggestion to you is that you don't try to change things you know little, if anything, about. I would, however, like to thank you for trying to make our inferior little language better, but as you know we're just a primitive people speaking a primitive tongue, there's not much you can do about it. Perhaps one day we'll all evolve and learn how to speak Chinese, but by that time you'll have already created an even better speaking system”


I don’t want change any language, but as the language is destined to change itself, so I just want people understand, which way is better and which way is worse. Can you tell me how a language is changing and why? I will be glade to know.