grammar

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

grammar

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:54 pm

i understand why about 90% of grammar rules are important. without them language can become very confusing. such as comma placement:

"let's eat grandma." or "let's eat, grandma."

however the one thing i don't get, obviously, is why in the world do we have to capitalize everything??? one of the only times this rule makes sense is if you're talking about a person or thing by name that is also a word. like talking about a man named "bob" while discussing fishing and how the fishing line has that plastic thing called a "bob" on it. if you capitalize "bob" the man then there's no confusion. other than that it seems like a total waste of time and we could all type much faster without the absurd capitalization. i'm not trying to talk people into doing this on dhammawheel specifically, i'm just speaking in general.

now obviously there are more instances where capitalization is important and useful, that's just one example. the most perplexing rule is capitalizing the beginning of every sentence.
is it so we know where each sentence begins? okay, then what are periods, exclamation points and question marks for?

have you been able to read everything on this page with no problem? i imagine so.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: grammar

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:58 pm

God, you would hate German.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: grammar

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:07 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:God, you would hate German.



lolz, why?
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: grammar

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:10 pm

Hello alan,

Capital letters
http://wordconstructions.com.au/blog/20 ... letters-2/

I guess it is to prevent confusion, and to have widely accepted rules, rather than personal inclination.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7613
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: grammar

Postby Viscid » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:12 pm

I was actually looking at the history of case recently-- and it's a relatively modern convention... Wikipedia: "There was no fixed capitalization system until the early 18th century."

Sentences look nicer when you use proper letter case, and I think it makes it a bit easier to read.
Last edited by Viscid on Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
User avatar
Viscid
 
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: grammar

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:12 pm

alan... wrote:i understand why about 90% of grammar rules are important. without them language can become very confusing. such as comma placement:

"let's eat grandma." or "let's eat, grandma."

however the one thing i don't get, obviously, is why in the world do we have to capitalize everything??? one of the only times this rule makes sense is if you're talking about a person or thing by name that is also a word. like talking about a man named "bob" while discussing fishing and how the fishing line has that plastic thing called a "bob" on it. if you capitalize "bob" the man then there's no confusion. other than that it seems like a total waste of time and we could all type much faster without the absurd capitalization. i'm not trying to talk people into doing this on dhammawheel specifically, i'm just speaking in general.

now obviously there are more instances where capitalization is important and useful, that's just one example. the most perplexing rule is capitalizing the beginning of every sentence.
is it so we know where each sentence begins? okay, then what are periods, exclamation points and question marks for?

have you been able to read everything on this page with no problem? i imagine so.

Capitals are a relatively modern invention. not the type style we use, but the use of dual styles as a form of grammer. if you look in the old illuminated texts or monument inscriptions they are all in the same typeface. with the initial letter illuminated for other reasons than it being the first letter (it is the logical one to illuminate for ease in reading. and incipit pages being highly decorative with the first word sometimes.
I am guessing it is politeness more than anything. as an example "Chief Minister Allan Bell said..." or "Tony Brown the chief minister said...." even though you are saying similare things the use as a title warants capitals yet the description of position does not. i.e. when it is personal conneted it is for manners.
but that is only a guess.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: grammar

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:20 pm

cooran wrote:Hello alan,

Capital letters
http://wordconstructions.com.au/blog/20 ... letters-2/

I guess it is to prevent confusion, and to have widely accepted rules, rather than personal inclination.

with metta
Chris


prevent confusion? good idea. prevent personal inclination by creating arbitrary rules that were created just so that we may "have widely accepted rules"? very odd reason to have a grammar rule. if we are just trying to make up rules when does it stop? how about we capitalize the third letter of every word with more than five letters from now on as well? and we can use two periods after every sentence that has more than ten words, and so on. things like that will certainly help make more rules and prevent people from only using rules based on personal inclination.

i'm obviously joking but this is surely the way it was going before literacy became so common and communication became so easy and informal. more and more rules, everywhere, all the time. constant change as well. now there's more and more people typing like me, this will eventually lead to a lessening of arbitrary rules while necessary rules will be maintained as language cannot function properly without them. see what i'm saying? it used to be about making up rules, now it's going in the other direction and i think capitalization should be the first on the chopping block as it serves almost no purpose. in fact if we stop all the excess capitalization and only capitalize really important words, or words that would otherwise be duplicated with an identical word with a different meaning, then capitalization will mean so much more and make writing more clear.

one that really gets me is "I". it's all alone! are you really going to see the letter "i" all alone in under case and wonder "what on earth does that mean?" but if it was capitalized you will clearly know the writer was referring to himself. there are almost no other instances when the letter "I" will just be totally alone.

one more thing on a side note: in most fonts the letter "I" and the letter "l" are nearly identical. in some fonts they are identical and it's super confusing. so all the attention to detail and arbitrary rules and somehow this one is usually missed. i don't get it.

EDIT: i'm all about the beauty and intricacy of the english language and language in general. i do not want to reduce it down to ultimate simplicity:

"me hungry. food now. sleep later. baseball fun."

we could type like that and it would work just barely but we would lose SO much! i'm all for keeping every single rule that makes language unique and articulate for conveying very specific ideas and emotions. all i'm saying is that rules that serve absolutely no purpose should go. and this kind of thing goes into a lot of aspects of life, like bank facing money! what is the point of that??? if it's not all facing the same way it can't be spent? do we make sure every straw wrapper in a restaurant is facing the same way? or that every label of each condiment in our fridge at home is facing outward? or that all of the pens and pencils in a pencil cup have their brand names facing the same way? no we don't (perhaps some do, but it's not the norm nor is it prevalent like bank facing) because it serves no purpose. neither does bank facing. and that's one more useless thing that's on it's way out! most big chain restaurants and department stores don't do it any more and even some banks don't require it of their tellers! you still have those random people who take it upon themselves to do it but it's in the decline.

also: if you bank face the bills because it "looks nicer" why not bank face the coin too? that one i'll never get: "here's your cash, all facing the same way because it's super important! and here's your change, i'm just going to literally drop it into your hand and the coins are going to fall totally randomly, facing in all different directions because that's totally different."
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: grammar

Postby alan... » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:07 pm

Viscid wrote:I was actually looking at the history of case recently-- and it's a relatively modern convention... Wikipedia: "There was no fixed capitalization system until the early 18th century."

Sentences look nicer when you use proper letter case, and I think it makes it a bit easier to read.



interesting! i didn't know that.

okay "easier to read" very important! "looks nicer" totally arbitrary and an opinion. as i said, what if everyone decides upon new rules all the time based on a consensus of what "looks nicer"? let's capitalize the third letter of every word that is longer than five letters and put two periods at the end of every sentence with more than five words, etc. etc.

that kind of thing is closer to compulsive behavior than to logic. where it just doesn't feel right because the longer green beans are touching the shorter green beans on the plate so you separate them. it serves no purpose, it just looks nicer and makes you feel weird when you don't fix the problem. zero logic involved, it's just a compulsion based on a subconscious urge that you don't understand.
not you personally mind you, i'm speaking in the royal "you" form :tongue: i'd say most people feel like you in thinking it "looks nicer" so i'm speaking generally, i don't think you have a green bean problem or compulsive behavior issue or anything, i was just comparing different mental habits.
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: grammar

Postby James the Giant » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:25 am

alan... wrote:however the one thing i don't get, obviously, is why in the world do we have to capitalize everything???

Because that is the accepted convention, and in this pragmatic, conventional world, one who cannot properly use capitalisation is often seen as uneducated and quasi-illiterate.
Try getting a non-manual-labour job without a correctly capitalised CV and cover letter.
Convention. Tradition. Expectation. Standardisation. Peer pressure. Social Control. Conformity.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: grammar

Postby appicchato » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:40 am

Try Thai on for size...nospacesbetweenwords!... :coffee:
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1597
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: grammar

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:06 am

James the Giant wrote:
alan... wrote:however the one thing i don't get, obviously, is why in the world do we have to capitalize everything???

Because that is the accepted convention, and in this pragmatic, conventional world, one who cannot properly use capitalisation is often seen as uneducated and quasi-illiterate.
Try getting a non-manual-labour job without a correctly capitalised CV and cover letter.
Convention. Tradition. Expectation. Standardisation. Peer pressure. Social Control. Conformity.


not sure if that was supposed to be an insult directed at me or what? i worked at a bank for two years and have held other positions that do not hire the "quasi-illiterate". I groove right through job interviews and am well educated. albeit a college drop out, i am not an imbecile. do my posts really come off as such? at my current job i'm in management, nothing special but you can't get there if you can't read and write. not only that, big shock, get ready: I actually do know the appropriate times to capitalize James. I've always known!!! Ha ha ha ha! You've all been fooled! I Alan... have always known what to capitalize the entire time I've been here on Dhammawheel.com!!!
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Re: grammar

Postby James the Giant » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:27 am

Don't worry, it wasn't an insult.
I was making a jibe at conformity and convention and how if someone does something even slightly unusual or against the majority way - like not using capitals- they are judged.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: grammar

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:52 am

James the Giant wrote:Don't worry, it wasn't an insult.
I was making a jibe at conformity and convention and how if someone does something even slightly unusual or against the majority way - like not using capitals- they are judged.


fair enough :tongue:
alan...
 
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm


Return to Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: nekete, Ron-The-Elder and 6 guests