Interesting post today. I too have found a great utility for the quotes on IMdB. And as I am in the process of editing a manuscript written by a Brit, this bit on usage is a subject that caught my eye as well. I personally like the nouns British English has for car parts, such as boot, bonnet, windscreen...
"if that ain't a tribute to white beans, I don't know what is"
--kluless Fri Mar 24 16:32:25 2006
You had to buy The Onion?! I can get it for free on the street corners of Chicago.
--The_Lex Fri Mar 24 19:19:40 2006
I didn't really buy it per se.... it was kind of a panhandler at the TKTS booth who actually gave me a useful sheet about what shows were likely to be around the next day, and he gave me the paper for a donation kind of thing.
--Kirk Fri Mar 24 19:25:50 2006
Sounds like an interesting experience.
--The_Lex Sat Mar 25 12:22:13 2006
Oh, all these things about trying to correct and neaten spoken and written English enrage me. I can see the point of it in the article you linked to, but in general it seems doomed to failure. I think my main annoyance is that English of whichever stripe is by its very nature an irregular language, so trying to standardise everything is foolish and also unnecessarily reductive. The attempts to reduce 'catalogue' to the shorter yet uglier 'catalog' take no notice of the history of English as a language, and thus the broad history of whomever uses such a word. It's artless, charmless and witless.
In addition, to me 'gotten' is a clumsy, childish formation. To use the example given, the American might say 'I've gotten paid!' but the Brit would follow with a jubilant 'I've been paid!', to the same and to my eye neater effect.
So *there!* ;-)
--Catherine Wed Mar 29 08:23:18 2006
I don't think it's an attempt to neaten or shorten the language... he's just trying to pick which damn spelling to use, with an eye towards the economical.
To me, "catalogue" is just silly, a little superfluous curlicue there at the end. "Catalog" is compact and utilitarian, elements I admire in words, cars, and even people.
An American wouldn't yell "I've gotten paid", but rather "I got paid".
--Kirk Wed Mar 29 10:08:15 2006
But the curlicue on catalogue (or synagogue or demagogue, for that matter) is 'free' essentially - it adds a bit of colour and interest to the written word while not affecting the pronunciation. I like these unncessary spellings because each one's like a little story, a little piece of history rolled up into a word. And how could you get rid of that?
--Catherine Thu Mar 30 07:42:28 2006
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