North American vs all other English

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by ontheleft, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. ontheleft Registered Member

    So what is your solution? Who fucking starts wars? The adolescents or the fucking Dick Cheney's of the world?

    Your anger is misplaced by your class prejudice.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I have been the Moderator of the Linguistics subforum since it was established. I don't remember when that happened, but it's been at least five years.

    Although some actors achieve fame and fortune by speaking in their own voices (John Wayne, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Sean Connery and Charlton Heston come to mind), many learn to speak in other voices. Sometimes it's because they want to audition for a part that requires it, sometimes it's because they have a natural talent to exploit, and other times it's because they need more work than they can get without it.

    There are plenty of dialog coaches ready to help, but it's not uncommon for people to pick it up on their own, like Curtis.

    No. I'm just the best they could find. Nonetheless I have been an amateur linguist for almost 60 years.

    I can communicate in several foreign languages, although none with enough fluency to hold a job in that country--including (in order of expertise) Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese, German, Italian and Yiddish. I am most fluent in Esperanto, but since it's not a natural language I didn't include it in that list. I get along fine in groups where everyone speaks it--but this is no great accomplishment since it was invented specifically for ease of learning.

    In addition to studying languages (which gives one considerable knowledge of linguistics if one is so inclined) I have also studied linguistics itself.

    Wars are started by those in power. Over the millennia since the Bronze Age established the phenomenon of war as we know it, by making it possible for one person to kill several adversaries, power has been held, variously, by hereditary political leaders, religious leaders, demagogues, bullies, and elected political leaders.

    Over my lifetime (1943-now) it seems to have been transferred into the hands of business leaders. Early in my life those people wanted war because (at least here in the USA) the manufacture of weapons, aircraft, etc., made them even wealthier than they already were. Consider Daddy Warbucks, the iconic evil capitalist in the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip.

    Today many business leaders see the beginning of a new international economy in which peaceful commerce between former enemies appears to be the best way to become wealthier. 100 years ago the Europeans were shooting each other; today they're loaning each other money.

    For all of my grumbling, the percentage of the world population killed by government-sponsored violence (a.k.a. "war") has been dropping precipitously since its high-water mark in WWII, which killed a full three percent of the planet's entire population. Today we weep over a battle that kills fifty people; in 1944 that would have been a day for rejoicing.

    Nonetheless, war remains the province of the uncivilized. People who direct wars deserve to be taken out and shot--and this is a lifelong pacifist speaking because these people have voluntarily separated themselves from civilization and no longer merit even the most basic courtesy. People who take their orders and dutifully kill the people who are taking orders from the assholes on the other side can, perhaps, be excused as having been brainwashed. But that doesn't mean I have to be nice to them. If being a soldier were recognized as an evil, sociopathic career choice and no one would accept them in their family or circle of friends, it would be much more difficult to recruit them.

    Give Obama and Rouhani each a gun and let them fight their own battle. Leave us out of it. And no, despite my remark about them no longer deserving basic courtesy, I still would not actually shoot them. Life in a dismal prison in some place like North Korea would be fine.
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  5. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    He’s in denial.

    "The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf."

    Fern bar…nice one!

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    "War is the father of all things." Do you think that’s true, Lefty?
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  7. ontheleft Registered Member

    He is in denial. A life long pacifist who says,

    "Nonetheless, war remains the province of the uncivilized. People who direct wars deserve to be taken out and shot.."

    In other words, "It's ok to kill people I disagree with."

    And this,

    "But that doesn't mean I have to be nice to them. If being a soldier were recognized as an evil, sociopathic career choice and no one would accept them in their family or circle of friends, it would be much more difficult to recruit them."

    What drivel from someone who benefits from what others have done.

    War, violence is not going away anytime soon. His words are hateful, as violent as any battlefield. Yet he considers himself "civilized."

    The man is a joke.
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    I'm usually pretty good with understanding accented a dialect English, and I'm deaf in one ear!
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Smooth job of partial quotation. Five lines further down I add, "And no, despite my remark about them no longer deserving basic courtesy, I still would not actually shoot them. Life in a dismal prison in some place like North Korea would be fine." I think most of our members have a long enough attention span to have read that part.

    What "benefits" from the wars in my lifetime? The only benefit we have that we wouldn't have if we hadn't fought the Korean War is Hyundais and Kias. I admit, those are pretty good cars, but are they really worth the lives of 211,000 Americans? (I'm including the 33,000 "missing." If they haven't been found by now then I think we can all agree that they were killed.) As for Vietnam, can anybody identify anything we've got that's worth the 58,000 dead Americans? (I'm not bothering to list the casualties on the other side of these wars, because in my experience I've found that you warmongers don't care about anybody but Americans, so two million dead Vietnamese are of no importance to you.)

    Huh? As I pointed out, the average number of people killed by government violence per year has been dropping precipitously since the end of WWII. Your assertion is dead wrong.

    Do you read the things you write before you hit the "Reply" button? That has to be the dumbest thing I've heard in a week. Did my words leave your children torn to pieces? Did my words reduce your city to ruins so the entire population has to find a new place to live? Did my words sterilize your country's soil so your people will be starving for a decade?

    Get a grip, dude. You don't seem to know what the word "violent" even means.

    I'm sorry that we do not have a "Remedial English" subforum. You'll just have to try to keep up with the grownups.

    War is, and (since the Bronze Age) always has been, the biggest threat to civilization. I've been campaigning against war since I've been old enough to vote, write letters to the editor and mentor young people.

    What have you done to bring peace to this planet? Support charities that supply guns to both the Israelis and Palestinians?

    Coming from you that's a real compliment. You don't seem to be able to remember what you said in your previous sentence when you start writing the next one, so a lot of your writing is rather amusing.
  10. ontheleft Registered Member

    Your psyche must be bruised and battered running into it's contradictions. You said that. It was your first thought. You played that scenario inside you. You didn't do it yourself. Oh, no. You sat on the sidelines and watched with glee.

    If you are in the States did you lift your arm up in school every morning and pledge allegiance to a swastika? No, you didn't. You pledged it to the flag, to a grand idea. Who made it possible for you to do that?

    Car accidents tear children to pieces every day. Detroit is left in ruins. Stop the auto industry. The Koch brothers sterilize streams in Arkansas and pay politicians to let them do it. Why not take them out and shoot them? You are very selective with your pacifism.

    At some point in our lives we learn that we will die. Some people "rage, rage against the dying of the light." Rage against the last initiation in life. They test themselves against it to see who they are. They jump out of airplanes, they jump off of mountains with skis. Or they go to war. And when that dying comes they can walk into it with dignity and knowledge.

    You, you are going to be dragged into the darkness by your feet, clawing the ground screaming and crying.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I make a living as a full-time professional writer. I know my craft. I wrote all those words. Then I re-read them and tidied them up. I decided to leave the post that way to show that I understand our Paleolithic instinct for violence, but that I also understand the first rule of civilization, which arose in the Neolithic Era: You may never kill another human being except in response to his attempt to kill you--or to do something of nearly equal horror such as severely wounding you or to burn down your village. In other words, he seceded from civilization first.

    The reason this is a requirement for civilization is that if we all have to devote a significant portion of our attention and other resources to protecting ourselves against each other, the surplus resources that make civilization possible will be dissipated and we'll end up right back in the Stone Age, like Afghanistan and Florida.

    A unilateral pledge is worthless; it's the stuff of religion and other fairytale philosophies. My pledge was a contract: I promised to do my best to be loyal to the country and its government, so long as the country and its government did their best to be loyal to me and all other Americans. This loyalty includes maintaining the honor of the country as a member of the global civilization.

    They have been fudging on that promise since I've been old enough to read the news.
    • Our participation in the Vietnamese civil war was nothing more than a way to increase the profits of the aerospace and chemical industries. When I went to Europe I was one of the few Americans who admitted to being American; many of them tried to pass themselves off as Canadians. We were lambasted for our pointless, misguided participation, highlighted by rendering huge swaths of land infertile so millions of civilians would starve.
    • I was too young to know about the CIA-directed overthrow of Iran's democratic government and the restoration of the monarchy under the Shah, but when the people overthrew the Shah and kidnapped all the American government agents they could get their hands on (employees in the embassy), I got a crash course in the chess game called the "Cold War" that we had been playing with the Russians, using the Middle East as our chessboard and the hapless people who lived there as our pawns.
    • As reprisal against Iran we anointed Saddam Hussein as our ally during his long war against them and provided him with billions of dollars worth of weapons. After being humiliated by his inability to conquer Iran with his "world's fourth-largest army" he settled for a smaller target, Kuwait, and was blind-sided when his bosom buddies, the USA, dishonorably switched sides and allied with Kuwait. In less than a week we slaughtered more than 3,000 Iraqi civilians, including their most beloved female artist.
    • Meanwhile, we had unofficially made Israel our 51st state--the nation that was formed by stealing Palestine from the Palestinians. This helped to stoke the Cold War, allowing the USSR to appoint itself protector of the Muslims while we sided with the Jews. [Background: Many of my family members are Jewish, so I know that support for Israel is not universal among America's Jewish community, particularly the younger members.]
    • It was only a matter of time until the Muslims in the Middle East got tired of our attitude toward them. An in-law of the royal family of a Muslim nation that pretends to be our ally so we'll buy its petroleum, while its citizens march in their streets carrying signs reading "Death to the Great Satan," put together enough Saudi money, Saudi planning and Saudi personnel to destroy the World Trade Center (a civilian target and therefore an act of terrorism) and damage the Pentagon (a military target and therefore an act of war). Nonetheless, whether these were acts of terrorism or war, they were paybacks for decades of dishonorable meddling by the U.S. government in the affairs of other countries.
    • We continue to kill Afghani civilians and now Pakistani civilians, as the operators of those drones sit without honor at a console thousands of miles away treating it like a really cool videogame.
    • Oh, and before I forget about the government's dishonorable economic policies, how about the Comptroller of the Currency looking the other way while our banks sold mortgages to people who would never be able to repay them, causing the worst recession in my lifetime?
    • Or how about Congress completely forgetting that they are supposed to be serving their constituents, and instead shutting down the government for weeks while they play childish games to see who will blink first? They actually don't care about the people! We're just here to pay their salaries!
    Am I missing something? Can you really extract something from this scenario that deserves my pledge of allegiance?

    This is a great place to live despite the government. But this can't last indefinitely.

    I'll be happy to stand up and yell, "They should be shot," but I'll be just as quick to sit down and say, "But of course that would be uncivilized. I'm just venting my anger." As I did the first time, and it went right over your head.

    Perhaps you don't understand the difference between talk and action. As I noted earlier, I'm not at all impressed with your language skills.

    You don't know me at all. You obviously haven't been here long enough to have read my myriad posts on the subject of death.

    I watched my mother imprisoned in a so-called "nursing" home, having lost her identity as a human being, kept alive by means that she had specifically ordered not to be used, so the establishment could keep charging her for the room and "services." I watched my mother-in-law go through a somewhat less undignified, but much longer, period of grief, unable to read or walk, imprisoned in a bed and losing her memories. In this case, since her husband had been a disabled veteran, her astronomical fees for board and "care" were paid for by your tax money. She wanted someone to spirit her out of the building and leave her to die in the forest, but of course to do so would be a crime and no one was willing to face the consequences.

    Personally, at age 70, having had the colossal luck to have a happy life with few regrets, I feel the same way about end-of-life issues. Fortunately America's attitude is changing, now that the Baby Boomers are retiring and someone did the math to figure out that keeping them alive as vegetables will bankrupt the country. We War Babies are a little healthier than the Boomers--we continued to jog and eat healthy, while for them that was just a passing fad like hula hoops, disco, and baby carriages built like miniature Volvos. So with a little luck we will benefit from the rationalized laws regarding death. I plan on having my helium balloon apparatus stowed in a closet so I can say goodbye when life starts to suck.

    So don't worry about my end-of-life care using up the tax money you'd rather be spent on your children's education.
  12. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    You fear how you’ll die, Fraggle. We all do. You want to control it. If your life was in danger, out of your control, you’d hide behind Lefty. We all would.

    Your head is in the sand, Mr. Pacifist. Most of us live somewhere in between. Lefty he is somewhere in between. Willing to fight for something righteous, if need be. He’s right, your anger is misplaced. It should be directed at your unrighteous government, not soldiers.

    If by Pacifism is meant the teaching that the use of force is never justifiable, then, however well meant, it is mistaken, and it is hurtful to the life of our country. And the Pacifism which takes the position that because war is evil, therefore all who engage in war, whether for offense or defense, are equally blameworthy, and to be condemned, is not only unreasonable, it is inexcusably unjust.” ~W. Manning

    You want your freedom and the right to die? Then you should be grateful to those who already have.

    Amidst the ferns, you create your fancy fallacies, don’t cha? Fern bar…I never heard that term before. I love it!

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    He’s coming home soon.

    The only break away from the DI’s is during church. They want a break from you, as well. If you don’t go, you have to clean. It reminded me of that Alabama judge that ordered someone to go to church or jail. Oh well, he listened to a little Christian rock, no biggie. They also provided them with talks given by World War II veterans. He loved that.

    He’ll be home in time for Christmas. I can’t wait.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Riiight. Because when a person says "I have planted a bomb in an airplane" and then dives a detailed description of the bomb, then number of the flight, all the specifics etc. - the words of this person are to be totally dismissed as irrelevant. After all, it was just talk, not action ...
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Sure. But when a 70-year-old lifelong pacifist who's never been in a fight, never struck another human being (not even the asshole who shot his cat or the other asshole who ran off with his first wife), never even been violent to a dog; writes "People who direct wars deserve to be taken out and shot," and then within the same post a few lines later qualifies that as hyperbole by adding, "despite my remark about them no longer deserving basic courtesy, I still would not actually shoot them," [emphasis added for clarity] he has a reasonable expectation that the people with high IQs who populate a science discussion board will get it.

    Your response and that of at least one other member implies that you did not get it. Nuanced writing, which requires an attention span of several seconds and at least a rudimentary ability for analysis, goes completely over your head. You probably find the dialog in "Beetle Bailey" challenging.

    This reinforces my lifelong opinion of people who believe that violence is a reasonable way to settle a conflict. Testosterone overwhelms reasoning. (Women have testosterone too.) I want to stay as far away from them as possible, and I will continue to lobby for a complete ban on guns for civilians.
  15. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    And curiously, with your high IQ, you seem unaware that provocative language followed by "I didn't really mean it" has been a refuge of hypocrites for many centuries. The pen is mightier than the sword and a cute wordsmith cannot abrogate their responsibilities for consequent violence with a few trite caveats.
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Like Wynn, your modest attention span has got the better of you. I tried to make it clear that my primary concern in end-of-life planning is about economics, not comfort. I personally watched one woman who had been reduced to a vegetable for several months continue to be "cared for" by an institution that siphoned off tens of thousands of dollars of her estate. Fortunately I'm prosperous enough (and childless enough) that I wasn't counting on that money for my own retirement, but the average American is not so lucky. Most people desperately need whatever their parents can leave them.

    And I watched another whose mind was still working and wanted to be released from a hell of darkness and immobility spend a couple of years being "cared for" by another institution that siphoned off a couple of hundred thousand of dollars (I saw the bills, that's not an exaggeration) that was not directly my concern because it was the taxpayers' money. She was a true "flaming liberal" (not a libertarian like myself) who wanted that money to be used to build schools, hospitals, dams and roads. (Lest I be lambasted again by readers with short attention spans, I am all for schools, hospitals, dams and roads. I object to paying subsidies to tobacco farmers and hiring millions of civil "servants" who sit around all day "administering" each other.)

    I don't have nearly as much money as either of those ladies. When I die, the people I leave behind will really need it to make their lives somewhat more secure and comfortable. If they're also gone by then, a couple of animal charities need the money just as desperately. The last place I want it to go is into the pockets of the fat cats who run the nation's nursing homes--and who barely pay minimum wage to the dear, hard-working people who actually care for their residents.

    If it weren't for the young people who are so easy to brainwash, there would be no soldiers and the unrighteous governments of the world would not be able to bomb each other's populations.

    Nonetheless, this is one of those issues that I rant about here, among people I assume are intelligent, thoughtful and well-educated, while keeping my mouth shut out in public. I am disappointed in the children who volunteer to be paid professional killers, but I understand that their path to that dishonorable life was directed by parents, teachers, government leaders and other adults who let them down.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. This one, at least, is very well expressed.

    Of course people who engage in war for defense generally have no other option so it's not fair to rail at them. But the U.S. government has been manipulating its young people with twisted logic to convince them that killing civilians in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan is defensive war, rather than the wars of opportunity that they really were. Vietnam was all about enriching the companies who built aircraft and other weapons, and Iraq (based on fraudulent intelligence by a feeble-minded President who should have been prosecuted for treason) was all about gaining access to oil fields in order to enrich the capitalists who funded the election campaign of the aforementioned feeb.

    These were not wars of defense. There was no honor in prosecuting them, and in fact they brought shame upon our country.

    Sloganeering. ** Yawn **

    The U.S. soldiers who saw combat any time after Korea made the entire world pissed off at us. I don't see how that has made us any more secure. In fact if you want an example, you need look no farther than 9/11. Three thousand Americans died just because a handful of people, who were really angry about our decades of clumsy meddling in the Middle East (remember how we overthrew Iran's democratic government and installed the Shah 60 years ago?), decided it was time to remind us that we're not as safe as we think we are.

    Ironically, while in the past twelve years 3,000 Americans have been killed by terrorists, 360,000 of us have been killed by Americans with guns. I suppose the gun nuts are grateful to Al Qaeda for distracting our attention.

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  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Absolutely, the fault is all mine, oh Thou exalted One!

    Oh Christ. And we are supposed to consider you an elder!
  18. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Oh, so you’re not afraid to die. You'd sacrifice your life for economic reasons. Pot meet kettle.

    My grandmother is 96. She’s lived a very full life. She’s written quite a few best sellers. She’s feisty. Maybe her testosterone levels are high, who knows. She’s struggling, and in a lot of pain, but she still enjoys life. She has tons of money but her care is getting expensive. I don’t care, though. I love her. She’s so cute. I know our time together is coming to an end. She catches me staring at her all the time. Of course, I don’t want her to suffer on my account but I don’t want her to die on my account, either.

    *Fraggle reaches for his helium balloon. With a funny chipmunk voice, he says…

    “Come, bitter poison, come, unsavory guide! You desperate pilot, let's crash this sea-weary ship into the rocks! Here's to my money!”

    Time is money, right?

    Go home, Fraggle. Spend a little time with your wife.
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    There is no such thing as North American English, as there is no country called 'North America'. Canadian English represents British English generally more than American English. Pull your head out, please, and stop making bald assumptions based on geographical naivete.
  20. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

  21. ontheleft Registered Member

    Well, that took the wind out of his sails.

    You can feel the barely contained joy in that sentence. Nice Christmas present.
  22. ontheleft Registered Member

    Fraggle Rocker
    (laughing very loudly)

    Do you think I give a rat's ass about you being impressed or not?

    (laughing even louder)

    You spent time flat on your back. Or running and later thinking of scenarios where someone takes them out and shoots them. "never even been violent to a dog.." ...or swatted a fly or stepped on an ant..

    You didn't answer Ophiolite,
  23. ontheleft Registered Member

    Just finished watching an episode of "Lie To Me."

    You never responded to Ophiolite.

    That post must have hit you hard, Exulted One. Showed you what you didn't want to face.

    I don't care either way but it would be good for you to face it.

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