quetzalcoatl wrote:You need perimeters and to re-evaluate them, linguistic chaos would be a nightmare I agree. Tools do also make a massive difference, ease of use is key [as is the layout of the keyboard/keypad] in these times.
Perhaps proper grammar is just too clumsy for the times we are moving into. I’d like language to become increasingly streamlined, though still with rules.
Lets face it, the chaps who write/re-write those rules are always going to be Oxbridge types rather than relatively uneducated working class dudes like me, so I doubt there’s any worries about grammar and its rules being overturned [the English language wasn’t even used/acceptible in the dictionary until the 15th C if I remember correctly]. In fact I’d go so far as to say that it needs challenges in order to remain fluid, and I uphold the ignorance value in the first part of my last post.
I'm not worried about grammar and rules being overturned. They will change, but in terms content/meaning and style of execution and hardly very much in terms of structure, i.e. basic syntax and the function of certain symbols. And I do agree that both English and presumably every other language needs challenges, as thinking needs challenges. Sometimes it is useful to re-learn things, genuinely going back to basics just in order to understand them anew. However, I do take issue with "the ignorance value" simply because I think you're wrong about that. Here's why:
quetzalcoatl wrote:Skymning wrote: in general, you have to know the rules before you can successfully break them.
No, you can ignore them because you hold to your own values, different cultures do this to one another’s rules, this is why they have different rules and language. I find people are often complaining about incorrect pronunciations of foreign cities, foods, goods etc, and yet we would not have a different languages if we all pronounced one another’s terms correctly. This ignorance is exactly why we have slang, accents regional differences and languages.
I say tomato you say tomédo
The key word is successfully, so you misunderstood me completely. Of course you can break rules without knowing them explicitly, but chances are you will get into trouble. Neither is grammar a set of values. It is observation and attempts to describe the structure of language as it is actually and for the most part used. Correct grammar is the use that best conveys meaning according to (rather heuristic) rules, and successful tweaking of (or even breaking of) grammatical rules would be a situated improvement of this "best conveyance". Ignore that, and you're lucky if you're hailed as a great stylists. For example, assembling IKEA furniture in a way that has the specific point of suiting your needs rather than the manufacturers. Still you would do well to understand the "correct" way of putting that particular piece of furniture together to be able to actually improve upon it. Otherwise buying it would be rather pointless in the first place/attempting to sound cool just for the sake of coolness is pointless if it makes you look like a complete ass to someone who actually understands grammar.
About language and differences in general, based on your post: If S = subject, O = object, and V = verb, some natural languages are SVO, others SOV, still others VSO. Very few are OSV, OVS, or VOS, but they are there. They form around privileged usages and meanings, in ways largely determined by the origin and history of that language -- which pretty much is to say the history of the people speaking it. They seldom or never form in opposition to one another. This, not "incorrect pronunciation of another's terms" or "ignorance of another's rules", is the reason for the multitude of languages.
Mispronunciation this is not due to value or ignorance so much as phonology -- not every language is capable of reproducing every sound, and thus, if a person is a native speaker of one language he or she may well lack that particular sound. Values are secondary, but they may exaggerate a difficulty due to intentional distancing. Mispronunciation in order to make a point, for example.
Slang, accents, regional differences, etc, are not mainly due to values, but to distance from other regions, actual or due to heritage. Values are usually an effect of this distance, sometimes a secondary or effective cause. For instance, when I talk to people from the part of Sweden where I was born, I immediately fall into that dialect and during the conversation we usually exaggerate our common dialect precisely because it is common. This is not because it is necessarily valued as such, but because it is a way of communicating group membership. Sometimes this distance is intentional, for example in the case of slang. Effectively, this sets that particular subgroup apart from the rest of society, at least superficially.
(About the classical tomato/tomato distinction, this distance/value-relationship is overturned when it comes to secondary languages. I say not [tomeido] but [to'ma:to], like the British, because I feel more at home in the typically anglophile style sense than in the American counterpart. So it is a way for me to communicate another type of group membership, i.e. the group of anglophiles. Value may arguably be what drew me there, not distance/proximity as most Swedes tend to sound more American than British -- that is, if they actually can speak English at all without sounding like Sven-Göran Eriksson -- because of the influence of American culture on our society. So, in the case of secondary languages, accent and so on may turn on either value, distance or ability, whereas the argument otherwise concerns native speakers of a given language.)
Ignorance is most likely not a cause at all, at least not primarily, and this is why: The formation of languages/cultures/styles/what have you does not necessarily have to imply a "holding onto to ones own values" at all, and in fact I'm quite sure that is never the case. Instead it is a holding onto the shared values of the linguistically formed groups and subgroups. These values are always superficial, and the root of them is never explicit, it is never some particular person's or group's set of values that is the pivot of even a subculture; instead they are implicit as "what one values", where "one" is the collective as a whole. References to "what one values" are always vague, as they cannot be otherwise. [EDIT: In the case of repetition of what, say, a political leader or faction proclaims, sure, the root of those values is seemingly explicit. However, it turns on the belief of how those values actually apply in a given situation -- this is where vagueness comes in, and therefore, the One/the They. "I will go about business as they do, and I will value what one values", etc.]
I'm not asking for conformity at all -- in fact, I despise mindless conformity -- but I ask for common ground and, for those capable of it and for situations and needs motivating it, improvements of best use. This may well be poetic.
quetzalquatl wrote:Chances are that as computers become more intelligent we wont even be able to misuse grammar, have you considered that!
I have. But I prefer thinking for myself. Unfortunately, the majority of society seems to absolutely hate thinking at all. No news there. But because of that, it is unlikely that they would understand grammar better just because a computer told them how it works.