Concrete Nouns, Abstract Nouns, and Verbs

Steve

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Two negatives = a positive.
Correct phrasing should be, "I don't know anybody."

English is very inconsistent due to its being a "mongrel" language with many contributors. This is, by itself, simply a challenge. But this is compounded by lax instruction in school and the lowering of expectations from the students. Uneducated use of the language has become the norm to the point that "wrong" usage = "right" usage. This is just another example of the "dumbing down" of our society.

Lowering the educational bar in school, police and military physical requirements, and many other areas for the sake of being "inclusive" of one group or another is beyond ridiculous from a socially and nationally logical perspective. What makes this so insidious is that it's facilitated by politicians who cave into special interests for the sake of their own interests, ahead of what's good for the country and society in the long term.

While this post may not socially engineer the future onto the right path, I feel much better. :)


Profound questions such as these, and dealing with other similarly important metaphysical considerations was why Zen was invented.
Well, you snuck that little bit of racism in there. Didn't you? The educational bar is lower for the sake of being inclusive?
 

isshinryuronin

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Well, you snuck that little bit of racism in there. Didn't you? The educational bar is lower for the sake of being inclusive?
"Racism" can be a term used to attack a political or social position that disagrees with one's own (an easy cheap shot since most everybody is against racism, including me), and is often bandied about out of ignorance or misunderstanding. My remark has nothing to do with racism

I do not believe any group is inherently less able to achieve educational competence or excellence.

Any statistical appearance of such a thing is due to the breakdown of societal factors and the government's failure to properly address them. So, rather than address the problems in our society and educational system (that does affect some segments of our society more than others,) the government simply redefines "success." I believe this approach is counter-productive to all.

Unfortunately, by refusing to address core problems, many in our society are left behind. This divide gives some factions a political power base for policies that further their own ends and encourages the perpetuation of these policies (that hurt those who most need help.) Redefining success, and instituting other policies, give the cover of political correctness and the perception of them caring, without them actually having to solve the problem.

It's ultimately about politics and power, not race or ethnicity. The reality is politics employs distraction, smoke and mirrors, intimidation via public opinion and the bending of perception to achieve its often self-serving goals.

I base my statements on my perception and analysis of the facts. Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions is your business. When you hint I'm a racist, it becomes my business. This is the only reason I'm writing such a post.
 

Steve

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"Racism" can be a term used to attack a political or social position that disagrees with one's own (an easy cheap shot since most everybody is against racism, including me), and is often bandied about out of ignorance or misunderstanding. My remark has nothing to do with racism

I do not believe any group is inherently less able to achieve educational competence or excellence.

Any statistical appearance of such a thing is due to the breakdown of societal factors and the government's failure to properly address them. So, rather than address the problems in our society and educational system (that does affect some segments of our society more than others,) the government simply redefines "success." I believe this approach is counter-productive to all.

Unfortunately, by refusing to address core problems, many in our society are left behind. This divide gives some factions a political power base for policies that further their own ends and encourages the perpetuation of these policies (that hurt those who most need help.) Redefining success, and instituting other policies, give the cover of political correctness and the perception of them caring, without them actually having to solve the problem.

It's ultimately about politics and power, not race or ethnicity. The reality is politics employs distraction, smoke and mirrors, intimidation via public opinion and the bending of perception to achieve its often self-serving goals.

I base my statements on my perception and analysis of the facts. Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions is your business. When you hint I'm a racist, it becomes my business. This is the only reason I'm writing such a post.
I don't know if you're a racist or not, but I did observe the casual racism you dropped in your post. For what it's worth, I do disagree with your position, which is why I pushed that little "disagree" button. :)
 

Gerry Seymour

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Even today, I still don't know the difference between

- I agree with you.
- I don't disagree with you.
- I may agree with you today. But I preserve my right to disagree with you in the future if I can find a good reason for it.

The more that you have met with people, the more that you will like your dog. Why can't we just say what we think?

In school I always argued with my English teacher. My English teacher told me that I should make my sentence as more detail as possible. I have always believed that I should make my sentence as simple as possible.

In the following sentence, which one do you think is correct?

1. Do you put your right side forward, or do you put your left side forward?
2. Do you put your right side forward, or your left side forward?
3. Do you put your right side forward, or left side forward?
All or correct, but I'd prefer #4:

4. Do you put your right side or left side forward?
5. Do you put your right or left side forward?
 

Steve

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All or correct, but I'd prefer #4:

4. Do you put your right side or left side forward?
5. Do you put your right or left side forward?

I think @Kung Fu Wang is tricking us into doing the hokey pokey. :)

Regarding "I agree with you" and "I don't disagree with you" and similar examples, they mean the same thing; one is simply less direct. I have found that direct vs indirect language is often a reflection of how someone speaks the language, but like passive/active voice, it can be used intentionally to temper the message. Think of it as an additional spot on the spectrum.

For example, "I wholeheartedly agree!" -> "I agree!" -> "I agree." -> "I don't disagree." These all mean the same thing, but they clearly get progressively less enthusiastic.
 

Steve

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To elaborate more on direct and indirect language, the way you phrase things can muddy the waters and lead to misunderstanding.

For example, if you were to say, "Unlike many sport arts, we will teach you skills and techniques that can be used by you in real world situations." This suggests two things: that this school teaches techniques that can be used in the real world, and that sport arts do not.

On a different note, I think generally it's best to write for your audience, if understanding is the goal. When writing for most philosophy professors, the argument mattered much more than the style. If your argument was cogent and well considered, you would be forgiven the occasional run on sentence or inelegant language. An English professor, however, cared as much about style as about substance. So, they would be more inclined to forgive a specious argument than clumsy language.

In real life, if you're writing for general public audience, it's best to use active voice, simple and direct language, shorter sentences, and a conversational tone.

Oh, and I'm on team Oxford comma. :)
 

Steve

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The Oxford comma nearly always seems clearer to me than its absence.
oxford comma.jpg
 

Gyakuto

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English is a mongrel language with elements from many classical and, increasingly, modern languages (who ever heard of the Swedish word 'smorgasbord' but it's used in the U.K. all the time now!). As a consequence, it has seemingly inconsistent spelling and grammatical idiosyncrasies especially regarding verb conjugations. Japanese, on the other, does not really have verb conjugations but rather agglutinations where they add prefixes and suffixes to words.

I used to annoy my Greek girlfriend by suggesting that the Greek language was derived from English. "How can you say that?" she would snort. "Well, because there are so many English words in the Greek language, of course!"

I shared a flat with an Italian girl at University who was studying German, English and Italian literature. I asked her which country's literature was 'the best' in her opinion. I was expecting her to say "English literature"..you know, Austen, Bronte, Shakespeare etc, but after some thought she said German literature! She explained that the German language is far more expressive than English because of it's complexity. I love telling smug lovers of English literature that little story! One can see their hackles rise!
 
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Gyakuto

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I'm currently translating an excellent martial arts book from Italian into English. Now, Italian is very wordy and has protracted sentences. As a consequence my translation, coupled with my like of succinct, scientific-style writing is shortening the book considerably!
 

Darren

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Most people on this forum are no doubt familiar with some of the basic English grammar I will be discussing in this post but its always good to refresh such stuff. English obviously consists of words and the words used in the English language fall under different categories. Two of those categories are nouns and verbs.

Now to start off with nouns, nouns are "words that function as the name of some specific thing or set of things, such as living creatures, objects, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas." To put it simply you could say that nouns are "people, places, or things." Nouns can fall into two categories, concrete and abstract. Words such as "boy," "girl," and "tree" are examples of concrete nouns. Concrete nouns are nouns that you can touch or at least observe with one or more of the five senses. Abstract nouns are non physical nouns that you can't touch or observe with the five senses. For instance, "love," "hate," and "fortitude" are examples of abstract nouns.

Then there are verbs. Verbs are words that function as actions. For instance the words "walk," and "run," are examples of verbs.

Now, there are some words that can be either nouns or verbs depending on how they're used. For instance, the word "building" is one such word. A "building" can be the physical structure or it can be the act of making something. Take for instance the sentence, "Elvis has left the building." In that case the word, "building" is being used as a noun. You can also have a sentence such as, "He is building a sand castle." In that case the word "building" is being used as a verb.

There are also some instances where a noun can be either a concrete noun or an abstract noun depending on how it's used.

Now some people are probably wondering why I've made such a post, well, Im hoping to clear up some miscommunication that sometimes occurs on this forum.
Math and English are and where my very worst subjects in school and still are, while I know what nouns and verbs and pronouns are, and add subtract and fractions are anything beyond that is like reading the Greek language and I dont know Greek!!!!
 

Gyakuto

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Math and English are and where my very worst subjects in school and still are, while I know what nouns and verbs and pronouns are, and add subtract and fractions are anything beyond that is like reading the Greek language and I dont know Greek!!!!
They were taught very poorly in the last 30-40 years too. Im being taught some real maths by my friend, in order to understand some physics Im trying to get my head around (his PhD supervisor was Stephen Hawking!) and Im embarrassed about how little I know beyond arithmetic
 

Darren

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They were taught very poorly in the last 30-40 years too. Im being taught some real maths by my friend, in order to understand some physics Im trying to get my head around (his PhD supervisor was Stephen Hawking!) and Im embarrassed about how little I know beyond arithmetic
I can understand the principles of physics about opposing forces, just cant do it on paper!
 

Gyakuto

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I can understand the principles of physics about opposing forces, just cant do it on paper!
I asked my friend, John about the maths of relativity and if it could be explained in words. He said the maths has to come first which can then be 'wordified' into an explanation.

By way of example, he said he walked in on Hawking and three other's talking about the Lorentz transfomation (the foreshortening of objects in the direction of motion- the length of objects subtends to zero at the speed of light and their mass to infinity!). They were having a light-hearted conversation on the Lorentz transformation suggesting that it would be possible to park a car in a garage that was shorter than the car is at rest. John said they were getting no further in describing the details of this idea with any detail than, for example four fat blokes talking about politics in a pub! A passing PhD student heard them talking, went away an took a large section of mainframe computer paper (remember that?) and wrote out the dilemma, explaining it all from basic principles, in 'maths', and presented it to them much to their delight! Once it was written out in the language of maths, it was then very easy to confirm the idea in spoken words.
 

Darren

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I asked my friend, John about the maths of relativity and if it could be explained in words. He said the maths has to come first which can then be 'wordified' into an explanation.

By way of example, he said he walked in on Hawking and three other's talking about the Lorentz transfomation (the foreshortening of objects in the direction of motion- the length of objects subtends to zero at the speed of light and their mass to infinity!). They were having a light-hearted conversation on the Lorentz transformation suggesting that it would be possible to park a car in a garage that was shorter than the car is at rest. John said they were getting no further in describing the details of this idea with any detail than, for example four fat blokes talking about politics in a pub! A passing PhD student heard them talking, went away an took a large section of mainframe computer paper (remember that?) and wrote out the dilemma, explaining it all from basic principles, in 'maths', and presented it to them much to their delight! Once it was written out in the language of maths, it was then very easy to confirm the idea in spoken words.
I asked a group of mathematicians to explain math once in the form of written language they asked me to ask a different way, which I did not know how to do have a very good friend from Malaysia who is very good in math I asked him that same question he thought for a minute and said the language of the gods, mysteries of the universe. Ok thanks. I do believe that math the higher forms of it is a secret language of a sort!
Dont ever think I have seen mainframe computer paper, just the computer paper ya put in your home printer. But it has to be big paper as mainframe computers are pretty big I believe.
 

Gyakuto

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I asked a group of mathematicians to explain math once in the form of written language they asked me to ask a different way, which I did not know how to do have a very good friend from Malaysia who is very good in math I asked him that same question he thought for a minute and said the language of the gods, mysteries of the universe. Ok thanks. I do believe that math the higher forms of it is a secret language of a sort!
Dont ever think I have seen mainframe computer paper, just the computer paper ya put in your home printer. But it has to be big paper as mainframe computers are pretty big I believe.
Yes, I think it's well agreed that mathematics will be the universal language when we finally make 'first contact'! "E.T. phone home..."

Mainframe.jpg

Mainframe-type paper!
 

Darren

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Ok, I have seen mainframe computer paper. Thank you!
I dont know man? They been flying around for centuries I believe and not made contact yet! Think they have looked down a seen how stupid we are(that does include me) and said hell no!!! I know I would!!!!!
 
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