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Listen to the words long written down.

Wow. 10 posts straight with no comments. Does anyone read this? As punishment, here is something boring. But, being like that bizarre parent who punishes a naughty child and then cuddles them when they cry, I will compensate you by bringing the photo gallery up to date - some has already been done.

As with the English language, Spanish is under assault from the internets and text messages. This need to abbreviate is the same: 'see -> c', 'you -> u', 'are -> r' have equivalents in Spanish. There is 'of = de -> d', 'that/than = que -> q', and there is also 'also = igual -> = sign'. Best of all, 'because = porque -> xq', q from que, and x from something like '2 for 1', which is '2 por 1' which is abbreviated to 2x1 in Spanish. Of course, if 2x1 means '2 by 1' to you, this chain of logic makes no sense.

However, Spanish is immune from one bastardisation that English isn't, because being Latin based, its verb have a different conjugation for each person, and thus personal pronouns are irrelevant to begin with. Not so in English.

"What are you talking about? I went to school in Straya where they don't teach grammar. Explain, Liz Lemon."

Well, our verbs have 2 conjugations in the present tense: the infinitive, and the infinitive with an s at the end. For example, 'to walk' or 'walk' is an infinitive. This conjugates, of course, in present tense to 'I walk', 'you walk', 'he/she/it walks', 'we walk', 'you walk' (or 'yous all walk' if you're from Broady), and 'they walk'.

In Spanish, the infinitive is 'andar' (which should look familiar to any I-talians), and this conjugates to 'yo ando', 'tú andes', 'él/ella anda', 'nosotros andamos', 'vosotros andáis' and 'ustedes andan' (which will not look familiar to Italians - the Spanish here is purer Latin that your ugly irregular andare).

So, the point is, in Spanish you don't need to say 'I', 'you' etc before the action because the action tells you who is acting. But in English, you have 'walk' for 'I', 'you', 'we', 'you' and 'they'. So when someone says on the internet "Looks good, can't wait"; who or what looks good? Who or what can't wait? Or, my favourite from a shopping centre "Hope you enjoyed your visit!"; is that a threat?

Now, next time you are about to assault the language to save half of one second, put yourself where I am - put yourself overseas and imagine yourself trying to learn a language with all the interference of people being lazy and making it difficult for you to know what is correct. Now look outside your window and see how many folks around you have to put up with just that from you.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC)
Leaving "no comments" does not mean we do not read your "travel adventures."
Now to have a look at your updated photos ("new" would probably be the incorrect word to use).
Are you happy now that you have had a response here? love Mum
ps: It is rare for me to leave comments here.
Mar. 14th, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
Re: Comments
Yes, I'm much happier.
James Pollock
Mar. 15th, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
We still love you Paul!
Mar. 20th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
I feel that teh internets have destroyed comments for me, in particular those left after articles or opinion pieces on Fairfax and ABC news pages. As such, it is some-what paradoxical that to point this out, and suggest a reasons as to why perhaps some people are not leaving comments, I must utilise such a mechanism. In any event, perhaps we are all becoming vapid consumers of information, without truly having opinions or comments of our own? DJP, Canberra.
Mar. 20th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Indeed, Dan, indeed. An interesting consequence of democracy is that many think that their opinion is equally important as everyone else's, no matter how uninformed they may indeed be, and how little they have thought about the subject matter. This collides with the anonymity of the internet meaning that there is also no sense of embarrassment on the part of people that publish a response to the expert opinion of a professional in semi-legible, poorly spelt and grammatically atrocious text.

That said, here it's just nice to get the odd word of "Hey, how ya doing". There has been no issues with folks coming on saying "WHEN WILL U WAKE UP!!!!! PIRAMIDS DO NOT EXIST!!!!! WE SHOULD HAVE BOMBED MEXICO YEAR'S AGO!!!"
Mar. 23rd, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
I feel your pain (and yes, I check here regularly). Here in France, you study grammar until the final year or two of high-school. My colleagues were amazed when I told them I couldn't remember ever studying grammar at school. And just as in Spanish, conjugation is a big part of the language. As an example:

Je donnerai -- I will give
Je donnerais -- I would give

These two sound *identical* unless the next word begins with a vowel or an unaspirated 'h', in which case a liaison is voiced.

Mar. 25th, 2011 06:23 am (UTC)
Re: Conjugation
Ah yes, the 19 verb tenses. I have a good handle on two and a shaky handle on another two.

Emphasis in two otherwise identical words changes things here;
hablo and habló are I speak and you spoke respectively.
Apr. 3rd, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
Eight comments, squeaky wheel gets the oil Mum
Jul. 5th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
It is true -- starting a post with the (rhetorical?) question "Does anyone read this?" is probably the most effective way of getting both readership and comments.

Besides, as you probably understand, a post about language doesn't really come across as a punishment to me :-) Even though I'm clearly one of the slackers who only catch up with this (and any!) blog about twice a year.

Nice post, Paul.

ps: It's fascinating that the spell checker in these comments doesn't know the word "blog".
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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