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English language - average vocabulary


terryW

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I freely admit that my command of the English language is my weakest point. I am also sure that I once heard that the average person only uses 30,000 words of the English language but surely editors of the CC magazine should be able to do better. The following sentence in November issue could perhaps be little more descriptive?

 

"Many fixed-bed layouts are based on relatively long caravans on which the wheels are relatively far back on the chassis. That makes the nose weight relatively high"

 

No doubt the editor has a degree in the theory of relativity (lol)

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Perhaps he has relations in the caravan industry - that would make him related I suppose - even if the report bear no relationship to the view that a relatively experienced caravanner might relate to - relatively speaking of course.
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pelmetman - 2011-10-29 10:00 PM

 

Plane Enguish I like to fink Im a master off the craft of tarking krap(lol)

 

Oh yes, you certainly are Dave - believe me!

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Tracker - 2011-10-29 10:09 PM
pelmetman - 2011-10-29 10:00 PMPlane Enguish I like to fink Im a master off the craft of tarking krap(lol)
Oh yes, you certainly are Dave - believe me!
Fank U Rich............I wil adit to my CV:D
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I'd be astonished if indeed the average British adult knows, let alone uses 30,000 different words.

 

1,000 or 2,000 perhaps, if native?

 

 

 

 

The average across ALL adults in Britain will of course be considerably lower than that now, because of the rapidly increasing number of non-native people who have moved to and are now living there.

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Given that a large proportion of young people can only communicate in txt spk, many adults grasp of the English language and their ability to communicate adequately in the old fashioned way - ie face to face - is likely to worsen as the years pass and education continues to fail them.
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Tracker - 2011-10-30 12:42 PM

 

Given that a large proportion of young people can only communicate in txt spk, many adults grasp of the English language and their ability to communicate adequately in the old fashioned way - ie face to face - is likely to worsen as the years pass and education continues to fail them.

 

Another reason is the need of some youngsters to talk street talk. Gangsta rap has a lot to answer for. A lot of kids now talk with an Afro-Caribbean accents but I suppose this is what Labour meant when telling us for thirteen years how wonderful multiculturism and diversity is, innit bro.

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Ah now then - here we have the true meaning of equality in socialism!

 

In the future all brothers will be equal - they will all have naff all and insufficient literacy and numeracy to do much about it - except some party brothers (and sisters) who shall be more equal than the rest - that way everyone fits into a pigeon hole and the populace at large is much easier to control!

 

A bit like capitalism in reverse I suppose!

 

Maybe I should write a book - 2084 perhaps - although there may well be nobody left in the country capable of reading it let alone understanding it - unless I write it in text speak and put in lots of pictures (in colour to hold their attention) and make it like a cartoon!

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Perhaps some reading this thread can tell me where the current trendy question, "can I get", (as in, can I get a box of matches please started?

 

A TV programme perhaps?

 

I just want to scream at them when I hear it.

 

I'd like to answer them too, i.e. no you bloody well can't get it, you can buy it though >:-(

 

Seething of Blackburn

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LordThornber - 2011-10-30 7:26 PM

 

Perhaps some reading this thread can tell me where the current trendy question, "can I get", (as in, can I get a box of matches please started?

 

A TV programme perhaps?

 

I just want to scream at them when I hear it.

 

I'd like to answer them too, i.e. no you bloody well can't get it, you can buy it though >:-(

 

Seething of Blackburn

 

 

Surely " can I get " comes from American 'movies ' doesn't it ?

 

(Movies are of course what British people used to call films ),

 

>:-)

 

My ' favourites ' are the people confused about their own identities.

 

They answer a phone by asking " who is this ?" - apparently not knowing who they are.

 

;-)

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malc d - 2011-10-30 7:37 PM

 

Surely " can I get " comes from American 'movies ' doesn't it ?

 

(Movies are of course what British people used to call films ),

 

>:-)

 

Thanks for that Malc, not being much of a film (movie) buff I wouldn't know but thinking about it I can well imagine it.

 

Martyn

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As the above posts tend to show, it isn't how many words you know, but whether you can put them together into meaningful sentences, that really counts. The OP's example is clumsy, but at least the meaning is reasonably clear. I've read far worse!

 

I agree with Martyn about "get", but there are many more. I don't like "train station" instead of "railway station" - it always sounds so infantile to me.

 

English mainly seems to have become debased in America, seemingly through misuse by immigrants, popularised as authentic "street" speech in films and TV, exported back to the UK through those media, picked up as novel by our youth, included as authentic in our own soaps, whence it has migrated into everyday speech. Having spell checkers set by default to American English doesn't help, either! However, language is dynamic, and is always changing, so maybe it is just that one notices the changes more as one ages.

 

Overall, though, I'm rather more taken aback by the number of people who simply can't get the basics right, than by those who use Americanisms. Basic reading and writing, and reasonable numeracy, should have been attained by anyone leaving school. Unfortunately, for many, it is abundantly clear this was not their experience. It is a huge disadvantage for them, and a sad reflection on our education system.

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One thing that I really, really, really, hate now in a lot of US tv shows is the misuse of the word "bring" where "take" should have been used, for example:

 

When asking if someone wants to be taken to something/somewhere, they say "Shall I bring you to it?" or "Shall I bring you there?".

 

or

 

"Can you bring it to the garage" where the person making the request isn't actually at the garage so it should be "Can you take it to the garage"

 

... it absolutely infuriates me that they don't understand the meaning of the flipping word they are using and this is just one thing! *-)

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