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Cranky
Posted: 27 August 2010 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Let’s take a case in point.  In the “men” thread, Dave wrote

The plural men is found in Old English and in other early-medieval Germanic languages. It undoubtedly goes back to proto-Germanic (i.e., the language or group of languages that gave rise to the modern Germanic languages, like English, German, Dutch, and Swedish). More specificity, no one can provide.

And I just now responded:

No, Proto-Germanic would have had *manni; umlaut came later.

Should I have said instead “Well, I can certainly understand how you could say such a thing; it’s a natural deduction.  But in fact Proto-Germanic did not yet have umlaut (the raising of vowels due to the influence of vowels later in the word), and the reconstructed form would be *manni instead (the asterisk is what we use for reconstructed forms)”?

Because if I’m going to have to put on the persona of a kindly, patient high school teacher every time I respond, I’ll just stop bothering.  There’s a reason I didn’t become a high school teacher.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I agree with languagehat.

People should be able to be blunt and direct without it blowing up into a fight.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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QED

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Posted: 28 August 2010 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Well all right then!

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Posted: 29 August 2010 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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So I guess we have two camps here.

My camp that says people have been too sensitive, and Eliza’s camp that says people have been too insensitive.

EDIT:typo

[ Edited: 29 August 2010 03:09 AM by OP Tipping ]
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Posted: 29 August 2010 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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So, not much left to say then except that I don’t think that being blunt is a virtue, so I don’t see why a person would want to be blunt in the first place.
But all this is just my personal opinion and as I said I’m willing to be more considerate of what some people think is an appropriate attitude in our discussions. I hope this will work two ways.

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Posted: 29 August 2010 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Very well then, comment withdrawn. I suppose we’ll muddle through okay.

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Posted: 30 August 2010 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Hear, hear to all. And kudos to OP Tipping for starting this thread - there was some air needed clearing.

This is far too valuable a site for it to fall apart in pointless bickering. So we’re not all perfect. Some of us may be struggling with feelings of inferiority - or of superiority -, some of us may be impatient of ignorance - or of knowledge -, some of us may simply be having trouble with hemorrhoids, and consequently a trifle tetchy. Those of us who’ve been around for a few years should know each other pretty well by now. Newcomers, however, are another matter. I suggest that it’s the newcomers whom we should make an effort to shield from our idiosyncrasies, and be particularly patient with. And if we can’t be patient, we can always keep our own counsel. I hate seeing newcomers frightened away (I don’t hold myself blameless in this).

Speaking for myself - I have taken to rubbing myself all over daily with emery paper, in the hope that this will make my skin thicker.

This is a good place to mention once more the very high regard I feel for all of you at wordorigins.org. Don’t go away, any of you.

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