HD: Video, Grammarcop Gets a Comeuppance
Posted: 29 October 2011 03:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Mildly amusing

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Posted: 29 October 2011 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If MnE sneak is from OE snīcan it should be snike, snoke, snicken not sneak, sneaked, sneaked.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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One would think it should be from that OE verb, but it’s not clear that it is. The Middle English Corpus gives only two hits for the verb, and it really doesn’t appear until the Early Modern period—the OED’s first citation is from Shakespeare. There’s a huge gap in the word’s history. My guess would be that it survived unrecorded dialectically, with odd changes as a result.

The snuck form is much more recent and American in origin.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I enjoyed that, and I wish all those “not a word” idiots could get their comeuppance so promptly and publicly.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yeah, but it would still be a word even if not in the dictionary. I enjoyed the slapdown too, but have mixed feelings about the method.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I know what you mean, but the dictionary is the only thing that will prevail upon these people.  Obviously it would be preferable to chain them to a desk in a Ling 101 class, with perhaps an occasional whack upside the head with a copy of Saussure or Bloomfield, until they’ve learned how to think about language, but unfortunately one doesn’t usually have the time and energy for that (plus there are those pesky laws).  So in cases like this, where their idiocy is so idiotic it can actually be refuted by the book they worship, I think it’s fair to use it.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Exactly, that’s just the point. To people with this mindset it isn’t a word unless it’s in a dictionary somewhere. She was hoist with her own petard and it was a joy to watch, not least because of Conan’s own sheer delight in the moment.

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Posted: 29 October 2011 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Great stuff ...
The good news is that thanks to smart phones and OED online, one can carry a comprehensive dictionary in one’s pocket these days. Not sure whether one can emulate the Conan cackle, though.

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Posted: 30 October 2011 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Showing a smart phone isn’t as good a visual as opening up a large and musty tome.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Faldage - 29 October 2011 04:35 AM

If MnE sneak is from OE snīcan it should be snike, snoke, snicken not sneak, sneaked, sneaked.

I’ve only seen one reference to it in ME and it was written sneaked but glossed as snicken! So even then there was the controversy! lol

I think, given the wide range of accents and dialects, one can eathly see how snoke could have become snuck.

Personally, I like using strong verb forms and if there is a choice, I’ll use the strong verb.

Now we only need to start using clumb again! (OE - past clamb/clumbon, ptp geclumben)

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Posted: 01 November 2011 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Here is the relevant entry from the MED. It’s not clear who is glossing it, whether that’s in the manuscript, and if so when the MS was glossed, or whether it’s an addition by a modern editor:

c1225(?c1200) SWard (Bod 34) 12/105:  Þe laðe helle wurmes, tadden & froggen..freoteð ham ut te ehnen..ant snikeð [Tit: sniken] in & ut neddren & eauroskes.

Now we only need to start using clumb again! (OE - past clamb/clumbon, ptp geclumben)

The past participle of the OE climban is not geclumben; Old English is not like modern German in this respect. The ge- prefix is either part of the verb in all its principal parts or it is absent in all. It’s really just a superfluous add-on to some verbs that has no purpose that anyone has been able to figure out.

[Added:]

Campbell’s Old English Grammar, sec. 741, classifies climban as a Class III strong verb, which would give its forms as:

climban, *clamb/clomb, *clumbon, clumben

Regarding the vowel change in the preterit, the <a> form of this class is typically found in early Northumbrian texts, although the <o> form is more common. West Saxon and Kentish usage varies, but the <a> tends to be more common.

The DOE says there are three instances of the verb climban in the OE Corpus, but it only includes two citations and my search of the OE Corpus only turns up two. These are:

þa sona on morgen comen ealle þa utlaga mid fela scipe [...] geodon into þe mynstre, clumben upp to þe halge rode
(The sun in the morning comes like an outlaw with much dignity [...] went into the monastery, climbed up to the holy cross)

hit ðurh hrof wædeð, bryceð and bærneð boldgetimbru, seomað steap and geap, stigeð on lenge, clymmeð on gecyndo
(it [fire] moves through the roof, breaks and burns the timbers, stands steep and vaulted, stands in length, climbs in its nature)

The clymmeð spelling is either dialectal variation or scribal idiosyncrasy.

[ Edited: 01 November 2011 06:36 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 01 November 2011 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Now we only need to start using clumb again!

If Mary Webb’s Precious Bane is a reliable guide, clomb was in dialect use in Shropshire in the early 20th century - e.g. ‘the bit of mistletoe he’d clomb the big apple tree to get’, and ‘So I clomb the tree to see’. And of course still may be, for all we know.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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In Dutch it is klimmen - klim - klom - geklommen. In Dutch it lost the -b- at a very early stage.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Campbell’s Old English Grammar, sec. 741, classifies climban as a Class III strong verb, which would give its forms as:

climban, *clamb/clomb, *clumbon, clumben

The preterite clamb seems to have given us clamber.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I wonder if succame has legs…

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