Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Mar 2010 19:05 UTC
Features, Office Since everybody in the technology world is apparently having a vacation, and nobody told me about it, we're kind of low on news. As such, this seems like the perfect opportunity to gripe about something I've always wanted to gripe about: a number of common mistakes in English writing in the comments section. I'll also throw in some tidbits about my native language, Dutch, so you can compare and contrast between the two.
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Gender
by Luis on Thu 18th Mar 2010 22:25 UTC
Luis
Member since:
2006-04-28

I usually love English for being simple and flexible. If I'd try to explain to an older Spanish person (I'm Spanish) who haven't been exposed to English that in English there is no gender and that verbs are so dead easy to conjugate he wouldn't believe that such system could work without causing confusion. But it does work, just as good as more complicated languages (with the advantage of being easy).

Of course, you lose some subtleties. A stupid example would be when your girlfriend tells you that she's been out with "a friend", and you just die for knowing if that "friend" is a male or a female. In Spanish (and most other European languages) the word friend (and the article preceding it) would already carry the gender of the bloody friend and you wouldn't have to make a fool of yourself having to ask: "A friend?" Hoping that she will give you more information.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Gender
by kaiwai on Fri 19th Mar 2010 01:32 in reply to "Gender"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I usually love English for being simple and flexible. If I'd try to explain to an older Spanish person (I'm Spanish) who haven't been exposed to English that in English there is no gender and that verbs are so dead easy to conjugate he wouldn't believe that such system could work without causing confusion. But it does work, just as good as more complicated languages (with the advantage of being easy).

Of course, you lose some subtleties. A stupid example would be when your girlfriend tells you that she's been out with "a friend", and you just die for knowing if that "friend" is a male or a female. In Spanish (and most other European languages) the word friend (and the article preceding it) would already carry the gender of the bloody friend and you wouldn't have to make a fool of yourself having to ask: "A friend?" Hoping that she will give you more information.


You could always say that you went out with a female friend, or you went out for a 'hen's night' or a 'girls night out' or some other sort of colloquialism ;) maybe she didn't mention it because she thought it wasn't necessary for the purpose of the conversation ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Gender
by boldingd on Fri 19th Mar 2010 21:18 in reply to "RE: Gender"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

That's kinda what I was thinking: women can refer to their "girlfriends" to indicate female friends, so the confusion could be avoided. (And if she wouldn't take that step, it's at least possible that the ambiguity was intentional. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2