December 3rd, 2007

Canadian (?) dialect

As a US citizen born and raised, I always say "I am done with school"/"I am finished with work," etc., but I have seen many Canadians write "I am done school"/"I am finished work". I don't know if this is common in other English dialects but I'm wondering how it works linguistically and grammatically. I guess I don't really have a specific question, I'm just interested in hearing anything you have to say about it or why some dialects consistently use "with" and others (almost?) never do - and also if this is solely colloquial or is also used formally.

people vs. persons

I find myself using "persons" in my academic writing more and more these days. I couldn't tell you why I do it - it just seems right to me. Native English speakers, do you use "persons"? When? How? Tell me all your thoughts on this matter! Please do indicate what type of English you are a native speaker of.

(no subject)

There's a class of words and phrases that I've forgotten the name of; I ran across them on Wikipedia a while ago. They're called something beginning with "snow". They are common terms that have existed for anywhere from centuries to years, with a common grammatical structure but substituted words. For example, "all your base are belong to us" would reduce to "all your A are belong to B", and any number of things could be A or B, like "all your software are belong to Microsoft". Does anyone remember what these are called?

Germanic Hist. Ling. Question

So, I am reading through what seems to be a reasonable book, The Viking Legacy - The Scandinavian Influence on the English Language, by John Geipel and I was hit with an odd set of premises:

1. The ethnic make up of the original Germanic peoples was non-IndoEuropean speaking and was not part (seemingly) of a diffusion via migration and in fact got their language by trade associations.

2. The original Germanic of the I.E. variety began as a pidgin of Celtic.

Reasoning: Explains some issues of sound change, some irregular structural issues and some pervasive non-I.E. grammatical forms.

Anyone have any ideas on this? I find it somewhat bogus. Granted, I haven't studied Historical Germanic Linguistics too much. I mostly am a Balto-Slavic person.


Help needed - Dutch

A colleague at work is getting infuriated by textspeak in inappropriate contexts - business related emails. The correspondents in question are not easily offended (and he has tried!)

Please could someone let me have the Dutch for:

"Could you perhaps translate "u" as well when you're writing in English?"

ETA: Thank you very much! Greatly appreciated!