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LobowolfXXX
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On 2010-07-29 10:10, magicfish wrote:
I've never understood poor spelling. When I was in elementary school I used to enter spelling competitions. I think I won four or five over the years. Even as a child I couldn't understand why some couldn't spell. All I had to do when asked to spell a word is see the picture of the written word in my head as my eyes had seen many times while reading. I would simply "look" at the word in my head and then say it for the judges to hear. I didn't understand why everyone didn't do the same. When you read, you see the words written out on paper. Is it not a simple matter to just remember what the word looks like and then reproduce it? Perhaps this is not the case for everyone. Believe me, I don't think I'm smarter than others because I can spell well, I just don't really know how it's possible to be a poor speller provided english is your first language and you know how to read. Can any of you poor spellers enlighten me?
Genuinely curious, Rodney.


Disclaimer: I'm not a poor speller. I'm not a perfect speller, but I'm not a poor one. That being said:

I think there's a correlation between one's spelling accuracy and the quantity of reading one does. It's not just about "knowing how" to read; it's about doing a lot of it. I know that I've always been a voracious reader, and I've always spelled pretty well. In my case, most misspelled words just look wrong, because I've read so much and seen them written correctly so often that the correct spellings have become internalized. Ditto grammar (at least in my case).


Grammar contribution (unrelated to spelling):

Right: Cindy doesn't like my singing in the shower.
Wrong: Cindy doesn't like me singing in the shower.

In this example (though not in all usages), the verb form ending in ING is a gerund. Gerunds function as nouns; thus, the possessive "my" is appropriate, for the same reason it would be correct to say, "Cindy doesn't like my car."
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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On 2010-07-18 16:30, gnosis wrote:
When I make a mistake in spelling (and I've made plenty in my time, believe me.. English is my second language) I am very grateful, assuming they're not doing it in a condescending manner or acting like I'm stupid just because I spelled something wrong. We all make mistakes, and that's fine. But I just enjoy learning and improving, and if someone can help me do that then I am thankful.


As a lover of the language, I say, "Thank God for non-native speakers!" They seem to care a lot more about grammar than the natives do.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
magicfish
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I agree, Lobo. I've always been a reader. I find those who don't spell well don't read very much.

Ps. Some horrendous errors that I don't understand:
- "I could care less!". This statement means you actually do care. The correct statement is, "I couldn't care less".

- Putting an apostrophe on a plural. Eg, " Kitten's for sale"

- "I have more then you". The difference between then and than is night and day.

- "could of, would of". It is could have or would have.

- " If I would've read the instructions It would be done by now". This might be the one that gets me most. It should read, "If I had've read the instructions it would be done by now".

Of course there are many more.

Rod
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Quote:
- " If I would've read the instructions It would be done by now". This might be the one that gets me most. It should read, "If I had've read the instructions it would be done by now".


"had've"? Is that a mistake? Shouldn't it be, "if I had read the instructions it would be done by now"?

Quote:
On 2010-07-29 10:10, magicfish wrote:
I've never understood poor spelling. When I was in elementary school I used to enter spelling competitions. I think I won four or five over the years. Even as a child I couldn't understand why some couldn't spell. All I had to do when asked to spell a word is see the picture of the written word in my head as my eyes had seen many times while reading. I would simply "look" at the word in my head and then say it for the judges to hear. I didn't understand why everyone didn't do the same. When you read, you see the words written out on paper. Is it not a simple matter to just remember what the word looks like and then reproduce it? Perhaps this is not the case for everyone. Believe me, I don't think I'm smarter than others because I can spell well, I just don't really know how it's possible to be a poor speller provided english is your first language and you know how to read. Can any of you poor spellers enlighten me?
Genuinely curious, Rodney.


I'm not a perfect speller by any means. I still make mistakes on some relatively common words, and there are probably tens of thousands of obscure words I'd have no clue about. If you can see words in your mind's eye and simply read how they're spelled, you are really gifted with both a fantastic memory and a very impressive imagination.

Even for a simple word like "and", I can't actually see it at all in my mind's eye, and certainly not to the extent that I can actually read it as if I was reading a word that I see in the real world with my ordinary eyes. My own ability to spell words correctly is pretty mysterious to me... I just "know" how they're spelled, and they just look wrong when spelled incorrectly. It's more of a feeling rather a matter of visualizing the word in your mind and simply reading it, as is the case with you.
magicfish
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You're right about my sample sentence above, Gnosis, it was a weak attempt at trying to use a pet peeve of mine. It really gets to me when people say, "would of" instaead of "would have", or, "had of" instead of "had have".
Anyway, interesting. post above. Funny how minds work differently. I always took it for granted that everyone could recall information from their mind's eye the way I could.
Rod
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2010-07-29 13:18, LobowolfXXX wrote:

Grammar contribution (unrelated to spelling):

Right: Cindy doesn't like my singing in the shower.
Wrong: Cindy doesn't like me singing in the shower.




Sorry Lobo. BOTH are correct.

A third would also be correct:

Right: Cindy doesn't like me to sing in the shower.

Lets try another sentence:

Right: Cindy caught me lying about where I spent the night.
Right: Cindy caught my lying about where I spent the night.
Wrong: Cindy caught me to lie about where I spent the night.


The verb "like" can be followed by either an infinitive or gerund.

The verb "caught" can only be followed by a gerund.

Just for fun, let's use a verb that can only be followed by an infinitive...

Right: Cindy taught me to use better grammar.
Wrong: Cindy taught me using better grammar.

...and then ask the question of whether we can we say the following:

???: Cindy taught my to use better grammar.

Obviously not. And it all becomes clear: the only reason that using "my" is correct in your first sentence is that a gerund can be possessed, which is accidental to what is actually occurring grammatically. Because if you really get down to it, it's odd. My "singing in the shower" is only vaguely and abstractly the same as my car in terms of my owning it; I'm not going to fill it up, change its oil, or wash and wax it. Nor will I sell it to a neighbor or put an ad in the paper about it. "Singing in the shower" is only grammatically something to be possessed.

That's my analysis this morning, at least, after a very hard night. You know, they shouldn't give grammar teaching jobs to philosophers. They tend to over-analyze things.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2010-08-27 04:34, stoneunhinged wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-07-29 13:18, LobowolfXXX wrote:

Grammar contribution (unrelated to spelling):

Right: Cindy doesn't like my singing in the shower.
Wrong: Cindy doesn't like me singing in the shower.




Sorry Lobo. BOTH are correct.

A third would also be correct:

Right: Cindy doesn't like me to sing in the shower.

Lets try another sentence:

Right: Cindy caught me lying about where I spent the night.
Right: Cindy caught my lying about where I spent the night.
Wrong: Cindy caught me to lie about where I spent the night.


The verb "like" can be followed by either an infinitive or gerund.

The verb "caught" can only be followed by a gerund.

Just for fun, let's use a verb that can only be followed by an infinitive...

Right: Cindy taught me to use better grammar.
Wrong: Cindy taught me using better grammar.

...and then ask the question of whether we can we say the following:

???: Cindy taught my to use better grammar.

Obviously not. And it all becomes clear: the only reason that using "my" is correct in your first sentence is that a gerund can be possessed, which is accidental to what is actually occurring grammatically. Because if you really get down to it, it's odd. My "singing in the shower" is only vaguely and abstractly the same as my car in terms of my owning it; I'm not going to fill it up, change its oil, or wash and wax it. Nor will I sell it to a neighbor or put an ad in the paper about it. "Singing in the shower" is only grammatically something to be possessed.

That's my analysis this morning, at least, after a very hard night. You know, they shouldn't give grammar teaching jobs to philosophers. They tend to over-analyze things.


"Singing" (as a gerund) may be an intangible thing, but it's still a thing, like my love or my happiness. I disagree that the grammar creates a trick that implies possession. The possession is inherent in the semantics, and the grammar catches it. "Bob's dancing" might be funny, but "Jim's" might not. There's a unique ownership there. It's "my" singing in the shower, not singing in general, or anyone else's singing. Gerunds refer to inherently (albeit intangibly) occurring nouns.

I'm not sure why you're saying that "me singing" would be correct, because you focus more on the infinitive than the participle, but if it's because "sing" is in essence a verb, you also have to explain why the objective "me" is acceptable for the subject of the verb.

Me reasoning (surely not, but how is it diffferent?) is that my "wrong" version is still wrong, but I'm open to (a more persuasive) argument or authority.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2010-08-27 12:15, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I disagree that the grammar creates a trick that implies possession. The possession is inherent in the semantics, and the grammar catches it.


I didn't mean a "trick" (you magician, you!). I meant that since one can potentially mean possession that coincidentally the grammars plays along.

Let's go back to your example:

Cindy doesn't like my singing in the shower.

I read this to mean: Cindy doesn't like the singing which I do in the shower.

The (wrong!?) alternative:

Cindy doesn't like me singing in the shower.

I read this to mean: Cindy doesn't like it for me to sing in the shower.

Now, before I start digging into my books (which I need to do due to the new job and all; this may be mostly in fun, but I need to elevate my understanding of this stuff, and SOON!), why don't you deal with my counter example of Cindy catching me lying?

Can we agree that the following are incorrect?

wrong: Cindy taught my to use better grammar.
wrong: Cindy taught my using better grammar

If they are incorrect, then using your argument that a gerund--being a gerund--can (always) be "possessed" by a subject is simply wrong. (Note: no, you didn't say "always", but I think you understand why I had to add it...though without prejudice to your position.)

My position is that the fundamental issue here is whether a specific verb takes the infinitive or gerund or neither or both, and not the issue of the possessive pronoun, which in this case provides misdirection.

But of course, you were an English major, and I wasn't. So you might get the better of me in this duel. Still, I must stay the course, fight the fight, play till the last whistle blows at the end of the last inning, and all that with beer in hand and love in my heart.
Josh Chaikin
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I would have to agree with Jeff on this one. I do see both to be correct, for the reasons that Jeff gave. By adding "ing," yes, singing does become a tangible. Let's noun another verb, shall we (and let's not talk about why using noun as a verb is wrong...I know). "Mom doesn't like me running with scissors." Naturally read to mean "Mom doesn't like it when I run with scissors," or it could go like this "Mom doesn't like me, Running With Scissors," the latter being a proper name. Smile
Andrew Zuber
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I felt the need to bring this one back up after seeing all kinds of errors in a thread in the illusions section.
Maybe it's because I come from a long line of educators. Perhaps it's the fact that I read a lot. Maybe I'm just crazy. Regardless of what it is, I find that I don't take a post here as seriously if it's full of spelling and grammatical errors, or if The Poster Does This With Every Word For No Reason. I find this to be true with many magicians. It's laziness and it makes you look bad. If you can't spell a word, Google it. Quite simple, really. We're not a bunch of idiots; we can learn to spell.

A typo here and there happens. We've all experienced it. It's the posts filled with them that drive me crazy. I read my posts before I click 'Submit Reply' because I want it to be evident that I actually care about what I'm saying; I'm not just letting my fingers fly across the keyboard. You wouldn't perform a routine without rehearsing it first. Read your post before you submit it for the world to see.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
stoneunhinged
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Lobo, I just happened to have the chance of asking a linguist about the Cindy example. He agreed with me that "Cindy doesn't like me singing in the shower" is grammatically correct. His explanation is that "me singing in the shower" is a gerund phrase in the accusative case. It does make perfect sense to me that one can take the same phrase and make it either accusative or genetive by simply changing the determiner, so maybe it will make sense to you, too. Maybe not. Maybe the linguist I asked was also wrong.
LobowolfXXX
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Call back to an interesting discussion, and one I'd forgotten about. I'll think about this one some more.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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And of course, "I don't like Junior crossing the tracks; in fact I don't like Junior."
"I use my five illusions to create the sense I'm useful to six."



You can read my daily blog at Musings, Memories, and Magic
LobowolfXXX
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I'd write, "I don't like Junior's crossing the tracks..."
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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"I can't shop in the juniors' department."

If you've ever used the word "pedantic," you probably are. Smile
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers


"This I offer in explanation of how it was that I found myself in my undergarments as I sat in my cell attempting to plot my escape."
~Professor Phineas Valeyard, Miskatonic University Dept.of Psychodynamic Natural History.
rjs
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The most commonly mis-spelt town in England is Middlesborough.
It's actually spelt Middlesbrough.
Daft information, but you can at least win a drink in a bar bet.
LobowolfXXX
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Around here, most people seem to think that Tijuana is Tiajuana, and Westminster is Westminister.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2011-04-28 14:30, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Around here, most people seem to think that Tijuana is Tiajuana, and Westminster is Westminister.

In Vernon's Cutting the Aces in Stars of Magic, the former is two words: Tia Juana.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2010-07-29 13:18, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I think there's a correlation between one's spelling accuracy and the quantity of reading one does. It's not just about "knowing how" to read; it's about doing a lot of it.

It depends on what you read.

My mom used to be an excellent speller. Then she started teaching art history at Dominquez Hills College. After many years of reading term papers that were filled with spelling errors, her skill at spelling deteriorated considerably. She believes - as you do - that if you read good writing in quantity, your brain remembers how a word looks when it's spelled correctly, but that if you read poor writing in quantity, your memory of the correct spelling begins to erode, to be replaced with memories of incorrect spellings.

I'd love to see a long-term study done on this, but I'd hate to be the person forced to read poor spelling. Of course, these days it would be relatively easy: have the subjects read the posts on internet fora.
rjs
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Spellcheckers won't spot the mistake that mentalists sometimes make: confusing 'peeking' with 'peaking'.
eg Simon Edwards Mind Kontrol p.8 (2010)
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