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Thread: When did we start using "of" over 've?

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    My biggest pet peeve is spelling the word "lose" as "loose," because that's not even a phonetic misspelling
    Yes it is. You'd expect "lose" to rhyme with "rose", "hose", and "nose". Granted, "lose" doesn't rhyme with "noose" or "goose" exactly either, but the vowel matches, which I think people notice more than the voicing contrast. Curiously, "lose" does have a phonetically-spelled homophone, "loos", which people don't use as a misspelling.

    Even funnier when someone calls you a "looser". It fails at making you feel inferior and ends up achieving the opposite.
    Last edited by morngnstar; 03-25-2017 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #77
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    In retrospect, I probably should've titled this thread:

    Shoulda coulda woulda, should've could've would've

    LOL
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  3. #78
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    It's not new. Or even knew. I've seen of instead of "'ve" while transcribing Civil War documents, ranging from telegrams to letters home.

    It is very human; and it is the kind of thing that oddly, for me anyway, is easier to spot when I proof from hard copy.

    Yes, I am a die-hard print-it-out-and-edit-it type.

    It's also the kind of error that is difficult to code parsing systems to check for, because the syntax clues are subtle. I'm not sure you could write a 100% accurate check for it.
    Last edited by AW Admin; 03-26-2017 at 12:52 AM.

  4. #79
    AW benefactor Chase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBJason View Post
    I am trying to do it based off how I say it!
    Based off? Really? To paraphrase the title of this thread, when did we start using "based off" instead of the old standby "based on"?
    Last edited by Chase; 03-26-2017 at 12:48 AM.

  5. #80
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morngnstar View Post
    That's a slippery slope argument. It might or might not be true. I think modern mass communication is likely to keep dialects mutually intelligible, even as language changes. Even if true, my reaction is "So what?" The Church tried to keep everybody speaking Latin, when they wanted to speak Spanish and Italian instead. Now they can't understand each other, but they don't seem to bothered by it.
    'So what' in my opinion in this case is, 'pick your battles'. It's why I asked what criteria indicates a changing convention vs incorrect grammar?

    Language evolution is a fascinating subject. When the genetic trail of human migration out of Africa was mapped, it followed closely the evolution of language. Just as our skin color and other physical features evolve, so does language.

    Later waves of immigrants sometimes brought their language with them and the original inhabitants later adopted it. But most of the time, immigrants adopted the existing language. That's why the map of evolution of language and genetics of human migration correlate so well.

    So there is no argument from me that language evolves. But there is also a reason to keep that evolution in check to a certain degree or we would soon all be speaking dialects that others didn't understand. In other words, there is a reason for grammar rules and dictionaries. Slang is fine, and sometimes slang words end up in the standard dictionary.

    But the bottom line remains, pick your battles. Excusing bad grammar because people are writing what they think they hear is not a battle I personally would fight. As a writer, the purpose of grammar matters to me.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 03-26-2017 at 01:07 AM.

  6. #81
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    It's not new. Or even knew. I've seen of instead of "'ve" while transcribing Civil War documents, ranging from telegrams to letters home. ....
    That's fascinating.

  7. #82
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    Based off? Really? To paraphrase the title of this thread, when did we start using "based off" instead of the old standby "based on"?
    Just when I was starting to absorb the issue with 'off of'....

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    Based off? Really? To paraphrase the title of this thread, when did we start using "based off" instead of the old standby "based on"?
    Touche

    Quote Originally Posted by MaeZe View Post
    Just when I was starting to absorb the issue with 'off of'....
    Nah, I just threw that one in there to see if anyone was paying attention
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  9. #84
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    I'm still waiting for someone to provide an example of published narrative prose, outside of colloquial first-person or dialogue, in which the "of" usage is present. I can't imagine any even semi-competent editor passing that.

    And, as an incidental aside, I have used it in a colloquially-narrated first-person story, because in that context, it was appropriate.

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  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMaree View Post
    Language changes over time. This isn't harming anyone. I really don't see why it's necessary to call it "laziness, ignorance, or lowering educational standards" or "stupidity and bad hearing".

    The meaning is still clear.
    I don't know if I'd agree that we're at a point where this constitutes an actual change in language or not. There are some examples of language changing because of how people hear words (I've read that "apron" was originally "napron," but "a napron" sounded enough like "an apron" that the shift occurred). But it's also possible for something to simply be a mistake, which doesn't mean the person is lazy or poorly-educated--just that they misheard something or didn't know how it was spelled. I would argue that most of the time, what people hear as "could of" is pretty clearly "could've," which sounds similar in a lot of dialects. It's definitely possible that some dialects have adopted "could of," as a couple posters have observed, in which case language might indeed be evolving.
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  11. #86
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
    I don't know if I'd agree that we're at a point where this constitutes an actual change in language or not. There are some examples of language changing because of how people hear words (I've read that "apron" was originally "napron," but "a napron" sounded enough like "an apron" that the shift occurred). But it's also possible for something to simply be a mistake, which doesn't mean the person is lazy or poorly-educated--just that they misheard something or didn't know how it was spelled. I would argue that most of the time, what people hear as "could of" is pretty clearly "could've," which sounds similar in a lot of dialects. It's definitely possible that some dialects have adopted "could of," as a couple posters have observed, in which case language might indeed be evolving.
    Lots of words have etymologies like that of apron usually because the words were adopted from another language. From Google:
    Middle English naperon, from Old French, diminutive of nape, nappe ‘tablecloth,’ from Latin mappa ‘napkin.’ The n was lost by wrong division of a napron ...
    I know one in Spanish because my professor made a point of telling us and for whatever reason it is something I still recall decades later.

    Ojalá means hopefully in Spanish and the word came from 'oh Allah'.

    But if 'would've' hasn't become 'would of' even after a few hundred years of use, maybe it's not meant to be.

  12. #87
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
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    CSPAN Book TV currently has Robert Alden Rubin on discussing his book, "Going to Hell in a Hen Basket, An Illustrated Dictionary of Modern Malapropisms". It's hilarious. Everyone laughed at the Oxford coma.

    It's a panel discussion on the English language.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 03-26-2017 at 08:46 AM.

  13. #88
    Still confused by shoelaces Once!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    I'm still waiting for someone to provide an example of published narrative prose, outside of colloquial first-person or dialogue, in which the "of" usage is present. I can't imagine any even semi-competent editor passing that.
    Maybe not yet. But there was a time when no semi-competent editor would have allowed a split infinitive. That little word "of" might make it to the big time and be accepted in the mainstream or it might remain forever colloquial. All we can do is to open a bag of popcorn and watch.

    It is the job of every generation to be 100% sure that the way they use language is the only right way. Anyone who came before them was wrong - silly fuddy-duddies who hadn't sufficiently evolved yet. And everyone who comes after them are insolent upstarts who really ought to listen to their elders more.

    Every. Single. Generation.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaeZe View Post
    ...
    I know one in Spanish because my professor made a point of telling us and for whatever reason it is something I still recall decades later.
    Ojalá means hopefully in Spanish and the word came from 'oh Allah'.

    But if 'would've' hasn't become 'would of' even after a few hundred years of use, maybe it's not meant to be.
    I knew the word Ojalá but did not know that - very cool! I have many things where I think "now why the heck do I remember that, but I couldn't remember the word copse yesterday when it would've been the perfect word to interject in the conversation... LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    I kud riet wike dis n git undurstud
    And my daughter does exactly this in her text messages and in her Facebook posts. Not because she doesn't know the correct spellings (or most of the correct spellings. I believe we all have words that we misspell from time-to-time). She does it because she is too lazy to proofread before she hits "send". And, I believe, because her peers expect it of her. I continue to correct her--every single time.

    Why do I bother? Because I believe it matters. She is raising her child. If her child sees her writing and assimilates the wrong spelling and grammar, what hope does she have as she goes through school?

    My daughter is trying to get into college. If she's accepted, and she tries to pass off the misspellings she has gotten into the habit of using, she'll fail. I don't want to see her fail.

    I worry for the kids growing up in the era of texts and social media. They are not encouraged to spell words correctly. They are not encouraged to use proper grammar. As a matter of fact, I read not so long ago that using proper spelling and punctuation in text messages was considered "rude". So much of their time writing is spent writing incorrectly. This is their practice at language. This is what they will internalize and use in their future. It frightens me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    Did you proof read this post? It contains a number of typos and at least one malapropism. But I'm not judging.
    No?
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  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Having to type in Chinese or other Asian languages with a different symbol for each word would literally make my eyes melt! LOL
    Uh-huh... you'd need a keyboard with approximately 50,000 keys to represent each unique word in the Chinese language. And it's "word", not "symbol". Or if you'd like to get a little more technical, "logographic".

    But back to "would've" vs. "would of". For non-native English speakers, especially if English is their third learned language, "of" and "ve" have very different pronunciations that are exaggerated so that beginning learners hear and understand the difference. Once the learner advances sufficiently, "of" and "ve" are pronounced as they are in normal everyday speech. This type of exaggerated difference helps learners get "would've/should've/could've" correct. So, I wonder, would this technique help native English speakers?
    Last edited by Snitchcat; 05-26-2017 at 11:24 AM. Reason: I swear I proof-read this thing.
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  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaeZe View Post
    But if 'would've' hasn't become 'would of' even after a few hundred years of use, maybe it's not meant to be.
    Lol, agreed.

    Also, another one who can't stand "off of".
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  18. #93
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    A guide I read referred to this as "sonic writing." It's usually the mark of a person who doesn't read a lot, so they're writing out what they hear rather than what they have learned is the visual representation of that contraction.

    It doesn't indicate stupidity. It often does indicate a low level of literacy, because most avid readers will use the "'ve" form instinctively, because they see the word, not hear it, in their mind. However, if someone is wired more for sonic information, they may find it hard not to write what they heard.

  19. #94
    Ideas bounce around in my head Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacbird View Post
    I'm still waiting for someone to provide an example of published narrative prose, outside of colloquial first-person or dialogue, in which the "of" usage is present. I can't imagine any even semi-competent editor passing that.

    And, as an incidental aside, I have used it in a colloquially-narrated first-person story, because in that context, it was appropriate.

    caw
    Not intending to resurrect an old thread here but was reading a book and actually saw a published use with "would of" in print and I about fell out of my chair. It doesn't meet blacbirds criteria as it's in dialogue but it's the first time I've seen it in print. I also think it's a misprint because there's a sentence elsewhere with a contraction

    "...They come and drank their fill and spilled the rest before they fired my roof, and they would of spilled my blood too, if they'd caught me. M'lord."

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  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Once! View Post
    This. Sadly.

    If Chaucer was still around, he would probably be hacked off that we aren't still talking like this:



    And the author of Beowulf would expect to see us talking like this:



    Language changes. We might not like that. We might try and fight against it. But the fact of life is that the people who use language make it do what they need it to do.

    And yes I hate it too when I see or hear "should of" and "could of". But I also wince a little when I notice the missing "u" from color, honor and favor. And we Brits find the US pronunciation of "herbs" and "lieutenant" positively hilarious. Or should that be "hilarios"???

    Only kidding, folks! ;-)
    We pronounce lieutenant how it's spelled. Maybe someday we'll pronounce "colonel" the way it's spelled too and more hair will be torn out. Not sure why we decided the "h" should be silent with herbs, or if that represents an older or more recent version of the pronunciation, but I'm replaying "Skyrim" right now, and I wince every time a character pronounces the word like the guy's name "Herb."

    There are a couple of British uses that feel wrong to me too, while we're at it

    "Different to" instead of "different from" or "different than." It just feels illogical to put it that way, since differences diverge instead of converging. But I see British people writing it (and hear it used on BBC radio) enough to know that it's common use across the pond.

    Also "got" when we'd say "gotten" for the past tense of the word. That is one where the Americans actually do use the older conjugation of the verb, I think, as its preserved in the idiom "ill-gotten gains" that is still used, even in the UK. But I've had British people lecture me about how grammatically incorrect "gotten" is. That leaves me scratching my head. Why would conjugating a past tense of that particular word be wrong?

    But even within the UK and US there will be regional usage that differs from what might be officially proscribed for that country (though even the dictionaries may disagree about some things, or the board of people they survey about usage may be split on some words). Regional and colloquial speech gives color and life to the language, and I mostly think it's a good thing and enjoy hearing and learning about the differences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Once! View Post
    Maybe not yet. But there was a time when no semi-competent editor would have allowed a split infinitive.
    Isn't the injunction against split infinitives a relatively recent insertion into the English language, though, a product of the Victorians attempting to "Latinize" the language inappropriately?
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 06-12-2017 at 12:38 AM.
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  21. #96
    blue eyed floozy shakeysix's Avatar
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    When my students use it in an essay, I go to the board and write it all out. They would tell you I am having one of my hissy fits. I say that I'm an English teacher and it is my goddam job to make sure my students learn the correct usage even if they live in Sweatpants & Cowboy Boots, Kansas.

    When my daughters used it, as kids, my husband, also a teacher, and I would have a tag team hissy fit. My grandchildren are fairly correct on this issue, although there are many others that drive me WAY nuckin' futz. (For example Way as the only available adverb in eleven sentences.)

    When my maternal cousins use of instead of 've I let it go. They are the folks who believe that there is a secret Nazi Base on the dark side of the moon. Following Billy Meier and misusing of and 've all blend together in my mind. Call it wrong, elitist, archaic, but that's the way of it and I'm not apologizing.

    PS--from time to time some of my characters do use of instead of have, but they live in Sweatpants & Cowboy Boots, Ks! --s6
    Last edited by shakeysix; 06-12-2017 at 01:12 AM.

  22. #97
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    What I hate is when someone says "would've" (which I do a lot) and someone else transcribes it "would of", making the speaker sound ignorant when they are not.

    I have seen journalists do this and it bugs me.

  23. #98
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    I wouldn't say "sloppy." It is not a good habit to attribute misunderstanding and possibly bad teaching to ecclesiastical virtues (sloth, pride, envy, and others). The ages of these bad spellers or their backgrounds may actually come into play. A lot of the people on-line are what you would call "kids." Many kids do not have the whole Chicago Manual of Usage memorized like we writers do, eh?

    It just looks like these people are spelling based on what they hear. In the English language, there are a few floating sounds which are based upon the configuration of groups of letters and not letters that are actually seen in the alphabet. Among these letters are the "Y-glides" and the "schwas."
    The 've (have contracted) sounds a lot like of if you consider the schwa (signified by an upside down e in pronunciation).
    Before a consonant sound, the contraction is pronounced as a schwa sound: /ə/.
    The word "banana" is a good example of the schwa. Banana is pronounced bun/ nah/ nu. The u's are actually schwa's: bə/nan/ə. Someone who does not know this, may spell banana, "bunanuh," because that is what it sounds like.
    So, I imagine, the people you are talking about are spelling would/əv. (Do you see that U sound schwa?) But because they are not checking their work, or do not care, they are writing would of. Even would've has that schwa sound in the contraction. You do not say would-vee, it is would/əv. So it is a spelling error, nothing more.

    This makes English hard to learn for various people who may speak another language at home. I came to this country and began to learn English only 3 years from the time I started school, so most of the internalized rules had to be learned "on the fly" since I looked like I should know all that English stuff. I learned a language with no invisible secret letters in it. I used to have a heck of a time remembering how to spell "sugar." Where the heck is the SH sound in sugar? Or sure? SH is not in either because it is another of those invisible letters. (Trivia: Where else is the S sound pronounced as SH? Irish Gaelic!)

    Historical vowel shifts, dipthongs, and the borrowed use of at least 5 (main) languages make English one of the hardest languages to learn for some people.

    Hope this makes sense.

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