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Cassie88
04-10-2006, 05:01 AM
I'm helping a friend design a video/dvd for her twin sisters - 50th birthday.

Names of sisters are Terry and Tracy

In the invitation, she said, "The Dynamite Duo are turning 50!" She then wrote,

T 'N T Now, in the vidoe, we're not mentioning the Dynamite thingy... but we will be using the T N T - This will be the writing on the first screen

I said, T 'n T didn't make sense... I thought since both the A and the D in And are not written, there should be a ' before and after the n like

'N'

She doesn't agree with me, but I said, I know where I can go and find out..

So, it would look like T 'N' T Maybe we should just write T & T

Can anyone help us out here?

Sandi LeFaucheur
04-10-2006, 05:22 AM
I'd go for T 'N' T. You're right; you need an apostrophe on both sides of the N.

veinglory
04-10-2006, 05:24 AM
Well the signs I see for this 'n that only have the one.

Cassie88
04-10-2006, 05:26 AM
Thanks guys. But now what do I do? hahah

veinglory
04-10-2006, 05:27 AM
I see both online--but at least one actual book on grammar uses the 'n form

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1878489291/104-4593303-6963149?v=glance&n=283155

Cassie88
04-10-2006, 05:30 AM
oh, thank you, Emily. I'll check it out. My friend will be pleased to have gotten me on this one!

reph
04-10-2006, 05:36 AM
Cassie, you need both apostrophes. Each one represents a missing letter.

veinglory, those signs are wrong. Sign painters and ad writers can't be trustedabout punctuation.

maestrowork
04-10-2006, 05:39 AM
Does that mean it's "Rock 'n' Roll" and not "Rock 'n Roll"? I always thought it was the latter.

poetinahat
04-10-2006, 05:40 AM
veinglory, those signs are wrong. Sign painters and ad writers can't be trustedabout punctuation.
If you can't trust Krispy Kreme, whom can you trust?
(Not to mention Toys 'Я' Us)

poetinahat, who likes Maryn's salutations and has received conflicting advice on "who/whom"

veinglory
04-10-2006, 05:48 AM
There is also the matter of which to go for -- most correct or most conventional. When they differ it comes down to whether you want most people to feel you have it wrong, or a few to know it for sure ;)

poetinahat
04-10-2006, 05:50 AM
In that regard, the 'n has always looked wrong to me.

But, veinglory, I take your point (even as I begin a sentence with "But").

Cassie88
04-10-2006, 06:11 AM
Well, I've googled it and all I can find is the rule.. to use an apostrophe when one or more letter is omitted in a word, which to me, means it should be 'n' - I look at 'N and I immediately think WRONG but what does the average person think... Well, it's her sisters and so she can have it any way she wants.

Or I'll wait till she has to give this info to the video guy..next Saturday. I'll tally up the votes for 'n and 'n' and see who wins. Send everyone over hear! hahahah

reph
04-10-2006, 06:18 AM
I'll tally up the votes for 'n and 'n' and see who wins.
Majority rule doesn't govern this kind of decision. Listen to the people who know what apostrophes are for.

Cassie88
04-10-2006, 06:28 AM
yes, reph! Believe me, I know which way I think it should be..but after bringing this up earlier today on the phone with my friend... hmmm... she was pretty sure the way she thought it should be. I can only reiterate my stance. Thanks a lot for taking the time to post!!

poetinahat
04-10-2006, 06:30 AM
Or, just say "Hey, this is what's correct" (and I like the ampersand alternative) -- then let her do what she wants. No point stressing a friendship over it. It's her DVD.

Maybe explaining how the rule works will help persuade her.

Cassie88
04-10-2006, 06:35 AM
I totally agree with you. AND I did suggest we use the old & ... we don't need the dynamite duo reference. Well, I did what I said I do .. now it's her decision.


BUT

you guys don't really think I'll let her write it the wrong way, do you now?

:Lecture:

Jamesaritchie
04-10-2006, 08:04 AM
I see both online--but at least one actual book on grammar uses the 'n form

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1878489291/104-4593303-6963149?v=glance&n=283155

Whoever wrote "Rock 'N Learn" should never be allowed within ten thousand feet of a grammar book. It's wrong, and completely illiterate. "'n" means "an," not "and."

Whatever you see online, a missing letter must have an apostrophe.

But in this case, I see no reason to use either form. The whole thing strikes me as confusing. What's wrong with actually spelling out the words?

maestrowork
04-10-2006, 08:15 AM
What's wrong with actually spelling out the words?

Then we'll be missing the point. Writing either "T & T" or "T and T" would be missing the point. The "dynamite" duo is called TNT -- get it? :) They're doing word play here, and so the 'n' must stay. The extra aprostrophe makes it look weird.

reph
04-10-2006, 08:21 AM
They're doing word play here, and so the 'n' must stay. The extra aprostrophe makes it look weird.
Yes, the N is needed for the joke. But that apostrophe isn't extra. If it looks weird to you, seeing the wrong version too many times must have muddied your judgment.

veronie
04-10-2006, 08:30 AM
For trinitrotoluene, the initialism is TNT. Not T'n'T or T&T or any other version. However, since you are making a play on Terry and Tracy, You may want to go with T'n'T. I wouldn't. I'd just use TNT (for the dynamite reference) and leave it at that. I think everyone will understand the reference, especially if it is clear at the beginning of the video that TNT is referring to the two girls.

Strongbadia
04-12-2006, 02:24 AM
I think you should go with Tn'T. (I assume you want to go with T and T.) n' is the accepted way to accomplish this regardless of the grammar. What you do not want to do is confuse people. For instance, look at store such as Toys R' Us. People are used to the words represented that way. This is why we go to the 10 items or less line in the store rather than the 10 items or fewer. No one really cares if it is "grammatically" incorrect to have a 10 items or less. People simply want to get the people with 500 things in their carts out of the lines.

reph
04-12-2006, 02:41 AM
No one really cares if it is "grammatically" incorrect to have a 10 items or less.
I don't believe we've met.

Strongbadia
04-12-2006, 04:05 AM
I don't believe we've met.

You have lost me.

reph
04-12-2006, 04:56 AM
All right, I'll try again.


No one really cares if it is "grammatically" incorrect to have a 10 items or less.
I sure as hell care!

Strongbadia
04-12-2006, 07:04 AM
All right, I'll try again.


I sure as hell care!

Okay, but why do you care? The reason there for incorrect usage is because written language is a poor bastard to the spoken version. Writing is speech's red-headed step child. I do not think it matters if people learn arbitrary rules as if they were fact. I see no point in that.

You are fighting a losing battle. The way people talk has always altered the language. It is going to continue to alter the language because it evolves. All the rules we teach in schools are really arbitrary.

reph
04-12-2006, 07:37 AM
The whole language is arbitrary, if it comes to that, except for onomapoeic words. A language develops among a particular people during a particular segment of history. Its lexicon and its grammar exist only by convention. That doesn't mean rules are empty; they're the rules of this language at this time in history. It doesn't mean there's no such thing as a misuse.

Yes, of course speakers change a language, but sometimes they simply speak incorrectly while the language remains the same. Sometimes writers write incorrectly, too. "Ten items or less" on a supermarket sign is a mistake in writing, not in speech: those signs are printed. I'm not sure, but you seem to argue that "ten items or less" is acceptable because people say it. However, "ten items or less" isn't the spoken version of the written "ten items or fewer." It's an incorrect version of "ten items or fewer," whether written or spoken.

Strongbadia
04-12-2006, 07:34 PM
That doesn't mean rules are empty; they're the rules of this language at this time in history. It doesn't mean there's no such thing as a misuse.

Yes, very true; however, that depends on what you mean by misuse. If you mean an error, then yes.


Yes, of course speakers change a language, but sometimes they simply speak incorrectly while the language remains the same. Sometimes writers write incorrectly, too. "Ten items or less" on a supermarket sign is a mistake in writing, not in speech: those signs are printed. I'm not sure, but you seem to argue that "ten items or less" is acceptable because people say it. However, "ten items or less" isn't the spoken version of the written "ten items or fewer." It's an incorrect version of "ten items or fewer," whether written or spoken.

How someone speaking is their grammar. This is why there is the continuos "be" in AAVE speech and double modals in parts of the south. While ten items or less may be prescriptively wrong, I am saying that it is right because there isn't anything inherent in "less" or "fewer" that distinctively makes them mass or count.

The argument is that fewer should be used with count items and less should be used with non-count. The traditional rule is as follows: less applies to matters of degree, value, or amount and modifies collective nouns, mass nouns, or nouns denoting an abstract whole while fewer applies to matters of number and modifies plural nouns.

A person would have to say in "less time" but in "fewer hours."

This is why less is usually used more than fewerto modify plural nouns. "less than ten miles" etc. "less than 12 hours" I do not recall anyone saying "fewer than ten miles" or "fewer than 12 hours."

I do not see anything inherent in the structure of fewer and less to warrant such rules. It seems to be conventional to me.

reph
04-12-2006, 09:13 PM
While ten items or less may be prescriptively wrong, I am saying that it is right because there isn't anything inherent in "less" or "fewer" that distinctively makes them mass or count.This is what's inherent in them: "Fewer" is the comparative of "few," which applies only to countable items. "Less" is a comparative of "little," which applies only to quantities. Little, less, least.

To put it in the express-line context we started with: a little grocery order contains a few items, not the other way round.


This is why less is usually used more than fewerto modify plural nouns. "less than ten miles" etc. "less than 12 hours" I do not recall anyone saying "fewer than ten miles" or "fewer than 12 hours.""Less" is correct for time and distance (as for money and weight) because the meaning is a span of time, not individual hours; a stretch of road, not a series of miles. The sense is of a quantity rather than a collection.

Strongbadia
04-12-2006, 10:48 PM
I know and understand and know all of that. My point is that less and fewer have evolved to the point where a lot of those differences do not really matter. The language is going to change and it will eventually become part of "acceptable" grammar.

reph
04-13-2006, 01:59 AM
And my point is that confusing "less" and "fewer" isn't correct now, and it does upset people who know the difference, despite your earlier assertion that nobody cares. This forum has a "Bad Grammar in Public Places" thread with several contributors so far; apparently they notice such things.

The rules of baseball exist only by convention, too, but if the umpire calls you out after three strikes, laying your bat down is a wiser move than arguing that four strikes will be allowed a hundred years from now.

Strongbadia
04-13-2006, 02:57 AM
The rules of baseball exist only by convention, too, but if the umpire calls you out after three strikes, laying your bat down is a wiser move than arguing that four strikes will be allowed a hundred years from now.

Are you equating language with a game?

I know there is a thread called bad grammar in public places. I haven't read it because I know that poor grammar is everywhere.

I should have been more specific when I said no one cares. Very few people care.

reph
04-13-2006, 04:10 AM
Are you equating language with a game?Yes, in a manner of speaking. I'm a Wittgenstein fan.

A language and a game have in common that each has the structure it has by virtue of agreement within a community. For English, the community is very large, most of the members who contributed to the current rules are dead, and agreement is mainly tacit.

Strongbadia
04-13-2006, 04:22 AM
Yes, in a manner of speaking. I'm a Wittgenstein fan.

A language and a game have in common that each has the structure it has by virtue of agreement within a community. For English, the community is very large, most of the members who contributed to the current rules are dead, and agreement is mainly tacit.

A
A language is a dialect with an army and a navy - Weinreich.

I think we are not talking about the same grammar here. You are talking more about grammar with a little "g" and I am talking about grammar with a big "G."

I am not looking at the arbitrary rules that are in every rhet and comp book. Those are prescriptive. I am talking about understanding the very principles that govern the very language and creating a Grammar that explains how we all know how to combine words in an infinite way. That has not been solved as of yet.

There are Generative Grammars such as Principles and Parameters, Minimalism, and Government and Binding; Lexical Functional Grammars, Cognitive Grammar etc.

All of these Grammars try to understand how we all hear words in a variety of ways, yet we all learn how to use the language and learn the rules without ever being taught the rules per se.

I am talking about the standard versions of grammar that people talk about in public schools. SAE is more of an abstract idea than it is a reality. No one speaks SAE.

Speaking is first; writing is second.

reph
04-13-2006, 05:04 AM
Speaking is first; writing is second.
Speaking came first historically, of course. To elevate speaking over writing as a more authentic use of language is to state a political opinion. As such, it can be disagreed with.

Strongbadia
04-13-2006, 05:11 AM
Speaking came first historically, of course. To elevate speaking over writing as a more authentic use of language is to state a political opinion. As such, it can be disagreed with.

I didn't use the word authentic. Speaking is not only more universal, but it is far superior as a form of communication. Intonation, paralinguistic cues etc. I don't think it is a political opinion. You can try to disagree with it, if you so choose. I do not know of any scholars who agree with you though. Maybe you could write a paper on your assertions and publish it to join in on the debate.


:)

veronie
04-13-2006, 08:08 AM
Strongbadia. Why are you bothering to spell words correctly?

Strongbadia
04-13-2006, 08:39 AM
Strongbadia. Why are you bothering to spell words correctly?

I guess I do that so smartasses like you can ask innane questions that have nothing to do with the argument at hand . . . I say this because I really do not understand your addition to what we were posting about.

reph
04-13-2006, 10:41 AM
I say this because I really do not understand your addition to what we were posting about.
Allow me to explain veronie's addition for you. You've insisted that errors in written English aren't important. Why, then, do you (much of the time) avoid them? Could it be that you don't believe what you say?

Strongbadia
04-13-2006, 09:50 PM
Allow me to explain veronie's addition for you. You've insisted that errors in written English aren't important. Why, then, do you (much of the time) avoid them? Could it be that you don't believe what you say?

I never said that the grammatical errors or rules are unimportant. Everyone is trying to battle with what I am saying as if I am inventing things that are to true.

I am saying the rules are mostly fabrications and that they have little to do with how the grammar of the language works naturally. Yes, the rules were created for very good reasons when it comes to writing. But that does not mean they truly part of the grammar of the language.

reph
04-13-2006, 10:12 PM
I never said that the grammatical errors or rules are unimportant.No? You said:
No one really cares if it is "grammatically" incorrect to have a 10 items or less.


I am saying the rules are mostly fabrications and that they have little to do with how the grammar of the language works naturally. Yes, the rules were created for very good reasons when it comes to writing. But that does not mean they truly part of the grammar of the language.Here's a grammatical rule in standard English, whether written or spoken: "Use a plural verb when you have a plural subject." Violating that rule will get little Johnny a bad mark on a grammar test.

Do any grammatical rules hold for written English but not for spoken English? I think English has one set of rules for both. When I'm speaking, in an informal situation, I might say "Looks like it's gonna rain" or "I kind of don't think so," but I'm aware that this casual speech isn't grammatical and it isn't standard.

Strongbadia
04-13-2006, 10:33 PM
No? You said:

Here's a grammatical rule in standard English, whether written or spoken: "Use a plural verb when you have a plural subject." Violating that rule will get little Johnny a bad mark on a grammar test.

Do any grammatical rules hold for written English but not for spoken English? I think English has one set of rules for both. When I'm speaking, in an informal situation, I might say "Looks like it's gonna rain" or "I kind of don't think so," but I'm aware that this casual speech isn't grammatical and it isn't standard.

I don't see how that fact that I stated no one cares means they are unimportant. I just said no one cares. America is filled with fat people. My conclusion in that is that people must not care as much about their health as they do eating bad foods. That does not mean it is unimportant.


Johnny's grammar test is on the rules that were fabricated. So of course he will get a bad grade on the test. There are many dialects that drop the verb ending. AAVE is one of them. It is a grammatical consistency in that dialect.

reph
04-14-2006, 01:49 AM
I don't see how that fact that I stated no one cares means they are unimportant. I just said no one cares.You advised using an incorrect shortened version of "T and T" because people are used to it, even though it's wrong. I took that to mean you didn't care, which translates easily into "You don't think the rule is important."


Johnny's grammar test is on the rules that were fabricated. So of course he will get a bad grade on the test. There are many dialects that drop the verb ending.I specified that it was a grammatical rule in standard English. Dialects that have a different rule are therefore irrelevant to the question. We are no closer to determining whether any grammatical rule applies to written English but not to spoken English.

Strongbadia
04-14-2006, 02:19 AM
You advised using an incorrect shortened version of "T and T" because people are used to it, even though it's wrong. I took that to mean you didn't care, which translates easily into "You don't think the rule is important."

I specified that it was a grammatical rule in standard English. Dialects that have a different rule are therefore irrelevant to the question. We are no closer to determining whether any grammatical rule applies to written English but not to spoken English.

My advice in the Tn'T example was given in order to not confuse the audience. After all, that is what all this is supposed to be about in the end, right? Technically, you shouldn't abbreviate the names at all.



Actually, you said that John would get a bad grade on the test. You see, it is a mistake to claim that SAE exists anywhere but in a Rhet and comp text book. No one speaks SAE. SAE is an invention. I defy you to find someone who speaks SAE. The closest speakers to SAE live in the Midwest USA and I can show you dozens of isoglosses that separate their local dialects. If no one speaks SAE and it only ever existed in a book, then how the heck can it not be a fabrication?



Syntax rules generally follow rules of the language. The grammatical rules you talk about are the ones that appear in text books. To answer your question - it depends upon what mistake you are referring to. The broken rule may be SAE and spoken English.



*"Tree the is green."



The above sentence is a grammatical and syntactic violation in written and spoken English.





This is so much fun :)

reph
04-14-2006, 05:34 AM
My advice in the Tn'T example was given in order to not confuse the audience.So, when you gave advice, "not confusing the audience" trumped "being correct." Doesn't that mean correctness has little importance for you? (Actually, I don't think any variant under discussion would have confused the audience. The question was what to use.)


You see, it is a mistake to claim that SAE exists anywhere but in a Rhet and comp text book. No one speaks SAE. SAE is an invention. I defy you to find someone who speaks SAE. The closest speakers to SAE live in the Midwest USA and I can show you dozens of isoglosses that separate their local dialects. If no one speaks SAE and it only ever existed in a book, then how the heck can it not be a fabrication?Do you mean "No one speaks perfect SAE in every situation"? If I say something blasphemous when I stub my toe, does that disqualify me as a speaker of SAE? What if I answer a question with a fragment? ("Did the mail come?" "Not yet.") Many people speak SAE much of the time. Many write it all the time, and not just in textbooks.


I am saying the rules are mostly fabrications and that they have little to do with how the grammar of the language works naturally. Yes, the rules were created for very good reasons when it comes to writing. But that does not mean they truly part of the grammar of the language.

Do any grammatical rules hold for written English but not for spoken English?
I still haven't seen a clear answer to this last question. In case the question wasn't clear enough, I'll reword it: Can you give an example of a grammatical rule that applies to written English but not to spoken English? In other words, is there something that's grammatically (not syntactically) incorrect in writing and grammatically correct in speech?

A syntactic error would be an error in both speech and writing.

unthoughtknown
04-14-2006, 06:00 AM
Sorry to interrupt here, and it's probably too late to make a suggestion, but the use of colour could perhaps play a part. Like: TnT or TNT or TNT. By having both 'T's in the same colour, you place emphasis on the initials of their names etc. By using grey/gray to colour the 'N', it doesn't upstage the other two 'T's. So, I think, since you are using the dynamite image, I would leave out the apostrophes and try and control the connection to the dynamite TNT reference with colour...

veinglory
04-14-2006, 06:48 AM
Yes, in a manner of speaking. I'm a Wittgenstein fan.

.


I knew there was something I liked about you

Cassie88
04-14-2006, 07:01 AM
I appreciate the suggestion, Jen. I emaild my friend, but we haven't talked since. Right now the problem is how to get the video guy a HORROR FONT for the word, FIFTY, which will be on the next screen after T n T - I spent a lot of time... went to Clipart.com, found the font, downloaded it... then couldn't find it, then couldn't open it. Went to google, found a free Unzip site, downloaded it. Found the Horror Font file, opened it, then emailed as an attachment. oy. Hopefully, he will be able to use it. I can't wait to see the screen completely filled up with the word, FIFTY, with blood dripping off of it.

We used five songs: A Kiss to Build a Dream On, Young at Heart, At Last (sung by Etta James), Remember by Harry Nillsen, and for the friend's section at the end, All I Have, by Beth Nielson Chapman. It's going to be a killer video.

Thanks again for all your help, everyone.

Strongbadia
04-14-2006, 08:34 AM
So, when you gave advice, "not confusing the audience" trumped "being correct." Doesn't that mean correctness has little importance for you?

No, I am saying in that instance it trumps it. The author obviously wanted to equate the two people with dynomite. If he or she was interested in prefect grammar then the whole discussion would not be necesssary. They simply would have used their names and the word and.




Do you mean "No one speaks perfect SAE in every situation"?

No, I am saying no one speaks SAE . . . ever. There aren’t any native speakers of SAE. As any sociolinguist, psycholinguist, and studier of Language Acquisition can tell you from studying thousands and thousands of original utterances and sentences from people – no one speaks SAE. In fact, it only exists in textbooks. It is a myth prepetrated by prescriptive grammarians.

I have tried to teach many, many students this and there are always the few who just do not want to beleive it. SAE doesn’t exits in letters, articles, or academic essays either. The tone, language, and registers are not the same in those examples as they are in SAE. But please do not get me wrong. I am not downplaying SAE. I am not trying to say that it is not important or that it is not necessay. I am just saying that most of the rules are not part of the way the language works. They are a game.

In fact, do you know where we got the term noun, verb, and other parts of speech? We got them from Plato, Aristotle, Dionysius Thrax, and the other stoics. Do you know what langauge they were studying? Greek! So, we are trying to place categoried first noticed in Greek and apply them to English?! It doesn’t make much sense. You can read all about it in A Short History of Linguistics by R.H. Robbins.


Can you give an example of a grammatical rule that applies to written English but not to spoken English?

Yeah, almost all of the rules. Most importantly, the preopostion rule. There are certain ways in which prepostions should be used in writing and they are never used that way in speech. Why? Written rules are conventional, not because uneducated people ignore them when they speak.