[Ads-l] RES: _try to_ vs. _try and_

David Daniel dad at COARSECOURSES.COM
Mon Dec 18 07:47:15 EST 2017

Challenge to Everybody: Hop in a plane, go to the UK and try to find someone
who says try to. I'll give you a quid if you can find one. They all say "try
and" over there, as well as "different to" (not from or than). (Limited time

Enviada em: segunda-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2017 09:11
Assunto: Re: _try to_ vs. _try and_

Poster:       Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>
Subject:      Re: _try to_ vs. _try and_

 In terms of the quote, I regard a 'language' as what is supposed to be the=
perfect language model, incorporating=C2=A0 all of the 'proper English' ru=
les found in a typical English textbook.=C2=A0 Of course, most people don't=
reach that level of perfection and therefore break the rules in one way or=
another, therefore speaking a dialect.=C2=A0 Those who establish the 'rule=
s' of 'proper/perfect' English (i.e., those entities--political, social--po=
werful enough to mandate the rules=C2=A0 of 'correct' usage) are also those=
who are powerful enough to possess an army and a navy. Ironically, even th=
ose who establish the rules of proper English also break the rules (perhaps=
unintentionally, but nevertheless they do), so essentially everyone speaks=
a dialect, with the rules of 'proper English' patiently sitting in English=
textbooks as models of perfection that no one can reach. =C2=A0 =C2=A0

--Margaret Lee=C2=A0

    On =E2=80=8ESunday=E2=80=8E, =E2=80=8EDecember=E2=80=8E =E2=80=8E17=E2=
=80=8E, =E2=80=8E2017=E2=80=8E =E2=80=8E07=E2=80=8E:=E2=80=8E22=E2=80=8E:=
=E2=80=8E39=E2=80=8E =E2=80=8EPM=E2=80=8E =E2=80=8EEST, James A. Landau <JJ=
JRLandau at netscape.com> wrote: =20 =20  First, thank you to those who
responded to our request about "Bye Felicia"= .

On Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:39:31 Zone + 0000 Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM> w=

 Yes, I was taught to use 'try to' rather than 'try and'.=C2=A0 The old=20
'proper English' mandate, but what exactly is 'proper English'?=C2=A0 Who=
=20 decides what is 'proper'?=C2=A0 Are any of you familiar with the Max=20
Weinreich quote:=C2=A0 "A language is a dialect with an army an a navy" ?
<end quote>

The Weinreich quote is a handy rule of thumb, but it is, at a guess, 90% ac=
curate, e.g. I am still looking for the Gullah army and the Yiddish navy.

A better definition: the distinction between language and dialect is arbitr=
ary, but there is a (somewhat flaky) rule:
a dialect qualifies as a separate language IF it is the USUAL speech of a g=
roup which is widely considered to be distinct from the surrounding x-langu=
age-speaking population because the group is isolated socially, geographica=
lly, or by national borders.

Example:=C2=A0 the Yiddish-speaking Jews of Eastern Europe were isolated so=
cially and were well-known to Gentiles as a distinct people.=C2=A0 Speakers=
of Gullah are geographically isolated from those on the US mainland, black=
and white, who speak dialects of English.=C2=A0 (Am I correct that Gullah =
is considered a separate language, not a dialect of English?) Portugal is a=
separate nation from Spain and therefore their speech is considered a sepa=
rate language.

On the other hand, Cantonese is considered to be only a dialect of Chinese,=
as the Cantonese speakers, although perhaps geographically isolated, are c=
onsidered and consider themselves members of the Chinese people and have be=
en from time immemorial part of a Chinese nation.=C2=A0 Similarly Yorkshire=
, although not mutually intelligible with the speech of the rest of England=
, is a dialect because Yorkshire has long been considered part of England.

There are borderline (no pun intended) cases, e.g. Catalan, the speakers of=
which have been part of Spain since Spain became united with the marriage =
of Ferdinand (a Catalan) and Isabella (a Castilian).=C2=A0 However, they ha=
ve kept somewhat of a separate cultural identity, they are geographically i=
solated, and, who knows, they may soon acquire independence from Spain.

What about AAVE?=C2=A0 It is a dialect because, while African-Americans are=
a distinct social group, they are NOT geographically isolated and many Afr=
ican-Americans do not speak AAVE, so it does not qualify as "usual speech" =
the way Yiddish was the usual speech of Eastern European Jews (and then the=
re is Wilson Gray who posts on this list both in AAVE and in what I will NO=
T call "standard English" or "proper English").

Now for another question, posed by both Margaret Lee and Wilson Gray:=C2=A0=
"what exactly is 'proper English'?=C2=A0 Who=20 decides what is 'proper'?"

I have an answer:=C2=A0 grammatically English has three major dialects, wha=
t I call "Patrician", "Plebian", and King James.=C2=A0 Patrician is the lit=
erary dialect.=C2=A0 Plebian is the widely-spoken very-resistant-to-change =
dialect characterized by such features as double negatives, negation by "ai=
n't", etc.=C2=A0 AAVE is simply a subset of Plebian with certain idiosyncra=
tic features of its own.=C2=A0=20

So who decides what is "proper"?=C2=A0=20


Patrician, being the literary dialect, is used whenever the literary dialec=
t is expected.=C2=A0 People who customarily speak Plebian used Plebian as t=
heir everyday spoken dialect.=C2=A0 King James is used in religious context=
s (and related contexts, e.g. a sign in front of a church "Thou shalt not w=
alk on the grass").

Therefore (in the United States at least) there is "no sich animal" as Stan=
dard English, which implies there is also no such thing as "sub-standard En=
glish", merely English which differs in greater or lesser degree from the l=
iterary dialect..

Have I answered your question, Dr. Lee?

Now for "try to" vs. "try and".=C2=A0 Speakers of both Patrician and Plebia=
n use whichever they are used to.=C2=A0 "Try to" is prescriptivist, for onc=
e for a logical reason: "try and" violates the diction rules in both Patric=
ian and Plebian for use of the infinitive.

- Jim Landau

PS to Wilson Gray:=C2=A0 my grandson, almost two years old, is learning his=
colors.=C2=A0 He has the primary colors down pat but is having trouble dis=
tinguishing "black" and "brown".=C2=A0 He pointed to an African-American wo=
man who was wearing a black dress and said "Brown".=C2=A0 The woman laughed=
and said, "You just made my day".

Netscape.=C2=A0 Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Este email foi escaneado pelo Avast antivĂ­rus.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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