Coffeehouse Thread

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Channel9 Anti-Slang Programme

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  • User profile image
    footballism

    tons of guys here are from USA and Britain,and they really like to use slangs,jargons,buzzwords or whatever you wanna call it,and those alien words have feared lots of non-English speakers away.so now time for roll call-stop using slangs or something like that,we need high quality communication on channel9,uh?

  • User profile image
    Sabot

    I understand your issue footballism, but it's difficult to do.

    English is such a dynamic living language it's almost impossible to completely use one common strain. English has so many dialects and colloquialisms drawn up over many hundreds of years that distilling it down to one standard language would be extremely difficult.

    Even between American-English and British-English there are many marked and distinct differences.

    What I think we can ask is that when C9’er author a thread or reply they could consider the audience and adjust their text accordingly in recognition of members that don’t have English as a first language.

    What we should also ask is that if individuals that do not understand a word or statement could ask for clarification and not be afraid to do so. I would like to think that C9’ers are a friendly bunch so it will be ok.

    Only by more communication can we achieve better understanding between each other rather than imposing rules and/or standards.


     

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    was it the BBC that did "the story of english" ??

    yes... here:
    The Story of English, #1: An English Speaking World
    1986 Macneil-Lehrer-Gannett/BBC

    there are 9 1hr parts to the whole set.
    if you can find them somwhere watch them.
    I think there is a book also.

    one of the things in the story is that what we call english today is very different from what it was before and it's still chnaging and will keep changing.  and that "slang" is one of the things that fules that chnages.
    also english is like a sponge -- we have many words that are "borrowed" from other languages -- arabic, Latin, Germanic, French and others are all in english....

    also if you want to better understand the "western culture" and the like this is very good serise to watch.

    a bit dated but still very good!


    amazon link:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0140154051/ref%3Dpd%5Fsl%5Faw%5Falx-jeb-7-1%5Fbook%5F2501175%5F3/104-8312204-9297513




  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    footballism wrote:

    tons of guys here are from USA and Britain,and they really like to use slangs,jargons,buzzwords or whatever you wanna call it,and those alien words have feared lots of non-English speakers away.so now time for roll call-stop using slangs or something like that,we need high quality communication on channel9,uh?



    Hmm..  Part of the problem is that it's not always clear what you mean by "slangs".

    Sometimes words that are in common use are considered slang by non native speakers. 

    It's a tough call.

    Maybe we need a "Please define this?" thread?  If we had anonymous posts it might help Smiley

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    LarryOsterman wrote:
    footballism wrote:

    tons of guys here are from USA and Britain,and they really like to use slangs,jargons,buzzwords or whatever you wanna call it,and those alien words have feared lots of non-English speakers away.so now time for roll call-stop using slangs or something like that,we need high quality communication on channel9,uh?



    Hmm..  Part of the problem is that it's not always clear what you mean by "slangs".

    Sometimes words that are in common use are considered slang by non native speakers. 

    It's a tough call.

    Maybe we need a "Please define this?" thread?  If we had anonymous posts it might help



    like
    Cool - low temp, cold to touch
    Cool - good, interesting, nice

    and dozens of others....

    where we have 2 (or more) meanings for the same word.
    and you can only tell which one to apply by the context of the word.

    Hey!

    C9 has a wiki -- wiki-pedia / dictionary perhaps??

  • User profile image
    androidi

    If you don't know a word is it too much to use Google to find the meaning or have some browser extension where you just point at a word and it shows different meanings and translations etc. Such extension could use some web service to also fetch meanings for "MSesque" stuff like SDET ..

  • User profile image
    footballism

    androidi wrote:
    If you don't know a word is it too much to use Google to find the meaning or have some browser extension where you just point at a word and it shows different meanings and translations etc. Such extension could use some web service to also fetch meanings for "MSesque" stuff like SDET ..

    well,I don't have any problem understanding the basic ,standard english words,and I do believe most of non english speakers also think so.the problem with the slangs is that ur guys tend to use some words which cannot find any explanation in any dictioanary,that's ur problem,guys.

  • User profile image
    HellSnoopy

    footballism wrote:
    androidi wrote: If you don't know a word is it too much to use Google to find the meaning or have some browser extension where you just point at a word and it shows different meanings and translations etc. Such extension could use some web service to also fetch meanings for "MSesque" stuff like SDET ..

    well,I don't have any problem understanding the basic ,standard english words,and I do believe most of non english speakers also think so.the problem with the slangs is that ur guys tend to use some words which cannot find any explanation in any dictioanary,that's ur problem,guys.


    Well , you better start improving your English first. What about starting sentences with capital letter, space after comma and so on ? I'm no way a native English speaker, but I think I do a good job complying to the standards. Wink

    You ask native English speakers to stop using slang's from their OWN language ? This kind of censorship makes sense coming from someone in China. If YOU don't know the meaning , it's your problem , not ours. By the way , if you did really try to google for slang's you would've find http://www.urbandictionary.com where you could find the meaning of them.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    HellSnoopy wrote:
    footballism wrote:
    androidi wrote: If you don't know a word is it too much to use Google to find the meaning or have some browser extension where you just point at a word and it shows different meanings and translations etc. Such extension could use some web service to also fetch meanings for "MSesque" stuff like SDET ..

    well,I don't have any problem understanding the basic ,standard english words,and I do believe most of non english speakers also think so.the problem with the slangs is that ur guys tend to use some words which cannot find any explanation in any dictioanary,that's ur problem,guys.


    Well , you better start improving your English first. What about starting sentences with capital letter, space after comma and so on ? I'm no way a native English speaker, but I think I do a good job complying to the standards.

    You ask native English speakers to stop using slang's from their OWN language ? This kind of censorship makes sense coming from someone in China. If YOU don't know the meaning , it's your problem , not ours. By the way , if you did really try to google for slang's you would've find http://www.urbandictionary.com where you could find the meaning of them.



    Hey, I do not think he is out to censor us....

    his basic idea I think is understandable....

    but yes asking us 733t H@x0rs to shutdown Da Jive, Ain't a Happenen thing!

    Smiley

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Footballism, I would really encourage you (and any other confused reader) to ask us to define different slang.  First, it will be fun to see how we try to define words that probably make no sense.  Second, I like learning slang from other cultures.  UK slang is especially fun because some of the derisive words they use have much less meaning in the USA.  Or they are words that we just won't say in polite company.
     

    Wankers Smiley

  • User profile image
    Tyler Brown

    footballism wrote:

    tons of guys here are from USA and Britain,and they really like to use slangs,jargons,buzzwords or whatever you wanna call it,and those alien words have feared lots of non-English speakers away.so now time for roll call-stop using slangs or something like that,we need high quality communication on channel9,uh?


    I don't know about every one else, but I always thought the English language scared away non-English speakers... could be just me.

  • User profile image
    Shaded

    I find it down right odd ball that every time someone flies off the handle that usually you can't ask them to "cool off" or "take a walk" because they are dumb as a doornail and thick as a brick.

    No.... wait.. that's analogies not slang... isn't it?

    How would I know anyway I never passed an English class in my life.

    I remember a Chinese friend called me one day really upset about our constitution, he was studying in college.  He kept saying "This constitution is very bad very bad things."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Why would America go to war against bad women?"

    "I don't know what you mean?"

    "It says in the constitution America goes to war with bad women!"

    "I don't think so."

    "Yes I have read it!"

    So I had him read the passage to me and it had something to do with congress' power to declare war on foreign bodies abroad.  Apparently he typed "abroad" into his translator and it came out a<space>broad.

    As in... "Wowza, check out that broad she's got some rockin' bazoongas, eh?"

    So I had to explain abroad was different than a broad.

    Yeah English is fun stuff.  You Footballism, you just need to ask because every oddball phrase generally has a funny story behind it.

  • User profile image
    billh

    Shaded wrote:
    Yeah English is fun stuff.  You Footballism, you just need to ask because every oddball phrase generally has a funny story behind it.

    It's bad enough you have to deal with Obfuscated code, but obfuscated English (slang)? That takes the cake.  Doctors are often really talented at this.  For instance, a headache = cephalgia.

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    billh wrote:
    It's bad enough you have to deal with Obfuscated code, but obfuscated English (slang)? That takes the cake.  Doctors are often really talented at this.  For instance, a headache = cephalgia.


    Ironically, doctors use Latin as a means of easing communication.  Doctors from different countries all know what cephalgia means, even if they don't speak English well enough to know the words "head" and "ache".

  • User profile image
    John Melville-- MD

    Maurits wrote:
    Ironically, doctors use Latin as a means of easing communication.  Doctors from different countries all know what cephalgia means, even if they don't speak English well enough to know the words "head" and "ache".


    I don't think that its internationalism as much as it is precision.  "Headache" means a lot of different things to different people.  Technical terms for different things I have heard described as "headaches" include: cephalgia, photophobia, phonophobia, dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness, tenderness, and tinnitus.  

    When I hear "cephalgia" I know that that word originally came from another doctor -- someone has done the work of making the patient describe the experience and that it was genuinely pain in the head.  I know that that other doctor thought the headache was primarially muscular in origin, because if he or she thought it was one of the "bad" headaches, he or she would called it by its name.

    So yes we doctors love our funny words.  We live in a world of miniscule distinctions with major importance.  Precise terminology enables precise thinking.

  • User profile image
    bishfish

    I think it would be impossible to control the use of slang - but perhaps the onus for clarity should remain with the writer. If the post is important, needs to be completely understood without being ambiguous, and is aimed at a wide range of cultures and non-english first language speakers, then common sense would tend to dictate that slang should be avoided. 

    Often slang can produce entirely the wrong meaning to that intended. For example in the US 'pissed' means angry, in most UK english speaking countries it means drunk; 'pissed off' means angry.
    Worse it can be downright offensive in some cultures; 'fanny' in the US means bum, in UK English countries it means, well 'front bum'.

    And it is a two way street - some years ago, on a visit to a company in the USA I asked a secretary if she could get me a 'rubber', stunned silence filled the room - only broken when someone realised I wanted an 'eraser'.

    There is an old saying that perhaps sums it up:
    "I know you think you understand what I wrote, but what you do not understand is what I wrote is not exactly what I meant."

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    bishfish wrote:

    I think it would be impossible to control the use of slang - but perhaps the onus for clarity should remain with the writer. If the post is important, needs to be completely understood without being ambiguous, and is aimed at a wide range of cultures and non-english first language speakers, then common sense would tend to dictate that slang should be avoided. 

    Often slang can produce entirely the wrong meaning to that intended. For example in the US 'pissed' means angry, in most UK english speaking countries it means drunk; 'pissed off' means angry.
    Worse it can be downright offensive in some cultures; 'fanny' in the US means bum, in UK English countries it means, well 'front bum'.

    And it is a two way street - some years ago, on a visit to a company in the USA I asked a secretary if she could get me a 'rubber', stunned silence filled the room - only broken when someone realised I wanted an 'eraser'.

    There is an old saying that perhaps sums it up:
    "I know you think you understand what I wrote, but what you do not understand is what I wrote is not exactly what I meant."



    Great!  the "rubber" reminds me of when I was about 22....

    I was working in the california CCC and we had some folks from another country there for a while - a kind of work / travel thing...
    they were a young couple from I think denmark or finland ... or some where near there....

    so we are all in a van, like 6 guys her and him on our way to a job site... she says "Can I barrow you CUM?"  total silence !

    she realizes that something was very wrong but has no clue what it may be...

    she was saying a word in her language as she did not know the right  word in english...

    she meant"hair brush" or "Comb"

    at that point she was dying to know what she had said in english saw we were all so stunned...

    we did our best to not be nasty but she turned a shade of red I have never seen before or since on a human face.

    Smiley

  • User profile image
    leighsword

    Maurits wrote:
    billh wrote:It's bad enough you have to deal with Obfuscated code, but obfuscated English (slang)? That takes the cake.  Doctors are often really talented at this.  For instance, a headache = cephalgia.


    Ironically, doctors use Latin as a means of easing communication.  Doctors from different countries all know what cephalgia means, even if they don't speak English well enough to know the words "head" and "ache".

    there is a word 'footache'or 'hand-ache'?

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