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Holy Horrors


David Rogers

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Hmmm.... I bet even he cannot locate the missing printer files which I cannot find. I have searched the registry of my computer's hard-drive, but there are clearly still a few stray files left, which are preventing me from re-installing my printer. (Following an abortive part-install, where I remembered too late that, even though I have a USB-port printer, I am not supposed to plug in the wretched thing until after running the software installation disk.)

 

 

========================

 

I have exactly the same problem with a USB memory stick. It is there, the computer knows it's there, I know it is there, but it merely blinks and does absolutely nothing at all.

 

I really hate computers.

 

MM

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========================

 

I have exactly the same problem with a USB memory stick. It is there, the computer knows it's there, I know it is there, but it merely blinks and does absolutely nothing at all.

 

I really hate computers.

In the old days I'd have said "Get a Mac" but in these days of convergence all computers are more and more the same.

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I came across some wonderful words to a children's Praise Song.

 

Why am I not surprised that children no longer know how to speak?

 

 

 

So let God stoke up your fire,

 

And make Him your one desire,

 

And so then you’ll never tire

 

When you serve Him, let Him

 

Stoke up your fire,

 

And make Him your one desire,

 

And so then you’ll never tire

 

When you serve Him, so then……

 

"Ire" seems to be the only appropriate response.

 

MM

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=========================

 

It must have been Holy Mother Church at a guess..........

 

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."

 

(King James Bible)

 

I repeat that there is no actual rule in English Grammar which prohibits the practice, even though in common usage, such things are rightly frowned upon.

 

In the right context,(especially that of prose or poetry), all sorts of unwritten rules are regularly broken.

 

MM

 

 

Now I can't resist wading in here (being a lowly teacher). The use of 'And ...' here is in an attempt to render the original Greek which features the particle 'de' (and/but ... pretty difficult to translate faithfully) at the start (always second word) of most new sentences viz. Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. In the vulgate, in this particular example, it appears as 'autem' (however) viz. factum est autem in diebus illis exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis.

 

The King James plumps for 'And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.' More modern translations use 'Now ...'. I notice French translations render this 'Or ...' and German ones generally '... aber ...'

 

Greek is also enormously fond of beginning sentences with kai (and/even ... this time without an implication of contrast), such as in the next couple of verses of Luke 2.3 καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἔκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν. 4 Ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲτ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυεὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλεἐμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυείδ, which the KJ faithfully translates: And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

 

The King James tries very hard to be faithful to the original Greek (which is why NT Greek is such a pleasure to read if you've enough KJ floating around your head). Consequently it might be unwise to cite the KJ as an example of English grammar - although it may well have shaped many generations' understanding of correct usage.

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The King James tries very hard to be faithful to the original Greek (which is why NT Greek is such a pleasure to read if you've enough KJ floating around your head). Consequently it might be unwise to cite the KJ as an example of English grammar - although it may well have shaped many generations' understanding of correct usage.

 

===================

 

No, I think I disagree, because the use of initial conjucts serves particular purposes in certain situations; especially in matters of dialogue.

 

"And what's happened to you?" Quite a common usage; not necessarily linking anything.

 

In written dialogue, and in real life, the word 'but' often starts a sentence.

 

"But why did they let it happen?" In this instance, there is a clear link with a previous piece of dialogue, but it nevertheless stands apart.

 

It's like anything in the English language. What we think of as fixed rules may often be broken to very good effect, but only under special circumstances. Too much of it, and writing just becomes clumsy and staccato.

 

I know that when I write with particular characters in mind, each has a very different style of dialogue, (not just accents), as people tend to do in real life. It brings dialogue, (especially), to life, and avoids monotony: the foul curse of Eastenders on the telly, where people all speak much the same but wear different clothes, so that we know who they are.

 

Radio plays are usually much better written, because they have to be.

 

Know wot I mean, innit?

 

MM

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No, I think I disagree, because the use of initial conjucts serves particular purposes in certain situations; especially in matters of dialogue.

 

"And what's happened to you?" Quite a common usage; not necessarily linking anything.

 

In written dialogue, and in real life, the word 'but' often starts a sentence.

But dialogue is usually colloquial and, in the mouths of some, may not follow any grammatical rules at all. It can hardly be cited as an authority for grammar - only for usage. You could just as easily argue that, because people often split infinitives when speaking, it is perfectly acceptable grammatically to split them. Indeed, journalists advise precisely this because, to them, natural readability is paramount and takes precedence over grammar. However, that doesn't alter the fact that there is a rule disallowing split infinitives in formal grammar. The margins are, of course, blurred. At what point will today's usage become tomorrow's grammar? I can't imagine anyone seriously disagreeing with Churchill's famous line: "This is the sort of grammar up with which I will not put."

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But dialogue is usually colloquial and, in the mouths of some, may not follow any grammatical rules at all. It can hardly be cited as an authority for grammar - only for usage. You could just as easily argue that, because people often split infinitives when speaking, it is perfectly acceptable grammatically to split them. Indeed, journalists advise precisely this because, to them, natural readability is paramount and takes precedence over grammar. However, that doesn't alter the fact that there is a rule disallowing split infinitives in formal grammar. The margins are, of course, blurred. At what point will today's usage become tomorrow's grammar? I can't imagine anyone seriously disagreeing with Churchill's famous line: "This is the sort of grammar up with which I will not put."

I think you probably lose the argument once you bring split infinitives to the table. There was a relatively long-running correspondence on this subject in the Independent recently. It is hard to improve on Fowler's recommendations except to emphasise that the "rule" was invented by classicists: as it is impossible to split the one-word infinitive in Latin it should be made impossible by diktat in English. Any such "invented" rules are destined to fail. Those of us privileged to have been made aware of the rule can nod or shake our heads wisely as some no-nothing makes yet another transgression.

 

Apologies for ranting but this thread has lost its way!

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I think you probably lose the argument once you bring split infinitives to the table. There was a relatively long-running correspondence on this subject in the Independent recently. It is hard to improve on Fowler's recommendations except to emphasise that the "rule" was invented by classicists: as it is impossible to split the one-word infinitive in Latin it should be made impossible by diktat in English. Any such "invented" rules are destined to fail. Those of us privileged to have been made aware of the rule can nod or shake our heads wisely as some no-nothing makes yet another transgression.

 

Apologies for ranting but this thread has lost its way!

 

Of course, in order to prove that this argument was actually invented by Classicists, one would need at least one reference comparing English usage to Latin grammar on this particular point. As you say in Latin and Greek the infinitive cannot possibly be split, so I would be intrigued to find such an argument. In German, where there is a similar "full infinitive" with zu, and so it would be in theory possible to have a split infinitive, these have always been considered completely ungrammatical. It does seem more likely to me that the 19th Century reappraisal of the split infinitive may have been influenced as much by German as by Romance languages.

 

Apparently the KJ does not contain a single example, and Shakespeare only one ...

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Of course, in order to prove that this argument was actually invented by Classicists, one would need at least one reference comparing English usage to Latin grammar on this particular point. As you say in Latin and Greek the infinitive cannot possibly be split, so I would be intrigued to find such an argument. In German, where there is a similar "full infinitive" with zu, and so it would be in theory possible to have a split infinitive, these have always been considered completely ungrammatical. It does seem more likely to me that the 19th Century reappraisal of the split infinitive may have been influenced as much by German as by Romance languages.

 

Apparently the KJ does not contain a single example, and Shakespeare only one ...

Although Sam Johnson split with impunity and this sentence "Administrators expect profits to more than triple this year." is hard to rewrite without the split. (Acknowledgements to this site.)

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But dialogue is usually colloquial and, in the mouths of some, may not follow any grammatical rules at all. It can hardly be cited as an authority for grammar - only for usage. You could just as easily argue that, because people often split infinitives when speaking, it is perfectly acceptable grammatically to split them. Indeed, journalists advise precisely this because, to them, natural readability is paramount and takes precedence over grammar. However, that doesn't alter the fact that there is a rule disallowing split infinitives in formal grammar. The margins are, of course, blurred. At what point will today's usage become tomorrow's grammar? I can't imagine anyone seriously disagreeing with Churchill's famous line: "This is the sort of grammar up with which I will not put."

 

 

==========================

 

 

Show me the rule and I'll show the counter-rule.

 

This is rather like the rules of musical grammar, largely formulated by academics. That's fine until people like Schoenberg, Debussy, Messaien and Ligeti re-write the rule-book as creative artists.

 

I've always had a soft-spot for Rossini, who on being persuaded to write music again after a considerable lull, wrote "The sins of my old age," in which he set out to break all the rules. This he did brilliantly, and with huge artistic flair, as if to prove that artistic genius is not easily constrained by a rule-book; implied or otherwise.

 

As far as initial conjucts go, it isn't just the King James Bible which uses them, but a number of highly respected authors, and if they have no authority, who does?

 

But I feel that I am digressing into the world of literary horrors.....

 

MM

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Although Sam Johnson split with impunity and this sentence "Administrators expect profits to more than triple this year." is hard to rewrite without the split. (Acknowledgements to this site.)

 

 

==========================

 

How about:-

 

Administrators anticipate more than a tripling of profits this year.

 

MM

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This is rather like the rules of musical grammar, largely formulated by academics. That's fine until people like Schoenberg, Debussy, Messaien and Ligeti re-write the rule-book as creative artists.

This rather sounds as if you merely view the so-called rule book as a stultifying, academic straightjacket without having grasped the basic intention behind the rules. I doubt you're really that blinkered. I am not sure that anyone has re-written the rule book, which still remains pretty much intact and still serves its purpose well. Debussy, Strauss, Wagner and others have certainly enriched it. Schönberg and Messiaen, far from re-writing anything, wrote their own rule books. Ligeti didn't, so far as I know, but I imagine that, if one was so inclined, one could define "rules" within which his style operates. Personally I'm not sure there would be much point, but then I'm not an academic.

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At what point will today's usage become tomorrow's grammar? I can't imagine anyone seriously disagreeing with Churchill's famous line: "This is the sort of grammar up with which I will not put."

 

Apropos of WSC, there's a cheese shop here that places an A board on the pavement advertising their wares. It quotes WSC as saying, "A gentleman only buys his cheese from Paxton & Whitfield". I asked the manager if he really said that as shouldn't it have been "A gentleman buys his cheese only from P & W"? (They also sell bread, wine, biscuits, ham, pickles etc etc).

 

"Umm", he said, and quoted the sentence Vox has mentioned. "Perhaps we didn't sell anything but cheese in his day, or maybe our marketing department made it up".

 

And I would never start a sentence with "but".

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Back on topic; I made myself very unpopular recently, by dropping St Patrick's Breastplate onto an unsuspecting congregation.

 

There were no injuries, but apparently no one sang either. :lol:

 

Is this a Holy Horror and why is the average worshipper so risk-averse? I don't mind hearing a few (or even many!) screaming wrong notes as long as they try.

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Does the phrase 'Now thank we all our God...' actually make sense. It's possible, if tortuous, with commas (please note use of commas), but I have seen it written many times without.

 

Once again an attempt to keep the English translation as close as possible to the original language ("Nun danket alle Gott") and keep to the same tune.

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This rather sounds as if you merely view the so-called rule book as a stultifying, academic straightjacket without having grasped the basic intention behind the rules. I doubt you're really that blinkered. I am not sure that anyone has re-written the rule book, which still remains pretty much intact and still serves its purpose well. Debussy, Strauss, Wagner and others have certainly enriched it. Schönberg and Messiaen, far from re-writing anything, wrote their own rule books. Ligeti didn't, so far as I know, but I imagine that, if one was so inclined, one could define "rules" within which his style operates. Personally I'm not sure there would be much point, but then I'm not an academic.

 

 

====================================

 

 

Rules can be stultifying and they can be liberating, but recall the riots in Paris when Stravinsky's "Firebird" was presented. Academics tend towards the critical rather than towards the creative, and that is important in moderating the wilder tendencies of youth and inexperience.

 

The trick is to know how and when to bend the rules to good effect, like those dissonant jazz chords which don't ever resolve, but just slide sideways. Then there are those startling fifths and octaves in medieval organum, and the bizarre harmonies of Gesualdo and the Czech composer Zelenka.

 

 

 

 

I would suggest that in both music and language, it is perfectly all right to break the rules, if the end result justifies it.

 

And talking of endings, I just love the following musical parody of Offenbach, written by Rossini as part of his "Sins of old age," where his sense of humour gets the better of him.

 

 

 

 

 

MM

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Apropos of WSC, there's a cheese shop here that places an A board on the pavement advertising their wares. It quotes WSC as saying, "A gentleman only buys his cheese from Paxton & Whitfield". I asked the manager if he really said that as shouldn't it have been "A gentleman buys his cheese only from P & W"? (They also sell bread, wine, biscuits, ham, pickles etc etc).

 

"Umm", he said, and quoted the sentence Vox has mentioned. "Perhaps we didn't sell anything but cheese in his day, or maybe our marketing department made it up".

 

And I would never start a sentence with "but".

 

I recall an A board on a City street, outside a curry emporium bearing the legend:

 

"The first and best Indian restaurant in East London

Try once for our best service"

 

(I can't recall going back.)

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The problem with threads like this one is that they bring out, in this case hymns, disliked by some, but not by all. I must be in some sort of limbo as I quite enjoy every single hymn and chorus so roundly castigated by all and sundry!

Amazing grace? What's wrong with the tune - at least the congregation sing it. Slane? What's wrong with it? Fine old tune - love it. Shine, Jesus, shine - a plea for righteousness in our land - why not? God knows we need it. I do agree on one, though. Although I would never willingly attend a service at which Immaculate Mary was sung, I also don't like the tune or the way the words fit it.

One further thought occurs to me, though. Reading through this thread, we do like moaning, don't we!

 

Regards to all

 

John

(slightly tongue in cheek!)

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Does the phrase 'Now thank we all our God...' actually make sense. It's possible, if tortuous, with commas (please note use of commas), but I have seen it written many times without.

How about "Praise my soul the King of Heaven!

 

My soul isn't that great, so perhaps "Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven" would be more appropriate.

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I think this old French children's song takes the biscuit for me. It's a big hit with my Congolese coworkers here in Africa but to spare blushes I suggest you enter it into Google Translate if you really want to know what it means and don't already speak fluent French:

 

http://translate.google.com/#fr|en|

 

De nos jours on recommence les efforts surnaturels,

On se creuse le cerveau pour rebatir la tour de Babel,

Pour aller jusqu’a la lune meme a Mars si tout va bien,

On depense des fortunes, la ou on trouve les moyens!

 

REFRAIN:

Nous depasserons la lune, la planete Mars aussi,

A travers la voie lactee en vitess, mon ami.

Nous irons aupres de Jesus, notre bien-amie Sauveur,

Qui nous montrera le ciel et ses splendeurs.

 

Il ne faut pas de poussee par une fusee engin.

Quand nous quitterons la terre, ce sera par l’Esprit-Saint.

Astronautes, cosmonautes seronts dans l’etonnement,

En voyant ce grand spectacle par la main du Tout-Puissant. (REFRAIN)

 

Nous entendrons la trompette: Jesus-Christ apparaitra.

Et la tour si magnifique de Babel s’ecroulera.

On verra ce grand mystere prepare par l’Eternel,

Lorsque sans fusee engin, sans spoutnik, nous irons au ciel. (REFRAIN)

 

Jamais tu ne pourras dire: je n’avais pas les moyens.

C’est uniquement par grace, le billet ne coute rien.

Car en Jesus-Christ Lui-meme, Dieu paya pour nous le prix,

Les maisons sont preparees pour nous tous au paradis. (REFRAIN)

 

Mon ami, toi qui m’ecoutes, auras-tu ton passeport?

Te suffira-t-elle la lune? Ou veux-tu la ville d’or?

Si tu veux donner a Jesus tout ton coeur en cet instant,

Tu pourras te joindre a nous pour t’en aller en triomphant. (REFRAIN)

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.... I am unsure about Amazing Grace. Knowing the circumstaces which propmpted is composition (and having seen the excellent film) helps in how moving this can be, but I can't also help feeling the tune is lacking something, and a succesful hymn has rto be a marriahe of good words and good music. ....

 

Peter

 

Well, at the risk of someone accusing me of peddling hearsay, I have not seen the film you mention. However, I am quite certain in my views of this wretched 'hymn'. I find the tune maudlin and the words saccharine and trite. So there.

 

I am not proud of this, but I hate it so much that once, when it appeared on the service sheet for Mass, I transposed the last verse up a perfect fourth. Funny - it killed it stone dead. We have not had it since.

 

I did say I was not proud of that. Mind you - it was amusing to listen to the poor congregation attempt to sing the higher reaches of the last verse in its 'new' key....

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