[mythtv-users] British vs. American English (was MythTV requires a better name)

Robert Johnston anaerin at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 04:15:08 UTC 2007

On 9/20/07, Dewey Smolka <dsmolka at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/20/07, Peter Schachte <schachte at csse.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:
> > Ryan Steffes wrote:
> >
> > > English lost the plural thou in the last few
> > > centuries, and southerners just stuck it back with the convenient
> > > y'all!
> >
> > AIUI, at least in Texas, "y'all" is singular.  The plural is "all y'all."
> >
> English has been <i>trying</i> to lose the second person plural for
> centuries, but it keeps coming back out of necessity -- at least in
> the plural sense rather than the formal sense.
> In DC where I grew up, we use 'y'all' or 'you all' or 'you guys';
> farther south it's 'y'all' or 'all y'all'. In the northeast (and from
> most Scottish people I know) it's 'youse' And so on.
> We may have abandoned the second person plural as far as the grammar
> books are concerned, but it's still alive and well in the spoken
> language.

I'm always amused by some Grammar fascist's attempts to remove "ain't"
from the language. Ain't is a perfectly valid word, and does serve a
useful purpose.

Ain't is a contraction of "am not" (I am not amused/I ain't amused).
It originated from the linguistic abhorrence of "mn't" as a suffix (I
amn't amused), so the "a" from "am" was expanded into a hard A (Ai)
and the suffix for an abbreviated not (n't) was added to the end,
thereby making ain't.

And, while the popular saying goes "'Ain't' ain't in the dictionary,
'Ain't' ain't", ain't IS in the dictionary.

Using ain't as a replacement for isn't, however (As the quotation
above shows), should still be a hanging offence.
Robert "Anaerin" Johnston

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