Linguistics 3001: Homework One

I might have gone a touch overboard on my homework. I used the word “douche.”

4) Give me an example of an entry in an English speaker’s lexicon.
A “keyboard” is a thing that one uses to type letters and symbols onto a page or into a computer.
5) Give me an example of an entry in an English speaker’s mental grammar.
“An action is done to an object by a subject.”
6) Give me an example of a prescriptive rule of English grammar.
“Ain’t” ain’t a word that we use ’round here.
7) Give me an example of a descriptive rule of English grammar.
The word “ain’t” can be used to replace the phrase “is not.”
8) Finicky grammar mavens say that “She is better than me” is a bad English sentence. They say it should be “She is better than I (am).” I’m aware of this, but I still say “better than me.” Give me a sentence you wouldn’t say, even though it is supposedly “correct.”
“Dad, I’m going to forgive you, even though you refuse to acknowledge that you are a douche.”
9) Bearing in mind what you have learned abotu prescriptive and descriptive grammar, what do you have to say about the following sentence: “Mama, aren’t I allowed to have dessert?”
Prescriptive grammar would say that the child should ask his or her mother: “Mama, am I not allowed to have dessert?” or “Mama, have I been disallowed from having dessert?” but the clearly correct phrasing would be “Mama, why hit? Me no pie ated!” In the example given, it is possible that the child is modifying the verb “to be” to agree with the person to whom he or she is addressing (Mama are (you) not) – or perhaps he or she simply doesn’t know to conjugate to be as “am” for “I.” Or maybe, negating and reordering the verb while conjugating was just too much work, and the child’s brain uncontrollably spit out a contracted form of “are not I” because “am I not” required too much simultaneous word motion and modification.
There is no number ten, but what if there were?
Me no pie ated.

3 Responses to “Linguistics 3001: Homework One ”

  1. Wow. You get a big gold star. A student that actually will make the TA or Prof laugh while correcting homework. You are the man.

    Mama, why hit? Me no pie ated.


    Also, I’m sure you have thought of this already, but your love of English language and programing language both are amazingly similar and both bring out your creative genius. One day you will be superstar!!!

  2. Pie ain’t square. Pie are round!

  3. I concur. You’re a rock star. Me no pie ated!

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