What in the world are you people thinking? [YOU RESPOND]

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What in the world are you people thinking? [YOU RESPOND]

From: paigeaworthy@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:34 PM
Subject: [Defend my God!] Confusion and Sorrow

Paige sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

 What in the world are you people thinking? BELIEVE IN GOD? WE CAN FIX
THAT!!!! That is wrong on SO many levels. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE! UGGH!
But more than my disgust and confusion of you, is my sorrow. I'm sorry you
can't live or understand or maybe grow up in a Christian home. I'm sorry
you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God,
the One that DOES exsists. I'm sorry you CHOOSE not to live a life knowing
you will one day die, but live again. In heaven. Or getting to see and hear
God telling you and thanking you for what you did to help His kingdom and
to show people that He lives. But most of all I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. I'll
pray that you soon are touched by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for allowing
me to express what God has told me.

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lmfao

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

From: paigeaworthy@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:34 PM
Subject: [Defend my God!] Confusion and Sorrow

Paige sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

 What in the world are you people thinking? BELIEVE IN GOD? WE CAN FIX
THAT!!!! That is wrong on SO many levels. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE! UGGH!
But more than my disgust and confusion of you, is my sorrow. I'm sorry you
can't live or understand or maybe grow up in a Christian home. I'm sorry
you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God,
the One that DOES exsists. I'm sorry you CHOOSE not to live a life knowing
you will one day die, but live again. In heaven. Or getting to see and hear
God telling you and thanking you for what you did to help His kingdom and
to show people that He lives. But most of all I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. I'll
pray that you soon are touched by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for allowing
me to express what God has told me.

 

 

          It is nice to know that god talks to you direct,  we have people here in Canada that talk to god we call them schitzophrenics;  they spend a lot of time in a place we call "the house  of perpetual fingerpainting." 

 

 

           I like the way you use the word CHOOSE and all capital letters.   So sorry to hear that our freedom of choice so offends your freedom to CHOOSE for us.  I  like thinking for myself, I encourage you to try it one day soon.   You can pray for us {consult Templeton foundation on Prayer & Medicine}  we will think for you.  'cause clearly you aint thinkin for yo-self.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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Why do you feel sorry for

Why do you feel sorry for us? Because we don't buy ancient myths? Should we feel sorry for you if you didn't believe in the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra?

For the same reason you reject claims of Thor making lighting, we reject magical claims of virgin births and human flesh surviving rigor mortis. The only difference between us and you is that we reject one more deity claim than you do. When you understand why you reject all other claims besides the one you believe, maybe you can understand someday why we reject yours as well.

But in any case, we are not evil, we do not have cooties, we wont BBQ your kittens. We simply do not buy claims, much less your claim, of invisible magical super brains(with no body) floating around somewhere and nowhere in the cosmos.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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sorry

I apoligize. I didn't know that this would be posted, but I do choose for myself.

I choose God and if you can't accept that, then that's that. I strongly hope you change your mind about God though.

Please, I advise thinking about this:

God is ALIVE! Jesus will come back soon and believers will eternally live in Heaven. Sinners will go to Hell:

Fire, pain, no love, endless work... is that really what you want? A life of Pain?

 

 

You have the choice.


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Hello, Paige!Quote:I'm sorry

Hello, Paige!

Quote:
I'm sorry you can't live or understand or maybe grow up in a Christian home. I'm sorry you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God, the One that DOES exsists. I'm sorry you CHOOSE not to live a life knowing
you will one day die, but live again.

I'm sorry that you're so arrogant that you automatically assume that we've never been in a Christian household. I'm sorry you're so ignorant that you think we're choosing a life of pain and sadness. 

Quote:
I apoligize. I didn't know that this would be posted, but I do choose for myself.

Oh. 

Maybe we should have a way to warn people that emails might be posted before they send mail to the RRS address? Or, maybe, ask before we post these?

I remember, one time, I sent a pretty long email to a local newspaper, and they reproduced the entire email in their next issue. I didn't like that at all.

 

Quote:
Fire, pain, no love, endless work... is that really what you want? A life of Pain?

No, no, no, no, no. 

Nobody wants a life of pain. Duh! We don't think hell exists. Is that so hard to understand?

 

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Anonymous 2 wrote:I

Anonymous 2 wrote:

I apoligize. I didn't know that this would be posted, but I do choose for myself.

I choose God and if you can't accept that, then that's that. I strongly hope you change your mind about God though.

Please, I advise thinking about this:

God is ALIVE! Jesus will come back soon and believers will eternally live in Heaven. Sinners will go to Hell:

Fire, pain, no love, endless work... is that really what you want? A life of Pain?

 

 

You have the choice.

It's not my fault you didn't read the contact form.

You choose God? Yippee! I gave up my invisible friends fairly early in life.

God is Alive? If only you had proof...

Fire, pain, no love, endless work? Sounds like my marriage (yes I'm married to a Christian).

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Anonymous 2 wrote:I choose

Anonymous 2 wrote:

I choose God and if you can't accept that, then that's that. 

God is ALIVE! Jesus will come back soon and believers will eternally live in Heaven. Sinners will go to Hell:

 

 

are you sure you chose the right one? there's nearly 3 billion muslims around the world, do you actually think they're all wrong and all the christians are right?

personally i know that there's no such thing as any kind of "god" in any shape or form, whatsoever.

but it's fun to imagine that if there was, eventually the "truth" would have to be known and one way or another, billions of followers of one of the two major religions would go screaming into the pits of hell. good times. cause think about it, if i'm wrong, that's exactly what will happen, to either the muslims or the christians.

so, are you really, really, really, really, really sure you chose the right one? Smiling

www.derekneibarger.com http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=djneibarger "all postures of submission and surrender should be part of our prehistory." -christopher hitchens


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I'm sorry, too.

Quote:
But more than my disgust and confusion of you, is my sorrow. I'm sorry you can't live or understand or maybe grow up in a Christian home.

I grew up in a good, loving Christian home.  I even persisted in belief well into my adulthood.  What happened?  I experienced a change of values.  I came to understand that faith is not a way of knowing but of wishing.  I came to understand that reason and evidence are the way to knowing things.  For many years, I'd assumed that the beliefs in which I'd been raised would be borne out by rational investigation but, when I finally got around to looking into such things, I found that that was not the case.  There simply are no good reasons to think that your God (or any other) actually exists.

Quote:
I'm sorry you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God,
the One that DOES exsists. I'm sorry you CHOOSE not to live a life knowing
you will one day die, but live again. In heaven. Or getting to see and hear
God telling you and thanking you for what you did to help His kingdom and
to show people that He lives. But most of all I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. I'll
pray that you soon are touched by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for allowing
me to express what God has told me.

I choose to try to live in reality.  I'm always sorry to be reminded that so many people choose instead to live in faith.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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Anonymous 2 wrote:Fire,

Anonymous 2 wrote:

Fire, pain, no love, endless work... is that really what you want? A life of Pain?

"endless work"???  typical bourgeois view of hell.  I suppose heaven is the london stock exchange to hell's manchester.  we'll all work and the angels in the board room will trade stocks off our labor.  just remember, lenin will be down there with us...fuckin' A!  the october revolution on an eternal scale!  and this time I'LL be there!  i'm beginning to hope you're right after all...

seriously though, i've never heard of that aspect of hell.  can you quote me a bible verse dealing with "endless work"?  what exactly will we be producing?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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I like this version of hell...

 

 

I enjoy M.C. Escher's depiction of hell. 

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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RationalResponseSquad

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

From: paigeaworthy@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:34 PM
Subject: [Defend my God!] Confusion and Sorrow


 What in the world are you people thinking?

 

I'm thinking there's no God.

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

But more than my disgust and confusion of you, is my sorrow.

Don't worry. We'll be OK! I also sense a misused preposition in there somewhere.

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

I'm sorry you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God,

I have a life filled with love and respect for friends, family and peers. The best part of that is I can see them.

 

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

But most of all I WILL PRAY FOR YOU.

Instead of praying for us (I can assure you we're lost causes), can you maybe go volunteer at your local homeless shelter or something? I think you'll get more God points for that.

RationalResponseSquad wrote:

I'll pray that you soon are touched by the Holy Spirit.

Ew. No thanks.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


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I've never understood

I've never understood prayer. Are people actually egotistical enough to think they're wants and needs are so important that god will change his plan for them? God already knows what his plan is, and he's staying the course. Geesh. Dumbasses.

 


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There's really no way to

There's really no way to properly respond to this crap without potentially ruining a good mood, so I'm not going to bother.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Anonymous 2 wrote:Please, I

Anonymous 2 wrote:
Please, I advise thinking about this:

Dude, do you really think we haven't thought about it? Do you truly think we just arbitrarily choose to not believe in god?

Let's take a look at your claims:

Quote:
God is ALIVE! Jesus will come back soon and believers will eternally live in Heaven. Sinners will go to Hell:

Fire, pain, no love, endless work... is that really what you want? A life of Pain?

You have the choice.

People have been waiting for almost 2000 years for Jesus to come back. It says in the Bible he was going to come back within the lifetime of those people in the New Testament, yet he did not (major prophetic failure), or if he did, nobody noticed. Why do you suppose he's coming back soon?

Second: why do you believe god is ALIVE!? If he is, and is as powerful and influential as you seem to think, where is the evidence? Why have all the miracles conveniently occurred in the distant past, where there can be no validation? (Well, except for the flood. There should've been tons of paleontologic and geologic evidence, but there is none whatsoever. So that one's been disproved.)

From an philosophic standpoint, why would a loving god wish to torment those he professes to love? So I don't believe in him. Is that truly sufficient reason to torture those he loves? Is he really that egocentric, that he insists we all love and worship him? If so, that's not a god that deserves respect.

I can't choose to believe in god. Belief is not simply a switch you can turn on and off. Simply put, god looks more like a fictional construct of man, rather than an ontologic entity. How can I force myself to believe something so patently false?

Anyway, have fun. I hope you at least take comfort from your beliefs. Also, please don't use your belief as an excuse to persecute other people -- say, by restricting same-sex marriage. And please don't try to use your beliefs as rationalizations to invade foreign countries, or to elect Sarah Pallin (or those just like her). Also, if you would be so kind, please don't badmouth education. It is knowledge and education that have given you the comforts you enjoy right now.

Thanks much.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Quote:  What in the world

Quote:
 
 What in the world are you people thinking? BELIEVE IN GOD? WE CAN FIX
THAT!!!! That is wrong on SO many levels. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE! UGGH!

What, no describing WHY it's wrong?  You're just going to yell and say it's wrong without telling us why?  Okay then.  You've just wasted your time with that.

Quote:

But more than my disgust and confusion of you, is my sorrow. I'm sorry you
can't live or understand or maybe grow up in a Christian home.

I did grow up in a Christian home, thanks.  In fact many of us here did.

Quote:

I'm sorry
you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God,
the One that DOES exsists. I'm sorry you CHOOSE not to live a life knowing
you will one day die, but live again. In heaven.

You seem to have it in your head that we chose to be atheists.  We didn't.  I can't make myself believe in your imaginary friend than I can choose to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Quote:

Or getting to see and hear
God telling you and thanking you for what you did to help His kingdom and
to show people that He lives.

I wouldn't want to hear voices in my head especially when it's saying things like that.

Quote:

But most of all I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. I'll
pray that you soon are touched by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for allowing
me to express what God has told me.

Thanks.  And we'll think for you.  We'll do the thinking for you so that knowledge can some day end your religion.

Liberate your mind. Fuck religion.


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Anonymous 2 wrote:God is

Anonymous 2 wrote:

God is ALIVE! Jesus will come back soon and believers will eternally live in Heaven. Sinners will go to Hell:

Fire, pain, no love, endless work... is that really what you want? A life of Pain?

 

 

You have the choice.

 

Ewww, you discust me.  Preach your fear tactics elsewhere, i dont conversate with people telling me im going to die while holding an imaginary gun to my head.  You are so very transparently a nut!!!   How DARE you make these claims, you are logically insane for doing so.  Piss off!!!


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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

 

Ewww, you discust me.  Preach your fear tactics elsewhere, i dont conversate with people telling me im going to die while holding an imaginary gun to my head.  You are so very transparently a nut!!!   How DARE you make these claims, you are logically insane for doing so.  Piss off!!!

sorry, i know this is totally off-topic, but the word is "converse."  i can't help myself, it's one of my pet peeves. 

i'm an english teacher in slovakia, and as "conversate" seems to be slowly forcing its way into english vernacular (i've heard it on MTV, for example), my students end up picking it up from somewhere.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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I'm with you on this,

I'm with you on this, iwbiek.  It makes me shudder when people use language badly.

Reality is the graveyard of the gods.


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Agreed.

 

 

      Ditto to  NoDeity &  iwbiek,    there are people on this  site who should be charged with committing assault and battery on the English language.  Also spell checks are the greatist invention of the 20th century, I wish more people would use them.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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Jeffrick wrote: Ditto to 

Jeffrick wrote:

 Ditto to  NoDeity &  iwbiek,    there are people on this  site who should be charged with committing assault and battery on the English language.  Also spell checks are the greatist invention of the 20th century, I wish more people would use them.

And just to add one finger-wag of disapproval, 'conversate' is the type of word used by rappers to sound all intellectual and shit....

 

It's not working, rappers. Seriously now......

 

P.S. Jeffrick, please tell me that your use of 'greatist' was ironic, or you may have to stand in the corner for an hour.

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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The spelling thing again,

The spelling thing again, duley noted, point stays the same.  Why it is i never attack other peoples spelling although i see mistakes all the time, ill figure out the spelling function, i hope then my posts will have more relvance to you all!!!


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not really

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

The spelling thing again, duley noted, point stays the same.  Why it is i never attack other peoples spelling although i see mistakes all the time, ill figure out the spelling function, i hope then my posts will have more relvance to you all!!!

 

 

      My comment was in plural form,   you are far from the only one and even I made a spelling mistake with "greatest" which was quickly pointed out to me.     Keep in mind some of our regulers do not speak English as a first language.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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honelty i just think this

honelty i just think this hole spelling thing is irrevlant when discussing the powerful issues at hand.  I mean within reason ofcoarse.  But let me play a trick on your brain.  Read the following out loud without hesitation to yourself, read it like magic eye, dont stair to close at the words.

 

Yuor brian can esaliy and amlsot as efifceinlty raed wrods taht are msipleled, tihs is beuacse yuor brian can cmoplie the letetrs in tiher entreity and tehn re-ranage tehm aoccrdgnily, as lnog as the frsit and last lteters are the smae the mddile oens are irrlevnat, eevn wtih lgaregr wdros lkie gvonernmetal, or  ectduaioanl, try it. 

 

Point is within reason (ie. no plam smachhing "you istu pid f uck ijhn ath iest yo ur al l going  tou eh l o eat  lfhsdaof ym  balsl   sfdasdfha&quotEye-wink I really think basic spelling errors should be irrelevant and if you want to enlighten someone about a mistake, just tell them, "yo, just to let you know, thsi is spelled this etc.." but not "You are masacurring the english language because i am an english teacher and it bothers me"  Their just words, get over them we do our best to use words to describe the tought, the thought is what counts.  When im litsening to someone trying to explain their thought to me, i would find it trivial of me to critisize their spelleing, therefor i never do, i want to know how they feel i want to hear their story, i dont care how they spell it.


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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

honelty i just think this hole spelling thing is irrevlant when discussing the powerful issues at hand.  I mean within reason ofcoarse.  But let me play a trick on your brain.  Read the following out loud without hesitation to yourself, read it like magic eye, dont stair to close at the words.

 

Yuor brian can esaliy and amlsot as efifceinlty raed wrods taht are msipleled, tihs is beuacse yuor brian can cmoplie the letetrs in tiher entreity and tehn re-ranage tehm aoccrdgnily, as lnog as the frsit and last lteters are the smae the mddile oens are irrlevnat, eevn wtih lgaregr wdros lkie gvonernmetal, or  ectduaioanl, try it. 

 

Point is within reason (ie. no plam smachhing "you istu pid f uck ijhn ath iest yo ur al l going  tou eh l o eat  lfhsdaof ym  balsl   sfdasdfha&quotEye-wink I really think basic spelling errors should be irrelevant and if you want to enlighten someone about a mistake, just tell them, "yo, just to let you know, thsi is spelled this etc.." but not "You are masacurring the english language because i am an english teacher and it bothers me"  Their just words, get over them we do our best to use words to describe the tought, the thought is what counts.  When im litsening to someone trying to explain their thought to me, i would find it trivial of me to critisize their spelleing, therefor i never do, i want to know how they feel i want to hear their story, i dont care how they spell it.

Unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way. People judge, they point out what is 'wrong' or different, and they get annoyed by simple spelling errors.  *rant*  My biggest spelling pet-peeve is the misuse of 'there, their, and they're' ~ It drives me bat-shit crazy  Smiling  I continue on with reading the author's message for the content and meaning, but there is a part of me that thinks a little less of the person's reliability /rant.

With that said, let's take into consideration the forum that we are in. In most cases, someone comes in with a specific position to argue, and they want everyone to listen and understand what they are saying. With numerous spelling and grammatical errors, that task becomes time consuming for the reader. Many of us have been with this community for years and when the same level of spelling inadequacy pops up over and over~it becomes tiring. Much like the same tired arguments presented regarding the existence of a god!  Eye-wink

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Renee Obsidianwords wrote:I

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

I continue on with reading the author's message for the content and meaning, but there is a part of me that thinks a little less of the person's reliability /rant.

You have every right to think less of their reliablity based on spelling but that doesnt make them or the content any less reliable. 

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

With numerous spelling and grammatical errors, that task becomes time consuming for the reader.

Yes i agree, numerous!!!  But then ofcourse we'd have to agree on  what is numerous, and i simply cant see how one "their" instead of "there" every few posts is numerous atall when taking in account the content. 

This is a forum, it is a massive conversation, posts are not a bunch of little books.   If i was presenting forth a book or essay of sort to be recorded and stored in the essay section their would surely be no spelling or gramatical errors.  But this is conversation, and conversation is spontanous and healthy to be that way, if you choose to view those less credible for putting slightly less  emphasis on catching the wrong "their" thats your choice i guess, but it surely doesnt make their thought less credible.  Surely correct them if you must, but without arrogance, dont be a "ROSS" ("people who massacre the english language&quotEye-wink hawhawhaw!  Its unbecoming.  I have much more problem with a post of rediculous content spelled correctly. 


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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

I continue on with reading the author's message for the content and meaning, but there is a part of me that thinks a little less of the person's reliability /rant.

You have every right to think less of their reliablity based on spelling but that doesnt make them or the content any less reliable. 

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:

With numerous spelling and grammatical errors, that task becomes time consuming for the reader.

Yes i agree, numerous!!!  But then ofcourse we'd have to agree on  what is numerous, and i simply cant see how one "their" instead of "there" every few posts is numerous atall when taking in account the content. 

This is a forum, it is a massive conversation, posts are not a bunch of little books.   If i was presenting forth a book or essay of sort to be recorded and stored in the essay section their would surely be no spelling or gramatical errors.  But this is conversation, and conversation is spontanous and healthy to be that way, if you choose to view those less credible for putting slightly less  emphasis on catching the wrong "their" thats your choice i guess, but it surely doesnt make their thought less credible.  Surely correct them if you must, but without arrogance, dont be a "ROSS" ("people who massacre the english language&quotEye-wink hawhawhaw!  Its unbecoming.  I have much more problem with a post of rediculous content spelled correctly. 

Well, for example: the way you ran your 'ofcourse' together totally freaks me out ~ and the fact that in numerous posts before this one it was spelled 'ofcoarse' really gets to me ~ I am not picking on you ... just being a smart ass Smiling AND I even understood the content of your message!

Personally, I would never call anyone out on their grammar or spelling as a way to discredit their argument. I think there is a word for doing so... it slips my mind. The content is the most important part of a post so the point is this: If someone wants their audience to understand what their message is, they need that message to come across loud and clear, not in the muck and mire of bad spelling and grammar. Most readers will lose focus on the content if there are too many spelling and grammar mistakes!

 

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http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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a few spelling errors here

a few spelling errors here and there make no difference to me.  it's the propogation of words that don't exist that annoys me, particularly when the meme makes it all the way accross the atlantic ocean and half of europe, and then i have to fight to extract it from the minds of my slovak high school students.

i teach at a really good school, too, and in the bilingual section at that.  many of my students will end up going to oxford and so forth, so such bad habits are an absolute no-no.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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My response to Paige...

Paige,
 
I'm sorry that you can't think for yourself and believe that an invisible man in the sky you can't see, hear, smell, taste or touch talks to you specifically.  There's plenty of people like you in the world - some of them fly planes into buildings when their invisible man in the sky tells them to.  Others incinerate Jews when their God tells them to.
 
I'm sorry that you CHOOSE to delude yourself and hand over money to churches and waste your life by listening to the rantings and ravings of goat herders that have been dead 2,000 years plus.  I'm sorry that you hate life so much that you have to hope for a do-over once you're dead.  I'm sorry that your existence is so pathetic, meaningless and shallow.  I'm sorry you think that prayer does anything.  I feel terrible for the girl in Wisconsin who died of her diabetes because her parents were stupid enough to think that prayer cures disease. 
 
Maybe you'll get lucky and shake off your idiotic upbringing and whatever moronic teachings you were handed to make you believe in a God - a Christian god at that.  I won't hold my breath, though - you're probably too scared, pathetic and unwise to put down your drugs.
 
While you pray, we'll think.  And we'll come out ahead.
 
Sincerely,
Brian

"Like Fingerpainting 101, gimme no credit for having class; one thumb on the pulse of the nation, one thumb in your girlfriend's ass; written on, written off, some calling me a joke, I don't think that I'm a sellout but I do enjoy Coke."

-BHG


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Derailing this thread, since

Derailing this thread, since it isn't really worth the bandwidth as it is, I'll come down against the grammar nazi's who for some reason hold the irrational view that there are language laws, and ignore the reality of evolution in speech. Fact is that languages change, and there's nothing you can do to stop it, or even slow it down. Spelling of terms can change, and quickly. I extend the example of US English, which has had only a few generations to develop, yet is very different from the UK English that it grew from, and is used everywhere else.
You are outnumbered by people who don't give a fuck that there spelling is flawed. All that matters is comprehension of communication. It doesn't matter at all that I should've said their, you knew that's what I meant.
In school and at work is one thing. Spare time is something else entirely.

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Let me draw a distinction

Let me draw a distinction here between spelling errors and grammatical errors. I agree that spelling errors, while annoying, are for the most part trivial, since they tend not to affect the logic of the comment, but only the manner in which it is presented. (However, I'd be willing to wager that very poor spellers tend not to be well read, and so this does minimally affect negatively the ethos of an author when issues that tend to require a great deal of reading before they can reasonably expected to be understood properly -- such as the issues raised in these forums -- are discussed.) Grammatical errors, however, are a different thing entirely. Poor grammar often reflects poor thinking in a way that spelling errors generally do not. That is, there is a logic to grammar that spelling, for the most part, lacks.

Edejardin


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Vastet wrote:Derailing this

Vastet wrote:
Derailing this thread, since it isn't really worth the bandwidth as it is, I'll come down against the grammar nazi's who for some reason hold the irrational view that there are language laws, and ignore the reality of evolution in speech. Fact is that languages change, and there's nothing you can do to stop it, or even slow it down. Spelling of terms can change, and quickly. I extend the example of US English, which has had only a few generations to develop, yet is very different from the UK English that it grew from, and is used everywhere else. You are outnumbered by people who don't give a fuck that there spelling is flawed. All that matters is comprehension of communication. It doesn't matter at all that I should've said their, you knew that's what I meant. In school and at work is one thing. Spare time is something else entirely.

 

Exactly


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I only attack spelling and

I only attack spelling and grammar when I think the person has earned it.  I do it for fun, not to try to "protect the language".

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edejardin, that would be

edejardin, that would be accurate enough if grammar were universally the same, but it is not. French and English are practically in reverse of each other grammatically. And grammar is no more immune to time and evolution than spelling is, as the same example points out. In a world were communication across 5000 kilometres is delayed by only a fraction of a second, and where as many as 300 distinct languages and cultures can be combined in one city, you'd do best to ignore grammatical errors as well as spelling ones, unless you literally cannot comprehend what the person is trying to say. It is by no means a valid test of intellect or knowledge. Many people screw with grammar just to be unique, myself included.

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"edejardin, that would be

"edejardin, that would be accurate enough if grammar were universally the same, but it is not. French and English are practically in reverse of each other grammatically."

Vastet, I think this actually proves my point. If I were to write an English sentence using French grammar -- or, better yet, the grammar of a heavily declined language such as Latin -- the overall logic of it would be affected in a way that is generally unaffected by spelling errors. The fact that different grammatical rules obtain in different languages is no more relevant that the fact that different logical rules obtain in classical logic and paraconsistent logics. The point is that the rules affect meaning. In Attic Greek, it's perfectly accurate to render the English sentence, "[The dog] [bit] [Bill]" as "[Bill] [bit] [the dog]" without affecting the meaning one bit; in English, however, the syntactical rules are quite important, and obviously affect the meaning profoundly, especially if you're Bill or the dog.

"And grammar is no more immune to time and evolution than spelling is, as the same example points out."

Of course it isn't (excepting the possibility of a universal grammar), but that too isn't relevant. The point is that if you're reading the Old English of Beowulf or the Middle English of Chaucer -- or even, in parts, the Elizabethan English of Shakespeare -- you have to understand the grammatical differences if you're to make sense of the sentences *because*, as I said, the grammar affects the internal logic of the sentence.

Edejardin


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Vastet wrote:edejardin, that

Vastet wrote:
edejardin, that would be accurate enough if grammar were universally the same, but it is not. French and English are practically in reverse of each other grammatically. And grammar is no more immune to time and evolution than spelling is, as the same example points out. In a world were communication across 5000 kilometres is delayed by only a fraction of a second, and where as many as 300 distinct languages and cultures can be combined in one city, you'd do best to ignore grammatical errors as well as spelling ones, unless you literally cannot comprehend what the person is trying to say. It is by no means a valid test of intellect or knowledge. Many people screw with grammar just to be unique, myself included.

 

And this coming from someone with over 4000 posts!!!  I also mess with grammar often I am a songwritter and lyricist, grammatically correct lyrics can be very boring at times.  Im a big fan of slurring words or pronouning a syllable slightly different to make 2 words whryme.  But as with everything, all things in moderation, incoherent dialogue is obviously useless.  I think their should be a general law for crtitism of spelling on a forum discussing issues of this magnitude.

Law:

"Criticism of minor spelling/grammatical mistakes(eg. there/their, ofcaorse, athiest, me and jen went to the store etc..)  should be left out of the discussion unless A)-the offender himself is hypocritacally criticizing the spelling/grammer of someone else while he is commiting the same errors (eg. Your such a moran, you can't even spell!) B)-The offender is claiming he is much more intelligent than you!

 

I think this is a good rule of thumb for this forum!!!  I've only been here about 6 days and i'm really dissapointed at how trivial some of my fellow athiests have been, especially when I raised a good point, and all i got as a reply was a cocky spelling correction.  Most spelling mistakes are NOT because people dont know how to spell the word, its because we type fast to get our thought in wordform, miss an error on the look over, and havent quite figured out the spell checker yet (or haven't even really tried) get over it. 

 

 

 


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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote: 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
  Most spelling mistakes are NOT because people dont know how to spell the word, its because we type fast to get our thought in wordform,

That should be two words: word form.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
  miss an error on the look over, and havent quite figured out the spell checker yet (or haven't even really tried) get over it.

There should be a period after the closed parenthesis and the 'g' in "get" should be capitalized as the beginning of a new sentence.

 

 

 

Just messin' with ya!


 

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iwbiek wrote: sorry, i know

iwbiek wrote:

 

sorry, i know this is totally off-topic, but the word is "converse."  i can't help myself, it's one of my pet peeves. 

i'm an english teacher in slovakia, and as "conversate" seems to be slowly forcing its way into english vernacular (i've heard it on MTV, for example), my students end up picking it up from somewhere.

It's the evolution of language  at work. Thousands of years ago the proper term would have been "ooga ooga" and as time passed, the weaker words died off while the stronger words propered, combined with other species of languages and became the English you hear today. Now some people may believe that a god just snapped his fingers, words were magically created and have remained unchanged since the begining of time, but a simple bit of research will easily disproved that type of thinking. So don't let these people and their threats of language hell scare you into buying into their foolish beliefs.

Free your mind.


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Ivon wrote:iwbiek

Ivon wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

 

sorry, i know this is totally off-topic, but the word is "converse."  i can't help myself, it's one of my pet peeves. 

i'm an english teacher in slovakia, and as "conversate" seems to be slowly forcing its way into english vernacular (i've heard it on MTV, for example), my students end up picking it up from somewhere.

It's the evolution of language  at work. Thousands of years ago the proper term would have been "ooga ooga" and as time passed, the weaker words died off while the stronger words propered, combined with other species of languages and became the English you hear today. Now some people may believe that a god just snapped his fingers, words were magically created and have remained unchanged since the begining of time, but a simple bit of research will easily disproved that type of thinking. So don't let these people and their threats of language hell scare you into buying into their foolish beliefs.

well, i'm afraid your philosophizing won't help my students pass the slovak state exam in english or the cambridge first certificate exam or get them their toefl qualification.  so you'll have to excuse me if for practical reasons i continue to fight against the meme.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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iwbiek wrote:Ivon

iwbiek wrote:

Ivon wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

 

sorry, i know this is totally off-topic, but the word is "converse."  i can't help myself, it's one of my pet peeves. 

i'm an english teacher in slovakia, and as "conversate" seems to be slowly forcing its way into english vernacular (i've heard it on MTV, for example), my students end up picking it up from somewhere.

It's the evolution of language  at work. Thousands of years ago the proper term would have been "ooga ooga" and as time passed, the weaker words died off while the stronger words propered, combined with other species of languages and became the English you hear today. Now some people may believe that a god just snapped his fingers, words were magically created and have remained unchanged since the begining of time, but a simple bit of research will easily disproved that type of thinking. So don't let these people and their threats of language hell scare you into buying into their foolish beliefs.

well, i'm afraid your philosophizing won't help my students pass the slovak state exam in english or the cambridge first certificate exam or get them their toefl qualification.  so you'll have to excuse me if for practical reasons i continue to fight against the meme.

Most students here in America have a hard time passing their English classes.

Free your mind.


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Ivon wrote:iwbiek wrote:Ivon

Ivon wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

Ivon wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

 

sorry, i know this is totally off-topic, but the word is "converse."  i can't help myself, it's one of my pet peeves. 

i'm an english teacher in slovakia, and as "conversate" seems to be slowly forcing its way into english vernacular (i've heard it on MTV, for example), my students end up picking it up from somewhere.

It's the evolution of language  at work. Thousands of years ago the proper term would have been "ooga ooga" and as time passed, the weaker words died off while the stronger words propered, combined with other species of languages and became the English you hear today. Now some people may believe that a god just snapped his fingers, words were magically created and have remained unchanged since the begining of time, but a simple bit of research will easily disproved that type of thinking. So don't let these people and their threats of language hell scare you into buying into their foolish beliefs.

well, i'm afraid your philosophizing won't help my students pass the slovak state exam in english or the cambridge first certificate exam or get them their toefl qualification.  so you'll have to excuse me if for practical reasons i continue to fight against the meme.

Most students here in America have a hard time passing their English classes.

precisely.  wonder why...

that's actually pretty sad, since comparitively english is an easy language.

btw, just so we're straight, i am an american, and i have little sympathy for american students (barring those with learning disorders) who struggle with english, when i see so many foreigners really taking it seriously and asking their teachers tough grammatical questions.  many of my students could end with high-paying and prestigious jobs as interpreters, but that market is very competitive, so that's why they can't afford even small mistakes.

of course, it's very unlikely any of them will ever read posts here, but knowing the basics of memetics, nonexistent words are still one of my pet peeves.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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English is one of the

English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.

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Vastet wrote:English is one

Vastet wrote:
English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.

for some reason i always used to hear that too, but practical experience doesn't bear it out.  all the europeans i've met who are proficient in multiple languages (and many europeans are at least rudimentarily trilingual) tell me that english was by far the easiest.  so far the people who have told me that were variously proficient in english, french, german, czech, slovak, russian, hebrew, japanese, polish, ukrainian, hungarian, and arabic as second languages.  their various nationalities were slovak, czech, polish, hungarian, german, and egyptian.  many of them had less formal education in english than their other second languages.

most of the linguists i've read say that by far the most difficult languages to learn are from the finno-ugric family, which includes finnish, estonian, and hungarian.  that explains why so many southern slovaks, despite being right across the border from hungary, have little or no understanding of hungarian, unless they're of recent ethnic hungarian extraction.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Vastet wrote:English is one

Vastet wrote:

English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.

I worked with someone who was chinese and was always asking him to tell me how to say things in chinese.  One thing i noticed is it did seem to be a simpler format eg.  The word for mallet in chinese is the same as hammer with "rubber" in front of it.  So instead of having an entirely different word for mallet they just call it "rubber hammer."  I would assume this applies to many words they use.  English spelling is also one of the hardest to learn, english has contradictory ways of spelling different sounds,  (rough/bough) = (ruff/bow)  I would assume this to be extremely difficult for someone learning the language to remember all these glitches in our spelling consistency.


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Vastet wrote:English is one

Vastet wrote:
English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.
It's not true*.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

I worked with someone who was chinese and was always asking him to tell me how to say things in chinese.  One thing i noticed is it did seem to be a simpler format eg.  The word for mallet in chinese is the same as hammer with "rubber" in front of it.  So instead of having an entirely different word for mallet they just call it "rubber hammer."  I would assume this applies to many words they use.  English spelling is also one of the hardest to learn, english has contradictory ways of spelling different sounds,  (rough/bough) = (ruff/bow)  I would assume this to be extremely difficult for someone learning the language to remember all these glitches in our spelling consistency.

*When we talk about a language, before we talk about learning it, we have to understand that languages aren't wholly dissimilar to each other.  There are universals.  That is to say, there are things about any given language which are similar or are always the same between that language and any other language.

When you note that words in the Chinese language are formed by putting something in front of other words, what you're noticing is that Chinese is agglutinative.  English shares this property to a very limited extent.  In English, new words are usually unique.  That can (and does) happen in Chinese.  For instance, words in Chinese, despite popular misconception, are not always single syllables, but rather usually contain at least two syllables and are represented by two characters.  Similarities that are notable between English and Chinese are word order  (Chinese can be an SVO language -though it does show similarities with SOV languages) and the lack of a need for (or the complete absence of) inflected verbs.

Some things that may make Chinese easy to learn for English speakers are pronoun dropping (which English speakers tend to do very easily) and a lack of particles.

There are major differences that can make Chinese quite difficult for a speaker of English, however.  The language requires the mastery of a tonal system, the phonology of Chinese having phonemes represented by changes in tone.  English has absolutely no phonemes that are tone dependant.  An English speaker who is tone deaf may well find it difficult if not impossible to speak Chinese.  Further, in the instance of word order in SOV English speakers typically have problems, as well as with things like postpositions.

In writing the language an English speaker would have to memorize all the relevant characters for words, as the written language is logosyllabic (morphemes -or parts of morphemes -are represented by a single logogram).

Conversely with a Chinese speaker learning spoken or written English, that person will face problems adapting to a language that actually has inflected verbs (though they're not strictly required for communication) and inflection at all (Chinese doesn't contain things like plural nouns or -with few exceptions - any inflection at all).  They'll have to get used to including pronouns in sentences and sticking to a strictly SVO word order (though this shouldn't pose a particular problem).  What will be easy for a Chinese speaker is likely the written system of English.  From the perspective of anyone outside the English language and anyone in the know, English is not a phonetic written language and our alphabet does not represent it.  English contains not less than 48 phonemes and the alphabet contains 26 symbols that represent only 21 of those phonemes, only 5 of which represent 5 of the 23 vowels and diphthongs.  To a learner of English (particular one that does not use a latinate alphabet) they need only learn the writing system in chunks of loosely regulated symbols.  Compared to the task of memorizing literally hundreds (or thousands) of characters, a Chinese speaker would need only memorize 26 very roughly phonetic symbols and employ a set of simple rules to pen any English word.

So, learning a language easily is somewhat dependant on the rules of your own language and how similar they are to the language you wish to learn.  English and Chinese aren't terribly dissimilar.  A language like German, from either Chinese or English, might be very hard for either learner.  For the German speaker a language like Scottish Gaelic might be difficult to learn.  It's important to remember, however, that there is no language that is necessarily difficult to learn for any learner and there has never been (nor is there ever likely to be) a language that is universally difficult to learn.  Every child on Earth with the capability of learning one language can learn any other language it's exposed to when developing up to a (theorectically) arbitrary number.

Excuse the lesson ...or not.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

Vastet wrote:

English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.

I worked with someone who was chinese and was always asking him to tell me how to say things in chinese.  One thing i noticed is it did seem to be a simpler format eg.  The word for mallet in chinese is the same as hammer with "rubber" in front of it.  So instead of having an entirely different word for mallet they just call it "rubber hammer."  I would assume this applies to many words they use.  English spelling is also one of the hardest to learn, english has contradictory ways of spelling different sounds,  (rough/bough) = (ruff/bow)  I would assume this to be extremely difficult for someone learning the language to remember all these glitches in our spelling consistency.

once again, you would think so, but i've been teaching for three years now and my students don't seem to struggle with spelling any more than american schoolchildren do.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Thomathy wrote:English is

Thomathy wrote:

English is not a phonetic written language

not anymore, but it used to be.  in college i had the enormous pleasure of taking a chaucer course where all we did the whole term was read aloud the entire canterbury tales in middle english, and it was completely phonetic.  spelling and speaking didn't evolve along the same course, unfortunately.

there were various attempts in the 19th century to reintroduce phonetic spelling into english.  while they obviously failed, they were a bit more successful in the united states, which is the main reason why you have the classic differences between "british" and "american" spelling (draught/draft, centre/center, colour/color, etc.).

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Vastet wrote:English is one

Vastet wrote:
English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.

I'm Chinese, and I'm telling you that's complete BS. I know a little bit of Spanish as well. English is slightly easier than Spanish and exponentially easier than Mandarin.

Edit:

Speaking Mandarin proficiently requires, as Thomathy the linguist already explained, an understanding of its tones. A single pronunciation, in Mandarin, can have four or sometimes five different tones, representing a dozen different symbols with different definitions. In 'pin-yin,' a letter system to aid with pronunciation, the four standard tones are represented by a flat line, a line with a positive slope, a line in the shape of a v, and a line with a negative slope. They represent a flat pitch, a rise in pitch, a slight drop and rise in pitch, and a drop in pitch, respectively. Following this system, as an example, the sound, "shi," (pronounced like if you were telling someone to be quiet) can mean, for the first tone, poem, wet, etc. for the second tone, ten, filling, rock, etc. for the third tone, excrement, etc. and for the fourth tone, try, affirmative, etc.  

Additionally, since Mandarin uses symbols instead of letters, the written language and spoken language don't complement each other. In other words, in English, when you see a word in a book that you've never seen before, you can still pronounce it using the letters in the word. You cannot do this with Mandarin because the parts of the symbols don't correspond to any sounds, so you simply have to memorize the written form of every word.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Vastet

butterbattle wrote:

Vastet wrote:
English is one of the hardest languages to learn, from what linguists have told me. Chinese is easy.

I'm Chinese, and I'm telling you that's complete BS. I know a little bit of Spanish as well. English is slightly easier than Spanish and exponentially easier than Mandarin.

Edit:

Speaking Mandarin proficiently requires, as Thomathy the linguist already explained, an understanding of its tones. A single pronunciation, in Mandarin, can have four or sometimes five different tones, representing a dozen different symbols with different definitions. In 'pin-yin,' a letter system to aid with pronunciation, the four standard tones are represented by a flat line, a line with a positive slope, a line in the shape of a v, and a line with a negative slope. They represent a flat pitch, a rise in pitch, a slight drop and rise in pitch, and a drop in pitch, respectively. Following this system, as an example, the sound, "shi," (pronounced like if you were telling someone to be quiet) can mean, for the first tone, poem, wet, etc. for the second tone, ten, filling, rock, etc. for the third tone, excrement, etc. and for the fourth tone, try, affirmative, etc.  

Additionally, since Mandarin uses symbols instead of letters, the written language and spoken language don't complement each other. In other words, in English, when you see a word in a book that you've never seen before, you can still pronounce it using the letters in the word. You cannot do this with Mandarin because the parts of the symbols don't correspond to any sounds, so you simply have to memorize the written form of every word.  

yeah, that's precisely what i always heard.  it's no wonder even mao zedong struggled with it.  he was never able to go beyond his hunanese dialect.

then again, there are also his legendary and reportedly hilarious struggles to learn english.

i used to room with a vietnamese guy and he told me vietnamese uses seven tones.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


Thomathy
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iwbiek wrote:in college i

iwbiek wrote:

in college i had the enormous pleasure of taking a chaucer course where all we did the whole term was read aloud the entire canterbury tales in middle english, and it was completely phonetic.

there were various attempts in the 19th century to reintroduce phonetic spelling into english.  while they obviously failed, they were a bit more successful in the united states, which is the main reason why you have the classic differences between "british" and "american" spelling (draught/draft, centre/center, colour/color, etc.).

Those aren't the best examples, but you're pretty much right about the spelling conventions at least.  Draught, of course, is a leave over from a time before a consonant shift.  Colour/Color, really depends on the dialect of spoken English.  I can give you centre, since the 'e' at the end is silent, but then the 'e' before the 'r' may be so reduced as to not exist, depending on the dialect of spoken English.  The -re is a convention of French.  I might point to words that have no dialectal difference, like cozy/cosy or cheque/check.

English, however, (despite your thinking that Middle English is represented completely phonetically by Chaucer) was never well represented phonetically by the latinate alphabet, even in Chaucer's day, not least because there was no standard writing system for English in his time and the English Chaucer wrote would not have well-represented the spoken English of very many of his contemporaries at all.  We really don't know exactly how Middle English sounded and reading Chaucer today how its written is largely based on tradition and convention rather than the reality of how the language would have sounded as spoken by Chaucer (which isn't to say we can't approximate it).  It's just not accurate to say that Chaucer's example of written Middle English is completely phonetic.

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Thomathy wrote: (despite

Thomathy wrote:

 

(despite your thinking that Middle English is represented completely phonetically by Chaucer)

well, to be fair, it wasn't just my thinking, it was mostly info from my professor, who granted may have simplified things in the context of the course, but considering he was a harvard valedictorian and spent most of his graduate studies handling original shakespeare first folios, i certainly had no reason to doubt him.

of course i am aware that there was no standardized english spelling or grammar until at least the 19th century.  double negatives, for example, feature in both shakespeare and chaucer, as do variant spellings of a single word within the same text.  but, in my opinion, this supports the notion of the phoneticity of written middle english, since it seems likely people wrote what they heard.

i don't know why you say that chaucer's english wouldn't have well-represented the spoken english of his contemporaries.  of course it varies from tale to tale.  "the parson's tale" is basically a direct translation of a latin allegory, so its language is spiritual and more or less artificial, but "the wife of bath's tale," for example, uses very common speech, aside from being metrical, and i don't know what better text we can use to approximate the speech of the illiterate masses at that time, since they were, you know, illiterate.

unless i misunderstand your meaning, i would say it would be like a guy digging up bukowski or spillane in 600 years and saying one cannot get an idea of the spoken english of the common american factory worker or barfly from it.  if we can't use chaucer, who the hell can we use?  if we can't use written middle english at all, then we're in the realm of pure speculation and we might as well call the whole thing off.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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I apologize assuming it was

I apologize assuming it was your thinking.  To be fair (on my part), I'm not saying we can't approximate some spoken English from Chaucer, just that we can't know for certain that it's accurate.  For all intents the written language can't have been phonetic because the very sounds of English at the time just didn't (and still don't) jive with the alphabet that the French introduced.  It is exactly because the language lacked a standard that even attempted to make the written language phonetic (never mind that the language was rapidly changing at the time) that -while you're right to point out that the various forms of writing are approximations of how people heard words -the writing is hardly accurate or helpful, there having been no system by which to match an English sound, like the voiceless velar fricative or any sound not occurring in a latinate language to English sounds.  When I say that Chaucer didn't write how his contemporaries spoke, I mean, of all the English spoken at the time, what he wrote represents only a bit of English, spoken around London.  That's not to say that he didn't write 'common speech', which seemed to be his obsession of sorts, just that his writing doesn't represent the wider English spoken or even necessarily what that English sounded like.

Quote:
unless i misunderstand your meaning, i would say it would be like a guy digging up bukowski or spillane in 600 years and saying one cannot get an idea of the spoken english of the common american factory worker or barfly from it.  if we can't use chaucer, who the hell can we use?  if we can't use written middle english at all, then we're in the realm of pure speculation and we might as well call the whole thing off.
I think you might misunderstand.  We would know what they spoke.  We could not (necessarily) know how they spoke it (I hope you appreciate why so that I don't have to explain that).  And of what we would know, we couldn't say that it's of the 'common American factory worker.';  unless, of course, we had lots of examples from all over.  We haven't even got that much from Middle English to do a whole lot more than speculate and that's not saying we haven't done more than speculate -we have.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."