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Saint Billinge

Please can/may I borrow your book!

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Language is always an evolving animal, there are very few accents as such any more, you might think of a Lancashire or Yorkshire accent, but there used to be specific Manchester, Wigan, St. Helens, Leeds, York, Hull, Doncaster accents, where are they now, the people I now reside with, in Sussex, barely have any "local" accent at all, that is down to language & accents evolving.

If it didn't we would all still be speaking one of either Viking, Old French, Old Dutch, Saxon, or old English, as well as the variants in Wales, Scotland & Ireland

Television has a lot to answer for in the fight for local accents, everybody south of Milton Keynes either want to sound East End, or have a so-called Posh accent. I used to work with an Anaesthetist who grew up in the East End of London, in a Welsh community, and when she went to medical school she had a East End/Welsh Accent, she was warned her career wouldn't last long with that voice, so she spent a long time getting pronunciation lessons from one of the Queens teachers, now she speaks as though she has 2 plums up her A***.

I did meet a Lancastrian, from near Preston recently, and I could barely understand WTF he was on about, he was asking for directions, to a place near to Hastings, & I had to admit to him that I hadn't lived here that long & didn't know where the place was, it was only after about 4 or 5 minutes of working out what he said was I able to process where he meant. (My fault for living down south for 25 years).

Accents are important, as is the evolution of language, so that we can be understood (or understand) wherever we are, travel has enlarged the distances we can now go in one day, 150 years ago, it was usually the next village, or maybe the nearest market town, now I could get from Hastings to Inverness, or Penzance in 1 day.

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Is that like Windsor Davies or Tom Jones?

Joe Calzaghe is Welsh Valley. The interviewer is South Wales Lowlands.

Nathan Cleverley and Darcy Blake

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Language is always an evolving animal, there are very few accents as such any more, you might think of a Lancashire or Yorkshire accent, but there used to be specific Manchester, Wigan, St. Helens, Leeds, York, Hull, Doncaster accents, where are they now, the people I now reside with, in Sussex, barely have any "local" accent at all, that is down to language & accents evolving.

If it didn't we would all still be speaking one of either Viking, Old French, Old Dutch, Saxon, or old English, as well as the variants in Wales, Scotland & Ireland

Ever read Bill Bryson's book 'Mother Tongue'? A very readable history of the English language.

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Ever read Bill Bryson's book 'Mother Tongue'? A very readable history of the English language.

Yes, excellent book. 'Made in America' is another good read from him, on a similar topic. (I find him very good as a provider of general information, but very often slappable when expressing his opinions, as in his travel writing).

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Depends on whether it's the subject or object.

Charlie and I went out. Ok. Subject.

Please give them to Charlie and me. Ok. Object.

No, both are correct. It's perfectly acceptable to use the modal verb 'can' when asking for permission.

A BBC newsreader said it should be 'may I borrow your book'. I have always said 'can I borrow...'

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A BBC newsreader said it should be 'may I borrow your book'. I have always said 'can I borrow...'

Both forms are acceptable, correct English.

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A BBC newsreader said it should be 'may I borrow your book'. I have always said 'can I borrow...'

What if she's called Maggie

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Language is always an evolving animal, there are very few accents as such any more, you might think of a Lancashire or Yorkshire accent, but there used to be specific Manchester, Wigan, St. Helens, Leeds, York, Hull, Doncaster accents, where are they now, the people I now reside with, in Sussex, barely have any "local" accent at all, that is down to language & accents evolving.

If it didn't we would all still be speaking one of either Viking, Old French, Old Dutch, Saxon, or old English, as well as the variants in Wales, Scotland & Ireland

Television has a lot to answer for in the fight for local accents, everybody south of Milton Keynes either want to sound East End, or have a so-called Posh accent. I used to work with an Anaesthetist who grew up in the East End of London, in a Welsh community, and when she went to medical school she had a East End/Welsh Accent, she was warned her career wouldn't last long with that voice, so she spent a long time getting pronunciation lessons from one of the Queens teachers, now she speaks as though she has 2 plums up her A***.

I did meet a Lancastrian, from near Preston recently, and I could barely understand WTF he was on about, he was asking for directions, to a place near to Hastings, & I had to admit to him that I hadn't lived here that long & didn't know where the place was, it was only after about 4 or 5 minutes of working out what he said was I able to process where he meant. (My fault for living down south for 25 years).

Accents are important, as is the evolution of language, so that we can be understood (or understand) wherever we are, travel has enlarged the distances we can now go in one day, 150 years ago, it was usually the next village, or maybe the nearest market town, now I could get from Hastings to Inverness, or Penzance in 1 day.

St Helens and Wigan accents do differ considerably.

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A friend who was well versed in grammar once wrote to a writers' circle to enquire if he could arrange a talk on the subject. However, the word grammer in his letter was amusing. :D

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As I get older and slowly morph into my own father :( I'm becoming more irascible over the misuse of "less" when what is meant is "fewer"

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Both forms are acceptable, correct English.

I believe you are an EFL teacher, so I am glad you got that right. Both are acceptable. As I understand it, "May I...?" is more formal, but "Can I...?" is a perfectly acceptable, if somewhat informal, alternative. It works because you are asking about ability, which would depend on the permission being granted, so in a roundabout way, it is asking permission.

As for some of the other points, "should of ..." makes me despair for my language, but I think that it may come to be accepted into the language one day. As Bleep said, language evolves. Perhaps we should embrace the changes?

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I'm struggling to get to grips with the increasing Americanisation (oops) of dates. I can't be doing with September twentieth instead of the twentieth of September.

Oh, that felt good. :)

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"Can I"... borrow your book asks the question, " do you think I have the ability to perform the act of borrowing your book, whereas "may I " asks your permission.

and generally, its is BECAUSE OF or OWING TO not DUE TO

(Mr Greene, English teacher 1960 Salford Technical High School, Leaf Square, if you are up there reading this - See, I WAS listening!)

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Being a product of the comprehensive school system in the later 80s/early 90s I struggle with grammar. We weren't taught the rules of grammar or syntax and I can't tell an adjective from an adverb.

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Being a product of the comprehensive school system in the later 80s/early 90s I struggle with grammar. We weren't taught the rules of grammar or syntax and I can't tell an adjective from an adverb.

Similar story here (but in my case the mid to late 70s :(), but have since made an effort to try and learn.

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Just seen this headline.... Women's and Girls' Football! Also read about Ladie's Football and Ladies' Football!

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very often slappable when expressing his opinions, as in his travel writing).

Oh thank goodness for that, I thought it was just me!

I tried to persevere with 'notes from a small island' even though it read like a list of grumpy B&B reviews. However, when I got to the bit where he was complaining about the lack of public transport in a run down Gwynedd village - on a Sunday, in January - I couldn't take any more.

So are his other ramblings worth a look, then?

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Which bit's wrong there?

I would say Girls' Football. However, it is most confusing from the research I have done on football.

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I struggle with people who are for example Workaholics?

Now Alcoholic I can understand but if you use the same reasoning behind workaholic should it not be alcohololic? Or should workaholic not be just Workic?

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Being a product of the comprehensive school system in the later 80s/early 90s I struggle with grammar. We weren't taught the rules of grammar or syntax and I can't tell an adjective from an adverb.

I had a generally excellent education in the comprehensive school system but English was the weak point. Indifferent English teachers throughout my entire high school experience who went at their pace whether any of us in the class understood or not. I remember about a three week period where our normal teacher was ill and the substitute teacher simply gave us copies of the Hobbit and told us to shut up and read during every class without any tuition at all. That bored me rigid because I'd already read the book before then. When the normal teacher returned, she slotted into her schedule and simply abandoned any idea of trying to cover the stuff we missed in the three weeks before; the first day back she set us homework of having read a chapter set of a new book that was half way through the book and then she got upset next day when none of us had completed the homework.

The only reason I have anywhere near a decent grasp of English is through the amount of reading I do and some very severe marking during my degree! In the first year of my degree I think I lost about 5% out of every subject's marks due to being marked down for poor grammar skills.

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I struggle with people who are for example Workaholics?

Now Alcoholic I can understand but if you use the same reasoning behind workaholic should it not be alcohololic? Or should workaholic not be just Workic?

I assume it's both the synonym for someone who is obsessed and the 'k' sound in both alc and work (and choc)

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