You, but more respectfull in English

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anders

sorry, not related to the topic

Postby anders » 2004-09-04, 11:49

excuse me, i just want to know what does "delboy" mean? i've seen many people use this name...
sorry for my disturbance :oops:

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Postby DelBoy » 2004-09-04, 11:54

Del - short for Derek, and Del Boy was the nickname of a character in an classic English sitcom series, Only Fools and Horses. Its just what my friends call me, doesn't really mean anything.
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Du

Postby Jack » 2004-09-17, 22:04

One very dramatic use of the formal versus informal Du-Ihr/Sie distinction was in the movie The Pianist. The Germans all used du and ihr to the Jews throughout the whole movie. At the end when the German officer discovered the poor Jewish pianist hiding in the bombed out building and orders him to play for him, I just knew that the German was going to kill the poor pianist when he finished playing until I suddenly realized the German was using Sie with him! This was the only time a German had said Sie to any Jew in the whole movie. I was able to relax realizing he would let him go when he was through playing.

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Postby Rex » 2004-09-18, 8:04

DelBoy wrote:
Darky wrote:
Phil A wrote:
Well, it's not like English sg. and pl. "you" are the same in all forms. English speakers naturally make such a distinction for the reflexive forms "yourself" and "yourselves". So, the distinction between second person singular and plural must somehow exist in their minds, too. :wink:

I agree. I think that we are perfectly well aware that 'you' can mean 'you as an individual' or 'you as a group'. I don't believe that anyone in the English-speaking countries has a problem with that. We are certainly not suffering any confusion about whether we are talking to one person or more.


Well, in Hiberno-English, there is a distinction made between singular (you) and plural (yous/yis/ye), and personally, when I hear 'you' I just think of one person (although in writing, yous, yis and ye would not be acceptable, so in that case, I would have no problem distinguishing between singular and plural) Unless it was a very formal/posh occassion, I would never say (or expect to hear) 'you' to refer to more than one person. There's even a plural form of the possessive 'your' in some areas of Ireland, especially in Dublin, where you might hear 'your drink' to refer to one person, but 'yis-er drinks' to refer to more than one! :D


The form "yous" is also used in the states. I heard it used in Boston and even my dad uses it occasionally. All of those people were of irish extraction so that may have something to do with it. However they don't sound irish at all and have a very distictive bostonian accent.

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Postby Islander » 2004-09-26, 23:46

Because of the British’ extensive use of “sir, ma'am, mr, mrs and miss” I believe that a formel variant of “you” has become superfluous.
Gløgt er gestsins eyga...

elgrande

Postby elgrande » 2004-09-27, 9:53

Islander wrote:Because of the British’ extensive use of “sir, ma'am, mr, mrs and miss” I believe that a formel variant of “you” has become superfluous.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowlegde, "sir" and "ma'am" are hardly ever used in British English and actually much commoner in American English.

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Postby Islander » 2004-09-27, 22:56

elgrande wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowlegde, "sir" and "ma'am" are hardly ever used in British English and actually much commoner in American English.

Darn, now you have ruined my illusion, that Great Britain is a nation of polite people! :wink:
Seriously, perhaps you're right, but I still believe the “sir's” and the “ma'am's” are the reason why a formal "you" has become superfluous, even though the Britts have skipped good old manors. :)
Gløgt er gestsins eyga...

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Postby Starion » 2004-09-28, 3:08

Psi-Lord wrote:Worth pointing that, in certain situations (such as a waiter addressing a customer, among others), one might also add 'sir' / 'madam' to give a more formal tone.


Psi-Lord, you're correct.

I have noticed that people do use "sir" or "madam" in more formal situations.

I do like using "vous" and "tu" in French.

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Postby Blackleaf » 2005-12-24, 19:46

"You" is the English equivalent of the French "Vous."

"Thou" is the equivalent of "Tu."

"Your" is the equivalent of "Votre".

"Thy" is the equivalent of "ton/ta/tes."

But English speakers tend to just use "you" and "your", so English is a much more polite language.

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Postby Blackleaf » 2005-12-24, 19:51

Phil A wrote:
senatortombstone wrote:But why did YOU, an accusative form survive over YE, the Nominative?

also, why is the word YE sometimes used as THE in older english

"ye olde shoppe"

1. Not clear. Might just be one of those historical accidents.

2. This one I can answer. YE was never used as THE in older English. The notion that it was used in that way was either a mistake or a deliberate artificial archaicism.

The example you chose to illustrate this is a good one. You can find shops marked YE OLDE SHOPPE in some horribly twee touristy places in England that are too keen to emphasise their so-called 'heritage' in order to impress ignorant visitors.

I repeat: YE NEVER MEANT THE!!!


In fact, "ye", meaning "the", as in "Ye Olde Inn" etc, was actually pronounced the SAME WAY as "the". The only reason why "ye" was sometimes written was because it was a way of saving ink!

So "Ye" and "The" were pronounced the same, although a lot of people don't know that.

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Postby charlotteh » 2005-12-26, 16:51

In English you often use 'sir' or 'miss' to teachers (although a married female teacher might get offended if you call them 'miss'). Ma'am is almost never used unless you're talking to some kind of aristocrat and are not quite sure how to address them. 'Sir' is used to customers if you are serving them, and 'madam' can also be used in this context. However if you simply want to show someone respect (like you're talking to an older person you've not met before) you wouldn't use 'sir' or 'ma'am' (that's very American), you'd just use more polite language, or call them by their title ('Mr. so-and-so', 'Mrs. Thingumy'). Being 'on first-name terms' is the same as being able to use 'tu' with someone. Until then you'd call them by their title. So I suppose that's the same sort of thing.

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Postby skye » 2005-12-27, 9:34

Darky wrote:Same here...we have a teacher that wants us to address him with TU, probably cos he's very young, but it was incredibly hard at first and still now I dont find it too easy... Some teachers address to students formally, some don't and I must admit that I prefer those that call us formally for some crazy reason...(maybe cos it makes me feel 'important' ;)).
I noticed how hard this is to get sometimes for English people because they use 'you' all the time... Sometimes I find it so much easier, for example in formal e-mails I find it uncomfortable to use the italian formal way (which by the way resembles to the third person singular, so f you say 'suo' you have to specify in some cases whose this 'suo' is, if there's a third person you're talking about...)


I called all of my teacher "vi", I don't remember anyone insisting that we should call him/her "ti". Even if anyone did say so once we probably just ignored this, since it felt too weird to us to call a teacher "ti".

However, my mentor insisted that I call her "ti" and at first I just couldn't. But after a while when she had asked me to call her "ti" a couple of times already and we also went for a cup of coffee a couple of times I felt that it was now better to start calling her "ti" instead of "vi". I actually didn't feel comfortable using "vi" any more.

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Postby Travis B. » 2005-12-30, 0:54

At least in the dialect here (Milwaukee, WI, US), terms like "sir" and "ma'am" are practically not used outside contexts like the military and like, excepting the AAVE used in the inner city here, in which such terms are actually very current in everyday speech. One other note, though, is that degrees of formality are indicated by what form one uses for the second person plural, which are:

    Formal: you, all of you
    Semiformal: you, you all
    Informal: you guys


Note though that most everyday speech falls into the category of informal speech, and furthermore that you guys is distinctly genderless in nature, despite its etymology. Also note that this is just pertaining to the dialect that I am most personally familiar with, as AAVE, which is markedly separate from such, has y'all as the informal second person plural form.
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Postby Kirk » 2005-12-30, 1:15

I hardly ever use or hear "ma'am" or "sir" here. It sounds weird and out of place. "You" does just fine. As with Travis, my second person plural is the genderless "you guys" (despite its etymology).
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Postby culúrien » 2005-12-30, 16:20

The only time I say ma'am or sir is when addressing my parents who require it. Otherwise my polite 2nd person is only reflected by my tone. I rarely even use a 2nd person plural in the form of you. Usually I replace you/y'all with a pronoun like everyone or something
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Postby Rom » 2006-01-01, 19:48

Over here I've noticed waitors, some store clerks, and chauffeurs have been using sir and ma'am more recently--but aside from that I've only heard some older people addressing much younger people with sir and ma'am. :lol:

The second person plural is simply "you". "You guys" is used only in informal settings, and only if it is absolutely necessary to indicate that one is addressing more than one person.

I never use the titles Mr/Mrs-- I just address and refer to people with their first name or if I don't know it, I'll just use their last name without a title.

Sander

Postby Sander » 2006-01-04, 11:38

Blackleaf wrote:"You" is the English equivalent of the French "Vous."

"Thou" is the equivalent of "Tu."

"Your" is the equivalent of "Votre".

"Thy" is the equivalent of "ton/ta/tes."

But English speakers tend to just use "you" and "your", so English is a much more polite language.


What an utter crap.

English speakers stopped using thou and thy hundreds of years ago.Don't make your language more than it is.

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Postby Gormur » 2006-01-04, 17:51

Kirk wrote:I hardly ever use or hear "ma'am" or "sir" here. It sounds weird and out of place. "You" does just fine. As with Travis, my second person plural is the genderless "you guys" (despite its etymology).


Ditto for me. I don´t think I´ve ever used these terms and only heard them when I was actually visiting the Southern states, which would make sense, I suppose.

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Postby Hanabi » 2006-01-07, 16:54

Blackleaf wrote:But English speakers tend to just use "you" and "your", so English is a much more polite language.

That would be one way of looking at it. :roll:

From my experience English is certainly not 'more' of a polite language because in reality no such thing exists.

Every language expresses politeness and respect in it's own way - so it would seem unfair to compare two languages and claim that one is 'politer', or more respectful, than another. Because no two languages express them in exactly the same way. There are always differences - albeit small ones that you may not notice initially.


Personally I feel that the distinctions romance languages make between formal and informal make perfect sense (like Spanish does with usted and ).

There is no need to be formal arounds friends because there is a mutual respect there, one which may not exist between strangers. And by using formal language to your elders/grandparents, well, that's just good manners and shows you respect them.


Initially for me the problem was not a question of how but when to use formal language. For instance when I started taking Italian lessons I asked my teacher "come sta?" (a polite way of saying "How are you?") to which she responded with a puzzled look on her face.

She then said to me "I am only your teacher there is no need to be formal with me." In fact she insisted from then on that I speak to her in informal Italian and say "come stai?". Of course this wouldn't be the same with every teacher.

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Postby Rom » 2006-01-16, 16:55

Gormur wrote:
Kirk wrote:I hardly ever use or hear "ma'am" or "sir" here. It sounds weird and out of place. "You" does just fine. As with Travis, my second person plural is the genderless "you guys" (despite its etymology).


Ditto for me. I don´t think I´ve ever used these terms and only heard them when I was actually visiting the Southern states, which would make sense, I suppose.


Go to Vancouver, and go in practically any restaurant, and you'll most likely be addressed as "sir". Or take a bus in Washington, and you'll hear it. The bus drivers are so formal and polite in Washington. :P


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