General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How would you like to hang out in a grammar-free zone?

Asked by wundayatta (58617points) August 15th, 2008

Thought experiment. Imagine a working world without stable grammar. What if grammar changed daily? What if language was completely flexible? How could we do it? What would it be like?

Try it! Change your syntax; mangle your grammar; invent new words; spell however you want; so long as you make yourself understood.

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24 Answers

mee_ouch's avatar

I don’t think I’m phonetically capable? I’ll try anything once though.

augustlan's avatar

No way…I’d go insane in about half a minute!

andrew's avatar

Wouldn’t that just be Elizabethan England?

wundayatta's avatar

Hate to say it, but I just saw As You Like It, and I’m afraid I understood it. First time that ever happened for me at a Shakespear Play.

syz's avatar

I think communication is difficult enough already…....I spend way to much time confused, as it is.

trumi's avatar

Methinks Andrew hath owneth thee. Did’st thou know that Billiam Shakespeare invented th’ word Torture? Amongst many others.

Before he hath, they call’d it Enhanced Interrogation.

morphail's avatar

Shakespeare totally didn’t invent the word “torture”, it’s from Old French.

Most languages have no grammar books and yet their speakers get along fine.

tonedef's avatar

This seems like a fun place to try this out in. Where are all you Flutherers at who would like to try this?

Terminal preposition! Redundant preposition!

wildflower's avatar

Let’s see; would it be like working with 200+ people from 20+ countries with English as the business language? I think I’m back there on Monday.

trumi's avatar

@morph; Good point.

cwilbur's avatar

@morphail: there’s a qualitative difference between “This language has no grammar books” (and I defy you to find a language with more than 100,000 speakers that has no grammar books) and “This language has no grammar.”

Grammar is the relationship between words that gives language meaning. No grammar, no meaningful communication.

Magnus's avatar

i rathr not, i luv grmr

wundayatta's avatar

‘Tis true. What I probably should have asked about was being in a grammar-police free zone. It always kills me that people think they can lock language in place, as if it weren’t a living thing. Grammar comes from the way people employ language. It is defined after the fact. Yet, people act as if, once defined, it can not be changed.

Magnus wrote a perfectly understandable sentence. The spelling wasn’t even very uncommon these days.

But so far, no one has tried to mess with our internalized rules sentence construction for. Messin’ you with, just.

poofandmook's avatar

no grammar sounds way too much like stupidity, and as I noted in a previous question, I have no tolerance.

St.George's avatar

I love grammar. I like rules and using them to my advantage.

sndfreQ's avatar

I loved that movie Idiocracy. This Q reminded me of it.

marinelife's avatar

I can. All I have to do is spend my days in many places on the Web or the world. It is a sad, limited place with the same few words used over and over for different things. I miss the color of language, the nuance of punctuation, the poetry of words.

augustlan's avatar

Marina, that was beautiful.

Seesul's avatar

There already is a place, it’s called spam email.

nina's avatar

How would you like to use a meaning-free language?

wundayatta's avatar

@nina: impossible. Humans are meaning-making machines. We can and do create meaning out of static.

morphail's avatar

@cwilbur: True. Many languages have no grammar books, but all languages have grammar.

Knotmyday's avatar

Nope. Tennis with no racquet or net would be as pointless (and probably just called “ball”).

wundayatta's avatar

Nothing wrong with ball. Come on, Knot. Let your imagination run free!

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