LINGUIST List 7.1269

Thu Sep 12 1996

Qs: Counting syllables, 'dinkum', English and prescriptivism

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  1. Rod Rodrigues, counting syllables
  2. dima, 'dinkum'
  3. <>, Q: Standard English and Prescriptivism

Message 1: counting syllables

Date: Sun, 08 Sep 1996 08:34:28 EDT
From: Rod Rodrigues <rodr155.212.1.1>
Subject: counting syllables
Does anyone know of an algorithm for counting syllables?

I am writing an application to determine readability level of textual
material, and one of the common methods, the Frye, uses syllable
count. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any algorithm for
accomplishing this. Can anyone help?
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Message 2: 'dinkum'

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 15:19:17 +1000
From: dima <>
Subject: 'dinkum'
Can anybody tell me the etymology of the word "dinkum"?

Gintis Kaminskas

PS	I'm skeptical about the Macquarie Dictionary's claim the it	
	 means "work" in a certain (not specified) English dialect.
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Message 3: Q: Standard English and Prescriptivism

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 11:19:08 +0700
From: <> <>
Subject: Q: Standard English and Prescriptivism

Dear Linguists,

I am a fourth year student of English Language and Literature at the
Free University of Amsterdam.

I am currently working on my dissertation on

My questions are the following:

1) 	Are there any RECENT books/articles on standard English;
	prescriptivism; prescriptive attitudes, that you can

2) 	Is there a single volume book in which complaints written to
	English newspapers about the English language have been

3)	We all know the "greatest hits" of complaints about English
	e.g. split infinitives, double negatives, etc. These have been
	around since Lowth. Are there any NEW ones (on the horizon)?

4)	What can any of the native EngEng speakers tell me something
	about (their) attitudes to WELL as an intensifier, as in:
	a) "You were WELL pissed last night!"	
	b) "That would be WELL embarrassing"
	In both sentences WELL is stressed.
	I heard this kind of construction many times (among students)
	when I was studying in Reading. I also heard it on TV a couple
	of times and saw it written in the one of the tabloids.

I would be well grateful ; ) if any of you could give me some
suggestions on any of the questions above.

If necessary (I hope it will be), I will post a summary.

Philip Springer
Student Engels
Vrije Universiteit
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