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Subject: one die, two dice rss

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C B
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There is an alarming trend amongst board game designers to ignore proper grammar and use 'dice' to mean a singular die.

Etymology of 'dice' ::
Middle English: from Old French des, plural of de
early 14c., des, dys, plural of dy (see die (n.)), altered 14c. to dyse, dyce, and 15c. to dice.

As you can see, the spelling has changed in modern English to die|dice from dy|dyse. But the distinction is clear.

If people choose to speak incorrectly, that's their prerogative, but there is no excuse for incorrect written grammar, especially in publications.

Board game designers and publishers need to be told to produce proper grammar in what is published.

If adults don't lead by example, how are our children supposed to learn the English language?

(edited to remove a word of emphasis, also to add clarity)
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Nick Bolton
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Subscribed with popcorn.
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Rood Bird
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Indeed. Although perhaps one should be very careful when posting threads about grammar.

At school I was always warned never to split an infinitive. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with so doing. However, I'm not the one complaining about the incorrect use of English.whistle

RB


ampoliros wrote:
... our children supposed to ever learn the English language?
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Bruno Kristensen
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C B, while I'm a conservative language nerd myself, some of us speak British English instead of American English. While BrE isn't more correct than AmE, it is neither less correct.

Dice (singular and plural)

Have a nice day.

[edit: embarrassing auto-correct...stupid phone]
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Nick Bolton
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Baragos wrote:
C B, while I'm a conservative language nerd myself, some of use speak British English instead of American English. While BrE isn't more correct than AmE, it is neither less correct.

Dice (singular and plural)

Have a nice day.


British English or English English is a tautology, it's just English.

There are other forms of English such as American English.

Would you say French French to distinguish it from Canadian French?
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Rood Bird
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Don't bring us Brits into it. You'll find we think the singular is 'die.' Although, in general we accept the phrase 'one dice' as it would appear impolite to point out to someone their mistake.


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Bruno Kristensen
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Nick, not when talking about linguistic differences.

But hey, if you want to have a superiority complex about that pidgin you call a language, sure...;)
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roodbird wrote:
it would appear impolite to point out to someone their mistake

In a casual context sure, but publications are another matter.
 
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I thought this was going to be about Dr. Suess.
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Tomello Visello
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ampoliros wrote:
There is an alarming trend amongst board game designers to ignore proper grammar and use 'dice' to mean a singular die.
I can't speak to "trend", but yes I too most certainly find dismay (and even sudden confusion) when I see this.

Even so, I am much more alarmed at the usage I see more often that (foolishly, falsely) attempts gender neutrality by avoiding the he/she issue with the substitution of "they" as the singular person.

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Tomello Visello
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roodbird wrote:
At school I was always warned never to split an infinitive. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with so doing. ?
I did know this to be mentioned in school but never much harped upon. I am comforted now by a book somewhere on my shelves that explains how this is now discarded after many decades. I believe the report was that it originated in making a comparison that this rule applied for (Greek or Latin?) grammar and therefore ought to be extended to English. A mistake from some generations ago.
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ampoliros wrote:
There is an alarming trend amongst board game designers to ignore proper grammar and use 'dice' to mean a singular die.


A more alarming trend are all the people who think a singular dice is incorrect especially since it has long been established as correct.
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Franz Kafka
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I think we never should have quit spelling it dy/dyse.

(Are there awards in this thread for "Most Resistant to Change"?)
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Weston Burk
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nickbolton wrote:
Baragos wrote:
C B, while I'm a conservative language nerd myself, some of use speak British English instead of American English. While BrE isn't more correct than AmE, it is neither less correct.

Dice (singular and plural)

Have a nice day.


British English or English English is a tautology, it's just English.

There are other forms of English such as American English.

Would you say French French to distinguish it from Canadian French?


British English is not technically a tautology in the way that you mean. If you want to be technical, there are many types of "British English."

E.g., Received Pronunciation, Cockney, Estuary, Welsh (Northern & Southern). It's the same with most countries where English is spoken. These various "dialects" will have the same basic syntactic structure and make use of (broadly) the same lexis, but each will also have it's own syntactic, phonological, semantic, and pragmatic peculiarities.

ampoliros wrote:
There is an alarming trend amongst board game designers to ignore proper grammar and use 'dice' to mean a singular die.

Etymology of 'dice' ::
Middle English: from Old French des, plural of de
early 14c., des, dys, plural of dy (see die (n.)), altered 14c. to dyse, dyce, and 15c. to dice.

If people choose to speak incorrectly, that's their prerogative, but there is no excuse for incorrect written grammar, especially in publications.

Board game designers and publishers need to be told to produce proper grammar in what is published.

If adults don't lead by example, how are our children supposed to learn the English language?

(edited to remove a word of emphasis, also to add clarity)


While I can understand your point, I must (to my chagrin) disagree. The prescriptivist view of language is the most common one. For generations untold, people have complained about the "misuse" of the language they learned as children being butchered by those around them.

However, if you study language from a descriptivist perspective (the default view of linguistics), you will see that languages grow, mutate, and die all the time. It's akin to the life cycle of any living thing. Languages are "common use," which means that if people (traditionally native speakers) naturally use a language in a certain, the language is then just that way.

For example, let's consider the a word that, though I attempt to be descriptivist, I hate: irregardless. According to accepted linguistic theory, this word should be a blocked form (i.e., it should not exist). The reason it should be blocked is that we have a word that fills the exact same spot in the language (regardless), and so an avoidance of synonymy on the part of the speaker should lead to irregardless not being an acceptable word.

However, it is possible that the word irregardless has come into existence because the word regardless, composed of the phonemes regard- and -less, has become an unanalyzed bit (yes, that's a technical term) to some speakers of English. Thus, in order to create the same meaning, the prefix ir- has been added, and while it may seem redundant to some, to others it may be needed to convey the same meaning.

We may hate it, but it is just a natural part of living languages.

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Weston Burk
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TVis wrote:
roodbird wrote:
At school I was always warned never to split an infinitive. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with so doing. ?
I did know this to be mentioned in school but never much harped upon. I am comforted now by a book somewhere on my shelves that explains how this is now discarded after many decades. I believe the report was that it originated in making a comparison that this rule applied for (Greek or Latin?) grammar and therefore ought to be extended to English. A mistake from some generations ago.


You are right. When Englishmen first start to create grammars for English, they relied heavily upon Latin and Greek languages and forms. The infinitive rule specifically came from Latin. If you look at any Romance languages you will see why this rule is so goofy.

Let's look at Spanish. The verbs for "to be" are ser and estar. These are the infinitive forms. They are one word and CANNOT be split.

So grammarians said to themselves, "Hey, they can't split these words in Latin, so neither should we." There is an obvious difference here. Our infinitives are technically two words. The infinitival "to" and the bare form of the appropriate verb ("be" in the case of the aforementioned infinitives). It's just another case for why traditional English grammar is not a true representation of what English really is.
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Carl Frodge
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I always use "dies" for a single dies
and "dise" for more than one dise.
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roodbird wrote:
Don't bring us Brits into it. You'll find we think the singular is 'die.' Although, in general we accept the phrase 'one dice' as it would appear impolite to point out to someone their mistake.

I've seen plenty of Brits who insist (in past threads about this, I enjoy the repetition) that singular "dice" is perfectly correct.

(Yet oddly, they agreed that the famous Caesar quote is "The die is cast", not "The dice is cast").
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Rood Bird
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TVis wrote:
roodbird wrote:
At school I was always warned never to split an infinitive. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with so doing. ?
I did know this to be mentioned in school but never much harped upon. I am comforted now by a book somewhere on my shelves that explains how this is now discarded after many decades. I believe the report was that it originated in making a comparison that this rule applied for (Greek or Latin?) grammar and therefore ought to be extended to English. A mistake from some generations ago.



I think I know the book to which you refer. Wasn't it written by Gene Roddenberry to justify the most famous split infinitive of them all?

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Geosphere wrote:
ampoliros wrote:
There is an alarming trend amongst board game designers to ignore proper grammar and use 'dice' to mean a singular die.


A more alarming trend are all the people who think a singular dice is incorrect especially since it has long been established as correct.

What's your reference?
Prove it to me. I supplied my reference.
 
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wlburk wrote:
We may hate it, but it is just a natural part of living languages.

Unfortunately, I think you may be on to something. Common usage, however incorrect, does eventually win out.
However, this one flies in the face of logic, since an es sound at the end of a word is the signal for plural. I have yet to be convinced that using 'dice' as singular is in fact a common usage.
 
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ampoliros wrote:
However, this one flies in the face of logic, since an es sound at the end of a word is the signal for plural.

Exactly, that's why we say "ice are" instead of "ice is"... and "rice are" instead of "rice is"... and "caprice are" instead of "caprice is"... Oh wait, doh!

(Alas, English is not very logical, but is certainly capricious.)

In any case, previous threads about singular "dice" have pretty well established that at least a lot of British English speakers use singular "dice", for better or worse.

E.g. see
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/167104/singular-...
http://www.arrantpedantry.com/tag/dice/
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Alison Mandible
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TVis wrote:
Even so, I am much more alarmed at the usage I see more often that (foolishly, falsely) attempts gender neutrality by avoiding the he/she issue with the substitution of "they" as the singular person.


What have you got against it? And what third-person pronoun would you suggest speakers use for a person of unknown or neutral gender?

(The two objections I see most often-- that it is new and that it is ambiguous-- can't stand up. It's not new, and "you" is quite happily used in English for both singular and plural these days, despite not always having been.)
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Tomello Visello
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wlburk wrote:
Languages are "common use," which means that if people (traditionally native speakers) naturally use a language in a certain, the language is then just that way.
I am aware of this concept (even when I put up resistance), which is why I found the following quote entertainingly attractive as I played internet search on the opening topic.

"If dice is treated as singular often enough, we may simply have to accept that the word has changed. But, for now, careful writers still keep dice and die separate."

 
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ampoliros wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
ampoliros wrote:
There is an alarming trend amongst board game designers to ignore proper grammar and use 'dice' to mean a singular die.


A more alarming trend are all the people who think a singular dice is incorrect especially since it has long been established as correct.

What's your reference?
Prove it to me. I supplied my reference.


Well, here's the OED.

In particular:
"The form dice (used as pl. and sing.) is of much more frequent occurrence in gaming and related senses than the singular die." (Emphasis mine.)

It might not be a glowing recommendation, but it's at least tolerance.
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Larry L
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Feh.

Everyone knows the proper written form is d6, (or d8, d12, etc.)
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