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Who speaks correct grammar anyway

Switch Blayde
Updated:

Sunk vs Sank

From http://grammarist.com/usage/sank-sunk/

Sank is the past tense (e.g., the ship sank to the bottom of the sea). Sunk is the past participle, so it's used in the perfect tenses (e.g., the ship has sunk to the bottom of the sea) and as an adjective (the sunk ship is at the bottom of the sea).


--- HOWEVER ---

from https://www.quora.com/When-do-you-use-sank-vs-sunk

However, a search on a large native speaker corpus (British) of 100 million words only 5 of 706 instances of sunk were past tense usages. And only 3 of 1015 instances of sank were of past participle. In other words apart from a small set of rouge instances native speakers do not conform to to this grammar rule.


So in most cases, at least with the British, the words are not used correctly. The reason this came up was I had written something like "his head sunk into the pillow" and edited it to use "sank" instead. Then I was reading something that used "sunk" as simple past tense so I doubted my editing and looked it up. I was right, but what's "right"?

Replies:   sejintenej  Zom
graybyrd

If it's dialogue, write it the way your characters speak. That will differ with each character. Don't stuff a grammar book in their mouth.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Sank is the past tense (e.g., the ship sank to the bottom of the sea). Sunk is the past participle, so it's used in the perfect tenses (e.g., the ship has sunk to the bottom of the sea) and as an adjective (the sunk ship is at the bottom of the sea).


Surely the adjective is "sunken"

As for the original question I would suggest the answer is "nobody". The English language is constantly changing and evolving so define "correct".

Just as the French, Spanish and Portuguese have different ways of creating a sentence depending on the status of the addressee (tu versus vous, tu(?) versus Usted, voce versus O Senhor and I think that there is an unused te) English has three separate formats. How many kids even know that different formats exist?

Replies:   Grant
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I'm used to seeing sank as a more active usage while sunk is a more passive adjective style usage, as the easiest ways to work out which to use.

The ship sank.

The fireplace was sunk into the middle of the floor of the lounge room.

edit to add: The crew of the cargo ship abandoned it when they felt it sink below the waves as it sank on its way to become a sunken wreck on the ocean floor.

richardshagrin

If we are talking about the Queen's English, by definition the Queen of England speaks correctly the Queens English. Spanish (Castilian) is spoken with a lisp because an early Castilian monarch had one and that was the way he pronounced the language.

So someone always speaks correctly in every language that has a King or Queen. France has a national academy. There is a chance what they speak is correct French. Although sometimes they vote about words like le weekend. Incidentally online research indicates it isn't La Fun, its Le Fun. Perhaps someone should tell the author.

Replies:   sejintenej
Switch Blayde

It was a rhetorical question.

Oh, and dialogue is ALWAYS different so when we talk about things here, unless the person specifically states it's a dialogue question, it should be assumed to be in the narrative.

Grant

@sejintenej

Surely the adjective is "sunken"

That makes a lot more sense in the quoted example.

"the sunk ship is at the bottom of the sea" does my head in.
"the sunken ship is at the bottom of the sea" works for me.

sejintenej
Updated:

@richardshagrin


If we are talking about the Queen's English, by definition the Queen of England speaks correctly the Queens English.


I can live with that but correctly those speaking TO her will use the third person "If Your Majesty wishes ....." (though I understand that after the first sentence of the day she gives permission to be addressed normally)

Spanish (Castilian) is spoken with a lisp because an early Castilian monarch had one and that was the way he pronounced the language.


But is the language normally used in South American/Central countries wrong or is it correct for those countries? Is what Obama speaks bad English? No, he speaks American

France has a national academy. There is a chance what they speak is correct French. Although sometimes they vote about words like le weekend.


The Immortals and schools might try but everyone uses "illegal" words - le weekend is not approved of by the Academie Française

Not_a_ID

For further historical hilarity regarding "The King's(or Queen's) English" is that there were allegedly periods where the Monarchy of England didn't speak English, considering it the language of peasants. They used French or Latin instead in order to demonstrate their not being some mere commoner.

sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

For further historical hilarity regarding "The King's(or Queen's) English" is that there were allegedly periods where the Monarchy of England didn't speak English, considering it the language of peasants. They used French or Latin instead in order to demonstrate their not being some mere commoner.

Not sure about the "Language of peasants"; they were born in France spoke oïl and taught that to their brats etc. µµ
Latin was the language of the church.

You omit the Hanoverians who spoke German. To go further, the one time queen of Sweden, a silk merchant's daughter from Marseilles, couldn't be bothered to learn Swedish, disliked the country so she spent most of her time in Paris. I don't know if her husband, a marshal from Pau, France and Emperor of Sweden ever learned the language

.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@sejintenej

That was likely a big part of it. Although other factors are things like the 100 years war. Where some of it was about the English Crown also being the "rightful" crown of France, and holding a French speaking court would help in that.

As to Latin (and Greek) being the "language of the church" they also were the languages of antiquity for western Europe. As such knowledge of such languages demonstrated likely knowledge and education in such matters as philosophy and mathematics, among other things... Items the peasants would be unlikely to know anything about.

Which then brings us back to the interest in France, as it was the then Cultural Center of Europe for academic and religious thought(often holding control of who was Pope as well). Which in turn made French the (then) "modern" defacto language of the well educated, which again in England would translate into "If you only speak English(or local dialect thereof), you must be a peasant, as any person of means would at least bother to learn French."

Replies:   sejintenej
richardshagrin

@Not_a_ID

The early Georges, from Hanover, spoke German. If they spoke English it was with a heavy accent.

sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

That was likely a big part of it. Although other factors are things like the 100 years war. Where some of it was about the English Crown also being the "rightful" crown of France, and holding a French speaking court would help in that.


No, the English Crown never had the right to the French crown; they claimed rights to land in France. The French argument (which you will hear at Bayeux) is that Harold Godwinson and his predecessor were vassals to Duke William of Normandy. Harold got a bit above himself and refused to honour William so William took him down a step. By agreement with the French king William held sway over huge areas of what is now France from the channel down to the Pyrenees. In those days with the huge distances and the difficulties in travel the King appointed Consuls to administer the areas of France and they had virtually plenipotentiary rights. From time to time they did rebel and were put down by the king and, on one occasion, the Duke of Leicester. Over the years those areas threw off the control of William's successors.
My knowledge of English history is abysmal; the 100 years war the French talk about was with Spain and was eventually the subject of a treaty which required the marriage between the Infante and the French king at St Jean de Luz.
On top of that they did not speak French as we know it; "French" was created in the 1600s (but became effective in the 1800s) by amalgamating the patois of just four areas, all in the area of the Ile de France (ie Paris). Everywhere had (and still has) its own patois with, I think, four groupings - Breton, still used in that area, oïl,µµ (Latin derivatives) in what is now the northern half of France and Occitan (very different Latin derivatives closer to Spanish) in the southern half of France, parts of Italy and of Spain and Basque - an ancient tongue unconnected with any other language.

µµ One of the patois, Jerrois, is still used in Jersey - I can just about understand written it but it is very different to modern-day French

"If you only speak English(or local dialect thereof), you must be a peasant, as any person of means would at least bother to learn French."

By 1076 95% of Britain was under the control of the Normans and the Saxons were reduced to the role of vassals or effectively slaves. They wouldn't get any education whilst their masters still spoke their old language.

One thing puzzles me and perhaps someone here knows the answer. William and his followers were Vikings from Denmark and southern Sweden; in the two hundred or so years they were in Normandy why did they give up their original language?

Not_a_ID

16th century onward is another matter. The English Crown had long since given up on trying to be French by that point. The British Empire paired with their head start on industrialization at the close of the 18th century put them on par with, or even arguably ahead of the French. Even after the loss of the American Revolution.

Although it wasn't really until the latter part of the 19th century(and multiple revolutions in France) paired with a unifying Germany that France was largely dethroned in favor of the English speaking nations(England in particular) for academic pursuits. (Germany and the Astrian-Hungarian(sp?) Empire were giving good runs of their own at the start of the 20th century IIRC)

Two World Wars later and things settled strongly in favor of a former group of colonies that once belonged to the British Empire... Mostly because everyone else suffered heavy losses of every kind and/or were partitioned off(Germany/Austria/Hungary), with England not being significantly distinguishable from the U.S. for academic purposes, as the language is nearly the same.

Although the Scotts-Irish sure did give the Americans a lot of linguistic oddities. (Most "redneck speak" comes from them, including the term "redneck")

richardshagrin

@Not_a_ID

I am pretty sure Scotts-Irish is mostly Scotts (English). Irish speak Gaelic. That might not have been true in the 1700s or 1800s where they had to speak English to talk to their landlords, but I am pretty sure rednecks don't speak any form of Gaelic.

The Scotts may have spoken Gaelic as well, but they were thoroughly influenced by English speakers by the time they moved to America and a Scottish accent is not a Gaelic one.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
tppm
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


For further historical hilarity regarding "The King's(or Queen's) English" is that there were allegedly periods where the Monarchy of England didn't speak English, considering it the language of peasants. They used French or Latin instead in order to demonstrate their not being some mere commoner.


The English monarchs spoke French (Actually Norman) for the first few generations after the Norman conquest (along with the rest of the new aristocracy, who mostly came in with William), before that they mostly spoke Anglo-Saxon. Then for about three generations (Georges I, II, and III) in the 18th century they spoke German, after the Hanoverian, and then the Saxe-Coburgs (changed their name to Windsor at the beginning of WWI) took the crown.

@sejintenej


By 1076 95% of Britain was under the control of the Normans and the Saxons were reduced to the role of vassals or effectively slaves. They wouldn't get any education whilst their masters still spoke their old language.


Britten, which includes Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, or England?

Dominions Son

@Not_a_ID

England not being significantly distinguishable from the U.S. for academic purposes, as the language is nearly the same.


Blasphemy.

I am an American, but I work for a company headquartered in the UK.

Not_a_ID is either neither British nor American or has never had to communicate across the pond.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@richardshagrin

The Scotts-Irish were protestant Scotts from "lowland" (hills) portion of Scottland who initially settled in Northern Ireland, before pulling up stakes again and heading for a region we now call Appalachia.

Which incidentally leads into two terms still in use today. The protestant Scotts rebelled at one point(while in Scotland) in support of someone else for king, and the symbol indicating their support for the rebellion was to wear a red bandana around their neck, hence "redneck."

Going back to these guys coming from the hills of the Scottish lowlands..... Well, meet the hillbilly, and the region their rather ah "distinctive" music, aka "hillbilly music" came from, which is the precursor to what we now call Country.

Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

I was in the U.S. Navy. I worked with higher level people who were employed by BAE, and know my share of Brits, Aussies, and others who have been over there.

Yes there are PLENTY of local dialects over there that are barely intelligible to an American(although fellow Brits may have issues as well), but the same thing can be said about regions in the U.S. in particular parts of the deep south.

Somebody speaking something reasonably close to the Queens English will generally only have only minor issues speaking with an American from a reasonably mainstream dialectic grouping. It's only when you start pairing obscure and bizarre local American dialect with obscure and bizarre local British dialect that things fall apart.

Yes, there are word choice differences which can be baffling for the unprepared but most of those are generally straightforward enough once you're aware that the issue exists. Now slang is another matter entirely.

Replies:   sejintenej
Zom
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I doubted my editing and looked it up. I was right, but what's "right"?

The opposite to 'left'? But seriously, it depends on who you ask. Defined English grammar rules are like defined road rules. Many people don't know most of them, and they vary a bit from place to place. A very few people know all of them everywhere, but NOBODY adheres to them all in everyday use. That doesn't mean we should not aspire to driving 'correctly'. It just means that it is an aspiration too far for the vast majority who just don't give a damn (my dear).

sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

Somebody speaking something reasonably close to the Queens English will generally only have only minor issues speaking with an American from a reasonably mainstream dialectic grouping. It's only when you start pairing obscure and bizarre local American dialect with obscure and bizarre local British dialect that things fall apart.

Exactly right. I worked with Americans, my wife worked in the UK HQ of a big American company and we had no real problems.

One big problem - Americans can't use the car wash. Lady (well, I wonder knowing who she worked for later in the US) took her company car into the car wash and wrote it off! totalled, busted......

richardshagrin

Well if you need to bring up automobiles...
Either the US or the senior member of the English speaking nations drive on the "wrong" side of the road. If Grammar is like Road Rules, its not a surprise US Grammar and British Grammar cause collisions.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@richardshagrin

Well if you need to bring up automobiles...

Either the US or the senior member of the English speaking nations drive on the "wrong" side of the road. If Grammar is like Road Rules, its not a surprise US Grammar and British Grammar cause collisions.

I understand that more countries drive on the left than on the right.
My only guess is that the majority of people are right handed and have better control of their right hand. Thus when you let go of the wheel to move the shift / gear lever you retain better steering control with your right hand. (Of course who expects politicians to be logical?)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Zom
Ernest Bywater

@sejintenej

I understand that more countries drive on the left than on the right.


I suspect it's more to do with the past aggressive marketing of US built cars and the use of US vehicles left behind after WW2.

The traditional reason for right-hand drive vehicles comes from centuries ago when most vehicles were horses or wagons. Most people were right handed so they sat on the right hand side of the wagon seat to allow them to use their left hand for the reins while their right could be used with the club or sword they sued to fend off attackers. Many people on horseback rode just right of centre of the road so they had more warning of attackers from their 'off' side and could turn the horse to defend with the sword in their right hand.

By the time of the US War or Independence guns were the most common weapons and it didn't matter much which side you sat on, but many found it better to sit on the left so attackers couldn't easily knock the gun out of the hand and the wagon drivers could leave the gun on the seat beside them.

Since the invention of the automobile the side used was more dependent on what side the driver was placed in the vehicle. And that depended on the vehicle manufacturer.

Zom

@sejintenej

I understand that more countries drive on the left than on the right.

Did you know that cars in the US drove on the left before they drove on the right? The history and the reasons why are interesting.

Ernest Bywater

@Zom

Did you know that cars in the US drove on the left before they drove on the right?


Could be, the reasons and imperatives had changed before then. In the early days (i.e. pre-rebellion, and even for a while after the rebellion) most people in the US drove their wagons on the left while sitting on the right of the wagon seat. Some did sit in the middle.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
sejintenej

@Zom

Did you know that cars in the US drove on the left before they drove on the right? The history and the reasons why are interesting.

I didn't know that but I remember when Sweden changed from the left to the right.

Interestingly (to me) road design regulations in the UK demand that roads can be changed from left to right simply by moving signs and paint. Thus on and off ramps, junctions etc. must be designed accordingly.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


most people in the US drove their wagons on the left while sitting on the right of the wagon seat.


Here's some period artwork of the USA with the drivers on the right holding the reins, and one where the horses are controlled by a man riding the lead horse, on the right. It was very hard to find some paintings and photos of the pre-car era showing people in control of wagons etc. Lots of them walking beside the lead animal, lots from the mid to late 1800s with them in the middle and some with them on the left. Also lots of paintings made in the 20th century, while I'll limiting the list to those that were made contemporary with the period shown - 1600s to early 1900s; and from the USA region only. I was a bit surprised to find many wagons in the US still being driven on the right up to the early 1900s.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/MVI_2802_Remington's_The_Right_of_the_Road.jpg

http://c8.alamy.com/comp/C418R5/geography-travel-usa-settlers-fighting-against-indians-painting-by-C418R5.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/1851_RailroadJubileeOnBostonCommon_byWilliamSharp_MFABoston.png

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Gila_River#/media/File:Co._B~_10th_Infantry~,_crossing_Gila_River_in_buckboard_wagons_near_San_Carlos,_Ariz._Terr.,_ca._1885_-_NARA_-_530931.tif

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Indians_Attacking_a_Stage-Coach_BAH-p243.png

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stage_Coach_Between_Charlestown,_NH_and_Springfield,_VT.jpg

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stage_Coach_Encounters_a_Prairie_Fire_-_History_of_Iowa.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Stage_coach%2C_Lake_George%2C_from_Robert_N._Dennis_collection_of_stereoscopic_views.png

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/View_of_a_woman_looking_at_arriving_stage_coach%2C_by_Ingersoll%2C_T._W._%28Truman_Ward%29%2C_1862-1922.png

edit to add: I also included some actual photographs, too.

Replies:   Zom
Zom

@Ernest Bywater

My understanding is that the right seating and left travelling changed in the US and Europe with the advent of very large bullock drawn wagons (6 and 8 bullocks) travelling on thoroughfares. The drivers sat on the rear left bullock to be able to use his right arm for whipping. To be able to see effectively, especially behind them, they began to use the right side of the thoroughfare, and because they were so large they forced a change of behaviour to right travelling for all smaller vehicles. In the US, early cars had right side driver seating, and left side travelling was common in towns and cities. This soon changed to left side driver seating as the major manufacturers adopted right side travelling. Regulation of the driving side came sporadically until it was nationally agreed.

Dominions Son

@Zom

My understanding is that the right seating and left travelling changed in the US and Europe with the advent of very large bullock drawn wagons


The US term would be ox when used as a draft animal or steer if it's a meat animal.

While many settlers headed west used ox teams, stagecoaches and (my understanding) most commercial freight used draft horses such as Clydesdales rather than ox teams

Replies:   Zom
Ernest Bywater

@Zom

My understanding is that the right seating and left travelling changed in the US and Europe with the advent of very large bullock drawn wagons (6 and 8 bullocks) travelling on thoroughfares.


For a long time bullock teams were the main heavy transport here in Australia, so we know about them. Teams of twenty bullocks were common. However, the bullock driver never rode the bullocks, they were too big to be comfortable on, they walked beside them with a huge whip that could reach from one end of the team to the other. They walked on whichever side they thought best at the time. If close to a drop off, say on a mountain road or beside a stream, they walked on the drop side to make sure the team didn't get too close and go over.

Zom

@Dominions Son

The US term would be ox

Which is a pretty good indicator that I don't hail from the US.

stagecoaches and (my understanding) most commercial freight used draft horses ...

Indeed, and stagecoaches and buckboards and the such like were almost exclusively right seat driven. Most early cars, even US made cars, just followed the coach standard, with the right seating of the driver, especially when there was an external brake lever involved.

sejintenej

@Zom

My understanding is that the right seating and left travelling changed in the US and Europe with the advent of very large bullock drawn wagons (6 and 8 bullocks) travelling on thoroughfares. The drivers sat on the rear left bullock to be able to use his right arm for whipping.

If you have the opportunity of seeing the "Changing of the Colours" in London on TV on the Queen's official birthday you will see that the grooms ride the left hand horses and hold their crop over the right hand horses. I suppose being right handed might help - no "sinisters" needed

Not_a_ID

I recall hearing another basis for the whole driving on the left thing had to do with jousting way back when. ;)

Switch Blayde

@Not_a_ID

That's why circular staircases in castles have the wide side on the right when going down. To give the defender of the castle room to swing his sword with his right hand.

The person going up the stairs has to swing left-handed.

Replies:   Dominions Son
sejintenej

@Not_a_ID

I recall hearing another basis for the whole driving on the left thing had to do with jousting way back when. ;)

When you see them in the lists they always ride with the fence (between them) on their left, ie they ride / rode on the right

Replies:   Grant
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

That's why circular staircases in castles have the wide side on the right when going down. To give the defender of the castle room to swing his sword with his right hand.


an circular staircase by necessity must have wedge shaped steps and the widest part must be on the outer diameter. This is a simple physical necessity. What you describe might be a reason why castles use circular rather than square (with landings) staircases, but it can't have anything to do with where the wide pare of the step is in a circular staircase as that is dictated by the basic geometry of the staircase.

Replies:   Grant
Grant
Updated:

@Dominions Son

but it can't have anything to do with where the wide pare of the step is in a circular staircase as that is dictated by the basic geometry of the staircase.


Clockwise v Anti-clockwise would determine which side the wide side of the step would be.

Clockwise the wide side would be on the left when ascending. Anticlockwise it would be on the right side when ascending.

EDIT- fixed typo.

richardshagrin

@Grant

Anti-clockwise. Why would anyone be against wise clocks?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Clockwise v Anticlockwise would determine which side the wide side of the step would be.
Clockwise the wide side would be on the left when ascending. Anticlockwise it would be on the right side when ascending.


And the castle builders know and use that when building. Stairs that go up into the inner castle go clockwise, but those that go down into inner parts of the castle go anti-clockwise in most castles. This is so the defenders get the best use of the terrain on the stairs while retreating further back into the castles depths.

Replies:   Wheezer  Dominions Son
Grant
Updated:

@sejintenej


When you see them in the lists they always ride with the fence (between them) on their left, ie they ride / rode on the right


The jousting rod was carried in the right hand, the shield in the left.
So for the shield to be of much use, the opposing rider had to be on the left.

The explanation I heard about driving on the left or right side of the road relates to the fact that left handers were considered the spawn of Satan; normal people used their right hand.

So when it came to coaches, wagons & the like the driver would sit on the right hand side so that would give him a place to store his whip when not in use. Easy to grab & use with the right hand as required, and put back when no longer needed. And as many brakes were hand operated, and normal people used their right hands and that's the side they generally sat on (for using the whip) that was the side the brake lever was mounted.

Most roads/tracks were just a single lane so when a couple of coaches had to pass each other they would generally move to the left this would allow them to use the whip if necessary without it getting caught up in overhanging branches.

As traffic increased and the roads became more than just a single lane traffic generally would keep to the left, allowing the use of whips without them getting caught up in trees.

Also in towns & cities the edges of the road would have buildings, many with signage, some of which would stick out in to the street.

Driving on the left would once again allow the use of a whip without it getting caught up in signs & the like.

The change to driving on the right side of the road was most likely just due to wanting to be different. It's the new world, why be the same as the old one?

By that time most major roads would have tress cleared back from the edge, and many towns and cities had long since developed foot paths for pedestrian traffic, so signage no longer impinged upon the road itself so the side of the road to use was a matter of convention, not convenience as it was before.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater

And the castle builders know and use that when building. Stairs that go up into the inner castle go clockwise, but those that go down into inner parts of the castle go anti-clockwise in most castles.

One way stairs? The only ones I've ever seen were called escalators. :)

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

And the castle builders know and use that when building. Stairs that go up into the inner castle go clockwise, but those that go down into inner parts of the castle go anti-clockwise in most castles.


Apparently, they never figured out that you can go both ways on any staircase. If they build a castle with stairs going both ways around all the invaders have to to is go up the stairs that give them the advantage.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Dominions Son

@Grant

Clockwise v Anti-clockwise would determine which side the wide side of the step would be.


And that is part of the basic geometry of the staircase.

Dominions Son

@Wheezer

One way stairs? The only ones I've ever seen were called escalators. :)


Have you ever seen a circular escalator?

Me neither.

Replies:   Wheezer  Zom
Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

escalators. :)


weren't escalators the ancient soldiers trained to fight up stairs well?

Seriously, the castle builders constructed in a way to best help defend the castle, and used every damn trick they could think of.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

So when it came to coaches, wagons & the like the driver would sit on the right hand side so that would give him a place to store his whip when not in use.


People were operating carts and wagons while seated on the right for centuries before whips were commonly used by most cart and wagon drivers. Also, there were no brake levers on wagons and carts for many centuries. The horses or oxen held the wagon in place until such time as the driver got down and set stones beside the wheels to hold the wagon in place when they unhitched the horses.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

People were operating carts and wagons while seated on the right for centuries before whips were commonly used by most cart and wagon drivers.

I suspect the whip predates the cart or wagon by a long period of time.

I'm sure the ability to use weaponry would be a significant factor, as would be controlling the animals.
Like many things, there's unlikely to be a single causative factor, but the result of several factors (some more relevant than others) that lead to the positioning of the driver and the side of the road used.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

I suspect the whip predates the cart or wagon by a long period of time.


There's a difference between using a whip to control stock in the field and using one to drive a cart. A good whip for use on a wagon or cart was not cheap, which is why the great majority of cart and wagon drivers didn't have them for most of history. Sure, the fancy coaches used by the rich had them, supplied by the rich owner of the coach, and 95% they were simply for show.

Whips were mostly used for punishment and made for that purpose and not suited for anything else, or made for horsemen, and not suited for use on a cart or wagon. Coach whips were long fancy and expensive used only by those driving a rich person's coach. But even they came about later in the history of transport.

If you look at any old paintings made in the relevant period, you want see any cart or wagon drivers with whips in most, general usage of whips was more in the late 18th to 19th centuries, well after the trends on wagon usage had become well entrenched.

Perv Otaku

When you're speaking, or writing in a forum or chat, there's not much opportunity to make sure you get every little thing correct.

When writing a story, if something seems an odd turn of phrase or strikes close to a sank/sunk type situation where the correct version is not immediately obvious, I turn to google to find out what's correct.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

If they build a castle with stairs going both ways around all the invaders have to to is go up the stairs that give them the advantage.


What I remember of the castles in England and Scotland was the stairwells were all the same. When you came up any of the stairs, you had to swing your sword from the left. That was a disadvantage.

Wheezer

@Dominions Son


Have you ever seen a circular escalator?

Me neither.


My point being that there is no such thing as a one-way staircase. Others pointed out that all invaders needed to do was assault the staircase that gave them an advantage if both types existed.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
tppm
Updated:

@Wheezer


One way stairs? The only ones I've ever seen were called escalators. :)


The stairs aren't one way, but which direction they spiral was designed to give greatest advantage to the castle's defenders.

(Of course, by the time the defenders are fighting in the stairways the castle is mostly lost already.)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@tppm

(Of course, by the time the defenders are fighting in the stairways the castle is mostly lost already.)


Not always. Many castles have an outer and an inner area and they conduct a fighting withdrawal from the outer area to the inner area when it's breached. Often they'll withdraw before they have to because they don't need as many people to defend the inner area as they do the outer area.

Another aspect is while they fight to hold the castle supporters have time to gather and hit the attackers in the rear, thus changing the flow of the battle.

We also need to keep in mind that not all stairs are designed to be held. Some are too wide and the defenders hake no effort to hold at such points.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Anti-clockwise. Why would anyone be against wise clocks?

It's like in the antebellum South. He's against the education of clocks. Keep them ignorant so they don't read the revolutionary rhetoric the whites espouse.

Honestly, guys, if we all put this much research into our stories, instead of our abstract discussions, we'd have better fiction!

Replies:   tppm  Ernest Bywater
tppm

@Crumbly Writer

This is (potentially) research for stories.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

I'm sure the ability to use weaponry would be a significant factor, as would be controlling the animals.
Like many things, there's unlikely to be a single causative factor, but the result of several factors (some more relevant than others) that lead to the positioning of the driver and the side of the road used.

Don't forget spitting. Since most drivers (of wagons) in the South chewed tobacco (easier to use than smoking while driving), it was easier to spit onto the shoulder of the road (or was that into the center of the road, so you wouldn't strike the fair maidens walking along the sides of the road?).

Crumbly Writer

@tppm

This is (potentially) research for stories.

I'm awaiting the plethora of sword fighting in the ramparts (and staircases) stories, especially if it's the Oxen doing the sword fighting.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Honestly, guys, if we all put this much research into our stories, instead of our abstract discussions, we'd have better fiction!


CW, the only reason I know a lot about the US War Between the States and it's lead up is because I spent several hundred hours in research for a story I wrote. Since then I've recycled that research in a few stories. Related to that is I also did a hell of a lot of research on The Territory of New Mexico in the 1850s and 1860s - which included Arizona for much of that. Thus I've a few stories set in New Mexico and Arizona because I already did the damn research for one story and wanted to use it a few times instead of researching a new area.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I'm awaiting the plethora of sword fighting in the ramparts (and staircases) stories, especially if it's the Oxen doing the sword fighting.


Dang, you've just blown my story idea for Johan Oxen the Viking invader of Britain.

Zom

@Dominions Son

Have you ever seen a circular escalator?

Haven't been out much recently? They are becoming common now. See:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFKqpZpvX8I

Replies:   tppm  samuelmichaels
tppm

@Zom

I wouldn't know about common, but it would appear that they exist, which is more than I would have thought.

Replies:   Zom
Zom

@tppm

I wouldn't know about common

They are not common yet, but are becoming more so. The first spiral/helical design was patented in 1889. The first functioning unit was installed in 1906 but never saw public use. Units in public use have been installed by Mitsubishi since the mid-1980s. The first unit was installed in the US (San Francisco) in 1989. So there are lots about really.

samuelmichaels

@Zom

I've been on one on NYC. Not a real spiral, 180 or 270 degree turn between levels.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@samuelmichaels

One Indian Reservation built a circular platform (not technically an escalator as it doesn't take you higher or lower, actually they'd be more of a moving sidewalk like you see in airports) to view the Grand Canyon. It goes from inside the museum, around for a 180 degree view, and then back inside without the effort of having to walk. Never been to it, but it was in the press a lot.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

to view the Grand Canyon


Is that the one with the see-thru walking area that literally scares the shit out of some tourists?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

Is that the one with the see-thru walking area that literally scares the shit out of some tourists?


If it literally scared the shit out of some, it would no longer be see-thru.

Capt Zapp

@Switch Blayde

If it literally scared the shit out of some, it would no longer be see-thru.


That could depend on what kind of clothing they were wearing. At the least, I could see the clothing vendor doing some extra business selling underwear.

A high pressure hose would clean up any accidents some might have, just have to remember to put out the 'slippery floor' sign.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

If it literally scared the shit out of some, it would no longer be see-thru.


From what I've read, some people start towards the walk, but when they see it's a clear glass like material they have to go out on they dash off to the toilets while holding their rears.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

Is this an elevating conversation? Or is it a case of escalation?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Is this an elevating conversation? Or is it a case of escalation?


Whatever it is now, it's clear to see it's not how it started.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Whatever it is now, it's clear to see it's not how it started.

I'm sorry, but the line about escalation is properly pronounced. ;D

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Osculate (and make up) don't escalate. Oscillate, Collate, find firm ground to take a stand. Words are fun, even if sometimes I am not sure what they mean, or how they are spelled.

Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Wheezer


My point being that there is no such thing as a one-way staircase. Others pointed out that all invaders needed to do was assault the staircase that gave them an advantage if both types existed.


You are correct. But there is such a thing as a stairway where a force fighting a defensive action are likely to be moving in one direction or the other but not both. Such as an armoury or barracks.

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