" legislatures don't buy and sell things. Is this some sort of metaphor I am not catching on to?"
Not a metaphor. Legislatures delegate the buying and selling to others. When members of a club that uses Robert's Rules want to buy or sell, they might have to choose a price from a range of suggested prices. They're in trouble. The method dates back to when England's King's Councils were feuding with monarchs over how much money to give monarchs. Their method worked out to buy low and sell high. Jefferson reversed it.
"...European views of American attitudes toward sex...."
That European/American difference surfaced while I was engaged in a censorship struggle over some films I was showing. Only twice in 16 years have I seen movies based on novels. A friend who read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil told me the sex scene in the movie was not in the book.
While America's censors had fits over dialogue in The Moon Is Blue, French New Wave movies portrayed sexual acts as something people do and went on with the story.
I wrote such a satire. Compare lewd in OED and NOAD. In OED the word has both sexual and non-sexual meanings. In NOAD it has one sexual meaning.
As to the hyper-indenting, I sometimes see strange things happen and don't know the reason. To clear a problem, I copy and save to Notepad and exit/re-enter Yahoo.
Even so, you are following the rules correctly. You might use slang but you are punctuating and spelling properly.
I forgive people for their lacking in spelling and grammar - although sometimes if words are spelling very badly then I simply can't understand what they are saying and so this is unfortunate for them if others can't read what they are saying.
What drives me crazy is American spell checkers when I want to spell in English... :)
Agreed about casual conversations, online or otherwise, versus more formal writing!
Spelling checkers aren't a panacea: there's the famous "Owed Two Ode To the Spelling Checker":
"I have a spelling checker;
It came with my pea sea.
It plane lee Marx for my review
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
I've run this pome threw it;
I'm sure ewer glad two no
It's vary polished in every weigh:
My chequer tolled me sew."
Years ago I attended a concert celebrating a church's new pipe organ. The organ builder had promised, in a letter, that the instrument would be finished within so many months after the "singing" of the contract. So to finally make good on that, the builders and the church choir actually sang a section of the contract, complete with word painting ("...no unnecessary NOISE that would interfere with tuning...").
(For punctuation, despite being born and raised in, and living in, the U.S., I've long preferred British-style or "logical quoting". Like that. Maybe doing computer programming has something to do with it.)
I don't abbreviate "face to face" or "in real life" because I feel those ideas deserve the few extra keystrokes.
Yeah, most of us here on AN spell good.
Now lookie here, you guys. Do some reading on the history of language. Any language. Even the sounds of the characters in alphabets and their combinations change.
Did you read of the work of the linguists who some years ago traced the movement of populations by the changes in the pronunciation of characters in their alphabets?
Yeah, the purists hated their results.
In English, the forms "its" and "it's" are among those predestined to change soon.
The alleged ancient Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" is a result of someone's handling stress poorly. I first saw it as "May you live in a time of change." Now there's a curse!
Relax in the face of the inevitable. And maybe hire a skilled editor.
Web slang? Some of it's already in dictionaries.
after needing to teach my child how to read and spell - I home educate - and explain why the hell nothing makes sense and there are no rules that apply - I ended up telling him a story about tribes taking over other tribes and language coming from all different places with different accents and agreements on spelling and articulation.
Really none of it makes sense - you almost have to learn every word on it's on and remember it.....
just think about it
rough = gh is a ff sound
through = ough is an oo sound
though = ough is an o sound
thought = ought is an aw sound
taught = aught is an aw sound
bath = a is an a sound
wall = a is an or sound
put = u is an ugh sound
but = u is a u sound
it does on and on - confusing and mad - the only way to learn is to group them into categories and remember which category it belongs too....
To spell "fish" differently write "ghoti". (rouGH, wOmen, any TIon word)
English, spoken or written, effectively reveals socio-economic class.
Tom - how does written English reveal class?
Though many write a more formal English than they speak, the better they know the many rules and their many exceptions, the better and more costly their education. The words they choose, often their pronunciation, and up to a point regional accents matter.
However, people who are studying acting learn a middle American dialect and identifying their socio-economic origins is more difficult.
Tom - interesting - I had a terrible education - and had learning difficulties also....