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Grammatics: Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie

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  • #16
    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
    As for grammatical pet peeves, everyone has them I suspect. Split infinitives. They make me crazy.
    Most famous split infinitive ever: "To bodly go where no man has gone before!"

    Personally, split infinitives don't bug me. Sometimes I think they pack more punch, as in the example above.

    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
    I almost had a meltdown when I tried to order a Subway. "What sort of bread would you like?" Eeep!
    Dee, the proper answer to this question is "The Italian herbs & cheese bread, please." :P Best. Bread. Ever.

    Originally posted by demos99
    Words acquire new 'meanings' all the time in English.
    I've taken many lingusitics courses and what you say is indeed true and unavoidable. I just hate it when new words are born out of ignorance.

    Originally posted by Perdix
    Smarties are a more suitable cookie-addition than M&M's...
    Please tell me you're being your usual comedic self. I will agree that M&M's should not go on a cookie, but oh dear Lord, neither should Smarties! Ew!

    By the way, I make a wicked Oatmeal and Blueberry Cookie. People will hit their writing hand with the back side of a claw-hammer just to get one! Fact.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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    • #17
      I'm with LSN. I don't think it's an error. Or if so, it's one that I would have made myself.

      Now, Starbucks... :x
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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      • #18
        Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
        Apparently I should have written "M&M's". Not a typo, I'm just dumb.
        According to the "Common Errors in English" website, M&Ms is perfectly acceptable and IMHO preferable. I've never understood the use of the apostrophe with acronyms and try to avoid it.

        http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/acronyms.html

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        • #19
          By contrast, to me, split infinitives sound sub-literate.

          The solecism embodied in the notorious words from Star-Drek always struck me as risible.

          "To boldly split infinitives where no man has split infinitives before."

          LSN

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          • #20
            Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
            "To bodly go"
            Yep, reckon they were a'meanin' To Bodley, Head! :)
            "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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            • #21
              Having watched the film Sexy Beast last night, I believe the best method of obfuscating a limited vocabulary is constant swearing. Deliver every sentence in a spray of rapid-fire obscenity, and just keep going until someone shoots you. You toilet. You slag. You muppet.

              I forgot to mention that for several weeks, a book called Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach To Punctuation, was top of the best-seller list in this country. I haven't read it myself, but that suggests there's still an interest in the subject, despite the prevalence of mobile phones.

              Originally posted by Typhoid_Mary
              According to the "Common Errors in English" website, M&Ms is perfectly acceptable and IMHO preferable. I've never understood the use of the apostrophe with acronyms and try to avoid it.
              Phew! I hadn't had time to check around to find out why exactly it had an apostrophe, so I'm glad I'm not the only one...

              Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
              Dee, the proper answer to this question is "The Italian herbs & cheese bread, please." Best. Bread. Ever.
              I went for "sour dough", because I'd had some the previous evening and knew what it was. Of course we have Subways in Dorset now.... and the other night I saw adverts from two fast food chains who have brought out their own range of "subs". McSubs! And Kentucky Fried Subs! I find this drive by traditionally unwholesome food outlets to rebrand themselves as temples of healthy eating rather undignified. But that's off-topic, of course.

              By the way, when will Berry decide who has won this thread, and award the prize mentioned in the subject line?
              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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              • #22
                Don't like Subway...Ciabatta chap, me. :P

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Typhoid_Mary
                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                  Apparently I should have written "M&M's". Not a typo, I'm just dumb.
                  According to the "Common Errors in English" website, M&Ms is perfectly acceptable and IMHO preferable. I've never understood the use of the apostrophe with acronyms and try to avoid it.

                  http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/acronyms.html
                  I believe that the reason the apostrophe is there is because it is possessive. It's my understanding some dudes with the surname of Mars invented the candies and thus the Ms stand for their last name. It's their candy, thus M&M's.

                  I could be completely wrong.

                  Originally posted by LSN
                  By contrast, to me, split infinitives sound sub-literate.
                  To me, there are so many other things that make a person sound sub-literate. I think splitting infinitives is along the same lines as ending a sentence with a preposition. We all do that, yourself included, and I'm sure there's someone somewhere who thinks we're all sub-literate dolts because we do.

                  I'd listen to infinitives splitting all day long if I never had to hear another person say, "I could care less." That one makes me cringe every time. It's "couldn't care less," people, otherwise the point is completely lost!

                  *ahem* Sorry about that. Lost control for a moment.
                  "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                  --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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                  • #24
                    Berry, embarrasing though it is for me to admit, I can't answer the survey until you put in a fourth option:

                    Error? Um, I didn't notice an error.

                    It's been a looooong time since I read my Fowler's Guide to Modern English Usage. It's still in mint condition. :roll:

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                    • #25
                      Subway is fine on occassion; although I prefer Quizno's and Jimmy John's more so.

                      As far as split-infinitives are concerned, I'm of the school of thought that often they convey the desired information better than re-arranging the sentance to avoid them. A good explanation of this can be found at (the oft-quoted) wikipedia (it's too early in the morning yet for me to think of my own examples :cup: ):
                      Originally posted by Wikipedia article on Split Infinitives
                      The meaning of certain expressions can be changed completely by avoiding the split infinitive. The sentence "He failed to completely understand the book" suggests that the understanding is not complete, whereas "He failed completely to understand the book" implies that no understanding was achieved at all. Another alternative, "He failed to understand the book completely", is ambiguous: some readers may take it to mean that the failure was complete, rather than the understanding incomplete. By placing the adverb after the verb ("He failed to understand completely the book"), a fourth variation can be obtained; this version, although unambiguous in meaning, has been called "unnatural" by Fowler, in the sense that the word order is not one most English-speakers would naturally use unless consciously trying to avoid a split infinitive.
                      That is why I have no problem with split infinities.
                      "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                      --Thomas a Kempis

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by EverKing
                        As far as split-infinitives are concerned, I'm of the school of thought that often they convey the desired information better than re-arranging the sentance to avoid them...
                        Originally posted by Wikipedia article on Split Infinitives
                        The sentence "He failed to completely understand the book" suggests that the understanding is not complete, whereas "He failed completely to understand the book" implies that no understanding was achieved at all...
                        That is why I have no problem with split infinities.
                        :clap:

                        Language is constantly evolving. I think the rule opposing the split-infinitive will be one of those areas in which the English language will slowly evolve away from.
                        "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                        --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                          I forgot to mention that for several weeks, a book called Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach To Punctuation, was top of the best-seller list in this country. I haven't read it myself, but that suggests there's still an interest in the subject, despite the prevalence of mobile phones.
                          Like many thousands, we were (un)lucky enough to receive a copy of this less than illustrious tome for Xmas. Its success as a stocking-filler is certainly indicative of something or other, but I was put right off by the writer's tone, which is overall jokily apologetic for actually being interested in the subject at all. I don't want to read that, same as if I bought a book about Sir Nigel Gresley's A4 Pacifics, I wouldn't want to read pages of the author's pretend embarrassment at being a train-spotter. Dumbed-down shite!

                          P.S. Isn't "He failed to understand the book completely" what is required?
                          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Micey_C
                            P.S. Isn't "He failed to understand the book completely" what is required?
                            Well, they do mention that alternative, but also point out that it is ambiguous. The "completely" can apply to either the failure or the understanding. One person may see it as a complete failure, and another as a failure of understanding; it works both ways. This is why the split infinitive in that particular example is necassary. It serves the purpose of applying the completeness to the proper verb and avoids any abiguation.
                            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                            --Thomas a Kempis

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                            • #29
                              :flip: I was wrong. Everybody else wins. :lol:
                              The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                                I forgot to mention that for several weeks, a book called Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach To Punctuation, was top of the best-seller list in this country.
                                Eats, shoots and leaves. This reminds me of the old Seagull Manager joke from a couple of years ago...

                                Seagull Manager. He is compared to a seagull, because, like a seagull, he flies in, makes a lot of noise, shits on everything, and then flies away.

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