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Grammatics: Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie

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  • EverKing
    replied
    The use of "an" there doesn't upset me at all for exact reasons PWV pointed out. It is no different than the British (ok, everyone except Americans) use of "an" before words like "historical," which in most dialects has a silent "h" and so is said with an initial vowel instead of that initial fricative. In the US this seems really off when you read it since we prounouce the "h." That is why for us it is, "a historical."

    PWV is the English major, so I'm not certain, but I wouldn't be at all suprised to learn that "an M&M..." is actually correct given it's context. I suppose it all boils down to which type of language you wish to stress: the writen word, or the spoken word.

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  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
    I'm surprised by the number people who don't know the difference between infer and imply.

    I hasten to add that they do share a definition.
    Meh. The use of "infer" to mean "imply" is archaic and anyone using it that way deserves to be perpetually misunderstood.

    What about "blatant" and "flagrant"? Almost no one knows that these words have different meanings.

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  • Whiskers
    replied
    I'm surprised by the number people who don't know the difference between infer and imply.

    I hasten to add that they do share a definition.

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    No biggie, as far as I'm concerned

    Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
    "Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie"
    I must assume you are referring to the use of the word "an" (instead of "a") in front of a word beginning with a consonant (if M&M can be considered a word). I would not begrudge a person this "error." Here's why:

    The term "M&M," when spoken, begins with the flat "e" sound. Because of this, if you were to speak the words, it would sound odd saying, "Guatemalan Roast and a M&M Cookie." I suspect "an" was used because most people (including the sign-writer) hear the words in their head as they read them, and so the natural inclination would be to use "an".

    Technically, I suppose it is incorrect. But if one were to point out that error, one would be in dire need of some serious unwinding and might want to refrain from imbibing caffeine. I mean, I'm an English major who has no shortage of grammatical pet peeves*, and I would find this correction to be a bit over the top.

    *Don't even get me started on most peoples' inability to distinguish between "less" and "fewer".

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  • Whiskers
    started a topic Grammatics: Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie

    Grammatics: Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie

    I thought this would be the sort of thing that everyone here might enjoy talking about. I am aware that in this forum I and others are grammatically and punctuationally challenged and as we know, we don't have an editor between ourselves and the send button, and we have the natural typographical errors to contend with. When I bring up the following subject, I do so for the conversation, not to belittle others, nor do I think myself better than anyone else.

    This morning at Starbucks (a place I seldom visit) I wanted an egg nog latte but had to settle for a pumpkin spice latte. I discovered that they do have a short cup (I was told they start at tall - a nice Jedi Mindtrick that has been with me for the last 5 years). I noticed on a chalk board near the menu in multi-colored fancy lettering "Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie". I almost blurted out the mistake and thought about it for a while and decided not to point out the error.

    The reason I mention it is that I think this is a fairly drastic error to make, especially when the chalk artist would be thinking about the subject for longer than it takes to send an email. You're looking at the board for quite some time. Aren't you?

    What would you have done?
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