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Grammatics: Guatemalan Roast and an M&M Cookie

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  • Grey Mouser
    replied
    A possesive apostrophe! I was once stalked by a scary looking comma, 'till I got out an injunction against it. :P



    Sorry all, bad joke. It's late. :(

    Leave a comment:


  • Typhoid_Mary
    replied
    Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
    I believe that the reason the apostrophe is there is because it is possessive.
    You're right. :oops:

    Leave a comment:


  • Grey Mouser
    replied
    Or you could use the 'show not tell' principle.

    'Hey, wasn't Chapter nine a great read?'
    'Umm, er - chapter nine? So what was in chapter nine again?'

    But I guess that kind of ducks the question.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    I might use:

    'Completely, he failed to understand the book'

    Possibly Wikipedia's 'Unnatural Fourth Option'...I actually find it reasonably digestible, and a useful alternative arrangement for the avoidance of monotony in narrative rhythm.

    Gresley's A4 Pacifics are things of beauty. I've got two.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Originally posted by Mikey_C
    P.S. Isn't "He failed to understand the book completely" what is required?
    Surely the point is to stop faffing about with split infinitives or not split infinitives and just say what you mean? -

    'Ee, tha' book went righ' o'er mi 'ead'.

    :lol:

    Leave a comment:


  • Grey Mouser
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Whiskers
    replied
    :flip: I was wrong. Everybody else wins. :lol:

    Leave a comment:


  • EverKing
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mikey_C
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • EverKing
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Grey Mouser
    replied
    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:

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • xidrep
    replied
    Don't like Subway...Ciabatta chap, me. :P

    Leave a comment:


  • DeeCrowSeer
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:

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