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Author Topic: At the risk of being pedantic...
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 21, 2005 22:54      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...here's something for us Grammar Nazis:

In the new JoT, shouldn't the sentence read as follows

"For the geek who is the only one who knows all of the passwords"

instead of

"For the geek who is the only one that knows all the passwords"

?

I've come across that second change quite a bit at Clipper. It sounds rather awkward to say "all the money" instead of "all of the money." Any thoughts on that?

The other change relates to "one" as a noun, thus "who" would be the appropriate pronoun. "Which" could possibly be used, but that would necessitate inserting a comma after "one" and before "which," am I correct? You wouldn't say "That's the only tree who I can climb," but you would say, "He's the only man who I know" (hmmm, "He's the only man that I know" seems like it would work, too. Which is true for "He's the only man who/whom/that I've kissed"?) Does it have anything to do with direct objects? Like, "He's the only man who knows whom I've kissed," whom is the direct object. Whereas in "He's the man that I've kissed," man becomes the direct object and thus receives "that"--the kiss.

Definitive answers (or strong suggestions) anyone?

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted March 22, 2005 07:23      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
...here's something for us Grammar Nazis:

In the new JoT, shouldn't the sentence read as follows

"For the geek who is the only one who knows all of the passwords"

instead of

"For the geek who is the only one that knows all the passwords"

They both sound kind of wrong to me, whether grammatically correct or not.

"For the only geek who knows all the passwords." would be what I would use.

quote:

I've come across that second change quite a bit at Clipper. It sounds rather awkward to say "all the money" instead of "all of the money." Any thoughts on that?

The other change relates to "one" as a noun, thus "who" would be the appropriate pronoun. "Which" could possibly be used, but that would necessitate inserting a comma after "one" and before "which," am I correct? You wouldn't say "That's the only tree who I can climb," but you would say, "He's the only man who I know" (hmmm, "He's the only man that I know" seems like it would work, too. Which is true for "He's the only man who/whom/that I've kissed"?) Does it have anything to do with direct objects? Like, "He's the only man who knows whom I've kissed," whom is the direct object. Whereas in "He's the man that I've kissed," man becomes the direct object and thus receives "that"--the kiss.

All those sentences sound very backwards to me. Like that episode of King of the Hill where their family from Boston comes down and they start saying everything backwards.

You get a lot of it here too, since many people are francophones, and sometimes reverse their sentences like they would say in French.

Like, "turn on the light" as opposed to "turn the light on".

In French, it'd be "Allumez la lumiere.", and so the direct translation would be "turn on the light."

The biggest grammatical mess anyone does, imnsho, you can hear every day at fast food stores, "Can I help who's next?" That drives me nuts.

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Black Widow
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Icon 1 posted March 22, 2005 14:58      Profile for Black Widow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
They both sound kind of wrong to me, whether grammatically correct or not.

"For the only geek who knows all the passwords." would be what I would use.

This statement would imply there is more than one geek in the organization, which may not be true.

In re: usage of the word "that": overused, inserted where it is not needed, and frequently used incorrectly. Unless absolutely necessary, "that" should be avoided. I don't claim to be perfect, and I use it too much as well.

quote:
Like, "turn on the light" as opposed to "turn the light on".
"Turn on the light" is correct, as it doesn't end in a preposition.

quote:
"Can I help who's next?"
"I don't know. Can you?"
Posts: 931 | From: Missouri | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
crazyarlo
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Icon 10 posted March 23, 2005 07:08      Profile for crazyarlo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I ain't gots no opinion on it, notsoever.
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greycat

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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 05:53      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Black Widow:
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Like, "turn on the light" as opposed to "turn the light on".

"Turn on the light" is correct, as it doesn't end in a preposition.
The word "on" isn't being used as a preposition in this sense. If it were, then Tturn on the light." would be parsed as "Perform a turning maneuver, while on the light."

"On" in this sense is being used as an adjective; the light is either on, or off. "The light is already on." is grammatically correct, and "on" is being used as an adjective.

Both "Turn on the light." and "Turn the light on." are correct.

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angryjungman

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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 07:01      Profile for angryjungman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Black Widow:

In re: usage of the word "that": overused, inserted where it is not needed, and frequently used incorrectly. Unless absolutely necessary, "that" should be avoided. I don't claim to be perfect, and I use it too much as well.

I had a professor in college who told us if we used "that" in our papers he would mark us off for each occurance. I've avoided using it [when I remember] whenever possible.

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Meh.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 07:02      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by angryjungman:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Widow:

In re: usage of the word "that": overused, inserted where it is not needed, and frequently used incorrectly. Unless absolutely necessary, "that" should be avoided. I don't claim to be perfect, and I use it too much as well.

I had a professor in college who told us if we used "that" in our papers he would mark us off for each occurance. I've avoided using it [when I remember] whenever possible.
That is absolute nonsense that your teacher would impose that rule. That's just not fair to that class.

[Big Grin]

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Black Widow
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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 10:21      Profile for Black Widow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by greycat:
quote:
Originally posted by Black Widow:
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Like, "turn on the light" as opposed to "turn the light on".

"Turn on the light" is correct, as it doesn't end in a preposition.
The word "on" isn't being used as a preposition in this sense. If it were, then Tturn on the light." would be parsed as "Perform a turning maneuver, while on the light."

"On" in this sense is being used as an adjective; the light is either on, or off. "The light is already on." is grammatically correct, and "on" is being used as an adjective.

Both "Turn on the light." and "Turn the light on." are correct.

/me goes and digs out Strunk and White again. D'oh! [Frown]
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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 16:10      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Y'know, Greycat's explanation is the first one that I've ever heard that makes sense. (Oops, aj... -2 for using "that" twice. [Razz] ) Now I'm curious what other phrases I use where I ensure the preposition is inside its phrase but it needn't be there for the phrase to be correct.

One of the phrases we see here at work a lot is "X-number of styles to choose from." It irks me to no end-- "X-number of styles from which to choose" is how I'd prefer to see it 'cause it's correct.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 17:24      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonwyyn,

I like good grammer but I have learned to ignore the real pedantic view of "correct English as what she should be spoken as"...

Sure, I detest such things as "Mr X was found to have hung(sic) himself in his cell..." and have even complained to the BBC that the correct usage is "hanged"

However all living languages are fluid...

As long as the grammar and speling don't make no sense and so violate the damn sense of the intended sentense I can (within bounds) accept the fat that spellin and grammar can change with time...

But having deliberately put naffed spelin and gramer into this post don't mean I can't tell the difference twen "good" (read traditional) and current (sometimes dubious) usage...

In my view as long as it reads right within "commonly accepted" rules of writing (trad grammer or not) I can live with it.

What I really detest are the double negatives, tautologies and just plain mangling of the SIMPLE rules that keep us in the same Ballpark....

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 24, 2005 18:20      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I tend to err on the Prescriptivist side of things rather than the Descriptivist. As I see it, rules have developed over time, but there's no reason to promote/elevate/equate slovenly speech with correct language. A lot of errors today are made out of general laziness. That's why I fight so much for (mostly) correct grammar/spelling.

--------------------
Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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greycat

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Icon 1 posted March 25, 2005 05:41      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
One of the phrases we see here at work a lot is "X-number of styles to choose from."

That is precisely the sort of language up with which we must not put! [Wink]

quote:
It irks me to no end-- "X-number of styles from which to choose" is how I'd prefer to see it 'cause it's correct.
Yes, that is correct, but the problem is that almost nobody in America speaks that way. If the context of this phrase is product promotion or sales, then it may be more important to sound "native" than to be grammatically correct.

If you want to fix it without pissing off the sales department, you might consider shifting it entirely out of the passive voice: "Choose from X different styles." That's clearer, more concise, and completely correct. Of course, it depends on the larger context.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 25, 2005 14:41      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, totally awesome suggestion, Greycat!! Thank you!

(And yes, I let those "wrong" phrases pass when I see them in an ad, but "Just because I have to; not because I want to." lol)

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Black Widow
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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2005 05:48      Profile for Black Widow     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, one more and then I'll be quiet:

Anyone else annoyed by the usage of "I don't think (I'll be going to the mall today)." That's another one I really try and avoid, because I still can't quite figure out what it means. I know it is commonly used, I see and hear it all the time, and fall prey to it occasionally. Shouldn't we be saying something like "I think I will not" instead?

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magefile
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Icon 1 posted March 26, 2005 14:19      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Perhaps. Or ... "I think I'll go to the mall today" indicates a positive feeling towards going to the mall today. The "don't" negates that.

In either event, I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your (implied) request (that I stop using that construction).

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Let them be stupid - the market will sort it out.

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greycat

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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2005 05:51      Profile for greycat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll go to the mall today. This is fairly straightforward. It's a declaration of full intent. The only uncertainty is when the speaker will go.

I think I'll go to the mall today. This one is a little uncertain. The speak indicates a high probability of going, but not a promise.

I don't think I'll go to the mall today. This one's even more uncertain. The speaker is forecasting a rather low probability of going, but not making it entirely impossible.

I think I won't go to the mall today. The speaker might go to the mall if dragged there.

I won't go to the mall today. The speaker plans to lock himself into the bathroom to avoid being dragged.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2005 12:25      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You've all missed the point.
The problem with BWs quote is in the punctuation, the 'Valley Girls Motto' goes like this....

I don't think.
I'll be going to the mall today.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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