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February 3, 2004
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Oh, yes, and it happens in Spanish too, with the "familiar" form "tu" and the "formal" form "usted" (plural, "ustedes"). Because the word endings of nouns that agree with "usted" resemble plural endings, I sometimes tease my Hispanic co-workers with this mock-innocent query:
"The Spanish word for 'day' is 'día,' right?"
"And if you wanted to talk about more than one day, you'd say 'días,' right?
"Yeah, that's right."
"So when we tell someone 'Buenos días,' we're actually talking about more than one day, right?"
(Look of utter confusion on my friend's face as they try desperately to articulate a grammatical principle they've taken for granted since they began to talk. Heh.)
Marta, that would likely be rendered in English as something like "home theater system."
Which gives me an idea; perhaps we could refer to "TV plus stuff" as a "TV system."
I'd go with "entertainment center," understood in context as being the TV and related stuff that you have at home.
I am just beginning to see the whole set of "TV plus gadgetry" referred to as just the "TV" unless the speaker really intends to refer to just the VCR or just the DVD, for example. (Recall that even the TV itself used to be referred to as a "TV set.")
Oh, yeah, "you" and "all of you" is the way I learned it growing up, part of which I actually did in Michigan. I didn't pick up "y'all" until I moved to Texas (the first time) when I was 12.
Since the subject hasn't really been addressed, I'll point out that the word "you," far from having no plural, *is* the plural. The singular form, no longer used in standard English, is "thou" or "thee" (depending on its grammatical function).
I learned from the Quakers that at the time of their founding, around 200 years ago, both "you" and "thou" were used in the singular in standard English. The choice between them was made based on how close or familiar your relationship was with the person you were addressing. Since Quakers wished to emphasize the status of every person as a brother or sister in Christ (as they saw it), they used only the more familiar form. They continued to speak this way even when 'thou" fell out of standard usage. It's rare to find a modern Quaker who still does this, though.
Hear ye, hear ye.
It hasn't been "completely incorrect" to end a sentence with a preposition since, oh, people stopped speaking actual Latin in colleges.
Come to think of it, it's never been incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition. Some Victorian busybodies noticed it never happened in Latin, so OBVIOUSLY that meant it should never happen in English.
After all, Latin and English are the same language, right?
Am I just old, or didn't we used to say "log on" to a network rather than "log in?"
I suppose I should mention that I was taught to pronounce the extra syllable, contrary to what Brad's teacher held. Maybe it is different in different English-speaking regions. I've never had my pronunciation corrected, though.
Yes, "Klosses" is right for more than one family member. But the kitty belonging to the family is "the Klosses' cat." If she was just your kitty, for example, that's when she'd be "Ownie Kloss's cat."
You may also choose to simply flip prepositional phrases around in either example I just gave, which would yield:
"The defenders of the Alamo were given no quarter by Santa Ana's forces," and
"Her rude remarks were taken no notice of by them."
I agree that Dave made the better choice of the two options given. However, there's a third, more complete option.
It's really easy to "lose" pieces of the active sentence when converting to passive, and vice versa. Let's use as an illustration another active sentence similar to your sample sentence:
"Santa Ana's forces gave no quarter to the defenders of the Alamo."
If I was to formulate an "A" and "B" sentence like yours from the example, this is what I'd get:
A) No quarter was given to the defenders of the Alamo.B) The defenders of the Alamo were given no quarter.
What happened to Santa Ana's forces? (Well, they defeated the defenders of the Alamo, which gave rise to the rallying cry of Texan independence, "Remember the Alamo," but that's a story for another time, kids.)
The passive sentence that truly corresponds with the example would be, "No quarter was given by Santa Ana's forces to the defenders of the Alamo."
Therefore, the passive sentence that corresponds to your example sentence would be more like, "No notice was taken by them of her rude remarks."
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