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Joined: December 14, 2004  (email not validated)
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Indian English: “reach”

January 29, 2005


January 29, 2005

Recent Comments

However, while a singular verb for a collective noun is used in American English, in British English the plural would be used. So, technically, it's "Manchester United ARE in the finals", but "the Orlando Magic IS not". Scyllacat's link actually discusses this in some detail, as you may have already read.

joachim2 April 12, 2009, 11:34am

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Either they don't know any better or the word just doesn't fit neatly into the "pronunciation scheme" of the languages. By which I mean the set of phonemes used in the language. Last night I watched part of a television program on "mega-tsunamis", which reminded me of this question.

Even though "ts" is not used at the beginning of words in English, it does turn up in other positions and it can be pronounced by English speakers without any difficulty. While the scientists and narrators of the television program could easily have pronounced the "ts" in "mega-tsunami" correctly, I think conceptually they would have had to envision the word as "megat-sunami". The syllables of the compound word would have to be broken the wrong way to remove the foreign phoneme. I think there's a bit of a mental block people have doing that kind of thing, even though in this case it would lead to a more correct pronunciation of the word.

Or then again, maybe they just didn't think about it.

joachim2 January 31, 2005, 7:48am

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Wow, hot topic! Brings back memories of my USENET days. We'll see how long it takes Hitler to make it into this thread.

Anyway, my only comment on all this is for ladylucy - actually I'm surprised no one has brought it up explicitly yet. There is a difference in meaning between the phrases "I do not think you told me..." and "I DO think you did NOT tell me...". The first indicates a lack of information on my part whereas the second indicates a specific belief I have about your actions. They're pretty close, of course, and might be used almost interchangeably, but I think the first phrase is a little softer and less aggressive and is perhaps used for that reason.

I had a German girlfriend who would frequently say things like "I think you didn't tell me to buy milk" and it always sounded like an accusation. Then again, I guess most of the things she said to me were accusations but that is perhaps a matter for a different thread ;)

joachim2 December 14, 2004, 12:55pm

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Interesting. I've never heard "laters", although I guess I did see "Bend It Like Beckham" so I must have just forgotten. In any event, here in the good old US of A, we have a much more logical phrase "see youse later", where "youse" of course is the plural of "you". Obviously if you are not of Italian descent you wouldn't use the phrase and if you live in the South you would use "y'all" instead but these are minor technical issues that should not stand in our way as we enjoy the wondrous intricacies of our language.

joachim2 December 14, 2004, 12:46pm

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While I don't exactly disagree with either of the preceeding posters, I think the more general idea your original editor was trying to get across was that the sentence is not completely clear. I believe that is the case. As written, it is not clear to me whether you are suggesting that your site is the beginning of nothing, not the end of a particular thing, both the beginning and ending of nothing in particular, or any number of other options. So while I believe that gramatically, the statement is fine, I think it's a little fuzzy in its meaning. I think even if I had seen that phrase somewhere other than this site, I would have thought it sounded like something transliterated into English from a language in which it made more sense.

So long story short, it parses fine and sounds poetic, but if it is important to convey clear meaning in this instance you might choose a different construction.

joachim2 December 14, 2004, 12:33pm

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