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Joined: March 12, 2006  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 5
Votes received: 27

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Questions Submitted

“and yet”

February 19, 2010

Recent Comments

I'm quite smitten with onamagraphy (I think the name should stick).
I created a couple of my own:
1. It was a drab radiation; farther up, it turned brighter.
2. You get a one dollar bill if you kill a lemur; ray gun not needed
3. Bajas on the sand, and on the hill: eels.

paul May 1, 2010, 8:24am

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I tend to agree with John's "lay" vs "lie" analogy (transitive vs intransitive - "hanged" being the past participle when something/someone is "hanged" and "hung" referring to the past tense state of something/someone, um, dangling, if you will).

In German, for example, "haengen"- to hang something (on a wall, etc.) has the regular/weak past participle "gehaengt" (akin to "hanged"). "Haengen", however, describing the state of dangling or at least being pinned to a verticle surface, features the irregular/strong past participle "gehangen"- "hung".

If this pattern were followed in common usage, we would say such statements in English as "I hanged a poster up yesterday" & "The poster hung there for a day until it fell down." But alas, in a language culture where laziness prevails, in which people "lay out in the sun" and someone has "set in a chair for three hours" and a person is asked to "leave the book lay there on the table", such a distinction hardly seems reasonable/realistic.

paul May 31, 2009, 4:25pm

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Don't ask people where I'm from. Around here folks use the colloquialism "a couple few" when referring to an indefinite number of items as few as two and as many lot, I guess. Sure, it sounds succinct, but couple it with the lazy pseudo-southern PA drawl and yew got yerself quite a phrase, boy howdy.

paul March 12, 2006, 4:07pm

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First of all, I'm digging this topic. Secondly, the flexibility of English verb tense makes such a advertising quip so darn "hip." Although English certainly has its drawbacks in other grammatical respects, its specificity in this example cannot be matched in translations into other languages. In a McDonald's in Germany the slogan simply reads "Ich liebe es, " which could be translated as "I'm loving it" OR "I love it" OR the (in English) emphatic "I do love it." I guess that does cover the gammit, though. If your friend asks you "Are loving that shake?" OR "Love you that shake?" OR "Do you love that shake?", you've covered all the bases.

paul March 12, 2006, 3:56pm

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Your question is interesting and I think that the explanation of applying English (vs. Latin) rules of pluralization is a sign that languages evolve naturally and are governed by popular daily usage, as opposed to an "authority" who arbitrarily deems a word to be correct or incorrect. Still, as a teacher who sits through numerous curriculum-based meetings, I find that the term "curriculums" sounds at best lazy and at worst uneducated. To me "curricula" sounds proper for everyday usage. Am I alone here?

paul March 12, 2006, 8:20am

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