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cannot vs. can not

February 9, 2011

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Yeah, I think it's almost always from, but not the only..
I wouldn't mind if I saw a different to.. but that mostly appeals to me literarily, to be honest..

This is different from this. From is like a word of subtraction in this context of comparison. So, I almost get a negative connotation here. The first "this" is different in a bad way, and so, is missing a leg, from the image of this fine, full-bodied person, with two legs.

This is different compared to this -> This is different to this. (I think that's where the fault comes from - a shortened version)

On the contrary, if this is different to this, to is like a word of addition or complement in this context of comparison. So, I almost get a positive connotation here. The first "this" is different in a good way, and so, is in excess of a leg, to the image of this fine, full-bodied person, with two legs.. or, wait.. I have just made a discovery! No, three legs is truly the full-bodied person, not the image of two legs, for one leg is missing in that person!

You obviously know about adjectives like better and greater. Greater comes from great. However, there is no such thing as adjectiver or sucher.. Not every word comes with a complementary word that compares two things!

In the same way, there is no such thing as differenter. But, you can say more different. Any word that doesn't have a comparison word uses more.. and every word that does shouldn't use more. In any case, use more for different, and equate those two lexical concepts. Does anyone say This is better to this or better from this? You MUST say this is better than this.. In the same way, when you use more than, you have to use than. And so, This is different from this, but it is also more different than that..

If anything, This is better to this means, this is better to this person.. As in, this is a better interpretation to this person's eyes, perspective.

Douglas made a good point about the following depending on the context.. but he didn't clearly answer the poster's inquiry. I think he implicitly meant that, in your static context, there IS a hard rule.. but I'm making an assumption, from the best of his explanation!

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 10:10pm

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Yeah.. I've never heard anyone use the word signage improperly..
My first thought was that you were misreading, as well..

But, I don't want to assume too much. The problem here is that you didn't provide anyone an example!

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 9:32pm

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No, because a lot of people would agree with you.
But, no, reference is a verb, because it is giving credit to someone (or I guess something).

Referring to is rather explaining the context.
But you're right, a lot of people may be using the word improperly

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 9:26pm

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Maybe because of the n and n :S

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 9:19pm

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the first syllable in the word*!

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 8:55pm

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elongating the word in the first* syllable!

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 8:43pm

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Haha, I dunno about the filim stuff, but I def know what you mean by vee-hickle. Like, I've seen in movies actors pronouncing vehicle by elongating the word syllable, and then, of course, sounding out the h sound. But, whether I sound out the h sound, it usually is not something prominent for us. It usually comes out as vee-ickle, but once in a while with the h sound.

I have no idea what you mean by the r in veer. Ukemon, my dad used to say fil-im, as well.. but I just thought that was because he was an immigrant, lol! I can't picture the two distinctions you're trying to make for Detroit, yet, so I'll leave that be for now..

Hmm.. you STARTED saying 'pro' instead of 'pruh' or 'praw' in the US? Because I've never heard anyone not say 'pro' for produce, like fruits and vegetables, although they would not say 'pro' for everything else, like for the verb for produce, or any of the projects, process, progress, etc. words.

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 8:42pm

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It seems that I have wasted, once again, so much time on the Canadian pronunciation!
It takes away from my life sometimes haha.. I get distracted, and I found myself listening to the pronunciation than the actual content of individuals, who seem to have a particularly interesting accent..

jb0284, you are right.. I found that there are so many similarities between Canadian and US pronuniciations as well as between Canadian and British!

The people who usually pronounce words like literature like the British 'lit-truh-chur' (the 'truh' sound having like 'ch' sound as in tree) would also pronounce other similar words in the British way, like military as 'mil-uh-tree'.. At least, that's how it sounds to me.. I've been playing with my own pronunciation myself.. And now, I do say it like the British way, but I did used to say it like 'mil-uh-tare-ee'

But, for some reason, I used to always say literacy like 'lit-truh-see', even though I interchanged my pronunciations of literature from the one mentioned above and 'lit-er-uh-chur' (lit having the voiced t, or, as some say, 'd' sound)

Haha, and it's funny how you spelled eh as 'ey', because that is how we pronounce it but I would never have imagined any other way to pronounce it

For Toronto, I started to get irritated a bit as I started to notice that every Canadian that is not from Toronto pronounced it more or less the way you spelt it. I dunno, it must be an actual stereotype that slowly expanding.. did you hear this thing about the Toronto pronunciation from UK or when you were here?

The reason that I got irritated was that people falsely recognised Torontonians pronouncing the name of their city a different, 'special' way (I don't even know if that sentence even made sense). It's not some different way that you pronounce it, and only the locals and Canadians should know how to pronounce it (truly, I think people watch too much sports news and copy the people on there! - because of The Leafs, or Toronto Maple Leafs). Canadians - I don't know about UKers and US Americans but - have at least two pronunciations of most words: their 'normal' pronunciation, if you will, or their enunciated pronunciation (and their normal can be the same as enunciated or it can be a mix.. or it can be anything else!).

For the city of Ottawa, I would say Ot-uh-wah (the voiced t or 'd', and perhaps the tongue to the back for the 'wah'). If I slow it down (and, especially, picturing the spelling the word in my head), I'd say 'Ot-tuh-wa'. In the same way, I would enunciate Toronto as 'Tuh-ron-toe', or 'Tur-on-toe' (I don't actually know which way I say it). This is how most teachers from JK to grade 12 would pronounce this word. But, I suppose, almost every kid pronounced it the 'fast' way - the young generation's pronunciation, almost. The type of kids who would enunciate carefully each word and not give into colloquialisms would obviously pronounce the city's name like I just described.

However, it's not only the young generation. The phenomenon of pronouncing the last syllable of the word Toronto like it is known to be pronounced is the same as the phenomenon of pronouncing the word international as 'in-ner-na-shuh-nul' as opposed to 'in-ter-na-shu-nul'.

I've looked up the term as being classified as the 'merging' of the n and t sounds. And, I've definitely noticed that the guy who plays the Scottish or Irish guy (sorry I don't even remember anymore) in Stargate Atlantis says about the closest to the way Canadians say it (I'm referring to the doctor).

I dunno, jb0284, but another thing that I've noticed in two BC friends, and got confirmed from research, is that a lot of people from there have almost forgotten how to 'raise the vowels' the Canadian raising way. Their outs and abouts sounded exactly like US Americans'. The article said that the Canadians raising accent in the population in BC is slowly disappearing, and most of it has already disappeared (I'm guessing due to American influence!).

dbfreak February 9, 2011, 8:31pm

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In "normal" English, if you will, you would replace that with something else. Like, a very small percentage, or less than a percent/percentage. I say the decimal system is strictly mathematical, and you should avoid it. If not, then you ARE entering into the world of math, in which you have to start using '.' as if it was a symbol. The proper word for '.' in the decimal system is actually 'decimal', and I've heard people say that.. but never in writing. If it's a type of writing that shouldn't be having the decimal symbol, then don't use it. Convert it. And then round it if it's too ridiculous. If you can't round it and the exact number is necessary, then it's obviously not that type of writing and you can go ahead and just the symbol for decimal, '.'.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 11:43pm

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When one is writing down thoughts, your brain with its concepts and its power for syntax converts those thoughts as closely as you ordered it in your head. Then it becomes being, and then you think it's having been, because that sounds correct.

The above comments on being "direct" is definitely how you should write.

But, if you must use one of those two mentioned in your initiating question, being chosen refers to describing the headmaster (so think of it as being an adjective) and having been chosen is when you're thinking of the action of when he had actually been chosen in the past.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 11:34pm

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Ok, imagine the blood they are looking for is called t-blood.

No t-blood has been found in Joe nor Jack. It is from the results of this analysis that Joe nor Jack are sources for the t-blood discrepancy amongst humans.

However, the focus of the search is on the one confirmed source, and so, Joe nor Jack are the source for this search.

I think I explained that bad, but both can be used, but they will slightly mean different things.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 11:29pm

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I don't remember learning this in school. Except for the part that in formal language you should use I at the end of the list of people you're talking about, because if you say 'I, Tom, Tim, and John went..' it sounds more selfish or something like that. You should say, 'Tom, Tim, John, and I'. I remember the teacher saying, 'And, if you have to use the word me, then at least say tom, Tim, John, and me'. Haha. But I think both she and I and she and me works. Although my elementary school teacher told us you shouldn't use me in the beginning of the sentence, because that's not the "better" way, it doesn't mean it cannot be used nor that it is not grammatically correct. So I would sometimes say 'Me, Tom, Tim, and John', if I'm not feeling too self-conscious about myself.

I feel that people who use 'she and I' are people who just like to speak like they learned, and/or want to stay professional, and/or want to speak "formally'', etc.. If it's come to the point that she's correcting you, Elizabeth, then it's more likely that she is insecure in the style of speech that she uses, herself. She subconsciously recognises that she does not like using 'she and I', and because she had previously been forced to change her style, she also wants you to speak in that way. But don't worry, that's one of those up-for-philsophical/psychological debate topics.

Now, maybe people are confusing 'her' with the possessive 'her'. Remember, there are two meanings. For masculine, there is 'him' and 'his'. But for feminine, there is only 'her', which can mean either.

Using 'him', 'me and him' does make sense. Then, 'me and her' also make sense.
'I and her' does not make sense because 'I' is a special word, more than you'd admit, as it's only used alone, or at the end of the list. 'he and I' or 'she and I' does sound a little weird, but 'he' and 'she' are both starting words like 'I' is. Switching it around, 'me and her' and 'me and him' are still correct. Using 'her' is the common as well as the right way to use it. Remember I said 'I' is a special word. Well, 'I' doesn't like to be with other subject pronouns unless it's at the end of the list. 'I and she' or 'I and he' would not grammatical sense. It's because 'I' is like this narcissistic word. Once 'I' is in there, any subsequent referrals to 'he' or 'she' is changed to 'him' or 'her'. Given this, 'him and I' or 'her and I' should be perfectly corrrect.

The other issue is that 'she' and 'he' sounds more formal. Her brain is subconsciously mad at you, because you're using the more "informal" word 'her' with the "formal" syntax of using 'I' or 'me' at the end of the list, although 'I' should always be at the end of the list.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 11:23pm

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as long as you're allowed*

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 10:54pm

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Exactly, real is used for true, genuine, etc..

However, when I think of He was real happy, I think he was really happy. When I hear He was really happy, I think, really? Well, if you say so. Because, really is just an adverb - or in other words the adjective for an adjective - of happy. And so, if it wasn't used as an "adjective", or adverb, then it would mean real. I think rather, he was actually happy.

However, when I was say he was real happy, I think of vibrant colours, reality, real life, I feel the emotions he is feeling at the same time as thinking them, whereas really happy is just, well, yeah I know I believe you don't worry, I know that he is actually happen.

DeMisty, language is all about the choice of words and intonation. In terms of writing, it is all about the choice of words. The way you word things can change the way someone reads it drastically. That's all it comes down to.

Where I'm from, 'real' is accepted as formal and accepted that way. However, on something like an essay, there is another sense to the word 'formal', in terms of an essay being formal. It means that it cannot have emotions, and 'real' sometimes gives off emotions. For any other piece of writing that is not artsy nor for an essay, as long as you're not allowed to describe emotions, 'real' should accepted.

The only reason it shouldn't be accepted would be the stubbornness of some people who think they know the rules of English language. Even in any university, especially a prestigious one, should accept it. Actually, no, 'prestigious' universities would not, because they are not at all prestigious. They are famous, yes, but not prestigious, as in good, and famous because they are good. They are famous because they get funding, aka money. People who have the money are not the academics; they are the people with power and have the voice to bias rules and regulations.

And so, in any actual good university that you go to, if you use 'real', and they don't accept it, as long as you give your case, you shouldn't have a problem with it. That's actually what they're supposed to teach you, not impose their views on you. If you have the willingness to things in a different way because you learned that it is right, through your studies, then they have done their job.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 10:53pm

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Uh.. I think you're confusing yourself, Donna.

Does Donna change in numbers? You has always been singular. In English, there is no distinction in the word or spelling of 'you', to determine whether it's singular or plural. In this case, we already know who 'you' is referring to: Donna. So, whether it's having the 'who' or not, it's always singular. And, saying 'you are' doesn't make you more of yourself! That is just the rule for whenever you use 'you'.

The correct way is 'you who is wrong'. Unless it's like, 'You, who is the ruler of all the people of Nalatan, are wrong'. But, just having 'who', turns it into a pronoun for the concept of 'you' (it's called relative pronoun), which is referring to Donna. Therefore, it is 'is'.

A good way to remember this is replacing is or are with something else. Like, 'you who was wrong'. Being a native speaker, I can immediately tell by changing it into past tense that 'who was wrong' sounds right. 'you who were wrong' would definitely change the meaning, rather, to plural, not singular.

Also, if you're a native speaker, you would immediately imagine like some medieval story with a silly line 'It is I, the great...' or 'it is you who are'.. all of a sudden, you realise that in those days people referred to a single person in a plural form when you give them more respect. Even adversaries would you use 'you'-plural, because - well, yeah, exactly, they're their adversaries; they would most likely be as great of a success as that person is - and, because of the whole chivalrous thing. And so, if someone says 'you who are..' just take it as a compliment.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 10:41pm

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English-Russian Translator has got the right concept.

However, I would even shorten the list to only white; everything seems to me to be either literary "acceptability" or words that have arguably been gradually accepted over time.

I know for sure 'white', 'whiter', and 'whitest' work. Instead of blacker, I would use 'darker', although I know it's not exactly the same.

Superlatives (like best) and the other term for which I forgot the word (like better) are not limited to having -er and -est suffixes, you must remember.
For many of the words, I would use more and most instead. Like fast would turn into faster, just as strong would turn into stronger, but not all words are like that. Like, 'he is most brilliant at the logistics of..' or 'he is more brilliant at the logistcs of..'. You can't really use 'brillianter'.

But, as mentioned, some words are eventually being accepted like bluer or bluest (I personally still would not use that). 'Tan' would work when you're actually talking about a tan.. but since it's been used that way, it doesn't make a difference whether you're talking about the colour.

Gray/grey can definitely be used, as when someone is talking about the greying of one's hair.

Btw, I thought red, blue, and yellow were the primary colours.
In any case, the general answer I would give is depending on who you are you will argue differently. Like, one who is used to redder being an actual word would say more red or most red doesn't make sense. And, people who don't use it, would say the proper way is more red or most red. I sometimes the -ish suffix when I don't know. Like 'this sun is much more yellowish than it had been before..'

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 10:23pm

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No, both are correct, as in accepted.

And, yes, 'was the previous owner' is also correct, and it doesn't have to mean he's dead.

Although David's answer is pretty crafty, he is taking it way to categorical. Like, if you say it this, it can only mean this. Say it another way, it still makes sense, but it necessarily means something else.

In answer to Helen's question, break it down, pretend you're an elementary school student. John was the owner. What kind of owner? The previous owner. If 'was the owner' meant that he was alive, adding 'previous' doesn't make him dead.

Both 'was' and 'is' the owner are both correct, but in a grammatically structured perspective, 'was' is the preferred word of usage. In this perspective, 'is the previous owner' does not make sense. If he is, then he can't at the same time not be, as 'previous' would mean that he only was and is not anymore the incumbent owner. However, since 'previous' can be used as meaning the same thing as 'former' or 'ex-', in which case it would make perfect sense, 'is the previous owner' can still make sense and is considered correct. But most people don't actually think all that when it's just spitting out of your mouth real fast.

In the case of 'John was the former owner', the 'former owner' can be thought of as one word or concept - that has already been established - then adding 'was' in the picture makes him dead, in most cases, but it's also accepted to mean that he's not necessarily dead.

Once again, to clarify, 'previous' is simply an adjective to owner, not part of the same concept, although you would normally have to think of it as the same concept or else you would get confused real easily.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 10:05pm

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It doesn't matter about the history.

All we have to know is that there was a history to OK, and the oral code OK was eventually adopted. Now, for the written code, people wrote it down as OK, as in the letters OK, or O.K., as in O.K. means 'alright', but it's still an abbreviation. Eventually, it came to a point where OK's origin did not matter. Since a lot of anglophones don't like reading two capitalised letters together unless it's an actual improper noun, to decapitalise it, it was written as okay. Some people, because 'okay' is simply the sounding written version, think it illegitimate, and so, use 'OK' or 'O.K.'.

I personally think 'okay' is semi-stupid, and 'ok' is the proper use. If it's made it into a word, treat it like one! Anglophones are just usually stubborn to adopt a word that doesn't make sense in terms of sounding as it's spelt. Of course, there are many exceptions to that, but in some way it still makes sense to them. 'ok', however doesn't make sense to them at all. So it's usually one of the first three mentioned. There is some hidden rule to some people that words spelt the way it's pronounced the same as it were if they were simply the letters pronounced is wrong. There are still so many people who spell 'tv' 'TV' or even 'T.V.', which I find quite ridiculous.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 9:49pm

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The other thing I look to add is some people think 'this is she' is more formal for some reason.. I think there's a term for that in linguistics, when people think they know the real way but they really don't. It usually comes as a result of 'this is she' being more foreign and, therefore, more correct, or more formal. Ok, I know that is not a good explanation, but if you know what I'm talking about, you will understand.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 9:37pm

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'this is she' and 'this is her' are both correct.

Not only does 'this is her' sound better to my ears or is in common usage, I compare it to other sentences. Read all along above for many examples.

'This is she' sounds like something from Shakespeare or some other older-style English. Like, 'He who removes the sword from the stone is..' or 'This is he who removed...'. 'This is she' needs something else, really. But, grammatically, 'this is she' is still correct. As a general note, you use 'she' for the subject, and not 'her' as the sole subject, but 'her' as the object. But normally, like 'Give it to she' is not correct, unless it's 'give it to she who possesses the power of..'. Another way of saying that is 'give it her, who possesses the power of..'.

I never though of speaking as this is her speaking, as in this is her speech or her speaking (the way she speaks), but rather as 'this is her, speaking'. In that case, it would be the same thing as 'this is she, speaking', or 'this is she who speaks of..'.

But 'speaking', was always a short form for 'yes, speaking' for me. Like, may I speak to Db? 'Yes, speaking' (as in, yes, you may, and btw, I'M speaking to you, so don't act as if I'm not even there). In this way, I always think of it like That's me, speaking. Or, yes, I'm speaking. When someone talks to you in the third person, you don't confirm that you're not him by saying this is her or she. What's wrong with you! Say, no! Hey, looky here, that's me, I'm speaking, please. That' just my opinion, anyway.

dbfreak November 16, 2010, 9:34pm

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