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August 6, 2004
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OK, Jun-Dai and speedwell, I've finally verified the thing in a usage dictionary -- you are right, and I was wrong.
Naw, on second thought, still I'm not fully persuaded.
A *targeted* search shows that while "envy" itself is a widely used word, the percentage of the "envy-whom-what" usage cases is vanishingly small.
I've run the searches you've suggested along with a few similar via Google (although not blindly, but in a targeted way, via the "site:" modifier) on the BBC site (news.bbc.co.uk), Telegraph (www.telegraph.co.uk), and The New York Times (www.nyt.com)
All three sites, when searched on "envy" only, or envy-whom, or envy-what, produce massive numbers of hits. Now, when searched on the "envy-whom-what" construct (EWW):
The BBC site searches result in half a dosen EWW hits, some of which are quotes from some guy on the street being interviewed (and therefore not authoritative.) Your own page (with the language-related questions) is good, of course, so I have to accept this whom-what construct is legit, at least as far as BBC.
The NYT site searches result in ZERO (0) EWW hits.The Telegraph site searches result in zero EWW hits.
All right then. I'm going to settle on the following: the construct seems legal, but almost entirely absent in current usage.
OK, that's been an interesting investigation, thanks everyone. Now, let's hit something else :-)...------------------------------------------------PS. You were right, the quote is from Froude -- James A. Froude (1818 - 1894) . That's better than Shakespeare of course, but still not current.
Damn, right you are again. :-)
OK, seems like you're right; I give up.
Not quite. All languages use the tilde (as the "approximate" sign, not as the spanish diacritic that goes over the letter like this "ñ": you can't achieve this latter with the "~" key). The "`" is a backtick (or backquote), and not the accent grave like in "è"-- again, "`" is a character, not a diacritic, which the accent grave is. You can't type a backtick "in" over another character. These things look similar -- just like 1 and I sometimes look similar, or zero and the O -- but they're not the same as far as the keyboard. Well, anyway, it doesn't matter.
Well, if you're not using quotes around the spelled-out version, why would you quote the acronym? Of course no quotes are necessary. The North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) -- no quotes. Why would you quote it? Is there any figurative meaning involved here? Direct speech? No. An acronym is an exact substitute of its fully spelled equivalent: if you don't quote one, you don't quote the other.
Yeah, I understand your point, but I don't think it's right. You indeed can "give David a hat", or "give a hat to David", but I don't think you can "envy David his success", or "envy his success to David". That was the point. You either invy David, or his success, but not both in one breath.
The example you've attached comes from Shakespeare, no? There's a lot of stuff in Shakespeare that's no longer used. In fact to read Sh. you need a translation these days. It's not a good example. Give me a current correct usage. I'm not insisting on there not being any; what I'm saying is that I've never seen it; that this usage that you propose grates on my ear; and that it seems to use the same word in two different meanings simultaneously.
The examples of "begrudge", "give", "cost", "forgive", etc. don't help here -- I know these verbs can be used like this. But it says nothing about "envy"! Show me "to envy" in that context -- a legit and current example. I'm honestly curious to find out. The best source would be some modern usage guide or a recent article in a major English-language newspaper or a recent book. I couldn't find anything.
Btw, speedwell -- you say "Increased familiarity with correct English writing will convince you of this". Can you point to any examples of such use in correct and current English writing? Let's get to the bottom of it.
There aren't many left, and those few that remain are usually located in rather run-down neighborhoods (well, unsurprisingly, if you think what their business is.) You won't find any at an upscale locale.
Definitely "at war" -- and not "was" but "has been". "Was" means a condition that took place once and since ended. "Has been" means was and remains so now. So, "As far back as I remember the country has been at war."
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