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Joined: August 6, 2004  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 22
Votes received: 58

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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.

full stop August 7, 2004, 5:18pm

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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 :-)...
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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.

full stop August 7, 2004, 7:36am

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Damn, right you are again. :-)

full stop August 7, 2004, 6:32am

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OK, seems like you're right; I give up.

full stop August 7, 2004, 6:31am

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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.

full stop August 6, 2004, 6:54pm

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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.

full stop August 6, 2004, 6:37pm

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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.

full stop August 6, 2004, 6:30pm

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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.

full stop August 6, 2004, 1:09pm

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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.

full stop August 6, 2004, 12:56pm

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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."

full stop August 6, 2004, 12:49pm

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All countries do that. "The Unites States" in French is "Les Etats Unis". The UK is "L'Angleterre". "Germany" in French is "L'Allemagne" while Germans call it "Deutchland". Switzerland in French is "La Suisse". Mosow in French is "Moscou" and it's actually "Moskva" in Russian. Kopenhagen is actually something like "København". "Holland" in French is "Les Pays Bas", the locals there -- "les Hollandais", for which the English is "Dutch". Who knows why? Just because, I guess. A bunch of historical accidents.

Why everyone laughed, I'm not sure; it depends on how this particular kind of drink is actually called -- there'd be nothing out of the ordinary if it were in fact "Weiner coffee", after all, we have "consommé" and "hors d'oeuvres" -- even in English. Btw, "weiner" is also slang for "penis".

full stop August 6, 2004, 12:43pm

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And finally, I apologize to "blah" -- contrary to what I said, he did understand the situation and was going in the right direction; I was actually looking at Jun-Dai's message when commenting the first time. He errs in thinking that "begrudge" and "envy" are identical; they are not. You do "begrudge" something to someone; but with "envy" you can only either feel envy toward someone (a person), or regard with envy something (a thing or event): you can think of these envy1 and envy2 as if they were two different words -- which, semantically, they are -- whose spellings happen to coincide. Like homonyms, I guess.

full stop August 6, 2004, 11:53am

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Other correct alternatives:

"I don't envy the probable consequences you'll have to deal with."

"I don't envy David's future frustration."

full stop August 6, 2004, 11:38am

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OK, here is the probably the solution to the conundrum: the verb "to envy" allows of two meanings (I quote from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000. -- http://www.bartleby.com/61/89/E0168900.html)

TRANSITIVE VERB:
Inflected forms: en·vied, en·vy·ing, en·vies
1. To feel envy toward. 2. To regard with envy.
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It then becomes clear that in Vindibul's examples the same word is used in both senses simultaneously, which can hardly be correct. Iow, in "I do not envy David the frustration he'll experience", the "I don't envy David" part requires the first meaning (I feel envy toward David -- well, I actually do not in that case, but that doesn't matter), whereas the "I don't envy the frustration" part -- the second (I regard something -- in this case "experience" -- with envy.)

In Vindibul's examples both meanings have been collapsed into a single word: that's probably why they don't sound right -- just like the phrase "I run fast and a grocery store" doesn't sound right, although when taken separately, both "I run fast" and "I run a grocery store" are fine.

One thing I'm sure of -- I've never seen such a use of the verb "envy" in print. So, even if it is, as you say, correct but obsolete, it must be REALLY obsolete, like maybe going back to Shakespeare or something. It's not used this way today, that's for sure; whether it had ever been used like this, I cannot say.

full stop August 6, 2004, 11:25am

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OK, here is the probably the solution to the conundrum: the verb "to envy" allows of two meanings (I quote from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.  2000. -- http://www.bartleby.com/61/89/E0168900.html)

TRANSITIVE VERB:
Inflected forms: en·vied, en·vy·ing, en·vies
1. To feel envy toward. 2. To regard with envy.
-------------------------------------------------------

It then becomes clear that in Vindibul's examples the same word is used in both senses simultaneously, which can hardly be correct. Iow, in "I do not envy David the frustration he'll experience", the "I don't envy David" part requires the first meaning (I feel envy toward David -- well, I actually do not in that case, but that doesn't matter), whereas the "I don't envy the frustration" part -- the second (I regard something -- in this case "experience" -- with envy.)

In Vindibul's examples both meanings have been collapsed into a single word: that's probably why they don't sound right -- just like the phrase "I run fast and a grocery store" doesn't sound right, although when taken separately, both "I run fast" and "I run a grocery store" are fine.

One thing I'm sure of -- I've never seen such a use of the verb "envy" in print. So, even if it is, as you say, correct but obsolete, it must be REALLY

full stop August 6, 2004, 11:24am

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Now, to be more authoritative, I quote from a dictionary:

"A woman does not envy a man for his fighting courage, nor a man a woman for her beauty. --Collier."

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=envy

Of course, according to your views it should have been ""A woman does not envy a man his fighting courage, nor a man a woman her beauty." But it's not, so that's that. It simply grates on the ear -- though I'm not sure how to formulate the rule. It simply requires a preposition when used this way. And it's rarely used even like that, mostly it's either "I envy him" or "I envy something". Maybe it's different cases? "I envy him" is dative, "I envy his fate" is accusative? Meaning it's not both at once? I'm not sure.

full stop August 6, 2004, 9:45am

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No. Sorry, you're wrong. You can envy someone, not something. Hmm... wait a sec... well, you can actually say, "I envy your success". But not "I envy David his success". All right, I don't know how to express the rule here, but you get the gist of it, I hope. Either/or, I guess.

"To envy" is not grammatically identical to "to begrudge" -- it would be correct to say, "I dont' begrudge David his success", but to use "envy" here, you'd have to say something "I don't envy David because of his success".

full stop August 6, 2004, 9:21am

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No <i>more</i> foreign, I meant.

full stop August 6, 2004, 8:45am

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The word is French. The original spelling is "résumé", and this is the preferred spelling in English as well. However, since no English keyboard has a key with "é" on it (I type it via Alt-130 now) it has become accepted to simply say "resume". "Resumé" is not here not there -- if you know how to achieve the accent-aigue, then type the word correctly with both Es accented, if not, well, then use the un-accented version. The plural is "résumés" (or "resumes", depending on how you prefer to deal with the accents.) It is so both in English and in French.

The term "CV" is used too, quite a bit. In fact, it may be preferred because it's no less foreign than "resume", while being shorter and having no accents :-) ...

full stop August 6, 2004, 8:44am

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Yes, a pawnshop is a commercial establishment where you can get a bit of cash quick by pledging something portable as a security; it's a place where you can get this kind of quick loan really. If you don't pay back in time, you forefeit the piece and the pawnbroker will sell it to recuperate the loss. It is also known as "lombard" or "lombard-house".

full stop August 6, 2004, 8:35am

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