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Joined: March 21, 2006  (email not validated)
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It's the second annual event, because the counting going on in this case is counting the series and it would be the second in the series.

If you had a Masked Ball one year, the next would be the Second Masked Ball. Both 'green' and 'annual' are adjectives.

First Annual is sometimes rejected by newspaper editors because it's predictive and doesn't describe the present state of affairs which reporters should report. You could say 'first of a planned series of annual' but until the event has occurred twice it isn't actually being held annually.

Actually though, 'first annual' is more often rejected because it just sounds a bit odd.

andy September 18, 2006, 11:18pm

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It's from the usage of the French word that the English usage derives.

The French root is 'quartier' which can indeed refer to a fraction or an area of a town. But it is also used to refer to a camp, encampment, gite or lodgings. I've found references to that usage from as early as the 15th century so it's certainly a very old usage.

Looking further back though as to where that French usage comes from, there cold well be a clue in that the Spanish word 'cuarto' also functions as both quarter (fraction) and quarters (habitation)... when both French and Spanish seem to have common usage, the root is usually Latin.

I can't find anything specific in Latin that looks like a root though. There are two possible things one might look at:

Roman camps were built to quite specific specifications both when tent camps and permanent camps were built. The camps were usually split into quarters by 'streets' with soldiers living in tents/barracks in each quarter and the higher officers in the centre of the camp. There isn't a word in Latin resembling quarter that is used in this regard but it's possible that such a template was used later and then referred to as allocating soldiers to their quarters.

The other possibility is to do with seasons i.e. quarters of the year. Roman soldiers had separate terms for winter and summer camps... so one might guess that it was to do with that.

I'd tend towards the first explanation myself. Quarters of military encampment with soldiers being allocated to quarters, but it's largely guesswork really without any real etymological basis.

andy September 16, 2006, 2:30pm

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If you prefer to correct the quote, I believe the correct way to do it is to use: "Blah blah blah... [the United States Geological Survey] ... blah blah blah" isn't it? You remove the incorrect part and then put the correction in square brackets to show that it is editorial.

I quite like the footnote idea too, but I don't think it follows the correct format and for a thesis you should really follow the etiquette of these things accurately.


andy May 1, 2006, 11:47pm

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English is not a language that uses separate nouns to distinguish between sexes regularly enough for there to be strong rules regarding such usage. The mixture of linguistic roots in English makes it difficult to apply consistent suffix rules to all of the nouns involved and use of suffixes isn't strong in English for other purposes. As a result, social pressure has put pressure upon those nouns that can distinguish between sexes and has succeded in largely removing them.

During the two world wars but particularly during and after WWII, women became active in professions where men had previously filled almost all positions. There was also some expansion of women's roles in the middle-ages after plagues. Where there had previously been no need for separate masculine and feminine versions of such nouns, the lack of any consistent rules that could be applied made it difficult to find satisfactory solutions in many cases. Combined with social pressure for equality between men and women, the result has been neutralisation of nouns so that they are used non-gender specifically.

The exceptions tend to come with latinate words that remain strongly preserved and have clear modifications for gender specificity. These are the ones that still seem to hold on, but are rapidly disappearing as the language becomes more and more neuter oriented.

An example of a language with much more consistent usage of such nouns is German which consistently uses such nouns. The consistency of usage makes differentiation intrinsic to the language itself and there has been little or no social pressure to change this.

It's also noticeabe that languages that use masculine, feminine and neuter pronouns and noun endings to agree with the gender (like French) have also experienced less pressure to neutralise gender specific nouns.

There are a few gender specific nouns that remain very strongly embedded in English though: Husband and Wife being perhaps the best example. Spouse could be used here just as effectively, but despite considerable pressure on nouns defining gender roles, 'husband ande wife' seem remarkably resisilient in usage.

The roots for the changes in English lie partly in the linguistic make-up of the English language and partly in social pressures toward sexual equality.

andy April 27, 2006, 1:42am

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I too know this as the Southern American "Hi y'all" as a contraction of 'you all'. I've been told that it originates from the distinction drawn in many languages (e.g. French and German) between the pronouns for you singular and you plural. The idea being that 'you all' was a way of expressing the plural you that doesn't exist per se in English.

I'd also been told that in the southern American dialects a distinction is often drawn between "Hi y'all" (used as singular) and "Hi you all" (used as plural). This idea always appealed to me, although I can't say from experience whether it's a real distinction that is drawn in those dialects.

andy April 11, 2006, 4:25am

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The two words are interchangeable and can be used with the same meaning.

Dependency, however, has a special meaning used in Psychology that means overreliance on a person or thing. Strictly speaking, it would be incorrect to say "My dependence on heroin" in the context of psychology. The sentence is correct and the meaning is the same, but it would be counted as incorrect terminology.

Dependency is a specialist word in the psychological sense, just as it is a specialist word when used to mean a subject territory of a state which does not have a contiguous border to that state (such as Hawaii and Alaska).

andy March 21, 2006, 6:19am

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I'd guess that the English "oi" is more probably linked to the Dutch "Hoi" which is used as "hi" or "hello". Hej, hi, hoi, hey etc all most likely share the same root I'd have thought.

I'd also guess that the Dutch hoi is the root of the nautical "Ahoy", give that coutry's strong nautical heritage and contribution to nautical terms, which would also acount for the more common British English usage of "oi" being an exclamation to attract attention as in "Oi! What are you doing here?".

andy March 21, 2006, 1:18am

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