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March 22, 2011
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Errors like this are becoming more prevalent for sure. I see them everyday (sic). It maybe (sic) because people are exposed to a lot more non-proof-read text (such as online), and they get their ideas of what is and isn't correct English from that, so we end up in a vicious circle.
Brus: o = i in "women".
@MagicMatt: "...'think' is not a noun people!"It can be: "I'll have a good think about that and get back to you."
Although as people have said, we're dealing with an idiom, so whether or not 'think' is a noun is pretty much irrelevant.
Yes my own rogue apostrophes were deliberate! I hope I didn't come off as an apostrophe snob there. I agree that, for whatever reason, some people attach too much importance to the little mark. However, because of those people, wayward apostrophes can make you appear uneducated.
If it was up to me, I'd get rid of apostrophes for possessions (although what I'd do with "Chris's" I'm not so sure).
Interesting to see "errata's" there. I thought errata was already a plural!
Back on topic, I think "another think coming" is a richer idiom than the "thing" version, and I'm glad to have found out about it.
I'll be honest: before reading this thread I thought it was most definitely "thing", so thanks for educating me! I doubt I've seen the phrase much in print, and in speech it's hard to distinguish between "think coming" and "thing coming".
As for greengrocer's apostrophe's, the last time I visited the UK three years ago I was at a market in Cambridgeshire and those apostrophe's were rampant! I remember seeing "asparagu's" and printed signs for hot dog's, chip's and so on. I wonder how many of them are deliberate.
WW: "Between the late sixties and the early nineties there was hardly any grammar taught in British state schools as a reaction against the conservatism of grammar teaching at that time."
I was educated in the UK at the back end of that period; grammar hardly figured. I remember learning that verbs were "doing words", adjectives were "describing words", and that was about it. I picked up some English grammar in French lessons, and by watching Countdown when someone would have a dodgy "agent noun" disallowed.
Wow, very nice blog WW. But dont's? C'mon! (Unless it's deliberate, like "apostrophe's").
I'm in NZ and I hardly every use (or hear) "farther"; it has largely fallen out of use I think.The only time I'd really want to use "farther" and the superlative "farthest" is if I was talking about distances measurable in light years: "the farthest galaxies". Somehow in that situation plain old "further"/"furthest" doesn't cut it any more.
Ah, I now see that "hone in" vs "home in" was a hot topic on here in late 2011. Hence Tom's use of "hone in".
I've been pondering this. If enough people spell/pronounce/use a word/phrase in a certain way, does that make it correct?If enough people say "nucular", is that pronunciation correct?If enough people write "supercede", is that spelling correct?If enough people write "Sorry your leaving", is that correct?
PS: I think "try and ..." is perfectly fine in all but the most formal of situations.
PPS: I notice Tom in TX wrote "hone in on" (Nov 2011). Is that accepted usage now?
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