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July 9, 2011
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We were taught that "o'clock" meant "of the clock," even though that's not a phrase that makes sense to the American ear. So it was an explanation that fell short... but it's a use of "of" in the timely context, like "quarter of."
Your mention of "quarter of" also made me think of "half ten," as opposed to "half past ten." In the US we only hear "half ten" in British TV & movies. (and I'm assuming it means "half past," rather than "half an hour before.")
So you're saying a Chav would say "think to," I take it. ("Think to" is something that I'd never heard of until this thread.) But do you think that it pre-dates the Chav? or are Chavs just the newest incarnation of a long-lived subculture?
I never thought much about "quarter of," but I get it. I can't say that I've noticed a class distinction in who uses "quarter of" vs. "quarter to" -- they're used interchangeably.
In the US, we said Legos all the time.
So that when a competitor's product in the future is referred to as LEGO by the media or in other contexts, the company has a paper trail showing that it has vigorously defended its mark over time. (Worse yet, a Chinese knock-off uses LEGO or something very close to LEGO in its branding).
That is, the letter is written to the newspaper, but it's not really about the newspaper as much as it it's about the record for the files, in case it's ever needed in the future.
The newspaper can do what it wants.
The point of the letter is to be on record in protecting the use of the TM...preventing it from becoming genericized due to lack of policing its use.
Searching google for the "to" phrase in quotes along with the word "Usage" yields a few results.
1) In Urban Dictionary, it's used as an example in a decidedly British definition and example dialog
2) Here it's used by SineadTemptation, who also writes British, not American
So it's used in the UK. You'd have to ask a literate Brit what kind of person uses it.
In the example, the date is an adjective describing which "card." Using the ordinal would be the most correct, I think, but it's optional if you're not trying to be formal. I'd have no problem if the community discussing such cards decided to collectively drop the ordinals for simplicity.
A google search for the second usage, between quotes, turns up over 2 million results.
In the USA "to" is not right. If you catch someone from the USA and in the USA using it, punish him severely. I cannot speak for whether it's acceptable in the UK. Those Brits say all kinds of things that we don't. And allow for that there are dozens of dialects there, some of them fully based on illiteracy (as is the case here).
I knew a girl from the South of the USA who always said, "Smell of it" as a command. It was wrong, but I figured it was a regional thing.
As for the Google search results, I'm not reading enough of them to figure out if it's regional.
Using a brand name as a noun isn't grammatically incorrect. But the company may specify how it likes to see the trade name used in print. So colloquially, "Hand me those LEGOs, please," is probably fine. But if you were writing in a newspaper, "The child threw five LEGOs at his friend's head," you should expect a letter from the company asking for a correction to "threw five LEGO brand bricks," or something similar.
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