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Joined: October 4, 2011  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 4
Votes received: 3

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Recent Comments

"August 20" always jars my British eye and I am likely to read it as "August twenty" before realising it means the twentieth of August. August 20th and 20th (of) August are both correct in British English, but less so in American English, it seems.

On a related note, it always seems strange to me that 9/11 has caught on in Britain for the WTC attack, but there you go.

Personally, I think it would be easier if we all used the ISO date format YYYY/MM/DD in all written and spoken English, e.g. 2011/09/20. This would at least have the advantage of putting computer files with the date in the file-name in the correct date and alphabetical order.

Timbo October 4, 2011, 4:21pm

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Brus, my apologies, I rendered your username incorrectly. I am sorry about that..

Timbo October 4, 2011, 4:03pm

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If anyone else were reading this thread they would surely agree with Brutus.

If anyone else was reading this thread, then they have surely stopped by now.

That said, I would have to agree that "counterfactual" is a perfectly good and useful word.

Timbo October 4, 2011, 4:00pm

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"Think to" is used in three ways that I can think of:

1 "The mouse is closer than you think to the cheese." Here "to"refers back to "closer" not to "think", so I think we can discount it as not relevant to this discussion.

2 "think to ruin where it seemed to raise" (Ben Johnson). "Think" is here used in a sense closer to "plan" and so it does make sense.

3 It is sometimes used in British English, or at least local dialects, in the sense in the original question above, but usually in a more combative or challenging manner, for example "What do you think to that then, eh?" I have heard it in inforrmal spoken English (in the beautiful English city of Birmingham; I can't speak for other places) in a less challenging tone, such as the example given above of "what do you think to my new car?"; however, I would suggest that it is usually only used informally.

As to whether it is correct in this third sense, I would suggest it is one of those happy quirks of unusual usages that make English such a fun language. As noted above, it very much imples "towards" and physical movement, which perhaps adds a certain nuance that "of" or "about" don't possess.

Timbo October 4, 2011, 3:33pm

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