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October 8, 2011
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Just went back and read through every comment made after mine. Quite a few good points, all of which would be best to have with a good pint of ale in hand and a few laughs to lighten the mood... that said: On a lighter note (and pardon lack of paragraphs and some typos above) I skimmed through that list of be- words that you posted here and found that I was familiar with most of them and apply them liberally in conversation and in writing.I love the AS tung/tounge, tunge... and those who employ it. But I still agree with Mediator: "It's all a matter of choice, but I would say that while terminal prepositions may be OK in everyday speech, I would try to avoid them while writing." There is a time and place for informality, but informality is less elegant, regardless of the origin of words. And please, this box is none too steady, so please do not attempt to kick it out from under me, hoping to 'set me in my place'... at least it isn't dangling from the end of my sentence ;-D
AnWulf obviously took umbrage with my comment and my use of the term "real English"... however, I do believe you took it to an extreme that was not intended, and that may be my own fault for not having put it within quotation marks "to begin with." (as in that last bit, which is an example of which we are speaking.) What I meant by "real English" means out of the idiomatic which can't be understood culturally by outsiders. So if I say "I will run for office" someone who speaks another language, taking my words literally, might think I was going out for a run. That is partly what I meant by more elegant. Beyond that (and some lovely and articulate points were made by both AnWulf and Brus), when a statement is made that has order and symmetry, it appears more elegant and "well thought out." This does not mean that latinates, in and of themselves, are more elegant. Anglo-saxon words can be elegant. If the word is the best word to use and most closely means what you are attempting to say, then it is the most elegant, most articulate and ITS ORIGIN has nothing, zero, zip, nulla, nada whatsoever to do with anything. AnWulf, you took my statement off into left field. We were talking about dangling participles and prepositions, not etymology. By the way, what are the anglo-saxon words for educated and articulate or even for preposition and participle? I think that perhaps you should make a lexicon of anglo-saxon words. You might make yourself some money from those too nationalistic to see that language is, after all, employed to communicate with others. Those "others" often dictate the trends in language and loan words to other languages. As Spanish becomes the predominant language in the U.S. and White, Anglo-Saxons become a minority, I believe we will see ever more latinate words usurping the place of words from the Anglo-Saxon lexicon... this is how the world turns. And please, do not take offense at anything I've said, or how I've said it. I should have used a word from Anglo-Saxon to begin with, so that you were not led astray from the intended point: Slang is just that and just so idioms and other parts of speech and there is a time and place for them. But poorly chosen and ill-utilized words and phrases never leave a brilliant impression. There are many places and situations, and in most of them, a more educated approach will get you farther, make more impact. I'm sure you can't deny that.
truth be told, someone in the press office probably had a deadline for an article about some sporting event, or other. In the rush to make the deadline... someone mistakenly pressed the wrong key on the keyboard. M and N laying just next to one another as they do, is not an impossible error to have made. Thereafter, other journalists, poking fun at the journalist's mistake, and the remainder of the English speaking world being, largely, dunces at their own language, no one caught it until you did ;-D
I saw your comment and came to suggest the same usage as "under duress." This term implies that it was "under" certain pressure, or time constraint. It could have been written another way, but "under urgency" is being used to communicate the urgent necessity of the Act being passed into law. And as the Wolf said, I'd be more interested to know WHY there was an Act before Parliament that required them to act, likely without benefit of much study, research and/or dissection of the Act, prior to voting on it and passing it into law. Something sounds fishier there than in the language. Perhaps there was a subliminal "something is wrong" that underscored your perception ;-D
obviously it is not always possible to not end a sentence with a preposition, such as in the case of, "I am fed up." but in this case fed up is idiomatic and must stand as a substitute for, "I am irritated" (which would be more elegant, indeed, and sound more learned.), or "I am at the end of my rope." (also idiomatic and figurative, unless you are an acrobat who is literally at the end of their rope). So in Churchill's example, he was attempting to apply the literary rule to an idiomatic expression (put up with... doesn't that mean you were stored away up high?) and that rule does not apply to many idiomatic expressions and hence render it impossible to apply in that given case.
However, as a person who translates books and movies for a living (and having had to make sense in a different language of books riddled with idioms), I find it is easier, by far, to have to articulate into another language, phrases that opt for the more elegant approach to communicating an idea than the idiomatic way, which makes me translate twice: once into real English and then into the corresponding language) .. At least, as a translator, it makes my work much less tedious and time-consuming when the elegant is employed. On the other hand, oftentimes the character of a work would be rendered sterile, or antiseptic, if the vernacular were not employed, i.e., Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Their Eyes Were Watching God, to name a few Classics of American literature) I say, whenever possible, that outside of your conversations with friends, and the written word which "requires" idioms be used, that one should always try to employ the more elegant (non-prepositional-ending) way of saying something. It simply sounds more educated and well-thought-out.
...or disagree. ;-P
another thing just occurred to me in the case of the movie title...knowing how they think in Hollywood, having lived in the world of movies for 25 years, this is likely rendered Two Week Notice because they are simultaneously speaking of 2 things... and actually intend a pun. That is to say, that the 2-week notice Julia Roberts gives Hugh Grant give his "2 weeks to notice" he loves her, before she is out of his life for good. So... given the nature of titles to stand for multiple things, I think what Hollywood and the writers were wanting to leave you with, ultimately was his 2 weeks to notice her and say something to her.... Wonder if anyone else out there would agree.
What an interesting read... one that took me away from my project for an hour's time. ;-DFirst, to Stephanie, it would actually be a "five-minute warning" for reasons I will point out below.To end the debate, if there continues to be any, in the example, "In two weeks' time, I will be resigning," the apostrophe is correct, if one could also say, "in the time of two weeks, I will be resigning." (ostensibly "of" denotes possession of time and "time" is ascribed to the 2 weeks, hence it acts as a plural possessive.)If you are going to leave off the word "time," then the statement must revert to, "In two weeks I will be resigning."The only other correct way to say this would be to say, "a two-week notice" in which case, as in "five-minute warning," the words 'two' and 'week' would be acting as an adjective modifying the word 'warning' and would need to be hyphenated. Such as in my 2-year-old son, vs. my son is 2 years old.In the case of the original question about the title of the movie, using these criteria we have discussed here and throughout the thread, "Two Weeks' Notice" would be correct, or, if anyone in Hollywood had given it any serious thought, "Two-week Notice."Now, I must go back to work as I do not want anyone giving me a two weeks' notice of a two-week notice on this project. ;-D
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