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Joined: January 11, 2012
Comments posted: 15
Votes received: 11

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Hairy, 'fine' is merely a single word utterance, not a sentence, by your wife. It is so often the final word in a 'discussion' with a wife. This is in contrast to 'I do', which IS a sentence... a life sentence at that.

dougincanada March 14, 2012, 5:22pm

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Heather, IMO, bathroom is no funnier than restroom. I know when I go a public bathroom or restroom, I don't bathe or rest... it's all business!

dougincanada February 16, 2012, 8:17am

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Brus, are you sure that American pupil wasn't Canadian? 'Bathroom' is the common term used here in Canada. In my frequent visits to the US, I have noticed that 'restroom' is the prevalent term there.

dougincanada February 15, 2012, 11:48am

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JJMB, your responses are laughable. Again, you have failed to give YOUR reasons why 'fine' and 'sure' are sentences, besides the fact that you say so. You have merely put down my and other posters' responses or asked more questions. You have waved off dictionary meanings and definitions from structural grammar. Lastly, you have dissed 'the father of modern linguistics'. By the way, did it take you so long to figure out who Chomsky was? I guess we will have to wait till YOUR book comes out to find out YOUR theories on grammar.
I will not reply to another post from you until you have something thoughtful or credible to offer to the original question.

dougincanada February 15, 2012, 8:46am

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Yes, (that is) exactly (right).
The omitted words can be inferred, as I explained to JJMB. Perhaps he has not reached that higher level of thinking yet? lol.

dougincanada February 3, 2012, 3:05pm

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OK, JJMB, you don't like the definition of a sentence in structural grammar. The dictionary meaning is too simplistic for you. Tell me then how Chomsky would explain 'fine', 'sure', and 'shit' in TG terms. What are their deep structure? Show me their tree diagrams.
Or are Chomsky's rules too 'petty and contrived' too?

dougincanada February 2, 2012, 9:29am

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Well, Professor, you still fail to enlighten me as to WHY 'fine', 'sure', 'done', and 'there' are complete sentences then, if you discard the context explanation (you make no mention of the inferred/understood explanation). And back it up with some sources, would you? You merely deride my explanation without offering your own. I didn't claim to have a higher level of language than you, though like you, I did take Latin 101.
'Shit' is not a sentence, but merely an interjection, much like 'ouch' or 'wow'.
'Language is too expressive to be contained by petty and contrived regulations.'
But they are necessary. Language anarchist, are you? You're probably one of those who not only approve of, but say 'If you need help, just call my wife and I.'

dougincanada February 2, 2012, 7:15am

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Professor Ballantyne is strangely silent. Please enlighten us as to WHY you think 'fine', 'sure', and 'surely not' ARE sentences. Perhaps you come from the same 'because I say so' school of grammar you accuse me of coming from? Or is it that other school of 'I see it so it must be true'. LOL.
Have you not progressed beyond the basic level of language use of single words and phrases? :)

dougincanada February 1, 2012, 3:15pm

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I call my shithouse my 'log cabin'. The urinal is the well.

dougincanada February 1, 2012, 6:48am

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Out here in BC, Canada, I have only heard Sco-sha as you say.
'Scothia'? I would say this girl has a lisp!

dougincanada January 31, 2012, 11:33am

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And furthermore.... to answer your question above re: 'surely not', Professor... the subject and predicate are inferred and understood: ('Fine' is) surely not (a sentence).
Try saying 'surely not' to someone out of context and see what reaction you'll get. It lacks meaning without a subject and predicate. Hence, it is not a sentence.

dougincanada January 30, 2012, 4:59pm

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Professor Ballantyne, clearly, my post needs elaboration. My definition of a sentence is not 'because I say so'. Most dictionaries give the same definition. If you disagree with their definitions, then take it up with them.
Oxford Dictionary defines a sentence as 'a set of words that is complete in itself, TYPICALLY containing a SUBJECT AND PREDICATE, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses.'
Webster Dictionary's definition is 'A combination of words which is complete as expressing a thought, and in writing is marked at the close by a period, or full point.'
Therefore, by both definitions, 'fine' and 'sure' are not sentences. Neither are 'not so', 'there', and 'done'. These words do not mean anything if written or uttered by themselves since they do not express a complete thought. However, put them into a proper context, and the thought is complete. They are then sentences. The subject and predicate are inferred or understood (and therefore not necessary).
Example: 'fine' by itself is not a sentence, but an adjective. Put it a context: 'How are you feeling today?' 'Fine' is accepted as a sentence since it means 'I am fine' ('I am' is understood)
Example: 'not so' by itself is not a sentence. Put it in a context: 'A sentence has a subject and a predicate.' 'Not so.' means 'It is not so', so it is acceptable as a sentence. ('it is' is understood)
So your assertion that 'One-word sentences can and do exist.' has to be qualified by saying it depends on the context in which they are used.

dougincanada January 30, 2012, 3:00pm

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No, 'fine' is not a sentence. A sentence needs a subject and predicate. People do not always speak in complete sentences (by definition), but often in single words or phrases, like 'no', 'surely not', 'in the house'... there are endless examples.

dougincanada January 27, 2012, 11:33pm

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Sorry, that should've been 'a' sound in my post.

dougincanada January 11, 2012, 9:47am

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Most Canadians pronounce 'aunt' like 'ant''s in the dictionary. Likewise, we use the same 'ay' sound in Tanya, Sarah, tacos, pajamas (second 'a'). But on American tv shows I hear the 'aw' sound in the same words (Tawnya, Sawrah, tawcos, pajawmas). I think it's a dialectal difference, and it may vary within the US accordingly.

dougincanada January 11, 2012, 9:30am

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