Grammar Gorillas Unite! Peeve Of The Day

Discussion in 'On the bench' started by SPetitt, May 28, 2016.

  1. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Funnily enough, most of the rules around "me and I" etc. are not rules. They are conventions. Therefore there is no problem with using I or me.
    Remembering what language is for. It is a method of conveying meaning between two parties versed in the same medium.

    Therefore the role is to unambiguously provide meaning. Once you have done that, you have succeeded. I note that many contributions here are from umpires who are very well equipped to argue by way of a written down rule-book.
    English has no written down set of rules and restrictions.

    Faux pas such as your and you're, their, there and they're etc. are worth defending because they all mean different things and if your job is to get across meaning, you need to use the words which signify that meaning. Relying on mental gymnastics from your reader means that you're relying on them interpreting you correctly and as such their chances of success mean that they're less likely to come to the same conclusion as you there and then.

    However there is no ambiguity when you use "I" or "me". It is not against any rule and it is simply different people use different convention.

    The argument for/against literally being used wrongly, which it invariably is, is a little different. It has always been a victim of mis-use due to it having a slightly abstract meaning, but it has become worse recently with the advent of self publishing also known as social media.
    We are in a situation now where, idiots, to be heard, must clamour louder than other idiots. Everyone is in competition to be the opinion that others repeat and as such we are adding more and more superlatives to the otherwise worthless epithets which we inflict upon an undeserving and furthermore uncaring world. But for people to want to repeat your chosen piece of keyboard diarrhoea, you must make it apper to be as life changing as possible. Therefore literally has become more a superlative prefix than the boring old adverb it once was.

    To those who rail against those who rail against the misuse of literally.

    If i were to say; for example: "that pizza was exactly the same shape as Catbus in My Neighbour Totoro" when the pizza was just a little oval, you would get an entirely false impression of the pizza, and thus when, one day, you were called, under pain of death, to draw an exact likeness of the pizza you had been told about, you would end up murdered. That would be my fault for not telling you the truth.
    I should, in fact, have said: "that pizza looks a bit like Catbus in My Neighbour Totoro, becuase it was a bit oval and had eyes and mice growing out of it."
    That way you would have the correct information.
    Exactly, and literally do the same work as "a bit" and "figuratively"

    Misuse them and you may be put to death by pizza shape fanatics.

    Language has empirical meanings and conventions. Heed the meanings of things for they allow you convey information accurately, bend the conventions as they allow you to be as illuminating and lyrical as possible.
     
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  2. SPetitt

    SPetitt FHF All Time Great

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    ┬┐Que? o_O
    I was taught to imagine using "I" or "Me" on its own and then the one which sounds correct is correct!
    For example "Me and John (or John and Me) went to town" becomes "Me ...went to town", which is obviously wrong!
    "The prize was for John and I" => "The prize was for .... I" (NO!)
    Simples :)

    Who is Catbus? I thought all pizzas were round !

    Grammar and usage without rules is a bit like hockey without rules and umpires ... the first step to a shambles and anarchy:)
    But as in umpiring the rules should be applied and enforced with a modicum of common sense and flexibility, as long as everyone understands what is going on!
     
    #22 SPetitt, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
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  3. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    FIH Rules of Hockey 2015 changed all the 'less's to 'fewer's, in rules to do with suspension and in new rules for sending players to halfway at PCs. It was fine as was, and as it had been for 20 years or more, with the meaning completely clear, but now reads horribly. Was it really that important?

    Completely unnecessary result of coercion by Grammar Nazis - probably somewhere in England. There are plenty who will argue that it was incorrect, and now it is all correct. But I hate it. Hate. Hate. Hate. :mad:
     
  4. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Less and fewer is easy.

    You have less of something which in unquantified or unquantifiable and fewer of something which is quantified or quantifiable.

    I have fewer oranges than @MunchkinGK but she has far less fruit overall. (for instance)

    I have fewer manners than you, but you have less tact. (You can quantify and count manners, tact is something more nebulous.)
     
  5. GK13

    GK13 FHF Legend

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  6. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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  7. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    I remember @keely posting that in about 2008. Same then as now - the 'someone' could well have been me.

    I'd agree that, when it's a plurality of things fewer, then "fewer" is best, and when it's a fraction less then only "less" will do. But when it is just one less, that's neither one nor the other, so which way to go? I suggest it's down to whether the phase runs smoothly as one writes, speaks or thinks it. For me, "one less player" is pleasant; "one fewer player" is unpleasant.

    Which is why I'd be less peevish with fewer fewers in the FIH Rule Book.
     
    #27 Diligent, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  8. Snoody

    Snoody FHF All Time Great

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    Sorry for arriving late, @redumpire. I was having trouble with a particularly difficult colon.

    There are so many language errors which make me cry tears of frustration. And then I remember that I make a good living correcting other people's writing, and I dab away my tears with pages of Oxford, New Hart's or Fowler's (and Guernsey Twenties). ;-)

    IMHO language constantly evolves and therefore as long as everyone involved in any piece of communication / dialogue understands each other, there's no problem. Innit?
    However, when that communication / dialogue goes on to involve other people and there is a risk of misunderstanding, certain rules should be adhered to. But that doesn't always happen.

    Outside of work, I'm much less (fewer?) of a grammar git than I used to be. Parenthood must be mellowing me.
     
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  9. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    Guilty as charged! Stolen from Keely. Wonder where she is these days?

    But the joke is surely on the guy on the computer rather than the person who is wrong...?
     
  10. Ravennghorde

    Ravennghorde FHF All Time Great

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    Is 3<4?

    Any mathematician reads that as "is 3 less than 4?" Never fewer. So I reckon 10 items or less is mathematically correct.
     
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  11. GK13

    GK13 FHF Legend

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    I believe the reason your example looks weird with 'fewer' is because, in a mathematical sense, you're talking about numbers as singular nouns, whereas in general parlance, numbers are generally adjectives with nouns attached, and therefore almost exclusively plural.
     
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  12. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    The symbols are "lesser than" and "greater than" so as you say, more or less right. That said you would never employ these symbols between numbers as the numbers themselves have inherent value.
    These symbols tend to be used in an algebraic context where there is no obvious known quantity in each algebraic value offered. A<B one would say A is less than B. However if A and B were given context, i.e. they were illustrated as Hula Hoops laid down on the ground with Bananas in them, you would then say that A has fewer Bananas in it than B.

    So at the risk of getting a seat in Pedant's Corner, 3<4 would not be used by Mathletes as the values are inherent in the numbers. It is all about context.
     
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  13. GK13

    GK13 FHF Legend

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    * drops mic *
     
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  14. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Nah, I am originally from Aberdeenshire, we are too mean to risk breaking an expensive piece of equipment.
     
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  15. William C

    William C FHF Top Player

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    "Jamp"

    Debate.
     
  16. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    What should we debate?
     
  17. William C

    William C FHF Top Player

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    The validity of said word. Personally I hate it and think it's stupid
     
  18. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    Never, ever heard it being used. I have no idea what it's supposed to mean.
     
  19. William C

    William C FHF Top Player

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    It's a term generally used around Perth (and Scotland I believe) to signify the past tense of jump
     
  20. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    It's a dialect word. No problem with that. To my ears it's no worse than 'dove', which is used as the past tense of 'dive' in US English.
     

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