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The Barracks For stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else. Members can retire from the serious discussions elsewhere on the forums...and relax here.

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  #46  
Old 30 Sep 12, 21:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Evans View Post
When can we use "it's" or "its"? Those confuse the hell out of me.
AHEM. Page 2 message 16.
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  #47  
Old 30 Sep 12, 21:51
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The term, as I use it, certainly does seem to have become a portion of my vocabulary as a matter & result of legal terms. As one that has initiated, formulated, compiled & engaged in contract expedition & execution, always with aid of & final proof-read by legal council, I think the term used as such in the American lexicon is essentially a result of the legal definition as applied.

Even in American law, it isn't to say that it isn't debatable or open to interpretation in an academic sense, rather, that it is not really OPEN to continuing legal debate due to the distinction that it ends up having no real legal bearing that is relevant to the case overall.

Classic: 'Two peoples divided by a common language...'

Another day, something learned by me!


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  #48  
Old 30 Sep 12, 21:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
AHEM. Page 2 message 16.
I used to abide by the following axiom of my own when I was teaching:

"Nothing is learned until it has been taught 3 times."



It also always helps to provide examples in these matters.


Philip
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  #49  
Old 30 Sep 12, 21:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
That means the two dogs belong to the Changs.
I know that, but using Changs' seemed, to me, to be at odds with the rules you quoted.
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  #50  
Old 30 Sep 12, 21:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
Talking of words and phrases that are commonly mis-used and express the opposite of what is intended, what do you think is meant by the following:

"That is now a moot point."


Philip
This is one that I have been confused by and I think I now understand why.

I looking at dictionaries definition I find

Collins (English)
subject or open to debate ⇒ a moot point http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dic...y/english/moot

Merriam Webester (American)
1
a : open to question : debatable
b : subjected to discussion : disputed
2
: deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moot
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  #51  
Old 30 Sep 12, 22:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
I know that, but using Changs' seemed, to me, to be at odds with the rules you quoted.
Do you mean because it is s' and not 's?

If so, it's an issue around nouns that do or do not end in s. Words ending with s, z or x generally omit the added s.

Quote:
For plural nouns ending in s, add only an apostrophe:

Singers' voices
The cousins' favorite uncle


For plural nouns not ending in "s," add an apostrophe and "s."


Men's clothing
Children's books
Thus "Changs' dogs"

Also, modern usage allows an 's in some special cases where just adding an s would cause confusion, or just look clumsy, e.g.:

How many 1's do we have in the line?
We put x's on the incorrect answers.
The no's resounded loudly throughout the chamber.



Philip
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  #52  
Old 30 Sep 12, 22:11
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Regarding moot, as pointed out this term relates to the words "debate" and "debatable". The problem arises because the word "debate" has a basic meaning but also several connotations. The basic meaning of "debate" is "discussion, argument, exchange of ideas", as in "There was a debate on health care in the House of Commons". The implication here is that there was a concrete, practical exchange of ideas having a certain topical significance. However, over time "debate" has also ended up referring to "discussion, argument, exchange of ideas" on a purely academic, heuristic level", as in "There will be a senior class debate on health care during the lunch period". Although the discussion, argument and exchange of ideas takes place in both examples, in the former it has practical relevance while in the latter it does not. It is this latter connotation which informs the meaning of terms such as Moot Court and Mootness. The ambiguous meaning of moot as presently used is in no wise different from the ambiguous meaning of debatable as presently used.

For example:
Increased health care spending is a debatable topic.
The value of a pet rock is debatable.
Are we saying these things are worth debating or that discussion on these topics has only an academic significance?
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  #53  
Old 30 Sep 12, 22:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
How many 1's do we have in the line?
We put x's on the incorrect answers.
The no's resounded loudly throughout the chamber.



Philip
I would like to provide alternatives for those as follows
How many ones do we have in the line?
We put crosses on the incorrect answers.
The noes resounded loudly throughout the chamber.
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  #54  
Old 30 Sep 12, 22:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmos View Post
I would like to provide alternatives for those as follows
How many ones do we have in the line?
We put crosses on the incorrect answers.
The noes resounded loudly throughout the chamber.
That works for me, although I'm not sure about "noes". When it starts to morph into a different word like that, it falls under the category of "clumsy" IMO, and would be clearer if represented by no's.
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  #55  
Old 30 Sep 12, 22:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
When it starts to morph into a different word like that, it falls under the category of "clumsy" IMO, and would be clearer if represented by no's.
Yuppers!

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Last edited by Admiral; 30 Sep 12 at 22:56..
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  #56  
Old 30 Sep 12, 23:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
That works for me, although I'm not sure about "noes". When it starts to morph into a different word like that, it falls under the category of "clumsy" IMO, and would be clearer if represented by no's.
Interestingly, I believe the chamber to which you may be referring to would likely use nays rather than noes : perhaps they don't want their choices to be known as noes-picking ?

My (very slight) problem with no's is that it could mean numbers due to no. (derived from the Latin numero) being used as an abbreviation for number.
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Old 30 Sep 12, 23:17
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Latin (and other odd) plurals

How do you feel about these ?

I tend to think that English needs a little more logic and should have a limit on the way nouns are made plural : IIRC the original Saxon language only used South Germanic plurals -s or -es.

What's the difficulty with saying hippopotamuses if you can say rhinoceroses ? (Okay I know most people refer to them as hippos and rhinos.)

Another one is oxen which I believe is a West Germanic plural : why not oxes ? We don't have foxen.
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Old 30 Sep 12, 23:25
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English is a stupid language. We must convert to Klingon as quickly as possible.
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  #59  
Old 30 Sep 12, 23:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmos View Post
I tend to think that English needs a little more logic...
If English were indeed more logical in ways like those you suggest, it would have made my working life a whole lot easier.

However, it isn't and we have no authority to make it so.

That said, it is certainly the case that the difference between American English and British English is that American English is ALWAYS more logical, as well as being simpler. For that reason (and because most members here are American) I've decided to abandon my schizophrenic approach of switching randomly between spelling conventions and from here on only use American spellings.

I'd encourage others to do likewise. At least that would make life a little easier for subsequent generations of English teachers.


Philip
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Old 30 Sep 12, 23:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipLaos View Post
If English were indeed more logical in ways like those you suggest, it would have made my working life a whole lot easier.

However, it isn't and we have no authority to make it so.

Philip
My emphasis

I have to disagree with you there, Philip. Language is what its speakers make it. If the majority of English speakers decide they want to say indexes instead of indices, oxes instead of oxen and hippos instead of hippopotami then the language will change : the dictionary / grammar writers will have to catch up sooner or later.
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