Search found 3580 matches

by Phil White
Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:13 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: safe place
Replies: 3
Views: 1009

Re: safe place

They are all grammatically acceptable. I'm thinking about this one and may get back on it. The name of the construction is a " postpositive adjective ", but I have never seen any discussion of postpositive adjective phrases compared with the alternative construction where the adjective phrase is spl...
by Phil White
Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:07 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Darn
Replies: 7
Views: 2012

Re: Darn

As a sheer piece of interest, Erik's use of "bowdlerise" reminded me that Thomas Bowdler who sanitised Shakespeare and gave his name to the verb is buried about 15 miles (25 km) from where I live. I have no idea why a Somerset man decided to die in a village (Oystermouth) in Wales. Could be it was ...
by Phil White
Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:08 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whose book's cover
Replies: 12
Views: 2743

Re: whose book's cover

"My dog ripped my chair seat." No, not for me, anyway. "My dog ripped the seat of my chair."

I guess it's a fluid boundary between what works and what doesn't.
by Phil White
Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:45 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: the devil, he may take you
Replies: 9
Views: 3314

Re: the devil, he may take you

Ah, but what words?
by Phil White
Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:36 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whose book's cover
Replies: 12
Views: 2743

Re: whose book's cover

Anyway, here is (b): b. The kid whose book cover you tore is crying. In Persian and Armenian you can't really say 'book cover' in that sentence. It is 'his book's cover'. And to me (b) sounds strange because the it implies that the kid owned a book cover. In a sense he did, but 'a book cover' is no...
by Phil White
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:06 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whose book's cover
Replies: 12
Views: 2743

Re: whose book's cover

Couple of things ... If we share a reality, then I guess we can more or less think the same thoughts. There is a school of thought, and I think I probably largely subscribe to it, that believes that there is no such thing as objective reality. There is only our filtered perception of reality. The fi...
by Phil White
Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:22 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whose book's cover
Replies: 12
Views: 2743

Re: whose book's cover

In all seriousness, the only two versions that are grammatically unexceptionable are c and d, but I cannot imagine any circumstance in which such a sentence would be spoken . Such constructions may be used in writing in the context of documents which are formulated with an extremely high degree of f...
by Phil White
Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:23 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whose book's cover
Replies: 12
Views: 2743

Re: whose book's cover

Sorry, I just realize that I missed a "who" out of my sample sentence. Here it is: who.
by Phil White
Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:19 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: whose book's cover
Replies: 12
Views: 2743

Re: whose book's cover

"The kid whose aunt knitted him the red pullover's dog bit his friend who gave him the bicycle's arm is confused." Don't go there. We don't think like that. "Is it grammatical?" is irrelevant. "The kid's crying because you tore the cover of his book." Or "The kid's crying." "Which kid?" "You know, y...
by Phil White
Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:23 am
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: but we didn't know
Replies: 6
Views: 2455

Re: but we didn't know

I'm really not going to go down the "gapless relative" and "ghosted preposition" rabbit-hole. I have an entirely different explanation for the kinds of sentences that are usually associated with the term "gapless relative". The ideas that underlie the "gapless relative" belong broadly to the generat...
by Phil White
Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:57 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Tea Time
Replies: 6
Views: 2142

Re: Tea Time

  1. Did you have to?
  2. Do me a favour.
Are these sentences grammatically correct?
Are they ambiguous or have I made my meaning clear?
by Phil White
Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:48 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: but we didn't know
Replies: 6
Views: 2455

Re: but we didn't know

That's interesting. I remember looking at Armenian about 30 years or so ago when I was fascinated by isolated Indo-European languages (those which are the only language in a branch of IE). As far as I remember, it has a strong case system, much like modern German, for instance. And German happily bu...
by Phil White
Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:30 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Tea Time
Replies: 6
Views: 2142

Re: Tea Time

Erik_Kowal wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:23 pm ?
Say it out loud ... a few times. Then groan.
by Phil White
Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:49 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: but we didn't know
Replies: 6
Views: 2455

Re: but we didn't know

One of the writers there had written a number of books, but we didn't know how many. One of the writers there had written a number of books, which, I suppose, rather constitutes a definition of what a writer is, but he/she was such a nonentity that none of us could name any of the books he/she had w...
by Phil White
Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:43 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Tea Time
Replies: 6
Views: 2142

Re: Tea Time

I thought the last one was bad enough...
And when did you manage to get to the pub?