pattern I admired

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pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:19 pm

"Many years ago I showed a silverware pattern I admired to a friend" (noted on another board) has another clear meaning

Let's say my hobby is colleting silverware. I participate in an annual show in which I display my collection, especially some sets having interesting patterns. Looking back, I recall one such show in which I had entered a pattern which I myself had not considered unique

The reason I did so that was that earlier during a visit to my home by a dear friend also interested in my hobby, I had shown it to him, telling him that in spite of its plain pattern I nevertheless admired it for some of its other qualities; whereupon he remarked, "But you're wrong about that, it has one of the most interesting patterns I have ever seen"

Over the next few days as I ruminated upon his comment, I began to agree, and so I determined to enter it in the very next show

I will readily agree with the prescriptivist who will immediately object, "To have that exact meaning you would have had to say, '...I had admired...' just as I had had to say 'had' when I had said '...have had to say' Thus you are abominably stupid and I am smarter than you. So I am asking Admin to delete your entire thread"

Many pre-'s are like that, they find a fault and they mercilessly drag you across the coals and through the mud. Still, I woud wager that if the pertinent sentence had been spoken by one silverware collector to another, the wrong meaning might well have been inferred

The phenom I describe is very common and is responsible for misunderstandings arising in and among Internet boards such as this one, causing much friction and unnecessary squabbling; eg, another tempest in a teapot. Such disputes are sometimes so virulent as to cause the most savage conflict


Nonetheless upon first reading, the unintended meaning was the one which first impressed itself upon me. I have encounterd hundreds if not tens of thousands of such cases, which meaning could becalled ambiguous in spite of the pre-'s immediate reaction

Am I alone
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pattern I admired

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:38 pm

Totally alone Dale. I haven't a clue to what you are talking about.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:55 pm

Bob: Thank you, I had anticipated such a response and I can well understand it as I have been so accused many times over. However, if you read it carefully, perhaps several times, the meaning and connotation will certainly emerge; as I can assure you though somewhat discursive it is perfectly sensible, the grammar is correct (except for any typos), and it has been ordered with the minutest attention to detail

However, you are cordially invited to skip any threads the meaning of which seems obscure or not immediately apparent
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pattern I admired

Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:56 pm

Very, very alone.
"I had showed"? "Shown" would help.
Context is EVERYTHING. Well, no. not everything.....conjugation helps.

"However, you are cordially invited to skip any threads the meaning of which is obscure or not immediately apparent"
huh?
Too entertaining.
However, you are cordially invited to skip any threads the meanings of which are obscure or not immediately apparent. Period.
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pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:00 pm

gd: Thank you for those; the first is one of the typos to which I had made reference above, and I shall duly correct it

The second was a true grammatical error and I shall eventually correct it too

No doubt it was these two mistakes that had rendered unintelligible to you the entire thread...

...while I am sure the lack of final punctuation must have been terribly discouraging. However, it's a very frequent and current style. Pick up a TIME mag and you will see
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pattern I admired

Post by gdwdwrkr » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:11 pm

dale
Yes, no doubt that, and the dearth of punctuation.
I intelligiblized the thread. I want to see that silverware!
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pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:21 pm

gd: You can't see it, it's hypothetical
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pattern I admired

Post by russcable » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:46 pm

Okay, Dale, on one hand, I can see how a mechanical translator could come up with your interpretation much like it might read "time flies like an arrow" and think "time flies" were like "fruit flies".

However... not even someone into showing things at shows would put on a show "to a friend". "I showed a silverware pattern" could be ambiguous. "I showed a silverware pattern to a friend" and "I showed a silverware pattern at the collector's convention" are not.
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pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:53 pm

russ, thank you for that, and what you contributed is absolutely correct, but how is it relevant to the sense of the thread

However... not even someone into showing things at shows would put on a show "to a friend"

But the sentence as misread doesn't say that he put on a show to his friend, only that he had shown him the silverware set the pattern of which his buddy then so admired
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pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:03 pm

Thre is some controversy over the addition of "had"

http://wordcraft.infopop.cc/eve/forums/ ... 8901029614

...and so I am wondering whether you agree with me that it improves the (unintended) meaning, and if so why and in what way
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pattern I admired

Post by paulwiggins » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:48 am

To say I admired makes it clear that the state of admiration was continuing at the time you showed it to your friend.
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pattern I admired

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:17 pm

.. Bob you and me both .. like in the Universe you are not alone .. although I do feel that Dale might be alone .. Dale when did you discover prescriptivism ??

WoZ
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:57 pm

paul: Welcome to WW! though I think your comment applies more to the intended than to the unintended meaning because even with the "had", I may have continued to admire the pattern even after I had shown it to my compatriot. There is in fact a fourth meaning that "had" helps dispel, and that is admiring it to him after the show; which itself would be more clearly indicated by "...I later admired..."

Another interesting misreading is one in which I never at any time show him the silverware; instead I merely identify verbally to him the pattern I admire, an interpretation dispelled somewhat if not entirely by the "had"

wiz: Actually I am myself a former pre-, while my dissertations over "had" are merely discursive attempts at persiflage. Not meant in any way, however, to mock other pre'-s, whom I admire for their scholarship, persistence, and diligence
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pattern I admired

Post by gdwdwrkr » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:01 pm

What good is a post if you're not a pre?
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pattern I admired

Post by dalehileman » Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:21 pm

gd: You can bait them

Of course we don't do that
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