Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 554787 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #940 on: January 30, 2010, 08:40:46 PM »
Well, there is PDQ Bach's Erotica Variations. I'm surprised Schickele never unearthed the ms. for the Indistinguishable Symphony.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9251
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #941 on: January 31, 2010, 02:36:33 AM »
Well, there is PDQ Bach's Erotica Variations. I'm surprised Schickele never unearthed the ms. for the Indistinguishable Symphony.

Maybe he could not because it was...indistinguishable!   $:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

MN Dave

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #942 on: January 31, 2010, 05:54:18 AM »
The TNT television network says:

MORE MOVIE

LESS COMMERCIALS

 ::)

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #943 on: February 01, 2010, 10:04:35 AM »
Again, the less-fewer distinction has always walked a fine line. We like to say the rule is "fewer" if we're talking about numbers, but of course that doesn't work if you're dealing with amounts like money or weight. "The new Chevy Malibu costs $5,000 less than the comparable Honda," is fine, for example. I would never say five thousand dollars fewer, though I would also never buy a Chevy.

Now, does one recipe call for five less cups of milk than another, or five fewer? My gut says fewer, but I could go either way.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #944 on: February 01, 2010, 10:08:18 AM »
Five cups of milk less

MN Dave

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #945 on: February 01, 2010, 10:16:52 AM »
Again, the less-fewer distinction has always walked a fine line. We like to say the rule is "fewer" if we're talking about numbers, but of course that doesn't work if you're dealing with amounts like money or weight. "The new Chevy Malibu costs $5,000 less than the comparable Honda," is fine, for example. I would never say five thousand dollars fewer, though I would also never buy a Chevy.

Now, does one recipe call for five less cups of milk than another, or five fewer? My gut says fewer, but I could go either way.

I think they should both be "fewer". Technically.

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #946 on: February 01, 2010, 11:08:53 AM »
I think they should both be "fewer". Technically.

Well, that's the thing: technically how? Where does this "technically" come from, and is it followed in all cases? No language is 100 percent logical. Inconsistencies always creep in. And even "five dollars fewer" is technically correct, you will never hear anyone use it.

MN Dave

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #947 on: February 01, 2010, 11:10:30 AM »
Well, that's the thing: technically how? Where does this "technically" come from, and is it followed in all cases? No language is 100 percent logical. Inconsistencies always creep in. And even "five dollars fewer" is technically correct, you will never hear anyone use it.

Except me and a few English teachers.  ;D

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #948 on: February 01, 2010, 11:13:38 AM »
Except me and a few English teachers.  ;D

Wow, who wouldn't want to be a fly on the the wall in that conversation, huh?

But I definitely agree it should be "fewer commericals."
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 11:09:50 AM by Joe Barron »

MN Dave

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #949 on: February 01, 2010, 11:14:47 AM »
Wow, who wouldn't want to I'd love to be a fly on the the wall in that conversation, huh?

But I definitely agree it should be "fewer commericals."

Yeah, that was bugging the hell out of me Saturday night and then my wife told me to get over it.  :-\

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #950 on: February 01, 2010, 11:29:07 AM »
Tastes great, fewer fillings

MN Dave

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #951 on: February 01, 2010, 11:34:03 AM »

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #952 on: February 01, 2010, 03:33:25 PM »
Yeah, that was bugging the hell out of me Saturday night and then my wife told me to get over it.  :-\

No, whatever you do, don't ever get over it. If needs must, get rid of the wife.

Speaking of botherment: A few years ago, there was a public service spot on local news radio trying to get people to stop bagging their lawn clippings and throwing them in the trash. The tag line was, "It's OK to let it lay," which was memorable in part because it rhymed. Within a couple of weeks, however, the spots had changed, and the annoucer was saying, "It's OK to let it lie." Apparently there was a groundswell of protest, and it worked.

Anal retentives can make a difference.

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #953 on: February 01, 2010, 03:43:24 PM »
Another example: I think I might have told you before that the AP Manual of Style, under composition titles, lists "The Ring of the Nibelungen," which it says should be written in English. It bothered me for a long time, and when I finally found an e-mail contact, I pointed out that the title was incorrect as written, since the "en" was a genitive ending necessary only in the German, and the proper title in English was "The Ring of the Nibelung." They sent me a note back saying it would be corrected in future editions. So they must have looked it up and agreed with me.

This is kind of a big deal that justifies my continued existence on this planet. I am not personally acquainted with any other reporter who has pointed out a style error to the mighty AP. Bruce, you can buy me a club soda when we meet next week.

MN Dave

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #954 on: February 01, 2010, 03:59:02 PM »
You are truly awesome, sir.  :o

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #955 on: February 02, 2010, 09:07:07 AM »
Aw, shucks.  :-[

Offline Novi

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1206
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #956 on: February 07, 2010, 04:46:17 PM »
Durch alle Töne tönet
Im bunten Erdentraum
Ein leiser Ton gezogen
Für den der heimlich lauschet.

Spotswood

  • Guest
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #957 on: February 08, 2010, 07:46:23 AM »

Offline Ten thumbs

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1444
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #958 on: February 08, 2010, 09:19:52 AM »
I love those sets of accounts that show:
Income
Less Expenses

Wishful thinking: if only they were!
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9251
  • An American Hero!
Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #959 on: February 10, 2010, 09:45:41 AM »
Many thanks for those life-saving commas!

I have mentioned (many moons ago) that I have a somewhat idiosyncratic view of punctuation, where I use it "musically," i.e. as a way to increase or decrease the reader's speed.

Example:

I have mentioned - many moons ago - that I have a (somewhat) idiosyncratic view of punctuation where I use it "musically," i.e. as a way to increase, or decrease, the reader's speed.

And:

I have mentioned many moons ago that I have a somewhat idiosyncratic view of...punctuation, where I use it musically, i.e. as a way to increase - or decrease - the reader's speed. 

I also use punctuation to imply a certain tone.   0:)

But then...don't we all?   :o
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)