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Thread: Grammar questions

  1. #21
    Join Date: Jan 2009

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    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    Bobs the builder? Etc pluralism the noun not the adjective
    It might be if "builder" was an adjectival noun as in 'Builder Bob'.
    Barry

  2. #22
    Join Date: Sep 2013

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    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    What is the plural of 'Bob the Builder', or say Richard the Lionheart?
    I think more than one, might be Bob the Builders, and Richard the Lionheart's the plural being inherited by their occupation, noting I
    have not come across too many Lionheart's in recent times. I will have to get out more often, I suppose .

  3. #23
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landloper View Post
    Obviously the plural of 'Shaun the Sheep' is 'Shauns the Sheep'.

    Singular: Shaun
    Plural: Shauns

    Singular: Sheep
    Plural: Sheep
    Yup. As I said, "sheeps" is incorrect in ANY context. However, try using "Shauns the Sheep" in a context where the pluralisation (or even the subject itself) is immediately obvious, and that's where difficulties arise, such as within this sentence:

    'There were forty Shauns the Sheep at the fancy-dress party'.

    Your immediate reaction is to think 'Eh?'. The capitalisation of the subject might be a giveaway, but otherwise the sentence is inelegant and rather confusing. Only after re-reading it, perhaps more than once, does the contextual relevance and pluralisation of "Shauns the Sheep" become apparent.

    That's why adding a descriptive term (as below) and dropping the pluralisation of 'Shaun' and 'Sheep', however grammatically correct, clarifies matters. After all, if people can't understand what you mean, it's pointless simply being grammatically correct

    'There were forty Shaun the Sheep TV characters at the fancy-dress party'. The required pluralisation is therefore handled by the use of the word 'characters', and 'TV' tells you what it is, so the whole thing instantly makes sense

    Ultimately, it's about communicating effectively, not just being grammatically correct.

    Marco.
    Proud anti-establishment/elite 'heretic', motivated to expose widespread Establishment bias, cover-ups and mind-control!

  4. #24
    Join Date: Feb 2013

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    yup, im of a mind that if it sounds, or even looks strange its probably not right
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

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  5. #25
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by struth View Post
    yup, im of a mind that if it sounds, or even looks strange its probably not right
    You should meet my missus.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    You should meet my missus.
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
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    ***SMILE, BE HAPPY***

  7. #27
    Join Date: May 2009

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    It also depends on context. If I was just chatting to someone, and the subject of how many people were dressed as Shaun the Sheep at a fancy dress party, I'd probably say 'There were forty Shaun the Sheeps' to avoid a convoluted but grammatically correct sentence.

    Correct grammar matters mainly to avoid ambiguity and clarify meaning, and, as George Orwell put it:

    'But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

    Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.'

    The last of these is exemplified by Churchill's 'This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put' to demonstrate the ludicrous effect of following a rule of grammar (not ending a sentence with a preposition) too closely.

  8. #28
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    I would agree with your first paragraph. And this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    ...is spot on. It's a major bugbear of mine when folk do so, simply to act smart, score points or convey an 'air of superiority'. If it's unclear and you don't explain what you mean, you're not informing anyone, far less impressing them!

    That happens often, for example, during technical discussions on forums about audio, where those who are scientifically and/or technically minded often take it for granted that the meaning of a certain word, or a piece of jargon [or worse a bloody graph!!] will be automatically understood by everyone. It's not only presumptuous, but arrogant.

    Worse though is when <insert any subject, word or phrase you like> is considered by someone as being 'common knowledge', often because they're too lazy to explain themselves properly. Well, whatever it is, is only 'common knowledge' if you've heard it mentioned or read about it somewhere!

    What constitutes as 'common knowledge'? It's entirely subjective. However, you can't just presume that the people you're addressing are as well informed on any matter as you, or have the same interests. I have no time whatsoever for snooty, so-called 'know-it-alls'.

    Marco.
    Proud anti-establishment/elite 'heretic', motivated to expose widespread Establishment bias, cover-ups and mind-control!

  9. #29
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    I'm Geoff.

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    I agree, some seem unable to speak or write plain English.
    "when common sense, logic and plausibility are excluded. All that remain are foolishness and lies"

  10. #30
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Indeed, and the possible reasons for that warrant a topic of their own!

    Marco.
    Proud anti-establishment/elite 'heretic', motivated to expose widespread Establishment bias, cover-ups and mind-control!

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