Pet Intellectual Peeves

This is where all of the games are discussed.

Moderators: alietr, econgator, dhkendall, trainman

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Vanya » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:49 am

bpmod wrote:
Vanya wrote:Would you object to "...for a heart attack"?

The article certainly makes it grammatically correct. My objection though, is the combination of 'risk' and 'for'. Another one is 'chances', as in "What are the chances for that happening?"

Brian


What do you base your objection on? (Or, for the grammar Nazis, on what do you base your objection?)
User avatar
Vanya
The support is non-zero
 
Posts: 2446
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Woof » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:31 pm

Vanya wrote:
bpmod wrote:
Vanya wrote:Would you object to "...for a heart attack"?

The article certainly makes it grammatically correct. My objection though, is the combination of 'risk' and 'for'. Another one is 'chances', as in "What are the chances for that happening?"

Brian


What do you base your objection on? (Or, for the grammar Nazis, on what do you base your objection?)


I find that learning the "appropriate" preposition is one of the toughest aspects of learning a new language since otherwise cognate words can take different prepositions. In this case "risk of" makes sense because English lacks a true genitive case for its nouns. However, there's nothing beyond custom that requires the preposition of. Is it more correct to say "he died of boredom" or "he died from boredom"? This advanced usage tool indicates that the former still holds sway, but is it in any sense incorrect to use the latter?
User avatar
Woof
Swimming in the Jeopardy! Pool
 
Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby bpmod » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:52 pm

Woof wrote:
Vanya wrote:What do you base your objection on? (Or, for the grammar Nazis, on what do you base your objection?)


I find that learning the "appropriate" preposition is one of the toughest aspects of learning a new language since otherwise cognate words can take different prepositions. In this case "risk of" makes sense because English lacks a true genitive case for its nouns. However, there's nothing beyond custom that requires the preposition of. Is it more correct to say "he died of boredom" or "he died from boredom"? This advanced usage tool indicates that the former still holds sway, but is it in any sense incorrect to use the latter?

OK. Woof makes a good point of it being simply custom. Is that all it is? Are both equally acceptable (as pertaining to my original quote)?

But I was not talking about people learning a new language. I was specifically referring to journalists and other people in broadcasting/publishing/etc. So, would you use "He died for boredom"? Would that be as correct? And what about my example of "the chances for that happening"? Vanya seems to think that that is acceptable, but it just (and I hate to put things in these terms) feels wrong to me.

Brian
...but the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.
User avatar
bpmod
Rank
 
Posts: 3977
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:26 am
Location: Hamilton Ontario

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Vanya » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:48 pm

I understand your argument, Brian, but I was hoping for a more definitive reason. I looked up the definition of for, and the usage in question seems (to me) to be allowed under definition 22 ("in assignment or attribution to") in dictionary.com. At any rate, usage of prepositions is rather fluid in English; consider different to (British) and different from or different than (American). As woof points out it is one of the more elusive aspects of language. For example Russian has no preposition at, they usually use on, if they use one at all, where we would say at.
User avatar
Vanya
The support is non-zero
 
Posts: 2446
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby bpmod » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:50 pm

Vanya wrote:I understand your argument, Brian, but I was hoping for a more definitive reason. I looked up the definition of for, and the usage in question seems (to me) to be allowed under definition 22 ("in assignment or attribution to") in dictionary.com. At any rate, usage of prepositions is rather fluid in English; consider different to (British) and different from or different than (American). As woof points out it is one of the more elusive aspects of language. For example Russian has no preposition at, they usually use on, if they use one at all, where we would say at.

But "different than" is just plain wrong. 'Than' can only be (properly) used to denote varying degrees of something... more than, less than, older than, prettier than, bluer than, etc.

I use "to" where others use "from" in very specific circumstances (which I cannot bring to mind at the moment), but I don't think I've ever used it with different.

And, of course, for this particular issue, I cannot come up with a difinition or 'rule' that makes it wrong, other than it just seems wrong. That's why I asked in my first post on the subject whether it was just me.

Brian
...but the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.
User avatar
bpmod
Rank
 
Posts: 3977
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:26 am
Location: Hamilton Ontario

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby dhkendall » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:57 pm

I hope a non-grammar intellectual peeve is permitted:

When the forecast says a high of 6 today and a high of 12 tomorrow, TV meteorologists would say "It'll be twice as warm tomorrow".

No it isn't. And I've got a long list of things that are wrong with that statement.
"Jeopardy! is two parts luck and one part luck" - Me

"The way to win on Jeopardy is to be a rabidly curious, information-omnivorous person your entire life." - Ken Jennings
User avatar
dhkendall
Moderator, Archivist, and Servant to the J! Community
 
Posts: 5049
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:49 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Magna » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:21 pm

bpmod wrote:But "different than" is just plain wrong. 'Than' can only be (properly) used to denote varying degrees of something... more than, less than, older than, prettier than, bluer than, etc.

I disagree with this. There are situations when it's preferable to "from" - e.g.,
"Things are different than I thought they'd be."
"His tastes now are different than when he was a teenager."
"In Boston 'tonic' can mean something different than in New York."
"In my house, things are different than in yours."

Also, when the phrase is divided, "different...than" (or "differently...than") can often be preferable. E.g.,
"We do things much differently now than we did before."
"She comes from a very different place than the middle class suburbs of her classmates."
Both would be awkward if reworded with "from."
User avatar
Magna
Hooked on Jeopardy
 
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Volante » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:23 pm

dhkendall wrote:I hope a non-grammar intellectual peeve is permitted:

When the forecast says a high of 6 today and a high of 12 tomorrow, TV meteorologists would say "It'll be twice as warm tomorrow".

No it isn't. And I've got a long list of things that are wrong with that statement.

Well, if they're using it sarcastically, it counts; twice nothing is still nothing! :D
User avatar
Volante
Harbinger of the Doomed Lemur
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:42 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby bpmod » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:36 pm

Magna wrote:
bpmod wrote:But "different than" is just plain wrong. 'Than' can only be (properly) used to denote varying degrees of something... more than, less than, older than, prettier than, bluer than, etc.

I disagree with this. There are situations when it's preferable to "from" - e.g.,
"Things are different than I thought they'd be."
"His tastes now are different than when he was a teenager."
"In Boston 'tonic' can mean something different than in New York."
"In my house, things are different than in yours."

Also, when the phrase is divided, "different...than" (or "differently...than") can often be preferable. E.g.,
"We do things much differently now than we did before."
"She comes from a very different place than the middle class suburbs of her classmates."
Both would be awkward if reworded with "from."

Yeah, OK.

Brian
...but the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.
User avatar
bpmod
Rank
 
Posts: 3977
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:26 am
Location: Hamilton Ontario

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby trainman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:36 pm

dhkendall wrote:I hope a non-grammar intellectual peeve is permitted:

When the forecast says a high of 6 today and a high of 12 tomorrow, TV meteorologists would say "It'll be twice as warm tomorrow".

No it isn't. And I've got a long list of things that are wrong with that statement.


I don't think I've ever heard that.

Of course, in Fahrenheit, there's less of a chance of running into a situation where the weatherman can do the math in his head. :)

Actually, a related note: on another board, someone posted, "we [pilots for a major airline] got a 30% pay cut, followed by an 18% pay cut -- a 48% pay cut!"

Correcting that, I thought, would have been adding insult to injury.
User avatar
trainman
Moderator Extraordinaire
 
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby dhkendall » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:32 pm

trainman wrote:
dhkendall wrote:I hope a non-grammar intellectual peeve is permitted:

When the forecast says a high of 6 today and a high of 12 tomorrow, TV meteorologists would say "It'll be twice as warm tomorrow".

No it isn't. And I've got a long list of things that are wrong with that statement.


I don't think I've ever heard that.

Of course, in Fahrenheit, there's less of a chance of running into a situation where the weatherman can do the math in his head. :)


Those that can do the math in Celsius are few and far between too, but that's more of a comment on the intellectual capacity of most television meteorologists. ;)

Your point, however, is one of the reasons why it's wrong, why would it be "twice as warm" in Canada, where the exact same temperature increase is only 1.25233645 times warmer in the States?
"Jeopardy! is two parts luck and one part luck" - Me

"The way to win on Jeopardy is to be a rabidly curious, information-omnivorous person your entire life." - Ken Jennings
User avatar
dhkendall
Moderator, Archivist, and Servant to the J! Community
 
Posts: 5049
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:49 am
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby bpmod » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:45 pm

dhkendall wrote:Those that can do the math in Celsius are few and far between too, but that's more of a comment on the intellectual capacity of most television meteorologists. ;)

Your point, however, is one of the reasons why it's wrong, why would it be "twice as warm" in Canada, where the exact same temperature increase is only 1.25233645 times warmer in the States?

But we keep hearing about the couple in Buffalo watching the evening newscast...

TV: And now, the weather. Current temperature 32 in Buffalo, 30 in the Southtowns, 27 out by the airport, 34 in Niagara Falls and 0 across the border in Fort Erie.

Guy watching (to his wife): Hey Martha! Come here! Look at this! It's 32 here in Buffalo and only zero across the river. Do you think that's how they decided where to put the border?

Brian
...but the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.
User avatar
bpmod
Rank
 
Posts: 3977
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:26 am
Location: Hamilton Ontario

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Woof » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:04 am

dhkendall wrote:\

Those that can do the math in Celsius are few and far between too, but that's more of a comment on the intellectual capacity of most television meteorologists. ;)?


As the old saw goes, there are three kinds of people: those who can do math and those who can't 8-)
User avatar
Woof
Swimming in the Jeopardy! Pool
 
Posts: 1830
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby John Boy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:46 am

trainman wrote:
dhkendall wrote:I hope a non-grammar intellectual peeve is permitted:

When the forecast says a high of 6 today and a high of 12 tomorrow, TV meteorologists would say "It'll be twice as warm tomorrow".

No it isn't. And I've got a long list of things that are wrong with that statement.


I don't think I've ever heard that.

Of course, in Fahrenheit, there's less of a chance of running into a situation where the weatherman can do the math in his head. :)

Actually, a related note: on another board, someone posted, "we [pilots for a major airline] got a 30% pay cut, followed by an 18% pay cut -- a 48% pay cut!"

Correcting that, I thought, would have been adding insult to injury.



I don't know where "Fahrenheit" is, but I thought it was in Cleveland that the weathermen can't do math in their heads.

And FWIW, I agree that "different than" is wrong (and "different from" is preferred) in any case. Of the above examples, I can't detect a single thing that makes "different than" preferable in some of them and not others. Not a PET intellectual peeve, but that's my understanding about what is correct.
John Boy
Watches Jeopardy! Way Too Much
 
Posts: 1151
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Paucle » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:25 am

trainman wrote:Actually, a related note: on another board, someone posted, "we [pilots for a major airline] got a 30% pay cut, followed by an 18% pay cut -- a 48% pay cut!"

Back in the 80's I worked in the Box Office of the largest summer events center in this part of the state. While filling out ticket orders in the spring, I did group rate events. 10% off for 10 -19 people, 20% off for 20 and over. One of the early orders was from a "Member" of the facility who earned a 20% discount on all ticket orders (new policy for ballet/ orchestra only, not special events like rock shows).
I brought the order in to the manager to ask if they got both discounts and she said yes, first take the membership off and put that total here, then use that total and do the group rate discount here "So yes they get a full 40% off."
Now I was confused. "Wait, take both off the top and add the discounts together?"
She looked peeved and asked where I got that from her simple instruction. I pointed out she wanted me to take the group discount from the membership discounted cost. That's 36%. She said, 20 and 20 is 40, not 36. And why did I hire such a math idiot her expression wondered.

I didn't push it. I just went and did it the way she told me, not the way she thought it should be.
I'm pretty sure the manager was Patricia Heaton's mom.
User avatar
Paucle
Trekardy! Writer
 
Posts: 3233
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:36 pm
Location: near Albany NY

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Vanya » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:29 pm

John Boy wrote:And FWIW, I agree that "different than" is wrong (and "different from" is preferred) in any case. Of the above examples, I can't detect a single thing that makes "different than" preferable in some of them and not others. Not a PET intellectual peeve, but that's my understanding about what is correct.


Well, the worlds' most trusted dictionary disagrees.
User avatar
Vanya
The support is non-zero
 
Posts: 2446
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:10 am

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby John Boy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:53 pm

Vanya wrote:
John Boy wrote:And FWIW, I agree that "different than" is wrong (and "different from" is preferred) in any case. Of the above examples, I can't detect a single thing that makes "different than" preferable in some of them and not others. Not a PET intellectual peeve, but that's my understanding about what is correct.


Well, the worlds' most trusted dictionary disagrees.


I know that the language changes over time (a discussion we've had many times here). (And IMHO sometimes it mutates also.) This is why I would prefer dictionaries to be prescriptive rather than descriptive. If enough people on the street decide that X now means Y or that language usage can be turned on its ear, the dictionaries simply report it as a done deal. And please, no lectures; I know this is the way things get done and I'm not going on any purist tirade to do it a different way.

So people who would never, ever write the sentence: "I will be in town for a week" as "I will be in town for AWEEK (sic)" have for some reason started writing "I will be in town for a while" as "I will be in town for AWHILE (sic)." And the verbal abomination "awhile" becomes accepted, just as its loathsome cousin "alot" and any number of other two-word combinations that have been jammed together to make new one-word usages.

And one dictionary I read said that they (presumably the editorial staff) just could not understand the resistance to or uproar over "awhile." That's why I have difficulty accepting the "authoritative" or "trusted" sources some times.
John Boy
Watches Jeopardy! Way Too Much
 
Posts: 1151
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:11 am

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Magna » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:05 pm

Maybe it would help to know that people have been using "than" with absolute adjectives or adverbs like "different," "differently" "opposite," "inferior," and so on for centuries. One example is Anthony Trollope, who wrote in Barchester Towers, "Things were conducted very differently now than in former times." Maybe some Victorian schoolmaster would find fault with that and prescribe a rewriting using "from." But my vote is with Trollope. "From" is just confusing and ugly there.
User avatar
Magna
Hooked on Jeopardy
 
Posts: 1979
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Volante » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:31 pm

Oh the joys and frustrations over not having an Academy English...

Spoiler: show
...I feel I have to explicitly mention my order of the words there was intentional, trying to ensure it will be taken as a reference to the Academie Francaise and not just some randomly named "English Academy" (and of course "Academie Anglais" wouldn't work). Obviously, a similar establishment for English would have proper structure but the generic name might not make it crystal clear that I was intending th... oh, whatever, it either worked or it didn't...just don't pick on me for bad order!
User avatar
Volante
Harbinger of the Doomed Lemur
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:42 pm

Re: Pet Intellectual Peeves

Postby Vanya » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:37 pm

John Boy wrote:So people who would never, ever write the sentence: "I will be in town for a week" as "I will be in town for AWEEK (sic)" have for some reason started writing "I will be in town for a while" as "I will be in town for AWHILE (sic)." And the verbal abomination "awhile" becomes accepted, just as its loathsome cousin "alot" and any number of other two-word combinations that have been jammed together to make new one-word usages.

And one dictionary I read said that they (presumably the editorial staff) just could not understand the resistance to or uproar over "awhile." That's why I have difficulty accepting the "authoritative" or "trusted" sources some times.


The point is, you have no basis for objecting to different than or awhile or alot, other than (!) the fact that you don't like them.
User avatar
Vanya
The support is non-zero
 
Posts: 2446
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:10 am

PreviousNext

Return to Game Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], MDaunt, TheyCallMeMrKid, TurnitinBot [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 6 guests