Alex Holowczak wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
If your understanding of the new scheme is different to this, please inform us.
It's "similar to" and "different from".
When I am not sure of something, or am about to challenge someone, I usually take the precaution of looking it up. When I tackle someone's use of language, it is occasionally prompted by the urge to tease, more often because I consider the precise meaning important. Usually I ignore slips, real or imagined, we all make them. My concern is whether I can understand what another writes, which need not be the same as what is intended.
From Fowler's Modern English Usage
, second edition (1965), page 130:
That d. can only be followed by from and not to is a SUPERSTITION. To be 'found in writers of all ages' (OED), and the principle on which it is rejected (You do not say differ to; therefore you cannot say d. to) involves a hasty and ill-defined generalization. Is it all derivatives, or derivative adjectives, or adjectives that were once participles, or actual participles, that must conform to the construction of their parent verbs? It is true of the last only; we cannot say differing to, but that leaves d. out in the cold. If it is all derivatives, why do we say according, agreably, and pursuant, to instructions, when we have to say this accords with, or agrees with, or pursues, instructions? ...
... The fact is that objections to d. like those to AVERSE to, SYMPATHY for, and COMPARE to, are mere pedantries. This does not imply that d. from is wrong; on the contrary, it is 'now usual' (OED); but it is only so owing to the dead set made against d by mistaken critics.
Yes, the book does spell "generalization" with a "z". Preferring an "s", which I do instinctively, is also fine. The book also brings into play the Oxford comma and it is Fowler
, who has his critics. Much ado about nothing, I suggest.
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Simon Spivack is usually good on things like this...
Thanks, but no thanks, I make no claims to expertise. It is better to look up a good source. Everything I see is curved, I have difficulty differentiating between full stops and commas. Foreign letters such as "п" and "л" are quite challenging for me.
Simply posting at all could well offend someone. Indeed, I already have a fanbase (sic). One of whom Alex has infuriated. I'd rather Alex included me out in his disputes.
E Michael White wrote:
You're joking he thinks the plural of forum is fora.
As the reader can see, this is an unprovoked personal attack upon me.
I do consider E Michael White rather arrogant and careless. For the record, I am content to use both "forums" and "fora", thus E Michael White is entirely wrong to use the definite article. That much is obvious. As to my usage, in a formal setting I'd opt for "forums", in an informal it would depend upon euphony. I'd try to avoid using both in the same article, although, being human, I have probably so blundered.
The alert will be aware that E Michael White sometimes resorts to mentioning that certain wise men (sic) back his interpretations. He further goes on to paraphrase what they have allegedly said. However, I cannot recall the name of the author of a bizarre interpretation ever being given, never mind a precise quote. He dropped some of this nonsense when it came to the Laws of Chess soon after Senior Arbiters started posting on the English Chess Forum
So what do the dictionaries say about "fora"? A forty year old edition of Chambers is on my lap as I type:
n. pl. -rums or -ra 1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest. 2. A medium for open discussion ...
If E Michael White is to be believed, this dictionary is wrong.
Turning to the more up to date Concise Oxford English Dictionary
, one has a differentiation in that fora is again identified as plural
, however, it should only be used when talking of meeting places and such in ancient Rome.
Anyone who takes the trouble to Google should be able to verify what I have written.
As for E Michael White's travails with clocks. They are the stuff of legend. I have captained hundreds of matches, ranging from four to twenty boards. It is safe to say I have had a supervisory role of sorts for thousands of games. I have never had to fight the vast armies of problems that beset poor E Michael White. When a clock fails, one rewinds it, or replaces the battery; if that doesn't work, the clock is replaced. An attempt is made to set the correct times. It quite simply isn't a problem, as this normally happens well before a time scramble.
Likewise E Michael White is perfectly entitled to believe that the Laws of Chess of more than fifty years ago are still applicable. For myself, I prefer to believe those Senior Arbiters who say that these Laws have been superseded. In the matches and tournaments in which I have played or organised, there just haven't been the vast catalogue of disputes that vex the unfortunate E Michael White. Most incidents are the results of misunderstandings or tiredness, I have been guilty of some myself. Fortunately, most people move on and forget these things. Most disputes do not alter the result from what obtains from the chess board.
There are too many people in the chess world who recall ancient disputes and never let sleeping dogs lie.
Perhaps Roger is right when he ignores personal attacks. They are time consuming, in a non-productive fashion.