Pedants United

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1710
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:59 am

John Clarke wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:01 am
MJMcCready wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:59 pm
Some nouns exist only in plural form, I believe they are called plurale tantums , scissors and trousers are fairly obvious examples of that.
Use of "trouser" as a singular noun is not unknown. Some menswear retailers with a pretentious bent used to (may still do) refer to something they showed you as "a very fine trouser, sir".

And I remember one female character on Coronation Street, back in the 90s it must have been, refer to Jim McDonald as "a pretty fair bit of trouser".
Fair point. Perhaps pajamas is a better choice.

Regarding trousers/pants, isn't that a British/American distinction?

Paul Habershon
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:59 am

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:59 am


Regarding trousers/pants, isn't that a British/American distinction?
Indeed an important distinction. Do the Americans simply use 'underpants' for our 'pants'?

'Bore (or scare) the pants off...' - I can't find the origin. Did it start in England or USA?

BBC local TV news yesterday: 'the attacker laid in wait for...' (No! LAY in wait...!)' If he laid anything it was probably an ambush.

User avatar
MJMcCready
Posts: 1710
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:40 pm

The colocations get messed up for sure. The thing I find most irksome is that American English is considered (by them) as being more progressive than British English, and it's often said triumphantly.

Alistair Campbell
Posts: 329
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Alistair Campbell » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:40 pm

Another grammatical offence (one of which this website, or rather the supporting software, appears guilty): times, in particular noon and midnight.

I was taught (correctly, I believe, which wasn't always the case) that 12 o'clock was either noon or midnight, rather than a.m. or p.m.

(As an aside, I enjoyed the FM saying at today's PPB "this is not something we'll be taking our eye off the ball on".)

As another aside - where should the full-stop go relative to the bracket in the preceding sentence?

NickFaulks
Posts: 5950
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:06 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:40 pm
I was taught (correctly, I believe, which wasn't always the case) that 12 o'clock was either noon or midnight, rather than a.m. or p.m.
We were ferried to and from the 2010 Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad on charter flights. One of the fights back was timed for 24.00. Even though it did not affect me, I was suspicious and phoned the charter company in Brussels. They confirmed that the day of the flight was not as suggested by FIDE.

I passed this on to the FIDE organisers. They told me very bluntly to stay out of what was none of my business. A lot of people lost their connecting flights.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3925
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:45 pm

"I was taught (correctly, I believe, which wasn't always the case) that 12 o'clock was either noon or midnight, rather than a.m. or p.m."

Yes - my father informed me that the RAF used to refer in logbooks to time to the nearest 5(?) minutes, but to avoid confusion used 2359 or 0001 for flights near midnight, as 2400 is clearly (except to some parts of FIDE) ambiguous. I don't know why the charter company didn't just say 2355 or 0005 even, as you never take off at the time advertised anyway.

Mick Norris
Posts: 8277
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:12 am
Location: Bolton, Greater Manchester

Re: Pedants United

Post by Mick Norris » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:03 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:40 pm
(As an aside, I enjoyed the FM saying at today's PPB "this is not something we'll be taking our eye off the ball on".)

As another aside - where should the full-stop go relative to the bracket in the preceding sentence?
I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer this, so step in hesitantly, but as the sentence starts with a bracket, I'd feel it should finish with one; it is visually uncomfortable to me, though, having it as a separate paragraph
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2582
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Pedants United

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:18 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:45 pm
... as 2400 is clearly (except to some parts of FIDE) ambiguous.
I wouldn't consider that to be ambiguous. A flight that departs at 24:00 on 18 September is departing at the very end of the day on 18 September. It's also departing at 00:00 on 19 September, the very start of that day.
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:45 pm
... as you never take off at the time advertised anyway.
As the Law says the arrival time of an aircraft is the time at which the doors are opened, which is significant for flight delay compensation claims, I would assume, for consistency, the departure time is the time the doors are closed.

User avatar
John Clarke
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:07 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by John Clarke » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:42 pm

The clock on our cooker (made by Westinghouse, therefore presumably designed in America) covers all the bases by going from 23.59 to 24.00 then a couple of seconds later to 00.00! For my money, it should always be 0.00, with 24.00 never featuring at all.

For many purposes I prefer the 24-hour clock for its lack of ambiguity. Some of my IT colleagues back in the 90s rather surprisingly insisted on sticking to the old am and pm when it came to notifying meeting times (not that there was any real scope for confusion either way).

Finally, a bit of old-fashioned pedantry. Only this morning I encountered another of my pet hates, summed up in the following:

Do keep clear of that bug that's afflicting our speech
With a high degree of contagiousness.
Want a posh word for "size"? Stick with "magnitude", please.
'Cause "enormity" means "outrageousness".

(Author unknown)
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Nick Ivell
Posts: 414
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Nick Ivell » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:17 pm

Full stop goes inside the bracket if the brackets contain a complete grammatical sentence.

So punctuation correct in the previous post (if I can end with a sentence without a verb, but at least this gives me a chance to put a full stop after a bracket).

Devotees of this thread have missed their vocation. Never mind chess. Grammar is far more important.

Paul Habershon
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:13 pm

A member of the Sage committee talks of 'intensive care units being rammed full of very sick patients...'

Has 'rammed' in that sense become an acceptable synonym for 'crammed'? I have seen it used thus in recent years, but I would always use 'crammed''.

E Michael White
Posts: 1378
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:31 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by E Michael White » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:08 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:59 am
Use of "trouser" as a singular noun is not unknown.
As in trouser leg.

Paul Habershon
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:51 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Paul Habershon » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:08 pm

Just been staying at a hotel golf complex. Covid protocol included many yellow discs on the floor where you queue for food. They were spaced two metres apart and were inscribed 'Thank you for practicing social distancing'.

Practising please! S for the verb, c for the noun, as in to license/a licence. So the DVLA is a licensing authority. You can't hear the difference with those examples, but to advise/some advice is a good aide memoire.

A score of repeated spelling errors all over the floor did not put me off my food.

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 3925
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Pedants United

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:59 pm

Someone drew my attention to the difference between "complimentary" and "complementary" today.

Richard Thursby
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:25 am
Location: origin + pathname + search + hash

Re: Pedants United

Post by Richard Thursby » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:55 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:08 pm
'Thank you for practicing social distancing'.

Practising please! S for the verb, c for the noun, as in to license/a licence. So the DVLA is a licensing authority. You can't hear the difference with those examples, but to advise/some advice is a good aide memoire.
Possibly the creator of the signs used an American source, which does not distinguish between the verb and the noun, where this is correct.

Here are a few points that I particularly notice in my pedantry/preciseness (delete as appropriate) that stems from having studied mathematics to quite a high level.

1) Continual mention in current affairs programmes of the Tory Party which, as far as I can see, ceased to exist in 1834 and whose last prime minister was Arthur Wellesley, better known as the first Duke of Wellington.
2) British media still unable to spell Jürgen Klopp's name correctly. A similar error in his native German means you will end up describing atmospheric conditions as homosexual instead of humid.
3) Those who think that, prior to Andy Murray in 2013, the last British winner of a Wimbledon singles title was Fred Perry.

Post Reply