Good/Bad English

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
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Greg Breed
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Good/Bad English

Post by Greg Breed » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:19 pm

I recently came across a sentence i thought was incorrect, but after having looked up the word I am uncertain. I know the chess bunch are usually quite verbose and articulate so I thought here is as good a place as any to ask.

What was written:
...sold Elite services as appose to Pay-as-you-go service...

What I thought it should be:
...sold Elite services as opposed to Pay-as-you-go service...
Hatch End A Captain (Hillingdon League)
Harrow Captain (Middlesex League)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:26 pm

Greg Breed wrote: What was written:
...sold Elite services as appose to Pay-as-you-go service...

What I thought it should be:
...sold Elite services as opposed to Pay-as-you-go service...
A google search came up with this link
http://www.beedictionary.com/common-err ... _vs_oppose

appose is a very rare word. Those with memories of old TV programs might recall the programme "Call my Bluff" where three possible definitions of a rare word were given and the teams attempted to use the correct one.

John McKenna
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Of course, nowadays nobody is supposed to be opposed to anything. Hence the use of substitutes like 'appose'. How very apposite. Personally, I'm against it.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:13 pm

If we're really going to have a thread entitled "Good/Bad English", then...
Roger de Coverly wrote:Those with memories of old TV programs might recall the programme "Call my Bluff"[...].
*programmes

:D

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:28 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: *programmes
Programme. Used as a collective noun for a series, as in "Do you remember the TV programme The Good Life ?". Programmes in this context means distinct series, as in "Paul Eddington was in the programmes The Good Life and Yes Minister".

John McKenna
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:29 pm

Is it not simply an instance of American English spelling and if so is that bad?
BTW, bad words about a certain English footballer have appeared in the Spanish media. They've never really forgiven the English for the darstardly deeda of Drake - such as singeing the beard of their king.
Last edited by John McKenna on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:45 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: *programmes
Programme. Used as a collective noun for a series, as in "Do you remember the TV programme The Good Life ?". Programmes in this context means distinct series, as in "Paul Eddington was in the programmes The Good Life and Yes Minister".
No, Roger, not there.
Roger de Coverly wrote:Those with memories of old TV programs might recall the programme "Call my Bluff" [...]
There

John McKenna
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:54 pm

Alex hasn't spotted my spelling error as yet. Heh, heh... (in a Mutley voice).
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

MJMcCready
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by MJMcCready » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:42 pm

Go into any supermarket in England and you will see a sign near some of the tills '10 items or less' when it should be '10 items or fewer' given that 'less' is used for nouns which we don't count 'uncountable nouns' and fewer is used for nouns we do count 'countable nouns'.

Richard James
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Richard James » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:11 pm

MJMcCready wrote:Go into any supermarket in England and you will see a sign near some of the tills '10 items or less' when it should be '10 items or fewer' given that 'less' is used for nouns which we don't count 'uncountable nouns' and fewer is used for nouns we do count 'countable nouns'.
On the other hand.
Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage wrote:Supermarket checkouts are correct when the signs they display read 5 items or less (which refers to a total amount), and are misguidedly pedantic when they read 5 items or fewer (which emphasizes individuality, surely not the intention).
I agree with you rather than Pocket Fowler, though.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:27 pm

I'm pleased to report my local Waitrose uses "10 items or fewer". However, they then totally ruined it by referring to "cancer cure's" on the box where you put the green token to decide which charity gets most funding.

What constitutes an item? I recall Robbie Coltrane (possibly in 'Cracker') using the "8 items or fewer" aisle with about 24 cans of beer, pointing out, "4 cans of beer in a pack - one item".

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John Clarke
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by John Clarke » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:50 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:What constitutes an item? I recall Robbie Coltrane (possibly in 'Cracker') using the "8 items or fewer" aisle with about 24 cans of beer, pointing out, "4 cans of beer in a pack - one item".
If the 4-pack has a single price covering all four cans, requiring only one read of a bar-code, then to my mind it's a single "item", and Robbie C was right.

I've read it through several times, and even slept on it overnight, but I still can't make any sense of that extract from Pocket Fowler. It reads more like something that the old Fowler's reviser Ernest Gowers would have quoted in his own Plain Words as an example of how not to write intelligible English.
"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.)

Richard James
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Richard James » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:18 am

John Clarke wrote: I've read it through several times, and even slept on it overnight, but I still can't make any sense of that extract from Pocket Fowler. It reads more like something that the old Fowler's reviser Ernest Gowers would have quoted in his own Plain Words as an example of how not to write intelligible English.
I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

David Gilbert
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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:53 am

Richard James wrote:
John Clarke wrote: I've read it through several times, and even slept on it overnight, but I still can't make any sense of that extract from Pocket Fowler. It reads more like something that the old Fowler's reviser Ernest Gowers would have quoted in his own Plain Words as an example of how not to write intelligible English.
I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)
My crude understanding from my letter writing days is that less takes the singular noun and fewer the plural, so less chance, fewer chances, less resource, fewer resources. Fewer is used when we talk about a figure five items or fewer, fewer potatoes. Whereas less is concerned with an amount so less water or less sugar. But someone may wish to correct me? They usually do!

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Re: Good/Bad English

Post by Richard James » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:07 am

David Gilbert wrote:
Richard James wrote:
John Clarke wrote: I've read it through several times, and even slept on it overnight, but I still can't make any sense of that extract from Pocket Fowler. It reads more like something that the old Fowler's reviser Ernest Gowers would have quoted in his own Plain Words as an example of how not to write intelligible English.
I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)
My crude understanding from my letter writing days is that less takes the singular noun and fewer the plural, so less chance, fewer chances, less resource, fewer resources. Fewer is used when we talk about a figure five items or fewer, fewer potatoes. Whereas less is concerned with an amount so less water or less sugar. But someone may wish to correct me? They usually do!
Essentially, yes, but, for instance, if you wanted a smaller helping of mash you'd ask for less potatoes rather than fewer potatoes, because you're talking about mass rather than number.

The problem is that 'more' is the antonym of both words.

"Alex made more serious mistakes than Jack" is ambiguous. It might be the opposite of "Alex made less serious mistakes than Jack" or "Alex made fewer serious mistakes than Jack".

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