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Old 05-16-2013, 12:26 AM   #31
BadBilly
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:08 AM   #32
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Just because it's been used in print for fifty years doesn't make it correct. And your analogy is faulty.
Well, actually, it being used in print for 50 years is some of the best possible evidence that it is correct.

Care to explain the problem with my analogy? You can say "I don't give a rat's *ss," but you can also say "I could give a rat's *ss." Both mean the same thing.

This has been studied a little bit. Steven Pinker thinks that it is meant sarcastically. Some linguists think that it may have started sarcastically and then normalized. But the most interesting theory (to me) is that [could] + [expression indicating extreme lack of interest, usually scatological] carries some sort implicit negative meaning. (You can substitute a lot of four letter words for "rat's *ss") in the example above.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:13 AM   #33
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The one thing I remember is an English teacher telling me that "with" is not a proper word to end a sentence with.

The one thing I hate is the "English Disease". That is the tendency to write Dutch words separately, when they shouldn't be. In English, it's "computer screen", but in Dutch it's "computerscherm". "Computer scherm" is wrong.

Writing words separately or not, can actually change their meaning, and quite drastically too.

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Old 05-16-2013, 08:11 AM   #34
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #35
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I'm a John-Barrowman's-smile kind of girl myself. Bond never did much for me.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:00 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
Well, actually, it being used in print for 50 years is some of the best possible evidence that it is correct.

Care to explain the problem with my analogy? You can say "I don't give a rat's *ss," but you can also say "I could give a rat's *ss." Both mean the same thing.

This has been studied a little bit. Steven Pinker thinks that it is meant sarcastically. Some linguists think that it may have started sarcastically and then normalized. But the most interesting theory (to me) is that [could] + [expression indicating extreme lack of interest, usually scatological] carries some sort implicit negative meaning. (You can substitute a lot of four letter words for "rat's *ss") in the example above.
It doesn't matter how long it's been in print, it's still wrong. "I couldn't care less" and "I could care less" do not mean the same thing. Period. No matter how it is used. People use the latter simply because they are two lazy to use the full expression. As far as it being a sarcastic version, remember when some educators tried to justify the poor English used by many African/Americans by calling it Ebonics? That was well received (that was sarcasm, btw) Frankly, the vast majority of people I've heard use "I could care less" weren't sophisticated enough to use, let alone understand, that subtle a level of sarcasm.

You're comparing apples to kumquats when comparing "I couldn't care less" and "I could care less" to your rat anatomy examples since the former examples do not mean the same thing (despite the erroneous common usage)while the latter examples do.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
It doesn't matter how long it's been in print, it's still wrong. "I couldn't care less" and "I could care less" do not mean the same thing. Period. No matter how it is used. People use the latter simply because they are two lazy to use the full expression. As far as it being a sarcastic version, remember when some educators tried to justify the poor English used by many African/Americans by calling it Ebonics?
Also love those people who are two lazy to check their spelling and the simplest basic facts concerning the topic they are writing about?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:17 PM   #38
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Also love those people who are two lazy to check their spelling and the simplest basic facts concerning the topic they are writing about?
Anyone who can't be bothered to rise above a score of two should just give up on being lazy. Of course, I'm assuming that you're using the Lazenschafter Idleness Scale. Mo' lazy is mo' betta.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:42 PM   #39
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Anyone who can't be bothered to rise above a score of two should just give up on being lazy. Of course, I'm assuming that you're using the Lazenschafter Idleness Scale. Mo' lazy is mo' betta.
Well, I'm actually using the Dufner Slump Gradient.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:04 AM   #40
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Well, I'm actually using the Dufner Slump Gradient.
If it's Dufner, then I could care less.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:00 AM   #41
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What do you guys make of this line:
The epic battle between Apple and Google is ALL BUT over. Who won ?
It's the title of a thread here on MR
My interpretation is that it can be a lot of things EXCEPT over ..
So the ensuing question makes no sense "who won ?"
I am tempted to answer: If it's all but over then how should we know who won ?
Wait till it is indeed fully over to find out.

Am I turning into a grammar nazi ?


http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=213447

Last edited by Quexos; 05-19-2013 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:00 AM   #42
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"The epic battle between Apple and Google is ALL BUT over."

Means that the battle is nearly over, and (in the opinion the author) any remaining battling won't affect the result.

"Who won ?"

Implies that even though the battle has been decided and no more significant events will happen in the battle, it is unclear who won. It might even be a Pyrrhic victory?
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:44 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Just because it's been used in print for fifty years doesn't make it correct. And your analogy is faulty.
What does make it correct?
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:34 PM   #44
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What do you guys make of this line:
The epic battle between Apple and Google is ALL BUT over. Who won ?
It's the title of a thread here on MR
My interpretation is that it can be a lot of things EXCEPT over ..
So the ensuing question makes no sense "who won ?"
I am tempted to answer: If it's all but over then how should we know who won ?
Wait till it is indeed fully over to find out.

Am I turning into a grammar nazi ?


http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=213447
It's the contextual difference between the meaning of the words "all" and "everything" that causes confusion here I think. A dictionary might tell you these words mean more or less the same, but in this context they mean more or less the opposite of each other. Thats the problem with dictionaries - they can lead you to believe that words have fixed definite meanings.If the sentence had read "The battle...is everything but over", then your interpretation would have been right, but in the context in which it appears the conjuction "all but" is more likely to mean something like, "to a large extent" or "as near as damn it".
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:29 PM   #45
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I read it as a short form of the phrase, in all things but in name.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 05-19-2013 at 11:48 PM.
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