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Old 01-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #61
cromag
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Do you have a pair of shoes, or a pair shoes?

This reminds of the word "myriad."

"There are myriad choices."
"There are a myriad choices."
"There are a myriad of choices."


ApK
(one-time English major)
I have two of shoes.


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Old 01-10-2012, 01:38 PM   #62
ApK
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Quote:
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I have two of shoes.

I have jack of diamonds.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #63
WT Sharpe
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That's true. McCoy would never have described a dual-hearted alien as having two of hearts, but Data in the weekly bridge officer poker game on the NCC-1701-D would not have hesitated to use that phrase to describe his poker hand.

Jeeze! How geeky is this post?

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:42 PM   #64
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Geeky ang fun! When I want logic and (some level of) consistency in language I revert to my high school Latin.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:47 PM   #65
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When I lived in the western USA I heard a "a couple-few days" and "a couple-few hours" with out the "of" all the time. Not heard that anywhere else before or since.
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:44 PM   #66
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It's always 'couple of' in British English. I've edited US books and discuss this with the author when it comes up. You don't have to use correct grammar in a book. It can be in dialect, and this can include almost perfect grammar but some dialect phrases. So I do allow 'couple' without 'of' if the narrator or the author is American and wants that wording.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:11 PM   #67
QuantumIguana
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Grammarians are always wrong - eventually, that is. Language changes, despite all efforts to hold it back, it always has. We would be speaking Indo-European if it didn't change. Fighting against language change is like trying to hold back the tide. Language always has rules, and as language changes, we have to discover what those rules are. I agree with the poster that I might say "I'll have a couple steaks" to refer to just expressing a desire for more than one steak, but I might say "I'll have a couple of those steaks" to refer to specific steaks. Using "couple of" all the time seems very stiff. Of course, if an editor says "don't use 'couple of'" then you might want to go along with their demands. I'd be more inclined to drop the "of" in character's dialog than in other text.

Being a Northerner, I don't use "y'all", but I can see how it can be quite useful. "You" can be used as a singular or a plural, but this leads to confusion, people commonly get confused whether it refers to them in particular, or to the whole group. With "y'all", it's clear that this is referring to a group, not just a particular person. "All ya'll" seems redundant, but it refers not just to multiple people, but to everyone present. Standard English is just another dialect of English. The term "King's English" or "Queen's English" is just that, the dialect of the people at the top of the social pyramid.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #68
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I've seen the expression without the "of" a few times in student papers, so it must be colloquial usage here in Canada too. It makes me twitch a bit, and I generally correct it since students are supposed to use formal English in papers.

But I love that "couple-few" construction! . I enjoy lots of things in spoken English that I don't like to see in a paper.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #69
QuantumIguana
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Perhaps in decades to come "couplefew" could become a word. Stranger things have happened, "whithersoever" is three words jammed into one. "Couple few" is informal, but logical, "couple" implies two, "few" implies three, so a person might say "couple few" to imply that the quantity could be two or three. You could say "a couple or a few", but language seems to evolve to saying the same thing in a less complex manner.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #70
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I have heard and used "couple few" a many times, pretty sure on both US coasts that I've lived on. I like it, but I've always viewed it strictly as a cutesy colloquialism, not with any thought that it was grammatically correct. Like ginormous, or absotivley.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:03 PM   #71
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I live in the southeastern US, and it's common to omit the "of" in casual conversation. But I would never write it that way unless I was writing dialogue or in a certain voice.
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