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#1048788 - Sat Jun 14 2014 02:49 AM Calling all Grammar Experts
Chavs Offline
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Loc: Ireland
...and knobby know alls too.

"An ewer to hold the wine."

Or

"A ewer to hold the wine."


?


And how do you spell nobby know all?


Edited by sue943 (Mon Oct 13 2014 10:40 AM)

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#1048789 - Sat Jun 14 2014 03:53 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
flopsymopsy Offline
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"A ewer to hold the wine"

Quote:
And how do you spell nobby know all?


I spell it "Bright, charming, intelligent, witty..." wink
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#1048792 - Sat Jun 14 2014 04:34 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
dippo Offline
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My grammar book (which incidentally is not called "Mein Kampf") says that you write A before words beginning with a consonant sound, and An before words with a vowel sound. So you have a ewer, a union, a European, but an MP, an FBI agent.

For those who insist on an hotel, my book also points out that in that case, you should not pronounce the 'h'.

From "The Longman Guide to English Usage" by Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut.

I'm not a Grammar Nazi, but when you're telling advertising agencies that their copy is wrong, it helps to have something to back it up!


Edited by dippo (Sat Jun 14 2014 04:36 AM)
Edit Reason: I'm a perfectionist.

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#1048803 - Sat Jun 14 2014 08:40 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Chavs Offline
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So far, I am in agreement with both posts.

Thank you, Dippo, for that reference.



But this example threw me, so I had to ask. Is there a reason why art pieces are being described using "an"?
http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/185950
http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/eastcer/eastcer-1603.html
http://m.vam.ac.uk/collections/item/O127480/design-for-an-ewer-drawing-wornum-ralph-nicholson/


Edited by Chavs (Sat Jun 14 2014 08:42 AM)

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#1048811 - Sat Jun 14 2014 09:24 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
dippo Offline
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I can't explain why people make what appear to me to be grammatical mistakes! When I checked the first two links, I wondered if it was an American pronunciation issue (they probably say an herb, not a herb), but I see the last one is from the V & A - unless it was copied from an American source.

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#1048813 - Sat Jun 14 2014 09:43 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: dippo]
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Originally Posted By: dippo
(they probably say an herb, not a herb)


We do say "an herb", because we don't pronounce the "h" in "herb" unless it is a person's name - it's pronounced like "erb", meaning it starts with a vowel sound, and needs "an" instead of "a".

And that's not a "pronunciation issue" - it's a regional variation in pronunciation.


Edited by kaddarsgirl (Sat Jun 14 2014 09:45 AM)
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#1048815 - Sat Jun 14 2014 09:45 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
TabbyTom Offline
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It used to be common for an to be used before words that were spelled with an initial vowel, and the practice persisted until fairly recent times. With "ewer", the Oxford English Dictionary has a fifteenth-century quotation about "an ewyr of sylver". If the artworks mentioned by Chavs were given their titles in the nineteenth century or earlier, then the spellings may have seemed normal to the artists or cataloguers. Even so, if I were writing about those works, I would almost certainly write "a ewer".
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#1048824 - Sat Jun 14 2014 12:15 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
MiraJane Offline
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The ewers in question from Chavs are from the early 1500s, early 1700s, and mid 1800s.

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#1048825 - Sat Jun 14 2014 12:37 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Chavs Offline
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They are! And so the titles make sense taking tabbytom's explanation into account.

The V & A has then continued to use "an ewer" in the description, but perhaps that is just error?

Thank you for the explanations.

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#1048831 - Sat Jun 14 2014 01:54 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
mehaul Offline
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And a "You're welcome" fits the thread to a t.

If your buddy Herb writes mythological tales about city morals is it a Herban urban legend or just an urban legend?


Edited by mehaul (Sat Jun 14 2014 01:57 PM)
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#1048835 - Sat Jun 14 2014 02:39 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Chavs Offline
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Or just a case of Sage wisdom?

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#1055724 - Tue Jul 29 2014 08:14 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Jakeroo Offline
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only Thyme will tell
(sorry, couldn't resist).
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#1055730 - Tue Jul 29 2014 08:46 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Jakeroo]
LadyCaitriona Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 08 2001
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Slightly off topic, but interesting...

The word "an" should be used before words that begin with h where the first syllable is unaccented. So you would say "a history of linguistics" but "an historical account of linguistic evolution."

This article explains the reasoning quite well:

http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/drgw007.html



Edited by LadyCaitriona (Tue Jul 29 2014 08:48 PM)
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#1055813 - Wed Jul 30 2014 01:18 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Jakeroo Offline
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LC: being Canadian (and proud of it), I heartily agree that that is how I was taught in school.

That being said, I have a lot of foreign friends and am happy to get messages from them regardless of whether I personally agree with their grammar : )

The only grammar gripes (from people with English as a first language) I have are "you're" vs "your", "it's" vs "its" and "their" vs "they're".


Edited by Jakeroo (Wed Jul 30 2014 01:19 PM)
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#1059059 - Thu Aug 14 2014 07:41 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
satguru Offline
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One more for you all (I made a bet who would get it so I will see!), what is the word for a noun that can't be pluralised, like silver or gold? I was playing Scrabble yesterday and someone tried to add an S to one and I said not all nouns can take a plural and (as I didn't do grammar at school, it was the 60s) it had an official name but I didn't know it. It's something similar to a collective noun but don't think that covers this exactly.
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#1059062 - Thu Aug 14 2014 08:04 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
sally0malley Offline
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count and noncount nouns

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#1059065 - Thu Aug 14 2014 08:17 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
sally0malley Offline
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count and noncount nouns

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#1059066 - Thu Aug 14 2014 08:24 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
TimBentley Offline
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Note that silver and gold as elements are uncountable, but a different meaning (e.g., medals) can be countable (he won two golds).

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#1059078 - Fri Aug 15 2014 01:17 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Jakeroo Offline
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In British Columbia (Canada) coho salmon are also called "silvers".
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#1059133 - Fri Aug 15 2014 08:27 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
satguru Offline
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Thanks Sally, I've never heard of them. My examples were the first I could think of, as elements themselves are just there, but I'm sure there are lists made up of these somewhere with better ones which have no exceptions as well.
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#1059145 - Fri Aug 15 2014 10:22 AM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
mehaul Offline
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Ah, I found another example of a non count noun (also referred to as mass nouns): water (although poetically waters is a plural form of the noun)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_noun
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#1059261 - Fri Aug 15 2014 06:51 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
ren33 Offline
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Yes, liquids, powders and many substances are non countable nouns. The one that confuses many learners here is "food". as one has a problem as to when to add an s.
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#1059614 - Sun Aug 17 2014 03:40 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
Chavs Offline
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Is there a verb for the act of (humans) giving birth? We have: She bore him a son....but do we have boring? If someone is mid-giving-birth are they boring, bearing, birthing in the birthing pool? She is in labour but is she labouring? She cannot come to the phone as she is birthing right now? She birthed ear!ier too, but it is twins. She has been borning all morning! Perhaps she is kidding! But I'm not, I really want to know. Any advice?

Edit -- Oh, apparently, or so I am told, it IS birthing. I just have never heard anyone use it. I can't believe anyone says birthed, though.


Edited by Chavs (Sun Aug 17 2014 03:49 PM)

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#1059634 - Sun Aug 17 2014 04:14 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
dippo Offline
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Even I've heard of a birthing pool.

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#1059690 - Sun Aug 17 2014 08:18 PM Re: Calling all Grammar Experts [Re: Chavs]
mehaul Offline
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At the other end of life, can a person be in mid-death and what is it called? 'Foot touching the about to be kicked bucket'? Half passed? Passed what? On the phone: "He can't come to the phone right now, he's busy with death. Please, try back later." or "The Grim Reaper is almost done with him."? And to borrow from dippo: the dead pool - are you a swimmer or just a wader? At the Pearly Gates is one merely ringing the bell and not getting a response? This draws on Shakespeare: Are you Julieting me? He's busy giving up the ghost - it's halfway out? He's three feet under? He's between a rock and a kinda hard place? He's in the middle of ending his marriage by one of the caveats? He's always been friendly, now he's learning to be Casper about it? Wouldn't it be nice if the applicable adage was: "Better never than late" as far as death goes? He's practicing being late for his own funeral?

That's all I got in this Robin Williams memorial rant.
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