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Old 8th May 2013, 01:24   #1771
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by faustus77 View Post
VeluM
Hi
After signal there is a comma whereas if the word single was used there wouldnt have been one.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
Regards
IMO there are two adjectives (for "contribution" )separated by a comma. "signal", and "game-changing".
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Old 8th May 2013, 06:29   #1772
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

It is very late into the night and I wish I were (should this be were or was) able to read this thread further - which i will in time - but as an Englishman it is a fascinating and wonderful read.

For a start, the general level of English on team-bhp is higher than on most British forums. Some would try to excuse the poor levels of spelling and grammar as a language in development and not standing still, but they wouldn't convince many!

English is not the preserve of the English (or Scots, or Welsh - who have been forced to use it in preference to their native tongues for centuries) but of any nation which uses it well. Which you do like no other country which previously came into contact with the British.

The Americans mash it up terribly and even wrote their own dictionary replacing the English 'autumn' with 'fall' and altering the spelling of many words, such as favour into favor. Interestingly, the latest trend in American English is to start using the original words, if not spellings. They are saying the original feels better and makes more sense.

Here are my feelings on one or two (which can mean three or four) comments:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
An interesting one. It seems it can mean overseeing or overlooking!
I would say oversight would mean overlooking in the sense of missing something, at least in British English. Overseeing to me would suggest looking after something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
N. Ram, editor of the Hindu...

I think they are an English-speaking family, and, obviously, one steeped in language, writing and words. I often see N. Murali, who is president of The Music Acadaemy, speak. On one occasion, when he was speaking in Tamil, I asked my wife how his Tamil was. She said, "He is thinking in English, and then translating, and making a lot of mistakes." But I cannot find faults when he speaks in English.

This use of signal is relatively unusual, but as VeluM has already pointed out, perfectly correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR View Post
Still trying to wrap my head around this statement for two reasons:
1) It is the caption on the cover of a high-profile biography and is quoting a former editor-in-chief of the Hindu
2) Shouldn't the statement read "His SINGLE, game-changing contribution was..." and NOT "His SIGNAL, game-changing contribution was..."

Attachment 1081587


Am I missing something here?

Cheers,
Adi
I would say that in British English, 'signal' would not read correctly and would be widely assumed to be an typo error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Thought to share it on this thread. How to write good English...
I love this!!!

Last edited by FlatOut : 8th May 2013 at 06:33.
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Old 8th May 2013, 07:26   #1773
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
I would say that in British English, 'signal' would not read correctly and would be widely assumed to be an typo error.
http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionar...onary/signal_3

Though I have never ever heard this use before.
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Old 8th May 2013, 07:29   #1774
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

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Originally Posted by FlatOut View Post
....
I would say oversight would mean overlooking in the sense of missing something, at least in British English. Overseeing to me would suggest .....
The act of overseeing something, say, a project, is often referred to as oversight. There are government oversight committees, their purpose being to oversee that things get done properly, or as stipulated.

This word has been rendered ambiguous, possibly by incorrect usage over the years. Where it should have been an 'overseeing committee' it somehow was referred to, quite erroneously, as an 'oversight committee'!

LOL, why would anyone want to have a committee that overlooks things?
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Old 8th May 2013, 08:38   #1775
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

The usage of signal, is it similar to the term singular?

It was a signal battle.
It was a singular battle.
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Old 8th May 2013, 09:33   #1776
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
The usage of signal, is it similar to the term singular?

It was a signal battle.
It was a singular battle.
I too have the same question. I've never seen 'signal' being used in that context, and was not even aware that it would mean something that stands out.

I would have preferred to use 'singular' instead.
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Old 8th May 2013, 11:37   #1777
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
The usage of signal, is it similar to the term singular?

It was a signal battle.
It was a singular battle.
No, it's not.
Why we are not that aware of this usage of signal is because it is not used as such by even the most professional of English speakers, or writers.

The usage is best defined with the award of a DSC (disctinguished service cross), rather than an SSC.

For me personally, using signal, in place of distinguished(or any other synonym, for that matter) is equivalent to Joey using his Thesaurus.
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Old 8th May 2013, 15:44   #1778
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

It seems the use of 'signal' on the book cover is entirely correct, so I learn something new. You would most likely need to be a military historian and/or have a very good degree in English to recognise its meaning here. Or read team-bhp, of course!!

It's possibly a corruption of old French which has filtered into the language through military sources, picked up from French soldiers.

from Wiktionary:

Adjective

signal (not comparable)
  1. Standing above others in rank, importance, or achievement.
From Old French segnal, seignal or Medieval Latin signāle, noun use of the neuter of Late Latin signālis, from Latin signum.

Etymology

Latin signalis.
Noun

segnal m (oblique plural segnals, nominative singular segnals, nominative plural segnal)
  1. emblem; badge
  2. signature; distinguishing mark showing ownership
Descendants
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Old 31st May 2013, 15:28   #1779
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Co-Passenger?

Where did this nonsense spring from?

In certain circumstances, a driver can have a co-driver. But a co-passenger? There would have to be at least three persons in the car: driver, passenger and co-passenger, as a co-passenger would be assistant to the passenger, just as co-driver is assistant to the driver. As, of course, in pilot and copilot, which is probably the first use of this construct.

How does this sort of thing happen? Misunderstanding of the mechanics and meaning of language, coupled with lazy and wrong association of ideas, so "co-" gets into the head as "somebody else." But it still doesn't make sense: a "somebody-else passenger" is still ...just a passenger.

next rant

I don't know means I don't know. I am not sure means I am not sure.

Being sure of something means to be certain of it; being not sure of something implies maybe knowing it, but not being certain.

Somewhere along the line, the idea got introduced (another American management nonsense?) that one should never say I don't know. Actually, even my father, back in 1960-something, advised me never to say, "I don't know," to a manager. I didn't agree with him then, I don't now: If a person doesn't know, they should say so.

Thanks for reading my rants. Of course, I believe I am correct (no "not sure" ). although others may disagree. I hope I'm helping the language.

Here's one I'm confused about...

I read in the newspaper stuff like, "Their marriage got cancelled." I know this is wrong, because it feels wrong. It looks and sounds ugly, which is always a good test. It seems to be misuse of the word got ---but, "they got married," would be ok, wouldn't it?

I have the feeling that "got" is to do with possession, but I'm lost on this one.

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 31st May 2013 at 15:33.
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Old 31st May 2013, 15:38   #1780
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

How can marriage get cancelled? It can get annulled or end in a divorce.

On the other hand, wedding can get cancelled.
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Old 31st May 2013, 15:54   #1781
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Co-Passenger?


I don't know means I don't know. I am not sure means I am not sure.

The co-passenger is an Indian invention I think. We have a habit of adding additional words to whatever we say, whether that serves any purpose or not.

Don't know/Not sure : This is not a grammar issue - but a etiquette/culture issue. People never say 'no' to anything!! Also saying "am not sure" makes you feel less of ignoramus than saying "I don't know"


Quote:
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How can marriage get cancelled? It can get annulled or end in a divorce.

On the other hand, wedding can get cancelled.
Our Sam's contribution lives through posts like these
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Old 31st May 2013, 16:00   #1782
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Couple of times in the US, I phoned a number and asked "May I speak to Ms. XYZ". Ms. XYZ replied "This is she."? Is "This is she." correct? I would say "Yeah, this is carboy speaking" or something like that.
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Old 31st May 2013, 16:50   #1783
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
[b]Co-Passenger?

next rant

I don't know means I don't know. I am not sure means I am not sure.

Being sure of something means to be certain of it; being not sure of something implies maybe knowing it, but not being certain.

Somewhere along the line, the idea got introduced (another American management nonsense?) that one should never say I don't know. Actually, even my father, back in 1960-something, advised me never to say, "I don't know," to a manager. I didn't agree with him then, I don't now: If a person doesn't know, they should say so.
I am not sure if I agree with you.

I think its not just about "I don't know". I hear the "not so sure" quite often in my dealings and I think its just a very polite and conversational way of disagreement instead of an outright refusal and at times to seek more clarification. Also, I think this term directly maps to the grey-zone of conversation and knowledge exchange where everything may not be black and white.
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Old 31st May 2013, 16:58   #1784
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Our Sam's contribution lives through posts like these
What do you mean?
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Old 31st May 2013, 17:01   #1785
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Default Re: A YetiGuideŽ : How To Post In Proper English

IIRC it was Sam who explained to us ordinary folks, the difference between marriage and wedding early on in this thread. But I also remember that you have also posted the same thing earlier also. But Sam comes first
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