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Old 20th August 2015, 02:10   #2281
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

I "third" it!

This is conversational; it is what the person said, and none of the examples are wrong, but I'd go with reverse_gear's version.
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Old 4th September 2015, 17:07   #2282
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Anybody want to know how to speak or write in bad English? There is a daily primer, and it is called The New Indian Express!

Here's one I have noticed recently, from their pages: hyphenating spelled-out numbers to mean a range.

According to me, one can write two to seven, or 2-7, but not two-seven, which is a complete nonsense.

By the way, Fowler's Modern English Usage concurs with my view that gift, as a verb, should be avoided. The writer must have been very gifted!

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Old 4th September 2015, 17:36   #2283
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

"... which is a complete nonsense." or "... which is complete nonsense."?
I imagine there is good sense, bad sense and nonsense.
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Old 4th September 2015, 17:54   #2284
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

I often use "a nonsense." Is it nonsense?

<a few minutes later>

... Fowler says that its use as a countable noun has become frequent, at least in British English, in the 20th century. It does not say we should not.

Phew!

By the way, I found Fowler's Modern English Usage online as a PDF, and downloaded it. It is a recent edition, although I think there is a brand new, later, one. It is invaluable for those Can-I-should-I? questions. I don't know why I never owned the book!

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Old 4th September 2015, 20:51   #2285
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
....
... Fowler says that its use as a countable noun has become frequent, at least in British English, in the 20th century. It does not say we should not.
....
Nonsense as a countable noun? I find that hard to accept.
How many nonsenses can a man talk upon an evening?
He spoke a nonsense but that one in the blue shirt spoke many nonsenses?
No no, only two nonsenses?
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Old 5th September 2015, 03:18   #2286
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Brilliant poetry, anupmathur! Love it!

Fowler's...

Quote:
nonsense. Uses of nonsense as a countable word (i.e. used with the indefinite article and also in the plural) have become frequent, at least in BrE, in the 2oc. Examples: Everyone said, 'Lyne made a nonsense of the embarkation.'—E. Waugh, 1942; I knew you'd make a nonsense so I told Wallis to be ready to take over—L. Cooper, 1960; Ambitious nonsenses like The Entertainer and Flame in the Streets—Movie, 1962; To say that Mr Smith should attend the Geneva conference on Rhodesia as a member of the British delegation is a nonsense—A. Crosland, on Radio 4, 1976.
Its traditional role as an uncountable noun meaning 'absurd or meaningless words or ideas' remains intact.
(I had to cut and paste, line by line, from a columnar PDF. Hoping no nonsense crept in!)
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Old 5th September 2015, 07:17   #2287
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

I do feel that the word has, at times, been confused with the similar sounding (and meaning) 'nuisance'.
Quote:
I knew you'd make a nonsense so I told Wallis to be ready to take over
And this sounds just fine to me, "Ambitious nonsense like The Entertainer and Flame in the Streets".

I'm not quite ready for Fowler's yet; maybe I never will be. Die hard, ossified gentlemen of yore!
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Old 5th September 2015, 10:47   #2288
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I have actually never heard of "a nonsense" ,period, and it just sounds wrong. Even in usage, a lot of language forums have discussed this, and though a few fight for it being correct, the majority say that they would correct someone who used it.
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Old 5th September 2015, 12:59   #2289
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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I have actually never heard of "a nonsense" ,period, and it just sounds wrong. Even in usage, a lot of language forums have discussed this, and though a few fight for it being correct, the majority say that they would correct someone who used it.
Exactly my thoughts! I find usage of 'a nonsense' odd. Perhaps they wanted to use 'nuisance' instead.
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Old 5th September 2015, 13:28   #2290
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Fowler's Modern English Usage was first published in 1926. It was an authority when my parents were at school, so none of us here can claim to be too old for it!

For those who have never heard of "a nonsense," well, you have never heard it, but I do assure you that no native English speaker would "correct" it, because it is not wrong!

My SOED also mentions it in a quote from Pope, which takes it back to 18th century.
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Old 5th September 2015, 13:54   #2291
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Hmm, since when did the Pope become the defining authority? In fact, many Popes have been non native English speakers.
I would like to know when the Queen (of England) last used it (the word, not the Pope!), if ever.
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Old 5th September 2015, 14:14   #2292
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

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Hmm, since when did the Pope become the defining authority? In fact, many Popes have been non native English speakers.
He probably means this guy
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Old 5th September 2015, 15:17   #2293
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"He's a nonsense writer", may pass.
He's a nonsense, no fly. And again, I'm yet to see it in proper usage anywhere.
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Old 5th September 2015, 16:56   #2294
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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
He probably means this guy
Oops,

No definite article; clearly I was not paying attention.
There's Pope and there's the Pope!

In any case, I would like to see an example or two of how this gentleman used the word in question as a countable noun.
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Old 5th September 2015, 19:17   #2295
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Default Re: A YetiGuide® : How To Post In Proper English

Pope/Pope... Love it!



Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
"He's a nonsense writer", may pass.
He's a nonsense, no fly. And again, I'm yet to see it in proper usage anywhere.
He's a nonsense would not be right. He made a nonsense of the situation would.

After a moment's doubt (I checked with reference books) I know I'm right on this. Honest. Believe me; it is my native (and only <blush>) language. Celebrate! You now have a new way to use the word nonsense
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