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  1. #61
    You're and Your, etc.
    Rod's Avatar
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    I think the one that really annoys me is the misuse or misplacement of the apostrophe to indicate plurals or possessive forms, such as, the cat's whiskers as opposed to the cats whiskers. Some would even put an apostrophe on whiskers.



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  2. #62
    You're and Your, etc.
    krs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    Hmm. Not seeing the ambiguity in that example.
    I don't either actually - but then it would be boring if we all think exactly the same way or interpret sentences exactly in the same way.

  3. #63
    You're and Your, etc.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Let me make the ambiguity a bit more obvious.

    I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk.
    Ok, so "to buy" is split by "quickly." But what's being done quickly?

    I'm going quickly to the store to buy some milk.
    The quickly is is the going to the store. I may well stand in line for 20 minutes if the store is full of customers, but I am running to the store, so I'm going quickly.

    I'm going to the store to buy quickly some milk.
    In this case I stroll leisurely toward the store to get the milk, but then I get to pay and leave very fast because I use the express lane, or I do self checkout. In any case, I went to the store slowly, but then got in and out of the store quickly.

    And with that, if you cannot see the ambiguity that splitting infinitives create, I cannot help you any more.
    Jake

  4. #64
    You're and Your, etc.
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    Oh...I understood what you were getting at - I just don't see the ambiguity.

    In the example you just posted:
    I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk.

    I read that as two actions:
    "I'm going to the store" and (at the store) "I will quickly buy some milk"

    So I'm not going to shop around at the store for other things, I will just get the milk.

    I don't see why one would assoviate "quickly" with the action of going to the store.
    That would be "I'm going to the store quickly"
    But in the example here, there is that little word "to" that separates the two actions.
    I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk.

    BTW -
    Your second explanatory sentence:
    I'm going to the store to buy quickly some milk.
    doesn't even sound like proper English to me
    Last edited by krs; 09-06-2019 at 12:47 PM.

  5. #65
    You're and Your, etc.
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    I think the one that really annoys me is the misuse or misplacement of the apostrophe to indicate plurals or possessive forms, such as, the cat's whiskers as opposed to the cats whiskers. Some would even put an apostrophe on whiskers.
    [/url]
    Yes, that is a "violation" of the rules that appears often on the Forum here. It bugs me too.

    Re: split infinitives; the ambiguity is obvious to me. :shrug:

  6. #66
    You're and Your, etc.
    krs's Avatar
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    I guess there are not enough Mac/iPhone/iPad problems to solve - so now we have 66 posts on English spelling and grammar.

  7. #67
    You're and Your, etc.
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    Why not? As for the second interpretation of the sentence, it WOULD be better English to say, "I am going to the store to buy some milk quickly," but I left it as I did to be a bit clearer on the ambiguity. This third sentence has some ambiguity as well, as the "quickly" is a bit adrift and could be modifying the "going" or "buy" verbs.

    Oh...I understood what you were getting at - I just don't see the ambiguity.

    In the example you just posted:
    I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk.

    I read that as two actions:
    "I'm going to the store" and (at the store) "I will quickly buy some milk"

    So I'm not going to shop around at the store for other things, I will just get the milk.
    Ah, but that is NOT what I meant. I meant that I was running to the store as fast as I could, would then buy some milk. Won't rush to check out, I like to browse. I might even buy more things! But I want to get there quickly as I am concerned that the store might close before I get there.

    So your interpretation was incorrect because of the ambiguity of what I wrote.
    Jake

  8. #68
    You're and Your, etc.
    IWT's Avatar
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    so now we have 66 posts on English spelling and grammar.
    No. 68 posts

    Punctuate this sentence:

    "A woman without her man is nothing".

    When I get a few replies, I'll give you two totally different and contradictory answers

    Ian
    Ian

  9. #69
    Well, Jake, I guess you can't "help" me further because I can't imagine anyone being confused about what "quickly" is modifying in "I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk." The idea is that you're going to be in the store briefly because you're just shopping for milk, not the week's groceries. It obviously has nothing to do with how quickly you get to the actual store. Now, if you sincerely don't see that, then you can always insert the words "in order" in front of "to" to make it even clearer: "I'm going to the store in order to quickly buy some milk" - but that's understood.

    As krs was getting at, once the "to" part of the infinitive is introduced, it logically links the following adverb to the infinitive. Like I said before, whether to split the infinitive is only a question of style. The basic meaning of the sentence is not affected.

    krs said
    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    In the example you just posted:
    I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk.

    I read that as two actions:
    "I'm going to the store" and (at the store) "I will quickly buy some milk"
    You then replied
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Ah, but that is NOT what I meant. I meant that I was running to the store as fast as I could, would then buy some milk. Won't rush to check out, I like to browse. I might even buy more things! But I want to get there quickly as I am concerned that the store might close before I get there.

    So your interpretation was incorrect because of the ambiguity of what I wrote.
    Respectfully, I'd assert his interpretation is correct based on the structure of the sentence, and if that's not the meaning you intended to convey, then you did not formulate the sentence properly. You should have said, "I'm quickly going to the store to buy some milk" or "I'm going to the store quickly to buy some milk."

    This is no more ambiguous than "The man bit the dog." No English speaker is going to say, "Wait a minute. Did the man bite the dog or did the dog bite the man?" The word order in English makes the meaning clear, even though you wouldn't expect a man to bite a dog. Same thing with a split infinitive. The pattern of "to" + adverb + infinitive is abundantly clear - they are a unit.
    Last edited by usagora; 09-06-2019 at 03:06 PM.
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  10. #70
    You're and Your, etc.
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krs View Post
    I guess there are not enough Mac/iPhone/iPad problems to solve - so now we have 66 posts on English spelling and grammar.

    I didn't dare ask how to get most if not all "spelling and grammar" applications options to actually work proper!!!

    That wood be real neet if they did, but a third party plugin extension sometimes helps to improve things.


    Sorry, I guess this post make's post #70. I hope that's not two many.


    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 09-06-2019 at 03:14 PM.

  11. #71
    You're and Your, etc.
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    #71.
    Respectfully, I'd assert his interpretation is correct based on the structure of the sentence, and if that's not the meaning you intended to convey, then you did not formulate the sentence properly. You should have said, "I'm quickly going to the store to buy some milk" or "I'm going to the store quickly to buy some milk."
    Jonathan, you made my point exactly. Thanks! The original sentence needed to be restructured to remove the ambiguity of the split infinitive. And that is why one should not split infinitives.
    Jake

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    #71. Jonathan, you made my point exactly. Thanks! The original sentence needed to be restructured to remove the ambiguity of the split infinitive. And that is why one should not split infinitives.
    Jake, that was totally NOT my point. I said the exact opposite. There is no ambiguity in the original sentence - it was perfectly clear, just like "The man bit the dog" is perfectly clear. If you intended to convey that the man was bitten, then you've chosen the wrong sentence structure. Same goes for your store example. The split infinitive absolutely does not affect the meaning whatsoever. I doubt even 1 out of 1000 English speakers would be confused by the original sentence ("I'm going to the store to quickly buy some milk") were you to randomly post that on another forum and ask people what it meant. You have to majorly over-think it and go outside the normal rules/conventions of English syntax to come up with any other meaning.

    I'm running out of objects to beat this dead horse with, and honestly there's no real argument here (it's self-evident), so I'm going to bow out now
    Last edited by usagora; 09-06-2019 at 04:02 PM.
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  13. #73
    You're and Your, etc.
    IWT's Avatar
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    OK. So how about a bit of fun. Why punctuation is vital to understanding. See post #68. Answers please.

    Ian
    Ian

  14. #74
    You're and Your, etc.
    pm-r's Avatar
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    There is no ambiguity in the original sentence - it was perfectly clear, just like "The man bit the dog" is perfectly clear.
    Isn't it strange how the meaning can change if even the subject for what was bitten might change.

    IE: The man bit the dust, or the dirt." Not perfectly clear now.


    - Patrick
    ======

  15. #75
    You're and Your, etc.
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Punctuate this sentence:

    "A woman without her man is nothing".

    When I get a few replies, I'll give you two totally different and contradictory answers

    Ian

    OK Ian.

    How about the classic answer, one by a man, the other by a woman of course:

    "A woman, without her man, is nothing."

    "A woman: without her, man is nothing."

    Or maybe even:
    "A woman without, her man is nothing."

    so now we have 66 posts on English spelling and grammar.
    No, now we have 75 posts on English spelling and grammar, AND puncation AND the use of capitals, or bold text if you like. Sometimes used for emphasis or to denote YELLING!!!
    Or even with an Internet search term or phrase.



    - Patrick
    ======
    Last edited by pm-r; 09-06-2019 at 05:14 PM.

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