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Commonly misused words and phrases - Page 3

post #81 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyb View Post

I love these threads. Here are a few more:

It's not that good of a product

It's not that good a product. The "of" is what is wrong here.

Cheers
post #82 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

"Fewer" is for countable things, things that can be considered as a varying number of unit items, e.g. fewer cars, fewer dogs, fewer excuses.

"Less" is for non-integer quantities, things that you would measure not by counting particular items or units but by using a continuous scale, e.g. less water, less time, less patience.

Both words could be used for the same thing depending on whether conceptual individual units are considered or ignored, e.g. less salt vs. fewer grains of salt.

It actually sounds like fewer is for plural nouns and less is for singular nouns.

Seems like an easier rule, but then there are exceptions like "less brains = not as smart" vs. "fewer brains = not as many physical brains as say... that multi-brained alien known as dmz."
post #83 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

It actually sounds like fewer is for plural nouns and less is for singular nouns.

Seems like an easier rule, but then there are exceptions like "less brains = not as smart" vs. "fewer brains = not as many physical brains as say... that multi-brained alien known as dmz."

That right there is the kind of thinking that got us to "I put in a comma where I pause."
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #84 of 92
haha yeah. it was worth it just to get that dig in at dmz.
post #85 of 92
Parts of a letter form Viacom:

Quote:
"We note that YouTube and Google have adopted a policy that forces copyright owners like Viacom or yourself to shoulder the entire burden of monitoring for copyright infringement on the YouTube site."

"Viacom has no alternative accept to repeatedly search the entire YouTube library," the letter continued, "and send take-down notices...This is a massive effort. We have manually reviewed over 1.7 million clips on YouTube and have identified more than 187,000 pirated clips of our copyrighted content. In an effort of this scale, some inadvertent error is inevitable."

The error is in bold.
post #86 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

It's not an awesome product
I wish you had seen me
We will be taking off soon
There are fewer cars on the road than usual

Nearly right except for the first one. As someone else has pointed out, it should be 'It's not that good a product'. The 'of' is entirely superfluous.

'If you had been there you would have seen me' is correct. 'I wish you had seen me' is also correct. However, 'I wish you would have seen me' is a horrible mangling of tenses.

'We will be taking off momentarily' is a misuse of 'momentarily', which means 'for a moment' not 'in a moment'. It scares me when I hear that as my plane is about to take off on a long flight.

There are fewer cars because the cars are plural. You could have less traffic, because the traffic is singular.
post #87 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyb View Post

Nearly right except for the first one. As someone else has pointed out, it should be 'It's not that good a product'. The 'of' is entirely superfluous.

I mostly just don't like that sentence construction at all. It's not that good a sentence. It's not that big a building. It's not that fast a plane. It's an odd, clumsy, construction that sounds like some holdover from the 17th century.

In short, I think it should be avoided.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
post #88 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I mostly just don't like that sentence construction at all. It's not that good a sentence. It's not that big a building. It's not that fast a plane. It's an odd, clumsy, construction that sounds like some holdover from the 17th century.

In short, I think it should be avoided.

It's a perfectly acceptable sentence construction. It's syntactically correct. I use and hear it all the time. 'I mostly just don't like ...', on the other hand, has a particularly poor syntax.

'It's not an awesome product' in your suggested alternative also betrays the way in which the word 'awesome' has become completely devalued, too.
post #89 of 92
Didn't realize we were being assessed, professor. I'll refrain from further awe-inspiring devaluations and colloquial adverbial constructions in the future.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
post #90 of 92
I use the "not that x an x" construction when I intend to downgrade something already in the conversational offing.

For instance, I would never say "It's not that big of a car" simply upon beholding a Mini, but I might say "It's not that big of a problem" if I am in a meeting wherein it seems to me that other participants are getting a little carried away. I guess you could say that it's a phrase I wouldn't generally use unless I'm verbally italicizing the "that."

Then again, that may be just me, as I generally speak in tongues and have a tendency towards abrupt tonal shifts like, you know, mid-sentence, ya'll, or something.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #91 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Didn't realize we were being assessed, professor. I'll refrain from further awe-inspiring devaluations and colloquial adverbial constructions in the future.

Grammar fight! I got ten on Middy, who's in?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #92 of 92
Bwahahahahahahaha!!!
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
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