May 7, 2020 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm #1858257
Re Millhop: The use of “boy” and “girl” for adult servants is thoroughly obnoxious and inappropriate. That is not an English rule, it is a humanitarian rule, and probably a Torah rule.
Let me emphasize that I am limiting my discussion to written English, not spoken English.May 7, 2020 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #1858383
Thank you. Though I still don;t fully get it.
Webster dictionary has an entry “stop by ” they give an example “Feel free to stop by anytime.”
Cambridge has a similar entry with example “He stopped by the office to drop off a copy of the contract.”
Why would “He stopped by the office…” be acceptable but “He stayed by the office to do some work.” not be.
You wrote “you can certainly stop by at your cousin’s home, ”
so I cannot “Stop by his home” ?
And it isnt just yiddish and German’s I work among Italians and they all say it (though i suppose it is possible they got it from Jews they say schlep, kvetch etc )May 7, 2020 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1858387
Huju you couldn’t be more wrong. It is not a Torah rule; on the contrary, the Torah itself uses that term. That it’s not politically correct, and out of tune with the current fad for egalitarianism is irrelevant; don’t ever confuse fashion with morality.May 7, 2020 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1858392
Milhouse, no, the opposite of guys is gals; not girls.
And the reference to “girls” I referred to were not regarding any servants or maids.May 7, 2020 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #1858613Reb EliezerParticipant
A lot is equivakent to much.May 8, 2020 7:29 am at 7:29 am #1858675
Ubiquitin, the difference is that it’s an adverb, not a preposition. An adverb is a description of an action. In “to stop by”, “stop” is the action, and “by” is the way you are doing it. That’s why you can say “stop by”, without specifying a place; you couldn’t do that with the Yiddish preposition “bei”.
“Stop by” is a synonym of “drop in”. And just as you don’t “drop in your cousin”, but rather you “drop in to your cousin”, or “…at your cousin’s home”, so too with stopping by; you stop by at her home.
I suspect that “stopping by her home”, which you cite from the Cambridge, is either a usage that derives from the Yiddish/German, or else it a modified form of “passing by her home”, but in this case pausing briefly; in that case “by” is being used in the sense of “near”.May 8, 2020 7:29 am at 7:29 am #1858676
RE, yes, exactly. One of the meanings of “a lot” is “a large quantity”. It’s just as correct as the other meanings, including “a parcel of land”.May 8, 2020 10:15 am at 10:15 am #1858742DovidBTParticipant
What about starting a sentence with “So …”? That’s a common trend these days.May 8, 2020 11:54 am at 11:54 am #1858751
Dovid, if it becomes common it’ll officially be deemed proper usage by the language gestapo.May 8, 2020 11:54 am at 11:54 am #1858753no nonsenseParticipant
I threw my wife out the window the newspaper.May 8, 2020 11:55 am at 11:55 am #1858757
There’s nothing wrong with it. Search for an NPR article titled “So, What’s The Big Deal With Starting A Sentence With ‘So’?”May 8, 2020 11:56 am at 11:56 am #1858758
“So” at the beginning of a sentence fills the same function as “Hinei” in Hebrew. The technical term is “discourse marker”.May 8, 2020 11:58 am at 11:58 am #1858781always runs with scissors fastParticipant
oh my gosh! when i first read the OP above I was recalled Haifagirl too! (Hi Joseph by the way!
So whats happening with English, it would seem to me, is the strict structure or rules are disintegrating, in a subconscious type of global agreement….as more and more people use English as their Second Language, or 6th.
The point is, i am seeing that as long as you can get your point across, you’re ok. No fussing with the technicalities any more.May 8, 2020 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm #1858815
I threw my wife out the window the newspaper.
I think that usage comes directly from German.May 8, 2020 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #1858819
Hi, ARWSF! Always nice to see you.May 8, 2020 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1858832
I really want to get this 2 questions
so the phrase “Please stop by my office” is not correct?
you say “you stop by at her home.” So I stopped by her office” is not correct should be “I stopped by at her office” ?
2) Webster’s defines “by” as “at or to another’s home” They literally define “by ” as “at”
Am I reading it wrong? Are they wrong?May 8, 2020 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1858852
1) The more I think of it the more I think “stop by my office” is correct, which inclines me to my second supposition, that it’s a form of “pass by my office”, where “by” is used in the sense of “near”. I’m still not sure about this.
It could also be influenced by the adverb sense, perhaps also with some influence from the German/Yiddish, so it is being used as a preposition in this one instance. Still, this usage is confined to a location, not a person. So even if one can say “by my house” with verbs other than “stop”, one could not say “by me”. That is just an anglicization of the German/Yiddish “bei mir”.
2) Again, that definition specifies that it is an adverb, not a preposition. “By” is the way in which you are stopping. Its referent is the verb, not a location. Its definition is “at or to another’s home”. So it’s not “please stop by my home”, it’s just “please stop by”, which automatically implies the location where the person is to stop by.May 8, 2020 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #1858854always runs with scissors fastParticipant
i love thisMay 8, 2020 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1858869
1) “where “by” is used in the sense of “near”. I’m still not sure about this.”
I think so too.
2) got it!
thanks for perseveringMay 10, 2020 4:32 am at 4:32 am #1859005
Another Yiddishism that people use incorrectly in English: using “what” to mean “a thing”, or “where” to mean “a place”, as in “I have what to do”, “I have what to eat”, “I have where to eat”. People without Yiddish or German in their background do not say these things.
Then there are Yiddishisms that have not crept into English, but are sometimes used by Yiddish-speakers with imperfect English. One of my teachers used to say “lime” instead of “clay”, because in Yiddish clay is ליים, while lime is קאלך. I was very confused until I figured out what was happening.
Another teacher would say things like “he gave him a gift”, which sounded very nice but from the context was clearly not supposed to be nice at all. I soon realized that he was using the Yiddish word גיפט, which means poison. I don’t think anyone else in the class ever figured out what he was talking about.May 11, 2020 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1859622
OK, this is not really and English issue, but here goes: 12 am and 12 pm make no sense and are ambiguous. They are used to refer to Noon and Midnight (is 12 am Noon, or is it Midnight?). If you mean Noon, say Noon, or 12 Noon. And if you mean Midnight, say Midnight or 12 Midnight.
am, or a.m., stands for ante-meridian, i.e., before the meridian. Likewise, pm, or p.m., means post-meridian, or after the meridian. But Noon and Midnight are the meridians, neither before nor after. So 12 pm or 12 am is senseless.
And what day is it when it is one minute after Tuesday Midnight? Is it Tuesday, or Wednesday. Is Midnight the end of the day, or the beginning?
Take a look at your insurance policies. I’ll bet that they expire at 11:59 pm to avoid ambiguity. I think I have auto policies that expire at Noon.May 11, 2020 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #1859665
12 AM is universally understood to mean midnight and 12 PM is universally understood to mean noon. It is never used in the reverse of that.
There might be some ambiguity whether noon and midnight (and hence the following day of the week) technically begin at 12:00:00 or if they begin at 12:00:01. IOW, at 12 exactly or at one second after 12.May 11, 2020 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #1859718DovidBTParticipant
… whether noon and midnight (and hence the following day of the week) technically begin at …
They’re instants in time. They don’t “begin”, they occur.May 12, 2020 6:47 am at 6:47 am #1859821
For once I’m with huju. The meridian is noon. 12AM is 12 hours before noon, i.e. midnight. And 12PM is 12 hours after noon, i.e. midnight. Noon, by definition, is neither before itself nor after itself!
Joseph says “12PM” is “universally” understood to mean noon. I wonder which universe he refers to, and how he determined this. When I see someone write 12PM I ask them what they meant.May 12, 2020 10:22 am at 10:22 am #1859856
“When I see someone write 12PM I ask them what they meant.”
Have they ever meant anything but 12 noon?May 12, 2020 10:24 am at 10:24 am #1859870
Milhouse, if someone asks you to meet them at 12 PM, you might show up to their house at midnight? In all the years I’ve never heard noon referred to as 12 AM.
I won’t argue about what’s technically/linguistically the correct terminology or usage, but as a practical/real-world usage 12 PM is unambiguously used to refer to the afternoon and 12 AM is used to refer to midnight. I’ve yet once to see it used in the reverse of that.May 12, 2020 10:24 am at 10:24 am #1859872Avi KParticipant
1. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary “stop by” means “to go into a place for a short time when you are going somewhere else”.The Oxford English Dictionary only says “to visit briefly”. “By” here is apart of the verb. This is known as a phrasal verb.
so you are saying that midnight is both 12AM and 12PM. However, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (quoted by the Wikipedia) states “By convention, 12 AM denotes midnight and 12 PM denotes noon.May 12, 2020 10:25 am at 10:25 am #1859873Avi KParticipant
Correction: The second definition of “stop by” is from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.May 12, 2020 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm #1859932
a. Milhouse agrees with me – well, stranger things have happened. Maybe I have mentioned this before (not on this thread), but the only 2 US Supreme Court justices to socialize outside of the court were Ruth Ginsburg and Antonin Scala – two middle-class kids from New York City who grew up loving the opera they could not afford to attend (except, maybe, when the Met sold standing room tickets for a quarter). They and their spouses occasionally attended opera together.
b. If you use Noon and Midnight, you will spare some of your readers a trip to the dictionary, even if the dictionary says 12 a.m. is universally (not including me) understood to mean Midnight.
c. Joseph: I am not interested in spoken or conversational English. If you invite someone to your house face-to-face, he/she can ask you for clarification.May 12, 2020 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm #1859953
huju: Spoken/conversational English is what eventually makes it into the official language and the dictionary.May 12, 2020 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #1860090
To Joseph: What is official English? As far as I know, there is no such thing. There is an official French: the French government has a board or committee which approves and disapproves words that creep into French writing, but there is no comparable governmental authority for English.
And how does spoken speech get into dictionaries? In fact, perhaps you can tell us how dictionaries are written.May 12, 2020 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #1860126
When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary or the editors of the Merriam-Webster dictionary see a word has entered the lexicon with its common usage, they add said word to their dictionary.
They publish new editions of the dictionary every number of years, with new entries. In fact, they now even add words between editions.May 13, 2020 1:58 am at 1:58 am #1860143
From the New Oxford Style Manual:
“Correctly, 12 a.m. is midnight and 12 p.m. is noon”May 15, 2020 10:16 am at 10:16 am #1860983
OK, now: your, yours, you’re and yore.
“Your” is the second person possessive case, singular and plural. E.g., your hat is in the cloakroom, your hats are in the cloakroom.
“Yours” – actually, I can’t explain it well; help is welcome. It is used as an adjective, e.g., is this hat yours? Are these hats yours? “Yours” is both singular and plural.
“You’re” is a contraction of “you are,” e.g., Huju, you’re wrong (I read that a lot, especially from Milhouse.)
“Yore” means way back when, e.g., in days of yore, black hats were not fedoras, and Jews in Jerusalem spoke Arabic.May 17, 2020 12:30 am at 12:30 am #1861308
Now do weather, whether, and wether.May 17, 2020 12:54 am at 12:54 am #1861321
Here are some tough ones: “Towing the line” is a real thing that people actually do. But most of the time when you see that written it’s a mistake, and the writer meant “toeing the line”.
“Soft pedal” and “soft sell” are both valid English phrases that are not identical but very close in meaning; so it’s easy to understand how some people get confused and write “soft peddle”, which is not a valid phrase.May 17, 2020 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm #1861488
One may also speak of a “soft petal”, though it’s redundant since as far as I know all petals are soft.
And of course petel is a soft drink.May 18, 2020 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #1861875
A friend of mine is called Soft Patel because he is flabby.May 19, 2020 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #1862344
OK, by popular demand (assuming Milhouse is popular): weather, whether, wether, and also if/whether.
Weather is the climactic condition. Wether is a castrated sheep or goat. Whether sets up alternatives, e.g., I don’t know whether we will go to Bubby’s or Aunt Sally’s for Shabbos dinner.
if/whether: In the old days, it would have been wrong to say, I don’t know if we will go to Bubby’s or Aunt Sally’s for Shabbos dinner. “If” used to set up a condition, e.g., if Uncle Mac gets over his cold, we will have Shabbos dinner at Aunt Sally’s house. But recently, the if/whether distinction has faded, and some authorities would accept, “I don’t know if we will go to Bubby’s house or Aunt Sally’s house for Shabbos dinner.” I’m old-school, and you can do it my way if you want, and, whether or not you are old school or new school, you can use if when whether would have been the only choice in the old days.
Also, I generally find that “whether or not” is not preferable to “whether”. But I am old-school.
And, of course, “iffy weather” means you probably should cancel the picnic.May 27, 2020 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm #1865567
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