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#1 David P

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 07:53 PM

Sorry to be pedantic folks but it's starting to wind me up:

AFFECT

verb {T}
to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause them to change:

- Both buildings were badly affected by the fire.
- The divorce affected every aspect of her life.
- It's a disease which affects mainly older people.
- I was deeply affected by the film (= It caused strong feelings in me).

EFFECT

verb {T} FORMAL

to achieve something and cause it to happen:

- As a political party they are trying to effect a change in the way that we think about our environment.
David P

#2 Trevie

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:07 PM

Sorry to be pedantic folks but it starting to wind me up:

AFFECT

verb {T}
to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause them to change:

- Both buildings were badly affected by the fire.
- The divorce affected every aspect of her life.
- It's a disease which affects mainly older people.
- I was deeply affected by the film (= It caused strong feelings in me).

EFFECT

verb {T} FORMAL

to achieve something and cause it to happen:

- As a political party they are trying to effect a change in the way that we think about our environment.


I take it you struggle to have a crasp of the english language?

#3 Eaton

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:11 PM

I take it you struggle to have a crasp of the english language?

You will never know just what an affect it had on me when I read your post :lol: Crasp.... it's a classic.
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#4 Trevie

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:19 PM

You will never know just what an affect it had on me when I read your post :lol: Crasp.... it's a classic.


Well that was the effect I was trying to make! :lol:

#5 Amersham Guy

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:39 PM

Well that was the effect I was trying to make! :lol:


Surely it was the affect you were to make? I need more practise at this. There very easy mistakes to make. Your probably finding this boring now...

#6 Fran

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:40 PM

Sorry to be pedantic folks but it starting to wind me up:

AFFECT

verb {T}
to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause them to change:

- Both buildings were badly affected by the fire.
- The divorce affected every aspect of her life.
- It's a disease which affects mainly older people.
- I was deeply affected by the film (= It caused strong feelings in me).

EFFECT

verb {T} FORMAL

to achieve something and cause it to happen:

- As a political party they are trying to effect a change in the way that we think about our environment.


A man after my own heart - nearly.

Although I agree that "affect" is a common verb, "effect" is more often used as a noun rather than a formal verb. The noun:verb distinction also makes the difference easier to remember:

"The effect (consecutive Es for the noun) of correct grammar is that it can affect (A for Action/verb) whether people think you are a pedant.

#7 Eaton

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:42 PM

Poor David P, he'll have apoplexy when he sees the affect that his comment has made... was it the effect he wanted?
Mel and Co

#8 David P

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:49 PM

Now I'm really struggling to know which of you really do see the point.
David P

#9 Fran

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:39 PM

I need more practise at this.

As this is a picky thread, I feel compelled to point out that that should either be "I need more practice" or "I need to practise this more" (you use C for the noun and S for the verb)!

One way to remember which form of practice/practise and licence/license to use is to imagine replacing the word with advice/advise or device/devise ("I need to devise a device"), which people rarely mix up because those spelling variations are reflected in different pronunciation.

So:
A bit of advice, a device, when a band holds a practice, and your driving licence are all nouns with a C.
But when you advise someone, devise a plan, practise your skills or license your invention, they're verbs with an S.


#10 Zoom

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:44 PM

Unless you're American... but I guess you are referring to English English ! :)

#11 Fran

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:48 PM

Unless you're American... but I guess you are referring to English English !


Absolutely. This is, after all, an Amersham forum and last time I checked we weren't fully under Uncle Sam's thumb. And even in Exeter, I believe they use British English, rather than US English (though there may be exceptions in certain pizza restaurants there, but I'm sure Tallguy will advise us on that!) ;)

#12 Eaton

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 07:02 AM

Now I'm really struggling to know which of you really do see the point.

Sorry David P, you made a very valid point and we are all being a little bit silly. It must be because it was Tuesday night and so it was still the first half of the week. Now that it's Wednesday we can all be a bit more grown up....maybe.
Mel and Co

#13 Fran

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:22 PM

Now that it's Wednesday we can all be a bit more grown up....maybe.

Well if that's what you want, how about some other niggles:

ensure/insure/assure
imply/infer
lose/loose
incredible/incredulous and credulous/credible/creditable
fortuitous/fortunate
flaunt/flout
disinterested/uninterested
less/fewer
decimate
confident/confidant, dependent/ dependant, independent and permanent

And don't get me started on apostrophes - read Lynne Truss instead. :lol:

#14 Eaton

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:32 PM

And don't get me started on apostrophes - read Lynne Truss instead. :lol:


I get peeved when people write your instead of you're (you are) and there/their wrongly. However, as I'm not perfect either, I try to refrain from hitting the roof. :rolleyes:
Mel and Co

#15 a t o m i c

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:34 PM

Sorry to be pedantic folks but it starting to wind me up:


Surely you mean "it's starting to wind me up"?

#16 Kiff

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:37 PM

:lol: Ooops.... I believe a-t-o-m-i-c has you there..

#17 Eaton

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:52 PM

This is just one of the many reasons that I love the amersham.org site.

A topic is started and then morphs into another and then another etc., until it becomes a game of written chinese whispers. I sit and snigger while reading the posts and when I read them to my husband he has a good snigger as well.

Having said the above there are some really serious points covered and then there's.......Exeter Pizza :D
Mel and Co

#18 David P

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 05:09 PM

Surely you mean "it's starting to wind me up"?

I might have known that I'd do something stupid like that! :(
At least I didn't write 'its'.
Now corrected.
David P

#19 Amersham Guy

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 07:36 PM

As this is a picky thread, I feel compelled to point out that that should either be "I need more practice" or "I need to practise this more" (you use C for the noun and S for the verb)!

One way to remember which form of practice/practise and licence/license to use is to imagine replacing the word with advice/advise or device/devise ("I need to devise a device"), which people rarely mix up because the those spelling variations are reflected in different pronunciation.


Thanks, its had the desired affect, their'll be no more mistakes from me.

#20 Eaton

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 08:04 PM

Thanks, its had the desired affect, their'll be no more mistakes from me.

I'm calm, I will not hit the roof!!! :blink:
Mel and Co

#21 PaulEden

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 09:08 PM

Thanks, its had the desired affect, their'll be no more mistakes from me.

:lol:

#22 Fran

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 09:37 PM

:lol:

I think you missed the point, Paul. There are 3 (presumably deliberate) errors in Amersham Guy's sentence, not just the one you highlighted in bold, and all three have been discussed earlier on this thread! :lol:

#23 Amersham Guy

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:23 PM

I think you missed the point, Paul. There are 3 (presumably deliberate) errors in Amersham Guy's sentence, not just the one you highlighted in bold, and all three have been discussed earlier on this thread! :lol:


Indeed you are correct that the mistakes were deliberate.

Now, does anyone have any aide memoires for confusing pairs such as:

principal / principle

complement / compliment

discrete / discreet


These catch me out quite often.

#24 David P

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:49 PM

OK, another one that bugs me is the inability to distinguish between a noun and an adjective when using measurements.

It's 'a six foot man', but 'the man is six feet tall', not six foot tall.
It's 'a five pound ticket' but 'the ticket costs five pounds', not five pound.

This mistake is now so common as to be almost the norm, even on that one-time guardian of the English language, the BBC.

Curiously, the mistake is rarely made with the smallest units; you rarely hear 'the card is six inch long' and you never hear 'the stamp costs twenty penny'. Unfortunately, 'one pence' is often heard - even worse than 'one pee'.

Oh, and it's surely 'aides memoire'.
David P

#25 Fran

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:11 AM

Now, does anyone have any aide memoires for confusing pairs such as:

principal / principle
complement / compliment
discrete / discreet


Principle. Noun re rules, morals etc (remember "–le" and "legal").
Principal. Noun or adjective denoting someone/thing first or in charge.
The principal reason the school principal resigned was on principle.


Compliment. Noun or verb. This is the more common word, referring to saying nice things about someone or something.
Complement. Noun or verb. Means things that supplement each other or make each other complete (remember complete = complement).
Jack Sprat complimented his wife's cooking and observed that his love of meat complemented her love of fat.


Discreet. Adjective. This is the more common word, meaning tactful or restrained.
Discrete. Adjective. This refers to separate groups.
To help you remember, both words have two Es, but in the one that means separate, the Es are separated (by a T).
The teacher tried to be discreet about the fact that the class was divided into discrete groups.

#26 James516

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:23 AM

'Infer' and 'Imply' are classics as well - often used in interviews for law trainees etc. I still stuggle to clearly differentiate them.

#27 Fran

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:25 AM

'Infer' and 'Imply' are classics as well - often used in interviews for law trainees etc. I still stuggle to clearly differentiate them.


Yes, a very useful distinction, as they are virtually opposites:

“If you see a man staggering along the road you may infer that he is drunk, without saying a word; but if you say ‘Had one too many?’ you do not infer, but imply, that he is drunk.” (A P Herbert)

But what about your split infinitive, James? (Although actually, I am a little more relaxed about that rule than some people.)

#28 James516

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:54 PM

But what about your split infinitive, James? (Although actually, I am a little more relaxed about that rule than some people.)


To quote Raymond Chandler:

"By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have."

Shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia....plit_infinitive :)

Along similar lines, I was only admonished once in my entire high school career for ending a sentence with a preposition, and that was by the metalwork teacher! I had asked him for "a wire brush to clean the barbeque with" which sparked his ire. I have since recovered from the psychological scars by coming across the Churchill quotation: "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put!"

#29 Fran

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 06:48 PM

To quote Raymond Chandler: “when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split"

Churchill quotation: "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put!"


As I said, I'm not too strict about split infinitives; I think you have to judge each case on its own merits, and I side with you and Churchill on the preposition front too. Many rules of grammar, punctuation and usage have grey areas, and the really good writers can break them to great effect. Us lesser mortals have to be a little more careful, but even so, there is often scope for debate.

Churchill wrote an excellent memo to the war cabinet about the need to write briefly and to the point, but Orwell's 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language”, is more elegant and detailed, including:

"To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. English becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts... The point is that the process is reversible... Defence of the English language... has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one's meaning clear.”

This culminated in six guiding principles, which he thought would cover most cases (although he admitted that “One could keep all of them and still write bad English”):

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

You can read the whole essay here: Orwell's essay

#30 Alan

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:02 PM

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

It's all beyond me I'm disrexic ko

apphy wne yaer