A Grammar Question

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mavisbramston
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A Grammar Question

Post by mavisbramston » 12 Aug 2019, 12:55

Some very good “ word people” here

I hear people often say ...it is very fun.
It does not sound right to me.
Often hear fun used that way.

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Warrigal
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Warrigal » 12 Aug 2019, 15:36

I understand your dilemma. 'Very, is commonly used to qualify an adjective - e.g. very hot, very fast etc.
In this sense it is an adverb.

However it can also be used to qualify a noun. That makes it an adjective.
Adjective

There are also other times wherein the word “very” is considered as an adjective because it can modify a noun. When used as an adjective, this word typically means “exact” or “precise.” Take for example, the sentence:

Those were her very words.
I found it at the very heart of the city.
I knew it from the very beginning of the movie.
IMO the example you have given is very clumsy. I think it should be ' it is very funny' or 'it is great fun'.
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Dreamweaver
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Dreamweaver » 12 Aug 2019, 16:10

It is indeed confusing, especially when we look at fun and funny
two different meanings are conveyed when we talk about
(a) It was very funny. Humorous, we laughed at it
and
(b) It was very much fun, we enjoyed ourselves (though may not have laughed).

Here too the 'very' seems to apply to 'much' rather than to 'fun'

In ordinary every day communication I don't see any need to be correct, especially with so many foreign speakers making a hash of it, and with the keyboard abbreviations more and more commonly used. Writing something more seriously needs attention, I believe. Though I'm seeing an increasing number of books that don't seem to be properly proof read to pick up mistakes of the computer's predictive texts, where we can read "Having removed the cat from the bottle, pour some silk to feed the cap." This is surely a worse mistake than poor grammar which can still be readily understood.
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Mahalia
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Mahalia » 12 Aug 2019, 16:27

Excellent answer Warrigal and I totally agree with you :character-oldtimer: Our grammar and spelling seems to have deteriorated to an all time low in Australia sadly and it drives me to distraction. How the hell do people actually manage to hold down jobs when they can't string together a cohesive sentence any more ... I've come to the conclusion that we are now at the stage of the blind leading the blind and seems the world is fine with that :hitting_wall
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Perrorist » 13 Aug 2019, 06:09

Predictive text certainly doesn't help. I get annoyed with "lead" instead of "led" being used in the past tense, and there are some words with precise meanings that are rendered useless because of misuse, "unique" being one.

Language corruption through ignorance is one thing, but by design is unforgiveable, as then it's being used to manipulate our emotions, and that's not much fun at all.

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Trishia
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Trishia » 14 Aug 2019, 10:47

The ABC announcers are very remiss in this regard. One Lady keeps using the word "Pretty before
words like "wonderful". That's just an example. She does it all the time.
There is a breakfast announcer who mispronounces the names of composers and instrumentalists.
Surely if they have those jobs, they should get it right. A lot of young people would then pronounce the names wrongly because they would think the ABC announcer would know how to.

:flaming_mad

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Perrorist
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Perrorist » 14 Aug 2019, 12:01

True. The commercial channels are worse. I remember some years ago watching tennis on Channel 7 and getting very cranky with the commentators who mangled the names of foreign players. They have researchers on those programs. Surely they could have taken the trouble to find out how the names were pronounced.

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Dreamweaver
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Dreamweaver » 14 Aug 2019, 22:22

I've become intrigued with 'pretty', although I knew it's older meaning is obsolete. I'd thought that was 'small' or 'neat', and I know that a neat fit is a pretty fit, but I went back to look, and found -
Origin:
Old English prættig; related to Middle Dutch pertich ‘brisk, clever’, obsolete Dutch prettig ‘humorous, sporty’, from a West Germanic base meaning ‘trick’. The sense development ‘deceitful, cunning, clever, skilful, admirable, pleasing, nice’ has parallels in adjectives such as canny, fine, nice, etc..
So I didn't get that quite right.

Because it fell out of use for a long time and was then revived, there is a question that it might have then gained an influence from the French 'pres de', (I can't make accents!) or 'near to'.


I think of examples like
  • he's still pretty fit,
    something costing a pretty penny,
    the party being pretty well over,
    it was a pretty bad outcome,
    if he gets the contract he'll be sitting pretty,
    will you do it for me, pretty please?
Odd word!
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Perrorist
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Perrorist » 15 Aug 2019, 05:43

You mention 'nice'. This has a distinctive history:
"The word nice is a classic example of amelioration . . .. This is a rare occurrence, compared with the opposite process of pejoration, or downgrading.

"The meaning of nice when it first appeared in Middle English (about 1300) was '(of persons or their actions) foolish, silly, simple; ignorant, senseless, absurd.'

" . . . A shift away from disparagement began in the 1500s, with such meanings as 'requiring or involving great precision or accuracy.' . . .

"The movement toward amelioration reached its apex in the 1800s with such meanings as 'kind and considerate, friendly.'" (Sol Steinmetz, Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meanings. Random House, 2008)

mavisbramston
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by mavisbramston » 15 Aug 2019, 09:57

I knew I could get answers here. Thank you everyone. It is used often and it simply sounds wrong to me yet I hear it often.

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Warrigal
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Warrigal » 15 Aug 2019, 11:59

As a general rule of thumb, if I write something that sounds wrong, I change it.
I am well aware though, that some family sayings that my ear is well used to are indeed wrong.
I try to keep them 'in house'.
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Dreamweaver
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Dreamweaver » 15 Aug 2019, 18:59

Interested Perry to read about nice. I remember in primary school the Inspector visiting us and telling us that we should only use nice if it applied to taste, adding a reminiscence from his own childhood when they would say "It was nice. We ate it." I remember thinking how taste applies to more things than food, that he was wrong about eating. Apparently school inspectors can be wrong in more ways than one! :lol:
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Dreamweaver
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Dreamweaver » 15 Aug 2019, 19:07

We all do it Warri, don't let it worry you! :lol:
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Dreamweaver
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Dreamweaver » 15 Aug 2019, 19:16

Interesting article about the English language. You don't have to agree with it! :lol:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... SApp_Other
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Re: A Grammar Question

Post by Perrorist » 16 Aug 2019, 13:11

I think he's wrong. No-one challenges the idea that English is constantly evolving, and only pedants would preserve it at some agreed upon date (which would have to be today, as you can't back out new usage), as Alliance Francaise has tried to do with French and failed. Nor is it about style.

Orwell was right when he was alarmed by the corruption of our language. Politicians, PR companies, advertisers, etc have engaged in a continuous erosion of meaning and precision to achieve their ends (and at our expense). In economics there is Gresham's Law, which can be paraphrased as "bad money drives out good". It applies to words as well.

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