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Old 01-09-2007, 07:50 PM   #31
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"You are not the boss of me" is grammatically fine. While some have pointed out that it might be a bit more awkward than "You are not my boss," the awkwardness here, I believe, serves a purpose, especially if you're a child. Think about it. Children are "me, me, me" creatures. So the emphasis in this construction is perfect for them. But yes, it is odd-sounding and wordy, so best left for kids.

As for prepositions, the rule is that you are not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. But like all rules, tedious enforcement can make for some very stilted language; e.g., "For what are you looking," instead of "What are you looking for?"

As someone already pointed out, Churchill is famous for his retort to a critic's comment about his ending sentences with prepositions, something to the effect of "That is criticism up with which I will not put." He was something, eh? When Lady Astor said, "Winston, if you were my husband I would flavour your coffee with poison," he retorted, "Madam, if I were your husband, I should drink it."

A worse offense, though, is ending a sentence with an unnecessary preposition, as in "Where do you live at?" For many years I taught grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and spelling to court reporting students (all adults) who needed very strong language skills to pass the state test. I used every trick in the book to make them comfortable learning what they had either totally forgotton or, sadly more likely, had never really learned in the first place. I was not above pratfalls and relied on humor to get us all through the ordeal. So for the "Where do you live at?" problem, I would always pull out the old joke about the two women on an airplane. Unfortunately, the punch line is verboten here.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:18 PM   #32
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Wow, I am truly amazed. I never realized the grammatical knowledge of folks here.

Have worked in the sciences for many years but now own many books on grammar and usage; I refer to them often. The older I get the more I want to understand the nuances of the English languaage.

Believe the answer to the initial question is that either one is acceptable.

Agree with the apostrophe controversy, with perhaps one exception.

And that is I believe an apostrophe and its associated 's' can be used to form the pleural of letters, numerals, symbols.

Thus I believe "he crossed his t's and i's is correct usage".

As should be "he writes his 2's like 3's".

Or "folks use their &'s too casually and should just spell the word".

The use of punctuation has become somewhat simplified by the press that has tried to reduce it to a minimum for economic reasons.

But I still think those uses of the apostrophe in constructing pleurals is correct.

Thanks folks, I needed this thread.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:04 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Well let me be the first to say...

Me thank you
LOL I was watching Wheel of Fortune tonight and a woman asked for "an 'u'!" I thought maybe I had heard it wrong, but when I asked James he said he had heard it too. Sheesh!

Barbara
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:40 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyQ3
...A worse offense, though, is ending a sentence with an unnecessary preposition, as in "Where do you live at?" ...

suzyQ3:

S.O.'s daughter and her family live in Florida where the extra preposition is a way of life. It drives me crazy!

Things such as, "Where's my book at?" make me cringe. I try to correct the kids but don't see them enough to make it stick.


auntdot:

The unnecessary apostrophes (apostrophe's) are another pet peeve. What is the justification for their being used in your examples?
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Old 01-09-2007, 11:52 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
suzyQ3:

S.O.'s daughter and her family live in Florida where the extra preposition is a way of life. It drives me crazy!

Things such as, "Where's my book at?" make me cringe. I try to correct the kids but don't see them enough to make it stick.


auntdot:

The unnecessary apostrophes (apostrophe's) are another pet peeve. What is the justification for their being used in your examples?
Andy M, regarding auntdot's apostrophes: In the old days, an apostrophe was used routinely to pluralize letters, abbreviations, and numbers. If you still prefer to do so, it is a matter of style.

The newer style, however, is to use an apostrophe only if clarity is at risk. In other words, if one is pluralizing lowercase letters, one would use an apostrophe. Lowercase abbreviations demand an apostrophe. If one is pluralizing an uppercase abbreviation or acronym that would, without an apostrophe, look like a word, one would use an apostrophe. In any case in which pluralizing a letter or abbreviation would create confusion, then use an apostrophe. Otherwise, forgo the apostrophe, and that would include the pluralizing of digits.

I highly recommend the Gregg Reference Manual.
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:07 AM   #36
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I thought I'd mention this. In spite of the strong opinions expressed in this thread, I can't recall a single instance of any poster's grammar, punctuation, or spelling being directly criticized. I participate in a forum about the Memphis Grizzlies and am strongly tempted to post examples from there of fractured English and brutally direct criticism, often in the same post.

Thanks to everyone for so patiently tolerating my many errors.

By the way, how about somebody starting a tutorial thread about punctuation, especially the use of the comma.
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:37 AM   #37
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Wow!! My head is spinning. Lets just sum it all up with

GB,
I'm glad you like us proper Grammers....:)
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:41 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisy
...It's such a mobile language - nothing stays the same for long. But, there are some rules that are unbreakable, and I'll fight to my last gasp to uphold them! ...

I think we can get away with a lot of rule-breaking in conversation, but when it's in print, I think we should be a little more careful.
...
In the context of your comments, I believe posts in a forum such as this one fall into the conversation category. Don't you agree?
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:32 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisy
Sorry, there are NO exceptions to the lack of apostrophes in plurals.

You should mind your Ps and Qs, and cross all your Ts and dot all your Is. And you should line up in 2s and 3s, and not use too many &s.
Ah, but there are experts who do not agree with you, who'd say there's never a hard and fast rule where clarity's at stake:

Quote:
Apostrophes are often used to create plurals. Use an apostrophe when its omission (er, I mean the omission of it) would confuse the reader, such as "Jimmy gets all straight As." Huh? So, okay, he gets straight A's. But he can certainly learn his ABCs, rather than his ABC's. No confusion, no apostrophe.
The link to that quote (a very clearly written page in general) is: Tools of the Trade
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:51 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyQ3
"You are not the boss of me" is grammatically fine. While some have pointed out that it might be a bit more awkward than "You are not my boss," the awkwardness here, I believe, serves a purpose, especially if you're a child. Think about it. Children are "me, me, me" creatures. So the emphasis in this construction is perfect for them. But yes, it is odd-sounding and wordy, so best left for kids.
I found a couple of comments on the differences between these structures which I thought were relevant. Both agreed that the "of" structure was equivalent to the "my" (or other possessive) structure, but that each could subtly change the meaning of the sentence. Here's the first comment:

Quote:
"Always be aware of the meaning you wish to convey, whether the object of an action or the possessor of an object. Compare "Jim's painting" and "the painting of Jim's." Did he paint it? Or does he own it?"

The other comment gave these two examples:

1. "The name of the dog"
2. "The dog's name"


noting that there was a difference in emphasis with the two structures, the first emphasizing the name and the second, the dog.

Seems to me this could easily be applied to "the boss of me" and "my boss," the first emphasizing -- as kids would wish to! -- that the person they're speaking to isn't their boss, i.e., that they're equals ("you're not the boss of me").

The use of "you're not my boss" on the other hand, doesn't negate the possibility that the person they're speaking to is a boss, but emphasizes either that that person isn't the boss of the speaker per se ("you're not my boss"), or, that the relationship the two people have is not that of boss and subordinate ("you're not my boss").

I admit they're awfully close, however, and I really think you'd need to hear the spoken emphasis (or use italics in writing) to be absolutely certain of the meaning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyQ3
I was not above pratfalls and relied on humor to get us all through the ordeal. So for the "Where do you live at?" problem, I would always pull out the old joke about the two women on an airplane. Unfortunately, the punch line is verboten here.
Completely unfair, you tease, you!
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