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  1. #21
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I'm surprised too, but I don't use the PCfor games and other leisure stuff.
    <and other leisure stuff.>

    Never?

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Yes you can plonk somebody or something somewhere, but is that thing then plonked?

    I plonked him in front of the computer.
    He is plonked in front of the computer.

    Those two mean different things to me.
    I know. The second sentence does not necessarily imply any willingness on his part but it doesn't rule it out either.
    If, however, he has plunked himself in front of the computer, he does it by his own will.
    "John plunked himself in front of the computer to finish his thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne".

    Another phrase I find commonly used is "to sit on the computer" (not at).

    I have been sitting on the computer all morning to find job listings for the town of Cloverdale.

  3. #23
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marylin
    I know. The second sentence does not necessarily imply any willingness on his part but it doesn't rule it out either.
    If, however, he has plunked himself in front of the computer, he does it by his own will.
    "John plunked himself in front of the computer to finish his thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne".

    Another phrase I find commonly used is "to sit on the computer" (not at).

    I have been sitting on the computer all morning to find job listings for the town of Cloverdale.
    <"John plunked himself in front of the computer to finish his thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne".>

    But was he willingly finishing his thesis? Was he enjoying himself?

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    <"John plunked himself in front of the computer to finish his thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne".>

    But was he willingly finishing his thesis? Was he enjoying himself?
    Well, I think you will have to ask John about that. I don't think you will find anything that implies willingness on anyone's part unless you want to use an adverb as a crutch.

    as an afterthought - how about applied himself at the computer?

    At the same token, if you say you someone is [B]sprawled out in front of the TV , does it suggest that the person is sitting there willingly? He might be bored out of his tree for all I know. If you say he is curled up cosily in front of the tv, at least I have a reason to believe that he wants to feel comfortable and no one is putting a gun to his head to watch TV.

    So, to make the long story short, I need an adverb (cosily) to imply the willingness on his part to watch TV. I still need an adverb to make us believe that the kid is at the computer because he wants to be there and not because his mother dragged him there by his ears.
    I don't understand why we don't have more verbs for sitting in front of the computer. Perhaps it's because a computer forms an interactive experience in itself. On the other hand, you can be sitting in front of a TV in a semi comatose state and have no clue what you're watching.

  5. #25
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    <I still need an adverb to make us believe that the kid is at the computer because he wants to be there and not because his mother dragged him there by his ears. >

    The real question was about someone describing another person as being plonked by the PC/TV all day, for example. Are you saying that there is no implication that the speaker has a negative opinion towards the "plonked" person and his/her purpose of being where he she is?

    A friend of John: Hi! Where's John?

    John's mum: In the living room. He's been plonked in front of the TV all day.

  6. #26
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    <"John plunked himself in front of the computer to finish his thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne".>

    But was he willingly finishing his thesis? Was he enjoying himself?
    Plonk/plunk normally means "drop/sit heavily". Why would he sit heavily before settling down to finish his thesis if he relished the idea of doing so?

  7. #27
    Bobble Guest

    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Why do people generally say "to sit in front of the TV" but "to be at the PC"?

    Why we use "in front of the TV" and not "at the TV"?
    We DONT!! say "to be at the PC! " We say "on the net "or "surfin the net" or "searchin for porn " or "working on something"but NEVER have i heard any english person say "to be at the PC!" (that sounds very Euro person trying to speak
    English) The term "sit in front of the TV "comes from its lack of traditional interactivity where you just "watched the TV" Now with convergence the two media formats seem to be the same but the language hasnt caught up to the technological advances just yet.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    <I still need an adverb to make us believe that the kid is at the computer because he wants to be there and not because his mother dragged him there by his ears. >

    The real question was about someone describing another person as being plonked by the PC/TV all day, for example. Are you saying that there is no implication that the speaker has a negative opinion towards the "plonked" person and his/her purpose of being where he she is?

    A friend of John: Hi! Where's John?

    John's mum: In the living room. He's been plonked in front of the TV all day.
    There is and therefore I changed that to I plunked myself in front of the computer. The word Myself indicates my willingness to be there. That's another crutch word to bring out a more positive connotation to the sentence. As I said before, I can't think of any other verb that you are looking for. I have no clue what they are.
    As for the word plunk/plonk I hear that term a lot and it has nothing to do with heaviness and unwillingness to sit at the computer. It can have but it all depends on the way the word is being used.
    Plunk also means to drop or sink down suddenly, to plump. If you have a comfy chair to sit in, that's what I would say. "I like to plunk myself in my black recliner chair".
    If I say:
    I like to plunk myself in front of the computer late at night when everybody is alseep and no one is looking over my shoulder.

    Do you see anything negative here?
    Last edited by Marylin; 01-Mar-2005 at 02:47.

  9. #29
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marylin
    Another phrase I find commonly used is "to sit on the computer" (not at).

    I have been sitting on the computer all morning to find job listings for the town of Cloverdale.
    That's interesting- in BrE, I hear 'sit at', but 'be on' the computer, but I haven't heard 'sit on the computer'.

  10. #30
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Subtlety and prepositions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobble
    We DONT!! say "to be at the PC! " We say "on the net "or "surfin the net" or "searchin for porn " or "working on something"but NEVER have i heard any english person say "to be at the PC!" (that sounds very Euro person trying to speak
    English) The term "sit in front of the TV "comes from its lack of traditional interactivity where you just "watched the TV" Now with convergence the two media formats seem to be the same but the language hasnt caught up to the technological advances just yet.
    What happens if we are using a word processor, say, and not online?

    Google UK- 'at the PC' 12,600, 'at the computer' 54,500

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