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Thread: reliable

  1. #1
    Ju is offline Senior Member
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    Default reliable

    1. She is a reliable person. (right)

    2. She is reliable. (right)

    3. She is trustworthy. (right)

    4. She is a trustworthy person. (wrong)

    __________________________________________________ ___________

    Are the comment I put in the bracket at the end of the sentence correct?



    ju

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: reliable

    Number 4 is right.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: reliable

    Hi Ju

    I agree with Rover, but, based on a previous unfortunate contractual experience of different interpretations between UKE and AME, I believe what Rover meant, strictly speaking, was: "Number 4 is also right"

    It is similar to the problem where, in UKE, a double-negative represents a positive, whereas in AME, I understand, a double negative reinforces the negative.

    "Number 4 is right" could, to some people, mean that: "She is a trustworthy person. (wrong)" (unlike the other statements) is a correct statement, which is not what, I believe, was intended.

    It's just one of the nuances of the English language, but the difference in my case almost lead to a wrong interpretation of a final response from international tenderers (bidders) and a major contract being incorrectly awarded, on a misconception, to the wrong bidder. Thankfully we realised it in time.

    I know it's a bit "picky" but, in a contractual context, you soon learn to be very careful with your very precise wording.

    Hence my specific interest in language

    Hope this helps
    R21

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: reliable

    Fair comment, R21.

    Rover

  5. #5
    riquecohen's Avatar
    riquecohen is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: reliable

    R21- I agree that there can be a problem with ambiguity in post#2, but where did you get the idea that in AmE a double negative reinforces the negative? I infer from this that you believe that this is the norm in the US. While this form is occasionally heard in both AmE and BrE, it is, IMO, not acceptable.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    R21but where did you get the idea that in AmE a double negative reinforces the negative?
    I don't know nuthin' about that!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    Route21's Avatar
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    Default Re: reliable

    Well said, Barb.
    I was racking my brains to think of a simple example!
    Best regards
    R21
    PS Maybe I should have said "wrecking"!
    Last edited by Route21; 14-Apr-2011 at 18:47.

  8. #8
    riquecohen's Avatar
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    Default Re: reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by Route21 View Post
    Well said, Barb.
    I was racking my brains to think of a simple example!
    Best regards
    R21
    PS Maybe I should have said "wrecking"!
    You may come up with dozens of examples, but they do not reflect the speech patterns of the man/woman in the street.

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    You may come up with dozens of examples, but they do not reflect the speech patterns of the man/woman in the street.
    I have found, without fail, that on television crime dramas, when they tell an innocent person about a murder, the innocent person says either "I know! I'm shocked! It's so sad, etc" or "What? Oh my God! When? Where?"

    And without fail, the guilty person says, "I don't know nuthin' about that."

    I do use double negatives all the time, but only ironically, in jest. (Or intentionally to be create the positive, like "I don't not want to do it, but I just don't have time to do it now!")
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: reliable

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    You may come up with dozens of examples, but they do not reflect the speech patterns of the man/woman in the street.
    Which street would that be?

    The question may seem flippant but it's not. Depending on which street you are on (in which city, in which part of that city), the speech patterns will be different.

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