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Thread: did some time

  1. #1
    GUEST2008 is offline Key Member
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    Default did some time

    Hi

    Is it OK to say: He did some time back in the 1970's.

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    Default Re: did some time

    It is OK to say it, but the meaning is not clear without more context.

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    JMurray is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: did some time

    Is it OK to say: He did some time back in the 1970's.?

    Yes, meaning: "He spent some time in prison during the 1970s".
    Personally, I don't think the apostrophe is needed before the "s", but others may disagree.

    not a teacher

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    Default Re: did some time

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    Personally, I don't think the apostrophe is needed before the "s", but others may disagree.
    I agree, but it is used often enough for it to be considered acceptable, in my opinion.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: did some time

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It is OK to say it, but the meaning is not clear without more context.
    I would think it meant prison.

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    Default Re: did some time

    I feel more strongly than you all. The apostrophe is WRONG.
    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.

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    Default Re: did some time

    I was taught at school back in the 1950s that the apostrophe was essential there, and with letters of the alphabet - There are two c's and two m's in "accommodate".

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    Default Re: did some time

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I was taught at school back in the 1950s that the apostrophe was essential there.
    When did you realise it wasn't, 5?

    Rover

  9. #9
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    Default Re: did some time

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    When did you realise it wasn't, 5?

    Rover
    Some time in the 1970s I discovered descriptivism - at school, and even at university, prescriptivism ruled. I was a prescriptivist myself when I started TEFLing in 1968, proud that, unlike some of my less well educated colleagues, I at least was able to maintain standards.

    Slowly it began to dawn on me that some of what I had been taught was completely artificial, rules invented by people at various times almost on a whim. The apostrophe in 1950s was one of the first things to go in punctuation. Some of the grammar rules were too firmly drummed in to go - I'm still an I shall/you will and if he were here person, and I have been known to use the occasional whom, but at least I no longer insist that my learners produce them.

    The apostrophe in 1950's doesn't worry me much. I tell learners that it is not necessary, but I don't worry too much if someone uses it - there are more important things in life to worry about.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: did some time

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    - there are more important things in life to worry about.
    I'd say just about every question we answer here falls into that category! Wait, no, I have the logic backward. Well, you know what I mean. No grammar, linguistic, or vocabulary question will ever rise to level of The Most Important Issue I Face Today. And God love me if it ever does. Life would be good!
    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.

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