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Thread: one or ones?

  1. #1
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default one or ones?

    Dear teachers,
    I get confused about which one of the following two versions of a sentence is what native speakers of English use:

    1. Ever since ancient times, many people have hoped to be one who has a sense of humor.
    2. Ever Since ancient times, many people have hoped to be ones who have a sense of humor.

    It would be better if you would tell me the underlying grammar rule for the issue. Anyway, if you do not know why but you, as a native, know how to put this idea in correct English, simply tell me which version is right.Thanks a lot.

    Richard

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    I wouldn't use either- they're not natural.

    Ever since ancient times, many people have hoped to have a sense of humor.
    Mind you, it's still an odd sentence to me.

  3. #3
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I wouldn't use either- they're not natural.



    Mind you, it's still an odd sentence to me.
    Thanks, Tdol. You are right, just now I also realized that there is something wrong with the structure of the original sentence; we do not need to be wordy.
    Would you please tell me why you think ""Ever since ancient times, many people have hoped to have a sense of humor." is still odd? How about change it to " Everyone wishes to develop a sense of humor."? The original sentence was taken from my student's essay, whose first paragraph runs like this:
    Since ancient times, many people have hoped to be ones who have a sense of humor. Nowadays, this idea is more and more prevailing. From my point of view, it is indeed important for us to have a sense of humor because humor can help us in every aspect of our life.

    Do we need to combine the first two sentences as follows: Everyone wishes to develop a sense of humor and nowadays this common desire is ever more prevailing
    or something even more concise?
    Last edited by ohmyrichard; 26-Mar-2013 at 15:50.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    I think that there is a content issue here- having a sense of humour is so common that I don't see it as an aspiration- being able to make other people laugh is harder, so that could work.

    People have always wanted to be able to make others laugh (,and never more so than nowadays).

  5. #5
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I think that there is a content issue here- having a sense of humour is so common that I don't see it as an aspiration- being able to make other people laugh is harder, so that could work.

    People have always wanted to be able to make others laugh (,and never more so than nowadays).
    Thanks, Tdol.
    However, from my own personal experience, I feel but you may disagree with me that many people need to put much effort into developing a sense of humor and that so few were born with it. As my student's essay focuses on the importance of a sense of humor, so can the sentences be rephrased by immitating your structure as follows:
    People have always wanted to develop a sense of humor, and never more so than nowadays.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    I'm not even sure it's possible to develop a sense of humour. As you grow up, you gradually begin to realise what you find funny and what you don't. Some people find they don't have a sense of humour at all. I very much doubt they spend the rest of their lives hoping that they'll get one.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm not even sure it's possible to develop a sense of humour. As you grow up, you gradually begin to realise what you find funny and what you don't. Some people find they don't have a sense of humour at all. I very much doubt they spend the rest of their lives hoping that they'll get one.
    I am not sure of it either. But I clearly remember that when I was fresh from college and started my teaching career in a middle school, the first book I bought and read was the Chinese version of a book on humor by an American writer, whose title might be simply "On Humor". By then I had felt that I lacked a sense of humor and always appeared dull. I was not shy in the presense of other people, but only boring. Reading that book really helped me a lot to get a good understanding of what humor is and how to use it to better interact with people. At that time my main purpose in reading that book was to improve my teaching style. You may say that I already had the humor potential and reading that book only activated my sense of it, but frankly I could not and still now cannot be sure whether my sense of humor was then kindled by my reading of that book. As for me, psychological issues are quite difficult to figure out.

    Let's put aside this controversy for the moment. Please tell me whether the following sentence is used by you natives speaker of English despite the possible debate over the concept we have discussed above:
    People have always wanted to develop a sense of humor, and never more so than nowadays.
    Thanks!
    Richard
    Last edited by ohmyrichard; 27-Mar-2013 at 05:44.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyrichard View Post
    Please tell me whether the following sentence is used by you native speakers of English despite the possible debate over the concept we have discussed above:
    People have always wanted to develop a sense of humor, and never more so than nowadays.
    The answer to the underlined request must be, "No, that sentence is not used". It's grammatically correct, and it makes sense if you believe it, but native speakers of English would not say it, for reasons already explained.

  9. #9
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The answer to the underlined request must be, "No, that sentence is not used". It's grammatically correct, and it makes sense if you believe it, but native speakers of English would not say it, for reasons already explained.
    Thanks.
    But this is really weird. Yesterday when I keyed in "develop a sense of humor" in the google search box, I got 2,280,000 results, which you cannot say are all written by non-native speakers of English. Just now I repeated the same search process and get the same number of hits. On the ehow.com webpage I get sentences like: How to Develop a Sense of Humor(the title of the article); Developing a sense of humor is part of becoming a mature, emotionally healthy individual; If you've ever been told to "lighten up" or "chill out," you should save the somber attitude for genuinely serious situations and develop your sense of humor;By sharing laughs and attempting to explain humor, you develop your sense of humor, as well as help kids develop their own sense of humanity;If you've developed a sense of humor, you've learned that humor is gentle and kind. Humor does not capitalize on the misfortunes of others, but finds joy in the foibles of the human condition(a comment at the very bottom of the webpage). I will give you the link here: How to Develop a Sense of Humor | eHow.com. BTW, ehow.com is a website I often visit for tips on English learning and English teaching.
    Besides, the book I read when I was fresh from college I mentioned in my last post is written by an American, who is surely a native, and it tells the reader how to develop a sense of humor.
    To be frank, it seems to me that the case is that many people, whether they are native speakers of English or from other cultures, think a sense of humor can be developed while a lot of others totally disagree with them. Just because you do not identify with a certain notion does not necessarily mean that none of all the other native speakers uses "develop or cultivate a sense of humor".
    I just intend to tell you everything that is on my mind. Hope you will not feel offended.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: one or ones?

    Not all offended, but I do still find the idea of trying to improve a person's sense of humour strange.

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