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Thread: Any difference?

  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Which exam is it?

  2. #12
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Which exam is it? ;-)
    The exam for candidates for admission to Japanese universities.

    Actually, each university gives their original exam, so I should have said "the exams". Anyway they are not only difficult but unpractical, IMO.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Which exam is it?
    The exam for candidates for admission to Japanese universities.

    Actually, each university gives their original exam, so I should have said "the exams". Anyway they are not only difficult but unpractical, IMO.
    May I make a suggestion? While unpractical might seem to make sense, the word is impractical.

    :)

  4. #14
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Which exam is it? ;-)
    The exam for candidates for admission to Japanese universities.

    Actually, each university gives their original exam, so I should have said "the exams". Anyway they are not only difficult but unpractical, IMO.
    May I make a suggestion? While unpractical might seem to make sense, the word is impractical.

    :)
    Could you tell me what the difference is?

    It seems that there is no difference according to the definition here:

    http://www.onelook.com/?other=web1913&w=Unpractical

  5. #15
    Susie Smith Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Which exam is it?
    The exam for candidates for admission to Japanese universities.

    Actually, each university gives their original exam, so I should have said "the exams". Anyway they are not only difficult but unpractical, IMO.
    May I make a suggestion? While unpractical might seem to make sense, the word is impractical.

    :)
    Could you tell me what the difference is?

    It seems that there is no difference according to the definition here:

    http://www.onelook.com/?other=web1913&w=Unpractical
    I say impractical, too, and almost corrected you, but then I decided to play it safe. I found both words in two Webster dictionaries. Apparently they are synonyms. The older I get, the more I learn...


    Shouldn't it be "each university gives its own exam" ?

  6. #16
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    Shouldn't it be "each university gives its own exam" ?
    Strictly, yes, it should be. But I've seen many times "their" used in such cases. Isn't it acceptable in reality?

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Any difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Thank, you!!
    You're welcome. How long have you been studying English? :)
    For a long time. Actually, I spent four years in the States and graduated from The University of Missouri (which was a long time ago, though).

    Now I teach English here in Japan to those who are having the entrance exam, the notorious one which is known for its excessive --and unnecessary, I think-- complexity. That's why my questions here have been always picky, and I'm sorry about that.
    No wonder your English is so good! The students are lucky to have you. :wink:

  8. #18
    Susie Smith Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    Shouldn't it be "each university gives its own exam" ?
    Strictly, yes, it should be. But I've seen many times "their" used in such cases. Isn't it acceptable in reality?
    Nope, not in my opinion. Part of this usage problem began when people started avoiding sexist language. Traditionally people would say, "A journalist is stimulated by his deadline." Today, however, such usage is widely viewed as sexist because it excludes women and encourages sex-role stereotyping - the view that men are somehow more suited than women to be journalists, doctors, and so on. One option, of course, is to substitute a pair of pronouns: "A journalist is stimulated by his or her deadline.", which works well enough in small doses, but it is considered awkward by many. A better strategy is simply to restate it in the plural, as in "Journalists are stimulated by their deadlines.", or reword it so that the problem disappears. - "A journalist is stimulated by a deadline." However, a lot of people do use they with singular antecedents, as you did. It's common in everyday informal English to hear "Everyone has their own ideas." or "Somebody left their book on the desk." These pronouns are grammatically singular but semantically plural, so that doesn't bother me too much, but I can't go along with sentences such as "The typical student takes about five years to complete their course work." Now, back to the specific case we are discussing: A university could never be called he or she, so why use the plural they? Sorry I've been so wordy. Hope you now understand why I questioned your wording.

  9. #19
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In British English, there is a creeping tendency towards the plural in cases such as this. Teams, universities, etc, are routinely labelled plural. It seems to be an area where there is difference between the US and the UK. In BE, the sentence would be generally viewed as acceptable, though some would say the same as Susie.

    Many also use singular for the plural (There's three...), just to make things harder.


  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    Shouldn't it be "each university gives its own exam" ?
    Strictly, yes, it should be. But I've seen many times "their" used in such cases. Isn't it acceptable in reality?
    Nope, not in my opinion. Part of this usage problem began when people started avoiding sexist language. Traditionally people would say, "A journalist is stimulated by his deadline." Today, however, such usage is widely viewed as sexist because it excludes women and encourages sex-role stereotyping - the view that men are somehow more suited than women to be journalists, doctors, and so on. One option, of course, is to substitute a pair of pronouns: "A journalist is stimulated by his or her deadline.", which works well enough in small doses, but it is considered awkward by many. A better strategy is simply to restate it in the plural, as in "Journalists are stimulated by their deadlines.", or reword it so that the problem disappears. - "A journalist is stimulated by a deadline." However, a lot of people do use they with singular antecedents, as you did. It's common in everyday informal English to hear "Everyone has their own ideas." or "Somebody left their book on the desk." These pronouns are grammatically singular but semantically plural, so that doesn't bother me too much, but I can't go along with sentences such as "The typical student takes about five years to complete their course work." Now, back to the specific case we are discussing: A university could never be called he or she, so why use the plural they? Sorry I've been so wordy. Hope you now understand why I questioned your wording.
    Well said! :wink:

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