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  1. #1
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    Default Dictionary Words

    1. Mockingbird: any of a number songbirds which imitate other birdís calls.
    I don't get the underlined part and how come 'songbirds' is not 'songbird'? Also, is 'which' referring to the string 'any of a number songbirds' or just 'songbirds'?

    What do these mean?
    2. This bird imitates other birdís call.
    4. This bird imitates other birds call.

    5. Anisotrophic: having different physical properties at different levels of measurement.
    6. Anisotrophic: having different physical properties at different levels of measurements.

    7. Dictionary meanings. (Does this mean the word 'dictionary' has many meanings?
    8. Dictionary meaning. ('Dictionary' has one meaning?)

    9. Tautology: needles repetition of (a) same idea in different wods. (How come I don't need to use a determiner here? If I use it, what does it mean? What's the point of using it and not using it?)
    Last edited by jack; 15-Nov-2004 at 11:39.

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Dictionary Words

    1. 'any of a number of songbirds' is what it should read, Jack-- did you copy it correctly? 'Which' introduces a modifying clause for 'songbirds'. 'A number of' is a premodifier of 'songbirds'; it means 'several'.

    2. and 4. are incorrect grammar.

    5. and 6. It should be spelled 'anisotropic'-- 'in physics, the quality of exhibiting properties with different values when measured along axes in different directions. Anisotropy is most easily observed in single crystals of solid elements or compounds, in which atoms, ions, or molecules are arranged in regular lattices.' (5) is the correct mode of expression: 'measurement' is an uncountable concept in these definitions.

    7. and 8. refer to the meaning(s) of words in the dictionary. In (7) the phrase is referring to several meanings of a word in the dictionary; in (8) it refers to only one meaning of a word in the dictionary.

    9. This I presume came from a dictionary or other brief reference; these, like newspaper headlines, often do not contain insignificant words like articles and the verb 'be'. You can put in the article (which would be 'the', not 'a') if you like, and it does not change the meaning, it just makes the sentence more appropriate for an essay or more formal statment of the definition of 'tautology'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dictionary Words

    1. any of a number of songbirds which imitate other birdís calls.
    => a number of______(plural noun); 'which' is a relative pronoun. It stands for the noun 'songbirds'. We know this because we can replace 'which' with 'songbirds': which imitate other birds' calls => songbirds imitate other birds' calls. Please note, birds'. The apostrophe goes after the -s.

    2. This bird imitates other birds' call. (calls belonging to other birds)
    4. This bird imitates other birds call. (Odd. a plural noun is acting as an adjective)

    5. Anisotrophic: having different physical properties at different levels of measurement. (Noun, general)

    7. Dictionary meanings. (The book gives more than one meaning)
    8. Dictionary meaning. (The meaning is from the dictionary)

    9. (an) same idea
    => 'an' is non-specific. It means, 'any', whereas 'same' is specific, so use either one or the other, not both: 'an idea' or 'the same idea'. Note, 'the same' is a set pair.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dictionary Words

    Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    9. (an) same idea
    => 'an' is non-specific. It means, 'any', whereas 'same' is specific, so use either one or the other, not both: 'an idea' or 'the same idea'. Note, 'the same' is a set pair.
    1. Thanks. I use 'the same idea' becuase they're the same and specific?

    9. (an) same idea
    2. Why isn't it '(a) same idea'? Why is it 'an'?

    4. This bird imitates other birds call. (Odd. a plural noun is acting as an adjective)
    I don't really understand this one. So this one could be right? It can be 'birds' because the word function as a noun?

    So what do these mean then?
    3. This bird imitates other birds call.
    4. This bird imitates other bird call.

    5. The bird imitates other call. (If 'call' is incorrect, is it because 'other' means 'different'? So that means more than on? Could you explain this to me? I don't think my explanation make any sense. Thanks.)
    6. the bird imitates other calls.

  5. #5
    TheMadBaron Guest

    Default Re: Dictionary Words

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    1. Thanks. I use 'the same idea' becuase they're the same and specific?
    You use 'the' because the word 'same' makes the word 'idea' relate to a specific idea.

    "I've had an idea. Let's kill George."
    "Funny you should say that. I just had the same idea."

    2. Why isn't it '(a) same idea'? Why is it 'an'?
    It is 'the same idea', or 'an idea'.
    You can't say 'a same idea'.
    You can't say ''an same idea'.
    You can't say "a idea".

    So what do these mean then?
    3. This bird imitates other birds call.
    4. This bird imitates other bird call.

    Nothing. They're both wrong. The correct form is "This bird imitates other birds' calls."

    5. The bird imitates other call. (If 'call' is incorrect, is it because 'other' means 'different'? So that means more than one? Could you explain this to me? I don't think my explanation make any sense. Thanks.)
    If 'other' refers to just one other, that needs to be made clear. 'One other' or 'another'.

    "The bird imitates another bird's call"

    'Other' on its own leads us to expect a plural.
    "It imitates other birds."
    Last edited by TheMadBaron; 21-Nov-2004 at 15:27.

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