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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Hello.

    HowStuffWorks "5 Tips to Improve Your Wireless Connection"
    A wireless signal doesn't carry far, and any walls or large objects may cause interference.

    Can I use "reach" instead of carry?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #2

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    HowStuffWorks "5 Tips to Improve Your Wireless Connection"
    A wireless signal doesn't carry far, and any walls or large objects may cause interference.

    Can I use "reach" instead of carry?

    Thank you.
    I suppose so, but signals and waves are said to "carry" when we think of their action as a dynamic flow.

    "Reach" would suggest their inherent range or extent, it seems to me.

    - "Most radio waves do reach the Antarctic, but ultracold rebroadcast equipment may prevent the signal from carrying to the farthest outstations."

    - "When the first pictures reached us from the moon, they were carried around the globe."


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #3

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    It's an interesting use of the verb "carry". Of course, I've heard it before, but hadn't realized that it is rather unique.

    Ergative Verbs


    Ergative Verbs - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com

    The butter melts.

    The signal carries far. - The signal, somehow, propels itself. It makes itself go.

    The signal reacher far. - Something, somehow, enables the signal to reach far.


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    #4

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    It's an interesting use of the verb "carry". Of course, I've heard it before, but hadn't realized that it is rather unique.

    Ergative Verbs


    Ergative Verbs - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com
    Ha! Loved it! Thank you!


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #5

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    You're welcome.

    If you like that, then you'll like this too: inchoative verb.

    This is similar to "ergative verb", and it may be difficult to distinguish the two all the time.

    The water froze. The water evaporated. The paint dried.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #6

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    You're welcome.

    If you like that, then you'll like this too: inchoative verb.

    This is similar to "ergative verb", and it may be difficult to distinguish the two all the time.

    The water froze. The water evaporated. The paint dried.
    The mind reeled!



    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #7

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    The mind reeled!

    Here's how to distinguish them - I think.

    The glass broke. - ergative - A physical force caused the glass to break.

    The paint dried. - inchoative - Nothing really caused the paint to dry. It simply dried as a result of being in the open air. We wouldn't be able to say the air purposely made the paint dry. Air can't think.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #8

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Here's how to distinguish them - I think.

    The glass broke. - ergative - A physical force caused the glass to break.

    The paint dried. - inchoative - Nothing really caused the paint to dry. It simply dried as a result of being in the open air. We wouldn't be able to say the air purposely made the paint dry. Air can't think.
    Maybe "agentless" would work better than "uncaused"?

    Grass grows without an agent that grows it, but its growth is not uncaused.


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    #9

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    Maybe "agentless" would work better than "uncaused"?

    Grass grows without an agent that grows it, but its growth is not uncaused.
    I think it's possible to say that an action does not have an agent, yes.

    I woke up. What caused me to wake up? The alarm clock? The smart person mowing the lawn at six AM on Sunday morning? Who knows? Maybe it was the car alarm again?

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    #10

    Re: A wireless signal doesn't carry far ...

    The ergative verbs also look a lot like reflexive verbs to me. Boy, that must be confusing to learners, the meaning almost reverses in each case. Inchoative means an action which begins a state. We don't say "just a minute, I'm wearing my clothes" but do say "just a minute, I'm putting on my clothes." To put on is inchoative. You put it on, then you're wearing it. To wear doesn't have an inchoative aspect. Similarly, to fly and to take off... etc.

    But these ergative verbs are just like French reflexive verbs, except that we don't have any excplicit indicator like 'se' to show which case of the verb is in use.

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