Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #1

    This sentence

    'Michael Taylor has called in sick this morning with a Migraine'

    I personally feel that the above sentence is unsatisfactory from a logical perspective. Firstly, the use of an idiom (called in sick) means that literally it makes little sense. Secondly, the sentence suggests that Michael Taylor has made the call with 'a Migraine' (upper case 'M' being unnecessary of course).

    I just wondered what others here felt about my point on this.

  2. Banned
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Hungary
      • Current Location:
      • Hungary

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 1,121
    #2

    Re: This sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by GIXTER View Post
    'Michael Taylor has called in sick this morning with a Migraine'

    I personally feel that the above sentence is unsatisfactory from a logical perspective. Firstly, the use of an idiom (called in sick) means that literally it makes little sense. Secondly, the sentence suggests that Michael Taylor has made the call with 'a Migraine' (upper case 'M' being unnecessary of course).

    I just wondered what others here felt about my point on this.
    1. called in sick this morning with a migraine
    2. called in this morning (being) sick with a migraine

    What troubles me is that the time adverbial, 'this morning', which hinges on the phrasal verb, makes a break in the continuity of 'sick with a migraine', which I regard as an ellipted adverbial clause of purpose. I am much happier with #2 than with #1.

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #3

    Re: This sentence

    Corum, your revised sentence is much more coherent.

    Personally, I would have put it like this;

    'Michael Taylor will not be in this office today due to having a migraine headache'

    I don't see why people feel the need to use idioms, slang, abbreviations etc, when a simple, logically sentence will make sense to most.

  4. Banned
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hungarian
      • Home Country:
      • Hungary
      • Current Location:
      • Hungary

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 1,121
    #4

    Re: This sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by GIXTER View Post
    Corum, your revised sentence is much more coherent.



    Quote Originally Posted by GIXTER View Post
    Personally, I would have put it like this;

    'Michael Taylor will not be in this office today due to having a migraine headache'
    You left out 'call' from the sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by GIXTER View Post
    I don't see why people feel the need to use idioms, slang, abbreviations etc, when a simple, logically sentence will make sense to most.
    Idioms are simple too. It is just that their logic is sometimes hidden somewhere.

  5. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #5

    Re: This sentence

    >You left out 'call' from the sentence.

    Yes I did, I don't particularly feel that it is necessary really in conveying the general message information.

    >Idioms are simple too.

    Not when literally translated, they are rather meaningless.

    >It is just that their logic is sometimes hidden somewhere.

    The problem with idioms in the context of a sentence is that it often doesn't make sense in a literal translation, and they also assume familiarity with that idiom. 'Called in sick' for example, is a relatively new idiom too and could possibly mean little to a some readers. Also, the structure of the original sentence seems disjointed, as you correctly point out.

    The way I look at it is; a sentence that is intended for communication of ideas and information should not be open to interpretation, it should not be ambiguous.

  6. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #6

    Re: This sentence

    ...Also, it is indeed the idiom here that creates the ellipted adverbial clause of purpose that you mention, and it is for that reason you effectively remove the idiom by feeling the necessity to re-arrange and insert words.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,883
    #7

    Re: This sentence

    Grammatical points aside, I would have to disagree with the statement that "call in sick" is a relatively new idiom. I suppose it depends on your meaning of "new", but it has certainly been around for at least 21 years (sadly, the length of time that I have been in full-time employment).

    Whilst I agree that "Michael won't be in the office today as he has a migraine" is true, it does not convey the fact that he telephoned the office during the morning to explain that he couldn't come to work because he was ill.

    In my opinion, it is none of the bosses' nor the other employees' business what is wrong with him, and he can just be described as "sick".

    If I wake up with a terrible migraine and complain to my partner that I feel too sick to go to work, I am not likely to say "I am going to telephone my office to advise them that I cannot come to work today due to my migraine". I would say "I'm going to call in/phone in/ring in sick". I would expect the person I speak to at my office to use the same terminology. He/she would go to the boss and say "Ems just rang in sick, but hopefully she'll be back tomorrow".

    Just my thoughts!

  8. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #8

    Re: This sentence

    >> I suppose it depends on your meaning of "new"

    Yes, I consider 21 years of age to be relatively 'new' in terms of an idiom, but you are right, that is subjective to an extent I suppose. However, my point is; should a relatively 'new' idiom be used in a message to convey important information to all staff? Particularly when one considers that the insertion of it renders the sentence somewhat incoherent and disjointed.

    >>Whilst I agree that "Michael won't be in the office today as he has a migraine" is true, it does not convey the fact that he telephoned the office during the morning to explain that he couldn't come to work because he was ill.

    "Michael won't be in the office today as he has a migraine" wasn't my sentence, AND you don't know it is true. We are getting in to the realms of philosophy there, so I will leave that there.

    I agree, I don't think that the fact that he called by telephone is relevant in the information to be conveyed, particularly since the fact that 'has called in' seems to be troubling in the structure and coherence of the sentence.

    >>In my opinion, it is none of the bosses' nor the other employees' business what is wrong with him, and he can just be described as "sick".

    I agree that the nature of the illness need not necessarily be specified in that particular message. However, I'm unhappy with describing someone as simply "sick"; I am much happier using the less ambiguous term 'ill'. However, I'm not saying it should not be used, I just think it is not the best word to use.

    >>If I wake up with a terrible migraine and complain to my partner that I feel too sick to go to work, I am not likely to say "I am going to telephone my office to advise them that I cannot come to work today due to my migraine". I would say "I'm going to call in/phone in/ring in sick". I would expect the person I speak to at my office to use the same terminology. He/she would go to the boss and say "Ems just rang in sick, but hopefully she'll be back tomorrow".

    I'm sorry, but with all due respect, after reading that paragraph, I feel you have missed the entire purpose and point of my post...especially with that last sentence! The terminology you use and that others appear to understand does not make for the best and correct communication. Think of it like this; If a foreign person had to literally translate the message and as a result is that it made no sense, would that really be a satisfactory outcome? Whilst I concede that using this particular example is a touch pedantic, the fact remains that this tendency and modern trend to 'abuse' the English language with bad grammar, slang and general misuse of words can only results in unsophisticated communication and ultimately communication failure, which is a much bigger issue than people may realise. See 'Abolition of Man; by CS Lewis.
    Last edited by GIXTER; 17-Jun-2010 at 11:21.

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,883
    #9

    Re: This sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by GIXTER View Post
    >> I suppose it depends on your meaning of "new"

    Yes, I consider 21 years of age to be relatively 'new' in terms of an idiom, but you are right, that is subjective to an extent I suppose. However, my point is; should a relatively 'new' idiom be used in a message to convey important information to all staff? Particularly when one considers that the insertion of it renders the sentence somewhat incoherent and disjointed.

    Ideally, I'm sure idioms etc shouldn't be used to convey information, but they are!

    >>Whilst I agree that "Michael won't be in the office today as he has a migraine" is true, it does not convey the fact that he telephoned the office during the morning to explain that he couldn't come to work because he was ill.

    "Michael won't be in the office today as he has a migraine" wasn't my sentence, AND you don't know it is true. We are getting in to the realms of philosophy there, so I will leave that there.

    OK, your sentence was "'Michael Taylor will not be in this office today due to having a migraine headache" - I couldn't get back to your original post while I was typing my post, but what I typed from memory doesn't differ significantly.

    I agree, I don't think that the fact that he called by telephone is relevant in the information to be conveyed, particularly since the fact that 'has called in' seems to be troubling in the structure and coherence of the sentence.

    >>In my opinion, it is none of the bosses' nor the other employees' business what is wrong with him, and he can just be described as "sick".

    I agree that the nature of the illness need not necessarily be specified in that particular message. However, I'm unhappy with describing someone as simply "sick"; I am much happier using the less ambiguous term 'ill'. However, I'm not saying it should not be used, I just think it is not the best word to use.

    How is "ill" less ambiguous than "sick"? I would say that "I'm ill" is used more in BrE, and "I'm sick" more in AmE but, unless we are talking about alternative meanings of "sick" (ie twisted), they both mean "I'm not well"!

    >>If I wake up with a terrible migraine and complain to my partner that I feel too sick to go to work, I am not likely to say "I am going to telephone my office to advise them that I cannot come to work today due to my migraine". I would say "I'm going to call in/phone in/ring in sick". I would expect the person I speak to at my office to use the same terminology. He/she would go to the boss and say "Ems just rang in sick, but hopefully she'll be back tomorrow".

    I'm sorry, but with all due respect, after reading that paragraph, I feel you have missed the entire purpose and point of my post...especially with that last sentence! The terminology you use and that others appear to understand does not make for the best and correct communication. Think of it like this; If a foreign person had to literally translate the message and as a result is that it made no sense, would that really be a satisfactory outcome? Whilst I concede that using this particular example is a touch pedantic, the fact remains that this tendency and modern trend to 'abuse' the English language with bad grammar, slang and general misuse of words can only results in unsophisticated communication and ultimately communication failure, which is a much bigger issue than people may realise. See 'Abolition of Man; by CS Lewis.


    I don't believe that I have missed the point of the thread or your post. Apart from that one slightly misremembered quote, I did not quote your post because I wasn't specifically commenting on it. I was commenting on the entire subject. If a non-native speaker goes to work in an English-speaking company
    , then they are going to be subjected to what you called "bad grammar, slang and general misuse of words" on a daily basis, probably several times a day.

    So many commonly used phrases don't translate directly from English to any other language, but that won't stop them being used nor should it stop us advising learners of the meaning and usage.
    E

  10. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,103
    #10

    Re: This sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by GIXTER View Post

    Yes, I consider 21 years of age to be relatively 'new' in terms of an idiom,
    It's not. Of course, if you've been in a time capsule, some of these new idioms would be worrying.

    However, my point is; should a relatively 'new' idiom be used in a message to convey important information to all staff?
    Yes, it should (if new = 25 years old).

    Particularly when one considers that the insertion of it renders the sentence somewhat incoherent and disjointed.

    It really doesn't matter how disjointed or incoherent an idiom is. If the person receiving the message understands the idiom, the message has got through - perhaps more reliably than if a literal message was given.

    I agree that the nature of the illness need not necessarily be specified in that particular message. However, I'm unhappy with describing someone as simply "sick"; I am much happier using the less ambiguous term 'ill'.
    Do you believe that the boss would be more enlightened if "ill" was used instead of "sick"? I doubt it.


    I'm sorry, but with all due respect, after reading that paragraph, I feel you have missed the entire purpose and point of my post...especially with that last sentence! The terminology you use and that others appear to understand does not make for the best and correct communication.
    Read your last sentence again.
    Do you consider it wiser to use terminology that you believe the receiver would not understand?


    Think of it like this; If a foreign person had to literally translate the message and as a result is that it made no sense, would that really be a satisfactory outcome?
    If the foreign person doesn't know the idiom, they should indicate that they don't understand the message. The giver of the message then negotiates a different wording until the foreigner understands.

    Whilst I concede that using this particular example is a touch pedantic, the fact remains that this tendency and modern trend to 'abuse' the English language with bad grammar, slang and general misuse of words can only results in unsophisticated communication and ultimately communication failure, which is a much bigger issue than people may realise. See 'Abolition of Man; by CS Lewis.
    That may be true. What's your solution?
    R.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Which sentence is the best topic sentence?
    By sandy319 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-May-2010, 19:20
  2. How make passive-voice sentence to active voice sentence.
    By meialouca in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-Jun-2009, 10:30
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Nov-2008, 19:23
  4. Nuclear Sentence vs Periodic Sentence
    By Deepurple in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Sep-2008, 12:15
  5. Are there softwares to speak English sentence by sentence
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Feb-2004, 18:25

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •