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  1. #1
    LiuJing is offline Member
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    The story does not sound [credulous].

    I heard someone on a China's English television channel say 'the story does not sound very credulous' and that does not sound quite right to me.

    Only people or animals can be credulous, right?

  2. #2
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    Quote Originally Posted by LiuJing View Post
    I heard someone on a China's English television channel say 'the story does not sound very credulous' and that does not sound quite right to me.

    Only people or animals can be credulous, right?
    Hello, [I am not a teacher and not an English],

    I agree with you but I believe it is a mistake or perhaps an idiom, I am not sure about the idiom.

    Cordially,

  3. #3
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    He or she used the word incorrectly. However, native speakers often associate credulous with credible due to the fact that both are somewhat synonymous in meaning.

    Postscript: It's alright, though. Not necessary to follow prescriptive rules.
    Last edited by Editors4Writers; 23-Jun-2010 at 16:06. Reason: Postscript

  4. #4
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    Quote Originally Posted by Editors4Writers View Post
    He or she used the word incorrectly. However, native speakers often associate credulous with credible due to the fact that both are somewhat synonymous in meaning.

    Postscript: It's alright, though. Not necessary to follow prescriptive rules.
    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply, but in my mind these two words maybe seem to be similar however, I reckon it's a bad habit to mix the both. It is just what I think.

    Thanks again, and have a nice day.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply, but in my mind these two words maybe seem to be similar however, I reckon it's a bad habit to mix the both. It is just what I think.

    Thanks again, and have a nice day.
    Yes, I agree. It's not a capital offence to use a word incorrectly, but it's a bit disturbing to hear an editor and English teacher saying it's "alright".

  6. #6
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    I sense a bit of animosity from you Raymott. Do you feel threatened by me? I can't recall if I've done anything to offend you.

    There are descriptive and prescriptive rules in the English language. Most of my colleagues, as well as a percentage of native speakers, choose not to be governed by such prescriptive doctrines. Credulous is an adjective, which serves the function to modify nouns. In this instance, grammatically speaking, credulous serves as a wonderful postmodifier.

  7. #7
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    Quote Originally Posted by LiuJing View Post
    I heard someone on a China's English television channel say 'the story does not sound very credulous' and that does not sound quite right to me.

    Only people or animals can be credulous, right?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, LiuJing.

    (1) Yes, I think you are correct.

    (2) But we must be very kind toward that person because THE COLUMBIA

    GUIDE TO STANDARD AMERICAN ENGLISH reminds us that the seven

    words that come from the Latin word "credere" also confuse native

    speakers.

    (a) I would never dare use one of those words without first checking.

    (3) I guess that person should have said:

    The story does not sound very credible.

    That book I mentioned says:

    credible = believable (The dean thought her story credible).

    credulous = gullible, naive (His mother's credulous acceptance of his explanation stunned us).

    *****

    That book also explains:

    (a) incredible = unbelievable (The news was incredible).


    (b) incredulous = unable to believe . Applies to people -- AS YOU SO

    CORRECTLY said. (The expressions on their faces were incredulous.)

    ***** Thank you *****

    P. S. Good news for that person you heard on TV:

    The book says that "incredulous" DID mean "unbelievable" 200 YEARS AGO

    !!!! But not today.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    Quote Originally Posted by Editors4Writers View Post
    I sense a bit of animosity from you Raymott. Do you feel threatened by me? I can't recall if I've done anything to offend you.

    I've never thought that entering into debate with someone who is inadvertently misleading students was a sign of animosity. It's more an effort to get to the truth and place before students a balanced argument. I perceive now that you are unaccustomed to logical debate or being contradicted.


    There are descriptive and prescriptive rules in the English language. Most of my colleagues, as well as a percentage of native speakers, choose not to be governed by such prescriptive doctrines. Credulous is an adjective, which serves the function to modify nouns. In this instance, grammatically speaking, credulous serves as a wonderful postmodifier.
    I know about prescriptive and descriptive rules. And I know that "credulous" is an adjective. That doesn't mean you can use "credulous" in place of an adjective that doesn't mean "credulous", or that you can choose any adjective to mean "credible".
    "Credulous" is a wonderful post-modifying adjective if you mean "credulous". It's less wonderful if you mean something else.
    Last edited by Raymott; 24-Jun-2010 at 06:15.

  9. #9
    rhapsomatrics is offline Junior Member
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I know about prescriptive and descriptive rules. And I know that "credulous" is an adjective. That doesn't mean you can use "credulous" in place of an adjective that doesn't mean "credulous", or that you can choose any adjective to mean "credible".
    "Credulous" is a wonderful post-modifying adjective if you mean "credulous". It's less wonderful if you mean something else.


    Much as I appreciate sticklers for excellence I am always wary of indiscreet ones.Such an elaborate cavil in a place where students are supposed to be helped is undesirable.Correcting people and being corrected by people is a healthy ancillary to progress.I hereby plead with both EDITORS4WRITERS and RAYMOTT to please bury the hatchet a move on.
    Now,with regard to the flagrant thread,or better still,the thread which went flagrant,I think INCREDIBLE means something or someone difficult to believe.That is ,containing,having and holding facts and details which are hard to believe.However,INCREDULOUS means reaction to something incredible.Since it is only human beings who possess the ability to know when something or someone is believable or not,then only human beings can be credulous or incredulous.If you do not believe something,you react incredulously.If you always believe everything,you are too credulous(gullible).
    '"That is an incredible story little wonder the incredulous little smile on her face.'"

  10. #10
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: The story does not sound [credulous].

    I have locked the thread, as requested.

    If there are substantive questions about the original topic or about incredible/incredulous, please start a new thread.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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