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    #21

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    The British use "different to" instead.
    Some may..!

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    #22

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Now that's a revelation. Is that any better than "different than?"
    Well, only marginally, since 'to' is at least the correct class of word (a preposition) for this sentence-position.

    Unfortunately, however, it is not an appropriate preposition, given the etymology of the word 'different'!

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    #23

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Well, only marginally, since 'to' is at least the correct class of word (a preposition) for this sentence-position.

    Unfortunately, however, it is not an appropriate preposition, given the etymology of the word 'different'!
    Surely if 'than' is used and accepted, then it is pointless to suggest that it is not of the 'correct' class of word.

    If 'to' is used and accepted, then it must be considered appropriate, by its users at least.

    And if we start saying how words should be used today because of their etymology, then we are stepping back into the letters columns of The Times in the 1950s.

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    #24

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Surely if 'than' is used and accepted, then it is pointless to suggest that it is not of the 'correct' class of word.
    I think that's a fundamentally bad argument. People use and accept many concepts that are wrong. That's why we have scientists, scholars and teachers.

    If 'to' is used and accepted, then it must be considered appropriate, by its users at least.
    That's not saying a lot. Obviously a user of some word/concept thinks it's appropriate, or they wouldn't use it.

    And if we start saying how words should be used today because of their etymology, then we are stepping back into the letters columns of The Times in the 1950s.
    I partly agree with the etymology point. But I can't see how you can be a teacher and not be at least partly prescriptivist. Some people simply use words wrongly, for various reasons. If language wasn't for communication, it wouldn't matter. You can't define a usage as being right purely because its user thinks it's acceptable, or we'd all be using Humpty language.
    (I'm not specifically referring to 'different')
    Last edited by Raymott; 13-Nov-2010 at 01:48. Reason: Change it's to its

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    #25

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I think that's a fundamentally bad argument. People use and accept many concepts that are wrong. That's why we have scientists, scholars and teachers.
    Right, but what if teachers and other enlightened people start accepting certain forms? And this is the case of "different than" and "different to".

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    #26

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Right, but what if teachers and other enlightened people start accepting certain forms? And this is the case of "different than" and "different to".
    Then you can accept it as a teacher, and object to it in your free time.

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    #27

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Right, but what if teachers and other enlightened people start accepting certain forms? And this is the case of "different than" and "different to".
    hmmmm.

    I agree with the point you are making but -

    'other enlightened people'.

    This suggests that you regard teachers as enlightened people.

    Try looking back at some of the postings from people whose membership type is given as Teacher and see if you'd care to modify what you said.

    In my case, of course.....

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    #28

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    hmmmm.

    I agree with the point you are making but -

    'other enlightened people'.

    This suggests that you regard teachers as enlightened people.

    Try looking back at some of the postings from people whose membership type is given as Teacher and see if you'd care to modify what you said.

    In my case, of course.....
    I suspect BC was being a tad facetious.

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    #29

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I partly agree with the etymology point. But I can't see how you can be a teacher and not be at least partly prescriptivist. Some people simply use words wrongly, for various reasons. If language wasn't for communication, it wouldn't matter. You can't define a usage as being right purely because it's user thinks it's acceptable, or we'd all be using Humpty language.
    (I'm not specifically referring to 'different')
    OK. Back to being serious.

    I agree that teachers have to be at least partly prescriptive; the plural of child is children, not childs. That is an indisputable fact, and teachers must point this out.

    However, I was suggesting that a consideration of the etymology of a word is irrrelevant when discussing current usage. I am not attempting to define a usage as being right purely because it's user thinks it's acceptable.

    With specific reference to different, It appears that to is acceptable in BrE, than in AmE , and from in both. By acceptable I mean acceptable to educated speakers, teachers, and at least some reputable dictionaries.

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    #30

    Re: Weird US English Part 436

    It's certainly not enough for a usage to be correct that it is (be? ) so deemed by its user. Was the singular intentional, Ray? Nobody says (I think...?) that one person is enough to estabilish new forms in language. It usually takes millions of users these days.

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