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    #1

    Red face a few interesting questions

    1) In the UK, vagrants asking for change are ubiquitous. I'm interested in the oft-heard sentences they say: some say "spare some change, please"; some say "spare any change, please". In formal grammar, any is only used in question/negative statements but we all know that's all 'too dead in books' and not applicable in real life; therefore, some is possible here. However, are both of them really correct? Are there any differences in meaning?

    2) vocabulary: I've asked 2 native English speakers and they were not sure about this
    a) You know how we have the oyster card / key fob which has to get 'in contact' with some device in order to, say, enter the gate/premise... what's the exact verb to describe the action. I mean, this action is very common all around the world. It's not exactly 'swiping' like credit card. Swiping refers to 'sliding' the card in that narrow slot in the reader, right? So, what's the word for that gentle touch/hit if not swiping?

    b) We can hang up the phone, cut someone off, not answering the phone... but how do we say before we even pick it up, we cut the line off? is there some sort of phrasal verb/verbs referring to that specific action?

    3) Last, I don't quite understand what this sentence means.
    "WE have your best intention in mind"
    Does it mean, we know full well what your want, implying that we'll do our best for your interest?

    Very Many Thanks!

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    1) In the UK, vagrants asking for change are ubiquitous. I'm interested in the oft-heard sentences they say: some say "spare some change, please"; some say "spare any change, please". In formal grammar, any is only used in question/negative statements but we all know that's all 'too dead in books' and not applicable in real life; therefore, some is possible here. However, are both of them really correct? Are there any differences in meaning?
    Both are correct. But your logic is bad. The notion that " 'any' is only used in question/negative statements" does not mean that 'some', or any other word, can't be used in question/negative statements. It means that 'any' can't be used in positive phrases.
    What does "too dead in books" mean?



    2) I don't know

    3) Last, I don't quite understand what this sentence means.
    "WE have your best intention in mind"
    Does it mean, we know full well what your want, implying that we'll do our best for your interest?
    It's probably wrong. I think it should be, "We have your best interests in mind". "Best intention" isn't a common phrase. More context is needed to explain the sentence if there is no error in it.
    Very Many Thanks!
    R.

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    #3

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Thanks for pointing out my logic is 'bad'. Perhaps I haven't made myself clear enough. If you are an ESL [English as a second language] learner, you would certainly understand our plight. Textbooks say one thing and reality says another, but you can't abandon textbooks altogether, can you? There's actually implicature in (1). Textbooks treat any and some as the same thing and if any is used, some shouldn't be used. It's like many and much.

    anyway thanks

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    #4

    Re: a few interesting questions

    what do the others think? esp. 1 and 2? thanks

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    #5

    Re: a few interesting questions

    1 Yes, both are possible. Any may sound a bit more tentative.
    2 You can tap your Oyster card.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    1) In the UK, vagrants asking for change are ubiquitous. I'm interested in the oft-heard sentences they say: some say "spare some change, please"; some say "spare any change, please". In formal grammar, any is only used in question/negative statements but we all know that's all 'too dead in books' and not applicable in real life; therefore, some is possible here. However, are both of them really correct? Are there any differences in meaning?
    "Spare any change, please" is really a question - "Can you spare any change [please]?" so it still fits the normal routine of using "any" in questions.

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    #7

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    2) vocabulary: I've asked 2 native English speakers and they were not sure about this
    a) You know how we have the oyster card / key fob which has to get 'in contact' with some device in order to, say, enter the gate/premise... what's the exact verb to describe the action. I mean, this action is very common all around the world. It's not exactly 'swiping' like credit card. Swiping refers to 'sliding' the card in that narrow slot in the reader, right? So, what's the word for that gentle touch/hit if not swiping?

    b) We can hang up the phone, cut someone off, not answering the phone... but how do we say before we even pick it up, we cut the line off? is there some sort of phrasal verb/verbs referring to that specific action?
    [AmE - not a teacher]

    I find it somewhat interesting how new technology often outpaces the vocabulary for it.

    2a) I've heard "wave your badge". I think "swipe" still works, and of course, "tap" sounds good, though I've not heard that yet. I think "touch" may also be used.

    See also Near field communication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    2b) I've used "hang up on them without even answering", or "let it go to voicemail". None of my phones have a button that will do this function, though I wish they did.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Tedwonny - please don't group questions that are completely unrelated into a single post. The thread will quicly become a mess. Post your individual questions in individual threads, with titles that refer to their content.

    My cell phone lets me "decline" an incoming call. My house phone does not. All I can do is "mute" the ringer but the person has to either hang up or wait for voicemail; I can't prevent the phone from continuing to ring (silently).

    I've never heard of an Oyster card. Is that my "badge" that I wave somewhere near the sensor to unlock the door to my buildlind? If so, be aware that it's not a universal term. We just say "badge in."
    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.

  4. Tullia's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I've never heard of an Oyster card. Is that my "badge" that I wave somewhere near the sensor to unlock the door to my buildlind? If so, be aware that it's not a universal term. We just say "badge in."
    An Oyster card is a smart card and e-purse for the transport system in London :)

    The "official" terminology that tends to be used in documentation about it says you "present the card to the reader" but of course in general conversation other verbs do get used. I've heard "swipe", "tap", "wave" and "flash", all mentioned above I think. I have also heard "oyster through" used as a verb meaning "get through the gate using my oyster card", which made me cringe somewhat.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: a few interesting questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    The "official" terminology that tends to be used in documentation about it says you "present the card to the reader"
    Madam Reader, may I present the Oyster card?
    Mr. Oyster, I'm pleased to introduct you to Madam Reader.
    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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