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  1. Banned
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    #1

    can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Dear teachers,

    I bought a second-hand laptop from a friend, Jan.
    I had used it for a weeks before it failed to load the Windows.

    So I wrote to Jan and told her that
    'Jan, the laptop you sold to me is helpless'.

    Please help, teachers.

    Thank you.

    Kitty

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    #2

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Quote Originally Posted by kwfine View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I bought a second-hand laptop from a friend, Jan.
    I had used it for a weeks before it failed to load the (Either "Windows" or "the Windows program") Windows.

    So​, I wrote to Jan and told her that
    'Jan, the laptop you sold to me is helpless'. I would use "worthless"

    Please help me, teachers.

    Thank you.

    Kitty
    Gil

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    I ​would use "useless".

    I had used it for "a week", not "a weeks".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Banned
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    #4

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Is it wrong to use 'helpless' in the above example?

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    #5

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Yes.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Note that laptops are not dead. Nor are websites. To be dead, an entity must have at one time been alive. Perhaps you mean 'non-living', or 'inanimate'.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Note that laptops are not dead.
    If laptops are dead, may they be "not working because there is no power"── quoted from http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/dead_1 Definition #2

    Not a teacher.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: can we use 'helpless' to describe a dead thing, such a computer or a web site

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    If laptops are dead, may they be "not working because there is no power"── quoted from http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/dead_1 Definition #2
    Yes, but my point wasn't related to calling broken things 'dead', which is an acceptable metaphor. I was pointing out that we don't call non-living things 'dead' simply by virtue of their being inanimate - which I think the OP seems to be implying by her subject line.

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