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Thread: the creature

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    #11

    Re: the creature

    Quote Originally Posted by magic dragon View Post
    Tdol, I'd like you to give me advice on how I should correct.
    The best way to express the idea is the way that Lewis used—that is, A.

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    #12

    Re: the creature

    Thank you jutfrank.
    Let me give an opinion about "the creature" in C, based on the arguments in my previous reply. My concern is whether or not B (including "the creature") is a correct expression. (B is of someone's writing, not of my own).

    My awareness of the issues was born when I had some misgivings about the generalization of plural nouns by the noun:
    One of my misgivings is whether the generalization is always possible. For example, in F I wonder "objects (at large)" can be replaced by "the object (as a generalized concept)".
    F: Objects are in space. (I saw this sentence somewhere.)

    I don't think it's possible, for "objects" don't seem to have an upper adjacent class (a narrow class), so doesn't stand in opposition to anything. I think there won't be a corresponding context, either.

    Then I hit on the word "creature", and wondered if creatures at large can be generalized by the creature (as a concept), except when it's used in opposition to the Creator.
    Then there happened to come to my mind C. S. Lewis' words beginning by "creatures are not born---. I searched google for a similar sentence as A beginning by "the creature is not born---", and I was lucky enough to find one. That's B.

    Considering the number of hits is just one, I thought B might be wrong, or at least odd. I can't think of any upper adjacent class "a creature belongs to", so there is no opposition. Only when the Creator is assumed to be as such, does there arise an opposition indeed, I think.

    Anyway I decided to confirm this with native speakers. And so I'm asking to abaka and you.
    What do you think of B and of another similar version of F: The object is in space?
    I myself am doubtful as to the rightness of the 2.

    By the way the "my hypothesis" is as follows:
    If a noun (of course a countable one) has an upper adjacent class (a narrow class) of which it's a member, the generalized noun can be seen as a specified one, irrespective of the reference to the opposition of the noun to other members of the class.

    For example, in C: The lion is a wild animal, or in another example: The lion is a mammal, "the lion" is a generalized concept and belongs to its upper adjacent class. Here
    the requirements for "the lion" being specific is fully met, and referring to the opposition of the lion to other entities is unnecessary.
    It's Just as "the east" (as a generalized concept) is specified by being a member of seasons (its upper adjacent class) irrespective of referring to the opposition. 

    That's my hypothesis, but the word "hypothesis" is a bit exaggerated. I should have used the word "idea" instead. I'd like your opinion.

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    #13

    Re: the creature

    I'd like to comment but I really can't understand what you're saying.

    1) What do you mean by 'upper adjacent class'?

    2) What do you mean by 'in opposition to'?

    3) Regarding B, you're creating a problem that need not exist. The fact is that the correct quote begins Creatures ..., not The creature ..., therefore the latter is incorrect. The fact that someone seems to have written it incorrectly is irrelevant. Please just forget about B!

    Please just try to focus your questioning on one point at a time, and keep your posts clear and concise. It's very hard work trying to follow what you mean.

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    #14

    Re: the creature

    Quote Originally Posted by magic dragon View Post
    Tdol, I'd like you to give me advice on how I should correct.
    I wouldn't presume to correct CS Lewis. He did, after all, write sentences as good as this one:

    There was a boy called Eustace Scrubbs, and he almost deserved it.


    Use his sentence- it's fine, and ignore what you got from the search engine.

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    #15

    Re: the creature

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'd like to comment but I really can't understand what you're saying.

    1) What do you mean by 'upper adjacent class'?

    2) What do you mean by 'in opposition to'?

    3) Regarding B, you're creating a problem that need not exist. The fact is that the correct quote begins Creatures ..., not The creature ..., therefore the latter is incorrect. The fact that someone seems to have written it incorrectly is irrelevant. Please just forget about B!

    Please just try to focus your questioning on one point at a time, and keep your posts clear and concise. It's very hard work trying to follow what you mean.
    to 1)
    I think it's similar to "narrow class" you used. "Near upper class" would be more appropriate.
    To put it broadly, the lion's farthest upper class is things, and less far upper than things is animated things, and still less far upper is animals, and near upper is mammals or wild animals. Of course a more minute classification is possible.

    to 2)
    Sorry, I misused it. I'll change it to "as opposed / contrasted to"

    to 3)
    All right, I will.

    Would you answer the following question?
    Is F a correct sentence?
    F: The object is in space.
    I myself created it for the question. The object here is not a specific object. It is meant to be a generalization of objects. I myself am doubtful as to F. "Objects are in space" would be correct, I think.

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    #16

    Re: the creature

    Quote Originally Posted by magic dragon View Post
    Is F a correct sentence?
    F: The object is in space.
    Well, you'd need a special context to justify using a definite, singular noun phrase there. What could that be?

    I guess you're making a general statement about objects: Objects exist in three-dimensional space.

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    #17

    Re: the creature

    ---Tdol. I don't think B is right, either. I don't think I can trust google search results so much.
    To my students, I of course teach A not B.
    However, my concern here was not which is correct but rather in what point B is wrong in grammatical terms. I thought B's being wrong is because of the invalidity of "the creature", but was not so sure. So I tried to confirm.
    What would you answer if your students asked you why A is correct and B isn't?
    Just affirming A's validity wouldn't be enough. Anyway thank you.
    Last edited by magic dragon; 05-Sep-2019 at 20:51.

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    #18

    Re: the creature

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Well, you'd need a special context to justify using a definite, singular noun phrase there. What could that be?

    I guess you're making a general statement about objects: Objects exist in three-dimensional space.
    "The object" in F is meant to be objects in general, so I think it doesn't need an anaphoric reference. I wrote F as meaning the same as "Objects are in space." of course as a general statement.
    What I asked is whether F is wrong or not. What I'd like to know is why F is wrong and "Objects are in space." is right. I think your example is better, but mine (Objects are in space.) is right, too.

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    #19

    Re: the creature

    What do you mean by 'wrong'? Wrong in what way?

    It's grammatical, if that's what you mean, but that doesn't make it appropriate, or good use of English. Like I said, it could be perfectly appropriate given a suitable context. I'm imagining a philosophical text about ontology, for example.

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    #20

    Re: the creature

    As a matter of fact, I've got a book right here as I type this: The System of Objects by Jean Baudrillard (translated by James Benedict)

    Flicking through it, I see that it is absolutely littered with examples of using the object to refer to the abstracted concept. Here's a selection of some of the section headings:

    The Modern Object Liberated in its Function
    Reverse Projection: The Technical Object and Primitive Man
    The Object Abstracted from its Function
    The Object as Passion
    From Quantity to Quality: The Unique Object
    The Object Destructured: Perversion
    The Pre-Industrial Object
    The 'Personalized' Object

    You might want to give it a read, if you like that sort of thing.

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