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  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    Nor would I, but I'm certain I've heard it multiple times by AmE speakers. When they wake up, I'm sure one of them will confirm (or otherwise!)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #12

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    They use it for person too, so I guess they are thinking of it as unique.
    'The' makes more sense there - the person (who had spoken).
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 27-Oct-2020 at 11:24. Reason: Fixed typo
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #13

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    "Around back" is perfectly fine in casual American English.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #14

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    I have received an email from one of Baldacci’s staff members, in which she explains as follows: “In this instance, since there was only one voice speaking, I suspect that David chose to use “the voice” (to indicate a specific voice coming from the security system). That said, “a voice” would have been correct as well. It is simply a matter of the author’s preference.” (I’m posting this with her permission.)

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #15

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by emp0608 View Post
    I have received an email from one of Baldacci’s staff members, in which she explains as follows: “In this instance, since there was only one voice speaking, I suspect that David chose to use “the voice” (to indicate a specific voice coming from the security system). That said, “a voice” would have been correct as well. It is simply a matter of the author’s preference.” (I’m posting this with her permission.)
    Wow! That is the first time I have ever known someone actually try to contact an author to ask why they wrote what they did. More to the point, I'm impressed that they replied!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    I can't quite see the point of asking one of Balducci's staff members. Only the author himself is able to satisfactorily answer your question.

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I can't quite see the point of asking one of Balducci's staff members. Only the author himself is able to satisfactorily answer your question.
    I imagine David Baldacci is a bit too busy to deal with the amount of correspondence he probably gets from all over the world. Most authors have agents or other staff members who deal with such enquiries. If the staff member in question knows his writing style well enough, she might well have given a satisfactory answer. At any rate, it's the closest the OP is going to get to a direct answer from the author.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If the staff member in question knows his writing style well enough, she might well have given a satisfactory answer.
    This isn't really anything to do with his style, I don't think. I don't think she's any more qualified than we are to guess what was going on in his mind regarding the choice of article used.

    In fact, when she says it's simply a matter of the writer's preference, I think she's got it quite wrong. This is not merely a matter of preference—the question is why he chose to make reference to the voice in that way.

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    #19

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    To be honest what she writes sounds more like an excuse to me, although I really appreciate her writing back to me. Another thing I should mention is that the fact she has allowed me to share a part of her email with the forum members may indicate that she has obtained a permission from Mr. Baldacci himself.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: Can I help you? said the voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by emp0608 View Post
    To be honest what she writes sounds more like an excuse to me, although I really appreciate her writing back to me. Another thing I should mention is that the fact she has allowed me to share a part of her email with the forum members may indicate that she has obtained a permission from Mr. Baldacci himself.
    We don't use the article (a) there.
    Not a professional teacher

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