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  1. #1
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    all of your help

    The signature line of one of our regular members, which has been bugging me for a long time, reads like this:

    I appreciate all of your help.

    It's clear enough that the idea is to form a possessive of all of you but my mind finds it problematic to parse it that way. I can't help parsing all to relate to the entirety of 'your help' rather than to the entirety of 'you'.

    From this, I have two questions I'd like to ask all of you:

    1) Does this also seem problematic to you? If so, how much?

    2) Can you think of an alternative way of rephrasing, whether in standard form or otherwise?

    In non-standard English, all of y'all's seems to do the job very well, but as well as being non-standard, is heavily regional and hence highly inappropriate to teach to a learner. Other options, such as all of you guys's, are perhaps a little more universal, but certainly no less non-standard, and rather awkward, to my ear.

    Any thoughts on this matter will be very much valued. Thanks.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 03-Mar-2021 at 02:46.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: all of your help

    I hadn't thought of your reading of the phrase. I read it as I appreciate all of the help I get from you (plural). English really suffers for the lack of a standard and distinctive second-person plural.

    My reading might be phrased as I appreciate all of the help I receive here. That makes the givers of the help implicit: they are other forum members.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: all of your help

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I read it as I appreciate all of the help I get from you (plural).
    I can barely believe I didn't even think of it that way. It seems so obvious now you've pointed it out.

    Perhaps this is a case where my mind has become stuck on a certain parsing and is unable to escape. Hopefully, other members, especially the member whose signature line it's a part of, will confirm that this is just me being 'linguistically blind', if I can put it that way, and that all does indeed relate to help and not you.

  4. #4
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    Re: all of your help

    It happens to all of us, jutfrank. I've always loved the story of Darwin's contemporary who, on hearing of evolution, exclaimed "How stupid of me not to have thought of that!"
    Last edited by probus; 04-Mar-2021 at 00:37. Reason: Typo

  5. #5
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: all of your help

    Thanks for the encouragement, probus.

    I'm now almost completely convinced that I am the only one reading the line in the way I mentioned (interpretation 2 below), but I can't quite let it rest until diamondcutter confirms what he actually meant.

    1) all of your help = the entirety of your help
    2) all of your help = the help of each and every one of you

  6. #6
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    Re: all of your help

    You're not the only one, jutfrank. I too thought of 1 first, and added 2 only later.

  7. #7
    diamondcutter is offline Senior Member
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    Re: all of your help

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Thanks for the encouragement, probus.

    I'm now almost completely convinced that I am the only one reading the line in the way I mentioned (interpretation 2 below), but I can't quite let it rest until diamondcutter confirms what he actually meant.

    1) all of your help = the entirety of your help
    2) all of your help = the help of each and every one of you
    Hi jutfrank,

    By saying I appreciate all of your help, I mean I appreciate all the help from all the members on this forum.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: all of your help

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    Hi jutfrank,

    By saying I appreciate all of your help, I mean I appreciate all the help from all the members on this forum.
    If you want to concentrate on the members rather than the help, you'll need to expand.

    I appreciate the help I get from all of you.
    I appreciate the help I get from each and every one of you.

    For me, "I appreciate all your help" would be read only as "all" (the entirety of) + "your help".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: all of your help

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    By saying I appreciate all of your help, I mean I appreciate all the help from all the members on this forum.
    Thanks for answering, diamondcutter. I'm not sure that answers my question perfectly clearly, but I think what you mean is close to interpretation 1.


    Okay, thank you, everybody. I appreciate all of y'all's help. I'm satisfied with the answers and I can finally sleep.

  10. #10
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    Re: all of your help

    It's never seemed odd. I've always read it to mean, Thank you for all of your help.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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