Correct English Usage?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by roundiesee, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    Sorry to "rant", but lately I have been reading quite a few threads on new rackets. Something that pops up very often is when the writer goes on to say that the racket in question looks better "in person".
    I may be wrong, but this is not correct English. A racket is "an object" and not "a person". An alternative way to say the same thing might be, "This racket looks better in the flesh", or "The racket looked much nicer when you actually hold it as compared to mere pictures", or something along these lines.
    Would appreciate any comments from English experts.
    Thanks.
     
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  2. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    The observer is the person, not the object being observed.
     
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  3. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The use of "in person" is correct. "In person" is considered an idiom, or idiomatic expression, meaning something is actually present rather than present in an image or representation.
     
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  4. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Hey, who are you calling an idiom?!?
     
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  5. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Agree. This could be interpreted as the writer/reviewer saying how the racquet looked to him when he himself, 'in person', looked at 'it', the racquet, which makes sense.
     
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  6. Nuke

    Nuke Hall of Fame

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    Well, "in the flesh" could be ruled out similarly to "in person", since it is NOT flesh. How about, "Looks nicer in the hand"?
     
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  7. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    Does the listener/reader understand what's being meant? If so, then it's acceptable.

    \linguist
     
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  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    One in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    At least that's what my wife tells me.
     
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  9. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Wait a second. The test for "acceptable" is exclusively dependent upon your audience? That would make for a very, very difficult standard.

    So the following is both acceptable (when speaking to Barbara Billingsly), but unacceptable when speaking to the stewardess?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa1rjCZxtxo
     
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  10. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Yeah, that's kind of a validation of text speak, which is by no means effective communication.
     
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  11. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I am not English or an expert, but I can tell you this much right now – the abhorrent practices of “in person” use have been bugging me more than anything on this forum for a very long time now. They should sticky this thread right on top of the Racquets section, because things are getting way out of control way too quickly the way the system is working now.
     
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  12. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Sarcasm?

    10char
     
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  13. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    The point of communication is to have the listener/reader understand. If they (usage of gender-neutral third-person singular noted) understand, then the communication has served its purpose. To answer your question: yes, the test for acceptability is dependent upon the audience. One speech register may be acceptable in certain situations/with certain audiences, and unacceptable with others.
     
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  14. RealityPolice

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    If both parties understand it, it's entirely effective communication.
     
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  15. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    We have all been far too complacent for far too long. It is time to finally make this right.
     
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  16. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Are you using "acceptable" and "effective" interchangably?

    I'm afraid I'm not fully understanding what you are saying.
     
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  17. roundiesee

    roundiesee Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the support SoBad; I'm glad I am not alone in feeling "uncomfortable" when reading the use of "in person" when referring to how a racket actually looks.
    I suppose many on TT do have their points, and it would seem acceptable when the explanation is given, but somehow it still does not sound right.
    For instance, if I say, "I applied for this job in person", it sounds ok because I'm saying I applied for the job personally; but when someone says, "This racket looks much better in person"; you are in effect using "person" to describe the "racket".
    If I am splitting hairs then I do apologise........ :(
     
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  18. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Maybe you can say "this racket is not very photogenic".


    ;)
     
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  19. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

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    It's a perfectly fine usage of "in person." The racket isn't the one who's looking.
     
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  20. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    it bugs me, yes, but nowhere near as much as the juxtaposition of 'lose' and 'loose'.

    e.g. : "my pitiful attempts to emulate Roger's perfect form are causing me to loose too many matches!"
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
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  21. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

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    Would you believe that this is a grammatically correct sentence?

    "The boy the girl the dog chased liked fainted."
     
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  22. Photoshop

    Photoshop Professional

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    ^^incorrect use of i.e. and e.g. irks me too ;)
     
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  23. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I blame the HIMM for spreading the "in peson" usage to weaken Western Democracies.
     
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  24. ThoughtCrime

    ThoughtCrime Rookie

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  25. Avles

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    I understand that you're coming at this from the descriptivist perspective, but I think you're oversimplifying things. If both parties understand the message, but one party is distracted, offended, or moved to contempt because of the way the message is constructed, it's not necessarily effective communication in a real-world sense. And what is "acceptable" depends greatly on context and expectations.

    I agree that "in person" is fine here, in part because there's no convenient alternate way to express this idea ("in the flesh" sounds weird, and the OP's other suggestion is pretty awkward). As is often the case, this usage exists because it fills a need.
     
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  26. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Or you could simply say "I prefer to see the racquet in person," which is equivalent to "I would prefer to be there in person." The second example makes it perfectly clear that "in person" is referring to the observer, not the object - which I stated earlier. There's really no need to make excuses for the vernacular, as some people are doing.

    /thread
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
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  27. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    Uh huh. That works for a 1-to-1 dynamic, if both parties are familiar with eachother... maybe. It becomes a lot more questionable when the writing is subject to a medium that reaches multiple people (or strangers), such as this forum. Who's to say that one party understands the other? The rules of written grammar and syntax exist for a reason, to ensure that emphasis, tone, and inference - things that are normally communicated via facial mannerisms, hand gestures, and voice - are understood by any audience.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
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  28. OTMPut

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    Do you know what "juxtaposition" means?

    Also, try using "however" instead of "but". It is recommended.
     
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  29. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    We need chrischris to clear this up for us.
     
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  30. dParis

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    This.

    10 semicolons.
     
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  31. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    True, I'm coming at it more from a linguistic perspective than a grammarian perspective (although there may yet be a few prescriptivists in the linguistic field; we may not have hunted them all down yet). It may perhaps be an oversimplification, as context, politeness, and other factors need to be considered, but at its root, communication is the goal of language, and so long as the idea is communicated and understood clearly, the form of the communication is of lesser importance. (As in that run-on sentence I just constructed.) In an internet forum such as this, the range of appropriate form and register is much greater than in , say, an academic environment; the aforementioned "lose/loose" conflation may rankle my inner prescriptivist a tiny bit, but it's wholly irrelevant and not worth a single extra point of blood pressure--likewise, the use of "in person" in the OP, or even the unmentioned "racket/racquet" conflation, which has been worn by time into acceptability.

    And yes, the "acceptability" of a communicative utterance is indeed bounded by context, audience, and other factors. If I didn't make that clear earlier, then my communication was pretty ineffective. :)
     
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  32. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    The one we had to diagram in syntax class was The elephant the tortoise the hare the girl watched pushed bit tripped.

    It was around that point that I realized I was a better phonologist than syntactician. And that sentence wasn't even that convoluted!
     
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  33. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    gr8!! /\/\@Ѐ m3 †h!n|< 0ƒ:

    "Can you raed tihs?

    i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid; aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

    The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!"

    :mrgreen:
     
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  34. dParis

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    This is one of my top 10 favorite posts, at the moment.
     
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  35. RealityPolice

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    Great!! Made me think of:

    {the appended text is actually a commonly-cited experiment.}
     
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  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The ubiquitous inappropriate use of the word "sarcasm" when the word "irony" should have been used?
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    please ...... don't drag your wife down to your level ......
     
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  38. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    As per my dictionary app:

    Sarcasm -

    1. harsh or bitter derision or irony
    2. a sharply ironical taunt sneering or cutting remark

    Was the post that I quoted not cutting enough for your tastes?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
    #38
  39. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I believe it's a ridiculous sentence. I suppose it's talking about a boy who fainted, and a girl who liked him was chased by a dog, and you could probably diagram it in "correct" form, but it's useless as communication, so what's the point?

    I don't think there are real good options to discriminate between seeing an object as opposed to seeing a picture or image of an object. Maybe you could say "seeing it directly" but I think "seeing it in person" is just fine. At any rate, there are many more horrible language sins committed on these forums by the dozens, daily.
     
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  40. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Shortest grammatically correct english sentence...."Go." Has implied subject (you) and verb.
     
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  41. OTMPut

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    I think he enjoys doing it.
     
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  42. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I have stopped even looking at the Racquets section after I bought my last pair a few years ago. The inappropriate language, the incessant overpersonalization of peoples’ relationships with their racquets, and the juvenile “sleeping with racquets” themes that have become too common over the years, have collectively convinced me to look in other subforums for a quality tennis debate.
     
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  43. adamX012

    adamX012 Rookie

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    Sigh.... hey, wear a pair of new glasses with a right prescription on it....

    Is that only in "racquets" section? Common.. it's everywhere throughout the TTW.

    Enjoy posting...
     
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