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 Post subject: repeated grammar problem
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2003 7:42 pm 
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I don't understand why this mistake has occurred in some places and not others, but "quote" is a verb, and "quotation" is a noun; one quotes a quotation. One would, therefore, contribute a quotation (not a quote), or use a quotation (not a quote), or visit the Random Quotations link.

I should probably try to get over this particular pet peeve; most of the English-speaking world seems to be entirely unaware of the distinction, and I am constantly coming across "quotes" (quote of the day, interesting quotes, here's a great quote, etc.). I may be condemning myself to a lifetime of small frustrations, no? :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2003 11:22 pm 
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Well, this is your first post. Welcome to the Quotations Page website.
The answer to your question, IMHO, is yes.
The word "quote" is a noun and a verb. Get over it.
http://www.m-w.com/home.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 2:11 pm 
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There is an old Indian saying:

“Travelers cross many rivers and climb many mountains. Plainsmen may always live within a single valley, but only those seeking truth will ever reach the summit.”


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 2:13 pm 
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Some dictionaries now list "quote" as a noun as well as a verb, but some dictionaries also list "ain't" as a word; just because people use something doesn't mean that they are using it correctly. Dictionaries are supposed to be both a way to check whether something is correct and also a sort of snapshot of language usage at the time (which is why the OED has declared that split infinitives are no longer completely incorrect). Language is supposed to be ever-changing, but pinning change on the lowest common denominator is not necessarily the wisest course of action.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 4:22 pm 
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There is not a single 'mistake' on this site regarding the use of the words 'quotes' and 'quotations'. There are several deliberate and considered uses of a generally-accepted colloquialism, though.

Our FAQ has a short answer to this issue:
http://www.quotationspage.com/faq.php#90.1

The real answer: we use the word 'quotes' because that's the word most people type into Google to search for quotations, and we want them to find this site when they do.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2003 5:45 pm 
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In Csalmon's reply, the word "ain't" is mentioned. I remember the first time I saw that the word actually had an apostrophe. That just struck me as rather ironically humorous; that for a word that was supposedly incorrect in the first place, everyone went to the trouble of using an apostrophe. Maybe it's just me, but it strikes me as funny.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 8:48 am 
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csalmon wrote:
but some dictionaries also list "ain't" as a word


"Ain't" is not a new or odd dictionary entry, as many believe. It's a legitimate English contraction of "am not" that dates back to the 1700s. (thenostromo, your instinct about the apostrophe -- to form the contraction -- was dead on.) The incorrect usage of "ain't" generated the now common belief that the word "ain't" is always incorrect.

What happened to "de-legitimize" this word reveals how class consciousness often affects the evolution of language. As a contraction of "am not," "ain't" can only correctly be used with the first person singular -- as members of the well-educated British upper class used it for a long time. (They also pronounced it "ahnt" instead of as a word that rhymes with "paint.") However, less-educated folk began using "ain't" with second and third person, both singular and plural. While "I ain't" is absolutely correct usage, "you ain't" and "they ain't" are not. The incorrect usage became so common that the upper class gradually dropped "I ain't," which fueled the growing perception that "ain't" was slang, not really a word, an uneducated word, etc.

Interesting note: "Ain't I?" is correct and "Aren't I?" (which most "educated" people use) is not. There is no subject-verb agreement "I are not." It only works correctly with second person: "Aren't you?"

Of course, the belief that "ain't" is incorrect is so widespread that using it, even correctly, may cause ridicule and fingerpointing. I'd say still avoid it in job interviews. But for those who are bold enough, here's a delightful recommendation from Robert Beard, the Chief Linguistic Officer for yourdictionary.com:

"Please feel free to say 'ain't.' But use it correctly: It is the perfectly legitimate contraction of 'am not.' The next time you want to shock and amaze someone with your linguistic savvy, don't say, 'Aren't I smart?' Say, 'Ain't I smart?' And you are. " (Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/online/44/jtbeard.html)

(Mr. Fussbudget, I'm surprised you weren't all over this one -- but thanks for giving me a rare opportunity to contribute to the forum.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2003 12:21 pm 
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Ah, I breath a sigh of relief for two reasons:
One, it appears I ain't stupid.
Second, Luna is back!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 7:27 am 
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This topic would not be complete unless Mr. Fussbudget puts his two cents in. :)


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 Post subject: "Ain't I" is correct
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:18 pm 
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Thank you for the bit about "ain't"--I didn't know that. This sort of thing is precisely why I enjoy studying language, and why I loved my linguistics class in college. One visiting professor and I had an ongoing debate about language, grammar, and usage; he believed that, as language is ever evolving, we just shouldn't bother with rules at all. I, obviously, didn't agree. I haven't the slightest problem with the fact that language changes, but sometimes I had real difficulty making sense of what he was saying--he preferred the Russian sentence structure, which places no value whatsoever on word order and relies entirely on case endings to clarify things. He would have had a devil of a time with law, where the slightest ambiguity can lead to litigation.

I'm glad to know that the use of "quote" is intentional, and I certainly understand the reasoning behind it. As I said, it's one of my pet peeves--up there with people who believe that "I" is always correct and "me" is always incorrect--so it's the sort of thing which catches my attention, while I might well miss something else entirely. It seems that others have the same problem, though not necessarily with "quote."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:30 pm 
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BTW, sorry I didn't check the FAQ before starting this. I don't know why I didn't; it's the sort of thing I usually do. However, in my defense, I didn't refer to anyone as an idiot.

If you want to hear stupid questions, work the customer service desk anywhere. That was one of my summer jobs, in a bookstore, and I was constantly amazed at the incredible stupidity which was paraded before me on a daily basis. That experience certainly lowered my opinion of the American public education system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2003 11:13 pm 
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No one said that you did "refer to anyone as an idiot."
If that was a reference to my remark "It appears I ain't stupid," I was just making a joke.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:48 am 
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I think he was referring to my FAQ answer, which facetiously uses the word 'idiots' in the question. For the record, nobody has actually yet called us idiots when asking that question. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 11:11 pm 
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Don't worry--I do have a sense of humor; no one offended me. :) I would hope that no one would submit a question in which the recipients were called idiots, though the prevalence of good manners has certainly descreased in recent years, so I guess I can't count on it. Oh, and by the way, I'm a she, not a he.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 3:26 pm 
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I worked at a bookstore (on a part-time basis) during the summer of 1996. It was an educational experience but I did not enjoy shelving books. Selling books requires very little sales technique. You simply help the customer to find the book and then put the book in their hands. During the three months that I worked at Walden Books I never met a cutsomer that struck me as stupid. Customers were constantly asking, "have you read this book?" In most cases the answer was "no." It was better to say, "no, but I plan to read it soon." Sometimes I would just say something like, "Yes, it is the best book that I ever read."

One night this guy came into the store. He was dressed like Elvis. (Had on a dark wig and sunglasses.) He tried to rob the cash but I talked him out of it with some Go Ju Ryu (Gojuryu) negotiations. That was my last night at the bookstore. :roll:


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