Question (a) is “How did most of the students travel to school?” My answer was “by vehicle”, since car+cycle+bus = 55%. But the maths teacher told me the correct answer is “walk” since it’s the largest piece of pie. Apparently, maths teachers speak a different language from the rest of us.
A new synonym for “transfer”?
Jason: “I doubt he bothered to check if the triple negative made any sense before blitting it over to an NRO editor.” http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=4363
A recent article begins: “Those less intimate with Hungarian political culture should be aware of the significance of March 15th and October 23rd.” Now, although I think we all realise what the author means, she is in fact saying the opposite. This is a kind of rhetorical ellipsis, I suppose, for “should be made aware” or “should make themselves aware”. In speaking, one can get away with infelicities like this, but when you see it written down it jumps out at you. Unless you’re the author or editor, of course.
On Twitter this morning, Crispian Jago wrote: “Just listened to Dawkins talk at the NSS conference.” My reaction to this was that I didn’t know there was an NSS conference today. It took a few moments to realise that Crispian hadn’t been listening to Dawkins speak, he’d been listening to (a recording of) Dawkins’ speech.
It doesn’t bother me much when people leave possessive apostrophes out, and I ignore the Trussists who claim that every error leads to ambiguity, but this was a case where the missing apostrophe did make a difference.
I just noticed someone wrote “Ut oh” and it took me a moment or two to figure out why. Loads of people don’t pronounce their t’s; they replace them with a glottal stop, e.g bo!ul instead of bottle. But they know the words still have a T in them when you write them down. So when they come to write “uh oh” down, they assume they need to write a T where the glottal stop is. Interesting.*