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  1. Fife

    Fife Senior Member

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    "A better vocabulary"?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Fife, Nov 23, 2012.

    I was typing and typing and typing... and then I got to a clause that resembled this (example): "Bob has better vocabulary than me." Should it be "Bob has a better vocabulary than me."?

    I mean, vocabulary consists of all the words that you use, right? So I tried to replace it hypothetically with the word "language". "Bob has better language than me." vs. "Bob has a better language than me." After a while, my head start to hurt. Sort of like when you look at a word for too long, it starts to look more and more ambiguous.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. cazann34

    cazann34 Active Member

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    I would say the first example: Bob has better vocabulary than me. Since the word vocabulary means a collection of words and not just one, so no need for the word 'a'. This is my humble opinion.
     
  3. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say "a better vocabulary" because vocabulary is singular - a list of known words. One wouldn't say "Bob has better list of known words than I." (btw, language isn't suitable since it's not a simile, and isn't used in the same manner)
     
  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    "A better vocabulary" is the one that sounds most natural and the one I would choose.
     
  5. Timewalker

    Timewalker Member

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    A better vocabulary.

    Would anyone one say 'He has better collection than me'?
    But still, ther is something uncomfortable with 'a better vocabulary'.
    Maybe someone like Cogito can help.
     
  6. evelon

    evelon Active Member

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    Maybe - Bob's vocabulary is better than mine.
     
  7. cmshepard

    cmshepard Member

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    x2.

    I won't even try. I'd turn it into a paragraph. Sorry I can't be of more help - lol!
     
  8. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "A better vocabulary." Shadowwalker's reasoning is correct.
     
  9. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, 'a' is the grammatically correct way to do it...
     

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