1. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0

    Around or round?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by zaffy, Apr 4, 2010.

    Last year, I point out the time distance to show that I have given this conundrum much thought, someone read a paragraph of my writing and honed in on one particular word 'ROUND'.

    He said, 'Did I not mean around?'

    Yes I did mean around, but until he mentioned it I had not realised that I tended to say and write -round the block - all round nice guy - they went round the back - etc.

    Now, when I am reading, 'round' jumps out at me and I have noticed nobody seems to write around.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    when using the elided version, you must add an apostrophe to show you dropped the 'a'... otherwise, it's a synonym for 'spherical'... so:

    the other way 'round
    he walked 'round the block
    another go-'round

    and so on.........
     
  3. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, just as I thought, but you might notice that this is not adhered to in many books, and it is not only in modern writing. I am reading a fabulous old book of short stories by Nigel Balchin. It was written in the fifties and even he substitutes around for round without the apostrophe.
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    never heard of him, but if he did, then i've no respect for either him or his editor! ;-)
     
  5. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    RE: Nigel Balchin

    Up until last month I hadn't heard of him either.

    I found him in my loft, old red canvas cover, yelllowing pages, musty smell, wonderful.

    His short stories give an idea of I how the past once was. Some of it is not politically correct, but that is interesting in itself.
     
  6. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    as he was an english bloke whose last book was written over 4 decades ago, how his work is punctuated is really not a reliable guide in re how to do your own work now...

    besides which, you can't tell if it was him leaving off that apostrophe, or the publisher...
     
  7. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think our converstaion has derailed slightly. Balchin seems to have captured the subject. What I meant was, many writers, new and old, use round instead of around.
     
  8. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    that they do does not make it correct...
     
  9. zaffy
    Offline

    zaffy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed, but who is correct?
    I was listening to a programme called 'Word of Mouth' on Radio 4. A university professor was saying Strunk and White etc. have a lot wrong. The programme can be listened to again for the next five days, I am sure it will get advocates hoping mad. Just because something is in print it doesn't make it right does it?
     
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    no... nor does one person saying s/w is wrong here and there make it so...
     
  11. Humour Whiffet
    Offline

    Humour Whiffet Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Zaffy, I missed this post in April...

    Balchin (or his editor) was correct. British English prefers “round” as both an adverb and a preposition, unless it is a fixed expression.

    In England, we'd write “The wheels go round.”

    SOURCE: Fowler’s Modern English Usage.
     
  12. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "round" (no apostrophe) is fine in the first two of those. And Shakespeare wrote "Full thirty times hath Phoebus' Cart gone round Neptune's salt wash". Is this another US/British difference in usage?
     
  13. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    I think this must be a British/American thing. It is true that round = spherical, but in plenty of expressions where there is no ambiguity of meaning, e.g. "come round about five" it is normal in British English to write 'round'. It would be much more unusual to write "come 'round about five" these days. The same goes for 'til/til, e.g. "We danced til dawn." Older books may write 'til, but it's pretty unusual now.
     
  14. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    In British English, "Come around" usually means "regain consciousness", so it would be the "come around about five" that would be ambiguous (aside from the ambiguity over whether it means "Come round. Do so at about five", or the more colloquial "Come. Do so at round about five."

    Ah, what fun language is!
     
  15. Humour Whiffet
    Offline

    Humour Whiffet Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I do prefer the U.S. usage if I’m honest. I’ve probably read too much U.S. fiction…
     

Share This Page