1. Acton
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    Acton Member

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    My love hate relationship with vernacular...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Acton, Sep 12, 2009.

    I'm at that point where I've been staring at the words too long and can't decide what's better or right etc.

    "she had no intention of surrender."

    "she had no intention of surrendering."

    "intentions" ... plural... singular?

    or are they both stupidly wrong? or both stupidly right?

    Another one. "December Holidays, June Holidays, Christmas Holidays." That's how people speak of it... but is that accurate?

    "Every December holidays Andrew came to visit."

    "Every December holiday Andrew came to visit."

    My head tells me singular but my ears tell me that sounds baaaad.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is only one December a year, but several holidays clustered together. I presume he only visits once each December.

    I would threfore rework it to:
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Dave's suggestion is very much to the point. There are times when you must forgo the common vernacular for the sake of clarity in writing. December holidays may well be a common enough expression in everyday speech to refer to a given celebration, but the expression itself is overly vague, because as Dave has pointed out, there are many celebrations during the month of December that merit a holiday.

    Sometimes we hold these vernacular expressions close to our chest and think, "but that's the way I say it," jealously guarding the way that we as individuals speak. We must let this go for the clarity of what we are writing and not cleave so closely to these bits of vernacular.



    As for the first example, I might also reword those out of their common vernacular. Perhaps:

    She had no intent to surrender.

    She had no intention of surrendering
    sounds well enough. Definitely no plural for intention in that choice.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    poor grammar... makes no sense...

    correct...

    singular... plural would make no sense, is used only when more than one intention is referred to, such as: 'his intentions were honorable'

    only the second one is right...

    it could be, depending on how they're used...

    wrong, since 'every' makes it refer to one at a time...

    correct, albeit awkwardly worded...

    probably because it's a poor sentence... try rewording it and see if your ears feel better...
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I would have written the first example like this.

    She wasn't going to surrender.

    I guess I usually avoid normalizations.

    Or: She didn't intend to surrender.

    Now the nomilization is a verb.
     

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