1. muneebah
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    muneebah New Member

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    travel or travels?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by muneebah, Aug 23, 2012.

    Hello all!

    I'm new...

    I have a question to ask. I work as a designer and have stumbled across a problem with a logo I have been asked to design.

    The debate is over the name 'Simple Travel' or 'Simple Travels' - for a new travel agent company...they were insisting using the word 'simple travels', but both myself and our content writer noticed this is grammatically incorrect.

    For me 'travels' implies exploration, adventure and is only used in the English language in plural for things like 'Gulliver's Travels' so if a name of someone is put before it it makes sense and makes it specific to adventure/exploration and not generic to traveling.

    The only other place I have found 'travels' used for travel agents is foreigners using it, thinking its correct. That is the case in my company, English is not their first language and we have a split on the meaning. The director is arguing his point that it implies more than one journey, but I think it means adventure/exploration and I do not think it fits with the word 'simple' before it.

    I wanted to ask people who are good with words or 'wordsmiths' what they think the official meaning and using it in this context is correct or incorrect?

    Any advice would be much appreciated. :)

    Muneebah
     
  2. Corgz
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    Corgz Senior Member

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    Really, It comes down to advertising. To most people, travels would seem the best choice because it displays adventure, like you said. BUt if you are going to be grammatically correct about it, i think travel would be the best word.
     
  3. muneebah
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    muneebah New Member

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    Hey,

    Thanks for your reply.

    We want the word to mean travel in general and not be specific to adventure, so I guess my question is what does 'travels' mean? Does it imply 'more than one journey' (generic traveling) or 'adventure' (specific type of travel) as in my understanding? Plus does it make grammatical sense after the word 'simple'
     
  4. muneebah
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    muneebah New Member

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    any thoughts from anyone else?
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've written advertising copy for clients, as well as designed logos, originated company names, et al., and i would strongly advise your client that for a name that would be most effective and appealing to the english-speaking market, 'travel' would make more sense than 'travels'...

    but i'd also strongly suggest a change to 'simply travel' or 'easy travel' or 'easy journeys' and the like, as 'simple' doesn't really mean to most would-be english-speaking travelers what your client seems to think it does...
     
  6. muneebah
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    muneebah New Member

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    Hey there mammamaia,

    Your advice really helps and makes sense! I will advise 'travel' without the 's'. Unfortunately we are stuck with the name 'simple' as its an established in the market, but I didn't want to make the situation any worse that it already is. Also our target market are not necessarily people whose first language is English, but that doesn't mean we should not use correct English right?

    Anyways thanks!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're entirely welcome... and you're right... regardless of the market, any language should be used correctly...

    love and hugs, m
     
  8. DanesDarkLand
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    DanesDarkLand Senior Member

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    Here is the online dictionary definition.

    travels,
    a. journeys; wanderings: to set out on one's travels.
    b. journeys as the subject of a written account or literary work: a book of travels.
    c. such an account or work.

    This is found at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/travel and its number 14 for usage.

    The reason travels can be used is that this form can be a noun.
     
  9. muneebah
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    muneebah New Member

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    Hi Again,

    I received an email this morning...an argument put together by our HR guy, happens to have worked as a lawyer in his past life:

    "I thought I would summarise my views on the reason why I think 'simple travels' is grammatically correct and why we should keep the phrase. I know for most this will be boring but having done some initial research I thought that you may find some of this interesting! I haven't gone into morphology and etymology, since not necessary to make the case plus I definitely didn't want to bore you to death!

    Travels as a Verb

    Travels as you know is a verb, coming from the infinitive ‘to travel,’ so you have ‘travelling,’ ‘travelled’ and ‘travels.’ The inflection ‘s’ in travels denotes tense, meaning it is in its present tense and by definition in its third person singular form. The word ‘simple’ is an adjective, which describes the verb ‘travels’ in its present, 3rd person singular tense.

    So it is not possible to see when construing the word from this grammatical perspective that the word is plural because verbs do not usually take a plural form. Hence, you were right to say that it is not plural form. However, this is where things get a little interesting and there is grammatical coherence in the way the two words ‘simple travels’ sit.

    Rule of adjective & nouns

    Traditionally the nouns and adjectives sit together and the adjective describes the noun so you have phrases like the ‘tall boy.’ Tall being the adjective and the boy being the noun. It would hence be grammatically incorrect to read the words ‘simple travels’ as adjective and verb because by definition adjectives do not describe verbs but rather nouns.

    The grammatical definition of a word can change subject to the arrangement in a sentence for instance in the phrase ‘simple travels’ because of what we know about the function of adjectives and their relationship with nouns. We know that the use of the verb ‘travels’ has changed and is playing the role of a noun.

    Simple Travel v Simple Travels

    Clearly, if we follow the above argument ‘simple travel’ is grammatically correct, since the latter adheres to the rule that adjectives describe nouns. However, as a noun travel is in its singular form and denotes ones journey that is simple.

    By adding the inflection ‘s’ here transforms the word travel to a plural noun rather than denoting tense (as it would if it were being read as a verb), which indicates a series of journeys and the activity or business of arranging trips or providing services for travellers.

    Hence the case for simple travels threefold:

    Grammatically correct; and
    Commercially viable because it promotes idea of the travel agency, which facilitates by definition multiple journeys;
    Aesthetically more pleasing."


    is he correct or is there room for a counter argument?
     
  10. muneebah
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    muneebah New Member

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    Here's what our content writer has to say...

    "Personally, I don't think it matters if there is a technical argument for the grammar (on the flip side, there are loads of glaringly incorrect ad campaigns and brand names, i.e, this one that work just fine http://thestar.com.my/english/story.asp?file=/2012/7/10/lifefocus/11572022&sec=lifefocus). For me, it's about colloquial use of the term "travels". I think the average person will find it sounds incorrect and whether it technically works is not the point.

    My opinion is that it comes across as a poor-English-speaking person misusing the verb, and we need to consider whether that's an image we want to portray -- and it could be that it is, if our target market IS non-English speaking or English as a second language customers, and so that is how they use the verb and will relate to it. But even if that point of view is taken, are we always aiming for that to be our target customer? I assume we want to be commercially viable to the entire travel market, not just foreigners in the UK.

    And, of course as you mentioned before, it does not fit the rest of the brands if it's in plural form. It's inconsistent with our overall branding."

    I'm not sure her example of 'I'm lovin' it' is the best as its a lyric from a song by Justin Timberlake, so it's not supposed to be grammatically correct, just 'cool' enough for people to associate with it.

    Any thoughts? though i think their minds are made up now.
     

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