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#180673 - 12/04/08 07:25 AM at my sister's, of my sister's.
BranShea Offline
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Here's a little thing I longtime wanted to ask. You say:

I will be at my sister's.
She's a friend of my sister's.

In the first sentence this seems clearly to mean: "At my sister's " house or place.
The second form always struck me as odd. "a friend of my sister's" ... what?

Maybe I am making mistakes here, but I just would like to know the details about this. (thanks)

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#180674 - 12/04/08 08:16 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
zmjezhd Offline
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It's called a double genitive (link). Michael Quinion opines (link) about it. The MWDEU is also a good reference (link).
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#180676 - 12/04/08 08:35 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: zmjezhd]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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I would just say "a friend of my sister." no possessive.
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#180679 - 12/04/08 10:10 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Buffalo Shrdlu]
BranShea Offline
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Thanks both of you's. smile Then it ws my old school English that put it in my head like that. It is simply oldfashioned, allright. A friend of my sister, just like that from now on.

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#180685 - 12/04/08 03:53 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
Myridon Offline
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Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 557
Loc: Dallas, TX
... and "my sister's friend".

It works well for "friend" (possibly due to the assumption the friend relationship is reciprocal?). but "A picture of my sister" might depict my sister and belong to me or anyone, while "a picture of my sister's" would show anything and belong to her.

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#180686 - 12/04/08 05:48 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Myridon]
BranShea Offline
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Ha, yes, I see. I see . There is a difference in meaning when you consider the picture sentence. But what is odd is the 's'.

A picture of my sister's. The s looks like a leftover from his.
"My sister his picture". But then my sister is a her. Then I do understand you can't write or say " my sister'r picture".
You could say though: "my brother's picture = " my brother his picture", hey ho ! Sinking deeper and deeper in the mud. eek

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#180688 - 12/04/08 08:11 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: BranShea


A picture of my sister's. The s looks like a leftover from his.
"My sister his picture". But then my sister is a her. Then I do understand you can't write or say " my sister'r picture".
You could say though: "my brother's picture = " my brother his picture"


This is a commonly held misunderstanding of the origin of the 's possesive marker in English. It really comes from one of the most common OE inflexional endings for the genitive singular.

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#180694 - 12/04/08 10:55 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
The Pook Offline
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Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1067
Loc: Tasmania
The only basic mistake you're making Bran is to expect logic or consistency from the English language!

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#180723 - 12/06/08 06:28 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: The Pook]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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This reminds me of the discussion of earlier this year concerning where do Churches come up with things like: " at
St. Bernard's". St. Bernard is dead, cannot be a possessive.
Yet even at the Vatican it is St. Peter's Basilica, in London it is St. Paul's. Someone mentioned the 'genitive' case above: which
as I understand it, indicates 'possession', yet a dead saint cannot possess a Church, etc.etc.etc. I like Pook's comment: don't expect consistence in the English language.
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#180724 - 12/06/08 10:03 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
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Yep, we've been through this before. The genitive covers more than just possession, despite the modern tendency to call it the possessive. You might say, for example, my brother's parole officer. Doesn't mean you brother owns the parole officer.

As to questions about a friend of my sister's, ask yourself this: Would you say a friend of me or a friend of mine.

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#180739 - 12/08/08 01:29 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
OK. None of the languages is consistantly logic,I guess. Right. Of mine is funny too. Better drop the thing then as more and more of these illogical things will turn up.
How can language be logic as we aren't either. (not wanting to offend the totally logic person, whoever he/she might be, on this board )
I still have a totally unreliable computer situation. So I salute you all. Till the next five mites may turn up.


Edited by BranShea (12/08/08 01:30 PM)

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#180742 - 12/08/08 07:48 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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I thought of another example of the genitive not indicating possession:

"There is a red Ford pickup truck in the parking lot blocking access to the loading area. Will the truck's owner please report to customer service."

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#180743 - 12/08/08 08:12 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
twosleepy Offline
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Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 876
Loc: western NY
So, the parking lot is blocking access to the loading area? Why is the truck taking the blame? wink

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#180747 - 12/09/08 06:22 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: twosleepy]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
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Originally Posted By: twosleepy
So, the parking lot is blocking access to the loading area? Why is the truck taking the blame? wink


Uh-huh. What's the word for someone who exhibits willful misunderstanding?

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#180748 - 12/09/08 07:42 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
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Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: twosleepy
So, the parking lot is blocking access to the loading area? Why is the truck taking the blame? wink


Uh-huh. What's the word for someone who exhibits willful misunderstanding?


Faldage?


/snicker
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#180760 - 12/09/08 12:12 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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I like that 'truck's owner' genitive. Good one.
And: would it be "my friend and me went to the store".
Me went to the store????
We have definitely been thru this before.
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#180761 - 12/09/08 12:12 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
You guys must do this all day long to become "carpal tunnel".
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#180770 - 12/09/08 01:09 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 5282
Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
Well Javaneight, I don't think me ever made seven posts a day. grin
But it s a somewhat addictive business.

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#180773 - 12/09/08 02:27 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
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Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: LukeJavan8
You guys must do this all day long to become "carpal tunnel".


heh

I've been here 5 and a half years, so... it adds up.

: )
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#180779 - 12/09/08 07:16 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Buffalo Shrdlu]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: etaoin
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: twosleepy
So, the parking lot is blocking access to the loading area? Why is the truck taking the blame? wink


Uh-huh. What's the word for someone who exhibits willful misunderstanding?


Faldage?


/snicker


Uh-huh.

So lessee, how could I have worded it so y'all couldn't possibly distort the meaning. The original was:
Quote:
"There is a red Ford pickup truck in the parking lot blocking access to the loading area."


How about :

"There is a red Ford pickup truck blocking access to the loading area in the parking lot."

No, that makes it sound like the loading area is in the parking lot.

How about:

"In the parking lot there is a red Ford pickup truck blocking access to the loading area."

Well, that's a little awkward, isn't it.


How about:

"There is a red Ford pickup truck in the parking lot blocking access to the loading area."

Yeah, that's it. Wait a minute, that's the original. Hmm.

And who's blaming anyone, or thing?

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#180785 - 12/09/08 08:09 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
twosleepy Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 876
Loc: western NY
"There is a red Ford pickup truck in the parking lot, blocking access to the loading area."

Works for me...

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#180787 - 12/09/08 09:10 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: twosleepy]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
You got it! And you can easily hear the comma over the mall's public address system, too.

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#180794 - 12/09/08 10:21 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
twosleepy Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 876
Loc: western NY
"There is a red Ford pickup truck blocking access to the loading area."

There. smirk

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#180796 - 12/09/08 10:29 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
latishya Offline
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Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 390
Loc: कहीं &...
Originally Posted By: Faldage
I thought of another example of the genitive not indicating possession:

"There is a red Ford pickup truck in the parking lot blocking access to the loading area. Will the truck's owner please report to customer service."


This reminded me of a recent post at LanguageLog
Believed to be an F-18

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#180800 - 12/10/08 06:28 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: latishya]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: latishya


Another case where it seems to me to be a lot of effort involved in misunderstanding it.

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#180808 - 12/10/08 11:28 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
As long as it is not my red truck blocking anything, I'm Ok with it.
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#180809 - 12/10/08 11:30 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Thanks you guys for your responses on Carpal Tunnel.
I go to this sight before opening any of my daily emails. I see what you mean by addictive. By the way, I hear there is a
Computerusers Anonymous, similar to AA.
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#180818 - 12/10/08 03:04 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
latishya Offline
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Registered: 11/24/07
Posts: 390
Loc: कहीं &...
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: latishya


Another case where it seems to me to be a lot of effort involved in misunderstanding it.


When I read that piece I thought the misunderstanding was deliberate and for humorous effect rather than nitpicking.

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#180819 - 12/10/08 04:21 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: latishya]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
I think I may be missing something Latishya, I just read the
piece you referred to re; the Fl8. And now they have found another victim. But referring the reporting by the media. I have found that they hardly ever use correct grammar. But it is mostly hype anyway, just to sell their story for more advertising money, witnessed by some phrase like "first exclusively reported here on this station". So I am not surprised by anything the media say.
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#181525 - 01/07/09 07:53 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Faldage]
ParkinT Offline
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Registered: 10/30/06
Posts: 293
Loc: Orlando
Originally Posted By: Faldage
Originally Posted By: latishya


Another case where it seems to me to be a lot of effort involved in misunderstanding it.

Working closely with US Air Force pilots, they often "become one with the aircraft" and feel the ship is just an extension of their human body!!
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#181533 - 01/07/09 12:24 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: ParkinT]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water



I believe it, emotional attachment.
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#204467 - 02/01/12 10:39 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: ]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Hi -back at you. Welcome.
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#204490 - 02/04/12 07:34 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
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Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
Good to have you here, zeun. We're a mad bunch, but mostly harmless!
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#204494 - 02/04/12 11:41 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: Rhubarb Commando]
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6487
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Be careful with that statement RC.
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#204505 - 02/05/12 10:01 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: LukeJavan8]
Rhubarb Commando Offline
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Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 1074
Loc: Lancaster, UK
Careful? Me? C'mon, now - I have a reputation to maintain.
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#204510 - 02/05/12 02:01 PM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Incidentally, getting back to the original question:
Back when case meant something in English and we actually marked it in nouns different prepositions took different cases in their noun objects. We have dumped all case markings in nouns except the genitive. So, the one case where it is shown we think is abnormal. Really, it's all the instances where it's not shown that are the abnormal ones.

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#204512 - 02/06/12 01:56 AM Re: at my sister's, of my sister's. [Re: BranShea]
BranShea Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
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Loc: Netherlands, the Hague
I dug up the initial post
Originally Posted By: BranShea
Here's a little thing I longtime wanted to ask. You say:

I will be at my sister's.
She's a friend of my sister's.

In the first sentence this seems clearly to mean: "At my sister's " house or place.
The second form always struck me as odd. "a friend of my sister's" ... what?

Maybe I am making mistakes here, but I just would like to know the details about this. (thanks)

I reread the Michael Quinion article from Jim's link and keep on using the double genitive anyway as it's stuck in my head since schooldays. > link

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