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#213195 - 11/13/13 03:12 AM Which sentence is the correctly joined?
Lionel Koh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 41
The police had been looking for the snatch thief for the past two weeks. Rupert was the snatch thief. (This is a question which tests students on synthesis of sentences.)

Where I live, the second sentence refers to the fact that Rupert was the snatch thief. I wonder whether native speakers interpret it that way.

I have joined above underlined sentences as follows and wonder which sentence is correctly joined? If neither, how should the sentences be joined? Thanks.

Rupert was the snatch thief, whom the police had been looking for the past two weeks.

Rupert, whom the police had been looking for for the past two weeks, was the snatch thief.


Edited by Lionel Koh (11/13/13 03:15 AM)

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#213199 - 11/13/13 11:12 AM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Lionel Koh]
Lionel Koh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 41
Could somebody please help?

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#213213 - 11/14/13 02:01 AM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Lionel Koh]
jenny jenny Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
The police had been looking for the snatch thief for the past two weeks. Then Rupert was found to be the snatch thief.

But remember, Lionel.
Rupert is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his peers.
Is not your world the same?

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#213216 - 11/14/13 08:12 AM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Lionel Koh]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
Rupert is PRESUMED innocent till found guilty.

I'd go with:

Rupert was the snatch thief that the police had been looking for the past two weeks.

No comma and that instead of whom. This is a good old fashioned restrictive clause. Presumably there are other snatch thieves out there that the police were either not looking for or who they had not been looking for for the past two weeks.

The other version assumes the police already knew Rupert was the snatch thief or that he was being sought by the police for some other matter. I'm assuming that the police were looking for the snatch thief and that all you are saying is that that snatch thief was, in fact, Rupert. And if you want to go all high-register I would pied-pipe that whom up front and say:

Rupert, for whom the police had been looking for the past two weeks, was the snatch thief.

If you want good old colloquial English, who is just fine in this context:

Rupert, who the police had been looking for for the past two weeks, was the snatch thief.

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#213217 - 11/14/13 09:35 AM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Faldage]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
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while we're about this, what's the origin of "snatch thief"? it certainly isn't an idiom you hear in American English.

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#213227 - 11/14/13 07:45 PM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Lionel Koh]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
Google ngrams doesn't find it in British English, either.

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#213259 - 11/17/13 01:48 PM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: tsuwm]
Lionel Koh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 41
[quote=tsuwm]while we're about this, what's the origin of "snatch thief"? it certainly isn't an idiom you hear in American English. (This link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snatch_theft)defines "snatch thief".)


Edited by Lionel Koh (11/17/13 01:59 PM)

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#213260 - 11/17/13 04:27 PM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Lionel Koh]
tsuwm Offline
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Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
>a criminal act, common in Southeast Asia and South America

yes, I gathered this much, but those are rather geographically separate areas, and this doesn't really address my question as to the origin of the term.

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#213263 - 11/17/13 08:26 PM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Lionel Koh]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
I, for one, don't see a problem with the phrase snatch thief. It's not used in American, or apparently British, English but it is immediately obvious what it means.

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#213265 - 11/17/13 10:41 PM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: Faldage]
tsuwm Offline
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I don't have a problem with it either, I was just wondering about the origin (he said for the third time).

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#213266 - 11/18/13 01:18 AM Re: Which sentence is the correctly joined? [Re: tsuwm]
Lionel Koh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: tsuwm
I don't have a problem with it either, I was just wondering about the origin (he said for the third time).

As for the origin, I think we need the help of a native speaker. What I have provided is the best I can do.


Edited by Lionel Koh (11/18/13 03:26 AM)

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#213271 - 11/18/13 10:23 AM Re: who burgled the orientated? [Re: Lionel Koh]
zmjezhd Offline
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Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
origin

It is from the English verb snatch and the noun thief: it is a compound word meaning a thief who snatches (something) from another.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#213273 - 11/18/13 12:38 PM Re: who burgled the orientated? [Re: zmjezhd]
tsuwm Offline
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Loc: this too shall pass
we know.. we know! but from where did it originate?! (he asked for the fourth time.)

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#213276 - 11/18/13 04:02 PM The last time I'm asking you for the fourth time. [Re: tsuwm]
jenny jenny Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
Originally Posted By: tsuwm
we know.. we know! but from where did it originate?! (he asked for the fourth time.)


Say tsuwm; bank robber, kid napper, house burglar, and purse snatcher are noun phrases that particularize the crime with the perpetrator. Just add "snatch thief" to your worthless word list and ascribe the first American usage to:

LIONEL KOH
AWAD
11-15-13


It is a good word. smile



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#213277 - 11/18/13 05:14 PM Re: The last time I'm asking you for the fourth time. [Re: jenny jenny]
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
nice parallels there, jj..

a bank robber robs a bank
a kid napper naps a kid
a house burglar burgles a house
a purse snatcher snatches a purse
:: a snatch thief thieves a _____??

crazy

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#213278 - 11/18/13 07:00 PM Re: who burgled the orientated? [Re: tsuwm]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
we know.. we know! but from where did it originate?! (he asked for the fourth time.)

From some English speakers somewhere. Snatch thief is more like cutpurse or pickpocket than purse snatcher. Compounds are very tricky and can be studied endlessly for fun. I know: you'll be asking a fifth time, so I'll go take a look at the same references who have access to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snatch_theft

Actually, the two examples I gave are really not parallel either. May snatch theif is a back formation of snatch theft.

Actually, it's more like sneak thief.

Searching Google Books I found its use in 1914 in a book about Pittsburgh, PA: link). Also, 1869 in Scientific American (link). Snatch cly 'a thief who snatches women's pockets' is in Grosse's Lexicon Balatronicum 1811 edition ([url=Lexicon Balatronicum]link[/url]).

Got up and left the computer and headed upstairs to my library to look at the B&M OED1. Under snatch: Shakespeare used snatcher as a synonym for thief; an 17th centuryEnglish-French dictionary had snatch pastry as a thief of pastries. Looked at Greens slang dictionary but nothing new there. Later, I'll take a look at snatch (v.) in the Middle English online dictionary. I assume it was used even then for steeling.
_________________________
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

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#213281 - 11/19/13 01:36 AM Re: The last time I'm asking you for the fourth time. [Re: tsuwm]
Lionel Koh Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 41
Originally Posted By: tsuwm
nice parallels there, jj..

a bank robber robs a bank
a kid napper naps a kid
a house burglar burgles a house
a purse snatcher snatches a purse
:: a snatch thief thieves a _____??

crazy

A snatch thief snatches something from his/her victim.


Edited by Lionel Koh (11/19/13 01:40 AM)

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#213282 - 11/19/13 07:45 AM Re: The last time I'm asking you for the fourth time. [Re: Lionel Koh]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
Imagined parallelism between apparently similarly formed noun phrases is nonsense.

You meet in a meeting house but you don't have a fire in a fire house.
A house burglar burgles a house but a cat burglar does not burgle a cat.

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#213283 - 11/19/13 09:52 AM Re: The last time I'm asking you for the fourth time. [Re: Lionel Koh]
jenny jenny Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 1494
Loc: Lower Aberdeen, Mississippi
Lionel,
The boys me thinks were just being boys when tsuwm offered his Socratic riff. The punch line is that "snatch" is an American slang word for "vagina". American men don't age gracefully. They remain teenagers until they die. The only reason they stop stealing hubcaps is that it is hard to run with four hubcaps and a cane. -jj smile

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#213285 - 11/19/13 10:49 AM Re: The last time I'm asking you for the fourth time. [Re: jenny jenny]
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
thanks jj. I guess you're really just one of the guys. laugh

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