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#114954 - 11/02/03 10:58 PM more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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my sister raised a question about degrees, of the bachelor variety. now I know we've been all through the sisters-in-law, and cupsfuls, blah, blah, but ah well, count me too lazy to liu today...

In reply to:

On August 30, 1881, the Dakota Territorial government granted a charter for the establishment of Yankton College. Mount Marty opened as a junior college (in the midst of the Great Depression) in 1936, and its first four-year bachelor degrees were awarded on May 29, 1951.


which should it be?

bachelor #1: bachelor's degrees
bachelor #2: bachelors' degrees
or
bachelor #3: bachelor degrees

or?...





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#114955 - 11/02/03 11:06 PM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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but warrer bout the maths?

Mount Marty opened [...]in 1936, and its first four-year bachelor degrees were awarded on May 29, 1951. {e.a.}

That's about three degrees of separation, surely!



#114956 - 11/02/03 11:12 PM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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well, they didn't offer none of them fancy four-year degrees until '51, up 'til then, it was only two-year degrees...



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#114957 - 11/03/03 01:21 AM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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> only two-year degrees...

or 15, one :)


#114958 - 11/03/03 06:30 PM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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I choose Bachelor #1 because it just makes sense to me. It's the degrees that are plural, not the bachelors. FWIW, it scores 936,000 on the googleometer, with #2 and #3 each scoring 289,000.


#114959 - 11/03/03 07:00 PM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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this too shall pass
the agreed upon dictionary entry is "bachelor's degree", based upon this def. of bachelor (from AHD):

2. A person who has completed the undergraduate curriculum of a college or university and holds a bachelor's degree.


#114960 - 11/03/03 08:00 PM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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thanks, Nancy and tsuwm!
and mav... well, I laughed.



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#114961 - 11/04/03 12:45 AM Re: more degrees, or the Dating Game...  
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I not sure I'd agree with you here tsuwm.

If the rule were to say Bachelor's degrees, wouldn't we have to say closet's organisers, hand's warmers, car's heaters. But we don't say that, we say we'll go out and get some closet organisers, hand warmers and car heaters.

Edit...
Strawberry jams, mint teas...bachelor degrees

#114962 - 11/04/03 01:38 AM In Chicago, they say ...  
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According to The Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed., 1993) "... when academic degrees are referred to in general terms as doctorate, bachelor's degree, master of science, they are not capitalized." (7.26 at p. 244) I do not offer this as authority re capitalization but as evidence of the usage of "bachelor's degree" in a respected source.

In my own pedantic way, I would be reluctant to use the term "bachelor's degree" for any purpose. It strikes me as colloquial. I think it better to use the precise term, e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Legal Letters, Bachelor of Divinity. I have no authority for this preference save my ear.



#114963 - 11/04/03 01:47 AM Re: In Chicago, they say ...  
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so, how would you re-phrase the original statement?



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#114964 - 11/04/03 02:38 AM Re: In Chicago, they say ...  
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so, how would you re-phrase the original statement?

ORIGINAL STATEMENT: "Mount Marty opened as a junior college (in the midst of the Great Depression) in 1936, and its first four-year bachelor degrees were awarded on May 29, 1951."

SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE: "Mount Marty opened as a junior college (in the midst of the Great Depression) in 1936, and began to grant the four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951."




#114965 - 11/04/03 03:47 AM But...  
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We don't know from the original statement that only BA degrees were awarded. BS degrees might have been awarded as well.


#114966 - 11/04/03 10:29 AM Re: But...  
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thanks, FS. and JohnH, I'll check into that.



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#114967 - 11/04/03 12:39 PM Re: But...  
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Here is an example of a descriptivist triumph, and for all practical and otherwise purposes, a feminist one - Undergraduate rather than Bachelor.


#114968 - 11/04/03 01:20 PM Re: Undergraduate  
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Heh, maahey. I like it. But would we possessivise it?


#114969 - 11/04/03 01:24 PM Re: But...  
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Undergraduate rather than Bachelor.

It has a certain aura of the oxymoron to it. Once one gets the degree one is no longer an undergraduate, is one?


#114970 - 11/04/03 09:21 PM Re: But...  
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Bachelor-level degrees are sometimes referred to as "undergraduate degrees". The expectation is that the graduate will go on to do postgraduate degrees.

Since the qualification is bachelor of [pick your subject], then there is no possessive involved - the "bachelor" is merely an adjective describing "degree". Therefore it is "bachelor degree", although I have to agree with FS about its problems. The use of "undergraduate degree" probably evolved, at least in part, because of this awkwardness.




#114971 - 11/05/03 05:29 AM Re: But...  
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"...I have to agree with FS..."

ANCIENT CHINESE PROVERB: He who agrees with pedantic priest is in good company.




#114972 - 11/05/03 11:43 AM Re: But...  
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So, is it master degree? And how do you refer to the level in general? Bachelor of Arts or Science?


#114973 - 11/05/03 12:53 PM Look at it this way, Father Steve:  
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Some are born pedantic; others achieve pedantry; still others have pedantry thrust upon them.


#114974 - 11/05/03 01:07 PM Re: But...  
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I believe we would all agree that the formal/correct way is, 'bachelor of' or 'master of', and over time, we have discarded the 'of' for a possessive, - bachelor's or master's, for convenience.

Would it therefore be a singular possessive or a plural possessive? IMHO, it would be the plural, since the degree by its very name, draws attention to the collective profile of the persons who are obtaining such a qualification, in this case, bachelors. By such a reasoning, the usage must have shifted to bachelors', and it was but a matter of time from thereon, to drop the increasingly vestigeal looking apostrophe.


#114975 - 11/05/03 03:20 PM Re: In Chicago, they say ...  
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I have no authority for this preference save my ear.

The tool of choice for preferences, methinks.


#114976 - 11/05/03 07:48 PM The role of ear in language  
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Many years ago, when learning the Korean language, I would phrase a sentence in a way which conformed with all of the rules of construction with which I was familiar. Native Korean speakers would laugh and say "We don't say it that way." When I sought yet another rule to add to my collection, they would respond "It just doesn't sound right." Immersion is the only way to acquire language proficiency beyond what is available in textbooks. This explains why small children who move to the Colonies, speaking not one word of English, acquire "better" English than do their parents, who learn the language from books.



#114977 - 11/18/03 06:53 PM baccalaureate degree  
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That's what Cornell Univ. calls it.


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