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#33273 06/28/01 01:37 AM
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? I always thought 1800s meant the first decade of the 19th century rather than the whole century, so that we went 1800s, 1810s, 1820s, 1830s etc.
I would take the meaning of "the 1800's" according to context. If someone made a sweeping statement such as,
"the 1800's saw many societal changes, the primary one being the industrial revolution", I would take it that they meant the entire century. Perhaps this is a cultural difference? I have noticed, now that I think about it, that some British folk seem to put 19C to refer to the whole century. I don't think that's common in the U.S.




#33274 06/28/01 12:39 PM
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I always thought 1800s meant the first decade of the 19th century rather than the whole century, so that we went 1800s, 1810s, 1820s, 1830s etc.

I had an architectural history professor who drilled it into our heads that "the 1800's" (yes, with apostrophe) were a decade and not a century. I've given up on converting anyone else to this way of thinking, but it seems "correct" to me. I'm certainly not as adamant about it as she was (and I think she had a British education, Jackie), and I am happy to glean someone's meaning from context. The problem I have is with people who think I'm being too intellectual when I say "nineteenth century" instead. Grr.


#33275 06/28/01 12:56 PM
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I gotta go with Jackie on this. English is a context sensitive language. You can rant all you want about man referring only to males until you run into a man eating shark. Besides you gonna trust someone who thinks the plural of 1800 should have an apostrophe in it?


#33276 06/28/01 04:33 PM
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until you run into a man eating shark

But what if it's a shark that really doesn't like the taste of women?


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Yes, I agree with your point about context sensitivity, Faldage and Jackie. OTOH, "19th century" is completely unequivocal for the whole caboodle. Strange thing is, that though I happily identify 1820s or 1980s as decades, that doesn't seem an obvious pattern below the twenties: 1910s doesn't automatically make me include 1917! No particular logic seems to be at work - anyone else find thsi pattern?

edit:Afterthought - maybe it's simply because there is less lexical uniformity below ~20. We sometimes say nineteen-oh-eight, sometimes ~and-one (a space oddity), and the teens are notoriously irregular


#33278 06/28/01 04:38 PM
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a shark that really doesn't like the taste of women

I might not care for myself but I wouldn't be ready to trust my AnnaS with hazy guesses about a shark's personal taste.


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maybe it's simply because there is less lexical uniformity below ~20.

I agree. I'm anxious about how we'll decide to verbalize these new years we are in (YART alert). I know sign language users are wondering the same thing. Other languages probably face similar (though lexically very different) changes.


#33280 06/28/01 06:47 PM
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"a man eating shark."

I've eaten shark, but I did not enjoy it. A Japanese delicacy called "Kamaboko" (my guess at spelling.)



#33281 06/28/01 07:07 PM
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Some days you eat the shark, some days the shark eats you.

The good news is the second kind of day will only happen once.


#33282 06/28/01 08:24 PM
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Shark is tricky to prepare... something about the levels of uric acid in the meat. I have a vague recollection of soaking shark steaks in milk prior to cooking, but that could have been a surreal dream.



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