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#67366 - 04/26/02 03:28 AM Another question!
JessCC Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 65
Loc: Malaysia
This is especially for the Americans, since it requires an American English word.

In informal American English, a _________ (9 letters) is someone who is not very intelligent or lucky and who makes a lot of mistakes.

On the other hand, I have a question about prepositions. Do you use "on" or "at" in this sentence :

"My uncle has a shop ____ Hawthorn Road"

I think it's "on", but my friend said "at"


#67367 - 04/26/02 03:47 AM Re: Another question!
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>Do you use "on" or "at" in this sentence :
"My uncle has a shop ____ Hawthorn Road"

I'd say "on" Harthorn Road
or "in" London
or "at" the crossroads

if that makes any sense.

#67368 - 04/26/02 04:49 AM Re: Another question!
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
me too, as 'on' seems less definite as to exact location... for instance, I would say the shop was 'at the north end of X Street', which is quite specific, whereas 'somewhere on Madison Avenue' could be anywhere within those bounds.

tho' I also note this would not always occam the usage: I would say 'on the corner of X & Y', which ipso facto is specific.

#67369 - 04/26/02 05:01 AM Re: Another question!
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
While I would say My uncle has a shop in Hawthorn Road. On Hawthorn Road sounds USn to me.


#67370 - 04/26/02 05:15 AM Re: Another question!
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
sounds USn to me

hmm, interesting Mr B - perhpas this is one of my usages that has been degra- er, subtly altered by my American contacts =) I look forward to hearing the other takes on this as they come in.

#67371 - 04/26/02 06:03 AM Re: Another question!
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
other takes on this

Slippery thangs them prepositions. I, too, would take on as being an Americanism vs. the Briticism in. As for at, I'd go with that if a specific location is being mentioned, as at the corner of Fifth and Elm or at 107 Madison St.

#67372 - 04/26/02 06:45 AM Re: Another question!
Keiva Offline
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Registered: 08/04/01
Posts: 2605
"on" seems less definite as to exact location... tho' I also note this would not always occam the usage: I would say "on the corner of X & Y", which ipso facto is specific.

My usage would be exactly the same, mav -- but your last part has made me feel a bit uncomfortable with my own usage.

If you asked me whether on the corner of State and Madison is specific, I'd have to say "no": do you mean the northeast corner, the southeast, the northwest or the southwest? (Perhaps as a real-estate lawyer I'm oversensitive on this.) But I'd nonethess use the phrase exactly as mav.

Complicating it further: I'd say at State and Madison but would say on the corner of State and Madison.

FWIW, I mention the A. A. Milne title The House at Pooh Corners.

#67373 - 04/26/02 12:08 PM Re: Another question!
dxb Offline

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
I'm with Bingley - in the UK we would say:

in Hawthorn road
in London
at the crossroads, on the north east corner.


#67374 - 04/26/02 02:24 PM Re: 9-letter word
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York

#67375 - 04/26/02 08:12 PM Re: Another question!
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
in the UK we would say:...

who's this "we", white man? hi, F!

I don't agree it's as straightforward as that. Surely you can recognise the range of legitimate variants like these:
1. "Two cars and a bus collided in the High Street today"
2. "Two cars and a bus collided on the M4 today"

Similarly we could find without surprise these sentences in any UK publication:
3. "Seventeen shops in central Croydon closed last year"
4. "Seventeen shops on Pembury Hill closed last year"

We might find these forms in daily speech:
5. “The car was standing at the corner outside Woolworths”
6. “The woman was standing on the corner outside Woolworths”

I don’t pretend to have any special powers of observation in these matters, but I can certainly observe quite a wide range of options being exercised by English mother-tongue speakers around me – and I am uncertain how dogmatic we can be about what (if any) discriminations are being made.

This is instinctive to most speakers, and we all have I think a range of styles, which have areas of confusion but some general sense of relationships. Personally, I travel in my car to the station, then go on the train into London - I disembark at the station, alighting on the platform.

To my ear, the use of in suggests a complete logical subset – the milk is in the jug. Conversely, the use of on suggests a less detailed relationship – the jug is on the shelf. The use of at suggests a clearly known point in space or time – the shelf is at worktop height.

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