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#67366 - 04/26/02 07:28 AM Another question!  
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JessCC Offline
journeyman
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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"

Jess


#67367 - 04/26/02 07:47 AM Re: Another question!  
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jmh Offline
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>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 08:49 AM Re: Another question!  
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maverick Offline
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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 09:01 AM Re: Another question!  
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Bingley Offline
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While I would say My uncle has a shop in Hawthorn Road. On Hawthorn Road sounds USn to me.

Bingley


Bingley
#67370 - 04/26/02 09:15 AM Re: Another question!  
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maverick Offline
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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 10:03 AM Re: Another question!  
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Faldage Offline
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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 10:45 AM Re: Another question!  
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Keiva Offline
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"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 04:08 PM Re: Another question!  
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dxb Offline
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I'm with Bingley - in the UK we would say:

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

dxb


#67374 - 04/26/02 06:24 PM Re: 9-letter word  
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AnnaStrophic Offline
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lower upstate New York
schlemiel


#67375 - 04/27/02 12:12 AM Re: Another question!  
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maverick Offline
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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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