Sunday, November 15, 2015

Meta Post: Battle of Chinglish, Americanese, the damn Brits and broken keyboards.

I thought it would be very easy to do this, but apparently I'm wrong! The chinglish (chinese+english smashed together for an unholy child of darkness) proves to be interesting (I laughed too much to be serious). Now a certain someone started peaking over my shoulder after I finished editing the 3 chapter with Ishman and the bitch started reading the email I received, demanding that I clarify it into proper Chinese. I'm turning that down ofc, unless mr. author gets a deal somewhere and need to me do it. 



Ahem, right, so me and Ishman are constantly having these grammar nazi battles, but one of them seems to come up a lot. This is something what I like to call "the unit" rule, I don't remember the actual name of the rule, but it's like this.

1) A crowd walks into a bar.
2) A crowd walk into a bar.

1) A pair (of something) moves that way.
2) A pair (of something) move that way.

Two pairs (of something) move that way.

The key is that "s" on the the verb. I was taught to identify the subject/entity to determine their singular/plural form to apply the corresponding form for the verb. Here's where it gets tricky. For me, I identify the "entity" at "crowd" and "pair", even though a "crowd" consists of multiple people, it's treated as a single entity in that sentence. 

So I'd go with "A crowd walkS into a bar". The same for pair, it's "a pair" which is a single entity, the pair itself is singular, despite the fact that it contains two of something. So I'd go with "A pair (of something) moveS that way." The "of something" is irrelevant since it's just a descriptor of the "pair".

In the 3rd case, the entity "pairs" is "two", making it a so that "Two pairs (of something) move that way. I think I'm on the same page there with Ishman.

So, you guys will have to help me decide which style to go with,  1) or 2) For the record, I'm more on the British side in term of English grammar rules while Ishman is obviously more on the American side xP

Off the record, Ishman's keyboard died and it doesn't type a certain letter well, he really wants a working _ *Sumguy gets shanked as promised*


  1. I prefer the first one. While I get how the second one works it just looks improper, and on a casual read reads like someone misspelled something.

  2. I also prefer number 1, as the unit methods makes sense, though I understand why number two could be valid.

    "A pair of ducks moves that way" sounds funny to me as compared to "a pair of ducks move that way".

  3. I'm American and I go with "crowd moves."

    An analysis:
    #1 - "The crowds cheer for me." instead of "The crowd cheers for me." While both sound right, the latter is incorrect. Why?
    #2 - The answer is the grammatical person AND the number of persons. Third person singular + present tense conjugation of "to cheer" is "cheers", not cheers. The third person plural, present tense conjugation of "to cheer" is "cheer", e.g., "He cheers."
    #3 - Many conjugations of the third person SINGULAR have an 's' at the end. Not all, but many.
    #4 - Some verbs are also nouns, e.g., "a cheer" vs "to cheer" and "a move" vs "to move".
    #5 - My hypothesis is that often native English speakers will use the plural form of the noun in the place of the verb when speaking which has led to this gradual blending of the 's' on a verb for plurals when it shouldn't.

    So, the question is: Is "a crowd" third person singular or third person plural? Answer to me? The former. Plural of a crowd is "crowds" and plural of "pair" is "pairs".

    However, the sad fact is that words that are by nature a grammatical plural (company vs companies) can be plural or singular at the writer's discretion. But, since you used 'a' in "a pair" or "a crowd" you make it sound singular and thus should use the third person singular conjugation for "a crowd moves."

    tl;dr Just use this:

    .. ugh, typed too much. Hope I didn't mistype anything.

    1. To add:
      The help prevent confusion you can clarify your writing by indicating the plural with articles: a/an vs. the.

  4. i am no english speaker, as long it's readable it's fine

  5. Yes, 1) is actually correct. A flock of geese is still singular, as is a murder of crows whether it descends upon a victim or disperses into individuals.

    You only switch to plural when you treat them as a "they" and each part of the group does their own thing.

  6. Um, I'm Canadian which means I'm mostly British but end up listening to a lot of Americans yak compared to your average Brit.

    S> 1) A crowd walks into a bar.
    S> 2) A crowd walk into a bar.

    The first (1) sounds right.

    S> 1) A pair (of something) moves that way.
    S> 2) A pair (of something) move that way.

    The second (2) sounds right.

    S> Two pairs (of something) move that way.

    Also sounds right and follows the scenario #2 in the second example.


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