Things we are uncomfortable talking about can be things we need to talk about

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This topic contains 78 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • #43999

    Autumn
    Participant

    @autumnWould anyone exist without them? I reckon somebody must know but not me I.

    That’s kind of close to one of the quirks of English usage that really interests me. “He is taller than I” is correct, yet it sounds pretentious at best, incorrect at worst. Contrast that with, “He is taller than me,” which is probably what the majority of people I know would say. Something about the way the words relate to each other makes it intuitively feel like the first-person pronoun is objective when it is grammatically subjective.

    Or every now and then someone overcorrects and will say something like, “She likes him more than I,” when they actually mean, “She likes him more than me.” In that case, the sentences would have two different meanings based on whether we’re talking about how much I like ‘him’ or how much she likes me. Add to the confusion the second-person pronoun which doesn’t have distinctive subjective and objective forms anymore (though it usually doesn’t matter). Although, it’s not that confusing in practice since the first example sentence can easily be resolved by saying, “She likes him more than I do.”

    For the record, I use the technically incorrect ‘taller than me’. I’ve embraced it. I’ve even shelved most of my ‘whom’s.

    #44000

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I wait patiently for somebody, anybody, to concede/admit…you are correct…i was mistaken… Am i just waiting for Godot?

    Sorry, but Wiktionary says that Your Majesty is a pronoun.  Is Wiktionary wrong?

    I recognise that it’s invalid for a “commoner” (e.g., Unseen) to refer to themselves as His Royal Highness or His Majesty, because they’re not royal.  Also, to do so is intended as nothing else than a direct piss-take of the trans community.

    #44001

    Davis
    Moderator

    It is very debatable whether it is a pronoun and you’ll note from the discussion on the talk page (and the subsequent linked talk page) that this is hardly settled. I would say by convention it acts as a pronoun, I suppose, but once you open that can of worms you could add a LOT to the category pronoun, to the point that distinguishing pronouns from simply titular replacements, honourifics etc and by extension even distinguishing nouns and pronouns becomes pointless.

    #44009

    Autumn
    Participant

    Sorry, but Wiktionary says that Your Majesty is a pronoun.  Is Wiktionary wrong?

    Likely. According to Wiktionary:

    Wiktionary is not an arbiter of what is good English; correct English, acceptable English, suitable English, or even grammatical. This also applies to entries for non-English terms. Wiktionary describes usage, it does not prescribe nor proscribe it, and adheres only to its criteria for inclusion, which state that any term or meaning that can be shown to be in sufficiently widespread use may be included. By including or not including a certain term, it by no means accepts or attempts to promote a certain point of view, but is simply documenting, explaining what is or was in use in English or any other language.

    From that source, tthe only argument given that it is pronomial in nature stems from Fowler’s The King’s English. It’s understandable that it should feel like a pronoun when the purpose of its use is to avoid an actual pronoun, but the argument is strange. To say a noun acts as a pronoun is odd in that it is the function of a pronoun to act like a noun. We could remove that middle part to just say that the noun is acting like a noun. Which is what one would typically expect of a noun.

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