Correct use of "both"

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Anonymous:
Hi,
I was wondering if it is gramatically correct to say -

"The film was shown on both BBC1 and BBC2, and on Channel 4."

and is also correct to state this as -
"The film was shown on both BBC1 and 2, and on Channel 4."
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credoquaabsurdum:
There is one problem and two questions here. We will go after them in order, from most serious to trifling.
The problem is the mistake that you have made in your post without realizing it.
...and is IT also correct to state (this as)
The subject of the first clause is "I," but the subject of the second clause is "it." You have to state the subject in the main clause after a coordinate conjunction (in this case, "and") if the subject changes. That is a "solid-core" rule, following a famous language teacher's description of grammar and usage. Your mistake is also a very common error.
Your second question can be answered far more easily than your first. English teachers like to believe that everyone should be very, very clear about the structure of things before and after "both," so you should say, on "both BBC1 and BBC2." The vast majority of English native speakers have far better things to worry about. If some language teacher has told you that your usage is unequivocally wrong, that person should be spanked for being an idle pedant.
Your first question is difficult, and formal usage commentators have written about it in their manuals of proper English.

The most important one in British English (in my opinion) is The New Fowler's Modern English Usage , revised 3rd edition. Burchfield, the fellow who wrote the manual, would not accept your usage. "Both" refers to TWO things.
The most important one in American English (in my opinion) is Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English Usage . The people that wrote the manual would not accept your usage. "Both" refers to TWO things.

Personally speaking, I would say...why not? On a good day, however, I might take a second look at the sentence and revise it in one of a number of ways.
The film was shown on BBC1, BBC2, and also on Channel 4. (Clean, crisp and simple; but it doesn't emphasize the fact that the film was shown on both BBC1 and BBC2)
The film was show on BBC1 and BBC2, as well as on Channel 4. (Some emphasis, but perhaps not the desired effect.)

The film was shown on both BBC1 and BBC2, as well as on Channel 4. (The use of both...as well as (i.e. both Ren as well as Stimpy wanted to go to Canada) is also a common usage error, but using "both...and" and "as well as" it in this manner has never occasioned comment or correction in my experience).
Once again, the last two points are usage issues that native speakers, and often university-educated native speakers, have problems with. If a teacher is applying this standard of grammatical accuracy to you while ignoring the fact that you occasionally leave out the subjects of main clauses, you should find another teacher.
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Anonymous:
[nq:2]"Both" refers to TWO things.[/nq]
Of course, but am I not refering to two things? Does "both" not belong to the clause in question? If you were to pronounce -

"The film was shown on both BBC1 and BBC2, and on Channel 4",

you would pause after BBC2 and put a strong enphasis on the "and". This makes two clauses, with the "both" belonging to BBC1 and BBC2 but not Channel 4.
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credoquaabsurdum:
I see. Let's try it this way.
"Both...and, and" looks a bit awkward in written English, but not extraordinarily so. Quite a few university-educated native speakers, the ones that are more careful about what they say and write, would avoid this structure. Others, perhaps the majority, wouldn't care.

Dealing appropriately with a usage issue like this should be lower on your list of priorities than dealing with the more typical problems of an advanced-level student you exhibit, viz.:
"Am I not referring to two things?" is unnatural in modern English. It smacks of wholesale pretension. It would be far more common to use the negative form in this context, e.g. "Aren't I referring to two things?"
"Does 'both' not belong to to the clause in question?" similarly brings to mind the image of an overdressed buffoon posturing and preening before a mirror, smoothing the stray hairs of his eyebrows and daubing on a bit of mustache wax.
Individuals who would be taken for something other than such a figure of mirth might say or write, in something less formal than a declaration of war (i.e., your post) : "Doesn't "both" belong to the clause we're talking about?"
A final point referring to your post: you might also wish to lay a measure of emphasis on learning proper spelling.
Good luck, ya stinkin' poser!
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credoquaabsurdum:
I see. Let's try it this way.
"Both...and, and" looks a bit awkward in written English, but not extraordinarily so. Quite a few university-educated native speakers, the ones that are more careful about what they say and write, would avoid this structure. Others, perhaps the majority, wouldn't care.
Dealing appropriately with a usage issue like this should be lower on your list of priorities than dealing with the more typical problems you exhibit, those of
an advanced-level language student pushing a bit beyond his boundaries in an attempt to insist on his grand scope of personal refinement to an English teacher (viz.):
"Am I not refering (sic) to two things?" is unnatural in modern English. It
smacks of wholesale pretension. It would be far more common to use the negative form in this context, e.g. "Aren't I referring to two things?"
"Does 'both' not belong to to the clause in question?" similarly brings

to mind the image of a posturing windbag at a party holding forth with gusto on a rarified subject which he knows little about and understands even less.
Individuals who would be taken for something other than such a figure of buffoonery might say or write, in something less formal than a declaration of war (i.e., your post) : "Doesn't 'both' belong to the clause we're talking about?"
You might also wish to lay a
measure of emphasis in your language study on learning proper spelling. There are several reference works which I could refer you to, but there is no guarantee that you would use them the next time you decided to write something as gloriously illiterate as your last post.

Now shove off and stop insisting that you're all that and a bag of chips, poser.
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Anonymous:
First of all, I'm dyslexic, not illiterate. Secondly, I was genuinely trying to understand the question asked in my first post. Conversely, I didn't anticipate nor request that my posts be thorn asunder in such a highfalutin and verbose fashion. This is an online forum; therefore I expected a certain degree of informality.
[nq:2]declaration of war[/nq]
Wow! You've lost me there entirely. I never claimed to be an authority, nor and expert, on the subject at hand, hence my reasons for requesting an explanation in the first place. Perhaps after reading my posts again, you might actually discover that there is nothing at all provocative about their content. I might also add that I've never been as annoyed by an online correspondence as I am right now.
[nq:2]to mind the image of a posturing windbag at a party holding forthwith gusto on a rarified[/nq]
Also, I believe the correct spelling of "rarified" is in fact "rarefied", but don't you think it just a tad tedious to dwell on such matters, not to mention how antagonizing it might be?
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Einde O'Callaghan:
[nq:1]You might also wish to lay a measure of emphasis in your language study on learning proper spelling. There are ... as your last post. Now shove off and stop insisting that you're all that and a bag of chips, poser.[/nq]
This type of language is inappropriate for this newsgroup where we have broadly maintained a non-confrontational approach to discussing language problems, particularly those of people learning English as a foreign language.
We have taken this attitude because we don't want to scare off people who are lacking in confidence in their ability to control the language and who are seeking help and advice. If you want to engage in polemics and flamewars about English grammar and usage I'd suggest that you'd be more at home in alt.usage.english and alt.english.usage, where thy have got these things down to a fine art.
Einde O'Callaghan
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credoquaabsurdum:
It is the end of my Easter vacation, so there is time to respond in full to the comments posted in this thread.
Einde, you do have a point. This is an open forum for people seeking help. I do not routinely engage in this sort of polemics, as a cursory look at the majority of my posts in the past can attest. It has been a very bad month and, looking back over it, it seems that I have been gradually becoming more confrontational.
I tore into poor Eva over Greece and I went after the guy from China making a point about how native speakers of English have problems "noticing" certain issues in Chinese (he then tried to weasel his way out of it). Jingoism, especially the Greek variety, is a sore spot for me. However, I acknowledge that my involvement in that thread was both professionally silly and personally mean of me.
Kuria Eva, sas ekava kako kai dev ntav swsto. Merikes fores, eimai palaioyaidouri kai to ksero. Xrovia polla.
There, now that's off my chest.
On the other hand, I make no apologies for my treatment of the unforgivably obtuse Maria and my various answers to spam. Anyone who bombards me with boxes or wants me to hawk jewelry for them really ought to expect the same.

So here we are, in the thick of things over this one. Therefore, we shall tackle the posters in the order of the esteem I hold them in:

Einde, I seem to remember your calling a point that I made in another thread "absurd." Sweetly, politely, I backed down and didn't bring out the artillery to show you how inane what you had written was, despite your insulting comment. I thought that you might have consulted your references, such as they might be, and realized the gross error of your ways. Mayhap, I reasoned, it was a playful reference to my online handle, which I have been using since I read it in Civilization and Its Discontents . Well before Tertullian adopted it, the senators in Rome used to shout it out in response to the idiotic comments of speakers holding the floor. I took a shine to the expression immediately.
It is now clear that you did not check out the truth of your comment and you did not say what you did in reference to my handle, so, if you would, please rectify your oversight regarding the forms "in winter/in the winter." Use the tools that I described in answer to Ching's question, should the aforementioned references prove inadequate.
As it was once put, and put well, all education is castration. Einde, feel free to consider this a particularly savage lesson. Try not to call me black again, if you would.

Moving on to the next poster (or, traveling from the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the cesspits of Bombay):
Griffin, I got out my usage books on my own time and answered your question openly, honestly, and in the best traditions of helpful teaching. Then, you posted your message, which made it clear that you had completely ignored any and all of the points raised in my researched post and, moreover, decided to insist that: A) I had told you something I hadn't, and B) that you were God's gift to grammar, usage, intonation and formality alike.
Tsk, tsk.
In like manner, in your latest offering, you have now managed to pass over what I mentioned regarding the pompous forms that you used in your second post. The language, as I put it then and repeat now, smacked of wholesale pretension. You have now made it clear that, as I suspected, you knew enough English to understand that.
So here we are are now. This third, proverbially-charmed time, you have only succeeded in exhibiting the full length and breadth of your hind parts.
By means of a fuller response:
Imprimis, regarding dyslexia, well, I was diagnosed with the same at eight years of age and I still managed to graduate summa cum laude with departmental honors in English and American Language and Literature. You would do well to stop up that whining hole of yours and start working.
Next, as to the matter of rarefied/rarified, have a look at this...

(f. RAREFY v. + -ED.)
That is made less dense. (Chiefly of air). Also transf. and fig.
1634 PEACHAM Gentl. Exerc. III. 140 The higher parts of the ayre,which..are more rarified and pure then the neather. 1665 GLANVILL Scepsis Sci. i. 17 That a Bullet should be moved by the rarified fire.
1785 FRANKLIN Lett. Wks. 1840 VI. 506, I need not explain to you,..whatis meant by rarefied air. 1855 PRESCOTT Philip II, II. iv. (1857) 243 The brisk and rarefied atmosphere of Madrid proved favourable to Charles's health. 1899 Allbutt's Syst. Med. VIII. 482 Mast-cells closely packed in columns in a rarefied tissue. 1961 Blackw. Mag. Oct. 290/1 From the light of common day into the rarified atmosphere of the late eighteenth century. 1977 G. MICHANOWSKY Once & Future Star iv. 33 In the rarefied world of cuneiform scholarship, it is known as BM86378.
1978 N. MOSS What's the Difference? (ed. 2) 93 Professor, no lessrarefied post than at a British university, since there are usually several professors to a department.
OED Online

The original spelling, now regarded as obsolete, unfortunately, was "rarified," not "rarefied."
Please open the second usage manual that I mentioned in my first post in the thread, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage , and have a look at the article there regarding the subject. Then again, since you're the type who enjoys it when other people do their work for them, allow me:

Rarefy, rarify
Rarefy is the usual spelling, but rarify has been in use as a variant since the 15th century. The earliest citations in the OED for this word, in fact, show it spelled with an -i-. Examples of the -i- spelling in standard, educated prose are extremely easy to come by.

...in an increasingly rarified atmosphere Water Millis, Center Mag, January 1968
...by rarified philosophical speculation Time Literary Supplement,
18 Dec 1969

...how one rarified precedent may...follow from another David Riley, The Washingtonian, November 1970
...the rarified chambers of the museum Susan Sidlauskas, Vogue, June 1982
His suits are off the peg, and not a rarified peg Diane Sustendal, N.Y. Times Mag., 25 Mar. 1984
Nevertheless, rarify is widely regarded as a spelling error, so if you want to avoid possible criticism, however mild, we recommend that you choose the more common spelling, rarefy.

As mentioned earlier, a great deal of my initial training (and yes, it was indeed done in the United States) was in literature and criticism, so such obsolete, over-educated forms do crop up in my language from time to time. It is a regrettable consequence of having pored over far too many volumes of forgotten lore while people like you were poring over, to put it bluntly, certain unmentionable parts of your anatomy.

In conclusion, the anger that you mentioned is that of an inarticulate dolt who has been proved to be lacking in certain mental faculties. Perhaps you might see this as an opportunity to look inward and confront the profound depths of your barbarous ignorance.

To translate and paraphrase Voltaire:
Sir, I am seated in the smallest room of my house. Your post is before me. Soon, it will be behind me.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
credoquaabsurdum:
It is the end of my Easter vacation, so there is time to respond in full to the comments posted in this thread.
Einde, you most certainly have a point. This is an open forum for people seeking help. I do not routinely engage in this sort of polemics, as a cursory look at the majority of my posts in the past can attest. It has been a very bad month and, looking back over it, it seems that I have been gradually becoming more confrontational.

I tore into poor Eva over Greece and I went after the guy from China making a point about how native speakers of English have problems "noticing" certain issues in Chinese (he then tried to weasel his way out of it). Jingoism, especially the Greek variety, is a sore spot for me. However, I acknowledge that my involvement in that thread was both professionally silly and personally mean of me.
Kuria Eva, sas ekava kako kai dev ntav swsto. Merikes fores, eimai palaiogourouni kai to ksero. Xilia suggvwmn. Xrovia polla.

There, now that's off my chest.
On the other hand, I make no apologies for my treatment of the unforgivably obtuse Maria and my various answers to spam. Anyone who bombards me with boxes or wants me to hawk jewelry for them really ought to expect the same.

So here we are, in the thick of things over this one. Therefore, we shall tackle the posters in the order of the esteem I hold them in:

Einde, I seem to remember your calling a point that I made in another thread "absurd." Sweetly, politely, I backed down and didn't bring out the artillery to show you how inane what you had written was, despite your openly insulting comment. I thought that you might have consulted your references since then, such as they might be, and realized the gross error of your ways.
Mayhap, I wanted to believe, it was a playful reference to my online handle, which I have been using since I read it in Civilization and Its Discontents . Well before Tertullian adopted it, the senators in Rome used to shout it out in response to the idiotic comments of speakers holding the floor. The expression struck a chord in me immediately.
It is now clear that you did not check out the truth of your comment in that thread and you did not say what you did in reference to my handle, so, if you would, please rectify your oversight regarding the forms "in winter/in the winter." Use the tools that I described in answer to Ching's question, should the aforementioned references prove inadequate.
As it was once put, and put well, by the author of the above book, all education is castration. Einde, please consider this a lesson less savage than it might have been, as will soon become apparent. Just try not to call me black again, if you would.

Moving on to the next gentleman (or, traveling from the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the cesspits of Bombay):
Griffin, I got out my usage books on my own time and answered your question openly, honestly, and in the best traditions of helpful teaching. You then posted your second message, which made it clear that you had completely ignored any and all of the points raised in my carefully-researched post.
Moreover, you decided to: A) insist that I had told you something I hadn't, and B) use wholly inappropriate forms that indicated you were God's gift to grammar, usage, intonation and formality alike.

Tsk, tsk.
In like manner, in your latest offering, you have now managed to turn a blind eye to what I mentioned regarding the pompous forms that you used in your second post. The language you used, as I put it then and repeat now, smacked of wholesale pretension. You have now made it clear that, as I suspected, you knew enough English to understand that.

So here we are now with you, this third, proverbially-charmed time. No one is immune to typos, but I pointed out your spelling because your, once again, illiterate mistakes were obviously not of that nature.

Your new bit of drivel on that topic has actually managed to annoy me personally. Congratulations. You have rented space in my head, and I will now proceed to evict you.
By means of a fuller response:
I was also diagnosed with dyslexia in the second grade, yet despite this (or perhaps because of it), I still managed to finish university summa cum laude with departmental honors in English and American Language and Literature. That was back in the days well before we had therapists, behavioral specialists, the understanding of the general public, pretty much everything you do have now. There wouldn't have been money for them in my family even if there had been.

So you would do well to stop up that whining hole of yours.

Using a learning difficulty as an excuse for low behavior is just reprehensible. There are thousands of people out there who have fought our particular problem and are winning, and on comes a miserable pig like you to play your games of squealing remonstrance, cheapening our efforts.
Of course, immediately after your protests, you then had to insist on your understanding of spelling. You are, indeed, tedious.

Rarefied/rarified, the whole story.
(f. RAREFY v. + -ED.)
That is made less dense. (Chiefly of air). Also transf. and fig.
1634 PEACHAM Gentl. Exerc. III. 140 The higher parts of the ayre,which..are more rarified and pure then the neather. 1665 GLANVILL Scepsis Sci. i. 17 That a Bullet should be moved by the rarified fire.
1785 FRANKLIN Lett. Wks. 1840 VI. 506, I need not explain to you,..what

is meant by rarefied air. 1855 PRESCOTT Philip II, II. iv. (1857) 243 The brisk and rarefied atmosphere of Madrid proved favourable to Charles's health. 1899 Allbutt's Syst. Med. VIII. 482 Mast-cells closely packed in columns in a rarefied tissue. 1961 Blackw. Mag. Oct. 290/1 From the light of common day into the rarified atmosphere of the late eighteenth century. 1977 G. MICHANOWSKY Once & Future Star iv. 33 In the rarefied world of cuneiform scholarship, it is known as BM86378.
1978 N. MOSS What's the Difference? (ed. 2) 93 Professor, no lessrarefied post than at a British university, since there are usually several professors to a department.
OED Online

The original spelling of the word was "rarified," not "rarefied." The variant is still listed in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate, and you should be able to find it...yes...
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=rarified

Now, please go to your library and open the second usage manual that I mentioned in my first post in the thread, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage . Have a look at the article there regarding "rarefy/rarify."
Then again, since you're the type who enjoys it when other people do their work for them, allow me:

Rarefy, rarify
Rarefy is the usual spelling, but rarify has been in use as a variant since the 15th century. The earliest citations in the OED for this word, in fact, show it spelled with an -i-. Examples of the -i- spelling in standard, educated prose are extremely easy to come by.

...in an increasingly rarified atmosphere Water Millis, Center Mag, January 1968
...by rarified philosophical speculation Time Literary Supplement,
18 Dec 1969
...how one rarified precedent may...follow from another David Riley,

The Washingtonian, November 1970
...the rarified chambers of the museum Susan Sidlauskas, Vogue, June

1982
His suits are off the peg, and not a rarified peg Diane Sustendal, N.Y. Times Mag., 25 Mar. 1984
Nevertheless, rarify is widely regarded as a spelling error, so if you want to avoid possible criticism, however mild, we recommend that you choose the more common spelling, rarefy.

As mentioned earlier, a great deal of my initial training in this job (and yes, it was indeed done in the United States) was in literature and criticism, so such obsolete, overly-precise forms crop up in my language from time to time. It is a regrettable consequence of having pored over far too many volumes of forgotten lore while people like you were poring over the trough of ignorance and wallowing in the mud of self-pity.
The anger that you mentioned is that of the inarticulate. I can understand that and appreciate it, but I will not forgive your swinish comments, especially in light of my own personal history.

In conclusion, Good Pig Griffin...allow me to translate and paraphrase Voltaire:
Sir, I am seated in the smallest room of my house. Your post is before me. Soon, it will be behind me.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
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