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mike lyle (Email Removed) (Mike Lyle) wrote,
Well, no, it is a passive, I don't think anybody ... whether 'I remain amused by flying monkeys' is a passive.

Aren't we getting twisted knicker-wise here? "I remain amused by AUE" (I think that's who the OP meant) isn't ... impel pursuit of the topic into greater complexity, but isn't this simple summary all most practical users need to know?

As I said elsewhere, I think my main fallacy was in assuming a sentence could have only one agent, whereas in fact there are two in this one. "I" acts through the verb "remain" ("through" may not be accepted usage) and "monkeys" acts through the verb "amused" on "I".

My fallacy was encouraged by reading things on the Web which led me to believe that
I continue to be amused by flying monkeys.
was overall in the passive voice, when it is not. And in addition to that I failed to realize that
Flying monkeys continue to amuse me.
Was not a mechanical restatement of the same thing, but was in fact a slightly different statement.
It's not clear a discussion of this fallacy would be warranted in any but the most extensive discussion of the passive voice, although perhaps a warning that sentences can have multiple agents would be appropriate even in short discussions of the subject.

To what degree am I still wrong?
Adrian.
Django Cat (Email Removed) wrote,
In the bad old days of transformational grammar students did ... 'by' clause. This lead to a lot of rubbish like:-

Personal oy before anybody else does: led.

Don't worry.
That's the way my mind red it, anyway.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
mike lyle (Email Removed) (Mike Lyle) wrote,
I'd say, using simple old-fashioned terms: the main verb is "continue", and it's active; "to be amused" is a passive infinitive, used as complement. I don't think "to be" belongs to "continue".

But, of course, in "remain" the implied "to be" meaning (more than implied, as you indicate below) is necessarily attached in some sense to "remain", since "remain" can be defined as "continue to be". But I think that's largely irrelevant, except for the confusion it can introduce. The implied "to be" still "belongs" to the "amused", I think.
But, interestingly, "I remain to be amused by AUE" could mean the opposite. Hope this is right. Mike.

I think yours was the most helpful posting yet.
My main fallacy was in being led to believe that the following sentence was overall in the passive voice:
I continue to be amused by AUE.
A secondary fallacy was not realizing that a sentence can have multiple agents.
Adrian.

Of course, I can also try defining "remain" as "was and am".

I was and am amused by AUE.
Or...
AUE amused and amuses me.
So the following is overall in the passive voice.
I was and am amused by AUE.
But "was and am" doesn't quite mean the same thing as "remain", so...
The term "middle voice" (as in ancient Greek) is applied ... or the book sells. Lots of hits on google. CDB

But it was arguably a bum steer on Google that failed to correct my misunderstanding. Which misunderstanding I have just about managed to correct. Adrian.

OK Adrian, would this be a good moment to ask for a synopsis of your findings?
Cheers
DC
Django Cat (Email Removed) wrote,
OK Adrian, would this be a good moment to ask for a synopsis of your findings?

Quick, off-the-cuff, I'll list some things...
1) Non-E-prime sentences are not equivalent to passive voice
2) Sentences can have multiple agents and multiple actions2a) That can confuse attempts to detect the passive voice by finding action performed upon the subject; that action is not necessarily the primary action of the sentence, even if it seems the most important point the sentence is making.

3) You need to be careful re-ordering sentences with complex verbs.'I continue to be amused by AUE'.
Is not equivalent to:
'AUE continues to amuse me'.

4) I think a sentence can use the passive voice without overall beingin the passive voice?
So...
'I remain amused by AUE'.
is not overall in* the passive voice, but perhaps it does *use the passive voice?
4a) Would that mean that if one was required to eliminate the passive voice (as opposed to eliminating sentences in the passive voice) one would need to rework the sentence even if that did unavoidably mean changing its meaning slightly?
4b) I need to track down precise details of some terminology: Are verbs passive and active?
Are sentences passive and active?
Does a passive use within an active sentence indicate the passive voice, or is "the voice" the overall "voice" of the sentence, ONLY? Is "passive use", there, valid?
5) My flying monkey repellent works very well.
My whole interest arose from when someone with similar skills and background to mine, but slightly more grasp of formal English grammar, claimed to me a couple of years ago, that "putting things into E-prime was equivalent to eliminating the passive voice".
It seems trivial now to demonstrate that putting everything into E-prime (eliminating all use of the verb "to be") is not necessary to eliminate the passive voice, but I always wondered, and still wonder, whether it was sufficient. That is I wondered whether there were ways to create the passive voice without using "to be". (And the misuse of "got" to mean close to "to be"; a side-exploration might deal with passive use of the past participle of "unverbs", which is affected by historical semantics and confounds natural "activation" somewhat. "I was unhorsed", is not analogous to "I was unharmed". And "I got unharmed", sounds like an impossibility. And similarly "unharm" does not work as an active verb).
That's some thoughts, I'll see if I can spend parts of the next week or so composing something which might have been helpful to me had it existed. Of course, if I am the only person in the world believing those fallacies, perhaps it won't be too helpful.
Actually, maybe I won't even start that composition (except perhaps for an outline sketch) until I've acquired and read some paper books on the subject.
Adrian.
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The term "middle voice" (as in ancient Greek) is applied to English constructions resembling the reflexive in French doing ... self. It works OK for cases where the water boils or the book sells. Lots of hits on google. CDB

That's the concept I was trying to remember in a recent discussion about "The couch makes into a bed." (Which some people found quite normal and others quite alien.) Middle voice.

Best Donna Richoux
(Email Removed) (Adrian Pepper) wrote,
Aren't we getting twisted knicker-wise here? "I remain ... this simple summary all most practical users need to know?

I venture to suggest that your simple summary is not all that clear to most practical users.

Sorry for my near-flame there, but these days "that's all needs to know" tends to be inflammatory, doesn't it?

I have identified something else I think users may need to know, and that is that a non-compound sentence can have multiple agents. The fact that you can identify an agent acting on the subject of the sentence isn't sufficient to classify the sentence as passive if the subject itself is the agent of the main verb.
Consider:
"I continue to be amused by AUE".
Unless I am mistaken, the "main verb" is "continue", and "I" is the agent, so the sentence is not passive even though "AUE" is an agent acting "to amuse" "I".
"I remain amused by AUE".
Is fairly analogous.
But I do now wonder about trying to claim that that means:

"I was and am amused by AUE".
which is passive.
Oh well, I will try and do some reading, and the discussion here should help me in that reading.
Thanks,
Adrian.
(Email Removed) (Donna Richoux) wrote,
I don't think a word can be a verb and adjective at the same instant. Even if the spelling is ... an adjective. You might want to stress the "was" in the second example to make the sense come out right.

Sorry, I remain unconvinced by your particular example.

Didn't this table used to be painted?
Yes, it used to be a painted table. We stripped off the paint.

The last "painted" there is clearly an adjective.
But I can extend your example to work upon the verb aspect:

Didn't this table used to be painted?
Yes, it was painted with thick black enamel. We stripped off the enamel.

If you prefer:
Didn't this table used to be painted?
Yes, it was painted. With thick black enamel. We stripped off the enamel.

More things seemed to make sense to me after I first heard someone suggest that there are places where a word can be both a verb and an adjective at the same time. People invent a language before other people invent labels to describe how it works. So it makes sense to me to believe that a speaker doesn't really intend to use a verb, not an adjective, and vice-versa.
That's leaving aside the whole issue of how much the intent of the speaker matters in recorded speech.
Adrian.
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I don't think a word can be a verb and ... the second example to make the sense come out right.

Sorry, I remain unconvinced by your particular example. Didn't this table used to be painted? Yes, it used to be ... and vice-versa. That's leaving aside the whole issue of how much the intent of the speaker matters in recorded speech.

Surely, surely "Didn't this table use to be painted?"? (emphasis) Of course, the pronunciation is the same. CDB
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