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I now understand your problem. You can only parse language ... limiting for you, but it does explain a few things.

No. It's merely a question of proper form. Is this a properly formed English sentence?: "He then went to seek the king, for he, and he alone, had the power to set his father free".

No.
How about this one: "Then he went to seek the king, for he, and he alone, had the power to set his father free".

No.
Or this one: "Then went he to seek the king, for he, and he alone, to set his father free had the power".

No.
Or this one: "Went then the king he to seek, for he, he alone and, the power to set his father free had".

No.

Bill
Reverse halves of the user name for my e-address
No. It's merely a question of proper form. Is this ... he alone, had the power to set his father free".

No.

How about this one: "Then he went to seek the king, for he, and he alone, had the power to set his father free".

What's wrong with it?
No.

Yes, indeed. So is "to immediately..." or "to ever.." or "to simply.."
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On 23 Oct 2006 11:05:39 -0700, "UC"
No.

What's wrong with it?

The period belongs inside the quotation marks.
Bill
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Not all by itself. But, to repeat, it's commonplace in ... worse than "different from." Let's call it "tied for best."

I really hate to disagree with you, Bob, especially when you are disagreeing with UC, but: It's commonplace here (in ... on "different from". Even "different than" is regarded as at worst an Americanism and is more acceptable than "different to".

I would dearly like to believe all that, which is news to me. Are there any clear sources that would confirm it?
Gowers, writing about twenty years ago (the most recent BrAm reference I possess), seems to waffle a bit, remarking that "There is good authority for different to , but different from is today the established usage. Different than is not unknown even in The Times ." That's not what I would call decisive, though he does add that "this is condemned by the grammarians".
I really hate to disagree with you, Bob, especially when ... worst an Americanism and is more acceptable than "different to".

I would dearly like to believe all that, which is news to me. Are there any clear sources that would confirm it?

Here's where Burchfield would come in handy.
He does accept "different to", but guardedly, noting that British users prefer "different from" and citing an argument based on logic that we don't say "differ to".
He advises against using "different than" in writing for a British audience because it perceived as an Americanism.
Gowers, writing about twenty years ago (the most recent BrAm reference I possess), seems to waffle a bit, remarking that ... Times ." That's not what I would call decisive, though he does add that "this is condemned by the grammarians".

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
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(addressing me)
Jesus *** Christ. You're a moron!

I'm pleased to see how civilized our dialogue can be. I wonder how long you can maintain this high standard.
Superstitions have to do with what is or is not (or will or won't happen), not about what should be or should happen.

This is an archetypal semantic quibble. "A sentence cannot end with a preposition" is but one way of saying "Something that purports to be a sentence but ends with a preposition is not properly formed according to the rules of English grammar." Note the main verb of my sentence: "is." Feel free to reformulate my other statements so that they are in whatever verb tense you think most characteristic of superstitions.
There are superstitions that something will bring you bad luck, but not that something SHOULD bring you bad luck.

There are superstitions that say you should or should not do something: "You shouldn't walk under a ladder it will bring you bad luck." "You shouldn't let a black cat cross your path." "You should avoid long discussions of English grammar and usage with anyone who calls himself UraniumCommittee." Etc., etc.
Really, UC, you aren't living up to even your own abysmally low standards.
(addressing me)

You're beyond help.
There are superstitions that something will bring you bad luck, but not that something SHOULD bring you bad luck.

There are superstitions that say you should or should not do something: "You shouldn't walk under a ladder it will bring you bad luck."

The superstition is that it WILL bring you bad luck. There is no 'superstition' that splitting an infinitive will cause you to lose your hair or break a leg, now is there? The term 'superstition' is wholly inappropriate in discussions of grammar.
The superstition is that it WILL bring you bad luck. There is no 'superstition' that splitting an infinitive will cause you to lose your hair or break a leg, now is there?

"You can split them in German too, but people will laugh in your face!"

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johnF
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The superstition is that it WILL bring you bad luck. ... lose your hair or break a leg, now is there?

"You can split them in German too, but people will laugh in your face!"

I suppose they might do that, or they might simply look at you funny, if you said "Ich habe es sehr gern, zu schell gehen" instead of "schnell zu gehen".
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