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I won't have people bollocksing about with my flexibility. I have, I believe, eight hammers; each is markedly different from ... means I, even with my limited skills, can do things which would be impossible for somebody who had only one.

This is worthy of inclusion in the next edition of Bartlett's, IMHO.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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Shortly before Christmas some years ago, I caught sight of a headline in the Daily Telegraph over someone's shoulder in ... curiosity. The article referred to complaints by British producers about a glut of cheap French roasting fowl in the shops.

I resisted the temptation to buy the copy of the National Enquirer which carried the headline: "Man with wooden leg eaten by termites".
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What a depressing start to my day - STS coupled with recognition of a deficient level of personal equipment - "If I had a hammer.."

Laura
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THey're perfectly grammatical and comprehemsible in my UK English . . .

Even no. 3 without "grows"?

Yes, needs that correction.

Chris Malcolm (Email Removed) +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205 IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK (http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/)
Anal-retentiveness as often. It is a good thing to know ... words, 'rules suck', especially when they stifle creativity and thought.

Charles, you have that backwards anal retentiveness is not a reason for abandoning useful uniform rules. You just now wrote something you didn't mean.

From my little Oxford dic, not my big one:
anal-retentive
· adj. Psychoanalysis excessively orderly and fussy (supposedly owing to conflict over toilet-training in infancy).
DERIVATIVES anal retention n. anal retentiveness n.

What part of that definition don't I, or you, understand?
Sure, I do admit that I figured out what you wanted to write, but hey, there are limits to stretching conventions, and sometimes it is dangerous to assume that someone means the opposite of what one says.

I don't think you meant to word it that way, Alec. :-)
It's that irony thing versus not-getting-it-right thing. In some professions it can cause big problems.

I wasn't talking about technical writing or other types of writing meant solely to convey information. Been there, done that. I'm not here for that here.

Charles Riggs
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It seems I'm with Liebs and Ross, eh?

You could do worse. Speaking of which, how about people who put question marks after declarative sentences? E.g., "I want to know if you will be coming home in time for dinner tonight?" My view: Yucko!

For sure, but isn't a more common case, exemplified by 'I wonder what the King is doing tonight?', less objectionable?

Charles Riggs
I won't have people bollocksing about with my flexibility. I ... things which would be impossible forsomebody who had only one.

What a depressing start to my day - STS coupled with recognition ofa deficient level of personal equipment - "If I had a hammer.."

You can have one of mine. Haven't got anything for the ST, though.

Mike.
You could do worse. Speaking of which, ... becoming home in time for dinner tonight?" My view: Yucko!

For sure, but isn't a more common case, exemplified by 'I wonderwhat the King is doing tonight?', less objectionable?

I think there are times when it's wanted: it's often enough given the interrogative intonation, after all.

Mike.
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I somebody

And which one of the eight would you give me? And what would you be left unable to do? I am now pondering the plot of a story entitled "The Eighth Hammer" in which a handyman guru reveals the Secret of Life via a trip through his toolbox.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
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