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Dear all,
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Our common stock of words embodies all the distinctions men [have found] worth drawing
[in the lifetimes] of many generations.
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I have two questions.
[1] Since this sentence describes repetitive situations, I think we can use a [have been finding] form (even if not so neat, maybe). Am I right?

[2] If I'm right, does the form [have been finding] collocate well with [in the lifetimes]?
Or does it collocate with [for the lifetimes] better?

Thank you Very Much, in advance.
(Sorry for using many []s. Maybe my sentences are illegible. I still cannot change the basic style successfully. ??)
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Comments  
Hello V.

'Have been finding' sounds a little odd, here; it seems a little too immediate, in the context of 'generations'. Also, 'generations' already implies 'lifetimes'. So you may want to consider:

"Our common stock of words embodies all the distinctions men have found it worth while drawing over many generations."

MrP
Thank you Very Much for your reply, MrPedantic.
I can understand that 'have been finding' sounds odd. It seems an interesting point that [it seems a little too immediate, in the context of 'generations']. You have a point.
Then I change my sentences; could I ask you a little bit more?

#1 He found/noticed that typo in an hour.

#2 He found/noticed that typo for an hour.

#3 Many people found/noticed that typo in an hour.

#4 Many people found/noticed that typo for an hour.

Are they all acceptable, in your view?

Maybe my question is still not clear enough (sorry). To put it in another way...

I think they all are interpretable in proper contexts, even if #2. (Maybe 'he' had a quite poor memory, for example...)
I'm interested in the temporal structure of these sentences. Seems each sentence has its own temporal structure, doesn't it?

Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know. I don't know how to put my question, too!
I'll be really grateful for any comments.

Thank you for your help, in advance!
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Sorry if I'm intruding...

#1 He found/noticed that typo in an hour. / yes... maybe in one hour? or "it took him an/one hour to notice/find the typo? You can also use "within" here: "he noticed/found the typo within an/the hour"

#2 He found/noticed that typo for an hour. / NO

#3 Many people found/noticed that typo in an hour. / same as for #1

#4 Many people found/noticed that typo for an hour. / NO
Hi pieanne, thank you for your help! No, I'm very glad at getting your help.

#1 -- yes, if the emphasis is on the time needed, then [in one hour] or the structure [it took him an/one hour to~] is better, I agree.

As to #2, I thought ... we can think of a very queer situation in which he 'repeatedly' noticed the same typo because of his poor memory. Only in such a strange situation this sentence is interpretable ... this was my humble idea :)which needed help, check.

As to #4 (yes, I know that this sentence is very strange..) couldn't we think of some (rather queer) situation in which this sentence could have meaning ,.. umm ... say;
#4' Over a certain time interval (here one hour), some event happened, repeatedly, indefinite times.

In #3, each subject is given one hour in which he found that typo.
In #4, this sentence as a whole is given one hour. (Couldn't we understand #4 as such...? Oddity doesn't bother me here!)

But again: I'm not sure and don't know how to pose a question.
Thank you, pieanne, for your kind help.
With my warmest regards,
Hi pieanne, thank you for your help! Intrude..? no! I'm very glad at getting your help.

#1 -- yes, if the emphasis is on the time needed, then [in one hour] or the structure [it took him an/one hour to~] is better, clearer, I agree.

As to #2, I thought ... we can think of a very queer situation in which he 'repeatedly' noticed the same typo because of his poor memory. Only in such a strange situation this sentence is interpretable ... this was my humble idea :)which needed help, check.

As to #4 (yes, I know that this sentence is very strange..) couldn't we think of some (rather queer) situation in which this sentence could have meaning ,.. umm ... say;
#4' Over a certain time interval (here one hour), some event happened, repeatedly, indefinite times.

In #3, each subject is given one hour in which he found that typo.
In #4, this sentence as a whole is given one hour. (Couldn't we understand #4 as such...? Oddity doesn't bother me here!)

But again: I'm not sure and don't know how to pose a question.
Thank you, pieanne, for your kind help.
With my warmest regards,
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hello V.

Yes, it would have to be a very strange context:

#2 He found/noticed that typo for an hour.

Perhaps an alien would take an hour to notice a typo, if its mental processes were 3600 times slower than ours...

See you,

MrP
Allow me tojump in , too.

For your queer contexts, 'noticed' seems more viable than 'found'. It is actually not at all odd to say, "notice something for an hour"--even if the 'something' is a typo. 'To notice' easily translates into: 'to treat with attention'...as in a meditative gaze.
Hello MrPedantic, please let me add my comment to my strange question.

I think if #2 get modified as #2', then it would be interpretable, no..?

#2' For three years he found/noticed her in this club (repeatedly).

But one 'finding'-event cannot last for an hour, even if the subject is an alien. (I mean: in the meaning of "find" there's a concept of some "momentary change" of states.)

Thus...in your example we'd better use some different verb anyway (maybe 'was percepting'? ).

PS. Sorry there's a double posting in the above. I've deleted one of them.
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Hi davkett again, I can understand you, all verbs of 'perception' (e.g. see, perceive etc.) have two meanings, they say: (1) state, and (2) achievement. The verb 'notice', as you pointed out, has something in common, maybe.

Thank you, I'll think it over, I need more flexible thinking.

See you,
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