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I reckon I'm one.

"Reckon," eh? That would tend to suggest that you don't know,and if you don't know you're not knowledgeable. Q.E.D. Welcome to the club, Mike.

It's an honour, Bob.

Mike.
Kat (England)

"Cat" begins with a c.

But "Kat" begins with a "K".
Bill
Swap first and last parts of username and ISP for address.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
"Cat" begins with a c.

But "Kat" begins with a "K".

Ah, you spotted that. Nice work!

Mike.
PMFJI, but the way Luke used the word "avail" is often heard (in England, at least), and it was certainly ... I'm sure this usage of the word "avail" will be one day. It may well already be in some dictionaries.

Kat (England)

Well, I've never heard it used that way in England. However, NSOED lists it as sense 4 v.t. Give (a person) the advantage of , inform, assure of . US arch L18. It cites Thomas Jefferson: "It will rest, therefore, with you, to avail Mr. Barclay of that fund."

So it will be interesting to see whether the 150 googlings you mention appear to be Left- or Rightpondian. Note, by the way, that Luke's usage was slightly different in that Jefferson's availed the chap OF the fund.

(I've now tried googling but didn't spot any usages along the lines used by Luke. How did you isolate them?)
Matti
PMFJI,

None needed. Welcome to the fray.
but the way Luke used the word "avail" is often heard (in England, at least), and it was certainly crystal ... the grammar books (yet) but then a lot of what we use in everyday discussion, is not strictly "good English".

Both usage groups take a quite liberal attitude toward what is "good English." As new usages break out, it's inevitable that they will encounter some questioning, and even some resistance. In the particular case of Luke's "avail," it was new to me, but I didn't say anything. To the extent I noticed it at all, I just figured it was something he'd heard or seen in his locality and let it go at that. Tthe first comment on it came from Mike Lyle, who wrote "(Every bugger on the planet will notice that idiosyncratic nay, eccentric use of 'avail', though.)" By local standards that's hardly harsh. And indeed to most of us the usage in question was, to use a couple of slightly more neutral terms, unusual and unfamiliar.
Peter Duncanson then chimed in with "My understand (sic) of 'avail' is that it is what the client will do with the article. If I make an item available someone else is then able to avail of it." It was this that elicited Luke's sneering: "The way I used the word is quite commonplace, as you must be aware," which in effect called Peter a liar. If Peter was aware that the usage was "quite commonplace," then he was lying when he described his understanding as something entirely different.
Luke then continued with his recital of the know-nothing creed: "Whether that usage is listed in any dictionary or not, I don't know. I can't be bothered to look!" This is no way for a newbie, or anyone else, to make friends.
I'm very surprised at the people here who claimed not to have heard that use of the word before.

People's experience is what it is. I have no recollection of seeing or hearing that usage before. Mike Lyle and Peter Duncanson were clearly in the same boat. It may surprise you, but then English usage is full of surprises. Visit the great "another thing coming" and "could care less" debates here and on AUE, and learn from them.
A Google search turned up over 150 instances of it. If it's not exactly "commonplace" usage, as Luke claims, I think it probably will be one day - simple because it is such an efficient way of saying "make available to".

Okay, fine. When it becomes common usage, it will be commonly used. That's not the point. Had Luke said something similar to what you said, he probably would have elicited a few comments from those such as I who had not previously encountered it, but no sneers and no hostility.
In any case, I can sympathise with Luke getting hacked off.

Okay, I'll grant you that. It's not up to me to tell you who to sympathize with, and Mike's language wasn't exactly gentle. But calling a regular a liar and, by implication, calling a bunch of us ignoramuses is, to repeat, no way to make friends.
It's annoying when you come here to discuss something specific and possibly of interest to many readers (I being one), ... of a word or this or that grammatical slip, when it has no relevance to the topic of the thread.

What did you say the name of this newsgroup was? It is common in this group to take notice of or even issue with someone else's usage, even if unrelated to the thread. It often yields very interesting results. In this particular case, I didn't take Mike to be nitpicking. Provocative perhaps, but the subject was legitimate and it has revealed, through all the flames, an interesting point of English usage. That it pisses off Luke and made him decamp may or may not be one of its other virtues.
For God's sake, if they want to take issue with in that manner, they should start a new thread!

That's an issue of Usenet etiquette, and you may be right. But it's hardly universal practice, and I don't think it merits a ! at the end.
I've noticed that the nit-pickers are usually the folks who don't have anything useful to contribute to the thread too. ... don't think it's at all clever. I think it's rather childish and destructive and it degrades an otherwise great group.[/nq]I think you don't fully grasp yet how this place functions. Other than Mike Lyle's phraseology, nothing that happened here justified any part of Luke's little tantrum. Had Luke simply said "You may think it eccentric, but in the circles in which I travel it's quite commonplace," someone else would probably have done a dictionary search and reported back. Indeed, you ran a Google search and reported the result. Reasonable people would then have reacted much as I have: Well, it's not something I say, but clearly it's used somewhere.

In the midst of this, Tony Cooper decided to undertake some attitude adjustment with Luke, which worked about as well as it usually does, and I chimed in, and you responded to me, and Luke's hostile reactions pretty much drowned out the search for truth in usage. That's unfortunate. But also, sadly, not atypical.

And in case no one noticed, Luke got some very good answers to his original inquiry, and he thanked those who helped him. I've seen worse.

Liebs
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I think it's rather childish and destructive and it degrades an otherwise great group.

I think you don't fully grasp yet how this place functions. Other than Mike Lyle's phraseology, nothing that happened here justified any part of Luke's little tantrum.

Oh, dear! I'm sorry I triggered it: my clumsily executed intent was less heel-biting venom than rib-nudging merriment, as I'm really rather cuddly.

Mike.
Peter Duncanson then chimed in with "My understand (sic) of 'avail' is that it is what the client will do ... aware that the usage was "quite commonplace," then he was lying when he described his understanding as something entirely different.

I was not, of course, lying.
What startles me about 'avail' as used by Luke and others is that they avail themselves of a word that means 'use' to convey the meaning 'provide for use'. This is rather like using 'take' to mean 'give'.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.e.u)
(huge snip)
And in case no one noticed, Luke got some very good answers to his original inquiry, and he thanked those who helped him. I've seen worse. Liebs

Need I remind you that this isn't a matter for litigation? If the OP's response, in your view, was unreasonable, in my view it was only mildly so, and you seem to be making it worse by grandstanding. I have had similar experiences in creative writing newsgroups which I found intolerably infantile, indicted them as such, and had the regulars rush to defend their practices.
I never returned, and if that's the OP's choice in relation to AEU, I'd accept it as such.
I'll qualify this by adding I may not disagree with the case you've presented, but as an advocate you protest too much.

Joanne
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PMFJI, but the way Luke used the word "avail" is often heard (in England, at least), and it was certainly ... don't think it's at all clever. I think it's rather childish and destructive and it degrades an otherwise great group.

Luke came here to ask for advice about usage that would not confuse readers of product that he intends to sell internationally. The product he intends to sell evidently deals with money and banking.

He wondered if the spelling "check" would confuse readers that normally spell the word "cheque", and if "cheque" would confuse readers that normally spell the word "check".
A wondering that, in my mind, was a bit silly in the first place. People who buy products dealing with money and banking wouldn't have a problem with either term when used in context. An American buyer of his product isn't going to say "Whazzat?" when he reads "Most businesses will decline to accept a third-party cheque endorsed to them."
Then, this guy who wonders about throwing the reader off with a minor spelling convention deviation, goes all twisted knickers over the criticism of the use of a word (avail) that does confuse readers.

Who is childish here?
There is a legitimate basis for discussing the word "check" as the Americans use it when it does not describe the piece of paper you write to draw funds from your bank. If Luke was writing something to sell internationally to restaurant management people, he would be wise to explain that Americans refer to the bill presented in a restaurant as a "check". If Luke was writing something to sell internationally to a group that does inventory management, he would be wise to explain that Americans "check off" items on a list.
"Check" or "cheque", though, in a money and banking product is a self-evident usage. You have no reason to criticize us for having a bit of fun with him.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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