1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ostensible (adj.) Capable of creating tension in the east.

Do a few more like that and you will have the makings of what certainly should be, and well might be, a best-selling book.

Cordially,
Eric Walker
My opinions on English are available at
http://owlcroft.com/english /
No confusion, once the full environment and context is presented and processed (since no utterance is EVER made in real-life without a context).

As the crew filed into the meeting room, they could tell two things by the look on the captain's face: that whatever he had to say was something he considered important, and that whatever he had to say was making him dangerously angry.
When all were seated, the captain began brusquely.

"This starship's mission is of literally vital importance to the future of all humankind. It is not going well. It is not going well for two reasons: one, we face profound problems that will require the closest co-operation between you all, with your various specialized skills, if those problems are to be resolved satisfactorily; two, each of you childish egomaniacs is far more concerned with personal problems 'When we have returned to Earth, will I get enough credit for my contributions?', 'Can I get material for more than one publication out of this?', and more such purely selfish rot than the mission and its problems, and that concern with personal matters is now so all-consuming among you that our entire goal is in jeopardy."
The captain paused and stared at them. No one dared stir. After a moment, he continued.
"I can't reach into your skulls and tweak your brains. All I can do is to implore you in the name of all I hold sacred to cease this insane concentration on personal advantage and consider those common issues that the problems facing us as a crew constitute. That's all."
The crew thoughtfully retired to their cabins, each one carefully considering their problems.
end of chapter
QED.

Cordially,
Eric Walker
My opinions on English are available at
http://owlcroft.com/english /
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
(1) Apparently Rightpondians disdain this very useful term (scil."gotten"), which is handy for distinguishing a state from a progression: He has got a lot of money. (his status) He has gotten a lot of money. (his accomplishment) Or is that not so?

Yes, it is so, except in "ill-gotten gains" and occasionally "begotten", both of them formal and obsolescent.
We say "He has made a lot of money". If the money came, or may have come, to him in morally dubious ways, one might use "acquired", and wealth from gifts or bequests would usually require "come into".
Does "gotten" in AmE always imply accomplishment rather than any other kind of acquisition?
Alan Jones
From my external viewpoint, US "gotton" indicates a change in status - one starts without the item or characteristic, and later one has gained the item or characteristic,
He has gotton a lot of money (he started out without a lot of money) He has gotton forgetful (he started out not-forgetful) He has gotton mean (he used not to be mean)

David
==
From my external viewpoint, US "gotton" indicates a change in status - one starts without the item or characteristic, and ... of money) He has gotton forgetful (he started out not-forgetful) He has gotton mean (he used not to be mean)


Sorry, I'm not sure how that happened. Early morning, plus it's a foreign word.

David
==
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
No confusion, once the full environment and context is presented and processed (since no utterance is EVER made in real-life without a context).

As the crew filed into the meeting room, they could tell two things by the look on the captain's face: ... all." The crew thoughtfully retired to their cabins, each one carefully considering their problems. end of chapter QED.

/sigh/
Did I say that anyone can come along and use a singular "they" in place of any pronoun (or noun) and then hey presto! a perfectly formed singular "they" sentence? No. The writer of the above piece clearly has no idea of the rules governing singular "they" use.

As ever in this perpetual issue, it seems that the clueless (i.e., the ones who just "don't get singular 'they'") think that all they need do is throw in a "they" or a "their" and that's it. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and an extra "wrong" thrown in for good measure.

If you are unable or unwilling to learn how to use this particular construction, then that's fine; there are constructions that each and every one of us shies away from because of unfamiliarity or not being sure how to use them properly. But to keep going on and on, and transferring your own grammatical inadequacies onto the people who ARE using this piece of long-established grammar adequately is unjustifiable except in the case where you are clearly wanting to show off your ignorance about an aspect of English used by millions of people.

johnF
"I omit as unnecessarily painful and distressing the ejaculations and prayers which, in the months of December and January, appear for the first time and become increasingly frequent." The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral , MR James
There is no crippling or flawing at all if we use, as we should, the auxiliaries "got" or "gotten"(1) where appropriate: I have netted birds in my back yard. I have got netted birds in my back yard.

Indeed. The ambiguity can also be avoided by the use of "some"

I have netted some birds in my back yard.
I have some netted birds in my back yard.
(1) Apparently Rightpondians disdain this very useful term, which is handy for distinguishing a state from a progression: He has got a lot of money. (his status) He has gotten a lot of money. (his accomplishment) Or is that not so?

That's right - rightpondians don't use "gotten" (except in some limited contexts) ... but I was under the impression that leftpondians generally avoided "got" except when indicating obligation:
I have got to go
Or is that not so?
Cheers,
Daniel.
He has gotton mean (he used not to be mean)

Sorry, I'm not sure how that happened. Early morning, plus it's a foreign word.

I thought it was used thus:
He has gotton his horse, and roded out of town.
Cheers,
Daniel.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
(1) Apparently Rightpondians disdain this very useful term (scil. "gotten"), ... of money. (his accomplishment) Or is that not so?

Yes, it is so, except in "ill-gotten gains" and occasionally "begotten", both of them formal and obsolescent.

Does "gotten" in AmE always imply accomplishment rather than any other kind of acquisition?

No, simply progression:
He has gotten fat since I last saw him.
He had gotten even more feverish since Thursday.

Cordially,
Eric Walker
My opinions on English are available at
http://owlcroft.com/english /
Show more