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I need...

...to start having a filter for people who want to read about my linguistics stuff and get hit up for judgements, because here I am, doing it again. Let me know if you'd want to be on that filter.

Meanwhile...YMLF (Yet More Linguistics Foo).

Okay...here we go:

Scenario: Two mischevious ballroom dancers are merrily waltzing outside in the parking lot of a ballroom dance studio, much to the amusement of their friend. Said friend remarks, "You know...

Sentence 1: "...in the ballroom is a perfectly fine place to dance."

Sentence 2: "...the ballroom is a perfectly fine place to dance in."

Sentence 3: "...in the ballroom is perfectly fine to dance."

Sentence 4: "...the ballroom is perfectly fine to dance in."

Judgements on this? Would they make you happy/unhappy if you heard them? If unhappy, would you be unhappy enough to want to correct them somehow or just vaguely upset?

Reason for caring about this: I'm looking into inferred locative phrases...so all of these spring from some version of The ballroom is a perfectly fine place to dance. It's obvious that you're not dancing the ballroom - you're dancing in the ballroom - hence, inferred locative.

Final Message of Undying Love: Yes, you are maaaaahvelous. So maaaaaaahvelous that you'll humor me and give me your judgements on this.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC)
Sentence two! sentences two! Whatta I win?! ;)
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:06 am (UTC)
Linguistics Junkie
I second the second sentence, despite the fact that ending sentences with adverbs is bad form (or so I have been told). And yes, I would automatically want to correct any of the others.

(Also have friended you because your inner voices sound as interesting and outspoken as mine.)
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)
Yup, please put me in that filter.

1, 2 and 4 I wouldn't mind, but 3 for some reason makes me itch for an "it" between "ballroom" and "is". I know it means "_the location which is in the ballroom_ is perfectly fine to dance", but... *confused pondering* I think with "the location" replacing "in the ballroom" it starts needing another "in" or "on": "The location is perfectly fine to dance in... in the ballroom is perfectly fine to dance in." I can't really say why the first "in" there isn't sufficient. My ear would try to solve all that by inserting a ghost subject there and saying "in the ballroom it is perfectly fine to dance." Which isn't what you're trying to say, actually.

I probably would say 2 myself; I find the rule "don't end the sentence with a preposition" unnecessarily constraining (and I seem to remember having read that it was an outdated rule, anyway).

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 14th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)
Mm, same here.

I wouldn't correct any of them if I encountered them anywhere other than in my own writing, or in something I was being asked to proofread (which ones I'd correct, or "correct", if proofreading would depend on context, the rest of the writer's writing, etc). I'm a little surprised that anyone would correct them in conversation, in fact; even 3 doesn't seem wrong so much as awkward.
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC)
I don't like any of those. I'm rather more fond of "the ballroom is a perfectly fine place in which to dance," or simply, "the ballroom's perfectly fine for dancing."
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:34 am (UTC)
Sentence 1- 4.5 - Okay, but a little awkward. Sounds like a hypercorrection of 2 to avoid putting the preposition at the end.

Sentence 2- 5 - Fine.

Sentence 3- 1 - Not grammatical in the least.

Sentence 4- 5 - Fine.

You can add me to your linguistics filter, if you like.
Apr. 14th, 2004 10:37 am (UTC)
I should add that Sentence 4 perhaps implies to me that it's dancing that's fine in the ballroom, as opposed to some other activity, rather than that the ballroom, as opposed to some other place, is fine for dancing. Still, I have no problem accepting it.
Apr. 14th, 2004 01:01 pm (UTC)
First off, put me on that filter.

Sentence 1: Perfectly okay by me. That's probably what I would say.
door #2: While it carries the moaning without trouble, I'd correct/avoid that only because we're trained not to use prepositions to end sentences with. That said, I could easily see myself saying this if I'm not being anal about my grammar.
behind curtain #3: Seems a little stunted compared to 1, like cookie monster is saying it and doens't have enough words. I don't likw it as much 'cause it feels awkward, and wouldn't say it.
Finally, 4: I like this just as much as #2. I think it carries the full meaning without any confusion, but proscriptive grammar tells us not to do it. I could easily see myself saying this if I didn't care about making picky people stay off my case :-) So it depends on how I'm feeling that moment.
Apr. 14th, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC)
..and naturally when I said "moaning" about sentence 2, I actually meant "meaning". Though the typo is undeniably more interesting :-)
Apr. 14th, 2004 04:34 pm (UTC)
Having read far too many 'net posts, I can't be bothered to correct anything, but #2 and #4 seem closer to how I'd phrase it...
Apr. 14th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC)
1. Not bad. Sounds like a grandmother scolding them for dancing outside in the rain-- emphasis seems to be a bit on "in the ballroom" as opposed to somewhere else.

2. Fine.

3. Urg. I would have to shake the person.

4. Fine.
Apr. 14th, 2004 09:04 pm (UTC)
1, 2 and 4 are okay. 1 does, as others have suggested, feel a bit like "up with this I will not put". Sentence 3 is bad, for some reason seeming like "in the ballroom" is dancing, even though it doesn't even function as a noun-phrase. And it doesn't even say it's dancing, so it seems like someone for whom English isn't a first language trying to say that the inside of the ballroom wants to dance.
Apr. 15th, 2004 10:51 am (UTC)
lets see - i was going to post something to this yesterday, but it got away from me...

for some reason, keeping the prepostion together bothers me more than putting the locative at the end. so i'd go for 2/4 over 1/3...

i also think that "place" is also implied - 1/2 are kind of redundant. by process of elimination - I'd say that of the 4 choices, i'd probably be most comfortable (least twitchy) about #4. i don't often correct people's grammar/usage, so, i probably wouldn't feel compelled to actually say something - but would probably make a mental not of 'gee, that sounded odd'
Apr. 16th, 2004 09:58 pm (UTC)
Of these, #1 feels best for some reason I cannot explain. I don't like the "in" at the end of #2 and #4 for some reason, and find myself wanting to do something such as:

The ballroom is a perfectly fine place in which to dance.

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jalen Strix

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