[Gllug] Schoolboy Grammar

Stuart Sears stuart at sjsears.com
Tue Mar 27 10:18:30 UTC 2012

 On Tue, 27 Mar 2012 08:45:49 +0000, Tyson, Jim wrote:
> John Walker said:
>> But please note that the adjective from "grammar" is "grammatical", 
>> not "grammar"!
> But who cares since it doesn't need to be an adjective?

 Um, yes "it" does, in general. You can write sentences with a 'noun 
 adjunct' where nouns are used as modifiers of other nouns, but it does 
 not read well, except in the cases where there is no other 'grammatical' 
 way to frame a particular thought.

>The following are all fine
 They're also not examples of the same thing.

> A mathematics error
 In what way is that fine?
 Surely it's either an "error in mathematics" or "a mathematical error"?
 If there was no adjectival form of 'mathematics', I'd probably agree 
 with you.
 As if that were important or something. :)

> A physics error
 [insert similar argument]
 Having said that, "physical" does not predominantly imply anything to 
 do with 'physics' in general usage and might give a different meaning to 
 the phrase. I still think that "an error in physics" is better.

> A Cooking error
 Cooking is a gerund and therefore an adjectival form, so this one 
 works, although probably not for the reason you gave (it is adjectival).
 Although you can still say "An error in cooking"
> Although the example is more like
> A rooky error

 "rookie" :)
 Unless you're referring to an error characterised by an abundance of 
 rooks, I suppose.
 here, rookie is used as a modifier - it's an adjectival noun anyway.

> A newbie error
> Or maybe better
> A newbie gamer error
> But take what I say with a large pinch of NaCl because I'm frequently
> hoist by my own pedantry.

 On that very note:

 Did you absolutely have to posting (what appears to be) the entire 
 digest email with a random portion responded to at the top and all the 
 unrelated parts beneath it?
 Surely something else for the pedants to get their teeth into :)

 [snip] <- see? :)

 (waiting for the rebuttal)

 p.s. Yes, I am aware that languages change and evolve. I spent several 
 years teaching them for a living.

 </flame off>

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