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The euro: linguistic concerns
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Qaaolchoura.


" . . . such as "police" . . . " but can still, like non-count nouns, be treated as a singular and counted."

I'm stumped - example, please.

(Oh, there's also "news," which looks like a plural but is always singular, and "glasses" {spectacles}, "pants," and "trousers," which are always plural.

Regards,
John
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear Qaaolchoura.


" . . . such as "police" . . . " but can still, like non-count nouns, be treated as a singular and counted."

I'm stumped - example, please.

Sorry, I meant to include "sometimes" in that statement. "People" and "government" can be used that way, but I don't think "police" can, at least not at this stage in English development.

~Q
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear Sasha,

"I only see compound nouns."

My goodness - that's a strange malady. Oh - maybe what you meant was this:

"I see only compound nouns." Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Regards,
John


Dear Johnslat

What I meant, by my perfectly correct original statement, was that you were wrong in your assertion that 'dollar' and 'pound' were being used as adjectives, grrrrr! Nice attempt at dodging and deflecting, though clumsy, hic!


Regards

Sasha
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Qaaolchoura"]
Sashadroogie wrote:

Keep in mind that the euro in this case isn't actually uncountable. Rather, it's a count noun that is also its own plural, as is often used for game, as with fish, deer, elk, moose. Though in the latter two cases the words are loans from languages without plural forms, and English is a lazy but accepting *beep* that likes to take words as they are, native plural forms and all.

Another interesting thing that I've noticed about the count/non-count noun distinction is that that we also have nouns that are always plural, such as "police" and "people" (and I think "government" in British English, yes?), but can still, like non-count nouns, be treated as a singular and counted (e.g. "all the peoples of Eurasia.")

Regards,
~Q


Yes, this is a big, messy area - plural uncountable nouns, e.g. 'pants'. But I am not so sure that any of this is connected the use of 'three euro'.

The question that I was raising was whether or not posters used a plural form. You say that 'euro' is countable and has a plural form sometimes not used? Lovely. But in Ireland, there never seems to be a plural form at all, and so appears very much to used as an uncountable noun, like yen. Use is inconsistent elsewhere though.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15341

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would refer the classicists in our midst to that phenomenon in Latin Grammar known as the "Pluralia Tantum".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurale_tantum

And it IS PLURALIA TANTUM not PLURALE TANTUM. Wikipediasts plz note !

http://linguaphiles.livejournal.com/5779639.html


See related threads on the desirability of doing Lingua Latina !


Last edited by scot47 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:14 pm; edited 3 times in total
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In English I always say euros, e.g. 3 euros, but in German I'd never say 3 Euros, only 3 Euro. If I understood the Duden website correctly, Euros is used, but not with numbers. I've never heard Euros used here, but maybe some Germans do.
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