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Pedants' corner

‘There’s so many savings this week!’

(44 Posts)
Witzend Fri 24-Jun-22 11:03:05

Email from Boots this morning.

Is it just me, or does anyone else wince at ‘there is’ with a plural?

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 24-Jun-22 11:05:08

It’s not just you.

Grandmabatty Fri 24-Jun-22 11:18:10

Retired English teacher here. It drives me crazy.

Esspee Fri 24-Jun-22 11:46:13

Drives me crazy too. Just ignorance. (I hope nobody comes on this thread saying it’s dialect and we shouldn’t criticise because they’ll get short shrift from me.)

Bignanny2 Fri 24-Jun-22 11:54:02

It’s not dialect - I’m a Brummie, an accent which many hate, but i like to think that at least I speak the ‘queen’s English’. I hate was instead of were too 😡

Witzend Fri 24-Jun-22 12:06:08

Bignanny2, I’m a former teacher of English as a foreign language and for quite a while had a colleague - senior to me - who insisted on saying ‘I were, it were…’ etc. and anyone who didn’t like it could just get stuffed - it was (were!) characteristic of her northern U.K. speech and therefore allowed.

Never mind the confusion it must have caused for her mostly Arabic-speaking students, who’d be penalised for getting it wrong in their exams.

MaizieD Sat 25-Jun-22 09:11:03

Esspee

Drives me crazy too. Just ignorance. (I hope nobody comes on this thread saying it’s dialect and we shouldn’t criticise because they’ll get short shrift from me.)

Drives me mad, too. Especially when I catch myself doing it...

MaizieD Sat 25-Jun-22 09:12:59

Sorry, quoted post shouldn't be there. I started replying to it, changed my mind and forgot to delete it.

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jun-22 10:03:29

I would have thought that 'is' might be acceptable.
The situation (singular) is that there are lots (plural) of bargains.
Not that I know much about all "the rules".

Yammy Sat 25-Jun-22 10:30:13

How about wait "while' instead of wait "until" used all the time where I used to live and I am not hot on grammar.hmm

Yammy Sat 25-Jun-22 10:33:48

Esspee

Drives me crazy too. Just ignorance. (I hope nobody comes on this thread saying it’s dialect and we shouldn’t criticise because they’ll get short shrift from me.)

Anyone, in particular, you are thinking of Esspee? What does your short shrift consist of?sad

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jun-22 10:39:16

Short shrift or otherwise, a lot of people do "mistake" grammar issues for colloquialisms.

Yammy Sat 25-Jun-22 10:45:10

Some dialect that others would label slang is actually old English and Scots. The one that comes to mind quickly is "How do", translated for southerners means "How do you do" a proper greeting.
We all in the "North" do not say were instead of was. Incidentally, where would you put the border for the north "Me old China"?

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jun-22 10:50:17

The North is all a bit of a mystery to me, I mean how northerly does somewhere have to be before its The North?
I don't really understand the Midlands, either, in terms of where it starts and ends.

Mollygo Sat 25-Jun-22 10:54:02

Yes OP, There’s +plural is irritating but I find myself saying it (e.g. There’s still so many presents to wrap.) Lazy speech? Local usage? Dialect? (I want to know what the short shrift will be.😂😂)
Re was and were, I vaguely remember that
‘If I were’ instead of ‘If I was’ - is something to do with the subjunctive. However, ‘I were’ just sounds wrong.

Yammy Sat 25-Jun-22 10:58:14

MissAdventure

The North is all a bit of a mystery to me, I mean how northerly does somewhere have to be before its The North?
I don't really understand the Midlands, either, in terms of where it starts and ends.

I wholeheartedly agree with you ar we now or perhaps always have divided our country into no-go areas where accents are concerned.
Don't people in the 'South " realise that their accents and dialects are every bit as unintelligible to northerners, why should yours be right and ours wrong. There must have been a lot of teachers, teaching poor grammar in the so-called Midlands and North. Did they all the less compitent get shipped up there to civilise the heathens?

Witzend Sat 25-Jun-22 10:58:43

MissAdventure

I would have thought that 'is' might be acceptable.
The situation (singular) is that there are lots (plural) of bargains.
Not that I know much about all "the rules".

Yes, but that’s different wording altogether.,

Unless I’m going more bonkers than usual, I don’t see how ‘so many savings’ cannot clearly be seen as a plural.

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jun-22 11:00:21

My mums next door neighbour came originally from Yorkshire, and she used to say "I were". smile
I don't recall anyone accusing her of being lazy or ignorant.

I found her way of speaking lovely.
I remember her telling my little girl to call her "Anty Ann" smile

MawtheMerrier Sat 25-Jun-22 11:02:20

If there are any savings anywhere, I’m not too fussed about whether it’s “there’s” or “there are” ££££

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jun-22 11:04:02

grin
"I'm refusing to buy your bargains until you tell me properly about them!"

Witzend Sat 25-Jun-22 11:08:43

Mollygo

Yes OP, There’s +plural is irritating but I find myself saying it (e.g. There’s still so many presents to wrap.) Lazy speech? Local usage? Dialect? (I want to know what the short shrift will be.😂😂)
Re was and were, I vaguely remember that
‘If I were’ instead of ‘If I was’ - is something to do with the subjunctive. However, ‘I were’ just sounds wrong.

As regards my ex colleague, it was not use of the subjunctive ‘were’ I meant. Just the usual sort of, ‘I were too hot/tired/hungry’ etc.

Talking of EFL teachers, a dd who taught EFL in sundry SE Asian countries and Australia, once had someone else’s students come to her in confusion, because their teacher apparently didn’t know the difference between its/it’s - or some such basic usage.
As she said, it was bloody embarrassing, especially since the fellow teacher was a Brit.

Doodledog Sat 25-Jun-22 11:12:27

‘I were’, and ‘I was’ can both be right, depending on the case being used.

Molly is right that ‘were’ is used in the subjunctive. ‘If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady’ is correct, as it is talking about what would happen if . . .

‘I was a carpenter before I went to sea.’ is also correct, as it describes a situation that is not dependent on chance, or on other conditions to apply.

Doodledog Sat 25-Jun-22 11:16:01

Whilst I’m here, what is the name for when something happens only when something else is happening, please? Eg ‘When we eat pork we have apple sauce’?

grannyrebel7 Sat 25-Jun-22 11:16:51

Is instead of are drives me crazy too 🤪 I've heard professionals saying this and newsreaders.

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jun-22 11:20:08

Doodledog

Whilst I’m here, what is the name for when something happens only when something else is happening, please? Eg ‘When we eat pork we have apple sauce’?

I ain't got a scooby.
wink