Grammar question: let alone vs. for that matter

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kylera, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. kylera macrumors 65816

    kylera

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    #1
    This one goes out to English grammar experts.

    I'm aware that "let alone" and "for that matter" are used for some form of comparison, but the usage ALWAYS confuses me. Is this correct, or do I need to reverse?

    I can't run one mile, or ten miles for that matter. / I can't run ten miles, let alone one mile.
     
  2. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Both of those can be used in that situation, but neither were written correctly. They need to be reversed in each example.
     
  3. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

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    #3
    I figured something wasn't right. So it's:

    I can't run ten miles, or one mile for that matter. / I can't run one mile, let alone ten miles.
     
  4. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Exactly. Although I would add the word "even" in front of one mile in the first sentence.
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #5
    I know that we aren't supposed to post a comment to simply say "I agree"... but in this case I think an exception can be made, since grammar in any language can be so subtle, it doesn't hurt to have confirmation that a usage is correct.

    I agree with imaketouchtheme: They are saying exactly what I believe to be correct.
     
  6. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #6
    I'm hearing the phrase "as well" a lot lately. It seems to be popular on news panel shows. People sometimes write it "aswell", but I bite my tongue.
     
  7. kylera thread starter macrumors 65816

    kylera

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    #7
    For negative sentences, with "for that matter," it seems that the "larger" comparison comes followed by the "smaller" comparison, and then "for that matter," and the other way around for "let alone."

    However, it seems to be the other way around for positive sentences. For example:

    Listening to soothing jazz tunes is a great way to start off the morning, or the week for the matter.

    And besides that, "let alone" seems to have more of a negative connotation...I can't seem to come up with a positive sentence using "let alone." Thoughts?
     
  8. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #8
    It's just the fact that they are not interchangeable, just like a lot of synonyms. They have the same or similar meaning, but they both can't be used in place of each other every time.
     
  9. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    #9
    ??
    This is a grammar thread; can't let alone that. ;)
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #10
    The use of the colon, or the plural pronoun?

    My wife tells me I have a bad habit of writing sentence fragments. It's just the way I think.

    Since I don't know the gender of imaketouchtheme, I figure that they can both male and female at the same time, until observation determines which is correct. I've always liked the concept behind Schrödinger's cat. Until I know which way imaketouchtheme swings, so to speak, they are plural in my mind since they are both. :)

    I will always accept correction regarding my sentence fragments.... unless it is an artist's statement.

    The plural unknown is my rule, and I'll stand by it. :)
     
  11. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Although I agree with you for the most part, in that specific instance I would have put "he/she" instead of "they". However, I do generally put they when the gender of the person I'm referring or speaking to is unknown. I'm assuming the previous poster was referring to your use of a colon, though.
     
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #12
    I've vowed to avoid the use of 'he/she' - it is just inelegant, and prioritizes the male over the female. I used to try to use it in pairs so that I could have one 'he/she' and one 'she/he'. This made for awkward sentences, though, so now I just use 'they' and ignore the critics.

    Like I said: sentence fragments. Drives my wife nuts. But I'm an artist. :)
     
  13. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Although I'd rather not start an argument over something as ridiculous as this, I just have to say that recognizing the "he" in front of "she" as prioritizing is absolutely ridiculous.
     
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #14
    On its own, perhaps not. However, except for the honourifics at the beginning of a speech ("Ladies and Gentlemen...") the English language puts the male reference first in virtually all cases. This construction establishes a pattern that, I believe, does in fact prioritize the 'male' over the 'female'.

    Plus, 'they' is a lot easier to type than 'he/she' (or 'she/he').

    If you want to have some fun, spend a week reversing the order of the male and the female forms in any writing you share with groups or the world. I believe you will hear about it from your readers, and that my case will be strengthened.

    "All good women and men ..."

    "She/he ... "

    "Hers & his ..."

    etc. etc.
     
  15. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #15
    Not to hijack the thread, but what is more correct:

    I could care less.
    I could not care less.


    :confused:
     
  16. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #16
  17. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    #17
    Having English as a second language it amazes me that some native speakers can do such mistakes.



    One of my pet peeves is using "As far as" without the following "go" or "are concerned". For example, "As far as cell phones, I prefer iPhones" instead of "As far as cell phones go, [..]".

    Is the first form correct?
     
  18. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    #18
    Um, yes; and the capitalization of "They".

    It depends on what is true; both could be. You could say "I couldn't not care less" just to make people think about it. ;)

    Technically, no it's not correct. Another irritating one in the same vein: "...sooner than later..."
     
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #19
    : Guilty as charged. :)
     

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