[lit-ideas] Re: grades & kleenex

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 09:10:25 -0400

Julie is right, I think.  The missing people each went missing 
individually.  So we want a word that stresses that we're going to look 
for them individually, rather than collectively.    Perhaps 'people' is 
the correct collective noun only when you can actually (either actively 
or figuratively) collect the people.  

On another matter, I haven't been receiving emails from the group for 
over a month.  I was away part of that time, so wasn't paying attention. 
  But yesterday I spent time catching up on the web page and wanted to 
comment on a discussion of a few days ago.   I was taught (and have 
taught) that in North America, commas and periods always go inside the 
quotation marks, and question and exclamation marks go with the sense of 
the thing.   Also, question and exclamation marks count as end 
punctuation even when they are inside the quotation marks.   Just adding 
my belated two cents' worth.

On still another matter, I was, all month, receiving Theoria mail and 
responded to Mike's announcement of the birth of his granddaughter.  To 
my knowledge, no one else there did (except privately perhaps).  I 
thought that mighty odd.  Then, yesterday, catching up with this list, I 
read many congratulations.   Different family here and there.   Nice to 
be counted among you.

Still chuckling about the kleenex for grades story...

JulieReneB@xxxxxxx wrote:

>Any guidance on explaining the difference between "people" and "persons" to a 
>twelve year old would be appreciated.  She asked yesterday.  Although I have 
>a pretty firm intuitive grasp of the difference and would have thought it easy 
>enough to explain, I found myself at a total loss.  I use the two differently 
>and consistently differently but suddenly I find it impossible to articulate 
>a logical definitional distinction.  "Collective" vs. "plurally individual" or 
>"individual plurality" doesn't mean much to a 6th grader....(or is that a 
>distinction only learned later on and experientially?).
>Julie Krueger
>>- (also still confused
>>by the plural of person as well: "people" or "persons")??.
>I think that depends on the context. But I'm not sure.  So I gave up and
>googled, and found something genuinely interesting (IMO).  Not only is our
>charity that helps what it calls "missing  people" and their families
>called The National Missing Persons Helpline, but, the use of "persons"
>rather than "people" is both widespread and not new. 
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