Re[6]: [tied] French Gerund v. Participle

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 34963
Date: 2004-11-04

At 8:58:19 PM on Wednesday, November 3, 2004,
enlil@... wrote:

> Brian:

>>>> Nor does it mean the same thing. People who speak
>>>> French may be speaking English.

>>> So would "people speaking French"!

>> No. If they are speaking French, they are not speaking
>> English.

> Why are you imposing a style of speech on me?

I'm not; I'm reporting normal (in this case meaning both
standard and most common) English usage.

> I'm simply stating how I speak English as a native speaker
> and my usage is just as justified as yours. In my usage,
> "people speaking French" does _NOT_ imply that they only
> speak French.

Nor in mine. What it says is that they are speaking French
at the moment to which the statement refers. At some other
moment they may be speaking English, or Yup'ik, or Dyirbal,
for all I know.

>> I can't speak for French, [...]

> Then why are you speaking ignorantly on it?

I'm not speaking about it at all.

>>> "people speaking English"
>>> (2230 entries)

>> Irrelevant.

> Relevant. This is a sample of usages.

It's a sample of constructions; it tells you nothing about
the intended senses of those constructions. Since your
claim is about the senses as well as the constructions
themselves, the data are not germane to your claim.

>> Of course both forms are acceptable and reasonably
>> common;

> Thank you, that's what I'm getting at... in both English
> and French.

No, you're making a much stronger claim of synonymy, about
which the statistics say exactly nothing. If you were
thinking with your head instead of responding defensively, I
expect that you'd realize this immediately.

>> the point is that they are not synonymous,

> No, they are not synonymous in all dialects of English,
> you mean to say. I don't know why you're trying to
> discredit me as a native English speaker

I doubt that they are synonymous in any dialect of English,
though they may be so in your idiolect. I'm not trying to
discredit you as a native English speaker, but I'm not
impressed by your knowledge of English varieties in general.

> or why you pick debates with me that are simply
> arguementative for no strong reason.

If I actually picked debates with you just to be
argumentative, I'd be posting constantly. Every once in a
while, however, you make a statement -- usually about
methodology but sometimes about matters of fact -- that
strikes me as blatantly wrong, and I comment. Correcting
blatantly wrong statements does not in my book qualify as
being argumentative 'for no strong reason'.

Dead Dobbin having been thoroughly thumped, I've no more to
say on the subject.