RE: job-hunt weirdness

Subject: RE: job-hunt weirdness
From: Andrew Warren <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: 'Michael West' <WestM -at- ap -dot- aurecongroup -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2009 18:10:14 -0700

Michael West wrote:

> > > It's like "Ten dollars is too much for a cup of coffee". You
> > > wouldn't write "Ten dollars are too many for a cup of coffee",
> > > would you?
>
> No, I wouldn't, and the reason I wouldn't is that "ten dollars" is a
> sum, an amount, a notional value. .... not a collection of objects.
>
> "Twenty years have taught me" is perfectly correct. .... My
> twenty-something years occurred one at a time -- not in a lump.

Michael:

The only thing more boring than a tedious argument over grammar is the tedious explanation of a joke. Lucky for us, this conversation is turning out to be both.

Even if the years ACTUALLY HAD occurred one at a time -- like if you'd taken a break from the business after every year in it -- "twenty years in the business" in your sentence has the sense of a singular twenty-year-long period of time, not a plural collection of twenty one-year-long periods.

When you say "twenty years in the business has/have taught me this", you're saying that you've been taught this lesson by your long experience in the business. You're NOT saying that you were taught the lesson twenty times, by each of those years individually... Right?

-Andrew, feeling that eight hours on the job today have made him tired

=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com
=== Synaptics, Inc - Santa Clara, CA
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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References:
RE: job-hunt weirdness: From: Michael West

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