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Thread poster: Timothy Barton

Timothy Barton
Local time: 10:19
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Mar 11, 2006

As you can tell from my subject title, I pluralise with an s and I do not capitalise.

One of the EU style guides makes it plainly clear that "the natural plural" should be used, that is, with an s.

All Irish people I have met recently do not use the natural plural. I presume someone wanted to show off one day by saying the plural has no s (which technically is true, since "euro" is the only official form as far as the EU are concerned, since catering for the plural in all EU languages is too complicated). I have also met Australians and Germans (speaking in English) who do not add an s in the plural, and I believe this is what Deutsch Welle do on their English language service.

From what I have read, this invariable form has infiltrated the Irish media, and this prompted one Irish typographer to dedicate part of his website to a campaign for the use of "euros". Unfortunately his website now seems not to be updated. Maybe he has given up his futile fight. The page makes good reading anyway: http://www.evertype.com/standards/euro/

I think the only thing that can save the word "euros" would be Britain joining. Only people in the North-East of England would make "euro" invariable (they often say "6 mile", "10 pound", etc.).


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 11:19
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
This should be up to each member state Mar 11, 2006

Though the Commission wants people to use only one form (euro), at least in Finnish the word gets all the grammatical extensions as every nomen:
eurot, euroa, euroja, eurossa, eurolla, euroon, eurolle etc.


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Surtees
Spanish to English
+ ...
Is it only people from the North-East that say 'pound', 'mile' etc.? Mar 11, 2006

Tim, is it true that it's only in the North-East of England that people say 'five pound', 'ten mile', etc.?

I'm from that region, and I do drop the 's' in phrases like that, at least some of the time. I presumed it was just good standard English - at least, as far as I can remember, no one has ever pulled me up on it. Except maybe the odd American.

In fact, as I was reading your post, I was thinking to myself "surely that's perfectly logical because, after all, we say things like 'it cost me five pound' so it would be quite natural to transfer it to the new currency".

Thinking about it, I would never say 'two hundred dollar' or '55 kilometre'. I'm confused now!


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Lucia M
Sweden
Local time: 10:19
Swedish to English
+ ...
Spoken language is no gauge for proper grammar Mar 24, 2006

People should not be using the spoken language to gauge proper grammar. It is in speech that deterioration of a language begins, and through ignorance about or indifference for proper grammar, things that are grammatically wrong soon become overwhelmingly accepted as correct, and they even begin to "sound right" after a certain amount of time.

We allow and also miss grammar errors, among many other types of errors, in spoken language, because it is spoken, but, at least in my opinion, high standards of grammar ought to be applied in formal written language, as high as one can manage without getting complaints from non-native English speaking clients/employers and from native English speakers who are not well-versed in grammar, but who are nonetheless in the majority.

The examples concerning the dropping of the "s" could be similar to the same phenomenon which has caused people to begin replacing the direct object form of the first person pronoun with its subject form, as in "it is between you and I," instead of "between you and me." I presume that because people know, or have "heard" somewhere, that is it grammatically correct to say "It is I," they suddenly began thinking that they will sound intelligent if they use "I" as a direct object as well, because they don't even know why you are supposed to use "I" in "it is I" and "me" in "between you and me." Similarly, it seems to be perceived as sophisticated if you happen to know that the plural of "deer" is not "deers," since cases of plural nouns that don't have an "s" are the exception to the rule and an adult native speaker sounds exceptionally uneducated when making the mistake of applying the rule to nouns that are exceptions (i.e. mouses, mooses). Maybe people began applying that exception to nouns which are not subject to that exception and which are actually supposed to have the plural "s" because they thought it sounded educated...? And like is said in the first post, maybe that is why some people want to use "euro" as the plural form.

I thankfully actually rarely hear or see "euro" used as a plural form.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:19
German to English
grammar Mar 24, 2006

Lucia Ray wrote:

People should not be using the spoken language to gauge proper grammar.

... the dropping of the "s" could be similar to the same phenomenon which has caused people to begin replacing the direct object form of the first person pronoun with its subject form, as in "it is between you and I," instead of "between you and me." I presume that because people know, or have "heard" somewhere, that is it grammatically correct to say "It is I," they suddenly began thinking that they will sound intelligent if they use "I" as a direct object as well, because they don't even know why you are supposed to use "I" in "it is I" and "me" in "between you and me."



We're on the same sheet of music on this, Lucia.

"they invited my wife and I to the party" -

We frequently hear educated native speakers in the US making this mistake. In fact it is so pervasive, that it's almost the norm. I am of the firm belief that this starts at a young age, when our poorly educated teachers chide us for using "me" instead of "I".

Little Georgie and Joey walk into their second grade classroom late. The teacher asks them why they are tardy. Georgie replies: "Me and Joey had to go to the bathroom." Teacher: "George! What horrible grammar! It's "Joey and I."

The teacher doesn't go into the grammar issue then, and if it comes up later in a child's education, it's either improperly explained or it's glossed over because the teacher doesn't really understand the point.

I believe that native speakers who understand the difference between the subject form and the object form are likely to have had some foreign language training where the teacher really can explain the difference. But sadly, until recently there has been very little foreign language education in American schools.

Another pet peeve of mine is "the exact same" instead of "exactly the same" as in "I bought the exact same dress yesterday."

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/exact.html


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Lucia M
Sweden
Local time: 10:19
Swedish to English
+ ...
Fighting a losing battle Mar 27, 2006

I can't actually remember many other mistakes that I take issue with (if you also consider that "euro" as a plural also bothers me); I almost never hear native English where I live. I do know, though, that fighting to keep a language from deterioration is a losing battle, not only in English. It doesn't help when you work for non-native speakers (or even native speakers for that matter) who argue with you on points that were not included in their language education. For example, I use the subjunctive 1 as often as I can where applicable, but I have had to "dumb down" my English usage since I began translating to avoid complaints from clients. A branch of one Finnish company client (without naming names, it is without a doubt the most renowned Finnish company in the world), actually asked my employer for a Finnish translator, because I had been translating texts for their internal magazine for some months, but apparently I was using English grammar, sentence formations and vocabulary that were too advanced for them to understand. Instead of using a Finnish translator, my employer said I should just try to translate more literally, which is to say, into "Finnglish."

To avoid stress and frustration, I have had to try to change my ways, or at least sort of submit to the overwhelming trends around me. This is actually part of the reason I have now begun trying to expand my horizons professionally, hopefully to find a place where higher language standards are applied. From what I read on this site, maybe there is no such "place," but only a small minority of people left who care about and value proper grammar. It's disheartening.


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Katherine Zei  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:19
Italian to English
+ ...
Euro standards and Ireland Apr 15, 2006

Timothy Barton wrote:

As you can tell from my subject title, I pluralise with an s and I do not capitalise.

One of the EU style guides makes it plainly clear that "the natural plural" should be used, that is, with an s.

All Irish people I have met recently do not use the natural plural. I presume someone wanted to show off one day by saying the plural has no s (which technically is true, since "euro" is the only official form as far as the EU are concerned, since catering for the plural in all EU languages is too complicated). http://www.evertype.com/standards/euro/



Hi Tim.

I prefer your standard as well, and guess where I ended up... Ireland! I am "corrected" on a daily basis when I say "euros". People assume I'm an ignorant Canadian, which is amusing since I've been using euros just as much as they have--I've been living in the EU since 1994.

I rope "euro" in with words like "viola" and "virtuoso", i.e. words of continental European origin that have been officially become English words as well. (This list is extensive, but those are the only examples that come to mind.) Therefore euro should be pluralised the same way these words are.

I prefer a non-capitalising "downstyle", since I write "dollars" and "pounds" as such.

That is my reasoning. If there are any Irish translators that would like to explain the resoning behind "That will be five euro please," enlighten me!

Great link, by the way! Thanks for that!
KZ


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