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September 16, 2006


ryan king

I think there's one option you forgot– can objects be implied when they're sufficiently obvious?

For example, the sentence "Eat healthy" can be expanded to "Eat healthy food". The word "food" is implied as the default thing that one eats.

Matthew Hurst


That issues is discussed in detail in the article I linked to at the end of the post. To quote (the example in the article is 'I think different'):

Your proposal is that different is modifying an implied, but unstated, noun in the predicate. So when you say "I think different," you are simply shortening "I think different things" or "I think something different" to mean "I disagree." While logical, your explanation does not work because nouns in these positions cannot be deleted.

The problem with "I think different [things]":
A noun cannot be discarded while its modifiers remain unless that noun is found elsewhere in the sentence. So "I buy white bread and you buy wheat [bread]" is acceptable, because the dropped noun can be recovered. In the sentence "I think different [things]," however, things cannot be dropped because it is unrecoverable


I do think that in some brands of American English you can replace adverbs with adjectives. (I'm a native American English speaker.)

In your first example, you say you've never heard "He quick ran to catch the bus" for "He quickly ran to catch the bus." They both sound wrong to me; I'd say "He ran quickly to catch the bus", and I have heard "He ran quick to catch the bus.", or similar, but only in casual spoken conversation.

I do think that in commands, there is a tendency to replace adverbs with adjectives: eat quick, speak slower, throw the ball soft. They all sound fine to me, though I can come up with cases where I would not want to hear the adjective form: "eat good" in place of "eat well" makes me shudder. Perhaps it is only "ly" adverbs.

It would be nice for data mining if the world worked on prescriptive grammar, but it doesn't.

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