The English Language

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: The English Language

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:11 pm

Ross Brennan wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:40 pm
soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:44 am
How do we categorize countries in terms of development?
Is developing the same as underdeveloped?
It is the United Nations Human Human Development Index (HDI) that is commonly used to measure countries in terms of development. This includes economic factors such as Gross National Income per capita, but also includes factors related to education and the opportunity to live a long and healthy life (see hdr.undp.org).

Some sources say that "developing" and "underdeveloped" are synonyms, but other sources treat "underdeveloped" as the countries ranked the very lowest in terms of the HDI, with "developing" countries in the next category up.
Thanks, so underdeveloped, developing, developed. Right?

Ross Brennan
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Re: The English Language

Post by Ross Brennan » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:31 pm

Yes that's basically it!

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MJMcCready
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Re: The English Language

Post by MJMcCready » Sun May 02, 2021 4:01 am

The difference between developed and developing is hard to determine sometimes. Singapore is considered developed yet Malaysia, and Thailand for that matter, are considered developing nations. Hard to know where to draw the lines sometimes, isn't it?

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: The English Language

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sun May 02, 2021 8:04 am

What's the difference between subspecialist and superspecialist?

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MJMcCready
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Re: The English Language

Post by MJMcCready » Sun May 02, 2021 2:02 pm

I don't really know although perhaps the latter infers greater expertise than the former.

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: The English Language

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sun May 02, 2021 7:56 pm

Thanks. A medical doctor might be able to answer that better

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MJMcCready
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Re: The English Language

Post by MJMcCready » Sun May 02, 2021 11:47 pm

Hopefully not.

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: The English Language

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Fri May 07, 2021 2:03 am

Thanks

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MJMcCready
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Re: The English Language

Post by MJMcCready » Wed May 12, 2021 5:29 pm

I just noticed that Navara lost in eight moves and commentated that 2700 players should not lose in less than ten moves but I should have said fewer than, shouldn't I?

Ross Brennan
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Re: The English Language

Post by Ross Brennan » Thu May 13, 2021 1:14 pm

Really you need a teacher of English for this. However, my answer would be that moves are a countable noun, and "fewer" is strictly correct with countable nouns. "Less" is strictly correct with uncountable nouns. Less water (uncountable), but fewer chess-players (countable).

To be fair, in everyday speech lots of us mix these up regularly.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: The English Language

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu May 13, 2021 2:08 pm

Ross Brennan wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 1:14 pm
Less water (uncountable), but fewer chess-players (countable).

To be fair, in everyday speech lots of us mix these up regularly.
Or perhaps for those who studied and can remember any university level mathematics. Less irrational numbers (uncountable) but fewer rational numbers (countable).

Ross Brennan
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Re: The English Language

Post by Ross Brennan » Thu May 13, 2021 7:40 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 2:08 pm
Ross Brennan wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 1:14 pm
Less water (uncountable), but fewer chess-players (countable).

To be fair, in everyday speech lots of us mix these up regularly.
Or perhaps for those who studied and can remember any university level mathematics. Less irrational numbers (uncountable) but fewer rational numbers (countable).
Countable and uncountable infinities? I vaguely remember something along those lines.

I would put it in the same category as my understanding of Jon Speelman's explanation of "corresponding squares". That moment when you understand that you will never really understand.

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John Clarke
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Re: The English Language

Post by John Clarke » Fri May 14, 2021 5:15 am

Ross Brennan wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 1:14 pm
However, my answer would be that moves are a countable noun, and "fewer" is strictly correct with countable nouns. "Less" is strictly correct with uncountable nouns. Less water (uncountable), but fewer chess-players (countable).
Or, as the old poet(s) put it:

When discussing smaller quantities, the rule is not obscure:
If they're measured, then say "less"; but if they're counted, then it's "fewer".
OR
When you talk of smaller quantities, don't get into a mess:
If you count 'em, then it's "fewer"; if you measure 'em , say "less".


(Author(s) unknown)
To be fair, in everyday speech lots of us mix these up regularly.
Not in this house. We're always yelling "fewer!" at the TV!!
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: The English Language

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri May 14, 2021 8:36 am

https://www.redmolotov.com/the-pedants-revolt-tshirt

I agree with "fewer" for countable things etc. But it can be confusing...

You would probably say, "It takes less than 2 hours to travel from London to Brighton", and that sounds ok, "fewer than 2 hours" does not appear to sound better!

Ross Brennan
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Re: The English Language

Post by Ross Brennan » Fri May 14, 2021 1:47 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 8:36 am
https://www.redmolotov.com/the-pedants-revolt-tshirt

I agree with "fewer" for countable things etc. But it can be confusing...

You would probably say, "It takes less than 2 hours to travel from London to Brighton", and that sounds ok, "fewer than 2 hours" does not appear to sound better!
Yes I agree that sort of example does make things confusing. Maybe this problem arises where we impose something countable on top of something that isn't countable? So what we mean is "it will take less time", and are treating time as an uncountable noun - which sounds correct, since time is a bit like water in that sense. But we are used to thinking of time in units such as minutes and hours, and those units are countable. The same thing arises with distance, I guess. "Is it 5 miles to the next service station? No, it's less than that." Distance is like water and time (uncountable). The units we divide distance into are countable, but of course they're also arbitrary - they can be miles, kilometres, nautical miles, chains, cubits etc.

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