which one is correct

This is a discussion on which one is correct within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; According to my high school English teacher, "lots" is slang and not acceptable in formal writing. "A lot of" is ...

  1. #16
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    According to my high school English teacher, "lots" is slang and not acceptable in formal writing. "A lot of" is acceptable.

  2. #17
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish
    According to my high school English teacher, "lots" is slang and not acceptable in formal writing. "A lot of" is acceptable.
    That is interesting. My copy of the fifth edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary considers both "a lot of" and "lots of" to be colloquial. On the other hand, the various entries at dictionary.com for "lot" do not make special mention of this.
    Last edited by laserlight; 09-06-2009 at 10:04 AM.
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  3. #18
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEN10 View Post
    Ok. Here's another one. Which one is correct?
    I think any use of the word "lot" there is awkward to the point of incorrectness or as laserlight says, "colloquial", whether it's "lots" or "a lot of".

    The correct way to say this would be:

    Many people say it like this.

    However, most editors would not fault "A lot of".
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  4. #19
    DESTINY BEN10's Avatar
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    Isn't there any standard in English which can distinguish between wrong and right, like C has it's own standard for the language. I'm asking this because whenever I ask a question about English, people doesn't give definite answers.
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  5. #20
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    I don't think so. Many references claim to be authoritative on this, but they do disagree amongst themselves, and IMHO none is better than any other.

    Unlike C, English is collectively "designed" by its millions of speakers. Dictionaries and other references are written after the fact. They try to describe how people use the language, but the problem is, everyone uses and understands it in slightly different ways, so they have to only include mainstream definitions and interpretations. Even then, what's mainstream or not depends on where you are, and who you talk to.

    For C, very few people designed the language, and the specifications are written before people start using them. Even then, we get slightly different behaviours from different implementations due to ambiguities in the standards.

  6. #21
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEN10 View Post
    Isn't there any standard in English which can distinguish between wrong and right, like C has it's own standard for the language. I'm asking this because whenever I ask a question about English, people doesn't give definite answers.
    Perhaps you asking the wrong peoples

    There usually is a straightforward answer, eg, wrong or right, but since it is the most widely spoken language in the world and probably used by more people as a second or third language than actually use it as their first, native tongue, there is a lot of flexability.

    I think if you make the question less stringent, eg "Is the meaning of this clear, and is it what I think it is?" is better than "Is this absolutely proper?". People are not computers and can accommodate certain amounts of fuzziness.

    Eg, it is totally normal and clear to say "Lots of people do" or "A lot of people do" but in a strict academic setting you may be told that is not how we do it.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  7. #22
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEN10 View Post
    Isn't there any standard in English which can distinguish between wrong and right, like C has it's own standard for the language. I'm asking this because whenever I ask a question about English, people doesn't give definite answers.
    I think that question presupposes that human languages are intentionally designed. Nearly nobody believes that, at least in linguistics circles. Symbolic communication seems to be an instinctive human behavior, to the point that children who are not exposed to some pre-existing language will actually create one in order to communicate with each other (don't have the reference to the study but it's been observed).

    Usage rules of English or any other language aren't really rules so much as descriptions of how the language is used in practice.

    In my mind, if a large group of people speaks in a certain way, then this is legitimate speech and it's pointless to try to claim it is incorrect.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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