Friday, November 16, 2007

My little duplicitous noun determiner problem

I have a double standard with the use of, or the lack of use of, noun determiners. (A, the, that, etc.) Sometimes a particular grammar rule is okay with me, but sometimes the same rule in another usage will irritate me.

Cases in point:

It has always bugged me when someone is going to take a break, or someone is already on a break, and it is referred to as going “on break”. I’ve always said, “I’m going on a break,” or, “So-and-so is on a break.”

I don’t have a problem with the word vacation in the same exact context. People go “on vacation” all the time, just as often as they go “on a vacation”.

Speaking of work, I would rather hear, “I am going to work,” rather than, “I’m going to my work.” In the former, work is a verb; but in the latter, it’s used as a noun, when the correct (in my mind) way to say that sentence would be, “I’m going to my workplace.”

In England, they say “on holiday”. They also say that someone is “in hospital” rather than “in the hospital”. But hey, they’re Brits. They always get a pass. Happy Christmas.

2 Talked Back:

At November 17, 2007 at 7:00:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I prefer coworkers who use as few words as possible, or perhaps none at all.

 

At November 18, 2007 at 4:15:00 PM CST, Blogger Lindsay Chandler said...

how do you feel about people who type all in lowercase? you know what i don't like? i don't like it when people say "anyways" instead of "anyway." but that's just me...anyWAY, happy birthday to you too!

 

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