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Posted: 10/27/2004 9:04:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/27/2004 12:28:55 PM EST by cm]
original quetion

hi everyone .... i have a serious question on the interpretation of something i heard, so this is a bit of a grammatical analysis, because i wuz a enga-neer befur i wazant...

two people talking,
#1 ask "was there ever a question about you being terminated?"
#2 replies "oh no, no, there has(? think was has) never been a question about that".

was the question
A) person #2 was terminated, and #1 was asking if anyone said anything about the termination
B) person #1 was asking if #2 might be terminated (#2 was not terminated)

thanks for you help....

update - i deliberately kept things neutral to see what the interpretation would be. someone asked for context, and, as there has not been many replies, here it is:

context - professional anchorwoman/interviewer on a television show - should know intent of questions, more specifically, tense of the words used.
interviewee - serviceman

and change the question to:
#1 ask "was there ever a question about you being dishonorably discharged?"
#2 replies "oh no, no, there has(? think was has) never been a question about that".

was the question
A) person #2 was dishonorably dischaged, and #1 was asking if anyone said anything about the dishonorable discharge
B) person #1 was asking if #2 might be dishonorably discharged(#2 was not dishonorably discharged)

i will explain latter ...
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:06:02 AM EST
I'm going to have to go with 'B' Regis. That's my final answer.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:06:20 AM EST
Was someone stuffing someones pooper during this conversation?
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:09:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dolomite:
I'm going to have to go with 'B' Regis. That's my final answer.



B. One wouldn't be likely to say "There has never been a question about me being terminated" if you had just been terminated. One would say, "There has never been a question about my former boss being cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, etc. etc. etc."
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:46:32 AM EST
Perhaps the question was really meant to ask;

"Was there ever a question that you would be terminated?"

"Oh no, no, there has never been a (any) question about that".

It's difficult to say exactly what was meant given the wording of the original question. It's possible that the question could have been this, if phrased better:

"Was your termination ever questioned?"

"Oh no, no, that was never questioned."

I'm sure I wouldn't have attempted to answer #1's question in the first place without first asking him what he meant. (Pardon me? I'm sorry, but would you repeat that? I'm not sure I understand your question. WTF did you just ask?)
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:51:51 AM EST
well, my confusion seems to be that 'being' is "to be in a state", and terminated is a condition that has been decided or occured. if the termination had not occured, then shouldn't the question have been "was there ever any question that you might be terminated" or "would be terminated", not "being".

also, if a termination had not occured, and #2 thought it was asking about the possiblity of a termination, i would think that #2 would have said "oh no, no, there has never been any question about the possiblity of being terminated". the "that" in the reply of #2 seems to refer to "being terminated", so I was taking it to mean "oh no, no, there has never been any question about 'being terminated' / "to be in the state of terminated"?

that is why i need some english expert to analyse this
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:57:41 AM EST

#2 replies "oh no, no, there has(? think was has) never been a question about that".


You're making about as much sense as the kids on the japanese car forums that use babelfish to translate their posts.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 9:59:13 AM EST
without explanation (sorry) B seems to be the more likely scenario but any linguist will tell you that context rules the day ( I think)
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 12:29:42 PM EST
btt
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