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Picture of BobHale
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I just watched the latest episode of "The Apprentice" (the UK version with Alan Sugar, not the US Donald Trump one)

Remember these contestants are supposed to be the best and the brightest that the business world has to offer.

They were designing new greetings card and had come up with the idea of a national day for single people (no one asked the obvious question of who was going to buy and send them) and then spent, apparently, four hours discussing where to put an apostrophe in the phrase

National Singles Day

They tried to phone both the editor of the Daily Telegraph and the British Library. A team of five allegedly clever people couldn't - in four hours - place an apostrophe in such a simple phrase.

Thank God it's a one hour program and we only saw five minutes of the discussion.

Best and the brightest, indeed!


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Now that is hilarious, Bob. Big Grin

Tell us, did they decide?
 
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appears

As a friend of mine's father used to say: "Don't confuse me with the facts", which, after all, is ambiguous.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Which simply makes it all the funnier that these allegedly intellegent people should waste so much time arguing over it.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I just knew this subject would come up! If Bob hadn't mentioned it I would have done.

There was some argument as to how much time they wasted on this; the voiceover says three and a half hours, one of Sir Alan's minions said four hours, and the project manager admitted to three hours. It was obviously far too long whatever time was spent.

There are three perfectly valid ways of dealing with this:
Singles Day: adjectival use; similar to Sports Day, sports car etc.

Single's Day: singular exemplar possessive; similar to Reader's Digest - although an event for sundry single people, it is personalised to the individual.

Singles' Day: plural possessive; shows that it's a day for all single people.

As with so many areas of English, there is no "right" or "wrong" way.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: arnie,


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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And the reason that it was so funny is that they spent so much time argunig about three possibilities ALL OF WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN OK (though my preference would have been for SINGLES')


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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There's also the similar debate concerning the day dedicated to mothers. Is it:
  • Mothers Day - a day for mothers;
  • Mother's Day - a day celebrating one's own mother;
  • Mothers' Day - a day for everybody to celebrate their mothers jointly and severally?
Americans get round this as it is laid down by presidential proclamation as Mother's Day so there (should) be no argument. We British ignore it completely and use Mothering Sunday instead. Wink


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
Which simply makes it all the funnier that these allegedly intellegent people should waste so much time arguing over it.


Well they're in good company, anyway.
 
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I kinda miss Richard being here. I am sure he would have had an opinion. Wink
 
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I'm sure he will have when he comes back. Big Grin


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I agree with Arnie. So what they SHOULD have been arguing about is the meaning they wished to convey. Once that had been decided then the apostrophisation should have been obvious.


Richard English
 
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Test post, please ignore


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Not language related but this week they had the chance to show off their massive intellects again.

They were sent to Marrakesh with a shopping list of things to get as cheaply as possible. One of the items, presumably as a challenge, was Kosher Chicken.

One team managed it but the others seemed entirely unaware that Kosher and Halal are not the same thing. They went to a Halal butcher and then amid confusion tried to check if he sold Kosher chicken, decided that halal was close enough and asked if the butcher knew of a mosque where they could get it blessed. The butcher, clearly taking the piss out of the stupid tourists offered to bless it himself which they accepted.

The most amusing thing?

Back in the boardroom sir Alan, flabbergasted, asked one of the team members if he knew what Kosher meant. When he admitted he didn't Sir Alan went on to quote from his CV in which he had written that he was "a good Jewish boy" when he clearly wasn't. He squirmed and said something about being only half-Jewish and was later caught on camera crossing himself as he walked down the corridor.

The best and the brightest.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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In any event, you can't be "half-Jewish". If your mother was Jewish you are Jewish. If not, not. Apart from converts, that is. Roll Eyes


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Well, that's more an Orthodox belief. Reform and Conservative Jews would still consider you Jewish if your mother weren't Jewish but your father were.
 
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But you'd still have a hard time convincing me that there is anyone Jewish who doesn't have any idea of what "kosher" means.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Arnie, what was the other (probably yiddish) word that Alan Sugar used in that boardroom? After the contestant had admitted that he didn't know what "kosher" meant, Alan Sugar said something like "Do you know what...means?" in a sarcastic tone of voice. The contestant shook his head and Alan Sugar was visibly unimpressed. Any idea what the word was or what it meant, as I don't think it was explained.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I'm not sure ... was it "schmuck"?


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I think it was Halal.
 
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No. Though that was used as well. I think, though I'm not sure, that it was something like "lahaim" but I haven't been able to find it in any online yiddish dictionary.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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lahaim

Le-chaim is Hebrew for 'to life'. It's a toast in Yiddish.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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That's probably it then. Seems an odd thing to say in the context though.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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It's another common Jewish term that is current in the States brand of English.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Well, that's more an Orthodox belief. Reform and Conservative Jews would still consider you Jewish if your mother weren't Jewish but your father were.

The Forward, which used to be a Yiddish-language, daily newspaper out of New York, has an interesting article about some conversions to Judaism that have been ruled invalid (link).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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There is no doubt that my conversion would not be considered authentic by the Orthodox Jews, which is what z's article refers to. It surely is considered legitimate by the Reform or Conservative Jews, though, and I most definitely consider myself Jewish.
quote:
But you'd still have a hard time convincing me that there is anyone Jewish who doesn't have any idea of what "kosher" means.
Me too. Heck, most Protestants, Catholics, atheists, etc. know what "Kosher" means.
quote:
Seems an odd thing to say in the context though.
Not to me. It's quite a common phrase, isn't it? All my non-Jewish friends use it.
 
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