someone/somebody, etc.

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Mon Oct 30 17:43:07 UTC 2000

Beverly said:
>This leads to an interesting spelling/spacing problem:  I would write "any
>one of the students" for the partitive above, and stress the "one" in
>speech.  Isn't this different from the usual one-word usage?  I'd also
>distinguish between "any one of you" (again, pausing and stressing in
>speech) and "anyone among you" (with the combined, no-pause word)--but I'm
>not sure why.  Sometimes I agonize over whether to spell words in this
>category as one word or two.  My dictionary lists "someday" as a compound,
>though I would never use it as such; "some time/sometime" is another
>problem example.  Guidelines, anyone?

I agree.   It should be "any one of the students" (or "any of the
students" is ok too).  This isn't an arbitrary spelling
distinction--they're different phrases.  Note that you could say here
"any two of the students", but you couldn't use "any two" in places
where you can use "anyone" (*I don't know anytwo here.)

It's a little weirder with the time ones.  I would only use "some
time" as a noun phrase, but sometime(s) as an adverb.

I'll give you some time to think about this, but
I'll expect you to reply sometime.
Sometimes I think I'm an idiot, but
There were some times when I was wrong.

But my word processor doesn't like "someday" at all, so I generally avoid it!


(The Eudora moodwatcher thinks this is quite an offensive message.  I
hope that you haven't been offended by me calling myself a potential
M. Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 3AN    UK
phone:  +44(0)1273-678844
fax:    +44(0)1273-671320

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