how to say this?

Doug Harris cats22 at STNY.RR.COM
Fri Aug 7 16:33:50 UTC 2009

Far clearer, unfortunately, was the usual greeting a couple of years back
of a South Asian-born host at a Central NY State Denny's:
"How many you be?"

Prepared and sent with Chaos Software's Intellect mail client.
Intellect's contacts and appointments managers also are cool.

----- Original message ----------------------------------------
From: "Arnold Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
Received: 8/7/2009 11:59:52 AM
Subject: how to say this?

>from a questionnaire at a local restaurant:

>   Including you, how many people are you dining with today?

>the question is decidedly odd.  the expected answer in my case was 1
>(i was dining alone), so i appeared to be saying that i was dining
>with one person, or equivalently, that i was dining with myself.

>but all answers are peculiar.  if i'm having dinner with a friend, one
>friend, then i'm supposed to say that i'm dining with 2 people.

>something like the following might work, without giving rise to
>numerical anomalies:

>   How many people are in your party at this meal?


>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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