ADJ (of) a -- where's the plural?

Steve Boatti Ittaob at AOL.COM
Sun Apr 18 14:49:26 UTC 2004

Forgive me, but I am resending this message to the list since my first
attempt seems to have had a garbled subject line:

 In a message dated 4/17/04 12:10:17 PM, M.L.Murphy at SUSSEX.AC.UK writes:

> >> Actually, you can *say* "They're [tu:] good shooters", but only for
> >> "two", not "too".
> >>
> >
> > Perhaps someone can explain to me, a non-linguist, just why you can't say
> > "they're too good shooters." It is perfectly grammatical and doesn't sound
> > strange to me at all.
> It's the sort of thing that one should probably check out in a corpus
> before claiming it can't happen, but if I heard this sentence, I'd
> definitely interpret the [tu:] as 'two'.
> Lynne
I agree this would probably be interpreted as "2." And I think this is the
main problem with all the examples of "awkwardness" that have been cited in
previous posts -- the confusion between "too" and "two." But what if you were
clearly referring to more than 2 subjects? Such as: "The Three Stooges are too
good actors to be dismissed as mere slapstick artists." There, I think, the
hearer would understand what you meant. And the awkwardness is almost gone.

Steve Boatti
sjb72 at

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