"bus" as non-count n.

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 16 17:18:21 UTC 2006

In a message dated 12/16/06 12:02:47 PM, zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU writes:

> > And then we have such "non-count" uses as "go (travel) by bus (car/
> > train/boat/plane/mule/foot)."  Or "jump ship" (though I reckon
> > that's pretty much just an idiom now).
> i'm not sure that it's right to see "bus" in "travel by bus" etc. as
> non-count.  i'm more inclined to say that these are idiomatic uses of
> nouns in their bare forms, and to suggest that we shouldn't have to
> assign the nouns *in these idioms* to either C or M.

Note that the situation is even more complex, in that one must say also "I 
take _the_ train/bus/boat/subway/etc." Cf. "I go on _the_ train." That is, the 
use of the article depends entirely on the verb, which indicates that we are 
dealing with idioms here, right?


>> Until pretty recently, "He's on break now" sounded odd to me.  And
>> there's the unAmerican "Where did you go for holiday?"


>i'm fine with "break", and it's like "nap" for me:
   >Break will be in ten minutes.

But one can also say:

       He's on his break now.
       My break will be in ten minutes.
Not so sure about:

       ?He's taking his nap now.
       ?I'll have my nap in ten minutes.

Though my problem with the "nap" examples may be pragmatic.

Not sdure aqbout:

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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