"bus" as non-count n.

Alison Murie sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sat Dec 16 18:25:06 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,
>use of the article depends entirely on the verb, which indicates that we are
>dealing with idioms here, right?
 Isn't the real difference here  that "bus, train, car, ship, plane"
aren't functioning as the nouns identifying the particular vehicles or
carriers,  but as the nouns identifying classes of travel, like "air, road,
rail," &c., which could hardly be countable?

~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>

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