Sunday, August 12, 2007

Diving To Serve You BetterFirst they were bus drivers, then bus captains ... now they’re multi-tasking bus divers (Today 10.08.07).

No wonder they say we’ve got a world-class transport system.


lovelyloey said...

What about "it is investigating the accident"? Does "it" here refer to ... the interchange entrance? :P

The Grammar Terrorist said...

The most natural interpretation is that 'it' refers to the subject of the previous sentence, i.e. 'the police'. My preference would actually be 'they' rather than 'it' because 'police' (in British English but not so much here) is a collective noun, hence inherently plural (e.g. The police ARE investigating the incident).

But yes, things are always a bit iffy in English, and real ambiguity is common. My favourite example is one in Sir Ernest Gowers's Complete Plain Words: 'If the baby does not thrive on milk, boil it'! (Just like 'it' = 'the interchange entrance'.)

Hope you had a good time in China. Glad you didn't fall foul of the authorities!!

jorjj said...

bus driver become bus diver hahahax.... then the police --> it

jorjj said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lovelyloey said...

Yes, I would very much prefer "they" as well.

Thanks, I had a good experience in China.

And I heard you recently got your PhD. Congrats Doc! :D