Discussion:
cut over on a road
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tonbei
2019-11-03 22:38:26 UTC
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I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.

The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)

question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
Loading Image...

So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
Richard Heathfield
2019-11-03 23:08:18 UTC
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Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
Almost.
Post by tonbei
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
Consider this road layout:

X------+------------+---------+-----+------+-----A
| | | | |
B------+------------+---------+-----+------+-----Y
C D E F G

You're travelling from X to Y. You start out on Road A, but at some
point you have to switch to Road B, a parallel road. This switch is
sometimes called "cutting over". You have several choices C-G, so you
can "cut over on C" or "cut over on D", all the way up to "cut over on G".

So: switching from one parallel road to another is "cutting over", and
"on <road name>" can be added to pin down the exact route you took.

I would guess, then, that Benton's driver was taking him to somewhere on
Hudson Street (which runs parallel to West Street), although Greenwich
Street and Washington Street are other obvious possibilities.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Tony Cooper
2019-11-03 23:08:30 UTC
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Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
RH Draney
2019-11-03 23:52:52 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
Peter Moylan
2019-11-04 00:14:31 UTC
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Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Richard Heathfield
2019-11-04 00:22:03 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
It means "twenty to seven".
Post by Peter Moylan
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
Another rational interpretation: "of" has many meanings, one of which is
"multiplied by". Twenty of seven (or seven of twenty, since
multiplication is commutative) is 140 - one forty, or twenty minutes
before two o'clock.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
occam
2019-11-04 07:09:54 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
It means "twenty to seven".
Post by Peter Moylan
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
Another rational interpretation: "of" has many meanings, one of which is
"multiplied by". Twenty of seven (or seven of twenty, since
multiplication is commutative) is 140 - one forty, or twenty minutes
before two o'clock.
On the other hand 'Seven of Nine' is a a character in Start Trek.

What brings you back Heathfield? Sorted Brexit elsewhere? A
half-hearted 'welcome back' from this poster.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2019-11-04 07:50:47 UTC
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Post by occam
[ … ]
What brings you back Heathfield? Sorted Brexit elsewhere?
I thnk he searched for Boris Johnson's rotting body in all the ditches
around London, didn't find it, and decided it was hopeless.
Post by occam
A
half-hearted 'welcome back' from this poster.
--
athel
Richard Heathfield
2019-11-04 08:58:25 UTC
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On 04/11/2019 07:09, occam wrote:

<snip>
Post by occam
What brings you back Heathfield?
Frustration with the completely arbitrary 280-character limit,
censorship, algorithmic feed control, and a certain sense of nostalgia.
Post by occam
Sorted Brexit elsewhere?
I think I'm slowly re-accustoming myself to the idea that we're stuck
with the EU until it falls apart under the weight of its own policies.

It's quite a pity, because the collapse will now pull us down at the
same time, so we won't be in a position to help soften the blow; and
that blow will probably come in the shape of a pan-European war.

I realise that sounds like a dire and indeed melodramatic prediction
but, if it *does* come to pass, remember you read it here first. And if
it doesn't, please just quietly forget I ever said it.

Still, never mind, eh? May never 'appen.
Post by occam
A half-hearted 'welcome back' from this poster.
Ay, it's much apprecked. And a big hello, too, to all those who had
completely forgotten me but are mildly pleased (or at least not
particularly outraged) to see my name here again. And to everyone else,
which is probably most of you, a slightly smaller hello.

I am pleased to discover that Thunderbird has not lost my filters, so at
least I won't have to go through all that again; anyone who was plonked
before remains firmly plonked. As for everyone else: be strong and of
good courage, because the pun pot is now coming nicely to the boil.
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Lewis
2019-11-04 09:54:53 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
I think I'm slowly re-accustoming myself to the idea that we're stuck
with the EU until it falls apart under the weight of its own policies.
That is certainly preferable to the impending destruction of the UK
orchestrated by shitbags who literally want to crash the UK economy for
their own profit.
--
A man, in a word, who should never have been taught to write and whom if
unhappily gifted with that ability, should have been restrained by a Act
of Parliament from writing Reminiscences. - PG Wodehouse
Madhu
2019-11-04 11:47:08 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
I think I'm slowly re-accustoming myself to the idea that we're stuck
I think you can count on the competence of your politicians to see to
that.
Post by Richard Heathfield
with the EU until it falls apart under the weight of its own policies.
It's quite a pity, because the collapse will now pull us down at the
same time, so we won't be in a position to help soften the blow; and
that blow will probably come in the shape of a pan-European war.
I realise that sounds like a dire and indeed melodramatic prediction
but, if it *does* come to pass, remember you read it here first. And
if it doesn't, please just quietly forget I ever said it.
Still, never mind, eh? May never 'appen.
"though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come"

However the endtimes predicted for 1976 were accounted to be thwarted by
Britain joining the #EC. It is likely again that UK will readily supply
whatever is needed so the the collapse is averted. (instead of the 3rd
world)
Post by Richard Heathfield
Ay, it's much apprecked. And a big hello, too, to all those who had
completely forgotten me but are mildly pleased (or at least not
particularly outraged) to see my name here again. And to everyone
else, which is probably most of you, a slightly smaller hello.
I think your name has appeared on the subject headers of
prophecy.bible.alt twice every day perhaps for as long as you were gone.
It was always a mystery as I've never a post there.
Post by Richard Heathfield
I am pleased to discover that Thunderbird has not lost my filters, so
at least I won't have to go through all that again; anyone who was
plonked before remains firmly plonked. As for everyone else: be strong
and of good courage, because the pun pot is now coming nicely to the
boil.
Richard Heathfield
2019-11-04 11:51:36 UTC
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On 04/11/2019 11:47, Madhu wrote:
<snip>
Post by Madhu
I think your name has appeared on the subject headers of
prophecy.bible.alt twice every day perhaps for as long as you were gone.
It was always a mystery as I've never a post there.
Weird. I don't think I've ever subscribed to that group.

(And I don't plan to start now, so I guess the mystery will have to
remain mysterious.)
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Quinn C
2019-11-04 22:55:04 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by occam
Sorted Brexit elsewhere?
I think I'm slowly re-accustoming myself to the idea that we're stuck
with the EU until it falls apart under the weight of its own policies.
It's quite a pity, because the collapse will now pull us down at the
same time, so we won't be in a position to help soften the blow; and
that blow will probably come in the shape of a pan-European war.
So you expected Britain to be back up by the time the rest-EU
collapses? I see - not that soon, then.
--
"I didn't mind getting old when I was young, either," I said.
"It's the being old now that's getting to me."
-- J. Scalzi, Old Man's War
Katy Jennison
2019-11-04 09:00:32 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
It means "twenty to seven".
Post by Peter Moylan
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
Another rational interpretation: "of" has many meanings, one of which is
"multiplied by". Twenty of seven (or seven of twenty, since
multiplication is commutative) is 140 - one forty, or twenty minutes
before two o'clock.
Love it. Welcome back!
--
Katy Jennison
CDB
2019-11-04 14:32:16 UTC
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Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was
twenty of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one
always confused me....r
It means "twenty to seven".
The whole passage seems to be Cornwell's attempt to provide quick local
colour, and "twenty of seven" is part of that. I had a friend, in the
NY suburb where we lived in the 1950s, who gave the time that way. Her
mother was of the Old New York upper-class, and had the accent to prove it.

I presume the phrase began life as "It lacks twenty of seven".
Post by Richard Heathfield
Post by Peter Moylan
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock,
plus or minus twenty minutes".
Another rational interpretation: "of" has many meanings, one of which
is "multiplied by". Twenty of seven (or seven of twenty, since
multiplication is commutative) is 140 - one forty, or twenty minutes
before two o'clock.
Jerry Friedman
2019-11-04 14:30:18 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
No, that's what "seven o'clock" means.

In 1899, in something called /Correct English, Volume I/, published in
Chicago, a reader's question is answered this way (possibly by one of
Janet's ancestors):

'"It is ten minutes /of/ five o'clock" is correct, not "It is ten
minutes /to/ five:" The idea to be conveyed is, that it lacks or
"wants" ten minutes /of/ (being) five o'clock. Century [Dictionary]
gives the following example under "/obsolete, provincial/ or
/colloquial/ uses," "At twenty minutes /to/ three, Her Majesty entered
the /House/."'

https://books.google.com/books?id=FXdIAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA40

I don't find that explanation very helpful.

In the next paragraph, you will learn that "recipe" is only for medical
prescriptions and "a formula for a pudding or cake" should be called a
receipt.

Fans of historical linguistics may enjoy the beginning of that issue.
--
Jerry Friedman
Ken Blake
2019-11-04 15:49:49 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
To me, the phrase is very common and is easily understood; it always
means "seven o'clock minus twenty minutes."
--
Ken
Tony Cooper
2019-11-04 20:42:34 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
To me, the phrase is very common and is easily understood; it always
means "seven o'clock minus twenty minutes."
While I might say "twenty of seven" I am more likely to say "twenty
till seven" or "six forty".
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Ken Blake
2019-11-04 21:22:25 UTC
Reply
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused
me....r
Me too, but I live with it by interpreting it as "seven o'clock, plus or
minus twenty minutes".
To me, the phrase is very common and is easily understood; it always
means "seven o'clock minus twenty minutes."
While I might say "twenty of seven" I am more likely to say "twenty
till seven" or "six forty".
I understand all of these, of course, but I would almost always say
"twenty to seven."
--
Ken
Lewis
2019-11-04 07:29:10 UTC
Reply
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Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
--
"Everyone has a photographic Memory, some just don't have film." ~Steven
Wright
Quinn C
2019-11-05 02:51:42 UTC
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Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it, and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
--
The lack of any sense of play between them worried Miles. You
had to have a keen sense of humor to do sex and stay sane.
-- L. McMaster Bujold, Memory
Tony Cooper
2019-11-05 03:06:05 UTC
Reply
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On Mon, 4 Nov 2019 21:51:42 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it, and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
It hasn't been suggested that this is about anything but native
English speakers. I can't imagine a native English speaker who hasn't
seen or used "of" in that way.

While this is from a discussion of a Cornwell character, who would not
only be a native English speaker, but a native AmE speaker, I don't
know that the "of" is not used by native BrE speakers.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Katy Jennison
2019-11-05 08:21:25 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
On Mon, 4 Nov 2019 21:51:42 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it, and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
It hasn't been suggested that this is about anything but native
English speakers. I can't imagine a native English speaker who hasn't
seen or used "of" in that way.
While this is from a discussion of a Cornwell character, who would not
only be a native English speaker, but a native AmE speaker, I don't
know that the "of" is not used by native BrE speakers.
We don't. Normal BrE is 'twenty to seven' or '6.40', not 'of'. We've
heard it from Americans and so we'd work out what it means, but we
wouldn't know automatically, and some of us might work it out wrong and
think it meant 7.20, or just wouldn't be certain.
--
Katy Jennison
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2019-11-05 09:35:12 UTC
Reply
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Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Tony Cooper
On Mon, 4 Nov 2019 21:51:42 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it, and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
It hasn't been suggested that this is about anything but native
English speakers. I can't imagine a native English speaker who hasn't
seen or used "of" in that way.
While this is from a discussion of a Cornwell character, who would not
only be a native English speaker, but a native AmE speaker, I don't
know that the "of" is not used by native BrE speakers.
We don't. Normal BrE is 'twenty to seven' or '6.40', not 'of'. We've
heard it from Americans and so we'd work out what it means, but we
wouldn't know automatically, and some of us might work it out wrong and
think it meant 7.20, or just wouldn't be certain.
As always, +1
--
athel
Peter Moylan
2019-11-05 10:43:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Katy Jennison
Post by Tony Cooper
On Mon, 4 Nov 2019 21:51:42 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it, and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
It hasn't been suggested that this is about anything but native
English speakers. I can't imagine a native English speaker who hasn't
seen or used "of" in that way.
While this is from a discussion of a Cornwell character, who would not
only be a native English speaker, but a native AmE speaker, I don't
know that the "of" is not used by native BrE speakers.
We don't. Normal BrE is 'twenty to seven' or '6.40', not 'of'. We've
heard it from Americans and so we'd work out what it means, but we
wouldn't know automatically, and some of us might work it out wrong and
think it meant 7.20, or just wouldn't be certain.
Australians would be a little uncertain, but many would be reasonably
confident that it means 7:20. In that respect we're a little closer to
the Russians.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Ken Blake
2019-11-05 15:51:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
--
Ken
John Dunlop
2019-11-05 16:43:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
...
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
Just as "the back of seven" is common and unambiguous in Scotland. But
anyone who isn't familiar with the usage might not know which "back" is
meant. (It means not long after the hour.)
--
John
Quinn C
2019-11-05 17:35:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
I think I've only seen it written. I don't remember ever hearing it
used, whether IRL or on radio or TV. Quite likely the first time I
encountered it - at least consciously - was in a table about the
distribution of people saying the time in different ways, and I seem to
remember that it was rarer by far than the others.

I do have experience with people saying "half seven" and other
(Canadian) native speakers being stumped. I've also heard that one on
TV. So it seems to me that it's more common than the "twenty of" style.
--
"I didn't mind getting old when I was young, either," I said.
"It's the being old now that's getting to me."
-- J. Scalzi, Old Man's War
Rich Ulrich
2019-11-05 18:24:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Tue, 5 Nov 2019 12:35:57 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
I think I've only seen it written. I don't remember ever hearing it
used, whether IRL or on radio or TV. Quite likely the first time I
encountered it - at least consciously - was in a table about the
distribution of people saying the time in different ways, and I seem to
remember that it was rarer by far than the others.
I do have experience with people saying "half seven" and other
(Canadian) native speakers being stumped. I've also heard that one on
TV. So it seems to me that it's more common than the "twenty of" style.
Before Googling, I mis-remembered/guessed that
half seven was 6:30 instead of the proper 7:30.

Maybe, for next time, I can remember that it is
like leaving out the word "past".
--
Rich Ulrich
b***@shaw.ca
2019-11-05 19:42:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
I think I've only seen it written. I don't remember ever hearing it
used, whether IRL or on radio or TV. Quite likely the first time I
encountered it - at least consciously - was in a table about the
distribution of people saying the time in different ways, and I seem to
remember that it was rarer by far than the others.
I do have experience with people saying "half seven" and other
(Canadian) native speakers being stumped. I've also heard that one on
TV. So it seems to me that it's more common than the "twenty of" style.
It's not heard in Canada. But it parallels the Dutch "half zeven"
for six-thirty, so it wouldn't stump me.

bill
Rich Ulrich
2019-11-05 22:18:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
I think I've only seen it written. I don't remember ever hearing it
used, whether IRL or on radio or TV. Quite likely the first time I
encountered it - at least consciously - was in a table about the
distribution of people saying the time in different ways, and I seem to
remember that it was rarer by far than the others.
I do have experience with people saying "half seven" and other
(Canadian) native speakers being stumped. I've also heard that one on
TV. So it seems to me that it's more common than the "twenty of" style.
It's not heard in Canada. But it parallels the Dutch "half zeven"
for six-thirty, so it wouldn't stump me.
Not stumped. But wrong.

Apparently - the Dutch and German mean
half-to while the English means half-past.

No wonder that confusion continues.

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/32678/what-does-the-phrase-half-seven-mean

Don't stop reading at the joke about time zones.
--
Rich Ulrich
Quinn C
2019-11-05 22:22:30 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Quinn C
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's common
here and it's always clear.
I think I've only seen it written. I don't remember ever hearing it
used, whether IRL or on radio or TV. Quite likely the first time I
encountered it - at least consciously - was in a table about the
distribution of people saying the time in different ways, and I seem to
remember that it was rarer by far than the others.
I do have experience with people saying "half seven" and other
(Canadian) native speakers being stumped. I've also heard that one on
TV. So it seems to me that it's more common than the "twenty of" style.
It's not heard in Canada. But it parallels the Dutch "half zeven"
for six-thirty,
Same in German.
Post by b***@shaw.ca
so it wouldn't stump me.
But "half seven" means 7:30!

So it was kind of funny that the scene I described featured a German
stumping a Canadian, while being understood by another German. But the
German who said it used it in the correct English way, because she had
been living in the UK before coming to Canada, and I was already aware
of the difference.
--
Was den Juengeren fehlt, sind keine Botschaften, es ist der Sinn
fuer Zusammenhaenge. [Young people aren't short of messages, but
of a sense for interconnections.]
-- Helen Feng im Zeit-Interview
Madhu
2019-11-06 02:54:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always
confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean
the same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's
common here and it's always clear.
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India, but more often "quarter to" - "quarter to ten". Is
"quarter of seven" also heard in the US?
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with all
the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
Tony Cooper
2019-11-06 04:02:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madhu
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always
confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean
the same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's
common here and it's always clear.
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India, but more often "quarter to" - "quarter to ten". Is
"quarter of seven" also heard in the US?
Certainly. While not a "rule", the 15-minute increments are usually
given as "quarter to" or "quarter after", but the increments between
the half hour and the 15-minute ones are in minutes.

It's "a quarter after ten" and then it's "twenty past ten". Often.
Not always.
Post by Madhu
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with all
the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Quinn C
2019-11-06 13:50:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madhu
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always
confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean
the same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's
common here and it's always clear.
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India,
What's remarkable about that? It's the only form we were taught in
school: "twenty to", "twenty past", "half past". No "before", "till",
"of", "after" or anything was ever mentioned.
--
Learning the rules that govern intelligible speech is an
inculcation into normalized language, where the price of not
conforming is the loss of intelligibility itself.
-- Judith Butler
Madhu
2019-11-06 16:46:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Madhu
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India,
What's remarkable about that? It's the only form we were taught in
school: "twenty to", "twenty past", "half past". No "before", "till",
"of", "after" or anything was ever mentioned.
Nothing remarkable. I remember having the same experience in school.
I hadn't even come across in writing.
Quinn C
2019-11-06 18:07:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madhu
Post by Quinn C
Post by Madhu
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India,
What's remarkable about that? It's the only form we were taught in
school: "twenty to", "twenty past", "half past". No "before", "till",
"of", "after" or anything was ever mentioned.
Nothing remarkable. I remember having the same experience in school.
I hadn't even come across in writing.
Than why did you hear it only a few times?

I thought it's rather recently, in conjunction with the spread of
digital clocks, that "six forty" became more prevalent than "twenty to
seven".
--
The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts
agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer
professionals. We cause accidents.
Nathaniel Borenstein
Madhu
2019-11-07 01:59:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Madhu
Post by Quinn C
Post by Madhu
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India,
What's remarkable about that? It's the only form we were taught in
school: "twenty to", "twenty past", "half past". No "before",
"till", "of", "after" or anything was ever mentioned.
Nothing remarkable. I remember having the same experience in school.
I hadn't even come across in writing.
Than why did you hear it only a few times?
I thought it's rather recently, in conjunction with the spread of
digital clocks, that "six forty" became more prevalent than "twenty to
seven".
In my experience (with the people I chanced to be around - 70s) everyone
invariably chose to say six-forty.
Quinn C
2019-11-07 04:13:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madhu
Post by Quinn C
Post by Madhu
Post by Quinn C
Post by Madhu
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India,
What's remarkable about that? It's the only form we were taught in
school: "twenty to", "twenty past", "half past". No "before",
"till", "of", "after" or anything was ever mentioned.
Nothing remarkable. I remember having the same experience in school.
I hadn't even come across in writing.
Than why did you hear it only a few times?
I thought it's rather recently, in conjunction with the spread of
digital clocks, that "six forty" became more prevalent than "twenty to
seven".
In my experience (with the people I chanced to be around - 70s) everyone
invariably chose to say six-forty.
Digital clocks were around since at least the 1960s, but they never
became the majority of watches, so in my surroundings, the switch
really happened when many people stopped wearing watches in favor of
reading the time from their phone, i.e. after 2000.
--
If the aeroplane industry had advanced at the same rate as the
computer industry, today's planes could circumnavigate the world
in ten seconds, be two inches long, and crash twice a day.
Peter Moylan in alt.usage.english
Ken Blake
2019-11-06 19:37:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Madhu
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty
of seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always
confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean
the same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
Maybe in some English-speaking countries, but not in the US. It's
common here and it's always clear.
I didn't come across during my time in the US. I've heard "twenty to" a
few times in India, but more often "quarter to" - "quarter to ten". Is
"quarter of seven" also heard in the US?
Yes.
--
Ken
Ken Blake
2019-11-05 15:51:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it, and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others. In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
--
Ken
Lewis
2019-11-06 18:44:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
Post by Quinn C
In Russian, "twenty of the seventh" means 6:20.
Irrelevant.
--
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West
Quinn C
2019-11-06 22:41:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
We've already clarified that it's not used in the UK.

And I can't remember hearing it in my 17 years in Canada. Now Montreal
is linguistically odd, so that might not mean anything, but during that
time, most of my media consumption (TV/radio/podcast) was English
content made in Canada or the US, and I can't say I ever noticed it
there, either. As I said, I know it only as a linguistic data point,
from discussions of how people say the time in English.
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
In whatever direction. It's clear enough that "20 of 7" is one of the
two points 20 minutes away from 7, but not which one.
--
... while there are people who are consecrated, chronic
assholes--like Donald Trump for example, or General Patton--
it's a condition that all of us are liable to.
-- Geoffrey Nunberg, 2012 interview
Tony Cooper
2019-11-06 22:58:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 6 Nov 2019 17:41:10 -0500, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
We've already clarified that it's not used in the UK.
And I can't remember hearing it in my 17 years in Canada. Now Montreal
is linguistically odd, so that might not mean anything, but during that
time, most of my media consumption (TV/radio/podcast) was English
content made in Canada or the US, and I can't say I ever noticed it
there, either. As I said, I know it only as a linguistic data point,
from discussions of how people say the time in English.
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
In whatever direction. It's clear enough that "20 of 7" is one of the
two points 20 minutes away from 7, but not which one.
What's the other one? Twenty to/of seven is 20 minutes before seven.
Seven-twenty is twenty minutes past the hour.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Ken Blake
2019-11-06 23:17:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
We've already clarified that it's not used in the UK.
And I can't remember hearing it in my 17 years in Canada. Now Montreal
is linguistically odd, so that might not mean anything, but during that
time, most of my media consumption (TV/radio/podcast) was English
content made in Canada or the US, and I can't say I ever noticed it
there, either. As I said, I know it only as a linguistic data point,
from discussions of how people say the time in English.
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
In whatever direction. It's clear enough that "20 of 7" is one of the
two points 20 minutes away from 7, but not which one.
It may not be clear to you, but it's very clear to me and to almost
everyone else who lives in the US. As I said, its use is common here,
and *always* means "before."
--
Ken
Quinn C
2019-11-06 23:31:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
We've already clarified that it's not used in the UK.
And I can't remember hearing it in my 17 years in Canada. Now Montreal
is linguistically odd, so that might not mean anything, but during that
time, most of my media consumption (TV/radio/podcast) was English
content made in Canada or the US, and I can't say I ever noticed it
there, either. As I said, I know it only as a linguistic data point,
from discussions of how people say the time in English.
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
In whatever direction. It's clear enough that "20 of 7" is one of the
two points 20 minutes away from 7, but not which one.
It may not be clear to you, but it's very clear to me and to almost
everyone else who lives in the US. As I said, its use is common here,
and *always* means "before."
Of course you know what it means when you know what it means. Did you
really think I challenged that principle?

You show the same lack of empathy/theory of mind as Tony. What I was
discussing is this:

A person has only ever heard "twenty to six" and "twenty past six". Now
they're confronted with

- "twenty after six"
- "twenty till six"
- "twenty of six"

Two of the three are easy to understand even if it's the first time in
your life you hear it. One is not.

Both "of" and "after" are marked "US" in various sources.
--
Microsoft designed a user-friendly car:
instead of the oil, alternator, gas and engine
warning lights it has just one: "General Car Fault"
Lewis
2019-11-07 00:22:11 UTC
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Post by Quinn C
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
We've already clarified that it's not used in the UK.
And I can't remember hearing it in my 17 years in Canada. Now Montreal
is linguistically odd, so that might not mean anything, but during that
time, most of my media consumption (TV/radio/podcast) was English
content made in Canada or the US, and I can't say I ever noticed it
there, either. As I said, I know it only as a linguistic data point,
from discussions of how people say the time in English.
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
In whatever direction. It's clear enough that "20 of 7" is one of the
two points 20 minutes away from 7, but not which one.
It may not be clear to you, but it's very clear to me and to almost
everyone else who lives in the US. As I said, its use is common here,
and *always* means "before."
Of course you know what it means when you know what it means. Did you
really think I challenged that principle?
You show the same lack of empathy/theory of mind as Tony. What I was
A person has only ever heard "twenty to six" and "twenty past six". Now
they're confronted with
- "twenty after six"
- "twenty till six"
- "twenty of six"
Two of the three are easy to understand even if it's the first time in
your life you hear it. One is not.
No, because 'of' is often used to mean proximate but not having arrived.
As I pointed out.

"I'm withing a mile of your house, i should be there in 2 minutes."

That does not mean that I have driven a mile past your house, and
neither does 10 of 6 means that we've passed 6.
--
Everything you read on the Internet is false -- Glenn Fleishman
Jerry Friedman
2019-11-07 02:59:17 UTC
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...
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
A person has only ever heard "twenty to six" and "twenty past six". Now
they're confronted with
- "twenty after six"
- "twenty till six"
- "twenty of six"
Two of the three are easy to understand even if it's the first time in
your life you hear it. One is not.
No, because 'of' is often used to mean proximate but not having arrived.
As I pointed out.
"I'm withing a mile of your house, i should be there in 2 minutes."
That does not mean that I have driven a mile past your house, and
neither does 10 of 6 means that we've passed 6.
"I'm still within a mile of your house. I can turn around."

"I've lived my whole life within ten miles of the Triborough Bridge."

Anyway, nothing in "twenty minutes of six" suggests "within".

Etymologically, as CDB and I mentioned, the "of" apparently comes from
"it lacks twenty minutes of six". I suppose that's like "I lack eight
shillings of the rent."
--
Jerry Friedman
b***@shaw.ca
2019-11-07 02:20:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by RH Draney
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
"Twenty of" and "twenty till" and "twenty minutes before" all mean the
same thing. What's confusing?
"Of" is confusing to some people because they've (almost) never heard
it,
I doubt that.
We've already clarified that it's not used in the UK.
And I can't remember hearing it in my 17 years in Canada. Now Montreal
is linguistically odd, so that might not mean anything, but during that
time, most of my media consumption (TV/radio/podcast) was English
content made in Canada or the US, and I can't say I ever noticed it
there, either. As I said, I know it only as a linguistic data point,
from discussions of how people say the time in English.
I've lived in English-speaking provinces Alberta, British Columbia and
Ontario. I've never heard the "of seven" reference to time.
Post by Quinn C
Post by Lewis
Post by Quinn C
and the meaning doesn't follow from the words as clearly as with
all the others.
Sure it does. That use of 'of' is very common. "I'm withing three miles
of <place> now."
Sure, in my English, that's a familiar structure in reference to
physical distance. It would also make sense as "within 20 minutes
of seven o'clock". But I know the "20 of 7" structure for time
only because of a previous discussion in aue. I've never heard
anyone use it in Canadian English.

bill
Post by Quinn C
In whatever direction. It's clear enough that "20 of 7" is one of the
two points 20 minutes away from 7, but not which one.
John Varela
2019-11-06 22:02:36 UTC
Reply
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Post by RH Draney
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
It's just slang for "using Vestry Street" as the route taken. It
implies that Vestry Street is a shorter way to go to the destination
than some other route.
I'm surprised that there was no question about "the time was twenty of
seven"...I'm a native English speaker and that one always confused me....r
I'm surprised that anyone is surprised that it means twenty minutes
before seven. "Twenty of", either standing alone or before a named
hour, is normal to me, and "twenty to" is a variant.
--
John Varela
Mark Brader
2019-11-03 23:14:10 UTC
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Permalink
Post by tonbei
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial
district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned
off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
Yes.
Post by tonbei
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
Not exactly. I'd say the normal meaning of "cut over" is to change
onto a parallel route, by a short connecting road. So if he was
southbound on the West Side Highway (the actual name of this part
of the road is West St.) and wanted to continue south on Greenwich St.,
he might turn left from West St. onto Vestry St., then turn right on
Greenwich St.

That is, he cut over *to Greenwich St.* on Vestry St. But Cornwell
chose not to use the complete expression.

That's the way I understand it, anyway.
--
Mark Brader "Those who do not understand UNIX
Toronto are condemned to reinvent it."
***@vex.net -- Henry Spencer

My text in this article is in the public domain.
s***@gmail.com
2019-11-06 02:42:58 UTC
Reply
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Post by Mark Brader
Post by tonbei
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial
district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned
off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
Yes.
Post by tonbei
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
Not exactly. I'd say the normal meaning of "cut over" is to change
onto a parallel route, by a short connecting road. So if he was
southbound on the West Side Highway (the actual name of this part
of the road is West St.) and wanted to continue south on Greenwich St.,
he might turn left from West St. onto Vestry St., then turn right on
Greenwich St.
That is, he cut over *to Greenwich St.* on Vestry St. But Cornwell
chose not to use the complete expression.
That's the way I understand it, anyway.
To me, it has a touch of zig-zag, or even
broken field running and evasive maneuvers,
except that the latter two only apply on some of the occasions
that I'm cutting over on my way to a destination.

I may cut over because of the geometry of the route,
the level of traffic, the location of traffic lights,
or because I'm getting tired of The Same Old Way.

/dps
Tony Cooper
2019-11-06 04:06:24 UTC
Reply
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Mark Brader
Post by tonbei
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial
district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned
off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
Yes.
Post by tonbei
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
Not exactly. I'd say the normal meaning of "cut over" is to change
onto a parallel route, by a short connecting road. So if he was
southbound on the West Side Highway (the actual name of this part
of the road is West St.) and wanted to continue south on Greenwich St.,
he might turn left from West St. onto Vestry St., then turn right on
Greenwich St.
That is, he cut over *to Greenwich St.* on Vestry St. But Cornwell
chose not to use the complete expression.
That's the way I understand it, anyway.
To me, it has a touch of zig-zag, or even
broken field running and evasive maneuvers,
except that the latter two only apply on some of the occasions
that I'm cutting over on my way to a destination.
I may cut over because of the geometry of the route,
the level of traffic, the location of traffic lights,
or because I'm getting tired of The Same Old Way.
There is also "cut through". When driving a particular route I can
"cut through the Winn-Dixie parking lot to Rangeline Road". That
doesn't imply that I'm speeding or driving at all dangerously. It
just means I'm taking a shorter route than can be taken.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
RH Draney
2019-11-06 11:06:58 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
There is also "cut through". When driving a particular route I can
"cut through the Winn-Dixie parking lot to Rangeline Road". That
doesn't imply that I'm speeding or driving at all dangerously. It
just means I'm taking a shorter route than can be taken.
But if you're not stopping at the Winn-Dixie, you're still breaking the
law....r
tonbei
2019-11-04 13:19:56 UTC
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I've drawn a sketch based on your comments here.

Loading Image...

I think I have been able to improve my understanding greatly from my original post thanks to your contribution.
Peter T. Daniels
2019-11-04 15:35:27 UTC
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Post by tonbei
I have a question about the following sentences from a novel.
The lights of Manhattan cast a murky glow along the horizon, turning it
a purplish blue like a bruise as Benton traveled south on the West Side
Highway, following the Hudson, headed downtown in the dark.
Between warehouses and fences he caught glimpses of the Palmolive
Building, and the Colgate clock showed that the time was twenty of
seven.
The Statue of Liberty was in bas relief against the river and the
sky, with her arm held high.
Benton's driver cut over on Vestry Street, deeper into the financial district, where the symptoms of the
languishing economy were palpable and depressing: restaurant
windows covered with brown paper, notices of seized businesses taped
to their doors, clearance sales, retail spaces and apartments for rent.
(Scarpetta Factor by P. Cornwell)
Ms. Cornwell doesn't seem to have actually driven down West St. (It can't
have been the West Side Highway, which was an elevated structure that had
begun to fall apart and was demolished probably in the late 1960s.) Locals
are happy to call West St. and its northern extensions the "West Side
Highway" in memory of the earlier road.

There is a Colgate-Palmolive Building in Manhattan, but it's a fairly low
office tower on Park Avenue, not visible from the West Side Highway.

The Colgate Clock in Jersey City used to be visible across the Hudson,
but the old Palmolive Building where it used to be located is no more;
the clock's current location is a quarter-mile south.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgate_Clock_(Jersey_City)

I can't imagine anywhere on the West Side Highway from which the Statue
of Liberty is visible, because the highway is at ground level and there
are many tall buildings in the way. "Warehouses and fences" makes no
sense.

In what year is the book set?
Post by tonbei
question: is about the meaning of "cut over on Vestry Street".
I assume that Benton's car headed down the West Side Highway, and turned off the Highway on the Vestry Street.
I've drawn its image on my own, in the following sketch.
https://image02.seesaawiki.jp/a/4/a4674/8CIln3Aq88.jpg
So, "cut over on a road" must be equivalent to "turn off on" in meaning, I guess.
If so, I'm not sure how they can be of the same meaning.
Especially, I couldn't grasp the meaning of "cut + over" there.
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