Discussion:
comparison - less variable than beef?
(too old to reply)
Yurui Liu
2018-09-14 11:12:29 UTC
Permalink
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.

But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?

The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
Cheryl
2018-09-14 11:19:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It sounds like a bad or at least careless way of speaking. It's the sort
of sentence my Grade 8 English teacher would refuse to accept. It should
be something like "The quality of pork is often less variable than that
of beef."

"That" refers to "quality" and avoids the repetition of "The quality of
pork is often less variable than the quality of beef."
--
Cheryl
bert
2018-09-14 11:20:08 UTC
Permalink
. . . I saw the following sentence in a dictionary.
Is it natural and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
Such an elision is a common type of error.
The quality of pork is often less variable than that of beef.
--
Mark Brader
2018-09-14 18:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by bert
. . . I saw the following sentence in a dictionary.
Is it natural and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
Such an elision is a common type of error.
The quality of pork is often less variable than that of beef.
Common, yes. Error, no.
--
Mark Brader "'A matter of opinion'[?] I have to say you are
Toronto right. There['s] your opinion, which is wrong,
***@vex.net and mine, which is right." -- Gene Ward Smith
Paul Carmichael
2018-09-14 11:20:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
"than that of" - otherwise they're talking about the beef being variable.
--
Paul.

https://paulc.es/
https://asetrad.org
Yurui Liu
2018-09-16 07:17:47 UTC
Permalink
Paul Carmichael於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午7時20分23秒寫道:
Post by Paul Carmichael
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
"than that of" - otherwise they're talking about the beef being variable.
Would it be natural to use "beef's"?
Post by Paul Carmichael
--
Paul.
https://paulc.es/
https://asetrad.org
Peter Moylan
2018-09-16 07:44:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Paul Carmichael於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午7時20分23秒寫道:
Post by Paul Carmichael
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
"than that of" - otherwise they're talking about the beef being variable.
Would it be natural to use "beef's"?
For me, yes, but I suspect I'm in a minority.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Yurui Liu
2018-09-16 08:26:07 UTC
Permalink
Peter Moylan於 2018年9月16日星期日 UTC+8下午3時44分48秒寫道:
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Yurui Liu
Paul Carmichael於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午7時20分23秒寫道:
Post by Paul Carmichael
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
"than that of" - otherwise they're talking about the beef being variable.
Would it be natural to use "beef's"?
For me, yes, but I suspect I'm in a minority.
The structure of "The quality of pork is often less variable
than beef's" is not parallel. Is it okay?
Post by Peter Moylan
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Peter Moylan
2018-09-16 11:23:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter Moylan於 2018年9月16日星期日 UTC+8下午3時44分48秒寫道:
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Yurui Liu
Paul Carmichael於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午7時20分23秒寫道:
Post by Paul Carmichael
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that
we say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat
is bigger than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a
person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it
natural and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
"than that of" - otherwise they're talking about the beef being variable.
Would it be natural to use "beef's"?
For me, yes, but I suspect I'm in a minority.
The structure of "The quality of pork is often less variable than
beef's" is not parallel. Is it okay?
I think so, because the implied comparison is with beef's quality.
Personally, I would say "than that of beef", but your version also looks
acceptable.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Peter T. Daniels
2018-09-14 12:32:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.

Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
Yurui Liu
2018-09-14 12:41:46 UTC
Permalink
Peter T. Daniels於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午8時32分21秒寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.
Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
Peter T. Daniels
2018-09-14 12:48:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午8時32分21秒寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.
Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
What would "acceptable" mean in reference to colloquial speech? As everyone
has pointed out, it occurs.
Yurui Liu
2018-09-14 13:14:16 UTC
Permalink
Peter T. Daniels於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午8時48分42秒寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午8時32分21秒寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.
Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
What would "acceptable" mean in reference to colloquial speech? As everyone
has pointed out, it occurs.
Is it as common as "John's hat is bigger than Peter"?
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-14 14:15:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午8時48分42秒寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Peter T. Daniels於 2018年9月14日星期五 UTC+8下午8時32分21秒寫道:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.
Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
What would "acceptable" mean in reference to colloquial speech? As everyone
has pointed out, it occurs.
Is it as common as "John's hat is bigger than Peter"?
That's rare, probably non-existent. However, "... this zucchini dip is
a spin on the popular baba ghanoush. Its texture is a lot like artichoke
dip." strikes me an unsurprising. The difference must be semantic, but
I can't put my finger on it now. Maybe because "texture" is abstract?

Many, probably most English speakers make these shifts in comparisons
all the time, and no native speaker has any trouble understanding them.
--
Jerry Friedman
John Varela
2018-09-15 00:49:53 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:15:12 UTC, Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.
Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
What would "acceptable" mean in reference to colloquial speech? As everyone
has pointed out, it occurs.
Is it as common as "John's hat is bigger than Peter"?
I would be content with an 's added to Peter. "John's hat is bigger
than Peter's."
Post by Jerry Friedman
That's rare, probably non-existent. However, "... this zucchini dip is
a spin on the popular baba ghanoush. Its texture is a lot like artichoke
dip." strikes me an unsurprising. The difference must be semantic, but
I can't put my finger on it now. Maybe because "texture" is abstract?
And similarly, "Its texture is a lot like artichoke dip's."
Post by Jerry Friedman
Many, probably most English speakers make these shifts in comparisons
all the time, and no native speaker has any trouble understanding them.
There are lots of usage errors that don't block understanding. That
doesn't mean they aren't errors.
--
John Varela
Madrigal Gurneyhalt
2018-09-15 12:29:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Varela
On Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:15:12 UTC, Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English.
Is it a dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
What would "acceptable" mean in reference to colloquial speech? As everyone
has pointed out, it occurs.
Is it as common as "John's hat is bigger than Peter"?
I would be content with an 's added to Peter. "John's hat is bigger
than Peter's."
Post by Jerry Friedman
That's rare, probably non-existent. However, "... this zucchini dip is
a spin on the popular baba ghanoush. Its texture is a lot like artichoke
dip." strikes me an unsurprising. The difference must be semantic, but
I can't put my finger on it now. Maybe because "texture" is abstract?
And similarly, "Its texture is a lot like artichoke dip's."
Post by Jerry Friedman
Many, probably most English speakers make these shifts in comparisons
all the time, and no native speaker has any trouble understanding them.
There are lots of usage errors that don't block understanding. That
doesn't mean they aren't errors.
Yeah it does. The only sustainable meaning of 'grammatical error' requires
that there is a deficit in or complete loss of comprehensibility. Otherwise
it's just innovation and, in the case of useful or elegant innovations, merely
the first step to common practice. "A texture like artichoke dip' is, I would
suggest, long past the innovation and not far short of a perfectly normal
construction.
CDB
2018-09-14 16:36:56 UTC
Permalink
Peter T. Daniels:
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Peter T. Daniels:
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that
we say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat
is bigger than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a
person's size with an object's. But I saw the following
sentence in a dictionary. Is it natural and correct? The
quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
It is not acceptable Standard Written English. Is it a
dictionary of colloquial expressions?
It's a leaner's dictionary. Are you suggesting the said example
is acceptable in colloquial English?
What would "acceptable" mean in reference to colloquial speech? As
everyone has pointed out, it occurs.
Is it as common as "John's hat is bigger than Peter"?
No. The quality of a kind of meat is more intimately related to the
meat than Peter's hat is to Peter. That makes one mistake easier to
overlook than the other.
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-09-23 09:02:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary.
Which dictionary? A real one, or some wannabe one on the web?
Post by Yurui Liu
Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
--
athel
Yurui Liu
2018-09-23 12:54:22 UTC
Permalink
Athel Cornish-Bowden於 2018年9月23日星期日 UTC+8下午5時02分48秒寫道:
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Yurui Liu
Typically, we compare two entities of the same sort, so that we
say "John's hat is bigger than Peter's," not "John's hat is bigger
than Peter" unless, of course, we are comparing a person's size with an object's.
But I saw the following sentence in a dictionary.
Which dictionary? A real one, or some wannabe one on the web?
https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/variable

I think this one is real enough.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Yurui Liu
Is it natural
and correct?
The quality of pork is often less variable than beef.
--
athel
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