Attaching the negative.

Would you say these spoken statements are examples of standard English or nonstandard English?

[i]All the hotels don’t take American guests.

He didn’t go away very happy.[/i]

Prescriptively standard English would require this to be, “Not all the hotels take American guests,” or, “None of the hotels take American guests,” whichever is meant.

Colloquially, even among native speakers, you’ll hear it the way you wrote it.

This is standard English, in my opinion.

Thanks, J.

Where would you find or use such a sentence? Also, does “American” refer only to people who hold US citizenship or does it include individuals from South America and Canada?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Packing the meat[YSaerTTEW443543]

For me, it includes the whole bunch, as does the word “America”, but the times I’ve been asked to clarify my meaning (and US Americans have moaned at me calling me “so PC”) have led me to believe it’s not worth maintaining my wide defintion.

What does the word “German” mean for you here?

All the hotels don’t take German guests.

It doesn’t make much sense for a hotel to say that they don’t take any American hotel guests. A hotel which promotes this kind of attitude is bound to be out of business sooner rather than later.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: At the lathe[YSaerTTEW443543]

It’s just an example for linguistic discussion Torsten. You can put “Muslims” or “Nigerians” there if you like. All the same to me.



If the hotel were in an anti-American zone…

What is an “anti-American zone”? Sounds like “an anti-business/anti-common sense zone” to me.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A small girl with a basket[YSaerTTEW443543]

I guess it doesn’t sound that way to those who set it up. One thing, you often ask me what some of my posts have to do with helping the thread poster and his/her question: so what have your comments got to do with helping me on the thread question?

If one has a hotel in a zone that has been deemed anti-American by the local thugs, terrorists, freedom fighters, etc. the hotel owner might just be showing good business acumen if he were to post a “no Americans allowed in this hotel” notice, now mightn’t he?

Catering to Americans, or anyone else who is out of favour at a given time, is not always good for business, Torsten.

Or blacks! Would you agree?

Covered here:

BTW, does “American” not also include “black”?

I wasn’t talking about “Americans”. I was talking about “anyone who is out of favor at a given time”.

And why would “anyone who is out of favor at a given time” exclude non-US black people?

You’re arguing with yourself again, Molly. :?

Really? So tell us why Jamie wrote “or blacks” here?

  1. Jamie says: “Or blacks”.

  2. Molly says: “Covered here: or anyone else who is out of favour at a given time

  3. Jamie says: “I was talking about: anyone who is out of favor at a given time

i.e. the same as Molly.

  1. Amy quite reasonably points out: “You’re arguing with yourself again, Molly”.

  2. Molly demands indignantly: “Really? So tell us why Jamie wrote or blacks here?”

i.e. first, Jamie’s comment is “covered” by Molly’s comment (see #2); but then, somehow, it’s something quite different (see #5).

Which I think rather neatly proves Amy’s point.


Are you looking for moderator status here, Mr P-reacher?

Try "Jamie questions foolishly: “Or blacks”.

Naa, you couldn’t bring yesel to do that, now could ya, Mr P.

You’ve already nonchalantly agreed that Jamie’s “Or blacks” is “covered” by your earlier formulation:

Therefore you have no grounds for your later objection, unless you now disagree with your earlier post.

All the best,


Are you debating with yourself again, Mr P?

Does anyone here actually ever debate English grammar, or is this simply a forum for nit-picking each other’s posts and trying for a pertual game of one-upsmanship?

Wouldn’t learers of English who come here for enlightenment be better served with a discussion of how the first sentence was ambiguous and how to resolve the ambiguity than this tit-for-tat and name-calling? I’m appalled.