Is learning our earnest? LO20511

John Gunkler (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 12:39:30 -0600

Replying to LO20494 --


May I offer you a small suggestion for better communicating with us on
this list?

Please stop trying to create words in English. I know that Afrikaans is
your native language. So isn't it presumptuous of you to try to invent
English word usage -- and then to lecture us on why you did so?

A case in point: You write "Is learning our earnest?" In this syntax,
"earnest" must be a noun. It is not (in the meaning you ascribe to it.)
It is an adjective. The only noun form of "earnest" used commonly is in
the phrase "earnest money" (which has a completely different derivation:
from Old French, from Latin, from Greek, from Hebrew -- "to pledge.")
This makes for a very awkward phrase -- and an unnecessary impediment to
communication. And you must also waste our time, and yours, with a
lengthy explanation of why you chose it.

If you seek an English word for some concept, why not just describe it and
ask us for our suggestions (that's a form of dialogue, is it not?)

In this case perhaps you might have used: "Is learning our earnest


"John Gunkler" <>

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