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    Korrektes Englisch?

    Comment

    Ich lese etwas korrektur und kann nicht viel Kontext preisgeben. Es sollte aus Gründen der Minimalinvasion so wenig wie möglich geändert werden.


    Danke!


    ... (done) ... in order to make someone feel better about themselves...

    Authorcookie crumbler (484354)  14 May 19, 15:41
    Comment

    Es gibt doch einigermaßen wenig Situationen, in denen "in order to" wirklich notwendig ist. Zumindest ein ganzer Satz würde helfen.

    #1AuthorB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 May 19, 15:49
    Comment

    .... ob notwendig oder nicht ... es ist eine gängige Redewendung

    #2Authortraveler in time (757476) 14 May 19, 15:50
    Comment

    Einige - auch hier - betrachten es allerdings als schlechtes Englisch und "clumsy". Ich find's auch nicht schön.

    #3AuthorB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 May 19, 15:52
    Comment

    Mir ging's eher um den Bezug

    somenone => themselves

    Kann man das so lassen, oder ist Invasion nötig?

    #4Authorcookie crumbler (484354) 14 May 19, 15:54
    Comment

    Wodurch würdest Du das denn ersetzen wollen? "himself or herself"? Da solche Konstruktionen immer etwas unhandlich und unschön wirken, wird mittlerweile immer mehr dazu übergegangen "he/she" durch "they" zu ersetzen, "himself/herself" durch "themselves" usw.  Auch gegen "in order to" habe ich nichts. Aus meiner Sicht kann man den Satz so lassen.

    #5AuthorDragon (238202) 14 May 19, 15:57
    Comment

    'himself or herself' klingt genauso furchtbar wie 'themselves' hier - ich lasse es wie's ist.



    Danke euch!

    #6Authorcookie crumbler (484354)  14 May 19, 16:00
    Comment

    themselves is the most idiomatic option here, and doesn't sound at all furchtbar to me -- it sounds like standard English :)


    edit to add that someone somewhere will disagree strongly with this (especially it not sounding furchtbar), but there is no denying that this has become pretty standard usage

    #7Authorpapousek (343122)  14 May 19, 16:19
    Comment

    Ich glaube ja, dass es standard usage ist, aber ich hätte den Satz ganz anders formuliert. Nachdem aber Minimalinvasion angesagt ist, lasse ich es so stehen.

    #8Authorcookie crumbler (484354) 14 May 19, 16:28
    Comment

    Agree with #7 paousek. However furchtbar it may sound to linguists's ears, it is perfectly idiomatic English.

    #9AuthorJ. Paul Murdock (845032) 14 May 19, 16:41
    Comment

    Siehste, und ich hielt das "themselves" für so normal, dass es mir gar nicht auffiel und ich an anderer Stelle nach dem Übeltäter suchte ;-)

    #10AuthorB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 May 19, 16:57
    Comment

    ditto! I didn't bat an eyelid at it

    #11Authorpapousek (343122) 14 May 19, 17:00
    Comment

    Bei meiner aktuellen Lektüre (britischen Schriftstellerpaar) muss ich das auch schon mehrmals überlesen haben, bis es mir heute mal auffiel ... :-)

    #12Authorno me bré (700807) 14 May 19, 17:07
    Comment

    Despite objections, there is a trend to use ‘singular they’. In fact, it is historically long established. It goes back at least to the 16th century, and writers such as Shakespeare, Sidney, Byron, and Ruskin used it:

    Singular "they" is closely related to this topic.


    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/usi...


    #13Authorhbberlin (420040) 14 May 19, 17:42
    Comment

    Als Deutsch-Muttersprachlerin zucke ich durchaus nach wie vor zusammen, wenn ein Plural-Pronomen so für den Singular verwendet wird. Obwohl ich natürlich weiß, dass es zumindest umgangssprachlich und im Bemühen um "PC" seit langem üblich ist.


    Ich habe allerdings kürzlich eine Diskussion unter amerikanischen Linguisten gehört, von denen einige die Meinung vertraten, dass das "they" bzw. "them" faktisch durch diesen Gebrauch bereits ein Singular geworden ist.

    Nach dem Motto: Sprache wandelt sich. Und nicht irgendwelche Herren in irgendeinem Elfenbeinturm legen fest, was grammatikalisch korrekt ist, sondern der tatsächliche Gebrauch bestimmt das.


    Das fand ich zumindest eine interessante These. Und mit dieser linguistischen Rückendeckung kann man doch auch hier getrost das "themselves" stehenlassen. :-)

    #14AuthorCalifornia81 (642214) 14 May 19, 17:44
    Comment

    I would go for

    in order to make someone feel better about themself

    ... as the least inelegant way around the problem

    #15Authorisabelll (918354) 14 May 19, 19:09
    Comment
    #15 + 1

    But I wouldn't deduct points for the plural, just call attention to the option of the singular.
    #16Authorhm -- us (236141) 14 May 19, 19:14
    Comment

    Das hat weniger mit 'Deutsch-Muttersprachlerin' zu tun, denke ich, als damit, in welchem Maß man Englisch ausgesetzt ist. Es haben ja diverse DMS hier im Faden gesagt, dass es ihnen überhaupt nicht aufgefallen ist. (Dem ich mich anschließe - ich wusste auch nicht, wo das Problem mit dem Satz sein sollte.)


    themself dagegen ist für mich eher ein Stolperstein. Da bin ich noch nicht dran gewöhnt, und zumindest in BE, bilde ich mir ein, lese ich es (noch?) sehr viel seltener.

    #17AuthorGibson (418762)  14 May 19, 19:26
    Comment
    Can I just say in that case that 'themselves' with a singular referent is really, really jarring, surely in BE as well as AE.

    If you don't like singular 'themself' (which, like isabelll, I would argue is really the only logical option when 'they' is used as a singular pronoun), then you would indeed need to recast the phrase, e.g.,

    to make people feel better about themselves
    to make someone feel better about him- or herself
    #18Authorhm -- us (236141) 14 May 19, 19:39
    Comment

    Can I just say in that case that 'themselves' with a singular referent is really, really jarring, surely in BE as well as AE.


    No, to me it's not jarring. As Bubb said: I don't even notice it.


    Do you feel the same about just 'them' or 'their'? 'Everybody wants their cake and eat it'?

    #19AuthorGibson (418762)  14 May 19, 19:41
    Comment

    ## 15, 16, 18: ... 'themselves' with a singular referent is really, really jarring, surely in BE ...


    No, it really isn't, at least not to most of us.


    And I would not advocate "themself". In my view that just sounds peculiar.


    If you really don't like "themselves" (or if the text is a rather formal one), then you just have to find a different way round it.

    #20AuthorHecuba - UK (250280)  14 May 19, 19:59
    Comment
    I'm not crazy about singular 'they' and would usually avoid it when conveniently possible, at least in writing. 'People,' for instance, is fine if you want to say 'have their cake and eat it too.'

    But yes, the plural '-selves' sounds as if one person has several selves. So yes, it does seem more jarring after 'someone.'

    And yes, it does surprise me that people who have no problem with singular 'they' would somehow balk at singular 'themself.' If 'they' is singular, then the reflexive pronoun should also be singular. That doesn't actually seem too hard to me.

    I can understand how it might not be as obvious to German speakers, since 'selbst' is invariable and has no plural, and 'sich' can be either singular or plural.

    But I would be surprised if there weren't at least some BE speakers who were more sensitive to the issue of pronoun agreement. 3 votes to 1 (isabelll) isn't an overwhelming ratio so far. I would still be interested to know what other regulars such as Mike E., Bion, Marianne, dulcinea, Spike, Kinky, escoville, Anne, etc. might have to say.
    #21Authorhm -- us (236141)  14 May 19, 20:08
    Comment

    That doesn't actually seem too hard to me.


    Can you explain what you mean by that? I take it you don't think I didn't understand why you think 'themself' is 'better', for want of another word.

    #22AuthorGibson (418762) 14 May 19, 20:16
    Comment
    Sorry, didn't mean to offend.

    To me there is indeed, and should be, some natural resistance to using 'they' as a singular. It can be hard mentally to overcome that. But once we have overcome that gut reaction in the subject or object forms, why not also in the reflexive form? Perhaps I should have said I can't quite see why it would seem any harder.
    #23Authorhm -- us (236141) 14 May 19, 20:21
    Comment

    why not also in the reflexive form?


    I can obviously only speak for myself, but I have nothing against 'themself', in theory. I'm just not used to it, whereas 'themselves' with a singular subject is perfectly normal to me. This might well change if 'themself' catches on, but so far it's still something that looks weird to me, unlike the very common 'themselves'.

    #24AuthorGibson (418762) 14 May 19, 20:35
    Comment

    We are talking in this thread about a "Minimalinvasion". Unlike Gibson, I think "themselves" with a singular subject is jarring and I would try to rephrase the whole thing, if it were me, to avoid these clumsy gender-neutral forms, but that is no consequence here. If obliged to make only minimal changes, I would decline this third-person singular phrase as follows:


    ... in order to make someone feel better about themself...

    or

    ... in order to make people feel better about themselves...


    edit: Just did a search and found that "themself" meets with escoville's approval, and I suspect he's even older than I am ;-)

    related discussion: themself

    #25Authorisabelll (918354)  14 May 19, 21:02
    Comment

    in order to make people feel better about themselves...


    Genau diesen minimalinvasiven Gedanken hatte ich auch.


    Interessant, die unterschiedlichen Reaktionen und Einschätzungen zu lesen, aber jetzt mache ich Feierabend für heute.


    Danke und gute Nacht!

    #26Authorcookie crumbler (484354) 14 May 19, 21:38
    Comment
    Re #25, on the other hand ....

    I'm not sure if in that thread escoville and Mike were approving of 'themself' or just noting its existence.

    And I should have acknowledged that even when we use 'they' to refer to one person, we don't actually treat it as a grammatical singular -- we don't say 'they *is,' for instance. (Evidently there are now some trans persons urging exactly that kind of usage, but fortunately I don't think I'm going to live long enough to see it become widespread.)

    So maybe I can't explain why 'someone ... themselves' sounds more jarring to me, it just does. (I certainly don't think it would help to separate it into 'their selves,' which would be another whole ball of wax ...)
    #27Authorhm -- us (236141)  14 May 19, 21:47
     
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