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  1. #1
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    Is "and yet" grammatically incorrect and/or ambiguous?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Excellent. Please explain the "ambiguity" in this statement:

    There would be a contradiction if God's will is done in heaven, and yet God's angels in heaven could sin.

    Thanks!

    Richard
    Please state your proposition.

    I notice you have included the "and yet" again, which you pointed out to me you had dropped from your recent quotation of that sentence.

    "and yet" is grammatically incorrect. As was found, the fact that the two words according to their placement can mean something different to what you intend. Different meanings lead to ambiguity. All you have to do, is re-word your statement (sentence) removing anything with more than one meaning, or first agreeing the meaning with the other party.
    On September 15, 2012, David M started a thread called God's will is done in Heaven. His opening posted contained this argument:
    What we have is a paradox; an apparent contradiction in God’s word. Peter tells us; “angels sinned”, and Jesus says; God’s will is done in Heaven. This paradox must be resolved. Explaining Jude 6 or 2 Peter 2:4 to show that the angles referred to are not God’s Angels in Heaven removes the paradox. The same can be done for any passage in the Bible which implies God’s Angels in Heaven can sin.
    I responded by saying:
    I like the way you framed this discussion. A nice, clearly stated "paradox." That should make for some good progress.
    Unfortunately, things have not worked out the way I anticipated. David and I have been disputing the mere formulation of that paradox for over two years now!

    In my efforts to clarify the logic of his paradox, I carefully defined my terms to avoid equivocation over "angels" as "human messengers" vs "God's Angels in Heaven" and wrote the following:
    There would be a paradox if God's Will is done in heaven, and yet God's Angels in heaven could sin.
    David has disputed this statement for over two years. I've explained it every way possible, but he simply refuses to follow any logical train of through to completion. Here is a typical example of how he deliberately evades logic that would prove wrong. I presented this five step logical sequence, and asked him to respond to each point (link):
    1) By definition, there would be a contradiction if P and Not P were both true.

    2) By your own premise, Angels sinning in heaven would imply that God's will was not being done.

    3) Therefore, if P = "God's will is done in heaven" and Q = "God's angels in heaven sin" then Q implies NOT P. (This is just another way of saying that Q contradicts P).

    4) Therefore, there would be a contradiction IF P AND Q.

    5) Therefore, there would be a contradiction IF God's will is done in heaven AND God's angels in heaven could sin.

    DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS LOGIC? DO YOU AGREE IT IS PERFECT AND PRECISE? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
    I felt it necessary to write in bold all caps because he habitually ignores my questions and if I repeat them he refuses to answer on the pretext that he already did. Such behavior is extremely aggravating. But I persisted in my efforts to reason with him. Unfortunately, he stayed true to his ways and played the crazy man once again. He answered the first three points in the affirmative, but on point #4, he said this (link):
    Now you are switching the word "THEN" for "AND". Before you said; "If P then Q" and now you are saying; "if P AND Q" and that is besides the time you said; "If P AND YET Q". By switching, you are not being consistent.
    I switched nothing of course. Point #1 says "P and Not P." There was no "THEN" in my logical sequence. There was no "If P then Q." David's response was simply insane, especially his complaint that I had "switched" from using "yet" since I had omitted that word as a concession to his adamant insistence that it was the source of some "ambiguity" that made it impossible for him to accept my formulation of the paradox.

    So I explained that I had not switched anything, and quoted my own words yet again in the hope he might respond to them. He responded as follows (link):
    I agree with that in the context of what you have replied in your last post. I was drawing your attention that you have switched in the terms of how you have been arguing in the past. You have argued in the past using "If P then Q" as a logic expression and you have said in another post; "If P and yet Q". I do not disagree with "P and Not P" as that does not make any difference. It is how you have not been consistent by sticking to one set of words. The words "and yet" you have to respond to the points I made in my last reply.
    His goal was now achieved. He successfully DODGED THE BULLET OF TRUTH and skillfully changed the subject without ever completing that logical sequence. He deliberately derailed the train of thought because he knew that he could not answer without admitting his error. And worse, he continued to focus on the phrase "and yet" even after I had conceded to his demand! Is that crazy or what? This has been his practice on this forum for over two years.

    And this brings us to the topic of this thread. Is the phrase "and yet" grammatically incorrect and ambiguous? David has appealed to three websites to support his claim (link). Here they are:

    • http://grammarist.com/usage/and-yet/ - This page merely said "and yet is redundant, and and could usually be cut." It speaks of style. Says nothing about any "ambiguity" or grammatical error.
    • http://painintheenglish.com/case/4314 - This one is quite a hoot. David quoted one anonymous comment in the comment stream under the article that said "and yet is redundant." It said nothing of grammar, only of style. It also incorrectly described the phrase as "idiomatic" - an error that David has repeated many times even though I have repeatedly explained why it was false.
    • http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/edu...verbs?page=all - David completely misunderstood this page. It said nothing that supported his claims.

    That's it. That's the sum of David's citations that were supposed to prove his case.

    Our friend L67 tried to help David see his mistake by showing him the Merriam-Webster definition of paradox (link):
    paradox 2b: a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true
    David responded by saying "Thank you L67 for point out the poor grammar used by Merriam-Webster and perhaps you should write to them and point this out. " (link).

    I was floored. I could not believe that David would try to defend his ludicrous position by declaring that the Merriam-Webster dictionary was wrong! So I found a paper written by famed professor of linguistics, Paul Grice, who wrote a peer-reviewed paper on the meaning of words, called "Meaning" in which he used the phrase "and yet" twice. And just to be sure that David would understand this was not a fluke, I found another paper of the same title by a different philosopher of Language, Kent Bach, who used the phrase four times. His paper contains this sentence:
    Some words clearly have meanings and yet their meanings are not clear.

    These are two Philosophers of Language, writing peer-reviewed papers on the meaning of words, who used the phrase "and yet" six times in those two papers. Here is the link to the post where I presented this information.

    I then wrote a post titled Famous Fools who disagreed with David M in which I cited examples of "and yet" found in quotes from William Shakespeare, Galileo Galilei, Lewis Carol, and JESUS CHRIST in the KJV.

    Then I wrote a post called David M charges himself with folly in which I quoted many of his own posts that used "and yet" before he decided it was "bad grammar" in his desperate effort to avoid admitting he was wrong. I did a search in the database and found that he had used the phrase 277 times before the debate began. Of his total posts at the time, 16% contained that phrase! He used it all the time because he is always talking about "contradictions" that prove his fringe doctrines are true and traditional Christianity is false.

    And how did he respond to all this evidence? Here it is (link):
    As usual you are enjoying sidetracking from answering the evidence presented. Your argument should not be with me, but with the people who have written on the websites where the explanation of the words; "and yet" have been given. You have to say why they are not acceptable. I am already letting you off by saying it was not your intention. You remain stubborn to the fact that you will not change the words of your formulation. You have agreed to drop the word "yet". That does nothing to change the construction of your sentence. You are now trying to avoid the ambiguity I was drawing your attention to. By dropping the "yet", you have shown me that your original words had a superfluous (ambiguous) word in it and therefore was not the most succinct formulation you could have done. You have proved yourself incorrect, even though this is a very minor point.
    That was it. He didn't deal with any of the evidence I presented. He dodged and made false accusations, as always.

    I then posted the Definition of "yet" from the Oxford Advance Learner's Dictionary which uses the phrase "and yet" (link):
    yet: conjuction
    Meaning: despite what has just been said
    Synonym: nevertheless
    Examples: It's a small car, yet it's surprisingly spacious. He has a good job, and yet he never seems to have any money.
    David responded by saying (link):
    For all that you have shown (and I will not copy it again to save space) what you write does not change much. I see you have quoted the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary and not the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. That is the dictionary that is the most definitive and that is the one I thought you were using . If necessary, I will go to the reference library and have a look. It is surprising that in the Advanced Learners Dictionary they us a double conjunction.
    David complained it was not the "Concise Oxford English Dictionary" which is supposedly "most definitive." So I found an online copy and posted this pic of the definition of "though" (link):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives "and yet" as one of the definitions of "though."

    And then I quoted the introduction to the 100th anniversary edition in which the editor of the dictionary used "and yet."

    And then I quoted the original 1911 version and showed its editor also happened to use "and yet" in the introduction.

    So there it is. David has never responded to any of this evidence, but clings to his three random and entirely non-authoritative webpages (one of which is nothing but an anonymous comment!) as sufficient reason to exalt himself above all the greatest authors and authorities of the English language, declaring them all to be guilty of using "bad grammar."

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    So there it is. David has never responded to any of this evidence, but clings to his three random and entirely non-authoritative webpages (one of which is nothing but an anonymous comment!) as sufficient reason to exalt himself above all the greatest authors and authorities of the English language, declaring them all to be guilty of using "bad grammar."
    In response to Richard's long summary, I need to add one or two things which Richard has left out.

    Though I was uncomfortable with Richard's formulation of the paradox, which I could see was supporting his conclusion (which you have to know about first), Richard has never been willing to write the paradox in any other way. This has been less about what the paradox is, and more about the grammar of his sentence. Because of changing language and common usage, what is technically incorrect grammar is now acceptable as an idiom. The double conjunctive used by Richard has another meaning to what Richard might have intended. If only for that one reason of not using a phrase that can be interpreted another way, Richard's sentence could be re-worded. In fact, Richard admitted the "and" conjunctive was superfluous and therefore finally omitted it.

    I mistakenly took Richard to be a Wordsmith and stood corrected by Richard. I do not claim to be a Wordsmith and I have to check words out. It was Richard's insistence that he formulated the paradox "succinctly" and with "precision" I could not agree. His admission to using a superfluous word means that he failed to be as succinct as he claims. That might seem like a small point and petty, but if you are going to make a bold claim, then you have to live up to it. If there is anything in a sentence which is ambiguous to the reader, then it makes sense to remove it and write an alternative form of words.

    Richard claims I have not given him evidence. If you have read all the posts, then you will know that is not true. I am expected now to find the post or the link to get to the website which told me "and yet" was not good grammar and had another meaning to what is intended. It is easy to Google the phrase and do your own research of the subject. Here is a link to be going on with; http://grammarist.com/usage/and-yet/

    "and yet" has become so common in usage, I have even been using it, but now having learned about its incorrect use, I try to correct myself when I catch myself using it out of habit. The fact that "and yet" is used so frequently used does not make it correct, even when used in the dictionary to explain other words. What you will not find in a dictionary is "and yet" listed and a meaning given for it. I have to accept that old standards are being eroded, and I am "old school" in many respects.

    The formulation of the paradox as; "God's will is done in heaven and yet God's Angels could sin", I do not see "could" used in the subjunctive. Richard has resorted to explaining that his formulation is using the subjunctive. He includes the formulation as part of a subjunctive clause by saying; "there would be a paradox if ...". "would" is used in the subjunctive; "could" is not".

    I shall find it interesting if you think there is an apparent paradox between Matthew 6:10 and 2 Peter 2:4 and to read your formulation of the paradox if you would be so bold as to give your statement of it. If you think there is no paradox, then maybe you can give your reasons and we can see if they are the same as Richard's.

    David

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Though I was uncomfortable with Richard's formulation of the paradox, which I could see was supporting his conclusion (which you have to know about first), Richard has never been willing to write the paradox in any other way.
    That's not true David. I have rewritten it many different ways in my effort to help you understand basic grammar and logic. Indeed, I wrote it so many different ways that you COMPLAINED that I was "changing my words." Your response is literally insane. You complained if I included the word "yet" and then complained that I changed my words and was being inconsistent when I removed it (in concession to your demands, no less)!

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    This has been less about what the paradox is, and more about the grammar of his sentence. Because of changing language and common usage, what is technically incorrect grammar is now acceptable as an idiom.
    It is not an idiom. I explained this many times and you just ignored me and continued repeating your error.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    The double conjunctive used by Richard has another meaning to what Richard might have intended. If only for that one reason of not using a phrase that can be interpreted another way, Richard's sentence could be re-worded. In fact, Richard admitted the "and" conjunctive was superfluous and therefore finally omitted it.
    It does not have "another" meaning. Its the same meaning stated in different words and for a different context (when "And yet" is used at the beginning of a sentence.) Your arguments are ludicrous beyond description. That's why you adamantly refuse to follow anything like a logical train of thought, as I showed in my post above.

    I did not ever omit the "and" - I chose to omit the "yet". And I did not do that because it was "superfluous" but because you refused to accept it as valid English, despited the fact that all the greatest authors and authorities of the English language say it is correct and good grammar.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Richard claims I have not given him evidence. If you have read all the posts, then you will know that is not true. I am expected now to find the post or the link to get to the website which told me "and yet" was not good grammar and had another meaning to what is intended. It is easy to Google the phrase and do your own research of the subject. Here is a link to be going on with; http://grammarist.com/usage/and-yet/
    No David, you are not "expected now to find the post or the link to get to the website." I provided it for you in the post you are supposedly answering. Now I see that you didn't even read it! I posted all three of the links you cited and included a link to your original post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    And this brings us to the topic of this thread. Is the phrase "and yet" grammatically incorrect and ambiguous? David has appealed to three websites to support his claim (link). Here they are:

    • http://grammarist.com/usage/and-yet/ - This page merely said "and yet is redundant, and and could usually be cut." It speaks of style. Says nothing about any "ambiguity" or grammatical error.
    • http://painintheenglish.com/case/4314 - This one is quite a hoot. David quoted one anonymous comment in the comment stream under the article that said "and yet is redundant." It said nothing of grammar, only of style. It also incorrectly described the phrase as "idiomatic" - an error that David has repeated many times even though I have repeatedly explained why it was false.
    • http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/edu...verbs?page=all - David completely misunderstood this page. It said nothing that supported his claims.

    That's it. That's the sum of David's citations that were supposed to prove his case.
    You never presented any evidence that would justify your ludicrous assertion that Merriam-Webster, the Oxford Dictionary, the KJV, Shakespeare, and leading professors of the philosophy of language are all wrong about "and yet." Your comments are utterly, totally, and completely insane. Batshit crazy.

    You are just repeating the same errors over and over and over again like you have been for years without even reading the post you are supposedly answering.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    "and yet" has become so common in usage, I have even been using it, but now having learned about its incorrect use, I try to correct myself when I catch myself using it out of habit. The fact that "and yet" is used so frequently used does not make it correct, even when used in the dictionary to explain other words. What you will not find in a dictionary is "and yet" listed and a meaning given for it. I have to accept that old standards are being eroded, and I am "old school" in many respects.
    Your comment is utterly insane. The phrase "and yet" is definitely "old school." It was used by Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, the KJV! What are you freaking babbling about? You never presented any evidence that it was "bad grammar." You were in the most excellent company with the greatest English authors when you used "and yet" in 277 posts on this forum before you decided it was "bad grammar."

    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  4. #4
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    Hello Richard
    This conversation is not going to move on until you answer the questions waiting to be answered. I will respond to your repetitious remarks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    That's not true David. I have rewritten it many different ways in my effort to help you understand basic grammar and logic. Indeed, I wrote it so many different ways that you COMPLAINED that I was "changing my words." Your response is literally insane. You complained if I included the word "yet" and then complained that I changed my words and was being inconsistent when I removed it (in concession to your demands, no less)!
    Then stick with the revised wording and stop bringing up the phrase "and yet". Be consistent. I have given you what I consider to be the simplest contradictory propositions. If you do not agree, then simplify them more.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It is not an idiom. I explained this many times and you just ignored me and continued repeating your error.
    I have given you links to websites in which others say that "and yet" is an idiom. You might not want to recognize it as such, but the fact that others interpret it as such, is reason to remove the phrase and write something without any ambiguity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    It does not have "another" meaning. Its the same meaning stated in different words and for a different context (when "And yet" is used at the beginning of a sentence.) Your arguments are ludicrous beyond description. That's why you adamantly refuse to follow anything like a logical train of thought, as I showed in my post above.
    Once again, I am presenting evidence found on other websites. It is no worse than you quoting the Book of Enoch. If we disagree on these sources of reference, then we must agree to leave them out. We are searching for a common root of understanding. Eventually we have to get to the source of the problem. The problems all stem from the vagueness of language and double meanings of words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I did not ever omit the "and" - I chose to omit the "yet". And I did not do that because it was "superfluous" but because you refused to accept it as valid English, despited the fact that all the greatest authors and authorities of the English language say it is correct and good grammar.
    I stand corrected if that is the case. Whichever word is dropped, it proves to me that you were not as you claim succinct in what you had written. You were superfluous with words. This argument is not about the actual paradox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    No David, you are not "expected now to find the post or the link to get to the website." I provided it for you in the post you are supposedly answering. Now I see that you didn't even read it! I posted all three of the links you cited and included a link to your original post:
    I read your post, but I did not look up the links This is time-wasting as it is. Also remember, that your recent posts have not been addressed to me, but to our audience explaining what has taken place. If you want me to answer a specific point, then please quote an extract from the page the link takes us to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You never presented any evidence that would justify your ludicrous assertion that Merriam-Webster, the Oxford Dictionary, the KJV, Shakespeare, and leading professors of the philosophy of language are all wrong about "and yet." Your comments are utterly, totally, and completely insane. Batshit crazy.
    I cannot present evidence not found. I replied to you that "and yet" is not listed in any of the dictionaries I have or I can find online. I am not subscribing to Oxford or Merriam. You can copy and paste the definition of "and yet" from Oxford and Merriam and then I can comment. It also has to be taken into account all the other information that we find relating to the words "and yet".

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You are just repeating the same errors over and over and over again like you have been for years without even reading the post you are supposedly answering.
    Why then do you not stay on track and answer my questions to keep on drilling down. I am not for repeating as you seem to keep on wanting to do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your comment is utterly insane. The phrase "and yet" is definitely "old school." It was used by Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, the KJV! What are you freaking babbling about? You never presented any evidence that it was "bad grammar." You were in the most excellent company with the greatest English authors when you used "and yet" in 277 posts on this forum before you decided it was "bad grammar."
    One hundred wrongs do not make a right, so why would a thousand? Look at all the websites that can be found on Google when "and yet" is searched for. Just because something becomes acceptable does not mean it is correct. I have given you sufficient evidence/reason to change the phrase "and yet". You have argued in this post (above) that you dropped the "yet", so why are you continuing to argue over these other points? In the other post I am waiting for your answers, I have asked you also why you have used the word "could". I am waiting for your answer.

    For one who claims to deal with only Logic and Facts, you betray yourself when given the facts.

    All the best
    David

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I have given you links to websites in which others say that "and yet" is an idiom. You might not want to recognize it as such, but the fact that others interpret it as such, is reason to remove the phrase and write something without any ambiguity.
    You have never presented any authoritative sites that say "and yet" is an idiom. You have presented two links to support that assertion.


    Here is the explanation I gave in post #279 almost exactly one year ago on October 31, 2013 concerning the first link:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Good evening David,

    Your assertion that my examples are not from "authoritative English language websites to do with English grammar" is altogether false. I cited the Oxford Dictionary, which is generally considered the most authoritative source for information relating to the English language on the planet. I also cited Philip B. Corbett of the New York Times who is in charge of revisions of their grammar book called "The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: The Official Style Guide Used by the Writers and Editors of the World's Most Authoritative Newspaper." Your assertion that the examples I gave contained "mistakes" is also altogether false. You have not shown any error of any kind. Your assertions are entirely empty of content. And worse, you cited a mere comment by an anonymous user on a blog as your "authoritative source! And not only that, but other users in that thread contradicted the opinion of that anonymous user! Here are some examples from the comment stream that you cited as "authoritative" -

    • nigel - "And yet" is idiomatic. "Yet" on its own (or with a semicolon), as a conjunction, is not incorrect, but it seems a little stilted to me.
    • douglas.bryant - Nigel is correct: "and yet" is a perfectly acceptable idiom. Where would Lerner and Loewe have been without it?
    • porsche - "And yet" is no worse than "and then", "and so", "and still", etc., etc. In most cases, the "and" can be removed and the sentence is still clear, but that doesn't mean that the "and" is wrong or even redundant. In "and yet", yet usually means "in spite of". "And" means "in addition to". The two notions are different but not exclusive of each other, so if I want to describe a second occurrence that happens in spite of a first occurrence and also want to stress that the second occurrence happens in addition to the first one, then "and yet" is the perfect means.
    • Warsaw Will - I'm with porsche, JMMB, nigel and douglas.bryant. And so, it would seem, are quite a few dictionaries. Here are few sentences given as examples as how to use 'yet': He has a good job, and yet he never seems to have any money. (Oxford Advanced Learner's). He's overweight and bald, (and) yet somehow, he's attractive. (Cambridge) She does not speak our language and yet she seems to understand what we say. (Longman's)

    You cited one comment in that comment stream and declared it to be more authoritative than the Oxford Dictionary and the New York Times editor of their manual on grammar and all the other examples I gave.
    You never responded to these facts. All you did was cite the definition of an idiom (the second link I mentioned above), and then declare that "and yet" was an idiom even though it does not fit the definition. I explained this to you in post #307 on December 28, 2013:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Two matters have now arisen. The first stumbling block is the ambiguity of the phrase "and yet". It is an idiom and is not defined in the dictionary ( not that I have not found yet). The words "and" and "yet" are in the dictionary, but not defined together. They are two different conjunctions; one is additive and the other is contrasting. I find no example of two conjunctions like this being used together, except for the accepted idiomatic use. The fact is; Richard refuses to accept the alternative meaning of those two words together that are an idiomatic expression. To be clear with one's writing, the use of those two words used together should be avoided. The fact that idiomatically the two words together is accepted, is the reason it appears to have been used a lot by writers who are deemed "professional" writers. That does not alter the fact they use incorrect grammar. Apart from the avoidance of bad grammar, the two words together have an alternative meaning, which to state once again is; "That maybe so, but .."
    Good morning David,

    It appears that you don't understand the meaning of "idiom". Here it is:

    idiom: an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own

    The phrase "and yet" is not an idiom. Anyone who understands the meaning of "and" and "yet" can understand "and yet" perfectly, with no ambiguity of any kind.

    If you disagree, you need to state clearly the precise "idiomatic" meaning of "and yet". The words "that may be so, but" is not an alternative meaning. It's just another way of saying the same thing with different words. The meanings are the same.

    And this, by the way, is why the dictionaries don't generally define "and yet". It has no meaning apart from the meaning of the two words that comprise it. If it were an idiom, I can guarantee that it would be included in the dictionaries. PWNED.

    You say that I "refuse to accept the alternative meaning"? Don't be ridiculous. I accepted the meaning "That may be so, but". Can't you say even one word that is true?

    Cheers!

    Richard
    That's it. You never presented any reason anyone should accept your assertion that "and yet" is an idiom or that it is "ambiguous." You have never cited any authoritative source supporting your assertions.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Once again, I am presenting evidence found on other websites. It is no worse than you quoting the Book of Enoch. If we disagree on these sources of reference, then we must agree to leave them out. We are searching for a common root of understanding. Eventually we have to get to the source of the problem. The problems all stem from the vagueness of language and double meanings of words.
    I think it would be great if we could find agreement. All you need to do is accept what the greatest authors and highest authorities of the English language have stated. Here are some representative samples:

    Merriam-Websters Dictionary:
    paradox 2b: a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true

    Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
    yet: conjuction
    Meaning: despite what has just been said
    Synonym: nevertheless
    Examples: It's a small car, yet it's surprisingly spacious. He has a good job, and yethe never seems to have any money.

    Concise Oxford English Dictionary:

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    The Greek New Testament (from the Emphatic Diaglott):

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    Jesus Christ in the King James Bible:
    John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

    Etc., etc., etc. I have presented you with a veritable mountain of evidence from the greatest authors and highest authorities of the English language. You have countered with nothing but empty rhetoric and a stubborn refusal to even respond to the evidence I have repeatedly presented.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I stand corrected if that is the case. Whichever word is dropped, it proves to me that you were not as you claim succinct in what you had written. You were superfluous with words. This argument is not about the actual paradox.
    I never claimed it was "succinct." You have repeated this error many times. I corrected it last year on December 28, 2013 - after having previous corrected it a number of times. Here's the post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Richard
    I have been to the link you have given and whilst there, I typed into the search box the words "and yet". The only search term suggested or found is the expression; "so near and yet so far". Is that sentence idiomatic? Here is their definition of the phrase; a rueful comment on someone’s narrow failure to achieve an aim That definition sums up your formulation a treat.

    Maybe we should get the author of the website arguing against the use of the two conjunctive words used together, to talk to the author behind the Oxford Dictionaries website. I am not sure the Oxford Dictionaries website is giving unpaid access to the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

    This is no longer about what the paradox is or what you intend to say; it is about your stubbornness to continue to think that you have been so succinct and precise that the paradox could not be written in any other way, so as to have no ambiguity or grammatical error whatsoever,

    What next?

    All the best
    David
    Good morning David,

    I have never said nor implied that my formulation was the most "succinct." Never. Not once. On the contrary, I have explicitly stated that it would be more succinct to drop the "yet" but it is good to include it because it "adds clarity at the expense of an extra word." You have been repeating this falsehood over and over and over again, no matter how my times I expose your error. Indeed, I told you this in my last post, and you are repeating your falsehood yet again! What is wrong with you? Don't you realize what this says about your character?

    And neither have I ever said or implied that it "could not be written any other way". On the contrary, I have explicitly and repeatedly told you that it could be written more succinctly by dropping the "yet" and you know this because you complained when I dropped it and complained when I included it. Do you really think I'm going to let you lie to my face? What is wrong with you?

    You ignored everything I wrote in my last response. I proved that your attempt to create ambiguity by snipping out a sentence fragment from my formulation was totally freaking insane and implied the exact opposite of what I was actually saying. And now you have confirmed your insanity, because you have presented your own "formulation" of the paradox which is logically identical to the fragment that you snipped from mine, which you totally reject because it is supposedly a "subliminal" way to "resolve" the paradox -

    David's own formulation: God's will is done in heaven. God's angels sin.

    David's understanding of Richard's: God's will is done in heaven. That may be so, but God's angels could sin.

    Their meanings are FREAKING IDENTICAL! You say that my formulation implies that there is no paradox? Great! Why doesn't yours imply the same thing? They both say that God's will is done in heaven. They both say that God's angels sin. So what is the difference? You need to explain this. You need to explain why you reject my formulation when, according to you, it is logically identical to yours.

    All the best,

    Richard
    You complain that my posts are repetitious? Well here's the reason: you keep repeating the same errors no matter how many times they have been corrected! I brought this to you attention last year! Even then, you were repeating this error, and now you are repeating it yet again. You are the definition of incorrigible David. You simply refuse to learn. You are by far the most stubbornly stupid person I have ever encountered.

    Here is my explanation yet again. Please read it this time (maybe it will help if I highlight bold blue):

    I have never said nor implied that my formulation was the most "succinct." Never. Not once. On the contrary, I have explicitly stated that it would be more succinct to drop the "yet" but it is good to include it because it "adds clarity at the expense of an extra word." You have been repeating this falsehood over and over and over again, no matter how my times I expose your error. Indeed, I told you this in my last post, and you are repeating your falsehood yet again! What is wrong with you? Don't you realize what this says about your character?

    Do you get it? I've been explaining this one point for over a year, yet you continue to repeat the same error. You are by far the most stubbornly stupid person I have ever encountered.

    But I'm glad you repeated that error, because it brought to my attention another error you have been repeating ad naseum, ad infinitum. You claim that there is some "ambiguity" in my formulation and so insisted that we should follow yours. But in the post above, I proved they were logically identical, which reveals the utter absurdity of your whole point.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    Quote Originally Posted by David M
    Richard claims I have not given him evidence. If you have read all the posts, then you will know that is not true. I am expected now to find the post or the link to get to the website which told me "and yet" was not good grammar and had another meaning to what is intended. It is easy to Google the phrase and do your own research of the subject. Here is a link to be going on with; http://grammarist.com/usage/and-yet/
    No David, you are not "expected now to find the post or the link to get to the website." I provided it for you in the post you are supposedly answering. Now I see that you didn't even read it! I posted all three of the links you cited and included a link to your original post:
    I read your post, but I did not look up the links This is time-wasting as it is. Also remember, that your recent posts have not been addressed to me, but to our audience explaining what has taken place. If you want me to answer a specific point, then please quote an extract from the page the link takes us to.
    All right David. That proves it. You are utterly delusional and are willing to say whatever it takes to justify your bullshit. You - YOU - are the one who took time to complain that I had left those freaking links out when in fact I had not! You are the one who took time to go look for the link that I had actually included in the post so you wouldn't have to go looking for it. You are the one who started his post by saying that you were including things I supposedly left out, like that link that you didn't need to include. You are utterly totally absolutely freaking insane!

    Any attempt to reason with you is time wasting because you repeat the same errors year after year, no matter how many times they have been exposed and explained. There is nothing more tedious and vain that trying to reason with you David. You reject all the greatest authors and highest authorities of the English language. You appear to be literally insane.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough
    You never presented any evidence that would justify your ludicrous assertion that Merriam-Webster, the Oxford Dictionary, the KJV, Shakespeare, and leading professors of the philosophy of language are all wrong about "and yet." Your comments are utterly, totally, and completely insane. Batshit crazy.
    I cannot present evidence not found.
    Damn straight! You have no evidence, and that's why you can't present it. Why do you refuse to admit the truth that everyone can see?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I replied to you that "and yet" is not listed in any of the dictionaries I have or I can find online. I am not subscribing to Oxford or Merriam. You can copy and paste the definition of "and yet" from Oxford and Merriam and then I can comment. It also has to be taken into account all the other information that we find relating to the words "and yet".
    I've already explained this a million times. The definition of "and yet" is not listed separately because it is not an idiom. It's meaning is derived from the meaning of the words "and" and "yet." Anyone who knows the meaning of those words can understand the meaning of "and yet."

    But the phrase "and yet" is used in the dictionaries. Merriam-Websters uses it in the freaking DEFINITION of paradox. I have presented the evidence. You assertions are literally insane.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Why then do you not stay on track and answer my questions to keep on drilling down. I am not for repeating as you seem to keep on wanting to do.
    BULLSHIT! You have been repeating - over and over and over again - the same errors I exposed and corrected over and over and over again.

    There is something seriously wrong with your brain David.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  6. #6
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    Are you being trolled?

    Richard,

    I've been reading the banter between you and David for the last couple of days. Have you considered that perhaps David is trolling you? David's posts seem legitimate on the surface, and yet he seems to be unwilling to accept material from some of academia's most trusted scholarly sources. Seriously, who does not use Webster's dictionary? I can't think of a legitimate reason to disallow it as scholarly source material.
    Respectfully,
    Mark
    An unsupported statement is not an argument; it is only an opinion.
    Eschew obfuscation.

  7. #7
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    And Yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by http://grammarist.com/usage/and-yet/
    And yet
    When you find yourself using the phrase and yet, consider whether any meaning would be lost ifand were dropped. When yet is used as a conjunction, and yet is redundant, and and could usually be cut. For example, and serves no purpose in this sentence:
    The numbers do offer a sobering picture, and yet it’s far from all gloom and doom.
    And yet is commonly used to start sentences. In some cases, the usage comes from unfounded bias against using yet to start a sentence.
    And yet no one would bet against Jobs being on this list in 10 years’ time. (Independent)
    Here, there would be nothing wrong with,
    Yet no one would bet against Jobs being on the list in 10 years’ time.
    Elsewhere, and yet at the start of a sentence is rhetorical shorthand, often followed by a command usually meaning, “That may be so, but…”
    Ms. Hill, a 50-year-old voice-over actress, said she had been feeling a spiritual drift away from Christmas for several years. And yet, each December she continued to go through the motions of sending out holiday cards, decorating the house, buying gifts. (New York Times)
    This use of and yet is less questionable because it’s a common figure of speech.
    And yet is not always redundant. When yet is an adverb, and yet works fine—for example:
    It is also expected that tax rises and spending cuts, both those already announced and yet to come, will weigh heavily on the economy. (The Sunday Times)
    Clearly there are occasions when using "and yet" is grammatically correct.

    If I were required to define every word I use when debating with an opponent, I would immediately run into an infinite recursion problem. Computer programmers often run into a similar problem when coding software, they keep tweaking the code because they are never satisfied with the elegance of the code that they have written. Any college computer programming class will teach a new programmer that you eventually have to settle for good enough - otherwise you will just keep tweaking and never actually release any new programs.

    Just like computer language, with the written English language you eventually have to settle on good enough - or the conversation will never progress.
    Respectfully,
    Mark
    An unsupported statement is not an argument; it is only an opinion.
    Eschew obfuscation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Fawkes View Post
    Richard,

    I've been reading the banter between you and David for the last couple of days. Have you considered that perhaps David is trolling you? David's posts seem legitimate on the surface, and yet he seems to be unwilling to accept material from some of academia's most trusted scholarly sources. Seriously, who does not use Webster's dictionary? I can't think of a legitimate reason to disallow it as scholarly source material.
    Hey there Mark,

    I'm glad you joined the conversation. I could use a sanity break.

    I can see why you might think David is just a troll; he certainly fits the profile in many ways. But I don't think that is the correct diagnosis. He appears to desire serious discourse concerning his religious beliefs. But his beliefs are way out on the fringe of the Christian tradition so he needs to justify them by "properly interpreting" the Bible, which in practice means making up utterly unjustifiable rationalizations involving all sorts of improbable assumptions and twisted, inconsistent logic. I engage him because I once was a deluded believer and am very interested in how people delude themselves with religion. It's part of my healing process. And I really enjoy logic so talking with David evokes the same kind of morbid fascination as a train wreck. I just can't believe that anyone could be as stubbornly stupid as he has chosen to be. He could drop it in a moment and choose to engage me in rational discourse without evasions, diversions, and perversions of logic. It's entirely up to him. I'm willing to push it till he breaks and chooses the path of light, life, and truth or quits posting. It's his choice.

    Or maybe I just have a perverse desire to see how deep his perversity will go. Like watching a person commit intellectual suicide in slow motion.

    On the other hand - David's perversity has to die if he ever is to be free. So perhaps I am trying to save him. It would be an awesome thing indeed if someone with David's amazing persistence chose to persist in the path of truth! It could change the world.

    As for the dictionaries. He doesn't just "disallow" them. He declares that they are wrong! And what is his justification? A mere comment by an anonymous poster in a comment stream that was contradicted by four other posters in the same thread! That's it. That's what he thinks justifies his assertion that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, and the Oxford Concise English Dictionary are all using "bad grammar." And it's not just the dictionaries that he charges with error. He says that Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, and the King James Bible (which uses "and yet" 35 times) are all using "bad grammar." And he extends his crusade against all authority, ignoring the fact that two leading professors in the philosophy of language, Paul Grice and Ken Bach, both used the phrase "and yet" in peer-reviewed papers discussing the meaning of words. And the ultimate irony, of course, is that he himself used the phrase "and yet" 277 times (in 16% of his posts) before he decided it was "bad grammar" in his vain effort to justify his rejection of something that I wrote.

    There is a fascinating history that explains his hysteria. He is very challenged when it comes to basic logic and language, yet his fringe religious beliefs are utterly dependent upon extravagant interpretations that were invented for him by some linguistically talented cult leaders such as Dr. John Thomas, founder of the Christadelphians. As far as I can tell, he is trying to defend their teachings but simply doesn't have the requisite intellectual resources. So he resorts to rhetoric, evasions, diversion, and when necessary, outright lies.

    Again, I'm really glad you stopped by. It would help A LOT if you would drop occasional one-liners if you see any egregious violations of logic or fact. David needs many witnesses to help him see the error of his ways. He chose long ago to ignore anything I say, even if I am quoting the leading authorities.

    Simply stated, I could really use some help here.

    Great chatting!

    Shine on!



    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Fawkes View Post
    Clearly there are occasions when using "and yet" is grammatically correct.
    Ain't no doubt about that!

    Now the $64,000 question is: Is it ever grammatically incorrect to use and yet? I have never seen an example of when it would be a grammatical error to use those words. And I've never seen an example of any ambiguity caused by them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Fawkes View Post
    If I were required to define every word I use when debating with an opponent, I would immediately run into an infinite recursion problem.
    That is correct. And more to the point - people who habitual dispute the use of commonly understood words (words they themselves used 277 times before declaring it was "bad grammar") typically are trying to avoid some obvious truth by spewing out an cloud of confusion like a startled squid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Fawkes View Post
    Computer programmers often run into a similar problem when coding software, they keep tweaking the code because they are never satisfied with the elegance of the code that they have written. Any college computer programming class will teach a new programmer that you eventually have to settle for good enough - otherwise you will just keep tweaking and never actually release any new programs.

    Just like computer language, with the written English language you eventually have to settle on good enough - or the conversation will never progress.
    I agree that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to establish an absolute foundation for the meaning of words since words are typically defined by other words. Perhaps there is a foundational set of primary concepts that are "indicated" by "pointing" to the thing itself, without words? I don't know - the foundation of linguistics is not for the faint-hearted or linguistically challenged. Thankfully, such concepts are not necessary for the kind of things we usually are discussing in this forum ... and certainly not for the religious dogmas that David wants to establish, like the idea that "God's Angels" could never sin under any circumstance. Shit! We don't even have any reason to believe there are angles!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

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    The original thread should really be addressed as two mutually exclusive questions.

    Ok, so the original question on this thread was, “Is ‘and yet’ grammatically incorrect and ambiguous?

    This should really be addressed as two mutually exclusive questions.

    1. Is “and yet” grammatically incorrect?
    2. Is “and yet” ambiguous?

    I feel fairly confident that I’ve satisfactorily answered the first question in my previous posts. The grammatical correctness of “and yet” depends on how it is used in the sentence. Knowing this leads to another question. Does using “and yet” in a grammatically incorrect way make a fundamental change to the meaning of a sentence? I have never seen an example of it doing so. Perhaps someone could demonstrate its use in a sentence that clearly changes the fundamental meaning of the sentence, until then – I’m going to stick with NO.

    As to the second question, is “and yet” ambiguous? Again, I can think of no use of “and yet” which is ambiguous. One would think that if “and yet” were itself ambiguous one would not use it in a treatise which speaks of the topic of “The Ethics of Ambiguity”. Yet, in 1947 Simone de Beauvoir wrote a treatise with this exact title. In his treatise, Beauvoir used “and yet” three times in the natural course of his writing to describe the ethics of ambiguity. In none of the three instances did he use the words “and yet” as an example of ambiguity. Following are excerpts of the three instances in which Beauvoir used “and yet”:
    Each one has the incomparable taste in his mouth of his own life, and yet each feels himself more insignificant than an insect within the immense collectivity whose limits are one with the earth’s.

    Lenin refuses to set up ethics abstractly because he means to realize it effectively. And yet a moral idea is present in the words, writings, and acts of Marxists.

    It regards as privileged situations those which permit it to realize itself as indefinite movement; that is, it wishes to pass beyond everything which limits its power; and yet, this power is always limited.

    https://www.marxists.org/reference/s...guity/ch01.htm

    I would think it strange for a man writing about the ethics of ambiguity to purposely use a phrase that is itself an ambiguity – unless the phrase is not actually ambiguous.

    Another webpage which is dedicated to Language Ambiguity itself also used “and yet” to describe the word Paradox.
    Paradox: A statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true; a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true; an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises.
    http://translationjournal.net/journal/23ambiguity.htm

    Again, I would think that a page dedicated to helping others to understand language ambiguity would not intentionally use a phrase it knows to be ambiguous – unless the phrase is not actually ambiguous.

    So, is “and yet” ambiguous? I don’t think it is.
    Respectfully,
    Mark
    An unsupported statement is not an argument; it is only an opinion.
    Eschew obfuscation.

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