Author Topic: Concerns about the usage of "the both of you" and "at the end of the day"  (Read 16985 times)

maria balina

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Hi, Mr. Carillo!

These are my questions.

1.  When do you use "the both" and "both?"  As far as I can remember, there was no need to put the article the before both.  I must belong to a different generation!  ;D

2.  Why are the words carnapper, holdupper, and jetsetter used?  Does the suffix "er" justify the use of these words when referring to a person? I've checked my dictionary and these words do not exist.

3.  I've noticed that President Noynoy Aquino has used the cliche "at the end of the day"  a few times.  I respect Pres. Aquino's ghost writer Manolo Quezon but I am bit disappointed at the use of such a cliche.

Thanks a lot!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 08:10:43 AM by Joe Carillo »

Joe Carillo

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The use of either “both of you” or “the both of you” and “both of us” or “the both of us” is acceptable in sentences like “Remember that this trip is only for [both of you, the both of you] [both of us, the both of us], so don’t bring along anybody else.” The form you are accustomed to, “both of you”/”both of us,” is the scrupulously correct grammatical form, but the variant “the both of you”/”the both of us” is a widely used idiomatic form particularly in the United States. In fact, Google cites something like 22,100,000 entries for expressions using “for the both of you” and 21,600,000 for “for the both of us,” and about this form, the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage assures us that “There is no reason you should avoid it if it is your normal idiom.” In any case, you need not lose sleep over your choice of the more common form that doesn’t use “the.” There’s really no generational gap between the users of either form—only a geographical and linguistic one.

As we all know, putting the suffix “-er” to a noun or verb is the fastest and simplest way to convert it to a word that denotes the doer of the action. This is the normal way that words like “gardener,” “freezer,” and “heater” have evolved. As to the words “carnapper,” “holdupper,” and “jet-setter,” only the third—“jet-setter”—is acknowledged to be part of the English lexicon by the Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary, but we all know that the first two—“carnapper” and “holdupper”—have been widely used by the Philippine print and broadcast media over the years. I guess that in a few more years, these two will finally be recognized as legitimate English words simply by virtue of the frequency and intensity of their use in the Philippines.

Yes, I noticed, too, that President Benigno Aquino III uses the expression “at the end of the day” very often when he speaks extemporaneously. I really don’t know how to react to your disappointment at his frequent use of that expression, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to be blaming anybody for this state of affairs. Perhaps it would be better if I just shared with you my thoughts about “at the end of the day” and similarly overused expressions. I have written several columns about them in The Manila Times over the past five years and I am now posting them in the Forum for your appreciation. You can read all of them by simply clicking this link to “Doing battle with the most irritating phrases in English.”
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 04:59:37 PM by Joe Carillo »

maria balina

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Mr. Carillo,

Thank you so much!  I really appreciate your quick reply.