Posted by Bob on February 15, 2004
In Reply to: 'discrete' posted by sphinx on February 15, 2004
: : : : : : 1.What is a 'discrete' and countable noun?
: : : : : : 2.What does the title 'The Other' mean?
: : : : : : 3.I am puzzled by the usage of "ever" as a prefix. Sometimes it means "forever", as in "eversafe", sometimes "regular", as in "eversporting", and sometimes "continual" as in "ever-increasing" and the following example:
: : : : : : "She wanted to retreat, but was reluctantly drwan into a ever-widening net of lies and passion as the dark and secret life of his late husband unraveled."
: : : : : : Is there any fixed rules? Or we must use guesswork when we meet a new word of this kind?
: : : : : : 4."when" or "where", which one is right here:
: : : : : : "I've reached a point where/when I can work this difficult problem out.
: : : : : : I've reached a point where/when a change is needed."
: : : : : : Thanks a lot!
: : : : : 'Children' is a *count noun*. It makes sense to ask how many children are on
: : : : : the street, say, and then count them. In contrast 'water' is a *mass noun*.
: : : : : It doesn't make sense to ask how many water are on the street.
: : : : 3. If you substitue "continuously" for ever-, then all three uses of the prefix are similar. I'm not sure what distinction you see among them.
: : : : 4. "Where" would be the more common use. The metaphor is usually (but not always) spatial. I think this is especially true since it is "I have" moved, meaning "you" perhaps have not. If it were temporal, "we" would have had the same amount of time passing. Hope that's not too theoretical.
: : : 2. This, that and the other. Here, the other is everything else.
: : : 4. It depends whether it is a point in time or a point in space.
: : 2. "The Other" might mean something or someone that is different or alien. It might mean a second self in a person with multiple personalities. It's impossible to say what this title means without knowing more about the work that bears it.
: But who can help me on the question of what is a 'discrete' noun? How can 'discrete' be used to describe a noun?
Discrete and countable represent the same thing with regard to nouns. If something is countable, it's because it consists of separate, discrete units. This is how you know when to use "less" or "fewer." You have less fuel, but fewer kilograms of fuel. Less money, but fewer coins. Less consciousness, but fewer thoughts. Less freedom, but fewer liberties.