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International Post-a-Poll day. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kake

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International Post-a-Poll day. [Nov. 7th, 2006|09:14 am]
Kake
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easterbunny has declared today to be International Post-a-Poll day, and so I am obliging.

Also, London people: have any of you got a power sander I could borrow?Juliet is the source of all things DIY.

N.B. livejournal still isn't sending out comment notifications.



The questions in the following poll are presented in alphabetical order. Please answer for the general case, not the occasional exception.

Which of these numbers of things could be described as "a couple"?

1
0(0.0%)
2
41(67.2%)
3
0(0.0%)
4
0(0.0%)
5
0(0.0%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
0(0.0%)
8
0(0.0%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)

Which of these numbers of things could be described as "a few"?

1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
8(13.3%)
4
0(0.0%)
5
1(1.7%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
0(0.0%)
8
0(0.0%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)

Which of these numbers of things could be described as "several"?

1
0(0.0%)
2
0(0.0%)
3
0(0.0%)
4
1(1.7%)
5
0(0.0%)
6
0(0.0%)
7
1(1.7%)
8
0(0.0%)
9
0(0.0%)
10
0(0.0%)

How fluent in English do you consider yourself to be?

As fluent as a native speaker.
55(91.7%)
Pretty good, though people can tell it's not my first language.
3(5.0%)
I can get by, but I'd not go as far as "pretty good".
1(1.7%)
Other.
1(1.7%)

LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: beingjdc
2006-11-07 09:21 am (UTC)
(oh alright they probably can't...)
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[User Picture]From: julietk
2006-11-07 09:30 am (UTC)
I have a power sander! (I think technically 50% of it belongs to marnameow, but I'm pretty confident it's living in our cupboard-under-the-stairs atm). Want me to bring it over this evening?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-07 09:44 am (UTC)
Yes please!
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[User Picture]From: catsgomiaow
2006-11-07 09:52 am (UTC)
Ooh ooh I could bring you blue plastic bags and eleven pounds and take flour etc away too if you're about?
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-07 09:54 am (UTC)
That would be cool. Juliet and I are cooking Chinese food for Bob and doop so will be in all evening (actually I'll be in all day except I'm going to the shop for more veg once I finish this paper).
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[User Picture]From: catsgomiaow
2006-11-07 10:00 am (UTC)
HUrrah! I shall pop over once I've recovered from work then - prob about 8.30 :)
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[User Picture]From: julietk
2006-11-07 09:32 am (UTC)
I'm not sure about 2 being 'a few'. If I knew I had 2 things, probably not; if I thought I had somewhere between 2 & 5 or so then I'd say 'a few'.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: glassstrider
2006-11-07 09:47 am (UTC)
Boo, I can't join in as I don't have a Paid or Minus account. :(

I did actually try to get a paid account once, but it refused my card details. Grumble. And given their current "more ads!" philosophy, I'm not sure I want to any more.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-07 09:49 am (UTC)
I'll get you a couple of months of a paid account on my card, if you like, so you can join in the fun. It's only a couple of quid, just give me a shout if you'd like it.
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[User Picture]From: glassstrider
2006-11-07 10:54 am (UTC)
Thank you for the offer, but I don't have any ideas for anything to poll people about anyway, so it would be slightly wasted. Plus with work and roleplaying tonight, it is the Busy Day of the week.

I owe you booze at febmeet as it is! :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lnr
2006-11-07 10:19 am (UTC)
Hang on, have they stopped normal free accounts from being able to fill in polls? *boggle* I didn't know that bit. That's crap.
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-07 10:22 am (UTC)
By not being able to join in, glassstrider means that he can't post his own poll. I think.
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[User Picture]From: glassstrider
2006-11-07 10:52 am (UTC)
Exactly it! :)
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[User Picture]From: lnr
2006-11-07 11:19 am (UTC)
Oops, silly me, I'd completely forgotten the post-a-poll mention at the top!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: imc
2006-11-07 02:00 pm (UTC)
It is possible, I am told, to
  • upgrade to a Plus account;
  • post a poll, and
  • revert to your previous ad-free status.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lnr
2006-11-07 10:18 am (UTC)
It depends a lot on context. In some contexts "a couple" can only be 2, but informally I do use it for "2 or 3". You need to be talking on a reasonably large scale for 10 to be "a few". Like Juliet I'm not quite sure if and when 2 can be "a few", but I can't quite rule it out.
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[User Picture]From: truecatachresis
2006-11-07 11:25 am (UTC)
My answers are strict answers when I do know, or at least have reasonably estimated, the numbers. If I'm not quite sure of the numbers, then all three categories expand a little, and the particular category used depends on my expectation.
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[User Picture]From: caramel_betty
2006-11-07 12:20 pm (UTC)
I think in general, a couple is 2. Or maybe 3. Maybe.

A few emphasises more than 2 for me, but still seems relatively scarce. (Though you might happily say "I've got a few of those" thinking you had 3 and find out you only had 2. Which is fine.) Several doesn't seem to emphasise scarcity, so I'm happy to go a little bit higher on the range than with "a few." The top ends of "a few" and "several" are pretty arbitrary for me, though.
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[User Picture]From: imc
2006-11-07 02:03 pm (UTC)
N.B. livejournal still isn't sending out comment notifications.

Is too!

And I'm with those who say it depends on context. I think "a few grains of rice" could be more in number than "a few footballs".
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: scootersaurus
2006-11-07 02:12 pm (UTC)
N.B. livejournal still isn't sending out comment notifications.

I was getting the notification emails yesterday, but they were quite a bit later than usual. :(
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gaspodog
2006-11-07 06:35 pm (UTC)
I consider myself more fluent than the average native speaker, but I guess a native is still a native :)
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[User Picture]From: vashti
2006-11-08 03:03 am (UTC)
Nooooo, these are absolutes!

A couple is two. A few is five. And "several" is technically seven, but in practice seven and up. These are *basic linguistic principles*. *froth*
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[User Picture]From: imc
2006-11-08 11:39 am (UTC)
I can't tell whether you are joking or not, but I can find no evidence that "few" means "five" or that "several" means "seven".
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[User Picture]From: nou
2006-11-08 03:49 pm (UTC)
I'm curious too. Where does this come from?
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[User Picture]From: vyvyan
2006-11-12 02:28 pm (UTC)
What a strange idea. For "couple" I can understand this definition, but for "a few" and "several" there's no etymological link (or evidence of conventional usage) connecting them with 5 and 7 respectively. If these are "basic linguistic principles" they're very well-hidden ones, speaking as an academic linguist. But maybe you were joking :-)
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[User Picture]From: ali_in_london
2006-11-10 12:00 am (UTC)
As a few other people have said, it depends on context. Says a lot about what I do with my time that the first example I thought of was going to the pub with people, and how many people there would need to be for me to use each term.
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