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To think that "times" is not a verb?

(5 Posts)
UnaCorda Tue 09-Jun-20 18:57:34

Ok, bear with me...

I've always felt the expression "to times something by x" sounds completely wrong and that it should in fact be "multiply by x". I hate the word "timesing" even more.

I suspect that, etymologically, "five times three" originally meant "three, five times" (i.e. "times" was a plural noun). Obviously it's generally accepted as a verb these days, but perhaps not in more formal writing.

AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
Lockeduporknockedup Tue 09-Jun-20 19:01:09

I actually did a presentation on this in university. The verb "to times" is only a grammatically correct form of "to multiply" in spoken English, not in written English.

UnaCorda Tue 09-Jun-20 19:07:11

Lockeduporknockedup

I actually did a presentation on this in university. The verb "to times" is only a grammatically correct form of "to multiply" in spoken English, not in written English.

@Lockeduporknockedup Thank you - that's fascinating. (And I'm glad someone came along so quickly who knowns what I'm talking about!)

Can you give any more information? I assume there was more to your presentation that what you posted above! Was this a linguistics-related degree?

Is there a particular term which describes words or phrases which are only correct in spoken language? (As distinct from words/phrases people say but which are not correct, such as "we was" or "I done".)

OP’s posts: |
Lockeduporknockedup Tue 09-Jun-20 19:43:30

I took some linguistics modules as part of a combined honours undergraduate degree. I think there was a term for it but honestly can't remember it - it was a while ago. "We was" or "I done" are, I believe, AAVE (African American Vernacular English) or "black vernacular". That is also a really interesting area of study - what appears to be "incorrect" English is actually very complex, with very strict structure.

mrsBtheparker Tue 09-Jun-20 19:44:21

As a Maths teacher I used to hate 'times' being used as a verb, 'timsing' drove me mad! My other one was 50p, money, said as 50 pea, as I used to say 'peas come in tins or freezer bags'. When a colleague was asked Can I have a ruler, his reply was always Queen Victoria, they soon got the idea!

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