When someone from Britain speaks, Americans hear a "British accent"...

Dave Hansen iddw at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 7 23:29:44 CEST 2005

On Fri, 07 Oct 2005 21:44:29 +0100, Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com>

>Terry Hancock wrote:
>> On Friday 07 October 2005 03:01 am, Steve Holden wrote:
>>>OK, so how do you account for the execresence "That will give you a 
>>>savings of 20%", which usage is common in America?
>> In America, anyway, "savings" is a collective abstract noun 
>> (like "physics" or "mechanics"), there's no such
>> noun as "saving" (that's present participle of "to save"
>> only).  How did you expect that sentence to be rendered?
>> Why is it an "execresence"?
>Precisely because there *is* such a thing as a saving. If I buy a $100 
>gumball for $80 I have achieved a saving of 20%.

FWIW, my dictionary has a usage note: 

   /Savings/ (plural noun) is not preceded by the singular /a/, except
   loosely:"The price represents a savings (properly /saving/) of ten
   dollars."  In the foregoing, considered as an example in writing,
   /savings/ is unacceptable to 89 per cent the Usage Panel.

(Words enclosed in /slashes/ represent italics.)

The dictionary? "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English
Language, New College Edition."

Still sounds wrong to me, though.

Change is inevitable, progress is not.

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