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shanghai

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Re: shanghai

Postby Slava » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:37 am

Perry Lassiter wrote:Down here, we'd say "Where'd he come from?"

Nice idea, but "to whence" would mean something along the lines of "to where'd he come from?"
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Re: shanghai

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:11 am

"To whence" should be "whence". If you feel you need it, "from whence" is acceptable even though "from" is actually a part of the definition of "whence".

Hither, thither, yon (yonder), whence, thence, and hence are ancient directional or positional words. The only one in common usage is yonder and that only among us rednecks.
Some languages have a plethora of such words. Feel blessed that English has so few and has abandoned most of them.
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Re: shanghai

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:46 pm

Yet I expect all of us recognized the whole seven.
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Re: shanghai

Postby Audiendus » Fri May 17, 2013 6:22 am

Slava wrote:Nice idea, but "to whence" would mean something along the lines of "to where'd he come from?"

Yes, "to whence" seems OK to me.

Where did he come from?
= Whence did he come?

I sent him back to where he came from
= I sent him back to whence he came

Seems logical to me.
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Re: shanghai

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue May 21, 2013 12:14 am

One might hope it so, but logic has little to to with language.

"I sent him back to whence he came," just ain't right.
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Re: to whence

Postby Audiendus » Tue May 21, 2013 11:04 am

I have found the following two examples:

Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turne to whence hee is fled

(John Donne, Sonnet: Oh my blacke Soule!)

In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came.
(Herman Melville, Moby Dick)
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Re: shanghai

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue May 21, 2013 12:33 pm

Audiendus: You found some definite uses of "to whence" both from writers I know and respect. I have read "Moby Dick" three times and some chapters more than that. I confess, I never noticed "to whence" in the book. I read a lot of Donne, but I have missed "Oh my blacke Soule!" I plan to read it today. I checked the KJV Bible and there is no use of "to whence" but several "from whence" and many uses of "whence".

From this I learned never to say never. I am uncomfortable with "to whence" because it means "to from where". I wouldn't use "from whence" because it is redundant, meaning "from from where". There is no matter of understanding here so there is no reason to proscribe either "from whence" or "to whence". English is to be understood and here it is. Analysis is useful and often fun, but is mostly enjoyed by the likes of us who contribute to this forum.

On this usage you get to say, "Shah Mat."
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