Re: composite preposition with two opposite meanings
|Date:||Sunday, July 30, 2006, 3:45|
Eric Christopherson wrote:
> I forgot about another expression where the presence
> or absence of "the" matters - "in case of" vs. "in the
> case of." "Wear galoshes in case of rain" means to
> wear galoshes regardless of whether it actually rains
> or not, because it might; whereas "wear galoshes in
> the case of rain" means only to wear them if it does
> in fact rain.[snip]
Something similar happens with "few." Consider:
If you put that book on eBay, there'll be few takers.
i.e., I believe no one will be interested. But
If you put that book on eBay, there'll be a few takers.
i.e., I believe several people will be interested.
"few" vs. "a few"