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Benjamin Geiger

Three grammar questions: "appeal from", "previous question", and "pree-SEED-n's".

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  1. Why is the preposition "from" used with "appeal"? RONR is the only place I've seen that construction.

  2. Why is the motion to close debate and vote called "the previous question"?

  3. Why is "precedence" pronounced "pree-SEED-n's" in RONR, when it's pronounced "PRESS-uh-d'ns" in other contexts? Are the words distinct in meaning, and if so, how do they differ?

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1.  "Appeal from a decision" is used in the US House rules:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-HPRACTICE-115/html/GPO-HPRACTICE-115-4.htm

2.  The motion to close debate is the current question; the previous question or motion is just that!

3.   According to Garner's Modern English Usage, p. 717, "Although the traditional pronunciation of precedence was /pri-seed-ants/, today the standard pronunciation in all the major varieties of World English is /pres-i-dants/."  So RONR is simply using the traditional pronunciation.

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9 hours ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

Why is the preposition "from" used with "appeal"? RONR is the only place I've seen that construction.

Idioms change over time. "Appeal from" is an older form which is simply "appeal" in modern American English; the British, meanwhile, have made it "appeal against."

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12 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

You can find this edition online with not too much effort.

I couldn't. I have now spent close to  an hour on it.  What did you do?  Would you kindly give a URL?

Ah, for the good old days, when someone cheerily remarked that it was good news that someone had taught Mr Honemann how to turn his computer on, and he her replied that we might be gladder that nobody taught him how to turn it off.  And now he breezily advises us to go ahead and ferret itout.  Like those teachers who breezily fob off a question by saying he's leaving that as an exercise for the student.

I went to Google, and tried  the first dozen or so links.  They don't have the pages numbered.  I then  tried the Wikipedia article on ROR, checking the External Links, but no dice.  I expect I (and anyone else caught by this bait) I need to see a PDF file, or some other photograph-like format.  (Or I might manage to could go home to Sheepshead Bay, slipping briefly from my bonds of servitude here in benighted Flatbush, and look it up in my copy, which that treasure Deb Wunder casually picked up in a garage sale, thinking Idly that I might like it, maybe ten years ago.  But for pity's sake:  if Dan Honemann can find it "without too much effort", I ought to be able to, with the boatloads of effort that I have already put in, and it looks like there's more coming. I'm not indefatigable, but I am obsessive.

(On the other hand, he didn't actually say that he himself found it online without too much effort.  Only that we ("You") others could. Since my best expedient, if I were home, would be to get up and toddle (these days, waddle or stagger or wamble) into the other room and look it up in the hard copy, most likely what Mr Honemann would have done, and maybe did, was similarly rise from his creaky old chair on his creaky old joints and toddle, waddle, stagger, or wamble across the room and pick up the real book..)

Edited by Gary c Tesser
fix typo: her" should be "he"

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7 hours ago, Transpower said:

1. [snip] ...

2.  The motion to close debate is the current question; the previous question or motion is just that!

3.   ...

Thank you Mr Transpower: 

#1 and 3 were spectacularly informative.  (I have been wondering about this for millennia (some of the previous and some ofthe current). )

I'm a little skeptical about your #2.

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17 hours ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

Why is the motion to close debate and vote called "the previous question"?

 

8 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

As for the "Previous Question", take a look at the Note on pages 117-18 of the 1915 Edition of Robert's Rules of Order Revised. You can find this edition online with not too much effort.

Yet I don't think that that history of the Previous Question quite explains how it got its name.

Jefferson's Manual says, 'When any question is before the House, any member may move a previous question, "Whether that question (called the main question) shall now be put?"'

So, apparently this (or some earlier form of this) "previous question" (i.e., a question that has to be decided before consideration of the main question can continue) got so infamous that it became known simply as the Previous Question. 

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4 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Thanks. How did you get there?  Is that one of the those nugatory benefits of being a college graduate?

(I wound up with :  https://archive.org/stream/Robertsrulesofor00robe_201303/robertsrulesofor00robe#page/n121/mode/2up

and:

https://archive.org/stream/Robertsrulesofor00robe_201303/robertsrulesofor00robe#page/n123/mode/2up)

 

Edited by Gary c Tesser
tinker: say "those" instead of "the".

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15 hours ago, Transpower said:

3.   According to Garner's Modern English Usage, p. 717, "Although the traditional pronunciation of precedence was /pri-seed-ants/, today the standard pronunciation in all the major varieties of World English is /pres-i-dants/."  So RONR is simply using the traditional pronunciation.

This raises the question, though, of why that word in particular had its pronunciation specified, instead of deferring (as with pretty much every other word used) to a dictionary or local custom. 

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22 minutes ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

This raises the question, though, of why that word in particular had its pronunciation specified, instead of deferring (as with pretty much every other word used) to a dictionary or local custom. 

Yeah, I myself have been wondering about that for some 20 years or so.  (I was younger then, or at least looked it.)

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4 hours ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

This raises the question, though, of why that word in particular had its pronunciation specified, instead of deferring (as with pretty much every other word used) to a dictionary or local custom. 

Well, if you're not careful with your pronunciation of the word "precedence" people may think you're saying "precedents", and that would be a shame.  

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6 hours ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

This raises the question, though, of why that word in particular had its pronunciation specified, instead of deferring (as with pretty much every other word used) to a dictionary or local custom. 

 

2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, if you're not careful with your pronunciation of the word "precedence" people may think you're saying "precedents", and that would be a shame.  

For the same reason, the cognoscenti always refer to the /pri-ZY-dent/ and /VIEs pri-ZY-dents/. :)

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7 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, if you're not careful with your pronunciation of the word "precedence" people may think you're saying "precedents", and that would be a shame.  

I guess that makes sense, but it seems like context would suffice to distinguish them.

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