(no subject)

I've just come across a fairly important question, with intense, considered, and intelligent debate in the comments, and it seems like just the kind of thing y'all might want to weigh in on.

So: Would you call the man "Doctor Who" or "Doctor Whom"?

I'm disabling comments here because I think comments ought to be left there.
alice through looking glass

Does "apply" apply?

Hi All.

I am preparing a presentation on a theoretical model used to represent behavior change over time. It is a stage-based model of behavior change called the transtheoretical model (TTM) that first appeared in peer-reviewed health journals and textbooks in 1979. (You can read more about it at [EDIT: .com, not .org], where you can find a lay-reader's description of the model, as well as lists of scholarly references.)

The details of the model are irrelevant to this post, however, so it is not necessary to be familiar with the model for the sake of the question I am posting to the group.

My question relates to how to phrase statements meaning, basically "The model was used/found to accurately/validly/reliably represent such-and-such behavior in terms of how people change that behavior over time", and also "The TTM has been found to accurately/validly/reliably represent how people change behaviors over time", and so on. I also want to say that "Interventions for behavior change have been created/developed based on the model for such-and-such behaviors" and I want to say something about the effectiveness of the interventions. ("Reliably" and "validly" refer to findings of actual studies that have been conducted and published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.)

I also want to talk about specific interventions that were developed to facilitate/assist in behavior change--i.e., movement through the stages. I am trying to differentiate betwene interventions based on the model from behaviors whose change processes are validly/reliably represented/described by the model. In terms of the interventions versus representation, before an intervention can even be developed for a certain behavior, the model must  first be shown to represent that particular behavior's change process.

It would be no problem phrasing things this this way, except for the fact that it is far too wordy, convoluted, and complex. I want to convey the same basic idea, but concisely and succinctly, to six people most of whom have never even heard of the TTM. I have a LOT of information to convey in only 10-15 minutes (I could no more difficultly prepare a 30 minute presentation on the same topic). I need to phrase this in a way that takes as litte time as possible, is simple and easy for them to understand, and that actually says exactly what it is I am trying to say.

Now referring back to the basic subject of my message, I want to know, can I use the phrase "The TTM has been applied to such-and-such behavior" or "The TTM has been found to apply to such-and-such behavior" interchangeably with the phrases I quoted above?? Just saying them to myself, it feels off; they don't seem to mean the same thing as I quoted above. Note that I am aware that the phrases "has been applied to" and "has been found/shown toa apply to" mean totally different things. I think that I want to say them both, but I am having a little trouble distinguishing when I want to say one versus the other, probably due to sleep deprivation (it is 2:30am and I have been up since 11am) and stress.

This is quite frustrating not being able to think of a way to boil down what I want to say to a short, simple (i.e., concise, succinct) statement that means EXACTLY what I am trying to say.

Please ask questions and feel free to correct me if anything I have attempted to phrase originally does not quite make sense.

Thanks in advance for help and replies.

  • Current Mood
    confused confused
  • pwaa

Is or are?

"Only about one in four doctors, mostly in large group practices, is using
the electronic record system." [from Panel Set to Study Safety of
Electronic Patient Data]

This is a quote from the New York Times. The argument is whether "about one in four doctors," which refers to approximately a quarter of all doctors, is plural or singular. Opinions?
alice through looking glass

"that" vs. "which"

Okay, so I know there are certain accepted rules about when to use the word 'that' versus the word 'which'--rules with which I mostly disagree. I would like some feedback on some of the rules which I believe should be followed, versus the (outdated, imho) rules which are/tend to be followed.

If I remember from my university English 101 course correctly, then the 'that vs. which' rule states, basically: "Use the word 'which' if the clause follows a comma, and use the word 'that' if the clause does not follow a comma."

I, however, believe that the word 'that' is overused. 'That' has come to precede most, if not all clauses not following commas, instead of much more appropriate and relevant words preceding the clauses.

Specifically, instead of using the word "that" to precede clauses which could be considered answers to the questions "Who?", "When?", "Where?", "Why?", "What?", and "How?", the specific words used to precede the clauses should be, respectively, "who(m)", "when", "where", "why", "which", and "how" or "by/in/through/etc which".


The people who [or, 'with whom we'] went to the movie...

The time when [also, 'at which'] we saw the movie...

The place where [also, 'in which'] we saw the movie...

The reason why [also, 'for which'] we were late to the movie...

The movie which we saw..


The way how [also, 'by which'] we traveled to the theatre...

There is more to the complex process which I use to determine which word to use besides the above heuristic, but it is difficult to describe, because I don't fully understand it myself; it usually just comes naturally to me as to which one to use. However, in general, the above heuristic is usually helpful in situations where it is easy to determine whether to use "that" versus "which".

Now, I am inquiring as to your opinions on this partly because I continue to get marked off points on papers I turn in for my (university) courses, for which, in instances such as these, my usage of "which" instead of "that" strikes the graders as incorrect. I want to know if I have any valid basis for arguing with my professors to get those points back...

However, I am inquiring mostly because my usage of "that" vs. "which" differs from the norm very distinctly, and I am curious as to whether my usage is simply archaic and outdated, or if it is still common. For example, I've seen my usage in some Isaac Asimov novels circa 1940s-1980s, as well as in articles from peer-reviewed psychology journals and monographs circa the same time period...but I haven't encountered my usage in any publications from more recent times. It may be that, because I've read so much of the above material, and have been reading it for such a long time (I've been reading it since January 2006), I simply picked up the usage from the literature and forgot that I did so--but this is not necessarily the case.

My questions for you are: 1) Have you ever encountered usage of 'that' vs. 'which' in the same/similar way as/to which I use them; and 2) How do you, personally, determine whether to use one or the other of the two words; and 3) If you see no problem with the way I use the word 'which' in place of 'that', then (how) do you suggest I go about arguing for the points back?
  • Current Mood
    curious curious


I need some help. I came across the word 'logied' at work, but I'm convinced this isn't a real word - yet at the same time I can't help but think it might be a past tense of logy. I've been checking my dictionaries here at home with no luck.

Logied. Is this a real word?
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
Life Short Eat

One more reason to love her

We’ve had a few odd requests lately. And it’s not so much the cookie designs that have been odd, but it’s the actual communication. I’m guessing that texting and tweeting are really taking a toll on society. I wish people could write coherent emails that didn’t sound like they were written by cro magnon man. --A Dozen Eggs Bake Shoppe owner, from her blog


I'm probably part of the minority, but I don't care. People that refuse to churn out an intelligible sentence bother me. One of our interns uses IDK incessantly, during face-to-face conversation. It always reminds me of these Cingulair spots: