word order (was Re: Random DWJ discovery of the day)

Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) Philip.Belben at eon-uk.com
Thu Mar 31 04:16:22 EST 2005

Minnow pointed out:

> I don't know how subtle Colin/Dorian was meaning, but "I just want a
> verdict" and "I want a just verdict" and "I want just a verdict" mean
> quite different things.  And "I only care for money" and "I care only
> for money" and "I care for only money" are three quite distinct sorts
> of interest in dosh, but I'd hate to try to explain *why*, or wherein
> precisely the difference lies.

I think there is a lot of room for interpretation, particularly of the
second set of examples, but here is my take:

As regards the verdict, it is simply that "Just" qualifies the word
immediately after it.

"I just want a verdict" - all you are interested in is that a verdict is
reached.  You don't care in whose favour, or what is done as a result of

"I want a just verdict" - here "just" is a pure adjective, qualifying
"verdict".  You want the verdict to be equitable and fair.

"I want just a verdict" - you want the verdict to be reached, but you
don't want all the stuff that follows from this.

As regards the money, "only" can qualify the word after it _or_ the word
before it.  Some pedants prefer to have "only" qualify the word before
it, but I have never understood why.  Anyway,

"I only care for money" could be construed that you are the only person
who bothers to keep within budget, but is more likely to mean that
everything you do stems from your interest in money.

"I care only for money" means that you do all sorts of things, whether
for money or not, but it's the money that motivates you.

"I care for only money" means that money motivates you for its own sake,
not for the advantages it brings.

Anyway, that's my take.


___________________________ Disclaimer Notice ____________________
This message and any attachments are confidential and should only be read by those to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact us, delete the message from your computer and destroy any copies. Any distribution or copying without our prior permission is prohibited.

Internet communications are not always secure and therefore the E.ON Group does not accept legal responsibility for this message. The recipient is responsible for verifying its authenticity before acting on the contents. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the E.ON Group. 
E.ON UK plc, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry, CV4 8LG.
Registered in England & Wales No. 2366970

E.ON UK Trading Ltd, Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry, CV4 8LG
Registered in England & Wales No. 4178314

E.ON UK Trading Ltd is regulated by the Financial Services Authority to carry out investment activities. 

Telephone +44 (0) 2476 42 4000
Fax +44 (0) 2476 42 5432

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list