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Tuesday. I’m debating if I should take this week off because my kids are not here or if I should use this week to clean and tidy up the house because my kids are not here. Either way, I’m not happy. I wish I could find a balance.

While in Italy, I took a picture of a sign we found in an elevator.


Attention! Max. 3 peoples. Is that right? I know that peoples is the plural of people but when do you use it? I had to look that up.

This is the answer: (copied/pasted from http://www.learnersdictionary.com)

The word people has several different meanings. The first meaning is simply the plural of person – in other words, two or more human beings. Here are two example sentences with this meaning:

We met all sorts of people on the trip. (people=more than one person, in this case, probably many)
My neighbors are nice people. (people=more than one person, in this case, probably just a few)

However, people can also mean “all or most humans,” or “all humans of a particular type,” as in these examples:
He doesn’t care what people think of him. (people=all people)
Young people carry their mobile phones everywhere. (young people=all or nearly all young people)

Finally, a third meaning of people is “a group of people who belong to the same culture, ethnicity, nation, or race.” Here’s the confusing part: When more than one such group is being referred to, people becomes peoples.
Here are some examples:
To travel on the ice, hunt, and stay warm, the Inuit people developed a unique way of life. (the Inuit people=the people who belong to the ethnic group known as “Inuit”)
In 1991, Australia began a formal process of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. (peoples=different groups with different languages, cultures, etc.)

In sum, THE ONLY TIME you will want to use the word “peoples” is when you are referring to groups of people from multiple ethnic, cultural, racial, or national backgrounds.

So, that sign is wrong unless the person who hung it only allows a maximum of three different people from different ethnic, cultural, racial or national backgrounds. It sounds a bit racist, right?

Now I wonder, if you fit 6 people from the same ethnicity, cult, race or nationality, will the elevator fall?

This is what happens when I have too much time to think. I better lift my heavy ass and do something.


~ by DotedOn on July 26, 2016.

31 Responses to “700”

  1. Ha, ha! Yes, seems like someone was a bit confused on their English translation!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yep, the sign is wrong. It should have either said “3 people” or “3 persons” to be correct. I found this interesting simply because I don’t understand why there is differentiation between “people” being used for few or many because the meaning itself doesn’t change. “People” is simply plural for “person” (one individual) regardless of whether it is 2 people or 1,000,000.

    When “people” is used to define a group or cultural group or whatever, in the example you cite about the Inuit “people,” in this case it is actually being used in a similar way with “Inuit” simply specifying the group, the same as if you were to say “angry” people, “happy” people, “purple” people. Because it’s the actual name of a culture, it is ALSO used in the “a people” way, used the way you wrote it, but more so if you were to say something like “The Inuits are a people who…” But yes, it’s definitely correct that the only time you will see “people” plural as “peoples” is when you’re referring to different “groups” classified in that way.

    And you know what? I think since you can’t decide how to spend your week, you should do both—get some stuff done in the house AND take some time to relax. There’s a lot you can accomplish in a week alone and you’ll probably regret wasting it by being a couch potato the entire time. If it were me, I would make a list of household projects that are impossible to accomplish when your kids are around and try to do the most important ones first. Make a list and work your way down. Then, when you want to take a few hours or a day off, just do it 🙂 Know you probably won’t get the whole list checked off, but some is better than none, right? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Perhaps you could answer a question for me. If for instance you were reading a person’s blog Post and early into the piece you come across a glaring punctuation error, say use of the dreaded apostrophe! Could this put you off from reading any further? Does the mistake grate so much that one gives up? Or do bloggers ignore accept and read on? Always wondered which 🙂

      Thank you

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ah ha! I actually answered this in a different response before I read your question? I’m flattered you’re even asking my opinion on this, and the truth is, I think it differs for every reader. As I mentioned in the other answer, I allow for a couple of typos from English-speaking writers as a first language.

      I am a writer and typos grate on me REALLY badly, so when I see I’ve made one and didn’t catch it, it drives me nuts! As my brain gets worse (more and more spacey), I’m having trouble with words I NEVER had before, so it’s not only worrisome and disconcerting, but I’m thinking it’s given me a little insight into possibly why some people do have issues like this, in confusing things like “their, there, and they’re” which is stuff I never had any trouble with ever, even as a child. I’ve found my brain not connecting right the past couple of years and these type things have been happening.

      But if I know someone is speaking/writing English as a second language, especially when it’s done so well, I get the typos and little mistakes with words, interpret what was actually meant and move on. But my patience for people who should know English well enough yet really trash grammar, spelling, etc….I have none in that case. What I really hate is if I’m reading a newspaper or magazine article (as examples) and I find unacceptable typos that are there because they’re lazy and are relying on Word spellcheck, sorry, but AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much for replying 🙂 I must admit to worrying about typing errors in the past, just because I know they do grate but I think people allow a few to pass, hopefully!

        Liked by 2 people

      • ah, I don’t think you should actually worry so much as be conscious and do your best to avoid them. For me, I want to put out there the best quality writing I’m able and that includes, spelling, grammar, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I reread something I’ve written before I put it out there, yet I may still find a comma out of place or whatever. It’s up to you, I think, how much importance you place on it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • 😀 I can understand you getting nuts when you didn’t catch a typo, I have the same problem!!
        And thank you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I’m doing, Donna! I can’t really relax knowing there is so much to do.
      I cleaned the carpet and I feel happy about it. It took me over 2 hours and my back and arm hurt. I hope it lasts clean for a while! 🙂
      And the examples were not mine, I copied them from that website. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t like confusing signs. That’s why I prefer escalators. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You taught me something today and it wasn’t easy, because I kept wondering if I’d get in an elevator that can only hold 3 people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you know Paola the question where to use apostrophes still causes me problems 🙂 I obviously understand the apostrophe can transpose a letter i.e. ‘it’s’ actually refers to ‘it is’ or with ‘lady’s hat’ the apostrophe means the hat belongs to the lady but whether to use at the end of a word or not can be a nightmare, say daughter’s or daughters? I often wonder does wrongly used punctuation put bloggers off from reading? Interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish I could help you 😀
      I search the answer every time I doubt how to write something because I hate making mistakes :).
      I don’t mind a few mistakes when I read 🙂

      Oh and if I remember correctly, when you want to use the possessive of a plural word, you add the apostrophe after the s.
      “Her daughters’ husbands are French.” (I hope I’m not wrong!) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • 🙂 I’ve gotten a lot better after one years writing, I agree with you and Donna I hate punctuation errors………. however it’s content which matters

        Liked by 2 people

      • You are CORRECT! 😀 That is how you make a plural possessive 😀 Also, you can use an apostrophe alone without the s if a name ends in “s”. As an example: The Roman pierced Jesus’ side. It could be Jesus’ or Jesus’s. Both are correct. I don’t “think” there is any rule as to when you would choose one or the other. Just preference. But whichever form you choose, you need to be consistent. Like you wouldn’t say: “Thomas’s feelings when Jesus’ side was pierced…” because you’re using both forms. PIck one or the other.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Donna! 🙂
        (I hate making mistakes and I HATE even more when I don’t see them and discover them too late!) 🙂


  6. The same rule for “lady’s” is for “daughter’s”—-they’re both possessive. “Daughters” is the plural form of “daughter” just as “ladies” is the plural form of “lady” though the plurals are executed differently. Whenever there’s an apostrophe, if it’s being used in correct english, it is as you explained: a substitute or possessive. Without the apostrophe it becomes the plural form for most (not all) words.

    And for me, I allow for a few typos if it is someone with English as a first language, but as a second language I allow a lot more 🙂 I find it impressive when people such as yourself, Paola, do so well with it!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s definitely not the worst English translation I’ve seen!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. peoples sounds like LOL-speak.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Well.. the sign could be right. It could be saying that only 3 groups of people are allowed on the elevator at once. Not specifying how many of each type of people would be the fallacy. So, I could show up with some Inuits, some Russians, and some Spaniards and load them on the elevator and be perfectly safe. Yep… that works.. right?

    Liked by 1 person

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