Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Persian Verbs

Recently in conversation, I found another area where the way I speak/converse differs from my conversational partner - I use the phrase "interested to $root_verbform", while my partner believed this to be either wrong or weird and suggested "interested in $ing_verbform" as a universal replacement. I recognise the latter as acceptable, but I believe the first to be correct and acceptable. A bit of googling shows that:

  • I am not alone in my usage
  • My conversational partner is not alone in questioning its kosherity
This leads to a broader question - how much of the way we use language is constructed like legos from pieces with relatively definite properties, versus pieces with vague properties that have significant specifics that come out of our choice between several roughly equivalent forms? Using the example above, I am tempted to say that "I am interested to meet $person" has subtle differences from "I am interested in meeting $person" and to supply those differences. I suspect were the differences I assign to be useful, they would spread, even if on some level those phrasings were originally logically equivalent. Eventually this might lead to broad gaps in meaning like that between terrible and terrific. (pardon if this question is not explained well enough - I might come back to it)

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