people vs persons

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people vs persons

Post by Quoc » Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:19 pm

Hi,

Please tell me the difference in meaning between:

a/ Some people Ex: The film is boring for some people.

b/ Some persons Ex: The film is boring for some persons.

When do I use "people", when do I use "persons" ?

Thanks
Quoc
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people vs persons

Post by gdwdwrkr » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:47 pm

This informal statement would be said using 'people'.
The modifier, some, indicates more than one, though not necessarily a group.
The use of 'persons' here is what I call "Buffoonish", puffed-up speech meant to sound official and important to certain 'individuals'.

This thread will most likely weave itself through the grammar of people, persons, peoples, people-groups....I look forward to the answers, too.
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people vs persons

Post by Tony Farg » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:36 pm

Just to add a little for Quoc...
I cannot think of anyplace where I would expect to hear 'persons'instead of people (except from a buffoon)although I have seen it on signs in lifts (or elevators if you prefer)e.g.'The load in this lift must not exceed 6 persons'. Despite seeing this, it does not make it fel any more correct!
Use people everywhere!
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people vs persons

Post by Tony Farg » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:38 pm

And by the way, Quoc, we would expect to see "E.g." where you use "Ex", although I have to say this is odd since in general Latin has dropped out of use.(Although Pope Benedict may have other views).
E.g. stands for Exempli gratia which is Latin for something like "Free examples" and is used to mean "for example".
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people vs persons

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:51 pm

Wicked sign-writers! The Grammar Police are obviously out to arraign person or people unknown.
Though I agree it's good to be a people person.
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people vs persons

Post by Shelley » Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:25 pm

What about this: "No weapon was found on his person". More buffoonery, as per another recent thread?
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people vs persons

Post by MamaPapa » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:19 pm

I usually think of "persons" to mean something more like "all and individually" whereas "people" is, to me, a collective noun. For instance, "...persons violating this law will be punished..." would mean that punishment is exacted for one, any, and all people who disobey---not just a collective group of people who choose to disobey. Just a thought....
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people vs persons

Post by LoisMartin » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:33 am

I prefer "Ex." as an abbreviation for "example" rather than "E.g.," which strikes me as pompous. I'm constantly changing "E.g." in the writings of the developers on the software development project where I work to "For example," or something else. And I just love it when they write "E.g. ex." or "For e.g.," covering all their bases, I suppose.
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people vs persons

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:57 am

UK Police-speak, "The suspects were male persons".
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people vs persons

Post by hsargent » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:29 pm

Some persons would mean some individuals in the group of people. But as someone has already said, persons is virtually never used.

Quoc's questions just show me how strange a developed language is or atleast American English!
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people vs persons

Post by dalehileman » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:52 pm

hs: Verily, and you've got to admire his determination
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people vs persons

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:08 am

"What the Persons Say", "Persons Who Need Persons" and "Little Purple Persons Eater" just wouldn't have the same ring to them.
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people vs persons

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:04 am

And what about the rewriting of the US constitution: "We the Persons ..."
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people vs persons

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:38 pm

Amend to that.
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