June 15, 2004

Sharing diversely

Some people write as if share is the plural form of have:

(link) Rep. Michael McNulty (D, NY), my Congressman, and I share very divergent views, he doesn't represent me.

(link) The two men share greatly differing views and ideas to the acquisition of grammar in humans.
(link) Even neighborhoods twenty or thirty miles apart share differing environmental burdens. (The number of high-ozone days in Houston and along the Ship Channel is not similar to the low number of days in Galveston.)
(link) There are societies in this world in which people share very different styles of conditioning and, therefore, very different styles of aging.
(link) All of the wolves seem to share very different pasts and come from very different parts of India.
(link) To say this is only to say that Siegel and I share very different views of philosophy, and about why it's important to our lives.
(link) Four different models will be available, where each of the four has similar features but sharing very different looks.

Perhaps the idea is that if you parcel something out into shares, everyone gets a different piece; and therefore it makes sense to talk about A and B sharing properties X and Y, where you mean that A gets X and B gets Y. But all these examples seem odd to me -- the writers and I clearly share somewhat different meanings for share :-).

This divergent sharing may be a new development -- otherwise it's surprising that none of the thousands of poets in the LION database have used the word sequences "share different", "sharing different", "share differing", "share diverse", "sharing diverse" etc.

Posted by Mark Liberman at June 15, 2004 11:16 AM