Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

English grammar and usage issues

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Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby lucy_bourne » 01 Nov 2008, 20:14

I do apologise for instantly posting a subject as soon as I have registered, but I really am struggling with a question in my pre course assessment.

it asks: "If a student asks if you can have Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, why can't you say Merry Birthday?

Having discussed this point with many people I have really only come up with the idea that 'Merry' has some sort of seasonal connitation, but there must e more of a reason. Or possibly that there is no grammatical reason why we shold not say it, we just simply don't.

I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on this, or if you have come across any other incidents like this in the classroom.

Thank you in advance,
Lucy
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby eiroo » 08 Nov 2008, 02:08

Hi...... :D
you are welcome. thanks for your efforts. this is very useful but!!!!!!!!!!. please !!!!!
This words : 1-apologize. 2-connotation.

my own respects :)
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby SunShine » 23 Nov 2008, 17:19

eiroo, I noticed the same things, you got there first. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby language_lover » 24 Nov 2008, 15:44

Poor Lucy, she makes her first post and you all shout at her for a couple of typos.

And whoever told her off for writing 'apologise', you should be ashamed of yourself! I assume you are American! Let me ask, have you ever heard of a little place called England? 'Apologise' is how we spell it here. (To the same person, YOU should have written 'these words' not 'this words'.)

Anyway, back to the point, I don't think there's any rule or reason why we don't say 'Merry Birthday' it just comes down to usage - what's become customary over the years.
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby Susan » 25 Nov 2008, 12:54

I agree with language lover. It's a really harsh post and full of punctuation errors, too.
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby deedee » 01 Apr 2009, 16:39

I am struggling with the same question on my pre course material! I've noted that your question, Lucy, was posted quite some time ago and expect you have now had feedback from your course. Did they shed any light on the matter, or is the fact that it has a seasonal connotation the correct response??
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby systematic » 02 Apr 2009, 04:50

I agree with the comments on orthography - nitpicking on international forums is not good netiquette. Do join the American English/British English debate
Back on topic - I think the terms merry Christmas, happy Christmas, and happy birthday are common collocations born out of usage and many languages also have their regular expressions - another reason by the way, of being careful if using machine translations.

The two adjectives have slightly different meanings.

merry adj. ['mɛriː] merrier ◊ merriest
Joyful or jovial.
phrases:
make merry v.expr. [meɪk 'mɛriː]
To be jovial; to indulge in hilarity; to feast with mirth.
__________
happy adj. ['hæpiː] happier ◊ happiest
1. Enjoying or showing or marked by joy or pleasure or good fortune: “a happy smile”: “spent many happy days on the beach”: “a happy marriage.” 2. Experiencing pleasure or joy: “happy you are here”; Synonyms: pleased. 3. Well expressed and to the point: “a happy turn of phrase”

Courtesy of Ultralingua Dictionaries
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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Re: Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Merry Birt

Unread postby Alex Case » 05 Apr 2009, 09:46

Please look in your course materials under "collocations". If there is nothing in your course materials that is relevant under that heading (or even not that heading), please instantly switch courses!
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