a day that started out/ started off?

sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
Source:

"Surprising pretty much everyone in the council chambers, Shiner's motion carried 27-17, and the bag tax was removed by a vote of 23-31. So a day that started out being about the right of consumers to get plastic bags for free ended up being about not being able to buy plastic bags for love or money."

http://www.openfile.ca/vancouver/blog/2012/toronto-bans-plastic-bags—why-not-vancouver


Should/could "started out" be replaced by "started off"?
 
  • sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Why do you think "started off" is better, or why do you think "started out" is wrong?
    We say "day in and day out", which may render "a day started out" justified.

    Could "started off" be replaced with "started out" in the following sentence?


    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/06/07/toronto-plastic-ban.html

    What started off as a debate to get rid of an unpopular five-cent fee for a plastic bag has ended up with the largest outright ban on plastic bags in North America.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    We say "day in and day out", which may render "a day started out" justified.
    "Day in and day out" is a set phrase meaning (as far as I can remember) "whenever," "under any circumstances."
    "Out" by itself does not carry a negative meaning by definition, but has acquired one by the contrasting nature of the whole phrase.

    GOTO post 2.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Isn't the "day out" in "day in and day out" in reference to dusk? I always understood it as meaning "from night to day and back again."

    Basically, sunyaer, that's a really interesting point, but I don't think it's relevant. Remember, not only days "start off/out." For instance: "The expedition started off/out from Khartoum in search of a mysterious ancient tomb."
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Isn't the "day out" in "day in and day out" in reference to dusk? I always understood it as meaning "from night to day and back again."

    Basically, sunyaer, that's a really interesting point, but I don't think it's relevant. Remember, not only days "start off/out." For instance: "The expedition started off/out from Khartoum in search of a mysterious ancient tomb."

    Yes, "day out" in "day in and day out" in reference to dusk. But "started out" in "a day started out" refers to dawn.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Isn't the "day out" in "day in and day out" in reference to dusk? I always understood it as meaning "from night to day and back again."
    Not as far as I know. Actually, the only instance of that phrase I can remember is in an old song sung by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, entitled "Day in, Day out."
    The phrase "come rain, come shine" [under whatever circumstances] is substituted for the former one in the third verse. The final line is "When there it is, day in, day out," remarking about the constancy of love.
    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/f/frank+sinatra/day+in+day+out_20055302.html
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Not as far as I know. Actually, the only instance of that phrase I can remember is in an old song sung by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, entitled "Day in, Day out."
    The phrase "come rain, come shine" [under whatever circumstances] is substituted for the former one in the third verse. The final line is "When there it is, day in, day out," remarking about the constancy of love.
    http://www.lyricsfreak.com/f/frank+sinatra/day+in+day+out_20055302.html
    I agree with you on the meaning of "day in, day out." I just meant that it means, to me, "as the days come in, as the days go out," and thus "from dawn to dusk and to the next dawn." We do use this in everyday speech over here: "I hate working there - I have to listen to my boss whining day in and day out about her boyfriend."

    Sunyaer, my point was basically that "start out/off" are both interchangeable when they refer to something "departing from a particular point or situation." If I say "the day started off/out well," it has nothing to do with a phrase like "day out."
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "Surprising pretty much everyone in the council chambers, Shiner's motion carried 27-17, and the bag tax was removed by a vote of 23-31. So a day that started out being about the right of consumers to get plastic bags for free ended up being about not being able to buy plastic bags for love or money." http://www.openfile.ca/vancouver/blo...-not-vancouver

    Should/could "started out" be replaced by "started off"?
    Should? No, no reason to do so. Could? Yes.
     
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