anniversary couple

Discussion in 'English Only' started by fire fly, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. fire fly Senior Member

    Saigon, Viet Nam
    vietnamese
    Hi, everyone!
    I have been wondering about this sentence (which was taken from a paper test in my country) for some time. Here is my question.
    People give cards and gifts to the ___________ couple at the anniversary party.
    A. married B. anniversary C. wedding D. engaged

    Of the choices given, I can omit “C & D” because we are talking about “the anniversary party” and I personally think that the answer must be “anniversary”, never be “married”, because the only couple who are receiving special treat in the anniversary party is only “the anniversary couple”. However, I have a feeling that this sentence has somewhat redundances because if “B” is correct, we will have a sentence like this “People give cards and gifts to the anniversarycouple at the anniversary party. In short, what I want to clarify is that if
    1. “B. anniversary” is the best choice here?
    2. Suppose “B” is correct, should we rewrite the sentence a little bit so that it doesn’t have to repeat “anniversary” the second time in a sentence.
    Thanks a lot for your valuable help in this matter.
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    No, A is correct. I can see why you would think B was correct. We do say "the birthday boy/girl", but we don't say "the anniversary couple." This seems to me to be a difficult question. It relies solely on your knowledge of the way people commonly express this thought in English.
     
  3. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
     
  4. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    You should not completely discard A., FF :)
     
  5. fire fly Senior Member

    Saigon, Viet Nam
    vietnamese
    Hi, James!
    I've been so confused. Actually, the phrase "People give cards and gifts to the anniversary couple..." is extracted from one English Textbook for the secondary education in my country. And when I search Googles, I have found people say "the anniversary senior couple". Could you explain more?
     
  6. fire fly Senior Member

    Saigon, Viet Nam
    vietnamese
    Could you tell me more about what you think about "anniversary couple"?. Is it completely wrong?
     
  7. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    It is horrible! Unfortunately it is used a lot. Thus by default it is correct... The users of this can claim th
     
  8. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    "Wrong" is a tough word. :) There is nothing wrong with the two words together. In fact, it's quite logical. Unfortunately, when it comes to conventions in language, logic is not king. :) It is not the way people normally referred to the honorees at an anniversary celebration.

    It's similar to "Happy anniversary of your birth!" as a greeting for a birthday. It's technically accurate but the convention is "Happy birthday!"

    Can you say it? Yes. Will it sound like a native speaker? Not to me. The same is true of "the anniversary couple", in my opinion.
     
  9. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    Unfortunately it is used a lot. It is understandable. Thus by default it is correct...

    GF..

    Nevertheless I wish it did not exist. But then who am I?
     
  10. fire fly Senior Member

    Saigon, Viet Nam
    vietnamese
    Hi, JamesM!
    Many thanks for your clear and professional explanation. I have learned a lot from you. Thanks again.
     
  11. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    James and George, what don't you like about "anniversary couple"? And what would you say instead? It sounds perfectly normal to me.
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    It just sounds odd to me, pob14. I would say "married couple", "happy couple" or just "couple". From context it's clear that we are talking about the couple who is celebrating their anniversary.

    The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) lists only two examples of "anniversary couple". I don't think it's very common in American English. Is your experience different, pob14?

    (There certainly are quite a few hits on Google, I have to say.)

    I would easily say, "Ah! And here's the wedding couple now." I can't imagine saying "Ah! And here's the anniversary couple now."
     
  13. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    I'm sure I've heard it any number of times - as soon as I read the thread title, I pictured someone walking into a party and asking, "Where's the anniversary couple?" It just sounds so obviously right to me that I was surprised anyone would think it was wrong - probably it's just me.

    In the context of the OP, I wouldn't use it - it's redundant, and I would leave the blank, well, blank. But I would certainly say, "People give cards and gifts to the anniversary couple at the [or their] party."
     
  14. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I don't think it's just you, looking at some of the responses and at some of the Google hits. Still, I can't remember ever hearing it. I suppose it's like "You've got another think/thing coming". :) We hear what we expect to hear.

    It sounds as odd to me as going to a baby shower and saying "Where's the shower person?" or "I have a gift for the shower girl"... also logical but equally odd to me. If I didn't know her name (which is what the case appears to be) I would say "I have a gift for the mother-to-be."
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  15. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Even I wouldn't say that!
     
  16. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    So I suppose it's just a matter of what we're used to. That's why this test question struck me as a difficult one from the beginning. It relies on conventions rather than grammar or vocabulary.
     

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