bodyboard / bodyboarding / surfing

Fredziu

Senior Member
Polish
Hello everyone,

Does the following sentence sound fine?

I can bodyboard but I can't do proper surfing.

Or should it be:

I can do bodyboarding but not proper surfing.
 
  • Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi

    I don't think the dictionary accepts bodyboard as a verb yet, but I still prefer I can bodyboard over your second sentence.

    Compare it to skateboard (verb) and skateboarding (noun).

    I can skateboard. :thumbsup:

    I can do skateboarding. :thumbsdown:

    Also, I can do surfing. :thumbsdown:

    I can surf. :thumbsup:

    Proper
    is not necessary/feels out of place.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello, Erebos. Thank you for your answer. I'm still wondering about the word 'proper', though. Here's the situation:

    Man: Do you surf?
    Woman: Bodyboarding, yes. But not proper surfing.

    How can I convey the word 'proper' when talking about what the woman can't do if it's not correct to say that she can't do proper surfing?
     

    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I can't surf. But I can bodyboard.

    I find that to be sufficiently clear. Adding proper just seems to be a bit superfluous and out of place.

    If you really wanted to be emphatic, perhaps I can bodyboard, but I can't actually surf.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    And what about using the word properly? Would it work if I said something like this?

    I can bodyboard, but I can't surf properly.

    Or would it change the meaning?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Or would it change the meaning?
    "Proper surfing" is standard surfing as opposed to bodyboarding, bodysurfing, boogie boarding, or anything else that might be a variation of surfing.
    "Properly" = "in a proper way".
    I can't surf properly. = I can surf but not well. or I can surf but not in a proper way.
     

    Erebos12345

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Still not a fan...and I'm not sure why.

    Perhaps if you examine these examples:
    -Sit properly.
    -Do your job properly.

    I'm certainly capable of sitting properly and doing my job properly, but I choose not to do so for whatever reason. (eg. laziness, apathy, fatigue)

    In your case, you can't surf to begin with; it has nothing to do with you choosing to do it properly or not.

    At any rate, I still can't see myself using proper/properly in your context.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you, Erebos and Myridon!

    By the way, 'bodyboard' is listed as a verb in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary :).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Or perhaps "proper" means "strictly speaking", on a 'proper' surfboard, as opposed to the variations mentioned by Mridon.
    In addition to the board being different, surfing involves standing up. You don't stand up in bodyboarding, thus it's seen as being easier to learn (at least, initially).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Does the following sentence sound fine?
    I can bodyboard but I can't do proper surfing.
    Or should it be:
    I can do bodyboarding but not proper surfing.
    This use of "proper" is correct, but not common in AE. And many people would confuse "can not do proper surfing" with "cannot surf properly", which is not what you mean. So in AE, I would use "actual" instead of "proper".
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It's quite common in BE to use "not proper [surfing]" to mean something which is not considered to be genuine or 'not the real thing'.

    So both the OP's original sentences work for me. :)

    But I agree that "[not] properly" conveys the idea of not being able to do it satisfactorily.
     
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