knowing Joey [somebody]

Wookie

Senior Member
Korea, Korean
Ross: No the-the sad thing is, if you had told him how you felt before you kissed her, knowing Joey, he probably just would’ve just stepped aside. (from Friends)

What does "knowing Joey" mean?

Here's what I think:
knowing Joey, he probably just would’ve just stepped aside.
= If Joey knew it, he probably just would’ve just stepped aside.
 
  • Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "knowing" here refers to a knowledge of Joey. That is, "Judging from what we know about Joey's character..." Note that this participle does not modify anything within the sentence, and would be referred to as a "dangling modifier." This usage is very common in spoken English, but should be avoided absolutely in writing.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    "knowing" here refers to a knowledge of Joey. That is, "Judging from what we know about Joey's character..." Note that this participle does not modify anything within the sentence, and would be referred to as a "dangling modifier." This usage is very common in spoken English, but should be avoided absolutely in writing.
    Why should it be avoided in writing? It's in this thread and is valid, is it not? It could be used in a novel. So, absolutely is a bit O.T.T.

    GF..
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm not much of a prescriptivist; I myself might well use a dangling modifier in speech and even in some writing. Perhaps "absolutely" was too strong and I should revise my earlier statement. In formal/technical writing, where specificity is very important, I do believe that they should be avoided altogether. They can often make sentences unintentionally humorous. Consider the following:

    Recording the temperature, the contents of the test tube were poured into the beaker.

    I saw this kind of error all the time when I was in college reading lab reports, etc. It is very clear that the "contents" are not "recording" anything, but it's still bad form in my opinion. On this forum, I do want to prepare people for the conversational reality of the English language, but at the same time, I also wish to make them aware of those things that are not strictly grammatically correct. After all, dangling modifiers could be extremely confusing.

    (Conciliatory group hug) :)
     
    Last edited:
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